Callaghan Vineyards

Tasting Notes

Talbot, St. Julien 1986

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Deep red center, slight rust rim.

Mellow, great, integrated nose – menthol, grilled meat/pepper steak, black currant and other “stuff”..

Round suave and mouth-filling – at its peak. Still has excellent mid-palate flesh and flavor. Beautiful, complex wine. This certainly demonstrates why cellaring pays dividends with wines worthy of it. Just like friends or lovers ūüėČ

$75/magnum (as this was) on release?  Courtesy of Tony Vickers  Рa very generous friend.

Artadi "Pagos Viejos" Rioja 2004

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Opaque, saturated red.

Extremely sexy nose of toasted hazelnut, wilted herbs and black fruit.

Round, delineated middle-weight in the mouth – really beautiful textural dimension that is both plush and packed with acid/tannin structural backbone. Killer. Loaded. Best over what? The next 20 years? Whatever. Just stupid and a reference point for people in the industry like me. Balanced and loaded in every department.

$75.    100% Tempranillo.

Westerly "Cote Blonde" Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara 2008

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Deep red.

Middleweight nose of menthol, tapenade, smoke, light citrus and spice.

Round and mouth-filling, with an incremental acid edge cutting through. Very enjoyable, but lacks density/depth.

$35.   From Feast in Tucson. 87% Syrah, 13% Viognier

Colpetrone, Sagrantino, Montefalco 2007

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Deep red.

Opened yesterday – smoke, wilted herbs, ash, black cherry nose.

Intense – loaded to the front of the mouth. Flavors mirroring nose except for herb component. Significant acid/tannin synergy builds and ultimately shuts down the front teeth. Flavors flow through structural impediments though. Interesting and built for years in the cellar.

$30. 100% Sagrantino.

Henschke "Keyneton Euphonium" Barossa 2009

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Vinturi – moderate intensity nose shows nice depth – fig, black raspberry, earth/toasted nut and fresh herb aromas. Integrated.

Round with beautiful textural sweetness well-buffered by sneaky acidity. Sneaky length too. The kind of wine that grows on you. Really nicely done and should drink well for several more years.

$40.   61% Shiraz, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc

Sans Liege "Sancha" Marsanne, Derby Vyd., Paso Robles 2010

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Light yellow.

Slightly chilled. Nose of ripe pear, lemon flesh and quince.

Round and completely mouth-filling. Great density without being heavy and shows textural sweetness buffered beautifully by mineral/tannic chew. Quince and pear flavor action. RFG. Mineral chew really coats the front teeth. Buying more of this.

$38   from Feast in Tucson.

Tardieu-Laurent, Cote Rotie 2003

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Deep red.

Vinturi – sumptuous nose – savory smoked meat/bacon, grilled and wilted herbs and root veg. Smells like Caldo Verde.

Broad and fairly dense in the mouth. Excellent mid-palate flesh, but does lack a bit of lift. Very hot vintage.
Nice smoked meat flavor follow through in the finish. Grainy tannin covers the mouth. Not sure where this is headed though.. Find some good duck and drink this thing.

$60   100% Syrah (I think)

Arnoux "Vieux Clocher" Vacqueyras 2009

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Deep red.

Expressive nose – iron/blood/grilled herbs/pepper steak/black cherry.

Round and mouth-filling, with a textural sweetness. Excellent, packed black cherry, herb and spice mid-palate flavors. This is loaded. Spicy, tannic finish is slightly rustic, but honest. Real, gutsy wine here. No sculpting/BS.


Niepoort "Docil" Loureiro, Vinho Verde 2011

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Pale straw.

Fresh, ripe nose of peach, apricot and a hint of fresh herb.

Bright and minerally in the mouth – flavors of ripe apple, lemon zest and ripe peach – as odd as that amalgam might seem. Really acid-driven and yet has a textural sweetness too. This is killer action at a ridiculous price.

$14 ¬† ¬†Loureiro is an esoteric Portuguese white variety…

Chateau Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Leognan (Bordeaux) 2008

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Saturated purple red.

Sexy nose of woodsmoke, embers, blue and black fruits and clay/earth.

Round and slightly grainy tannic entry. Densely packed, but not overbearing. Manages to show earth/fruit/oak flavors start to finish. Significant tannin kicks in on the finish but not kill the deal. Parker gave this a 98 – not sure it’s that good – but it’s RFG all the same. Best from 2017 on I’d guess.