Callaghan Vineyards

Tasting Notes

Albino Rocca "Brich Ronchi" Barbaresco 1999

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Red, rust rim.

Vinturi – sexy cherry jam, woodsmoke/oak spice,

Andrew Will, Ciel du Cheval Vyd., Red Mountain 2007

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Opened yesterday. Deep oozer of a nose – Andes mint, fresh earth and a massive pool of black cherry compote. Better than yesterday – seemed a bit flat then.

Round and packed, seamless, completely mouth-filling, plush. Flavors echoing nose express quite well. Not wildly complex yet, but I don’t think many will quibble. Structure is in the background, but acidity and fine tannin quietly coat the teeth in refined chew. This really didn’t do much for me yesterday, but showing very well now. Give it some air..

$55. 45% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Archery Summit "Arcus Estate" Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2006

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Opened yesterday. Subtle, lusty nose of underbrush, fresh herbs, red cherry coulis and sexy oak spices.

Round, sumptuous entry with significant acidity immediately keeping one foot on the floor. Flavor (red cherry, spice, underbrush) and structure running on two tracks. Acid/tannin synergy really clamps down on the side teeth, but flavors sail on. RFG. This would be an interesting ringer in a Burgundy tasting. Long, subtle mineral/chew finish.

$60? Gift from the Padres

Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005

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Vinturi – low-key nose – attractive woodsy/earth/spice action with pepper and red cherry/raspberry underneath. Harmonious.

Round with considerable textural sweetness, particularly for Beaucastel. Manages to be packed with flavor and quite structured

without being ponderous or rustic. Relatively light touch, which I now think of as typical for these guys. Reminds me a bit of the Grange des Peres in this sense. Tannin builds as the wine sits, finishing with Mourvedre’s iron notes. Nowhere near maturity, but drinking well already. Beautiful stuff.

$55? Not sure what the blend is in this vintage, but Beaucastel typically uses more Mourvedre than most CdP producers.

Vega Sicilia "Unico" Ribera del Duero 1986

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Deep red.

Fragrant, sexy, spicebox, grilled meat, citrus, fruitcake nose.

Intensely flavored, lively middle-weight. Acid-driven with mild tannin. No sign that it is near its peak. It is quite difficult to articulate how great some of these wines are. They just are.

$Lots ? Courtesy of Mike Irwin on his 71st birthday. Like an incredible old Bordeaux on the nose – crazy, integrated, effortless complexity.

Termanthia, Toro 2003

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Saturated purple.

Nose of spice box, brooding black fruit (dried fig, black raspberry), wax and licorice.

Extremely dense, but not heavy. Refined tannin builds with air time. Not yet complex in the mouth, but loaded to the hilt and in need of many years in a good cellar. The juxtaposition of incredible concentration and refinement is remarkable..

$150. 100% ungrafted, old vine Tempranillo.

Lopez-Heredia "Vina Tondonia" Reserva, Rioja 1993

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Light red.

Herbs and fragrant wood spices on the nose as well as some red fruit. Light, but attractive.

Lively, light palate impression. Citrus and herb flavors. Acid-driven. Very nice stuff.


Climens, Barsac 1988

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Yellow/light gold.

Roasted peach/nectarine, orange marmalade, burnt sugar nose. Great.

Deep, balanced, fresh. Strong acidity cuts through considerable sweetness beautifully. Long, roasted botrytis finish suffuses the palate. FK.

$? Courtesy of Tony Vickers.

Grange des Peres, Vin de Pays de l’Herault 2006

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Deep red.

Vinturi – great, subtle nose of woodsmoke, herbs, grilled red fruit, fresh earth. Sumptuous.

Round with some textural sweetness immediately buffered by strongish acidity and moderate tannin. Really expressive in the mouth too. Tanzer’s “inner-mouth” action. Beautifully refined, no fat. Taut. RFG. Long, subtle finish.

$60? Gift from Mr. Milic @ FnB in Scottsdale. The proprietor here did stints with Francois Coche-Dury and Chave if I’m not mistaken. Pretty good mentors… Not sure of the blend, but I think it is Syrah and maybe some Cabernet? Whatever. It rocks.

Tensley, Syrah, Tierra Alta Vyd., Santa Barbara County 2006

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Vinturi – muted nose – licorice, wood spices, fig, steak sauce.

Round and mouth-filling with an unexpected sweetness. Definitely seems to have residual sugar and it doesn’t fit in well with strong underlying acidity. Unfortunate, as I’ve enjoyed other Tensley bottlings quite a bit. Probably just a tough vintage/weird lot problem..

$22 from Time Market in Tucson.