2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Handal-Denier Vineyard) by Wellington

Tonight’s occasion: 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Handal-Denier Vineyard) by Wellington, Sonoma, California.

This vintage fades into the memories of a few. Part of his final act. A winemaker’s joke upon us all who never rose to the occasion as often as we now wish we did. Every bottle bittersweet. A good wine, like life is not forever…

Dark inky color. Nose is restrained, with lots of big bold dry dark plum, an equally intense dry (sawdust) woody leather takes on a cedarwood essence. Dried herbs linger in the back. As it opens up, an unmistakable black licorice emerges.

Body has a smooth balanced attack that quickly grows intense with massive dry tannins providing a very solid monolithic structure. Cedarwood and a touch of oak move forward to and dress the set. Plum turns to black berries which conspire with a touch of minerality to create black currant and hints of cola.

Body morphs into massive dry finish as tannins, black berries, currant and cola turn to a dark dusty cocoa, leaving lips parched shut.

I believe Pete Wellington’s last vintage was 2013. His legacy lives on at Wellington Cellars

2010 Carignan (Cordillera) by Miguel Torres

Tonight’s occasion: 2010 Carignan (Cordillera) by Miguel Torres, Valle Del Maule, Chile.

Dark inky opaque color. Massive, nose out of the bottle. Big, bold, brash with loads of dry plum, black cherries wrapped in heat. A hint of leather and caramel lingers in the back.

Body is surprisingly restrained in stark contrast to the nose. It is moderately acidic throughout, accompanied by subtle buttery tannins. Tart plum carries through into the finish characterized by a persistent, acidic spice that bites, simultaneously drying and torching the palate down to the chest. After about an hour it becomes an even more subtle experience overall.

This is a big wine by all accounts even for a Carignan. It is a well made wine. It has had sufficient time to develop and it shows quite nicely right now. It presents a tremendous value at $23.99 and is proof positive that not all good wine is expensive. It could easily lay down another 10 years. I will surely be watching this winemaker and the region in general. We’ll done!

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