Wine Review: 2015 Octagon by Barboursville

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Octagon by Barboursville Vineyards, Virginia.

Dark rich color. Nose is characterized by caramel, warm wet earth, blackberries and tart plums. As it opens up it develops notes of coffee and cocoa.

Body is well balanced, has good structure and composition. With every sip, you are greeted with fine grained tannins, a touch of acidity accompanied by creamy tannins gives it a full mouthfeel. A nice leather permeates the entire experience along with black currants. Finish starts off smooth and creamy. As it opens up an increasingly dry tannic grip emerges, reminding you this wine is still young, built for the long haul. I am tickled by the fact that I am sipping such a precise, quality wine from Virginia.

This is a dry wine on all accounts. Made in the classic old world Bordeaux style. It is surprisingly accurate. Well done folks!

Few things please me like a winemaker/winery maintains an extensive library of their wines and makes them readily available to any wine enthusiasts who wish to explore their wines. Barboursville does an amazing job of this. If you visit the product page for this wine, scroll to the bottom, you can see an extensive library available for purchase. I cannot overstate how awesome this is for any WineSnob!

https://www.bbvwine.com/wine-shop/octagon

Tech Sheet

2015 Barboursville Octagon

Fermentation:  6-10 days on the skins in stainless steel
Maceration: 15 days
Composition: Merlot 50%, Cabernet Franc 20%, Petit Verdot 30%
Aging: 12 months French oak barriques, new 40%, used 60%
Analysis: Alcohol, 13.5%
Residual Sugar:
0.0%
Total Acidity: 0.57%

 

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Barboursville wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Barboursville wines on Wine.com

Wine Review: 2015 Pinot Noir by Handpicked

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Pinot Noir by Handpicked from Yarra Valley, Australia.

Deep ruby color. Moderately aromatic nose with berries, caramel and a little leather. You can tell this is a bigger Pinot, not unlike your typical Northern California Pinot Noir. Once it opens up aromas become more intense.

Bright but restrained body shows great balance as subtle tannin quickly steps up to the moderately acidic attack, along with notes of plum. A seamless transition to finish is punctuated by a subtle tightening of tannic grip, capped by moderate spice and heat that quickly dominates the palate and further down the chest.

At 14.5% ABV this is by all accounts a big bold Pinot Noir. However it still manages to be very approachable and not the least overbearing. A testament to the winemaker’s craft. It is clean crisp, and has great character, structure and balance. Well done Mates! 😁🍷

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Handpicked wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Handpicked wines on Wine.com

Reserve: 2015 Riserva Sangiovese by Vino Noceto

Tonight’s occasion: a side-by-side with the 2015 Riserva Sangiovese and the 2015 Sangiovese by Vino Noceto.

This winemaker from Plymouth, Amador, California has been putting out an amazing Sangiovese with surgical consistency for as long as I can remember – well over a decade.

The Sangiovese alone is a benchmark by which I measure all other Sangiovese, regardless of where it’s from. I cannot overstate how well made it is. There is a more limited companion, the Riserva Sangiovese. I have been meaning to open both at the same time and explore them together, side-by-side.

Sangiovese

My previous notes hold. It is very well behaved. A mild mannered nose with hints of raspberry and cherry which become more prominent in a very well structured and balanced body. There is a subtle creamy under layer to the body. The finish is unmistakably peppery. The spice lingers long after the finish has faded away, like the tannins of a Syrah. It doesn’t take long to open up but when it does a light buttery, oak undertone permeates the entire experience. I consider this Sangiovese a prime example of what is possible with this varietal, in this region and the greater California wine region.

Riserva Sangiovese

Color has a hint of brown and a touch darker compared the Sangiovese. Nose on the Riserva has unmistakably a more oak. This is expected as it is barrel aged 6-8 months longer than the Sangiovese. This has the effect of smoothing out the edges and giving it a velvety mouth feel. It seems a tad more acidic.

Like any Sangiovese, I think it’s meant to be paired with food, especially meats. The Riserva even moreso. They both paired well with the New York Steak but it was pretty obvious this is where the Riserva really shines. It instantly cut through the steak, creating one seemless cohesive, creamy, buttery smooth experience. Wow. Hints of caramel, cocoa and tobacco emerge when paired. I’m not one to pair my wine as I like to fully immerse myself in all it’s nuance and complexity but this wine absolutely must be paired appropriately. The Riserva makes a great treat for any guest with a discerning palate. The Sangiovese is very approachable and an accessible price point, easily making it a very high quality every day wine.

I always keep several bottles of this Sangiovese in my cellar as a reference and to show fellow WineSnobs what is going on off the beaten path.

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Vino Noceto wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Vino Noceto wines on Wine.com

 

 

Reserve: 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo by La Sacrestia

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo by La Sacrestia. Langhe, Italy.

I am completely enamored with Nebbiolo from Langhe. This lesser known region offers great value and massively intense wines.

Crisp clean nose. Subtle tart berry with a hint of marshmallow/caramel in the back. Terroir is without a doubt all dusty mineral. Very characteristic of this region. The nose is very tight – even after aerating requires vigorous swirling to unlock the aromas – without doubt this wine has a long journey ahead of it.

Body is all business. First thing you notice is a bit more leather along with the mineral terroir. Mild acity is noticeable but restrained over a firm chassis. Good structure and balance for a Nebbiolo this young. It’s difficult to separate the body from finish as massive tannic grip emerges midway and dominates the entire experience. The more it breathes, the bigger the grip. A subtle spice makes an appearance after the fact, leaving your lips tingling.

It may be lesser known but it is no less of a Nebbiolo than its peers. It is a great bargain at around $16 from Total Wine. It presents a great opportunity. Pick up a bunch now and forget about them. Thank me in 5-10 years. 🍷😁👌🏽

Guest Review: 2015 Grand Vin De Bordeaux by Chateau Joly

Guest Review: Saint-Emilion Chateau Joly 2015 Grand Vin De Bordeaux.

Saint-Emilion is the home of great Merlot, and, Chateau Joly – owned by one of the three eldest negociants in France – showcases that. Horeau-Beylot is the négociant and supplier of wine across many regions of Bordeaux, including a large range of grand crus! This wine is composed of different vineyards aging 25years old on average. The expertise and wisdom that is build from these wines shows.

It was a pleasure to drink this wine! It’s got a smooth and velvety feel, a nice balance that won’t make your mouth water too much, nor dry it out. As a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blend it’s quite fruity, lots of fresh cherry and raspberry. It was complex, and the terroir of Saint-Emilion shines through this wine. I would recommend this wine to anyone interested in a great Bordeaux blend that is fruit forward.

🌟: 9/10, 3 – Preference, 2- Complexity, 1 Pairability, 1 Convenience, 2 Drinkability
💲: 29.99USD (@totalwine)
🥐: Could be paired well with a cherry pie actually, or a nice pork shank!

Salut! 😁🍷🍷🍷

About our guest


Ethan Turner is author of today’s Guest Review. All the way from Scottsdale Arizona, Ethan is a certified Level 1 Sommelier actively working in the service industry where he gets to sharpen his palate on a daily basis. In his own words.

“Going to a wine shop is like going to a library. Each wine has its own story, flavor profile, and shelf life. Some wines are popular and become classics, some wines are trendy and go out of style within a few years. That makes it really hard to find the right wine. I love helping find what’s perfect for them.”

You can follow Ethan’s journey via his Instagram page @ineedsommehelp

2015 Nebbiolo by Travaglini Gattinara

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Nebbiolo by Travaglini Gattinara.

Clear, ruby red color. Unconventional for most Nebbiolo. Crisp nose with slightly earthy mineral terroir. A suggestion of tart plum, and at least another very faint floral aroma I cannot pinpoint. Body is dry, crisp plum, with lots of structure. A noticeable melange of leather and mineral rock emerges towards the back end of the body. An increasingly dominating tannic grip only gets stronger and more intense as it transitions to the finish by the end of which your lips and entire palate are held hostage by its intense, dry, ironclad grip. A spicy heat joins in the bold, forceful, dramatic expression and lingers long after.

This vintage is powerful and shows great potential. While it may be barely approachable now, it is nowhere near ready. I last opened a 2010 last year and reviewed it on here. This wine needs at least another 5 years. TotalWine stopped carrying it in California but I found some in Seattle this weekend. Unfortunately I am unable to continue building a vertical of it in my cellar.

[UPDATE] Wine.com carries this wine so I will resume building my vertical. See links below.

To the folks at Travaglini, I most certainly hope to see you when I visit Italy.

Molto bene! 🍷😁👌🏽

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Travaglini Gattinara wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Travaglini Gattinara wines on Wine.com

Guest Review: Chassagne-Montrachet Montagny Premier Cru

Au Pied du Mont Chauve’s 2015 Burgundy White is one of my favorite wines, so much so that I had this wine with the first dinner I ever cooked for my girlfriend. It was aged wonderfully! The wine has a mouth-watering acidity, that makes you crave a butter or cream-based sauce. Each sip is smooth and silky. It has hints of juicy pineapple, crisp green apple, and creamy vanilla on the nose and palate. I would definitely recommend this wine to any burgundy lover, but also suggest it to those who are looking for a fun break from an Oregon Chardonnay.

The Domaine Au Pied du Mont Chauve, is operated by Francine Picard, daughter of one of the biggest winemaking families in Burgundy. Francine, daughter of Michel Picard, grows beautiful grapes on the hills of Chassagne-Montrachet. Her wines are normally characterized by their limestone minerality, and supple fruits. Her calling has been to remain true to the tradition, and this is what any Burgundy drinker searches for. This wine, a premier cru, was selected for excellence, and lives up to that standard.

🌟: 9/10, 3 Preference, 2 Complexity, 1 Pairability, 1 Convenience, 2 Drinkability
💲: 30.00 USD (TotalWine)
🥐: I paired this with a braised chicken with a creamy mushroom reduction.

About our guest


Ethan Turner is author of today’s Guest Review. All the way from Scottsdale Arizona, Ethan is a certified Level 1 Sommelier actively working in the service industry where he gets to sharpen his palate on a daily basis. In his own words.

“Going to a wine shop is like going to a library. Each wine has its own story, flavor profile, and shelf life. Some wines are popular and become classics, some wines are trendy and go out of style within a few years. That makes it really hard to find the right wine. I love helping find what’s perfect for them.”

You can follow Ethan’s journey via his Instagram page @ineedsommehelp