Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon by Altue, Chile.
We are truly living in a golden age for wines in general. I am sitting here contemplating the finer points of a great little wine from lesser known corner of the world in Chile and thinking to myself, not only is the wine well made, it is one hell of a steal. Mere decades ago, such a moment would have been highly unlikely.
Pleasant nose with plum, cherry, oak, earth, and at least one other floral note that combines to create a subtle butterscotch twist (for lack of a better descriptor). Once opened I detect a hint of minerality. This all carries forward into a mild mannered body with oak and vanilla more pronounced and fruit diminished. Minerality carries forward to the body as well. The body is light and understated for a Cabernet Sauvignon. None too acidic. It reads like a big California Pinot Noir. After about an hour the body develops a noticeable buttery caramel character. The finish is graceful and quickly fades away with a suggestion of tannin. Once opened, the cherry is more pronounced in the finish.
Overall this is a smooth wine. I love noticing the terroir in a wine. This tells me that little has been done to the wine in the way of altering its expression. It is an honest wine. Approachable. It is not overly complex. At 13% ABV it is also not a laborious, exhausting affair either. You can open a bottle and slowly follow it through your evening without suffering from palate fatigue. This is a fantastic EDC wine (EDC = Every Day Consumption). For the price Casemates Wine is offering it presents great value for the price. This is a great way to stock up your cellar.
Tonight’s occasion: 2013 La Stupenda, Barbera by Peterson, Mendocino, California. Courtesy of Casemates who invited me to review tonight’s offering. I am writing this as I begin my review. My initial impressions right out of the bottle are very dark and inky for a Barbera. Barbera typically run on the lighter, ruby side of the spectrum like a classic Sangiovese or Pinot Noir. The twist-off held a very tight seal all these years and despite its journey. Making the first pour I got hit with big spice and a hint of raisin. I typically don’t care for raisin in my wines however I am pleased to confirm this rapidly dissipated. This tells me the wine is very much alive.
I was met with a medium-to-big nose, full of subtle oak, hint of berry and at least another floral note I cannot pinpoint (lavender comes to mind, not sure why), perhaps you can help me here. A hint of minerality come through after a few hours. The attack is fairly fruit forward but restrained. Up front, as with most Barbera, the body comes with noticeable spice and acidity which easily gives way once your palate adjusts after a few sips.
After about 15 minutes the body quickly becomes buttery smooth, adding the faintest hint of caramel into the mix. The finish, without doubt is a big one, starting out hot and spicy and as it opens, develops more tannic grip albeit restrained. This is by any account a big Barbera especially at 13.9% ABV. For a single VARIETAL Barbera, it is surprisingly layered, complex and balanced. A testament to the winemaker’s craft. I can appreciate its richer tone as I feel in this case it balances out the acidity typical of the varietal. Once opened up the acidity is quickly tempered by a creamy buttery expression.
This wine shows great maturity. This Barbera is well built. It commands your attention. It is aging much more gracefully than a typical Barbera. I feel like it’s time is now. It’s a somewhat different take on Barbera from a region off the beaten path that has had time and patience to fully develop. I think it presents a tremendous value. Please visit Casemates to take advantage of this deal before it’s gone. Fred and Jamie Peterson, after twirling it for a couple hours now, I like it! Estupenda!!!
In case you’re wondering, I already ordered mine, so I don’t mind if they sell out. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with another sweet deal from one of my all-time favorite vintners Roger Roessler (rogerroesslerwines.com).
One of the things I like most about this winemaker is he puts together these monthly case deals aimed squarely at folks like myself who love building verticals and following their craft over time. These case deals present a unique opportunity to pick up enough of his signature wines at an attractive price.
While these wines are very drinkable right now believe me when I say, they will only get even better over time. I like to pick up a case, enjoy one or two bottles now with friends and fellow wine snobs, make notes on when to open the next bottle, and lay the rest of the bottles down for a long nap.
This is Roger’s flagship Pinot Noir. It is an exemplary Pinot. Well built with good complexity. I have not tasted the 2017 vintage yet, but I have at least half a case of each vintage of this wine in my cellar dating back to the 2010 vintage. As a matter of fact I opened a 2010 a couple weeks ago and it was – to put it simply – Perfect! It’s even more fascinating when I taste verticals across 3-4 vintages at a time. It’s quite enlightening to taste the subtle nuances from one vintage to another and see how the winemaker managed the various challenges each harvest presented.
Now that Black Pine has got your attention, you can then begin exploring Roger’s wide selection of Signature Pinot Noirs. These are much smaller batches. They are fine-art in a bottle. Passion projects. Red Birds is one of the older lines of his signature wines. When you visit, be sure to ask Roger or the amazing staff to explain their inspiration. I have one 2008 Red Birds left in my cellar. It breaks my heart every time I look at it. I once did a side-by-side with the 2008 and the 2015 vintages and they were astonishingly similar despite the 7 year age gap. This is a big and bold Pinot – a recurring theme with Roessler wines. They lend themselves really well to the aging process. The oldest I’ve opened was a 14 year old vintage which was still coming out of the bottle swinging. A testament to the vintner, his vision and craft.
This post is my independent opinion and in not way sponsored by Roessler Wines. Over time I will post unique opportunities that I feel are worth your consideration. If you do decide to try these wines, please share your thoughts with me or better yet, let’s meet-up at the tasting room.