Reserve: 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon by Lapostolle

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Valle De Colchagua) by Lapostolle, Chile

Dark opaque color. Slightly restrained but still fairly big, warm and heavy nose. Lots of dark plum and blackberry secondary notes. Swirl vigorously and unlock tertiary notes of oak which conspire to create the faintest hint of licorice which turns to more of a cedarwood vibe as it opens up.

Body is very balanced and greets you with good acidity accompanied by a mouthful of tannins in the form of plum skins. From there everything quickly simmers down as the body becomes restrained. Big, massive and dry tannic grip ushers a transition to a slightly warm and spicy finish leaving your lips dried shut – a dead giveaway this wine is young and while it shows sush poise and character, I believe in 5-10 years it will be a a beautiful gem of a wine that will surprise any palate. It is a fantastic wine now but with a little more time to develop it will be a remarkable piece.

I have reviewed some amazing wines by this Chilean winemaker before and this one does not disappoint. Not only are their wines extremely well crafted, they present tremendous value. Bien hecho amigos!

Reviews of wines by this winemaker

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Reserve: 2016 Pinot Noir (Cork Dancer) by Hitching Post

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Cork Dancer) by Hitching Post , Santa Barbara Country, Califronia.

Today we take a look at an understated everyday Pinot for the everyday wine enthusiast. This wine presents great all around value. If your are looking for a great EDC (Every Day Consumption) wine, I recommend adding this to your cellar.

Deep ruby color. Crisp nose with notes of berry, subtle stone fruits and caramel stand out most. Body shows good balance with a mildly acidic attack followed by creamy tannins in the form of plums and dark cherries. Transition to finish is seamless, capped by mild, dry tannic grip and a hint of spice.

At 12.5% ABV it is a very mellow laid back experience. You can open a bottle by yourself and work your way through it over the course of your evening with minimal fuss. All this conspires to make this a very approachable and enjoyable wine. This is most definitely a pleaser. Nicely done guys!

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2016 Pinot Noir (Drum Canyon) by Dierberg * StarLane

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Drum Canyon) by Dierberg * StarLane

Deep ruby red color. Nose is restrained, well mannered, slightly warm, with notes of oak, berries, hint of sweet cherry all conspiring to create a very subtle red vines licorice. Terroir is also represented in the form of wet dusty leather. It maintains a classy posture overall. Interesting.

Body is representative. A very mild restrained acidic attack that is quickly accompanied by buttery smooth tannins. Very subtle oak and blackberry emerge towards the back to create a full mouth feel. A very faint black currant lends good structure and balance as it transitions to a brief finish capped by a hint of spice.

I reviewed the Dierberg Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir a while back and was absolutely enamored with it. One of my top California Pinot Noirs. Looking back at my notes I can some similarities and some differences. First this one is more medium bodied, slightly dryer more structured body. Where they resemble is the result of the winemakers attention to detail, commitment to excellence and adherence to core principles. The result is a world class California Pinot. I highly recommend this Pinot, particularly for the advanced palate, especially side-by-side with the Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir for a good perspective on this winemaker and his craft. Well done folks!

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Wine Review: 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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Wine Review: 2007 Rioja by L贸pez de Heredia Vi帽a Tondonia

Tonight’s occasion: 2007 Rioja by L贸pez de Heredia Vi帽a Tondonia, Spain.

Bold warm nose with plum, blackberry and a hint of caramel on the back. Swirl vigorously to unlock a sandy mineral leather.

Body is noticeably acidic. It is mostly Tempranillo after all. A very prominent black currant underlayment permeates the experience as moderate tannins make an appearance midway. Mineral terroir occupies a tertiary layer along with hints of caramel and spice. A tart plum dominates the finish capped by a dry, spicy tannic grip.

This is a really good wine. A welcomed diversion from California wines. Like most Spanish wine it is big, bold, dry, masculine and makes no apologies. It is honestly just now approachable at 13 years of age and I shudder to imagine what it was like at 5. It shows good structure and delineated complexity. It should serve as a good reference point for wines of this style and region. Bien hecho amigos! 馃榿馃嵎

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Reserve: 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Astral) by Dierberg Star Lane

Tonight’s occasion: 2011 Astral (Cabernet Sauvignon) by Dierberg * Star Lane, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara.

As expected, dark rich opaque color. This is mostly Cab and Cab Franc. Out of the bottle nose is slightly restrained but big and heavy with lots of plum and a touch of dark sweet cherry up front. In the back, anise lingers over a fairly neutral terroir and is accompanied by black licorice as it opens up. There is good separation. This had to have been massive, if not barely approachable 5 years ago.

Unlike your quintessential big jammy California Cab, the body shows good balance front to back. Moderate acid goes hand-in-hand with dry, restrained, fine grained tannins and black currants. Plum and herbs carry over from the nose providing a brief diversion in an otherwise highly structured body. Transition to finish is brief, culminating in a firm and spicy tannic grip that leaves the palate parched and tingling.

This is by all accounts a solid, well built, delineated, wine for the advanced palate. It will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of them. At almost 10 years old, it is just now becoming approachable and should be a magnificent work of art in 5-10 years time. It is built for the long haul, is a fine example of the winemaker’s attention to detail and strict adherence to core principles. It presents a zero compromise view of what is possible from an already storied region. I highly recommend this for those seeking solid example of what a California Cabernet can be. It presents a solid reference point for anyone looking for some perspective on the venerable California Cab. Well done Dierberg * Star Lane!!!

Almost two years ago while exploring for the first time, the Santa Barbara county region of the Central coast (read about it here: Dierberg, Santa Barbara) Dierberg came highly recommended by my all-time favorites and very savvy vintner, Roger Roessler. It did not disappoint. I have since gradually been exploring their selection of outstanding quality wines and very much look forward to following their works moving forward. Several racks will remain dedicated to their wines in my cellar. You can also view all their wines I have reviewed and highly recommend here or by using the search.

Tech Sheet

2011 Astral by Dierberg Star Lane

From Winemaker: 2011 SLAST Tech Sheet.pdf
Cellar Life: 12-15 years
Composition: Cabernet Franc 76%, Cabernet Franc 22%, Syrah 2%
Aging: 20 months French oak, new 80%
Analysis: Alcohol, 13.7%
Harvested/Bottled:
Oct-Nov 2011 / Aug 2013
Total Production: Approximately 400 cases

 

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Wine Review: 2013 Pinot Noir (Shea Vineyard) by St. Innocent

Tonight’s occasion: 2013 Pinot Noir (Shea Vineyard) by St. Innocent, Willamette Valley, Oregon.

Deep dark clear ruby color. Lovely floral bouquet with bright berries and a hint of caramel. Swirl vigorously to intensify the caramel. Terroir is more on the mineral side of the spectrum as it is typically the case with this region.

Body is more plum than berry. Mild acidity coupled with moderate spice make it a lively affair front to back. Transition to finish is seamless and capped by dry tannic grip and spicy tingle. A touch of minerality and black currant permeates the entire experience, giving it good crisp structure. As it opens up, it becomes increasingly evident that this wine, while very approachable, is still young, despite being a 7 year old vintage.

I’m not the least surprised. Shea Vineyard produces some coveted fruit. Only skilled winemakers get to make wine from such grapes. The last Pinot I had from these grapes was by Roger Roessler Wines. This is well made wine that certainly brings this winemaker to one’s attention. Nicely done!

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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: 聽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聽Sugar:
0.0%
Total Acidity: 0.57%

 

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Wine Review: 2017 Tajinaste Tradicional (Valle de la Orotava) by Bodega Tajinaste

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Tajinaste Tradicional (Valle de la Orotava) by Bodega Tajinaste, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Deep brooding ruby color. Thick intense earthy nose with a punch of old wet driftwood, alluvial soil and volcanic mineral rock. In the back is a subtle sweet cherry and cranberry. I like this… Body is light, bright, crisp and surprisingly restrained. Mild acid goes hand-in-hand with mild tannins. Some leather carries over. Blackberry and black currants quickly dominate the palate albeit with restraint. Smooth transition to finish adds a slightly creamy tannic grip and hint of spice. The nose is simply amazing and ever present throughout the entire experience.

I went to college in Spain which is where I was first introduced to wine so I am familiar with the typically brash masculine expression in Spanish wines. However this one is certainly an exception. It is very approachable, enjoyable and interesting. I will be adding it to my cellar. It should make a fine example and representative of the Canary Islands. Bien hecho amigos!

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Reserve: 2016 Pinot Noir (Babcock Vineyard) by Pali Wine Co

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Babcock Vineyard) by Pali Wine Co), Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast.

Intense ruby color. Bright nose with plenty of cherry, hint of sweet cherry and smooth almost butterscotch caramel. Swirl vigorously to unlock even more caramel. A slight wet sand mineral undertone lingers in the back.

This is a classic central coast Pinot Noir. A fine example at that. Body is very restrained. Medium to light with good mild acid on the attack, moderate buttery tannins create a clean, rounded mouth feel. Good separation keeps your attention without straying too far off balance. A tart blackberry slowly take over the transition to a slightly dry and spicy finish.

This is a one-time limited production using grapes from a coveted Vineyard. Exactly the kind of wine I love exploring. What I like about this winemaker most is their wines are true and representative of their origins. No two are the same. They present a great opportunity to explore varied regions and styles of Pinot. I look forward to exploring more of their wines. Well done Aaron and all of the lively crew at Pali Wine Co! 馃嵎馃榿馃憣馃徑

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