Grapelive Event

Rancho Cellars Vintage Bordeaux Seminar
January 22, 2010  6:30pm-8pm at Rancho Cellars, Carmel.

(Kerry Winslow, grapelive.com is helping to promote this special event)

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bord001.jpg2000 Bordeaux Tasting “A Classic Vintage Ten Years Later”
The wines of Bordeaux, a study in terroir and vintage featuring all red wines from the main regions of Bordeaux from the upper and lower Medoc, plus “Right Bank” and “Left Bank.” All the wines being shown and tasted scored at least 90 Points by the famed wine critic Robert Parker. Learn about vineyards, the grapes, the soils, and the 1855 Classification and the Chateaux of this special wine area. The 2000 vintage was one of the classic years and was rated right up there with some of the best of century, including the fabled 1982 vintage. Only a small number of spaces will be available for this limited presentation and only pre-paid reservations will be taken. This Rancho Cellars Event hosted by Jacques Melac is a rare opportunity for the wine-buying enthusiast that wants to learn about vintage wine in a fun and educational way. Conducted in a serious tasting format with a knowledgeable guide giving commentary, plus time for self evaluation of each wine. This rare and special seminar is part of a long standing and now continuing educational tradition at Rancho Cellars to bring the world’s greatest wines and winemakers to our local area. Don’t miss this the chance to try some of the world’s most famous wines from France’s premier wine region with a decade of cellaring, and from a classic year and book your spot early.
$75 per person, includes tasting and Hors d’oeuvres by Chef Janet Melac
phone: 831-625-5646
www.ranchocellars.com

Featured Wines and Reviews by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Pauillac:
2000 Chateau Pontet-Canet Pauillac, Bordeaux , France. 92 Points, Parker.
“Like its neighbor, Mouton Rothschild, this wine seems to have closed down considerably after bottling. The impressively saturated opaque purple color offers up some promising aromas of black currants, vanilla, truffle, smoke, and mineral. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, powerful, layered, and enticingly textured, but oh, so backward and firm. The finish is long, but this broodingly backward, large-scaled Pontet-Canet will require considerable patience. Does it rival the brilliant 1995 or 1996? I am not sure. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2030.” List $65-125. ($61 each)

Pomerol:
2000 Chateau Petit Village Pomerol, Bordeaux, France. 90 Points, Parker.
“A striking bouquet of candied black fruits, allspice, cinnamon, and herbs jumps from the glass of this dense purple-colored Pomerol. The intriguing fragrance reveals notes of mincemeat as it sits in the glass, providing an exotic element to this 2000. The wine is rich, ripe, and full-bodied, with outstanding purity, concentration, and thickness. Drink this in-your-face Pomerol now and over the next 15-16 years.” List $80-125 ($75 each)

Margaux:
2000 Chateau Brane Cantenac Margaux, Bordeaux, France. 92 Points, Parker.
“Undeniably the finest Brane-Cantenac in 40-50 years, the deep ruby/purple-colored 2000’s beautiful aromatics of smoke, black currants, tobacco, earth, and flowers jump from the glass. In the mouth, it is pure, elegant, medium-bodied, with savory tannin and adequate acidity, and a measured yet authoritatively flavored mid-palate and finish. How encouraging it is to see this property get its act together. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020.” List $71-125 ($65 each.)

Pessac-Leognan (Graves):
2000 Chateau Haut-Bailly Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France. 90 Points, Parker.
“Patience will be rewarded with this style of Bordeaux that typifies restraint and subtlety. The deep ruby-colored 2000 is an impressive youthful Haut-Bailly. It offers endearing notes of black cherries, raspberries, and currants mixed with tobacco smoke, soil overtones, and subtle wood. The acidity is low, the tannin is present, and the overall quality is pure and well-balanced. This is a classic example of finesse and elegance. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.” List $72-142 ($65 each)

Saint-Estephe:
2000 Chateau Cos D’ Estournel Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux, France. 92 Points, Parker.
“This wine puts on weight and grows in stature every time I go back to it. In fact, from the bottle it was better than ever. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2000 Cos d’Estournel suffers only in comparison with its successor, the 2001. Deep bluish purple in color with a reticent but emerging bouquet of cedar, licorice, blueberry, cassis, vanilla, and lead pencil shavings, this medium-bodied, slightly sinewy Cos d’Estournel has relatively high tannin, an excellent mid-palate, and a persistent finish. Purity and classicism are hallmarks of this top-flight wine. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2022.” List $150-249 ($125 each)

Saint-Emilion:
2000 Chateau Angelus Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France. 96 Points, Parker.
“The finest effort since the 1989 and 1990, this dense purple-colored wine has an extravagantly ripe, concentrated style. The 2000 (in a new engraved bottle) offers up aromas of blackberry liqueur and vintage port. As the wine sits in the glass, graphite, wet stones, smoke, barbecue spices, and olives also make an appearance. It unfolds on the palate in layers, is full-bodied, big and rich yet incredibly poised, well-balanced, and pure. Quite backward, this is one of the greatest Angelus made to date. Yields were a modest 35 hectoliters per hectare. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030. Bravo!” Lists up to $388, reg $275 ($244 each)

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*Grapelive is helping to promote this event

** Rancho Cellars has these wines for sale as well, with a limited amount available now online and some being sold the night of the event.

Please call Rancho Cellars at 831-625-5646 to RSVP or to purchase wine

Grapelive Latest: Jan. 4

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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schonborn05.gif2005 Weingut Schloss Schonborn Riesling Spatlese “Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg” Monopole, Graflich Schoenborn’scher Eingenbau, Rheingau, Germany.
This is a perfect introduction to Rheingau Spatlese Riesling and a prime example of terroir wine from a quality producer from this classic region. Schonborn is known worldwide for its wine and this Riesling comes from a monopole vineyard plot in Pfaffenberg making just that extra bit special and makes for a unique wine. I tasted this white blind, and at first I though it was a Mosel, because the fruit was so pure and clean with bright flavors and very subtle flint and petrol which I feel are more aggressive in the Rheingau than the Mosel, plus the alcohol and sugar seemed lower, again more like a top Mosel, but in the end the classic Rheingau flavors won out, all in a good, if not great way! The nose is full of Rose petal, verbena and candied tropical fruits, but not too fruity or sweet and there is plenty of mineral and acidity to make for a really well balanced wine. The palate is lush and round giving richness and depth, starting with white peaches, stone fruits and exotic island fruits with hints of citrus and citrus flowers. After some air lots of savory apricot come forward with tangy green apple in the background along with that subtle rocky flint and petrol notes. This is a very good wine that is a pleasure to drink and easy to love, and I do love it! ($27-35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

DEE VINE WINES

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Grapelive Latest: Jan. 2 & 3, 2010

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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diamondcreek87.gif1987 Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill Vineyard Napa Valley.
Diamond Creek, the first “Cult” Cabernet in California, is still a classic and considered a “First Growth” for the new world and have for decades made world class Cabernet. I have been lucky enough to have been able to try a few Diamond Creek wines and barrel samples even, along with having long chats with Al and Boots Brounstein the owners, enjoying the stories and energy of these remarkable people, sadly Al passed away a few years back leaving a huge void in the wine world. This 1987 vintage of Volcanic Hill is amazing and still very youthful and fresh, a mind blowing wine that ranks up there with 1982 and 1989 Bordeaux! The nose is full and bright with touches of black olive and boysenberry jam, not giving much hint of the age, and showing subtle sweetness or flowers and dark fruits before a very Bordeaux like tour de force on the palate with lush layers of blackberry, currants, plums and cassis. This vibrant wine has a background of classic flavors that include tobacco(cigar), pencil lead, spice box, sage and licorice with a woody cedar element that is pure class. Everything is near perfect, even with this age this Cab still pours on the power and richness. The French oak shows a tiny bit of vanilla and smoke, while framing this wonderful wine and lifting the fruit with stately elegance.  This wine is clear and holds up with only a small amount of tealeaf sediment at the bottom and on the shoulder, so pour carefully or decant. Considering this is 2009, almost 2010, this wine has stood the test of time and won! This is utterly glorious mature Cabernet that surpasses all expectations, after an hour it only just begins to hint at age with some slight stewed fruit notes barely coming through. ($150-275 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive

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Happy New Year

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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copain07.gif2007 Copain Syrah “Tous Ensemble” Mendocino County, California.
Wells Guthrie and Kevin McQuown have been making some of the great values in Syrah for many years now, as well as top of the line single vineyard cuvees, and this wine is a superb example of their commitment to high quality and ease on the wallet! 2007 being another fantastic vintage, reminds of other top years like 1994, 1999 and 2004 for Northern California regions, a vintage of sublime ripeness and intensity with depth and balance showing even now in these young wines. Copain’s “Tous Ensemble” is a rich and focused Syrah that is mouth filling and full of flavor with layers of boysenberry and racy red fruits that include savory currant, plum and cherry, while there is hints of pepper, lavender, flowers, blueberry, roasted coffee bean, smoke, wild meats and subtle sweet vanilla. This wine is very impressive and opens up like dark chocolate, nicely with refined tannins hidden well in the background along with a touch of acidity that hold it together and keep everything fresh and vibrant, while still being round and elegant. Bravo to the whole Copain team for providing us with a lovely Syrah that delivers all you’d want from a fine red at a super price. ($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: Dec. 30

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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caillou00.gif2000 Domaine du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Les Quartz” (Vacheron-Pouizin) Rhone, France.
What a joy to get a chance to taste a top Chateauneuf at its peak, with nice bottle age, and this one especially as I had tried it when it was released, about 7 years ago. The “Les Quartz” is a reserve wine and a unique barrel selection cuvee from Caillou’s best rocky plots. After almost a decade this wonderful and still fresh Chateauneuf-du-Pape is just now reaching its heights and giving everything it promised, opening with a mature note before reviving itself and showing lively and vibrant fruit and firmness. This wine is pure terroir and focused grace with bright acid and smooth refined tannins with complex layers that flow with elegance and seamless style. The nose is full of dried flowers, rocky mineral and earthy, but the mouth is fresh fruit all the way and has a beautiful violet and black currant burst to start before lush red fruits and lavender come to the fore. This wine shows some Grenache like strawberry, grenadine and kirsch notes with added depth coming in with blackberry, cassis, cherry and plum fruits as well as pepper spice. Wow, it was so lucky of me to have the time to savory such an amazing wine over a few hours and it kept adding details and flavors with every minute very much like great Burgundy can. ($65 Release price) 94-95 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: Dec. 29

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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ridge08.gif2008 Ridge Vineyards (Zinfandel)  Sonoma County “Three Valleys” California.
This Zin cuvee is from 6 vineyard plots from some of Sonoma’s finest Zinfandel areas and has some amounts of Petite Sirah and Mataro (Mourvedre) that add color and complexity to the Zin. Ridge still makes some of the most interesting and elegant wines in California and this little beauty drinks like a fine Claret, but with California ripe fruit and clean winemaking. 2008 is looking like a fine and classy vintage to drink young, and this wine shows tangy sweet grapey flavors with a nice balance of fruit and acid. The mouth is robust and fresh with raspberry, baked cherry, currants, plum and bramble with touches of spice, mineral, pencil lead, chocolate and smoky oak vanilla notes. The first impression is of concord grape juice and after that dies down everything comes together nicely in round layers with subtle and refined tannins. This is a fine Zinfandel wine that is both serious and unserious at the same time, so no need to think too much, just enjoy a good wine and don’t worry about anything, especially the great price! ($22-25 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: Dec. 28

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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thomas.gif2007 Domaine Thomas & Files Sancerre La Crele, France (Sauvignon Blanc).
This white is pure class and a wonderful Sauvignon that reminds you why the Loire is the grape’s spiritual home. This wine is bright and crisp with subtle depth and has a savory long finish that lingers with tangy fruit and mineral essence. The nose is gooseberry and sharp, but the mouth is round and stony with lemon-lime, grapefruit, white peach and just a touch of grass. It is a terroir wine that has vibrant layers and brisk acid that never overpowers the flavors, just giving balance and keeping things fresh without taking away from the round texture. The only problem is that it is very limited and it is kind of pricy, though in real pleasure terms it is worth the cost. ($32 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Christmas Review

Grapelive Holiday Wine Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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Bunan Bandol2003 Domaine Bunan Bandol Moulin des Costes, France (Mourvdre).
This rich and intriguing Mourvedre has depth and length that make it a true pleasure, and it is just darn good! The nose is chalky and ripe with fruit and flowers before earthy spices come to the fore. The mouth is full and intense with beautiful clear fruits, plum, cherry and blackberry, then touches of lavender, pepper and hints of game. Everything mixes perfectly and the whole is a heady joy that really delivers and sends you right to the south of France, which is never a bad thing! Even it such a hot vintage this wine has lots of vibrant flavors and super balance, which is very impressive. ($30-34 Est.) 93-94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: Dec. 23

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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haagtba.gif2005 Fritz Haag Brauneberg Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling TBA, Mosel, Germany.
It is a rare treat to taste Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) and this is one of the very best there is! The Haag wines never disappoint and in fact  with my high expectations they continue to amaze and surprise me, always leaving me in a hedonistic trance and with a sense of wonder. These are wines that are in themselves a special occasion, wines that bring joy and passion, wines that make you grateful and celebrate life! The 2005 Brauneberg Juffer-Sonnenuhr TBA opens with perfume and understated elegance with spicy jasmine, white citrus flowers and melt in your mouth ripe fig, before a still lively and tangy palate, and while this is a very sweet wine it has wonderful balance and vibrant grace. The mouth is rich with a light syrup over peach and pear feel with tangerine, tropical exotic fruits, honeyed apple and a solid core of apricot. There is a liquid mineral essence, a savory thickness and notes of slate, flinty spice, vanilla and candied orange rind. This is sublime and world class wine that delivers the goodness in fantastic fashion, with subtle botrytis, the “noble rot” that adds depth and character in the right conditions leaving a whiff of honeycomb. Bravo Oliver Haag and team for making such great wines, I only wish I could afford it! ($250-325 Est.) 96-97 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: Dec. 22

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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andrewrich06.gif2006 Andrew Rich Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon.
This wine delivers Burgundy like flavors and texture, while showing its own terroir and rich fruit with touches of barnyard and briar. The nose is deep with earthy and perfume notes that meld nicely before a full palate of plums, blackberry, currants and a solid cherry core. Oregon is reacting fast to the new economy and this wine is a wonderful value these days and blows away any Burgundy in this price class and takes on most of the Californians in this range too, I think two years ago this wine would have easily sold in the $40-45 region, and I bought this bottle for about $30, so apart from Melville and Alfaro Family from California, I’d be hard pressed to think of a better wine for the money. Years back I used to see their sweet wine, but I can’t remember having their Pinot before, and that is a shame, as it is very good. The palate is rich and lush with deep flavors and mineral notes with a long finish that makes you want more no question. This wine has a touch of Nuit-St.-George soul and pure Willamette Valley pleasure. ($30-33 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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