Rick's Wine Journal 1st Half 2011
on Rick's McNees.org/winesite and http://www.unwindwine.com

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    Mt Veeder Wine Flight 30 Jan 2011 January 29, 2011 - Marco Di Giulio Mt Veeder Progeny Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 - RM 92 - Dark inky color. Full bodied, big floral nose. Mouthful of black berry, cedar, spicy oak; full finely integrated polished tannins on a long flavorful finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?42933; Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder 1997 - RM91; Medium - full bodied, black cherry and dark berry fruits are accented by leather, floral, tobacco and tea. Seems to be at peak now as the dark berry fruit is starting to give way to the leather. http://cellartracker.com/w?6532; Freemark Abbey Mt. Veeder Carneros Zinfandel 2007 - RM 90 - Dark color inky almost black coffee color, full bodied, forward full fruits blackberry, black raspberry and black cherry accented by spice and clove turning to cedar and creosote - moderate tannins on a full lingering, fruitful finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?965396; Brought by Bill - sourced from winery wine club - consensus favorite of he ladies. This would be perfect complement to bar-b-que ribs!; Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - RM89 - Medium bodied, dark purple color, black cherry, black berry fruits with hint of cedar on the moderate tannin slightly tart cherry finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?893546; This wine is on sale now at Binny's for $20. While a good value, I am not tempted to rush out and buy more. Warm up for our upcoming Napa Mt Veeder trip. Tasted at home w/ L, Bill & Beth over artisan cheeses and beef tenderloin dinner.
     
    Peju Napa Valley Cabernet Franc 2001 January 28, 2011 - Peju Province Winery Napa Valley Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc 2001 - RM 88 - Dark color, medium-full bodied, spicy dark berry, anise, and leather with a hint of cedar on a long silky tannin finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?96791
    Neiman Napa Valley Red Wine 1998 January 27, 2011 - Neiman Cellars Napa Valley Red Wine Caldwell Vineyard 2002 - RM 92: Dark purple, medium-full bodied, full forward fruit, ripe red and blue berry fruit flavors, hint of mocha on a long smooth full firm tannin finish. - http://cellartracker.com/w?67963
    Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 January 25, 2011 - Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 - RM 87 - Medium bodied, rather subdued initially with black cherry fruit overtaken by leather, hint of earth and cassis - a bit closed and flat - not flawed in any way, just subtle - much more open with more red berry fruit this fourth evening when re-opened.
    Cambria Julia's Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2008 January 23, 2011 - Cambria Julia's Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2008 - RM 90 - Medium bodied, delicate, white pepper predominates, soft cherry flavors, spicy oak, hint of cocoa with finely integrated tannins.
    2005 Domaine Tortochot Gevrey-Chambertin Champerrier Vieilles Vignes January 22, 2011 Domaine Tortochot Gevrey-Chambertin Champerrier Vieilles Vignes 2005 - http://cellartracker.com/w?537162 Very open and expressive - bright berry, strawberry, mulberry, spice and wood with long moderate tannin finish.
    Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 January 19, 2011 -  Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 - RM 87 - Medium bodied, rather subdued black cherry fruit overtaken by leather, hint of earth and cassis - a bit closed and flat - not flawed in any way, just subtle - opened more and presented more red berry fruit the second evening when re-opened.
    Flinders Ranges Shiraz 2006Neiman Cellars Napa Valley Caldwell Vineyard Syrah Block #18 2003  January 18, 2011 - Neiman Cellars Syrah Caldwell Vineyard 2003 - RM 91 - Dark inky color - full bodied - full forward fruits - blackberry, black currants, raspberry fruits with a long well balanced tannin finish. 2006 Flinders Run Shiraz Southern Flinders Ranges - RM 91 - Dark garnet color - full bodied. Mouthful of forward chewy spicy ripe plum blackberry, blueberry and notes of licorice toasty oak and mocha followed by a long, pure finish. Slight mineral edge up front detract from the fruit a bit. Not quite as smooth as the 2005 vintage but delicious none-the-less. Tasted w/ L, Mark & Gayle at our favorite Italian Bistro Angeli's Italian.
    Saddleback Cellars Napa Valley Zinfandel 2000Saddleback Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 January 16, 2011 - Saddleback Cellars Nils Venge Napa Valley Old Vines Zinfandel 2000 - RM91 - Wow a nice surprise in this big forward fruit bomb - dark purple color, medium full bodied, thick and jammy with complex layers of fruit, sweet black and red raspberry, ripe plum fruits, sweet oak, hints of spice, moderate tannins on the finish. Much life left in this ten year old. Drank w/ pizza - would've been perfect w/ tangy bar-b-que ribs or dark chocolate! Saddleback Cellars Nils Venge Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 - RM88 - Dark garnet color, medium full bodied, the blackberry and black cherry fruits are overtaken by forward spice and eucalyptus notes with hints of earth and leather, moderate tannins on the finish. Drank w/ L @ Bill and Beth C's over post Bear's thrashing of Seahawks win pizza-wine dinner.  
    Willows Vineyard Barossa Shiraz 2002 Label on McNees Winesite January 15, 2011 - The Willows Vineyard Barossa Valley Shiraz 2002 - RM91 - Dark inky color - medium-full bodied. Pleasant expressive but moderate black and hints of red berry fruits - blackcurrent, raspberry and plum. Smooth velvety tannins on a moderate long finish.  Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues 1998 - RM90 - Dark color - medium - full bodied. As we work through this case in its 12th year, this wine seems to be more subdued but more balanced, integrated and polished than when younger. Still exhibiting black berry, black cherry and hints of anise, slight earthy leather on a moderate tannin finish. Tasted w/ L, Erin, Mark & Shirley at our favorite Italian Bistro Angeli's Italian.
     Kracher #2 Nouvelle Vague Chardonnay TBA 2002 labelKracher Nouvelle Vague Chardonnay TBA Auslese # 9 2002Sea Smoke Southing Vineyard pinot noir 2005-07 January 8, 2011 - Sea Smoke Southing Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2005, 2006, 2007; Chateau St Jean Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2004; 2002 Alois Kracher Chardonnay TBA #2 Nouvelle Vague - http://cellartracker.com/w?50493; 2002 Alois Kracher Chardonnay TBA #9 Nouvelle Vague - http://cellartracker.com/w?50502; Drank at dinner w/ L, Bill & Beth at Dr Dan's w/ Linda.
    Robert Craig Affinity 2008 January 8, 2011 - Robert Craig Affinity Napa Valley Cabernet 2008 - RM 92 - First sighting of this new release - not even yet featured on producer's website. I was flabbergasted to see this highlighted on the chalkboard in Nick's English Pub in Bloomington, IN! They have two cases. The 2008 Affinity is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Dark inky color, medium-full bodied, black berry, black cherry, plum and sweet cherry fruits with hint of spice and cedar on smooth moderate tannin finish. Tasted w/ Dr Dan, Alec and David at post board meeting lunch. http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=980053  
    Freestone Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2006 January 7, 2011 - Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2006 - http://cellartracker.com/w?584876
    Chateau Mangot St Emilion Grand Cru Bordeau 2007 January 7, 2011 - Chateau Mangot St Emilion Grand Cru Bordeaux 2007 - RM89 - Bright berry, raspberry, currant, bing cherry with a tone of mint finishing in smooth moderate tannins. Tasted w/ Dr Dan at Chez Joel Bistro, Taylor Street, Chicago. Great value. http://cellartracker.com/w?1070977.
     Groth Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 January 6, 2011 - Groth Napa Valley Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 -RM 90 - A young tart on opening - pun intended! A bit awkward on opening but softens over an hour to a smooth velvety red and black berry fruit with tones of mocha and hint of spice and vanilla on a moderate tannin finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?870940 -  Tasted w/ L, Erin, Sean, Alec & Brian L at our favorite Italian Bistro Angeli's Italian.
     Morgan Highlands Chardonnay 2008Sonoma Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2005 January 4, 2011 - Morgan Highlands Chardonnay 2008 - RM 85 - Sonoma Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay 2009 - Tasted w/ DZ at Legal Seafood in Crystal City.
    New Years Eve 2010 Napa Cab Flightbtl_FR_Marquis_LaGuiche_chasssagne_montrachet_2006_remc December 31, 2010 - Schramsberg Vineyards Pinot Noir Brut Rose N.V. - http://cellartracker.com/w?1024653; Marquis de Laguiche (Joseph Drouhin) Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru 2006 - http://cellartracker.com/w?870885; Rudd Jericho Canyon Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 - http://cellartracker.com/w?715070; Forman Estate Bottled Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 - http://cellartracker.com/w?1055699; S. Anderson Napa Valley Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon Richard Chambers Vineyard 1999 - http://cellartracker.com/w?22078; Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon 2000 - http://cellartracker.com/w?295549; Interesting diversity in this horizontal comparison - the Rudd-Jericho (RM93) was my favorite full bodied, full flavored, complex, concentrated black raspberry, kirsch, hint of pine tar, licorice, mocha, sweet oak, full but well-integrated tannin - understandably since a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
    Dom Perignon 2000 The S. Anderson Chambers cab (RM90) appeared youthful - garnet colored, full bodied, brash, core of currant, kirsch, almost tart black cherry; the Forman ( RM89) appeared much older - deep purple color, more subdued black fruits, hints of anise, coffee, leathery creosote nuances with soft tannins.  Wine selection tasted at Bill & Beth's w/ L, & Bob & Gloria (drop-in) w/ festive artisan cheeses, shrimp & crab legs, gala dinner featuring beef roast, au jus, Yorkshire Pudding popovers, scalloped potato's, creamed spinach casserole, artisan confectioners dark chocolate desserts.
    Provenance Vineyards Napa Valley Carneros Merlot 2001 December 30, 2010 - Provenance Napa Valley Carneros Merlot 2001 - RM 87 - Ruby red color. Earthiness starting to overtake the fruit - plum, blackberry, currant, a hint of cedar and subtle but lingering mocha on a long polished mild tannin finish. L and I discovered this wine visiting the winery during our 2003 Napa Wine Experience. http://cellartracker.com/w?12106.
    Liparita Napa Valley Merlot flight December 29, 2010 - Liparita Napa Valley Merlot 2001 -  - RM 88 - Dark garnet color, medium full bodied - ripe red and black raspberry fruits predominate with nice moderate smooth tannin finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?193067 Liparita Napa Valley Merlot 1997  magnum - RM 87 Dark garnet coloured, earthiness bleeds off to reveal black cherry, ripe black raspberry and cassis with a hint of mocha blackberry and smoke on the finish. http://www.cellartracker.com/w?58790. Drank at our favorite Italian Bistro Angeli's Italian w/ L & MIT group - Dean & Kathy, Kathy & Chip, Marie & Dave.
    Coopers Hawk Merlot and Petit Syrah December 28, 2010 - Wine flight of select  non-vintage, non-estate Cooper's Hawk wines at local winery restaurant - Sauvignon Blanc (RM87), Chardonnay (RM86), Merlot (RM86), Petit Syrah (RM88), Cabernet Sauvignon (RM87) - tasted at lunch w/ L, Alec, Johnny, Erin & Lucy.
    Paloma Spring Mountain Merlot 2003 label
    December 25, 2010 - Paloma Napa Valley Spring Mountain Merlot 2003 - RM 90 - Smooth polished, complex harmonious symphony of finely integrated aromas and flavors - predominant currant, red raspberry, milk chocolate, a hint of ripe plum, sweet oak and a bit of burnt sugar caramel on the long smooth polished finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?109466  Liparita Cellars Napa Valley Merlot 1997 - RM 87 - From Magnum. Dark garnet coloured, earthiness bled off to reveal cherry, ripe black raspberry and cassis with a hint of mocha blackberry and smoke on the firm tannin finish.  http://cellartracker.com/w?193067.  Tasted w/ family w/ festive holiday surf & turf dinner - beef tenderloin, lobster tail, twice bake potatoes, green bean casserole, fresh baked rolls, selection of artisan cheeses and fruits, deserts. 
    Duran Cava Gran Reserva NV  December 24, 2010 - Duran Cava Gran Reserva N.V. - RM 87 - Sparkling wine with festive Christmas dinner at G'Ma Evelyn's & Keith's - honey baked ham, sweet potatos ... with family; L, Johnny & Erin & Lucie, Ryan, Sean, & Alec (Michelle working @ hospital) - http://cellartracker.com/w?1039334.
    Del Dotto Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 December 23, 2010 - Del Dotto Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 - RM 91 - Dark garnet color - full bodied, subdued nose, flavorful fruit - blackberry, black cherry, hints of currant and plum, tones of cedar and hint of alcohol and toasty oak on a nicely polished smooth finish. Amazing life in this sixteen year old - no sign of diminution whatsoever.  http://cellartracker.com/w?890759 - Tasted w/ L, with Alec serving  at our favorite Italian Bistro Angeli's Italian in Naperville.
    Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot Number 52   December 20, 2010 - Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot Number 52 N.V. - RM86 - Medium bodied - dark garnet color - forward almost sweet dried cherry, red berry fruit, smoke and hint and menthol, slight metal tone with moderately firm tannins on the finish. Great value wine.  http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=919444
    Holiday Dinner Big Red Wine Flight
    Holiday dinner wine tasting flight
    December 18, 2010 - Gala holiday dinner - listed in order of tasting  - Taittinger Champagne Nocturne Sec N.V. - http://cellartracker.com/w?232988. Duran Cava Gran Reserva N.V. - http://cellartracker.com/w?1039334. Les Caves de la Colombe Chassagne-Montrachet Les Houillières Côte de Beaune,  Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy, France, 2003 - http://cellartracker.com/w?277961. Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard 2004 - http://cellartracker.com/w?186243 - Fog Dog Pinot Noir 2008 - http://cellartracker.com/w?873257. Fantesca La Petite Soeur red wine 2007 - RM91 - Garnet color, medium full bodied, ripe cranberry and currant highlight the red berry fruit with a sweet toasty oak on the fruit filled finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?1045246. Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Backus 2003 - RM94 - Dark inky color; subdued slight floral on the nose; full bodied, rich, full, complex, finely integrated ripe bark berry fruits, hints of currant turn to touch of dried tobacco ending in whisper of vanilla and sweet burnt sugar caramel on a long silky smooth chewy finish. http://cellartracker.com/w?118405. Philippe Melka Metisse Napa Valley Red Wine 1996 - RM89 - http://cellartracker.com/w?95702. Château Duhart-Milon Rothschild Pauillac Bordeaux 2002 http://cellartracker.com/w?20376. Tokaj Hétszőlő Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2001 - http://cellartracker.com/w?441417. Drank at home with artisan cheeses, lobster tail, beef tenderloin, chocolate cake and fresh berries  w/ L, Bill & Beth, Dr Dan & Linda, Bob & Gloria.   
    Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon labelLewis Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 label rearFlinders Ranges Shiraz 2006 December 17, 2010 - Lewis Cellars Napa Valley Alec's Blend 1999  - RM 90 - Dark, full bodied, huge floral perfume - earthy leather and black fruits - hint of anise and touch of creosote on the finish - for a moment you'll think you're drinking a Bordeaux! There is still life left in this 10 year old - has several years yet. http://cellartracker.com/w?59315 - Flinders Run Shiraz Southern Flinders Ranges 2006 - RM 91 - Dark garnet color, full bodied. Mouthful of forward chewy spicy ripe plum blackberry, blueberry, notes of licorice toasty oak, and mocha followed by a long, pure finish. Slight mineral edge up front detract from the fruit a bit. Not quite as smooth as the 2005 vintage but delicious none-the-less. http://cellartracker.com/w?579974  Drank at Angelis_Italian - our favorite bistro -with L, Sean, Erin and Lucy w/   serving.
    Del Dotto Giovanni's Tuscan Reserve 1995 December 11, 2010 - Del Dotto Napa Valley Giovanni's Tuscan Reserve 1995 - RM87 - Medium bodied. Leathery, earthy black cherry, olive and tobacco box as the fruit diminishes with age.  http://cellartracker.com/w?214620. Tasted w/ L and Beth at our favorite Italian Bistro Angeli's Italian in Naperville.
    Flinders Ranges Shiraz 2006 December 10, 2010 - Flinders Run Shiraz Southern Flinders Ranges 2006 - RM 91 - Dark garnet color - full bodied. Mouthful of forward chewy spicy ripe plum blackberry, blueberry and notes of licorice toasty oak and mocha followed by a long, pure finish. Slight mineral edge up front detract from the fruit a bit. Not quite as smooth as the 2005 vintage but delicious none-the-less. http://cellartracker.com/w?579974 
    Te Kairanga Martinborough Casarino Reserve Chardonnay 2005 December 9, 2010 - Te Kairanga Cesarina Reserve Chardonnay North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough, New Zealand 2005 - RM89: Light golden honey coloured wine - medium-light bodied. Winemaker notes say it well - Hints of white peach, citrus and grilled hazelnuts with attractive vanilla oak characters. Nice easy drinking wine - tight acidity and good length. http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=642640.
    Hazyblur Kangaroo Island Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 December 4, 2010Hazyblur South Australia Kangaroo Island Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 -  RM88* RP 90- Dark inky purple color, full bodied, rich, thick black fruits, black currant and blackberry, spice, hints of olive and a slightly rough edge of metallic licorice on a moderate tannin finish. *Update - the edge softened and this wine was more approachable the next day - needs time to open and settle. Give it a 90.  Tasted at home w/ L.  http://cellartracker.com/w?730921 
    Cloudy Bay New Zealand Pinot Noir 2007 December 4, 2010 - Cloudy Bay New Zealand Pinot Noir 2007 - RM 89 - Medium, light bodied, fragrant aromas of dark plums, hints of blueberry, spicy sandalwood and smoky bacon. Palate of dark fruits and toasty oak with moderate smooth tannins on a fine velvety finish. Terrazas Reserva Mendoza Malbec 2008 -RM 87 - Medium bodied - dark garnet color - easy drinking firm forward dark berry fruit and smooth moderate tannin finish - great value in a under $15 wine.  Tasted w/ L & Ryan at world's largest Whole Foods in West Lincoln Park Chicago.
    Two Hands Brave Faces 2007 December 3, 2010 - Two Hands 'Brave Faces' Barossa Valley Shiraz Red Blend 2007 - RM 88 - Dark garnet color - full bodied - thick chewy black fruits, loganberry, hints of camphor turn to slight metallic tones reflecting the grenache with a long thick tannin finish. Shiraz 64%Grenache 18% Mataro18%. Drank at home w/ L and Bob.
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