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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s December 5th, 2009 Release – Tasting Notes

Having missed the last release, the one in which all the usual high end wines are sold, I am happy to report I am back in business and tasted a good deal of the wines from December’s single release. Interesting to note that six of the wines were corked including a bubbly and the Ridge Three Valleys Zinfandel blend that I was eager to taste. Oh well, best wishes to all for the holiday season and enjoy your wines.

lillet blanc322297 LILLET BLANC, BORDEAUX, $13.95
I rarely jot down comments on aperitif wines, but I just fell in love with the clean and focused notes of Seville orange, Red River grapefruit, floral and honey aromas that lead to a pleasingly bitter finish redolent of Campari. Best poured chilled or over ice. James Bond’s Martini, the Vesper, in the movie Casino Royal is made with Lillet so if James liked it, then that’s good enough for me. Find this wine

Global bubblies to bring in the New Year.

11519 BARON FUENTE, CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE, 1996 $54.95
Bold and brassy featuring aromas of daffodil, pear crème brulee, dry cereal and white tree fruit. Nice mouth feel and a decent finish. Good value for an aged sparkler. Find this wine

924654 GEORGES GARDET CUVEE ST FLAVY BRUT CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE NV $39.95
Rich and toasty, with apple and citrus, quite full bodied with a yeasty note on the finish. Good wine that pleases the palate. Find this wine

No. 1 family cuvee056358 #1 FAMILY CUVEE, BLANC DE BLANC, MARLBOROUGH, SOUTH ISLAND, NZ $36.95
A deep yellow almost golden wine that has great concentration and is packed with aromas of citrus, white tree fruit, crème patisserie and a trace of plum. Very focused on the bone dry palate, a super long finish and very tasty. Find this wine

606285 WOLF BLASS GOLD LABEL SPARKLING PINOT/CHARDONNAY, AUSTRALIA, 2005 $19.95
A full bodied mix of 70% Pinot-30% Chardonnay that is dominated by red berry and Sprite like candied lemon on the nose. The palate is intensely spritzy, has a firm structure and a creamy texture. Find this wine

294181 ROEDERER BRUT, ANDERSON VALLEY, CALIFORNIA $28.95
One of my favourite sparkling wines from California, showing biscuit, toast, almond and lemon grass from the glass. It is full bodied, has a beautiful mousse, apple and baked pear tart flavours with a touch of Moroccan spice. Find this wine

100693 CHANDON BLANC DE NOIR, CALIFORNIA, $23.95
A good value wine made in the “Methode Traditionnelle” fashion showing a layer of earth and mineral plus a note of fresh cut flowers. The palate has lively foam, a touch of red fruit and plenty of pleasing acidity. Find this wine

J. Lassalle Champagne027615 J. LASSALLE, PREFERNCE BRUT CHAMPAGNE, PREMIER CRU $48.95
Medium bodied, yet with richness and elegance all the way across the palate. Clean flavours of ripe pear, a touch of toffee and chalk. Find this wine

141184 BESTHEIM BRUT CREMANT D’ALSACE, FRANCE $18.95
A floral aromatic nose leading to a clean palate of apple and apricot with a slight note of sweetness on the finish.Find this wine

Canadian wine

Coyote's Run, Syrah, Red Paw144774 COYOTE’S RUN SYRAH, RED PAW VINEYARD, FOUR MILE CREEK, NIAGARA 2007 $23.95
Syrah is a tough grape to ripen this far north, but the sweltering heat of the 07 vintage clearly made it possible. This is full of cedar, black pepper, smoked meat and pure blackberry fruit. The palate echoes the dark fruit adding a note of plum and coffee. Beautifully balanced, subtle oak and a long tasty finish. Find this wine

091140 INNISKILLIN RESERVE SERIES CABERNET FRANC, NIAGARA 2007 $17
Fully ripe with a focus on black fruit with a touch of plum and dark chocolate. The palate is well balanced, has clean black fruit acidity and it carries a note of black pepper on the finish. Find this wine

Le Clos Jordanne033894 LE CLOS JORDANNE VILLAGE RESERVE PINOT NOIR, NIAGARA $25.00
After increasing the price of the 2006 Reserve Pinot to $30.00, Clos Jordanne’s 07 is back down to $25.00. Having recently tasted a couple of the single vineyard offerings, my money is going on this one. Although the single vineyard releases are very good, the Village Reserve carries alluring aromas of pure dark fruit, chocolate, leather, plum, strawberry and perfume. Its palate has great structure, moderate amounts of mineral and earthiness with layers of fruit and firm, but gentle tannins on the finish. Find this wine

060491 GREY MONK PINOT NOIR, OKANAGAN VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA 2007 $17.95
Lots of bright black cherry, strawberry and plum flavours. A touch of Middle Eastern spice mingles with the fruit along with a note of cedar on the finish. Tasty and well priced Pinot. Find this wine

Some big guns from the USA

149955 BERINGER PRIVATE RESERVE, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, 2005 $128.95
A tight and densely constructed wine that teases by releasing wisps of blackcurrant, blackberry, coffee grounds and spice. The palate is abounding with tight chewy tannins, oak, cherry and black fruit flavours. There is however a slight bitter component on the mid palate that intercepts the overall enjoyment of the wine. The catalogue quotes the eminent Mr. P as saying “drink now or cellar 15 to 20 years”. I would take his concluding advice. Find this wine

268235 CLOS PEGASE CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY 2005 $52.95
Meaty and fleshy showing lots of dusty mineral, laden aromas with black fruit and layers of cedar and tar. It is hard textured on the palate, with pure black fruit, medium tannins and plenty of power. The 14.8 degrees of alcohol is never apparent, the acidity is clean and the fruit laden finish has power. Find this wine

FREI BROTHERS CABERNET SAUVIGNON038075 FREI BROTHERS CABERNET SAUVIGNON, ALEXANDER VALLEY, 2006 $23.95
A dense fragrant wine full of blackcurrant, mineral, underbrush and cigar box aromas. The flavours are solid and hang around to join forces with layers of chocolate tannin, dried mint and dried cherry. It is well priced and although tasty now, it will only get better with time. Find this wine

135384 GHOST PINES WINE MAKER’S BLEND MERLOT, LOUIS MARTINI, 2006 $19.95
Fruit from both Napa and Sonoma combine to render a fabulous wine radiant with notes of wet earth, clay stone, black raspberry and pie crust. Spice hits the palate first, but the layers of red liquorish, toffee, black raspberry and milk chocolate are plentiful.  The texture is luscious; the concentration of flavours for twenty bucks is really good. Find this wine

067785 GNARLY HEAD “GNARLIER HEAD” OLD VINE ZIN, DRY CREEK, SONOMA VALLEY, 2006 $27.95
Sweet, sweet, sweet nose of blueberry, blackberry, red cherry and toasty oak. The sweetness tones down somewhat on the palate revealing lots of fleshy dark fruit, cardamom, lavender and raspberry soda. It does have solid Zinfandel character, plenty of structure and a super creamy texture. Find this wine

677708 CALL ME CRAZY PROPRIETARY RED, BACIO DAVINO, NAPA VALLEY, 2006 $34.95
A blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet, this wine, at first tight, soon begins to show plum, mint, black cherry, dark chocolate and toffee. The creamy mouth feel carries Asian spice, black fruit jam and a touch of pepper. Find this wine

Shafer One Point Five Cabernet045476 SHAFER, ONE POINT FIVE, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, STAGS LEAP, NAPA VALLEY, 2006 $85.95
An absolute sheer pleasure to taste as it is so well focused, laden with blackcurrant, sweet cherry, dusty mineral, a touch of mocha, black liquorish and dried herbs.  The balance is precise; it could be better with time, but it will be a test for the patient collector to wait. Find this wine

936039 SILVER OAK, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY, 2004 $125.95
It’s been a while since I consumed Silver Oak and at this price, it is unlikely I will be drinking it soon, especially when seventy five bucks seems to be the average going price south of the border. Nonetheless it is a delicious, polished and deftly crafted wine. The blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot has complexity and refinement. It displays aromas of plum, cedar, blueberry, blackcurrant and black olive. The palate is lovely, creamy, full of fruit and a touch of sweet oak. Silky tannins show up on the perfectly balanced finish as do hints of aniseed and Christmas cake spice. Find this wine

Wines from South America.

510396 ERRAZURIZ WILD FERMENT PINOT NOIR, CASABLANCA VALLEY, CHILE, 2008 $18.95
I bought this in the previous vintage and enjoyed it. This vintage gets out of the starting block nicely showing earthy forest floor with a fleshy plumy character on the palate, along with cola and black cherry. Going back a couple of hours later, it has a little green note on the mid palate. Need to taste again. Find this wine

082586 CANEPA RESERVE PRIVADA CAMENERE, RAPEL VALLEY, CHILE 2008 $14.95
A mix of black olive, blueberry, smoked meat and spice lead through to similar flavours on the palate and hook up with cedar and chocolate. Find this wine

Veramonte Primus712463 Veramonte Primus, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 2006 $24.95
A blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Syrah, 17% Merlot and 16% Carmenere that results in powerful aromas of mocha, sweet cassis, black raspberry and a dose of Chilean mineral. The palate is spicy, hot and tight, but the under core of fruit is apparent and it should show well, just not right now. Find this wine

A wine from down under


WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON142398 WAKEFIELD JARAMAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CLARE VALLEY AND COONAWARRA 2007 $27.95
A note of matchbox blows off to reveal ripe sweet, but elegant, blackcurrant fruit, wet moss, mint and deftly added oak. The palate has lovely texture, plenty of pure fruit flavours and is well balanced. Find this wine

Wines from France

155564 CHATEAU CAMENSAC, HAUT MEDOC, BORDEAUX 1995 $54.95
The nose is beautiful and shows everything a Bordeaux wine close to maturity should possess. It has notes of wet earth, cola, lead pencil, cigar leaf, mocha and moss. However, the colour at the rim is really light and fading. There are flavours of cherry and red currant, but the tea like tannins overpower suggesting it should have been consumed a couple of years ago. To note, the glowing review from James Sucking in the Wine Spectator that states “ Best Camensac ever”, was written in 1998. This sample is clearly past its best. Perhaps others may be in better shape. Find this wine

138743 CHATEAU COULONGE, BORDEAUX, 2005 $15.95
A good value New World styled wine, showing powerful aromas of spearmint, black liquorish, underbrush and pure black fruit, openly demonstrating the strength of the vintage. There are a few lingering tannins, but the concentration of dark fruit and sweet spice make it a pleasure for current consumption. Find this wine

139295 CHATEAU DE CALLAC, GRAVES, BORDEUAX, 2005 $21.95
Callac offers a more traditional nose of cigar leaf, wet soil, milk chocolate, mineral, dark fruit and blackcurrant. Its well balanced palate carries fruit flavours supported with a trace of mocha and black olive. Worth putting one or two away! Find this wine

CH ROCHER LIDEYRE138867 CHATEAU ROCHER LIDEYRE, COTES DE CASTILLON, 2005 $18.95
Quite tight at first, then a hint of animal fur surfaces along with notes of dusty forest floor, veneer, black cherry and plum. The mid palate is controlled by layers of tannin that grips the teeth refusing to let go. The finish is spicy and tight. There is fruit, but this is clearly not for present day consumption. Find this wine

139048 LA FLEUR ANNE, ST EMILION, 2005 $19.95
In five years, if one is to pull this heady intoxicating murky wine full of black fruit, pipe tobacco, asphalt and lead pencil from the cellar, it will prove to have been a bargain. Already the palate shows great structure, with lots of fruit, a black olive tang, a touch of smoked meat and medium tannins. Find this wine

720821 CHATEAU CHAMBERT, CAHORS, 2004, $19.95
Wow, enticing aromas of plum, damson, thyme and cherry. The palate has dense fruit, it is plumy and fleshy. There are traces of mineral and terrior.  A tasty Malbec blended with a touch of Merlot and Tanat. Find this wine

CAVE DE CROUSEILLES, FOLIE DE DU ROI MADIRAN

147991 CAVE DE CROUSEILLES, FOLIE DE DU ROI MADIRAN 2006, $17.95
A sweet note of black fruit toffee, with lavender, dark chocolate, plus cassis and oolong tea. The palate is solid, packed with dark fruit, mineral and dusty tannins. Find this wine

123489 CHATEAU HAUCHAT, FRONSAC, 2006 $15.00
Light, non descript black fruit, a tannic palate and an astringent finish. Find this wine

981175 DOMAINE DE LA MADONE LE PERREON, BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES, 2008 $14.95
What is with me and Gamay recently? Here is a wine brimming with zippy flavours of sweet plum, black cherry, a floral note, lavender, red liquorish and a twist of pepper. It is lively on the palate, gutsy, creamy with nice acidity and a note of sweet cherry on the finish. Find this wine

084616 HENRI DE VILLAMONT, PINOT NOIR, BOURGOGNE, 2007 $ 19.95
Sweet berry notes, some cinnamon, a touch of cherry on a palate that has decent structure, but fails to excite. Find this wine

MONT TAUCH TRADITION, FITOU142810 MONT TAUCH TRADITION, CARIGNAN/GRENACH/SYRAH, FITOU, 2007 $16.95
A spicy wine, hits of anise, clove and black pepper with an even delivery of red and black fruit. Palate is bold, balanced and flavoursome. Find this wine

076331 DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR LES CHAMPAUVINS, COTES DE RHONE VILLAGES, 2007 $19.95
A “wine of the month” showing heaps of black pepper, Dutch liquorish, blackberry, slate and mineral. It is full bodied, ripe, rich and spicy on the palate with black fruit coulis and tremendous concentration on the finish. Find this wine

Italian wines

135905 CASCINA BRUCIATA RIO SOEDO BARBARESCO, PIEDMONT 2004 $49.95
Fresh berry, chocolate, grape, plum and dark liquorish lead on to a palate of pure fruit, crisp acidity and gentle tannins. Find this wine

986380 ANTINORI GUADO AL TASSO, TUSCANY, 2006 $89.95
Here is a bold brassy wine omitting flavours of blackberry, tar, Asian spice and meat! It bounces around the palate dropping little notes of caramel, blueberry, Szechwan peppercorn, plum and thyme here, there and everywhere. Find this wine

081943 CORTE MAJOLI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA, VENETO, 2006 $34.95
Intense aromas of caramel, black tea, white peppercorn, ground cardamom, Thai basil and sweet dark chocolate. It is not as sweet as one would expect on the palate. Instead it is elegant, with nice layers of mocha and black currant fruit, a touch of cola and a surprisingly dry finish. Find this wine

Portuguese wine

CATAPEREIRO VINHO TINTO , RIBATEJANO, 2006 $14.95
Blackberry, lavender, dried herbs, cake spice and chocolate all play together nicely in the glass. It follows through on the palate with dusty notes, black cherry, liquorish and gripping tannins. Decant for a few hours and enjoy. Find this wine

146522 GLORIA RESERVA, DOURO, 2004 $17.95
A blend of Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, this wine sings with perfume, cedar, black cherry and earthy mineral coal dust. The palate shifts in to gear with layers of blueberry, blackberry, a ripe creamy texture and some medium structured tannin. Tasty now, but better in a year or two. Find this wine

Spanish wine

725895 BODEGAS ONTANON RESERVA, RIOJA, 2004 $25.95
A lovely mix of old and new world styles, boasting a nose full of floral aromas with a back drop of plum, damson, lavender and a layer of earthy terrior.  It is spicy upfront on the palate, with flavours of red berry, mineral and plum. Find this wine

013656 JUAN GIL MONASTRELL, JUMILLA, 2008 $15.95
Dusty notes with underbrush, dried fruit, dried cherry and coconut. Its flavour profile is fat, spicy, tight and chewy. In other words, it is not showing much at the moment, but has lots of promise and at this price; I am popping some away for a rainy day. Find this wine

103473 ATTECA OLD VINES, CALATAYUD, 2007 $21.95
The catalogue states this 100% Garnacha (Grenache) based wine comes from vines aged between 100-120 years old. Judging from the intensity of the colour, there is little doubt. Its generous nose offers up date, damson, blueberry, coconut and bacon aromas. The flavours are of dark fruit, black liquorish, olive and dried mushroom. The finish is long, chewy and bloody tasty. Find this wine

705863 CELLER DE CAPCANES MAS DONIS BARRICA OLD VINES, MONSTANT, 2007 $16.95
Dark fruit, coffee, thyme, Middle Eastern spice and lead pencil are abounding. The full bodied palate is rounded with notes of rhubarb, black cherry, chocolate and sweet silky tannin. Find this wine

Cheers

CZ

Related posts:

  1. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s October 24th Release – Tasting Notes
  2. Alan’s September 26th, 2009 Vintages Release Tasting Notes
  3. Alan’s October 10th, 2009 Vintages Release Tasting Notes

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