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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s May 28 Release – Tasting Notes

As another barrage of Californian wines prepares to hit the shelves, the good news is some of them are very good and a couple are exceptional. However, the bad news is they are not cheap. As always, there are several wines to be found that won’t make the wallet wince so please read on.


001537 NEWTON UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY 2007 Napa County $64.95
A rich full bodied wine that is powerful, elegant and seamless. It puts forward, fig, baked pear, mineral and peach aromas. The palate offers a perfect balance of fruit flavours, deftly administered oak, acids, mineral and great length on the finish. Find this wine

221887 ROBERT MONDAVI FUMÉ BLANC 2008 Napa Valley $22.95
Lighter in style than previous vintages, has none of the rasping acidity one expects, some pretty melon and grapefruit aromas and a neutral palate. Find this wine

059311 7 DEADLY ZINS OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2008 Lodi 24.95
Lots of creamy sweet fruit, plum and mocha notes with a touch of black liquorice lead to a palate of black fruit jam, a creamy texture and vibrant acidity. Quite spicy on the finish. Find this wine

229856 ATLAS PEAK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2005 Howell Mountain, Napa Valley $94.95
Intense, full of forest floor, dried mushroom and layer after layer of pure dark fruit and mineral aromas. It is a Californian monster, showing black cherry, blueberry, blackcurrant, dried herbs and toasty oak. Damn it is tasty now, the chocolate tannins are silky and integrating nicely, but it should show even better in a couple of years. Find this wine

213918 BOMMARITO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 Napa Valley $19.95
Simple, well constructed wine showing plum, currant and sweet blueberry puree, clean palate, nicely balanced, quick finish. Find this wine

992529 DUCKHORN MERLOT 2008 Napa Valley $54.95
Lacks the depth found in earlier years, the aromas of dried herb, mint, bitter chocolate, stony mineral and black raspberry are nice, but the middle palate lacks the expected oomph. There is some tannin to resolve and I note a touch heat on the finish. Find this wine

Spicy, lots of cola notes, red currant, black berry and slate run to a palate with some hefty tannin, mocha, caramel and black fruit. Find this wine

232546 FESS PARKER RODNEY’S VINEYARD SYRAH 2007 Santa Barbara County$39.95
The cilantro of wine, your body will either absorb it, or reject it. I liked it, so did others, but some tasters clearly did not. It is overpoweringly laden with aromas of double smoked bacon, warm coffee grounds, liquorice root, Dutch salted liquorice, balsa and nutmeg, blackberry and rubber. Black cherry, bitter chocolate, meaty, dried blueberry and prunes all combine on the palate. Not for everyone’s plate as I mentioned, but worth trying for sure. Find this wine

148536 PAHLMEYER PINOT NOIR 2008 Sonoma Coast $79.95
A most complex Pinot with lovely aromas of cigar leaf, black cherry and plum, cinnamon and sweet spice. It has one sexy texture, beautiful structured, gentle oak, pure fruit flavours and a touch of silky tannin. Find this wine

219485 PREDATOR OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2008 Lodi $17.95
Musty, coffee grounds, a medicinal note, dark ripe fruit, chocolate and perfume on the nose. The palate is overly sweet, fleshy and one dimensional. Find this wine

205641 MUMM NAPA ROSÉ Napa Valley, California, Méthode Traditionnelle $29.95
A super tasty bubbly, perfect spritz, lovely red fruit aromas, enhanced by clay and mineral with rhubarb and red berry flavours, a toasty note and a solid structure. Find this wine

706580 CHALK HILL CHARDONNAY 2006 Chalk Hill, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County $37.95
Very much like the Californian Chardonnay’s I used to love, and still do at times, that shows gentle oak, with aromas of pear, nectarine and melon. Some toasty character on the palate, but clean and crisp acidity keeps it focused. Find this wine

221143 GAMBLE FAMILY VINEYARDS PARAMOUNT 2005 Napa Valley $59.95
Tightly wound, this wine has mocha, black and red fruit aromas, a touch of wood veneer, wet soil and roasted meat. Plenty of ripe fruit on the palate, some cola flavours, closely knit tannins and some heat on the finish. Find this wine

233981 KENNETH VOLK SANTA MARIA CUVÉE CHARDONNAY 2007 Santa Maria Valley $19.95
Funky and a little musty, whiffs of sawdust and toast with cooked apple, almond and citrus. The texture is thick, chewy and the finish is rather sweet. Find this wine

982413 RIDGE LYTTON SPRINGS 2008 Dry Creek Valley $43.95
Powerful, boasting aromas of plum skin, nettle, smoked meat, blueberry, blackberry, charcoal, Moroccan spice and a faint touch of liquorice that leads to a luscious palate with pure dark fruit flavours, gentle oak and a feel of chewy dark toffee on the finish. Although young, the discernable tannins show no aggression, the acids refresh and the overall balance is amazing. Find this wine

238758 FREEMARK ABBEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2002 Napa Valley $29.95
Generally when I see what looks to be a good deal with an older wine from Vintages, I am skeptical and always proceed with caution. No need for concern in this instance as this Cabernet is just starting to show nicely. Bordeaux in style, it offers aromas of coffee, wet soil, a touch of barnyard, lead pencil, mineral and beautifully ripened fruit. A silky palate, full of blackcurrant and dark chocolate, it’s drinking well now and has great length on the finish. Find this wine

Cigar box and mint, a touch of tar, mocha, blackberry, currant and shingle/slate aromas. A plush palate, quite spicy, fruit driven flavours that turns a little sweet and it is noticeably tannic at this stage. Find this wine

232363 STANZA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 Lodi $16.95
Sweet nose with a touch of matchstick box “Swan Vesta”, a currant ripple flavour, pruney and cloying. Find this wine

Moss and musty aromas with wet stone and dried fruit. There are black fruit flavours on the palate along with gripping tannins and a little heat. Find this wine

682831 WESTSIDE RED TROUBLEMAKER BLEND 1 Paso Robles (Austin Hope Winery) $19.95
A Rhone blend of 53% Syrah, 37% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache that pumps out bold dark fruit aromas accented by thyme flowers and sweet spice. Nice palate, creamy, cherry with just a little sweetness on the finish. Find this wine

220087 SEQUANA DUTTON RANCH PINOT NOIR 2008 Green Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County $47.95
Green Valley, Sonoma’s coolest AVA has produced a most focused Pinot that starts with notes of mocha and cedar and soon reveals some lovely plum, blackberry, mineral and cherry aromas. The concentration on the palate is close to the wow factor, the dark fruit is beautiful, chocolate tannins suggest some time, but the overall texture is silky. Find this wine


129809 SOUTHBROOK TRIOMPHE SYRAH 2009 Niagara Peninsula $24.95
Spicy, with notes of black peppercorn, bacon, liquorice, blackberry and clean acidity that has refreshing fruit flavours, but the finish falls short. Find this wine

117861 FEATHERSTONE ESTATE ROSÉ 2010 Niagara Peninsula $14.95
A very floral wine, nice stony mineral, plenty of red currant, cherry, a full complex palate with a pleasing note of toffee and crisp acidity on the finish. Find this wine

227025 KACABA SUMMERTIME SERIES REBECCA ROSÉ 2010 Niagara Escarpment 227025 $14.95
Cranberry mineral and chalk aromas with floral notes and red apple skin with sweet red fruit on the palate. Find this wine

118059 CATTAIL CREEK SERENDIPITY ROSÉ 2010 Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula$14.95
Rhubarb, anise, red currant and strawberry, pleasing fruit on the palate although a trifle sweet. Find this wine

189183 FIELDING RED CONCEPTION 2008 Niagara Peninsula $18.95
Interesting aromas of tobacco, smoked meat, cocoa and fresh cut flowers with a balanced palate showing raspberry fruit and gentle tannins. Find this wine


135202 KAIKEN ULTRA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2007 Mendoza, Argentina $19.95
Minty and herbaceous, with layers of dark fruit especially blackcurrant, good balance, a nice kick of spice on the finish. Find this wine

221986 THE BLACK CHOOK SPARKLING SHIRAZ, Woop Woop winery, South Eastern Australia $17.95
I can’t get my head around this. A shock for the taste buds that, at first, seems like fizzy grape pop before some Shiraz components appear. For me, at best, it would be a gulp-able porch pounder for a pre barbecue sunny afternoon. Find this wine

061242 WILD ROCK CUPIDS ARROW PINOT NOIR 2008 Central Otago, South Island, NZ $21.95
Plum and strawberry some wet stone and mineral notes, lovely dark fruit and plum flavours accented by perfect acidity. One tasty Pinot. Find this wine

102608 CHÂTEAU LA CROIX DE GAY 2007 Pomerol, $34.00
Nice wine, showing earthy notes, black olive, lead pencil, smoked meat, blackberry and damson. The palate is balanced; there are flavours of black raspberry, spice and some dusty tannin. Find this wine

234088 CHÂTEAU LIVERSAN CUVÉE SOPHIE 2006 Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois Supérieur $19.95
Cedar and dusty notes, showing cherry and plum aromas, nice fruit on the palate, but still a few tannins to resolve. Find this wine

110395 ANTONIN RODET GIVRY 2008 $22.95
Simple structure, pretty red fruit, rose petal and cinnamon, nice raspberry and red cherry notes on the palate, quick finish. Find this wine

Smoky, loaded with notes of tar, dark fruit, espresso, clove and mineral. Great structure and balance on the palate, cherry and blackcurrant flavours are supported by milky chocolate tannins. Find this wine

A lovely mix of pine forest, morel mushrooms, coal dust, pig poo, raisins and dark chocolate on the nose. The palate has a surreal layer of blackberry fruit, spicy peppercorn and some serious tannin. Find this wine


Related posts:

  1. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s May 14 Release – Tasting Notes
  2. Alan Kerr’s January 23rd, 2010, Vintage’s Release – Tasting Notes
  3. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s October 24th Release – Tasting Notes
  4. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s February 5th Release – Tasting Notes
  5. Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s April 16th Release – Tasting Notes

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