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 1/26/2013 (The Gourmet Shop, Columbia, SC)


Have not tried this tasting for a while, and I'm the one missing out. This time Kelly from Southern Wines and Spirits had some really tasty wines. 3 were from California. Quite unusual, the oldest was a Sauvignon Blanc from 2009, the youngest being a Paso Robles Cabernet from 2011. Go figure. Would not have tried these wines on my own.


  • 2009 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Lots of nice things to report with this wine. They used some oak, either in fermentation, maturation, or maybe both. Made in a rich creamy style. This is already a couple of years old and is really showing nice. This is one of those Sauvignon Blanc's with a lot more going than just fresh, grassy tropical fruit and acid. There is an underlying structure that allows the fruit to act refined and mature, while still light and elegant across the palate. The color leans toward golden. The nose is passion fruit, lychee, peach, tangerine, and grapefruit with minerals. Really nice mouth feel with juicy, lively, mature grapefruit, guava, passion fruit, and peach. Stylishly rich and mouth coating. Balanced acidity. Probably tasting better today than upon release. (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Newton Chardonnay - USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma
    A really nice expression of Northern California Chardonnay. We have an excellent flavor combination of spicy, cinnamon apple pie, with tangy citrus style fruit, and some non fruit wood, vanilla and brown spices, maybe even a hint of ginger. The color has that glistening golden hue. The nose is melon and peach with spices. The palate starts soft with a very smooth hit of soft melon and pineapple, but continues with zesty style with lemon, followed by baked fruits like apple and pear. This kind of Chardonnay deserves, and gets a noticeable, but controlled hint of oak. All the parts are working in integrated harmony. Settles into the finish in a relaxed mood that begs for another taste. (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Delas Frères Côtes du Rhône - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
    I suspect 2010 was a good vintage for this region and this producer. This wine is really soft and approachable. Kind of simple in the way we would expect from some or all whole cluster fermentation. The nose is a little shy. The color is a little weak. But when it hits the palate. this is very lively and quit fruit forward for an Old world wine. The fruit is fresh and aggressive. I loved the flavor of maraschino cherry that started off the palate. Mostly red fruit flavors. There is some white pepper spiciness. Just medium bodied. Does not have an awesome finish. Think this wine was designed to drink by itself, and maybe slightly chilled. (87 pts.)
  • 2011 Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    This is one of those hard to describe Cabernet's. I thought the flavor profile was a stemmy, sandalwood and spicy evergreen influenced red fruit. The winery uses the description containing the words holiday spices and cedar. Never the less, this is a tasty Cabernet that has a profile of it's own, that no one would mistake for Napa, Sonoma, or Old World. The color is dark reddish rather than purple. The nose is outdoorsy, like fresh crushed red raspberries in your hand while you are standing on some ferns in an evergreen forest. Fairly light and soft in the mouth for a Cabernet. I'm getting mostly red fruit. Spicy and balanced on the finish. I suspect they used some oak barrels that at this early age are bringing that spicy, sandalwood, and cedar flavor that will integrate and smooth out to a flavor I would love to try in 5 years. (88 pts.)


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