Third Thursday blind tasting group - Mourvedre's (Mike's) (11/20/2014): Hands down, one of the worst wines I've ever tried. I hated this when poured blind. I tried revisiting it a few times later after it was unveiled to see if some redeeming qualities may have developed with air, but nope. To call this a mess is an undeserved compliment. This is a caricature of wine. The fruit's grotesquely ripe and candied, red fruited but with a strong confected and raisiny character, and there are strange oaky, burnt rubber, and plastic-like accents that only get worse with air. The palate is brutally tannic, extracted, and alcoholic, and the finish lasts far longer than I wish it would. My initial assessment of this was "DNPIM." I'm not yet sure why I revisited it, but DNPIM seemed like the right call.
Mourvedre (TTTG blind tasting): Medium ruby color. On open, nose of ripe blackberry and dark cherry, herbs, and oak spice. Palate of oaky, roasted black fruit, and Twizzlers. Not much tannin, medium acidity, and a short-medium slightly bitter finish. Even 12 hours later, this was a ridiculously overdone, atrocious, overly extracted, horribly crappy wine. Despite the curiosity factor, well over half the bottle was left after the tasting. Without mincing words, it sucked.
For those for whom decoding the Sierra Carche saga is meaningful, this is bottle 18230 with back label code L-8114. I suspect that these codes only reveal different degrees of suck. Sadly, I suspect that this is a "good" bottle.
For science, I had a few sips two days later, alongside the bigger, richer, 2007 L'Aventure. The Carche was atrocious, undrinkable, and without a redeeming feature. No "standard" flaws, but if there were a "worst Spanish wine under $5" prize, this should win easily, were it not for the for the Jay Miller tax.
Popped and poured. Decent nose of black fruit and anise. On the palate, black fruits, melted licorice, menthol, hints of red cherry. Short finish ableit balanced. Last bottle and glad of it, this never did get to anything but serviceable.
Bottle No. 13224, knowing the history of this wine and first had in 2007 upon release, I was a little curious as to where this wine was in it's life. The first day I only poured a glass and let the rest slow ox in the bottle. The first glass had a nice nose, with a nice mixture of red fruit and dried herbs. The palate: the good news is that most of the tannins have integrated and astringency is gone, the bad news it tasted like menthol cough syrup, it never changed after checking it for over an hour. I vacuumed sealed the bottle to see what it would be like on day 2.
Day 2, to be a captain obvious...oxygen changes a wine, in this instance it changed it in a way I wasn't expecting. The nose was the same with the red fruits and dried herbs but also got some smokiness...could have been my grilling shirt. The palate was actually structured and not a gloppy mess like on day one. The oxygen caused something to shed off to expose a nice balance of sweet tart acid. The red fruit was the main player all night long, I enjoyed this over several hours. I kept waiting for it to return to the state it was on day 1 but it didn't. Give this a good decant or slow ox it overnight like I did and I think you might pseudo enjoy this. It is by no means a spectacular wine, but it was a pretty wine once it lost it's baby fat.
L-8114 Continuation of the story...clearly not the wine that was presented to reviewers in 07 ( 96 JM, 92 RR)... It was a weak underperforming wine that would suggest a simple mass produced red. The only redeeming value of this wine is that it brings a great story.
This was bottle 14896 of lot L8113, as some others noticed this is a Bordeaux like wine in that it was dry but the tannins were very smooth and mellow. This had some burnt rubber on the nose initially but like many wines I like to give my wines a couple hours of air in a decanter or glass. The nose had dark strawberries, walnuts, caraway seed, and some tobacco. Palate had spice and nice acidity. I had one of these many years ago and enjoyed it also. I only recently heard about the problems with this wine and wondered if I would agree that it was bad, but fortunately both of these bottles were a great deal. I would gladly buy these wines again if they were available.
Bottle 03195 of 20,000. Second bottle from 3 I bought before the scandal. Consistently excellent(93?) to my taste. In a blind tasking, I would guess it as modern style bordeaux from recent classic vintage more likely then wine from Spain.
Popped and poured. Nose of black fruit, leather, spice, tar. On the palate black fruit, leather, spice. Short but juicy finish. Nothing terrible about this, but nothing great either. I have had $10 Monastrells that provide more pleasure that this did. Drink or hold.
Surprise, surprise. Sort of undrinkable a couple years ago, the harsh has eased and intensity has become rich. Tarry, mouth-coating, good strong fruit which hides more than half of the tannins. Bottle 2298 of 20,000, if that helps anyone keep track. These better made Spanish wines really need five or more years before they ease into drinkability. I remember the 2004 Riojas that way, also.
Opened the first of 3 bottles with great trepidation. Would this be a bad one or a good one? Answer: neither. The wine matched up with some of Dr. Jay's descriptions, but not all. Pencil lead and tar? Yes. Structured, instense? No. Very much a medium-bodied wine, but pretty good flavor. Initial nose was more like paint thinner and didn't exactly "jump from the glass". The most notable shortcoming of the wine was its very short finish. But I did like it overall, and I enjoyed it more and more as I went on. I would have been pleased if I'd spent $15 - $20 on this wine but given I spent $30 and critical acclaim was so high, it was a bit of a (if not expected) disappointment. This doesn't have the stuffing to last much longer as Dr. Jay suggests, so I will drink up the rest within the next year or so.
tasted blind with 4 other Spanish wines. I thought I nailed this as wine of the night, but grossly missed it. I must have gotten the bad batch. still have one more and expect it to be as bad as this one. A shame!!
One of the best wine I have had. Aromas of smokey oak, pencil shavings, and tons of dark berries. The mouth feel is absolute silkiness. So smooth it is hard to describe. Full bodied dark berry flavors explode on the palate and leading to sweet tannins on the finish. The intensity and pureness of the fruit is perfectly balanced without being over the top. A true pleasure to enjoy. ($30)
Another Blind Sunday (Kirk's Apartment): Color: garnet Smell: Pumpernickel bread, bloody meat, VA, nail polish, dark fruits, Taste: dark fruits, blueberries, mocha, Overall: heavy extraction, med body, med acid, med + fruit, a little astringent.
This bottle proved something of an enigma to me, and I struggled to draw a summarizing conclusion in my mind on its quality and worth. I drank it over two days, starting with a 1+ hour decant before first sample. At that first pour to decanter, I thought to myself here's something of some depth, as the spicy strawberry, pine, and rustic, dusted, dried berry aromas arose from the port. Subsequent evaluations of the nose while in glass had less of an impact with generally the same qualities but at times an oxidized apple or off-putting cider note, VA perhaps. ON the palate this was even more difficult to pin down, at times drinking extremely disjointed, again with that note of mulled cider meets oxidize apple slices; but then at other points (usually deeper into the decanter and on the first sips) that off note diminished and played well with other components (dried black currant, dried white peach slices, milk chocolate covered blueberries, baking spices, some black cherry, some pepper) to make for a very interesting and dynamic taste experience. Tannins would appear sweet; acid was generally in balance; the mid-palate floundered at points; the finish was generally medium-plus in length. To summarize, I would say about two-fifths of the bottle resulted in an enjoyable and even outstanding experience on the palate, while the other three-fifths of the bottle were as off as Columbus in India. No way for me to really score this as it showed, though in fact I wish more wines presented themselves with these "difficulties" or what some might call flaws that make for such an interesting, at times puzzling, wine experience.
Guess I got a good one because this was fascinating. The nose kept revealing new layers: tar, menthol, licorice, mulberry bush, rosemary, violets, cola. Less on the palate, on first opening anyway--a couple more years of integration might help smooth the rough edges, though even then the action will be all up front. Overall, quite exciting.
I must of got one of the bad bottles because if this is a 90 point wine, then I look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club when I take my shirt off. Wine is drinkable but obviously something fishy is going on and a lot of us got duped. It's tannic, stringent and has minimal integration. It has some hay characteristics with muted fruit trying to break through the wall of green tannin. I think I'm done with expensive Spanish wines, I've been burned one too many times. They are way too inconsistent. I'll stick with the safety of a Rioja and save my hefty purchases on some of the more reliable terroirs.
Im a lucky guy...this bottle is one of the good batch ( number 22259/23500). Pretty nice wine...but far from the 96 rating. Everything is well integrated. Fruits are present. Medium-Long after taste. Could benefit from an extra 2-3 years in the cellar.
I drank my first bottle before all the controversy came out. I clearly have one of the better batches so I figured I'd keep the others I bought. This bottle had a lot more wood on the nose than the first, just lots of oak, which continued onto the palate, along with dark fruit and a finish of slightly bitter coffee. Tannins smooth out after about 3 hours in the decanter. It's an easy drinking wine, not complex or deserving a huge score, but definitely not undrinkable by any stretch.
Bottle "20012 of 21000", lot L-7033, the third and smallest lot. From what I've read, the really undrinkable bottles came from the larger first and second lots. The third lot is smaller and I've read is mislabeled - it's decent Spanish wine, but not Sierra Carche. Anyway, I finally tried one after buying it in January. It was round, soft, and spicy. Not as powerful as advertised but pleasant. Maybe even a good deal for $35, but not a 96 point wine by any stretch.
Came in last place in our blind tasting of red wines from Jumilla (although a few ranked Pico Madama last). Bizarre nose of orange peel or artificial orange cleaning product/air freshener. Not undrinkable, but not particularly pleasant to drink. Thin and acidic. Sour cherry. This has clearly declined from its mediocrity when I tasted it over a year ago. Bottle 05470 of 20000. Lot 8113. No way this was ever a 96 pt wine, just a very big disappointment. I will be asking for a refund from Wine Library.
Since I have read such terrible reviews about this wine I felt compelled to open one of the 6 in my cellar.
Opened and poured through a Vintouri without decant. Initial nose was a bit shy showing little; the color was very dark. In the mouth a series of unusual flavors began showing (predominately cranberry/ bug); the nose began to show after a bit. My perspective says this is a massive wine that's extremely tight, needing time to let it's true colors show. The acids are strong, leaving a very bright edge on the back of the tongue. The tannins are quite mouth drying. I can see how this wine can be easily misunderstood- it's quite unusual. Is it great or terrible? More time is required to evaluate, but my belief is it will show quite well in 2 to 3 years.
Bottle number 07084 of 20,000; Lot 8113. Decanted this wine for 1 hour. Sorry Wine Advocate, a 96-point wine this is NOT. Nose is somewhat Bordeaux-like...lead pencil, fireplace ashes, and sour cherry fruit. But, quite bitter in the mouth, and highly acidic. Tannins are nice and firm, yet well-integrated, but the wine just doesn't taste good. The cherry flavors are so sour it almost makes me pucker (and not from the tannins). I'm very glad I only paid $20 for this wine. Seems the hysteria around this wine may be true. See link in the Wiki portion of this listing.
Lighter color and body than the vastly superior '03 Pico Madama. Dark fruits on the nose hint at what might be in there somewhere behind the nasty cigarette tray.
I tried to drink this over 2 days but there was not much improvement. Sour fruits, aggressive acerbic tannins, ash. Bitter finish. This wine is busted. If you're holding any of these I strongly recommend you read this: http://www.drvino.com/2009/07/22/sierra-missed-the-saga-of-sierra-carche-2005/ and consider returning your bottles. Something is afoot with this vintage of wine and it's probably not worth gambling on cellaring any. Even as I implored the liquor store employee for my money back, this wine was choking me. Did I just lick an ashtray?
$34.99, no score but definitely in the "below average to avoid" range. Bottle number 02270 of 20000, Lot 8114.
The wine was served blind, but Darry and I knew what it was beforehand. The rest didn’t. Upon first sniff, Mike noted that it was corked, and I would have been very disappointed if I agreed with him on it, but it didn’t strike me so much as TCA as it did a pitiful wine. The nose of this wine smells exactly like a pack of doublemint spearmint gum that has been sitting in the sewage drain of a public pool for a week, only to be chewed by someone with such desperately bad breath that they’d take that aroma over their mouth. The palate is thin and exhibits more of that cesspool water with some pointed fruit that seems to fade into an abyss known as a finish. One of the worst wines I’ve had this year, on the border between drinkable and undrinkable.
Bottle #02820 of 20000. Opened and decanted thru a vinturi four times. Drank with GS over a hour and one half with smoke salmon,olives,crackers,grapes....maybe not the best. Bought quite a bit because of the notes from WA and GV. This sure is not a 96 now or maybe never but it is quite good. I will wait for a year to try again. The nose was distinct lead pencil all nite. Some creosote at first . A dark purple colour not a look or pour of heavy extract. Very flovourful mouthfull...dark berry dark cherry. The finish quite long and persistant...bright,sharp al little pucking at first and a lingering a while. This wine is heavy on Petit Verdot...25% and then 25% Malbec and 50% Monastrell. At 92 I think $30 is a little high....at 96 if it get to anywhere near that- a steal. Is this 96 to good to be true? I will give it more time and decide for me.
Color: Medium dark Nose: Almost non existent save for the smell of alcohol. Some light aromas of dark fruit. Taste: Weak flavors of some dark fruits and wood. Finish: This was its saving grace for even the 85 it got. A decent length finish of weird fruits. !!!!!!!NOTICE!!!!!!!!!! This wine has been recalled by some wine stores for being involved in a "bait and switch" from the winery. Google the name or go to Winelibrary.com forums and read. This is certainly not worth more than $10.00 tops!!! Most reputable stores will no longer sell it and even Parker said he will no longer review this wine because of the issues. The Pico Madama was similarly affected and an even worse wine. The 2006 is not even for sale because of the controversy with the winery. Seek a refund ASAP!
Tasted double blind September 12, 2009 at an offline.
Dark garnet to purple to color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Nose of licorice, ash and camphor. Flavors of currants and berries. Light to medium acidity, firm tannins, medium body. Drink over the short term. My guess was a 2006 Spanish.
Popped and poured. Nothing much on the nose, soem sour cherry, earth, asian spice, espresso. On the palate sour cherry, sour plum, licorice. Sharp, acidic finish with plenty of tannins. Definitely out of balance. This might come around and get better, but right now, it comes off awkward. Hold and hope. Questionable value, lots of better wines from this region at this price point.
I have 3 bottles of this and this is the first one I've opened. I thought it was awesome - balanced, light yet powerful, full of interesting notes that played between fruit, earth and spice, and a very fresh finish. Great acids; still plenty of tannins, has all kinds of life on it. Hope my 2 other bottles are in good shape!
Tasted this today blind, at a lunch event with 13 other wines. The first time I tasted this, the nose reminded me of pollen. For those of you that have hayfever, you know the smell. Later on in the tasting, there was another wine with the same nose. Hmmm. Same thing happened a third time. It seems our host managed to obtain 3 different bottles from 2 different lots, and they all tasted the same. All of these wines rates at the bottom of my list. I was surprised to see the ratings on this when I checked. I wouldn't recommend this wine.
This wine was horrible, like sour plastic, wife called it "paint thinner". I don't think it was corked but something's not right. I took both of my bottles back to the store and got a refund. There has been a lot controversy with this wine and how Jay Miller of Wine Advocate could rate it 96 points. Now I heard he read the label wrong and drank the 2006 not the 2005. Anyway several reviews on CT have varied from undrinkable to outstanding. If you have this wine, especially if you own multiple bottles, I would taste one now, just in case, maybe you can still get a refund if yours tastes like mine and others.
Tasted blind on 7/30 with a few others who all had similar impressions. Some cherry fruit and licorice tones on the nose that are dominated by an unpleasant plastic smell. A very simple and possibly flawed nose (flawed in the sense that it's just not good). Much thinner than the LAN Rioja blind tasted at the same time. On the palate is a bit of red fruit, and tons of sharp, disjointed acidity that makes you cringe. Not much of a finish at all. Nothing in the way of complexity let alone anything pleasant in this wine. Very similar to $5 jug wine. I would have to say this is "below average" wine, much like you'd expect from Yellowtail or something similar.
Popped and poured, red fruit, sour cherry on the nose and palate. Light to Medium bodied ... kinda short finish. Not bad, but not great either, Not a 96 pointer, but not the undrinkable plonk that has been reported either ..just kind of a non-descript ok red that is overpriced at $29.99
For me, this bottle was very similar to Grape King's T/N. The color was quite nice.....a vibrant ruby red, but was quite a bit thinner than a CLIO or other big Spanish Reds that I've had as I could easily see my fingers through the wine.....really more of a traditional Pinot color which was nice, but surprising. On the nose, there was some upfront sour cherry, but then dominated by a strange aroma....one person said anise or licorice like Grape King....I likened it to smelling a very heavily caraway seeded rye bread (from Schnitzer's) and I can also see GK's plastic reference. On the palate it was similar to the nose, there was some nice upfront sour fruit (cherries), but the fruit was almost immediately overwhelmed by harsh and just plain unpleasant acidity. The finish was medium. Really that's about all I've got on this wine.......The rye bread/plastic nose and then the harsh and unpleasant acidity on the palate. I would rate this simply............."not good!"
extreme bottle variation????? that could be the case ... first off, JM must have been smokin' crack to rate this wine 96 pts .... initial aromatics are muted ... loads of tart cherries on the palate ... the finish is ok but not earth moving ... 90 minutes later- much improved ... more pronounced aromatics ... more fruit on the palate ... and the finish is starting to linger ... this wine is starting to come together nicely ... imho, a very good wine ... 88 pts as of now
Chewy tannins and a plush, jammy mouthfeel. When I popped the cork, the nose was immediately apparent, with nutmeg, cigar box, balanced with blueberry and black cherry. It was young and tight on the first sip, but relaxed after some time in the air, showing dense berry fruit and a length to the finish. I will keep the other bottles for another couple of years and let this baby mellow a bit. Really nice.
Yeah, this is just not at all good. No real fruit, or density or mouthfeel or structure... Flawed? Sure, in the sense that it's not serious wine. In no way a 96 pointer for sure... stay away, as there seems to be some trouble with this bottling's providence overall.
First opened at a tasting on 4/4, decanting 3 hours. Truly showed it's youth, being VERY tight and closed in both nose and palate with HUGE tannins. Was also at end of tasting, so limited memory of specifics other than that I did quite enjoy it even then. Re-bottled at least an hour+ later. Tonight, it is truly showing well. Nose has opened up tremendously with notes of tar, cedar cigar box, blackberry & dark cherry. Quite a bit of spice on the nose as well. On the palate it bursts with blackberry/black cherry, roasted spices and herbs, and silky tannins still going strong. Will wait at least 2 years before opening another one.
Classic Values (My Apartment): Not completely certain this was flawed, but I'll go along with Kdawg since we shared a bottle. Splash decanted, put back in bottle and let it be for 5-6 hours before drinking.
Nose of plastic wrap, fresh herb, dill, green veggies perhaps? Dominated by that plastic scent. Tasted kinda thin, had a little dark raspberry hint, but mostly noticeable were tannins & acid with little flavor. There were some flavors, evidence of structure, but I'll defer to Dawg's belief that the bottle was flawed and hope the next is better..
"Classic Values" night (Phillip's apt, Chicago IL): this bottle was a real mess. Highly disjointed on both the palate and nose with some weird black fruits, bad black licorice and a whole lot of burnt plastic tones. There is nothing but tannins and out of whack acidity on the palate. Something just doesn't seem right about this wine and revisiting it later in the evening only made it worse. I'm with holding judgment until possibly trying a bottle in the future
Was hoping for a little more since Jumilla is one of my favorite regions in the world--although still very good. Possibly still too young, coupled with the fact that we didn't decant. Will take better notes next time when I'm not at a dinner party.
Opaque garnet. Interesting nose of dark fruits, star anise and a roasted componet. Medium weight mouthfeel. Tannins hit first but the acidity comes to the rescue to balance them out. Short finish. At this point in time, no way is this a 96 pointer.
Delicious full body flavor. Probably a little early yet, but even so this was a delicious wine to have on its own or to pair with rich foods. Lots of dark berries in the palate, a luscious smell inviting you to explore this wonderful wine. I'm going to buy a few more and put them in the cellar for at least a few years.
Beautiful wine, dark rich blackberry and cherry with an oak char. Not overpowering, but more of a rugged feel. Was tremendous with our tomatoe based pasta dinner. This was decanted for one hour and drank over 3 hours. I will look for more, thanks Costco
A youthful and powerfully fruit driven wine with plenty of black cherry, blackberry, scorched earth, coffe and toasted oak. Darrk and layered the wine delivers on the palate as you would expect from the nose with blue and black berry, spice, oak, some tar and finished with silky and ripe fruited tannins. A wine to serve with Medeterranean style meals with spice and acidity (tomato based sauces).
maybe this was waaay too early to open. It got better the 3rd day. intially, too aidic, and tannic and not much fruit showing. very muted, but fruit starte dshowing up the 2nd day and mor eon the 3rd day.
I was expecting to be disappointed with this wine, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not particularly fruity, more of cigar box and leather type flavors. What made this wine enjoyable for me was the smooth, long and well integrated finish.
A tremendous disappointment. Decanted one hour. Nice color and clarity, but the wine lacked aromatic intensity, delivering up a weak nose of violet, oak, and tar. Not much fruit to be found here. In the mouth, it was medium bodied, and well balanced between juicy acidity and fine-grained tannins, and it did have a very long finish. Unfortunately, it feels like the "mute" button had been pressed. This isn't a big wine, and wasn't satisfying. Dr. Jay Miller and I may simply have incompatible palates - the fact that this is a "extraordinary" wine in his judgment baffles me.
This blend of 50% Monastrell, 25% Petit Verdot and 25% Malbec was drank over two days and it showed fairly consistent on both nights. The nose is certainly ripe and has copious amounts of dark, earthy fruit. Blackberry and black cherry aromas are surrounded by graphite, coffee grinds, spicy oak and ripe herb aromas and there's a sublte roasted slant to some of the fruit. The palate is full bodied and shows a smooth, balanced texture, very sweet, concentrated fruit and a soft, open feel despite plenty of ripe tannins. This shows beautiful richness and length on the finish.
This wine will EITHER develop A LOT MORE (?, at least I HOPE !!!) OR GV was out of his mind when he said this wine blows CLIO away ! A HUGE disappointment, decanted for several hours and nothing really improved. Already tried 2 bottles with same results. Dry, tannic. Still have 22 bottles to go !!!!!! Anyone interested ??
had a glass of this at the end of the night after 3 other bottles had been consumed...pop and pour...one thing that did stand out was that unlike some of the other notes here, I did get a lot of dark fruit on the nose and palate...Won't give it a number, due to shape of my palate by the time we drank this..though I am anxious to try it again...
very dissapointed with this wine. Considering the Parker score and Gary V's push for Clio lovers, I bought several bottles. I feel robbed! No nose of any kind when opened, no nose of any kind after decanting for 3 hrs, beautiful color but that's about the only good thing about this wine. It took quite an effort just to finish the bottle. I have had $10 bottles of wine that would blow this away. Take my advice and pass on this one!
(10/23/2013) 5 years later and I have to say that time in the cellar really helped this wine! While it still doesn't come close to a Clio, it was quite good.
I never had or even heard of a wine that smelled and tasted just like stuffed grape leaves. The similarity was overwhelming. Moderate intensity, round medium tannins, very dry with high acidity. Some typical Monastrell notes are present, as well as some earth and flowers. 50% Monastrell (34 years vines), 25% Malbec, and 25% Petit Verdot (14 years vines). The Petit Verdot is barrel aged in French oak for 10 months and the Monastrell in American oak for 3 months. It's a good wine but I don't think is worth $30 on sale.
Rose petals, violets, earth, espresso, liquorice, blackberries and blueberries on the nose, which is unmistakeably influenced by the mourvedre ( a good thing!!!), along with some harsh stemminess. Medium bodied on the palate, but dominated by drying unripe tannins. This might come into balance in 3-5 years, and would merit a higher score.
Puzzled by Jay Miller's 96 point rating for this wine in Wine Advocate. Wine was very dry and acidic, reminded me of a dry Italian red. Blend is apparently 50% Monastrell (Mourvedre), 25% Malbec, and 25% Petit Verdot, but I wouldn't have been able to guess any of that blind. Would have guessed something like a dry, oak-aged Sangiovese.
I got the oak, pencil lead, and perhaps the tar notes on this wine, but I did not get the berry or fruit notes described by Miller and other reviewers. Did not strike me as full-bodied, but rather light-to-medium bodied and fairly acidic. Went better with food - paired ok with pizza. I generally like Spanish reds, and I found this reasonably complex and quite drinkable but not strongly appealing - perhaps it just isn't my preferred style of wine.
Am wondering if heat could have been a factor, as this was recently shipped to me in the summer, albeit during a relatively cool week where temps should have only reached into the high 70s. Or perhaps it is just closed right now. I am hoping that either this will improve with age or that my palate was just off last night, as I picked up a half case of this stuff on the Parker score and relatively low ($30) price.