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  • 2011 Vogelzang Vineyards Meritage

    Popped and poured. This Bordeaux blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Malbec is from winemaker Robbie Meyer (Peter Michael, Lewis). It is dark garnet almost inky in the glass. It offers redolent aromas and pronounced flavors of blackberry, black cherry, oak and raspberry, and has lengthy finish with enough tannic backbone to suggest that it will age effortlessly for at least 5 years. While full-bodied and unmistakably New World, there is an Old World structure and complexity that I often find missing from most other California Cab-blends. I paid $26/bottle for this gem of a wine, and at that price, it has an off-the-charts QPR. It is also and unquestionably, the best Bordeaux blend to ever emerge from the Santa Ynez Valley, which with the exception of Happy Canyon (where the grapes originated) is generally, too cool for Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen. Addendum, the wine was still going strong after 48hrs of air, leading me to conclude that it will age gracefully for at least 7 and perhaps 10 years.

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  • 2008 Tensley Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard

    This is my second bottle of this wine. My tasting notes are similar to my notes from an earlier bottle from the same vintage. The wine is inky with a garnet halo. Nose of cherries and grape jam. In the mouth, fruit-forward with kirsch, cranberry, plum, black current, oak, earth and subtle hints of black pepper, spice and smoke. Lengthy, extraordinarily tart finish. I realize that this is supposed to be a California Syrah, but frankly, the flavor profile is more Southern Rhone. I concur with other tasters, who (accurately) described the wine as hot and disjointed. I would wait at least five years before tasting this wine again. After tasting two separate bottles of this wine, I am at a loss to explain why my sensory impressions are so at odds with other tasters. Bottle variation? Not worth the nearly $50 I paid for it.

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  • 2012 La Follette Pinot Noir North Coast

    Dark garnet with a nose and flavors of black cherry, rhubarb and forest floor. It has a lengthy, acidic finish suggesting that it could age gracefully for at least another 5 years. Unimpressed, but then again, it sells for around $20/bottle.

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  • Motz says:

    3/17/2014 10:33:00 AM - Good morning Dagalaifus. Because we both appreciated the Ex Umbris, I thought to let you know about this WA Syrah. 2011 Robert Ramsay Cellars Syrah Red Heaven Vineyard. I reviewed it. All seven of the Ramsay wines were wonderful. I rarely score every wine in a flight above 90 points; these wines merited it though.

  • ChrisinSunnyside says:

    3/18/2013 2:41:00 PM - Longshadows Pedestal is one of best Merlots in new world. Someo thers are a bit cheaper from small producers, but at $50 it outshines Leonetti ,for my palate.

  • ChrisinSunnyside says:

    3/17/2013 4:51:00 PM - BTW, Linda at Wine Closet has a great palate ands sources great wine from Central Coaast. I've pushed her to get more WA/OR wine, but here distributers are pretty limited it seems. Cheers!

  • ChrisinSunnyside says:

    3/17/2013 4:49:00 PM - Hey Dag! Small world hunh? Corliss is really good stuff, I've tasted a couple of times , had a bottle of the CAb I lost/donated in the CT fantasy football league :). Great seeing tyou in Camarillo! Cheers! Chris