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    Jeff Leve

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  • 1997 Michel-Schlumberger Cabernet Sauvignon Benchland Wine

    This wine is too far gone. Almost no aroma - perhaps a bit of dust. Flat and one dimensional with barely a hint of fruit. Still has a tannic edge, but there's nothing to support. Undrinkable.

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  • 2007 Joseph Phelps Insignia

    Tasted from a bottle in my seller using Coravin.

    Color: Very very dark purple - almost black. A beautiful violet near the edge is very notable when swirling the wine in the glass. Great clarity on the edge. Lots of legs noted on the sides of glass.

    Aroma: Incredible vibrant dark cherry and plum fruit with a hint of spice along with a definite sense of alcohol. A definitively big, but expressive wine.

    Initial Palate: Mouth-filling tannins the moment the wine hits the mouth, but really softening up in the back of the mouth. Very dark fruit initially becomes brighter and more red on the back and on the long finish. The finish is not nearly as long as the phenomenal 2002 vintage which just went on and on for minutes. Still, this is a rich and decadent wine.

    Subsequent tastes: The wine really changed quickly (to my surprise and delight) with time and swirling in glass (over a 10 to 20 minute period). Tannins softened and wine began to become round and quite elegant (but still big). More and more cherry with less plum and blackcurrant. Fruit now evident from beginning to end, becoming more complex.

    Overall impression: This is already a great sexy wine and with aging it should only evolve and get better. I did not pair with food, but there is no doubt that would also help soften the tannins and bring out the luscious fruit flavors.

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  • 2006 Bodega Flechas de Los Andes Malbec Gran Malbec

    Brought this back from Mendoza in 2009. Wish I waited another 3 years. Dark purple out of the bottle with dark fruit all throughout but dominated by a foundation of mouth-coating tannins. It didn't soften a whole lot in glass. There is enough going on to indicate this wine will be quite nice once the tannins soften.

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