5 CA & 1 AR Bordeaux Blend Reds

Tasted Saturday, December 30, 2017 by srh with 20 views

Flight 1 (6 Notes)

  • 2013 Susana Balbo Brioso

    Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo, Agrelo

    45% C.S., 25% Malbec, 25% C.F., & 5% Petit Verdot from Finca Dominio, Agrelo (Luján de Cuyo); Aged 15 mos in 100% new FR oak barrels; 14.5% ABV

    N: Camphor with pyrazines & cherries

    P: Med, poss LM, body; Nice, almost swtish frt met by pucker with very, VERY fine tannis that evolve into notes of bitterness which play an EXTREMELY minor role in the LONG, tangy finish with notes of spice. DESERVES into Fall '18, then drinking for 3+ yrs more. Elegant, almost Euro in style! My "Very Good+", quite possibly "Excellent" in a yr or so. 93 pts wine-pages.com, 92 Vinous, 91 Tim Atkin, & 89 WS. [Though prices are all over the lot, this vendor's $33.95 is RIGHT @ the top.]

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  • 2014 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    85% C.S., 8% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, & 3% C.F.; 20 mos in 33% new and 67% once and twice-filled FR oak barrels; 14.5 % ABV, 3.60 pH, & 0.64 g/100ml TA.

    N: Slightly closed; Smoke, berries, with undertones of pyrazines?

    P: Med body; Nice, almost swtish frt met my some very, VERY finely tannic pucker which PRETTY much resolves by the LONG, TANGY/swt, VERY slightly spicy, very, VERY slightly bitter finish. Needs/DESERVES until the end of '18, then drinking for 3 or 4 more. SOLIDLY made, my "Very Good", & certainly with potential for higher over the near term. [FYI, today I picked up more structure than I had 3 wks previously.] "Exceptional" @ 52.50 & with a GLOWING review in "Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences", 91 pts WS, 90 & 1* "Connoisseurs' Guide", 89 WA, & Silver @ Dan Berger's '17 Int'l Wine Comp. [This vendor's $42.95 is @ the top of the 2nd quartile of wine-searcher's HUGE offering.]

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  • 2014 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    N: CLOSED; berries, earth, poss iron?

    P: Med body; NICE, ALMOST swtish frt QUICKLY met by very, VERY fine tannins & pucker which never loses the swtness of entry, all of this slowly transitioning into a LONG, nicely balanced finish with a tanginess & notes of swtness. Needs/DESERVES until EARLY '19, then drinking for 3 or 4 more. My "Very Good+" as this should be a VERY popular style -- particularly @ this vendor's competitive $29.95 (though several wine-searcher entries DO beat it). WA 93-95 pts & 91 Suckling

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  • 2015 Chappellet Mountain Cuvée

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    37% Merlot, 34% C.S., 11% Malbec, 11% Petit Verdot, & 7% C.F.; 14.5% ABV, TA – 0.61g/100ml, & pH – 3.68

    N: Slightly closed; Minerals, pyrazines, berries, with notes of smoke?

    P: Med body; ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) QUICKLY met by balancing very, VERY finely tannic acidity which slowly transitions into a LONG, spicy, somewhat tangy/swt finish with emphasis upon the latter. Poss still coming together (the potential R.S. a result??), this NEEDS into early '19 potentially to strut its stuff (ASSUMING it's "frt" rather than R.S.). My "Good+" with a potentially LARGE upside depending upon the frt vs. R.S. issue. [This vendor's $26.95 is currently in the top 12% of a gargantuan wine-searcher listing.]

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  • 2013 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley

    From the winery's tasting notes: "95% C.S., 2% Merlot, 2% C.F., & 1% Malbec. Blended in early 2014, the wine was then aged for 24 months in 50% new and 50% once-used AM oak barrels from our Missouri cooperage, The Oak. Early blending assures a balanced core and allows the components to achieve a seamless harmony during barrel aging. After bottling in the spring of 2016, each bottled was aged an additional 15 mos before being released in August of 2017." 13.9% ABV

    N: CLOSED; berries, earth, poss pyrazines?

    P: MF, poss Med, body; Rndish entry with NICE, almost swtish frt met by very, VERY finely tannic pucker which slowly, SEAMLESSLY transitions into a very LONG, almost swtish finish with notes of those very, VERY fine tannins & their bitterness. Needs/DESERVES until mid'20, I'm guessing, then drinking a yr or 2 past its 10th... easily. My "Excellent-", VERY likely going to a + once it gets in its TRUE drinking window. Very, VERY impressive wine! :) 90 pts WS & 16/20 Jancis Robinson, who likens it a bit to a Rioja. [Though POSS a "special", this vendor's $59.95 CRUSHES everyone else CURRENTLY on wine-searcher's MAX capacity free listing by at LEAST $5, MOST by $10!]

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  • 2015 Pahlmeyer Jayson Red Wine

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    N: Clsd; Jam, smoke, berries

    P: Med body; ALMOST swtish frt (approaching threshold R.S.?) NICELY off -set by acidity, this early mid P morphing into a LONG, albeit very slightly faint, tangy/swt finish. HOPEFULLY this is still coming together, otherwise drink now & thru the end of the decade -- & I'd question the QPR even @ this vendor's $43.95, which is AS good as anything I could currently find on wine-searcher. My "Good-"... unless it DOES in fact "come together" in the bottle. 14.9% ABV

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Closing

For me the '13 Silver Oak Alex Valley was HEADS & SHOULDERS superior to the rest, a distribution I *rarely* see in these types of tastings.

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