Blind Cali Reds

Washington, DC

Tasted May 9, 2014 by isaacjamesbaker with 358 views

Flight 1 (9 notes)

Red
2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant en bonbonne Reserve USA, California
92 points
A kind of purple-cranberry color in the glass. Black cherries, cranberries on the nose, some complex spice tones, with black pepper, dried herbs, some earthy-mushroom accents. Very pretty on the nose. The palate is great: gritty tannins, crisp acid and tons of flavor. The fruit is dark and crunchy, like the skins of black cherries and plums, and I get all of these pepper, earth, menthol and pickle notes, maybe even some braised meat. Old world accents, but it’s got the grit of a California Rhone blend. I knew this batch of reds was from California, but this would be a great ringer in a Chateauneuf tasting. Impressed with this blend of 30% Syrah, 28% Grenache, 22% Mourvedre and 20% Cinsault.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant USA, California
91 points
Medium purple color. Interesting nose of black cherries, cranberry sauce, pepper, sweet herbs and a mushroom and soy note. Fleshy but firm tannins, tangy acid, quite balanced and pretty. The black cherry and tangy plum fruit shows a tart, fresh but bold approach at the same time. I love the soil, pickle, meat and pepper notes, which add all sorts of complexity. Lots of interwoven flavors, but it could use some time to unwind. Just a step down in complexity from the en bonbonne reserve, but this is a beautiful wine. 36% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 19% Cinsault.
Red
2011 Longoria Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
88 points
Smells of berry compote, tobacco smoke, roasted pepper, some cedar. Fine tannins and fresh acid frame the wine. Flavors of mixed berries, dried roses, black pepper and tobacco. Some cedar and charcoal notes on the finish. Interesting flavors, solid structure, a lot of fun.
Red
2012 Bonny Doon Vineyard Contra California USA, California
89 points
A pretty rose-violet color. Fresh cherries and raspberries on the nose, along with lots of roses, potpourri, vermouth spices, some savory tones. Full, fine tannins, fresh acid, such delicious flavors. Red and sour cherries, raspberries, tangy and tart, but packed with sage, black pepper, anise and menthol. Long, pretty, complex. 56% Carignan, 17% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 11% Mourvedre and 1% Cinsault. A screaming value.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
92 points
Deep ruby-purple colored. Aromas of currant jam, fig paste, roasted plums, along with black olives, charcoal and some sweet herbs. The palate shows plush tannins and tangy acid, supporting the waves of silky-smooth fruit (currant, blackberry, tangy blueberries). I love the mushroom, cigar box and sweet olive notes, which are rounded out with cedar and kirsch. So velvety and pure, complex and long. Drinking surprisingly well now, but I could easily bury this for five years to see what happens. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec, aged in 60% new French oak for 21 months.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Clos de Gilroy USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County
87 points
Smells like purple Kool-Aid packets, Twizzlers, vanilla cola and rose petals. Light tannins, soft acid, a fresh and juicy mouthfeel that’s reminiscent of Beaujolais. Flavors of strawberry jam and cranberry sauce, and I get some pepper, rhubarb and green olive notes as well. A juicy, fun, fruit-packed blend of 75% Grenache, 17% Syrah and 8% Mourvedre.
Red
2011 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Moondance Dream USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
93 points
Violet-magenta color. The fruit aromas dark and deep, currant jam, dark plum skins, blackberries, but there’s also a lot of cedar, forest floor, roasted coffee and some bell pepper. Lots of grippy tannins on the palate, but balance comes from the acid, and the wine shows a velvety feel. I could write an essay on the textural elements of this wine. The black currant and black cherry fruit is pure, deep but also tangy. Integrated notes of cedar and vanilla, matched by sweet oregano and pepper. Very complex, deserving a long sleep, but a very special wine. Aged 18 months in 50% new French oak, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec and 3% Merlot.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley
92 points
A deep bold purple color. Smells of plum cake, currants, all lush and deep with cedar, graphite, sweet vanilla, mocha, so complex and evolving. Rich but structured on the palate, with sweet and chewy tannins, medium acid, a velvety feel. Flavors of roasted fig, currant jam, blackberry mix with graphite, cedar and a hint of sweet spice that reminds me of menthol and pepper jam. Still very young, but lovely, and so deep and mineral-driven on the finish. Wasn’t surprised to see this was a single mountain vineyard Cab. 100% Cabernet.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley
92 points
A brooding dark purple color. Takes a bit to open up aromatically, then shows black cherries, currant jam, mocha, deep violets and rich loamy soil. So much structure on the palate; the tannins show tons of grip, a bit of acid to keep it fresh. The black cherry and cassis tastes ripe, deep, but also tart. Lots of loam, tobacco leaf, and granite notes, accented by mocha, dark roast coffee and spiced cranberry sauce. Some black licorice and molasses on the finish. Big, such concentration, young, but beautiful and complex. Deserves to be buried for at least three-to-five before it probably comes out to show its best, but it will hold up for so long.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
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