Tasting Notes for Old Doug

(210 notes on 168 wines)

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Red
2008 Dacalier De La Terre Lake County Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
5/4/2021 - Old Doug Likes this wine:
91 points
Clear, light-medium ruby color; nose of surprisingly young, vibrant fruit with the barest hint of menthol. Palate heavy on cherry - redfruits into plum, some black currant, spicy finish with some cloves in there somewhere, all with a still-substantial acidic backbone.

Tough Wine Department: this bottle never had true climate-controlled storage. In 2012 we moved, and a few cases of wine got stored at a sister-in-law's house. The cases got lost in the shuffle, and spent years in their basement, which included a Georgia summer when the building was open to the elements during major renovations - so a few months of relatively high heat with probably 50 days above 90°F or 32°C.

You just never know...
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/13/2021 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
The cork was in amazingly good condition. The wine poured clear into decanter and glass, with some coarse sediment left in the bottle. Dried herbs, leaves and 'dirt' on the nose, and the palate followed along with that, beautifully smoothed-out tannins (truly microfine) and a pleasing peppery finish.

Cabernet Franc doesn't please everbody but this is a good old one at this point.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2/14/2021 - Old Doug Likes this wine:
93 points
Looked and smelled "big" without too much flowery Margaux quality.
Impressively good even at this young age, better as it breathed, and not bad QPR value. A really big hit of dark fruit but the overall perceived sweetness is nice, proper, etc., in what I'd say is a 'medium weight' wine. Good acidity and fairly prominent tannins will carry this one beautifully into the decades ahead.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/4/2020 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
Popped the cork and let the bottle breathe for 3 hours. Nose of red fruits and some medicinal alcohol, not really strong. No problem with alcohol on the palate - a mighty blast of red to purple fruit seamlessly moving toward a finish of white pepper and tar. A comparatively simple thing - I sat for a long time trying to tease more details out, but for me that's pretty much it. Time goes by and youi're having fun, really a delicious wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/21/2019 - Old Doug wrote:
93 points
Wow - BIG wine, and I've never seen such a group of tasting notes that I agree with so much, even going well back into time. The warm spices, the fruit, the cedar - much as described below. Sweet black currant and plum on the nose. I wish everybody could taste this bottle right now - *seamless* integration - no slouch on alcohol at 14.5% but it doesn't stand out nor does the adicity nor the really reserved tannins - but they're all 'there' just as they should be. Tonight, at least, this bottle could punch several layers higher. To add to the prior tasting notes, I'd say there is considerable pleasurable liquorice/dark fruit presence now. Have had $200 wines I liked less.

So - why don't I rate it higher than 93? Because as perfectly rounded and centered as it is, it still is a relatively simple-tasting thing; not as complex as wines can be. The finish is long, but not super-long, and it trails off fairly fast into the liquorice/anise flavor, with peppery heat.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/20/2019 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
In a really interesting place right now - I'm going to say it's past its peak, a little toward "leathery old wine," but if that's the cost, the benefit is a very complete and silky integration - 14% alcohol and you wouldn't know it, a nose that (oddly enough) says "Pinot Noir" to me, the palate still has an acidic backbone, there's a nice progression of subtle cherry-strawberry-red raspberry fruit flavors and some reticent and superfine tannins eventually coming in. Perhaps pure Tinto Fino/Tempranillo is a fragile thing, but this bottle is still hanging together nicely now.

I don't remember buying it, nor why or how much I paid. It's a relatively modest "Denominacion de origen" wine, which is like the Italian DOC and the French AOC. I think, however, that the same principle with some villages-level Burgundy wines applies - that well-made wine, often with sufficient age on it, can be surprisingly good.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/17/2019 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
Flat-out delicious. This is not a "big" Syrah, and I was going to say that it's actually quite restrained, but as I got through the first glass the power and balance of the nicely integrated flavors really took me over. The nose really is reticent - my first thought is "Ooh, good French wine" (not that they *have* to have restrained noses, of course : p) and then there's some noticeable sweetness/red berry aspects and a hint of the alcohol (even for a 2006 at 13.5%) - the nose is more youthful than the palate.

The taste is not heavy, not cloying, it does not coat your tongue. There is ample acidity yet, and it's not long before the fine, still-prominent tannins make themselves apparent - this wine isn't very "thick" or viscous. I can see this being divine with lamb, beef, duck, ribs, etc... The middle part of the palate is the real strength here - cherries, red berries and darker fruit - the perceived sweetness between the fruit flavors and the actual sugar content is really perfect.

It's been a long time since I wrote a tasting note, and I really haven't had much wine this year, but this one reminds me of how good it can be.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Maison Bleue Jaja Columbia Valley Red Rhone Blend (view label images)
11/18/2018 - Old Doug wrote:
85 points
WOW this has some strong acidity. Nice dark ruby color; floral, sweet nose with prominent red fruit, and with the 14.5% alcohol being apparent. Perhaps this is just too young yet. A GSM blend, nice fruit taste and sweetness level, and proper tannins I'd say, but the acidity overbalances everything else in the early palate, and it gets really sharp and dominant on the finish - whacking a good 6 points off the score, in my opinion. Doubtful, to me, if time will cure this.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/27/2018 - Old Doug wrote:
91 points
Restrained floral nose, 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 ruby/purple/black color, very nice balance with toned-down acidity, alcohol and tannins underlying solid red/purple fruit flavors. I don't remember ever having anything else from Covington Cellars, and pretty sure this was a fairly cheap wine, i.e. $10-$15 a bottle, a great value in the end. Didn't knock me out - thus the 91 score - but quite a well made wine with almost nothing in the way of faults.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
10/25/2018 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
A beautiful, restrained, finished wine. Alcohol no longer really apparent, acidiity not quite so prominent as before, and while I formerly thought the tannins were a bit lacking, they're just right now. Dry, subtle, centered.
Red
7/7/2018 - Old Doug wrote:
91 points
Biodynamic, lean, and disjointed - but that makes for a wine that has an overall wide structure, as unsettled as the construction may yet be. Spicy red fruit and a floral background to the nose. Pronounced acidity on the palate, while all areas of the mouth have something going on. My rookie take on the Teroldego grape is that it makes for restrained wines; you really have to pay attention to what all is going on. The acidity fades and a sweeter floral quality takes over on the finish, along with a profound sense of terroir. I think that to a fairly large extent, this will be a "love it or hate it" wine for many people.
Red
7/7/2018 - Old Doug wrote:
95 points
Dark ruby/purple/inky black in the glass. The nose has calmed down - red and dark fruits, faint leather. Yet HUGE on the palate - as if a second childhood is here, deep, lingering fruit, strong acidity, pronounced fine tannins, 14.9% alcohol detectable, long finish tailing off into a little peppery heat. Big, all the way around. Some overlap with what I would call a port wine taste; my wife said, "It's like a liqueur." Different than when it was very young, yet far from an "aged wine," and far from what, in theory, it might be with further aging. Quite a pleasurable experience, thus the high rating. Wish I'd bought a lot more, now; this is definitely my last bottle. Farewell, old friend.
Red
6/2/2018 - Old Doug wrote:
90 points
A really restrained nose on this bottle - red fruits and distant leather with the 14% alcohol being apparent. Breathing is a good thing. Quite crisp and light, with prominent acidity. I think that's a strong characteristic of this wine, and I wish for a little more tannic bite, frankly. Does finish with a pleasurable peppery heat. Probably still younger than when it will be at its best, but in my opinion the potential is limited.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
3/3/2018 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
This is an odd one for me. Getting old enough that it's changed from when it was really totally young, but it's still really youthful. Very primary and cherry-accented, yet also somehow smoothed-out and "not so young anymore." You can see through a big glass of it, it's not thick, gloopy, too strong, over-extracted, etc.; I think it will appeal to the "Anti-Flavor Wine Elite," (AFWE), really. : P Frankly, I loved it, and I'm not sure of all the reasons why. Very easy to drink, if anything I'd say it's very "basic" in a way - fermented grape juice.
White
11/2/2017 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
Harmonious nose of citrus, restrained honey and vanilla with cream. Nose is better than the palate with this bottle - tastes mainly of citrus with a big streak of acidity, palate-cleansing, really, good minerality all along, but missing the buttery quality of some other bottles I've had. Still quite a nice Chardonnay, but this bottle would be best with food, rather than standing on its own. I got a case of this stuff, and there have been some disappointing 89s in there, and a couple really excellent 95s, and then there's the middle ground, like this bottle. Much more variation than expected.
White
5/31/2017 - Old Doug wrote:
90 points
A really big Chardonnay, heavy on the alcohol, vanilla and oak - more than I'd say is perfect, and I can take quite a bit of them. Interesting fruit and good acidity backing it all up. Would be interested to try this years in the future. I'm seeing it for $60 - $75, and I think that's too much, though have found Pahlmeyer Chardonnays intriguing and sometimes excellent in the past.
White - Off-dry
4/9/2017 - Old Doug wrote:
97 points
Little bit of petrol, good bit of vivacious, dancing acidity, so seamless in its cold sweetness, juicy beyond most reckoning. A great wine experience. My wife and I had 12 bottles, now only 1 left. Sadness, but life goes on and we're very glad for this wine.

With this bottle there was a pause after the sweet/acid balance hits you, where the varied fruits and flowers parted enough for the mineral foundation to be apparent. Heaven.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
3/31/2017 - Old Doug wrote:
91 points
Wow - a lot of my buddies got this wine, looking through the tasting notes. So - 2017 and this bad boy is still young and hot... Leaving 2+ inches in the open bottle, just to see what happens. The 14.5% alcohol is too apparent - lips and palate numbing. Syrah, lighter on tannins than some other grapes in the first place - I think this beast could use more, at this point. Acidity is strong, too prominent. I don't think we are going to "turn the corner" here, in a good way. Still, a pleasurable if hot drink.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
12/30/2016 - Old Doug wrote:
93 points
Okay, so "matured in wood" for 22 years, then bottled in 2002. A little bit of sediment, not even enough to solidly coat the bottom of the bottle. At first opening, it really needs to b r e a t h e for a while. Very tangy aroma, hot with alcohol (20%), nose-resonating (verging on the effects of smelling salts), overpowering, but behind lie delightful apricots, berries, caramel, and buttered, roasted nuts. Once the air has its way with it, this thing becomes a beautiful butterfly, thinner than vintage port, effortlessly penetrating to the core of your taste buds with apricot, peach, orange marmalade, caramel, fresh bread, toasted bread, and your grandmother's best dessert, especially if it's Creme Brulee. It's still too acidic, and maybe decades hence will be something truly sublime; who knows....? Mighty sorry this bottle is empty, for all of that.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
12/27/2016 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
Smells like red fruit and Cabernet Franc - black currant, some plums and raspberries, earthy black liquorice, vanilla overlaid with some alcoholic heat; young wine. Tastes mighty good - red, purple and pink fruit, the Mourvedre kicking in with nice meat and blood. 14.5% alcohol, and time will help - it's noticeable, and a couple hours air time helps, finishes with some seriously dry tannins and a "peppery" heat - maybe entirely due to the alcohol. Better to wait for many people, but a really good, big wine right now, all the same. Finishing up the third bottle this week here.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/27/2016 - Old Doug wrote:
91 points
Darker fruit taste than the 2010 (which it was tasted alongside), more mineral, doesn't hit as hard as the 2010; good but getting a little sleepy?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
11/24/2016 - Old Doug wrote:
93 points
Earthy, woody, red fruit, still quite tannic, and GOOD. A great value and one with some years of improvement yet, I think.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
11/24/2016 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
Start-to-finish, really beautiful balance, dry lemon, little bit of oak, little bit of smoke, massively enticing.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red - Fortified
11/24/2016 - Old Doug wrote:
97 points
So much to smell and taste. A mixture of roasted nuts, dried fruits, candied fruits, warm and spicy like the bakery of your dreams. Thinner than vintage port, it profoundly permeates your palate. Good long finish that you can search for floral aspects as well as fruit, even coffee and chocolate.
Red
7/6/2016 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
2009 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux. This won't be everybody's 94, because not everybody likes Cabernet Franc nor the woodiness.

However, I think this thing has really hit its stride. Just blew me away - beautiful dark fruit, earthy, woody, minerals, blood, tannins, acid, rather a "down and dirtiness," while maintaining an overall smooth and balanced presentation. No small thing.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1/2/2016 - Old Doug wrote:
95 points
Wow - what a beautiful seamless package. This wine impressed some of us CellarTrackers early on, then seemed to go downhill, frankly - to the point where one wondered if it was to have a "golden age" as some wines do. Well, this bottle, anyway, really shows what 'integration' is - PLEASURE. Deep black currant, oak bark, leather, green tobacco nose, and then that first taste. A little time passes, and you find yourself staring into the infinite. You wonder where the acidity went, you ponder sweetness and dryness, and where the tannins are. So you taste it some more, and everything is there, shaking hands with everything else. It's good to be alive.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
11/20/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
96 points
Funky petrol on the nose but WOW - the taste put both my wife and me back in our seats. Nice, very slow progression going on as this bad boy ages.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/20/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
90 points
Yeah, young and hot, but quite lively with acidity and cherry/berry tastes. Really pretty good if you can take that kind of deal.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
9/10/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
Very young, of course, but quite centered and rounded, with a huge hit of grapey goodness followed by black currant and liquorice, a little peppery heat developing as the finish progresses. Black in the glass, some purple around the edges. Big, powerful, somewhat hot nose, 21% alcohol making itself known. Beautiful amounts of acid and tannins. Good lord is this good.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
6/29/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
93 points
Confession: I love blueberries. Immensely dark purple, inky, warmer at the margins. Sweet nose, baking spices, blueberry, tangy plums. Nice balance between the cool fruit and the warming effect of the 19% alcohol on the palate, as well as between both the prominent sweetness and the prominent acidity. Young and primary, but hard for me to find any faults here. Delicious.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
6/27/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
98 points
Spicy, many-fruited nose. A long, bursting progression of sweet, mellow yellow and white fruits on the palate, so centered overall, effortlessly powerful, it could swat you like a fly while doing a back-flip on the balance beam. One of the best wines I've ever had.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2005 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
6/27/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
95 points
Salty, tangy, sea air nose. The taste is a huge wave of mineral richness, yellow and gold fruit with crushed shells. A little bit of smoke, nice balanced acidity, but Hoo-Aah, that minerality!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
6/27/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
95 points
Medium red-orange color. Strong, sweet herbal nose, enticingly complex, an incredible thing. This is an eye-opening wine, overall quite balsamic in nature. Here, the price of admission is a love of port and/or Sauternes. This is a sweet, heady, huge thing - be ready to be put back in your seat.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
6/27/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
Quite dark orangeish-red. Beautiful, penetrating nose of cherries, white flowers, touch of honeysuckle, hard to believe it's a 37 year old wine. Impressive core of acidity, initially some oak and tannins, reticent truffles and mushrooms, candied cherry finish. An enormously interesting wine that changed a lot over a few hours, vanilla and violets coming out in the nose, the finish losing the candied aspect, becoming purely smooth and subtle, a melange of spices, cool truffles, still-strong acidity giving way to a nice little tannic kiss at the very end.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/27/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
Dark purple ruby. Cedar, lead pencil, violets on the nose. Deep, rich flavors of red and dark fruits. 2000 vintage is a big one, and this wine is very young and has a long time to go. Nevertheless, it has the stuff that makes Bordeaux lovers of many of us. From the first sniff, you know you hold substance.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
6/7/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
Quite well done, overall - Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc in French oak. Slightly smoky, with both cool and warm fruit on the nose, good balance - sweet/dry/fruit/acid/tannins on the palate, finishes warm and with fine tannins. Quality-to-Price Ratio champion.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2011 Château Cos d'Estournel Blanc Bordeaux Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
6/6/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
Fresh and lively on both the nose and palate - a trip through the orchard and through geologic time - fruits and minerals, citrus, mellow peach, nicely integrated nut and spice flavors around the edges. An energizing wine - makes you feel good to drink it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
6/6/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
87 points
Quite drinkable, but lacking in acidity - would be a 92 or 93 pointer with the right amount of acid, and slightly less sugar. A pleasing range of fruit and spice - I did find this wine interesting, worthy of the consideration that it leads you into, but in the end it's just not put together as it should be.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
6/6/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
91 points
A good "value Bordeaux," I think. A restrained nose that makes me think of dilute Pauillac. Same on the palate - there is not the concentration of the "big boys" but good acidity, start-to-finish, and a pleasurable progression of cool, red, blue, and dark fruits toward a rising pepperiness and heat, finishing with ultrafine tannins.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
6/5/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
Huge fruit, impressively good, but young, young, young. The 2007, four years after its vintage date, was much different - young but still nearly perfect to drink. With this 2011, you just ache for it to get older.

Half a bottle, corked for two weeks - so the wine was in with a half bottle of air - came out quite good: enormous red berry and cherry presence, pleasurable to drink; if the air made it go "downhill" I think it was in the finish with some woody taste and harsh liquorice.

A very big wine, should be excellent many years from now.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé
6/5/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
84 points
Really did not like it at first. One better be an acid-head, for this wine. Lightly floral nose, nicely dry, could use more fruit to go up against the prominent acidity. Finishes with a pomegranate aspect. It grew on me, in the end. With food and/or on a hot day, could do worse.
Red
5/23/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
Nose is a little better than the taste, lusher, fruitier, sweeter. 6 months, to the day, since I last had this wine. A substantial amount of dusty tannins on the back end, same as before, and the peppery heat is still a prevalent thing, developing as one tastes and swallows, or even as one holds the wine in the mouth - there is a good, cool, dry, basic "red wine" goodness that is apparent, and then the heat begins to build, and rises to a surprising degree.

Still young, but now I wonder if it's going to get any better. To "model" a wine, I think it's a little too acidic and tannic at this point, but seems to me the leanness, the dry restraint, is more pronounced than the last time. Not at all a bad thing, personally.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
4/23/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
93 points
A beautiful ride off into the sunset, and your horse passes through a blooming cherry orchard bordered by cedars; your leather saddle was rubbed with high-quality tobacco yesterday. It's a big herbal cherry sun that is setting, and you can taste it, with a sprinkling of spices, and the satiny union of the tannins are upon you, so subtle that you wish for more at first, you must be patient as the velvet embrace deepens, insinuating itself deep within you in a silky smooth process, until a final slow-motion fillip of astringency touches the front of your mouth. The cork was wet and crumbly almost to the top. Definitely time to drink this wine; wish I had more.

A great wine to drink in solitary contemplation, or quietly, with friends.
5 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
4/11/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
Pours like dark red berries from an angel's heart. Smells like heavy fruits and spicy vegetables, big good "young red wine" tannic leather and brawny meat, an aromatic funk/earth/dirt in a sexy way. Tastes like biting into a big, juicy red berry, with woody tannins and leathery mineral following, vying for your taste buds, a guiding and pleasing acidity there all the way through. Okay, okay, yes - it's still too young, still a bit heavy on the tannic finish, but quite a bit to like right now.
3 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
4/4/2015 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
Deep red and dark fruits on the nose, but that's about it; doesn't really hit any aromatic heights. Slightly spicy and warm, may be smelling the 14.5% alcohol. 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot. Smooth, lush, deep Merlot flavor, nice blending with the other two grapes. Takes a firm hold on your palate while remaining light, lively and dancing - it is at this point that I think this 'daily drinker' may be becoming something more. A warm finish with prominent tannins, fine, chewy, grippy tannins and now I wonder if they're ever going to decline into a better balance with the rest. A tongue-tingling peppery heat at the last. I quite like this wine, and I don't shy away from dry red wines with substantial tannic qualities. Here, the way we perceive fruit tastes as "sweet" really works well. Who knows? - Maybe years hence time will have worked its wonders perfectly, and the tannins will be divinely integrated, but I wonder....
Red
11/23/2014 - Old Doug wrote:
92 points
Leathery Bordeaux nose, red and dark fruits on the palate, nice balance overall, finishes with a noticeable peppery heat and grippy, youthful, astringent tannins. I love it as a "daily drinker." Better in the coming years, but I'm glad I got a case - I can drain a few along the way.
Red
9/2/2014 - Old Doug wrote:
90 points
Hate to stick on the so-often-seen 90 score, but that's right where I think this is. We are, after all, only 80% of the way from 50 to 100.

29 months since I last had this one, but the acidity and tannins are still very noticeable. I think the acidity is more in check now, and it's quite enjoyable to drink, overall. Tannins are smooth but strong, and overall this seems a strong, young wine....
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
White
2011 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc Pessac-Léognan Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
9/2/2014 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
2011 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc - refined pale gold color in the glass reflecting an overall beautiful dry white wine.

If there is such a thing as "Graves minerality," then here it is. Quite floral, white flowers, lots of citrus, some toasted yeast/fresh bread aspect, nose and palate, interwoven with crushed shells, slate, or is it flint and oysters?

Few of us go around actually licking or chewing on seashells or hard rocks, and the "mineral" taste is hard to pin down. Perhaps there is a little sea salt in there, and the acidity is always playing hide-and-seek with it. Here, I think that "complexity" means that it's hard to focus on everything at once; you find yourself lost for a few seconds, smelling/tasting/feeling one thing and then another. A fun wine experience.

There is a tension set up between the lightness - the floral nature, and the "rocky" stuff. It may be bridged by the citrus aspects, which are strong and fresh, and which certainly feed well into the acidity, and a background smooth vanilla and a hint of butter.

If I have a complaint, it is a muted desire for the citrus to be a little less powerful. I think this wine will change a lot in the coming years, and probably be very good, although potentially almost "another wine."

Some "big reds" will come out of the gate and just take hold of you; it almost doesn't matter what you are doing. With this one, though I'm sure it sounds presumptuous for me to say, I think you want peace and quiet while you drink it.
Red
8/30/2014 - Old Doug wrote:
94 points
2008 Clos Mogador. Priorat. So, there's this French guy, Rene Barbier, and in the 1980s he goes to Catalonia, Spain, and starts a vineyard on a big pile of slate rocks. It's an interesting area, one with a lot of history behind it, including one former Count of Barcelona, "Wilfred the Hairy."

The wine is made by blending Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with Grenache. This is not just any Grenache, this is a concentrated, powerful thing from vines which truly struggle amongst the rocks, giving tiny yields.

A very deep garnet in the glass, thin lighter rim around the outside. Swirl it up high to see a lively ruby color mixed with amethyst and blue sapphire. Warm red fruits on the nose, along with cool blueberries, some spicy notes, tobacco and bit of leather.

14.5% alcohol: I noticed it upon first opening the bottle. With decanting, I think this would go away, as far as the nose. Swirling the glass a little did it for me. On the palate, it doesn't go away so fast, but it's merely present, rather than being all that harmfully intrusive. More bottle age should tone it down and integrate it, bringing this wine fully into its own.

The palate: really big fruit, red, purple, a nice smokiness leading into the white pepper heat of Grenache, initially made greater by the alcohol. Good acidity and tannins, really smooth for such a young "big" wine. I have no doubt this wine can go 25 years or more, but it's quite approachable right now.

One glass left for 7 hours had totally gotten rid of the "too hot" sense from alcohol, and was polarized somewhat - a cherry taste was prominent, leaving most other "lighter ends" and red fruits behind, joining an ocean of dark plum and blackberry, even liquorice. Acidity and tannis continue to be beautiful - really a pleasurable wine.
4 people found this helpful Comment
White
7/20/2014 - Old Doug wrote:
87 points
All about the ocean. The nose is when you first realize you're near the sea. Mineral, salt spray in the air, perhaps, and maybe a little bit of funk. Think of water, but this is a bone dry wine. Not only the lack of residual sugar, but the fruit presence is very small, and we perceive the "fruit" taste as sweet, so dry is truly the order of the day here. Crushed seashells on the palate, lots of acidity, a little saline. The acidity overbalances everything else. Citrus peel, and your road into the ocean. Not a complex wine at all, yet the road is long, and I've met a couple other wines similar to this, and I like them. Many would discard this wine out of hand. Many would give it no higher than an 80, if that. I just wish the acidity was a little toned down.
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  • Tasting Notes: 210 notes on 168 wines
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