Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rating: **** ***+ Root: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, 2011 and 2010, Colchagua Valley, Chile = BEST VALUE

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The Root: 1 (Root:1)  is a bargain priced (sometimes under $10 U.S.), reasonably well-regarded cabernet sauvignon from Colchagua Valley, Chile, grapes vinted by Vina Ventisquero. Gorgeous bottle in the U.S. imported version.


2005 Vintage, Original Review, November, 2007:

In the glass, it is dark red, moving from opaque to more transparent right at the rim. Touch of purple.

Aromas are forceful, pumping sweet cherry liqueur aromas out of the glass. A wonderful, grown-up candy smell. Reminds me of Ogden Nash's line. Hugely inviting in a bright, sweet way. Almost, oddly enough, like the fresh laundry aroma I sometimes find in the gamay grape, commonly available as beaujolais.

On the palate, you first sense a lusher, rounder wine than you might have expected from the aroma. Fully ripe plums in the middle, touches of dark chocolate and rich dark cherries. Just enough tannin and acid to give depth to the round sweetness. An evenly fading, modest length finish. I'd stay with this one for an evening. Four stars out of five. An absolutely awesome value for the price.


Robert Parker liked this, giving it 90 points in the Wine Advocate and saying, "Deep, dark cherry color with an expressive bouquet of currants, vanilla, blackberry and redberry fruits. Toffee, tobacco and bittersweet chocolate also stand out on the nose. Soft and supple in the mouth, the ripe fruit is balanced by smooth oak and its creamy texture is dominated by rich, ripe berries and a dark chocolate finish."


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After full-day decanting: lost most of its potency. Not recommended. Drink fresh.
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Updated review, 2011 vintage, March, 2014:   This vintage is finished at 13.5% alcohol.  Deep muddy red and black currant in color.  Opaque in center. A familiar nose from the Root: 1 variety: bold, candy apples, violets and ink.  Deep, bright, bold and somewhat contemplative.  Drier and sandier on the palate than the nose would suggest, showing a slightly blackened, charcoal nature that engulfs the fruit.  The finish holds nicely and wraps up clean.  This vintage rates an easy three stars, just touching a plus because of its compelling aroma.  Good value.
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Updated review, 2010 vintage, April, 2014:   This vintage is also finished at 13.5% alcohol.  Dark opaque black cherry red color.  Aromas is consistent - bright, bold, aromatic, dark, all velvet and cherries.  Flavor that is consistent with the 2011 as well: dark, some charcoal, with fresh laundered fruit.  Nice clean finish.  Easy going and still distinctive.  Three stars with a plus for this distinction.  Once again, a good value.


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: **** $$ Mollydooker The Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia, 2012 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Mollydooker The Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon.

By way of background, opening thoughts: Mollydooker is a line best known for its McLaren Vale shiraz-based wines.  But, in the past, I have given their cabernet sauvignon's excellent ratings from past vintages.  Today, we will sample the newly-released 2012 vintage.


Original tasting and review : This is Mollydooker The Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia, 2012, finished at a robust 15.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Deep magenta, opaque from a half inch in from the edge.

On the nose: Poured at cool room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows soft and fragrant cinnamon fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be fresh, spicy and sparkling bright.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much as anticipated, a flush and bold spicy cinnamon, chocolate palate, bringing fleshy and lively fruit. Nice bright fruity acids tip up into your cheeks, but the sweet depth of the fruit holds on your tongue. Such lively essence, but distinctive versus more classical cabernet sauvignon.  Doesn't show the classic cedar from the region either.


In summary: Overall, rates a full four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a best value on the Spirit of Wine scale.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Mollydooker The Maitre D' Cabernet Sauvignon.

(c) Copyright 2014 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: *** $$ Juan Gil Red Wine, Jumilla, Spain, 2005

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By way of background, opening thoughts: I've tried 2004 and 2006 vintages of Juan Gil red wine from Jumilla, Spain.  Today, I will bracket the two vintages, sampling a 2005 at a full nine years from vintage date.


Original tasting and review, April, 2014: This is Juan Gil Red Wine, Jumilla, Spain, 2005, finished at 14.5% alcohol and made of 100% monastrell (mourvedre) grapes.

In the glass: Deep, brick, sandy mahogany, opaque within a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at cool room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows fresh, grainy, fleshy black fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich and dark.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact fleshy with rich, slightly-oxidized rich fruits, making me wish the bottle had been opened at half its age.  Still good acids and liveliness, with a clean finish.

In summary: Overall, at nine years rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, but likely could have garnered a slightly higher score at an earlier age.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Juan Gil red wine.

(c) Copyright 2014 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Reviews and Ratings: *** ** $ Wyldewood Cellars Sweet Muscadine and Blueberry Wines

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By way of background, opening thoughts: Today we are doing two unusual things at the same time - First, we are sampling two Kansas-based (sweet) wines, from Wyldewood Cellars.  Second, we are sampling these wines at a point FAR beyond their intended drinking age.  The wines are not vintage-dated, but they were each purchased about nine years ago, making them almost a full decade old each.  They were cellared cool.


Original tasting and review : The first wine is Wyldewood Cellars Muscadine American Sweet Wine, Kansas, non-vintage, finished at 11% alcohol.

In the glass: Light pink and orange.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bright, sweet peachy bubblegum notes.  From the aroma, seems like this will be simple and still lively.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much as anticipated - lively, quite sweet, bright with bouncy candy-like peach and chewing gum flavors.  Perky acids that nicely balanced the sugars.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy and friendly three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  At the bargain price point, this is a best value in the Spirit of Wine universe!
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Original tasting and review : This is Wyldewood Cellars Blueberry Sweet Wine, Kansas, non-vintage, finished at 11% alcohol.

In the glass:  Light brick, looks like a lighter port.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bright, piercing and perky red/purple acids, quite distinctive.   From the aroma, seems like this will be very high-pitched.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact distinctive and unique as anticipated, showing a fresh brambly fruit quality with an odd, piercing fruit quality.  Finishes quick but clean.

In summary: Overall, rates two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, but with the recognition that few, if any, lower-alcohol blueberry wines were intended for 10 years of age.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Wyldewood Cellars.

(c) Copyright 2014 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.