Sunday, August 20, 2017

2014 Peju "The Experiment" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Sunday!  It was a bit of a lazy day for me today, I came back from church and then did a bit of laundry, caught up on the interwebs and just generally relaxed.  So what better way to cap off an afternoon of relaxing than with a nice bottle of wine!  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of wine the boss gave me, he's really swell that way, particularly since he does a lot more Napa visits than I ever do, the 2014 Peju "The Experiment" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  After reading the label, I did a little searching on the Peju website and found the story of this wine to be fascinating.  Apparently, Peju winemaker Sarah Fowler has an annual experiment where she try various methods for toasting and constructing the oak barrels and then shares the results with her fellow winemakers in a tasting.  For the 2014 vintage, she experimented with 33 different toasting styles and 20 coopers to make this wine, so let's see how it tastes!


The wine is a deep inky black at the center, with bright garnet along the edges, classic for a Napa Valley Cabernet.  The nose is a cascade of vanilla bean, white floral notes and a hint of white pepper that practically scream for you to take a deep sip.  The taste is a rush of sweet black fruit up front, black raspberry, plum surrounded by hints cinnamon that transition to some wonderful dark chocolate and white pepper notes midpalate.  On the finish, you have a distinct emergence of vanilla bean as the well integrated tannins provide for the long, smooth and very dry finish that seems to last a minute or more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, it's just a classic big Napa Valley Cabernet, with a lot of flavor complexity that you seldom see on many of the Napa styled red wines today.  This wine would be great to enjoy with hearty Italian dishes, roasts, wild game or a classic steak, but I think it would be even better just to sip on the patio with some salted dark chocolate.  Tonight I'm enjoying this wine with a rare grilled prime ribcap, topped with fresh rosemary and garlic scapes, along with a baked potato with sour cream and chives, and some fresh steamed green beans with red and yellow peppers.  Cheers!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

2011 Chateau Grand Tayac Reserve Margaux

Happy Saturday!  So based on the weather forecast which called for rain and thunderstorms today, I rushed home to vacuum leaves and cut the grass before the deluge, and of course today has been the most beautiful day with sun and a high of 83!  So much for planning based on what the forecasters predict, but at least that gave me a relaxing day capped off with a nice bottle of wine.  Tonight it's a bottle I've been cellaring for a few years, as I just don't think some wines should be consumed early in their lives (you can see the review of the 2009 vintage here).  The 2011 Chateau Grand Tayac Reserve Margaux is a classic Bordeaux made from Cabernet Sauvignon (70%),  Merlot (27%) and Petit Verdot (3%) grown from 40-year-old vines right next to the Gironde.  So let's see how this one has developed!


The wine is a beautiful ruby color in the glass, a bit lighter than a typical American Cabernet, reflecting the old world style.  The nose is classic Bordeaux with a rush of leather, cherry and currant along with earthy undertones.  The taste is somewhat fruit forward, with some tart cherry and black currant that gives way to some mineral notes of dusty limestone and mocha midpalate.  The finish is lovely, with a reprise of earthy Bordeaux funk amid fine tannins that provide the structure for the long, smooth and exceptionally dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's a great example of the king of Bordeaux.  This wine would pair well with some soft cheeses, pasta, or a classic steak, which is great since tonight I am enjoying this wine with a rare grilled T-bone topped with grilled garlic scapes, a baked potato with all the trimmings and steamed green beans.  The earthy notes in the wine are perfect for a hearty steak!  Cheers!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2008 Chateau Moulin de la Rose Saint-Julien

Happy Wine Wednesday!  I just got back from the gym and I thought, it's been a while since I've opened a nice Bordeaux, so why not tonight?  Alas, a bottle I found in a hidden corner of the cellar, the 2008 Chateau Moulin de la Rose Saint-Julien, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (62%), Merlot (28%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petit Verdot (5%), all from one of the northernmost regions of the left bank of the Grionde.  So let's see what this one has to offer!


The wine is a beautiful deep ruby color in the glass, just as you'd expect from a Cabernet heavy blend.  The nose is classic Bordeaux, with aromas of leather, blackberry, rose petals and just a hint of barnyard.  The taste is somewhat surprising, with a rush of tart cherry up front that transitions to some lovely notes of dusty limestone and green grass midpalate.  The finish is just classic Bordeaux that takes me back the the three weeks I worked in Paris in 1995 when I learned to truly appreciate red Bordeaux wine, wonderfully structured tannins that provide for an incredibly smooth, dry finish.

This wine would be perfect with a variety of wonderful beef dishes, but tonight I am going classic and enjoying this wine with a rare grilled prime ribcap steak garnished with a sprig of fresh rosemary, haricots verts almondine and a baked pomme de terre with buerre, creme fraiche and chives, as the wine just plays so well against the richness of the steak and earthiness of the rosemary, cheers!