March 23, 2016

Portland Wine Tasting Group


1.   2012 Antica Terra "Botanica" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (Oregon)

The 2012 Pinot Noir Botanica is Maggie Harrison's more fruit-driven take on Pinot Noir, instigated after she noticed a difference with a small number of barrels in her debut 2007 vintage. It has more sappy, "sanguine" red fruit compared to the Botanica, to use her own vernacular. It has a very pure bouquet that offers gorgeous wilted violet and seaweed scents that combine beautifully with the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with notes of candied orange peel, dark plum, molasses and a hint of fennel. It is extremely well balanced with very fine acidity and real tension toward the finish. This is another outstanding wine from Antica Terra.  Rated 94 The Wine Advocate

2.  2012 Gramercy Cellars Lagniappe Syrah (Washington)
More rich, full and voluptuous, while still not losing the house style, the 2010 Syrah Lagniappe is a knockout Syrah that easily matches the brilliant 2009. Perfumed, intense and complex, with Northern Rhone-like aromas of wild berry fruit, smoked bacon, lavender and black pepper, it flows onto the palate with a classically constructed, firm mouthfeel that carries vibrant acidity, beautiful richness and a great finish. A 100% Syrah from Red Willow, Minick and SJR vineyards that spent 23 months in 14% new French oak, it builds brilliantly in the glass and will thrill for 10-12 years. Drink now-2022. Rated 95 The Wine Advocate

3.  2006 Noon Eclipse Grenache-Shiraz Langhorne Creek (South Australia)
The 2006 Eclipse is a blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Shiraz, sourced from 60- to 80-year-old vines in McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek. The wine spent 18 months in small and large French and American oak. Dark ruby colored, it offers a fragrant, already complex bouquet of violets, mineral, Asian spices, leather, black cherry, and blueberry. Remarkably elegant and impeccably balanced, on the palate notes of garrigue, licorice, and kirsch emerge leading into a 60+-second finish. It can be enjoyed now but for optimum pleasure, give it another five years of cellaring and drink it through 2026. Noon, under the leadership of Drew Noon MW, remains one of Australia's iconic wineries. As usual, Drew Noon sets the bar for South Australia.  Rated 97 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

4.  2006 Napa Angel Cabernet Sauvignon (California)
"From Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes comes this Cab of considerable depth and power. It shows well-developed blackberry and cassis flavors. The tannins are significant. Give it until 2011 to begin to open, and it should drink well through 2014. Cellar Selection." (03/10) 90 points and one star from the Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine: "By Montes. Deep, impressively extracted and brimming with lots of keenly defined and carefully oaked Cabernet fruit, this nicely crafted effort is at once both very rich and shows a fine sense of proportion and polish that wins it high marks. It has lots to offer the impatient drinker, but its greatest strength lies in structure and balance, and it promises to age famously for five years and more in the cellar." Rated 92 Wine Enthusiast

5.  2004 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 (Spain)
The 2004 Gran Reserva 904 is Tempranillo from Brinas, Labastida and Villalba balanced with 10% Graciano from Briones and Rodezno. The grapes were fermented and macerated in inox vats for 14 days at 28º C, and malolactic fermentation lasted 28 days. The wine aged for 4 years in used American oak barrels averaging 4 years old, during which time it was manually racked 8 times. 150,000 bottles were filled. This 2004, from a superb vintage shows a beautiful light red color with a brick rim and a superb nose redolent of balsamic woods, spices, leather, well-hung meat, incense and truffles. The light to medium-bodied palate shows fully resolved tannins, great acidity and pure, pungent flavors that linger in the mouth forever and that can only be Rioja. This is a wine to smell over and over again. It might sound like an exaggeration, but this wine is still too young and you should wait a little bit and drink the superb 2001 vintage which should still be available on the market while this one matures in bottle. At this quality level the price is superb especially considering that the wine is being released 10 years after the vintage. Drink 2016-2024. Rated 96 The Wine Advocate

6.  2007 Quinta de Mouro Estremoz (Portugal)
"Gold Label" is sappy, youthful, primary and simply stunning. Not on the market as of this writing (Mouro tends to late release), this has gloriously delicious fruit, yet it, like all of Mouro's wines, is beautifully constructed and built to hold. This is young, fresh and sensational, with more steel underneath than seems apparent at first in the initial rush of sexy fruit. It may well close down at some point. As fine as the flagship Tinto is in Mouro's terrific 2007 vintage - this is better, I think, and covers all the bases any wine geek could want - hedonism, intellectual interest, balance, age-worthiness....It is shocking to realize that this is a 2007 as it tastes so fresh, so unevolved and so primary. As fine as it is at the moment, it is just dripping with the potential to improve. Be patient if you can, as this will develop some character and complexity along the way. Drink 2014-2030.  96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate