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I would say this wine is a bargain for the age - very elegant and sexy for its age. It's a project of Viader and meant to be drank within 4 years. I paid $46 and it's well worth it particularly if you want to impress a wine enthusiast without blowing the bank.

 

100% Cab Franc

 

Dare 2004

 

ETA: I'm drinking a bottle of it right now and if I could I'd make sweet sweet love to this wine I would. Very impressive.

Went to a tasting tonight organized by Viader. Met Janet Viader and spoke with her about the wines.

 

They were tasting the 2005 Dare Cab Franc, 2005 Dare Cab Sauvignon, and the 05 Viader.

 

I'll start off by stating that the Viader was in a league of it's own - by far the best of the bunch. Elegant and refined but at a $70 a bottle price before tonights discount it may be a little steep for some.

 

The 05 Cab Franc was nowhere near as good as the 04 IMO. It still wasn't bad but the 04 blew me away. The 05 still had some great ripe cherry and subtle tannins.

 

The 05 Dare Cab was very pleasant and contained your normal vibrant flavors usually associated with Cabs. Like the other Dares, it's meant to be drank within 5 years.

 

I decided to stock up some more so I purchased an amazing Pinot that the Sommelier let me sample - Shea Wine Cellars Estate. I just so happened to get an email about this from Seattle Lawdawg on Friday so I knew it was going to be good.

 

In addition, I did a wine flight called soft, sexy, and sassy while I was there and bought those wines as well. The "soft" was a 04 Sinskey - hints of spice, subtle fruit with a cherry finish. The "Sexy" was an 04 Figge - vibrant cherry with an almost "cherry jolly rancher' finish. I actually disagreed with the sexy label with the sommelier. The "sassy" was a 06 Ayres - a little hot right now but should be fairly solid in another few years. Velvety sweet fruit with a long finish. The favorite of the flight.

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Went to a tasting tonight organized by Viader. Met Janet Viader and spoke with her about the wines.

 

They were tasting the 2005 Dare Cab Franc, 2005 Dare Cab Sauvignon, and the 05 Viader.

 

I'll start off by stating that the Viader was in a league of it's own - by far the best of the bunch. Elegant and refined but at a $70 a bottle price before tonights discount it may be a little steep for some.

 

The 05 Cab Franc was nowhere near as good as the 04 IMO. It still wasn't bad but the 04 blew me away. The 05 still had some great ripe cherry and subtle tannins.

 

The 05 Dare Cab was very pleasant and contained your normal vibrant flavors usually associated with Cabs. Like the other Dares, it's meant to be drank within 5 years.

 

I decided to stock up some more so I purchased an amazing Pinot that the Sommelier let me sample - Shea Wine Cellars Estate. I just so happened to get an email about this from Seattle Lawdawg on Friday so I knew it was going to be good.

 

In addition, I did a wine flight called soft, sexy, and sassy while I was there and bought those wines as well. The "soft" was a 04 Sinskey - hints of spice, subtle fruit with a cherry finish. The "Sexy" was an 04 Figge - vibrant cherry with an almost "cherry jolly rancher' finish. I actually disagreed with the sexy label with the sommelier. The "sassy" was a 06 Ayres - a little hot right now but should be fairly solid in another few years. Velvety sweet fruit with a long finish. The favorite of the flight.

 

I haven't met or spoke to Janet but the rest of the Viader family is a very nice outgoing family!

 

Which Shea Pinot did you sample? They usually put out some pretty good Jesus juice... at areasonable price. Haven't tried the 06 Ayres but will have to give it a try on your recommendation. The 05 seemed to be lacking in body and complexity. To me, it usually runs parallel in taste to A to Z Pinot which is a better buy IMHO....

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I haven't met or spoke to Janet but the rest of the Viader family is a very nice outgoing family!

 

Which Shea Pinot did you sample? They usually put out some pretty good Jesus juice... at areasonable price. Haven't tried the 06 Ayres but will have to give it a try on your recommendation. The 05 seemed to be lacking in body and complexity. To me, it usually runs parallel in taste to A to Z Pinot which is a better buy IMHO....

06 Shea.

 

SLD can give some great insight on this wine.

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06 Shea.

 

SLD can give some great insight on this wine.

 

My first bit of advice when discussing Oregon Pinot, is "If it says Shea (anywhere) on the bottle, its worth trying". Last time I spoke with Dick Shea, he mentioned the number of different wineries that use his grapes and while I can't remember the exact number, it was around 20 other wineries. There's something about his land and the way he grows grapes that result in some really good wines. He is now shipping grapes to California (Auteur puts out a Shea and Brian Loring is using Shea grapes for the Loring label as well as the Pali label). Other Willamette wineries using Shea grapes include Ken Wright, Penner Ash, Westrey, Panther Creek, St. Innocent, Elk Cove, and the list goes on. Many of these produce wines made 100% from Shea grapes while others will blend in their own with the Shea grapes.

 

Shea's 06 Pinot line includes the Estate (which is most produced, easiest to find, cheapest to purchase, and fantastic to drink), the East Hill, the Pommard Clone, the Wadenswil, and the Homer. The Estate runs ~$40/bottle while the Homer is closer to $70. Generally, 06 was a great year for Oregon Pinots from a standpoint that there were so many grapes, the top growers could really pick and choose to make their wines. We expected them to be more along the lines of the 03 Pinots when the last record setting harvest took place, but those wines were much more fruit forward than the 06s. Maybe its just an experience factor, but the 06s are much more balanced and truer to traditional Oregon pinot style. They are also drinking much better at earlier stages than a couple of the previous vintages. While the 04s and 05s certainly have their own potential, I'd be more apt to drink an 06 now than open and 04 or 05. In many cases, the previous vintages are still coming together and for both, there was more focus on terroir due to the smaller harvests. The 06 Shea wines were released last November and I've probably had a bottle of Estate pinot every month since release. This wine has been very consistent. The Homer / Wadenswil / Pommard are the wines that will benefit from more time in the bottle. They are quite a bit different from the barrel tastings I had in April 07 and its easy to see the potential, but they're still building. Bar none, IMO the wines from Shea Vineyards are the best produced from the Willamette Valley.

 

I've never been that impressed with the Ayres wines but haven't had the 06. I don't need that much reason to open anything so I'll give it a try. I know its sitting on the shelves at my Wednesday night wine bar so I may even drink it tonight.

 

I would typically agree with SundayNFL's statement regarding the A to Z. I think its a solid budget pinot for Oregon where budget bottles seem to quickly be disappearing and all producers seem to think they can put the same prices on their bottles as wineries like Archery Summit, Domaine Serene, etc do.

 

To pull everything together, A to Z is owned by 2 couples. One of those couples is the Tannahills. Bier went to school with Sam Tannahill. Sam was the winemaker at Shea for a number of years (after making wine at Archery Summit), before leaving to start A to Z and the Francis Tannahill label. The Francis Tannahill Hermit Pinot uses Shea grapes (20% if I recall correctly). Sam and crew purchased Rex Hill winery in 07. IMO, Rex Hill has always been known as a big producer of OK wines. I expect this group to bring a little more balance and quality to that label. Looking forward to the 07 vintage of Oregon wines, the harvest was a little harder with quickly changing weather during the last of the growing period and throughout the harvest. According to Sam, expect more very good Pinots from the top producers. They had the experience to know what to do with the quickly changing conditions and weren't caught off guard. Sounds like we may see a bit more separation between the best and worst in 07.

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went to sonoma yesterday with my brother. pretty low-key type of day and stumbled accross imagery. i had been there many years ago and loved them... and confused them with valley of the moon (thought imagery's estate was valley's). the lineup was very good, and especially so for the price. the cute gal let us taste everything, including some nice reserves not out on the floor...... pick some up if you can find it.

 

i would just "warn" that these are typical californian wines..... on the bigger side. petite verdot, cab franc, petite syrah, and tempranillo stood out to us.

Edited by Bier Meister

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I would typically agree with SundayNFL's statement regarding the A to Z. I think its a solid budget pinot for Oregon where budget bottles seem to quickly be disappearing and all producers seem to think they can put the same prices on their bottles as wineries like Archery Summit, Domaine Serene, etc do.

Another shout out for A to Z. We did a wine dinner with them last fall and their entire line-up is very cool. And yes, it's about the last real pinot value out there. I also think their Chard is quite solid, as is their Riesling, Pinot Gris, and even Bordeaux blend called "Night and Day". In fact, the blend might have stole the show at the dinner as I'm rather certain we sold more of that than anything else to the attendees.

 

I've been remiss in adding to the bin of late, so here's a few that stand out recently.

 

Hillinger Pinot Grigio, Austria-

For whatever reason, there's a lot of Austrian wines that have managed to stay affordable despite the nasty state of the dollar v Euro. This is one and it really puts the gris in pinot grigio. The wine is almost topaz colored. At any rate, it's got great melon fruit, nice acid, and the rich texture that Alto Adige Grigios tend to have. In other words, it tastes like the versions of this wine that got everyone hooked on them, not the watery crap that resulted from planting it everywhere to keep up with demand. I pay about $8.50 wholesale, so you should expect to see it in the low teens.

 

Terra Andina, Argentina-

I tried most of their line-up last week and dug everything from the stuff that should cost around $8 retail on up to the reservas that should cost $10 to $15 (got to love Argentina for no other reason than the top of the line juice still usually costs less than $20). Everything delivered for the money and the Pinot Noir may be the first South American Pinot that I've actually liked (still not quite my flavor tho). The highest end stuff amounted to very interesting red blends that are worth seeking out. I tried a Cab Franc/Merlot and a Carenere/Carignan. Both with tons of fruit, structure, and nuance. Both should be well below $20.

 

It's again about time for Avinyo Vi di Agulla, so try to find it. It is without a doubt the most refreshing summer wine you will ever drink. Barely sparkling, low alcohol, bone dry muscat. So it's super fruity without being sweet. It's also pretty cheap and should be less than $10. This stuff drinks like gatorade.

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Another shout out for A to Z. We did a wine dinner with them last fall and their entire line-up is very cool. And yes, it's about the last real pinot value out there. I also think their Chard is quite solid, as is their Riesling, Pinot Gris, and even Bordeaux blend called "Night and Day". In fact, the blend might have stole the show at the dinner as I'm rather certain we sold more of that than anything else to the attendees.

 

Used A to Z Pinot in Coq Au Vin Saturday evening (after spending the day at Quilceda Creek's release party - The 05 Cab is amazing). Sure I could have used the whole bottle but somehow there managed to be a glassful left over.

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Used A to Z Pinot in Coq Au Vin Saturday evening (after spending the day at Quilceda Creek's release party - The 05 Cab is amazing). Sure I could have used the whole bottle but somehow there managed to be a glassful left over.

I'm sure I've asked you this before, but have you checked out my buddy's winery? He was the best man at my wedding and a rather major player in the Seattle restaurant scene who's phasing into winemaking. Because of his connections as a buyer, he's been able to source some really nice fruit and get help along the way from some great wine makers.

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I think I've mentioned Garagiste before, but want to give them another mention for those of you looking for some good deals, interesting finds, or just knowledge.

 

Garagiste is an email buying list. A group of people seem to be constantly travelling around the various wine regions (I'd say 60% France, 40% everywhere else). In meeting with many of the smaller producers, they get limited allocations of wine which they then sell through the email list. Each time, they'll send out an email describing the wine with quite a bit of information. Usually, I get 2-3 emails / day so I set up an email account to use for this. In many cases, they won't actually have the wine in possession yet...it'll be on the way from France, Italy, wherever. If you want any number of bottles (in many cases there is a limitation / person), you simply reply to the email and you're in. You can then have them ship it to you when it arrives (if during proper shipping season), or if you happen to be in the Seattle area, you can pick it up. I tend to wait until I have 1 or more mixed cases until I have it shipped or I drive up to pick it up. As I think you'll be able to tell from the notes below, even if I was never to order any wine through garagiste, I think there's quite a bit of educational value just in the writeups that they do.

 

Some background on the company

 

Just to give an idea of the type of offers, yesterday they sent out 2: 1 for 2005 Burgundies, 1 for 2005 Bordeauxs. If you think there aren't any values out there for these vintages, check out the following offers:

 

2005 Bordeaux

 

Dear Friends,

 

If you wish to have top-drawer 2005 Bordeaux that few in the US will see, this is your offer.

 

Somewhere near St. Estephe, the mind of Jose’ Sallette dreams a big dream - to make wine as good as his neighbors to the south: Cos d’ Estournel and even Montrose. While his vineyards are upriver near the town of Civrac, to Sallette they may as well be bordering the great names of the Medoc’s most northerly classified region. His wines are for knowledgeable consumers to drink (and also to age) and he shuns the limelight preferring to allow his wine to speak for him. That was all well and good until the 2000 vintage when Pierre de Montignac came out of nowhere and was awarded the gold medal at the International Wine Challenge - nothing has been the same for the Sallette family since....except the prices.

 

Fast forward five vintages and the good news is that the 2005 is even better than the 2000 (not a surprise, the vines are five years older and the vintage was basically perfect in Cirvac). This is a special, small estate and only a few thousand cases are produced of the wine (tiny for Bordeaux). The soil is both limestone and clay with gravel in one end of the vineyard (as in Saint Estephe) and they practice an eco-sustainable farming regimen that is very labor intensive. From a classic blend of 50-55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30-40% Merlot and the remainder Petite Verdot and Franc, this is the type of Bordeaux most of us could drink every night. It has presence and breed well beyond its price-point.

 

The 2005 is deeper than the 2004 or even the 2003 as the even-keeled ripeness and cool-toned skin tannin are outstanding. This wine has personality and intrigue with layers of naturally dense, unmanipulated, mineral rich fruit that has become much harder to find in Bordeaux since 1990 (big fruit and alcohol everywhere - I mean naturally produced real fruit that has not been put through a concentration recipe). Traditionally vinified, the best feature of the 2005 is its balance - it is not overdone, it’s just about perfect (in a everyday sense) and the Sallette family will be so proud that their hard work will have its ultimate resting place with your dinner guests or your private party of one. Cellar a few bottles of this over the next 10-15 years and I think you will be shocked at how well the wine ages.

 

I don’t have my laptop to cut and past TN’s on this wine, but I think Suckling gave the finished wine an 89 or 90 in his Wine Spectator report last month (with excellent verbiage in the review - you can look up the reviews). Kudos to him for ferreting this out as it is not easy to find and it represents one of Bordeaux’s last great bargains at the everyday level that was never intended to be thought of as “everyday” by the proprietor - this is his best effort and it’s still only $14.83.

 

This winery is a treasure in the northern Medoc run by a family I hope all of you support as their pricing policy is almost crazy in today’s day and age.

 

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for outstanding quality, ageing potential and terrific value in a very expensive vintage.

 

2005 Chateau Pierre de Montignac Medoc (Grand Vin) - $14.83

(there are a 2-3 different labels of the same wine for the European market, some known as Cuvee Fernand Ginestet - we have a selection of the best barrels in 2005 - his finest wine)

 

UPDATE:

 

I just want to say thanks to Paulo for his incredible hospitality last night - a multi-course meal for 10 (all made from scratch over 6 hours) plus an endless array of Champagne magnums, older vintages of Barolo, Chianti, Pinot Noir, 1961 Armagnac, and other treats made this a night to remember. The people were even more memorable than the wines. When a 1990 Quintarelli Amarone remained untouched, you know the conversation alone was enlightening. An old bottle of Selosse Exquise (disgorged in the mid 1990s and cellared undisturbed for a decade) was simply surreal along with a bottle of the sister wine, the Selosse Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru (disgorged around 2001 if I remember?). Exquise is meant to be consumed just prior to the cheese course as an intermezzo between the savory main meal and the fruity dessert. It signifies that the meal is about to end but the imprint of the experience will not fade. It’s not often that two bottles of Champagne and hand made Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe can trump the likes of 1996 Massolino Vigna Rionda Riserva and an aged vintage of Valentini, but, on this night Selosse did just that with two different wines and Paulo’s mastery in the kitchen goes without saying. Who says NV Champagne can’t age? As a side note, those of you that have not yet tasted Movia’s PURO Champagne, a wine in magnum that needs decanting prior to serving, must experience this unique and incredible elixir - we probably won’t have any I’m working on it...

 

- Jon Rimmerman

*******************************

2005 Felettig

 

Dear Friends,

 

It seems like I’ve been preaching the significance of youthful changeover for years (i.e. - the next generation taking over from the parents) and we may be in store for the next mercury rising in Chambolle. Gilbert and Christine Felettig appear to be the next in line to break down the Burgundy barrier of the most competitive commune in the Cote d’Or - Chambolle-Musigny. This is the territory of Mugnier, Roumier and de Vogue and the closed club is not open to new members - that is, members who ask for admittance. Christine Felettig should gain admission by consumer vote alone.

 

After the 2002 vintage, this young team took over the reigns at Henri Felettig and 2005 could not have come at a better time. With outstanding fruit to work with and parcels that would make most in Burgundy drool (just the thought of owning or leasing top Chambolle fruit is a dream at best to the upstart crown in Beaune), this dynamic pair of winemakers is on the road to very big things and 2005 is their coming out party.

 

As I often say, “if you like to get in on the ground floor”, here is your chance at prices that are about as low as can be:

 

2005 G & C Felettig (Henri Felettig) Haut Cote de Nuits - $16.98 EXTREMELY LIMITED

(compare at $22-28)

>From fruit around Chambolle-Musigny and declass material form their top 1ers in Vosne Romanee as well, I may be a broken record but, in 2005, there just wasn’t much material to declassify. Almost everything was of good to great quality but the Felettig’s (like so many other vintners) couldn’t say “we’re not making any Hauts Cote de Nuits because the vintage was too good”, instead they made less, much less, but what they did make will have a similar effect to banging a drum next to your head - in a good way of course. Lovely scents of varietal red fruit, spice and a feminine, sultry presence with delicious fine tannins hint at the portion of Vosne fruit in the mix. The fact that this is still $16.98 even after the dollar’s devaluation is silly (not silly for you although). A crazy bargain and one worth cellaring as well as enjoying today.

 

2005 G & C Felettig (Henri Felettig) Chambolle 1er “Les Lavrottes” - $49.86 EXTREMELY LIMITED

(compare at $60-80)

This is a beautiful, sumptuous wine from a Chambolle 1er parcel that they treat like their Charmes and Echezeaux. We have so little of this that I’m not going to go into detail but if you are a fan of Mugnier’s 2005 Fuees bottling, you may want to give this Chambolle junior version a very close look. Exciting, elegant and ageworthy. VERY RARE.

 

ONE PARCEL ONLY directly form the winery cellar at about the same price as in France.

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I think I've mentioned Garagiste before, but want to give them another mention for those of you looking for some good deals, interesting finds, or just knowledge.

 

Garagiste is an email buying list. A group of people seem to be constantly travelling around the various wine regions (I'd say 60% France, 40% everywhere else). In meeting with many of the smaller producers, they get limited allocations of wine which they then sell through the email list. Each time, they'll send out an email describing the wine with quite a bit of information. Usually, I get 2-3 emails / day so I set up an email account to use for this. In many cases, they won't actually have the wine in possession yet...it'll be on the way from France, Italy, wherever. If you want any number of bottles (in many cases there is a limitation / person), you simply reply to the email and you're in. You can then have them ship it to you when it arrives (if during proper shipping season), or if you happen to be in the Seattle area, you can pick it up. I tend to wait until I have 1 or more mixed cases until I have it shipped or I drive up to pick it up. As I think you'll be able to tell from the notes below, even if I was never to order any wine through garagiste, I think there's quite a bit of educational value just in the writeups that they do.

 

Some background on the company

 

Just to give an idea of the type of offers, yesterday they sent out 2: 1 for 2005 Burgundies, 1 for 2005 Bordeauxs. If you think there aren't any values out there for these vintages, check out the following offers:

 

 

They also offer up other goodies as well... Olive Oil etc... I have to strongly second SLD's opinions...

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Used A to Z Pinot in Coq Au Vin Saturday evening (after spending the day at Quilceda Creek's release party - The 05 Cab is amazing). Sure I could have used the whole bottle but somehow there managed to be a glassful left over.

 

 

YOU SUCK!!

 

 

:wacko:

 

I would love to go to one of their release parties, my schedule just hasn't matched up!!

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went to Pinot Days in SF last weekend and got to try some pretty good juice. highlights included:

 

2006 August West Rosella's

2006 Benovia - Cohn

2007 Dain "American Beauty"

2006 Auteur Shea's

2006 Anicien RRV

2006 Freeman Keefer

2005 Talisman SC Thorne Vineyard

 

overall it was a fantastic event. Friday night i had dinner with a great group of people (including a couple of winemakers) and got to try my first SQN (2005 Petition). absolutely wonderful...now i see what all the hype is about. also got to try my first Carlisle Zin (a 2004 but can't remember which one) - aromatics were absolutely amazing...possibly the best zinfandel i've tasted to date.

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went to Pinot Days in SF last weekend and got to try some pretty good juice. highlights included:

 

2006 August West Rosella's

2006 Benovia - Cohn

2007 Dain "American Beauty"

2006 Auteur Shea's

2006 Anicien RRV

2006 Freeman Keefer

2005 Talisman SC Thorne Vineyard

 

overall it was a fantastic event. Friday night i had dinner with a great group of people (including a couple of winemakers) and got to try my first SQN (2005 Petition). absolutely wonderful...now i see what all the hype is about. also got to try my first Carlisle Zin (a 2004 but can't remember which one) - aromatics were absolutely amazing...possibly the best zinfandel i've tasted to date.

 

Awesome! The SQN wines are amazing. Were wineries like Kosta Browne & Loring there?

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Awesome! The SQN wines are amazing. Were wineries like Kosta Browne & Loring there?

 

KB and Loring were not at the Grand Tasting event i attended on Sunday. however, KB did host a dinner on the preceding Wednesday: "A Night With Kosta Browne." tickets were a little out of my range for that one, though it was sold out. i spoke to a couple of different people who attended and they said it was great. fortunately, i'm on the KB list (SVD allocations coming in the Fall!) so i have a little stash of Mike and Dan's wine. just wonderful stuff.

 

and speaking of KB: one of the assistant winemakers there, Shane Finley, has started his own label Shane Wine. last year was his inaugural vintage, and he's producing syrah. i'll probably open one in the next couple of weeks to see how it's progressing and post a tasting note or two.

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KB and Loring were not at the Grand Tasting event i attended on Sunday. however, KB did host a dinner on the preceding Wednesday: "A Night With Kosta Browne." tickets were a little out of my range for that one, though it was sold out. i spoke to a couple of different people who attended and they said it was great. fortunately, i'm on the KB list (SVD allocations coming in the Fall!) so i have a little stash of Mike and Dan's wine. just wonderful stuff.

 

and speaking of KB: one of the assistant winemakers there, Shane Finley, has started his own label Shane Wine. last year was his inaugural vintage, and he's producing syrah. i'll probably open one in the next couple of weeks to see how it's progressing and post a tasting note or two.

 

Please let us know how that Shane Wine is! KB is certainly a great list to be on. I opened a fairly young KB Rosella's recently and continue to be impressed with their wines. The SVs are automatic buys for me. Did you get the Rose'? That's the only wine I haven't bought from them in the last couple of years.

 

Did you try any of the Le Cadeaus. I haven't had the new one yet and was curious how it was drinking (Equinox - or something like that I think).

Edited by Seattle LawDawg

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Please let us know how that Shane Wine is! KB is certainly a great list to be on. I opened a fairly young KB Rosella's recently and continue to be impressed with their wines. The SVs are automatic buys for me. Did you get the Rose'? That's the only wine I haven't bought from them in the last couple of years.

 

Did you try any of the Le Cadeaus. I haven't had the new one yet and was curious how it was drinking (Equinox - or something like that I think).

 

i finally got to open Shane's syrah last week: 2006 The Unknown. while it's still a tiny bit young, it's really drinking well. a very dark, inky color in the glass, it offered a ton of dark fruit on the nose. Blueberry, boysenberry, currant were all there, and a little bit of spice as well. definitely a full-bodied wine, it still had a very silky texture and all of the fruit flavor was well balanced with nice acidity. it also had the distinct flavor of gunmetal, or possibly flint, that i hadn't tasted before. not bad at all....just a characteristic i wasn't expecting. overall a really nice wine, which should only get better in a couple of years.

 

i also must give a little backstory here: i opened another bottle about week before this one and it was flawed. not corked, but i think oxidized. it had virtually no fruit flavor, and was a tiny bit too acidic. the cork itself was fine - no streaking and not pushed up/out. i wrote Shane an email, describing the wine, and to see if anyone else had experienced anything similar. i also told him i was not asking for a refund or replacement - just to offer him some feedback. Shane was very gracious in his explanation of what may have happened (that's how i came to the oxidized conclusion), and insisted on replacing the bottle. he actually drove to SF from Novato and hand-delivered a new bottle to me. this kind of customer service is absolutely incredible, so i wanted to share it with everyone here. will be back for the 2007s!

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i finally got to open Shane's syrah last week: 2006 The Unknown. while it's still a tiny bit young, it's really drinking well. a very dark, inky color in the glass, it offered a ton of dark fruit on the nose. Blueberry, boysenberry, currant were all there, and a little bit of spice as well. definitely a full-bodied wine, it still had a very silky texture and all of the fruit flavor was well balanced with nice acidity. it also had the distinct flavor of gunmetal, or possibly flint, that i hadn't tasted before. not bad at all....just a characteristic i wasn't expecting. overall a really nice wine, which should only get better in a couple of years.

 

i also must give a little backstory here: i opened another bottle about week before this one and it was flawed. not corked, but i think oxidized. it had virtually no fruit flavor, and was a tiny bit too acidic. the cork itself was fine - no streaking and not pushed up/out. i wrote Shane an email, describing the wine, and to see if anyone else had experienced anything similar. i also told him i was not asking for a refund or replacement - just to offer him some feedback. Shane was very gracious in his explanation of what may have happened (that's how i came to the oxidized conclusion), and insisted on replacing the bottle. he actually drove to SF from Novato and hand-delivered a new bottle to me. this kind of customer service is absolutely incredible, so i wanted to share it with everyone here. will be back for the 2007s!

I just got 3 bottles of the Unknown delivered today. :wacko:

 

 

I doubt Shane will drive to St. Louis if I have an oxidized bottle but he was very gracious over the past 3-4 months to answer any questions I threw his way.

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You'll find most of these bottles to be under $25:

 

Veramonte - Sauv. Blanc Chile

White gold, star bright color / grapefruit on the nose with nice lemon on the palate and a medium finish. Very refreshing wine.

 

2005 Frederic Magnien Graviers Burgundy

Needed time to open up but after it did it was showing some great dried cherry, minerality, and earthiness. Good QPR burgundy.

 

2006 St. Supery Rosé

Stawberry and watermelon on the nose which carried over to the palate. Dry and crisp. Probably would have gone great with a slab of ribs.

 

Zathos Austrian Zwiegelt

Nice ruby color with hints of purple, full cherry flavor profile throughout.

 

Alsace/Haut Rion/ Lucien Albrecht

Pinot Blanc - great appertif

 

2006 Bin Z Riesling - Clare Valley

Starbright white gold with hues of green / Strong petroleum on the nose with apple, pear, mineral, and full burst of lemon on the palate

 

2005 Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon - Coonawarra

Ruby color with blackberry, plums, currants, fennel seed and dill on the nose. Jammy fruits, chocolate with subtle fruit tannins on the palate. Nice long finish. Just a ton going on with this wine and you can't beat it for $21.

 

E-Minor Shiraz - Barossa Valley

Ruby color with some purple hues showing youth. Currants with some nice meaty aromas followed up with a touch of vanilla on the nose. Showed nice dark fruits and pepper with both oak and fruit tannins. Nice medium finish.

 

Chambers Rutherglen Muscat "Sticky"

Beautiful amber color with notes of honey and apricot on both the nose and palate.

 

2007 Drylands Sauvignon Blanc - Marlborough

Light yellow with hints of green. Grapefruit, gooseberry, and some nice herbaceous notes on the nose. Great acidity with lime, mineral, fresh cut grass, and grapefruit.

 

2006 Dashwood Pinot Noir - Marlborough

Clear bright garnet color showing some orange on the edges. Moderate cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and a hint of barnyard on the nose. High acid, very tart, with cherry and raspberry on the palate.

 

Sojourn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Blueberry and blackberries. Nice cab and I kind of wish I hadn't given so many away before trying it for the first time last Friday. Actually, I'm pretty bummed.

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Menage A Trois by Folie A Deux

 

Excellent Cali blend (and most excellent name). Can be found for $7 or so a bottle out here, I've heard it's about $10 a bottle on the other side of the country.

 

My regular bottle.

 

Cheers!

 

Just stumbled into this recently. Quite good.

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After belonging to several FF forums over the better part of a decade, I have yet to participate in one where the wine passion is so strong amongst its members.

 

I am now home . . . . .

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After belonging to several FF forums over the better part of a decade, I have yet to participate in one where the wine passion is so strong amongst its members.

 

I am now home . . . . .

I've even been to a few wine dedicated forums that didn't have this much discussion.

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After belonging to several FF forums over the better part of a decade, I have yet to participate in one where the wine passion is so strong amongst its members.

 

I am now home . . . . .

Welcome to the fold my brother.

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After belonging to several FF forums over the better part of a decade, I have yet to participate in one where the wine passion is so strong amongst its members.

 

I am now home . . . . .

Welcome. :wacko:

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AHHHHHH ... maybe another participant for our future "Wine only" FFL.

 

 

You guys still interested in getting this going in the fall.

 

I'm not sure who was in the league that used fine bottles of wine as the prize for the Champion.

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AHHHHHH ... maybe another participant for our future "Wine only" FFL.

 

 

You guys still interested in getting this going in the fall.

 

I'm not sure who was in the league that used fine bottles of wine as the prize for the Champion.

That was me

 

And it was very cool. Though I must say that it was (or rather still is) a bit of a hassle for those who didn't live in the area. 8 of the 10 lived close by but 2 are supposed to ship (which, of course, adds to the cost) and are dragging ass big time. It's one thing to get everyone to pay pal or drop a check in the mail, yet another to track down a shipper and go to the UPS store. That said, these guys are both in the biz, so it's pretty inexcusable as they likely have shippers hanging around.

 

We were hoping to have a "wine draft" at the end of the season where the winner fired open one of his for the group but it never materialized. Maybe next year.

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