Håkan W held our latest tasting in our monthly tasting group. Six carafes was put on the table and the guessing game began. Once in a blue moon you feel that you have some bragging rights - I nailed the grape and origin for every wine...:-)
Tasted double blind.
2015 Seven Springs Estate La Source Pinot Noir, Evening Land
Interesting tasting of these two Pinot, from the same vineyard, three years apart. The Seven Spring vineyard was planted in 1984 and the first vintage of La Source Pinot was the 2007. Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman runs the estate now but I don´t know if they did in 2012 (very different labels)?
The nose of the 2015 is spicy and upfront with gorgeous ripe raspberry aromas and additional notes of gravel, vanilla and sage. A very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is cool and lightly peppery with notes of dried up raspberry jam, forest floor, assorted herbs and warm tiles. A fine acidity. Long and lovely.
93p (tasted 2019/04)
2012 Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir, Evening Land
The three year older version sports a more backward, seedy nose with notes of damson, rosé pepper, gravel and ripe lingonberries. Opens up nicely in the glass and becomes sweeter and riper. Very, very good.
Although not as good as the 15 on the nose, it is on the palate the 12 shines. A tight, dry, complex taste with notes of dried raspberries, dry licorice, fresh herbs and warm tiles. A very fine structure. Balanced. Really fine.
93p (tasted 2019/04)
2012 Castella Knight Ranch Syrah, Pax
Oh dear, what a waste on what I guess were perfectly healthy grapes. Iron, rubber, soya sauce and red beet juice. That´s the nose. But wait, there is also the haunting scent of burning table tennis balls. And a old car carpet. Fiery.
The taste is all about power and force but without any refinement to balance the weight. Very long and fiery. Ink, iron, cooked blueberries and fabricated violets. I have read somewhere that Pax have steared away from this style of winemaking lately.
62p (tasted 2019/04)
2009 Relentless, Shafer
This 82% Syrah and 18% Petite Sirah blend offers up a big, juicy, luscious nose with notes of dark fudge, blackberries, violet pastilles and dark perfumed flowers. Very, very good. Some cough medicine after a while in the glass.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of ripe blueberries, scorched earth, dark chocolate and violets. Some grilled meat. Very, very long. Needs a big, juicy steak. A hint of mint. I like it!
91p (tasted 2019/04)
1999 Château Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon
A fine, somewhat mature nose with notes of cedar, ripe black currants, worn leather and autumn leaves. Classic Cab aromas. Very, very good.
The taste is velvety and warm with notes of dried black currants, tobacco, hot gravel and bakelite. Very long. A fine warmth. Not sure it will develop into an even better wine, so drink now and the coming 6+ years.
92p (tasted 2019/04)
2012 Clajeaux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Arnot-Roberts
A large scaled nose with notes of ripe black currants, expensive soap, pipe tobacco, clay and a touch of mint. Expressive and fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of cranberries, ripe black currants, cocoa and violets. A very long intense finish with a hint of bitterness. Needs 6+ years.
90p (tasted 2019/04)