A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Vingruppen to a tasting dinner with Doug Shafer. I can´t remember ever having so fun at a tasting. Doug is a story teller by birth and the stories he told us during dinner was high spirited, charming and really, really funny.
And the wines weren´t that bad either...:-)
2009 Rosé, Louis Roederer
To get us going this nice Rosé were poured from a magnum, as it should be! The nose is finely tuned and deep with notes of blood oranges, rosé peppers, chrushed rocks and a fine perfumed scent. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and fine with notes of dried raspberries, blood oranges, fried bread and minerals. A very fine acidity. Long.
91p (tasted 2018/03)
2015 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay
I have always loved the Red Shoulder Ranch and the 2015 is no exception. A tad warmer and more broad shouldered than the 2014, but is has lots of charm and finesse all the same. The nose is big and open for business with notes of strawberries, grilled nuts, flower water and warm tiles. Deep and fine.
The taste is large scaled although structured and fine with notes of lemon candy, butter biscuits, smoke and warm rocks. Long and mouth filling. Lovely. Would love to gulp down this with a piece of grilled salmon.
92p (tasted 2018/03)
This new wine is named after an old tractor. Apparently every name they came up during the naming process was taken before they thought of that old tractor. Shafer have been making a Merlot since 1983, but, alas, no more, this is the "new" Merlot, the blend is 56% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Malbec.
The nose is deep, dark and plummy with notes of chocolate, black cherries, tobacco and some peppery aromas. Very fine. Really excellent fruit here.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of tobacco, plums, asphalt and licorice. A lovely structure. Great lenght. This is fine! 6+ years.
94p (tasted 2018/03)
2014 One Point Five
This Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine shows of a tight, inky nose with notes of blackberries, very ripe raspberries, dark chocolate and forest floor. Rich and rewarding. Very, very deep.
The taste is multi layered and fine with notes of iron, red beets, blueberries and dark chocolate. A long, lingering finish with a touch of lavender. Great wine.
93p (tasted 2018/03)
I tasted the 13 Relentless two years ago and it has picked up pace since then, for this is the real thing. 89% Shiraz, 11% Petite Sirah, 100% Pleasure. The nose is deep, meaty and tarry with notes of ripe blueberries, chrushed black pepper, violet soap and root vegetables. Very deep and complex.
The taste is black, tight and concentrated with notes of ripe rasp- and blackberries, soya sauce, tar and moist black earth. The finish goes on forever with ripe tannins and a great acidity. A great, great wine.
95p (tasted 2018/03)
The 2010 shows a tad maturity on the nose in the shape of chrushed blackberries, soft earth, dried flowers and white peppers. Highly likeable. Deep and fine.
The taste is darker than the nose leads you to believe with notes of overripe raspberries, asphalt, thyme, ink and meat stock. Very, very long. Really fine.
92p (tasted 2018/03)
This 11 year old Relentless doesn´t show more age than the 2010 but it has more forest, wood burning, pepper and tar notes than fruit aromas. Very fine. Scorched earth, tar and dried dark flowers comes along after a while.
The taste is structured, more linear than the 10 but with the same intensity and fine notes of wood smoke, ink, dark licorice, dried blueberries and dark chocolate. Long, long, long. Could be drunk now but I would be confident saving this 8+ more years. Really fine.
93p (tasted 2018/03)
2013 Hillside Select
Oooh dear, what to say about this wine? Other than I would love to drink this morning, noon and night every day of the week. The nose is pure, tight and laser focused with notes of menthol spiked black currants, warm sand, Valrhona chocolate (64%!), a touch of asphalt and dark forest floor. Very, very complex.
The taste is just brilliant with fruit, tannins, acidity working their magic, a seamless creature with every knot and bolt in the right place. A beauty, now and I am sure, during the next 20+ years. A privilege to taste and drink.
98p (tasted 2018/03)
|Dog Shafer and one happy camper!|