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Month in Wines – September 2013

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Another month passed by, and it is time to create a summary of the best wines I came across during September. As funny as it sound, this is a very difficult task. The issue is that during September, I was lucky enough to attend 4 big trade wine tastings, going through tons of wines, many of which were just spectacular. I still planning to write few of the posts with the pictures about those tastings, so for now, here is just a traditional report with the few words about each and every wine I would highly recommend.

In no particular order, here we go:

2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle Orphelin Red Wine Columbia Valley – This used to be one of my favorite wines, but I had no expectations about this last bottle – I was sure the wine is past prime. To my big surprise, it was perfect – firm tannins, bright fruit, perfect acidity – overall outstanding. Pretty damn well done job of ageing for the blend of 9 grapes. 8+

2010 Perticaia Montefalco Rosso DOC – dark fruit, cherries, tobacco, playful with the perfect balance. 8+

2010 Le Cimate Montefalco Rosso DOC – supple, with ripe cherries. Lasted for 6 days after bottle was opened. 8+

2009 Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Rosso DOC – dark spicy fruit, some gaminess and minerality. Very balanced. 8+

2007 Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG – I thought the wine is corked initially, but it came around in about 3-4 days. Very strong tannins, dark fruit, leather and dark tea. 8-

2008 Tenuta Bellafonte Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG – powerful, concentrated, cassis, plums, very tannic yet extremely drinkable. 8

2006 Chateau Rauzan-Segla Segla Margoux – perfectly drinkable, round. 8

2007 Muscat di Frontignan Vin de Constance, Constantia, South Africa – spectacular. The nose and balance are stunning. 9-

NV G.D. Vajra Barolo Chinato Barolo Piedmont – stunning. Barolo with addition of aromatic herbs – you have to taste it to believe it. 9-

NV Boroli Barolo Chinato Castiglione Falletto, Piedmont – double stunning. Next level of expression even comparing to the previous wine. 9

2010 Dumol Pinot Noir Russian River – just a beautiful wine. 8+

2010 DumolSyrah Russian River – great wine, perfect balance, classic spiciness and tight fruit. 8+

2008 Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon – lots of power, needs time. 8

2008 Viader Proprietary Red – very restrained and different. Excellent wine. 8

2012 Botani Dry Muscat, Spain – year into a year, one of my favorites. Perfect contrast of perfumed nose and dry palate. 8

2012 La Cana Albariño Rias Baixas, Spain – one of my favorite Albariño wines ever – very consistent year into a year. 8

2009 Borsao Berola, Spain -outstanding Grenache-based blend. Powerful and supple. Double-amazing at the priced ( about $12 retail). 8

2011 Volver Old Vines Tempranillo – pure power, dense tannins, bright fruit and perfect balance. One of my favorite wines. 8+

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard  – my first time trying Loring Pinot Noir. In a word, spectacular. 9

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Durell Vineyard – perfect balance, beautiful wine. 9-

2011 Loring Pinot Noir Aubaine Vineyard – another spectacular wine. Perfect fruit, balance, acidity. 9-

2012 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlboro New Zealand – spectacular. Made me rediscover NZ Sauvignon Blanc. While it is more expensive than most, it is worth experiencing. 9-

2009 Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc Marlboro New Zealand – single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Tremendous complexity, very unique wine. 9-

2011 Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia Rosso, Veneto – very simple, clean and easy to drink. For about $10 retail, you literally can’t beat it. 8-

2009 Tenuta Sant’Antonio Cabernet Sauvignon “Torre Mellotti”, Veneto – outstanding, classic Cabernet flavor profile (cassis, touch of oak, coffee notes) – all for about $12 retail. 8

2007 Tenuta Sant’Antonio Amarone “Campo dei Gigli” Amarone della Valpolicella DOC – best Amarone I tasted in 2013. Period. At 16% ABV, this wine is perfectly balanced, with all the sweet fruit and powerful dry wine combination. At about $60 retail, this is also a great value for Amarone. 9-

I’m not done, but I have to stop somewhere. If you tasted any of these wines, or want to share your best wines of the month – please don’t be shy! Cheers!

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  1. September 30, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I am a big fan of Brian Loring–a really nice guy who makes really good wines–I am glad you seemed to like his stuff. Not surprising that the Clos Pepe topped the trio….

    • talkavino
      September 30, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Yes, it was the first time for me. I tasted 6 of the single vineyard Pinot – they were all good and they were all different, which was pretty impressive (in the format of the trade tasting). Clos Pepe was my most favorite, and Gary’s Vineyard was the least, but again, all were really good wines.

  2. September 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Wow! So many great wines :) I’ve picked out a few from this list that I’d like to buy, like the Volver Old Vines Tempranillo. Thanks for the review!

    • talkavino
      September 30, 2013 at 9:57 am

      My pleasure! Let me know how you will like it!

  3. September 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Love the 2012 Cloudy Bay. You are right it is separated from the other great NZ Sauvignon Blanca’s on pice. But I think it’s worth it. Nice to see so many Italian wines on your list too. I will search out a couple. Thanks.

    • talkavino
      September 30, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Yes, Cloudy Bay was very different. I would even have to say, “unexpectedly different” : )

  4. September 30, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Wow, quite a list, Anatoli!
    I am glad you concurred with my assessment of the Cloudy Bay SB: true, it is more expensive than most other NZ SB’s, but it is also a pleasure for the nose and the palate! :-)
    Also, Vajra is really a small but star producer andI think their prices are reasonable given the quality they pack in their wines.
    I really enjoyed reading about your “horizontal” of Montefalco and Sagrantinos! :-)
    Finally, I need to look into Tenuta Sant’Antonio, as I have never had their wines yet and I understand I need to rectify this!
    Take care,
    Stefano

    • talkavino
      October 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Yes, Stefano, I remember my comments and when I took the first sip of Cloudy Bay my first thought was “ouch, I was so wrong…again”. Once again it was a lesson in not making the judgement without foundation. All too often in the world of wine, one can become arrogant by thinking “I know it all now” – and then yet one is destined to be humbled over and over again. I thought I was free of that arrogance, but I see that I still have a lot of work ahead of me…
      Wines of Montefalco and Sagrantino hopefully will make it into a separate post. Yes, do find Tenuta Sant’Antonio – that was definitely best tasting Amarone in the very long time.

      • October 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

        My friend, I certainly didn’t mean it that way! What I meant to say was quite literally that I was happy to read that you concurred with my assessment of the wine. Your comment back then basically said that Cloudy Bay was expensive compared to most other NZ SB’s, which it sure is – so no arrogance whatsoever, it was just a true statement of a fact! Anyway, that wine is good! :-)
        I’ll be on the lookout for Tenuta S. Antonio and very much looking forward to your post about Sagrantino, which is one of my favorite wines!
        Have a great weekend!

        • talkavino
          October 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

          you too, Stefano! We need to get together soon : )

        • October 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm

          Absolutely! I will email you about that later. :-)

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