Sorry everyone for the 2 1/2 month sabbatical (I'm sure a collective "phew" spread through the audience as you realized I'm not dead! maybe even some "damns!). I am feeling frisky again and plan on writing much more than just notes on the wines I drink. Maybe even a 'wine thought of the day' may be in order or just musings upon the subject we hold dear. Enough emoting...on to the wines.
2004 Mon Aieul
Splash decanted and then let sit for about an hour. This was easily the least impressive of the MA's I've had, although still a terrific wine. Fairly closed nose but some nice red raspberry, chocolate, and fig notes eventually came out to play. Seems to have some serious structure with robust tannins and a nice dose of acid. Tight, so maybe it just wasn't ready to open as this junction. Palate loaded with herbs de provence, chocolate covered cherries, raspberries, and bits of garrigue. No alcohol on the finish, which was a good thing, but did have some strict tannins. I'd say maybe hold for another 3-5 years. 92 pts.
2007 Carlisle James Berry Vineyard Syrah
Again, splash decanted and let sit for an hour or so. This beast was deep, dark, teeth staining purple. Everything you'd want from a James Berry Vineyard wine. Ripe, concentrated blue and black fruits on the nose followed by hints of heat on the periphery. Major focused dark fruit on the palate. Hefty and in your face as you would expect it to be but very well made with a deft hand by Mr. Officer. Pepper, spice, and a little pork. A finish that lasts minutes with its only detraction being a touch of heat that will easily integrate in a year or so. I know I opened this way too early but in contradiction to James Bond, I'm only going to live once. 94pts.
2007 Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah
Pleasure is drinking another man's Cayuse! My main man, Rico, was generous enough to bring this by to polish off one Friday night. As usual, it didn't disappoint. A little lighter in color than normal, but no less punch. Tamed down aromas of red cabbage, sour pickles, beef jerky, meat, and even some blackberries and raspberries. Not tamed down in a normal person's sense but tamed down for a typical En Chamberlin syrah. Dare I say a tad more refined than its beastly predecessors? Surprisingly lush in the mouth with layers of concentrated dark fruit and chocolate. The gaminess and savory qualities were pushed toward the edges, which made for a seamless transition to the lip smacking finish. While approachable and fantastic now, this wine will certainly get better with a few years of lay down time. 95pts.
2005 K Vintners Wells Vineyard Syrah
Well 2 out of 3 ain't bad for K Vintners! I seem to have more Jekyll and Hyde wines from Charles and K Vintners than from any other producer. The first bottle I had of this was spectacular, the second was terrible, and now the third was down right tasty. Back to aromas of gingerbread, Chinese 5-spice, huckleberries, and onion skins. More fruit on the palate than on the nose but the cinnamon and herbs keep it in check. A very distinctive wine that most likely won't ever get made again as the vineyard ownership changed hands and Charles didn't release the 06 version. Worth seeking out if you can find it. 93pts.