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jorray
jorray
2004 - Vinos Pinol Portal Crianza
Sesame seeds!
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
The Portal Roble, 2004, is built of equal 20 percent portions of cabernet sauvignon, garnacha, merlot, tempranillo and syrah. In the glass, it is a deep red burgundy, moving to opaque as you move midway into the glass.Aromas right out of the bottle are major deep and rubbery-funky... think ripe, aged helium balloons. On the palate, the sensation moves from helium balloons to ripe sesame seeds, slathered over slim pieces of cracker. Along with that comes a balance of deep fruit and tannins, moving the sesame finish into a long, long encore. This one starts with three stars with a plus for intensity and intrigue... I'm gonna let it decant a bit. My hunch is that will blow off some of the freakier elements and leave the plush, vanilla, aromatic deep fruit. We'll see... For now, three plus stars out of five.After just a few minutes with air, the sesame reduces a bit, bringing deep fresh raspberry into the fruit mix. The intensity remains. It's just gonna move me to four stars, meaning I'd stay with it for an evening. And trust me, this one can use a couple years aging on its bones.More reviews at http://spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2005 - Thorn-Clarke Cabernet Sauvignon Terra Barossa
Candy apple aromas
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
The Thorn-Clarke Terra-Barossa Importer's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005, is a cabernet sauvignon from the Thorn-Clarke label, whose shiraz I have enjoyed a great deal.In the glass, this shows as a medium dark, though bright, red.The nose is fruity and lifted, sweet plumy - a bit like cru beaujolais. Hint of candy apple.On the palate, there is a distinct note of perfumed fruit - just a touch furry and red, medium in body, sweet in tone. A very "centered" experience, picking up interesting notes in the mid-palate, less in the attack, mouthfeel and finish. Three stars out of five for me.Past vintages have tended to score professionally around 90 points, though I have not yet seen reviews of the 2005. ------------------After a full-day decanting: Nose has taken on an odd, rubbery component. Otherwise muted. Flavors have definitely softened, still good balance. Inky black cherry elements come to the fore.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2006 - Mollydooker The Boxer
Snuffles experience!
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
June 2007: LIVE Rating: this is dark almost opaque in the glass. The aroma of purple cream, just like the 2005. On the palate, there is a burst of multiple flavors. Plums, chocolate, cream. These are moving across the palate, and moving through time with the tannins. Oh, yes, I'll stay with this, and drink more than I should. 5 stars.This wine was tasted as part of a Mollydooker Tasting Dinner - 2006 Vintage.--------------------------------------------------July 2007: Tasted again from a full bottle at home: Still perfectly opaque in the glass, turning purple just at the rim. The violets and cream nose shows just a touch of light milk chocolate too. A bit of alcohol heat pumps out in the aroma this time, since the bottle is at a warm room temperature, having just come off a UPS truck. This nose is like a pleasant dream. But the good thing is, you'll wake up to a sip!On the palate, you get that chocolate-covered, plumy-sweet grape sensation all over your mouth... top, bottom, sides... the intense, deep fruit stands up to the 16.0% alcohol and lasts and lasts and lasts. No change to the five stars out of five rating. Best wine value on the planet, in one man's opinion.Remember Snuffles the dog who loved dog biscuits on Quick Draw McGraw... he would float down from the ceiling hugging himself after being fed one of those magic biscuits. Well I'm Snuffles and this is the biscuit...More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2005 - Mas Que Vinos Ercavio Roble
Essence of grape-aid
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star
In the glass, Ercavio Roble Tempranillo, 2005, is medium deep red, ruby at the edge.Aromas are moderately powerful, mostly reminding of grape Kool-Aid with a pinch of oak dust.On the palate, a hint of Welch's grape-aid remains, but wrapped in a comfortable robe of catchy tannins and a touch of acid. Fills the cavities of your mouth and brings those grapes into a long finish. Touch of blueberry. Two stars, because I wouldn't rush to seek it out again, with a plus for its promising finish.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2004 - Venta Mazzaron
Delicious furry, tannic experience.
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The 100% tempranillo Venta Mazzaron is deep red/ruby in the glass, though almost opaque in the middle.Aromas are potent, funky, bold and old-worldy. Creamy, oil-slicked, oak-encrusted vines. Maybe some graphite, maybe some bacon. Seems high-calorie and high-octane just to breathe it in!On the palate, an intense, furry, tannic experience that lives up to the smell. New world fruit is carried to the roof of your palate, but bold, smooth yet aggressive tannins cause it to pucker your teeth and creep around your mouth. The finish goes on and on, creating an almost minty-impact in your mouth (without the mint aromas). Blockbuster! This is right on the knife's edge of five stars, but let's give it four stars with a plus for ageworthiness. This wine is all I need for an evening of oenophilic pleasure! Absolutely screaming, phenomenal value at its ridiculously low price point.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2005 - Olivares, Bodegas Monastrell Altos de la Hoya
Great value.
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
Review: The Altos de la Hoya Monastrell is medium/dark muddy red in the glass. It sports an aroma of candy-coated apples dipped again in oil of oak. Deep, sweet and even somewhat brooding. Suggests a sweet, full, pungent sip.On the palate, it is a bit chewier, leaner than expected. Less sweet fruit. More dirty grit in the tannins, a brambly wood texture, with severe blackberry fruit. Finish is tannic. Definitely wants more time to settle out. Three stars out of five with a plus for the future. This is one to watch. Incredible value.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2004 - Chateau d'Aiguilhe Querre
Balanced and light.
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
The Chateau D'Aiguilhe Querre, Cotes de Castillon, 2004, is deep magenta red in the glass.Aromas are deep and engaging... violets, ripe plum, touch of leather. Suggests a smooth, supple taste. Let's see...Yes, quite round on the palate. First impression is that of a light balance... sort of like balancing a feather. Just a tiny bit of fruit - not much. Just a tiny bit 0f tannin - not much. Just a tiny bit of acid - not much. Just a bit of bright finish - not much. Despite the missing concentration, it pulls together wonderfully for immediate drinking. Three stars out of five, with a plus for the exquisite balance. I have a hunch it would break apart pretty quickly with too much age - better approached in the first few years of life.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2005 - Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Charcoal-broiled grapes
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a very inexpensive Chilean cabernet sauvignon, the Caliterra Reserva.In the glass, it shows as a very deep magenta. On the nose, it shows a dark, brooding, charred grapes quality.The palate comes across as both sweet and charcoal, bringing lightly sweetened, blackened plum fruit up into the sides of your mouth. Fat finish, moving to alcohol. Three stars out of five. At price, makes it an outstanding value.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com
jorray
jorray
2006 - Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos del Bierzo
Aromas everywhere!
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
This Descendientes De Jose Palacios Bierzo Petalos is an interesting Spanish wine, made from old vine Menzia grapes.In the glass, it is medium/deep red, more ruby than purple.Aromas stampede from the glass - aromas all over the place... here and there... purple, fruity, violets, sweet beach sand, yum!On the palate, a first grab of tannic grape at the very front of your mouth - think Chateau Welch's Grape Juice that's been steeping in clean,fibrous terrycloth. That terrycloth resolves into a solid robe of mid-red fruit all around your palate. At that point, it's more to red currants and berries than grape juice. Finish is clean, minerally, almost crisp, without being too acidic.Interesting. Three stars out of five. I want to try it again - someday. Not sure what age will do.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2004 - Rollan de By
Intense experience
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Rollan de By is a merlot-driven blend from the Medoc in France. Deep red/opaque. Pushes bold aromas out, reminiscent of old Inglenook cabs. Good ole' wood and leather. Delivers a mouthful of intense substance - dark ripe fruit, round wood, notable tannins and acids, a lengthy finish, with waves of finish reminding you about what you just experienced. Outstanding. Four stars out of five.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2002 - Trefethen Merlot
Classic Napa nose with sweet tannins
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Review: The Trefethen Napa Merlot 2002 has a classic Napa nose of saddle, oak, dark deep red fruit. On the palate, it delivers robust, sweet tannins and adds a full smooth finish. Four stars out of five.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2006 - Vieille Ferme, La Cotes du Ventoux
Great value -
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a "practically-free" offering from Rhone, France, composed of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan and 15% Cinsault. In the glass, it is mid purple/red. Aromas are bold and purple-y. To the palate, there is a funky/sweet round middle full of bold flavors. Tannins are medium and help the lengthy finish. Four stars out of five. Screaming value at this ridiculously low price.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2005 - Dao Sul Quinta de Cabriz
Light but delicious
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
This is a "practically-free" offering from the not-widely-known Dao region of portugal. In the glass, the Quinta de Cabriz for 2005 is medium deep red. Aromas are woody bramble, with hints of violets. The palate shows a round middle of fruits like blackberry and blueberry. There is a full, lengthy, fruit-tinged finish. Three stars with a plus. It is just shy of four stars because of lighter levels of extraction. But what a screaming value!More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
9998 - Heidsieck, Charles Brut Champagne Reserve
Ferocious bubbles!
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
The French champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve is a compote of multiple vintages, with approximately four years of bottle age.It is light yellow in the glass, with ferocious bubbling when first poured.There is a bready/cream aroma from the glass.On the palate, the impression is one of round, dry, slightly funky pinkness, with light acids. Finish is even and modest in length. Three stars out of five.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
1998 - Feuillatte, Nicolas Cuvee Palmes d'Or
Carmel cream plus bubbles...
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
he Palmes d'Or Champagne for 1998 is made of 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. It is medium yellow in the glass, with modest bubbles. The aroma is deep and creamy. On the palate, you get carmel cream in the middle, with bubbles bringing the acids up to the roof of your mouth. Finish is made of roasted nuts and semi-sweet carmel. Nice. Four stars out of five.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2005 - Vins de Vienne, Les Condrieu la Chambee
Lightly creamy plus olives
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star
Condrieu Les Vins de Vienne is a white wine from the Rhone Valley, made of the viognier grape. A premium-priced wine, it is a yellow-golden color in the glass. Aroma is lightly creamy with olives. On the palate, you first notice a smooth middle-mouth flavor of light purple/floral flavors, followed by a mild finish. Two stars out of five, with a plus for smoothness. But not value for cost to my reckoning.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2005 - Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett
Ripe pears and apples
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
The Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett, 2005, is light golden in the glass with a green glint.Aromas are of super-sweet, ripe pear and apple.The palate comes through with consistent notes, bringing crisp apple as the first hightly. Acids nicely offset the sweetness. Light orange citrus flavors stay firm throughout the sip, folding and mellowing into honey on the lingering finish.Four stars out of five, and an excellent value too. Wine Spectator awarded 90 points.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2006 - Kendall Jackson Chardonnay Vintner's Reserve
With a plus for friendly creaminess.
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
This Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay is from the Vintner's Reserve line, a value-priced line - in contrast to the higher-priced Grand Reserve Chardonnay, which I reviewed earlier. It also happens to be the most widely-sold wine in restaurants in the United States. Let's see what it's made of...In the glass, the Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay shows a bit towards the golden side of yellow. Buttery-fruit aroma, with hints of oak. Quite bold, really.The flavor is not quite as dramatic as the aromas, coming forward with a sweet, lightly acid-tinged peach fruit smack in the front of your mouth. Then it slides along towards the rear, bringing more cream and butterscotch. Finish is rich and moderate in length. Three stars out of five, with a plus for friendly creaminess. Good for sipping stand-alone or with a savory meal.Can't find a professional review of the 2006 vintage yet, though Robert Parker has tended to rate past vintages in the 87-89 range.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2006 - R Winery Suxx Shiraz
SUXX doesn't!
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Hmmm, interesting label; the SUXX Shiraz hails from R Winery. Well, let's see if it lives up to its name.In the glass, SUXX Shiraz pours a deep purple red - almost opaque. Nose is rich and deep of candied cherry.On the palate, a deep, bold, fully-coated flavor of dark chocolate-covered cherries. Alcohol is noticeable (not surprising at 15.9%) and it carries the slightly furry fruit into the corners of your mouth. Not huge character, but a robust, hedonistic sip. Since I'd stick with it for a day, that's four stars out of five. At its modest price, that puts it in my best value category.So I have to say, for the record, SUXX doesn't.But WARNING, I'm obviously a fan of bold Aussie shiraz, and I haven't had one in awhile. I am not comparing this to a reference wine, so absence may not only make the heart grow fonder, but the rating higher.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.
jorray
jorray
2006 - Guillaume Gros, Domaine Cotes du Luberon El Nino Loco
Deep black plums
Nov 03, 2010
1 star 1 star 1 star
This value-based Rhone red wine is dark purple, almost opaque in the glass.On the nose, it's got a deep black plum aroma. The sip delivers an immediate blast of slightly fruit, sandpapery, chalky tannins to the roof of your mouth, cascading tight plum notes down the sides of your mouth. A bit of charcoal on the extracted, sparky finish. Interesting, needs time. 3 stars out of 5.More reviews at spiritofwine.blogspot.com.

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