Wine Blog

98 Chateau Léoville-Poyferré ($70) ☺☺☺

After drinking USA wines for some time it was nice to ring the changes and try a French classic Bordeaux. In this case the Chateau Léoville-Poyferré is a 2nd Cru Classé from the St Julien area. The wine is complex with the Cabernet/Merlot blend working well to give a yummy combination of red fruit and plums all with a lovely mineral base which only the French can do. Despite being already 13 years old I still felt this had more to go and the tannins were still well structured without being over harsh. 


07 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon ($80) ☺

We just received the 09 shipment of the 07 wine on Friday and decided to try it fully realising it was probably going to be too young. This was certainly the case. The tannis were still very strong and the fruit struggled to get through them. That said the wine was balanced very well with good acidity and some deep dark fruit. I suspect that this wine is going to another 5 years on the cellar before coming into its own. The 03's we have are just starting to show well so we are looking forward to trying this in 2016 ! 

08 Wilson Carls Vineyard Zinfandel ($32) ☺☺☺

Wilson Vineyard was a revelation in terms of quality of Zinfandel. This Carls Vineyard was one of the best we tried here. The yummy chocolate undertones of a jammy, peppery blackberry wine give it great versatility when pairing with food. On this occasion we drank it with some well seasoned steak and the wine was robust enough to stand up to this. Classic Zinfandel at really affordable price sets this Zin aside as one to find if you can. 

03 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon ($65) ☺☺☺☺

When i first tasted the 03 Cakebread I thought it was well balanced and good enough to warrant keeping. Tonight the wine proved it can last and develop beautifully. The nose is complex with an almost chocolate undertone. The blackberries are there filling the glass with dense ripe fruit. I also detected some subtle fig smells. On the palate it is beautifully balanced still and the tannins have mellowed to allow the fruit to develop. Luckily we have a  few bottles left and I think it will last another couple of years. This almost got to the three smiley faces but not quite, close run thing though.

06 Sebastiani Cherryblock Cabernet ($75) ☺☺☺

Sebastiani do not let people taste this bombshell of wine normally but I would recommend you twist their arm to try it then purchase a case ! This is their flagship wine and gives great classic blackberries spice and cigar box which are the trademark of this top offering from Sebastiani. This benefited from being opened for a couple of hours before drinking but after that it was smooth, rounded and gave a great long finish. They say it can be cellared for 7-10 years. I suspect this is conservative and it has great balance and structure.

© John Holmes 2014