Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another Birthday Party Wine

2003 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Robert Foley's 2003 Pride Mountain Cabernet

4200 cases made of this Parker 91 pointer.  Making its debut in 2003, Pride's youngest Cabernet Sauvignon vines located on the Sonoma portion of their mountaintop property make a stunning contribution to the first Pride Cabernet bearing a label that indicates the estate’s unique position straddling the county line.

Decanted about an hour before drinking.  Dark fruit and a nice spice on the nose and on the front.  The mid-palate brings hints of black cherry, cloves and a bit of chocolate.  Surprisingly good balance and structure for one of my least favorite '90's California Cabernet vintages.  It lacked some of the richness usually found in Pride Cabernets, but the finish was solid and longer than expected.  A nice Robert Foley crafted wine.--BacchusBrad

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Birthday Party Wines

A Party for Cindy
1966 Potel Volnay Santenots
Celebrating a birthday was the event to pull a few corks on some outstanding wines.  One the 1966 Nicolas Potel Volnay Santenots was the highlight.  Upon opening, a haunting aroma of smokey embers and Slim Jim beef sticks immediately fills the nose.  
Followed by chocolate and espresso on the front and wet stone and lively mature fruit on the wonderful mid-palate.  Ending beautifully with layers and layers of complex flowers and black cherry.  A gem of Pinot with many, many years of life left.  More to come.--BacchusBrad

Saturday, December 10, 2011

1989 Guigal Cote Rotie la Turque


Bottle of the Week

I had the pleasure of tasting this bottle for the second time, and once again a bottle not easy to forget. Rich, jammy, earthy, smoky, with sweet exotic spices and a hint of minerals. Well balanced, with a wonderful long, full finish. This is an unreal wine worthy of "Wine of the Night".

A Parker 99 Pointer, he says: Precocious, sweet, jammy 1989 La Turque's smoky, licorice, and black-raspberry aromas, as well as its phenomenal richness, make for another extraordinary tasting experience. Full-bodied, dense, and thick, this wine possesses the essence of black cherries. Still youthful, it is already gorgeous to drink. Anticipated maturity: now-2012.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Acker Merrall & Condit Buys Chicago Auction Firm

"The Timing Seemed right."
Michael Davis, vice chairman of Chicago’s Hart Davis Hart Wine Co.
Acker Merrall & Condit, the world’s leading wine auction house, is expanding to the Midwest. The New York firm has purchased Chicago’s Edward Roberts International, a boutique auction house. Founded in 2001 by Edward Brooks, Edward Roberts International is renowned for auctions that often feature hard-to-come-by offerings. Brooks will stay on and oversee Acker’s Midwest business. The price was undisclosed. Acker has become the top player in New York and Hong Kong auctions in the past decade, with $98.5 million in global sales in 2010. Brooks, formerly the director of Christie’s North American wine department, built Edward Roberts International into a well-known house, recording $1.5 million in sales in 2010. “Edward and I have had friendly contact over the years, including discussing the possibility of working together,” said John Kapon, Acker’s CEO. “The timing seemed right, and we were able to come to an agreement relatively quickly. We look forward to working with him in expanding our domestic presence. We feel that competition is a natural part of healthy markets, and that our presence in Chicago will ultimately benefit all wine lovers, no matter where they may be.” “Given Acker’s pre-eminence and ongoing worldwide growth it only makes sense for them to have a strong local presence in a significant market like Chicago,” said Brooks. "I will benefit from their considerable resources and be able to greatly expand beyond the model Edward Roberts International operated under for the past decade as a boutique auctioneer.” For years, the Chicago wine auction scene has been dominated by Hart Davis Hart, which topped the domestic market in 2010 with $39 million in sales. Asked about Acker’s acquisition, Paul Hart, CEO of Hart Davis Hart said, “We believe that this shows what an active wine market we have here in Chicago. We welcome the competition.” Acker conducted its first Chicago-based fine and rare wine auction Oct. 22. Peter D. Meltzer, Wine Spectator.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Up and Comers

Wines worthy of a second look…if you can find them.


Troplong-Mondot a star in the making with the last three vintages rated 96, 97, 98+ respectively, this St-Emilion merlot based Bordeaux is positioned to take off.

Branaire-Ducru a stone’s throw from Ducru Beaucaillou, St.-Pierre and Gloria and still priced under $50 for most vintages.

Pontet Canet with the last two vintages scoring 95 to 100 points out of the barrel this Cabernet dominated wine will be on the lips of wine lovers everywhere soon.

Kitchak Cellars crafting Cabernet grapes from Beckstoffer To Kalon for his Concerto but also look for their white semi-Rhone blend, Vivacé.

Vineyard 7 & 8 Cabernet and Chardonnay from Spring Mountain above the cloud line, they are quietly climbing their way to California Cult status.

Hall Winery Robert Parker deemed the Cabernet his favorite 2008 bottling last December, at less than $40, keep an eye open.

Futo only a stone’s throw from Harlan Estate, with wine maker Mark Aubert and viticulturist David Abreu, this former Oakford Estate Vineyards is not to be missed.

Corra one of Napa’s most sought after winemakers Ceilia Welch now has her own project. Production today is around 400 cases of this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon coming from three separate locations - Pritchard Hill, Rutherford, and Oakville.

*all scores Wine Advocate

Wine Spectator - Wine of the Year

Kosta Brown
Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009
95 points / $52
5,818 cases made

Sonoma County, California

Central to the story of Pinot Noir’s steady rise in California has been the improbable ascent of a small Sonoma winery, started more than a decade ago by two waiters who pooled their tips so they could make wine.

With no formal winemaking training, Dan Kosta and Michael Browne stumbled along a path of trial and error. Their first Pinots weren’t inspiring, but since 2002, they’ve made 66 wines that have earned 90 points or higher though they don’t own a single vine and make wine in a rented warehouse. In 2009, the greatest vintage yet for California Pinot, the team which now has the financial backing of Vincraft made 11 outstanding Pinots, including our Wine of the Year for 2011.