congrats on the retirement, dave. enjoy!

4 Jun

cristia renaissanceanaperennaalpha syrah

Big congratulations to Dave on his recent retirement.  I was more than happy to help put together a package for him.  Now I’m terribly envious of his personal wine library! This is a killer group of wines that can be enjoyed for the next decade and beyond.  Keep reading for details on Dave’s 12 new friends.

Cheers, Dave!

Ben Glaetzer Anaperenna 2006
Shiraz 75%, Cabernet Sauvignon 25%
Barossa Valley, Australia

The renowned winemaker, Ben Glaetzer, sources all of his fruit for this label from the Ebenezer district in the northern Barossa. Many knowledgeable experts cite this sub-region as the finest in the Valley. The 2006 Shiraz (75%) – Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) “Anaperenna” is the wine formerly known as Godolphin, the change resulting from a trademark dispute. It was aged for 15 months in new French and American oak. Opaque purple, it offers a sensational bouquet of pain grille, scorched earth, meat, game, blueberry, and black currants. This is followed by a surprisingly elegant yet powerful, structured wine with gobs of spicy fruit, ripe tannins, and a plush texture. The long, 60-second finish is succulent and sweet. Give this classy wine 4-6 years in the cellar and enjoy it through 2030. Hats off to Ben Glaetzer for producing an extraordinary portfolio! ~ Jay Miller

Rolf Binder Wines Hubris 2004
Shiraz 60%, Mataro 40%
Barossa Valley, Australia

Rolf Binder’s top wines include the 2004 Hubris, a blend of 60% Shiraz and 40% Mataro (Mourvedre). Fabulous aromas of blueberries, flowers, black raspberries, sweet cherries, graphite, earth, and espresso roast emerge from this fresh, full-bodied, intense wine. With tremendous length, definition, and vibrancy, it should drink well for 10-12 years. ~ Robert Parker

Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove 2006
Merlot 50%, Cabernet Sauvignon 35%, Cabernet Franc 9%, Petit Verdot 6%
Bolgheri, Italy

The 2006 Le Serre Nuove, the estate’s second wine from Ornellaia, will challenge many of the top bottlings in this vintage for years to come. The 2006 is a rich, sumptuous wine bursting with ripe dark fruit, smoke, tobacco, grilled herbs, new leather, minerals and tar. The wine possesses superb density and explosive, utterly irresistible personality. At roughly one-third the price of its big sibling Ornellaia, the 2006 Le Serre Nuove is a must-purchase wine. This set of new releases from Tenuta dell’Ornellaia leaves me looking for words that can adequately capture the pure magic and sheer profoundness the property has achieved in this hallmark vintage. I will try with one word: Monumental. ~ Antonio Galloni

Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon 40%, Merlot 40%, Sangiovese 20%
Tuscany, Italy

Gorgeous aromas of blackberry, currant, raspberry and just a hint of toasty oak and coffee. Full-bodied, with super-velvety tannins and wonderful balance. The finish goes on and on. ~ Wine Spectator

A blockbuster wine with finely tuned renderings of coffee, tobacco, spice and leather, Oreno requieres a rare steak cooked on a mesquite grill or something similarly big and bold… ~ Wine Enthusiast

Domaine de Cristia Renaissance 2005
Grenache 70%, Mourvedre 30%
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

The 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Renaissance (70% old vine Grenache aged in neutral wood and 30% Mourvedre aged in small oak casks) possesses a dense purple color as well as complex aromatics of soy, blueberries, blackberries, charcoal, and truffles. Deep, concentrated, dense, and rich, it has even more structure than the Vieilles Vignes cuvee (no doubt due to the Mourvedre component), but is somewhat more forward in the mouthfeel. Again, patience will be required. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025.

Proprietors Alain and Baptiste Grangeon have re-written the book on quality for Domaine de Cristia in a short period of time, becoming one of the most dramatically improved estates of the appellation. The Chateauneuf du Papes are only made from the estate vineyards and are bottled under the estate label. They are all noteworthy efforts. In 2006, the estate did not have enough high quality Mourvedre to produce a Cuvee Renaissance, so that fruit was all blended into the Vieilles Vignes offering. ~ Robert Parker

Bodegas El Nido Clio 2004
Monastrell 70%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%
Jumilla, Spain

The consulting winemaker at Bodegas El Nido is Chris Ringland of Barossa Valley fame. The 2004 Clio is 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 70% Monastrell (from 63-year-old vines) which received malolactic fermentation in new oak followed by 26 months of aging in new French and American barriques. A glass-coating opaque purple, it exhibits a sensational nose of earth, mushroom, leather, blueberry, and blackberry jam. On the palate the wine is supple-textured, complex, with vibrant flavors of spicy blue and black fruits and a big-time WOW factor. This is a totally hedonistic effort with exceptional length and balance. It is remarkably light on its feet for such a powerful wine. ~ Jay Miller

Raymond Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Cabernet Sauvignon 91%, Cabernet Franc 6%, Merlot 3%
Napa Valley, California

The grapes for the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon come from Raymond estate vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena, as well as select nearby growers. The 2005 summer was marked by cool weather, extending ripening periods by several weeks. The longer ripening period allowed for even fruit development and contributed to high quality wines from the vintage.

Rich aromas of blackberry, black plum, black cherry, currant and chocolate followed by ripe cherry, raspberry, dark chocolate, currant and peppery spice flavors. A complex, well structured wine highlighted by lush fruit, concentrated flavors and a long, smooth finish.

K Vintners Viognier 2007
Columbia Valley, Washington

K Vintners is where the larger-than-life Charles Smith presides. He is an innovator and a marketing genius, but above all the man is a brilliant winemaker who knows where all the great fruit is hidden. In a region where blending is the rule of thumb, he is the ultimate terroirist. Each wine reflects the vineyard from which it was produced but there is also a house style which lets you know immediately who made the wine.

K Vintners Viognier was fermented with native yeasts (as are all the K Vintner wines) in neutral oak. Light gold-colored, it offers up alluring aromas of mineral, peach, apricot, and tropical notes. On the palate there is excellent acidity and the minerality of the wine becomes more apparent. Well-balanced and long, this is a wine to drink over the next 1-2 years with Pacific Northwest salmon. ~ Jay Miller

Bodega Mendel Unus 2005
Malbec 65%, Cabernet Sauvignon 35%
Mendoza, Argentina

The head winemaker and a partner at Mendel is Roberto de la Mota who formerly held the same position at Cheval des Andes.

The 2005 Unus is 65% Malbec and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon from the same 77 year old vineyard. The wine was aged for 16 months in 100% new French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Inky purple, it has a super-expressive perfume of toasty oak, pencil lead, cocoa, plum, and black cherry. Medium to full-bodied, plush, and full-flavored, this concentrated, well-balanced effort will improve with another 6-8 years in the bottle and provide pleasure through 2030. ~ Jay Miller

Clos de Chacras Gran Estirpe 2004
Malbec 100%
Mendoza, Argentina

The top wine of the small Bodega Clos de Chacras is produced from Malbec grapes sourced from a 100-year-old vineyard in Lunlunta, Mendoza. After extended maceration and temperature-controlled fermentation, the wine rests in first-use French (70%) and American (30%) oak barrels for 18 months. A further 12 months is spent in the cellar before release. Purple-black in colour, it presents an alluring and intensely aromatic array of wood smoke, earth notes, spice box, and sweet black fruits. On the palate it is rich and intensely flavored with great structure and very good depth.

Vina Montes Alpha Syrah 2006
Syrah 90%, Cabernet Sauvignon 7%, Viognier 3%
Colchagua Valley, Chile

Under the enlightened leadership of Aurelio Montes, this winery remains one of the standard-bearers for Chilean wines. The Carmenere-based Purple Angel is one of the two or three best of its type; Folly is arguably Chile’s finest Syrah, and Montes Alpha M one of the Cabernet-based icons.

From Montes’ La Finca Estate, the scarcest of the Alpha line shows how promising the Apalta Valley slopes are for Syrah. Yield is very low, only 6 tons per hectare. It has been aged in French oak for one year and had only one soft filtering. The 2006 Alpha Syrah is purple colored with an enticing nose of game, espresso, earth, and blueberry. This leads to an elegantly-styled palate with spicy blue and black fruit flavors, good depth, and a fruit-filled finish. Enjoy it over the next 4-6 years. ~ Jay Miller

Dog Point Vineyard Section 94 2006
Sauvignon Blanc 100%
Marlborough, New Zealand

Since debuting with the 2002 vintage, ex-Cloudy Bay winemakers James Healy and Ivan Sutherland have been fashioning some of Marlborough’s finest wines under their label Dog Point and their 2006s were nothing less than exceptional.

The 2006 Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc is candidate for New Zealand’s best Sauvignon Blanc. Aged for 18 months in older French oak and named after a cartographic reference to a part of their vineyard, the aromatics demonstrate the complexity that Sauvignon Blanc can achieve in experienced hands: a complex melange of gooseberry, beeswax and a touch of rose petals, the palate a perfect marriage of chalky minerality and subtle tropical fruits. It should age up to 4 or 5 years. ~ Neal Martin


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