2009 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Syrah Kalen’s Big Boy Blend
2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard
2011 Waters Interlude
2002 Graeser Cabernet Franc Estate Grown
2005 L’Aventure Optimus
2009 Eric Kent Wine Cellars Syrah Kalen’s Big Boy Blend – $28.49
The local store brought in a couple cases of this wine and put it on the shelf at a blow out price. I was happy to relieve them of several bottles. I know this is on the extremely young side, but I wanted to open one to set a baseline on the wine.
This is a blend of 100% Syrah, from the Greywacke Vineyard (Russian River Valley) and the Ray Teldeschi Vineyard (Dry Creek Valley), that spent 17 months in 40% new French oak.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a deep, dark purple color. The deep and dark nose is full of smoke, blackberries, charcoal, minerals, melted licorice, black peppercorns, black olives, tobacco, and roasted herbs. This has full body, solid tannins, and nice acidity. On the palate a boat load of peppery berries, smoke and minerals grab hold and slowly relents enough for some roasted herbs to slip through. The finish has very nice length with charcoal and minerals kicking it up a couple notches. This wine will reward another year or two in the cellar. The wine has 15.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (93 pts)
2010 Purple Hands Pinot Noir Stoller Vineyard – $18.16
The owner/winemaker is Cody Wright, the son of well known and popular Oregon winemaker/owner Ken Wright. This was a new winery to me when the local wine store had an e-mail special on the wine. In my opinion, any time you can get hold of a good Pinot Noir for under $20, you buy.
The wine has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with a twist off closure.
Purple Hands winery strives for the expression of genuine inherent terroir of soil and grape. We search for ideal moments of ripeness and complexity balanced with authentic strength of soil character.
Our wines are windows into dynamic breadths of terroir, extracting and unlocking a code of sweet and savory from our rich Oregon soil.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a bright red color with a slight ruby tint. The soft and nuanced nose has black cherries, raspberries, fresh flowers, baking spices and subtle earthiness. This is medium body at most, with racy acidity, and soft but persistent tannins. The silky palate has tart, juicy fruit, spice, and a bit of earthiness which carries through on the slightly short finish. This is a nice, light weight style of Pinot with juicy acidity and a touch of earthiness and spice to balance out the fruit. This is a nice change up from the broad shouldered California Pinots. (90 pts)
2011 Waters Interlude – $16.98
The grapes for this wine come from Stone Tree, Seven Hills, Cold Creek and Old Stones vineyards. The wine was aged in 20% new French oak and 80% neutral French oak. There were 1,550 cases of wine produced. I should note, I bought the wine at a great price from Garagiste Wine, the suggested price for the wine is $28.
This is a blend of 61% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Malbec and 11% Petit Verdot from Washington. The wine is a deep ruby to maroon color. The very expressive nose has cherries, cassis, stony minerals, eucalyptus, licorice, freshly ground espresso beans, dried leafy herbs, cocoa powder and dried earth. This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and nice acidity. On the palate ripe cherries and berries hit first with minerals and espresso beans quickly joining in. The finish has nice length with dried herbs, cocoa powder, dried earth and a hint of eucalyptus entering the picture. This may be on the young side but it tastes delicious. I wouldn’t want to stash this in the back of the cellar, enjoy this one over the next couple of years. This has 14.1% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. (90 pts)
2002 Graeser Cabernet Franc Estate Grown – $27.00
This winery was a long time favorite. We met the owner, Richard Graeser, when he came to the condo we were staying at to conduct a tasting. We visited the winery the next day and stopped every time we made it to wine country. Unfortunately a few years ago they ran into some financial difficulties and he lost the winery. That also caused me a big problem since I had bought and paid for a case of their 2007 Cabernet Franc but it had not been shipped. It took me a few years to finally convince the proper people the wine was mine and not part of the estate that was sold. Thankfully that last vintage is resting in my cellar.
This wine has 13.6% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a deep, dark ruby red color. The classic nose has cassis, dried herbs, violets, minerals, tobacco, licorice, a touch of cedar and a faint jalapeno pepper note. This has a medium body with moderate tannins and very good acidity. On the palate the wine has berries with a real nice overlay of dried herbs up front with a touch of spicy oak coming in on the backend. This has a fairly long finish with the berries, dried herbs and some minerality. This is in a very nice drinking window and should hold nicely for a couple more years. (93 pts)
2005 L’Aventure Optimus – $46.00
This is a blend of 51% Syrah, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine has 15.32% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. I bought this bottle through WineBid and it was apparently originally sold in France since it has a French importer label on the back.
The wine is a deep maroon color. The sensuous nose has cassis, dark chocolate, fresh ground dark roast coffee, crushed stones, blackberries, cedar, roasted herbs and dried wild flowers. This mad a full body with moderate ripe tannins and nice acidity. This is rich and plush on the palate with coffee and chocolate laced cassis and blackberries up front. On the back end crushed stones and roasted herbs come in. The finish has nice length with a dried floral note entering the picture. A touch of alcohol pokes through at time on the finish but not enough to detract from the overall wine. This tastes great now and should hold for another couple of years. (94 pts)
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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines. I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar. I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com. Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear. There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.
Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase. I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store. Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges. None of the prices include the sales tax.
All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.