2002 Stanley Lambert Cabernet Sauvignon Thoroughbred
2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine
2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge
2009 Il Borro Toscana IGT
2006 The Colonial Estate Emigré
2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes
2002 Stanley Lambert Cabernet Sauvignon Thoroughbred – $26.39
I first tasted this wine several years ago at a Cabernet Sauvignon tasting at a local wine store. Even though several of the wines being served were considerably more expensive, this one was the star. I bought several bottles at the event and more as time passed. All together I bought about a case and a half of this wine. This, unfortunately, is my last bottle.
This has 14.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with an agglomerated cork.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a nice ruby red color with a touch of brick showing at the edge. The intoxicating nose has cassis, eucalyptus, tobacco, well worn leather, baking spices, dusty minerals and dried violets. This has medium body with nice acidity and soft, silky tannins. On the palate cassis, minerals and eucalyptus pop out first with spices and a nice floral note coming in on the back end. The finish has great length with the fruit turning more to cherry and some subtle earthiness coming into the picture. This is probably at its peak. (93 pts)
2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine – $22.50
Morgan Twain-Peterson has followed the lead of Carlisle’s Mike Officer, make very good fines from old vines and sell them for great prices. I’m not sure of the status of Bedrock’s mailing list, but I recommend either getting on the list or accepting a spot on their waiting list. Besides very good red wines, Bedrock produces some truly outstanding white wines.
This has 15.0% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a deep, dark maroon color. The very open and expressive nose has brambly berries, plums, warm baking spices, vanilla, minerals, dried flowers, white pepper and a touch of dark bittersweet chocolate. This has a medium to full body with moderate tannins and very good acidity. Tart berries and spice initially grab the palate with white pepper, vanilla and minerals breaking through on the back end. The finish has nice length with dark chocolate and some earthiness coming into the picture. (90 pts)
2009 Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Volcano Ridge – $14.24
This is a blend of 37% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, 10% Petite Sirah and 9% Malbec, from the High Valley AVA in the eastern part of Lake County in California.
The wine has 14.8% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.
Brassfield Estate Winery & Vineyard is located in the western section of High Valley at High Serenity Ranch on a truly distinctive and remarkable winegrowing property. Our valley floor vineyards sit at 1800 ft elevation. The higher vineyard blocks rise to nearly 3000 ft. The temperatures of some parts of this unique vineyard are some of the coldest in CA, giving Brassfield a heat summation equivalent to a Region 3 or less in some vintages.
In 1973, Jerry Brassfield purchased the original 1,600 acres here as a cattle ranch and wildlife reserve. Over the next three decades Jerry acquired additional property. Today, the Lake County estate includes 2,500 acres across both the eastern and the western sections of High Valley, as well as the Round Mountain Volcano.
The Vineyards were investigated for their potential to produce world-class estate-grown wines in 1998. Vineyard planting began in 2001. As the vineyards matured, the winery has grown with a state-of-the-art winemaking facility.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a deep, dark maroon color. The sexy nose has blackberries, Asian spices, black pepper, smoked meat, dark bittersweet chocolate, plums, some eucalyptus, and a hit of earthiness. This has a fairly full body, solid ripe tannins, and good acidity. The palate has a nice initial hit of fruit and dark chocolate that is joined by some building spice and earthiness. The finish has nice length and is joined by a touch of spicy oak. The oak has started to integrate and will probably be even better integrated with some air or a little more cellar time. This is very tasty today if a touch of oak doesn’t bother you too much. (90 pts)
2009 Il Borro Toscana IGT – $29.93
This is a “luxury cuvee” comprised of 50% Merlot grown on rich clay soil, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on ancient alluvial sand and 10% Syrah grown on mineral rich stony soils. All the vineyards are estate owned.
This wine has 14.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a medium garnet color. The inviting nose has plum, blackberries, smoke, dried herbs, crushed stone minerals, tobacco, leather, dark chocolate and lavender. This has medium body, moderate tannins and very good acidity. On the palate plums, chalky minerals and dried herbs jump out first with tobacco and dark chocolate coming in on the back end. The finish has very nice length with a floral note and some subtle earthiness entering the picture. This really needs and deserves some time in the cellar. (92 pts)
2006 The Colonial Estate Emigré – $29.88
Emigré is a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Muscadelle harvested from four vineyards, two in cool climates, Greenock and Eden Valley, and the other two from the northern Barossa Valley. Wines from The Colonial Estate don’t come cheap. Their lower end wines start at $30. This is one of their higher end wines and has a release price around $90. I’ve been lucky in the past (and this time too) to find their wines either on a clearance sale or via Garagiste for under $30. If you ever have the chance to get a bottle of this wine or either the Exile Cabernet or Shiraz at a great price, grab a bottle, it will bring a smile to your face.
This wine has 14.5% alcohol and is closed with a natural cork.
The Colonial Estate is a range of limited-production Australian wines with an old world approach. The fruit is hand picked and carefully selected; the reds receive cold pre-maceration, fermentation, pressing and maceration on skins prior to ageing in French oak; whilst the whites get whole-bunch pressing, lees stirring and are fermented with naturally occurring yeasts.
My Tasting Note
The wine is a deep maroon color. The fully open and inviting nose has cherries, blackberries, minerals, Asian spices, fresh ground dark roast coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, charred meat, dried herbs, wild flowers, and scorched earth. This has medium to full body, fairly solid ripe tannins, and good acidity. On the palate the big fruit component is matched stride for stride by dusty minerals, dark chocolate, dried herbs, and dark roast coffee, with a meaty element coming in on the back end. The finish is long with minerals, charred meat, and dried herbs adding a great dimension to the mixed fruits. This seems to be entering its prime time drinking window. This is big and bold but not an overly ripe, syrupy style of wine. (94 pts)
2009 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes – $18.99
This is a wine that I generally like in almost all vintages but it’s not a wine I hunt down. If I can find it at a good price I’ll grab a few bottles.
This has 15% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.
My Tasting Note
The wine is an inky ruby red. The sexy nose has black cherries, tobacco, blackberries, white pepper, dried flowers, mocha, vanilla and a touch of earthy underbrush. This has a fairly full body, moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity. Intense red and black fruit grabs your palate slowly allowing pepper and mocha to slip in. On the back end vanilla and some building earthiness enter the picture. The finish has good length and veers solidly into the earthy spectrum with just a touch of an herbal note coming into play. (90 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 my local store is usually VERY competitive. I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount. 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.