Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's pass the damn wine!!!

Lots of wine to discuss and review today. Let's start with our choices from Mother's Day dinner.

Thought it might be fun to start with the two on the right. Cedarcreek 2011 Block 2 Pinot Noir, and 2011 Block 4 Pinot Noir.

Regular readers might remember I had the opportunity to taste these side by side, before they were released to the public, at Cedarcreek's Starry Nights dinner in October. My thoughts on them at that time were posted here.

Seven months later, let's see if my opinion has changed.

CedarCreek Block 2 Pinot Noir ($34.99)

This hasn't changed a ton since my original review. A very floral nose with hints of violets. Very smooth, but in the hour it was opened it changed and improved slightly. 89.

CedarCreek Block 4 Pinot Noir ($34.99)

Seven months have made quite a difference. Smoother, tannins have softened. Still lots of berries on the nose and palate. After aerating and decanting for an hour (and another hour or so in the bottle while we drank) it improved even more. I have a couple more of these in my cellar, and I'll buy a couple more if I can find them; definitely looking forward to continued improvement. 87.

As I said in my October review, if I'm drinking today, I'm choosing Block 2; if I'm drinking it three years from now, I suspect Block 4 becomes the winner. We'll see.

Our third bottle isn't pictured, it was recommended to me but we sent it home with my mom, who enjoyed it more than we did.

Sandhill 2010 Small Lots Sangiovese ($30)

I don't know if we happened to get a bad bottle but this didn't work for my wife or I at all. We generally like this grape, particularly from Italy, but also from BC (Inniskillin's 2008 Sangiovese is a favorite).

Cherries are prevelant on the nose and continue on the palate. Medium bodied, with some weakness on the finish. I'd be willing to give this another shot, but for now, I can only give it 75.

For the finale of the evening, we went down the coast to our new passion, a big Napa Cab (pictured on the right):

2010 William Hill Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($36.99 at Fred Meyer in Bellingham)

Just a touch of blueberries mingles with the red fruits on the nose. A smooth, silky mouthfeel and it finishes with just a touch of spice and vanilla. 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a touch of Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah and Merlot finishing it off. 88.

Ever notice that "petit" is spelled differently in front of "Verdot" and "Sirah"? Odd.

From earlier this week, we opened this one that was highly rated, from Spain:

Valenciso 2006 Rioja Reserva Tempranillo ($35.99)

I like Tempranillo, I really do, but I'm going to stop buying this varietal that I come across in the liquor store with signs advertising big ratings. I'm not sure who keeps giving these wines 90+ points, but this is at least the third one I've been disappointed in.

I have heard this is a very age-worthy wine, so perhaps we opened it up too early; maybe I should get another one and put it away for a decade to give it a fair shake, but this one ended up mostly going down the sink. 77.

Also, my local VQA store must have found some old cases in the back, because they have quite a few bottles of this nicely aged white:

CedarCreek 2009 Chardonnay ($16.95)

Slight notes of nuts and oak on the nose; beautiful fruit and buttery notes on the palate. Absolutely fabulous for the price; my very favorite reasonably priced Chardonnay. 88.

Hope all the mothers out there had an amazing Mother's Day! You deserve it!

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