Ok, here's the deal. We will never lie to you. Yea that sounds cliche but honestly, when we come across a wine that doesn't impress us, you'll know about it. The goal here isn't to discourage and/or deface any winery or wine maker. It's to encourage greatness in the industry. We love wine and we love you, so we'll never steer you wrong.
Below you'll find a wine you should buy and one you shouldn't. Enjoy (the first one)
2009 Chateau Dufort Vivens, Margaux (2nd Growth), Grand Cru Classe
Dark cherrie and plum on the nose. Hint of vanilla, angel food cake, and slight blackberries. Not excessively big but definitely enticing, pulls you in to taste. Soft, complex, approachable fruit when tasting. Screams of an almost smokey deep dark fruity inviting feel. Calls you back to take another sip. This is a good, entertaining wine. It is not your table wine to be ignored while you converse, it will command attention without punching you in the face. Smooth finish with a slight tannic back end, but not offensively so.
Should you buy? - Buy. Great wine.
Drinking Window - Drink Now with another 10 - 20 years
Rating - 94
Roasted black cherries, allspice infused blueberry note, with cassis lingering in the background that dominate the slightly muddled aromatics. There’s a ripeness to this wine that one would not expect from an old world producer - yet it maintains its aristocratic poise. It has a hedonistic element to the palate, where the creme de cassis shoots out front. Still quite primary on the palate compared to the nose, meaning it’s not anywhere close to unleashing any of its wound up complexity. Fantastic texture, exotic, plush, low acid, sexy, hedonistic, it’s got all of the characteristics of the 2009 minus perhaps some of the depth of it’s more precisely made peers. Still, this is by far and away the best wine that’s been made at this estate to date. Kudos to Clair and Gonzague for crafting this wine from a normally overlooked property with such potential. This wine will undoubtedly develop further elegance and complexity (which it does not yet poses) over the next 20 to 30 years. Margaux fans be warned… this is not a Margaux in the classic sense, yet a 2009 Margaux maybe. Seamless, soft developing tannins, that are well integrated for how young the wine is. Don’t be fooled, there’s plenty of phenolic concentration in this wine.
Should I buy - Compelling buy at it’s price ($75), tastes like $115 Bordeaux
Rating - 93+
Drinking window - Drink now until about 2045
2013 Cloudveil Vineyards, Pinot Noir
Watermelon, Light pitted cherries, hint of stone fruit without the minerality. Notes of Liquor, quite enticingly alcoholic. Don’t think of great Oregon Pinot Noir when you taste this wine, you’ll be unimpressed. Hear me, it’s a good wine, but compared to some of the excellent Oregon Pinots I’ve had, it doesn’t hold a candle… sorry I’ll get back to it. True Oregon fruity characteristics upon initial approach, with dwindling almost disappearing mouthfeel. Notes of red fruit dominated substance, without the absolute wow and allure you would expect. Finish? No finish. It’s gone right after mid palate… sadly… the booze lingers though… eww.
Should I buy - Not bad for the price (), but I wouldn’t buy a case.
Rating - 83
Drinking Window - Drink now, window is now.
Cherries, Ripe Cranberries, Red fruit dominated. Smoke, boozy aromas, baking spices, fine grain spirits, underlying ripeness, leads you to assume the wine is quite ripe for a Pinot in Oregon of this year. Despite its dull color, on the mouth the wine has a certain thickness, yet it’s boozy to the point of unbalance, and a bit flabby. The cold weather plus the presence of alcohol in the mouth (despite it’s low alcohol content of 12.5%) detract from much pleasure. Perhaps this will come together with an additional 6 months of bottle age. However, this risk is on the consumer. Still for the money, it is a compelling purchase for diehard Oregon Pinot fans. A 2 hour decant is recommended. This is a very generic commercialized style of winemaking, that has been over fined and over filtered. Those looking for unadulterated Pinot Noir may be better off searching elsewhere.
Should I buy - no
Rating - 84
Drinking Window - End of 2015 to end of 2016
Cheers, to being honest. Until next time.