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2009 Veramonte Pinot Noir Ritual

This rather large-bodied Pinot Noir has a label that says 14% alcohol, but a nose and sensation on the eyes that say 14.9%. It also shows cherries, dried strawberries, and sage. On the palate cherries and raspberries meet plenty of wood effects including vanilla, toast, and cinnamon. It also shows sage, marjoram, and a tiny hit of cayenne pepper. Tannins are big and a little dusty. Acids are a bit low compared to tannins and wood. The finish has some length, but ends up with an overwhelming sensation of new barrels. The glass half-full crowd would call this "a Pinot for people who don't like Pinot." The glass half-empty crowd would describe it as "a spoofilated Pinot wearing a Cali-Cab costume for Halloween." Drink it with fun-sized snickers and candy corn. Not recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Viña Casablanca Nimbus Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir

An interesting wine, an eye-opener for Chile's potential with pinot noir. This is big and sweet, more Russian River than Côte d'Or. A melange of red fruits—cherry, cranberry, and strawberry—are joined by marjoram, sage, a touch of charcoal, and the tiniest hint of cayenne pepper. The mouth feel is silky and rich, the tannins sweet, smooth, and just slightly dusty, with a good acid counter-balance. Drink with Cuban roast pork. Highly recommended.
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2009 Viña Casablanca Nimbus Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir

An interesting wine, an eye-opener for Chile's potential with pinot noir. This is big and sweet, more Russian River than Côte d'Or. A melange of red fruits—cherry, cranberry, and strawberry—are joined by marjoram, sage, a touch of charcoal, and the tiniest hint of cayenne pepper. The mouth feel is silky and rich, the tannins sweet, smooth, and just slightly dusty, with a good acid counter-balance. Drink with Cuban roast pork. Highly recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2005 Miguel Torres Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc “Selection”

Found this 2005 forgotten in the basement and brought it up for dinner tonight. What a great surprise! It was a bit warm but I twisted open the screwcap and sweet grass and herbs wafted out. The aromas persisted upon pouring: more sweet meadow herbs, a bit of limestone. On the palate, plenty of body, great balance, but the finish was a bit on the short side. Reminiscent of a very good white Bordeaux, with an appealing strain of chalkiness running through it. Highly recommended.
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2005 Miguel Torres Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc “Selection”

Found this 2005 forgotten in the basement and brought it up for dinner tonight. What a great surprise! It was a bit warm but I twisted open the screwcap and sweet grass and herbs wafted out. The aromas persisted upon pouring: more sweet meadow herbs, a bit of limestone. On the palate, plenty of body, great balance, but the finish was a bit on the short side. Reminiscent of a very good white Bordeaux, with an appealing strain of chalkiness running through it. Highly recommended.
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2008 Los Vascos Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

A very black cherry nose, with lots of fruit. Also on the palate and in the finish. Very mild tannins and a bit of earthiness in the flavor. But with food the fruitiness is moderated and the tannins are enhanced. In fact, this wine is more balanced when consumed with dinner than before the meal. A nice accompaniment to meat and potatoes. It’s worth mentioning that this wine is made from grapevines that were not grafted onto American rootstock. This means that you can taste what wine would have been like before the phylloxera epidemic decimated European vines in the late 19th century—essentially, the same as it is today. I’ve always wondered what that would be like...