I stood 1,200 miles away from home, in a dimly lit ballroom, at a historic hotel in Walla Walla, WA, clutching two bottles of the inaugural vintage of our family’s homemade wine, which until quite recently rested safely in neutral 60-gallon French-oak barrels in my garage. I was about to pour the very first public taste of this wine, for a celebrity Master Sommelier … in front of a crowd.
A pleasant and interesting wine, leading with plum, raspberry, cranberry, and spicy hints of cayenne and thyme. Light tannins and acids are there in good balance. The mid-palate is lacking, dropping from attack to simpler one-dimensional juice, but retaining the peppery pop. It's a good burger and fries wine but a ribeye would knock it out in the first round.
Very fruit-forward with mixed black and red fruit, mulberry and sweet cherry, with leathery tannins and a little black pepper. It is smooth, slightly sweet, a little young, and one-dimensional. There are no changes from attack to mid-palate and the finish drops off quickly.
This is just absurdly good for the price. Blackberry, mulberry, and black cherry all float above a cloud of cigar smoke and tar. There is also a tremendous mineral streak of molten rock. Tannins are taught but smooth. Drink with a pot roast and both will be better for the pairing.
When I went to a dinner featuring D.O. Madrid wines about two years ago, the wines were a mix: from overly fruity to international style to more sophisticated; some were old-fashioned and some seemed young and carelessly made. ut I saved a bottle of Tempranillo-based wine from that night and opened it a few months ago...
Just recently had the '06 Doyenne Syrah and thought it was great. In comparison to the AIX (link!), this one is just a touch more drinkable, mostly because of the increased acidity. Again, a big Syrah from Doyenne, with broad mouthfeel and long, lingering finish. Well worth a try if you haven't had it already. Read more on RJ's Wine Blog.
Great flavor profile on this wine with lots of black fruit, earth, and spice notes. This is a big wine, but not in an aggressive sense. It still has enough elegance to win most people over—at least everyone at our table. Doyenne may be one of my new go-to Washington wines. Read more on RJ's Wine Blog.