Staff Favorites for Christmas Day

Staff Favorites for Christmas Day
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, December 17, 2011

FLIGHT 1

NV Jose Dhondt Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut – France, Champagne, Oger, Champagne Lemon zest and nuts on the nose, with some floral notes, yeast, and apples. Lemon and roasted almonds on the palate, with bread and pear underneath, and a good floral finish. (92 Points)

2009 Chiarello Family Vineyards Zinfandel Giana – USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena Floral, peppery, and smoky on the nose, with bramble and black currant underneath. Rich on the palate, with raspberry and black currant, some earth and pepper, and a great smoky finish. (92 Points)

2008 Gérard Bertrand Minervois Syrah-Carignan – France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Minervois Smoky and rich on the nose, with dark black fruit and roasted meat, and some stone at the end. Rich with dark fruit and smoke on the palate, and a nice meaty mid-palate. It finishes with some minerals notes. (90 Points)

NV Paul Berthelot Champagne Brut Reserve 1er Cru – France, Champagne Fresh dough and apple on the nose, with citrus and floral notes right behind, and nuts at the end. Fresh baked bread and roasted nuts on the palate, with some floral notes, and a good citrus finish. (89 Points)

2009 Shooting Star (Jed Steele) Blaufränkisch – USA, Oregon/Washington, Columbia Valley Cherry and raspberry on the nose, with dark chocolate and earth, and some spice at the end. Cherry and earth on the palate, with some chocolate and pepper, and a good raspberry finish. (87 Points)

FLIGHT 2

2007 Domaine Leroy Puligny-Montrachet – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet Burnt butter and stone on the nose, with lemon and tropical fruit in the middle and some apple at the end. Lemon zest and crushed rocks on the palate, with tropical fruit on the mid-palate, and a little butterscotch on the finish. (93 Points)

2007 Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon Yverdon – USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District Wood and spice on the nose, with black currant and cherry underneath, and some licorice at the end. Rich on the palate, with dark fruit and spice, some wood on the mid-palate, and a big spicy finish. (92 Points)

Stocking Stuffers

Stocking Stuffers
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, December 10, 2011

FLIGHT 1

2007 Peju Province Winery Merlot – USA, California, Napa Valley Tobacco and blackberry on the nose, with cherry and dark chocolate underneath, and some mint at the end. Red and black fruit on the palate, with chocolate and leather on the mid-palate, and some mint on the finish. (90 Points)

2007 Paraduxx (Duckhorn Vineyards) – USA, California, Napa Valley Dark, black fruit on the nose, with baking spice and vanilla in the middle, and some pepper at the end. Lots of spice and oak on the palate, with black fruit underneath, and a very peppery finish. (89 Points)

2010 Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley Apricot and lemon on the nose, with watermelon and peach right after. The palate has grapefruit and citrus, a little melon, and a good peach finish. (88 Points)

2010 Conundrum Wines White Table Wine – USA, California Beeswax and tropical fruit on the nose, with some pear and apple in the middle, and some floral notes at the end. Honey and pear on the palate, with spicy floral notes on the mid-palate, and a little tropical fruit on the finish. (88 Points)

2010 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay Russian River Ranches – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley Honey and roasted nuts on the nose, with lemon pie and spice at the end. The palate had good acidity and some nice lemon notes. It was a bit oaky, but it finishes with some good nuttiness. (87 Points)

FLIGHT 2

2008 Continuum Proprietary Red – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville Cherry, plum, and coffee on the nose, with hints of leather, pencil lead, and bittersweet chocolate. Soft and round on the palate, with chocolate and cherry, plum and leather, and a nice graphite finish. (92 Points)

2008 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley Cherry and flowers on the nose, with pumpkin spice and leather underneath. Rich and dark on the palate, with spice and leather. It’s a bit tannic for me, but not too bad. (90 Points)

Black Friday Wines

Black Friday Wines
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, November 26, 2011

FLIGHT 1

2003 Spencer Roloson Tempranillo Madder Lake – USA, California, North Coast, Clear Lake Smoky on the nose, with some cherry and plum, and a little spice at the end. Rich and juicy on the palate, with lots of tannins. The cherry and smoke come together nicely, and it finishes with some spice. (91 Points)

2004 Spencer Roloson Syrah Madder Lake – USA, California, North Coast, Clear Lake Leather and smoke on the nose, with dark black fruit and purple flowers. Blackberry and black currant on the palate, with smoke and leather on the mid-palate, and a floral finish. (91 Points)

2008 Felton Road Pinot Noir Block 3 – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago Raspberry and pumpkin spice on the nose, with milk chocolate underneath, and some oak at the end. Soft and juicy on the palate, with raspberry and spice, some oak and bitter chocolate, and good acidic finish. (90 Points)

2006 Clos Floridene – France, Bordeaux, Graves Manure and hay on the nose, with cherry, saddle leather, and floral notes. Smooth on the palate, with lots of earth flavors supported by cherry and rose petals. (89 Points)

2008 Anglim Roussanne – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles Pear and tropical fruit, with some minerals and floral notes. Viscous on the palate, with good acidity and stone flavors. The stone fruits come on in the mid-palate, and it finishes with dried flowers. (89 Points)

FLIGHT 2

2006 Bodegas Mauro Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León Terreus Pago de Cueva Baja – Spain, Castilla y León, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León A heavy dose of cinnamon and jalapeño peppers upfront, with chipotle chocolate and floral notes right behind, and black fruit at the end. Extremely plush on the palate, with black fruit, followed by peppery spices and bitter chocolate. (96 Points)

2009 L’Aventure Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles Rich on the nose, with lots of black fruit and smoked meat. There’s some roasted herbs behind that and some red fruit at the end. Soft and juicy on the palate, with blackberry and herbs, raspberry and meat, and a spicy finish. (92 Points)

Wines to Pair with Chocolate

Wines to Pair with Chocolate
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, November 19, 2011

FLIGHT 1

2004 Spencer Roloson Syrah La Herradura – USA, California, Napa Valley Grilled meat and BBQ on the nose, with black fruit underneath. Much the same on the palate, but with a nice bit of fatiness to it. (91 Points)

2007 Coho Cabernet-Merlot Michael Black Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley Dark black fruit and dark chocolate on the nose, with some espresso and spice, and a little dusty earth at the end. Cherry and coffee on the palate, with roasted spices and earth on the finish. (90 Points)

2008 Montes Carménère Alpha – Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley Bouquet garni and cigar on the nose, with background notes of blueberry and crushed rock. It ended with some wet dirt. Blueberry and minerals on the palate, with spice and earth on the mid-palate, and good tobacco finish. (90 Points)

2010 Mollydooker Two Left Feet – Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale Lots of fruit on the nose – plum, black currant, raspberry, and cherry, with a bit of vanilla after. Much more complex on the palate. Still has lots of fruit, but also has some hot spices and oak framing it. (89 Points)

2006 Two Hands Shiraz Max’s Garden – Australia, Victoria, Central Victoria, Heathcote Floral and dark on the nose, with blackberry and black currant. It ends with some plum. Fruity and tart on the palate, with vanilla and spice. (86 Points)

FLIGHT 2

1982 Bodegas Toro Albala Montilla-Moriles Don PX Gran Reserva – Spain, Andalucía, Montilla-Moriles Creamy chocolate and licorice on the nose, with some cigar leaves and spice underneath. There’s also some espresso and raisin at the end. Cocoa and coffee on the palate, with raisin and licorice on the mid-palate, and a great tobacco finish. (95 Points)

2008 Figgins Estate Red Wine – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley Vanilla and spice on the nose, with cherry and black currant after, and some spice and orange juice at the end. Cherry and spice on the palate, with black fruit and spice on the mid-palate, and a orange finish. (94 Points)

Scary Good Reds, Rated 90 Points and Above

Scary Good Reds, Rated 90 Points and Above
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, October 29, 2011

FLIGHT 1

2007 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Fog Dance – USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley Bright cherries on the nose, with some dirt and twigs underneath. There’s also some minerals and black currant at the end. Smooth and juicy on the palate, with great acidity. It starts with cherry and currants, adds some earth on the mid-palate, and finishes with some floral notes. (91 Points)

2007 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Far Coast Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast Cherry and cake spice on the nose, with some spice and blackberry at the end. Soft and juicy on the palate, with lots of cherry fruit and good acidity. There’s some spice and pomegranate on the mid-palate, and some spice on the finish. (90 Points)

2007 Fattoria Viticcio Monile Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT Dried fruit and spice on the nose, with floral notes and stone. Soft and rich on the palate, with dried fruit and rocks, and a good floral finish. (90 Points)

2007 Bodegas Ribera del Duero Urban Ribera – Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero Earth and cherries on the nose, with floral notes and incense, and some burnt wood at the end. Sweet and juicy on the palate, with cherry and spice, some rose petals, and a good toast finish. (90 Points)

2009 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Home Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley Boysenberry and dirt on the nose, with black licorice and plum at the end. Rich and dark on the palate, with boysenberry and plum, and some licorice and earth on the finish. (89 Points)

FLIGHT 2

2007 Altamura Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley Coffee bean and pencil lead on the nose, with earth and cherry in the middle, and dark fruit at the end. Rich and dark on the palate, with earth and graphite, and a great dark fruit finish. (92 Points)

2004 Bodegas Muga Rioja Gran Reserva Prado Enea – Spain, La Rioja, Rioja Tobacco and orange on the nose, with cherry and floral notes at the end. Rich and spicy on the nose, with lots of acidity. Cherry comes on in the middle, and it finishes with orange peel. (92 Points)

American Sparkling vs. French Sparkling

American Sparkling vs. French Sparkling
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, October 22, 2011

FLIGHT 1

NV Vranken Champagne Demoiselle Rosé Grand Cuvée Brut – France, Champagne Yeast and apple on the nose, with strawberry and stone, and some flowers at the end. Strawberry and minerals on the palate, with bread and minerals in the middle, and a nice floral finish. (90 Points)

NV Delamotte Champagne Brut – France, Champagne, Côte des Blancs, Champagne Citrus and yeast on the nose, with lemon zest and floral notes, and apple at the end. Lemon and apple on the palate, with a yeast back note, and a a good floral finish. (89 Points)

NV Gosset Champagne Brut Excellence – France, Champagne Lots of fruit and yeast on the nose, with hints of stone and flowers. Very fruity on the palate, with minerals and floral notes underneath, and a good pastry finish. (89 Points)

2007 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blancs – USA, California Lemon, flowers, and yeast on the nose, along with some apple and stone. Slightly sweet, with loads of fruit on the palate, plus some lemon in the middle, and bread finish. (88 Points)

2007 Argyle Brut – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley Apple, peach, pear, and minerals on the nose, with some rose petals at the end. Bready and floral on the palate, with apple and peach, and a stone and pear finish. (87 Points)

FLIGHT 2

2003 Schramsberg Vineyards J Schram – USA, California, Napa Valley Roasted almonds and apple on the nose, with cooked pears and spice in the middle, and some flowers at the end. Rich and toasty on the palate, with good apple and spice on the mid-palate, and a nice floral finish. (93 Points)

2004 Louis Roederer Champagne Blanc de Blancs – France, Champagne Pastry and pear on the nose, along with ginger and minerals, and a good floral finish. Lots of yeast and ginger on the palate, with nice pear and stone flavors in the middle, and some flowers on the finish. (92 Points)

Rare Breeds; Less Common Grapes from Lesser-known Regions

Rare Breeds; Less Common Grapes from Lesser-known Regions
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, October 08, 2011

FLIGHT 1

2008 Domaine Tempier Bandol – France, Provence, Bandol Plum and blackberry on the nose, with spice and smoke, and some beef juice at the end. Soft and juicy on the palate, with blackberry and plum, some spice, and very meaty finish. (92 Points)

2007 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau Vieilles Vignes – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau Blueberry and cherry on the nose, with pureed figs and spice, and a good licorice finish. Soft and velvety on the palate, with black fruit and spice, earth and licorice, and a great cherry finish. (91 Points)

2004 M. Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette – France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage Very nutty and creamy on the palate, with some stone and floral notes. The palate is creamy and nutty as well, but also adds in some peach on the mid-palate. It finishes with crushed rock and flowers. (91 Points)

2007 Höpler Blaufränkisch – Austria, Burgenland Lots of red fruit on the nose, with some spice and earth at the end. The palate was much the same as the nose and very soft. (87 Points)

2010 Bodega Colome Torrontés – Argentina, Salta, Calchaquies Honey and peach on the nose, with hints of rock, floral notes, and roasted nuts. Minerals and nuts on the palate, with some peach and floral notes.

FLIGHT 2

2001 Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Campolongo di Torbe – Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Leather and plum on the nose, with sour cherry and coffee, and a good prune finish. Soft and juicy on the palate, with cherry and leather, coffee and plum, and a good prune finish. (92 Points)

2007 R Wines Chateau Chateau Leaf Turner – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley Smoke and blueberry on the nose, with cherry and stone, and some spice at the end. Soft and smooth on the palate, with blueberry and spice, and a very rich finish. (90 Points)

2008 La Scolca Gavi – Italy, Piedmont, Gavi Burnt match and roasted nuts on the nose, with some stone and citrus underneath, and floral notes at the end. Lots of citrus fruit on the nose, with rocks and flowers on the mid-palate, and good smoky finish. (88 Points)

Bold Reds & Soft Whites

Bold Reds & Soft Whites
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, October 01, 2011

FLIGHT 1

2008 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley Blueberry and vanilla on the nose, with cherry and spice in the middle, and earth and minerals at the end. Plum and forest floor on the palate, with spice and stone on the mid-palate, and a nice blueberry finish. (92 Points)

2007 Cadaretta Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley Plum and spice on the nose, with red currant and floral notes underneath, and some earth at the end. The palate is rich, with red fruit and spice, some earth and flowers, and a plum finish. (91 Points)

2006 Kanta Riesling Kanta Egon Muller – Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide Hills Crushed rock and spice on the nose, with some lemon zest and honey underneath. Great acidity on the palate, with a heavy dose of minerals supported by lemon and honey. It has a nice clove finish. (90 Points)

2007 Grans-Fassian Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer Tropical fruit and citrus on the nose, with a good mineral backbone. Lots of honey and pineapple on the palate, with mango and tangerine on the mid-palate. It finishes with good minerality. (88 Points)

2008 Hall Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley Smoke and earth on the nose, along with currant jam and spice. It finished with licorice and blackberry. Very tannic on the palate, with lots of black fruit and earth. The nose was good, but the palate was disappointing. (85 Points)

FLIGHT 2

2006 Juslyn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Spring Mountain District – USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District Dirt and flowers on the nose, with pencil lead, blueberry, and blackberry right behind. Much fruitier on the palate, with blue and black fruit, graphite, and a sweet floral finish. (93 Points)

2007 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer Lots of flowers and fresh herbs on the nose, with some apple and spice on the backend. Sweet and floral on the palate, with apple and citrus on the mid-palate, and a nice herbal finish. (92 Points)

Bargins vs. Big Boys

Bargins vs. Big Boys
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, September 17, 2011

FLIGHT 1

2008 Vineyard 29 Cabernet Sauvignon Cru – USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena Tobacco and cherry on the nose, along with blackberry and spice, and some mocha at the end. Rich and dark on the palate, with black cherry and blackberry, coffee and spice, and a good tobacco finish. (91 Points)

2010 B.R. Cohn Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros Lemon, toasted oak, and apple on the nose. It also had some minerals and floral notes at the end. Crisp on the palate, with apple and lemon, and a slight hint of oak in the middle. It finished with stone and flowers. (89 Points)

2006 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve – France, Alsace, Alsace AOC Honey, lemon, and pear on the nose. There’s a slight floral and mineral note at the end. Beeswax and honey on the palate. It also had flowers, stone, and some citrus and pear on the finish. (89 Points)

2009 Jermann Vinnaioli Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT – Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Venezia Giulia IGT Peach and lemon on the nose, with cantaloupe and stone underneath. Rich and viscous on the palate, with loads of minerals and citrus. It finishes with melon and a little tropical fruit. (88 Points)

2008 Definitive Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast Cherry and sandalwood on the nose, plus some earth at the end. Sour cherry and cedar on the palate, with some earth, and a good vanilla finish. (88 Points)

2009 Far Niente Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley Buttered popcorn and apple on the nose, along with apricot and pear, and little minerality at the end. Lots of oak on the palate, which covers up the nice apple, pear and apricot flavors. Fair acidity and a good finish, but not my style. (85 Points)

FLIGHT 2

2006 Juslyn Vineyards Perry’s Blend – USA, California, Napa Valley Coffee and tobacco on the nose, plus black fruit and spice in the middle, and some candied fruit at the end. Rich and thick on the palate, with black and blue fruit, spice, cigar leaves, and a good mocha finish. (91 Points)

2009 DuMOL Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley* A lot of fruit on the nose, especially cherry, cranberry and rhubarb. The mid-palate adds in some earth, and it finishes with lots of pepper. Cherry and earth on the palate, with cranberry and rhubarb on the mid-palate, and a slightly spicy finish. (91 Points)

Wines of Paul Hobbs

Wines of Paul Hobbs
Farpointe Cellar
Tasted Saturday, September 03, 2011

FLIGHT 1

2008 Viña Cobos Cabernet Sauvignon Bramare – Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo Tobacco and milk chocolate on the nose, with cherry and toasted oak underneath. Rich and thick on the palate, with some cherry and chocolate, and some smoke on the finish. (91 Points)

2008 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon CrossBarn – USA, California, Napa Valley Mocha and blackberry on the nose, with some spice and black currant right behind. Spicy on the palate, with loads of black fruit and bittersweet chocolate. (90 Points)

2010 Laird Family Estate Pinot Grigio Cold Creek Ranch – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros Pineapple and orange on the nose, with tangerine and honey following close behind. It has a tiny bit of floral notes and some minerality, but it’s mainly all fruit. Nice and acidity and lots of tropical fruit on the palate. It finishes with some spicy honey. (88 Points)

2007 Laird Family Estate Chardonnay Cold Creek Ranch – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros Caramel and vanilla bean on the nose, along with toast and citrus and floral notes. Toasty on the nose, with tropical fruit, spice, and a nice floral finish. (89 Points)

2007 Pulenta Estate Chardonnay VIII – Argentina, Mendoza Tropical and spicy on the nose, with a small amount of vanilla at the end. Much the same on the palate, but with good acidity and a little minerality.

FLIGHT 2

2008 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros Blueberry and cherry on the nose, with some earth and spice, and some floral notes on the finish. Soft and smooth on the palate, it has lots of cherry and blueberry, some earth and floral notes, and a nice spicy finish. (90 Points)

2006 Pulenta Estate Gran Corte VII Alto Agrelo – Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo, Agrelo Cherry and raspberry on the nose, plus some spice and mocha notes. There’s a little earthiness in the middle, and a good stony finish. Soft and juicy on the palate, with earth and spice on the mid-palate, and black fruit and mocha finish. (90 Points)

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