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Two Big Red Wines from the Blizzard Trip of Feb 14, 2015

We were planning on going to Boston for the Wine Expo this past weekend.  Mother nature intervened, covered Boston with another foot or so of snow and re-routed us to Cape Cod a day early for a slightly extended R&R vacation.  Of course we brought some wine to help pass the time.  Three bottles emerged from the cellar and were packed securely in the car.  Only two were opened, as we ordered a bottle at the inn and also spent some time at Truro Vineyards, but the two we did open were worth noting.  Here they are:

0216150915Wine:  2003 Lewelling Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery Location:   St. Helena, Napa Valley

Tasted By:     Neil & Cheri                   Date:     February, 2015

Tasting Notes:    – wasn’t sure what to expect here, as I have read a few reviews of Lewelling Cabernet from the 2002 vintage that described the wine as past its prime.  This bottle was clearly not in decline, but rather at the heights based on our experience.  It is still a deep ruby red, brilliant with no amber at the edges.  The nose brings currant, blackberry and forest floor notes.  It’s vibrant on the palate and very fresh with nice acid and great balance.  The fruit shines here, the tannins are still firm but very approachable and the finish goes on for minutes.  This is a very well crafted, beautiful wine that is a joy to drink.  Note: this is NOT the Wight Vineyard bottling you can still find on wine-searcher.  Not sure if it is available anywhere, but it is worth looking for.

Price Point –    we paid $40 years ago.  This one has been in the cellar a long time.

Would We Buy It?  oh would we.  This is great juice.

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0216150914Wine:      2005 Clos de l’Oratoire

Winery Location:   St. Emilion, Bordeaux

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri             Date:   February, 2015

Tasting Notes:    – we have been very pleased with the 2005 Bordeaux we have opened to date, and were expecting good things from this Grand Cru Classe from St. Emilion on the Right Bank.  It’s very dark, and the nose immediately screamed black pepper and spice.  Some dark plum was riding underneath.  On the palate some anise came through, and the wine was full bodied and very long.  It was not my favorite however, and seemed somewhat disjointed.  There was no harmony here.  We left it for two days and opened it back up after getting home from our trip, and the wine had decided to pull together and now it was a symphony.  Deep, rich fruit with spicy nuances carried through the nose and palate, and everything worked.  It was rich and deep and long.  Here is yet another example of an excellent wine that gets better with oxygen.  I’m not sure why decanting has gained such a bad name, it almost never fails.

Price Point –    $50 – $60 and still available

Would We Buy It?    since we have a rack full of Bordeaux, probably not.  If you’re looking for a good bottle to highlight somewhere, or bring to a dinner party, this is a good one.  Suggest the host open it early or decant for a half hour.

Two good wines.  Actually two pretty excellent wines.  The Lewelling was special, and unfortunately the only one we had.  Luckily we do have more of the de l’Oratoire to look forward to.

Getting snowed in doesn’t have to be bad.

A votre sante!

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