Ron Blachman's Product Reviews

  • Rating:
    (11/23/2014)
    Domaine de Mourchon Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret Grande Reserve 2010
    $29.99
    Pair with: Beef, Lamb, Goose or Duck
    Bottled and corked to last and a good thing, too! This needs until 2018 or later but it will be worth it. Dark ruby-garnet, medium body, very leggy. Big nose, initially just generally vinous but it opens with air to reveal: plums, cooked cherry, coffee, something floral, a hint of oak. Big, mouth-filling flavors - tarry fruit, at first the acid seemed a bit short but it came up with air,firm and prominent tannins. The nose and flavors both wanted some air to develop and I'll be holding this wine for a few years but it is pretty impressive. Is it expensive for a Cotes du Rhone Village? I'd say not because it is also an estate wine and a very big Rhone. First Rate but plan to hold it a while; my five stars are for what this wine will be in five years but even now it worth four.
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  • Rating:
    (11/22/2014)
    Chateau Fortia Cuvee Baron Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012
    $38.99
    This is a sleeper and will someday rate very highly. The Syrah-to-Grenache is 1:1, much higher than in most Chateauneuf. This makes for a firmer wine with more tannins. Ch. Fortia also picked early enough to get a bit higher acid than many CDP's, thus completing the sturdy backbone. This one wants until 2018 or so to become drinkable and will really hit stride in the middle 2020's. Medium-dark color, medium body and leggy. The wine gets its nose on within minutes of pouring and it only grows from there: notes of cocoa, coffee, something floral, dark berries, a touch of oak. The flavors are huge; there is good fruit but (for now) it is a bit recalcitrant; ample acidity creates a lovely balance and will (over time) assist the considerable tannins in bringing a possible masterpiece to fruition. This is an old fashioned Chateauneuf du Pape - not so forward as currently in vogue. Be patient, be very patient and you will be rewarded. A bargain at $39 and bottled and corked to last a long time.
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  • Rating:
    (11/17/2014)
    Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012
    $48.99
    Pair with: Game, Roast beef, Lamb
    I tried this with a pair of 2010's from Beaucastel and Caillou. This one is slightly leaner, the color is medium-dark but very saturated ruby tinged with magenta, medium-to-full bodied and leggy. The nose is smallish: dark berries and a hint of something floral. On the palate: abundant tarry fruit with a hint of anise or licorice, a bit more acid than the others but still just barely enough for the fruit, a stiff tannin backbone (this is after all the youngest of the wines), the alcohol comes on a bit too strong. This wine wants more time. Drinking it before about 2018 would be infanticide and I don't think it will really hit stride before 2022 or so. I just don't know if it will show much of a nose or if it has acid to carry it into the far beyond. If I were 20 years younger I'd lay some down and forget it. It is a good buy compared to other Chateauneuf so if you're thinking long-term then by all means lay a few down.
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