Ron Blachman's Product Reviews

  • Rating:
    (2/19/2015)
    Chateau de Beaucastel Coudoulet Rouge 2012
    $31.99
    Well corked to last for a decade or more. Medium purplish-ruby color, medium body and very leggy. It has a generous nose showing berries, a little oak and a hint of something floral. Big flavors with a lot of tarry fruit, acid to match and respectable tannin; less appealing is a bitter note- a little is nice but this lingers unpleasantly. There is also a bit of "petillance" (prickly CO2) suggesting some fermentation after bottling or just before. I think this will mellow with age and peak in the 2019 to 2024 timeframe but I'm going to pass on any more of this wine. At $32 it doesn't meet expectations. Good - just not worth the price in a world with so many good Cotes du Rhone.
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  • Rating:
    (2/15/2015)
    Dom. La Garrigue Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Romaine 2012
    Sold Out $18.99
    Style: Big & Bold
    Wow, what a nose! It starts out pretty big and generally vinous with dark fruit tones but with air it becomes a bouquet featuring some floral notes and prominently: roast chicory, sage, molasses, smoke and a hint of creosote. The name, "garrigue" refers to the natural scrub flora of the south of France; in Corsica it is maquis; in California, chapparal; and so forth. The nose really evokes the name - warm, herbaceous and slightly resinous. It is dark ruby-purple and medium bodied. The flavors are big with plenty of tarry fruit and it has a nice tannin backbone. The wine has some flaws: the acid is adequate for current drinking but a bit lower than I'd like and won't allow this wine to age beyond a few years; the alcohol is a bit hot, too and although the cork is long and well fitted it is a cut below best quality. At the price I'd say five stars but in absolute terms that is not quite merited. Still, a wonderful buy and I'm stocking up a bit. TRY THIS!
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  • Rating:
    (1/31/2015)
    G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe 2010
    Sold Out $36.99
    • red wine
    • boutique wine
    • collectible wine
    • WE94
    • V93
    • D90
    (2)
    Style: Big & Bold
    Wine.com was briefly out of stock but I found this at a local fine wine shop. Barolos used to be a bit too big, too tannic - today there are more modern, cleaner styles and this exemplifies this welcome change. It has a good, long cork and will hold well into the 2020's. At first the color is a bit lighter than expected and the nose a bit smaller and lacking complexity, the first impression of the flavor is good with some size and complexity. Overall its no big deal until it gets some air. Then, the wine becomes darker in color (really!) the nose gets bigger and picks up notes of rose-hips and earth and the flavors and finish grow larger and more complex (and a bit more astringent). IF YOU TRY THIS WINE DECANT IT AND GIVE IT SOME TIME. I don't rate this quite as high as the professional reviewers and I wouldn't say that it is an exceptional value but it is pretty darn nice. I'd have given it three and a half stars if that were an option. This wants till about 2017 or 2018 to hit it's peak. By the way, Wine.com's price is by far the best I've found, especially with the added savings of coupon codes.
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