Ron Blachman's Reviews

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60 reviews were found
  • 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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  • Rating:
    (1/11/2015)
    Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot Noir 2013
    $31.99
    First-rate 1.75 in. cork. Light-to-medium ruby-garnet color, medium body, leggy. Nice nose, medium sized at first, grows with air: strawberries, cherries, cola, a hint of something floral and of pomegranate, a nice bit of new oak comes up with some air. Nice flavors, pretty fruity, it also has acid enough to carry it and a bit of a tannin. This is very drinkable now. It will not hold indefinitely, I'd say it will be mature by 2017 and will become flabby by 2021. I like this a lot but there a lot of fruit-heavy central-coast Pinot Noir as good and (in many cases less) expensive. If you don't mind the price then this is lovely for current consumption - provided you like fruity Pinot.
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  • Rating:
    (1/8/2015)
    Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Ridge Shiraz 2011
    $19.99
    Good quality, longish cork, this'll hold a long time. The wine's a bit of a fruit-bomb. Dark purple-ruby color, full bodied and leggy. The nose comes up very nicely with a touch of air. Big: dark fruit, complex bass-notes, dark cherries and oak on top. Very fruity; this has acid and tannin to hold a while but it is so fruity it's almost sweet. A bit of alcoholic harshness right now. This will hit its peak in the 2022 to 2025 timeframe and (unlike too many ANZAC wines) it has a proper cork so it will get there. It is even attractively priced but I'm not stocking up, it is just too too fruity.
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  • Rating:
    (12/31/2014)
    Roederer Estate L'Ermitage 2006
    $48.00 $39.99
    Save $8.01 (17%)
    • bubbly, sparkling & champagne
    • WE97
    • WS93
    • W&S91
    (2)
    Nice, tart balance, pleasant flavors, not without some fruit. A bare hint of the two Pinots in the nose but none of the aromas I hoped for of the secondary fermentation or from time on the lees before degorgement. Really not much nose at all. Still, persistent, fairly fine effervescence and quite quaffable. Not worth the price, though.
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  • Rating:
    (12/16/2014)
    Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier Occultum Lapidem 2012
    $29.99
    Beautiful, intensely dark purple-red color, medium-to-full body. On the palate there is abundant tarry fruit, a stiff tannin backbone and enough acid to carry this now and for just a few years. The flavors are big - unfortunately the nose is not. This has very little nose: a hint of cassis and briar but not much, it didn't improve much with air, either. This wine wants until about 2107 or so to enter maturity; the medium length, good quality cork will hold until 2020 or so if needed. I just don't think there will ever be much of a nose to this wine. I'm holding a couple of bottles until 2018 just to see but I'm not buying any more - if that tells you anything. Certainly not a bargain.
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  • Rating:
    (12/14/2014)
    Domaine de Mourchon Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret Grande Reserve 2011
    $27.00 $22.99
    Save $4.01 (15%)
    This one wants time. Color, body and flavors are very intense; perhaps the alcohol comes through a bit too strongly right now. What I'm unsure about is the nose. Right now it is small but deep toned with a whiff of dark berries and slightest hints of cocoa, coffee, shoe-leather and pepper. Will it grow and open up with time? The wine is bottled and corked to last; I won't be opening any more until 2019 or later. The 2010 version of this wine is better balanced and already has a lovely bouquet and this one is not as good (though bigger). Still, at $23, holding this a while is worth the price and the risk.
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  • Rating:
    (12/5/2014)
    Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012
    Sold Out $53.99
    2011 vintage available for $54.99
    Pair with: Game, Roast beef, Lamb
    I tried this with a pair of 2010's from Beaucastel and Clos de 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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  • Rating:
    (12/4/2014)
    Condes de Albarei Albarino 2012
    Sold Out $17.99
    2013 vintage available for $13.99
    Pair with: Veal Piccata or Marsala, Roast pig or boar, Paella, Tapas
    This is my second experience with Albarino from the Rias Baixas. This is firmer, less tropical than the Paco & Lola. The color is pale gold, medium bodied; legs form slowly; I think this has a high "total extract". The nose is medium sized, not a explosive as the P&L; notes of pear and spice, a bit riesling like but distinct. Big flavors, a dry balance with plenty of acidity but enough fruit to carry it. It is a big, firm wine, mouth filling with a long finish. this does not want to be overly chilled. This is a "serious" wine; try it with a nice, salty Jamon and olives. The style is not available on the pull-down menu, I'd call it big, stuffed but crisp. It might transform a bit with a few years in the bottle but it will be intersting at every point along the way.
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