Hello friends. Sometimes we’re good, and sometimes we’re lucky. Today is the latter. Let me explain, by recounting a few days in the wine trade.
I’m doing one of my regular end-of-year tasks, which is to go through wines I loved during the year that we never offered, and figuring out whether they’re potential candidates for one of next year’s offers. High on that list is a series of single-vineyard reserve bottlings from Tamarack, all 2009 vintage wines that I tasted with Ron Coleman back in August. I inquire about the availability of these wines, which leads to this:
RON: The 09 Reserves will be released in April.
PAUL: In that case, do you have any inventory remaining for previous vintages of any of the reserves? Any 08s or 07s still kicking around?
RON: Funny you should ask… Somehow when we rolled over to 08 there were a few cases of 07 left at Tiger. Specifically there are [REDACTED] cases Ciel Du Cheval and [REDACTED] cases of Sagemoor. If interested, you are welcome to them.
I am (duh) interested, and ask if we can grab a quick turnaround on samples.
Ron ships out a sample bottle of each wine.
UPS delivers the samples. I let the wines settle down for several hours (I know, remarkable patience, right?), and then crack them.
Beauty ensues. I ask if we can purchase all the bottles sitting at Tiger, and I ask how quickly we can get the wines into the warehouse. The answers: yes, and Wednesday.
Writing day! Picture lots of coffee, lots of adjectives.
Today. Since we were able to get the wines in here so quickly, I figure why not offer them today, so that folks picking up during our last pickup days on Thursday and Saturday have some good potential last-minute gifts. These are beautiful, wax-sealed bottles of glorious, prime-drinking wine. Like I said, we’re lucky.
2007 Tamarack Cellars Sagemoor Vineyard Reserve
A blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, the remainder evenly split between Merlot and Cab Franc, this is a beauty, offering a nose of cherry and dried strawberry fruit swaddled by nutty pecan barrel notes and wisps of smoke. The palate is a terrific mix of earth and fruit, throwing enough sediment to underscore that this wine is now almost seven years past vintage. It’s in a charming spot texturally, the tannins present and hefty but softening nicely. A wonderful rendition of this bottling from the old-vine material at Sagemoor, and from a vintage widely considered the best of the past decade.
This was one of few bottles to receive a strong score from David Schildknecht during his brief tenure covering Washington for Wine Advocate (a 93pt review from Schildknecht is a strong review indeed): Wine Advocate (David Schildknecht): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”
2007 Tamarack Cellars Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Reserve
Equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (36% each), rounded out with Cabernet Franc, this is a classic example of a Red Mountain stalwart. If the Sagemoor bottle is more about soil, this Ciel is more about overt minerality, its iron minerals mixing with black cherry fruit and dried redcurrant. In the mouth, the complexity ramps up further, adding citrus pith bitters and leafy notes. Autumnal, crepuscular, this presents terrific grip and chew on a back-end that lingers on and on. For lovers of the grace and elegance of Ciel du Cheval, this cannot be missed.
Wine & Spirits (Patrick Comiskey): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles of Ciel and 6 bottles of Sagemoor, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive later today and be available for pickup on Thursday and Saturday (our final pickup days of 2013) or thereafter, and shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.