Friday, March 10, 2006

The Phantom Was Here - I Think

2003 Bogle Phantom ($19) -- My allotment of five cases arrived a week early. Bogle is a 750,000 case producer of very good super-market wine, but the Phantom is their special cuvee. I heard that production is up from last year as more wine is available this year in Ohio, but this wine sells out every year and then it is gone. (I do have a few half-bottles of the 2002.) If you want some, act quickly. I am taking a case home tonight.

This year the blend is Petite Sirah from Clarksburg (59%), Zinfandel from Lodi/Amador (39%) and Mourvedre from Oakley (2%). (I am guessing that's Oakley, California, not Ohio although Oakley has gotten pretty hot lately!) The wine spends 20 months in American oak.

When first opened, the nose is a meduim complex dark fruit aroma, the taste is intense and a bit tannic. After 20 minutes the complex flavors emerge. The Phantom is back! Decant this wine if you want to drink it now or lay this bottle down for a few years. It will only get better.

De Long Wine Moment

I have noticed many new Blogs on the Wine Blog Watch list and stumbled onto De Long Wine Moment. I have his Varietal Chart hanging in the shop and even the wine reps love to read it. This blog is going on the must read list!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #19 - Rhone

For this month's WBW theme Jathan at Wine Expression selected Rhone style wines from all over the world. I have recently reviewed several Rhone blends, so yesterday I wandered into the back closet to pull a bottle of the good stuff! Check Jathan's site in a few days to read all the reviews.

2003 John Duval Plexus ($40) -- Barossa Valley. Last year I received five 6 packs of this wine, John Duval's first wine after leaving Penfolds after 20 some years as Chief Winemaker. He is of course the winemaker for Grange, perhaps Australia's greatest wine. Last year when I tasted this wine I thought very highly of it eventhough it needed more bottle age.

Yesterday I noticed the wine had mellowed a little and the flavors were softer. The aroma might be a touch hot, but over the next hour, before running out to the David Gray show, the wine opened up. I look forward to getting home tonight to finish off the rest of the bottle.

This wine has received good marks from the critics including Parker's 94.

" ... John Duval's debut release is the 2003 Plexus, a brilliant blend of Shiraz (46%), Grenache (32%) and Mourvedre (22%) that was aged in 30% new French oak. At present, there are only 500 cases of this stunning effort.... Opulent, full-bodied, stunningly pure, and dense as well as elegant and well-delineated, it can be drunk now or cellared for 10-12 years....Kudos to John Duval."

If you can find this wine please try it!