6.27.2018 Kazu — 5 years ago
The highlight of the day, and maybe of the trip, was a personal tasting with @Mike Smith , winemaker of Myriad, Carter, Becklyn, Scarlett, Ancillary and many other well known labels. Mike was kind enough to pour some of his personal label (Myriad Cellars), a Pinot from Ancillary (project he does with Mark Carter) and capped off the tasting with some Carter Cellars. The Myriad Dr Crane Elysian and Carter Weitz Vineyards were standouts of the trip so far. The Weitz Vineyard had great power and energy to it. Like Mike said, he loves making super dark wines...most were almost black in the glass. Love those kinds of wines! Charcoal, blackberry, plum on the nose and palate. Difference between this and the Dr Crane Elysian was the Elysian felt more fruit forward and in your face. Loved the restraint on this. Mike, thanks again for an amazing wine tasting! And @Martin G Rivard , thank you for connecting me with Mike! @Shawn R , good call on having Carter added to our tasting...thanks! — 7 years ago
As a Sommelier, it’s interesting to read professional reviews. Something you need to keep up on for what consumers will be looking to buy.
As someone who attends a lot of tastings, you get to get to do your own comparisons. For me, a lot of Bordeaux. It’s my true love. I’ve been to Bordeaux eleven times. Two of them En Premiers.
When I tasted this so called critically difficult/bad vintage from Chateau Belle-Vue, I saw its potential and wasn’t wrong. Now, eleven years later, this wine is singing. While the critics haven’t tasted this wine as recently as this year, they would tell you this wine was average. It is anything but! If I put this wine in a blind tasting, I am confident many would call higher end Napa Cabernet and this is a Bordeaux producer from an ancillary region, under the radar known producer and a difficult vintage.
If I’ve learned anything about wine, it’s in all difficult vintages anywhere, there are producers who still make good wine. This one is magic for around $20 upon release. I’ve had $100 a bottle plus Bordeaux and Napa Cabernet that weren’t this good.
The nose shows, ripe, earthy fruits of; blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, dark cherries, creamy raspberries on the glass edges, some blueberries & boysenberries and baked plum. Rich, forest floor, steeped black tea, used coffee grounds, limestone minerals, crushed, dry, rock powder, black licorice, hints of herbaceous notes, touch of mushroom, purple flowers, violets and faint lavender.
The body is full, round and lush. The structure, tension, length and balance are harmonious. The tannins are dark, round, soft, velvety and slightly tarry. Ripe, earthy fruits of; blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, dark cherries, creamy raspberries on the glass edges, some blueberries & boysenberries and baked plum. Rich, forest floor, steeped black tea, used coffee grounds, tarry notes, limestone minerals, crushed, dry, rock powder, dry top soil & clay, black licorice, dark cocoa powder, cinnamon, dark spice, some vanilla, hints of herbaceous notes, touch of mushroom, graphite, burnt charcoal, suede leather, pipe tobacco, purple flowers, violets, dark red florals and faint lavender. The acidy round & beautiful. The finish is; ripe, ruby, lush, elegant, well balanced between fruit & earth and persistent for minutes.
The well know professional critics would tell you this wine is old or late. I will tell you, from my storage, it’s has another 7-10 years of life ahead of it.
Have it with a good butchered Ribeye (not store bought) seasoned with coarse ground garlic salt & pepper.
Photos of, a modest Chateau Belle-Vue, the beautiful backside of the chateau, barrel cellar and Estate vines.
— 5 years ago
WNH event number 3...new world Pinot. Such a treat to experience the many different variations of Pinot!
Another producer I’ve never heard of. Familiar with this vineyard from Mike Smith’s Ancillary label. This is a dark, extracted and flavorful Pinot. Black cherry, blackberries, graham cracker and licorice. Thanks for the intro @Mike R — 5 years ago
Needed something to ease the pain of leaving Napa tomorrow. Some extraordinary sites, exceptional wines, and even better people...
Frank Family Vineyards
Ashes & Diamonds
Pride Mountain Vineyards
Volker Eisele Family Estate — 6 years ago