Friday, October 4, 2019

Recycle Bin, Week of September 30

All kinds of goodies in the recycle bin this week.  We've got Cameron Hughes (not Napa cabernets), a trio of Australian reds (not what you think), and a couple of Chilean ringers.  While all of these wines are recommended, for my money, the Kalfu pinot and Two Hands Angel's Share are absolutely worth seeking out.  (These were all received as samples.)  Enjoy!


2017 Kalfu Kuda Pinot Noir Leyda Valley Chile $19
There’s a lot to be happy about with this wine. For starters, it’s beautiful in the glass, and not just by its looks. Gorgeously perfumed, its aromatics are an attractive combination of authentic pinot fruit, subtly exotic spice, and elegance. That theme translates directly onto the palate where a debate over whether it’s more French or Oregonian will ensue. But not for long, because who really cares to be distracted by banal thought when a glass of this is in front of you? Reminds me an awful lot of Emeritus Vineyards’ dry farmed single vineyard pinots; delicate but far from shy. And then there’s the price. While not exactly a bargain basement find, it’s less than half a bottle of Emeritus - more than reasonable given the quality of this wine.

2018 Kalfu Kuda Sauvignon Blanc Leyda Valley Chile $19
The green vegetable, green pepper, celery root that greets your nose here is far from subtle. And the acidity you would expect to accompany those aromatics awaits the palate at full volume. Beyond that shock, however, is surprising harmony and length. If you like a wine so bright you need sunglasses to drink it, this could be for you (but you'll still be squinting.)

2016 Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Washington Lot 660 $25
Textbook. Nicely structured Cabernet with deep black strap fruit, poised aromatics, and deft balance. Approachable now, but will likely improve with five years of bottle age. This notion was reinforced whereupon tasting after open overnight, it’s texture had eased, aromatics relaxed, and fruit remained intact.Need something nice for the dinner table at tue upcoming holidays? Decant for a few hours ahead and your family will be impressed. Guessed its price point at $25.

2017 Cameron Hughes Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Lot 687 $15
Anderson Valley is up in Mendocino County, home to tall conifers, sheep-dotted hillsides, and rolling
fog banks. It’s also home to its own unique style profile, particularly for pinot noir. Where as Carneros and points south tend to yield cola-infused pinots, it’s cooler up here, translating to a more delicate expression of the group. Lot 687 is a good example of that tonality and for the appellation, with gorgeous luminosity in the glass, plenty of spicy high notes, and enough octane to liven up the sinuses, too. There’s no baby fat on this wine, and it’s better off as a result because you can really see through to what it’s got going on. While not at the complex end of the spectrum, it’s easy to drink, good with dinner, and reasonably priced.

2018 Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz Barossa Valley $33
Hard to believe I’m using this as a descriptor for an Australian shiraz, but at first glance, this is restrained. It certainly has syrah character, nose of slight tar funk, and a bit of pepper. But where you would expect dense, syrupy juice in the glass, instead is a composed, firm red. Again, with a telltale syrah bounce that electrifies the salivary response, but not (yet) revealing all it has coiled up. Certainly still in its infancy, I’d like to meet this wine again in five or so years.

2018 Two Hands Angel's Share Shiraz McLaren Vale $33
Instant infatuation.  Perhaps the most complete and refined example of shiraz I've had. This has it all; power, elegance, youthful vigor, mature poise, and an ABV below 14%.  Walking the tightrope between fruity and savory without over-serving either, this is very, very good indeed.

2018 Two Hands Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale $33
Clean, elegant nose gives way to a voluptuous, fruit-forward palate delivering plump, straightforward cabernet.  It lingers nicely, and begins to show its oak framing and spice box-laced acidity.  Approachable now.


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