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2011 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon The O.G. Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, WIne Review

Purple in color.  The nose has nice cassis, a bit of blueberries, spice and cocoa dust.  On the palate, this is very good but lacks intensity.  Lots of cassis fruit along with some chocolate.  Good finish.  This won't get any better but should be good for another ten years.  Will work with medium and heavier foods.  

2005 Château Cos d'Estournel, France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe, Wine Review

Deep purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with cassis, slight blueberries, soy sauce, and slight baking spices.  On the palate, this is young, tight and tannic, but given that, it presents delicious drinking right now.  Of course, give it five or ten years and there is definitely some upside.  The palate has lots of cassis intertwined with a nice earthiness with some salinity.  Good finish.  Needs heavier foods right now.  This has another 20 years in it depening how you like your wines.  

1958 Château Cos d'Estournel, France, Bordeaux, St. Estephe, Wine Review

It's not too often I get the chance to drink a Bordeaux from my birth year - 1958, so this was quite a treat.  Pale ruby/brown in color to the rim.  The nose took a few minutes to sort itself out.  It is clearly old and past its prime but it was good and had plenty of life left.  The nose had dust, some mushrooms but also some cigar box and even some cherries.  Maybe I imagined it, but also some classic soy sauce notes.  On the palate, this is soft but reasonably in balance.  No tannins.  Some cherry fruit layered with damp earth/tobacco.  Good finish.  I won't give this an official grade b

2005 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Slightly better than a recently tasted 2006.  Purple, ruby at the rim.   Raspberries and boysenberries, with licorice, floral and spice on the nose.  A lot of complexity. Amazing texture. Lush, supple and sexy all at once. Perfectly balanced.  Tannins seem about resolved.  Long finish.  This seems to be at peak right now but should stay over the next few years depending on bottle variation.  Will work with a wide variety of food at this point, but heavier foods would be better.  

2015 Bird in Hand Shiraz, Australia, Adelaide Hills, Wine Review

Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries and black olives.  On the palate, this is very Northern Rhonish.  Black raspberry, nice depth.  Some complexity.  Medium tannins.  Good balance.  Long finish.  This needs time and there is a chance for upside improvement.  Right now it is a big, energetic young wine.  It will need bigger (meaty) to pair with.

2009 Clarendon Hills Syrah Piggott Range Vineyard, Australia, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is very tight.  With air, black raspberry jam and some spice.  On the palate, this has a lot of black raspberry fruit but the finish is a bit clipped.  Soft texture.  OK finish.  This is a very solid wine, but it is having some trouble ageing.  It retailed for $70 on release and was probably a bit better back then.  Perhaps some slow airing will give it some time to come together.  It needs big meat dishes for food pairings.  

2014 Torbreck Shiraz The Struie, Australia, Barossa, Wine Review

Inky purple in color and shiny bright.  The nose has clay and black raspberries.  On the palate, this is tight but with air, it unwinds in the glass.  Black raspberry fruit.  Slight tannins.  Nice finish.  Needs bigger foods.  This retails for $55.  It needs a couple more years to settle down or give it a few years of a decant.  

2012 Lambert Estate Shiraz The Family Tree, Australia, Barossa, Wine Review

Purple in color but a bit flat, ruby at the rim.  The nose is tight at first, then shows a bit of aquarium notes.  To me this seems to be from extended shelving in a retail setting (not sure why).  On the palate, I found this a bit tired but a nice wine.  Black raspberry fruit.  Good balance.  OK finish.  To me, this seemed like a good wine if a bit past prime.  But, this was consumed as part of a larger blind tasting of Australian Shiraz.  Whereas, I may have found it lacking a bit, the group thought it was their Wine of the Night including two first and one second place votes.  Wine is su

2013 Henry's Drive Shiraz, Australia, Padthaway, Wine Review

Inky purple in color, shiny and bright.  The nose has black raspberries and clay.  Someone mentioned butterscotch and that works as well.  On the palate, this has lots of black raspberry fruit and a "sandpaper" taste, if that makes sense.  Good finish.  Overall, this has a lot of fruit and oak, but if that is ok with you, this is a nice wine.  It needs bigger foods to pair with.  

2013 d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz-Viognier, Australia, McLaren Vale, Wine Review

Inky purple in color.  The nose is very tight on this.  With time, blueberries and black raspberries with slight saw dust notes.  On the palate, this has plums and black raspberries.  Very smooth with little tannins.  Good balance.  Easy drinking.  This retails for $20 and is a good value and nice for parties.  It would work with bigger or meat based dishes.