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Older Wines Recently Swilled

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Below are tasting notes on wines Hanes has recently imbibed which are not current releases. Please remember that The Hanes Wine Review only covers current release wines being sold in the United States so as to not yank any reader's chains. But don't think that all Hanes ever drinks are current releases. Why, no, he drinketh many older wines as well! So, for those of you who might be interested in reading about how these older wines are drinking at the present moment, forge on ahead. But keep in mind the useful dictum that there are no great wines, only great bottles. These notes represent one bottle, separated at birth from its siblings and your bottle may taste quite differently based on a host of factors. Also note that the prices for older wines tasted will vary greatly, depending on if the wine was purchased on release or more recently. So, take the noted price with a grain of salt.

Sent to Their Grave in February 2018

Danieli, Marina
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Friuli Colli Orientali
Schioppettino
2013
$11.99
12.0%
Clear scarlet to brick red, color lasts completely into the rims, while bright and shiny has a close to menacing appearance. Fresh nose of leather, packed brown dirt and twigs, leaves, can seem medicinal at times, the blackberry, cherry fruit scents are reticent but don’t leave you feeling they are weak, it’s just a general terseness to it. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied, pliant while layered and much more expressive. The acidity provides energy to spare. Grapefruit zest, anise, leather and grill fat give it breadth and it leaves you thinking it could always unfold some new dimension. The green apple, strawberry, raspberry fruit has a nice bounciness to it. Again, it has a energetic positivity about it which disarms most critique. (Composite Cork) 89 points

Dupasquier, Domaine
Savoie, France
Vin de Savoie
Gamay Noir
2010
$17.99
12.5%
Bright scarlet to brick red in hue with dull orange rims, quite clear and transparent throughout, curious coloration overall. No lack of merde and flatulence upon opening, eventually blows off in favor of damp earth and meadow grasses, cow hide and taut red cherry to raspberry fruit as well as white grapefruit pulp, slowly evolving and still possessed of youthful punch. Medium-bodied, wiry tannin and acidity give it a semi-angular mouth feel, tends to zip around a lot. Leather and earth predominate, flirts with animal fur. Sourly ripe cranberry, red cherry, raspberry fruit gently puckers. The citrus a touch muted here, however, has some minerally bite to supplement. On the whole, gives the impression of having been opened prematurely and that a few more years would have provided greater integration and smoothness. 89 points

Moët et Chandon
Champagne, France
Cuvée Dom Pérignon Brut [Limited Edition by Iris Van Herpen)
Blend
2004
$199.99
12.5%
Nice sized mousse at first, no real retention, strong pétillance without tight beads, solid golden hue, clean yet mildly distorts vision. The nose is youthful yet restrained, honey, brioche, much more toastier than yeasty, lemon curd, the yellow apple, pear to peach fruit has a firmer contour than expected, ends with a broadening tarry note. In the mouth it has a consistent and muscular effervescence to chip away at the hardness of its medium body. The acidity has punch and it stays dry throughout. Accents of juniper, mint and ginger add nuance while the toastiness recedes some. Granny Smith apple, peach, pear, and apricot, the fruit remains a bit simple today. Chalky finish. Seems to be moving into adolescence but does not come across as anywhere near full maturity and concomitant tertiary elements. That said, easy to drink. Unspecified percentages of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir. 90 points

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Sent to Their Grave in January 2018

Danieli, Marina
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso
Refosco
2013
$10.99
12.5%
Clean ruby-purple color yet somewhat dull, does not distort one’s vision and consistent to the rims, minimally washed out there. Tight, focused nose which can still let you enjoy it, red fruited with cherry, cranberry to red currant fruit, light earthiness, driftwood, whisper of potpourri, enjoyable for its cleanliness but wish there was more meat on the bones. Medium-bodied with a steady forward movement, the acidity is a plus level and has enough tannin behind it to get the boulder rolling. Floral but stemmy and leafy at the same time, wet leather and barnyard mud. Tart cherry, blueberry, blackberry fruit, verging on savory. Waits until the penultimate moment but then hits you with some grapefruit. Acceptable everyday drinking version of the grape. (Composite Cork: Diam2) 87 points

Pasanau Germans
Priorat, Spain
Finca La Planeta
Blend
2004
$36.99
14.0%
Purple to black core, fully opaque, thick sunset red to orange rims, smoldering in the glass, vigorous and looks just into middle age. Sweet cedar, toffee and honeyed grill meats fill the nose, pastilles, heavyset plum, cassis to cherry fruit scents, sour pulped oranges, leather, sinewy pungency which lifts powerfully out of the glass. Full-bodied, tannic yet with well constructed, broad shoulders, releases nicely through the finish. Campfire smoke, incense, clove and a splash of witch hazel set the stage, puckering and dry enough to give contour to the currant, blackberry, cherry fruit. On the whole the oak in the process of knitting in. Admirable intensity, appears to just be entering its optimal drinking window. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Garnacha. 91 points

Cedar Knoll Vineyards
Napa Valley, California
Cabernet Sauvignon
2004
$18.99
13.8%
Basic ruby-purple core, youthfully bricking rims, decent clarity but not really shiny. Bright cherry, raspberry fruit scents with a strong mintiness, smoky as well with a touch of cedar and smoked meats, softened by toffee and caramel accents, overall though it’s firm with being unyielding, sustained pungency. Medium-bodied, not too heavy, creamy texture with a coating sensation. The tannin is on the soft side, tends to slow down the pacing. Cedar, game, smoke, here a trace of bell pepper. Some earthy grittiness. Tart red currant, cherry, strawberry fruit with curious moments of green apple, somewhat unexpected. Feels like it’s just coming into its own, however, unsure serious tertiary development is on the horizon. 89 points

Murat, Hervé
Burgundy, France
Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Nuits
Les Herbues
Pinot Noir
2010
$23.99
12.5%
Scarlet to crimson in hue, the richness of the color likely lost in its full transparency, consistent to the outer rims, looks serious but not quite brooding, sparkly surface. Pleasing herbaceous and twiggy snap to the nose, penetrates quickly, fresh but too thick to be airy, blackberry and black cherry scents, indistinct citrus, appears at times to be mentholated, at other moments offers pickle brine. Medium-bodied, steadily expands outward, admirable structure as both the tannin and acidity firm it up but aren’t party poopers. Verbena, lemon oil, brown earth and stone create a nice tug between being anchored and drifting upwards. The strawberry, raspberry, blueberry fruit as tart as sweet but fully ripe. Drinking very well now but arguably might even be better in 3-4 years hence to tease out more tertiary elements. 90 points

Fife
Napa Valley, California
Fife Vineyard at Larkmead
Historic Block Les Vieilles Vignes
Zinfandel
1995
$11.99
No ABV listed
Filmy reddish clay hued core, the rims as yellow as orange, the whole thing looks washed out. The nose hints at some volatility but settles down into relaxed cedar, fallen pine cones, damp underbrush, and tar, for the most part any ripe or sweet seeming elements have faded into cherry, mixed berry fruit and honey to butterscotch, does not come close to forcing itself on you. Medium-bodied, here in the mouth it comes alive and there’s potpourri, nutmeg spice, hard toffee candy, and a steady stream of syrupy blueberry, cherry to strawberry fruit flavors. No tannin, no acidity, yet no flabby just a smooth sailing feel from start to finish, good integration. Drinks younger than its age and actually comes across as having a decent plateau ahead of it. 89 points

Emilio’s Terrace (Oak Knoll Vineyards)
Napa Valley, California
Reserve
Cabernet Sauvignon
1996
$30.99
13.5%
Opaque and cloudy looking black core, strong burning sunset reds and oranges throughout the wide rims, aged but vigorous. Relaxed nose of cedar, incense, pressed flowers and cherry, mixed dark berry fruit, clean and does not seem to be all that evolved, does lack some staying power though. Medium-bodied, nice compactness and few wasted words. That said, has retained a great bit of sweetness in the currant, cherry, blackberry fruit, sugary and fluid. The cedar and baking spices keep it sweet, touch minty too. The tannin resolved, mostly adds some textural weight but not much drying power. The oak seems more woody than sweet, maybe a dollop of caramel. While not excessively complex it is drinking extremely well and gives pleasure. 91 points

Costers del Siurana
Priorat, Spain
Miserere
Blend
2005
$28.99
14.5%
The core is mostly black with as much red in it as purple, close but just short of fully opaque, the rims are a heavy set and youthful brick red with a full orange aura. The nose produces pressed flowers, pencil shavings, black earth, cedar, licorice and toffee, a random assemblage of bass and treble, luckily the plum, cherry to blackberry fruit thickens at the end to lengthen the nostril presence, nothing here suggests a peaking wine. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied, the dryness complements the dryness to let it hold its shape. Doesn’t seem acidic at all but there’s green apple and apricot flavors among the cherry, plum to raspberry fruit. Belt leather, violets and asphalt notes vie for your attention with ginger root, driftwood and room temperature butter. Feels like it is just starting to awaken from a deep sleep and be capable of expressing itself. As a result, the finish is blunt if not reserved. 27% Grenache, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Tempranillo, 10% Merlot, 10% Cariñena. 89 points

Aupilhac, Domaine d’
Languedoc/Roussillon, France
Montpeyroux
La Boda
Blend
2014
$14.99
13.5%
Crimson to purple core, burnt red, youthfully bricking rims, vivid throughout and possessed of a sunny glow. Angular and penetrating nose of grapefruit pith, leather, merde and savory garden herbs, burnt dark chocolate and coffee notes as well, the cassis, plum to dark cherry fruit scents more wiry than juicy. Medium-bodied, the acidity gets your mouth salivating and contributes to a nicely fast pace through the mouth. Much more floral here and the white grapefruit partially defanged. Wet limestone with a thin patina of minerals, only starting to hint at developed animality. No problem with general level of the cherry, dark berry fruit but it gets bound up in the overall structure now. Quick best of bell pepper like herbaceousness at the end. Drinking well now but best likely 5-8 years hence. 50% Syrah, 50% Mourvèdre. 90 points

Lafarge Vial, Domaine
Beaujolais, France
Fleurie
Bel Air
Gamay Noir
2014
$35.99
12.5%
Dark ruby coloration that verges on scarlet, full rims, no cloudiness yet too dark to really feel transparent. The nose comes across as stern and steely, sour bois and untilled earth, damp leather, however, no volatility nor outright funk, the cherry, raspberry to blackberry scents juicy and lengthy, they are simply overpowered by the forest floor element. Full-bodied and here to it conveys a sense of power more than finesse, this without clumsiness. Broad tannic skeleton, milder supporting acidity. Good burst of white grapefruit to breathe tart life into the blackberry, cherry fruit. More sandy and minerally than earthy here, the weight does not mean undue density. Much more restrained forest like component, good purity. Finish is a touch succinct. Has the structure to age. 89 points

Swan, Joseph
Russian River Valley, California
Lone Redwood Ranch
Zinfandel
2004
$29.99
14.2%
Full matured and dusky, some purple left in the core with wide burnt red to orange rims, on the whole clear although lots of sediment on the bottle shoulder. At first the nose shows a great deal of volatility and rubber-like notes, like something went wrong at the very start, over time moderates into charred, smoked grill meats, witch hazel, rawhide and long fallen pine cones, the raspberry, blackberry scents lack power to hold their ground. Full-bodied, if for no other reason than it’s surly and stern nature, as if in full shut down mode. Extended air time does little to counter this, the acidity rough edged and puckering. Some grapefruit and mineral notes alongside the menthol and licorice. Smoke lingers through the finish and here too the mixed red fruits struggle to register. Really tests your patience. 86 points

Lathuilière-Gravallon, Domaine
Beaujolais, France
Morgon
Cuvée Prémium
Gamay Noir
2010
$17.99
13.0%
Dark crimson to blood red coloration, full right through to the rims, moderate surface shine. Bracingly sour nose of cranberry, red cherry fruit with a muddy earth to tar underpinning, this mild funkiness still able to overshadow the floral notes and black licorice, good overall fullness. Full-bodied, big mouth filler, possesses ample tannin which at times suggest a little phenolic underripeness. But not really close to green, more twiggy. Fine array of cherry, raspberry, watermelon to green apple fruit, more chunky than crisp. On the whole it’s more savory than sweet with leather, earth and cooking herb accents. Finish is short. Leaves a nagging impression of something missing, hard to pinpoint. 87 points

Battenfeld Spanier, Weingut
Rheinhessen, Germany
Hohen-Sülzen
QbA Trocken AP #19
Riesling
2013
$11.99
12.5%
Rich golden color that layers well into the glass, full rims and adequate surface reflectivity. Broad and muscular nose of warm rubber, orange marmalade, verbena and more minor notes of lactose, the fruit scents on the main pineapple, guava, apple to nectarine, only develops any honey to beeswax accents as it warms. Full-bodied, even more muscular here and borderline resistant, the acidity grabs you by the throat and does not let go. This makes the stone, slate notes more mute and dulls the length of the lemon, pink grapefruit citrus. The fruit similar here, green apple, pineapple, apricot pit and pear. Have to admire the level of energy but right now it wears you down quickly. Not showing signs of shutting down but for a young vines bottling this needs ample time to calm itself. 88 points

Farrell, Gary
Russian River Valley, California
Collins Vineyard
Zinfandel
1994
$11.99
Matured coloration, the purple mostly sapped out of the core in favor of brick red with more orange rust hues further out, clear and without filminess. Pine and menthol notes first up in the nose, creates good pacing and breeziness, then cedar, leather and campfire smoke, the raspberry, cherry scents seem to have lost some oomph and have a more reticent liqueur concentration. Medium-bodied, here too it has lost weight and thrust which allows for some tannic astringency to show. That said, the blueberry, raspberry to blackberry fruit no weakling and performs credibly before a slight drop off at the end. More stony earth and leather here, losing that pine and such. At times comes across like maybe there was a phenolic ripeness issue. Anyway, holding on well although zero sense waiting longer. 87 points

Epiré, Château d’
Loire, France
Anjou
Clos de la Cerisaie
Cabernet Franc
2014
$7.99
12.5%
Clear crimson-purple core, somewhat lighter scarlet red rims, sleek surface, overall coloration gives it a brooding look. Gargantuan bell pepper presence in the nose, relentless, black pepper and pulverized stone follow up to keep it active, as deep as it penetrates there’s a flatness to it, the cherry, dark berry fruit scents basic and without guile. Medium-bodied, good framing acidity from mouth entry through to the finish, whatever it may lack in resonance it has in mouthwatering cleanliness. The bell pepper still the first and final word, you had better like this element of Cabernet Franc or down the sink it goes. Here you can tease out some white grapefruit alongside tar, graphite and leather. Minor role only for the blackberry, currant fruit. Seems best suited as a chilled summertime lunch red. 87 points

Eddy, Tom
Napa Valley, California
VSR (Very Special Red)
Cabernet Sauvignon
2002
$46.99
14.4%
The purple core on the way to a more blackish cast, vibrant crimson to brick red rims, clean and shiny surface, looks aging but not aged. Controlled ripeness in the nose, cassis, cherry compote, blackberry with balancing cedar, leather and tarry earth, there’s some residual oak creaminess but mostly woven in by now, there’s no real stand out aroma, most remarkable for its impeccable harmony and grace. Medium-bodied, the tannin softened but has kick at the end. Same story here, super smooth and polished, the cedar really out in front, orange spice, tea leaf and leather. More red fruit here, red cherry and red currant with the blackberry, has lost zero juiciness. Subtle whipped cream, vanilla to fresh butter accents. Hard to see it improving with more age, real crowd pleaser now. 90 points

Renwood
Amador County, California
Grandpère
Zinfandel
2001
$23.99
15.5%
Even at the core remarkably clear, if black can get washed out then here it is, the broad rims a succession of red to orange to yellow, spotless and verging on fiery. The nose seems muted with nuts, soy, tarry earth and a glimpse of rubber, the fruit has a syrupy concentration but the raspberry, cherry scents lack thrust. Medium-bodied, loses grip now and then, not necessarily as a flaw but as a sign of a more natural ebb and flow. Has certainly reached the raisin, fig, date part of the show, traces of cherry, blueberry add volume, sugary without undue wetness. Nutty and honeyed with mentholated bursts, no volatility and smooth insofar as it covers the palate like waves on the shore. Not a lot of unfocused energy, more alertly relaxed and just sitting on the dock of the bay. 89 points

Clau de Nell (Anne Claude Leflaive)
Loire, France
Indication Géographique Protégée Vin de Pays du Val de Loire
Grolleau
2011
$17.99
12.5%
Dusky purple core, opaque, brick red rims of decent width, surface has pleasing reflectivity. Bright and active nose of violets, black peppercorns, mown grass, sandy earth and gunflint, the cherry, Italian plum to cranberry fruit scents have rigor to spare. Medium to full-bodied, starts to layer itself and soak in but the tannin fierce enough to dry things out quickly. Retains the prettier violets led florality and adds in grapefruit zest for added lift. The gunflint and sauna stone element persists, drop off in pepperiness as well as grassiness. The fruit darker in complexion, plum, blueberry and blackberry, credible juiciness given the tannin. Leathery finish. The sum greater than the parts here, generalized satisfaction. 90 points

Ravenswood
Napa Valley, California
Dickerson Vineyard
Zinfandel
1991
$29.99
14.2%
If there’s such a thing the core is a washed out black, opaque by default, much more going on via rust red hues of red, orange and yellow, looks its age. The nose is rife with cow patties, flatulent gas and tilled black soil then soy sauce, cedar, and patchouli oil, the prune, fig to plum, cherry scents struggle to be heard, extended air time does little to change things. Medium-bodied, still tannic but not excessively gritty, here it does an entire about face and redeems itself. Loaded with sweet plum, blackberry, currant fruit as well as sweet cedar and pine. Quick spark from orange to mixed citrus. Savory herbs, sage, coriander and parsley. Even some caramel left. Some tar, merde and asphalt oil slick elements, however, not enough to upset the ascendancy of the fruit. If you can tolerate the funk it’s hitting all the other right buttons. 90 points

Vestini Campagnano, Azienda Agricola
Campania, Italy
Terre del Volturno
Pallagrello Nero
2009
$17.99
13.5%
From a distance looks thicker but up close the clarity is evident, blackish purple core with a heavy set rust red outer rim, one of those “brooders.” Smoky nose with ash and a whole lot of rain soaked leather, tarry earth and rich rhubarb, cherry and red berry fruit, keeps unfurling new layers inside your nostrils, pungent. Full-bodied and close to portly in its bearing, broad tannins that blanket rather than clench or grip. Powdered chocolate, lilacs, pine, and all that candied cherry, raspberry fruit forestall the volcanic ash and smoke, fun interplay between fruit and more “terroir based” components. As it opens butterscotch flavors take more ground. The lilacs dominate any retronasal effect. Very good distinct personality and leaves you unsurprised it is Campanian. 90 points

Davis Family Vineyards
Napa Valley, California
Cabernet Sauvignon
2005
$28.99
14.3%
Fully opaque core, more black than purple, heavy set crimson rims, dark and menacing. While the nose does offer up some leather and sandalwood incense as well as a few notes of bell pepper it is basically a gusher of fruit, all blackberry, blueberry to plum, the only thing able to distract consistently might be the caramel, toffee accents. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied with a snug layering on the tongue, the tannin only slightly drying and mostly woven in. Not a wine for diabetics, it is incredibly sweet and close to port-like intensity, plum/prune, blackberry, cassis jelly. The oak brings mint, butterscotch and floral nuances. Soft finish finds it soaking in further rather than lifting or scrubbing. Does not seem to have evolved much and probably won’t. The fruit should be on a lengthy plateau. 88 points

Or et de Gueules, Château d’
Rhône, France
Costières de Nîmes
Cuvée Trassegum
Blend
2000
$8.99
13.5%
Not filmy per se but the black core reaches opacity, the clarity more evident in the burnt orange to washed our red brick colors, all visual signs point to a well aged wine. Wet fur, horsehide, leather and muddy earth make for a semi-volatile nose, kind of lurches on you, roasted cocoa powder, pressed flowers, the plum, black currant fruit never quite finds its bearings. Full-bodied, violets, licorice and candied orange peel add needed prettiness yet that volatility present on the palate too and makes it hiccup. Peanut shells, mocha, shoe polish combine with wet wool, leather and merde for a turbulent ride, No real tannic dryness nor acidic bite. Plenty of fruit to go around, plum, cherry, blackberry, green apple, wet and juicy. Hard to tell if it was calmer in its youth, probably was not intended to get to this age. 50% Syrah, 25% Carignan, 25% Mourvèdre. 87 points

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