It is not often that you can enjoy a magnum of wine, unless you are having a celebration like a birthday party, wedding, etc. At the Taste of Tulalip, we did have the Celebration Dinner on the Friday night, so on Saturday we were treated to keep celebrating with some wonderful magnums of wine from around the world.
Last year I showed up about 30 minutes after the Party started and I missed out on several nice wines, so this year, I was there right at the opening to make sure no bottle would go unsampled by me. I made a beeline for the Château Lafite Rothschild 2006 as I missed out last year. This wine had light smoky, leather, plums and cherry aromas. Medium plus body, dry but with a light mouth feel. Light oak, dried cherries and cassis berries, and a hint of chocolate. Fine tannins. I’m happy!
There were wines from France, Italy, California, Oregon, and of course Washington State. Magnums are typically produced by a winery for a wine that they feel proud about, so expect top quality wines. I did, and was not disappointed.
Some Magnum Selections
ZD Abacus XIV, Napa Valley, California (US$525). Abacus is ZD Winery’s ultimate Cabernet Sauvignon, combining the best qualities of an aged wine with the best of a youthful wine. How so? They combine 20 vintages in a solera style! This wine was medium translucent garnet in the glass. Light cassis and oak aromas. Mineral, then juicy raspberry and cassis fruit, and sweet vanilla. Dry with a light mouth feel. Fine tannins with medium acidity. A very nice wine.
- Levy & McClellan 2008, Napa Valley, California (~$525). This is a new wine project by the husband and wife team of Bob Levy and Martha McClellan, the winemakers at Harlan and Sloan, respectively. This is a big Cabernet Sauvignon. Lots of raspberries and some meatiness on the nose. Velvety smooth, medium plus body with juicy raspberries and dark fruit flavours. Light vanilla and soft tannins.
- Vigneto Alto Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, DOCG, Bussola 2005, Italy. This Amarone is a blend of Corvina & Corvinone, 75%, Rondinella 20%, and Cabernet Franc, Dindarella, Croatina, Molinara, etc. 5%. This was I think my overall favourite wine of the Magnum Party. Medium dense garnet with a translucent rim. Nice nose of dried dark fruits with some meatiness. Off dry, with an intense core of flavours; licorice, chocolate, vanilla, and dark cherries, and some spice on the finish. Medium acidity. Long length. Wonderful.
- Patricia Green Cellars Notorious Pinot Noir, 2011, Oregon. Pale translucent cherry colour, with very enticing aromas of roses and smoky raspberries. Light body, dry with soft tannins. South mouth feel with falvours of roses, red cherries, and tea leaves later on. Elegant..
- Betz Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009, Washington. This wine is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon (82%), with some Petit Verdot (10%) and Merlot (8%) added. Opaque garnet in colour. Coffee and cassis aromas. Light intensity. Probably would be more aromatic, but these big wines need time to be decanted and breathe. Full body with firm tannins. Quite fruity with cassis fruit, a hint of mint and some vanilla. A quality wine.
There were a few wineries represented at the Magnum Party with the regular 750 ml bottles. I don’t mind because their wines were very good. My two favourites:
- Reynvaan Family Vineyards Stonessence Syrah 2009, Washington. This is 100% Syrah. Light translucent garnet. Smoky, sausage, and minerality on the nose. I enjoyed these aromas a lot. Full body, dry with soft tannins. Smoky, cocoa, coffee and dark fruit, with spice on the mid palate. A very complex and very tasty wine. This wine knocked me over and would be tied for my favourite wine of the Magnum Party.
- Sitar Prelude Pinot Noir, 2008, California. Light violets and red cherry aromas. Light body, dry with red cherries, and violet flavours. Spice in the mid palate followed by more cherries. The flavour gets more intense as you swirl it in your mouth. Medium acidity; low tannins.
In case you would like to get more information on these wines and the wineries, I’ve provided the website links below for you. Cheers!