For those of you not familiar with Orin Swift and his wines, the Papillon is one of my personal favorites. French for butterfly, this wine is as beautiful and intriguing as the name suggests.
It is a BIG, red blend and thusly will need some time to open up in a decanter – about one hour is ideal. Without decanting this wine is nice but falls short of its potential.
After decanting this wine is well balanced and full bodied. The tannins are velvety across the palate. On the front this wine gives strong notes of grape, followed by vanilla and a hint of cream. The back is dry with oak, nutmeg, and raisin. The finish is very strong and lingers on the palate long after each sip.
Orin Swift’s 2008 Papillion lives up to its reputation and is certainly on par with previous vintages. This is a great wine to break out on a special occasion or when you need something that will impress an educated wino.
Handicap ($50): 92
This Bordeaux blend is a nice surprise to come from Sawyer Cellars.
Straight out of the bottle this wine carried a nice medium body with drinkable characteristics of bright red fruit that leads into lush, dark fruit. Subtle undertones of vanilla, oak and anise lead into hints of tobacco and leather. For the price, this wine is definitely a steal!
Handicap ($20): 90
*Straight out of the bottle: BIG, BOLD wine from the front to the back of the palate. Full body with flavors of of berries, ripe cherry, and dark fruit on the front and oak. Perfect dry finish.
*Decanted (for about an hour): Time definitely helped this wine open up and become more approachable. Bright red fruit and berries on the front remained, with the addition of a nice, creamy finish that lingers on and on. With decanting, this wine lost its oak notes and its full dryness that it carried straight out the bottle; it is slightly sweet with a weirdly satisfying blueberry undertone.
Raw Score: Tyler: 80 Jared: 84 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $50): Tyler: 75 Jared: 80
*We prefer this wine straight out of the bottle with little time to oxidize.
We chose to decant this wine as per recommended by the winemakers.
*Decanted (for about an hour): The Clio is always a fantastic, solid cabernet sauvignon blend coming out of Spain. With time in the decanter, the tight complexities opened up and transformed into an AMAZING and very delicious wine. This heavy hitter, powerful wine is very big, masculine, and proves to deliver over and over again with each new vintage. This year in particular kept its solid cabernet sauvignon varietal characteristics starting out with nice ripe, dark fruit that leads into a perfectly balance jammy middle. These flavors lead into oak, mint, black licorice, cream de cassis, and vanilla. Time in the decanter allowed for the tannins to soften up quite a bit and take on a nice, velvety texture.
For the price, this wine will beat out several $100+ bottles in the same category!
Raw Score: 94 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $40): 95
*Straight out of the bottle: First tastes straight out of the bottle indicates that it needs some time to open up. This red table wine is pretty earthy with hints of red fruit, berries, and tobacco. It does have a nice dry finish which complemented the earthy tones.
*Decanted (For about an hour): With some time, this wine opened up and toned down quite a bit. While it kept its earthy qualities, it added new flavors of vanilla and ripe berries which was a nice touch. The wine itself is medium bodied and carries a slight acidity that isn’t too overpowering. The tannins have matured which make this wine very easy drinking.
Raw Score: 82 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $50): 70
For the price point of this wine, I will definitely say there are quite a variety of great wines to enjoy. This wine, however, wasn’t our favorite, but it’s always good to branch out and try new wines.
Pairing: We paired this wine with a grilled filet, and unfortunately this wine did not complement the meal at all. I think if you wanted to pair this wine, I would recommend a nice cut of lamb or a poultry dish.
Cru Vin Dogs 2006 Cabernet-Merlot – Portrait Series: Lucky Edition
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc
After previously enjoying this wine before, we chose to decant this wine.
*Decanted (for about an hour): Great cabernet-merlot blend! The bouquet on this wine smells of licorice, berries, and oak, and is very inviting. The wine itself has a great velvety texture that is enjoyable. This wine also shares some characteristics and qualities of some of the higher end wines – with flavors of vanilla, cherry, black licorice, and oak. The merlot softens up the body of this wine, making the end product a medium body. This wine isn’t super complex and doesn’t have the biggest body, however, it is very interesting and work drinking.
Raw Score: 88 Handicap Score (Compared to other wines and varietals in its price range $22): 84