Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Nov/Dec 2010

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Nov/Dec 2010

2009 Écluse "Prelude"

Bright gold. A wild, highly fragrant bouquet displays poached pear, nectarine and orange peel, with pungent floral and herb accents. Lush and creamy in texture, with gently sweet pit and exotic fruit flavors and slow-building spiciness. Becomes tighter with air and finishes with very good clarity and lingering floral echo. This will be very flexible with food. 89

2008 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard

Glass-staining ruby. Sexy, high-pitched aromas of red and dark berries, cherry-cola and vanilla, with a suave floral quality in the background. Smooth and expansive, offering sweet raspberry and cassis flavors and harmonious vanillin oak and spices. Velvety tannins add shape to a long, sappy and attractively floral finish. This will age but I'd have no guilt drinking it now. 90

2008 Écluse "Improv" Lock Vineyard ($36; 60% syrah, 32% zinfandel and 8% merlot)

Ruby-red. Sexy red and dark berry preserves and potpourri on the nose, with a hint of cola that gains strength with air. Juicy, palate-staining black raspberry and blueberry flavors are given spine by juicy acidity and pick up a smoky quality with aeration. Smooth, broad and sweet, with lingering floral and spice notes. 89

2007 Écluse "Rendition" ($38; 52% syrah, 42% grenache and 6% zinfandel)

Inky ruby. Dark cherry and blackberry aromas are complicated by pipe tobacco and subtle herbal notes. Fleshy, subtly sweet dark berry flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and framed by silky tannins. The sweet dark fruit quality lingers on the alluringly sappy and persistent finish. This is drinking very well right now. 90

2006 Écluse "Ensemble" ($38; 47% cabernet sauvignon, 35% petit verdot and 18% merlot)

Opaque ruby. Very pretty aromas of red berries, rose petal, black pepper, and smoky oak. Supple, silky and restrained, with a subtle sweetness on the middle palate and precise redcurrant and cherry flavors. Really spreads out on the back half to stain the palate and finishes subtle and long. Quite grown-up, with no excess fat and very good clarity. 89

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