Affairs of the Vine California - Aussie Shootout - December 2008

Affairs of the Vine California - Aussie Shootout - December 2008

The 2008 California-Australia Shootout began with a series of blind tastings over a six week period November to December 2008 in San Francisco, California of over 200 California and Australian wines. The wines were tasted in groups of 32 wines per session.  All wines were tasted blind and were tasted without reference to producer, appellation or price. The wines were delineated by vintage in the first round of tasting but no vintage reference made in proceeding round.

The top wines were then tasted blind to determine the best of the best.  The 55 top wines selected by the team of judges were then submitted to the entire panel for review.

ALL OF THE FOUR ÉCLUSE WINES ENTERED WERE AMONG THE TOP 55 FINALISTS!!

The final tasting was held in San Francisco December 8, 2008 as the professional panel brought their experienced palates to judge the final round of the venerable California and Australian wines.  Each wine was judged and reviewed on its own merit.


The final 55 wines were rated using a 100 point scale and are recommended “from the heart” with the additional reference of 1 to 4 hearts.

4 hearts the highest = = "Love at First Sip"


2006 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard

Rating: 94 Points = "Love at First Sip"
Male: Spot on black currant and mint aromas. Great color. The wine is youthful with a healthy dose of new French oak (very Napa in style) with intense black fruit flavors, vanilla, licorice, blackberry and cola notes. The finish is long and delicious. Impressive!

Female: In the glass the wine is an intense purple. The cassis aromas are accented by plenty of spice with hints of cocoa. The expressive palate is powerful upfront with black cherry, black currant, rhubarb and anise flavors. Cocoa embraces the fruit. This wine is well balanced with pretty tannins. Yummy!


2006 Écluse “Ensemble”

Rating: 93 Points = "Love at First Sip"
Male: Deep dark ruby in color. Lovely aromas, of red blackberry fruit, chocolate and toasted oak. Deep cassis fruit, licorice and black cherry flavors with back notes of cola. Big and round in the mouth. Good balance and structure. Enjoy with grilled lamb chops. When the oak fully integrates, this wine will be amazing!

Female: Intense inky hue. Bright notes of pomegranate, blueberry, anise, and mushroom on the nose. Dense dark fruit intermingling with spices on the mid palate. Nice tannins that underscore the lingering finish.


2006 Écluse “Rendition”

Rating: 92 Points = "Love at First Sip"
Male: The impressive nose delivers pomegranate and mulberry aromas. Very ripe baked plum, strawberry, red cherry, cocoa, cola, and spice flavors. A distinctive wine with mild tannins.

Female: Sweet toffee and baking spices on the nose. The fruit is dark and brambly. Herbs wrap around the black fruit flavors mid palate. The finish has smoky overtones.


2006 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard

Rating: 90 Points = "Love at First Sip"
Male: The aromatics are enticing, a nice combination of subtle black and red fruit with underlying spice. Everything is in proportion. The nose introduces a very elegant style of Syrah. Nice structure - nice fruit on the palate and nice acid. One of the better Syrahs I've tasted in a long time!

Female: I really like this wine! Blackberry, blueberry and vanilla notes on the nose. This in an elegant wine with lovely berry flavors on the palate and subtle spice. Cocoa accent on the long finish. The acid makes this a wine to pair with food. The structure and balance are impressive.

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