Saturday, December 3, 2011

14 Hands 2009 Hot to Trot Red Blend

this nice red blend comes from washington state. it is predominantly merlot, with some cabernet sauvignon, syrah & petit verdot. it sells for the very nice price of about $10-12. we tried one of their whites some time back and enjoyed it, so this was a no brainer for us. and i love red blends. the nose had lots of blackberry and sweet jammy black cherry notes. the palate was a nice juicy mouth full of blackberry and black cherry notes. this is not a big, bold red. more fruit up front and very soft tannins and some great mocha and toast notes in the finish. great to just sip on a chilly evening, or with your favorite stew or meat dish.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Syrah 2009

cakebread is one of those wineries that you hear about and want to try based on reputation. we recently had the opportunity to try a couple of their wines. the syrah sells for about $55,  which is a bit pricey for me. the nose has black cherry, some nice violet notes, and some nice earthy notes that i like. the palate had blackberry, plum, black pepper and more of the earthy notes i usually associate with syrah. lots of tannins in this at the beginning, so open it up and let it sit for a while. nice long finish of fruit and smoky earth. nice wine. didn't blow me away. i guess i expected a little more based on the price and reputation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Palaia Vineyards Lemberger 2006

while living in new york, we had many opportunities to visit many of the local wine trails along the hudson river valley. palaia vineyards is one that is definitely worth a visit. along with a very fun atmosphere, including live music, their wines are well worth it. the lemberger, grown at the sweet clover farm, is native to eastern europe. the grape is known as the pinot noir of the east. the nose has earth, spice and gooseberry characteristics. the palate is very much like pinot noir, with a more delicate flavor profile. lots of black cherry, raspberry, earthy notes and some black pepper spice. the wine sells for $16 at the vineyard. lemberger grapes are also grown in washington state, colorado, ohio and virginia. if you can find it, it is well worth a try.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Las Rocas Garnacha 2008

i wrote about this grenache a year ago and recently revisted the 2008 vintage. nice way for me to re-enter the blog page after a couple month off. this will still work as a nice thanksgiving wine and is still value priced at about $10-12. the 08 version has many similar characteristics that the 07 did. a nose of raspberries, smoke and spicy pepper. soft and easy on the palate with nice black cherry, smoky mocha, and spice. very easy drinking wine that will add to the thanksgiving flavors and won't put a huge dent in your wallet.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rubicon 2004

it has been a long time since i have blogged. 9/11 is a good place to make a fantastic statement about american wine and a celebration of life! this wine was a gift from a rep at rubicon estates from a wine festival in cincinnati. it has been laying for quite a few years and the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 and the celebration of a new chapter in the life of myself and my wife,the comely brunette, seemed a great time to uncork a really nice bottle of wine. this is a napa standard and is smooth as silk and exquisite! a nose of blackberry, black cherry, some smoke and a little violet. on the palate more sour black cherry flavors,  vanilla, black currant and a little smokey note. so smooth with subtle tannins, this could have easily been left in the bottle for several more years. but today it was excellent! this bordeaux blend sells for about $100. CHEERS!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


it has been a long time wine geeks! seems that life has caught up with me and the work schedule has been too hectic. i am still enjoying the grape, but not as much as i would like! cheers. hope to be posting more soon.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Graham's 10 Year Tawny Port

this isn't really port season for me but i had opened this bottle a while back intending to write about it a bit sooner. i really enjoy a good port and this one was not bad for the price range of about $30, but i was left wanting a bit more. the nose was loaded with spicy apple, some floral notes and a little cocoa. the palate is where i was a bit let down. most ten year ports seem to have a lot more caramel and candied fruit. this one was a lot smokier than i expected. flavors of tart raspberry and a great deal of the nutty flavors that were okay, just different than i was used to. it did have a nice vanilla finish.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pierre Chainier 1749 Sauvignon Blanc 2009

this little beauty for the patio comes from france and is pleasing to the palate and to the wallet. selling for about $12, 1749 is not for fans of the big grapefruit flavored sauv blancs from new zealand. it is far more delicate and actually easier to drink by itself. the nose has some light citrus, tropical fruit and slightly floral notes. the palate on this one is light and crisp with nice citrus flavors. there is also a little floral note and some earthy stony notes in the finish. excellent by itself as a patio pounder, this white is also a nice wine to try with asian foods or a nice summer salad.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Benmarl Winery DeChaunac 2008

i visited benmarl winery in the hudson valley region of new york a while back and wrote about their proprietor's reserve. this red is a hybrid and is a very hearty grape that is grown in the northeastern u.s. and canada. the folks at benmarl do a nice job and have some very nice wines. the dechaunac has a nose of red fruit and lots of earth. i love a good earthy smell in a red wine. the palate had cherry and more of the earthy notes as well as a nice vanilla finish. this is a great red meat and pasta wine that sells for about $12.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Domaine Houchart Cotes de Provence Rosé 2010

i was fortunate to try a rosé that was to my liking at my local wine store. this one sells for the nice price of $11 and is sourced from 5 different grape varieties; grenache, cinsault, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and mourvedre. it has a beautiful salmon pink color and has a nose of citrus and spice. the palate is loaded with raspberry, strawberry and a little melon and finishes with mineral and pepper notes. good complexity that appeals to a red wine lover like myself. definitely works as a warm weather quencher but try it with asian food or that friday night pizza.