Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rodney Strong Knotty Vines 2005 Zinfandel

opened this bottle of zinfandel to enjoy as a nightcap. rodney strong is always a reliable winemaker, and this zin is no exception. the nose was blueberry, black cherry and pepper notes. the taste is big, jammy, slightly chewy and complex. at first taste the wine was a bit tight, but it opened up nicely as i let it sit. cherry flavors followed by pepper notes. then i got anise, and as the wine continued to open up i got a really nice dark chocolate flavor. on a second day the wine opened up even more and the anise flavor was more prevalent. the wine was even more complex with bigger fruit flavors. this was well balanced with medium tannins and a very nice, long finish. this wine could easily lay for a few more years. sells for about $20 and is well worth the price.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Flying Fish Riesling 2007

i am on a bit of a riesling kick lately, especially from the northwest. decided to try this one. the nose was lemon and lime, with hints of peaches. the taste was peaches, apricots and citrus. very crisp and not extremely sweet, slightly dry. very nice white that paired well with shrimp and vegetables. and at a nice price of about $12. the flying fish is named for the salmon the swim past the winery in the columbia river to spawn. the winery donates a portion of their profits to ocean conservancy.

Elsa Bianchi Torrontes 2007

the comely brunette and i were at the wine store recently and were intrigued by the description on this one so we picked up a bottle. this is 100% torrontes, a grape that apparently has a long history in argentina. it had a nose of honey and some citrus and floral notes. the palate was refreshing, with similar honey notes. i also got floral and spice notes as well. this would make a very nice summer time wine and the price was very nice at about $8. i will have to revisit this one in the warmer weather.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kung Fu Girl 2007 Riesling

i had a bottle of this some time ago and never got a chance to blog about it, so i purchased another bottle for a holiday gathering. this oddly named riesling hails from washington state. northwest rieslings i have tried have been pretty good so this one was a no brainer to purchase, especially a a price of about $12. the nose was white peaches, citrus, and some nice floral notes. the palate was nicely balanced between the sweet flavors of pears and the acidity of lime. there were crisp mineral notes with a medium finish. excellent wine with the spicy meal we were enjoying. not overly sweet with a dryer finish that i like in a riesling.

Alta Vista 2005 Malbec

i received this as a gift. i'm a big fan of argentina malbecs and finding them at low price points is usually not too difficult. this one falls into that $10 range and it is a keeper. the nose was a very interesting combination of black cherry, spice, chocolate and earth. the palate, black raspberry, and the spicy flavors you would expect in a malbec. there were chocolate notes and hints of figs at the end. this had a very nice, long finish. enjoyed this with a barbecue dinner with red beans and rice. very nice wine. worth a second look.

Rosenblum 2005 Paso Robles Zinfandel

i love the holidays because everyone breaks out many new wines. here is a nice zinfandel i offered to guests at the baldwinegeek home. the nose was earthy and full of black fruits and spice. the palate was exceptional. very full mouth feel, dominated by flavors of blackberry. there were flavors of chocolate, anise, herbal rosemary and cherry flavors as well. this was a big, bold, complex wine. sells for about $20 and is a bargain at that price.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Riondo Prosecco

one more holiday wine for you to enjoy, this prosecco made for a nice post dinner drink. aromas of lemons and floral notes. palate of lemon, floral flavors, and minerals and a nice effervescence. this is technically a still wine, but it does have bubbles. it was very light and crisp, complimenting the food quite nicely. it worked nicely with shrimp and the holiday desserts. sells for about $14.

Loredona 2007 Riesling

here is a nice holiday wine that works well with ham, shrimp and other holiday foods. this is a riesling from a smaller, boutique winery. the nose was very bright, with aromas of white peaches right away, followed by floral notes. the palate was not too sweet, with flavors of green apples, melon and tropical fruits. a very nice food wine which i found at my local wine merchant for about $10. well worth thinking about if you are enjoying holiday fare this year.

Ferrari-Carano Pinot Grigio 2007

here is a nice, crisp pinot grigio which we enjoyed with some cheese and crackers. the nose is peaches and citrus, with hints of green apples. the palate is lively, with flavors of melon and lemon-lime, vibrant acidity and a nice, long finish. the bottle sells for about $13.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mirassou 2005 Pinot Noir

back to the budget conscious wines with this pinot noir. sells for about $9. this one is not a very complex pinot, but it has a nice fruit forward flavor. nose red berries and vanilla. palate is mostly strawberries. there are hints of spice and vanilla in the end. the finish is moderate, but just not very complex. for the price, a nice pinot noir, just not great.

Monday, December 22, 2008

2004 Bergevin Lane "Alder Ridge Vineyard" Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

here is another cabernet, although not in the ultra-low price region. but it is a beauty. from washington state, this cab has a little merlot (16%), cab franc (3%), and petit verdot (3%) mixed in. the nose is black currant, and an earthy, leathery, rich aroma. some spice and cedar. wow. if the taste is anything like the nose, this will be a treat. the flavor was black raspberry, licorice, vanilla, earthy tones. medium tannins with a long, velvety finish. this sells for about $30, although if you shop around you can find it for less. this cab will benefit from time in the bottle. well worth the price. a very complex, delicious cab!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Covey Run 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

it is definitely red wine time. cabs are big, bold wines and finding one that is good at a lower price can be difficult. i received this bottle from a friend and it did a pretty good job of living up to expectations. not an extremely complicated cab, but a good one none the less. the nose was dark fruits, like black cherry and blackberry. there was a chocolate aroma as well. i also picked up some floral notes. the palate was loaded with blackberry, hints of leather, anise and spice with fairly bold tannins that eased a bit after the wine opened up. this bottle sells for under $10 most places and is really a nice, drinkable cab for the price.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bota Box 2006 Merlot

sorry for the long delay between posts but the baldwinegeek has been under the weather, and when the nose is gone, you just can't taste anything. i'm not sure i will be doing this boxed wine offering justice, but here goes. the nose was plums and black cherries. the palate was black cherries with medium tannins and a long finish with hints of vanilla. a pretty good wine for the price of $15.99 a box from what i could taste. i will revisit this as i get my nose back and may add to this review. so far, the bota box varietals i have tried have been pretty good, and you get four bottles for the price.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Douglas Valley Bunk House Red

another bottle i received as a gift recently. this one takes us to the north and the state of michigan. a first for me in the wine world. the nose was red berries, with some floral and vanilla notes. i also got a stone smell and a hint of cedar. very complex nose. the palate was tart cherry, with earthy mushroom hints and black pepper. soft tannins and a ling finish. very nice red blend. haven't been able to figure out what grapes are used, but based on things i have tasted before, it almost has hints of cab franc and chambourcin. sells for about $12. worth a try.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Elk Creek 2005 Merlot

got this as a gift from a friend recently. owenton, kentucky vineyard. a few friends have been raving about some of the wineries in kentucky so this is going to be an interesting taste for me, seeing if the blue grass state lives up to the hype. the nose is cherries and chocolate with hints of spice. so far a good start. now for the taste…plums, more of the chocolate, a little spice and medium tannins. it had nice long finish that ends with a hint of vanilla. not a bad merlot at all. sells for about $25. a bit pricey, but it is a very tasty merlot. i'm thinking a road trip next year to the blue grass state wineries is in order.

Bota Box 2007 Pinot Grigio

back to the boxed wine circuit. priced nicely like the shiraz at $15.99, which is four bottles of wine! this is great to have on hand when you have company. we actually had a cold day and were drinking this while enjoying time in the hot tub. the wine stayed chilled due to the air temperature. the nose was tropical fruit and floral notes. the palate was crisp with flavors of lemon and minerals. just a nice drinkable white that refreshed us as we warmed up in the spa.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Strong Arms 2006 Shiraz

i picked up this australian shiraz at our local wine merchant back in the summer. we had tried it at one of their tasting, enjoyed it and bought a bottle to lay for a bit. a very typical aussie shiraz. the nose was blueberry, pepper and spice, with hints of cedar. the taste was full of fruit and spice, with blackberry and cherry flavors and a black pepper finish. soft to medium tannins and a nice long finish. and at the nice price of about $11, worth a second try with maybe more time in the bottle to see what aging will do. strong arms has been bottled with 6 different but similarly themed labels.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pepperwood Grove 2006 Old Vine Zinfandel

over the last couple of years i have tried several of the varietals from pepperwood grove. this is one of the sub brand labels for don sebastiani and sons. if you are on a tight budget, as most people seem to be these days, then give some of their wines a try. the zinfandel is quite nice. not a big, bold zin, but holds up well as a food wine. the nose was black cherry, pepper and i also got a tar-like note. after the wine had opened up, i also got a floral note on the nose. the palate was blackberry, strawberry, black pepper and a little spice of cinnamon, some earth and a touch of vanilla. not sure what is in the ground near the vineyards but almost all the wines under this label have hints of pepper in them. makes for interesting tasting. sells for about $8-9.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hogue 2006 Chardonnay

here is another wine from our thanksgiving feast that the white wine drinkers enjoyed. this wine is from washington state and has a little more fruit forward flavor than the typical california chard. the nose was very sweet smelling white peach, some floral notes, and a creamy aroma. the palate was full and round with flavors of pears and apples, some buttery vanilla and spice in a nice long, smooth finish. it worked quite well with the dressing of our meal as well as the dessert. sells for about $8.99 or less, depending on your wine vendor, so a nice price. definitely worth a second visit.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

the Little Penguin 2007 Merlot

for the budget conscious wine buyer, the folks a little penguin offer up an array of different wines. their merlot, which sells for about $6 or 7 a bottle, is a nice drinkable wine. when i first started drinking wine on a fairly regular basis, merlot was my wine of choice. i liked the bolder flavored merlots. this is not your big, bold merlot. much more of a fruity variety that would go with barbeque or burgers. the nose was blueberry and cherry and a little rubbing alcohol-like aroma. the palate was black raspberry, dark cherry, chocolate. sweet with very soft tannins. the finish was a little weak, but not bad. on a budget, then go for this, especially if you like a sweeter, fruitier wine. if you are looking for a serious merlot, look elsewhere. (i believe i blogged about one some time back called bocage, which is excellent)

Farleigh 2005 Zinfandel

this was one of the wines served at our thanksgiving dinner. the nose was strawberry, cherry and peppery spice. there was also a great deal of heat. alcohol level was 15.9%, which for many wines can be a problem. in this case, it didn't seem to take away from the flavor. the palate was blackberry, leather, and pepper. there was a spicy heat from the alcohol level that didn't detract from the fruity flavors of the wine. this worked very well with the spicy flavors of the turkey and dressing. all for the very nice price of about $13-14. well worth another visit. and this would easily lay down for a few years.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

i know this post is a bit late for those who might want wine advice for thanksgiving, but here goes. zinfandel as a red wine option. what you have to do is think of the spicing that you are using for the meal. all the different flavors need something that will stand up to that and zin will work. also syrah or shiraz has the spiciness that works well. white wines? try sauvignon blanc or try a chardonnay. this year, we are trying a viognier with some of the different spiced items we will be serving. what ever you serve, enjoy! i wish everyone the best on this day of families gathering.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bota Box 2005 Shiraz

for all you bargain hunters out there, here is a nice little wine to try. box wines are starting to get a little more respect, as i have seen them mentioned in both wine enthusiast and wine spectator magazines. the nose was ripe fruit. plums and red berries. got a little spicy pepper note as well. the taste was very fruit forward, a bit thin, but still not bad. cherry and blackberry flavors followed by chocolate. this one would be nice to keep around for those every day meals, like burgers or italian fare. bota box shiraz sells for about $16 a box, which is four bottles of wine. that's about $4 a bottle.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Messmer 2006 Spatburgunder Trocken Qualitatswein

i haven't explored the german wines much so i had to do a bit of research to figure out what kind of grape this was. turns out that spatburgunder is pinot noir! and that would make sense after i poured a glass, as the aromas of familiar, earthy, floral pinot noir was evident. it was different than the oregon and california pinots in that the floral notes were much stronger. there was also an earthy, stone-like aroma present as well. but i was very pleasantly surprised with the aromas. strawberry, lavender, earthy. very nice nose. the taste was more floral than fruit, but the strawberry favor did come through. there was also a warming quality to the wine, not from alcohol, which was 13%. this was like the warmth of a hot pepper. but just a slight heat. i also got the subtle taste of bell pepper in the back notes of the taste. the wine was very interesting, and makes me want to try more of these pinot noirs from germany. sells for about $15, so it is worth a try.

Friday, November 21, 2008

La Posta 2006 Malbec

i am listing this as a malbec, it is 60% malbec. but there is 20% bonarda and 20% syrah in here as well. the bonarda grape is very useful blending grape, adding a full, juicy quality. it shows well in this tasty argentine blend. the nose is ripe red fruits like raspberries and cherries. there is also some chocolate aromas and earth. the taste was ripe raspberries, spice and hints of dark chocolate. i also got some licorice notes toward the back. the syrah no doubt added some of the more earthy qualities. a very nice, medium bodied wine that sells for about $15 and will go well with burgers and other grilled meats.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crabilis Vermentino Di Sardegna 2007

this white italian is made for seafood. unfortunately, i'm drinking it with no food. the nose is floral. i also got hints of bell pepper and a slight cucumber aroma. on the palate, a crisp pear and apple combination, followed by a little white pepper and mineral note. the finish was very nice, clean and long. a very drinkable white wine. sells for about $15. i would like to try this again with some shrimp or other shell fish.

Red Bicyclette 2005 Merlot

keeping in the cheaper category, this offering from a mass producer in france. the nose was strawberry, vanilla, floral-jasmine quality and a little cedar. the palate was black cherry right away, followed by a little strawberry at mid palate and finished with anise. medium tannins and a little drier than normal. all for the price of about $8. had this with a really nice braised beef and mashed potato meal that worked well together. this was not a great merlot, but very nice for the price. worth it for those on a tight budget.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Penfolds Grandfather Tawny Port

this blog page was inspired by this port. i tasted it for the first time at a wine festival in march and purchased a bottle several months later. this is one of the best ports i have tasted because of the complexity and super long finish. the nose is complex with aromas of almonds, vanilla, caramel, and candied fruits. the warmth of the alcohol is also present. i could sit and smell this for an hour before tasting. each time a different aroma comes out. cherry cordial, red licorice, a little anise. the palate is is soft and smooth with flavors of candied fruits, raisin, walnuts, and a slightly burnt sugar, caramel or toffee flavor. the finish is warm and goes on for a long, long time. this is a perfect cold weather after dinner drink. exceptional much as i remembered it in march. and it is a bit pricey, ranging from $60 to 80. well worth the price if you like a really good port. there are cheaper ports available on the market and they can be a great place to start if you want to try a port. if you have a special occasion approaching and feel the urge to spend a little more for something really nice, this is a worth while investment.

Viansa 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon

thanks to our friends blondie and UC, the comely brunette and i were able to enjoy some dinner and wine. they pulled this one from their rack to serve with the meal and it was quite nice. nose was dark berries and chocolate, leather and spice. the palate was black cherry and plum. firm tannins that softened as the wine opened up. i got hints of leather and a little earthy quality as well. good solid wine that sells in the $20 range.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Talus 2005 Zinfandel

with the baldwinegeek household on a limited budget, it is time to look for "value" wines. wine that can be purchased for around $10 or less. this zinfandel fits the bill, coming in at $5.99. and quite frankly it was not a bad zinfandel. there were a couple other minor grapes contributing to the wine, 5% sangiovese and 14% petite sirah, but the flavor and aroma was all zinfandel. the nose was strawberry and spice. the palate was cherry, chocolate and spice, with a little leather at the end. took the wine a little time to open up, but was quite nice once it did. we enjoyed this with some roast and garlic mashed potatoes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Evil 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

this australian cab is an interesting wine that i got as a gift recently. and i am probably going to get another bottle to lay down because the potential is there. the nose was blackberry, tar and a coffee note. on the palate, slightly under ripe strawberry, a leather flavor, like animal hide, spice of cloves, and as the wine opened up, dark chocolate came through. the wine being an 07 vintage was young and a bit thin without a big finish befitting a cab, but it got better as it got more air. like i said, the potential was there and at a price of about $8-10, is worth another visit. get a bottle or two, try one now and lay the other bottle for a year and see how much better it is. very drinkable now but it will be much better in a year or more. and yes, the label is upside down. those aussies are funny people.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oratoire St Martin Reserve des Seigneurs Cairanne 2005

sorry for the long delay between posts, blog fans, but sometimes the liver can use a break. who am i kidding, it was actually due to the poor economy, as it hit the baldwinegeek household. we are currently looking for work for the comely brunette in the flavor industry, preferably in the cincinnati area, but we are willing to move. if you can send us a lead, please do so. now on with the tasting. this cotes du rhone is a blend of 60% grenache, 30% mourvedre, and 10% syrah. the nose is plum, black cherry and spice. i also detected a little something that reminded me of leather or maybe shoe polish. very big nose. the palate was full, with lots of blueberries and earthy flavors of leather and spice. the wine was a bit tannic when it was first opened, but softened considerably as it got more air. this also changed the nose, as it became more earthy. grenache is one of my favorites, and it showed well here. this wine could easily lay for a few years. sells for about $15, so well worth the price.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Burnet Ridge 2005 Purple Trillium

i've mentioned burnet ridge before. winemaker chip emmerich has been making his wines for 15 years and does a really great job blending grapes he gets from california. his purple trillium always seems to get rave reviews. it is a bordeaux style blend of 54% cab, 41% merlot and 5% petit verdot. the nose is raspberries, violets, and rose petals. the taste is red currants, cedar, earthy tones of forest floor and spice. the tannins are medium, the finish, long and elegant. this is a really nice blend that will lay for some time or is drinkable now. just a reminder, if you do have a bottle, decant it or pour a glass and walk away and let it breathe for an hour. you'll be glad you did. sells for about $25, and well worth the price if you like bold, complex, bordeaux style wines.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2005

seghesio vineyards are noted for their zinfandels. this is one of the lowered priced offerings at about $25. i will be visiting another of their more expensive zins in the near future. as for the sonoma county zin, the nose was dark fruits, black pepper and a little alcohol burn on the nose. the alcohol in zins is usually higher than in other varietals. this one is no exception with an alcohol content of 15.2%. the flavor was of black raspberry, black pepper, and a little anise. the tannins were not overwhelming and the finish was long, somewhat sweet, and satisfying. this would pair well with a nice filet.

Meeker 2002 Petite Sirah

it's a special and historic week for me and for our country. time to break out some bottles that i have been holding onto for a while. some are more expensive, but you only turn 50 once. meeker winery, known best for their handprint merlot, is also rather good at producing some other wines. their petite sirah is no exception. the nose is plum, earthy mushroom and wet forest floor, spice of pepper. really begs you to taste it right away, but be patient and just take in the aromas of this wine. let it breathe a bit. you won't be disappointed. the palate is blackberry, oak and a bit of leather thrown in. a fairly big wine that defies the word petite in its name. medium tannins and a nice long, smooth finish round this wine out. a sheer joy. sells for about $24-28, depending on where you buy your wines.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mauro Molino 2005 Langhe Nebbiolo

i first discovered this one by accident a few years ago. i was interested in trying a barolo that i had tasted at a wine festival. then i found out how much a barolo was, and had someone point me in the direction of this wine. same grape, cheaper price. i took some time with this one to let it open up, decanting it for at least an hour. nose of blackberry, spicy cinnamon and a minty herbal note, like rosemary. i also picked up a hint of chocolate after the wine sat for a while. on the palate, somewhat sour cherries, tea, bold tannins, and some cranberry notes toward the finish, which was not as long as i would hope. i seem to remember this wine being a whole lot more interesting the first time i tried it, which is why i decided to get another bottle and write about it here. i can't say i was really disappointed, it was an interesting wine. but it was almost a bit too tannic for me. it did soften as it sat and opened up, so maybe a good couple of hours decanting is what is required for this wine. sells for about $17, so considerably cheaper than a $50+ bottle of barolo.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cousino-Macul Antiguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

this cab from chile was a recent purchase at my local wine merchant. it was recommended by one of the employees there, which i will use to illustrate a point that it pays to get to know the folks where you buy your wine. they can often point you in the direction of new and interesting wines that you would otherwise overlook. such is the case with this cabernet. the nose was black currant, spice and tobacco notes. the palate was blackberry, cedar, and tobacco. fruit forward and then leathery. the tannins were medium and the finish was long. i was impressed with how the wine evolved as it opened up. i could have easily left this lay for several years. it sells for about $14, which means i will make a trip back to get another bottle or two to lay down for the future.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Luccarelli Primitivo Puglia 2005

opened this one the other night as a cap off of a long day. the nose was intriguing. chocolate, blueberry and licorice aromas swirled together. this was going to be good. and i was not disappointed. on the palate, the flavors of black raspberry, blackberry, and chocolate came through. there was also a subtle roasted meat flavor. the tannins were medium, the finish was long and had a tar-like note that came through. this wine begged for red sauced pasta. sells for the nice price of about $10.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Toro Spada 2006

another wine in the cheaper category that i had recently, spada is a spanish red that is made from tinto di toro, the local name for tempranillo. from what i have read, this wine spends no time in oak, yet because of the grape, it has some very interesting characteristics that would lead you to believe it was oaked. the nose was blackberry, spice and it had a sweeter cordial note as well. on the palate black currant, leather, licorice with medium tannins and a spicy pepper finish. not a bad wine for the nice price of $10.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Red Truck California Red Wine 2005

got this one from a friend. a blend of syrah, petite syrah, cab franc, grenache, and mourvedre. i wanted to like it based on the blend of grapes. the nose was cherry and raspberry and spice. the taste is very fruit forward up front and you get hints of licorice, chocolate and spice on the back but this is a pizza, burger, or in my case, chipotle wine. not as much substance as i had hoped for, but drinkable. and it sells for about $8-9, so well within the cheaper budget. just not much there to get excited about.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Di Majo Norante Contado Aglianico 2004

this little gem from italy is made from the aglianico grape. it had a very interesting nose. currants, leather, cedar, rose petals, and the smell of sweet pork! the taste was of blackberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, herbs and spices. the tannins were medium, the finish was long and velvety. for the nice price of about $12, you can't go wrong with his one. it would be worth buying a second bottle to lay down for a couple of years as this wine will only get better with more bottle time. this is a wine that begs for a steak.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

d'Arenberg d'Arry's Original 2005 Shiraz Grenache

the folks at d'arenberg have quite an impressive collection of wines. i've blogged one or two of them already. this one is a 50/50 blend of shiraz and grenache. and the lesson i should have learned from the varietals i have tried in the past is that i should leave these lay for a while. i have a hard time doing this and i end up being a bit disappointed with the wine, knowing it would be better with some time. this one is no exception. the nose was very nice, with plum, cherry and blueberry, and some spice. on the palate, dark fruits, plum, blackberry, blueberry. also spicy tones and licorice associated with these two grapes. a very nice wine that i would like to try again, if i can have the discipline to leave the bottle lay for a while.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Drylands Marlborough 2006 Pinot Noir

an interesting pinot noir from new zealand. the nose was cherries and a slightly earthy note that leaned a bit toward mushrooms. the taste was cherry and strawberry, followed by spice. there was also a hint of the earthiness on the palate as well. it leaned a little to the gamey side. this was a delicate pinot noir that was very silky on the palate with soft tannins. it was not overly complex, but still was very nice. i had this with a salmon dinner and it worked very well with that. sells for about $20.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Barefoot Merlot

i keep trying some of the barefoot line trying to find one that compares to their pinot grigio. the merlot is better than the shiraz, but still falls a bit short of the "good" category. on the nose, raspberry, milk chocolate and a floral note. the taste was raspberry and plum, some subtle spice notes and a hint of the chocolate, although it was more mocha-like on the palate. the finish was medium, the tannins soft. the complexity was average. it would make a nice burgers or pizza wine, especially for the price of $5.99, but overall, it was average at best.

Col D'Orcia Brunello Di Montalcino 2001

my sister shorty has travelled a bit and recently was in italy. she had some bottles shipped back to the states and this was one she shared with me recently. the grape is the sangiovese, which is very fruity when young, but aged in barrels for some time as this wine is, the grape takes on an earthy, almost tar-like characteristic. if you like this sort of thing, this wine would be your style. on the nose, cherry, mushroom, wet leaves, and the promise of a really interesting flavor. on the palate, i was not disappointed. cherry flavors followed by the distinct licorice or tar flavors. the tannins were a bit strong still and the wine was even a bit thin. it could easily spend more time in the bottle and get a whole lot better. the wine retails in the states for about $42-47. if you want a wine to lay for a few years, this would be on my list. thanks for sharing shorty!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

CMS White 2006

one last summer time wine before we start heading into the colder weather. this is an interesting white blend from washington state. 64% sauvignon blanc, 33% chardonnay, 3% marsanne. the nose was of melon, mostly green melon, citrus, and some mineral notes. the palate was crisp granny smith apples and honey dew melons. there was also a grassy characteristic as well. the mouth feel was soft, like honey. the wine had a nice long finish. a very nice white wine which would pair well with shell fish or a nice salad. i paid $9 for this bottle and would gladly pay that again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Notro 2006 Malbec

here is a very nice unoaked malbec from argentina. plums and blackberries on the nose. got an earthy note as well, something a little like wet clay. on the palate it is black fruit. the blackberry and black cherry come through without any oak to take away from the fruit flavor. mid palate you get a little spicy note and that is followed by a nice licorice note. for an unoaked malbec, this was not a bad wine. i had never tried an unoaked malbec before. and for the price it would make a good pizza wine, selling for about $9.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Leitz 2006 Dragonstone Riesling

one more from the chicken grill out. this is a typical german riesling. we had a few german rieslings lately and i'm not quite sure what the fascination is with them. the food pairing will determine if i drink this. it's definitely not a wine to just sip while you are just interested in a glass without the food. the dry, less sweet rieslings i've tried from the states are more to my liking. personal taste aside, here is what i discovered. nose of minerals and fennel. taste is very sweet, like a very ripe peach. almost cloying up front with a mineral bite toward the end. it worked okay with the spicy meal, but it was a bit too sweet for my taste. if you like sweet wines, this ones for you. sells for about $12. i'll pass on this one next time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Conclass Rueda 2007

another white from the weekend grill out. this one from spain. the blend is 80% verdejo, 10% viura, 10% sauvignon blanc. this reminded me a bit of some of the suav blancs i have blogged in the past. very refreshing and citrus heavy flavors. the nose was interesting because there was something besides the citrus that i picked up. it was almost like a sweaty smell. salty, pungent, slightly like rosemary. the taste was citrusy lemon, lime grapefruit. very crisp with a nice mineral like finish. perfect for a warm evening grill out on the deck. sells for about $12.

A to Z 2006 Chardonnay

as a comparison in the unoaked or lightly oaked chardonnays, we had this unoaked chard as well with the spicy chicken dish. this one is from oregon and was not vastly different from the salmon run from new york, but it was different enough and in my opinion, it was better. the nose was pears, apples, some citrus and minerals. the taste is where this one was the star of the two. the apple/pear taste was there, but it evolved into more. where the salmon run was a little one dimensional, the a to z was multi-dimensional. i got a nutmeg like spice note, and then some sweeter honey flavors came through. a nice long creamy finish.
this isn't the first a to z wine i have had and they have put out some quality products so it won't be the last. sells for about $15.

Salmon Run 2006 Chardonnay

we were blessed with some really nice weather for mid october and decided to have some friends over for a grill out. the menu was smokey mountain chipotle chicken. several white wines were picked to go with he food. this chardonnay from the finger lakes district in new york was one of them. about half the grapes spend a little time in oak, the rest are in stainless steel. the result is a fruity chardonnay. on the nose this is evident, with aromas of apples and pears and some mineral characteristics. on the palate the apple and pear flavors come through. the wine paired pretty well with the spicy meal. the wine didn't have a long finish and it wasn't overly bold or memorable. it was an average tasting wine which sells for about $10. we had several other whites that evening as well which i will add over the next couple of days.