Sunday, June 29, 2008

and now for something completely different

aged ale. what is that you say? yes, a beer that is made to be aged. now this is not your ordinary flavored beer. it has a deep amber-brown color. the carbonation is low so the head is almost non-existent. the nose was somewhat sweet, like caramel. this reminded me of some stouts i have tried. strong taste. it had a higher alcohol content and was smooth and somewhat sweet. if you enjoy a good cigar, this is well worth your time to try and find it. it may not be for everyone, but i found it both interesting and enjoyable.

Chardonnay Comparison

Concha Y Toro Chardonnay Marques de Casa Concha 2006 - Chile
Styring Vineyards Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2006 - Oregon

had a nice little dinner on the deck with the crabby grape and his partner the feisty tomato along with the comely brunette and enjoyed several bottles of white wine. the meal consisted of grilled tuna, brown rice and asparagus. both of these wines were a part of the meal. the chilean had a nose of peach and mango, which paired well with the mango salsa that the tuna was on. it had a very nice medium bodied taste of peaches and some papaya. slightly woody with hints of vanilla in the finish.
the oregon based styring chardonnay was a different animal. very pear like on the nose as well as the palate. this was the first oregon chard i have had. much different from the california variety, a little more sauvignon blanc like in taste, especially in the bright, crisp pear flavors. not the butter bombs that the southern chards tend to be. this also paired well with our meal. hints of melon with a nice long finish. both these sell for about $18 and are different enough to try and compare them. and they both are excellent food wines. the styring may be a bit harder to get at your local wine merchant, but you can buy it on-line directly from the vineyard.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Maculan 2006 Pino & Toi

people are going to start thinking a like white more than red, but don't be swayed, it is during the warm weather months that i will enjoy the white wines much more than the red. cool and refreshing, these wines really quench your thirst on a warm summer day. and this wine, maculan, was just such a wine. i had finished mowing the lawn and was having a dinner of salad with chicken cubed on top of it with the comely brunette and opened this. a blend of 25% pinot bianco, 15% pinot grigio, 60% tocai, the wine had a nose of apples and citrus. on the palate, a balanced taste of peach, pear and an acidity. very fresh and crisp with a medium finish. at about $16, this is another very nice white wine.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Leaping Lizard 2004 Zinfandel

big. bold. earthy. yummy! blueberry nose with some earth and spice hints as well. juicy ripe fruit tastes of blackberry and raspberry. hints of chocolate and spice. impressive wine with a nice finish. about $13 and very much worth the price. this is a really big wine for a relatively small price.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Orphelin 2004 Red Blend

this rhone style red comes from washington state's chateau ste. michelle, who produce some really nice wines. this is a blend of syrah, grenache, cinsault, mourvedre, sangiovese, petit verdot, canernet sauvignon, souzau and touriga. whew! that was a mouthful. and so is this wine. nose of red fruit and spice. on the palate, cherry, leather, chocolate! yummy. silky. long, finish which will leave a smile on your face. this is good all by itself or maybe with that grilled steak you have been thinking about now that the weather is nice. priced at about $15, a real steal for this big wine.

Monday, June 23, 2008

2006 Chateau de Chantegrive Blanc

this is my first venture into white bordeaux. a blend of sauvignon blanc and semillion, and i was not disappointed. a nose of citrus and apples, this was another great warm weather wine. a little acidity on the palate gave this wine a nice crispness. refreshing taste of apples and a hint of lime maybe? stony notes as well. this would pair well with all seafood and white meat. priced at about $16.

Ca'Marcella 2006 Pinot Grigio

pears! aromas of pears was the first thing i got. and it was the main thing i got in the taste as well. a very nice white wine for about $10. minerals in the finish which was nice and long. decent summer time with a light fruit or shrimp salad. sorry about the lack of the label. i didn't get a photo of it. online search came up empty as well.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ravens Glenn Syrah

an ohio based wine, this wine is a major fruit bomb. aged in stainless keeps this wine from realizing its true potential. the locals tend towards the sweeter style, which can be okay if you are into that style, but not for me. i might but this again if it was a night with a group of friends eating pizza or grilling out burgers and i didn't care about the wine so much. there are better ohio wines. $13 for this one but i have had much better for the price.

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Marsanne/Viognier 2006

another nice summer time wine! these grapes are grown in a limestone based soil which is evident in the mineral nose with notes of green tropical fruits and stone. on the palate, tropical fruits with quince, ginger and almond. the viognier shows itself in the silkiness on the tongue, and the marsanne is evident on the back palate with nutty notes and dried herb's like biting into a spicy pear and grapefruit at the same time. not a bad but for around $15.

Bodegas Naia Rueda Las Brisas 2006

sorry for the lack of posts recently but the baldwinegeek has been working lots of hours. plenty of time to consume the mighty grape but no time to blog. i have been keeping notes and i have a bit of a list that i will be posting over the next couple of days. on to the tasting!!!! another nice summer time patio pounder for a good price of around $10. 50% verdejo, 50% sauvignon blanc and viura. on the nose, citrus! on the palate, grapefruit and lime. a buttery texture on the finish. very refreshing! i really enjoyed this…for the second time. starting to become a standby white for the baldwinegeek.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MacMurray Ranch 2006 Pinot Noir

young wine. very fruit-forward. nose is not fully there but hints of strawberry and blackberry. the comely brunette and i have enjoyed past vintages of this quite a lot but this one was a bit weak. maybe this one would benefit from more time in the bottle. flavors of cherry and a spicy vanilla note at the end. not really impressed by this effort from macmurray. priced at about $15.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vionta Albarino 2006

another really nice summertime white. crisp green apple and citrus on the nose. a zesty palate that was tart and refreshing with tastes of apple, lime and a peppery note. almost an effervescent quality to it. this is an excellent food wine. almost a gulpable white. sells for about $14-16. well worth the lower range in price.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Wine. What would I do without it?

"During one of my treks through Afghanistan, we lost our corkscrew. We were compelled to live on food and water for several days."
Cuthbert J. Twillie (W.C.Fields) in My Little Chickadee (1940)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sincerely 2005 Sauvignon Blanc

we're doing a little globe hopping, going from california to south africa for this white. the balwinegeek really liked this one! nose of citrus (lime) and some pear. the mouth feel was almost bubbly. zingy is maybe a better word. lime flavors and a little nutty finish. excellent summer white for the nice price of around $10. this wine would go well with any of your light summer meals.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Zaca Mesa 2004 Z Three

back in may i talked about this santa ynez winery and how they knew how to do the blend thing well. this wine proves that point quite well. the comely brunette and i had reason to celebrate something recently and i pulled this bottle out from the bottom of the rack. here are the details: 44% syrah, 34% grenache, & 22% mourvèdre. on the nose, black cherry and earthy notes. on the palate a lush, medium bodied blackberry, licorice and dry tannic finish that lasted for quite a while. this is an exceptional red blend. might be a tough bottle to find since they only produce about 900 cases but ask your local wine merchant. it is pricey at $40 a bottle, but you will be well rewarded for the money. or get it for a special occasion in the future and lay it for a few years.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Barefoot 2006 Pinot Grigio

you would think that a wine that sells for $6 would not be all that good. this one goes against that trend. we first discovered this gem on a beach vacation for the price of $4, and its popularity has grown, as has the price. what a nice drinkable summertime wine. nose of green apples and citrus. crisp and clean on the palate with tastes of lemon and granny smith apple and a zesty clean finish. a definite best buy.

2005 Finca Luzon Jumilla

priced at about $8 and well worth it, this red blend from spain is a blend of 65% mourvedre and 35% syrah. dark blackberry color, with an earthy, black fruit nose. fruity opening taste followed by dusty earth and some slight licorice taste. medium tannins and a spicy note as well. fairly complex wine for the price. one of the stand by reds at the home of the baldwinegeek.

Redwood Creek 2006 California Sauvignon Blanc

as sauvignon blancs go, this is not typical. a little too much like a chardonnay. not nearly the refreshing kick you get from a good australian or new zealand style. nose of green apples and citrus. tastes of honey dew and some citrus with a buttery texture and not much of a finish. at a price of about $10 it would be a decent buy but i would not purchase this again.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

El Chaparral 2005 Grenache

had to sneak a red in amongst all the white that has been reviewed lately. i love a good 100% grenache. many wineries use it as a blending grape, especially in that holy trinity of blends with syrah and mourvedre. this 100% grenache from spain was made from old vines that are at least 60 years old. the nose was not as big as some of the others i have had. there were hints of licorice and earth. but it never really opened up, despite the fact that i had opened the bottle a day earlier. black fruit taste and overpowering tannins that really take the taste right out of the old buds. had a strong finish of blackberry, but the tannins kind of killed that. maybe a longer time in the bottle? paid about $13 for this so maybe another bottle laid for a while would be worth looking into. it just isn't ready to drink right now.

Monday, June 2, 2008

One more from the weekend…

martin codax 2006 alariño. pale yellowish color compared to the macmurray pinot gris. nose was very floral with hints of jasmine and spice. on the palate flavors citrus and a lemon zest finish. sweeter than the previously mentioned pinot gris, but very nice wine. about $14 for this one. well worth the price if you like an easy drinking summertime wine that pairs well with food or stands alone by itself.

wolf blass 2004 yellow label shiraz

yes, i know. another shiraz. i promise to lay off the stuff for a bit and throw in a few other reds. i couldn't quite figure out if i liked this one or not when i first opened it. the nose was certainly inviting. typical of an australian shiraz, it had notes of cedar, pepper and blackberry. the taste was a little a bit of a disappointment. not the nice long finish you might expect. fruity taste of blackberry up front with a bit of the spicy, peppery zing you would expect from a shiraz, but then it just disappears. no long finish. no full chewy mouth feel. sells for about $10-12. but i would pass on this one in the future.

MacMurray Ranch 2006 Pinot Gris

weekend was filled with no time to blog so i have several posts, this being the first. another really nice white from a favorite winery of the baldwinegeek and the comely brunette. they have an excellent pinot noir and this pinot gris is very nice as well. interesting nose of peach, honeydew, and honey and some slightly musty notes. on the palate, peaches, figs, some citrus and spice. very full mouth feel. slightly sweet and the price is Nice at about $14. cool white wines in the warm summer…priceless,