Friday, May 30, 2008

Twisted Pig 2006 Pinot Grigio

i had to buy this one for two reasons: the name and the price ($7.99). this one was worth the price, although it wasn't spectacular. on the nose, grass and lemon with hints of minerals. not much to the aroma. very subtle. and on the palate it was similar. lemon, citrus, green, a little mineral. a little sweetness. the wine was a bit tight, but very drinkable. a nice one for every day with snacks on the deck. at this price, i would consider it again. it isn't as good as barefoot pinot grigio at this same price point. and it won't compete with those really good pinot grigio's. but it will quench that summer time thirst.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Yellow Tail 2006 Riesling

the baldwinegeek has been hearing it from the comely brunette that there were not enough white wine reviews. i will be rectifying that to some extent as the warm weather descends upon us. i do enjoy the reds more than the whites, but nice light gulpable wines have their place in my heart during the summer. on to the tasting…this crabby grape cheap ($6) had lemon and lime aromas. flavors of lemon and a spicy flavor. a bit too sweet for my tastes, but not bad. this would pair well with aisian food.

Rodney Strong 2006 Charlottes Home Sauvignon Blanc

rodney strong is one of those wine producers that you can count on to consistently produce good, affordable wines. this sauvignon blanc is no exception. aromas of citrus, specifically lemon, mineral and some melon are followed by tastes of nice ripe pears and a somewhat spicey, crisp, mineral finish. nice wine for that outdoor deck watching the world go by kind of day. nothing spectacular, just a good drinkable white wine that sells for the nice price of about $10-12.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Syrah/Shiraz Double Header

sorry for all the reviews on the syrah/shiraz side of things. i have quite a few in my cellar right now from a wine festival purchase. the double header?…four vines 2005 syrah from paso robles, ca and jacob's creek 2005 reserve shiraz from barossa valley australia. these two make for an interesting comparison. the california syrah had a nose of plum and hints of menthol. there was also a heat due to the alcohol content of 15%, which i wasn't to crazy about. on the palate it was very full bodied with blackberry, licorice and spice…and a little too much alcohol burn. this would be a much nicer wine if it weren't for the higher alcohol content. $about 18 for this one. the jacob's creek shiraz had a similar nose of plums and spice without the alcohol heat. on the palate, very intense blackberry and spice notes, followed by a velvet vanilla flavor. also around the $18 price. this wine would easily lay down for the next 5-10 years and have something to show after that time. if you want bold, in your face taste with a big alcohol kick, go for the four vines. i would prefer the alternate and go with a little more subtle complex taste of the shiraz. cheers!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Zaca Mesa 2005 Z Cuvée

one of the baldwinegeeks favorite santa ynez valley vineyards is zaca mesa. the 2005 z-cuvée is a rhone-inspired red blend of 48% mourvedre, 29% grenache, 20% syrah, and 3% cinsaut. the blend changes from year to year and these folks know how to do it right. i'll revisit some of their other wines later this summer. on to the review. on the nose, blackberry earth and spice. taste the blackberries right away along with herbs and earth and a nice black licorice finish which is nice and long and sexy. this is a bold, plush wine that will go with everything from pizza with mushrooms to lamb. i would try this with a nice filet and grilled mushrooms. layers of flavor. beautiful wine for about $18.

Yalumba 2006 Eden Valley Wild Ferment Chardonnay

this is a very nice chardonnay from australia if you can get past the long name. if you like oaked chardonnays, this one is for you. nose of citrus, and toasted nuts. on the palate, bright lemon and creamy fruit, and some stone and mineral notes. nice long finish. all for the nice price of $12-14.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Other 2006 White Blend

this wine, from peirano estate vineyard in lodi, california is an interesting mix of 65% chardonnay, 25% sauvignon blanc and 10% viognier. on the nose, pears and a subtle spicey oak. on the palate, peaches and pears and a soft slightly buttery mouth feel with a long finish. very nice with a chicken and vegetable medley. and the price is nice as well…$10-12. good warm weather white that will pair well with many of your light summer foods.

Trapiche 2005 Syrah

into the nice price wine. this syrah goes for around $11. not in the crabby grapes "cheap" territory, but close. nose of spice and red currants. on the palate, red plums and some tobacco, licorice and black pepper notes. very drinkable. not one you would want to lay for a while, it is ready now. well worth the price.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Peter Howland 2002 Shiraz

this shiraz was very interesting. and once again, a bottle i may have opened too early. fortunately i have a second bottle which i will keep in the cellar for a few more years and see how it compares. the nose had a black pepper, earthy and almost tar like note to it. i was ready for a huge tasting wine. i was only slightly disappointed. the flavor was very complex. hints of dark fruit and of pepper. medium tannins and earthy finish. i felt like it could have been much bigger and i guess i will have to wait a few years to find out, although i am revisiting this after it has been open a day or two. $30.

Friday, May 16, 2008


it is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any other reason.
latin saying

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Harmony Hill Rhapsody 2005

we will keep it local with this bordeaux style (65% cab franc, 35% cab) wine from bethel, ohio. most people would turn their noses up at a wine from ohio, but not this wine geek. this is actually a very nice wine. nose of earth (wet forest floor), plum and black currant, and a mesquite aroma. taste is very fruit forward with plum and black currant, and a beautiful earthy finish that was long and supple. i think this still could have stayed in the bottle a while longer and easily held up and developed further. at $12-14, a nice price. the winery is also well worth the visit. a really peaceful setting with several nice wines to taste.

Monday, May 12, 2008

One more from the weekend…

Dow's 10 Year Aged Tawny Port is a blend of older wines, which offer more complexity than younger wines, and which bring fresh fruit flavors and vibrancy. paler reddish amber color. on the nose, full, nutty bouquet. on the palate citrus, toffee and vanilla and a soft lingering finish. nice way to end a rainy sunday night with a good book. $35

Irony 2005 Pinot Noir

i'm always ready to try a new pinot noir. i exchange bottles of wine at work at this came in an exchange. 13.5% alcohol, which is a good thing since many pinots from the california area tend to be a little too "hot" in the alcohol arena and that can make the true flavors difficult to taste. on the nose, this pinot had earthy mushroom smells as well a little spice. flavors of sweet red fruit and cola, followed by mushrooms and a nice long dry finish. a very nice wine at a reasonable price of about $14-15.

Doña Paula Malbec

this 2005 malbec was not nearly as ready to drink as i had hoped. nose of raspberries and herbs. smelled a bit green. and that was the case on the palate as well. a bit tight but the flavors had promise. smokey and spicy with lots of fruit and medium tannins and a long finish. not bad. this would be worth purchasing again and laying it down for a year to see what developed. and at a price of about $11, a good value.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Seigneurs de Bergerac - Bergerac Sec 2006

this sauvignon blanc, semillon blend from france was a light patio pounder. citrus and pears on the nose. light taste of the same fruits on the palate with a little spice. not much of a full flavor. very light leaning toward the dry side. not sure i would purchase this again. not very impressive.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bordeaux comparison

had the pleasure of sharing company and wine with my friend the crabby grape this weekend. we did a 1995 vs 2005 bordeaux comparison. the '95 was a chateau poujeaux, moulis en médoc ($29.00 in 2000) and the '05 was chateau recougne, bordeaux supérieur ($12.99 in 2008). the 95 color was much more subtle and faded out than the 05. very different noses on each as you might expect. the 05 had a more floral, cherry nose throughout the several hours the wine was open, the 95 was immediately fruity and herbal, with hints of eucalyptus, then developed and softened into an asparagus-like aroma and finally earthy mushroom smells.
on the palate, the 05 was not bad but really didn't have the depth you expect from a decent bordeaux. the tannins were soft, and you got the impression that this wine would not hold up to laying for any length of time. it had ripe fruit and floral flavors and just a hint of a gamey flavor that never really developed further.
the 95 was extremely pleasant, developing in taste as we drank over the course of the evening. ripe cherry and cedar flavors that developed earthy tastes with time. full tannins that were a bit overpowering at first, but softened with time. flavors began to fade a bit as the wine opened up. an enjoyable experience. fun comparison. have to try that again in the future.