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.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
i was introduced to this bottle from sonoma by one of our friends, the nimble nurse. this is a blend of sangiovese 47%, aleatico 40%, zinfandel 9% and primitivo 4%. on the nose the wine had black cherry, anise, leather and blackberry notes. it really had an inviting aroma. i had to enjoy the nose on this for a while before i tasted it. i was not disappointed. black cherry flavors and enough sweetness that gave it a cordial like tone. very silky on the tongue with soft tannins. then the lcorice started to come through and there was a very interesting finish that was herbal, like rosemary and cedar. an almost cooling sensation. this is the fun thing about sharing wine with friends. everyone can bring something new to the table that intrigues me. this was a very nice find. it sells for about $30. oh, and the ducks on the label? conservation lovers at the winery are big supporters of saving the wetlands and of ducks unlimited.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
i haven't had much luck with wines recommended by friends to date, but this one changed that luck. it is from spain and is made from a little known grape in this part of the world, the mencia grape. the nose on this one was very nice and it opened up on the second day even more. black cherry, earthy aromas like forest floor, some floral violet notes. very interesting smells that changed and developed as the glass opened up. on the palate, a variety of flavors that began with dark fruits like black cherry and and blackberry, followed by licorice and pepper. this isn't a huge wine but it is certainly complex, something that really gets me excited in a wine. a very interesting wine with a very cool label that sells for about $20, and well worth the price.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
i'm always on the lookout for good, inexpensive pinots. it is good to have a knowledgeable wine store that will work with you on things like this. a big thumbs up to mary at the party source for her help recently. she pointed me towards this pinot from argentina which sells for $9. the results? nice earthy nose with hints of black cherry and spice. delicate flavor with a medium finish. black cherry, mushroom-like earth flavors and a medium dry mouth feel. some spicy undertones. for this price a very nice pinot. nice food wine that would go well with your upcoming thanksgiving dinner.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
another riesling? i must be in a rut. or perhaps it just went well with the meal. the comely brunette was having ribs and i had a blackened scallop salad so we had to compromise on a wine. we hoped this would fit the bill. nose was of tropical fruit and apples. on the palate a lemon zest flavor that was not nearly as sweet as the previously mentioned riesling. also more of the apple flavor as well as a surprise of peach at the end. the finish was long and crisp. this went very well with both our meals and sells for about $20. a baldwinegeek thumbs up.
Monday, October 6, 2008
we enjoyed this 2007 riesling with various cheeses after a long day of travel. this is a very good riesling that is typical of germany. on the nose you get the blue slate that is featured on the label. there is also a lime citrus note that i picked up. on the palate, the prototypical sweet rieslings of germany come through. peaches, lemon, lime, minerals, and a nice zesty zing that leave you wanting more. it sells for about $18 a bottle, so it is not to pricey. i'm not a huge fan of sweeter wines, but they do have their place. this was perfect with the different cheeses we snacked on. the earthy cheese paired very well with the sweetness of the wine.
Friday, October 3, 2008
the comely brunette and i had a bottle of this about a year ago and had another laying down in the cellar. i remember liking it the first time around and a year in the bottle could only help. i was not as impressed as i hoped i would be. the nose certainly was there. plums, cherries and mocha aromas. i also got some herbal notes. the comely brunette picked up a eucalyptus note that i didn't get. on the palate, black cherry and plum flavors, medium tannins, some spice and cocoa. but then a funny thing happened. it just disappeared. there wasn't a long finish as i expected there would be. i can't say i was completely disappointed, but i was left wanting just a bit more. tasty, but not as big as i would have hoped. about $15.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
this blend from chile is made of 80% merlot, 12% malbec and 8% cabernet franc. the nose was red berries and spice. there were also hints of chocolate and leather, and a little something that resembled twigs on the nose. the bottle had been laying down for almost a year so i was excited at the chance to taste this interesting blend. if the nose was any indication, this was going to be a very nice wine. and i was not disappointed. very full in the mouth with complex flavors. the taste was blackberry, strawberry, leather and medium tannins. it has a medium length finish and i got more of the berries at the end. the wine sells for $16-20 depending on where you shop and very worthy.