Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Alto Moncayo/Veraton 2004 Grenache

this is post number 200 for me and this is a worthy wine to have at that monumental number! moving around europe from france to spain for this beauty. alto moncayo was suggested by a friend in the wine industry to me several years ago after i expressed a fondness for grenache blends, and i try to keep a bottle in the cellar most of the time. this is 100% grenache, and it is truly an amazing bottle of wine. the nose was very big, with smells of vanilla, blackberries, smokey notes and raspberries. taste was very big and full in the mouth. balanced with smooth tannins, the flavors were blackberry, tobacco, licorice, some mocha and spice in a long, smooth finish. this is truly a wine worth trying. it sells for about $20-25 depending on where you shop. i have seen it at a higher price, but shop around or ask your local wine merchant to get it for you. if the 04 is not available, fear not. the 05 version is very nice as well. and there are also other levels of this grenache, some selling in the $40 range which are very good also. a baldwinegeek favorite!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chateau Tour Boisée 2004

another french red worth trying! the blend of 35% cinsault, 25% grenache, 15% syrah, 15% carignan, and 10% mourvèdre has a nose of blueberries, plums, and floral notes of lavender. the flavor was beautifully light and fruit forward, with blueberry and blackberry leading the way. i got some nice spice and herbal notes in the finish. we enjoyed this with spare ribs, homemade apple sauce and mashed sweet potatoes. this wine is aged in concrete vats, never seeing any oak, which explains the fruit forward flavor. selling for about $12, this was a nice find.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Les Vignerons D'Estezargues Terre de Mistral 2005

back to france and a nice offering from the wine co-op les vignrons d'estezagues. this cotes du rhone blend of grenache, syrah, caignan, cinsault and counoise sells for under $15, which is the first thing that appealed to me. the nose was smokey olives and raspberries. the taste was light and smooth on the palate, with raspberries and some cherry notes. i also picked up a nice earthy, herbal note. the tannins were very subtle. this is a good food wine which we enjoyed with barbecue. i would guess that more time in the bottle would only help this wine be even better, though it was so nice that i wouldn't want to wait to drink it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2005 Alamos Bonarda

i've tried a couple of wines from alamos, with their malbec being the star so far. i've not tried bonarda before, and being the experimental type, why not. the nose was an interesting mix of earth and blackberry, with the earthy aromas showing themselves first. the taste was plums, blackberry, and tobacco and a nice toasty note in the finish. not an overpowering, big red, loaded with tannins. but rather a nice, easy drinking wine which is also very easy on the wallet, selling for about $7. on a budget for a good value red? this one is worth a try.

2005 Matchbook Tinto Rey

red blends are always fun to try, and this one came from a wine tasting back in august, so the bottle has been laying about six months, which is hard to believe at my house. we enjoyed this with a beef burgundy dish, using some of the wine for the cooking. it was the perfect compliment to the meal. this wine is a blend of 43% syrah, 40% tempranillo, 7% malbec, 6% petit verdot, 4% graciano. the nose was earthy, spicy and loaded with cherries and raspberries. the flavors were black cherries, raspberries, spice, earth, leather. whew! complex. very tasty, very full bodied. there was a beautiful, long finish and i wanted the dinner and the wine to go on longer. excellent pairing. the wine sells for about $17, and i will definitely pick up another bottle or two in the future.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Domaine Chêne 2005 Bourgogne Pinot Noir

i decided to stay in the lower priced area in a recent search at my local wine store, and ventured down the french aisle. i found this pinot noir for about $11. now french pinots tend be very different, more subtle, than many of the pinots from the states. they are actually more true to the grape, and picking up the subtle tastes can be more difficult. the nose was strawberries, subtle tones of earth and damp straw and spice. on the palate, strawberries and red raspberries, followed by some spice of clove and i also picked up a slight eucalyptus note. there was also a slightly earthy, herbal flavor. the tannins were medium during the first tasting of the bottle but softened into a nice, silky feeling on the tongue as the wine opened up. overall impression was pretty good on this one. definitely worth another try.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nathanson Creek Cabernet Sauvignon

venturing back into the budget priced wines, i picked up this bottle at a local wine store, just because it had a low price and i liked the label. i really don't try many wines that i truly dislike. some are just not ready to drink. others are not bad. this one however was really not good at all. it wasn't corked, it just wasn't good. the nose was cherry, and sour ones at that. the taste was very fruit forward but it was more sour cherries and a bit too thin and green. not really sure what the wine maker was trying to accomplish with this. if you have tried this and liked it, please let me know why. i was not impressed at all. sells for about $7, and i would pass on this one.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ménage à Trois 2007 Rosé

back to the bargain bin and this under $10 rosé. just enjoyed this with a few friends and while i am not a big rosé drinker, i was pleasantly surprised with this one. it is an interesting blend of merlot, syrah and gewürztraminer. the nose was fresh red berries and floral notes of rose petals. the taste was strawberries, raspberries, some spicy plum notes and the floral rose petals as well. not overly dry as some rosés tend to be, this will make a perfect patio pounder for the coming warm weather. this could be a nice way for a white wine drinker to take the leap into red wines.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cimicky 2005 Trumps Barossa Valley Shiraz

i purchased this some time ago and had it laying in the cellar. i have been tasting quite a few under $10 wines lately so i decided to step up a bit and try this one. the nose was plums and blackberries, with typical australian shiraz pepper notes. the taste was big and bold, with raspberries and pepper. i also picked up some anise and tobacco flavors. a very complex wine that did not disappoint. sells for about $18 and is worth buying a second bottle to lay down for the future, which will only make this one even better. if you like big, bold reds, this is a must try.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Frontera Carmenere 2007

another offering from chile. i tried the sauvignon blanc recently and it was not bad for the price so i decided to go red this time. the nose of the carmenere was blackberry, black pepper, and vanilla. i also picked up a slightly minty, eucalyptus aroma as well. the palate was black cherry and anise, with pepper notes coming through also. the wine was a bit tight and green, but overall, it was not bad. sells for about $7 and worth another try.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bohemian Highway Sauvignon Blanc 2007

i tried their chardonnay about a couple years ago and it was not bad so the comely brunette and i decided to give the sauv blanc a whirl. we've tried a few of these varietals at this price point and had some luck, most notably with barefoot. the bohemian highway is a nice comparison. the nose was tropical, mostly guava, but it had hints of grapefruit and pineapple. i also got some grassy notes on the nose as well. the taste was very fruit forward with flavors of lemon and tropical fruits. the finish was very crisp and clean and lingered on the palate for quite some time. and at a price of about $7, well worth it. this is another one to remember for the coming summer season.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stone Cellars by Beringer 2006 Merlot

here is another offering from the beringer stone cellars group. this is a nice, inexpensive merlot that should please most red wine drinkers. the nose is cherries, spicy notes and earth. the flavor was strawberries and blackberries. i also got a bacon note and a spice note of cinnamon. this wine got better the second day, getting more complex, with more earthy flavors coming through. all for the nice price of about $8 a bottle. well worth the price when you are looking for budget wines that are worth more than their selling price.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stone Cellars by Beringer 2007 Chardonnay

if you like a nice, fruit forward, crisp chardonnay at a reasonable price, give this one a try. this is not a big, buttery chardonnay. the nose is tropical fruits, citrus and a little spice from the oak. the taste was full of apples and tropical fruits with a nice long finish. sells for about $9 and i will remember to have some of this on hand for this summer. it will be a nice deck wine to enjoy with warm weather foods.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Frontera Sauvignon Blanc 2007

here is an inexpensive white from chile that i had with a spicy curry chicken dinner. the nose is peaches and citrus. the palate was citrus, and not the big grapefruit flavor you get from New Zealand Sauv Blancs. i also got melon flavors and a nice crisp finish. for a price around $8, this was a nice surprise. it complemented the meal really well, bringing out some spice notes in the wine. i will have to remember this one later this year when the warm weather returns and sitting on the deck to enjoy a crisp white is in the plans.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Beringer Founders' Estate 2007 Pinot Noir

here is another lower priced pinot noir that i tried recently. as i have said before, finding a nice pinot in the under $10 range can be difficult, but this one should be on the list of one to try. the nose was cherries, red licorice and subtle spice notes. the taste was very fruit forward with black cherry as the dominant flavor. i also picked up plum and spice notes. the finish was medium length and very pleasing to the palate. a very nice pinot for around $8-10 depending on where you shop.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Funky Llama 2007 Malbec

i tried this cheap malbec over the weekend and i use "cheap" as the descriptor instead of inexpensive for a reason. i have tried several lower priced malbecs and only a few were really good, like alamos. this one sells for about $6 a bottle and is probably worth less than that. the nose was red berries. the taste was very fruity cherry and maybe a slight hint of licorice. slightly tannic but not very interesting otherwise. i would rather spend a dollar or two more to get something a little better (although the alamos malbec sells for about the same price and is way better). i don't think the funky llama will be making an appearance at the baldwinegeek home again any time soon.