Sunday, May 31, 2009

Loios White 2007

A blend of rabo de ovelha and roupeiro, this white would qualify as another every day patio pounder. aromas of minerals and limes and slightly grassy note as well. stainless steel only fermetation gives this wine vibrant, crisp flavors of apple and citrus. this has a nice full mouth feel, but finishes clean and acidic. anti-pasta and light summer fare will work well with this one. sells for about $10.

Loios Red 2007

i tried this very nice budget red from portugal at my favorite wine merchant recently. for $10 this red really delivers. the blend is 35% aragones, 35% trincadeira and 30% castelão. the nose is jammy and full of fruit, with plum and bramble fruit notes coming through. the taste is full and well balanced, with flavors of plums and dark chocolate, followed by some nice subtle meaty notes. medium tannins and a nice long finish with some spice notes in it, this wine will work well with barbecue or even pizza.

Loredona Viognier 2007

summer time patio pounder lovers, here is a nice alternative to a chardonnay. viognier is starting to get a little more attention and with just cause. this was, which sells for about $11, is well worth the price. the nose was peaches and honeysuckle and a little tangerine as well. the flavor was slightly sweet, not cloying, and well balanced, with apricots and honey. i also picked up some nice tropical fruit notes as well. this one spends no time in oak so it shines on the fruit characteristics alone. viognier is a worth while varietal to try as there are many available in this price range. i really nice food wine that will go well with many summer time dishes.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Paisajo de Tupungato 2005

another red wine i tried some time ago and revisited recently at a tasting was this blend of cab, merlot and malbec. hailing from argentina, the wine had a nose of raspberries and plums, with some smoky oak notes. the taste was big and bold, but very well balanced. blackberry and anise flavors with smoky notes at the finish. be sure to decant it for a bit first, as it will need time to open up. sells for about $15 and is an excellent pairing with grilled meats.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yalumba "The Octavious" Barossa Shiraz 2002

i tried this shiraz at a tasting and held off writing about it until i could find the words to describe it. i am still not sure i will do it justice, but here goes. wow. the nose was blackberry, plums, figs and chocolate with spice and pepper notes mixed in. huge, beautiful nose. i have smelled wines that were big on the nose and then disappointed with the taste. not this wine! the palate was exceptional, with flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, some roasted meat flavor, and spice notes. a big, bold wine that was well balanced with medium tannins and a long finish. wow again. and you will have to pay for the wow factor as this sells for $85. thankfully, i was able to try this at a tasting. not quite in the budget, but i was glad i got the opportunity to try it. if you can afford this wine, buy it and lay it down for a special occasion. you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

14 Hands 2007 Chardonnay

washington state chardonnay is far different from the california variety. some times that is a good thing. in the case of this one, i am not sure. the nose was nice, with apples and pears coming through. the taste was very fruit driven but it came across a little flat and unbalanced with a minimal finish. the wine spends a little time in oak which maybe the wine maker should avoid next time. got the wine on sale ($10) and bought two bottles so i will try again on the second one to like this more or completely give up on it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

McManis Petite Sirah 2007

another offering from mcmanis that i recently tried was their petite sirah. the nose was blackberry, boysenberry, leather and pepper. off to a nice start. couldn't wait to taste it. the flavor was black raspberry with smoky oak and chocolate flavors mixed in. also got some nice cedar notes as well. the tannins were a bit powerful at first but mellowed as the wine opened up while a swirled it in the glass. this is a nice big wine for a not so big price of about $12. two wines now from mcmanis that have been well worth the money. you gotta try this one. excellent.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

McManis Zinfandel 2007

when is a zin not a zin? try this one from mcmanis and you will see. most of the zins i have tried are big, bold wines. this one has a really interesting subtle character to it that i really found enjoyable. the nose was a beautiful mix of raspberries and blueberries, with spicy clove notes mixed in. the taste was very fruit forward. flavors of blackberry and cherry, with some nice cinnamon and mocha notes mixed in at the back. very well balanced with medium tannins and a very long finish. this is not an over the top zinfandel. it has a very nice, refined character that i found very appealing. and the price of about $12 makes for an excellent buy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"The Other" 2007 Red Blend

i tried this several years back and really enjoyed it and revisited it recently at a wine tasting. here is the line up for this blend…60% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 10% syrah. the wine will draw you in with the nose is has, with aromas of plums and spice and cedar. the taste was black cherry and smoky wood followed by some spice and a really nice dark chocolate note. the blend on this wine changes from year to year, so it is worth looking into and comparing. the '05 i tried was mostly syrah and was wonderful. sells for about $13. this would be a nice compliment to grilled meat dishes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ca Tullio Pinot Grigio 2007

warm weather is here so i am tasting a few more white wines and tried this one last week. the nose was floral with apple and pineapple as well. on the palate this was heavy on the citrus with lemon and lime flavors prevailing. the wine was very crisp and acidic and the finish was clean and abrupt. not a bad pinot grigio for about $10, although i wasn't crazy about it. think salads and other light summer foods and cheeses with this one.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Woop Woop Shiraz 2007

another wine i tasted at a recent pouring, woop woop shiraz is not only fun to say, it is enjoyable to taste as well. nose is blackberries and some nice spicy notes. the taste was very full bodied with flavors of black cherry, licorice, and some dark chocolate coming through. a bit tannic at first, the wine opened up nicely to reveal some nice balance and flavor. sells for about $12, and very well worth the price for this wine.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Richter Zeppelin Riesling 2007

i tried this riesling recently and although i am not a huge fan of the varietal, i know there are times when it can be the perfect wine to serve with certain foods. the nose had hints of slate like minerals and citrus, as well as a little apple. the flavor was slightly sweet without being syrupy or cloying, with well balanced flavors of citrus (lemon) and apple, nicely acidic and a full mouth feel. i got a nice apricot note toward the finish as well. this wine sells for about $14 and will go very well with chicken dishes or maybe a nice blue cheese. good food wine. oh, and the name mentions zeppelin because wines from this vineyard were served in the luxurious restaurant of the zeppelin airships in the 1920's and 1930's.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz 2006

back down under to australia for this beauty of a shiraz. black cherry and black raspberry nose, with hints of graphite and smoke. the flavor was cherry and strawberry with spicy pepper notes intermingled throughout. very well balanced tannins and flavors and a beautiful long finish. i was very impressed with this wine which will go well with grilled meats or even pasta dishes. sells for about $17. buy two bottles to lay one down for a year and be impressed all over again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sea Smoke Southing 2005 Pinot Noir

every now and then you have to pull one of those really nice bottles of wine fro the cellar. this one has been begging to be opened for about two years. the comely brunette and i were in need of a little pampering so i opened this up. all i can say is wow! this wine comes from the santa barbara county area. the nose was cherry, spicy cinnamon and sorry if i offend anyone, a sexy, body aroma. the kind of nose you expect from a pinot noir. the taste was red berries-strawberry, a little cherry and red raspberry, followed by some really nice spice flavors and earthy, damp forest floor notes. the tannins were a little bold at first, but decanting softened them up. the wine changed considerably over time and was very smooth and well balanced with subtle flavors of pepper and vanilla coming through as it opened up. i paid $60 for this bottle and it was worth every penny.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Granacha de Fuego 2007

off to spain for this nicely priced ($9 a bottle) grenache. the nose was blackberries, blueberries and spice and earthy, wet leaves. the taste was quite surprising given the low price. it can be hard to find grenache that is worth while at this price point, but this one works well. black raspberries, pepper and licorice flavors with a nice long finish. this is a very fruit forward grenache with medium tannins and will work well with pizza, burgers or a good steak dinner. a very easy drinking wine that is well worth the price.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner 2008

i tried this gruner veltliner from austria recently. this is the second gruner i have tried and i am still unsure whether i am really crazy about the varietal. the nose was pears, spice and floral notes. the palate was clean with flavors of pear, lentil and spicy white pepper. a little sweetness and a crisp finish. i enjoyed it to a point but wouldn't want to drink it alone as i did on this occasion. i would think this would pair with ham dish. sells for about $17.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sterling Vintner's Collection 2007 Meritage

back to the states with this meritage from sonoma. a blend of 52% cabernet sauvignon, 44% merlot, 3% malbec, 1% petit verdot, this red has a nose of black cherry, rose petals and chocolate. the nose was not very big and it took a while for the wine to open up, so i would suggest decanting this one for an hour or so before drinking. the taste was black raspberry, cherry, spice, with hints of chocolate and floral flavors of rose and violet and very firm tannins. the tannins softened a bit as it opened up in the glass, once again suggesting that the wine needs to be decanted. the best part is the price, selling for about $10 a bottle. this is a fairly dry red that will match up nicely with a veal or beef dinner.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Root:1 Sauvignon Blanc 2008

wine three from root:1 is the sauvignon blanc. this one is a bit different from other sauv blancs i have tried. not as heavy on the grapefruit as the new zealand variety. the nose was pears and honey dew melon and a little bit of citrus. the taste was green melon and lime, and very heavy mineral notes. the mineral was almost a bit overpowering at times. the citrusy lime flavors also came through in the back and the wine had a very crisp finish. not one of my favorite sauv blancs. sells for about $11-12.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Root: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

root:1 wine part two is the cabernet sauvignon. i actually tried this a couple years ago and liked it a great deal so i was excited to try a more recent vintage. i am not sure what has happened since the 05 vintage but this wine has lost some its luster. the nose was blackberry and some tar notes. i remembered the 05 vintage having a whole lot bigger, earthier nose. the 07 vintage was more fruit forward. on the palate, flavors of cherry, plum, a little leather and vanilla and very soft tannins made for a nice drinkable wine. it lacked some of the excitement and earthy complexity that the 05 had displayed. sells for $11-12 and pairs with italian dishes, steak, ribs or my favorite, chocolate.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Root: 1 Carmenere 2007

i recently sampled 3 different wines from this chilean winery. the name comes from the fact that these grapes were grown on ungrafted, original root stock. the carmenere is the first one to fall under the microscope. the nose was promising with blueberry, raspberry and spice notes coming through. the taste was spicy and fruity with plum and blackberry flavors, notes of clove and a really interesting sweet cigar flavor. it was a little tannic at the start, but opened nicely in the glass with a little swirling. the price was nice at about $11-12. try this with pasta dishes.