Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jim Barry Cover Drive Cabernet 2005

back to australia! sorry for the many aussie blogs lately, but i attended a tasting of all wines from down under recently and i was quite impressed with much of what i tasted and have a great deal of notes to blog about. this cab was very nice, with a nose of black cherry and dark chocolate, with hints of mint and coffee. the palate was very fruit forward with black cherry as the principle flavor. i also got a vanilla and a tar note at the finish. nice, full bodied wine with a nice balanced flavor that sells for about $20 and begs for something in the red meat or pork family to accompany it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Franzia Cabernet Sauvignon

here is another boxed wine for the budget conscious buyer. franzia has been doing the low priced wines for a long time and quite frankly, they don't have a very good reputation for the quality of their wine. amazing to me because they sell a whole lot of wine, so they must be appealing to someone. at a price of $13.99 for a five liter box, it is very cheap, about 45¢ a glass. try getting a glass of wine at your local restaurant for that price. but how does it stand up to the scrutiny of yours truly? the nose was cherries and plums and some spice. not overly complicated, the taste was more of the same, cherries and plums with a little spice and a medium, dry finish. if you don't have a lot of money to spend and want to keep some wine around for a long period of time, this will work. not great, but it will work in a pinch.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Almaden Heritage Chardonnay

summer time whites at a good price are always the way to go, especially if you are entertaining a large group of people. i tried this one and the price is certainly right. i paid $18 for a 5 litre box, which is 34 glasses of wine if you pour 5 oz at a time. dirt cheap! but is the wine worth it? as chardonnays go, it isn't a big buttery, oaky chard. it was more of a dry, crisp chard with plenty of apple and pear on the nose and on the palate as well. this one is going to be very food friendly for the summer fare of salads and shrimp. the was a slight butter taste, but i was surprised at how light it was. if you want a bigger bolder chard, steer clear of tis one. want an easy drinking, unpretentious white, then this is for you.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Three Stones Sauvignon Blanc 2008

i seem to be on a bit of an aussie/new zealand kick lately, so i'll stay there for another one. this sauv blanc hails from the new zealand marlborough region. this falls into that tropical fruit style of sauv blanc, so if you are a fan, this one is worth the try. the nose was pineapple, citrus, especially grapefruit, and a little mineral note. the flavor was full and fruity, with pineapple, passion fruit, honey and a nice crisp citrus finish. a patio pounder for sure. the wine sells for about $12-14 and will be on the baldwinegeek table this summer. excellent white for the money.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earthworks Shiraz 2006

this australian was recommended by someone and i was able to try it at a tasting before buying. the nose was certainly interesting, with blueberries, smoke aromas and some bacon notes coming through. the taste was a bit underwhelming, which surprised me since the nose was so nice and big. bad bottle maybe? i got some black cherry flavors and a little spice, but the wine had no finish. it just was there and gone. i am at a loss to explain it. i would consider trying a different bottle because i loved the nose on this wine. at a price of $12-14, it could be a really good wine, but i am reluctant to try it again. and this area of australia, the barossa valley, produces some excellent wines.

Yalumba Y-Series Sauvignon Blanc 2007

another white from down in aussie land. summer time is coming and patio pounders are always in demand. this sauv blanc qualifies as a worthy wine, with a nose of citrus and minerals, and a little apple. the flavor was crisp green apple, lemon zest and minerals. not nearly as much of the grapefruit finish as a new zealand sauv blanc, but the was a little of that as well. the wine had a nice clean finish and will go well with salads or seafoods. and the price is nice at around $10-12, making it a worthy buy for your warm weather consumption.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oxford Landing Shiraz 2007

at a recent tasting i tried this lower priced australian shiraz ($8). if you are looking for a nice bargain priced shiraz, look no further than this. the nose was plums, some chocolate and a little anise. the palate was raspberry, cherry, licorice and the traditional australian shiraz flavor of black pepper. the aussie red had medium tannins that softened nicely with some swirling followed by a nice long finish. very nice fruit forward wine which will go well with barbecued meats or burgers from the grill.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Selection Laurence Feraud 2005 Seguret Cotes du Rhone

here is a tasty french blend of grenache, mourvedre, syrah, and carignan. the nose was raspberry and a spicy aroma that i think was sage. i got a menthol like note as well. the flavor was more of the raspberry, with some black cherry thrown in as well. there was also that nice earthy, barnyard flavor of many french wines that i just love. this is a nice wine that sells for about $15. it isn't overly complex, but is a very nice food wine, or if you just want a nice glass to drink alone, this will work.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Foris Rogue Valley Fly-Over Red 2002

the comely brunette and i first tasted this southern oregon bordeaux blend many years ago at a restaurant in asheville. we try to keep a bottle around for a good meal or when we want a really nice blend with some complexity. a grilled steak dinner with baked potatoes and steamed broccoli was on the menu, so i pulled this from the rack in the cellar. first thing i did was decant it for about an hour. i remembered this being a benefit the last tie we drank it. the wine is a blend of 63% merlot, 22% cabernet sauvignon, and 15% cabernet franc sourced from grapes in the southern most appellation in oregon, the rogue valley. the nose was blackberry, cedar and some tobacco notes. the taste was earthy, with flavors of black cherry, leather, plums and spice. this went very well with the steak dinner and at a price of $10-12, it is a bargain! if you can find a bottle or ask your local wine shop to get it for you, it is well worth it! a very impressive wine for the money.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yalumba 2008 Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay

we go off to australia again for this unwooded chardonnay. with warmer weather starting to show up, the patio pounder whites will get a lot more focus. this one falls into the good priced ($12-13) and well worth it category. the nose has some tropical notes with aromas of pineapple and melon, but there was also a really nice floral note as well. the taste was very clean, with mango and mineral notes coming through. grapefruit flavors came through in the finish. a good wine for grilled chicken or pork, this will be one to remember for this summer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Helix Pomatia Columbia Valley 2005

i was the guest pourer at a recent wine tasting and this was the final wine in a group of six that i poured. this blend of 53% cabernet sauvignon, 31% merlot, 8% syrah, and 8% cab franc from washington received mixed reviews mostly because it needed to be decanted. i took a bottle home and gave it some time to breathe and was rewarded for that. the nose was black cherry, leather, dark chocolate, and some tobacco notes. the wine had promise. during the tasting the palate was overly tannic, but with time in the glass the tannins softened, allowing this wine to open up and really shine. black currant, plum, chocolate, earth and some coffee notes all came through. the tannins no longer overpowered you and the balance this wine exhibited was beautiful. the wine sells for about $20, and will work very well with a nice steak or pork meal.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nobilo 2008 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

i tried another excellent sauvignon blanc that compares very favorably with the baldwinegeek house favorite whitehaven. this is also from new zealand and the nose of cirtus and tropical fruit jumps out of the glass. aromas of grapefruit, mango and pineapple with hints of lemon zest as well. the taste is crisp and acidic with flavors of passion fruit, melon and a little grapefruit that all linger on the palate for a medium finish. there are also some nice peach and mineral notes in the flavor as well. this is an above average sauv blanc that sells for about $10 and is well worth the price. this will be a repeat performer as a deck wine this summer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oxford Landing 2008 Sauvignon Blanc

here is a nice inexpensive ($7) white that will surely be on the table at my house this summer. this sauvignon blanc is from australia and has that wonderful aroma of tropical fruit, especially pineapple. there was also a grassy note on the nose as well. the flavor was very crisp, citrus and tropical fruits. a got some nice mango and passion fruit notes. the finish was very crisp and clean and at this price, this white will make for a great patio pounder this summer. nothing too complex about this wine, just a nice easy drinking white that will pair well with most summer foods.

Mon Ami 2004 California Shiraz

i got this wine as a gift from a friend. the nose was strawberry and blackberry with a bit of pepper. the taste was mostly black cherry but i got a sour note as well that i still haven't been able to wrap my head around. like sour cherry but something else. whatever it was, the flavor was not that great. very average wine. it sells for about $20 and for an ohio wine (lake erie area) it is probably a bit over priced. and for that amount of money you can find a much nicer shiraz.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yalumba Barossa Bush Vine Grenache 2007

at a recent wine tasting, i had the opportunity to try this grenache from australia. if you are white wine person and are looking to transition into reds, this might not be a bad place to start. the nose is plums and spice with cloves being the predominant spice note. also picked up a little chocolate aroma. the taste was not typical grenache, but more fruit forward and a bit lighter than you would normally get with this varietal. flavors of blueberry cobbler and strawberry shine through. lighter tannins and a nice balanced finish with a little spice note at the end round out the taste. the price is nice as well, retailing for about $15 a bottle. worth a try if you like a lighter red wine.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A-Mano Primitivo 2006

always on the lookout for a budget wine that i can turn to, i saw this italian red for sale at my local wine merchant for $10. primitivo is the italian equivalent to zinfandel, and i like a good zin. the nose was very promising with aromas of raspberries, tar, and leather coming out. i only could hoped the flavor was going to follow suit. i was not disappointed as the fruit flavors of blackberry, raspberry and a little blueberry meshed with hints of tar and leather in a beautiful long finish. the tannins were not overpowering and this wine is well worth the price. i will return for another bottle of this to match with a grilled meat dish in the very near future.

Friday, April 3, 2009

McNab Ridge 2006 Merlot

i had the pleasure to meet mcnab ridge wine maker rich parducci at the cincinnati wine festival. passionate about his craft. his wines won a few medals at the festival. i will be tasting several of his offerings over the course of the next few months. first is his mendocino merlot, which he wasn't pouring at the festival. the nose was ripe blueberries, spicy licorice and pepper. the taste was black raspberry and licorice. i also got a little bit of a black olive note. the wine had medium tannins and a medium finish. the price was about $16. not a bad merlot for that price point.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Black Box Monterey County Chardonnay 2007

we head back to the bargain aisle after the lush red from a couple days ago. another offering from the box wine category. black box chardonnay is a nice bargain wine when you want to keep some white chilled for that after work sip. the nose is citrus and pineapple. the taste was tropical fruit, most notably mango, and some toasty oak notes in the long finish. for the nice price of about $23, you get four bottles of wine and it can stay in the refrigerator for as long as it takes to empty the box. not the best chardonnay you will try, not too complex and not over the top buttery, but it is worth the money as an every day, drinkable white.