Thursday, December 23, 2010

14 Hands 2008 Merlot

to merlot or not to merlot. so many people i talk to just don't want to get back into this classic grape, which is too bad. there are many very nice merlots out there, including this one from washington. 14 hands sells for about $10 and is 82% merlot, and the other 18% is a mix of grenache, cab, cab franc and syrah. because of those other grapes mixed in, it gives you an interesting nose and palate. it is a fruit forward, easy drinking red that has a nose of cherry and blackberry, some spice and a little earth. the palate is mostly cherry and a blackberry. i got some subtle spice and nice earth flavors too. nice and full on the palate with soft tannins and a velvety finish, this will work with pizza, grilled meats, milder cheeses, or pasta dishes. nice red for every day drinking.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Salneval Albariño Rias Baixas 2009

it has been a while since i have tried an albarino. to this point i have been most impressed with this little know grape from spain. and this continues with salneval. selling for about $13, this white has a nice citrus and herbal nose, with a little floral aromas too. the palate is crisp and clean, with flavors of citrus (mainly lime) and pear. there is some nice mineral notes and a hint of some mint in the finish. this one will work with seafood and chicken, veggie pizza, or with a nice salad. i tried it with cheese and crackers for a late evening snack. well worth a try, and it will be a very nice patio pounder when warm weather returns.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Zaca Mesa Viognier 2008

i wrote about the 2006 vintage of this very nice white some time ago and mentioned that this 2008 vintage scored 90 points in a wine magazine. after trying it i would agree that this was better than the 06. the nose had tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and some slightly smokey aromas. the palate had nice white peach and melon flavors, and a little citrus. not too much minerality and the finish was crisp and clean. sells for about $18 and works with chicken, sushi, or lighter seafood dishes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Justin Monmousseau 2007 Chinon

as big and bold as the last wine i wrote about (gamble family vineyards red blend), this red goes to the opposite end of the spectrum. this wine is from the loire valley in france and is 100% cab franc. french wines tend to be subtle and are very food friendly. this one is definitely in that category. the nose has strawberry, tobacco, some inky aromas, violet, a little oregeno and some leafy green notes. the palate is subtle raspberry and currant, with earthy, musty, forest berry and fig notes. think about old books in a basement. but very subtle tastes that work with salmon, chicken, milder cheeses. sells for about $15 and is worth a try.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gamble Family Vineyards 2005 Paramount Red

i had the good fortune to win a magnum of this at the cincinnati wine festival a year ago. it is a blend of 35% cabernet sauvignon, 32% merlot, 30% cab franc, and 3% petit verdot. this is a beautiful napa valley bordeaux blend from a smaller producer. the 750ml bottle retails for about $60 and is well worth a try if you can get a bottle. lay it down for a while and open it for a special occasion. the nose has dark fruits and lots of leather, earth. and a little licorice. the palate reflects the terroir with lots of tobacco, leather, earth, chocolate and some slightly minty flavors, mixed in with blackberry and cassis. silky tannins and a long, finish round this out nicely. a big, beautiful red that works with red meats, red sauce pasta, hearty stews, or all alone by a fire when the weather tells you to stay indoors.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Helix by Reininger Pomatia 2005

this red blend was something i tried in april of 2009 and have cellared since that time. selling for about $20, this is one very nice wine. the nose has lots of currant, which is followed by some coffee and pencil lead. i picked up some dark chocolate notes too. the palate is big and chewy with plum, black raspberry and currant flavors. there is also some real nice earth, cedar and pencil lead on the palate as well. the tannins are not overpowering and the finish is long and lush. this one works well with italian fare, red meat dishes, or maybe some good hearty soups or cheeses.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

St Francis Red 2005 Red Wine

at the suggestion of my sibling, shorty, i picked up a bottle of this red blend from sonoma. the blend is 58% merlot, 25% syrah, 9% cab franc, 6% cab, 2% zinfandel. the nose had some nice red fruit and spice and a touch of chocolate. the palate was a bit heavy on the spice at first but it mellowed into a nice fruit forward taste as the wine opened up. lots of raspberry and red currant, some plum and spice. there was a little earth and some chocolate notes. this one will work with pizza, pasta, grilled foods or a stand alone glass by itself. sells for about $10.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2006 Alpha Estate Axia Florina Red Blend

i tried this one some time ago at a wine tasting and purchased a bottle. it has been laying for a few months and i was having some pizza for dinner and thought this would go well. this wine is a blend of 50% syrah and 50% xinomavro, which is a bordeaux style grape that is grown extensively in greece. the wine had a nose of dark berry, spice and a little pepper. the palate was well balanced with flavors of plum, blueberry, spicy clove and vanilla. not to large and complemented the veggie pizza quite well. it sells for about $15 and i would also drink this with red meat dishes and pastas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2008

always a fan of kendall-jackson wines, i picked this one up at a recent wine shopping trip. i have had the vintner's, but never had the grand reserve. this one sources grapes from both monterey and santa barbera and sells for about $15. the nose had some nice tropical fruit aromas as well as some nice floral and spice notes. the palate had plenty of nice pineapple, tropical fruit and spice notes, along with honeysuckle, butterscotch and a little lemon zest. nice, long, creamy finish. try this one with some chicken or salmon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Graziano Zinfandel 2006

there is nothing like thanksgiving leftovers and a nice zinfandel to go with them. this one from mendocino county sells for about $14 and has just enough body to go well with all the flavors of thanksgiving, even if it is several days later. the nose had lots of cherry and a little licorice and some earth. the palate was a juicy explosion of plums, raspberries, spice, dark chocolate, a little coffee and some earth. the tannins were medium and the wine had a nice long finish. perfect for the spicing of a leftover turkey dinner. try this with a hearty stew or just sitting by a fire with a glass on a cold winter day. you won't be disappointed.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Raats Original Chenin Blanc 2009

i am returning to south africa for this enticing chenin blanc from winemaker bruwer raats. this wine sees no oak, thus the 'original' title. the nose is grassy, with lemon peel and melon notes. the palate is somewhat like a sauv blanc, with some tropical fruit notes (minus the new zealand grapefruit flavor), some nice peach, mineral notes, and honeysuckle, all in a really nice crisp finish. sells for about $13-14 and if you like sushi, this wine is perfect for that. this could easily replace some of the slightly more expensive sauv blanc patio pounders that i like so much.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Urban Uco Malbec 2008

i tasted this argentinian malbec in the summer and picked up a bottle for both the taste and the price of $11. it is always great to find a really nice wine at this price point and this one is a keeper. the nose is boysenberry and black raspberry, with some licorice notes. the palate was big and chewy, with black raspberry and more boysenberry. the wine spends only a little time (3 months) in oak so it is very fruit forward, but there is some nice floral and licorice notes as well as a little earth in the flavor that really makes the wine more interesting. had this with pizza, and it will work with red meat dishes too.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Edmeades 2006 Mendocino County Zinfandel

the thanksgiving wine for the wife and i was this zinfandel from california. we actually had this same wine last year but it was the 2007 vintage and was quite nice. always good to find a wine that works well with all the different tastes of the holiday feast. nice nose of black cherry and spice. a little bit of cedar and floral aromas in there too. the palate had juicy raspberry and cherry flavors. the wine was very soft on the tongue. i got some smoke, spice, a little floral violet and cedar in the flavor profile as well. sells for about $15. very nice zin at this price.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

DiStefano 2005 Sogno

this $16 blend of 98% cabernet franc and 2% cabernet sauvignon comes from the columbia valley in washington and has a very nice nose of red fruits and some typical cab franc aromas of herbs, mostly thyme, and a little cedar. the palate is loaded with cherry and blueberry flavors, and is followed by some herbal and vanilla notes. i also got some interesting minty flavors at the end. nice tannins and complexity to this red. stews, pasta and red meat dishes with this one.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Glorioso Crianza Rioja 2006

i had this spanish red laying down since march, a purchase made at my local wine shop. and i don't remember whether i had tasted it first or if it was a recommended wine. i do know that i paid about $12 for it. the nose had plum, tobacco, and a little vanilla. the palate was lighter than i expected it to be. flavors of cherry and tobacco with some leather and slightly spicy herb. the finish was a little short with light tannins. not bad but left me wanting a little more. it could have needed a little more bottle time based on the nose. good red pasta or pizza wine.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ramirez de Velazco Malbec 2008 Reserva

thanks to our good friend vic, the wife and i were given this bottle of malbec from argentina, which we have had laying down for a year or more. we recently opened it to enjoy as an after dinner treat. the nose had lots of black fruit and spice notes, as well as some vanilla. the palate was loaded with bramble fruits of blackberry and black raspberry, followed by some plum and dark chocolate flavors. a little tannic at first, this red opened up nicely and was a very enjoyable wine. sells for about $15 and will work with lots of spicy pasta and red meat dishes. or enjoy it all by itself like we did.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Castle Rock 2007 Syrah

syrah lovers will like this one from the columbia valley in washington. selling for about $10, you can expect a very nice quality wine. the nose has nice raspberry and cherry notes and some spicy earth too. the palate is wonderfully jammy with more raspberry and cherry flavors, followed by some spice and some nice firm tannins. i got a nice licorice note in the finish too. excellent value wine that will work with a wide variety of foods from spicy dishes to red meats.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vivir, vivir Ribera del Duero 2008

i had this tempranillo from spain recently. it sells for about $15 and had a nose of raspberry, vanilla, coffee, and some slightly earthy note. the palate was just a little thin. maybe more time in the bottle was necessary. flavors of cherry and raspberry, along with some vanilla and oak. the tannins were there but the finish was a bit light. i was expecting more than i got from it. as i said, maybe it was just not ready to be opened. not a bad wine, just left me wanting more.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Harmony Hills Refrain 2007

ohio winery harmony hills makes some very nice wines. refrain is a 50/50 blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. usually these are both grown on the winery property in bethel ohio. but the 2007 freeze did a number on the cab franc, so the grapes were imported from the west coast. the result was something a little different, but still quite nice. nice nose of black cherry, blackberry and earthy leather. the palate was more of the blackberry, some black cherry and some nice earth and leather. nice tannins and excellent finish. sells for about $14 and works well with hearty stews and pastas.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A by Acacia 2007 Red Blend

i tried this red blend from pinot noir maker acacia some time ago. i purchased a bottle and laid it down until this week. the price was nice at about $10, and the blend was interesting; 90% syrah, 5% grenache, 4% mourvedre, 1% viognier. worth a look see based on the blend alone. the nose has nice strawberry and cherry notes. some clove and vanilla also come through. the palate is a nice mix of plums, blackberries, vanilla, and spice followed by some mocha and earthy flavors. this is nice now but could also lay for a while. and at this price you could pick up a couple extra bottles and do just that. this wine begs for stews on cooler weather days.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Kinkead Ridge River Village Cellars 2006 Syrah

ohio winery kinkead ridge is in ripley, ohio near the ohio river, east of cincinnati. they make some excellent wines and this syrah is no exception. this is under the river village cellars label which is their lower priced, every day wine label. the nose was dark fruit (black cherry, blackberry), some spice notes and that wonderful earthy note i love so much in syrah. the palate had plums and blackberries, followed by spice and earthy flavors. beautifully silky on the tongue, this is a must try wine if you can find it. the winery sells out fairly quickly as they have a very big fan base. count me in as one of them. this one sells for about $12.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Longhop Shiraz 2006

longhop shiraz from australia is a wine i tried some time back at a tasting at my local wine shop. i enjoyed the tasting so much that i bought a bottle to lay down. i opened it up to find exactly what i remembered from the original tasting. beautiful nose of dark fruits, like black cherry, blackberry and blueberry. there are also some tar and earth notes in the nose too. the palate has a nice burst of fruit up front, with black raspberry and black cherry leading the way. more nice earth flavors and some coffee and smokey tar on the palate too. this lovely red sells for about $15. try it with pizza, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Maryhill 2008 Winemaker's Red

i am always intrigued with red blends. when they are priced in the under $15 area, like this one is, you catch my attention fully. and when it is good like this one, i am very pleased because i found a go to bargain. maryhill red is a blend of 40% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 20% syrah and 10% cabernet franc. the nose had cherry, some plum and some spice, along with a little earth. on the palate, lots of tart cherry and soft tannins. the wine gave me the impression that it might benefit from some more bottle time. nice chocolate, earth tones and spice were also evident in the finish. we had this with some pizza, and it would work with red sauce pasta dishes or red meat as well. very good wine at an even better price.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hob Nob Pinot Noir 2008

had dinner with the family at a local restaurant chain before my recent move. i was ordering salmon so a pinot noir was my first choice for wine. never tried this one before and it flies in the face of the typical hard to read chateau this or that from france. fun name. so i said why not!? selling for about $8, it was hard to believe that this is really in that price range. the nose was cherry and floral, with some spice notes and vanilla too. the palate was fruit forward, with more cherry and some violet and spice notes. also has some nice earthy flavors that are usually present in french pinot noirs. this went very well with the salmon i had and will be a definite try at home bargain wine. well worth a look by you pinot noir lovers out there.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2008

apologies for the lack of posts recently. relocated to a new state and had no computer access. the comely brunette and i enjoyed this go to white with a fresh salad with tuna. selling for about $12-14, kendall-jackson has always been a producer that we can go to for quality wines at reasonable prices. the chardonnay has a nose of mango and peach, a little citrus and some light spice notes. the palate was smooth and creamy with lots of mango and pear flavors. there was also some nice spice and a little green apple. not an overly oaked chardonnay, which is a good thing in my book.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Foris Flyover Red 2008

my first experience with flyover red happened many years ago, and it was fascinating. it has been a favorite of mine for some time and i always try to keep a bottle or two in stock. it is a bordeaux blend of 55% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc. the blend changes from year to year so it is always worth checking out because it is never quite the same. the nose has lots of dark fruit and cocoa, with some earth and a little cigar thrown in. the palate was a bit tight and young. flavors of black cherry, plum, coffee and leather. i was actually surprised that the 08 was already on the shelf, as the folks at foris usually hold there flyover back a few years. this is worth buying two and laying one down for a few years. and at the nice price of about $13, it is worth it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

my last south african bottle has officially been opened. unfortunately it probably should have been laid down for several years as it has plenty of aging potential, and it is still tasting a bit young. thelema is also from the stellenbosch region and is from one of the highest elevation vineyards in south africa. the nose has lots of black cherry, blackberry and spice. i also got some eucalyptus aromas. the palate is a little tight and tannic at first. it opens nicely after the wine sits in the glass for a bit. nice black currant and blackberry flavors, with smoky cedar,  mint and earth tones in the long finish. this one sells for about $40 and has definite aging possibilities. if you are into the point rating system, this one has consistently scored 90 points or better in wine spectator for 11 years. i enjoyed this with spaghetti with steamed veggies over the top. it will work with any red meat or stew as well.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rudi Schultz Syrah 2007

a have two more wines from south africa that i would like to write about. first is this beautiful syrah from winemaker rudi schultz. i love a good syrah and this one will now occupy a place near the top of my list of go to syrahs. selling for about $35 (but do some searching and you can save about $5), this 100% syrah has a nose of black cherry, raspberry and some nice earth tones. the palate is more black cherry, along with blackberry and some nice cocoa powder. nice earthy flavors and some tar and licorice in this one too. excellent red if you like a full bodied red with lots of flavors and medium tannins and a long finish. break out the steak, hearty stew or the red pasta dish for this one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rustenberg Estate John X Merriman 2007

this evening finds me with another very nice bordeaux blend from south africa. rustenberg JXM is a blend of 48% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot, 6% petit verdot, 3% cab franc, and 3% malbec. the wine comes from the stellenbosch appellation and sells for around $30. if you search a little you can find it for a few dollars less. the nose is black currant, licorice, and a little floral. the palate is plum and cherry, with firm tannins and lots of nice tobacco and licorice in the mid-palate. nice full, long finish with some spice and earth. this is a very nice wine begging for two things; more time in the bottle and a juicy steak dinner. these south african wines have been very impressive.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mulderbosch Faithful Hound 2006

sorry for the shortage on the postings, travel time got in the way. waiting for me when i arrived at home this evening was this red blend from south africa. this is a bordeaux blend of 41% cabernet sauvignon, 36% petit verdot, 10% cab franc, 9% merlot, and 4% malbec. if that doesn't get you interested, then you are not a red wine fan. the nose is loaded with black currant, spice, some earth and a little leather. the palate has blackberry and licorice flavors with some black cherry and plum also. the tannins are not too overpowering and the wine finished very nicely with some earth and tobacco notes. excellent wine for this weary traveller. my palate was not quite up for subtle flavors and this red satisfied the need for something a little bolder. great all by itself, but try this with red pasta or a nice steak. sells for about $20.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beyond Sauvignon Blanc 2009

this is the last white from the south african wines i have been writing about. cooler weather is starting to arrive which means more reds. beyond is from the costal region known for their white wines. this one sells for the nice price of about $11. if you are a sauv blanc drinker, this is worth a try. the nose is citrus and a little melon. nice mineral notes on the nose too. the palate has lots of lime up front, followed by some interesting green pepper notes. it finishes with crisp mineral notes and some nice herbal flavors. good with many different foods, but i enjoyed by itself after dinner.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz 2009

south african reds are interesting, to say the least. this one has been getting quite a bit of press lately. i tasted this some time back at my local wine store and got the opportunity to revisit it recently. this is not your typical shiraz. this is a semi-sweet red that begs for a cheeseburger or a pizza. the nose has lots of blueberry, blackberry and a little chocolate. because this wine spends little time in oak (30% of the wine spends 5 months in american oak) the palate is extremely fruity. fruit bomb comes to mind. lots of red raspberries, juicy blackberries and hints of chocolate. jammy! jam jar is just that, a jam jar full of fruit flavors. looking for a way to get into red wines? this might serve you well. sells for about $10.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kanonkop Kadette 2008

we are back to the south african wines with this beautifully complex red blend from the stellenbosch region. this wine is a blend of 50% pinotage, 25% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, and 10% cabernet franc. nice bordeaux blend with the added twist of the always interesting pinotage grape. the nose had lots of dark fruit, like black cherry and blackberry. some nice licorice, smoke and tar aromas also. the palate is big and juicy, with flavors of blackberry and plum. nice tar, smoky cedar and earth flavors in the mid-palate and into the finish. i enjoyed this with grilled burgers. sells for the really nice price of about $14. buy two and lay one down for a couple years.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ercavio Blanco 2009

a brief break from the south african tour for this warm weather white from spain. not much warm weather left if you are in the northern tier states, but this one is a nice light wine. the nose is pears, a little floral, and some green apple. the palate is crisp and light , with granny smith apples and pears along with some nice mineral notes. slight tropical note as well. i would refer to this one as sauv blanc light. good with salads, light fish and seafood, or as a patio wine all by itself. sells for about $10.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2009

the south africa wine tour continues with this rosé. mulderbosch is known primarily for their white wines, but don't let that stop you from trying this one. while i am not a big fan of rosé, i do find one every now and again that peaks my interest as this one did. the nose is very floral, with rose petals followed by red berries and some nice spice notes. the palate was strawberry and floral with the rose petals showing again. there was also some nice spice and a little earth in the finish. this sees no oak and is a real bargain for around $11-12. try with seafood, salad, veal, or turkey burgers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

De Morgenzon Chenin Blanc 2008

back into south africa for another very nice white wine. de morgenzon is dutch for 'the morning sun'. this is a boutique winery in the stellenbosch region of south africa. chenin blanc guru teddy hall is the wine maker. selling for about $30, this wine has a nose of apple, apricot, some floral aromas, and spice notes. the palate is very pretty, with pears, tropical fruit, and toast up front. this is followed by some nice orange blossom and honey at mid palate and some grassy minerality in the finish. excellent food wine. i am thinking shrimp or tuna on the grill, summer salads, or a lightly spiced asian dish. search around for this one and you will probably be able to find it for less than the suggested retail price of $30. well worth it. excellent wine.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2008

a little side trip out of south africa for this exquisite chardonnay from napa valley. if you know anything about wine history or recent wine oriented movies, then this winery is no stranger to you. chateau montelena was the winery featured in the film 'bottle shock' about the judgement of paris where the u.s. made a huge statement in the world wine industry. montelena's chardonnay was voted the top white wine in a blind tasting in 1976. i must admit to not being a huge fan of overly oaked california chardonnay, but this one completely knocked my socks off. some of the wine spent some aging time in stainless in this vintage and it really makes the fruit flavor pop. the nose had white peach, pear, some apple and nice floral aromas. i don't normally mention color but this one was very intense gold. the palate was more of the peach flavor, along with pears, citrus, spice and some orange blossom in the finish. very full mouth feel and the finish lingered for quite some time. be prepared to drop a few dollars on this as it sells for about $50. you can shop around a bit and find it cheaper. pick one up and lay it down for a couple years. excellent for a special occasion.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Excelsior Chardonnay 2009

so far the south africa tour has been quite a pleasurable one and this next wine keeps up the tradition. selling for the nice price of about $10, excelsior is a chard that sees very little oak. in fact only 25% sees oak for the limited time of 3 months. in my mind this is a good thing. i am not a big fan of the overly oaked chardonnays on the market. it spoils the real taste of the grape. the nose is not huge, with some tropical fruit, apple, and a little spice and floral notes. on the palate, lots of pears, green apples, spice and mineral flavors. this was really nice with the chicken pesto dish i had. i would also try this with lightly spiced asian food and meaty fish. 3 for 3 in the value aspect and in taste category. and the south africa journey will continue…

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Indaba Merlot 2009

the second south african wine is another offering from winemaker bruwer raats and his indaba collection. indaba is the zulu word for a meeting of the minds. indaba makes five different wines all priced at $10. the merlot spends 6 months in french oak and has a nose of cherry, dark chocolate, some plum and a little smoke. the palate is a nice burst of plum and cherries followed by some really nice dark chocolate flavors. there was a little earthy, spicy flavor too. i enjoyed this with some grilled bratwurst and corn on the cob. nice red wine for those friday nights with friends and pizza.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Indaba Chenin Blanc 2009

over the course of the next several weeks i am going to be tasting some wines from an area of the world that deserves a closer look. the under-rated area of south africa. they've been making wine there for 350 years and are producing some very nice, and in many cases, very affordable wines. the indaba brand is almost 15 years old and are from winemaker bruwer raats. this chenin blanc will compete with your favorite pinot grigio for time on your patio while the warm weather still prevails. sells for about $10, but i found it in a new york wine shop for $8, it has a nose of pears, tropical fruit, a little melon and citrus, and i got a little floral note too. the palate is very crisp with apple, pear, and honey flavors up front. there were nice mineral and tropical (pineapple) notes in the mid palate, followed by some violet in the finish. nice, clean finish. refreshing white to enjoy alone or with salad or seafood.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Maryhill Sauvignon Blanc 2008

summer white wines always include sauvignon blancs and this one from washington is very nice. selling for about $12 this one has aromas of pear, pineapple tropical fruit and honey. The palate has subtle grapefruit, granny smith apple and some tropical fruit flavors. nice mineral notes and good clean finish. easy drinking white that i enjoyed with pulled pork barbecue and potato salad. try it with salads or seafood too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oak Spring Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

this is the final pennsylvania wine i have in my collection. in my opinion i saved the best for last. selling for about $20, this cab is aged in stainless steel with oak chips added to the mix for about 6 months if i remember correctly. the results are very interesting. the nose is fruity with black cherry, blackberry, spice and some bell pepper. the palate was very fruit forward, with black currant and blackberry flavors. the were some nice tannins and spice, along with plum and some vanilla in the finish. much more to my liking than some of the sweeter offerings that i tried in pennsylvania.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Starr Hill Winery 2009 Trovato

another wine from pennsylvania winery starr hill on the ground hog wine trail. this one is a nice red wine for someone just venturing into reds and can help transition into things that are bolder and more full bodied. a blend of pinot noir and dornfelder (the german pinot noir grape), this red has a nose of cherries, spice and some earth. the palate has strawberry and cherry notes, followed by some peppery spice and some earth flavors too. this falls in line with some of the other pennsylvania wines i have tried. it is a sweeter, fruit forward wine that sells for about $13. pizza or burgers on the grill with this one are in order.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Corvidae Rook Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Syrah 2008

i really enjoy blends, and this one from owen roe selections corvidae wine company is worthy at the nice price of $15. the blend is 15% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot, and 40% syrah. the nose has lots of dark fruits, black cherry and cassis, with some really nice smokey, earthy notes too. the palate is big and bold, with plum and black cherry flavors. nice earthy flavors from the syrah and some velvety smoothness from the merlot. nothing shy about this one. good with grilled meats and red sauce pasta dishes.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Starr Hill Vineyard Geisenheim 2005

back on pennsylvania's groundhog wine trail for this riesling hybrid. this reminded me more of a gewürztraminer than a riesling. the nose led with white peach. i also got some nice star fruit and a little apple. there was some floral violet in there also. interesting nose for sure. the palate was semi sweet with pear and apple leading the way. there was also some floral notes and some interesting lemon and pine needle note in the finish. this one sells for about $12 and will work with asian food or as a nice after dinner wine.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Laurel Mountain Vineyards Merlot (N/V)

i head back to the groundhog wine trail in pennsylvania for this red. the laurel mountain winery was the first stop on our recent visit. and unlike the baco noir that i wrote about, this merlot is not a sweet red. in fact, it was tannic enough to require a little decanting. the nose was black cherry, herbal and spice (rosemary), and some slightly earthy notes. good beginning. and the palate was equally as nice, with plum, blackberry and some slightly smokey notes. as i said, this red was fairly tannic at first, but mellowed as the wine opened up. i also got more of the herbal notes on the palate too. sells for $15 and is excellent by itself, but will work with red sauce pasta or a nice grilled steak.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Urban Uco Torrontes 2009

i tried this summer time white at a tasting at my local wine shop. the nose is fragrant with nice white peach and honey aromas. nice tropical aromas as well. the palate had tropical fruit, lemon, white peaches and a little honeydew melon. very pretty white wine. nice, crisp finish. excellent patio wine on those warm summer days or as a nice compliment to summer dishes. sells for $10.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Evergreen Valley Vineyards 2003 Baco Noir

i love to visit wineries whenever i am traveling the country. i was in pennsylvania recently, discovering that they had about 100 wineries. the comely brunette and i visited several of these on the groundhog wine trail in the central part of the state. one stop was at evergreen valley vineyards. seems the buying public in pennsylvania like sweeter wines and all of the wineries we visited play to their audience. even the dry wines tend to be a little sweeter. the hybrid wine, baco noir, is no exception. the nose had cherries, raspberries, a little spice and some caramel notes. the palate was very fruit forward, with sweet raspberry and cherry, a little strawberry and a chocolate finish. very little in the way of tannins and the finish is not very long. if you are just beginning to try red wines, some of the offerings from pennsylvania might be the place to start. good pizza or friday night burger wine. sells for about $12.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stonyridge Church Bay Merlot Cabernet Franc Waiheke Island 2006

entry #400 is a special red that the comely brunette and i received from our daughter. she purchased it at the stonyridge winery in new zealand and unfortunately the wine is no longer available. i have had this laying in my cellar for a couple of years and this was the perfect occasion to open it up. the blend is merlot and cab franc. the nose was loaded with black fruit, specifically cassis, black currant and a little plum. also picked up some nice anise and leather aromas. the palate was a nice, complex mixture of plum, blackberry, leather and earth. nice tannins and a somewhat jammy mouth feel with a beautiful, long finish. i am sorry to know that i won't be able to purchase more of this. excellent with grilled meats. this wine sold for about $45.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gerard Bertrand Viognier 2007

the next post is #400 for me! #399 is another white wine. viognier is an interesting wine. some folks aren't too crazy about the floral qualities, but i find them alluring and the wines to be quite tasty. this one is no exception. the nose has lots of floral orange blossom and hyacinth, along with some nice tropical fruit. the palate is not as floral, with pears and almonds dominating the flavors. i did get a little honeysuckle but it isn't overwhelming. the wine has a little oily mouth feel, which gives it a little more depth and helps it linger on the tongue a while longer. sells for about $14. try this with some steamed seafood or pasta with a white sauce.