this nice red blend comes from washington state. it is predominantly merlot, with some cabernet sauvignon, syrah & petit verdot. it sells for the very nice price of about $10-12. we tried one of their whites some time back and enjoyed it, so this was a no brainer for us. and i love red blends. the nose had lots of blackberry and sweet jammy black cherry notes. the palate was a nice juicy mouth full of blackberry and black cherry notes. this is not a big, bold red. more fruit up front and very soft tannins and some great mocha and toast notes in the finish. great to just sip on a chilly evening, or with your favorite stew or meat dish.
cakebread is one of those wineries that you hear about and want to try based on reputation. we recently had the opportunity to try a couple of their wines. the syrah sells for about $55, which is a bit pricey for me. the nose has black cherry, some nice violet notes, and some nice earthy notes that i like. the palate had blackberry, plum, black pepper and more of the earthy notes i usually associate with syrah. lots of tannins in this at the beginning, so open it up and let it sit for a while. nice long finish of fruit and smoky earth. nice wine. didn't blow me away. i guess i expected a little more based on the price and reputation.
while living in new york, we had many opportunities to visit many of the local wine trails along the hudson river valley. palaia vineyards is one that is definitely worth a visit. along with a very fun atmosphere, including live music, their wines are well worth it. the lemberger, grown at the sweet clover farm, is native to eastern europe. the grape is known as the pinot noir of the east. the nose has earth, spice and gooseberry characteristics. the palate is very much like pinot noir, with a more delicate flavor profile. lots of black cherry, raspberry, earthy notes and some black pepper spice. the wine sells for $16 at the vineyard. lemberger grapes are also grown in washington state, colorado, ohio and virginia. if you can find it, it is well worth a try.
i wrote about this grenache a year ago and recently revisted the 2008 vintage. nice way for me to re-enter the blog page after a couple month off. this will still work as a nice thanksgiving wine and is still value priced at about $10-12. the 08 version has many similar characteristics that the 07 did. a nose of raspberries, smoke and spicy pepper. soft and easy on the palate with nice black cherry, smoky mocha, and spice. very easy drinking wine that will add to the thanksgiving flavors and won't put a huge dent in your wallet.
it has been a long time since i have blogged. 9/11 is a good place to make a fantastic statement about american wine and a celebration of life! this wine was a gift from a rep at rubicon estates from a wine festival in cincinnati. it has been laying for quite a few years and the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 and the celebration of a new chapter in the life of myself and my wife,the comely brunette, seemed a great time to uncork a really nice bottle of wine. this is a napa standard and is smooth as silk and exquisite! a nose of blackberry, black cherry, some smoke and a little violet. on the palate more sour black cherry flavors, vanilla, black currant and a little smokey note. so smooth with subtle tannins, this could have easily been left in the bottle for several more years. but today it was excellent! this bordeaux blend sells for about $100. CHEERS!
it has been a long time wine geeks! seems that life has caught up with me and the work schedule has been too hectic. i am still enjoying the grape, but not as much as i would like! cheers. hope to be posting more soon.
this isn't really port season for me but i had opened this bottle a while back intending to write about it a bit sooner. i really enjoy a good port and this one was not bad for the price range of about $30, but i was left wanting a bit more. the nose was loaded with spicy apple, some floral notes and a little cocoa. the palate is where i was a bit let down. most ten year ports seem to have a lot more caramel and candied fruit. this one was a lot smokier than i expected. flavors of tart raspberry and a great deal of the nutty flavors that were okay, just different than i was used to. it did have a nice vanilla finish.
this little beauty for the patio comes from france and is pleasing to the palate and to the wallet. selling for about $12, 1749 is not for fans of the big grapefruit flavored sauv blancs from new zealand. it is far more delicate and actually easier to drink by itself. the nose has some light citrus, tropical fruit and slightly floral notes. the palate on this one is light and crisp with nice citrus flavors. there is also a little floral note and some earthy stony notes in the finish. excellent by itself as a patio pounder, this white is also a nice wine to try with asian foods or a nice summer salad.
i visited benmarl winery in the hudson valley region of new york a while back and wrote about their proprietor's reserve. this red is a hybrid and is a very hearty grape that is grown in the northeastern u.s. and canada. the folks at benmarl do a nice job and have some very nice wines. the dechaunac has a nose of red fruit and lots of earth. i love a good earthy smell in a red wine. the palate had cherry and more of the earthy notes as well as a nice vanilla finish. this is a great red meat and pasta wine that sells for about $12.
i was fortunate to try a rosé that was to my liking at my local wine store. this one sells for the nice price of $11 and is sourced from 5 different grape varieties; grenache, cinsault, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and mourvedre. it has a beautiful salmon pink color and has a nose of citrus and spice. the palate is loaded with raspberry, strawberry and a little melon and finishes with mineral and pepper notes. good complexity that appeals to a red wine lover like myself. definitely works as a warm weather quencher but try it with asian food or that friday night pizza.
this is my 500th blog entry and i went to a trusted winemaker for a really nice red at a good price. parducci has a nice portfolio of wines. this one is no exception. the nose is loaded with cherry and blackberry, as well as some nice spice notes. the palate is big, bold and loaded with tannins so decanting is definitely needed. the flavors of blackberry, black cherry, spicy black pepper and some nice dark chocolate. this is a great food wine. try it with a grilled steak or hearty stew. we enjoyed this with a chicken/mushroom with vegetables and rice and it worked very well. sells for about $10-15 depending on where you are. (more expensive here in new york unfortunately)
this white is another possible patio pounder. selling for about $10, it is very light bodied. the nose has some peach and floral notes, along with a little citrus. the palate is very light, with lemon and mineral flavors and maybe a little floral there too. i was not overly impressed with this one because it was so light on the palate that it left me wanting more. if you are looking for a white wine that is very subtle, give this one a try and let me know what you think.
i think this is the first pinot noir i have tried from patagonia, argentina. never thought i would be talking about a pinot from argentina, and really liking it. the nose has some nice vanilla and berry aromas, along with just a subtle hint of earth. the palate is a nice, light mixture of cherry and floral violet notes. a little earth and some slightly spicy flavor in the finish rounds out this subtle beauty. a nice price of $17 on this one makes it a worthwhile wine to try. excellent wine for salmon (a go to with most pinot noir) or chicken in mushroom sauce.
never thought i would be writing about a wine called werewolf. this one comes to us from romania of all places, and sells for the nice price of $7. the question is, does it have a bite? the nose is not very big, with nice pear and citrus aromas. a little mineral in there too. the palate has pears and citrus (lemon), some nice, slightly effervescent qualities, and low acidity. good everyday summer patio pounder. i was pleasantly surprised with this one. summer salads and light fish dishes for this one.
i really like a good, chewy zinfandel. this one from lodi california is right in my wheel house. selling for about $16, brazin is well worth a try. the nose has lots of black cherry and blackberry, some nice spice and vanilla and some mocha. the palate is very big and bold, with blackberry, plum and cocoa. there is some nice black pepper and some subtle earth notes. this is a chewy, full bodied zin with a long finish that begs for spicy red sauce pasta or a good steak. at this price it is very hard to pass up.
a good rosé is always a difficult thing for me to find. it isn't a varietal that i am too crazy about so when i find one i like, i get pretty excited about it. i tried this french rosé at my local wine merchant recently and liked it well enough to purchase a bottle. it is a blend of 60% grenache and 40% syrah and maybe that had a great deal to do with why i liked it so much. the wine sells in the $10-12 range and has a nose of rose petals, red berries and a little dusty spice. the palate has lots of strawberry, some earthy herbal notes and some spice. the finish has some good floral notes. this should be slightly chilled, but not as much as you would a white. it needs a little more warmth to bring out some of the earthy floral flavors. good sipper on a warm day.
i have been on a bit of a white wine roll lately. this white bordeaux is right in line with all the other very nice warm weather patio pounders i have tried recently. you should definitely look for some of these if you enjoy a refreshing white wine on a warm day. the white bordeaux's are excellent and usually you can find a good variety at friendly prices. this one sells for about $10 and has a nose of melon, citrus and some earth. the palate has some nice tropical fruit, melon, and the old world nice earthiness that is so appealing to me. great all by itself or with some nice hard cheeses or a seafood salad. cheers!
more warm weather patio pounders? with temperatures getting into the 70's, i say yes! this lovely white comes from langtry estate in california, north of napa. the wine is 100% sauvignon blanc. the nose has some nice tropical fruit and citrus, as well as some mineral aromas. the palate is loaded with pineapple and guava. there is also some grassy flavors and some nice earthy, mineral notes. the wine is fresh and crisp and is perfect for sipping while enjoying warm weather and the foods that go with it, like salads and light seafood. sells for about $10.
more warm weather food wine with this unoaked chardonnay from the willamette valley in oregon. i love a good unoaked chard. it really shows off the flavor of the grape. this wine is a very nice expression of the chardonnay grape with a nose of melon, apple and pear. the palate has lots of green apple and melon flavors, some mineral and slightly earthy notes, and a clean, crisp finish. excellent with chicken or seafood. sells for about $16 in the ny area. look for it online direct from the winery for about $10. well worth the price.
warmer weather is upon us in the northeast, and that means patio pounders! i lean on the white wines more in the warmer months for their refreshing capabilities. this one from france is good for that reason and priced right at about $15. the nose is citrus, apple, mineral, and a little more citrus. the palate has lots of tropical fruit flavors (guava, grapefruit peel, lemon), some nice mineral notes, and a little gooseberry. snappy and tart on the tongue with a crisp finish, this one is great by itself, but also works with any lighter summer foods.
after a little hiatus i am back with another wine from this new york producer. the merlot from stoutridge is made with grapes from long island. it is 90% merlot and 10% cab franc. it sells for about $26 and is like all their other wine, made in the old world style, unfiltered and unfined. the nose has some nice blackberry, earth and an interesting mint note. the palate is very interesting, with funky earth, lush blackberry and plum, and some nice soft tannins. awesome sipping wine! works with red meats or chicken as well. this wine is unfortunately can only be purchased at the winery. if you make it to new york and visit the shawangunk wine trail, it is well worth your time and money.
i am always searching for decent rosés' and i think i found one in this little $10 gem from california. it is a blend of mostly zinfandel, (which may be why it appealed to me), along with pinot noir, syrah, and petite sirah. the nose has some nice tropical notes as well as some floral aromas. the palate is a little bolder than many of the rosés' i have tried. lots of cranberry and a little bit of floral (rose petal). this is definitely dry and it has a nice finish. could be a nice food companion, but give it a try alone first. it was excellent as an after dinner glass!
the wife and i dined at an italian restaurant recently and shared this bottle with our meal. we both ordered chicken dishes and the wine was perfect with both. selling for about $15, this italian white has a nose of mangos, some slight citrus, and nice mineral aromas. the palate was full of tropical fruit and had some very nice, crisp minerality. very nice acidity and decent finish. this is a definite food wine and will be one to visit if you like a good patio pounder for the upcoming warmer weather.
when ever we have visitors or friends who like to taste wine, we always make a stop at stoutridge vineyard in marlboro, ny. stoutridge is located on the shawangunk wine trail. they produce some really nice wines from grapes that are native to new york. all are made in old world style and are unfiltered and will age quite a while. (we have a couple bottles of their whites that are now 10 years old and are excellent). their seyval blanc is lower in alcohol (12.5%) and has a nose of citrus, a little apple, honeysuckle and some earth notes. the palate is a very interesting combination of the same characteristics that you find on the nose. there is a zing on the tongue that almost makes you feel like you are drinking champagne. lots of citrus and honeysuckle notes. i got some nice earth notes too. good wine for seafood (i think lobster or shrimp would be best). sells for about $15.
a traditional california field blend of syrah, barbera, and petite sirah at about 1/3 of each. the wine is a field blend, which means all three varietals are harvested at the same time. they try to time the harvest to get the maximum out of each varietal since they don't all ripen at the same time. they are all blended together right away. this wine sees no oak, which can be a good thing. the nose has blueberry and black cherry, with a little herbal aroma (grassy) thrown in. the palate is a fruit forward, juicy mix of black cherry, black raspberry, licorice, and a little chocolate. a little tannic at first, decant this one for a bit. after a good decanting this red is silky on the tongue and the flavors of the fruit are more pronounced. enjoy this one all alone, or if you must, have it with meatloaf, other red meat dishes, or italian foods. sells for about $12-15.
nothing like a good willamette valley pinot noir to go with a salmon dinner. the comely brunette and i enjoyed this on recently after having it recommended by my local wine store (thanks pete!). i stray from the budget wines every once and a while and this one is a bit more than i usually spend. it retails for about $35, but it can be found quite a bit cheaper than that on-line. the nose has lots of cherry, strawberry, floral notes and some spice. the palate is a delicate blend of cherry and red raspberry, with some nice floral notes and a beautiful spicy, peppery finish. the wine definitely needed to be decanted first for about an hour. well worth a try if you can find it. it is popular and sells out quickly.
this is my second posting for this new york winery on the shawangunk wine trail. a definite winning effort from the folks at warwick valley. this red sells for about $16 and has aromas of black cherry, some smoke, black currant and a little oak. the palate is fruit forward with black currant, more black cherry, some nice cigar notes, and some slightly earthy flavors. the wine is very light on the palate and has a medium length finish. good pizza wine or try it with some italian fare.
once again i am visiting a wine from south africa. and once again, i am impressed with the flavor and the price. south africa is one wine region that is really starting to turn out some nice wines. this merlot sells for about $9 and is definitely worth a try. the nose has nice fruit aromas of strawberry and some earthy notes. the palate has blackberry, black cherry, some nice chocolate and some smokey earth notes. i also got a little green pepper note in the finish. this is a good wine with red sauce pasta dishes and hard cheeses. or try it after dinner with some dark chocolate.
unoaked chardonnays like this one are so appealing for one reason. you can taste the fruit, not the oak. the nose has lots of citrus, honeysuckle and apple. this also sees no malolactic fermentation, which takes out the buttery mouth feel. what is left is a beautiful expression of crisp fruit. lots of lemon, pear, honey and a nice zesty finish. this chardonnay sells for about $16 and is worth every penny. makes a good patio pounder or try it with some salmon, a salad, cheese or shrimp.
i have to admit it is difficult for me to not open a bordeaux when i only pay about $10 for the bottle. no sense laying it down for several years when i can go pick up another bottle if i like it well enough. this one falls into that zone. the nose was a not too over the top with nice red and black cherry notes, some cocoa and earth notes. the palate was a nice black cherry, slightly dusty earth and some spice notes. potential on this one is very much there if you have the patience to wait several years for this one to improve. because of the soft tannins, this is good with most red meat dishes.
today i celebrate blogging for 3 years! i chose a special wine that was given to me by my daughter after she returned from a trip to paris. i am not sure about the price or if the wine is available in the usa. it is a blend of 40% syrah, 30% grenache noir, 30% carignan, and comes from the rhone region of france. i have had this bottle cellared for a couple years. after opening, i decanted it based on initial taste. the nose had lots of black fruit, some smoke and some earth, and floral aromas of violets. the palate was very tannic at first, so i decanted the wine for about an hour. the flavors were blackberry, some black currant, lots of anise/black licorice, and some slightly earthy notes. the wine was much better on its own than with the light dinner we enjoyed. it would work well with veal or beef dishes or some nice hearty cheeses. if you can find this, give it a try. it is quite tasty. cheers!
i've been trying quite a few european wines lately and spanish wines have always interested me. i usually go for the reds, so this white was a bit off the beaten path for me. but i am always looking for a nice, inexpensive patio pounder. this one definitely works, selling for about $8. a fifty/fifty blend of viura and sauvignon blanc, the nose had green apples, some citrus, and a little minerality. the palate was very crisp and had lemon peel, citrus and some green apple flavors. the wine finished with some nice length. nice wine by itself or with seafood, salad or chicken.
when most people think of california cabernet sauvignon, their first thought is napa. but sonoma also has some very nice cabernets, and many don't cost a small fortune. this one falls in that category, selling for about $14. the nose has loads of fruit, with cherry and bramble fruit, along with some spice (sage) and some nice earth notes. the palate has lots of black cherry and black currant, some earth and finishes with some chocolate notes. easy tannins and a long smooth finish. pairs well with stews, lamb, veal, or a spaghetti and meatball with peppers and onions in vodka sauce. great value red!
south african chenin blanc are really making a statement. this is a new one for me and has some really interesting characteristics. selling for about $11, this very nice white has a nose of melons, peaches, some butterscotch and some interesting earthy, meaty notes. the palate is creamy and lush, with peaches, guava, honey and earthy notes. really interesting to get the earth notes like this in a chenin blanc. surprising but nice. very good wine for seafood, sushi, spicy asian food, or just enjoy it on its own.
new york produces a wide variety of wines. the shawangunk wine trail has become a favorite place for the comely brunette and i to find new wines from the empire state. this chardonnay, with grapes from the finger lakes district, is a nice find at a good price of $14. the nose had lots of melon and apple, maybe a little peach, and some toasty vanilla. the palate is a combination of pear, peach, a little melon and some apple, along with nice vanilla and some nutty flavors. this wine has a rich, buttery mouthfeel because of the malolactic fermentation. try it with stuffed clams or shrimp.
bargain hunters will love this red from italy. selling for about $9, this wine is 100% montepulciano from southern italy. the nose has lots of ripe red fruits (cherry and currant), some earth notes and tobacco. the palate is loaded with red currant, cherries, some nice touches of violet and finishes with tobacco and black licorice. lots of complexity for a wine at this price level. good with sausage and rice or other somewhat spicy meat or pasta dishes.
we enjoyed this red blend recently at a local restaurant that features foods and wines from portugal. the wine sells for about $12 and is worth a look if you like something that really works well with food. the blend is 49% syrah, 45% aragonez (tempranillo), 2% touriga nacional, 2% trincadeira, 1% cabernet sauvignon, 1% petit verdot. nice red berries on the nose, along with some smoky notes. on the palate, good body, nothing too overpowering, with nice red raspberry and currant, some smoke and spice, with supple tannins and a medium length finish. worked well with the filet i had and will work with veal or nice red sauce pasta dishes.
new zealand has gotten a reputation for their very nice sauvignon blancs, and this one, selling for about $11, is fairly typical of this new zealand varietal. the nose has lots of tropical notes, some nice herbal and grassy aromas. and a little touch of spice. the palate is very crisp, with lots of guava, grapefruit and some mineral notes. this is followed by a spicy finish. this will work well with a variety of lighter foods, with seafoods or aisian fare. i would look for this to be a nice summer patio pounder as well.
this is a first for me. a wine from moldova. formerly a part of the soviet union, moldova is now a separate nation and has a rich wine growing history. this one sells for about $8 and is a very light bodied, dry wine. the nose has berries and some slight earthy notes. the wine took a little time to bloom after opening, so if you try this, decant it first. the palate had lots of berry flavors, including strawberry, raspberry, a little cherry and an interesting green pepper note in the finish. only a little earthy flavor in this one. interesting and very subtle, i will have to revisit this one in the future, and look for more wines from this country, as they export quite a bit of it. we enjoyed this with salmon and salad dinner.
i have written about gamble before. their paramount red blend was an exceptional wine. this sauv blanc is far different from many i have tried. and that is a good thing. selling for about $13, this is a white that has a nose of pineapple, peach, tropical fruit, and some floral notes. the palate is a beautiful mix of tropical fruit. i picked up some guava, pineapple, and a little bit of coconut in the finish. there are also some nice apple and mineral flavors. the wine has a beautiful creamy mouth feel and crisp finish. we enjoyed this with some breaded chicken, roasted red potatoes, and sauteed vegetables.
if you are in search of a good red blend, look into this one from california. it sells for a good price, about $14, and is loaded with flavor. the blend is zinfandel, syrah and merlot. the nose is very big and compelling, with vanilla, black cherry, some spicy nutmeg and dark chocolate. the palate offers up loads of fruit flavor, with black cherry and plum, some vanilla and a little earthy flavor. not too overpowering in tannins and a full, juicy feel on the tongue. this one was enjoyed with beef wellington and pan seared asparagus and mushrooms.
this is only the second bonarda i have tried. this one, from altos, falls in the same price range (about $10) and is also from argentina. they were also very similar in comparison to each other. this one had a nose of black cherry, some mint, and a little earth. the palate had some light tannins and lots of fruit. plums, boysenberry, licorice and some cocoa. this is another nice every day red. good with beef dinner or pizza.
red bordeaux blends like this one are almost always a pure joy for me. kendall-jackson does this one right. i had this one cellared since 2008 and brought it out to celebrate the comely brunette's birthday. a worthy bottle for celebration. it is a blend of 65% cabernet sauvignon, 34% merlot and 1% cabernet franc that sells for about $18, it has the nose and flavor that appeal to my senses. the nose has black fruits, cocoa, some nice earth notes, and a little floral violet. the palate has blackberry and plum, licorice, some dark chocolate, hints of tobacco and some spicy sage. this is a beautiful wine with firm tannins and full mouthfeel with a finish that is long and elegant. great all by itself, try this with veal or hearty stews.
i have to admit, i bought this one solely because of the name and the label. and the price was right too. selling for about $8, this tuscan wine is actually quite nice. the nose had some cherry and blackberry, a little earth and some light spice notes. the palate had most of the same, with blackberry and cherry flavors and just a little earth. the tannins were medium and the finish was long and fruity. this is a good pizza or pasta wine, especially at this price. this won't knock your socks off by any means. it is a fun, easy drinking every day table wine.
2009 bordeaux's are getting rave reviews for good reason. sometimes it pays to let them get some bottle time, like this one. this is mostly merlot, about 90%, with the rest split between cab and cab franc. selling for about $10-12, la croix du duc has some really nice aromas of earth, blackberry, and some chocolate. the palate was not yet fully developed, perhaps a little too young to drink it. there were hints of what is to come, with black currant and coffee, and subtle earth and some cedar. but mostly it was just not as pronounced as it probably will be in a few years. so if you have a place to store wine, pick up a couple of bottles of this and wait patiently. i think you will reap the benefits with time.
i wrote about a couple of varietals (chenin blanc and merlot) from this south african producer a while back and had the opportunity to try their sauvignon blanc recently. for a maker of wines at this price range ($8), these folks know how to do it right. i have not had anything from indaba that has been disappointing. the sauv blanc is no exception. the nose had citrus, some pineapple and a little spicy pepper. the palate was an interesting combination of citrus and spice. nothing like the new zealand grapefruit bombs. this had a juicy mouth feel and a little zing in the finish. good summer time patio pounder. try it with seafood or sushi.
i tried this nice suavignon blanc from france recently. when compared to some of the grapefruit heavy new zealand styles, this one is very nice. it sells for about $12 and has a nose of cirtus and tropical fruit, with some slightly grassy notes and a little floral aroma. the palate was somewhat grassy, with tropical fruit undertones. nice mineral notes and a crisp, elegant finish. this is a great wine for sushi and other seafood or fish dishes.
the comely brunette and i enjoyed a valentine dinner of crab cakes, red potatoes and asparagus with this beautiful viognier from australia. selling for about $9, this white has an expressive nose of stone fruits, minerals, some nice floral aromas and a little musky note. the palate is full and slightly creamy in the mouth with peach and mineral flavors, followed by some very interesting floral notes. think of lily of the valley. the wine ended with a very crisp finish. a wonderful complement to our meal. try this one the next time you have seafood on the menu. you won't be disappointed.
here is another recent find at a local wine shop from chile for under $10. (easy to spot this one as the bottle is wrapped in burlap). i know many people shy away from merlot these days. but you really need to give this one a try. nice nose of berry and earth, with some hints of leather. the palate is a mix of plum and black currant, with some excellent earth and tobacco flavors coming through in the finish. medium tannins and soft mouth feel make this one a worthy wine for a variety of foods, but try it by itself too. i will definitely give this a return visit, especially at this price.
enotria, which means 'the land of wine' is an off shoot from the graziano family of wines. this label is dedicated to varieties from the piemonte region of italy. the barbera sells for about $15 a bottle and does very well in the medocino region of california. this is a fairly bold red and will go well with many foods, including pizza. the nose has nice cherry and red raspberry notes, some earth and sweet tobacco, and just a hint of violet. the palate is medium-bodied with tart cherry and plum, and raspberry flavors, nice earth notes, and some cedar. all in a wine that delivers boldness with nice, soft tannins. this is a very nice wine and at this price, a real steal. i highly recommend giving this one a try.
it is always fun to try new wines in different areas of the country. since relocating to new york, i have been able to try some wines from the area that are very nice. this merlot is definitely in that category. the wine has a little bottle age on it and stands up very well. the nose has lots of black cherry, some nice earth and a little cedar. the palate was fruit forward with bing cherry and some plum dominating. after a little air, the flavor profile changed a bit with some nice earth and dark chocolate flavors. good food wine. try with some nice cheese, chicken or meat dishes, or maybe a pasta with red sauce. sells for about $20.