Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bastide du Claux Malacare 2006

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!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pucela Viura Sauvignon Blanc 2009

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.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

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!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fleur du Cap Chenin Blanc 2008

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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Warwick Valley Chardonnay 2009

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.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Masciarelli Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2007

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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cortes de Cima Chaminé 2008

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.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Man O'War Sauvignon Blanc 2009

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.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Apollo Creek Pinot Noir 2009

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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gamble Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2009

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.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Apothic Red 2009 Winemaker's Blend

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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda 2008

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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Meritage 2004

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.