Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fife 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

It is so hard now a days to find a complex Cabernet Sauvignon from California under 10 dollars. Really it's unheard of, but my friends, I have found such a bottle. This reasonably priced Cab is found at Trader Joes for only 8.00 dollars. Here are my notes on this wine, starting with the nose of course, I pick up Black cherry and berries, with a hint of cloves and tobacco. And on the taste, most of the nose seems to translate onto the palate. Upon my tongues encounter with this wine, it seems submerged in a sea of blackberries, black cherries and cassis. My palate also catches hints of tobacco and black tea in the mid. Then something interesting came about on the outside edges of my tongue, I enjoyed nuances of Blueberries transitioning into lush round tannins on the finish. All of the qualities found in this bottle, left my mouth watering for more. So in conclusion, definitely make a trip over to your local Trader Joe's and enjoy some good vino for cheap.

By the way Happy New Year, and if you are looking for some quality sparkling wines to bring in 2010, check out my posting entitled Bubbles, Bubbles, and more bubbles.

Bighorn Cellars 2005 Merlot - Broken Rock Vineyards in Napa

Forget about Sideways and it's take on Merlot, because along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot, and others, it is still a royal grape of Bordeaux. I've enjoyed enough wine tonight so I'm a get right into it. What I'm drinking tonight is Bighorn Cellars 2005 Merlot out of Napa. On the nose I pick up Berries, both red, black and blue berries. I also pick up a bit of plum and tea. The taste buds tend to follow the same suit as the nose, carrying with it the plum and rasberries. But the complexities come in the finish, I get the nuances of black tea and a hint of earth of soil. Basically if you love wine and have been neglecting Merlot, it's the time to revisit such a elegant grape. Try it and let me know what you think.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Spannotia Vineyards Garnacha 2006

So starting off, I would like to say, Merry Christmas. I'm sure most of you have been haunted by this seasonal gesture throughout the whole month of December, do not allow my greeting to leave you vexed, I mean it from the heart, even if it's after the day of giving. Getting into what I drank over the holiday, my primary wine of choice was the bubbles, yes, Champagne, Prosecco, white Lambrusco, some Asti for the lady and Rose Cava. Indeed it was a good couple of days, and sorry, I didn't review the bubbles, Christmas was for the Family. With the first day back at work, reality hit me and I realized, it's time to get back into the saddle and do the only thing that keeps me sane while working in corporate America, write about what I'm drinking tonight. My palates spotlight is shining on Spain's Garnacha grape tonight, which most wine enthusiasts classify as Grenache from the Rhone Valley in France. The bottle I'm sipping on tonight is Spannotia Vineyards Garnacha 2006. So before I get into the nose of this Garnacha, I must tell you that some people may not appreciate some of it's notes. But I happen to be one of those few individuals who become intrigued with different nuances in wine and how some bottles tend to translate the land of where they were created perfectly to the palate. This 2006 Garnacha on the nose carries notes of asparagus and herbaceous qualities. Although a bit tight on the smell I also pick up hints of rasberry, pepper, and smoked beef jerky. Getting in to the tasting notes, I pick the smoked beef jerky on the initial attack of the palate, and the pepper lasts throughout the mid, along with rasberry, black tea, and vegetation to the finish. I've tasted many Garnacha's from Spain and although the herbaceous notes and soil based vegetation intrigue me, I find the fruit to be, not so pure. All in all, this isn't an offensive wine to me, and I would like to try another bottle to see if the notes would be the same. If you get a chance to try it, please leave some notes on what your taste buds are telling you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier 2007 from South Australia

Take a trip down under and try the Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier 2007 from South Australia. A thing that numerous Winemakers in the past used to do was blend red and white grapes together. Many new-school wine maker have overlooked this process, and myself, I have been hesitant in trying such a blend for my consumption. In the last few years, I've shelved all of my prejudices, and by doing this, my mind and palate have been opened to much more exotic and qualities wines all over the world. The nose on the Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier 2007 is filled with a bit of chalkiness, Cassis, Cherry, a hint of beef, and a mixture of chocolate and cranberry on the back end. What I tasted was an abundance of red fruit, such as rasberry, cranberry, and cherry throughout the palate. Also, this blend had a nice little bit of chalkiness on the finish. One thing that really drew me into the this wine was, how much red fruit there was and how well the big fruit was contained, which is a great testament to the maker. So if you are a person who enjoys big fruit, but are interested in the wine makers ability to contain this fruit, you should try the Yalumba and leave a comment.

P.S you can find this wine at World Markets.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Viitiano 2007 - Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot

To all those new age drinker of Italian wine, who go to their local Raley's and buy the cherry based Chianti's who only carry one note, you may want to skip this entry. I have just tried a gem of an Italian wine that's complexity surprises me, especially for the price of this bottle. With that said, I'm a get right into the bottle I'm drinking tonight, I'm drinking the Vitiano 2007, with is a nice little blend from Italy. The nose of this wine is very interesting to me, it carrries blackberry, a little green herbaceous qualities, some chalkiness and a hint of Black cherry and Cassis. The mouth feel consisted of cherry, cranberry with a hint of Rasberry on the front end of the palate. Some of the initial flavors on the front end, translate to the mid and the finish, for example the berries and cherry in this wine. Also on the back end, there are round dry tannins, which also puts this wine into the category of versatility, for not only can this wine be adored by the wine snobs because of the complexity, this bottle still has the sour cherry component that is a characteristic of most Sangiovese infused wines from Italy. In closing I think that those who love wine, but are not a fan of Chiante, should go and try this wine. On the flipside, I say, if you love those super-tuscans from Italy, you will also enjoy this wine, so try it and leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pacific Oasis Pinot Noir 2005 Santa Barbara

If anyone gets a chance to visit Santa Barbara, don't just stop at the beach or wonderful restaurants on State Street, check out wine culture out there. There is definitely a different outlook on wine starting with the producers and ending with consumers in Santa Barbara. In this beautiful coastal community wine is everywhere, it is part of the culture without the underpinnings of wine snobbery that plagues other wine focused area throughout the United States. An example of a grape that has flourished in Santa Barbara County is "Sideways" theme grape Pinot Noir. What I'm drinking tonight is Pacific Oasis 2005 Pinot Noir. My notes for the Pacific Oasis starts, of course, starts with the nose. On the nose I pick up Black Cherry, bacon, and a hint of both earthiness and cloves. The taste consists of both sour black cherry and strawberry which is pronounced on the front to the mid of the palate. I also pick up a green plant type of vegetation on the transition from the middle to the finish, which is concentrated up the middle of tongue. This Pinot carries with it, good fruit and a long nice finish, especially for the price. I've tried a number of Oregon Pinot's in the past and this wine definitely reminds me, in some way, of their craftsmanship, especially in regards to the weight of the wine and the cloves coming through on the nose. Where this wine becomes more of a California play, lies in the big ripe fruit that sunny California weather is known to bring out in their wines. Although, a hard wine to come across at many stores, a person interested purchasing this wine can either go online or go to the Grocery Outlet in your area. The Pacific Oasis Pinot is going for $4.00 on sale at most Grocery Outlets. So try it and leave a comment. Peace and Love to you all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Royal Grape From Bordeaux That Needs a Crown

Most people think, even winos like myself, think that the royal grapes of Bordeaux consists of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Well there's one grape that most people overlook, Carmenere. Carmenere was pretty much the only varietal that could not be grown back in Bordeaux once the Phylloxera disease got into the roots, so Chile decided to adopt the grape, and there it has flourished. Although, many old-school wine critics consider Carmenere and other Bordeaux rejects (like Malbec and Pinot Verdot), as blending grapes, in the right terroir, these grapes have the ability to come into their own identities. So, enough with the history lesson, let's get into the wine I'm drinking tonight. I am drinking Anakena Carmenere 2005 Rapel Valley Single Vineyard. On the nose I pick up Blackberries, soil/graphite, and a hint of hickory stick and vanilla. I also catch a little bit of a vegetal note such as small green cabbage. Upon tasting this wonderful wine I realize that most of the nose translates directly to the palate. I'm tasting spice, blackberries, cherries, graphite, soil, and a hint of hickory stick and strawberries on the side of the palate. To be specific, I'm tasting most of the fruit in the front, except for the hickory and hint of strawberries on the sides of the mid palate, allowing the finish to stand alone with it's dry and round tannins. I, myself really love Carmenere as a grape, so if you get a chance pick one up, try it and leave a comment. All bottles are different, but for my palate, my deserted island wine collection would have to include a great number of Carmeneres, I love the complexities of this grape that much.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Montinore Estate - Willamette Valley - Estate Reserve - Pinot Gris Entre Deux Vineyard

See full size imageIt's been a weird day, and because of that I decided to switch gears. I know I've been reviewing Red wines as of late, but today I'm going to introduce the Pinot Gris grape. A place that is and has been receiving a lot of recognition for this grape varietal is Oregon. The wine I 'm reviewing from Oregon is Montinore Estate in Willamette Valley, Estate Reserve Pinot Gris Entre Deux Vineyard. On the nose of the Pinot Gris, I find Pear, Orange peel, Bananas, and peaches. On the tongue I get a rich wine with great balance of fruit and oak. This wine definitely has a great concentration of fruit. To elaborate, I also catch a finish that lasts very long. Oregon is not the only place producing great Pinot Gris outside of France, but I do believe that it is the place to find a great value in an area of exceptional fruit and great wine makers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rendez-Vous Beaujolais Nouveau 2009

Anyone who hasn't tried Beaujolais Nouveau from France, needs to seek a bottle out and expand their palate. Matter of fact Trader Joe's just added a new Beaujolais to their roster in the form of the Rendez-Vous Beaujolais Nouveau 2009, which is the wine I am now drinking. My notes on the Rendez-Vous starts, as always, with the nose. The fragrances that jump out at me consist of only two nuances, flowers and rasberry. I know I normally elaborate on the nose of the wine, but honestly, the only thing is rose petals and rasberry. So, moving right along, the taste consists of sour rasberry which translates from the nose to the palate. Also on the tongue, I get a hint of strawberry, with the rose petals hitting the mid-palate, extending through to the finish. Most of the fruit seems to be concentrated on the sides of the palate, and the finish is nice and long. By itself, this wine may not be for everyone, but try pairing it with pork dishes, turkey, of even ham, and you will understand the potential of this area in France. So, to all reading, live a little, go out and try a wine outside of Bordeaux and Burgandy, then let me know what you think.

La Rareza Prestigio Cabernet-Malbec 2006

Today I decided to travel to Argentina, minus the passport, wonderful food and beautiful eye candy. I'm sitting here in California, tasting a wine that truly reflects Argentina. What's on the menu tonight is La Rareza Prestigio Cabernet-Malbec 2006. On the nose, it seems a little closed, but some of the scents that came across were dark fruit mixed with cranberries. Also, I caught some woody purple paint chips that had me wondering what scents would translate to my palate. So, let's get into it, upon tasting the Cab-Malbec, I first noticed the great concentration on the sides of my tongue. Also, I'm not going to sugar coat the big tannins on the back end, which also took by surprise. Mixed in with the tannins was stone minerality and cranberries on the finish. I also enjoyed the length of the finish, which was a great reflection of the Argentina's terrior. This Cabernet-Malbec is an exceptional wine, which provides the pure fruit from the Malbec grape, but has the girth of the Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine does have one or two low points, but for those who want to understand how wine plays a good part in understanding a lands terroir, try this.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ramsay - Cabernet Sauvignon - North Coast 2007

So, I've been a away for a while, and I sincerely apologize. I'm not going to bore you with details or excuses of why I haven't written anything in a while, I'm just going to continue where I left off, with a little twist. Wine will continue to flow throughout this website, but the posts will be a bit more concise, and with that I will start. I'm drinking Ramsay 2007 North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon tonight. The Ramsey Cab's nose consists of figs, hint of eucalyptus, strawberry and vanilla. On the palate I get black cherry, some strawberry, and a nice long finish. I also get some light minerality on the finish. All in all, this is a decent wine, not really too much pizzazz, or wow factor but a solid well made wine. If you get a chance, check it out and post your comments. Till then, find your passion and run towards it.