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Showing posts from 2012

Dynamic 2010 Red Table Wine

From Trader Joe's, this was in their red blends section for about $6. I'm satisfied. 34% Syrah, but whats the rest? Bordeaux varietals? Zin? Gamay? Concord? Who knows? Who cares? For $6, this could be my house red if it plays it's cards right. It is light and fun and has a good balance of fruit and spice. Throw your expectations in the gutter and be pleasantly surprised.

J 2001 Russian River Valley Brut Magnum

Can you say magnum baby? We finally cracked this for the two year old's birthday party. It was crisp and bubbly and balanced and complex all at the same time. J makes a fine sparkler.

Trinity Hill 2008 Chardonnay Gimblett Gravels

Beautiful straw color. Apple, vanilla, peach, full bodied, new world (N Zed), buttery with a nice acidic zing that brings it all in balance. Should go well with our fish pie.

Domaine D Ardhuy 2009 Bougogne

I was headed for the bargain burgundy but Lady Odd Bins up sold me by a pound and I'm glad she did. Nice balanced wine with subtle but present fruit and strong mineral tones and a touch of oak. Definitely worth going back to.

2010 Mosswood Amys

I've had and been impressed with a few other Mosswood wines from down under, most notably their Pinot noir. This is a Bordeaux blend. A bit young and tannic. I didn't do it any favors by popping and pouring and mismatching it with my dinner selection (chicken Marsala) but it gets two big thumbs up for the name, which my wife Amy particularly liked.

Montoya 2009 Pinot Noir

As I was standing in the Pinot Noir section at Total Wine talking with the guy, a woman interrupted us in order to squeeze through and grab two bottles of this. She knew exactly what she came for. As she hustled away I asked her about it, she replied, "it's a staple at our house." Done deal. I grabbed one. For $12, this is another sweet deal. It is a very European style Pinot. Light, mineraly, and slightly musky. You don't see many of these lighter ones coming from California. People want to lay on the oak and let the fruit over ripen into a Cab in a bottle with hips. Don't call me a hater, I like those too. But sometimes you just want a more mellow glass to play nice with a meatball sandwich on a Thursday night.

Araldica Corsini Barbaresco 2007

Made with the Nebbiolo grape which I am growing to like a lot. Nice fruit and medium body akin to Pinot noir but with more tannins and bit of Italian leathery dirt. Not the finest wine but fir under £10 this one did the trick.

Radius 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

My friend Steve called me up and told me that there was a Total Wine store near me. He even emailed me a link to it later that day. Total Wine is like a love child between Bevmo and Costco. Wall to wall, floor to ceiling booze, beer, and wine. Well, I'm glad Steve is the proactive kind of guy that he is. Total Wine had been open for about a year and despite only being a few miles from my house I had never been there. I was in Awe the moment I stepped in. I momentarily got lost in the Bourbon section until I found a bottle of Buffalo Trace, but that's another blog. I then went to the Pinot Noir section because I hadn't had one in a while. I got three ones I hadn't tried before. I met a guy who knew his shit, don't you love those people? Why can't everyone be like that? He helped me with the Pinots and in between them and taking me to the Sauvignon Blanc section, he told me to buy some of this Radius Cab. Well, I'm glad he did. It was about $7 and tastes like

Croad 2008 Ariki

This came home with my wife from a ladies weekend in Paso Robles and I'm glad it did. At 14% alcohol this is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The Rhone blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 30% Mouvedre hits the spot with the Panda Express we got on the way home tonight. It is big and mean but has a kind streak. TGIF.

Foley 2004 Santa Rita Hills Syrah

After a day of wine tasting in Santa Barbara there isn't not much that can pizazz since everyone has purple tongues and palate fatigue. This Foley Syrah; however, out shines. Although a few in our group weren't big fans, I enjoyed it tremendously. There were big bright dried cherries and a tart funkiness like goji. It was bold and like one added, thick, and felt good like a Syrah should.

2005 Rossignol Volnay Clos Des Angles

1er Cru. Apparently from an old walled vineyard. Smooth, light, spicy, elegant, well-balanced. Took awhile to open. Not overly fruity nose, very French.

Ridge 2007 Buchignani Ranch Carignane

Jumpin' Jeronimo! This is a lip-smacking red that makes my mouth bubble. I can't say enough good things about Ridge. Either they make the most kick ass wine around or they fit my palate like a key. It is nearly impossible to find Carignane bottled all by itself and I'm not sure why. Of course it doesn't have the consumer awareness of other varietals but if the majority of them tasted like this one, it would catch on fast. Since Somoma had such unusually low yields in 2007 this rings in at 14.4% percent. It was aged for 12 months in American oak and is just coming of age right now. I only wish I had a case.

Alma Andina 2008 Reserve Malbec

This Argentinian Malbec came as a gift from my mom who, I suspect, procured it from that mail order Zagat wine club thing. Well? I'm glad she did. Some of my favorite types of Malbecs are free Malbecs. This one hails from the Uco Valley (never heard of it, didn't google it) and hides 14% alcohol pretty well. I enjoyed this thoroughly and if the rest of the shipment is as tasty, I may try and convince the wife we should sign up. What's more fun than getting wine in the mail? Drinking said wine!


100% Syrah. As described by Nicolas, my local budget french wine store "Deep purple. Violette, black fruits and dried bacon. Elegante and powerful, a well integrated oak finish". I was told to decant for an hour. I popped, poured, gave it a few swirls, and went for it. Seemed tight, with a a tart, oaky, tannic finish. Seems like a better wine, perhaps young or perhaps I should have decanted for an hour. I'll save some for night #2 to see if it comes around.

2001 Château Cantemerle Haut-Médoc

Wife sent me out for "something nice" and I came back with this lovely age-appropriate bordeaux. A well integrated wine. Opened rather quickly with a good nose of dark fruit, fresh pencil shavings, a bit thin, but a nice finish with harmonized tannins. 12.5 or 13% abv. Really balanced. I'm used to a bit more power than this offered but it turned out to be quite nice.

2007 Comm. G.B. Burlotto Barolo

Barolo #2 in my life. Much better than first. Medium body. Rather elegant. Lively cherry fruit nose. Good length with earthy undertones. Nuanced. Fairly Pinot-like but as elegant as it is on the palate, it really has the strong finish of a more full body wine without being overly tannic. Best days are probably a few years ahead but drinking fine right now. A really awesome bottle. Had with take out Italian (check out the dude on the pizza box). Italian food with Italian wine - paired well - imagine that?

2009 Les Champs Clos Sancerre

A Pinot noir from Sancerre which is sauvignon blanc territory - I didn't know they made Pinot noir. Medium body, a bit brownish in color nice lively fruit, not tones of acidity, a bit metallic. Not my favorite but nice to try something new. In general I'm finding Boudreauxs and rhones better than burgundies and other pinots in the £10-£30 range.

2005 Ciabot Berton Barolo Roggeri

My first Barolo. I was expecting greatness and was a bit underwhelmed. I was thrown off a bit by a little mold on the cork, but I don't think it was a bad bottle (although it seemed to fade rather quickly). Reminded me of a more refined Chianti Classico. Not as full bodied as I expected. Good but not great. Not sure I'd get it again.

2009 Domaine de la Ville Rouge Crozes-Hermitage Terre d Eclat

A Rhone valley syrah. A jammy sweet black fruit nose with some spice. Unmistakably syrah. It is full bodied, dry, balanced, not overly tannic. As big as it smells it is rather restrained in the mouth. Surprised it is only 13% ABV. Had with take out Turkish food - spicy lamb doner wrap with hummus and eggplant - just what the winemaker must have had in mind. Really good and relatively cheap (the takeout and the wine).

Chateau Grand Pontet Saint Emilion 2004

A grand cru classe which apparently is good but from a not so good vintage. Mainly merlot. Tasty!

Domaine la Brouissiere Gigondas 2009

I remember as good and worth getting again.

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2008

Cool label. Great wine. Leathery. Nice full body. Not sure how classico's get that nice raisin smell and taste, maybe some overripe fruit in the mix? A bit on the pricey side (£20) for a chianti but great and much more that a table wine.

Louis Latour Nuits St George 2008

Catching up a bit on some wines we drank while Amy's mom visited. Most expensive bottle we bought @ £38. I was expecting more and others Burgundy's have been better (and cheaper).

Bellbird Spring Block 8 Pinot Noir NZ 2009

Really nice kiwi Pinot. Very elegant, nice bright fruit. I've been trying to drink old world wines including a lot of burgundies but this has been the best Pinot of 2012 without a doubt. No idea how much it was but it's brilliant. Seek this one out.

2009 Saint Joseph J. Boutin "Parcelle de Jean"

A bit difficult for me to decipher European labels... But after a but of research I figured out this is from the Saint Joseph region in northern Rhone made by J. Boutin from a small Syrah vineyard called Parcelle de Jean. Deep purple, sweet blackberry, slight pepper, some sort of tree/earth thing going on. Nice on the palate but a bit tannic and acidic on the finish. Very tasty but a wee young. £19 from odd bins. Described by the clerk as brooding and perfect for the arse freezing night that it is tonight.

Barbera D Asti

Ok, this is papawow's bud DR. I've moved to London and plan to sample as many old world wines as my budget will allow and report them here. First is a Barbera D'Asti which apparently (thanks Wikipedia) is a young Barbera with similar characteristics to a Beaujolais Nouveau - basically a young fruity table wine made with Babera grapes. Not sure the producer, maybe you can see on the label, served its purpose as an accompaniment to pasta bolognese at an Italian chain... but at about £15, better is out there.