Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two Hands Bella's Garden Beautiful

Two Hands Bella's Garden 2008 Shiraz is a wine too expensive for me, but I wanted the beautiful wine of last year (2006 vintage) which was so memorable. So I waited for Bella's  to go on sale before I would make the sacrifice and buy. Wine lovers in New Hampshire usually know, that at some point, wine will be discounted  at the New Hampshire Liquor Stores (NHLSs), but I waited and waited; maybe six months went by (November 2010 now) when the Wine Spectator Magazine (WS) arrived in the mailbox, and Two Hands Bella's Garden 2008 Shiraz was rated number 2 of their Top 100. Well, I knew a few stores that carried it for $62.99 (Higher than the list price in WS and my wallet), but I also knew what would happen to that wine. So I flew to the nearest NHLS that carried Two Hands Bella's Garden 2008 Shiraz, and paid the big bucks for a big wine. Two days later, I think that's what it is was, I went back and, just as I had expected, the store was cleaned-out, and I mean everywhere; every store I went to, the shelves were empty of Bella's Beautiful. 
I know this journal maybe a bit boring, but bear with me. Two months later the Bella's Garden 2009 Shiraz arrives, and the NHLSs have a 15% sale; I didn't wait this time. I grabbed Two at $53.54.
Now it's half-way through August, Wine-Thoughts ' Sandra Crittenden (June posting) had recently written a compelling review of Two Hands 2008 Bella's Garden, and now, as I join her and others in appreciation of a great Shiraz, here's my review:

Two Hands Bella's Garden 2008 Shiraz, $53.54-$62.99, 95 points, has an almost black core trending royal purple to the rim. The aroma (Bouquet) is a restrained power of crushed-composted grapes in a Redwood Box. Gentle flavors of plum and hints of blackberries leads to a trail, by way of a silky smooth full-bodied wine, to a long finish of spices and very mellow eucalyptus; the 15.8% alcohol was well integrated. This wine was very fine all alone, but paired nicely with a whole-wheat bread with olive-oil and melted goats cheese with a spiced rib-eye.

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  1. I must say that everything I've tried from Two Hands has been incredible. For a more budget friendly wine from them, look for Angel's Share. It's been a while, but I think it runs under $30...ok, so maybe not so budget friendly, but comparatively speaking it is!!

    I've had Bella's Garden at least 3 times, not sure of the vintages. I currently own a bottle that a friend bought for us as a thank you because one of our dogs is named Bella. (She's 12, so it's waaaaay before Twilight's Bella was around.) If I weren't so lazy at the moment, I'd get up to see which vintage.

  2. Claire, you are the one that defines delicious so well, thank you.

    I see that people are still finding your blog and enjoying it; so nice to have a "No Sweat" blog that comes so natural to you.

    Also, I noticed that we have "sister" cities!

    As for Angel's Share, it would be easy to miss my review, because it was in this cluster sometime ago:
    Scoring 92 points, the Zaca Mesa 2006 Syrah: ($19.99 licorice, spice, dark-berry, luscious and smooth), Truchard 2005 Syrah ($24.99 rich, flavorful, and smooth), and the Two Hands 2008 Angel's Share ($24.49 balanced tobacco, licorice, pepper, fine bouquet, and finish), and finally, the 2007 Yangarra McLaren Vale Shiraz has a beautiful bouquet, gentle hint of clay, early palate pepper, licorice notes, tangy and complex, with a long spicy finish, well balanced and luscious; this is a good stand-alone wine or pairs well with a rib-eye; all share acclaim in my book, with the Yangarra being the best value at $18.99
    Good to hear from you,

  3. Okay, okay, I'm a blogger. I surf the internet to see what's up, to get the info that I thirst for. This aspect (WINE) of blogging leads to a proclivity of mine to weigh and judge, it's not new, I've been guilty of quibbling before. I do have a new quibble though, and I won't say who it is that has snapped my touchy-bone this time, but when I read this "expert" wine taster slam a 90 points on the 2008 Two Hands Bella's Garden Beautiful, you would have thought I was the wine maker. I took it personally, but I think it was the "Why so serious" face of his portrait, and this weird descriptor he uses: "animal musk" which always reminds me of a skunk or a polecat (unpleasant). I can't say I've experienced that yet. Another example of his descriptors which brings-out my irascible side is "cerebral". Though I've seen this before, the blogger's scoring offense, in the Face of WS' #2 best wine value of the year (Not that WS is the alpha and omega of wine truth), but when you have to drop to #44 before you even see a 90 rating, I just had to shake my head and wonder where in the world this guy found his palate. Steven Tanzer is closer to my palate, but though he tends toward moderation in scoring, he even gave the 2008 Bella's Beautiful 92 points. I know I'm beating a dead horse here, and a two point difference is reasonable, still that "Why so serious face" throws me back to grammar-school and "I don't like your looks" attitude."

  4. WS is often praised or ridiculed depending on what end of the axe is being swung, but for perspective I've appended this posting/comments with the 2004 Bella's G.was #10 for the year 2006, 2005 was #5 for the year 2007, 2008 was #2 for the year 2010, and the 2010 was # 3 for the year 2012 Top wines; just a note of consistent excellence. Oh, all scoring at least 94 points (93 for the 2011): I haven't ever received anything from Two Hands, but "In Vino. . ."