Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Geyser Peak Block Collection Russian River Valley, River Ranches 2010 Sauvignon Blanc


Geyser Peak Block Collection Russian River Valley, River Ranches 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, $14.99-$19.99, 87 points, has an almost crystal clear color with just hints of lime green.
The aroma tends toward grassy lemon and grapefruit which carries over boldly onto the palate by a light body. This wine is quite dry with a fair finish.
The alcohol (13.5%) is almost unnoticeable.
This is a competent wine, typically true, but I do not recommend at $14.99 with so much competition at lower prices.




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Ceres Street North Coast 2007 Zinfandel With Some History


Ceres Street North Coast 2007 Zinfandel, $22.00, 91 points, garnet to ruby in color, a wonderful nose of bramble-berries and sweet cooking spices, medium plus body, with a delicious bourbon smooth quality with only hints of damson plum and boysenberry. This Zinfandel is marked by a beautiful simplicity that separates this wine from most in this varietal.



































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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Valckenberg Dornfelder 2010 Red Wine


Valckenberg Dornfelder 2010 Red Wine from Germany will be loved by those with a sweet tooth; the moment I tasted this wine I thought of my friend Scott, whose girlfriend Stephanie will love this.
I paid way too much ($20 at Attrezzi), but when you're traveling you either cough-up the dough or you go home empty-handed (On line $8.99)

What I'm struggling with is my own propensity for dry-red wines, my overall dislike of sweet wines, and my being fair to what I'm tasting and to those looking for a wine that suits them: so for Stephanie, I'd say this will be a 90 point wine, but for me, I'd say this is an 85 point wine. So I'm left with what I believe to be a fair rating of 87 plus blithe points (Nothing scientific, nothing earth shattering, but just for my record keeping).
Valckenberg Dornfelder 2010 Red, $20.00, 87 + points, has a lighter ruby-red color, a sweet (10% abv) cherry cola-cotton candy aroma which carries perfectly onto your palate and finishes there on a medium body.

Süße deutsche Weine appellieren an unsere Freundinnen!
http://nhwineman.blogspot.com/2011/02/index-of-reviewed-wines.html 
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Fall Line Red Wine



Fall Line Exhibition Yakima Valley 2009 Red Wine (46% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Temparnillo) $24.00 (Bought at the Dover Wine co.), 90 points, is very dry with silky tannin and a complex list of tasting notes.
The Color is another in the deep ruby, almost opaque, transparent ring category.
The aroma is a very interesting and pleasant array that translates nicely onto the palate, with blueberry, earth, java, alcohol (14.5%), and dry cocoa, but the finish adds a bit of plum and spice.
I found the Fall Line Red Wine to be quite delicious, but I think it will be too dry for many. However my guess (I drank this without food) is that it will be very food-friendly.

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Visit to Portsmouth, New Hampshire


Wine reviews are concise (more or less) descriptions and evaluations of wine; no surprise there! However, can a wine review be separated from the reviewer or from the reader (reviewee as it were)? The philosophical ideas of Kant make this too complex for me and I think for most of you yawning at this moment, but let me just say that though I spent the day in Portsmouth, NH checking-out the wine boutiques and enjoying good company, food and drink, and coming down with some unknown  malady, I trust that I'll be as unbiased, minus reality's mercurial  nature as I can be.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire  is old and new,  first settled in 1630 it has convoluted  (cow-path) streets filled with shoppers, brick buildings, yet is high-tech, and artsy, thus it is probably the 'heppest' place in NH ; there are a number of wine boutiques which I've wanted to visit and for the most part we did.
First stop, just outside the city, in Dover, NH  the Dover Wine Company  has an interesting collection of wines, many of which I hadn't seen before, and is a wine-shop definitely worth the visit. Off to Portsmouth proper and Attrezzi , and it's very own self confessed "alcoholic" (I think he was kidding) wine advocate (his words, not mine), where you can find other interesting  wines and many other things.
Now to a treasure of information and history we visited David Campbell's "Ceres Street Wine Merchants" where I picked up a bottle of his own label Zinfandel, as well as the pleasure of David's company, his love of wine, and a bit of humanity hard, if not impossible, to find in any mega-store, or most boutiques for that matter. Thank you David, you were the highlight of my visit!
As for the other boutique, Corks and Curds, the one having a party of some sort, where when the boutique doesn't close until 6 PM, but where someone in Corks and Curds at 5:45 PM 'shut the door in my face' and put up the closed sign, I'll have no comment but to say I'll never, ever, go back there.
Of the wines I bought, I'll be reviewing three up front, and ending with Ceres (own label) Zinfandel.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the Dreaming Tree Crush North Coast 2009 Red Wine



the Dreaming Tree Crush North Coast 2009 Red Wine, $11.99-$14,99, 88 points, was recommended to me by Nancy of the Derry NHLS.
Wow, with all these great Red Wines and great prices ($11.99) it becomes difficult to decide which one to try, and if your in New Hampshire you don't have to, because you can do what I've done: try them all!
To the wine:
Beautiful ruby color, aroma is sweet spice and blackberries,
near full body with a juicy texture, having flavors of plum, licorice and cherry cola, but more on the sweet side, with a seamless unnoticeable alcohol (13.5%) and tannin presence, finishing fair on spice this is another surprise in very good affordable American (California) Red Wine.




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Friday, March 23, 2012

Twenty Rows Napa Valley 2010 Sauvignon Blanc


Twenty Rows Napa Valley 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, $14.99-$19.99, 91 points, is a wine recommended to me by. . .Claire, Bill, I forget, but I finally found one, and instantly I'm a fan.
This Sauv-Blanc is not complex, and I doubt you'll need to be a oenophile to dissect the delicious soft and creamy lemon-meringue/ginger ale light experience. Having a medium body, a consistent flavor cold to warm, and finishing on that ginger ale. Pairing nicely with Filet of Sole, Cheddar and Water crackers, makes for a lovely 87 degree March afternoon meal.
"The rest of the story"  is its color of faintest lime, and an aroma to die for: floral-candied lemon with just a hint of lime, and an unnoticeable alcohol content of 13.4%.




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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Neal Napa Valley 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

Neal Napa Valley 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, $17.99-$19.99, 90 points, is a straight 100% Sauvignon Blanc with no oak.
For me, this 2009 Sauv-Blanc needed to be tasted with their 2011 Sauv-Blanc, but that wine I've not seen yet, and I say that, because though this 2009 Neal SB is quite delicious, with Meyer lemon, pineapple, and mango, it seems as if it is just beyond its best. The body is light-plus, the color light gold, and the aroma is hints of pineapple, lemon, and melon. I was getting a nice long ginger finish, but other tasters weren't.


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TOHU Marlborough, New Zealand 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

TOHU Marlborough, New Zealand 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, $11.04-$14.99, 87 points, has a light lemon color, and a somewhat funky lemon aroma (Not a standout).
The flavor is a typical Sauvignon Blanc, with lemon/lime and a bit of grass/grapefruit, I found this light bodied white wine to be just a bit dull (Am I getting jaded?), but for $11 dollars I'll not complain, and it did pair well with my fish and chips. Also, if you're looking at the décor side of things, the bottle is quite attractive and interesting. ("In Maori culture, the koru or spiral symbolises growth, life and the natural world.") http://www.tohuwines.co.nz/page/our-tohu.aspx



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Monday, March 19, 2012

14 Hands Hot To Trot Columbia Valley 2010 Red Blend Wine



14 Hands Hot To Trot Columbia Valley 2010 Red Wine, $8.99-$10.99, 87 points,(Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre varietals)is a nice little sweet red wine; I'm sure there will be some poo-pooing it, but sweet is in, and though I'm not traditionally a sweet wine fan, I did enjoy this wine with burgers and by itself. So, Stefanie, if your up for a sweetly done effort of a red wine, I'm going to recommend this one. 
Hot To Trot has a beautiful crystalline ruby color, with a broad transparent rim.
The aroma is subtle sweet cooking spice and grape.
A light to medium body carries a sweet juicy blend of red raspberry jam, red cherry, and spice, with a minimal petrol after taste. This wine does not strike me as too acidic, though I found myself salivating. Noticeably tannic, Hot To Trot is yet quite drinkable, but there is a spicy kick of a finish.
Steve, their Merlot is said to be even better; now I understand why you recommended this to me, thanks,
Dennis


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sean Minor Napa Valley 2009 Red Wine





Sean Minor Napa Valley 2009 Red Wine, $14.44-$19.99, 87 points, was the deepest of ruby red in color, welling almost opaque at the core.
The aroma was a rich clove with hints of cinnamon and boysenberry, but with a back draft of forest fire smokiness. 
The texture was lush on a full body, dry with ample tannin.
With prominent plum and licorice dominating this red wine, I found it yet a little green with some tartness. 
The finish has a fair duration of spice. This is still a young wine and I'm sure it will prove to be a more interesting wine in one or two years.
The 14.5% alcohol was unnoticeable upon opening, but as is so often the case, on the second day there it arose! 
Varietals were 30% Merlot, 23% Petit Verdot, 17% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah, and 4% Malbec.


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Columbia Crest Grand-Estates Amitage 2008 Red Wine

Columbia Crest Grand-Estates Amitage 2008 Red Wine is the first of: Three acquaintances influence my wine tasting; they are friend, wine-wise, and penny-wise, or all three.

Columbia Crest Grand-Estates Amitage 2008 Red Wine, $10.80-$12.50, 88 points, begins my exploration into recommended red wines under twenty dollars.
Amitage has a bright cranberry color (most other reviewers seem to find it much darker than I do), a quiet aroma of grape, clove, and a hint of butterscotch (A first for a red-wine with me), the body, to me, is light plus, but others have described it as "full bodied". 
The first thing I thought of during my tasting was: "Northwest Merlot" sweet, juicy, a hint of petrol, a soft-side, and with 64% Merlot, that was no surprise, while a floral and spicy Syrah (19%) added a much need element of contrast and character, with 17% of other Bordeaux grapes nicely adding their hidden talents. 
There is a juicy combination of plum, red cherry, and strawberry here (Others have "black fruit"), with a fair finish of spicy pepper.
I must admit, that after tasting this wine and then researching what others have described, I wondered if I was tasting the same wine! Either way, I have never gone wrong with a CC Grand Estate Wine, and for so few dollars you won't either, but if you do try this wine, I'd love to hear your tasting comments.
I bought this wine at the Londonderry Hannaford's supermarket.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kunde Estate Winery Sonoma Valley 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve



Kunde Estate Winery Sonoma Valley 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, $19.99-$59.49, 90 plus points, has a transparent rim, garnet edges, and the color quickly gives-way to opaque.
The aroma is various notes of chocolate, alcohol, black fruit, and cinnamon, gracefully revealed.
Flavors of sharp grape, plum, black cherry, and boysenberry are smoothly carried on a full body, and finishes fairly with peppery spice and some alcohol heat.
This wine could have been decanted.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Charles Krug Peter Mondavi Family Yountville Napa Valley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon



Charles Krug 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $18.00-$25.00, 90 points,
had the color of garnet to purple and inky at the core.
The aroma was prominently cedar and blackberries with hints of cooking spice and earth.
Charles Krug 2007 Cab. is to me more like a rich, round, and an easy-drinking Merlot than a complex tannic Cab. There were hints of black currant and this is a rather dense wine with a near full body.
This is not a disappointing wine, and I'd say a better than average dinner time red wine. I do recommend this Cabernet Sauvignon (Merlot Impostor) at the lower price. Again, I see 'decor' written all over the presentation, and this wine was purchased at Hannaford's super market.


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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hagafen Napa Valley 2010 Sauvignon Blanc,



Hagafen Napa Valley 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, $14.40-$20.00, 86 points, is one of those wines I liked, then I didn't, then I did, then I didn't. It was almost as if this wine didn't really know what it wanted to be: melon or citrus, crisp or mellow. 
Mineral tinted water-color, with warm aromas of melon with hints of citrus carried on a light, an almost thin body.
The aroma sums up the flavor profile with considerable grassiness, but finished nicely on pepper and spice. 
We paired this wine with shrimp and sea perch.
I bought the Hagafen Sauv-Blanc at Hannaford's super market.





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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Robert Mondavi Oakville 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon



Robert Mondavi Oakville 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon,  $33.49-$49.99, ($6.50 less than the 2008) 93 points, is at this point and to me a better wine than the vaunted 2008; maybe in two years I'll change my mind provided I can resist drinking it.
The 2006 has a deep garnet and magenta color, verges on black at the core and has a transparent rim.
The aroma is earth and mushrooms, black currant and grape-skin, and boysenberry with cedar notes.
A medium plus body carries tart red cherry, gentle licorice flavors on lush tannin with bright acidity, and a beautiful spicy finish of some heat and duration.
This is quite a different wine from the 2008 except for the heat, though the alcohol here is 15% compared to 2008's 15.5% for what that's worth.


The rest of this post is glibly stated blah! 
Sunday morning after this post I thought I might do some 'Monday-morning quarter-backing' my score on this wine, especially since I've alluded to "hype" and "vaunting". Needless to say the opinions are varied, but note-worthy.


Cellar tracker's upfront 25 showed scores from 86-94 points.
Robert Parker: 91 points
SH: 89 points
Wine Spectator: 90 points
Wine and Spirits: 93 points 


The average Jane or John Doe will quickly understand that this wine is too expensive for them, and that personal taste leave scores in the waste bin. Yes and no! I'm sure a $34 present isn't unreasonable to most Jane and John Does. So, when buying a gift for a friend or a family member who likes wine, why not look into a resource that when taken in the context of a history of referenced wine scores can be used as a guide for those looking for ideas or a nudge. I may have said it before, but strangers in the wine isle have asked me what might be a good red-wine for a gift; my answer has often been Robert Mondavi Napa valley (On sale). No, RM hasn't given me anything, I'm not selling this, but it is such a sure bet of a wine, it's hard to go wrong. Yes? No?
see: Robert Mondavi Napa ValleyOakville 2008  Cabernet Sauvignon

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HandCraft 2010 California Cabernet Sauvignon



HandCraft 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), 21% Petite Sirah, 2% Sangiovese add compleity,$9.90-$13.75, 87 points, should have some air before drinking. This is a deep red colored wine, with spice, red and black fruit on the nose that carries nicely onto the near full bodied red wine, with fair acidity and mild tannin. The finish is fair with some spice.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Henry Beston and John M.Kelly




Henry Beston The Outermost house Copy right Henry Holt and; co. begins with a glimpse into the nature's East with: "It is the privilege of the naturalist to concern himself with a world whose greater manifestations remain above and beyond the violences of men. Whatever comes to pass in our human world there is no shadow of us cast upon the rising sun, no pause in the flowing of the winds or halt in the long rhythms of the breakers hastening ashore."

John M. Kelley gives a glimpse into nature's West: "Walked the vineyard a couple hours on Monday in balmy spring weather; again—nothing. No budbreak, no woolly buds, barely any budswell out on the ends of the canes of the precocious clone 943 Pinot. I was happy to see wet soil down to 3″-4″ digging under the vines, but we still need to irrigate. The canes in the young vines are still too brittle to tie down."

Wine connects us to nature in special ways, even as good writing, good humanity can. Though I love philosophy and nature, I believe the two are inseparably intertwined, and that's not to say the "Faith" isn't woven in there, but the faith I'm talking about says the same thing as science: Thermal dynamics has an irrevocable end even to our sun, but this part transcends science: "Love abides." I hope you'll see the love that Herny Beston and John M. Kelley had and have for nature, the vine, and the family.
No wine pictures today, no score, just the people, places, and maybe a little faith today.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cupcake Marlborough 2011 Sauvignon Blanc


Cupcake Marlborough 2011 Sauvignon Blanc,
 $9.34-$10.99, 88 points is transparent lemon in color, with a bright awakening aroma of grapefruit, lemon and lime zest.
The aroma is passed down to the palate with a sharp white grapefruit dominating hints of lemon/lime. A light bodied wine that is bright and lively though at times is too tart, though that didn't bother me, because of how refreshing this wine is. There is little or no grassiness or spice to speak of.
I think the issue here is whether one likes a tangy white wine, and the answer will be found in those who like a nearly bitter grapefruit.
The 13% alcohol is unnoticeable.


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Monday, March 5, 2012

Neal Napa valley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon





Neal Napa valley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $38.24-$48.99, 93 points, has a very nice aroma of cinnamon, clove, and cedar with hints of black currant.
The color is deepest of ruby red and opaque at the core.
Having a medium plus body that carries good acidity and nicely blended tannin ushering well a current of juicy blackberry, black currant, and hints of blueberry with hints of black licorice and bacon fat. The finish is a bit herbal with some heat (14.5% alcohol) and menthol.
Having been disappointed by their Petite Syrah, tasting a few Cabernet Sauvignon wines, and also being a bit disappointed with the 2008 Robert Mondavi Oakville, I thought by opening this Cab. I might like to get my disappointments out of the way, but low-and-behold this is an excellent wine, not that the Oakville is not an excellent wine, but from all the hype I was expecting Elvis. Just goes to show you (me) that each wine, each vintage, even in the same winery can open up a whole new wine experience.


Níl stair sa bhuidéal!


For a more comprehensive review, check out bill's: Ugawino .


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Sunday, March 4, 2012

DIOGENES Bartlett Ranch Vineyard Lake County 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

Diogenes 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, $11.70-$16.25, 87 points, and bought at Hannaford's super market. Once again, if you know the wine shops and markets and you wait and buy a few bottles when they are on sale, you will save green-backs; in this case I saved $4.55. Right now the NHLS will discount 15% the purchase of twelve bottles or more of "Down-under" wines, and when you buy wines with an additional sale, like my purchase of the 2010 Penfolds Thomas Hyland Shiraz for $10.19, regularly priced $14.99, you save even more. Keep in mind that I'm buying my own wines and I'm not paid by anyone to mention these New Hampshire outlets, but I just want to share with you my efforts to save money on wine purchases, and if you have suggestions, then lets hear them. Canadian shoppers often tell me that these kinds of prices are much better than they can find in Canada.
Well, to the wine: Diogenes has a beautiful crystal-clear transparent golden color.
It has a lemon-grass, toasty wood, vanilla, and hints of caramel aroma.
While cold the texture seemed a bit thin, but became creamier as it warmed.
The aroma nicely carried over onto my palate, but there was a sour note almost bitter which was a bother. This was overall a nice wine which grew on me with a long ginger-pepper finish. I did not find any overdone grassiness, and would at $11.70 recommend this Sauv-Blanc.
For those who care about the décor, I found this bottle and the label to be very attractive and thought how nice it appeared on the dinner table.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Oakville 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon




 
 
Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Oakville 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $39.99-$49.99, 92 points, had a balanced complexity with good acidity, tannin, texture, and flavorful qualities tied nicely with a bourbon-bow burn finish (15.5% alcohol), but it did lack a depth of fruit, having only hints of plum, black olive, and licorice. Others had noticed blackberry, but I couldn't, and that doesn't mean you won't. The drinkability was very good, and paired well with my Porterhouse steak and as a stand-alone wine; I could have drunk every drop. However, I'm not going overboard on this wine, and though I bought more than one bottle, I'm not going to be a big advocate either, since there are wines of equal quality for much less; for example the Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which I just reviewed this week, is not quite as rich and lacks the bourbon-burn, but for my money it is more interesting and at half the cost.
The color is a very dense ruby, and the aroma is a complex delight of cooking spices and floral notes (Very nice).


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Friday, March 2, 2012

Philippe Raimbault 2010 Sancerre Apud Sariacum, Loire, France




Philippe Raimbault 2010 Sancerre Apud Sariacum, Loire, France, average price $22.00, I paid $18.90, 90 points, has a transparent lemon yellow color, a beautiful pink grapefruit aroma which carries (cold 39 degrees) over to early palate with just hints of  piña colada, wet stone, and lemon grass. With crisp acidity cold and a smooth texture warm, I enjoyed this with spiced Haddock and alone. 
This wine reminded me of some New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, and if you like one, I think you'll like the other.
Bought at Hannaford's super market.



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