Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tommasi Classico Superiore Vigneto Rafael 2009 Valpolicella



Tommasi Classico Superiore Vigneto Rafael 2009 Valpolicella,
$10.80-$15.00, 88 points, was bought at the Hannaford's super market in Londonderry, NH.
The color is a slightly cloudy magenta.
The aroma is very subtle black fruit (nearly mute). 
The medium body carries good acidity and moderate tannin.
The flavors I find are gentle boysenberry, licorice, tangy grape, raisin, hints of tobacco, and blueberry.
The late palate and finish flows from tart, and tasty cherry spice, and though some may find this finish a bit bitter, I'm not one of them.
This is a fine, flavorful, table wine, and with 12.5% alcohol demonstrates its accommodating contribution to the dinner setting so traditional in Italy. 


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Cupcake 2011 Prosecco

Cupcake 2011 Prosecco, $7.00-$10.99, 85 points, begins quite fizzy (Sorry I did not take a nano-meter for the specs), crisp, and refreshing; "all is as it should be" until it begins to warm when a not so pleasant sour taste appears. So, drink cold and just out of the bottle and keep it cold, mix with a little of your favorite fruit puree, and have a little cheer.
This wine review is for Ben, because he's on his way home (soon), but the name of the wine is for SH, the guy I believe sees this as a 'Don't be a vintner's girlyman' label. As for Memorial day and Ben's soon homecoming, I give you the condensed version of the New Wold Symphony.



http://nhwineman.blogspot.com/2011/02/index-of-reviewed-wines.html


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Monday, May 28, 2012

San Quirico di San Gimignano 2010 Vernaccia



San Quirico di San Gimignano 2010 Vernaccia,
$11.89-$15.99, 87 points, was this afternoon's aperitif.
Vernaccia, is a dry white wine from Tuscany. The color is a light gold to copper in tone. I found the aroma to be a bit earthy, with some light perfume wafting out of the glass, yet slightly sour (A note found on late palate and finish). The medium body carried good acidity, with just hints of grapefruit and pineapple, but was somewhat neutral. The quality of this wine was more in its refreshing texture and its laudable light liquidity. The finish was short with light spice and a sour note; Ethan more rightly described it as "bitter". The alcohol (12.5%) was unnoticeable.

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Valley Of The Moon Sonoma County 2008 Sangiovese




Valley Of The Moon Sonoma County 2008 Sangiovese, $10.19-$14.99, 87 points, begins with a ruby color, with an aroma that is almost silent, but has hints of candy-cane. The body is light to medium, but smooth and carries fair acidity and light tannin. The flavors I noticed were bright red cherry, floral aspects, and hints of cranberry. Finishing through with a truncated sweet spice and hints of menthol.
Overall, this is a fine effort, though coming short of the more focused Italian Sangiovese wines I've tasted, yet the flavor factor is good and better than some Italian Sangiovese wines. So with a great quality-price-ratio (QPR), I'd say this wine is a buy from me.



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Acorn Algeria Vineyards Russia River Valley 2008 Dolcetto



Acorn Algeria Vineyards Russia River Valley 2008 Dolcetto, $24.64-$31.99, 90 points, is made from 96% Dolcetto grapes while the remaining traces of 2% each, are Freisa grapes and Barbera grapes.
Considering how difficult it is to find this domestic varietal in New Hampshire, I was amazed at such a valiant effort Acorn winery had made with this wine (From my little experience with this varietal, I'd say this is a serious wine).
The color is a vibrant and pristine deep ruby throughout, with a clear rim.
Having an aroma of sweet cinnamon, clove, cedar, and cherry, it would have fooled me in place of Acorn's 2008 Syrah.
With a bounty of flavors, red cherry, licorice, strong floral notes, and a hint of espresso, this balanced medium bodied wine is structured with a subconscious acidity, but the finish has firm tannin, and finishes with eucalyptus and spice.
This wine did not hold up for the three days as well as the Conterno Fantino 2007 Dolcetto. So, drink this wine upon opening.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Newton 2009 Chardonnay

 
 
 

Newton 2009 Chardonnay, $12.60-$17.50, 89 points, was bought at Hannaford's super market in Londonderry.
The color is a lemon/lime.
The aroma was an excellent honeydew melon and citrus.
The body was light to medium and showed fair acidity with pear and quite a bit of vanilla flavors.
Finished lengthily on spice, ginger, and white pepper.
Newton 2009 Chardonnay is another competent arch-typical Californian Chardonnay. Good QPR, and very seafood favorable.
This is a very dry white wine!


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Friday, May 25, 2012

Gloria Ferrer Carneros Estate Grown 2007 Chardonnay


Gloria Ferrer Carneros Estate Grown 2007 Chardonnay, $8.49-$18.99, 89 points, begins with a light golden color and a funky melon aroma captured on its medium body with light acidity and lots of spice, caramel, and oaky vanilla, but nothing dominates, nothing detracts from its refreshment, flavor (hints of apple and pear) and seafood pairing potential. Is this a great chardonnay? Probably not, but it is a sublimely competent Californian Chardonnay? In my humble opinion, for $8.49 you may never have a better Chardonnay.
Finishing long on oak-spice.



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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Banfi Castello 2009 Rosso di Montalcino



2009 Банфі Россо ді Монтальчіно, $15,29-$19.99, 91 points, was a better wine (to me) than Banfi's Chianti Classico Riserva.
The color was garnet to ruby with a very wide youthful clear rim.

Aromas were floral with earthy cherry.
The texture was light to medium and carried a lively expression of red cherry flavors and finished long and strong on spice with a well-balanced 14% alcohol.
Maybe too high of a score for a rather one-dimensional table-wine, but I was impressed by its bright and focused food-friendliness with a drink alone quality.

I'm sure as I give this wine some air I'll discover other subtle attributes which seem hidden in this in-your-face 100% Sangiovese.
I have an older vintage in the cellar and intend to dig it out to compare.
Stay tuned!


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Monday, May 21, 2012

Michele Chario La Court 2007 Barbera D'Asti





Michele Chario La Court 2007 Barbera D'Asti, $26.99-$39.99, 91 points,
is a wine I was going to review tonight, but I feel that I need to let it sit over-night to better assess the powerful violets and eucalyptus  flavors, which in small amounts I like.
Other notes were the remarkable candied-red-cherry color, and the powerful aroma consisting of earth, floral cherry, and clove.
I'll finish this tomorrow, Deo volente!
Okay, it's tomorrow. What often happens is a complex wine like this Barbera begins its open bottle-life with overwhelmingly powerful notes, but like an early morning fog starts it's inevitable dispersal and relaxation so that hidden qualities camouflaged will appear; this is the case with Michele Chario La Court. 
Medium-bodied with a smoothly round texture complimented by good acidity, grainy tannin, and diminished floral and eucalyptus flavors, now revealed excellent hints of tar, carrot, and cherry.
The long finish was the trailing palate, leather notes, and warm spice.


 
 
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(Villa Matilde) Tenuta Rocca Dei Leoni Campania 2009 Falanghina



Tenuta Rocca Dei Leoni Campania 2009 100% Falanghina,
$11.70-$15.99, 88 points, began with a lovely gradation of yellow colors, from pale at the core to bright lemon at the rim.
This wine is floral and fruity with a light-plus body that carried less acidity in an Italian white wine than I'm use to, but paired nicely with a sea-food medley.
Flavors ranged from light citrus to a more influential melon, but with an almost sour caramel after taste that followed into the fair finish.
Falanghina is a new wine varietal for me, and worth the $11.70 I paid for it; am I going to start a cult following over this? No! However, just remember, you'll never know unless you're willing to try something different.
I bought this wine at Hannaford's super market in Londonderry.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Conterno Fantino 2007 Dolcetto



Conterno Fantino 2007 Dolcetto, $18.69-$21.99, 90 points, is a rather peculiar wine in that it reminds me of a frosty root-beer on a hot afternoon. "What are you talking about Dennis?" Well, you begin with something totally refreshing, but in a couple of hours the root-beer is totally flat. Now I'm not saying that this wine is totally flat after opening, but I am saying that the moment I opened this Dolcetto it was big and lively and had impact; there was good acidity and striking tannin, most of which diminished within a few hours. The aroma began with the power of Lilac, cedar, and spice, but diminished into a rather earthy boredom.
The color did not fade though (I would need a straight-jacket), and its almost Shiraz-purplish color is clear and deep.
The freshly uncorked bottle had a good mouth-feel with a medium body full of juicy blackberries, floral earth, and mushroom. The finish was fair and ended with some long lasting menthol.
The verdict: this is an open and shut case for a great wine not left around opened.
I just wanted to take-back some of the "not left around opened" comment: Last night (May 22) I poured some of this left-over Dolcetto and I was surprised by just how good it still was, and the finish had gained some hither-to unnoticed espresso and spice. Still not the robust wine when first I opened it!
Live-taste and learn! I'm encouraged by this varietal, especially the QPR.


http://nhwineman.blogspot.com/2011/02/index-of-reviewed-wines.html




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Friday, May 18, 2012

Roth Alexander Valley 2010 Sauvignon Blanc


Roth Alexander Valley 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, $16.20-$23.00, 91 points, was bought at the Londonderry Hannaford's supermarket. 
As I waited for the sale to kick-in (Usually after two months), I noticed this wine at the higher price was selling very well, and though I didn't ask Todd (Assistant manager) about it, I'm usually right when it comes to assessing how one of their specialty wines is selling. Hannaford's is very good at keeping the specialty wines changing and moving, and I know that Todd takes a keen interest in this aspect of his store.
Roth Alexander Valley 2010 Sauvignon Blanc was no disappointment: having a nearly clear color with only a hint of lime-green, a beautiful aroma (complex for a SB) with mostly subtle hints made-up of pineapple, lemon-grass, honeydew melon, and ginger.
The flavors fit perfectly with the aroma, and are carried by a medium body to its conclusion of a long enduring ginger-spice finish. Paired nicely with buttered sauteed Sea scallops.
Nice wine for about $17.



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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ridge York Creek 2009 Zinfandel


Ridge York Creek 2009 Zinfandel,
$24.64-$28.99, 93 points, is 7% Petite Sirah, and once again justifies Ridge as one of the go-to wineries for Zinfandel wines. Versatile, aromatic, and having a strong backbone of acidity with firm tannin, this wine is powerful now, but filled with pleasantries that boggle the Zinfanphile's palate, and will evolve for years to come.
Very deep-dark magenta color, cedar with a floral-plum aroma, displaying bright flavors of licorice, plum, and boysenberry, its medium-plus body carries through smoothly into a fine finish of spice with some heat (14.7% alcohol).
The York Creek did not disappoint, but is a wine of considerable earnest; having been bottled in January of 2011, this is a very young Zinfandel that is beautifully flavorful now, but given a few years will only improve. often it is said that Zinfandel wines should be drunk young, and this is great for the York Creek, but I'm confident that this is an exceptional wine and may be stashed away in your cellar.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sandrone Le Vigne 2004 Barolo


Sandrone Le Vigne 2004 Barolo, $84.99-$139.99, 94 points, is a wine-tasting instigated by Susan, SS, and just about everyone else who has recently vouched for the greatness of Barolo. This is the oldest one I had in my cellar (Could sit there for another ten years). LeVigne has a bouquet of powerful floral cooking spice, with cedar and toasty caramel. 
My first taste left me with the immediate impression I'd just let some hostile into my mouth; the acidic and tannic tandem assault was intense to say the least, but as one who often likes my wines on the wild side, I was not daunted, but intrigued. Underneath these fearsome physical qualities was a layered complexity of smooth and juicy black fruits, plum, and espresso.
The finish was very long with a pleasant blending of black and red cherry, with hints of Tabasco, and just a slight awareness of heat (14% alcohol), but this wine does not appear to be about abundant alcohol, it is about the utilization of alcohol as a building material in a great edifice. 
As for how it paired with our roasted pork ribs: "like a hot knife through . . ."
Was this wine worth the big bucks? I'm not disappointed, and if the rumors of persnickety Pinot Noir-like attributes are true of Barolo, then a good Barolo maybe just how I needed to begin tasting this varietal.



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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Allegrini 2010 Valpolicella




Allegrini 2010 Valpolicella, $12.74-$17.99, 87 points, begins with a ruby color, but quickly disappoints with wood and rubber on the nose.
Thankfully the mouth-feel is smooth and has abundant acids with a slight tannic presence.
Flavors of plum and raisin dominate, and the finish is fair, but on the bitter side with a bit of spice.
I doubt that I'd buy this again, but at least I'm not dissatisfied (QPR), except for the screw-cap closure, which I had the hardest time opening.



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Bolla 2011 Valpolicella



Bolla 2011 Valpolicella, $6.99-$8.99, 84 points.
I hope the picture is pleasing, because the wine wasn't.
The aroma is rubber-like.
The color (Maybe the best part of tasting this wine) is a bright consistent ruby-red with its youthful rim.
This is a light body wine with good acidity and undetectable tannin.
Kerosene predominates the flavor, but a watery strawberry comes through with a bit of juicy cherry tang.
There is almost no finish.
If I tasted this wine blind I would have guessed that this was a rather weak Merlot. 
Even at this low-ball price (Bought at Market Basket in Londonderry) it would not be a buy for me. I must admit that I was surprised, because I've had a number of their wines and found them fair to very good.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fattoria Del Cerro 2008 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano


Fattoria Del Cerro 2008 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano,
$18.69-$21.99, 91 points, is just what the 'doctor' ordered for pizza.
Sharon who walks her dog Harley, this wine is for you! Yes, I recommended that you try Italian Sangiovese, (Chianti) and this is a very good one. Though the label doesn't say Sangiovese, at least 70% of it is. I know that I've told people that Montepulciano is a grape (It is that too), but the "di or DI" on the label tells you that it is from the city of Montepulciano in Tuscany.
The label also tells you that it is a "Nobile", which is a handed-down term referring to the vineyard's history of "Noble" ownership.
To the wine: The color is by now a familiar ruby garnet with a clear outer ring at the rim.
The aroma is a gentle array of sweet spice and red cherry.
A medium body carries food friendly acids (Making for some sensation of mouth-watering) and balanced tannin (That over steeped-tea feel in your mouth).
The flavor is a gentle floral blueberry and red cherry, with a fair finish of fruit and just a hint of spice. There is some sediment and could be decanted or just let stand for a couple of hours and pour gently.
This wine will complement your spaghetti or any meat and red sauce cuisine.
To be fair, I don't have any idea of how others liked this wine, except for my son Ethan who scored this wine 90 points, but let me just say that Fattoria Del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano suits my "plain-palate" perfectly (Everyone has a different palate).
Sharon, I doubt that this wine will over-whelm your dinner table, but rather complement it, the bottle is elegant, and since I paid only $18.69 for this great wine, I'd say it won't break the bank either.


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Dante Dusi Paso Robles 2006 Zinfandel


Dante Dusi Paso Robles 2006 Zinfandel, $19.99-$42.00, 89 points, just had to be discounted; with so many very good Zinfandel wines around, it must be hard to get these to "take-off". I had my eye on this wine at the Harvest market in Bedford for about a year when oops the price came down to just under that magical $20.00 range.
Well, it was time for a comparison change of pace from all these beautiful wines from Italy.
Dante Dusi began with an 'unfiltered' appearance the color is a consistent cran-plum, and still with a clear rim-ring.
For the first time ever I would describe the aroma as having a brownie note, as well as the usual sweet cooking spices, cedar, and plum.
A medium body carries good acidity, refined tannin, with quite a tangy bramble-berry flavor.
The finish is long on tart red cherry and spice.
Under the $20.00 mark, this is a very nice wine with loads of character; so much so, that at an even higher price it would be worth the unique Zinfandel experience.
We liked this wine as a stand-alone sipper.
To be fair to those who might grab this wine on my account, the wine critics were not so kind to this wine.


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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rocca delle Macie 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva


Rocca delle Macie 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva, $16.14-$24.99, 89 points, has a garnet to ruby color with flashes of violet and a large transparent rim.
The aroma began cardboard-like, but blossomed beautifully into sweet spice-box with cedar notes.
A medium bodied wine, the Rocca delle Macie 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva is balanced, having competent acidity with an ample tannic presence which seem swept away with the blackberry, boysenberry, tart cherry, and dusty plum which is carried onto a fair finish with added spice.
Just a side note on varietals, there is 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot with 90% Sangiovese in this wine.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Allegrini 2006 La Grolla Red Wine

Allegrini 2006 La Grolla Red Wine, $25.49-$29.99, 91 points. Sorry for all the high scores, but I just love Italian wine; is a bias showing? Allegrini 2006 La Grolla Red Wine has a deep-dark ruby-red color with flashes of garnet.
The aroma is a standout bouquet of earthy-cinnamon with a firm floral character that is pronounced on the early palate. With some time to breathe, this floral character subsides and a more balanced and unusually juicy character fills the mouth with a lush black cherry, damson plum, boysenberry, and hints of chalky licorice/mocha.
The finish is long and spicy. The alcohol is unnoticeable (13.5%) and weaved into a balanced beauty of a wine.
For the winery's fact sheet: Allegrini

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Willamette Valley 2009 Pinot Gris



Willamette Valley Vineyards Oregon 2009 Pinot Gris, $17.99-$19.99, 93 points, is almost as clear as water with just the faintest flashes of copper.
The aroma is sweet melon, kiwi, and 
hints of lichee nut, also spelled Lychee or leechi or whatever, but it is a little reddish fleshy evergreen fruit with lots of beautiful aroma.
The body is medium with some viscosity, medium acidity and is just bit sweet.
The finish is good with just a hint of Asian spice, pineapple, and sweet grapefruit.
The flavor is mostly its aroma, but is lovely, and very easy to drink by itself or with lemon baked haddock, or other Eastern sea cuisine. 



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Sunday, May 6, 2012

CAPANNA 2006 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO


Capanna 2006 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO, $47.59-$55.99, 93 points.
My son declares this Brunello to be an "exciting adult wine."
The color is true perfection throughout, in a spectacular crystalline Ruby to shimmering Burgundy with a slim transparent rim. 
The aroma is a blast of cinnamon, clove, cedar, and alcohol, (15%) with hints of tart Red cherry, smoky wood, and truffle.
A medium body carries bright acidity with moderate tannin and a "hot" sensation.
The flavor is dominated by a woody bourbon-like burn throughout and more strongly on a very long finish; I'm not the authority to say, but I will: I believe this is the structure, the design of this wine, and with only hints of tart cherry, tar, and licorice, plus your imagination, this is the wine you are drinking, rather sipping, unless you like you whiskey straight-up and straight-down.
This is not the style I'm accustom to, but I certainly appreciated its quality, or as the guy from Grapes R great would say: brood over.


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Saturday, May 5, 2012

J 2010 Pinot Gris



J 2010 Pinot Gris (California), $15.99-$18.99, 92 points, has a lemon/lime color, and that is what I got on the nose (cold).
The light body (cold) carries a very clean, focused, crisp, refreshing, and predominately lime flavor with a nice finish of lemon zest and hints of ginger.
With mouth watering acidity, this Pinot Gris would be a match for fried clams, oysters, or baked perch.
As the J  Pinot gris warmed the body became more lush yet retained all that crisp and refreshing character.
One of the better Pinot Gris wines I've tasted.
Now, granted I'm no expert on wine, especially white wine, so all those who like their Pinot Gris with salmon or Thai food might just want to read: Eve Bushman's Wine 101



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Thursday, May 3, 2012

King Estate 2009 Pinot Noir


King Estate 2009 Pinot Noir, $23.79-$27.99, 90 points, is a clear cranberry color throughout, and has a transparent rim.
The aroma began with cinnamon, and as it warmed there arose licorice, green pepper, and earth.
A light-plus bodied wine that carries bright red fruit, cranberry, strawberry, and cherry, with a consistent finish.
This is a good Pinot Noir that improved with air. 



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King Estate 2010 Pinot Gris


King Estate 2010 Pinot Gris, $14.44-$19.99, 90 points, has a light lemon/lime color, and the aroma is a mellow honeysuckle with lichee notes.
The flavor profile is tart citrus with hints of honey, and ginger. This Pinot Gris has a long spicy finish all on a light body, crisp and refreshing with no hint of alcohol (13%)
This is a thirst quencher, a crowd-pleaser, and though not particularly complex, it is quite tasty, almost reminiscent of a good Sauvignon Blanc without a fresh-cut lawn.
Having good acidity, it paired nicely with my supper (Grilled chicken sandwich and asparagus on buttered mashed potatoes).





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