Monday, December 31, 2012

Casanova di Neri 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino


Casanova di Neri 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino, $40.99-$48.99, 94 points, truly a ruby bejeweled of a wine, with a glitter of amber toward the broad transparent rim.
Aromatic, with perfumed spicy red cherry and cedar, with hints of pine tar and lilac. It has been more than four months since I've experienced a Brunello, but smelling that bouquet reminded me just how uniquely wonderful Brunello begins in the glass.
Medium-plus body, good acidity, moderate and persistent tannin, with a juicy and round mouth feel, it has an almost melt-in-your-mouth quality (I know, liquid doesn't melt-But!).
Floral flavors are dominant, with hints of tar, herbs, and spiced red cherry.
Finishing exceptionally long with mouth-tingling spices and eucalyptus, this wine reminds me of the Mate 2006 Brunello Montalcino, and will be just as memorable.


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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Copain's L'hiver 2008 Syrah


Copain L'hiver (Winter) 2008 Syrah, $7.64-$19.99, 91 points, has a dense purple-red color with a broad transparent rim.
A powerful aroma of cedar and clove with hints of coffee and bacon fat, certainly leave an impression.
Striking me as a Rhone-styled red wine with lip smacking acidity, heavy earth tones, juicy blackberry and hints of coffee, licorice, and smoky bacon fat, this is a loaded (Everything on this pizza please!) near full-bodied Syrah, drinking easy on mild tannin.
Finishes juicy with hints of black licorice and spice.

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

LaBelle Non-Vintage Riesling



LaBelle Non-Vintage Riesling, $13.99, 88 points, was bought at "The Fresh Market" in Bedford.
The color is clear with just a slight golden tint.
Crab apple is the nose, but the flavors are peachy, with apricot, and a flutter of nuttiness, while the finish is long on tart green apple and white pepper.
The texture is round and near-dry with good acidity on a light-plus body.
Grapes were sourced from the Finger-lakes  and that's a big plus for this newly expanded home-spun winery.
Great effort! When folks talk about buying locally, this one is a logical choice; New Year's Day Asian cuisine, here I come.




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Friday, December 28, 2012

Syrah (USA)

Syrah (USA), is a user friendly list of NHWM reviewed domestic Syrah wines (a work in progress) that links the Syrah wines with reviews, and reports the cost, ratings, and to a lesser extent, availability of wines to New Hampshire wine shoppers, and making all this more accessible, especially to those using smart phones.




ACORN Alegria Vineyards Russian River AXIOM 2008 Syrah $22.94-$29.99, 89 points
Baileyana Edna Valley Firepeak Vineyard 2006 Syrah, $23 99, 91 points
Bearboat Russian River 2010 Syrah, $8.49-$19.99, 89 points
Bonny Doon San Luis Obispo Alamo Creek 2007 Syrah, $31.03-$36.99, 89 points
Bonny Doon Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido 2007 Syrah, $34.84-$40.99, 90 points
Bonterra Vineyards Mendocino County 2007 Syrah (organic), $13.79-$18.99 (I paid $14.99), 89 points
Bonterra Vineyards Mendocino County 2009 Syrah (organic), $13.49-$18.49, 87 points
Bridlewood Central Coast 2006 Syrah, approximately $11.59-$15.99, 87 points
Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley 2007 Syrah, $8.49-$11.99, 86 points
Chatom Calaveras County 2005 Syrah, approximately $23.00, 89 points
Clayhouse Paso Robles 2007 Syrah, $10.80-$15.00, 91 points
Clayhouse Paso Robles 2010 Syrah, $10.19-$15.99, 86 points
Cline Sonoma County 2009 Syrah, $11.99-$13.99, 83 points
Copain Harrison Clarke Santa Ynez Valley 2007 Syrah, $33,99-$39.99, 93 points
Copain L'hiver (Winter) 2008 Syrah, $7.64-$19.99, 91 points
David Girard El Dorado 2009 Syrah, $10.19-$26.99, 91 points
Duck Pond Estate Grown 2007 Syrah, $13.59-$14.99, 86 points
Edward Sellers Paso Robles 2007 Sélectionnée Syrah, $26.78-$31.99, 90 points
Fess Parker Santa Barbara County 2008 Syrah, $20.99-$22.99, 89 points
Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen 2008 Syrah, approximately $14.00, 84 points
Frei Brothers Russian River Valley 2007 Syrah Reserve, $13.50-$18.00, 83 points
Gallo Family Sonoma Reserve 2005 Syrah, $8.99, 89 points
Hagafen Estate Bottled Napa Valley 2007 Syrah, $27.99-$29.99, 89 points
Head Honcho Barrel 27 Santa Barbara County 2012 Syrah, $12.74-$34.99, 92 points
K. Vintners M.C.K Washington State 'Motor City Kitty' 2014 Syrah, $29.74-$34.99, 91 points
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Estates Grown 2007 Syrah, $11.99-$13.99, 88 points
Klinker Brick Lodi 2007 Farrah Syrah, $16.99, 89 points
Landmark Steel Plow 2006 Syrah, $32, 90 points
Liberty School Central Coast 2007 Syrah, approximately $11.00, 86 points
Limerick Lane Estate Grown Russian River 2009 Syrah, $16,99-$33.99, 89 points
Lost Canyon Russian River Valley 'Trenton Station Vineyard' 2010 Syrah, 92 points
Morgan Monterey 2008 Syrah, $19.99-$23.99, 90 points
Moshin California central Coast 2000 Syrah, $14.99, 87 points
Niner BootJack Ranch Paso Robles 2005 Syrah, $17.99-$20.99, 88 points
Novy Santa Lucia Highlands 2010 Syrah, $26.99-$15.99, 88 points
Obsidian Ridge Estate 2012 Syrah, $30, 90 points
Pear Valley Paso Robles 2007 Syrah, $12.99-$24.99, 86 points
Qupé Central Coast 2010 Syrah $17.09-$19.99, 87 points
Ridge Lytton West 2005 Syrah, $26.49-$35.99, 92+ points
Robert Hall Paso Robles 2011 Syrah, $11.69-$23.99 (NHLS promotional gift card applied), 92 points
Rockblock (Domaine Serene) SoNo Syrah, $17.59-$26.99, 91 points
Rockblock Reserve 2006 Syrah, $34.99, 92 points
Rosenblum Cellars Solano County England-Shaw Vineyard 2005 Syrah, $26-$34, 90 points
Shafer RELENTLESS Napa Valley 2007 Syrah (16% Petite Sirah), $47.59.-$59.99, 95 points
Shafer RELENTLESS Napa Valley 2008 Syrah, $53.54-$62.99, 96 points
Shane Judge Vineyard Bennett Valley 2008 Syrah, $36.54-$42.99, 92 points
Smoking LOON 2007 Syrah, $9.99-$12.99, 89 points
Stephen TEST Dry Creek Unti Vineyard 2006 Syrah, $29.70, 90 points
Tenet Wines "The Pundet" Columbia Valley 2013 Syrah, $20.69-$22.99, 88 points
Tensley Colson Canyon Vineyard Santa Barbara County 2008 Syrah, $35.51-$43.99, 95 points
Terre Rouge 2010 Syrah, $14.44-$18.99, 90 points
Truchard 2005 Syrah, $24.99, 92 points
Truchard Carneros Napa Valley 2007 Syrah, $24.99, 90 points
Turnbull Oakville 2011 Syrah, $24.99-$49.99, 90 points
Wind Gap Castelli Knight Ranch 2007 Syrah, approximately $45.00, 91 points
Zaca Mesa 2006 Syrah, $19.99, 92 points
Zorvino Vineyards Non-Vintage Syrah, A gift from a friend (approx. $13.99), 84 points






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Copain Harrison Clarke Santa Ynez Valley 2007 Syrah


Copain Harrison Clarke Santa Ynez Valley 2007 Syrah, $33,99-$39.99, 93 points, begins its lovely presentation with a Shiraz purple color that wells opaque at the core, and the sliver of a silver lining trims this wine youthful enough.
Crushed blackberries, with hints of flowers add their near perfection to  this blossoming wine, and cinnamon-clove as a garnish, impress.
Round and lush, this quite drink-able near full-bodied red wine, displays as much elegance in a high acid, big tannin (layered and firm) Syrah, as I've had all year.
Bountiful fruit, blackberry, boysenberry, damson plum, with hints of licorice, bacon fat, and violets, reward with their balanced delicious richness.
Finishing long on the trailing palate, but adding hints of spice with just a touch of heat (13.7% alcohol), wind-up an excellent red wine of note.



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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Treana Central Coast 2009 Marsanne-Viognier


Treana Central Coast 2009 Marsanne-Viognier, $14.40-$20.00, 90 points.
Masculine describes this white wine. I usually think of white wines as feminine, but we begin here with a bold golden color trending broadly clear at the rim.
Though aromas of melon, cantaloupe rind, and honeydew with other floral notes are present, they are firm and distinctive.
Medium bodied, this blend of  50% Marsanne 50% Viognier has fair acidity, carries an interesting array of melon and floral flavors, but the very long finish of white pepper, ginger, and a hint of alcohol (14.5%) seal the deal on this wine.
Though paired with Asian cuisine was okay, I preferred it as a stand-alone wine: just too much going on here, too complex and distracting with the meal for me.
Bought at the Londonderry Hannaford's supermarket. 

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Châteaux Petit Bocq Saint-Estèphe Médoc 2009 Bordeaux


Châteaux Petit Bocq Saint-Estèphe Médoc 2009 Bordeaux, $23.79-$27.99, 90 points, appears clear black currant and ruby in color with a broad clear rim.
Pleasant aromas of cigar box, black fruit, and a floral tone greet your olfactory sense.
The medium body carries near perfect acidity, with as yet, a too tight tannic assault; though I'm enjoying this wine now, I'm thinking that some time in the cellar will improve this dry red wine for most red wine drinkers.
Profiling tart red cherry, strawberry, and juicy boysenberry, this Bordeaux  robustly satiates as a red-table wine rather than a stand-alone wine.
The long finish is the trailing palate, and just hints at spice.




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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Aneri Brut Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. Prosecco Superiore


Aneri Brut Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. Prosecco Superiore, $9.99-$21.99, 91 points, gives the rainbow new meaning by the gradations of crystal-clear shades of creamy beige.
A textually spritzer of a Prosecco, among the bubbliest I've tasted, with a near explosive beginning, subsiding, but persistent with strong lively steamers.
Palate cleansing acidity is good, while the Brut designation advertises that this wine is dry.
Aromatically, Prosecco grape with hints of mild apple.
Flavor hints of hazel nut and lemon are soft and nuanced, but a sprinkle of ginger trails into a fine finish.
At the "power buy" price, this is an excellent choice.






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Monday, December 24, 2012

Thank you Mr. Lemieux and Market Basket



  This post is an extension of Wine tasting can go viral! This new post is an applause and a thank you for the kindness of the Londonderry Market Basket's store  manager, Mark Lemieux, for assisting my friend and boss Nick with tasting a doughnut created just for him:-)
  We would like to wish Mr. Lemieux, Vinnie, Heather, Deborah, Sarah, Brendan, and all the employees of Market Basket a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!





Yum, blueberry!

Oops, I forgot Nick's best friend and vicious protector:


Merry Christmas Shorty!

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Bogle 2010 Pitite Sirah


Bogle 2010 Pitite Sirah, $10.99-$13.99, 87 points, reflects crystal-clear purple-red colors, near opaque at the core and ringed with a broad clear rim.
Aromatically, this Pitite Sirah hints at red fruit and just a touch of fresh earth.
Bitter notes detract from the red fruit flavor of this medium-plus bodied dry red wine, and with noticeable acidity and tannin, the finish also falters with less spice and length than did the 2007.
It appears that the three years of hiding the 2007 in my basement may have been a good thing, though the 2007 is not as vibrant as the 2010, it was more delicious and more pleasant.

Join me and Laura Carlo (FM 99.50) for an hour of some of the best and most interesting Christmas music: Boston Camerata's American Christmas


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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bogle 2007 Petite Sirah


Bogle 2007 Petite Sirah, $10.99-$12.99, 89 points, appears dark ruby with orange tints and a clear rim.
Not altogether pleasing, the aroma reflects an earthy/leathery tone and I get some red fruit, but it is not offensive either.
Though the winery says black fruit, all I taste is red fruit bound to a medium-plus body with good acidity and unpredictably mellow tannin. Late palate spice reverberates long and refines into black pepper and cayenne.
This is a surprisingly good wine and a great value. Drink as you would any dry red wine (steaks, burgers, pizza, and lamb, will all pair well).


Christmas music is for the season and the soul! A Son, A Savior

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Petite Syrah/Sirah/Durif Wines

Petite Syrah/Sirah/Durif Wines suffer from confusion, so here's Dennis Fife, Our "Professor" of Petite Sirah / Petite Syrah-Durif to teach Class 101 of this varietal.
My small contribution is the finding (in NH), tasting, reviewing and listing of some of these wines.
For example, Stag's Leap Petite Syrah is one of the few great and widely know of this varietal, and since early (2010) in my wine tasting trek I stumbled upon this great wine, I wanted to explore further, but was hindered by availability, and the quality was often disappointing.
Here's an excellent example of what you might find in a good Petite Sirah: Vinogirl discovers a 20 year-old Markham




Bogle 2007 Petite Sirah, $10.99-$12.99, 89 points
Bogle 2010 Pitite Sirah, $10.99-$13.99, 87 points
Castle Rock Russian River Valley 2007 Petite Sirah, $10.99, 83 points
Chronic Cellars Paso Robles "Suite Petite" 2014 Red Wine, $14.99-$24.99, 86+ points
Clayhouse Estate Grown . Paso Robles . Red Cedar Vineyard . Show Pony 2007 Petite Sirah, $34.84-$40.99, 91 points
Clayhouse Red Cedar Vineyard Paso Robles 2009 Petite Sirah, $18.74-$24.99, 92 points
Concannon Central Coast Limited Release 2006 Petite Syrah, $6.00-$12.00, 85 points
EOS Estate Winery Paso Robles 2009 Petite Sirah, $6.79-$14.99, 90 points
Fleur 2006 Petite Syrah, $14.00, 86 points
Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Plum Label 2007 Petite Sirah, $14.99-$17.99, 86 points
green truck mendocino county 2009 petite sirah, $12.99-$14.99, 86, points
Hewitson 2012 Petite Sirah, $35, 86+ points (Australia)
Michael-David Vineyards 2008 Petite Petit Syrah-Verdot ($16.99-$22.99, 87 points)
Neal Napa Valley Rutherford Dust Vineyards 2006 Petite Syrah, $30.59-$37.99, 88 points
Parducci Mendocino County 2006 Petite Sirah, $10.99-$12.99, 84+ points
red truck california 2006 petite sirah, $9.00-$14.99, 88 points
Ridge Lytton Estates 2013 Petite Sirah, $25.49-$29.99, 92 points
Sebastiani 2011 Americano Petite Sirah, $15.29-$17.99, 87 points
Shannon Ridge Lake County 2010 Petite Sirah, $8.49-$22.99, 89 points
Spellbound 2008 Petite Sirah, $10.19-$15.99, 87 points
Stags' Leap 2006 Petite Syrah, $31.99, 93 points
Stags' Leap 2013 Petite Syrah, $33.99-$44.99, 93 points
T-Vine Napa Valley 2012 Petite Sirah, $12.74-$35.99, 88+ points







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Saturday, December 22, 2012

14 Hands Columbia Valley 2010 Merlot



14 Hands Columbia Valley 2010 Merlot, $9.99-$11.99, 87 points, begins captivating you with a lovely crystal-clear ruby to cranberry color and clear rim.
Toasty-warm black berry notes, and a hint of grape lightly fill the nose.
Nearly medium bodied, this easy to drink dry red wine does acidity easy, but moderate tannin keeps the juicy flavor profile (dominated by vanilla with floral notes) in amplification throughout and into the black pepper, slightly minty/menthol finish.
14 Hands Merlot is a pleasant wine, one that should be considered when having a rather large gathering; The quality-price-ratio is excellent, the flavor is broadly appealing, and the moderate 13.5% alcohol won't knockout your guests either (at least not quickly).

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Sequoia Grove Napa Valley 2006 and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon



Sequoia Grove Napa Valley 2006 and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $26.34-$32.99, 92+ points, either of which is wonderfully constructed, and though here is my first tasting of these wines, hopefully it won't be my last.
Since these wines are quite similar, I'll note the differences within one review.
Let me just note that the corks were like night and day, with the 2006 dark brown and the 2008 light beige in color.
Both vintages have a dense black currant color trending pomegranate red toward the broad transparent rims.
Aromatically, the 2008 is a bit brighter, and while the 2006 has earth notes, the 2008 replaces that with tobacco notes; otherwise both Cabernet wines display a lovely glass filling spicy cherry aroma.
A smooth medium-plus body beautifully balances good acidity with moderate tannin, though the 2008 is more noticeable and persistent.
Herbal and fruit flavors are rich and numerous, with dominant black currant, pomegranate, cranberry, blackberry, and a gentle floral component highlighting these pure and harmonious wines. The 2008 adds a bit of black licorice to the flavor profile.
The + (plus) in the scoring is due to the accelerating long spice finish, which is a bit more tart in the 2008.
These are great wines, and as a gift for that tree-hugging, wine loving environmentalist, will reward the two of you.
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Shiraz (Australia)



Shiraz (Australia), is a work in progress. Designed (Linkage) as an aide for "smart" phone users as a quick way to access information, primarily to compare wines and their availability in New Hampshire.


AMON-Ra Barossa Valley 2006 Shiraz (Glaetzer winery), $80.74-$94.99, 96 points
Boarding Pass 2007 Shiraz, South Australia, $8.99, 91 points
d'Arenberg The Footbolt 2008 Shiraz, $14.99, 86 points
Domaine Terlato~Chapoutier Pyrenees 2012 Shiraz, Or The French Wine From Australia?, $19.99-$49.99, 89 points
innocent bystander 2005 shiraz, 3% viognier, $15.00-$23.00, 89 points
Jacob's Creek 2006 Reserve, $12.99, 89 points
Jacob's Creek Barossa 2012 Reserve Shiraz, $14.99, 89 points
Jim Barry 2007 Shiraz Lodge Hill Clare Valley, $17.99, 90 points
John Duval Wines "Entity" Barossa Valley (Australia) 2010 Shiraz, $21.99-$39.99, 92 points
Layer Cake 2008 Shiraz, $15.00, 86 points
Lehmann Barossa 2006 Shiraz, $18.99, 86 points
Marquis Philips 2007 So.E. Australia Shiraz, $15.29, 87 points
MITOLO G.A.M. McLaren Vale 2006 Shiraz, $33.14-$38.99, 93 points
Mitolo Jester McLaren Vale Australia 2007 Shiraz, $18.99-$21.99, 89 points
Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy 2009 McLaren Vale Shiraz, $49.99-$52.99, 93 points
Mollydooker Carnival Of Love 2007 McLaren Vale Shiraz, $84.99-$99.99, 94 points
Mollydooker The Boxer 2009 McLaren Vale Shiraz, $29.99-$32.99, 90 points
Mollydooker Velvet Glove 2009 McLaren Vale Shiraz, $109.34-$169.99, 95 points
Nine Stones Barossa 2009 Shiraz, $11.60, 84 points
Ninety Plus Cellars Lot #37 McLaren Vale 2010 Shiraz, $9.99, 83 points
Oxford Landing Estates 2012 Shiraz, $10.80-$16.00 86 points
Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna 2005 Shiraz (Revisited), $19.95-$28.99, 91 points
Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna 2005 Shiraz, $19.99, 91 points
Penfolds Bin 28 2006 Kalimna Shiraz, $15.29-$23.99, 90 points
Penfolds South Australia "Max's" 2014 Shiraz/Cabernet, $19.99-$23.99, 87 points
Penfolds Thomas Hyland 2006 Shiraz, Adelaide, Australia, $11.99-$14.99, 89 points
Peter Lehmann Portrait 2013 Shiraz, $7.99-$18.99, 89 points
Two Hands Angel's Share 2008 Shiraz, $24.49, 92 points
Two Hands Ares 2005 Shiraz, $149.99-$229.99, 97 points
Two Hands Ares 2006 Shiraz, $149.99-$229.99, 94 points
Two Hands Bella's Garden Barossa Valley 2006 Shiraz $46.74, 94 points
Two Hands Bella's Garden Barossa Valley 2008 Shiraz, $53.54-$62.99, 95 points
Two Hands Bella's Garden 2009 Shiraz, $57.79-$,67.99, 95 points
Two Hands Bella's Garden 2011 Shiraz, $44.09-$67.99, 93 points
Two Hands Gnarly 2007 Shiraz, $24.49, 91 points
Two Hands Lily's Garden 2006 Shiraz, $54.00-$62.99, 91 points
Yalumba Barossa Patchwork 2008 Shiraz, $15.99-$17.99, 91 points
Yalumba Barossa Patchwork 2014 Shiraz, $11.49-$17.99, 85 points
Yangarra 2007 McLaren Vale Shiraz, $18.99, 92 points


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Holiday Decorations By The Wine Bottle



Villa Jolanda Prosecco, $9.99-$15.99, 90 points.
Typical water colors with brassy tints, nice citrus nose, poured foamy, yet continued with a Prosecco-like volcanic stream of fizz for some time, and with an extra-light body and tart citrus flavors accentuated by a bright acidity, this is a winner Prosecco. Finishes long on grapefruit rind.

Okay, you've read this review before, but this post is not so much about a wine review as it is about your decorations. Yeah, if you follow the link (Is this bottle designed for children?) you'll read that I noted this dilemma of alcoholic beverages packaged dangerously enticing to children, but beyond that controversy is your holiday table setting, and that's what this is about.
In New Hampshire, this Prosecco is now $9.99 at the NHSL-stores as a "last-chance" item, and it's obvious that the bottle was designed for the season. Villa Jolanda Prosecco is very good, as are most Prosecco wines, but which bottle presentation beats this one?


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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Two Hands Ares 2005 Shiraz


Two Hands Ares 2005 Shiraz, $149.99-$229.99, 97 points, was a Christmas gift in December of 2010 from my son Ethan; keeping a great wine for two years is a short time for most wine fanatics, but I still refer to myself as a "Newbie" wine taster, and wines of note are not easy to save even for a week. 
I knew what the price was, because I had just bought the 2006 two months earlier, and had been motivated by the outrageous "savings" to buy one, though many would just say "What?" However, try buying a 97 point Bordeaux for that price, and keep in mind that other reviewers scored this wine in the rarefied zone above 97 points. Tut, tutting all of this is meaningless unless you've tasted the Ares wine, and I don't recommend decanting or letting the wine breathe, I recommend opening and begin, because the finish on this wine takes a considerable amount of time to appreciate.
Though Ethan is a fabulous cook, I did the cooking, (Spiced Australian near rare lamb rib chops) and together we reaped the rewards of his excellent gifting and my pairing. Next December it'll be the 2006 Ares, Deo volente!
To the wine:
Ares rims clear, trends deep ruby to purple and then black, as black and dense a wine as I've seen.
A toasty and butterscotch-like aroma was what greeted me, and that made me a bit nervous, but with a little teasing came hints of blackberry and currant.
Full bodied (I don't describe many wines as full bodied), Ares is a "hedonistic" wine, voluptuous, and a real contender to the big cult Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The acidity busts through any lingering fat and refreshes without annoyance, the tannin is smooth, rich, and pleasantly persistent in layers.
Flavors reflect the aroma with black licorice, but is visited by an acceleration of an unrelenting bourbon-like heat (15.9% alcohol) into a remarkably long finish that adds spice and eucalyptus.
Christmas gift? Yes, this is a special wine gift (One I'll never forget), and if you can't find the 2005, which still has time to cellar, try another vintage. Two hands also has Bella's Garden Shiraz, which to me is fabulous as well, but costing between $50 and $70.


Christmas wish from Australia

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Château Tour Maillet Pomerol 2009 Grand Vin De Bordeaux


Château Tour Maillet Pomerol 2009 Grand Vin De Bordeaux, $38.24-$44.99, 91 points, immediately captivates with a diamond-clear purple red color, and a broad clear rim.
Diversity in fragrance is not a hallmark of this wine, but breaching the boring barrier is done with blackberry, dry coca, and a hint of alcohol (15%).
Bound by not only high alcohol, but intense acidity and layers of lasting tannin, this medium-plus bodied red wine promises a future, but right now is a bit tough, though delicious.
The dark fruit tends to get lost, but non-the-less is represented behind spice and heat all the way to the finish, one which is long on eucalyptus.




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Monday, December 17, 2012

Château Tayac Cuvée Labory Margaux 2009 Grand Vin De Bordeaux


Château Tayac Cuvée Labory Margaux 2009 Grand Vin De Bordeaux, $28.29-$35.99, 92 points, has excellent color clarity, highlighted with deep purples and deep reds, manifesting a youthful transparent edge.
The aroma begins with a near candy-cane sweetness, but soon is nuanced with cinnamon and laundered linen.
There's magic in this medium-plus bodied red wine, from color to aroma to balanced acidity and moderate tannin, to the robust pomegranate and spiced red cherry flavors, garlanded with vanilla and tobacco snowballing into a long finish gathering spiced red licorice, mint, and just a touch of warmth (13% alcohol).
Truly, a lovely wine! One that will always remind me of Christmas 2012.

Often, different melodies will remind us of occasions not truly associated with Christmas, but somehow Lara's Theme, always makes me think of Christmas in a melancholy kind of way. I wonder, is there anyone else with the same association?




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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Château Croix Mouton Jean-Philippe Janoueix 2010 Bordeaux Superieur


Château Croix Mouton Jean-Philippe Janoueix 2010 Bordeaux Superieur, $14.44-$17.99, 89 points, straddles the color line between Shiraz purple and Bordeaux red with an obligatory youthfully clear rim.
A soft fragrance of medical gauze lifts out of the glass, and quickly swirls to a light sweet grape and black pepper aroma.
Textually, this medium-plus bodied wine of good acidity and moderate tannin, splits between a smooth fruit-forward red wine, and a rough-edged alcohol (14.5%) and a spiced laden one; neither seem to dominate, and being not the best of both worlds, compromises the wine's focus.
However, this tug-of-war does balance a near cloying expression, while rounding-off a slightly austere element.
The finish is fair with a flare for the spice.

French Christmas Carol




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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hahn Central Coast 2009 GSM


Hahn Central Coast 2009 (GSM), $12.99-$19.99, 90 points, appeals to one's senses straight from the get-go with colors of bright purple, red, and flashes of orange.
Continuing this beguilement, an earthy and floral nose with hints of leather and sweet red cherry beckon you closer.
However, the proof is in the pudding, and this smooth medium bodied treat, filled with balanced acidity and tannin is not shorting anyone, but with flavors of tart lingonberry and sweet red cherry, trailing deep into a long finish with subtle hints of spice and a warm touch (14.3% alcohol), make for a rewarding accompaniment to almost any dinner-fare, or just to sip by the fireplace.

Schnee fällt leise in der Nacht





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Friday, December 14, 2012

Tenuta di Nozzole IL PARETO 2006 Toscana IGT


Tenuta di Nozzole IL Pareto 2006 Toscana IGT, $50.99-$59.99, 93 points, has a coloration, though slightly cloudy and opaque at the core, of rosewood to ruby with an orange hue and a transparent rim.
After breathing for an hour or so, aromas of sweet cedar and pencil become more noticeable.
Full bodied, this wine is big; very acidic, gripping tannin, sheets of film on the glass denoting the wine's 14.5% alcohol, formidable astringency, all can make this a palate-buster if tasted without patience. 
Underneath all of these "obstacles" a treasure of rich black fruit, plum, with violets and spice are ripe for the tasting.
Finishing long with black pepper and cayenne seals the deal on this mother of a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Italian Christmas song



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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Château Giscours Margaux 2009 Bordeaux


Château Giscours Margaux 2009 Bordeaux, $58.99, 92 points, has a beautiful black currant color with orange-ruby tones and a broad watery rim.
Weak opening aroma does carry interesting toasty and meaty marion berry qualities, as it also displays sents of sweet lingonberry and black currant; a bit exotic.
Partnering the medium body with mild acidity and smooth tannin make for an easily accessible wine.
The palate has no noticeable alcohol (13%), almost no legs, nearly no spice to speak of, but an undercurrent of tame Creosote extends throughout. Warm flavors of black currant and pomegranate, though complex, seem just a bit on the thin side of a Brunello or a Priorat, but what do I know!
Finishing long on the trailing palate with some faint spice is both good and gentle, but not particularly dynamic, yet subtly pleasing.
Since availability was limited, I paid full price, but would hesitate next time; who knows, this style could grow on me!
Varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and I'm told, Petit Verdot, but that is unclear.
Christmas music like you've never heard! The Coventry Carol - Mediaeval Baebes

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Carpineto Molin Vecchio 2001 Toscana IGT



Carpineto Molin Vecchio 2001 Toscana IGT,  $36.99-$69.99, 92 points, has a black currant-pomegranate color and trimmed with a clear rim.
When I was a kid, before sunrise, I'd grab my fishing pole and make the trek to the lake; the fog lifting from the glassy water had an aroma all its own, and that is the aroma of this wine; add some autumn leaves, cinnamon, clove, and a hint of sweet red cherry, and that's what Molin Vecchio has to offer you.
A bit acidic, the medium-plus body is still moderately tannic.
Flavors are rich and complex black currant, red cherry, plum, licorice, dried herbs.
Finishing on the trailing palate and a fair amount of spice, and without noticing the 13.5% alcohol, balances this Toscana beautifully.
Varietals are 80% Sangiovese, 10% Syrah, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.



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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Anima Negra ÀN/ 2 Mallorca 2008 Red Wine






Anima Negra ÀN/ 2 Mallorca 2008 Red Wine, $17.99-$24.99, 89 points, had an unusually crystal-clear coppery red color with a very broad clear rim.
Bits of coffee, fresh-cut hay, and earth tones revealed an aroma that was only okay.
The acidic medium-plus body carried noticeable tannin and spice throughout the palate and into the finish of plum notes reminiscent of Japanese plum wine with peripheral hints of red cherry along the way.
The Anima Negra ÀN/ 2  was a well balanced red wine, with a moderately round mouth-feel and overall good flavor.

       


 


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Monday, December 10, 2012

PASO A PASO La Mancha 2010 Tempranillo


PASO A PASO La Mancha 2010 Tempranillo, $8.49-$11.99, 86 points, captivates with a deep dark purple-red color, with a slight cloudiness and a broad transparent rim.
The aroma, though complex, hides behind a dominant glycerol like note, and is one of my least favorite common smells in less expensive Merlots, Syrahs, and Zinfandels, but though this glycerol carries onto the early palate, the flavor subsides and transmutes into a rather fruity, almost jammy dry red wine.
Finishes quite nicely on spice.









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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mas Doix Costers de Vinyes Velles Priorat 2006 Red Wine


Mas Doix Costers de Vinyes Velles Priorat 2006 Red Wine, $74.99-$119.99, 95 points (48% Garnacha, 50% Cariñena and 2% Merlot), begins its therapeutic session with a glass-house filled with paintings of deep ruby and purple hues, legs long and sultry, rimmed with a silver lining.
Okay, I'll try and do away with metaphors, but keep in mind that such a wine as this should not be trivialized, because balance, even in a wine, makes a work of art, and this wine is so balanced as to be one of the best stand-alone wines I've yet tasted.
With a bouquet of fallen leaves, cinnamon, clove, cedar, earth, and mushrooms, add subtle hints of rose pedals and black and blue fruit, and this Priorat wine reminds me of just why I've loved them so much.
Juicy texture compliments the medium-plus body of good acidity and warm round tannin.
Flavors nuanced over some time are a list of the pleasantries of a seven-course-meal, with sweets, herbs, fruit, and meats, with a cherry-sherry sherbet dessert.
Okay, okay, I know, but what's a guy to do with a wine bigger than his vocabulary?
Finish!
Yes, the finish is long on the palate flavors, but snowballing with a gingery-pepper spice and a touch of bourbon-heat (15% alcohol) caps-off this red wine of near perfection; I'll just sit back on the couch with a round glass of this wine and let Igor Stravinsky's Pastorale begin the healing.
Oh, as a Christmas gift? I'll take a case.
Merry Christmas!
Would you like some beautiful music? Celtic Woman - O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste fideles)

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bodega Teso La Monja Tinta DE Toro Victorino 2007 Tempranillo



Bodega Teso La Monja Tinta DE Toro Victorino 2007 Tempranillo, $50.99-$59.99, 93 points, is purple-red in color with burgundy tones and a broad clear rim.
The aroma reticently swirls sweet red cherry and cinnamon with a hint of alcohol (14.5%).
Very near full body presents good acidity with layers of pleasant tannin carrying a velvety matrix of black berries, red cherry, coffee, and licorice, with its amazing array of spice which eXistenZ, by design I'm sure, crazily into the the long finish.


I'll bet not many of you have heard Christmas music played like this! Andres Segovia


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Friday, December 7, 2012

Bodega Numanthia Terms 2008 Tinta de Toro


Bodega Numanthia Terms Tinta de Toro 2008 Tempranillo, $21.99, 91 points, has a deep red to purple color, and a broad transparent rim.
Another aromatic bouquet of a wine from Spain, with bountiful earth tones, flowers, blackberries, and a touch of sweet red cherry and wax.
Medium-plus body rips with heat (14.5% alcohol), acidity, and moderate tannin, rather than flows as did the smoothly lithe Muga Rioja, Numanthia Terms Tinta de Toro 2008 Tempranillo tears through your palate with lots of spice and delicious blackberry, red cherry, and hints of licorice, violets, chocolate, and coffee, all of which trail nicely into the finish.
Buying wines on sale is the norm for me, but since I had a hard time finding a Bodega Numanthia wine, and found this one with the real possibility that it would no longer be available when a sale finally arrived, I decided to pay the full price; if I see this for $18.65, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again.

Christmas music for the restless! Marcos Witt- Santa La Noche

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