Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Argyle Willamette Valley 2009 Sparkling Wine



Argyle Willamette Valley 2009 Sparkling Wine, $17.59-$25.99, 91 points, begins as the lightest gold without being colorless; pours, with vigorous multi-sized bubbles, into the glass as a mostly foamy head before settling down.
Spritz and lemon zest with a very light caramel aroma weakens quickly.
Light bodied with a simply delicious flavor of  white grape/honeydew melon, crisp acidity, and a trailing palate that  finishes with an exciting tingling mouth feel and a spicy ginger.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Baloney (all beef)





Okay, okay! For those who asked: "Where's the beef?" Well, I'm skeptical that you'll find much here, but in keeping with a "promise" to do a taste test with baloney, let me just say that I did so with no real conclusion other then to say: the sparkling Pinot Noir/Chardonnay seemed the best overall with baloney on white bread with mayonnaise and tomato, just mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and German Hot mustard with American cheese. However, the Sauvignon Blanc was not far behind, but faltered severely on the yellow mustard, while the Italian Sangiovese excelled on the mayonnaise with tomato.
I trust that this weak effort will satisfy some who have made a point to ask what wines in my fridge would pair best with baloney!

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Hall Napa Valley 2012 Sauvignon Blanc






Hall Napa Valley 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, $13.76-$22.99, 90 points, pours a lovely light burnish gold color.
Has a more typical California-like Sauvignon Blanc aroma of honeysuckle, light grassy notes (almost straw like), and honeydew melon.
The light-plus body is moderately smooth with good acidity.
Flavors follow the nose with a hint of tangerine, but the finish is a remarkably long ginger and black pepper.
Another dry white wine that paired perfectly with our Asian cuisine.





 
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Schug Sonoma Coast 2012 Sauvignon Blanc



Schug Sonoma Coast 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, $11.47-$14.99, 88 points, appears near water-clear with just a hint of silver/green.
The aroma of light pineapple and gentle pink grapefruit is lovely.
The nose is the flavor profile on a light edgy body of good acidity.
Finishes fair on just a hint of spice.
This is a dry white wine that paired very nicely with our Asian cuisine.
Just how wonderful is the prolific production of very good Sauvignon Blanc wines from California?
I'm guessing that 2012 was a very good vintage.




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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ciacci Piccolomini di ARAGONA Pianrosso 2007 Brunello di Montalcino



Ciacci Piccolomini d' ARAGONA Pianrosso 2007 Brunello di Montalcino, $51.66-$59.99, 94+ points, explodes with an orange sunburst red all the way from the core to the clear leggy glass wall.
Slightly sweet floral red cherry with hints of turned earth, cedar, and clove make for a reticent, but pleasant aroma.
The medium-plus body is both edgy and elegant, acidic and tantalizing, tannic, yet vibrant, a wild horse, both beautiful (bella) and enchanting, yet still untamed.
Strawberry, red cherry, herbs and tobacco make for an interesting flavor profile, but the long spicy finish with a minty note, and a touch of heat (14.5% alcohol), is spectacular.
I've come to really like this vineyard, and the QPR is right in line with many of the very good Bordeaux wines I've tasted, and like them, this is a keeper, and just maybe a good investment!



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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Villa Lucia 2008 Rosso Di Montalcino



Villa Lucia 2008 Rosso Di Montalcino, $22.95, 87 points, begins as an overwhelming orange/brown, but does trend ruby in color with a clear rim.
Brett on the nose (That's my guess not having done a lab test!), but the "barnyard" smell quickly subsides; however early-on, this "Brett" is briefly carried onto the palate.
Having a medium body with good acidity and pleasantly noticeable tannin begins the rebound from what seemed to be a big disappointment.
Strawberry, red cherry, and black-tea flavor notes continues to reverse my initial disappointment.
A fair and fine white and black pepper finish completes the recovery!
Bought at Angela's Pasta, 815 Chestnut Street, Manchester.



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Friday, July 26, 2013

Darioush Napa Valley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon



Darioush Napa Valley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $74.69-$82.99, 95+ points, appears Bordeaux-like, having a crushed black berry and black currant red trending purple color touching the glass rim clear.
Upon uncorking, a beautiful blackberry aroma wafted-out of the bottle, but quickly settled down; in the glass it presented interesting red cherry, coriander, and cardamom notes.
Full bodied without any heaviness; having a mouth watering acidity which was crisp without being harsh at all (Dry Red-Wine). Tenacious tannins are still tight yet trained (disciplined):)
Flavors of cedar, blackberry, blueberry, licorice, menthol, dried herbs, and coffee notes lead toward a long mouth coating finish with restrained white pepper and mint.
Darioush Napa Valley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon now has claims on being one of the best Cali-red-wines I've yet tasted, and once again I have to thank Paula Doucette for pointing me toward buying this one.
The Bordeaux styled varietals are 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gallo Signature series Napa Valley 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon



Gallo Signature series Napa Valley 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $26.77-$40.99, 91 points, begins with an opaque core trailing purple/red toward the clear rim and leggy glass wall.
Red cherry, cedar, violets, and hints of alcohol (14.9%) greet the nose with earth notes.
A near full body carries good acidity and softly layered tannin that are both approachable and palpable.
This wine is comparable to the Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Reserve 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, as it is lush and smooth, with rich black fruit flavors, as well as having floral and herbal flavors both of which are interesting and well balanced.
The trailing palate culminates in a finish of spiced plum and heat.
One thing truly separates this from the White Hall, and that is price, but Gallo seems to be fighting an "image" problem; however, this is a very good wine!



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Rancho Zabaco Reserve Dry Creek 2008 Zinfandel







Rancho Zabaco Reserve Dry Creek 2008 Zinfandel, $15.99-$21.00, 78 points*, (has not held-up under the conditions most of my wines are kept, which is in a dark cellar that averages approximately 65 degrees-NOT ideal, but not extreme either, and that many other red wines have faired better for longer in these same coditions, attest to something!)
The color of red/brown point to age, and though there is still a clear rim, the aroma of black licorice and hints of shoe polish are carried onto the textually smooth palate with poor acidity and almost unnoticeable tannin, all of which point to the tell-tale signs of age
Even the finish with its 15.5% alcohol is weak.
The cork was fine, no leakage, ullage, and not protruding.
To be fair, I hope to purchase a current release as soon as possible to compare.


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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Matanzas Creek Winery Sonoma County 2011 Sauvignon Blanc



Matanzas Creek Winery Sonoma County 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, $13.00-$19.99, 91 points, appears as a light burnished gold color.
The aroma wraps grapefruit and mineral notes reminiscent of Perrier (French mineral water) around green melon with a hint of honeysuckle.
Light and crisp with good acidity, flavors of white grapefruit is mellow, while honeydew melon, and lemon notes make for an excellent blend.
A trailing palate with a trace of tangerine and ginger is good.
I paired this with:
Greek spinach and feta pita: excellent!
Buffalo-wings: good!
Chef salad: only fair!



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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Château Sénéjac Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc 2010 Red Bordeaux





Château Sénéjac Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc 2010 Red Bordeaux, $20.74-$26.99, 89 points, begins at the core as an almost opaque ruby color trending more black currant purple/red and clear at the rim.
Black cherry, blackberry, and blueberry with subtle hints of cedar and petrol on the nose is just okay for me.
An early palate sleek and smooth mouth-feel transitions the near full body toward its slightly astringent tannin throughout, while good acidity lends proper structure. The trailing palate finishes along with petrol, menthol, black licorice, black cherry and coffee notes.
The finish, though quite long, lacks anything climatic, but this wine excels as a red dinner wine, not so much as a stand-alone-wine.
Varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Lange Willamette Valley 2011 Reserve Pinot Gris





Lange Willamette Valley 2011 Reserve Pinot Gris,  $15.92-$19.99, 90 points, was the lightest silver/gray color with a green tint.
The aroma was similar to many a Sauvignon Blanc I've had, with light citrus, cantaloupe, and a hint of green melon and a gentle pine needle note as well.
Creamy smooth, but this near medium bodied dry white wine possessed an excellent cold-crisp factor with good acidity and flavors of sea-salt (brine), lime, lemon, and kiwi, all of which made-up a lovely trailing finish, but unlike most Sauvignon Blanc (continuing on with my SB comparison) wines I've tasted, the finish here had almost no spice to it, only a soft memory of what went before.

To fish or not to fish, that is the question, and though this New Hampshire scene has a small pond in it, I doubt, though you or I could be surprised with trout in the smallest pond or stream, that the "fly" will be of any use.





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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Château Dalem Fronsac Grand Vin 2010 Bordeaux


Château Dalem Fronsac 2010 Bordeaux, $31.49-$34.99, 91 points, is a true Bordeaux in color, with elderberry and crushed black currant colors, dense from the core right up to the clear leggy glass rim.
Anise begins the complex aroma, with toasty sweet cooking spice, earth, and some lingering light floral quality.
The full body, carries typically good acidity, but the tannins are surprising sweet and layered, though not insignificant!
Flavors of blackberry, boysenberry, and red cherry are luscious, but there are subtle notes of coffee, licorice, and green herbs.
The finish breaks from the palate into a sustained sensation of white and red pepper spice with a touch of heat (15% alcohol).
Though it is often said that Bordeaux should be drunk after considerable age, this one is good right now too. However, and though a bit nebulas, I'm tasting and feeling that the full body and the high alcohol maybe just a bit too much octane for this wine. I would love it if a more mature palate noticed this and could comment.
Varietals are 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.


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Saturday, July 20, 2013

CapAnna 2010 Rosso Di Montalcino






CapAnna 2010 Rosso Di Montalcino, $25.99, 90 points, appears as a deep ruby red trending orange/purple toward the broad clear glass wall.
A toasty bourbon aroma has hints of freshly turned earth, flowers, and vanilla.
The medium body carries good acidity and edgy, but rather smooth and approachable tannin which mitigates this wine's lack of fruit, as it leans solely on red and black cherry that trails aggressively into the finish with mild spice and intense bourbon notes (14.5% alcohol).
Though I bought this wine with a gift card, when the Italian sales day arrives, I expect to pay $22.09, making this a good buy.




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Friday, July 19, 2013

Tiamo Prosecco


Tiamo Prosecco, $21.00, 91 points, pours with a good head of foam and appears light gold in color.
The aroma is more citrus than other Prosecco wines I've had.
Aromatically citrus with a leafy quality.
The light body has good acidity with excellent spritz and citrus flavors, primarily tangerine. The Porsecco grape with a hint of pear flavor is tame, but was mouth coating and long lasting. This is a very dry sparkling white wine and very delicious!
Bought at the Hooksett Hannaford's Super Market, regrettably at the full price, but since it was the only Prosecco I hadn't tasted that I could find, well, I couldn't resist; I wasn't disappointed!


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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Morgan Monterey 2011 Sauvignon Blanc




Morgan Monterey 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, $11.47-$16.99, 89 points, appears with silver and lime highlights in the midst of a light gold color.
Has a cold aroma of honeydew melon with hints of cantaloupe, kiwi, and petrol.
The texture is smooth on a near medium body that carries good acidity and flavors which reflects the aroma with just a hint of citrus notes.
the finish matches black pepper with white pepper, ginger, and a hint of tangerine. Paired beautifully with a Maine Lobster roll; think cool on a hot summer afternoon!



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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Château De La Cour D'Argent Grand Vin De Bordeaux Supérieur 2010 Red Bordeaux



Château De La Cour D'Argent Grand Vin De Bordeaux Supérieur 2010 Red Bordeaux, $14,39-$15.99, 89 points, appears as a dense ruby red trending purple with a broad clear rim.
The aroma will not bother you, nor will it impress you at this point, but gentle hints of earth and black cherry are good.
The medium-plus body carries mouth-watering acids, moderate-plus tannin that may present an obstacle for some, but this is a wine to cut through the fats of a typical barbecue, and it will do so with ease, and ironically with good flavors of grape, cherry fruit, Zinfandel styled bramble-berries, and hints of menthol.
The trailing palate climaxes with a good finish of mild spice and a hint of heat (13.5% alcohol).
The natural cork is a bit spongy and might resist reuse, so a replacement stopper or closure maybe required, but this is an excellent entry level red Bordeaux wine.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Silverado Miller Ranch Napa Valley 2012 Sauvignon Blanc




Silverado Miller Ranch Napa Valley 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, $13.00-$19.99, 92 points, is a light burnished gold color, and the beautiful aroma displays light citrus notes with honeysuckle and a hint of Lychee nut.
The crisp light-plus body carries good acidity on a silky base of green melon, citrus, and just a touch of toasty vanilla flavor.
Finishes long on a trailing palate, and concludes with ginger and mineral notes.
This Sauvignon Blanc is just too good, too easy to drink, and too pair-able with white fish, crab, or steamers.
Though not as complex as some recent offerings, the flavor is just remarkably pleasant!



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Monday, July 15, 2013

Groth Napa Valley 2011 Sauvignon Blanc




Groth Napa Valley 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, $16.82-$24.99, 90 points, appears as a silvery lime color.
Lime and honeysuckle are aromatic.
The near medium body carries good acidity and a balanced texture of crisp and tart citrus, while a mouth coating of gentle creaminess softens and gives the plus body, all of which carry nicely throughout the palate with melon and cantaloupe notes that trail into the long finish punctuated with pronounced and bright ginger-spice!




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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Château Gazin Pomerol 2010 Red Bordeaux


Château Gazin Pomerol 2010 Red Bordeaux, $116.99-$129.99, 96 points, pours frighteningly thick, but though full-bodied, this dry red wine is filled with the expected velvety texture without being syrupy at all, rather this complex wine delights with a rose, red cherry flavor that only begins the enjoyment, but I've gotten ahead of myself.
Château Gazin Pomerol 2010 Red Bordeaux, presents itself opaque throughout, transitioning only at the leggy glass wall where a traditional crushed black currant purple-red can be seen near the transparent rim.
A profuse aroma of cedar, clove, cinnamon, coffee liqueur, and roses cascade onto the palate along with that red cherry, add boysenberry for richness and bright mulberry for vibrancy.
Expect moderate-plus acidity with an unexpectedly balanced  layering of tannin that is consistent with the velvet texture.
Finished very long on powerful black and white pepper, heat (14.5%), and mint.
Varietals were 86% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc.
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Château de Carlmagnus Fronsac 2010 Red Bordeaux




Château de Carlmagnus Fronsac 2010 Red Bordeaux,  $24.29-$26.99, 92+ points, appears almost black at the core trending red to purple red and clear at the very leggy rim.
An earthy cedar aroma, complimented with cinnamon and clove is rich.
This near full-bodied red wine is marked by mouth watering acidity and noticeable, yet pleasantly sweet tannin, more so than any of the other 2010 Bordeaux red wines I've tasted thus far, making this a most approachable 2010 Bordeaux red wine as well; this is a very drinkable red wine, and not just because of its tannin, but this straight-forward Bordeaux has beautiful and plentiful black and blue fruit, nuanced savory herbs, and blackberry cordial flavors.
An intense finish of spice and heat (15.5% alcohol) are climatic and satisfying.



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Friday, July 12, 2013

Gruet Brut Bubbly Rosé





Gruet Brut Bubbly Rosé, $12.23-$18.99, 89 points, has the color of pink grapefruit to near mandarin orange with a burnished copper hue.
The aroma is strawberry and sweet apple.
With a light-plus body, millions of streaming tiny bubbles, and good acidity, though quite dry, there is a creamy texture with lots of red fruit flavors.
Finishes on an accentuated tangy strawberry flavor.
Thanks to Christian (Verde Sole) for recommending this sparkling wine from New Mexico, which I now pass on to those who read this post.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Château Ferran Pessac-léognan Grand Vin De Graves 2010 Red Bordeaux






Château Ferran Pessac-léognan 2010 Red Bordeaux, $24.29-$26.99, 91 points, begins in the glass as a dark red trending purple with a thin watery rim.
An exceptional bouquet of sweet cooking spice, toast, earth, plum, and black cherry, is rich and greatly pleases.
The near full body of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon carries strident acidity and prominent, but approachable tannin.
Though just a bit green, mushroom and good flavors of cherry and coffee liqueur with pomegranate, plum, and a touch of black currant manage the fruit well, and trail into a long finish of white pepper, chalky plum, and mint.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Château Cantemerle, Grand Cru Classé en 1855, Haut-Médoc 2010 red Bordeaux





Château Cantemerle, Grand Cru Classé en 1855, Haut-Médoc 2010 red Bordeaux, $53.99-$59.99, 95 points, appears consistently near-opaque purple red, to almost black in color, with a now familiar thin transparent surface rim.
A toasty vanilla, crushed savory herbs, and black cherry, coalesce into a subtle, but lovely aroma.
Early palate, this near full bodied red wine coats with silk, but the moderate to moderate-plus acidity quickly quickens the excitement intensified by serious tannins which are persistently dynamic, yet not uncomfortable, and bode well for a brilliant future.
Black fruit dominate, with black currant and blackberries leading the way, with floral plum, mocha and tobacco notes folding into a sleek, supple, and elegant drinkability.
The long finish extends the pleasure with an earthy pomegranate, white pepper, and cayenne.
Though I haven't tasted that many of the 2010 Bordeaux wines, however, of those available in NH, I'd say this one, not as complex as the Bellevue for example, is more focused and pleasurable, at least at this stage of their development, and though a bit pricy, is definitely worth the money (high QPR). If you buy this wine and don't like it, spank me in the comments section.
Varietals are 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cline 2011 Zinfandel




Cline 2011 Zinfandel, $7,64-$11.99, 86 points, appears as a perfectly fine Bordeaux crushed black currant/blackberry color with a clear rim, and the aroma is reminiscent of Bordeaux as well, with earth, cinnamon, and red cherry, but it is in the tasting (in vino veritas) the comparisons quickly succumb.
The medium-plus body has good acidity and mild tannin that carry tangy flavors of red cherry with petrol notes. However, the redemption of this wine is found in the fair finish of white and black pepper with a hint of plum and heat (14% alcohol).





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Monday, July 8, 2013

Château Rollan de By Médoc Grand Vin De 2010 Bordeaux





Château Rollan de By Médoc Grand Vin De 2010 Bordeaux, $28.79-$31.99, 91 points, appears as a truly dense black currant red with an obligatory water-like rim.
A toasty cinnamon plum makes for an uncomplicated aroma.
the near full bodied red wine has an early palate sleekness that is quickly over-whelmed with biting acidity, strident, persistent tannin, and with relief, rich flavors of blackberry, boysenberry, tart pomegranate, and tangy cranberry with hints of mint, licorice, and savory.
Finishing on the tart and tangy with mouth coating menthol, just a bit of smothered pepper, and heat (14% alcohol), I was not deterred nor dismayed, but this is another red wine for the cellar where it will no doubt improve.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

LaBelle "Red, White, And Blue-berry"



LaBelle "Red, White, And Blue-berry",  (non-vintage) $16.14-$18.99, 82 points, should not have been left-out of my Independence day wine celebration, but late is better than never, and maybe, the theme should continue deep into July! However, the French, those who gave us the Statue of Liberty and much of the population of New Hampshire, will not mind if I continue with Bordeaux, and I can't forget one of my favorite white wines (Prosecco) on these hot summer days.
LaBelle "Red, White, And Blue-berry" begins in the glass as a clear ruby red with a broad transparent rim.
Unlike any aroma I've smelled in a glass of wine, this one shows a woody blueberry (no surprise there) and just a hint of fingernail polish.
Medium bodied with mild acids, and unnoticeable tannin, though smooth, carries little of what I look for (enjoy) in a red wine (sorry)!
The palate is the aroma which traverses throughout and into a long finish with just a hint of the 11.5% alcohol.



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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bolla Prosecco







Bolla Prosecco, $8.41-$14.99, 89 points, begins typically light, almost water clear, with gray tints. Pours with a good fizz that fizzles-out in short order.
The aroma is an excellent vanilla-lemon meringue which is carried weakly through the palate.
Typically dry with good acidity and Prosecco-grape flavor, this crisp and refreshing light sparkler is priced right and will serve nicely as an aperitif, or paired with fruit salads, add hazel or macadamia nuts, with white fish and muscles, lobster, or shrimp. 
Finishes long on citrus and ginger notes.


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Friday, July 5, 2013

Château Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2010 Bordeaux







Château Bellevue St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2010 Bordeaux, $27.89-$97.99, 93 points, began and finished with a dense blackberry/black currant red/purple color, from the core to the heavy draping "legs" over a rather thin transparent rim.
The aroma began far from the glass, but a traditional series of sniffs filled my nose with profuse sweet cinnamon, clove, cedar, and just a hint of fresh turned earth, but an underlayment of sassafras, toasty vanilla, and black cherry are as rich as the smile of  Fanny Chenal!
Unless you are prepared for intense acidity and gripping tannin, this near full-bodied red wine should probably be reserved for the next century! After teleporting through the thorny astringent briars and the bramble of the acid/tannin ramparts, the nose carried well into the palate flavors and finished long on Asian hot spice, heat (15% alcohol) and spearmint.
I'm glad I bought three bottles, so as to enjoy this wine as it ages, because I think it will only impress more and more, and now that I've tasted it, I'll be looking to buy more of this one at what appears to be an incredible price.

This is not a wine for the faint of heart!
For a comprehensive history of this wine, check-out the Wine Cellar.insider.

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2010 Bordeaux Wines are here!

 
"Further, the ’09 and ’10 vintages have many of the attributes similar to ’45, ’59, ‘ 61 and to some extent ’82, whereas they can be drunk upon release with great pleasure, and continue to be great all the way through decades of cellaring."





"I like to think about" what is symbolized on each label, in each bottle, the dream, ambition, weather, earth and blood, sweat, and tears! Ultimately, "truth" is in the wine and proof is in the drinking!
In the movie A Good Year, uncle Henry (Albert Finney) says to young Max (Freddie Highmore): "This sublime nectar is quite simply incapable of lying. . ." A Good Year-IMDB
Well then, I'm looking forward to another rare vintage of exceptional Bordeaux wines that has seen fit to have been produced egocentrically just for me, and you too; being as we "love" wine, don't miss out on this rare event!

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rancho Zabaco Sonoma County (Heritage) 2011 Zinfandel







Rancho Zabaco Sonoma County 2011 Zinfandel, $9.34-$15.99, 86+ points, begins in the glass as a dense ruby trending purple in color with a broad clear rim.
Clove, cinnamon, and wild-berry are  aromatically profuse.
The aroma is carried through the palate with provocative flavors of anise, plum, and savory herbs.
The medium-plus body has mouth watering acids and light to moderate tannin that trail into the finish of spice, a touch of heat (14.9% alcohol), and hot green peppers.
Barbecue, picnics, and celebrations which require "America's red wine" can do worse than to choose Rancho Zabaco Sonoma County 2011 Zinfandel, and if necessary, by the case, because at less than $10.00 a 750 ml bottle, you'll not go broke!

 
 
 
 
 
 Happy Independence Day everyone!
 
 
 
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