Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fetzer Shaly Loam 2010 Gewürztraminer

 



Fetzer Shaly Loam 2010 Gewürztraminer,  $8.99-$10.99, 85 points, begins almost as a viscous deep gold colored liquid.
The nose is a gentle to weak floral melon.
Medium-plus body carries more acidity than a Gewürztraminer is supposed to, but the flavor profile falls short of its robust reputation as did the aroma. A rather one dimensional, though fair flavored, off-dry white wine with little to disparage, and the ginger finish was quite good.
Paired adequately with Asian cuisine.





Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger









Saturday, March 30, 2013

Acrobat Oregon 2011 Pinot Gris




Acrobat Oregon 2011 Pinot Gris, $11.99-$13.99, 91 points, warms from a crisp cold refreshment to a complex, for a Pinot Gris, white wine that evolves as you drink it.
The color reminds me of a Grizzly bear, with that silver tipped slightly golden near clear furriness.
With a sweet honey suckle, bright green melon, and watermelon rind, this is a potpourri of a gentle, but significant fragrance.
The elegance of a stony minerality undergirding green melon, the flowing aromatic impressions, and an ascending citrus quality, gives a wonderfully firm structure to an otherwise rather neutral wine.
The trailing palate finished nicely with hints of ginger.
Strange description of a Pinot Gris, I know! Let me just say "try it" and then tell me this isn't the value of a quality dry white wine!
Paired wonderfully with a spiced Cod fillet, asparagus, and feta cheese.





Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger



 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Château Haut Gravet Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009 Bordeaux

 
Château Haut Gravet Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009 Bordeaux, $33.99-$39.99, 90 points, appears a shade more purple than its black currant/elderberry Bordeaux cousins, and though it is a typical 13.5% alcohol rated red wine, it has more pronounced legs than many others with this rating (a clear rim is present).
The toasty blackberry pie aroma with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon is different and pleasant.
The medium body carries good acidity, persistent, but approachable tannin, flavors of tart pomegranate and flowers that dominate the flavor profile.
Finishes well with cherry-red-licorice, spice, and a hint of espresso.
Varietals include 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.




Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baron Des Chartrons Grand Vin De 2009 Bordeaux






Baron Des Chartrons Grand Vin De 2009 Bordeaux, $8.99, 86 points, begins with a ruby to black currant color terminating with a clear rim where the surface touches the glass.
The quite tame aroma of black currant and hints of spiced cherry jam is soft.
Carries a near medium body with good acidity, but mild tannin, a rather thin texture and flavor profile (weak blackberries and boysenberry) manifest some short-comings, though a good overall flavor at this level (nothing unpleasant about this wine).
The finish is medium-long and culminates with spice and some warmth (13.2% alcohol).
As a common table wine, and at this price, I'd recommend.

Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon (2007 and 2010)





LOUIS*M*MARTINI Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon (2007 and 2010), 9.00-$15.99, 90 points (2007), 86 points (2010) divides quickly into two very different colors groups; while the 2007 appears more Bordeaux black currant red, the 2010 has a more Shiraz purple hue, and both present a clear rim.
The nose of the 2007 is very lovely with sweet cooking spice, especially cinnamon, and blackberries, while the 2010 has hints of earth and toasty red grape notes.
Both have a medium body with good acidity and mild tannin, but the flavor is quite different, with rich black currant and boysenberry fruit trailing well into the accelerating spicy finish of the Louis M. Martini Sonoma County 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2010 suffers a bit from a medicinal syrupiness, it is a bit green and tart which tends to mask the fruit, though the finish is okay and adds a bit of spice with the slightest hint of eucalyptus.
I have had the 2007 Cabernet in my cellar for three years, and just maybe if I have the 2010 there for three years I'll have a different opinion of it, but I just don't think it's as good a wine
.



 Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger
 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Ivory Label 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon





Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Ivory Label 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $13.99-$17.99, 89 points, begins more purple than black currant, is dense and with a bit of mistiness, and rims clear.
An aroma of sweet licorice, plum with hints of cooking spice are dense as well.
A near full bodied dry red wine that carries good acidity, medium-plus tannin, and flavors that reflect the aroma with hints of violets, juicy blackberry and tangy red currant.
Finishes long with white and black pepper, and just a hint of warmth (13.5% alcohol).



Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Banfi Principessa 2011 Gavi



Banfi Principessa 2011 Gavi, $9.99-$12.99, 86 points, appears almost clear with just a hint of a burnished brass color.
Floral green melon and a hint of pear light-up the aroma notes.
The light-plus body carries good acidity and tart tangy flavors of muted citrus, more neutral than distinctive, but the fair finish wraps-up this dry white wine (12% alcohol) with just a note of white pepper.
How elegant is the table décor factor?








Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

 

Gavi (Cortese di Gavi)

 
 
 


Gavi (Cortese di Gavi) is a light dry white from Piedmont, Italy. So, think easy drinking, think delicate, but think food-friendly. The prices I've seen range from about $10-$22. In New Hampshire I've only seen four or five brands or wineries to choose from, but I've not been disappointed.
This short list is to aide "Smart Phone" users as a review guide.

Banfi Principessa 2011 Gavi, $9.99-$12.99, 86 points
Coppo La Rocca 2011 Gavi, $13.99-$16.99, 88 points
Guido Natalino La Caplana Gavi (Piedmont, Italy) del Comune di Gavi DOCG, 2013 White wine (Cortese), $15.26-$16.95, 89 points
Gran Passione D.O.C.G. 2014 Gavi, $11.89-$13.99, 87 points
Michele Chiarlo 2011 GAVI, $12.74-$14.99, 88 points
La Battistina 2009 GAVI, $14.39-$21.99, 90 points



Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2015 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger
 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

IL Poggione 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino



IL Poggione 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino, (review below) just had to be the choice of wine today; between Spring's arriving with a reminder that Winter can cling even into May in New Hampshire (even the Eastern bluebirds were unusual visitors at the bird-feeders), and the long-haul of tasks that needed attending, ignited a niche for such a fire labeled 'hot' wine this week-end, which I deemed appropriate;-)
Those familiar with Brunello wines, know that 'hot' is not always a taste-descriptor befitting Brunello, but it almost always has a spicy finish, a little more heat (14.5% alcohol for this one), almost always is sexy, and always has you coming back for more.

Well, as you can see, walking, climbing the stairs, or just going for a bike-ride was quite difficult this week; so, lets get to the Brunello!

IL Poggione 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino, $67.99-$79.99, 95 points, begins winter's death with a sun-burst of fiery red-orange and tapers to a very broad transparent rim.
With the fragrance of earth, black olive, cedar, and black cherry spice, I've already begun to warm up.
I've always been an iconoclast (a person who attacks settled beliefs); you doubt me, but yes I have, and with the drinking of this excellent wine I have gone against Brunello for Dummies' rules number one and two: "( Don't drink) "Younger than ten years." Let breathe for at least two hours.
My first sip melted what ice was left in me; oh, very warm, and like C.S. Lewis' Aslan breathing life back into petrified characters, I too found my feet, then the "rest would follow."
The wine itself is iconoclastic with a near full body, great acidity (perfect for saucy Italian cuisine) and a bold backbone of tannin, the 2007 IL Poggione greeted me with a silky mouth, red and black cherry, woody bourbon, chili-hot spice with black pepper, spearmint and dried herbs, all of which carry onto a very long-lasting and extended finish; I'm glad that I only waited six months, and not ten years to taste-partake of this excellent wine.
I'm sure that over the next two days this wine will evolve, but this is my initial impression.


Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger



 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Coppo La Rocca 2011 Gavi




Coppo La Rocca 2011 Gavi, $13.99-$16.99, 88 points, almost a water color clear with gray, gold, and copper tones.
A walk through a verdant spring orchard gives the floral citrus nose more meaning.
The near medium body of aggressive acidity is tart with citrus, and though a bit one dimensional cut beautifully through my salmon cakes.
This Gavi seems to have a hint of the Glera grape without the effervescence. Both Gavi and Prosecco white wines have never disappointed; I know, time and tasting will cloud that "sunny-sky" opinion, but for now, if you're looking for refreshment or a wine to accompany seafood, and at an easy on your wallet budget, you almost can't go wrong with these.
The tart finish adds a touch of okay sour grapefruit.





Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger
 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Jellybean Catalunya, Spain, 2011 Red Wine


Jellybean Catalunya, Spain, 2011 Red Wine, $9.99-$14.99, 89 points, had a consistent pomegranate color with a rather broad clear rim.
Red-grape-like aroma also had hints of cooking spice and pine pollen.
This wine does taste like it was fermented with grape jellybeans!
The body boarder-lines medium as does the a juicy sense of tannin and good acidity.
A rather one dimensional flavor of purple grape and juicy blackberry tended to hide hints of tangerine and mint, but the long spicy finish was delicious. There was a lot going here in the subtle zone of taste that is just outside my conscious knowing, but I think others will find descriptors that magnify just how much fun this wine can be; good drinking (pleasantly sweet and an easy 12.5% alcohol).




Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger
 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chickadee Arbor Crest Wine Cellars 2010 Premium Red Wine



Chickadee Arbor Crest Wine Cellars 2010 Premium Red Wine, $11.70-$16.50, 90 points, begins a very dark ruby red color and a remarkably broad clear rim termination.
Aromatic, having a hint of mocha, red fruit, and sweet cooking spice (very nice, just to irk the purist writers out there).
The medium body has good acidity and easy to take moderate tannin.
Flavors of flowers and red fruit are lush and remarkably good for a wine costing less than $12, or even $20 for that matter, but rarely do I taste cedar in a red wine, but if cedar has a flavor, it can be found here, along with flavors that follow the nose.
Finishes long and smartly with a cedar-spice and a hint of menthol.
Chickadee red wine has an interesting list of varietals, beginning with 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 14% Sangiovese, 14% Malbec, and a hint of 4% Riesling!
How clever of Arbor Crest to know that Chickadees are in my top 5 birds I just adore! Yes, I bought this wine because of the label; guilty as charged, but definitely not disappointed, and either will you be!



Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

La Spinetta Cà di Pian 2008 Barbera d'Asti


La Spinetta Cà di Pian 2008 Barbera d'Asti,
$23.79-$27.99, 92 points, breaks with a blood-red color; I have never seen such a color in a wine! Of course the rim is clear.
Earth, mushrooms, and red cherry spice lead the nose.
Satin smooth medium-plus body with mild to moderate tannin and good acidity carries fine flavors of trace violets, spearmint, licorice, and menthol, but black cherry fruit is more noticeable.
The palate transitions deep into the very long finish that adds spice, yet concludes with a mouth coating of menthol and just  touch of warmth (14% alcohol).



Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rose'N'Blum 2011 Pinot Grigio


Rose'N'Blum 2011 Pinot Grigio,
$9.90-$11.00, 88 points, oxymoronically appears as a clear smoke gray, with nearly as light an aroma as the color, there is red pummelo and a whisper of a floral note that continues throughout the tasting experience; citrus is the key to this exceptionally crisp, acidic, dry, and refreshing light-bodied white wine, but subtle mineral notes are noticeable.
We paired this Pinot Grigio well with a Greek salad and spiced Sea scallops sautéed in extra virgin olive-oil.
Does your table-setting have flowers on it? Can you just see this bottle as part of the décor?






Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris (USA)

 
 

 
 
 
This list of Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris (USA) white wine is a work in progress to assist "smart" phone users in accessing useful evaluations, primarily with a New Hampshire focus (Wines mostly purchased in NH).

A to Z 2010 Oregon Pinot Gris, $9.34-$14.49, 91 points

Acrobat Oregon 2011 Pinot Gris, $11.99-$13.99, 91 points

Adelsheim Willamette Valley 2010 Pinot Gris, $15.99-$17.99, 90 points

Adelsheim Willamette Valley 2013 Pinot Gris, $13.59-$17.99, 89 points

BearBoat Sonoma County California 2008 Pinot Gris, $6.99-$16.99, 88 points

Benton Lane Willamette Valley 2009 Pinot Gris, $13.59-$15.99, 84 points

Chill Out California 2010 Pinot Grigio, $5.00-$6.99, 87 points

Cristom Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2014 Pinot Gris, $16.14-$18.99, 87 points

Duck Pond Willamette Valley 2010 Pinot Gris, $11.89-$13.99, 90 points

Duck Pond (Fries Family Cellars) Willamette Valley 2012 Pinot Gris, $9.34-$13.99, 84 points

Firesteed Oregon 2012 Pinot Gris, $8.95-$13.99, 86 points

Incredibrew's NV Cranberry Pinot Grigio, $12.99, 86 points

J 2010 Pinot Gris (California), $15.99-$18.99, 92 points

J 2012 Pinot Gris, $11.04-$18.99, 91 points

J (California) 2013 Pinot Gris, $14.99-$18.99, 92 points

King Estate 2010 Pinot Gris, $14.44-$19.99, 90 points

King Estate 2011 Pinot Gris, $14.44-$19.99, 89 points

Lange Willamette Valley 2011 Reserve Pinot Gris, $15.92-$19.99, 90 points

Morgan Santa Lucia Highlands R and D Franscioni Vineyard 2009 Pinot Gris, $11.89-$16.99, 88 points

Panther Creek Willamette Valley 2013 Pinot Gris, $15.99, 88 points

Pepperwoodgrove NV Pinot Grigio, $8.99-$11.99, 86 points

Rex Goliath Pinot Grigio (No vintage given), $6.00-$9.00, 88 points

Robert Sinskey Los Carneros 2011 Pinot Gris, $22.94-$29.99, 89 points

Rose'N'Blum 2011 Pinot Grigio, $9.90-$11.00, 88 points

Sequin Delicately Bubbled 2011 Pinot Grigio, $10.99$12.99, 87 points

Sokol Blosser Willamette Valley 2010 Pinot Gris, $15.29-$19.99, 93 points

Willamette Valley Vineyards Oregon 2009 Pinot Gris, $17.99-$19.99, 93 points



Index-of-reviewed-wines


Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Predator Old Vine Lodi 2011 Zinfandel



Predator Old Vine Lodi 2011 Zinfandel,
 $14.99-$16.99, 87 points, shows a lipstick red to cranberry color and a clear rim.
With Predator's hallmark spear minty sweet red-cherry aroma, this Zinfandel is making its mark in the lexicon of Lodi Zinfandel.
Just bridging the medium body threshold, and continuing with good acidity and light tannin, flavors of candy-like red cherry and tart cranberry, though a bit sweet, are good, pairing well with loaded nachos.








Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger
 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Caymus Napa Valley 2009 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon



Caymus Napa Valley 2009 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, $110.49-$129.99, 94 points, needs to have a prolog, because it's epic! This is a big blast, a furlong deep red wine, a massive masterpiece that overwhelms itself with anise; black at the core and nearly black at the clear rim, but transitions purple.
The aroma is big too, there's bright dusty cedar, spirited cooking spice, cinnamon and clove, but the fruit notes are black and beautiful.
This fullest of full-bodied wines shines with bright acidity and rolling approachable tannin. Flavors are deep and robust black fruit, with a dominant black currant trailed by blackberry, plum, and are accentuated by brandy notes (14.9% alcohol).
The 2009 Special Selection Cabernet is an amplifier of a wine, magnifying spice to the 10 decibel level.
Finishes long on a fading palate that gathers spice, eucalyptus, and menthol.
Is there more to this wine? Yes! The grownups in the wine world will discover a seemingly endless descriptor well when drinking-and-telling about this inky wine from California.
I'll, on the other hand, use it as a learning experience; tasting a wine is the only way to know a wine!
 
 
 
Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger
 



Friday, March 15, 2013

Luiano 2009 Chianti Classico


Luiano 2009 Chianti Classico, $14,44-$16.99, 88 points, ignites with a sunburst orange red color and a clear rim.
The near mute nose carries only subtle notes of toasty red fruit and a hint of celery.
Medium bodied with good acidity and mild-plus tannin manages a one dimensional red fruit flavor, but does so deliciously, and cut through my grass-fed strip steak with finesse.
Finishes with a fair tangy red cherry and black pepper.



Index-of-reviewed-wines


Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Carpineto 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva




$14.44-$23.99, 89 points, blazes with an orange-red to cranberry color and a clear rim.
An almost pungent leathery clove aroma wafts out of the glass.
My first impression is that of flowers and licorice, but the fruit is mostly a neutral boysenberry, though okay, not what I would have expected.
The medium body grips with acidity and moderate tannin, but the finish, though long, show-cases only the palate without a climax.
Food friendly? That you can count on, pasta with tomato sauce is a cinch, and at this price, stock up!


Index-of-reviewed-wines


Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Seghesio Sonoma County 2011 Zinfandel



Seghesio Sonoma County 2011 Zinfandel, $22.99-$25.99, 93 points, maybe the best Seghesio Zinfandel I have ever had! I have had several. Pure delicious bramble fruit, with caged wild blackberry and mulberry, fruity and juicy, but not a jammy Zin and certainly not over-the-top.  Near perfect heat (14.8% alcohol) from beginning to the very long finish with an ascending hot chili spice. Is that it? Nein! There's plenty of smoky licorice and dried herbs, plenty of mouth watering acids, and enough tannin to give this wine some backbone; I believe this wine is at its peek right now, and I'm not counting on the Seghesio 2011 Sonoma Zinfandel to maintain this level of deliciousness for the long-haul, but who knows?
The deep dark purple red entices.
The aroma of dusty cedar, sweet floral spice, and wild blackberries is to be bottle (I guess it has been).
Let me just say that it enhanced my below average chili to that made by a Gordon Ramsay tier chef.

Feel like you're not a very good cook? Buy a great wine like this, and all will be well!
While you're cooking, better yet, while you're reading this review, give-a-listen to this: Maurice André "Suite in D major" Jeremiah Clarke.
If you're young at heart you might just want to "kick-it-up-a notch!" Avicii vs. Nicky Romero - I Could Be The One


Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013  Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger






 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wine By Joe (Oregon) 2010 Pinot Noir



Wine By Joe (Oregon) 2010 Pinot Noir, $10-$15, 87 points, shines with ruby/orange to light cranberry in color.
There's dusty earth and boysenberry jam on the nose.
The near medium body carries good acidity with mild, even light tannin.
Flavors of tart red cherry and almost bitter pomegranate are interesting, and paired well with milk chocolate, but was less than satisfying with my smoked ham and salad.
The finish amounted to soft spice with a touch of warmth (13.5 alcohol).






Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger



 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Calera Central Coast 2010 Chardonnay



Calera Central Coast 2010 Chardonnay, $14,44-$18.99, 88 points, appears straw yellow, gives-up a white grape aroma with hints of vanilla, toffee, and wet hay.
Drinking under 60 degrees Fahrenheit reveals a typical California oaky Chardonnay, creamy smooth on a medium body of mouth-watering acidity, flavors of vanilla, toasty toffee, and tart white grape skin.
Finishing long on the trailing palate with a plethora of woody spice.
As the wine warmed, the oakiness toned down somewhat, and the spice finish pleasantly intensified.



Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2010-2013 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger
 

Chardonnay (USA)

 
 

 

Though a commercial web site, Totalwine.com provides an excellent introduction to Chardonnay wines. As is often true, Wikipedia.org has a ton of information;  if Chardonnay has never been explained to you, or if a refresher course is desired, then with these two links you have some references. If Wikipedia is your guide, they do have a North American selection, which is the focus of my current post (List of reviewed Chardonnay wines).



 
 
If you have a budding interest in Chardonnay, and if you are a movie fan and haven't seen Bottle Shock (Chateau Montelena), then the American wine revolution well dramatized, may be a fun way to introduce you to oaked Chardonnay, as well as some of the give-and-take of the Old-world/New-world styled vinification.
 
As opposed to the "Chardonnay sippin deva" I'm not particularly fond of Chardonnay; that makes me a wine taster's pariah, but I'm not alone; "Chardonnay conundrum (pun?) points emphatically to why it is best to approach each wine as an individual.
Having said that, as a wine grape variety, I generally find chardonnay among the boring ones (except for old-style Chablis), which is probably why the grape requires all manner of trickery from oak to ML to Franciacorta fizz.."
Thomas from Vinofictions
Though I've reviewed dozens of Chardonnay wines, only three have I scored as high or higher than 93 points, I hope that changes (almost four years later now, it has). Maybe, just maybe, it means that a high scoring Chardonnay is actually a great wine worthy of the high score!
This list should be titled: "Disgruntled Chardonnay reviewer's guide."
My list of Chardonnay wine (a work in progress) is aimed at the New Hampshire "Smart Phone" user as a reference aide.
 
 
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay 2011, $5.99-$7.99 85 points (not reviewed)-oak and tart!



Index of all reviewed wines

Copyright 2010-2013 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger