Saturday, November 30, 2013

arabella South Africa 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon





arabella South Africa 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon,
$12.51-$13.99, 89 points, appeared translucent and quite a bright ruby trending blackberry purple/red toward the clear glass rim.
The profuse aroma of black currant, blackberry, with hints of sweet-cooking spice and coffee was exceptional.
Medium bodied with moderate acid and tannin carried a rather one-dimensional flavor profile, BUT it was a delicious flavor of strawberry, plum, and just a hint of eucalyptus.
Finished with a good spice spike and a touch of the 14% alcohol.
Of all the Cabernet Sauvignon wines I've tasted, this comes the closest to the unusual Arizona Stronghold Cab.
Another fine wine bought at Bella Vino!

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Bridlewood Paso Robles 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon







Bridlewood Paso Robles 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $9.90-$15.99, 86 points, appeared opaque at the core trending black currant purple/red to the clear glass rim.
Bright black and blue fruit on the nose was tempered with hints of violets and cedar.
Medium-plus body carried good acidity and mild-plus tannin. 
Vanilla flavors were maybe a bit too prominent for me, but licorice, blackberry, and tobacco notes were juicy and easy drinking.
Finished fair with a trailing palate, spice notes, and subtle hints of the 13.5% alcohol.

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Christmas Dreaming-No Wine-No Whining! Again?




As I pondered what to say about Christmas, because I do have some plans to present friends and family with some suggestions for Wine gifting, I came back to last year's post with nothing I could add. So, if you are interested in some Christmas reflection just click-away!



This song is for Christmas Eve only!



 
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Château de Beaucastel 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape





Château de Beaucastel 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, (Gift from my son) approximately $100.00, 94 points, began transparent at the rim trending brick-red and shading black at the core.
The gentle floral nose was aided by subtle earth, purple grape, and smoked paprika notes.
Medium bodied, bright mouth watering acidity, striking and persistent tannin combined with a moderately silky and edgy texture which enhanced the earthy flavor, the perfumed purple grape, blackberry, and boysenberry fruit-filled experience.
Finished very long on the trailing palate, cayenne and white pepper, with a touch of heat (14.5% alcohol).
Varietals were 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache, 10% Syrah with a 30% mix of Southern Rhône Valley Reds.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tuck Beckstoffer Melée 2011 Grenache


Tuck Beckstoffer Melée 2011 Grenache, $30.99-$32.99, 92 points, appeared ruby trending Concord grape purple with a narrow clear rim.
Gently aromatic with sweet red cherry, roses, and just a hint of cinnamon.
The silky-smooth medium body carried the flavors of the nose, hints of tobacco and purple grape with moderate tannin and acid.
The pièce de résistance was the finish of the trailing juicy palate, long easy white pepper, and a hint of the well integrated alcohol (14.5%) and spearmint.
95% Grenache and a dollop of Syrah.



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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

d'Arenberg The Stump Jump 2010 Sticky



d'Arenberg The Stump Jump 2010 Sticky, $9.99-$11.99, 88 points, honey gold in color.
Deep honey, apricot, and petrol notes on the nose were interesting and okay.
Viscous body carried good acidity even with lots of sweet peach, esoteric yellow fruit, and honey flavors which were "sip" endearing, not just once, but all night.
I preferred this as an aperitif and by itself, but I did pair d'Arenberg's sticky with maple-walnut fudge (explosive), pumpkin and cream cake, (very nice), and Chocolate cream pie (just OK).
Finished long on the trailing palate of clinging honey, and tangerine accelerating, with just hints of the 10.5% alcohol.






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Monday, November 25, 2013

Grgich Hills Napa Valley 2009 Zinfandel



Grgich Hills Napa Valley 2009 Zinfandel, $24.99-$34.99, 92 points, began opaque trending a lovely crushed black berries red toward a leggy clear glass wall.
Soft aromatic notes of blackberry, earth, cedar, and flowers were subtle and pleasant.
Medium-plus body carried good acidity and mild, yet persistent tannin with a soft blackberry-boysenberry juiciness.
Finished long with a touch of the 15.3% alcohol, tobacco, eucalyptus, and a bounty of spice.





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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jewell Towne Marechal Foch N/V Red Wine

 





Jewell Towne Marechal Foch N/V Red Wine, $8.49-$10.49, 77 points, appeared dark ruby with a pink hue and a broad clear rim.
Caramel, watermelon rind, and violets on the nose bested the four MF red wines blind tasted.
Cloying sweet red cherry with black currant notes were a bit sour, and with mild acid and tannin didn't give adequate support.
The tart trailing palate with a bit of spice and 11% alcohol were really reflective of the overall experience.

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Olde Nuttfield 2009 Marechal Foch Red Wine






Olde Nuttfield 2009 Marechal Foch Red Wine, $10.99, 75 points, appeared bright sunburst orange-red with a broad clear rim.
A medicinal red cherry aroma with marzipan was strong and unpleasant.
An Hawaiian-punch flavor spiked with the 11.5% alcohol, hard sour candies, and petrol notes were just not good for me.
Finished on the trailing palate with a bit of bacon.

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Sweet Baby Vineyard N/V Marechal Foch Red Wine





Sweet Baby Vineyard N/V Marechal Foch Red Wine, approximately $12, 75 points, appeared ruby trending rosewood red with a broad clear rim.
Barnyard smells mostly dissipated, but sweet red cherry syrup and hints of plum on the nose failed to impress.
The long tart and spicy finish were the best aspect of this wine for me.

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Flag Hill 2011 Marechal Foch Red Wine







Sadly my blind tasting of four New Hampshire Marechal Foch red wines didn't go well, and I'm sure I'll get a lot of heat for this, but I have to call them as I see them.

Flag Hill 2011 Marechal Foch Red Wine, $10.99-$12.99, 76 points, appeared dark cranberry red with a broad clear rim.
Profuse black grape with a hint of rubber on the nose wasn't pleasant, but chocolate notes were helpful.
Mild acid and tannin were supported by an astringent, rough, and tart body of cranberry and petrol notes that were juxtaposed to my Barolo from last night, and in comparison made Flag Hill MF almost undrinkable as were all the Marechal Foch red wines.
The trailing palate of the finish was saved by hints of tobacco and spice. The 11.6% alcohol was almost unnoticeable.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Petit Ken Forrester Wines South Africa 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot






Petit Ken Forrester Wines South Africa 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, $11.70-$13.00, 87 points, appeared near opaque ruby trending burgundy red at the clear glass wall.
The aroma of rich red fruit with a slight hint of petrol was good.
With a medium-plus juicy body, fair acidity, and mild tannin Petit was an easy-drinking wine with good flavors of plum, black currant and licorice.
Finished fair with some spice and just a hint of the 13.5% alcohol.
I bought this wine at the Londonderry Hannaford's Supermarket.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Conterno Fantino 2007 Barolo Sorì Ginestra






Conterno Fantino 2007 Barolo Sorì Ginestra, $75.64-$88.99, 94 points, appeared in the glass surprisingly opaque trending crushed blackberry and pomegranate red with a transparent rim.
Perfume, roses, with hints of cedar and chocolate on the nose, though subtle and not profuse, were beautiful.
Without hesitation I describe this wine in it current maturation as massive, acidic and immensely tannic (I love it); I sense where it will be five or ten years from now and I'm pleased with just sipping and enjoying it: Vive La Différence!
Texturally early palate smooth with an accelerating mouth numbing near full body that carried more herbaceous notes than fruit notes, with hints of cardamom, tobacco, loam, and black cherry.
Finished extremely long on heat (15% alcohol), spice, and mint.

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Barolo and Barbaresco the Enigma of the Nebbiolo Grape Produced in Piedmont Italy






Barolo wines are not real common on the shelves of New Hampshire wine boutiques. That won't stop me from tasting the few I can find and or afford!
The rather long article by Lettie Teague is an historic eye-opener, a massive commitment, but to me it's really the cost, age, and the availability of these mysterious "denizens of the deep" red wines that keeps them off the tables of the NH Hoi Polloi.
Another, more approachable web-site that covers specific Barolo wines which have been tasted, not to mention all things Italy, is Tuscan Vines; just type "Barolo" in the search box.
Salute!


Beni di Batasiolo 2008 Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy, 90 points (avg.$32)

Ca' Rome Romano Marengo DOCG 2007 Barbaresco, $65.44-$76.99, 92+ points

Ca' Rome Romano Marengo Maria di Brun DOCG 2008 Barbaresco, $59.39-$83.99, 92+ points

Cigliuti 2007 Serraboella Barbaresco, $61.19-$79.99, 94 points

Conterno Fantino 2007 Barolo Sorì Ginestra, $75.64-$88.99, 94 points

Fontanafredda Serralunga d'Alba DOCG 2008 Barolo (Italy), $14.99-$25.99 (500ml), 92 points

Guasti Clemente 1990 Barolo Riserva, $55.24-$89.99, 91 points

Marziano Abbona Terlo Ravera 2009 Barolo DOCG, $45.04-$52.99, 93+ points

Michele Chiarlo Anniversario 2009 Barbaresco, $27.99-$42.99, 92 points

Michele Chiarlo Anniversario 2008 Barolo, $29.99-$46.99, 92 points

Michele Chiarlo Cerequio 2007 Barolo, $67.99-$94.99, 93 points

Piazzo 2009 Barbaresco (DOCG), $26.99-$32.99, 93 points

Produttori del 2012 Barbaresco DOCG (Piedmont, Italy), $25.49-$32.99, 92+ points

Prunotto 2012 Barbaresco DOCG (Piedmont, Italy), $35.69-$43.99, 91+ points

Sandrone Le Vigne 2004 Barolo, $84.99-$139.99, 94 points

Just plain Nebbiolo:

Anzivino Emanuele Gattinara D.O.C.G. 2006 Nebbiolo Red Wine $16.06-$20.99, 89+ points

La Spinetta Langhe 2008 Nebbiolo, $28.89-$33.99, 90+ points


Vierti Giovanni Langhe 2010 Nebbiolo, $16,99-$21.99, 87 points

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Maule Valley Chile 2007 Carménère




San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard Maule Valley Chile 2007 Carménère, $18-$20, 90 points, appeared opaque and quite deep purple-red with a clear rim at the leggy glass wall.
Has a pleasant black cherry aroma with warm floral notes.
The medium-plus body carried mouth watering acidity with "untypical" ( Carménère "is supposed" to be more a soft Merlot-like red wine) intense tannin.
Rather one dimensional, but good flavors of cherry and red grape, marked by a bit of astringency faltered a bit, but the explosive, very long finish with cayenne, white pepper spice, and alcohol notes (14.5%) excelled. 
I bought this wine at the Londonderry Hannaford's Supermarket.



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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Alamos 2008 Malbec






Alamos 2008 Malbec, $7.64-$8.99, 89 points, is black with just a hint of burgundy-red near the clear class rim.
The aroma is subtle cherry trending near closed.
Full bodied with fair acidity and mild to moderate tannin carries a rather smooth, quite drinkable red wine, that for the money, has a very good Quality-Price-Ratio.
A delicious red wine with hints of plum, black currant, violets, wood notes, and mint.
Finishing on a trailing palate, with a gathering and escalating spice which accentuates the 13.5% alcohol and a touch of eucalyptus, caps-off an excellent wine tasting.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Clayhouse Red Cedar Vineyard Paso Robles 2009 Tempranillo





Clayhouse Red Cedar Vineyard Paso Robles 2009 Tempranillo, $29.23-$38.99, 91 points, appeared as a deep purple red with a clear rim at the mildly leggy glass wall.
The aroma, though good, is a rather tame red cherry.
The medium-plus body carried good acidity and strident tannin that carried throughout most of the deeper palate and into the finish.
Good flavors of red cherry, tobacco, and a hint of eucalyptus trailed into the very long finish of tannin and spice with a hint of the 14.1% alcohol.
I doubt that this wine is for most Merlot lovers, but for those who want something food friendly, a bit more intense than their normal Merlot, or just for those who don't believe that California can produce an excellent Tempranillo, this just might be an eye-opening and delicious alternative.


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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Achaval Ferrer Quimera Mendoza 2009 Red Wine



Achaval Ferrer Quimera Mendoza 2009 Red Wine, $39.09-$45.99, 93+ points, is one of the blackest wines I've seen; right up to the glass wall where it transitions purple/red before the transparent rim.
Great bouquet made-up of soft earth notes, fall leaves, black cherry cordial, sweet cooking spice, and Japanese plum wine were beautiful.
Juicy black and blue fruit plus strong coffee and toffee notes carried along with a near full body of layered tannin and good acidity which were matched only by its silky texture, managed magnificence.
Finished on the trailing palate with spice notes and the 14% alcohol.
Achaval Ferrer Quimera Mendoza provides a great back label with almost all the details one could want!

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ridge Lytton Springs 2011 Zinfandel





Ridge Lytton Springs 2011 Zinfandel, $30.26-$36.99, 92+ points, appeared black at the core trending shiraz purple/red toward a broad transparent rim.
Cedar, clove, wild blackberry, and alcohol (14.4%) on the nose wasn't as impressive as some other Ridge Zinfandels I've had, but still quite vibrant and more aromatic than most.
However, the velvet texture was impressive, smooth and near full bodied without being heavy, and having good acidity and persistent, yet fine tannin.
Sadly, this sophisticated red wine was marked by a slight glycerin (sweet syrup) note which was a bit distracting for me, but overall the juicy black fruit was lush and delicious.
Finished very long on hot spice and a touch of heat.
Still a high Q/P/R red wine.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Shafer Wines have won my heart, from Thanksgiving to Christmas wine recommendations.







How does this love affair with Shafer wines fit my Thanksgiving dinner recommendations? Well, I promised a Chardonnay recommendation, and after tasting the Merry Edwards 2010 Chardonnay and the Shafer 2008 Chardonnay, plus having the Shafer 2009 vintage conveniently in my cellar for the last two years, based on my past experience with the Shafer Chardonnay, this 2009 is my choice for the Thanksgiving dinner; I'll be sure to post a review.





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Thanksgiving In New Hampshire-- Best Pinot Noir Wines Tasted For 2013



 is my choice for best Quality/Price/Ratio Pinot Noir for 2013.







Best Pinot Noir Wines Tasted For Thanksgiving In New Hampshire was going to include one best value wine, and one "best of show" to impress, but I'm changing that by adding the category of best regional (AVA) Pinot Noir wines.
 
Willamette Valley Oregon-Best Pinot Noir Wine Region for 2013 Thanksgiving Dinner.






 
Best Of Show Pinot Noir for the 2013 Thanksgiving Dinner in New Hampshire!





It is important to understand that my choices were something like 60% subjective and because Burgundy (French) Pinot Noir wines were too expensive as a whole, and some others were just too hard to find, i.e. Anton Bauer Wagram/Österreich (Austrian) 2008 Pinot Noir which was high on my list, in some sense disqualified them from my highest ranking.

As for my choice of Riesling, I have to cop-out, because Riesling is one of those consistently good and inexpensive wines, whether from California, Finger Lakes, or Columbia Valley, but just maybe EROICA Riesling was the best!
Chardonnay? See my next post which will lead me into Christmas wine tasting!



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Firestone Central Coast 2011 Riesling



 

Firestone Central Coast 2011 Riesling, $8.41-$12.95, 90 points, appeared faded straw yellow.
Honeysuckle, pine needles, and spearmint on the nose was quite different.
Having a dry light-plus body that carried hibiscus and a faithful aroma was refreshing and unique.
Finished with a blast of robust ginger and the 13.1% alcohol.
Firestone white wines continue to impress!

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