Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Riebeek Swartland South African 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon





Riebeek Swartland South African 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $9.00-$10.00, 88 points, poured a bright beautiful ruby with a broad clear rim-ring.
Aromatic floral strawberry was subtle, but lovely.
Medium-bodied with good acidity, easy-supportive tannin, good flavors that appropriately reflected the aroma, and highlighted this atypical Cabernet Sauvignon, but one that fits the pattern of many lighter Cabs.
Finished well on accelerating spice, a well integrated 14% alcohol, and a hint of spearmint.

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Cabernet Sauvignon (International)


 
 

Anastasi (Greek) 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $11.99-$13.99, 86 points

arabella South Africa 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $12.51-$13.99, 89 points

Barkan (Israel) 2011 Classic Cabernet Sauvignon, $11.99-$13.99, 86 points

Binyamina (Israel) 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, $12.99-$14.99, 85 points

Carpineto Farnito Toscana IGT 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $12.29-$29.99, 88+ points

Casa Lapostolle "Cuvée Alexandre - Apalta Vineyard" (Chile) 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $14.44-$18.95, 90 points

Catena High Mountain Vines Mendoza Argentina 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $13.29-$18.99, 89+ points

ChiLENSiS Colchagua Valley Chile 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, $9.99, 89+ points

Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo 2012 Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon (85% Chile's Maipo Valley)/Syrah (15% Chile's Rapel Valley), $11.19-$16.99, 89 points

Doña Paula Los Cardos Mendoza Argentina 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $7.99-$13.99, 86 points

Due Torri Grave Friuli D.O.C. (Italy) 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $10.80-$14.40, 86 points

Excelsior South African 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $7.19-$10.99, 86 points

M.A.N. South Africa 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $8.10-$12.00, 89 points

L. A. Cetto Estate Valle de Guadalupe Valley, Baja California, Mexico, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $12.00, 86 points

Pérez Cruz D.O. Valle Del Maipo Chile 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, $12.79-$18.99, 87+ points

Plantaze Lake Skadar Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Montenegro), $10.99, 87 points

Recanati (Israel) 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $13.99-$16.99, 89 points

Segal's (Israel) 2011 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, $18.99-$20.99, 89 points

Tasca d'Almerita Tenuta Regaleali Sicilia (Italy) IGT 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon $47.59-$55.99, 93 points

Tommasi Poggio AL Tufo Maremma Toscana (Italy) 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 89 points, $13.50-$18.75, points

Tormentoso 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (South Africa), $7.99-$17.99, 87 points

Vega Sindoa Navarra (Valdizarbe) 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Spain), $11.99-$12.99, 88 points

Vino Dous 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Slovakia), $13.99, 87 points

Viu Manent Single Vineyard La Capilla Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley,Chile), $13.99-$18.99, 89+ points

Zagarron Wines "Wicked Bold Cab-ah-nay (Spain) $8.10-$9.00, 84 points

See also: Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)
Cabernet Sauvignon (USA)





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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pérez Cruz 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva







Pérez Cruz 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, $12.79-$18.99, 87+ points, poured an opaque ruby color with a slight maroon tint and a broad clear rim ring.
First whiff was profuse black currant with developing cedar and floral notes.
The medium trending full body carried fair acidity with mild to building tannin on an easy-drinking texture.
Flavors mirrored the aromas with savory and black licorice notes.
Finished fair with mild spice, hints of eucalyptus, and a well integrated 13.5% alcohol.
Pérez Cruz 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva should be a highly rated red table wine: Do you have guests coming over? Need a complement to your table setting? Don't want to undermine quality and flavor? Have a budget to watch? I'm guessing this Cab will suffice in spades.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Bubblies Three For Me New Years Eve






   2015 will soon swoosh over your head before you know it, and if you are planning to celebrate with a "Bubbly" wine, you'll have to choose a bottle to celebrate with, and soon.
  Purists will demand Champagne (France), but 32% more people are choosing (Prosecco (Italy), and a few of us will go with a comparable (Cava Spanish Sparkling Wines), and of course bubblies from the New World that mirror Champagne's quality and flavor are out there, and cost considerably less.
  Myths may mire your choice, but keep in mind that your preoccupation will be with the ambient enjoyment of The Time, so this is a no-sweat situation; buy smartly with Prosecco (many to choose from below $20), Cava is a bit more difficult, but great value and flavor can be found (a little effort required), New World "Traditional Method" bubblies are plentiful and can be a great value (Vinogirls choice:Pinot-Meunier), while Real Champagne, with its usually higher price-tag and questionable taste, may just require an "eeny meeny miny mo".
  All these bubblies have representatives of the whole spectrum of "Sweetness", and it is a myth that all Proscco bubblies are sweet. Your taste of sweetness will be different from mine, so check the bottle for the degree of sweetness you desire (See chart below).
  In ascending order of sweetness: Burt is the most Dry, Extra Dry (Extra Sec or Extra Seco), Dry (Sec or Seco), Semi-Dry (Demi-Sec or Semi-Seco), and Sweet (Doux or Dulce), most sweet.
  As for me? I'm going with these three bottles for the fun of it ($6.95-$16.79).
 
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Castellare 2012 Chianti Classico





Castellare 2012 Chianti Classico,  $21.99-$24.99, 89 points, poured a deep pomegranate red with orange flashes and a broad clear rim ring.
Aromatic with the pleasant smells of roses, grape notes, and blackberry.
The medium body carried mouth-watering acidity with firm and manicured tannins which trailed a bit astringent.
Flavors of tart pomegranate, plum, mulberry, watermelon, with hints of tobacco and strawberry were good.  
Finished fair on a well integrated 13.5% alcohol with hints of mint and mild spice.





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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Grgich Hills Estate Grown Napa Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon








Grgich Hills Estate Grown Napa Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $47.99-$59.99, 92+ points, poured an opaque ruby with maroon flashes.
Smells of toasty black currant and blackberry with hints of coffee and vanilla were outstanding.
The near full body carried good acidity, layered appropriate tannin, and a mélange of harmonious flavors with Kahlua, plum, and blackberry dominating.
Finished on an accelerating black and white pepper, and a well integrated 14.2% alcohol.
Varietals were 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Petit Verdot, and 7.5% Merlot.
I found this Cabernet Sauvignon needed a few hours to breathe before it opened-up.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

MSH Cellars Yountville-Napa Valley 2013 Sauvignon




MSH Cellars Yountville-Napa Valley 2013 Sauvignon, $11.99-$20.99, 90 points, poured a light golden color trending water clear toward the glass shallows.
The aroma was fresh-cut grass and lemon zest.
Light-bodied with mouth-watering acidity.
MSH Cellars managed well the most grassy tasting Sauvignon Blanc I've ever had, but gentle hints of honeydew melon, honeysuckle, and pure honey gave depth and intrigue to this white wine.
Finished long on an amazing ginger spice and the 13.9% alcohol.
Varietals were 85% Sauvignon Blanc with 15% Semillon.
Spinach and cheese fillo blossoms paired perfectly. 



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Friday, December 26, 2014

La Puerta 2014 Torrontés



 


La Puerta 2014 Torrontés, $8.99-$10.99, 88 points, appeared a light brass color.
Aromatic peach, apricot, vanilla, orchard blossoms, and citrus notes were bright and refreshing.
The light-plus body was crisp, moderately acidic, and fruity with tropical fruits and pome, while finishing on lively ginger and citrus notes with hints of the 13% alcohol.
Paired well with Asian cuisine.
Judging from my enthusiasm over this fresh-young Torrontés, compared to the older vintages tasted, I'm thinking, unlike a good Riesling or Chenin Blanc, that this is one of those white wines you'll want to buy young, and anticipate drinking soon.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Volker Eisele Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon




Volker Eisele Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $39.99-$49.99, 93 points, poured core-black trending a lovely crushed black currant purple/red toward the transparent rim.
Balance should be the sub-name of this wonderful Napa Cab.
Aromatic black fruit with cedar and violets were excellent.
Nearly full-bodied with good acidity and fine grain tannins contrasted nicely with its velvety texture.
Flavors mirrored the aromas with savory notes.
Finished long on the trailing palate, oak, accelerating spice, and gentle warmth from the 13.8% alcohol.
Varietals were 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot.
Paired perfectly with my marinated Rib-eyed roast.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dry Creek Vineyard Wilson Ranch 2009 Chenin Blanc





Dry Creek Vineyard Wilson Ranch 2009 Chenin Blanc, $11.99-$13.99, 88 points, appeared straw yellow and graying toward the glass shallows.
Very subtle aromas of lemon and kiwi were okay.
Light-plus body carried good acidity with pleasant flavors of lemon/lime with kiwi notes.
Finished on the trailing palate, a touch of honeydew melon, and a well integrated 12.5% alcohol.
Chenin Blanc is a white wine that can age well, and judging by the deepening yellow color, this one has begun to mature, and I think may have aided its overall delicious flavor.
I recommend this as a white table wine which paired nicely with my filet of sole.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Black Stallion Napa Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon



Black Stallion Napa Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $16.79-$23.99, 90 points, poured core black trending rosewood red toward the clear rim.
Aromatic black fruits and oak on the nose were quite good, and a garnish of cedar with coffee notes were outstanding.
Full-bodied with good acidity and a blanket of sweet tannin complimented the moderately smooth mouth-feel.
Flavors mirrored the aromas with a hint of cola.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, spice, and some warmth from the 14.5% alcohol.
Varietals were 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petite Verdot, and 1% Malbec.



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Monday, December 22, 2014

Sauvion Loire Valley 2013 Vouvray





Sauvion Loire Valley 2013 Vouvray, $13.99-$16.99, 88 points, appeared a light brass color trending clear near the glass shallows.
Various citrus notes on the nose were lively.
Light-bodied with mouth-watering acidity and bright flavors of watermelon rind, grapefruit, lemon meringue, hints of thyme with a floral component were good.
Finished fair with a well integrated 11% alcohol, a hint of honey, and a lingering palate.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Liberated Wine "Vindicated" Lot #1 Dry Creek Valley 2012 Zinfandel





Liberated Wine "Vindicated" Lot #1 Dry Creek Valley 2012 Zinfandel, $12.99-$22.99, 89+ points, appeared an unusual charcoal-black purple/red with a transparent rim-ring.
The unusual character of this wine continued on the nose with roasted orange-peel, marjoram, and purple grape notes.
Medium-bodied with mouth-watering acidity, a rather rough texture, and moderate tannin carried more aspects of this Zinfandel's unique character with flavors of mint, cola, eucalyptus, red cherry and nearly ripe mulberry.
Finished fair on the trailing palate with an underlayment of spice and some warmth from the 14.5% alcohol.



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Wine as a last-minute Christmas gift





"I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!"
New Hampshire has a State run liquor sales system, however wine boutiques and super markets do carry wine, but it is getting late for that last minute gift of wine; what to do: How much to spend? What kind of wine (white or red, bubbly or fortified)? What brand and where to buy?
 
Out of the maze my quick picks from 2014 are these.
 
Market Basket supermarkets:
About $10
Red wine:
ChiLENSiS Colchagua Valley Chile 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, $9.99, 89+ points
White wines:
Château SUAU Cadillac 2013 Bordeaux Blanc Sec, $11.99, 89
 
Hannaford's Super market:
About $10
Red wine:
ESO Central Coast 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $11.70-$13.00, 88 points
Under $20
White wine (Asian Cuisine for the Holidays?):
Willm 2012 Alsace Riesling Réserve, $17.00, 91 points
 
NHLS:
Super value:
About $5
Red wine:
Campo Viejo Rioja 2012 Garnacha, $4.94-$10.99, 87 points
EOS Estate Winery Paso Robles 2009 Petite Sirah, $6.79-$14.99, 90 points
Quickfire Dry Creek Valley 2008 Zinfandel, $7.64-$18.99, 90 points
 
About $10
White wine:
Sileni Marlborough 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, $10.99-$12.99, 91 points
Kungfu Girl Washington State 2012 Riesling, $11.89-$13.99, 90 points
 
About $10
Red wines:
David Girard El Dorado 2009 Syrah, $10.19-$26.99, 91 points
Truchard Carneros Napa Valley 2011 Zinfandel, $11.99-$27.99, 91 points
 
Under $20
White wines:
Eroica (Chateau Ste Michelle-Dr. Loosen) 2012 Columbia Valley Riesling, $14.44-$20.99, 93 points (Asian Cuisine for the Holidays?)
Merriam Vineyards Russian River Danielle's Estate 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, $14.99, 93 points
Honig Napa Valley 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, $14.99-$16.99, 92 points
 
Under $20
Red wines:
Waterstone Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $16.99-$22.99, 92 points
Tenuta di Nozzole D.O.C.G. 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva, $13.59-$18.99, 91+ points
Fattoria di Magliano Heba Morellino di Scansano DOCG 2010 Sangiovese Red Wine, $14.44-$19.99, 91 points
Forma DE Arte Do Tejo DOC Reserva (Portugal), $14.99-$16.99, 91+ points
Château de Bellevue Lussac St. Émilion 2010 Bordeaux, $19.79-$27.99, 92+ points
 
Price is no object Red wines:
Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $75.99-$94.99, 97 points,
Joseph Phelps Napa Valley 2007 Insignia Red Wine, $144.99-$225.99, 97 points
Château Angelus Premier Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Émilion 2009 Bordeaux Red Wine, $292.49-$453.99, 97 points
 
Price is no object White wine:
Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley 2011 Chardonnay, $40.69-$49.99 (NHLS gift card applied), 93 points (Think winner of the 1976 Paris wine tasting)

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Borsao Tres Picos 2012 Garnacha






Borsao Tres Picos 2012 Garnacha, $14.99-$16.99, 89+ points, poured an opaque ruby with flashes of maroon, and a broad clear rim at the leggy glass wall.
Aromas of lively lingonberry jam with grape notes and a toasty plum were very good.
Medium-plus bodied red wine carried good acidity, firm, yet refined tannins with flavors of cranberry and violets, leather and pomegranate, while mulberry, roses, and plum liqueur added-up to a fair complexity.
Finished well on licorice, cola, spice, and warmth from the 15% alcohol.




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Friday, December 19, 2014

Wente Southern Hills Livermore Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon


Almost demands a traditional English meal:
I'll take credit for bringing these divorced ingredients together; the wine being my Forté!



Wente Southern Hills Livermore Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $11.89-$16.99, 87 points, poured ruby trending maroon with a thin clear rim.
The tame grapey nose with a hint of red cherry was just okay for me.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and appropriately supportive tannin were noteably complimented by flavors of easy drinking red fruits and a hint of plum.
Finished on a well integrated 13.5% alcohol, savory notes, a touch of oak, mushrooms, and mild spices.
Wente Southern Hills Livermore Valley 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon did pair well with my buttered toast and bacon sandwich.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Clayhouse Red Cedar Vineyard Paso Robles 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon





Clayhouse Red Cedar Vineyard Paso Robles 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $9.34-$13.99, 87 points, poured a deep ruby trending soft purple at the leggy glass wall and clear rim.
Grape was the dominant smell, with just a hint of the sea and black currant.
Near full-bodied with good acidity, an underlayment of tannin, flavors that reflected the nose, and a long finish of cola, accelerating cayenne pepper, slightly unripe mulberry, and a well integrated 13.5% alcohol.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Greek Wines

Chenin Blanc/Vouvray






arabella (love of Arabian horses)-South Africa-2011 Chenin Blanc, $12.99, 86 points

Baron Herzog Clarksburg 2015 Kosher Chenin Blanc, $9.99-$11.99, 87 points

Barton and Guestier 2012 Vouvray, $10.99-$12.99 88 points

Beringer 2012 Chenin Blanc, $4.24-$6.99, 83 points

Champalou 2010 Vouvray La Cuvee des Fondraux, Loire, France, $21.25-$24.99, 87 points

Château de Montfort 2010 Vouvray, $13.59-$17.99, 88 points

Domaine Pichot ~ Le Peu de la Moriette 2014 Vouvray, $11.04-$14.99, 89 points

Dry Creek Vineyard Wilson Ranch 2009 Chenin Blanc, $11.99-$13.99, 88 points

Dry Creek Vineyard Wilson Ranch 2014 Chenin Blanc, $9.34-$13.99, 90 points

Ken Forrester "Petit" 2011 Chenin Blanc, $8.49-$11.99, 87 points

Ken Forrester Vineyards Old Vine Reserve 2014 Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch, So. Africa), $13.49-$14.99, 88 points

La Craie 2013 Vouvray, $16.16-$17.95, 88+ points

L'Ecole Columbia Valley No. 41 Old Vines 2013 Chenin Blanc, $14.44-$18.99, 92 points
L'Ecole Columbia Valley No. 41 Old Vines 2014 Chenin Blanc, $16.99-$18.99, 90+ points

MAN Vintners 2009 South African Chenin Blanc, 89 points

Marc Brédif 2014 Vouvray, $16.14-$21.99, 90 points

"Petit" Ken Forrester 2011 Chenin Blanc, $8.49-$11.99, 87 points

Sauvion Loire Valley 2013 Vouvray, $13.99-$16.99, 88 points

The Royal Old Vines Steen 2013 Chenin Blanc (South Africa), $12.00, 88 points

Vinum Cellars 2014 Chenin Blanc, (Clarksburg, Ca.), $14.39-$15.99, 89+ points




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