Monday, June 29, 2015

Souverain North Coast 2013 Sauvignon Blanc





Souverain North Coast 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, $9.99-$15.99, 91 points, poured a bright brass color trending water-clear at the glass shallows.
Aromatic citrus notes with orchard blossoms, fresh cut grass, and hints of toasty vanilla were quite good.
The light body was crisp, and carried good acidity on a straight forward flavor profile of pomelo, orange, and honeysuckle.
Finished well on the trailing palate, a well integrated 13.7% alcohol, and just a hint of ginger.
Maybe the best value 2013 Sauvignon Blanc I've had all year.
Paired well with onion rings, buttered asparagus, and chicken fingers with duck sauce.




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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sebastiani 2011 Americano Petite Sirah





Sebastiani 2011 Americano Petite Sirah, $15.29-$17.99, 87 points, was mostly dense and black with shimmering maroon hues which appeared near the obligatory wine ring.
Profuse aromas of licorice and plum were just okay for me.
Heavy-bodied, almost syrupy, managed to escape my wrath with a consistent and fairly good flavor profile of black licorice, plum, mint, and kirsch; the acidity was fair and the tannin, though supportive, was mild for a rather young Petite Sirah.
Finished okay on a slightly sweet red cherry, ubiquitous plum, and an almost unnoticeable 13.5% alcohol.




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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Moillard Domaine du Château d’Eau 2014 Cinsault Rosé


Moillard Domaine du Château d’Eau 2014 Cinsault Rosé, $13.99-$15.99, 90 points, was a lovely peach pink with copper-red flashes.
The aromas of peach, Macintosh apple, and orchard blossoms were fabulous.
This light, crisp, dry, refreshing, and fairly acidic Cinsault Rosé wine was pure delight; flavors reflective of the aromas and with a sense of minerality were delicate and lively, and the moderately smooth texture made for well of easy-drinking and satiation.
The finish was long on peach and strawberry fruit with just a hint of the 12.5% alcohol.




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Friday, June 26, 2015

Triton (Casttilla y León) 2008 Tempranillo








Triton (Casttilla y León) 2008 Tempranillo, $13.59-$17.99, 86 points, poured core black trending purple/red at the leggy glass wall and thin wine ring.
Toasty plum and mulberry aromas were not particularly pleasant.
Full-bodied with good acidity and still firm tannin carried licorice, heavy oak notes, blueberry, and strawberry flavors.
Finished fair, if not a bit syrupy, on the trailing palate, hints of eucalyptus, good hot spice notes, and a warm 15% alcohol.
At this point you will need to decant!

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Cecchi Toscana I.G.T. 2012 Sangiovese





Cecchi Toscana I.G.T. 2012 Sangiovese, $6.79-$9.99, 85 points, was a bright ruby color with some bricking near the leggy glass wall and broad clear wine ring.
Early rubber smells transmuted into red cherry and strawberry aromas, but never impressed me.
Just barely medium-bodied with good acidity and mild grainy tannins carried light red fruit flavors with strawberry and red cherry being most prominent.
Finished okay on tart pomegranate and a well integrated 13% alcohol.

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Hess Select 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon





Hess Select 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $14.99-$19.99, 85 points, was core black transitioning deep purple red at the glass shallows and clear wine ring.
A slightly sour black currant with blueberry notes, cedar, and hints of clove on the nose were only okay for me.
Nearly full-bodied with fair acidity, uninspiring and murky tannins, awkward flavors of anise, plum, blueberry, dried cooking herbs, and mulberry were out of balance and not particularly tasty.
Finished poorly on the trailing palate with a well integrated 13.5% alcohol and black licorice.
If a Hess Cabernet Sauvignon interests you, my vote would be for the Hess (The Collection Allomi) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cesari MARA D.O.C. 2011 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore





Cesari MARA D.O.C. 2011 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, $19.99-$44.99, 89 points, appeared deep ruby trending crushed black currant purple at the very broad clear wine ring.
Sea breezes, lavender, raisins, and plums on the nose were good.
Medium-plus body carried good acidity and mellow tannin with satisfying flavors reflective of the nose, and hints of boysenberry.
Finished fair with black licorice, warm spice, and a well integrated 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my sausage rigatoni.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stags' Leap Napa Valley 2013 Chardonnay






Stags' Leap Napa Valley 2013 Chardonnay, $25.49-$34.99, 92 points, poured a deep glossy gold color.
Aromatic orchard blossoms and tropical fruit were very good.
The medium-plus body perfectly managed good acidity and flavors of vanilla, pome, and tropical fruits which were rich and unctuous.
Finished long on black pepper, a trailing palate, and a well integrated 14.1% alcohol. 

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Caves Jean et Sébastien Dauvissat "Saint-Pierre" 2012 Chablis






Caves Jean et Sébastien Dauvissat "Saint-Pierre" 2012 Chablis, $26.99-$28.99, 89 points, was a pure gold color.
The pleasant aroma was an amalgamation of subtle lemon, pine needles, and warm wet stone smells.
Light-plus body carried fair acidity, a dominating mineral based flavor profile, and hints of citrus.
Finished well on lemon zest, ginger, and a well integrated 12% alcohol.
Though marginally low alcohol, this was still a dry white wine, and not magically complex, but very clean.



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Monday, June 22, 2015

Château Brane-Cantenac Margaux 2011 Bordeaux Red Wine






Château Brane-Cantenac Margaux 2011 Bordeaux Red Wine, $51.99-$69.99, 90 points, was nearly black except near the clear wine ring where the color trended deep purple/red.
Aromatic cedar, sandalwood, rose, and black fruit were quite pleasant.
Medium-plus body managed good acidity with firm, yet very tolerable tannins for such a young Bordeaux red wine.
Flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, kirsch, truffle, and tobacco were very good.
Finished well on the trailing palate with easy spice notes and a well integrated 13% alcohol.
I enjoyed this wine more on the second day.
Varietals were 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Champalou 2010 Vouvray La Cuvee des Fondraux, Loire, France




Champalou 2010 Vouvray La Cuvee des Fondraux, Loire, France, $21.25-$24.99, 87 points, appeared a light saffron yellow trending a contrasting gray at the glass shallows.
Aromatic melon with good hints of petrol and vanilla pleased.
Light-bodied with fair to good acidity and flavors which mirrored the aromas and which complimented the Granny-smith apples.
The palate flavors trailed into the okay finish of citrus, ginger, and a well integrated 12.5% alcohol. 

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L'Escargot Sauvignon Blanc Cotes de Gascogne 2013 100% Sauvignon Blanc






L'Escargot Sauvignon Blanc Cotes de Gascogne 2013 100% Sauvignon Blanc, $12.99-$,14.99, 86+ points, was just about the lightest lemon-yellow color trending gray at the glass shallows.
Lemon, gooseberry, and fresh-cut grass on the nose was just okay for me.
The dry tart, and crisp light body managed a lip-smacking acidity.
Flavors were similar to New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs with lemon, gooseberries, and grass notes, but a noticeable minerality, and devoid of a dominant grapefruit told a different tale.

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Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills 2013 Sauvignon Blanc




 
Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, $11.99-$14.99, 88 points, was a light brass color trending water clear at the glass shallows.
Apples and honeysuckle on the nose were pleasant.
The light-plus body and fair to good acidity carried easy drinking (for a Sauvignon Blanc) pome fruit flavors with nondescript citrus notes.
I've not thought of a wine as "homogenous" before, but the finish proved a consistency to the whole with just hints of white pepper and a well integrated 13% alcohol.
 
 

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Saddleback Cellars Napa Valley 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon





Saddleback Cellars Napa Valley 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $32.29-$68.99, 89+ points, was the colors of crushed black currant trending dark ruby with a thin clear wine ring.
Aromas of sandalwood, flowers, and sea breezes defied the notion of a grape product.
Full-bodied with fair acidity and Merlot-like soft tannin managed a lush mouth-feel.
Good flavors of plum were more Merlot-like than Cab-like (JMO) as well, though heavier and rounder than most Merlots I'm familiar with, but hints of black currant mitigated that contradiction.
Finished fair on the trailing palate with easy pepper notes, red currant, truffle, and a well integrated 14.2% alcohol.
Paired well with my stir-fried spiced beef and vegetables.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Big Ass Cab, Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon





Big Ass Cab, Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $9.99-$19.99, 87 points,  
Profuse aromas of blueberry, brine, oak, and cedar were just okay for me.
Full-bodied with good acidity and still youthful, but very manageable tannin carried flavors that reflected the aromas with rich plum notes.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, tart pomegranate, slightly astringent tannin, and an appropriate 14.5% alcohol.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Flora Springs Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon






Flora Springs Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $29.69-$42.99, 91 points, poured nearly core black trending ruby toward a crushed black currant purple/red at the broad clear wine ring.
The nose was a rather complex affair with spearmint, chocolate, truffle, plum, cedar, roses, and black currant having great depth and being quite good.
Full-bodied with good acidity and layered fine grainy tannins made for a substantial and velvety texture.
Smoky flavors of plum were offset with a tangy pomegranate.
A spicy finish was long and climatic with a warm 14.5% alcohol.



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Monday, June 15, 2015

The Royal Old Vines Steen 2013 Chenin Blanc (South Africa)






The Royal Old Vines Steen (South Africa), 2013 Chenin Blanc, $12.00, 88 points, poured a light saffron yellow with lime green tints and graying at the glass shallows.
Soft complex aromas of lemon, pome fruit, and melon were very subtle.
The light-body with good acidity managed fair if unremarkable flavors reflective of the aromas.
Finished very long and tasty on ginger, hints of white pepper, crisp citrus notes, and a nicely done 13% alcohol.
I bought this Chenin Blanc at the Derry Hannaford's Super Market.





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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ridge East Bench 2013 Zinfandel

 
 
 


Ridge East Bench 2013 Zinfandel, $23.79-$27.99, 91 points, was a deep dark ruby red with a broad clear wine ring at the leggy glass wall.
Aromatic wild and briary blackberry with toasty red raspberry were typically Ridge wonderful.
Medium-plus body carried fair acidity, mellow, but supportive tannin.
Youthful, yet restrained fruit-full flavors which were reflective of the aromas, with late palate notes of tarragon and smoky oak which, conveyed by a silky texture, spoke volumes of sophistication.
Finished long on red licorice, eucalyptus, easy red pepper, and a warm 14.9% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with Mexican cuisine.

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

L'Ecole Columbia Valley No. 41 Old Vines 2013 Chenin Blanc







L'Ecole Columbia Valley No. 41 Old Vines 2013 Chenin Blanc, $14.44-$18.99, 92 points, appeared a bright brass color trending dark gray at the glass shallows.
Aromatic orange peel, orchard blossoms, and a hint of pineapple were lovely.
Medium-bodied, but crisp and dry enough to deceive one into believing that it is a light-bodied white wine; displaying so much fruit also gave the impression of sweetness without a hint of being cloying.
Lively acids cut through Hawaiian chicken and white asparagus in a cheddar cheese sauce with no problem.
Citrus and pome flavors were complex and accented by tropical fruit carried by an unctuous texture sealed this Chenin Blanc's first place in my admittedly short list of Chenin Blanc wines.
Finished long on pear, exciting ginger notes, and a well integrated 13.5% alcohol.

 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Talley Arroyo Grande Valley 2013 Chardonnay





Talley Arroyo Grande Valley 2013 Chardonnay, $21.99-$25.99, 87 points, begins in the glass with a lovely glossy gold color, but quickly raised my curiosity with what reminded me of the smell of Ladybirds (ladybugs); at any rate, whether ladybugs were the cause or not I don't know, but this Chardonnay smelled unlike any other I've smelled; hours later that strong order faded into a delicate flower aroma.
The same process paralleled the flavor profile, but ended with a rather clean, slightly vanilla, caramel, and typically Chardonnay grape flavors.
The barely medium-bodied Chardonnay was unusual (Chablis being the most notable exception) as well. Acidity was fair to good, and the texture was soft and silky.
Finished okay on the trailing palate, hints of ginger, and a well integrated 13.7% alcohol.

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Scaggs Vineyard Napa Valley Mt. Veeder 2012 Montage (Rhone Style Red Wine)






Scaggs Vineyard Napa Valley Mt. Veeder 2012 Montage (Rhone Style Red Wine), $33.14-$38.99, 90+ points, poured a rather complex rainbow of opaque purple reds with a thin clear wine ring.
Scaggs 2012 Montage also exhibited a complex aroma profile with plum, black olives, cedar, and clove representing just the tip of the iceberg.
Full-bodied with good acidity and tightly layered supportive tannins.
Flavors were robust, complex, and quite good, with cardamom, plum, black cherry, chocolate, mint, tart pomegranate, and blackberries not to mention the kitchen sink.
Finished on the trailing palate, escalating tannin, licorice, and a well integrated 14.5% alcohol.
Varietals were Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, and  Counoise.

Boz Scaggs "But Beautiful"

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vignobles Jeanjean Domaine Le Pive Gris 2013 Rosé




Vignobles Jeanjean Domaine Le Pive Gris 2013 Rosé, $11.99-$14.99, 90+ points, was more a peach pink color, trending almost water clear at the glass shallows.
The lovely subtle floral aroma dominated an even more subtle watermelon/strawberry aroma.
Very light, almost gossamer body with good acidity managed to mirror the aromas in a delicious delicacy.
Finished well on the trailing palate, a hint of kiwi, and the innocuous 12% alcohol. 
Varietals were 30% Grenache Gris, 30% Grenache Noir, 30% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc.
I would pair this Rosé with almost any delicate pastry, especially baked Tulumbi, or many appetizers, making this dry Rosé a great choice for get-togethers.



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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dr. Konstantin Frank Finger Lakes 2014 Rosé





Dr. Konstantin Frank Finger Lakes 2014 Rosé, $14.44-$16.99, 90 points, poured a distinctively rose red color.
Smells of flowers, red cherries, and strawberries needed considerable swishing and swirling to evoke, but in the end were very good.
Light-bodied, crisp, dry, and good acidity gave a substantial and appreciated texture.
Flavors of strawberry plus a hint of hibiscus were rather one dimensional, but very tasty.
Finished long with a light spiciness, the trailing palate, and an innocuous 12% alcohol.
Paired well with a cornmeal battered fried haddock and chips.
Varietals were Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley AVETA 2013 Sauvignon Blanc






Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley AVETA 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, $21.24-$26.99, 88 points, poured a light Saffron yellow trending gray at the glass shallows.
Weak aromas of fresh-cut grass, soft floral component, and citrus were unremarkable, but not bad either.
Typically light-bodied with good acidity, but the flavors too were weak, but wet stone and alcohol (14.5%) flavors carried the day, if you have an accommodating palate.
Finished clean with hints of lemon and lime on a background of that big alcohol with just a hint of ginger.
This was a unique Sauvignon Blanc which will appeal to few at this price, but if you like an uncluttered high alcohol/acid white wine, then this is the one for you!



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Sunday, June 7, 2015

La Cana Rias Baixas 2013 Albariño






 
La Cana Rias Baixas 2013 Albariño (Spain), $13.99-$15.99, 90 points, was a light golden color trending water clear at the glass shallows.
Very beautiful floral aroma with hints of lemon and lime zest.
Light-bodied, with crisp acidity, dry, and having flavors of lemon oil, hints of watermelon rind, tangerine, and limestone minerality which made for an exceptionally good, clean, and refreshing white wine libation.
Finished on the trailing palate, citrus notes, and a well integrated 12.5% alcohol.
Paired well with my spicy Buffalo wings.


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Albarino

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Martinelli Russian River Valley Vellutini Ranch 2011 Zinfandel





Martinelli Russian River Valley Vellutini Ranch 2011 Zinfandel, $45.89-$53.99, 91+ points, was a deep ruby red trending orange at the glass shallows and the thin clear wine ring with very heavy draping.
Subtle aromas of oaky blackberries, cedar, wafting alcohol, and a soft floral component were good.
Medium-plus body carried good acidity, appropriately supportive tannins with flavors of  black currant and black cherry fading into the long finish of strawberry, eucalyptus, cayenne, and bourbon-like heat from the 16.1% alcohol.
Very Cool Vineyard!

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Pacific Rim Yakima Valley 2013 Gewürztraminer





Pacific Rim Yakima Valley 2013 Gewürztraminer, $10.19-$13.99, 87 points, poured a deep brass/copper color.
Aromatic Macintosh apple, Lychee, and orchard blossoms were very good.
Light-plus body with fair acidity carried caramel, tart apple, and tropical fruit flavors which were interesting if not decidedly delicious.
Finished fair with white pepper, slightly sweet, and a noticeable 12.9% alcohol.
Paired well with Asian cuisine.


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Gewürztraminer







Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewürz Mendocino County 2014 Gewürztraminer, $8.49-$12,99, 88 points

Banyan (Beautiful) Monterey County 2011 Gewürztraminer, $15.99, 91 points

Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley 2010 Gewürztraminer, $8.49-$9.99, 86+ points

Covey Run 2009 Quail Series Gewürztraminer, $9.99, 87 points

Fetzer Shaly Loam 2010 Gewürztraminer, $8.99-$10.99, 85 points

Foris Estate Grown Rogue Valley Oregon 2009 Gewürztraminer, $16.19- $17.99, 90 points

Henri Ehrhart Alsace Grand Cru Kaefferkopf 2013 Gewürztraminer (91 points) was approximately $20

P.J. Valckenberg 2012 Gewürztraminer, $11.99-$13.99, 86 points

Pacific Rim Yakima Valley 2013 Gewürztraminer, $10.19-$13.99, 87 points

Trimbach Alsace 2013 Gewürztraminer, $16.14-$20.99, 90 points


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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jacob's Creek Two Lands 2014 Pinot Grigio




Jacob's Creek Two Lands 2014 Pinot Grigio, $9.99, 89 points, appeared as a very light lemon yellow with a lime green tint trending gray at the glass shallows.
Pear and citrus on the nose were just okay for me.
Light crisp body carried good acidity and tangy flavors which for a change were exactly described on the back label as "ripe pear, quince and lemon citrus overtones. . ."
Finished well on a Lemon meringue pie and slightly sour lime flavors with a well integrated 12.8% alcohol.
Paired nicely with Athenos - All Natural Appetizers - Quattro Formaggio W/ Roasted Red Peppers.
I bought this white wine at the Londonderry Market Basket.

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