Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hawk Crest Red Hills Lake County 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon






Hawk Crest Red Hills Lake County 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $11.04-$15.99, 88 points, poured a dense black currant color grading more red toward the clear wine ring and the leggy glass bowl.
Shy aromas of soft violets and black currants were okay.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and firm drying tannins managed to give enough life to a rather straight-forward black fruit profile, dusty earthiness, and a welcome finish of explosive spice, plum flavor, and a comfortable 13.5% alcohol to make this a very good red table wine; you'll have real table-setting gravitas when you serve this lovely bottle of red wine to your ornithological friends!
Paired well with my spicy red pepper, beans, and beef chili.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Forefront (Pine Ridge) 2012 Zinfandel





Forefront (Pine Ridge) 2012 Zinfandel, $10.19-$24.99, 88 points, poured a bright lovely ruby grading purple/red with a broad clear wine ring at the glass wall of some sheeting.
Shy aromas of mulberry, blackberry, and a hint of sour grapes were good.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a balanced comfortable underlayment of tannin carried good flavors of black fruit, Orange pekoe tea, and cola notes.
Finish long on plum notes, easy warm spices, a tad green, and a restrained 14.8% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my loaded thin-crust pizza.
This is a high QPR (value) red wine!



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Monday, November 28, 2016

Beaujolais Nouveau NHWM, why the narrow focus?


 Beaujolais Nouveau
NHWM, why the narrow focus?
New Hampshire 'only'?
Really?
 

 
  Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent is a French Beaujolais red wine with an average price-tag of $21, and from all reports is excellent. Yeah, so what?
  I've been tweaked again, as I am every year when Beaujolais Nouveau arrives at the Markets, and concerning Beaujolais wines in general.

  So, how do I get from a "narrow focus" to Beaujolais and it's wildling preemie sibling?
  I was reading one of the more respectable wine writer's (Sandra Crittenden) column on the subject of
Beaujolais.

Wine Thoughts goes into depth over several Beaujolais wines with a Master Sommelier, and as is too typical of wines discussed broadly: they are not to be found, or easily found in the tiny State of NH; I figured that since Louis Jadot is broadly distributed I'd find this one, but nope!
  This is but one example of the frustration a wine lover might endure if she/he purchases wines locally; almost six years ago, I discovered that being preoccupied with Zinfandel red wines was a kind of Dead End, and I wrote about it here: Eureka! Reasons for not drinking Zinfandel.
  Yeah, the focus at the NHWM Blog are wines found in New Hampshire, and I think, with good reason.
  Now to Beaujolais Nouveau: if you are making memories and part of the paraphernalia of those memories is Beaujolais Nouveau, then the happy carefree, raw, and youthful wine expression is great; this is the best way to have wine: wine as experienced with friends, family, and places.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a great pairing with food as your goal, then you might think Beaujolais without the Nouveau, Burgundy (per se), Rhone, or Bordeaux, provided French wines are your aim.
Cheers!



Beaujolais The Gamay Grape
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Lamole De Lamole (Vigneto DI Campolungo) 2011 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione






Lamole De Lamole (Vigneto DI Campolungo) 2011 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, $36.99-$39.99, 92 points, poured a pomegranate red with a broad clear wine ring.
Aromatic black cherry, roses, and a cedar-based potpourri were excellent.
Medium-plus body with firm grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity managed black cherry, sweet tobacco, and black tea flavors well.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, easy warm spices, slightly astringent tannin, and a gentle 13.5% alcohol.
Varietals were 85% Sangiovese 85% and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Paired perfectly with my matriciani in a artichoke marinara sauce, and a side of warm toasted garlic bread.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Virginia Dare Russian River Valley 2014 Chardonnay





Virginia Dare Russian River Valley 2014 Chardonnay, $18.69-$24.99, 87 points, appeared a brassy straw yellow color.
Aromas while cold were apple dominant, but while warming evolved more cantaloupe and Chardonnay neutral.
Slightly heavier than medium-bodied with fair-plus acidity.
The well balanced flavor profile managed typical vanilla, pome fruit, and just a hint of citrus.
Finished long on the trailing palate, a bit vegetative, and with a restrained 13.9% alcohol.
Paired fine with Thanksgiving leftovers.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bodegas Muga Rioja 2015 Tempranillo Rosé






Bodegas Muga Rioja 2015 Tempranillo Rosé, $11.89-$13.99, 88 points, was a light Peach Rosé color.
The straight forward strawberry aroma was good.
Light bodied with crisp acidity and delicious flavors of strawberry, a hint of Marshmallow Peanut Candy, and late palate ginger notes with a touch of apricot made for the perfect aperitif.
Finished okay on the trailing palate and well-integrated 13.5% alcohol.

I would definitely buy this again, and found myself to be a fan of Spanish Rosé.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Fabrizio Dionistio "Castagnino" 2014 Syrah




Fabrizio Dionistio "Castagnino" 2014 Syrah, $13.99-$15.99, 84 points, poured core black grading purple/red toward the broad clear wine ring.
The aroma was a basic toasty plum.
Barely medium-bodied, surprisingly good acidity, and mellow tannins managed cola, blueberry, and exceptionally grapey flavors.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, a hint of spice, developing plum, and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol. 
On the back label you'll see "Vendemmia" (The Grape Harvest), but in Italy it means more than just a harvest.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Browne Family Vineyards Columbia Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon







Browne Family Vineyards Columbia Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $30.59-$39.99, 90 points, poured an opaque purple/red up to the broad clear wine ring.
Early robust aromas of cedar, black currant, and mulling spices settled down a bit with sandalwood and earth notes.
Full-bodied with fair to good acidity and tamed tannins managed rich flavors of plums, black fruits, licorice, and dried herbs.
Finished well on the trailing palate, easy warm spices and a restrained 13.8% alcohol.
An excellent pairing with our Texas burgers.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Domaine Cherrier ET Fils 2015 Sancerre






Domaine Cherrier ET Fils 2015 Sancerre, $15.99-$17.99, 92 points, poured a light brass color grading clear at the glass edge.
Aromatic lemon-grass, fresh squeezed lime notes, and a lovely subtle lily flower vibe were excellent.
Light, stony, appropriately acidic, and richly flavorful with delicate peach, pear, and apricot with hints of kiwi were spectacular.
Finished long on the trailing palate, ginger, wet stone, and a well-integrated 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my North Atlantic salmon cakes.
As 2017 quickly approaches, I briefly reflected on 2016's wines bought in New Hampshire, tasted, and reviewed, I think about value (QPR), and the last two wines reviewed have to be up there with the best values; if I get a chance to review them all, I'll post the BEST QPR 'NH' wines.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Altovinum Evodia, Aragon, Spain, 2015 Old Vine Garnacha





Altovinum Evodia, Aragon, Spain, 2015 Old Vine Garnacha, $7.99-$11.99, 89 points, poured a deep ruby with flashes of maroon, a very broad clear wine ring, and tear laden glass bowl.
Aromas of sea breezes with hints of sandalwood and plums were good.
Altovinum Evodia has become like an old friend: reliable, but not to be trifled with, always interesting, embracing, and locked into memories which when evoked bring smiles to my face; I love smile-memories, and this red wine from Spain evoked those of drinking Moxie as a youth and with my all-time best bud, Ed; yup, pleasant doses of Moxie flavors accented with more typical plum, tobacco, and herbal flavors.
Finished long on a touch of woody plum notes with a big, but chained 15% alcohol inspirited spiciness.
Near full-bodied with good acidity and a moderate underlayment of tannin providing sufficient support for this fresh and fruity companion of my deep-dish loaded pizza, and costing a friend-loving eight bucks.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay






Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay, $29.74-$49.99, 90 points, poured a hackneyed straw yellow color.
Cali-typical aromas of vanilla, fresh-cut hay, and butterscotch were okay.
Medium-bodied (not too heavy) with good acidity managed a lovey array of tropical fruits with a modicum of aroma reflective flavors.
Finished long on pome fruits, hints of ginger, a touch of citrus, and a restrained sweet-spot 13.5% alcohol.
An archetypical quality lemon meringue-creamy California Chardonnay.
Paired perfectly with my spice roasted pork loin.

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Wines for the Holidays, The International Parade For Smart Tablescapes And Satisfied Guests




  Wines for the Holidays, The International Parade for Smart "Tablescapes" and satisfied guests is a creative way to provide wines that will succinctly accommodate many food pairings and many palates for a reasonable expense.
  Three notes of interest: As I continue to discover the versatility, vibrancy, celebratory colors, and the broad pair-ability of Rosé wines, I can't vouchsafe a feast without them (purchase the freshest Rosé wines available).
  As my Wine Newbie-self has discovered, others just might have wise suggestions, and for that Claire Augustine has recommended a Barbera for the red wine of broad pair-ability.
  Thirdly: If you want to impress with something exceptional, by all means, splurge away!

Four Spanish Wines To Complete Your Thanksgiving Table.
 
 
Bodegas Alvarez de Toledo 2014 Godello (Bierzo, Spain)
Muga Rioja 2015 Rosé (Spain)
Codorniu Classic Cava (Spain)
Scaia Del Garnatxa 2013 Priorat Red Wine
Sorry, I could not locate a Spanish equivalent of Port; so a typical port will do ($20 and above)
All for under $50.00, without the Port, and will pair with almost anything the 'chef' prepares, but keep in mind that these wines are suggestions, and there are many other equally apropos combinations for the holiday.

Four Portuguese Wines To Complete Your Thanksgiving Table.
 
 
 
Defesa Alentejo 2015 Rosé
Quinta Do Crasto D.O.C. 2012 Douro Reserva Red Wine
Warre's Quinta Da Cavadinha 1992 Vintage Port
Pavao 2015 Vinho Verde
All for under $90.
I was not able to locate a Portuguese sparkling wine, and I would recommend an easily found Cava ($7-$30).
 
Five French Wines To Complete Your Thanksgiving Table.
 
 
 
 
Willm 2012 Alsace Riesling Réserve
Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut Champagne
Château Greysac Médoc 2009 Bordeaux Red Wine
Domaine La Croix Belle No7 Languedoc 2015 Rosé
Château Grand Renom 2014 Bordeaux White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
All for under $100. Keep in mind that good Champagne is never cheap!
 
Five Italian Wines To Complete Your Thanksgiving Table.
 
 
 
Zinato Delle Venezie 2015 Pinot Grigio
Attems 2014 Pinot Grigio Ramato (Rosé)
Antica Fratta Brut Franciacorta sparkling Chardonnay
Marcarini Clabot Camerano 2008 Barbera d'Alba
Mezzacorona Trentino D.O.C. Riesling
All for under $70.
 
Five Domestic (USA) Wines To Complete Your Thanksgiving Table.
 
 
Terra-d'oro Amador County Zinfandel Port
Ménage à Trois 2015 Rosé
Eroica (Chateau Ste Michelle-Dr. Loosen) 2008 Columbia Valley Riesling
Chappellet Mountain Cuvée 2014 Red Wine
Mumm Napa Valley Brut Prestige Sparkling wine
All for under $90.
 
Five Australian Wines To Complete Your Thanksgiving Table.
 
 
Jacob's Creek 2015 Chardonnay
MOLLY DOOKER 2010 VERDELHO THE VIOLINIST White Wine
Trever Jones Jonesy Rare Aged Port
Greg Norman 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Red Wine
Frisk 2011 Riesling
All form the land down under for $80.


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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Accademia dei Racemi Anarkos Rosso 2011 Primitivo/Red Blend (Puglia IGP, Italy)




Accademia dei Racemi Anarkos Rosso 2011 Primitivo/Red Blend (Puglia IGP, Italy), $13.49-$14.99. 88 points.
Before I get into this wine, I want to take umbrage with the label; the clear identification with the Anarchy symbol was a complete turn-off, and if I hadn't been trying to buy Italian (supporting Italy during this difficult time), I would have and in the future will not buy a bottle that looks like this, but I doubt that the Anarkos Academy will give a hoot about my opinion.
To what's in the bottle: Varietals were Malvasia, Negroamaro, and Primitivo.
My umbrage aside, the wine was delicious.
Poured core black grading purple/red toward the thin clear wine ring, not typical for Primitivo, but then it wasn't really a Primitivo.
Aromas of iodine, a floral component, and brine were unusual, but okay.
Medium-plus body with fair acidity and a soft underlayment of tannin managed well the plum, rich blackberries, black licorice, and marjoram herb flavors.
Palate focused finish was comfortably accented by a typically restrained spiciness and the 13% alcohol.
Paired well with my artichoke and olive tomato sauce over spaghetti with buttered hot garlic bread.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2015 Rosé







E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône 2015 Rosé, $12.74-$14.99, 89 points, was a deep salmon peach pink trailing water clear at the glass bowl.
Beautiful strawberries and watermelon on the nose were amazing.
The light and crisp body with expectedly good acidity delivered aroma reflective flavors accented by a
Bazooka bubble-gum vibe; don't get me wrong, this is a dry Rosé, but sometimes a sense of sweetness comes from the flavor itself, and not sugars.
Finished well simply on the trailing palate and a robust 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my nacho supreme.




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Friday, November 18, 2016

Terra Di Monteverro 2011 Toscana Red Wine (IGT)





Terra Di Monteverro 2011 Toscana Red Wine (IGT), $28.99-$59.99, 92 points, poured core black grading ruby near the broad clear wine ring and leggy glass wall.
Aromas were earthy with black olives, plums, and black currants.
This was a dry full-bodied red wine with good acidity and grainy supportive tannins.
Flavors were complex and nuanced with plums, currants, mint, and dry cooking herbs which paired perfectly with my common spaghetti in Marinara sauce and hot buttered garlic bread.
The moderately smooth texture was consistent throughout and continued through the trailing palate-dominated long finish accented by a warm 14.5% alcohol and cayenne pepper.
Varietals were 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

A to Z Oregon 2014 Chardonnay






A to Z Oregon 2014 Chardonnay, $14.99-$16.99, 90 points, poured a lovely polished brass color.
Early aromatic pome blossoms, a hint of orange peel, and a whiff of ultralight maple syrup were exceptional, though a tad shy, and later devolved towards fresh-cut hay.
The light-plus body balanced crisp acidity with a refreshing fruity apple and melon rind flavor profile accented by tense black pepper and mineral notes.
Finished well, a bit creamy with a whisper of vanilla, ginger, and an almost tee-totaling 12% alcohol.
Paired okay with my mac and cheese, but perfectly with my BLT.
Purely a Northwest Chardonnay without any of the heaviness found in many of their Cali cousins, and too fruity for the steely Chablis.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Castelli del Grevepesa ClementeVII 2010 Rosso DI Toscana (IGT)






Castelli del Grevepesa ClementeVII 2010 Rosso DI Toscana (IGT), $19.99-$49.99, 90 points, poured core opaque grading a not quite clear black currant purple/red with a clear wine ring.
Shy aromas of violets, black cherry, and earth notes were pleasant.
Medium-plus body carried good acidity and smooth supportive tannins with delightful flavors of plums and pomegranate.
Finished long on the trailing palate, escalating tannins, a smidgeon of mint, bursting hot spices, and a conforming 14% alcohol.
Varietals were Merlot, Sangiovese, and Syrah.
Paired perfectly with my Tagliatelle nest pasta with meatballs in Marinara sauce.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

El Coto Rioja 2015 Viura (also called Macabeo or Macabeu) White Wine






El Coto Rioja  2015   Viura (also called Macabeo or Macabeu) White Wine (Spain), $10.19-$13.99, 88 points, poured a pristine glossy gold color.
The aromas were dominantly apple notes and fresh-cut hay with a subtle nuttiness.
Light-plus body carried good acidity with delicious straight forward flavors of the aromas accented by melon rind and hints of tangerine.
Finished solidly on the trailing palate with good citrus notes and a sweet spot 12.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my fresh North Atlantic haddock.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Banfi Fonte Alla Selva 2012 Chianti Classico






Banfi Fonte Alla Selva 2012 Chianti Classico, $18.69-$21.99, 87 points, poured a deep ruby grading to pomegranate red toward the broad clear wine ring.
Aromas of toasty plum, mushrooms, and a hint of sandalwood were good.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a moderate underlayment of tannin carried flavors of cilantro, mint, a chewy red cherry, and cola notes.
Finished on the trailing palate, fading warm spices, and a typical 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with our flatbread pepperoni pizza.

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Chianti Classico (Italy's Flagship Red Wine)



Chianti Classico (Italy's Flagship Red Wine)
 

 
Varietal requirements: 80-100% Sangiovese with up to 20% of any amount or variation of these grapes: Canaiolo, Colorino. Merlot, and/or Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
 
 
At this stage of the NHWM blog, occasionally I have to refine my Index of reviewed wines; this is one of those times, and as I frequently say: This is a work in progress.
Hopefully this narrowing of Italian Sangiovese wines will be helpful for those that have frequent inquiries; Chianti and the Riserva will also be refined by separate categories in the near future.
 

Banfi 2014 Chianti Classico (DOCG), $11.04-$14.99, 87 points,

Banfi Fonte Alla Selva 2012 Chianti Classico, $18.69-$21.99, 87 points

Barone Ricasoli Brolio 2009 Chianti Classico, $12.74-$23.99, 87 points

Borgo Scopeto 2009 Chianti Classico, $9.99-$18.99, 86 points

Castellare 2012 Chianti Classico, $21.99-$24.99, 89 points

Castellare 2013 Chianti Classico, $21.99-$24.99, 91+ points

Castellare 2014 Chianti Classico, $17.84-$24.99, 89+ points

Castellare 2015 Chianti Classico, $21.99-$24.99, 90 points

Castello di Bossi 2012 Chianti Classico (DOCG), $13.59-$21.99, 87+ points

Castello Di Meleto 2009 Chianti Classico, $10.70-$16.99, 87 points

Castello DI Monastero 2007 Chianti Classico, $16.14-$20.99, 91+ points

Castello di Querceto Chianti Classico (DOCG), $12.99-$24.99, 89 points

Castello di Verrazzano 2006 Chianti Classico, $16.99-$22.99, 91 points

Castello di Verrazzano 2009 Chianti Classico, $16.99-$22.99, 91 points

Castello di Volpaia 2013 Chianti Classico (DOCG), $17.99-$19.99 90 points

Cecchi 2011 Chianti Classico, $10.19-$14.99, 88 points

Criterion Collection 2011 Chianti Classico, $11.79-$12.99, 87 points

Gabbiano 2007 Chianti Classico, $11.99-$14.99, 88 points

Gabbiano 2010 Chianti Classico, $5.94-$12.99, 88 points

Lamole di Lamole 2010 Chianti Classico (DOCG), $12.99-$24.99, 88 points

Luiano 2009 Chianti Classico, $14,44-$16.99, 88 points

Mazzie Fonterutoli 2012 Chianti Classico (DOCG), $18.69-$21.99, 90 points

Poggio Amorelli 2014 Chianti Classico (DOCG), $17.99-$19.99, 90 points

Querciabella D.O.C.G. 2008 Chianti Classico, $25.99, 92 points

Tenuta Santedame 2010 Chianti Classico, $15.99-$19.99, 87+ points

Toscolo Tuscan 2005 Chianti Classico, $16.79-$21.00, 89 points
 
 
 
 
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