Monday, February 29, 2016

Ciacci Piccolomini D'Aragona 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino (Riserva Pianrosso Santa Caterina D'oro)




Ciacci Piccolomini D'Aragona 2007 Brunello Di Montalcino (Riserva Pianrosso Santa Caterina D'oro), $50.99-$59.99, 96 points, poured a core opaque blood-red grading brick-red and finally a copper color at the broad clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromatic aromas of black cherry, roses, and bourbon notes with a hint of sandalwood were amazing.
Luscious medium-plus body, mouth-watering acidity, and layered grainy tannin combined in managing deep and balanced flavors reflective of the aromas with hints of mint and sweet tobacco.
Finished very long on a touch of caramel, subtle lingering flint with warm spice and alcohol (14.5%) notes.
One of the best Brunello Di Montalcino wines I've had.




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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ten helpful rules for new wine drinkers


Some of you may have heard Laura Larson on The Wine Crush; she's a rather irascible lovely lady, but she knows her stuff; well, she challenged her listeners to come up with "ten things everyone should know about wine."  Here's mine, but I've changed it to "Ten helpful rules for new wine drinkers", as the rest of us are know-it-all-s!




Ten helpful rules for new wine drinkers:

1: Consult a wine knowledgeable and trusted friend to recommend an excellent red and white wine with the understanding that this should be just a starting point, an epiphany experience to demonstrate just how amazing wine can be.

2: Understand that great wines, especially red wines from Spain, can be reasonably priced ($7,99-$19.99, with great white wines coming from around the world ($4.99-$15.99).

3: Experiment! Try new and different varietals, try international wines.

4: Drink wine with food: Wine is food.

5: Experiment with pairing wine with foods you frequent.

6: If you want to have more than a few bottles of wine in home, plan on how to keep your wine from shaking, sun, and heat (cool cellar); small wine refrigerators can be fairly priced and easy to hide-away, e.g., Wine Enthusiast's Silent-21-bottle-dual-zone.

7: Know how to uncork a bottle of wine, and be confident when doing so: How to uncork a bottle of wine.

8: Screw or twist-off caps are fine: Cade-winery-howell-mountain-napa-valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($185), has a screw-cap.

9: Seek-out friends to share, be creative with, and have fun with wine.
 
10: Any standard wine glass will do, except for more snobby people and events.






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Poggio Al Tesoro Solosole Toscan I.G.T. 2014 Vermentino




Poggio Al Tesoro Solosole Toscan I.G.T. 2014 Vermentino, $14.44-$19.99, 90 points, was a burnished gold color.
Shy floral notes were accented by hints of lime and fennel, aromas delicate and fresh.
Light bodied, but quite smooth, fair to good acidity, and stony flavors with hints of tart cumquat, oily orange peel, and white pepper.
Finished fair on the delicious trailing palate and the 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my creamy clam chowder and sautéed white fish (pistachios too).

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

NAPA Cellars 2014 Sauvignon Blanc






NAPA Cellars 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, $13.99-$17.99, 91 points, poured a light brass color trailing clear at the glass shallows.
Aromatic orange peel and pome blossoms with a hint of melon were good.
Light, crisp, and Sauvignon Blanc-typical acidity carried excellent flavors of tangerine, honeysuckle, orange peel, and black pepper with a hint of kiwi.
Finished well on a restrained 13.9% alcohol and the fading palate.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Banfi Castello San Angelo 2014 Pinot Grigio







Banfi Castello San Angelo 2014 Pinot Grigio, $14.99-$18.99. 91 points, poured a light polished gold color trending water clear at the glass edge.
Smells of Bartlett pear and pome blossoms needed a little time to shake loose, but eventually impressed.
Light-bodied with bright acidity and pome flavors neutral were excellent as a sipper white wine, and paired okay with my fried haddock.
Finished long on white pepper, a well integrated 12.5% alcohol, and hints of cantaloupe with a late whisper of apricot.





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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Kamptal 2013 Grüner Veltliner (Austria)




Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Kamptal 2013 Grüner Veltliner (Austria), $13.59-$15.99, 85 points, appearance was that of a straw yellow color.
Aromas of tangerine peel, ripe Red-delicious apple, and a soft floral note were good.
Light-plus body carried bright acidity with subtle flavors of grapefruit, tart tangerine, and apple.
Finished fair on the innocuous 12.5% alcohol, a scintilla of hazelnut, and the rather one dimensional trailing palate.
Paired fine with my chicken vegetable stew.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewürz Mendocino County 2014 Gewürztraminer





Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewürz Mendocino County 2014 Gewürztraminer, $8.49-$12,99, 88 points, poured a burnished gold color.
Smells of spiced apple and a floral component were good.
Light-plus body carried good acidity with flavors of cumquat, orange zest, and apple notes.
Finished fair on a very long ginger accentuated 12.8% alcohol.
Though quite straight forward, I enjoyed this white wine, not an eye-opening Gewürztraminer, but fine as an aperitif or as a versatile pairing wine.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chappellet Napa Valley 2013 Chardonnay



Chappellet Napa Valley 2013 Chardonnay, $29.99-$34.99, 89 points, was a deep polished gold color trending clear toward the class edge.
First whiffs (cold) were tomato juice, but quickly settled-down with lovely pome, melon, and an unusual floral perfume component, with just a hint of toast.
Medium-plus body carried fair acidity and managed well its citrus flavors with the mirrored aromas.
Finished long with a hint of vanilla, tangerine, white pepper, and a warm 14.5% alcohol.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtröpfchen 2012 Riesling Spätlese










Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtröpfchen 2012 Riesling Spätlese, $25.49-$29.99, 89 point, appeared a polished gold color.
Warm wet-stone smells spoke for a rather dumb aroma.
The light-plus body carried mouth-watering acidity with flavors dominated by stony pineapple/grapefruit flavors which all traveled on a mildly sweet base and finished strong into the finish of guava, a hint of pear, and an innocuous 8% alcohol.
Paired well with our Asian cuisine.





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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Gran Passione D.O.C.G. 2014 Gavi,





Gran Passione D.O.C.G. 2014 Gavi, $11.89-$13.99, 87 points, was a light brass color trending clear at the glass edge.
Aromas of cold temperature floral tangerine with a hint of honeydew melon were good.
Light-bodied and good acidity managed a more distinctive flavor profile than some Gavi wines I've tasted, with flavors reflective of the aromas, black pepper, and hints of ginger.
Finished on the trailing palate, a hint of watermelon, and just a trace of the 12% alcohol.

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Shafer, why it's a "go to" winery.



Shafer, why it's a "go to" winery.
 
 
 
  Shafer, why it's a "go to" winery. It's not a "go to" winery because their wines are inexpensive, low in alcohol, or easy to find (easier than many), but because every time, no matter the price (spoiled bottles are a given), you buy a bottle of Shafer wine, you can be confident that you are buying a premiere wine, and premiere wines are not always easy to find in New Hampshire, and they can be considerably more expensive, if you can believe that!
Following are the Shafer wines I've tasted, and my high praise is hardly a solely subjective opinion, though the high alcohol levels have been criticized repeatedly; what I tell myself is this: If the alcohol level is appropriate to the wine, no matter the level, then that is how the wine must be judged: alcohol levels are not a litmus test, though they can be an indicator of a number of aspects, both good and bad, but this is beyond the purview of this post.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shafer RELENTLESS Napa Valley 2008 Syrah, $53.54-$62.99, 96 points
 
 
 
 
Shafer Napa Valley 2013 Merlot, $47.59-$60.99, 93 points
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Shafer Napa Valley 2013 Merlot



Shafer Napa Valley 2013 Merlot, $47.59-$60.99, 93 points, poured core black trending squeezed black currant-berry purple red with flashes of maroon, a broad clear wine ring, and a thick leggy glass bowl.
Aromas of ripe blackberries and fresh linen with hints of sandalwood, cocoa powder, and tobacco were very good.
Near full-bodied, early palate silky smooth, good acidity, layered supportive tannins, and flavors appropriately reflecting the aromas were outstanding.
Finished very long on the trailing palate (considerably more angular than the early palate), warm to hot spices, a hint of pomegranate, and the caged 15.3% alcohol wild animal; handle with care (Don't drink and drive).

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Friday, February 19, 2016

NorthStar Columbia Valley 2006 Merlot (Revisited)






NorthStar Columbia Valley 2006 Merlot (Revisited), $23.30-$34.99, 92+ points, appeared deep crushed blackberry purple/red transitioning to brick-red at the glass edge and leggy bowl while retaining its broad clear wine ring.
The potpourri of sweet spices and flowers with black fruit instantly impressed.
Medium-plus body was silky smooth, the acidity was fair to good, and mellow resolved tannins managed rich flavors of violets, and plum, with nuanced dried cooking herbs.
Finished long with mint, pomegranate, mild spices, and a well-integrated 14.7% alcohol.
Current price range: $26.99-$34.99.
I found this Merlot better than I remembered it from over five years ago.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Joseph Carr 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon





Joseph Carr 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon,  $16.99-$24,99, 86 points, was a more crushed black currant purple/red with a broader wine ring than the 2010 vintage.
The shy nose showed hints of blackberry, cocoa, and toasty grape notes.
Near full-bodied, fair acidity, and moderately layered tannin carried a fruit-forward flavor profile, with a rather weak mid to late-palate.
Finished a bit short on plum and mulberry, lacked complexity, and its 14.1% alcohol was innocuous, but as an unobtrusive red table-wine I have no complaint.
Varietals were Cabernet Sauvignon with 4% Merlot.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Joseph Carr 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon






Joseph Carr 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $16.14-$21.99, 85 points, poured inky black grading a deep purple/red with maroon flashes, a clear wine ring, and moderate sheeting.
Plum, cedar, grapy notes, a hint of lavender and coffee aromas were okay.
Full/smooth body managed fair acidity, soft tannin, and flavors reflective of the aromas adding hints of tobacco and thick black licorice flavors.
Finished on the trailing palate, a bit plumy, and an innocuous 14.1% alcohol.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Indaco 2011 Toscana IGT Red Wine




Indaco 2011 Toscana IGT Red Wine, $40.79-$47.99, 94 points, appeared a dark Shiraz purple/red terminating bright red with a transparent wine ring.
Aromatic cedar, cinnamon, rose, and black fruit with a hint of tobacco were wonderful.
Full-bodied, full-flavored, big tannins (brut dry), and mouth-watering acidity manifested the wonderful aromas onto the palate with power, magnifying the tobacco notes, adding a hint of sandalwood, but it was the explosion of hot spices that carried far into the finish with blackberry, boysenberry, and a warm 14.5% alcohol which clinched the deal.
Bordeaux-styled blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 30% Malbec, and 10% Cabernet Franc.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

IL Grigio Da San Felice 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione





IL Grigio Da San Felice 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione,  $32.29-$37.99, 92 points, poured a deep maroon grading blood red toward the leggy glass wall and clear wine ring..
The lovely spiced black cherry and nuanced leather aromas impressed.
Medium-plus bodied with mouth-watering acidity and vibrant tannins carried rich bourbon flavors with anise, truffle, and mint notes.
Finished long on the trailing palate, warm spices, oak notes, and a warm 14% alcohol.
Varietals were 80% Sangiovese, 20% Abrusco, Pugnitello, Malvasia Nera, Ciliegiolo, and Mazzese.



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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Crios 2015 Malbec Rosé (Mendosa-Argentina) Valentine day's Tipple





Crios 2015 Malbec Rosé (Mendosa-Argentina) Valentine day's Tipple, $10.19-$13.99. 90 points, poured a lovely light maroon rather than a typical Rosé color.
Aromas were near dumb with subtle red fruit and floral notes barely teased upward.
The light-plus body carried good acidity, soft underlayment of tannin, and vibrant flavors of watermelon, strawberry, and passion fruit.
Finished with a flare, with ginger notes, and an intense 14.5% alcohol.
This was my second Malbec Rosé, and I'm sold.
Paired perfectly with spinach fillo blossoms, fried panko shrimp, and North sea cod filets, not to mention the coconut covered hazelnut candies.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Buehler Vineyards of Napa Valley, why it's a "go to " winery.



Buehler Vineyards of Napa Valley,
why it's a "go to" winery.
Simply its Quality/Price/Ratio;
you get what you pay for and some!

 
Buehler Napa Valley 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $16.99-$21.99, 90 points
Buehler Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $16.99-$21.99, 90 points
Buehler Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $23.99-$26.99, 89 points
Buehler Vineyard Estate 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.99, 89 points
Buehler Vineyard Estate 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $27.19-$32.99, 92 points


Buehler 2009 Chardonnay, $8.49-$18.99, 89 points
 
Buehler Napa Valley 2011 Zinfandel, $13.85-$22.99, 90 points
Buehler Napa Valley 2012 Zinfandel, $10.19-$19.99, 88 points





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Buehler Vineyard Estate 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon





Buehler Vineyard Estate 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $27.19-$32.99, 92 points, poured core black transitioning blood-red and finally purple/red at the glass bowl with a broad clear wine ring.
Smells of licorice, loam, and plum on the nose with hints of black currant were excellent.
Full-bodied, moderately smooth, good acidity, and firm steady tannins managed wonderful flavors reflective of the aromas with hints of marjoram and blackberry.
Finished long on the trailing palate, warm spice notes, and a well-integrated 14.1% alcohol.
Pair with winter comfort foods.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Beringer NV Red Moscato (Chile)





Beringer NV Red Moscato (Chile), $4.00, 84 points, appeared transparent matador-red with a markedly broad clear glass edge ring.
Smells of light floral strawberry and watermelon were okay.
Medium-bodied with fair to sub-fair acidity and delicately mild unsupportive tannin managed a rather sticky, moderately sweet, and fruity tipple; flavors of red cherry, strawberry, and guava were okay.
Finished unremarkably on an innocuous 11.5% alcohol and the sticky trailing palate.
This is a wine that will appeal to those SWEET wine lovers, and pair-able with complementary desserts.
Details of varietals or if fortified were not found.
I bought this wine at the Londonderry Market Basket.


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Miner Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon





Miner Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $40.79-$47.99, 92 points, appeared an opaque purple/red with flashes of maroon and a transparent wine ring.
Redolent aromas of flowers, sweet spices, sea breezes, and cocoa were near supreme.
The not quite full body managed good acidity, youthfully appropriate Cabernet Sauvignon tannin, and flavors that mimicked the aromas with a tangy note, chalky plum, pomegranate, and boysenberry.
Finished on the trailing palate, easy spice notes, hints of coffee bean, and a well-balanced 14.2% alcohol.
Paired well with my rib-eye and asparagus.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beringer Knights Valley Reserve 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon




Beringer Knights Valley Reserve 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $42.49-$49.99, 93 points, poured black almost from stem to stern with a modest deep purple margin and clear wine ring.
The bouquet of cedar, black currant, loam, with hints of fresh linen and vanilla were excellent.
Full-bodied, good acidity, grainy layered and accelerating tannins carried, with power, flavors reflective of the bouquet, mint, anise, intense spice and savory.
Finished long, meaty, spicy, and warm from the 14.9% alcohol.
This is a massive red wine, complex, and drinks fine as a stand-alone wine, but pair with rich stews, steaks, shanks of lamb, or sticky barbecues.



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