Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rosenblum Paso Robles 2007 Zinfandel Revisited




 
Rosenblum Paso Robles 2007 Zinfandel Revisited, $7.40-$19.00, 88 points, was an opaque ruby red trailing rosewood red toward the clear abridged wine ring.
Plum and chocolate aromas were good.
Medium-plus body with fair to good acidity and mostly resolved tannin carried good plum, mulberry, chocolate, and unusual black currant flavors.
Finished long on pomegranate, warm spices, and a perky 14.8% alcohol.
Not your typical Zinfandel, except for the very good spice notes in the finish; though this wine has peaked, it was remarkably good for its age.
Paired perfectly with my barbecued spare ribs.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ridge Ponzo Vineyard 2008 Zinfandel Revisited





Ridge Ponzo Vineyard 2008 Zinfandel Revisited, $26.99, 91 points, was an opaque maroon with a marginal cranberry red migration into the rather broad clear wine ring.
A spice-box bouquet with wild blackberry was more a typically wonderful expression of the Ridge Zinfandel grape.
Medium-plus body was marked by good acidity, supple tannins, and spice enhanced black fruit.
Finished long on the trailing palate with hints of anise and a remarkably well integrated 15.1% alcohol.
There's still a two or three year life expectancy to this wine, despite the label's cut-off date (JMO).
Paired perfectly with my peri-peri rib-eye and spinach pita.


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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nalle Dry Creek 2006 Zinfandel Revisited






Nalle Dry Creek 2006 Zinfandel Revisited, $24.79-$30.99, 90 points, poured a pomegranate red grading cranberry red, and bleeding red into the clear wine ring at the glass wall.
Aromatic blackberry, earth, fresh linen, and red raspberry with coffee and tobacco notes were excellent.
Medium-bodied, mouth-watering acidity, and remarkably firm grainy tannin were yet active, though considerable sediment required decanting.
Flavors of subtle cola, mocha, licorice, and blackberry were good.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, soft spice notes, and a perfect 13.7% alcohol.
Though the best days of this Zin are over (JMO), I wouldn't be surprised to hear of this wine aging at least one or two more years with no problem.

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Frog's Leap Napa valley 2007 Zinfandel Revisited






Frog's Leap Napa valley 2007 Zinfandel Revisited, $20.39, 90 points, poured an opaque ruby red transitioning to bright red and bleeding into the clear wine ring at the leggy glass bowl.
Aromatic with bright cinnamon, cedar, and wild blackberry with a hint of violets and underbrush (better than when I had this wine in both 2010 and 2011).
Medium-bodied, good acidity, mellow layers of still supplely supportive tannin managed a complex flavor profile of licorice, boysenberry, blackberry, tobacco and coffee notes.
Finished well on the trailing palate, mulberry, easy spices, and a perfect 13.4% alcohol.
Though this wine is still quite wonderful, I believe that it is down from its peak, and I'd advise, that if you have this vintage, you plan on opening it.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Zinfandel Red Wines Enjoyed Years Ago Revisited


 
Zinfandel Red Wines Enjoyed Years Ago Revisited


 
  There is a debate as to the age-worthiness of Zinfandel wines; so, after recently tasting a couple of older Zinfandels and being disappointed, I intend, after almost six years, to strike the path of forgotten gems to find-out if they're holding-up any better than I am.
Thankfully, Ridge provides on the back label a best guess as to how long cellaring their wines makes sense.
  Though the Gamba Moratto Russian River Old Vine 2009 Zinfandel, $39.59-$43.99, 86 points wasn't among my earliest of Zins, it was old enough (4-5 year old Zins should be the starting point) to list it here with those which are to follow, and of course, I have no illusions as to this being a thorough and conclusive test, that will take your own wine tasting experiences.
  So as barbecue time smokes into 2016, so will these cellared Zinfandels, which I'll list here as I go along this trek.
Cheers!

Chateau Montelena Calistoga 2008 Zinfandel Revisited, $22.94-$26.99, 87 points
Dry Creek Heritage 2006 Zinfandel Revisited, $20.99, 85 points
FourVines Biker 2008 Paso Robles Zinfandel, $24.99, 89 points
Frog's Leap Napa valley 2007 Zinfandel Revisited, $20.39, 90 points
Green And Red Chiles Canyon Napa valley 2007 Zinfandel Revisited, $18.99, 92 points
Green and Red Chiles Canyon Napa Valley 2007-2008 Zinfandels Revisited (from 2012)
HOBO Dry Creek Valley 2008 Zinfandel, $15.30-$22.00, 90 points
Nalle Dry Creek 2006 Zinfandel Revisited, $24.79-$30.99, 90 points
Neal Rutherford Dust Vineyards Napa Valley 2008 Zinfandel Revisited, $22.09, 92 points
Neyers Pato Vineyard 2008 Zinfandel Revisited, $29.99, 85 points
Ridge East Bench 2007 Zinfandel Revisited, $28.99, 90 points
Ridge Paso Robles 2007 Zinfandel Revisited, $27.00, 88 points
Ridge Ponzo Vineyard 2008 Zinfandel Revisited, $26.99, 91 points
Rosenblum Paso Robles 2007 Zinfandel Revisited, $7.40-$19.00, 88 points
Seghesio Old Vine Sonoma County 2008 Zinfandel, $29.74-$42.99, 92 points







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Ridge Paso Robles 2007 Zinfandel Revisited




Ridge Paso Robles 2007 Zinfandel Revisited, $27.00, 88 points, appeared an unfiltered bright red, maroon with a clear wine ring.
It took an hour or so for the aroma to reach a pleasant cocoa and toasty, blackberry.
Medium-bodied, good acidity, mild resolved tannin, and a developing dominant flavor of red cherry with a slightly vegetive note followed long into the finish graced by still good spices and a noticeable 14.5% alcohol.

The back label says to drink by 2013, and I can understand why: The markedly degraded quality brought a 92 point wine, tasted more than five years ago, down to a bare 88 points. This is why it is a good idea, for the most part, to drink Zinfandel while its young.


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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Gamba Moratto Russian River Old Vine 2009 Zinfandel







Gamba Moratto Russian River Old Vine 2009 Zinfandel, $39.59-$43.99, 86 points, poured deep ruby-red trending bright red near the clear wine ring.
Smells of cedar with a sour fruit note were not good.
Full-bodied, fair to good acidity, and a moderate underlayment of supportive tannin carried wild black fruit with intense spice and alcohol notes, but an overwhelming vegetal note was off-putting.
Finished long on the hot 16.4% alcohol and warm spice.
I doubt that this wine was defective, as I had it tuck away in my Euro-Cave (54 degrees) for some years now; I think it just did not age well, and from what more erudite wine enthusiasts have to say about high octane red wines and their age worthiness, that is where I'd put my money.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Albert Bichot Morgon Les Charmes 2013 Gamay (Beaujolais) Red Wine,





Albert Bichot Morgon Les Charmes 2013 Gamay (Beaujolais) Red Wine, $18.99-$20.99, 90 points, was a bright ruby red with a broad clear wine ring.
Soft rose aroma with just a hint of strawberry and cinnamon were good.
Just making the threshold of medium-bodied with good acidity and smooth moderate tannins carried tart red raspberry, hints of blueberry, and subtle pomegranate.
Finished long on warm mouth tingling spices, the trailing palate, and an adequate 13% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our spaghetti and tomato meat sauce.  


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St. Supery Napa Valley 2015 Sauvignon Blanc






St. Supery Napa Valley 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, $17.99-$21.99, 93 points, was a rainbow of brass-colors.
Profuse aromas of pineapple, grapefruit, and apple with a subtle floral vibe were outrageously vibrant.
Light-body, crisp, appropriately acidic, and chock-full of flavors reflective of the nose with hints of lemon grass were outstanding.
Finished long on black pepper, ginger, the trailing palate, and an invigorating 13.5% alcohol.
St. Supery was my first of the Cali 2015 vintage, and if this one is typical of Napa Valley's offering, we're in for a great summer of Maine lobsters, New Hampshire fried clams, and off-shore deep sea scallops.
St. Supery is setting the bar rather high!


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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Zorah Karasi 2011 Areni Noir (Armenia)



Zorah Karasi 2011 Areni Noir (grape), $21.99-$34.99, 90 points, poured a lovely candy-apple red with a broad clear wine ring.
The floral aroma was shy, as was hints of red cherry and an unusual apple component, but they were pleasant nonetheless.
This dry red wine barely reached the weight of medium-body; good acidity and firm furry tannin carried Pinot Noir like flavors of red raspberry, strawberry, and red cherry.
Finished long on the trailing palate, a floral note, tart pomegranate, nuanced spice, and a well-integrated 13% alcohol.
I was struck with how clean and pure this wine was, and would not hesitate to buy another; certainly there's table-setting gravitas, and the Areni Noir would be a remarkable wine for your wine-taster club's blind "guess this wine" gathering.




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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Renwood Clarion Amador County Zinfandel~Syrah 2011 Red Wine




Renwood Clarion Amador County Zinfandel~Syrah 2011 Red Wine, $10.99-$19.99, 88 points, poured an opaque purple/red with a maroon hue grading a brighter red bleeding into the broad clear wine ring.
The aromas of cedar, cinnamon, clove, blackberry, and lilac were good.
Near full-bodied, fair acidity, and tasty tame tannin managed a rather complex flavor profile of wild blackberry, red tangy red cherry, a savory note, and fresh mushrooms.
Finished long on the trailing palate, warm spices, and the appropriate 14.8% alcohol.
Paired well with my bacon/steak burritos, but with our dessert of chocolate toffee was a mazing.


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Neil Ellis "Sincerely" 2008 Shiraz (South Africa)






Neil Ellis "Sincerely" 2008 Shiraz (South Africa), $8.99-$14.99, 83 points, was an opaque maroon grading bright red into the wine ring.
Smells of earth, blackberry, coffee, and fresh linen were just okay.
Near full-bodied, fair acidity, and resolved tannin carried a rather flat flavor profile of chalky plum, blackberry, and a savory note.
Finished fair with a tangy plum, a scintilla of spice and an innocuous 14% alcohol.
Just a note to the age of this Shiraz, and that is it's just beyond the proper dinking age, yet still potable.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione







Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro 2010 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, $29.74-$39.99, 92 points, poured a deep pomegranate-red with a broad clear wine ring.
Aromatic potpourri with a toasty black cherry was quite good.
Medium-plus body, firm moderately drying tannins, and acids sufficient enough to partner with a rich pasta dish of meatballs in marinara sauce worked together well.
Focused flavor of black cherry accented by a mild floral component and intense oak building into the long finish of spiciness, a warm 14.5% alcohol, with a hint of mint.
Varietals were 80% Sangiovese with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Canaiolo.



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Monday, March 21, 2016

Bolo Mountain Wine DO Valdeorras 2014 Godello (Spain)







Bolo Mountain Wine DO Valdeorras 2014 Godello (Spain), $13.99, 90 points, was a light brass color quickly turning clear.
Aromatic pome blossoms with a hint of citrus were beautiful.
The dry light body was mouth-watering, and upon opening-up, chock-full of nuanced flavors; Lychee, pear, and tangerine barely scratched the surface.
Finished long on the trailing palate, subtle fig notes, and a well integrated 13% alcohol.
I paired this Godello with a steamed Maine Lobster with drawn butter.





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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Les Jalets 2011 Crozes-Hermitage (Syrah)



Paul Jaboulet Aîné Les Jalets 2011 Crozes-Hermitage (Syrah), $14.39-$19.99, 89 points, was an impenetrable core black until purple/red was heowian from that black stone near the glass bowl with its rather broad clear wine ring and leggy glass wall.
The aromas were lively black fruit and warm earth with hints of flowers and cinnamon.
Deceptively round for a medium-bodied wine, while the fair acidity was yet crisp, and the underlayment of tannin sufficient to form a spine.
Proper flavors of blackberry, black currant, and raspberry with hints of truffle were good.
Finished well on soft spice notes, the trailing palate, and a balanced 13% alcohol.

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Wine and Food Pairing Charts



 
Wine and Food Pairing Charts



 
   I prefer easy to read wine and food pairing charts, and though they may vary a bit, my advice is to remember that these are just guides, and developing your own sensibilities is the best way to achieve satisfaction when matching your cuisine with a suitable wine, or matching a wine with a menu, if you have a wine priority.
  The following links are the ones I most recommend:
  
 


 

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Clayhouse Paso Robles 2010 Syrah






Clayhouse Paso Robles 2010 Syrah, $10.19-$15.99, 86 points, poured purple/red with maroon flashes, a clear wine ring, and moderate legs.
Aromas of black grape, a soft floral component, and a briny vibe came together decently.
Medium-plus body, fair acidity, mildly lush tannins, and flavors of plum, pomegranate, and Lingonberry jam weren't enough to liven and lift this red table wine above middling.
Finished well on hot spices, plum, and a balanced 13.5% alcohol.

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

JELU, San Juan Argentina, 2009 Syrah




JELU, San Juan Argentina, 2009 Syrah, $12.60-$14.00, 85 points, poured an opaque maroon trending a crushed blackberry purple red with a clear wine ring.
The shy aromas were soft plum-like and coffee with hints of black pepper.
Near full-bodied with fair to good acidity and resolved tannin managed a fruity flavor profile marked by tart pomegranate and mulling spice.
Finished on the trailing palate, plum, and a well-integrated 14.5% alcohol.





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Jean-Luc Colombo Les Fées Brunes Crozes Hermitage 2009 Syrah







Jean-Luc Colombo Les Fées Brunes Crozes Hermitage 2009 Syrah, $16,99-$19.99, flawed, poured core black grading maroon with a thin clear wine ring.
A persistent musty smell wasn't propitious.
Near full-bodied, fair acidity, resolved tannin, and flavors of mulberry and leather with a slightly sour pomegranate indicated that this bottle was flawed. The texture was smooth, and the wine was drinkable, but not particularly pleasant.
Finished as it began, bland, and even the 13% alcohol couldn't quicken this one.

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Peter Lehmann Portrait 2013 Shiraz




Peter Lehmann Portrait 2013 Shiraz, $7.99-$18.99, 89 points, appeared a deep purple/red, with a clear wine ring, and a heavily draped glass bowl.
The aroma was fruity and flowery.
Medium to medium-plus body carried good acidity, supple and supportive tannins with raspberry, blueberry, violets, and fresh mushroom flavors.
Not as elegant as the Domaine Terlato~Chapoutier Pyrenees 2012 Shiraz, but bolder more typical of an Aussie Shiraz.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, tart pomegranate, mild spices, and a more notable 14.5% alcohol.




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Friday, March 18, 2016

Domaine Terlato~Chapoutier Pyrenees 2012 Shiraz, Or The French Wine From Australia?






Domaine Terlato~Chapoutier Pyrenees 2012 Shiraz, Or The French Wine From Australia?

Wow! An Australian Shiraz that drinks like silk, shows only a 13.5% alcohol, and for a paltry $19.99 (listed for $49.99)!
The color was a more deep garnet than a typical Shiraz purple/red, but thick legs dripped into the clear wine ring.
Aromatically shy, but soft floral and mulberry aromas were okay.
Slightly heavier than medium-bodied, fair-plus acidity, and moderately supportive tannin carried flavors of tart pomegranate and violets, these too were just okay.
Finished on mild spice notes and a lingering palate.
More a red table wine (JMO) with not a lot of character than an in your face Aussie Shiraz, but for the price, I wasn't disappointed.
NHWM's rating: 89 points.

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dry Creek Vineyard Russian River Valley 2012 Chardonnay Block 10






Dry Creek Vineyard Russian River Valley 2012 Chardonnay Block 10, $29.99-$33.99, 91 points, was an Enamel brass color grading clear at the glass edge.
Aromatic toasty caramel with hints of apple were good.
Medium-bodied, good acidity, and a mineral taste managed a restrained (compared to most) Cali-Chardonnay flavor profile; showing feather-touches of oak highlighting the neutral white wine flavors with a more distinct lemon zest than almost any other I've tasted, and just a hint of vanilla.
Finished long, but again with restraint, on the trailing palate, an undercurrent of fig, easy ginger notes, and a modest 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my BLT.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Chateau d'Arcins Haut-Medoc 2008 Bordeaux Red Wine






Chateau d'Arcins Haut-Medoc 2008 Bordeaux Red Wine, $16.79-$22.99, 86+ points, poured nearly core black grading purple/red toward the still broad clear wine ring at the leggy glass bowl.
I'm always surprised when wine aromas have among them grape notes among the black fruit, but there it was, with hints of marzipan and licorice.
Medium to medium-plus body, good acidity, mellow, yet substantial tannins were supportive, but comfortable.
Flavors of bacon fat, boysenberry, hints of tobacco with mint were okay, if a bit thin.
Finished well on easy spice notes, the trailing palate, and a respectable 13% alcohol.


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