Saturday, October 21, 2017

LADERA Howell Mountain Napa Valley 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon






LADERA Howell Mountain Napa Valley 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, $48.49, 92 points, poured black, transitioning purple/red near the bleeding thin clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromas of ripe blackberries with hints of coffee and marjoram were excellent.
Nearly full-bodied, very smooth, with good acidity and a soft underlayment of tannin delivered flavors of black licorice, Kalamata olives, currants, and plums; not often do I get coffee bean and tobacco notes from Cali Cabernet Sauvignon wines, but here it be!
Finished long on a warm 14.7% alcohol inspirited spiciness, fig, and damson plum.
Decant this wine, if you are fortunate enough to find the 2005 Ladera Cab.
Paired perfectly with my rare spiced-rubbed Angus strip steak.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Long Barn Napa Valley 2015 Chardonnay






Long Barn Napa Valley 2015 Chardonnay, $9.34-$13.99, 87 points, was a deep brass/gold color.
Oak and pome fruit on the nose were pleasant.
This medium-plus bodied straight forward Chardonnay showed itself juicy and oaky with fair acidity.
Finished on the trailing palate and a hint of cantaloupe.
Alcohol was a reasonable 13.5%.
Paired fine with my fish chowder.
If a Cali-typical Chardonnay is what you're looking for, you can't miss with this one.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Seghesio Sonoma County 2014 Zinfandel





Seghesio Sonoma County 2014 Zinfandel,
$18.95-$25.99, 91 points, poured core black with deep maroon colors, a broad clear wine ring, and modest legs.
Aromas were rather shy bramble blackberries and juniper.
Medium-bodied with bright acidity and mild sufficient tannin carried rich flavors of black licorice, cherry cola, plum, and a very spicy medley of pepper.
Finished long on the trailing palate, hints of marzipan and eucalyptus with a spot-on 14.8% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our burgers.
Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel always exceeds expectations, and the 2014 is no different. 
 

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rodney Strong Sonoma County 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon







Rodney Strong Sonoma County 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, $14.49-$21.99, 88 points, poured an opaque sienna color with a broad clear wine ring and moderate glass sheeting.
Aromatic cedar, blueberry, cocoa, and lavender were pleasant.
Medium-plus body showed good acidity, supportive underlayment of tannin, and flavors of mulberry, blueberry, plum, licorice, and a hint of fennel.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, a touch of pomegranate, easy warm spices, and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with my Mexican cuisine.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sbragia Dry Creek Valley 'Andolsen Vineyard' 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon







Sbragia Andolsen Vineyard 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $22.99-$42.99, 91 points, poured core black grading burgundy purple/red at the clear wine ring and glass bowl of significant and sweating drapes.
The aromas needed some time with swirling and swishing to tease-out the lovely cedar potpourri and black currant jam bouquet.
Full-bodied with good acidity and firm grainy tannins managed flavors reflective of the bouquet.
Finished long and spicy with plum, a bit of wild black bramble fruit, and mint notes.
Alcohol was a potent 14.7%.
Paired perfectly with my roast beef dinner and hazelnut milk chocolate dessert; there are those that snidely sneer at this pairing, but not me.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Fess Parker Santa Barbara County 2013 Riesling








Fess Parker Santa Barbara County 2013 Riesling, $14.99 (bought at the Fresh Market of Bedford), 85 points, poured a glossy gold color.
A petrol dominant aroma crowded out all other aromas for me.
The light-plus body with good acidity managed to overcome the petrol notes to show glimpses of melon rind, peach, and over ripe pear flavors.
Finished by pulling itself up by its boot straps with a lovely hint of guava and peach praline pie; finished long, off dry, a spot-on 12% alcohol, and with a saving grace.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Fires Burn Within Our Chests


With prayers in our hearts for friends and associates in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino, we all embrace, with hope, an outlook toward the end of another trial. As of Sunday morning October 15, at least forty people, mostly senior souls, have lost their lives, four hundred people are unaccounted for. I for one, can hardly stop looking for information and hard to come-by updates. The city of Santa Rosa (population: 175,000) appears from the sky-views to be a 'war zone'. The fires still rage, and unconfirmed reports of burned-out wineries pour in.




Some might remember that in the summer of 2014 there was a terrible earthquake in Napa; many tried to find ways to help; mine was to buy Napa wines.
So it was with the terrible earthquakes of the summer of 2016 in Italy when I bought Italian everything and began with this post: "All right, I'm praying for the people of central Italy, but I wanted to show support in another way, here is my purchase of olives, olive oil and wine (A great wine at that). God be with the good people of Italy (Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona 2013 Rosso di Montalcino)."
 As with these two past and terrible events: "This too shall pass." In the meantime, some are looking for ways to help: donations are being collected almost everywhere; my venue of choice is to once again buy wines appropriate to the areas affected.
Here, for a proper personal perspective, is a post from the warzone by Vinsanity blogger.

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Hoopes Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon






Hoopes Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $39.09-$45.99, 92+ points, poured black right up to the purple/red glass edge, thin clear wine ring, and leggy glass bowl.
Aromatic sandalwood, cedar, cocoa, and black currants were excellent.

Medium-plus body with good acidity and firm grainy tannins carried delicious flavors of cola, licorice, plum, mulberry, a hint of mint, ripe black raspberry, and a subtle white truffle.
Finished long on the trailing palate, easy white pepper, and their interestingly designated 14.75% alcohol.

Paired perfectly with our pepperoni pizza.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Petroni Estate Rosso Di Sonoma 2011 Red Wine







Petroni Estate Rosso Di Sonoma 2011 Red Wine, $13.59-$35.99, 90 points, poured black grading purple/red at the clear wine ring and moderately big legs.
Aromas were floral with a red fruit medley, clove, and black cherry.
Full-bodied, silky smooth, with good acidity and round, easy, and sufficiently supportive tannins which carried delicious flavors of plum, black cherry, and dried mulling spices.
Finished long on spicy black fruit and a well-balanced 14.1% alcohol.
Varietals were Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese.
Paired fine with my meatball sub.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Black Stallion Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon




Black Stallion Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $21.24-$29.99, 89 points, poured black right up to the purple/red glass edge, clear wine ring, and bowl of fat legs.
Aromatic earth, black currants, cedar, and a hint of brine were consummate.
Full-bodied with good acidity and layered moderate tannins managed black licorice, Kalamata olive, and black fruit flavors.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, a hint of pomegranate, plum, and a warm 14.5% alcohol inspirited spiciness.
Paired perfectly with our loaded pizza.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Dry Creek Vineyard Wilson Ranch 2015 Chenin Blanc






Dry Creek Vineyard Wilson Ranch 2015 Chenin Blanc, $10.19-$13.99, 91 points, poured a light gold color clearing at the glass edge.
Aromas of lemon, tangerine, lychee, pome blossoms, and a hint of pine resin were excellent.
The delicate wine body with good acidity and an unsuspected depth in citrus and nuanced melon flavors impressed.
Finished long, a bit earthy, embracing its palate flavors with a hint of ginger and a restrained 13% alcohol.

On the first night paired perfectly with my North Atlantic sea scallops, and on the second night paired perfectly with my chicken salad (versatile white wine).

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Keenan Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 2015 Chardonnay






Keenan Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 2015 Chardonnay, $30.59-$35.99, 88 points, was a straw yellow color.
Lovely sweet apple smells were tempered with a bit of oak.
Medium-bodied, maybe slightly heavier, with fair to good acidity carried flavors reflective of the nose plus an almost spritz-like ginger which managed to overcome an otherwise too oaky Chardonnay for my taste.
Finished nicely on that ginger, hints of tropical fruit, and a potent 14.2% alcohol.
Paired okay with our roast chicken dinner, but as before, our apple crisp was a perfect dessert pairing.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Meerlust Estate Stellenbosch 2012 Chardonnay (South Africa)








Meerlust Estate Stellenbosch 2012 Chardonnay (South Africa), $14.99-$26.99, 84 points, poured a dark straw yellow color.
Medium-plus body with fair acidity carried a bland apple pie flavor and an (for my taste) over-oaked caramel quality.
Finished consistent with the overall palate and a modest 13% alcohol.
Paired okay with my roast chicken. 

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Château Monbousquet St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2010 Bordeaux (Revisited)





Château Monbousquet St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2010 Bordeaux (Revisited), $63.74-$74.99, 95 points, poured black right up to the purple/red glass edge, still broad clear wine ring, and moderately draped bowl.
Aromas had developed considerably in the almost four years since last tasted, with Boysenberry, Bilberry jam, Sandalwood, cocoa, and coffee notes making an appearance.
Full bodied with good acidity and firm grainy tannins now managed delicious flavors reflective of the aromas plus hints of sweet tobacco and pomegranate.
Finished quite long on Damson plum, red pepper, a hint of eucalyptus, and a spot-on 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our spiced-rubbed rare Angus rib eye steaks.
Another four years and this wine will make music like Claude Debussy!



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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Wine thought of the day: Not all scorched earth, musk meat, and grilled herb wines are created equal.






 
  Not all scorched earth, musk meat, and grilled herb wine descriptors translate into: all similar wines so described are created equal (wine tasting 101).
  By satirical hyperbole I'm saying this: when a wine taster has two wines in front of him/her (arbitrary number), each wine may have flavors of plum and black raspberries, but like all plums and black raspberries there's a difference in quality and flavor; so too the wine, and so it is with the winemaker's signature vinification; so, though you may have wines described with the same flavors, one wine's terroir, acidity, tannins, and alcohol, among many other variables, will set it apart from all others similarly described, and especially in contrast to "International style" wine vinification which can/has blurred everything wine tasters have experienced.  

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Château Monbousquet St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine





Château Monbousquet St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine, $43.34-$50.99, 93 points, poured core black grading purple/red toward the broad clear wine ring and lightly draped glass bowl.
The bouquet was florally perfumed with cedar and black currant notes.
Near full-bodied with good acidity and firm grainy tannins supported an array of nuanced coffee, black fruit, violets, and herbal flavors.
Finished quite long on intensifying and drying tannins, red currant, white pepper, and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.
The varietals are 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Paired perfectly with our spiced-rubbed rare Angus rib eye steaks.
This is a red wine needing ten years (20 years) to evolve, and thankfully I bought more than one.

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Chatom Vineyards Calaveras County 2006 Merlot



October, Merlot Month Again!
 





Chatom Vineyards Calaveras County 2006 Merlot, $13.79-$17.99, 89 points, poured opaque purple/red with a clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromatic herbs, chocolate, and licorice were excellent.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and soft tannins carried earthy and herbal mulberry with hints of chocolate and licorice.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, a touch green, warm spices, and a potent 14.8% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my Asada Quesadilla.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Casa E. Di Mirafiore 2011 Barolo (DOCG)





Casa E. Di Mirafiore 2011 Barolo (DOCG), $30.59-$42.99, 92 points, poured a dark cranberry juice red with a transparent wine ring and considerable glass draping.
Aromatic floral red raspberry, white truffle, and juniper were excellent.
The dry medium-body with good acidity and firm grainy tannins carried delicious flavors of citrus, black tea, and lingonberry jam.
Finished long on the trailing palate, tart black cherry, a hint of red pepper, and a spot-on 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my guacamole burgers.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Ryan Patrick Columbia Valley 2015 Riesling









Ryan Patrick Columbia Valley 2015 Riesling,
$8.49-$11.99, 90 points, poured a light brass color trending clear at the glass shallows.
Smelled like wet slate with hints of apple pie, juniper, orange peel, and petrol (nice).
Light-bodied, dry, and crisply acidic with a touch of guava leading the flavors more reflective of the nose.
Finished well on the trailing palate and a potent 12% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my Chinese cuisine.






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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Crios 2016 Malbec Rosé (Mendosa-Argentina)






Crios 2016 Malbec Rosé (Mendosa-Argentina), $11.99-$13.99, 86 points, poured a bright maroon color.
Shy red raspberry 'Cool-aide' aroma was okay.
Medium-bodied with good acidity managed nondescript flavors approaching those of dragon fruit, bubblegum, and strawberry.
Finished earthy with hints of strawberry, white pepper, and a cool 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with our Mexican cuisine. 

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Heitz Ink Grade Vineyard Napa Valley 2013 Zinfandel





Heitz Ink Grade Vineyard Napa Valley 2013 Zinfandel, $26.34-$32.99, 91 points, displayed a variable sienna color with a clear wine ring and decidedly fat legs.
Aromatic dusty wild red raspberries, cherry fruit, a hint of clove and tobacco, and a pure early morning freshwater lake smell reminded me of the best Zins I've had.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and a soft underlayment of tannin carried delicious flavors of plum wine, black raspberry, and cola notes.
Finished fine on the trailing palate, warm spices, and a well-balanced 14.5% alcohol.
Taco night and Heitz Zin were a perfect pairing.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Fontanafredda Di Gavi 2016 Gavi (Gavi, Piedmont) DOCG







Fontanafredda Di Gavi 2016 Gavi (Gavi, Piedmont) DOCG, $13.59-$15.99, 90 points, poured a light gold color fading clear at the glass edge.
Bashful aromas of white chocolate and tangerine were seductive, but fragrantly fragile.
Light-plus body was dry and mouthwateringly acidic with a fruity nondescript medley of nuanced melon, and a hint of citrus.
Finished long on the trailing fruit, a glint of ginger, and a modest 12.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my seafood platter.

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Santo Santorini Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) 2015 Assyrtiko White Wine (Greece)







Santo Santorini Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) 2015 Assyrtiko White Wine (Greece), $17.13 (gift), 87 points, poured a deep copper gold color similar to Sauternes.
Aromatic citrus, honey, and apricots were outstanding.
Medium-bodied with good acidity segued with the bouquet accompaniment into the bone-dry finish nuanced with a bright limestone minerality and a restrained 13% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my Mediterranean Yellow fin tuna salad.
100% Assyrtiko Grape.

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Domaine Vincent Delaporte a Chavignol Loire, France 2016 Sancerre




Domaine Vincent Delaporte a Chavignol Loire, France 2016 Sancerre, $16.69-$19.99, 92 points, poured a light gold color.
Perfumed aromas of pome blossoms and lemon grass with a hint of gooseberry were excellent.
The Light body was crisply acidic and carried aroma-mirrored flavors deftly in a wash of minerality.
Finished long on the trailing palate, citrus notes, ginger, and an easy 13% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my Maritime steamed lobster in drawn butter, and apple pie.




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Friday, September 29, 2017

Domaine Laroche Saint Martin 2015 Chablis







Domaine Laroche Saint Martin 2015 Chablis, $18.69-$21.99, 91 points, poured straw yellow clearing at the glass edge.
Aromas of petrichor, pome blossoms, and hints of citrus were lovely.
Medium-bodied with good acidity carried clean subtle flavors of pome fruit, citrus, flint, and  Necco Wafers.
Finished long, tart, a bit chalky, mouthwatering, and with a European modest 12.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our medley of chicken wing appetizers.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Banfi Castello 2012 Brunello DI Montalcino







Banfi Castello 2012 Brunello DI Montalcino, $50.99-$59.99, 94 points, poured blood red with a broad clear wine ring and glass bowl of considerable legs.
Aromas of black cherry, plum, cedar, truffle, and roses were outstanding.
Near full-bodied Brunello with good acidity that though quite young displayed an early palate satin texture, but that deception quickly concluded with gripping very fine tannins late palate.
Flavors of red raspberry, pomegranate, and orange pekoe tea gave much life to flavors reflective of the nose.
Finished bone dry and quite long on the trailing palate, warm spices, and a routine 14% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our Italian styled pizzas.


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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Oyster Bay Marlborough (NZ) 2016 Chardonnay






Oyster Bay Marlborough (NZ) 2016 Chardonnay, $8.95-$14.99, 88 points, poured a golden color grading yellow to clear toward the glass shallows.
Aromas (cold) of wet stones and a typical neutral Chardonnay grape were okay, but as this wine warmed a lovely white chocolate aroma enchanted.
Medium-bodied with better than fair acidity managed dragon fruit and cantaloupe flavors.
Finished long on unripe fig, citrus notes, and black and white pepper with a comfortable 13.5% alcohol.
Paired well with my barbecued pork ribs.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Brooks Willamette Valley 2013 Riesling





Brooks Willamette Valley 2013 Riesling, $16.99-$19.99, 87 points, was an apple juice gold color.
Very shy aromas of apple and the slightest hint of petrol were incidental.
Light-bodied with mouthwatering acidity presented a dry, not bone-dry, Riesling.
Flavors were almost as incidental as the aromas, but hints of pear, apple, apricot, and petrol were okay and carried deep into the fair finish.
Paired fine with my provincial roast beef on seeded rye with mustard, mac and cheese, and baked fig pastry.

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