Saturday, December 16, 2017

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac, Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine





Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac, Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine, $59.49-$69.99, 95 points, poured core black grading purple/red toward the transparent wine ring and light sheeting on the glass bowl.
Earthy black fruit, red currants, and hints of coffee liqueur were good.
Full-bodied with bright acidity and gripping fine tannins carried succulent nuanced flavors of anise, plums, figs, and coffee with more pronounced truffle, pomegranate, and black currant.
Finished long on escalating drying tannins, the trailing palate, violets, white pepper notes, and a spot-on 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our saucy Italian cuisine.
Just a scoring note: two other visiting wine tasters score this Bordeaux 93 and 94 points.




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Friday, December 15, 2017

Notable 2016 Chardonnay (South Eastern Australia)






Notable 2016 Chardonnay (South Eastern Australia), $11.89-$16.99, 89 points, was a solid brass color.
Aromatic apple, honeysuckle, and mint, were nuanced with a hint of vanilla.
Medium to medium-plus bodied with fair acidity seemed to carry more oak than the label scale would indicate, but that aside, this Notable 2016 Chardonnay was well-tuned with an ensemble of oak, fruit, and flowers on the palate gestalt.
Finished long with unusual flavors of coffee, fig, and a spirited 13.5% alcohol inspired ginger.
Harmonized perfectly with my roast chicken and green vegetable chorus.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Pighin Terre Di Risano, Grave de Friuli, Italy 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (D.O.C.)

 
 

Pighin Terre Di Risano Grave de Friuli, Italy 2016 Sauvignon Blanc (D.O.C.), $10.19-$22.99, 89 points, was a medium glossy gold color.
Aromas were a subtle array of lemongrass, pear, and stone fruit which adeptly translated onto the palate packaged in a light-plus body reminiscent of Sancerre opposed to Cali or New Zealand styled Sauvignon Blanc; not showing blaring acidity or booming citrus, but delicious nuanced fruit and minerality.
Finished well on a light 13% alcohol garnished with lively ginger.
Paired perfectly with my New England clam chowder.


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Sauvignon Blanc, my simple reason why it's a winter wine!



Sauvignon Blanc, my simple reason why it's a winter wine!
 
 
Okay, I get it, Albarino, Arneis, Torrontés, Xarel-Lo, and/or Burgundy white wines are all great with seafood, but when I'm thinking seafood and pairing versatility I'm looking for a Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine that shines brightly in many styles, is consistently good to great, and can be bought for few euros.
You still serve seafood in the winter, don't you? I do! So, why don't we drink white wines in the winter? Well, no one seems to talk about them? All I hear is "big, big red, heat for the cold, warm for the fireplace; "Malbec with your North Atlantic cod?" Okay, drink what you like, but for me . . .

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bodegas RE 2015 Red Wine (Chile)

Bodegas RE 2015 Red Wine (Chile), $23.99-$29.99, 85 points, poured a bright ruby red color with a clear wine ring.
Aromas of blueberry, red raspberry, and fennel were just okay for me.
Medium-plus body with mouthwatering acidity and an underlayment of sufficient tannin carried tart to sour flavors reflective of the aromas deep into the long finish marked by earth, white pepper, and a moderate 13% alcohol.

Varietals were 50% Garnacha and Carignan.




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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Château Prieuré-Lichine, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé,2014 Bordeaux Red Wine




Château Prieuré-Lichine, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé,2014 Bordeaux Red Wine, $34.84-$40.99, 92 points, poured black throughout except for the terminal purple/red and clear wine rings at the moderately leggy glass wall.
Hints of barnyard aromas were overshadowed by soft lavender, smoky bacon, plum, and wild mulberry.
Medium-plus-body with mouthwatering acidity and a firm underlayment of tannin managed complex flavors of tangy red fruit, blackberries, sweet tobacco notes, and truffle.
Finished long on the trailing palate energized by bright red and white pepper spices, and a typically well balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Varietals were 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.



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Monday, December 11, 2017

Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine




Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux, Grand Cru Classé 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine, $59.49-$69.99, 92 points, poured broadly black with grading terminal purple/red and clear wine rings at the moderately draped glass bowl.
Aromatic sandalwood, roses, boysenberry jam, and a cedar potpourri were lovely.
Medium-plus body carried bright acidity with fine-grain drying tannins.
Flavors of truffle, black fruit, and plum notes were furtively delicious, but had a difficult time breaking through this still too young of a red wine's tannins, but just wait ten years!
Finished with some exciting warm spices and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Varietals were 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc.
How do you pronounce Chateau Rauzan Segla?


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Sunday, December 10, 2017

NAPA Cellars 2016 Sauvignon Blanc





NAPA Cellars 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $14.99-$17.99, 90 points, was a light pale brass color.
Aromas of orange peel, fresh-cut grass, cantaloupe, pome blossoms, and Necco Wafers were rich.
Light-bodied with good acidity managed-well the flavors which were reflective of the aromas with a hint of melon rind.
Finished nicely on the trailing palate and the 13.9% alcohol inspirited ginger notes.
Paired perfectly with my seafood medley of Pacific Dover sole fillets, cod dumplings, and stuffed scallops on the half-shell.

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Rex Hill Willamette Valley 2014 Pinot Noir





Rex Hill Willamette Valley 2014 Pinot Noir, $25.49-$32.99, 91 points, poured a bright number one purple/red wine color (never mind that #1 is supposed to be a Cabernet) with a broad clear wine ring and a lightly draped bowl.
Aromatic cherry fruit, cinnamon, and a perfumed floral vibe were excellent.
Medium-plus body with good acidity and a grainy underlayment of tannin carried delicious fruity cherry flavors with red licorice and hints of mulling spices.
Finished long on the trailing palate, warm spices, and a spot-on 13.5% alcohol.

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Pinot Noir (Northwest USA)





A to Z Oregon 2014 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$19.99, 88 points

Acacia Vineyard Carneros 2007 Pinot Noir, $23.99, 90 points

Acrobat Oregon 2012 Pinot Noir, $17.99-$19.99, 84 points

Adelsheim Willamette Valley 2011 Pinot noir, $18.69-$24.99, 90 points

Anne Amie (Willamette Valley, Oregon) 2014 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$24.99, 89 points

Argyle Willamette Valley 2011 Pinot Noir, $21.24-$29.99, 91 points

Argyle Willamette Valley (Grower series) 2012 Pinot Noir, $19.99-$29.99*, 88 points

Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills 2012 Pinot Noir, $32.79-$$44.99, 94 points

Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve 2007 Pinot Noir, $38.24-$59.99, 92+ points

Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée 2008 Pinot Noir, $29.99-$39.99, 88 points

Duckpond cellars Willamette Valley 2008 Pinot Noir, $18.99, 90 points

Elk Cove Five Mountain Willamette Valley 2012 Pinot Noir, $31.99-$39.99, 92 points

Elk Cove Willamette Valley 2007 Pinot Noir, $20.39-$28.99, 87 points

Erath Estate Selection Willamette Valley 2010 Pinot Noir, $19.99-$23.99, 93 points

Erath Estate Selection Willamette Valley 2012 Pinot Noir, $15.99-$23.99, 93 points

Erath Oregon 2008 Pinot Noir, $12.60-$18.00, 91 points

Erath Oregon 2011 Pinot Noir, $13.99-$18.99, 90 points

Erath Oregon 2011 Pinot Noir, $14.95-$18.99, 88 points

Firesteed Oregon 2011 Pinot Noir, $11.99-$19.99, 88 points

King Estate 2009 Pinot Noir, $23.79-$27.99, 90 points

La Crema Willamette Valley 2012 Pinot Noir, $7.98-$32.99 ($25 promotional gift card applied), 92 points

Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards Willamette Valley 2013 Pinot Noir, $15.29-$25.99, 90 points

Lemelson Vineyards Thea's Selection 2010 Pinot Noir, $25.49-$31.99, 91+ points

Ponzi Vineyards Willamette Valley 2008 Pinot Noir, $26.34-$35.99, 89 points

Ponzi Willamette Valley Travola 2011 Pinot Noir, $20.39-$26.99, 87 points

Proud Pour Umpqua Valley 'This Wine Saves Bee Species' 2015 Pinot Noir (Oregon), $19.54-$24.99, 90 points

R. Stuart Autograph Willamette Valley 2007 Pinot Noir, $25.49-$29.99, 91 points

Rex Hill Willamette Valley 2014 Pinot Noir, $25.49-$32.99, 91 points

Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Oregon 2007 Pinot Noir, $32.99-$50.00, 92 points

Soter Vineyards Planet Oregon 2013 Pinot Noir, $22.99-$10.99, 87 points

Willamette Valley Vineyards Oregon 2012 Pinot Noir, $20.99-$22.99, 91+ points

Wine By Joe (Oregon) 2010 Pinot Noir, $10-$15, 87 points

Wine by Joe Dobbes Oregon 2012 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$18.99, 87 points


Pinot Noir (France)

Pinot Noir (New Zealand)

Pinot Noir (USA)

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Clos Erasmus 'Laurel' 2014 Priorat Red Wine





Clos Erasmus 'Laurel' 2014 Priorat Red Wine, $41.64-$48.99, 89 points, appeared black up to the clear wine ring and heavily draped glass bowl where purple/red had a slim margin.
Aromas of funk, coffee, earth, ripe black fruits, and black olives left me ambivalent.
Full-bodied with bright acidity and firm grainy tannin translated the aromas onto the palate along with licorice and tobacco notes.
Finished fair and juicy with a 15% alcohol inspirited spiciness.




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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Château Canon-la-Gaffelière Premier Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Émilion 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine


Château Canon-la-Gaffelière Premier Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Émilion 2014 Bordeaux Red Wine, $64.17-$75.49, 94+ points, poured an opaque purple red grading ruby toward the clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromatic flowers, blackberries, anise, and Crème de cassis were complex and delightful.
Full-bodied with mouthwatering acidity and firm grainy tannins supported a deep well of flavors and textures; leather, clove, black currants, flowers, cedar, and a broad spectrum of fruit flavors kept my taste sensations teased with strong suggestions and memories of things enjoyed.
Finished long on mint, tobacco, damson plums, red pepper spiciness, and a silky embracing 13.5% alcohol.
Varietals were 55% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Paired perfectly with my Sheperd's pie.


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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Northstar Columbia Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon





Northstar Columbia Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $24.64-$34.99, 89 points, poured inky black except for a deep purple/red near a narrow clear wine ring and a lightly draped glass bowl.
The smoky black grape aroma dominated hints of blackberries, sandalwood, and tobacco.
Full-bodied with good acidity and silky layers of tannin carried flavors reflective of the aromas with plum and black currants deep into the long spicy finish; the 14.5% alcohol was warming.
Paired fine with our teriyaki beef with Shiitake mushrooms.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Valdivieso, Colchagua Valley, Single Vineyard 2011 Cabernet Franc (Chile)





Valdivieso, Colchagua Valley, Single Vineyard 2011 Cabernet Franc (Chile), $20.99-$23.99, 88 points, poured an opaque sienna color with a bleeding clear wine ring.
Smells of earth, mint, and black raspberries were okay.
Medium-plus body with fair acidity and a soft underlayment of tannin burst forth fruity, but thinned mid-palate, then began the rich flavors of leather, earth, ripe black raspberries, cola, and black olives.
Finished fair on the fading palate with hints of tobacco, warm spices, and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Le Grand Bouqueteau Chinon 2016 Cabernet Franc, Loire, France (Cabernet Franc Day?)





Le Grand Bouqueteau Chinon 2016 Cabernet Franc, Loire, France, $13.59-$17.99, 88 points, poured dark ruby grading bright purple/red toward the broad clear wine ring.
Profuse black grape aromas along with blueberry and a toasty herbaciousness were good.
Mild and medium in almost every aspect; mellow fruitiness with herbal spiciness and a tad of café is my surprisingly swift summation of this very bright and fresh Cabernet Franc red wine of good value, and which fans of light Merlot and/or Beaujolais will find quite appealing.
Paired well with my rare spiced-rubbed filet mignon.

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Cabernet Franc (International), Just in time for Cabernet Franc day.


Cabernet Franc (International)
is, I think, a logically short list, mostly France, where it is usually a blending red wine for Bordeaux, but in the appellation of Chinon, Cabernet Franc excels, and though not well known in New Hampshire (it can be a bit tough to find here), but does occasionally show-up in the local wine stores; such as it is, they add to my short list of reviewed Cabernet Franc wines found outside of the USA, tasted and reviewed.
Cabernet Franc,
the father of Cabernet Sauvignon:
 




Fincao Los Aljibes Vino De La Tierra De Castilla 2007 100% Cabernet Franc, approximately $18.00, 92 points (Spain)

Le Grand Bouqueteau Chinon 2016 Cabernet Franc, Loire, France

Stratus 2010 Cabernet Franc (Canada), $25.49-$29.99, 87 points

Valdivieso, Colchagua Valley, Single Vineyard 2011 Cabernet Franc (Chile), $20.99-$23.99, 88 points


Cabernet Franc (USA)
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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sequoia Grove Napa Valley 2015 Chardonnay







Sequoia Grove Napa Valley 2015 Chardonnay, $16.99-$21.99, 91 points, poured a medium glossy gold color.
Aromas began with bright sweet apple notes, after-that-rain smell, and a whisper of vanilla fading toward a shy floral neutral grape.
Medium-bodied with good acidity carried a lovely balance of oak, citrus, and melon flavors.
Finished long on the trailing palate, star fruit, ginger, a bit flinty, and a well-balanced 14.1% alcohol.
Paired okay with my North Atlantic Halibut, but shined with my mustard and spiced rubbed bone-in pork loin chop.

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Antinori "Pian delle Vigne-Vigna Ferrovia" 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva D.O.C.G.






Antinori "Pian delle Vigne-Vigna Ferrovia" 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva D.O.C.G., $53.99-$58.99, 95 points, poured red garnet grading ruby with a broad clear wine ring and glass bowl of moderate draping.
Aromas of cherry fruit, sandalwood, violets, earth, mint, and marjoram were excellent.
Tea, tar, and tight tannins wrapped around an appropriately acidic medium-plus body accented with floral cherry flavors.
The protracted finish of warm red pepper and a typically intense 14.5% alcohol were nevertheless garnished with mint, black tea, and cherry fruit.
Paired perfectly with my roasted veggies and meatballs in a marinara sauce.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Folie en Provence Côtes de Provence 2016 Rosé






Folie en Provence Côtes de Provence 2016 Rosé, $10.39-$12.99, 88 points, poured a medium Salmon pink color.
Aromas of strawberry and hibiscus were shy.
Dry, light-bodied, appropriately acidic, and highlighting straight forward flavors reflective of the aromas with a hint of Marshmallow Peanut Candy were delicious; this palate carried deep into the finish with a hint of watermelon, and a spot-on 13% alcohol.
Paired well with my Mexican cuisine. I bought this wine at the Whole Foods of Bedford
.


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Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Seeker Marlborough 2016 Sauvignon Blanc





The Seeker Marlborough 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, $12.99-$15.99, 87 points, poured a faint light brass color.
The profuse grapefruit aroma nearly canceled-out the subtle tangerine/gooseberry aromas.
Light and crisply acidic with a grapefruit flavor profile delivered a good, though rather one dimensional, white table wine experience mastering our North Atlantic Sea scallops.
Finished fair with hints of cumquat and passion fruit.
The 13% alcohol was restrained and well balanced.
I bought this NZ SB at the Hannaford's Super Market of Goffstown.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Girard Napa Valley Old Vine 2013 Zinfandel





Girard Napa Valley Old Vine 2013 Zinfandel, $24.99-$28.99, 90 points, poured a dark wine red with a clear wine ring and moderate glass draping.
Aromatic earthy blackberries, mulberry, cedar, and plum were palpable.
As I've noticed concerning many Napa Valley Zinfandels, the Girard was more full-bodied, rich, and Cabernet-like than most Zinfandels from outside this AVA (JMO).
Accenting acidity with firm underlying tannins supported bright flavors reflective of the aromas which carried deep into a hot spicy finish marked by a potent 15% alcohol.
Paired well with my spice-rubbed Australian rack-of-lamb.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Anew Columbia Valley 2012 Riesling








Anew Columbia Valley 2012 Riesling, $9.99-$12.99, 85 points, was a pale brass color clear at the glass edge.
Smells of petrol and burnt orange peel with a hint of white blossoms were just okay.
Light, crisp, and appropriately acidic, Anew translated the aromas onto the palate with a tad of quince.
Finished long on the trailing palate with hints of cumquat and pear.
This off-dry Riesling with 11.5% alcohol paired just okay with my deep fried Atlantic clams.



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Monday, November 27, 2017

Bersano 'Costalunga' 2015 Barbera d'Asti D.O.C.G.




Bersano 'Costalunga' 2015 Barbera d'Asti D.O.C.G., $9.99-$12.99, 89 points, appeared plum purple/red with a broad clear wine ring and light draping.
The fragrant smells of roses and blueberries wafted feminine while the medium body with good acidity and wooly firm tannins (which is contraindicated) made for a dry red wine.
Flavors of red cherry, blueberry, and black tea trailed into the very long finish marked by spicy red fruit and a well-balanced 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with our pepperoni pizza.


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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cantina Colomba Bianca Vitese 2016 Grillo (Sicily, Italy)







Cantina Colomba Bianca Vitese 2016 Grillo (Sicily, Italy), $8.49-$19.99, 88 points, was a bright medium gold color grading clear toward the glass edge.
Shy aromas of honeysuckle and tangerine were good.
Light-bodied and moderately crisp with fair-plus acidity rightly accentuated the citrusy flavor profile.
Finished nicely on the trailing palate, intense ginger notes, a hint of dragon fruit, and a well-balanced 12.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with Taipei and Tokyo's crispy rice soup with shrimp.

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2017 Christmas Wine Gifts (Sweet and Simple Picks)



Top wine recommendations for 2017,
based upon the quality and price at the time of purchase and my subsequent reviews;
just in time for Christmas gifting.

 
  


Best value red wines under $15:



Best red wines under $50:


Best white wines under $50:


Five 'step-up' red wines for those that want something a little more (special) pricy; two for the American palate (viva Napa):

 

Celebratory Sparkling Wine:



Rosé:


Port/Sherry and other Fortified Wines:




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