Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon





Chateau Montelena Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, $42.49-$47.99, 92 points, poured a deep purple/red trending ruby and trailing-off at the clear wine ring.
Aromas of toast, cedar, black currant, plum, coffee, and a floral vibe were classic.
Near full body of finesse, good acidity, and layered soft tannins carried a superlative balance of subtle characteristic flavors birthed in the aromas.
Finished long on the trailing palate, soft spice notes, a hint of pomegranate, and a rather restrained 14.1% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our Nacho Grande, and better with dark chocolate macadamia than with milk chocolate hazel nuts.



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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bodegas Abanico "Hazaña Viñas Viejas" 2014 Rioja Red Wine







Bodegas Abanico "Hazaña Viñas Viejas" 2014 Rioja Red Wine, $9.99-$15.99, 87+ points, poured mostly red, tinted with purple, a bit of orange at the clear wine ring, and a tad unfiltered appearance with heavy draping on the glass bowl.
The nose was an interesting medley of red and black fruit with a floral vibe.
Medium-bodied with good acidity, unobtrusive tannins, and friendly flavors reflective of the aromas furnished a red-table wine with manners.
Finished well on red fruit notes, a smidgeon of white pepper, tobacco, and a European sense of alcohol (13%) proportionality.
Varietals were 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano.
Paired fine with 'meat-lovers' pizza.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Castello Banfi 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva






Castello Banfi 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva, $14.99-$18.99, 88 points, was tasted with a revisit of the 2007 vintage tasted six years ago for comparison, and what I found was how remarkably alike they were; the 2013 was a much brighter similar red with both having a broad clear wine ring and moderately draped glass bowl; the 2013 was aromatically fresher and a bit more vibrant (more a red cherry) while the 2007 was more a black cherry, but both were rather one dimensional.
Barely medium-bodied with good acidity, drying tannins (even the 2007), and easy oaky red fruit trailing into a fair finish accented with soft floral, black tea, and spice notes with a European common-sense 13% alcohol.
One major difference was the appearance and size of the corks:
Both the '07 and 2013 paired fine with our pepperoni pizza.
After watching this promotional on FB provided by Tuscan Vines I couldn't resist finding a new vintage of one of Banfi's signature wines
Banfi Estates.



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Chianti Classico Riserva, Sangiovese With Class






Chianti Classico Riserva, Sangiovese With Class!

The Rules (complex overall, but the thin of it): Varietals can be no less than 80% Sangiovese with up to 20% Canaiolo, Colorino, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Two years in oak, three months in the bottle, and at least 12.5% alcohol.

Carpineto 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva $18.69-$23.99, 90 points

Carpineto 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva, $14.44-$23.99, 89 points

Carpineto 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva, $16.14-$23.99, 89+ points

Castellare Il Poggiale 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva, $28.04-$32.99, 91 points

Castello Banfi 2007 Chianti Classico Reserva, $12.74-$18.99, 88 points

Castello Banfi 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva, $14.99-$18.99, 88 points

Castello di Gabbiano 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva, $11.99-$19.99, 90 points

Fattoria Monsanto Fabrizio Bianchi 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva, $15.29-$19.99, 91 points

Fattoria Monsanto Fabrizio Bianchi 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva, $15.29-$19.99, 91 points


Fattoria Monsanto Fabrizio Bianchi 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva, $15.29-$19.99, 90 points


Felsina Rancia 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva, $36.69-$39.99, 94+ points

Gabbiano 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva (DOCG), $9.99-$$21.99, 88 points
 

Querceto 2004 Chianti Classico Reserva, $11.99-$24.99, 88 points

Rocca delle Macie 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva, $16.14-$24.99, 89 points

Rocca delle Macie 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva, $19.99-$21.99, 91 points


Rocca delle Macie Single Vineyard (Fizzano) 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva, $17.99-$29.99, 91 points


Santa Margherita D.O.C.G. 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva, $19.49-$26.99, 88 points

Spalletti D.O.C.G. 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva, $12.74-$26.99, 89 points


Tenuta di Nozzole 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva, $13.59-$24.99, 92 points


Tenuta di Nozzole D.O.C.G. 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva, $13.59-$18.99, 91+ points


Tenuta Marchese 2005 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, $16.19-$32.99, 91 points


Tenuta Tignanello Marchese 2010 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, $27.99-$32.99, 91 points

Tomaiolo 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva, $7.99-$14.99, 88+ points


Villa Cerna 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva, is approximately $20.00, 87 points

Chianti Classico's Black Rooster (You've always wanted to know!)

Chianti Classico (Italy's Flagship Red Wine)           
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

De Gregorio Rahana 2014 Sicilia Chardonnay (DOC)






De Gregorio Rahana 2014 Sicilia Chardonnay (DOC), $7.29-$11.99, 85 points, poured straw yellow and clearing at the glass edge.
The grapey rather neutral aromas were unremarkable.
Barely medium-bodied with fair acidity extended the trend begun olfactory onto the palate and into a rather bland finish.
The restrained 13% alcohol couldn't kick-in much to speak of either, but at least it wasn't out of balance.
Paired okay with my clam chowder.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chappellet Napa Valley (Pritchard Hill) 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon





Chappellet Napa Valley (Pritchard Hill) 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, $53.54-$62.99, 92 points, poured an opaque Bordeaux red wine color with a clear wine ring.
This 2014 Pritchard hill Cabernet was fruity, floral, and dusty, silky, aromatic, and structured around a near full body of good acidity and firm grainy tannins.
Finished long on anise, warm spices, a hint of mint, and an appropriate 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our beefy Mexican cuisine.
Varietals were Bordeaux styled 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9/% Petit Verdot, dollops of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Bodega Garzon 2014 Albariño (Uruguay)



Bodega Garzon 2014 Albariño (Uruguay).  $8.99-$14.99, 85 points, poured a coppery gold color.
Aromatic cantaloupe, honeysuckle, and Lychee were nice.
Light-bodied with fair-plus acidity and flavors of tangerine, juniper, and a hint of vanilla were a bit thin, but okay.
Finished on the short side with the trailing palate (dominated by juniper), a hint of white pepper, and a well-balance 12.5% alcohol.
Paired just okay with our Thanksgiving styled Easter dinner (roasted chicken).

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sensi 18K NV Moscato (Sparkling Sweet Rosé Wine)






Sensi 18K NV Moscato (Sparkling Sweet Rosé Wine), $19.99-$22.99, 91 points, poured an orange/red into a full head of foam with a long enduring eruption of smallish bubbles (drink while cold and fizzy).
Light-plus body was marked by a balance between fair acidity and sweetness.
The cornucopia of tropical aromas, hints of Necco Wafers, cookie dough, and a floral vibe accented with background strawberry notes were outrageously tasty, and tended to leech onto the palate.
Finished long on cherry cola and an innocuous 6.5% alcohol.
This was to be an experimental opportunity to pair Sparkling Sweet Rosé Moscato with a number of different desserts, all of which paired well, but the Red velvet heart macaroon excelled.
A great aperitif too.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Domaine du Gros' Noré "Antoinette" 2009 Bandol





Domaine du Gros' Noré "Antoinette" 2009 Bandol, $45.99-$69.99, 93 points, poured broadly black terminating purple/red at the transparent wine ring and glass bowl of moderate draping.
Aromas were mysteriously floral and fruity.
Full-bodied with good acidity and velvety rich tannins managed amazingly 'unique' flavors of sassafras, root beer, plums, loam, and blackberries.
Finished long on blackberry liqueur, plum, oak, umami, and a 15% alcohol inspirited spiciness
Varietals were 90% Mourvèdre with dollops of Cinsault and Carignan.
Paired perfectly with my spiced-rubbed Angus rib eye steak.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Onehope 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon




Onehope 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $8.79-$10.99, 87+ points, was a typical red color with a clear wine ring.
Aromatic spearmint, black currants, and a hint of blueberry were interesting.
Medium-bodied with fair-plus acidity and mellow round tannins carried flavors of licorice, chocolate, and black currants.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, easy spice notes, and a restrained 13.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with my Sloppy-Joe.
High QPR red wine, tasty, and priced right.
I bought this Cabernet at the Whole Foods of Bedford.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Passadouro 2012 Tinto Douro (Portugal)



 
Passadouro 2012 Tinto Douro (Portugal), $11.89-$15.99, 89 points, poured opaque trailing purple/red at the bright clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromatic soft lavender and black raspberries were excelente.
Hardly medium-bodied unburdened by its firm undercurrent of supportive tannins, and properly acidic for dinner.
Pure flavors of spice, fruit, Kahlúa, and tobacco leaf were delicious if not cerebral.
Finished fine on the lingering palate and a potent 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my soft beef tacos.
I've had this wine sitting on the shelf for years, but if I had know it was this good, it would have been gone long ago; great QPR.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills 2013 Chardonnay







Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills 2013 Chardonnay, $47.99-$63.99, 93 points, was a deep glossy gold color with a copper tint.
Aromas were built upon typically (excellent) neutral Chardonnay with lime, black pepper, and mango.
Medium body with good acidity carried clean flavors of lemon, tangy lime, hints of tropical fruit, and a touch of vanilla.
Finished long seemingly on lime-stoniness, lemon zest, ginger, fig, and a potent 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our baked stuffed fresh North Atlantic cod loin and Polish pork Pierogies.
I bought this Chardonnay at the Whole Foods of Bedford.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Are Wine Labels Going To The Birds III?



Are Wine Labels Going To The Birds III?
 After discovering this Mourning dove nesting under my son's window this morning, I couldn't resist demonstrating how wine labels are 'going to the birds.'
 
 



 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

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Intrinsic Columbia Valley 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon





Intrinsic Columbia Valley 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, $19.54-$22.99, 87+ points, was a big meaty, fruity, plummy, and just a bit syrupy red wine.
Poured core black transitioning to mulberry-red at the clear wine ring and leggy glass bowl.
Aromas of blueberry, mulberry, and hints of coffee with a floral vibe were just okay.
Full-bodied with fair acidity, soft round tannins, and flavors that mirrored the aromas plus licorice were just okay too.
Finished okay on chocolate notes and a warm 14.5% alcohol inspirited alcohol.
Paired fine with my Philly cheese-steak.
Varietals were 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Cape Mentelle Margaret River 2015 White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon)




Cape Mentelle Margaret River 2015 White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon), $11.99-$15.99, 87 points, poured almost clear with a glossy gold/green cast.
Aromas of orange-spiced potpourri with hints of honeydew melon and lemon zest were okay.
Light bodied with fair-plus acidity and flavors reflective of the aromas nuanced with gooseberry and tart lemon managed an interesting complexity.
Finished on the trailing palate and a well-balanced 12.5% alcohol.
Caveat: This fickle white wine tasted different from the first day into the second and in between, my description is a compilation of those two days .
Paired perfectly with my Gulf of Mexico shrimp Rangoon.
Varietals were 52% Sauvignon Blanc and 48% Semillon.


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jorge Ordoñez And Co. "Botani" 2013 Sparkling Muscat (Moscatel, Sierras de Malaga, Spain)


Jorge Ordoñez And Co. "Botani" 2013 Sparkling Muscat (Moscatel, Sierras de,  Malaga, Spain), 
$14.99-$17.99, 89 points, poured with a moderate head of foam which dissipated quickly; the color was a light brass.
Aromas were shy and woody with a floral vibe.
Near medium-bodied with fair acidity and mostly white grape flavors, a hint of orange flesh, and spritz-y caramel; though straight-forward, medium sweet, and finishing on the trailing palate with a hint of ginger and an innocuous 7% alcohol, it was an excellent partner with my Key lime and pecan pies; a fair aperitif too.



(See Sparkling wines)


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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Coto De Imaz 2008 Rioja Reserva



Coto De Imaz 2008 Rioja Reserva, $19.99-$24.99, 90 points, was this displayed red wine color with a moderate clear wine ring.
Soft perfumed red fruit aromas were excellent.
Medium-bodied with bright acidity and hot spice hybrid tannins delivered good flavors of spearmint, red raspberry jam, cinnamon, and tobacco.
Finished long and quite dry on the trailing palate, a hint of pomegranate, and a well-integrated 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my burgers and chips.
This nine year old Tempranillo has lots of life left.
I'll go out on a limb and say: probably not for the sweet red wine lover, the soft Merlot devotee, and certainly not for the thick over ripe Cabernet admiring tenderfoot; like great Brunello, Tannat, and Mourvèdre the austere edge and food friendliness of these red wines require an adventurous spirit or a 'proper' wine nurturing.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Manifesto Lodi 2015 Zinfandel





Manifesto Lodi 2015 Zinfandel, $11.99-$14.99, 86 points, poured grades of purple/red up to the broad clear wine ring and glass bowl of moderate sheeting.
Aromatic blueberry with floral and toast notes evolved into chocolate and mulberry notes, and were bright and fresh.
Medium-bodied with fair-plus acidity and a soft underlayment of tannin manage a medley of red and black fruits.
Finished well on plum, a hint of ripe peach, white pepper, and a balanced 13.8% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our pepperoni pizza.




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Monday, April 10, 2017

Shafer Napa Valley Carneros Red Shoulder Ranch 2013 Chardonnay





Shafer Napa Valley Carneros Red Shoulder Ranch 2013 Chardonnay, $44.19-$51.99, 94 points, was a light gold color with a slight green tint.
Aromas were dominated by pleasant oaky caramel, vanilla, crème brûlée, and softened by a lovely Mandarin orange.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and remarkably well-balanced flavors reflective of the aromas nuanced with lemon/lime magically transmuting the oak into pure delight.
Finished long on the trailing palate, ginger notes, faint nuanced exotic flavors, and a potent 14.9% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with a host of tasty entrees, from Turkish-spiced chicken to deep fried dry sea scallops, but barely okay with our key-lime pie (too much alcohol).

Commentary: Those that follow NHWM know I'm not a fan of substandard, slobbering, snarky, or snobby attitudes in wine or people, and typical Cali Chardonnay follows one or more of these kinds of attitudes, but this Chardonnay, I bought almost two years ago, breaks those bonds, like art nearly always transcends the artist; this was art in a bottle!

Shafer, why it's a "go to" winery.
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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Herdade do Esporão Alentejano Defesa 2015 Rosé (Portugal)









Herdade do Esporão Alentejano Defesa 2015 Rosé (Portugal), $12.99-$14.99, 87 points, was the darkest peach color.
Aromatic stone fruit, orchard blossoms, and a hint of strawberry were excellent.
Light-plus body with mouthwatering acidity managed red cherry and watermelon flavors which were almost a bit syrupy.
Finished long on the trailing palate, ginger, and a well-balanced 13% alcohol.
Paired fine with my peppered baby spinach/Monterey jack cheese soft tacos with guacamole.
Varietals were Aragonez (Tempranillo) and Syrah.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hourglass Blueline Estate Napa Valley 2014 Merlot



Hourglass Blueline Estate Napa Valley 2014 Merlot, $61.19-$71.99, 93 points, poured black throughout save for a narrow edge of burgundy purple/red adjacent to the broad clear wine ring and glass wall of heavy sheeting.
Aromatic rich cedar-y potpourri accented with warm earth and red currant jam were excellent.
Full-bodied with good acidity and grainy layered tannins ushered the complex flavors of damson plum, dried herbs, chocolate, and a fruitful bounty into a long finish of cayenne and white pepper inspirited by the big 15.2% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with our Fileja pasta with a rich beef tomato sauce and toasted Italian garlic bread.
I keep looking for the Merlots that rival great Cabs; Hourglass gets close, though not quite as close as two of my favorite Saint Emilion Bordeaux wines (Château La Dominique Saint Emilion 2009 Bordeaux,  Château Magrez Fombrauge Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009 Bordeaux). The one exception of greatness was the Pomerol Bordeaux Château Gazin Pomerol 2010 Red Bordeaux.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Château Tour Saint-Georges Cuvée Prestige 2012 Bordeaux Red Wine





Château Tour Saint-Georges Cuvée Prestige 2012 Bordeaux Red Wine, $8.10-$8.99, 88 points, poured opaque grading to a raspberry red color toward the broad clear wine ring.
Smells of blueberry, cedar, sandalwood, and red raspberry were in flux and interesting.
Medium-bodied with good acidity and firm developing tannins managed a woody black fruit profile accented by blueberry, cola notes, coffee, and mulberry.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, warm spices, plum, graphite, and a restrained 12% alcohol.
Varietals are 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc.
Paired perfectly with my baby-back ribs, spinach salad, and mashed red potatoes.
I bought these Bordeaux wines at the Whole Foods of Bedford.
It's been a while since I bought a red Bordeaux, but the Tour Saint-Georges Cuvée Prestige was a steal; a bit austere, but food friendly with some cellaring potential.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Winter En Provence First Press de Provence 2016 Rosé



Winter En Provence First Press de Provence 2016 Rosé, $11.99-$14.99, 88 points, was an unusual peach color with a copper tint.
First pour evoked splendid floral strawberry aromas, but sadly it quickly diminished into a tame incarnation.
Light-bodied (a sliver more), with good acidity managed fair flavors dominated by bubble gum notes, strawberry, ginger, and a balanced 13% alcohol.
Finished long on the trailing palate.
Paired fine with my spicy chili quesadilla.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hahn Family Owned Vineyards Monterey County 2014 Chardonnay





Hahn Family Owned Vineyards Monterey County 2014 Chardonnay, $12.99-$14.99, 87 points, poured a deep glossy gold color.
The smell of oaky vanilla was a bit overwhelming, but hints of cantaloupe and nutmeg were good.
Near full-bodied with fair acidity and flavors reflective of the aromas were good too, but reminded me of stereotypical big oaky Cali Chardonnays; not really my preferred style.
Finished well with white pepper, the trailing palate, and a potent 14.5% alcohol.
Paired okay with my battered deep-fried Bay of Maine fresh haddock.




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