Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Calera MT. Harlan 2014 Viognier








Calera MT. Harlan 2014 Viognier, $30.59-$35.99, 93 points, poured a bright glossy gold color clearing at the glass shallows.
Lovely aromas of pear, pome blossoms, and a hint of pine wood impressed.
Light-plus body with good acidity and a complex flavor profile reflective of the aromas and hints of citrus and pineapple impressed as well.
Finished long on the trailing palate, subtle ginger notes, and a big, but balanced 14.2% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my Yellow-fin tuna salad.
Thanks to Sara B. for the recommendation, and to the manager of NHLS #67 for digging this one out from West Lebanon.


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Monday, January 30, 2017

Donatella Cinelli Colombini 2011 Brunello Di Montalcino (DOCG)





Donatella Cinelli Colombini 2011 Brunello Di Montalcino (DOCG), $46.74-$57.99, 93 points, poured a deep maroon with a broad clear wine ring at the glass wall of heavy draping.
Aromatic floral black cherry, roses, cloves, marjoram, and earth notes were lovely.
Medium-bodied with exuberant acids, fine supportive tannins, and flavors reflective of the aromas plus leather and a pervasive Christmas Fruitcake were excellent.
Finished long on violets, warm spices, accelerating tannins, and a potent 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my spaghetti in a tomato/basil meat sauce.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards Willamette Valley 2015 Chardonnay (Oregon)




Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards Willamette Valley 2015 Chardonnay (Oregon), $15.99-$18.99, 89 points, was a light gold color trending water clear at the glass shallows.
Aromas of pome fruit with a whisper of honeysuckle were excellent.
On the lighter side of medium-bodied with good acidity, sensual suggestions of minerality, bright pomelo, and crisp reflections of the aromas were archetypical of 'clean' North Western Chardonnays.
Finished well on the trailing palate, a touch of white pepper, and a well-balanced 13.6% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my roasted chicken, butternut squash, spinach salad, and apple pie à la mode.

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

CAPANNA 2011 Brunello Di Montalcino (D.O.C.G.)








CAPANNA 2011 Brunello Di Montalcino (D.O.C.G.),  $50.99-$59.99, 94 points, poured a deep ruby red grading sunburst orange/red at the clear wine ring and heavily draped glass bowl.
Aromatic warm loam, mulling spices, red cherry, and a gentle perfumed floral component were excellent.
More a feminine Brunello than previous Capannas I've tasted, but a bite there was; medium-bodied with typically high acidity and enduring fine grainy tannins carried a straight-forward red fruit profile accented by lilac, oak, and a touch of mint.
The never ending finish consisted of the trailing palate, Orange pekoe tea, a bit of bourbon aftertaste (14.5% alcohol to boot), and intense warm spices.
I drank alone after decanting for an hour.

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Friday, January 27, 2017

CapAnna 2014 Rosso Di Montalcino





CapAnna 2014 Rosso Di Montalcino, $13.49-$25.99, 91 points, poured a bright ruby red with a broad clear wine ring and substantial legs.
Aromatic earthy red cherry with a hint of rose pedals were reticent, but very good.

Medium-bodied with mouthwatering acidity, fine firm tannins, and red fruit flavors accented with black tea, truffles, and a hint of citrus were defined and intense.
Finished long on the trailing palate, escalating tannin, and a 14% alcohol inspired spiciness.
Paired perfectly with our loaded pizza.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Truchard Carneros, Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon




Truchard Carneros, Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $27.19-$33.99, 87 points, was a deep black currant purple/red with a clear wine ring against the moderately leggy glass bowl.
The nose showed pleasant red raspberry jam, juniper, and cedar.
Medium-plus body with good acidity, supportive underlayment of tannin, and flavors reflective of the nose with hints of blueberry and plum all of which needed some time to settle down.
Finished well as the twins of oak/spice walked hand in hand into a 14.2% alcohol's night.
Someone described a sour cherry note, but I thought this wine, early on, was a bit stemmy.
Varietals were 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec.
Paired okay with my Salisbury steak and salad.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sauvignon Blanc (Cali), four years worth of speculation!



 Sauvignon Blanc (Cali), four years worth of speculation!





  It is often said that white wines don't get the attention red wines do (I believe it), but I've grown quite fond of Cali Sauvignon Blanc. Thus it doesn't surprise me that I couldn't locate a vintage chart for Cali SB (doesn't mean one or two aren't out there), so I've made up my own (sort of).
Not a scientific study, but interesting enough, with just 14 Cali SB tasted, the average score for the 2015 vintage is 90.6 surpassing the 2014 average score of 89.95 (10 tasted), the 2013 average score of 89.1 (60 tasted), and barely more than the 2012 average score of 90.5 (10 tasted).

  There you have it: 2015 was a great year for California Sauvignon Blanc.
  Need some pairing suggestions? Since Cali SB tends to be bold, but streamlined, let me recommend Lobster/Crab/Shrimp/Calms/Scallops/Tuna cooked almost any way you can think of; the last SB I had was paired with clam chowder (perfect). Think salads with feta cheese, salads with blue cheese. Think Chinese cuisine. Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile white wine, but experimentation is the rule, and don't forget that if you like a wine, don't let anyone tell you what you MUST pair it with; you are the captain of your palate.
  Don't let anyone disparage this 'noble' grape; after all, it's the mother of Cabernet Sauvignon, while it's father is the Cabernet Franc.
More on the 'noble' grape? See Vinepair's Six Noble Grapes.














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Twomey Napa Valley 2015 Sauvignon Blanc





Twomey Napa Valley 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, 
$22.94-$26.99, 93 points, poured a light brass color grading water clear toward the glass shallows.
Aromatic honeysuckle, melon, fresh cut grass, and harvested hay were wonderful.
Light, crisp, appropriately acidic and dynamically flavorful with aroma reflective flavors and a touch of tangerine worked a kind of enological magic.
Finished long on the trailing palate, black pepper, ginger, a bit of kiwi, and a potent 14.3% alcohol.
Though I'm more a red wine drinker in the winter, it doesn't mean an appropriate white wine (this one was splendid) doesn't have its place; paired perfectly with my New England clam chowder.



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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wine Week 2017 a reposting (sort of) from 2016


Wine Week 2017 a reposting (sort of) from 2016



We are in the middle of another "wine week" in Manchester, it happens in most major cities, but for the average Supermarket $5-$10 wine drinker, all the hubbub bursting extravagant with expensive fanfare and all, seems a bit out of place or just plain silly.
Motivation is a large part of the commotion; "I'm in with the in-crowd. . . money, money, money (business)",  
Art, both culinary and otherwise, from labels to bottle design, and advertisements (did I say money), debauchery, and just for the sheer love of wine, from the poetic to the prosaic, from the historical to the hysterical.
Whatever side of the fence you may be on, wine is the motivation for books, movies, crime, and epicurean preoccupations, not the least is feasting festivities, music, and romance.
Just a few thoughts on "Wine week".
Most of the hubbub will swirl around 
The NH Liquor and Wine Outlets, t
omorrow is Silverado Wines at The Bedford Village Inn.



 
Great opportunities for wine tastings around the State will afford the beginner a chance to experience wine tastings at the feet of the winery's vintners.

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Vinum "The Insider" Paso Robles 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon




Vinum "The Insider" Paso Robles 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, $15.99-$19.99, 87 points, poured a Pantone Burgundy color with a broad clear wine ring at the glass bowl of tenuous tears.
Aromas of Mulberry and blackberry jam were accented by sandalwood and cedar.
Full-bodied with fair acidity and firm grainy tannins support interesting flavors of cola, plum, and toasty mulberry with a whisper of mint.
Finished fair on a bit of chalky chocolate pudding, the trailing palate, and an accommodating 14% alcohol.
Paired nicely with our Texas burgers.
I bought this Cabernet at the Whole Foods of Bedford.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Aviary Vineyards Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon






Aviary Vineyards Napa Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon,  $13.59-$19.99, 89 points, poured a burgundy purple/red with a clear wine ring.
Aromatic potpourri with juniper, cedar, cocoa, and red raspberry was wonderful.
Full-bodied with good acidity and soft supportive tannins carried a brooding flavor profile that was very plumy, very licoricey, and very chocolaty, but had latent red fruit notes with blueberry, mushroom, cola, and mulberry.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, feather-soft spice, and a well-integrated 13.9% alcohol
Paired fine with my nacho supreme.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Groth Oakville-Napa Valley 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon





Groth Oakville-Napa Valley 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $50.14-$64.99, 93 points, poured core black grading purple/red toward the crystalline wine ring and tear laced glass bowl.
Aromas of sandalwood and underbrush, with grape and coffee notes responded well to 'teasing'.
The full body buoyed by good acidity and soft tannins managed an elegant wine with a smooth texture and flawless flavors of oak inspired black cherry and pomegranate.
Finished long on the trailing palate, cayenne pepper, resilient tannins, and a well-balanced 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my spaghetti and meat balls in a marinara sauce.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon





Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $63.74-$74.99, 93 points, poured core black grading a Bordeaux purple/red toward the clear wine ring and bows of draping on the glass wall.
Smells of loam with developing grape, cedar, lavender, and chocolate aromas were good.

Full-bodied with mouthwatering acidity and grainy gripping tannins carried excellent flavors of pomegranate, black currant, truffles, fennel, and plums accented by chocolate, cedar, and a floral component.
Finished extra-long on an intense warm spiciness and the modest 13.9% alcohol.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Ridge Lytton Springs 2014 Red Wine




Ridge Lytton Springs 2014 Red Wine, $33.14-$38.99, 94 points, poured a Pantone Burgundy color with a transparent wine ring at the glass bowl of some draping.
Aromatic cornucopia of wild berries, flowers, and mulling spices with developing earth notes were, as is typical for Ridge, wonderful.
The medium-plus body with good acidity and a fine underlayment of tannin managed perfectly the flavors reflective of the aromas with a hint of citrus.
Finished long on the trailing palate, cayenne pepper, and a well-balanced 14.4% Alcohol.
Varietals were 67% Zinfandel, 18% Petite Sirah, 11% Carignane, and 2% Mourvèdre.
Paired perfectly with my beef stew and warm garlic bread.


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Thursday, January 19, 2017

M.A.N Family Wines 'Warrelwind' 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa)






M.A.N Family Wines 'Warrelwind' (South Africa) 2015  Sauvignon Blanc, $6.99-$10.99, 89 points, appeared as a light brass color grading clear toward the glass wall.
One of the best aromas in a Sauvignon Blanc I've smelled; having soft touches of Lychee, pineapple, honeysuckle, and citrus with the faintest note of black pepper.
Light-bodied, not as acidic or as crisp as a typically good Cali SB, but enough so as to illicit a bit of continuous salivating.
Flavors began with the reflective aromas, but quickly succumbed to a more expected fresh-cut grass dominance.
Finished a tad thin on melon rind and a spot-on 13% alcohol.
Still a magnificent effort for a seven dollar Sauvignon Blanc! Will be hard to beat in value. Hear! Hear!
Paired perfectly with my 'pole caught' Skipjack tuna salad with horseradish and leaks.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sean Minor Napa Valley 'Nicole Marie' 2013 Red Wine



 

Sean Minor Napa Valley 'Nicole Marie' 2013 Red Wine, $15.99-$22.99, 90 points, poured a deep purple/red with a clear terminal ring.
The aromas were toasty blackberry with hints of coffee and sage.
Near full-bodied with good acidity and layered grainy tannins managed flavors reflective of the aromas accented by mint and licorice notes.
Finished long on the trailing palate, plum notes, restrained red pepper power, and a well-balanced 14.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my Texas burgers.
Varietals were 51% Merlot, 29% Zinfandel, 15% Petit Verdot, and 5% Petite Sirah.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tablas Creek Vineyard Paso Robles 2014 Côtes de Tablas (Rhône-styled) Red Wine





Tablas Creek Vineyard Paso Robles 2014 Côtes de Tablas (Rhône-styled) Red Wine, $25.49-$29.99, 92 points, poured a deep ruby red grading widely maroon up to the broad clear wine ring and glass wall of sticky sheeting.
Aromas were fragrantly floral, almost perfumed with boysenberry jam, pomegranate juice, and a hint of cinnamon.
Medium to medium-plus body, good acidity, and a comfortably firm underlayment of tannin carried a bounty of flavors which mirrored the aromas with hints of plum and a tasty nuttiness.
Finished long on the 15% alcohol inspirited spiciness and a whisper of mint.
Varietals were 44% Grenache, 36% Syrah, 12% Counoise, and 8% Mourvèdre.
This red wine was lively and yummy; paired perfectly with our loaded pizza.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Tabali Winery, Limari Valley, Chile, 2009 Reserva Late Harvest Muscat






Tabali Winery, Limari Valley, Chile, 2009 Reserva Late Harvest Muscat, $9.00 375ml, 87 points, poured a deep glossy gold color with a slight green tint.
Aromatic orange, pome blossoms, and honey impressed.
Full-bodied with fair acidity and rich flavors that mirrored the aromas were good.
Finished steadfast on the trailing palate and a rather warm 12.5% alcohol.
Paired okay with my warm pecan pie.



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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Meerlust Estate Stellenbosch 'Rubicon' 2009 Red Wine (South Africa)



Meerlust Estate Stellenbosch 'Rubicon' 2009 Red Wine (South Africa) $27.19-$34.99, 93 points, poured broadly black grading purple/red and terminating with a 'bleeding' clear wine ring.
The nose was warm rich earth, faint toasty boysenberry jam, and a rose-like floral component.
Full-bodied with fair-plus acidity, mostly resolved tannins, and icy smooth flavors of Damson plums and truffles with hints of coffee and sweet tobacco.
Finished long on the trailing palate and a 14.5% alcohol inspirited spice.
The 'Rubicon' was an elegant red wine which I loved from the first taste until the last taste eight hours later.
Paired perfectly with my spiced rubbed rare bone-in rib eye.
Varietals were 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.

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(Meritage) International Bordeaux-Styled Red Wines


  Why this designation of International Bordeaux-Styled Red Wines? Simply as a taxonomical tool to separate typical Red Wine (USA) blends and Rhône Red Wine (France) blends from red wines made around the world, and with blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec (Malbac). In the photograph below you'll notice on the label of the Argentinian red wine the term "Assemblage" which I take to be a "Meritage" of sorts.





Achaval Ferrer Quimera Mendoza 2009 Red Wine, $39.09-$45.99, 93+ points
Achaval Ferrer Quimera Mendoza 2011 Red Wine, $20.69-$45.99, 90+ points
Atamisque Assemblage 2008 Red Wine (Bordeaux blend), $32.99-$36.99, 90 points
Atamisque Assemblage 2009 Red Wine (Argentina), $32.99-$36.99, 89 points
Meerlust Estate Stellenbosch 'Rubicon' 2009 Red Wine (South Africa), $27.19-$34.99, 93 points
Te Kahu (Hawkes Bay New Zealand), Craggy Range Single Vineyard 2011 Bordeaux Styled Red Wine, $17.59-$21.99, 89 points
Terra Di Monteverro 2011 Toscana Red Wine (IGT), $28.99-$59.99, 92 points

Meritage (USA) Bordeaux Styled Red Wine
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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Marques De Grinon 'Caliza' 2010 Red Wine (Valdepusa, Spain)


Marques De Grinon 'Caliza' 2010 Red Wine (Valdepusa, Spain), $17.99-$19.99, 90 points, was densely black up to an abrupt ruby red demarcation near the clear wine ring and residual sheeting on the glass bowl.
Aromas were pleasantly earthy, floral, and fruity.
Medium-bodied with good acidity, firm developing (through to the finish) tannins, and herbal flavors accented with tobacco and soft plum notes.
Finished long on violets and lilacs, easy spiciness, a hint of citrus, and the bold 14.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with my Buffalo wings and celery covered with blue cheese.
Varietals were 70% Syrah and 30% Petit Verdot.
Couple of comments:
Marques De Grinon 'Caliza' isn't for everyone, but for people that have been in a rut with Apothic-type smooth-drinking reds, this Marques De Grinon 'Caliza' is a clear choice to experience an excellent, inexpensive, and lean (positively speaking) red wine.


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Friday, January 13, 2017

A to Z Oregon 2014 Pinot Noir






A to Z Oregon 2014 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$19.99, 88 points, poured a bright ruby red with a clear wine ring and light legs.
Gentle red fruit and a floral vibe on the nose were good.
The almost medium body carried good acidity, a thin underlayment of tannin with refreshing Strawberry-rhubarb, blueberry, and a hint of spiced red cherry flavors.
Finished long with a bit of toast, melon rind, a touch of white pepper, and a well-integrated 13.5% alcohol.
Paired perfectly with my wife's honey chicken wings.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Noble Vines 'The One' North Coast 2013 Red Wine


Okay! Now you're talking!
Unlike the bottle of Noble Vines {1} 2011 Red Wine, 
which I opened and found to be flawed, this ONE will be much more fun!




Noble Vines 'The One' North Coast 2013 Red Wine, $11.99-$14.99, 88 points, poured inky black almost to the glass shallows where a clear wine ring was fed by 'teary tributaries'.
Aromatic and profuse, smells of violets, toast, boysenberry jam, and hints of coffee wafted out of the glass as I poured.
Full-bodied, fairly acidic, mellow tannin, and loads of fruit with enough accenting coffee, licorice, chocolate, and candied cherry flavors to have a photo-finish with any Apothic red wine I've tasted.
Finished well on the trailing palate, evolving chocolate notes, some good spiciness, and a hefty 14.5% alcohol.
Varietals were a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel.
Not my genre of red wine, but for those that like easy-drinking, full-bodied, tasty reds (you know who you are) this is your next Christmas present.
Please, some of you will be tempted to disparage Apothic-types, but get over it; many people I know love them; the wines might as well taste good.

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