Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hillgate Zinfandel 2011 "Lake County" wine review by (PB)

Garnet hue with aromas of pungent blackberry with a brambly overtones, with a suggestion of rose petal underneath with a touch of mint.

Palate--Tasty, rustic blackberry fruit with a foundation of brambly forest floor. A touch of bitters and dark berry finish;

I saw this on my way to the register with my "real" wine purchases and since I haven't had a Lake County Zin I thought I would grab this $10 wine. I was not inclined to recommend it but after two days, (you read that right)it really opened up and is a nice value for $10 so raise a glass!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Cesari Amarone della Volpolicella Classico 2008 wine review by (PB)

Slight opaque garnet with aromas of sweet cherry,sweet spices and earthy notes with a bold bitter sweet fudge nose on opening with caraway notes.

Palate--Supple body with integrated fruit, fresh cherry with slightly sour pie cherry flavors with a rustic edge.

I paid $25 for this which is decent price. The amarone process is unique and you should Google it or read one of my early posts on this blog about the process.

This is a classy wine and one we will pair with a grilled sirloin. This is delicious so raise a glass!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Le Berceau Blanquette de Limoux wine review by (NW)

Tasting notes:

Lemon, apple, and white pepper on the nose

Medium bodied with tightly knit bubbles on the palate

Apple notes with a tartness on the finish


This is a good value bubbly, interesting and well made. It's a Blanquette de Limoux from France, which is made in the traditional method similar to Champagne but from the Mauzac grape.

It has nice, gripping acidity and tartness combined with bright fruit flavor and dense bubbles. For a light aperitif, this is a good choice. It's a crowd pleaser and won't last long once it's open. I recommend it, especially for the $15 price tag it carries. Raise a glass!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Lugana Cento Filari 2012 (Cesari) wine review by (PB)

Lightly golden presentation with aromas of big citrusy front, sweet floral orange blossoms with vanilla pudding and loads of summer fruit.

Palate--Fruity lemon and lime explosion with racy acidity and long finish of bright citrus compote with hints of vanilla.

This wine with the stellar name of Cesari on the label hails from the Veneto region (Cavion Veronese) specifically and is a nice palate cleansing fruit grenade that will complement my homemade ricotta ravioli with a rich buttery lobster cream sauce.

I paid $26 for this and all because of the Cesari name! I liked it for sure but when I spend that kind of money I want something special. This was Good, VERY good and enjoyable, but special? Not so much. I will pass only because of its price! I have had equally as good for $10 less.

Shannon Ridge Petite Sirah (Lake Copunty) High Elevation Collection 2010 wine review by (PB)

Deep black cherry hue

Bouquet--Plummy, jammy fruit bomb with nice aromas maybe a hint of tar.

Palate--Easy to drink, popular big fruity flavors with a finish suggesting milk chocolate.

Made in the fruit forward, popular style that most Americans enjoy, this inexpensive Petite Sirah is gently structured. I paid $9 for it and paired it with a grilled veal chop. I wouldn't buy it again but its an easy drinking wine with big presence so why not raise a glass if your on a tight budget?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tenimenti Luigi d'Alessandro Manzano Migliara Cortona Syrah 2007 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Crushed blackberry and mocha on a huge, jammy nose

Full bodied on the palate

Long, rich, silky finish of milk chocolate, raspberry sauce, and spice


This wine is huge, rich, jammy, and modern. I'd call it controversial, with fruit bomb qualities that neither define geography or varietal. I grabbed it because I don't see many Syrahs from Central Italy, especially Cortona in Umbria. It gets points for being interesting, for sure.

With this said, I found it hard not to enjoy. The bottle went empty pretty quickly, fruit bomb or not. It has amazing texture and is so well layered that it continues to show various notes of ripe berries and sweet fruit flavors in the glass.

While I've seen it priced as high as $80, I paid $35 on clearance and would buy more if it was available at that price. I'd be curious to taste this in another 5 years or so because the only other Tuscan Syrah I've collected (different producer) is from the 1998 and 1999 vintages which are still drinking well.

Here's to trying new wines, so raise a glass!

Concha Y Toro (Puente Alto Marques De Casa Concha) 2011 wine review by (PB)

Intense Purple black hue with heavy pigmentation

Bouquet-- Burnt ash right on opening with bold, black berry and tar, with vegetal notes of green pepper, and a host of aromas I don't even have descriptors for. After an overnight, the burnt ash is gone and menthol/cedar looms prominently.

Palate--Bold inky dark berry flavor, with eucalyptus notes, and intense dark baker's chocolate with a slightly tannic foundation, and a young mouth feel again reminiscent of a young Don Melchor.

Finishes with charred oak and a pleasantly bitter berry fruit finale.

This reminds me of Concha Y Toro's fabulous Cab "Don Melchor" in its infancy. This is their 2nd tier label of which I reviewed several vintages over the years as a consistent superior wine every year.

I paid $19 for this recently; it is listed in the Wine Spectator with a reference price of $26 and 93 pts on their 100 point scale. (Good call WS!) This Cab is pleasant and impressive right now but there is much more to come with another 3-5 years and will hold for another 10. At $19 it's a super value and at $26 it's still a great value so--Raise a glass for sure!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Vinchio-Vaglio Serra Piemonte Barbera 2012 wine review by (PB)

Black cherry hue with cherry berry aroma with a bit of earthy under layer with dill or cedar.

Palate--Solid foundation with bright fruit, gentle tannins and a pleasant drink-ability.

I wanted to make a study this year on Barberas and Barbarescos but there are so few of them in my area that I decided that would be impossible. The few I have had are fruity, decidedly "Italian" tasting, carrying a rustic edge and pleasantly drinkable. This one was quite inexpensive at around the $10 price point and I would certainly buy it again which means--raise a glass!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Talbot "Kali Hart" Chardonnay 2011 wine eview by (PB)

Straw hue with aromas of vanilla, citrusy fruit with cream pudding, a touch of cinnamon and fresh summer melon.

Palate-- Juicy lemony creme brulee with sharp acidity, tangy green apple and a fairly quick finish but pleasant.

I paid $14 for this Monterey creation and I liked it a lot with my Hake fillet with capers and wine reduction sauce with lemon. You'll see it for a bit more more than likely but at $14, it's a nice value so raise a glass!