Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mittelbach Tegernseerhof Rose 2013 wine review by (PB)

This Austrian Rose has a bright bouquet of subdued red melon and a touch of raspberry.

Palate--Nice burst of "zippy" fruit with a peachy aftertaste and a palate cleansing acidity.

I paid $15 for this Austrian rose which is about $5 too much. It's a decent, lively rose that tastes great chilled down on hot summer day, but there are SO many great roses today at the $10 price point that this is not worth the price. If you see it for about 2/3's less grab it, chill it and raise a glass. Otherwise try something else.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rocca Delle Macie "SaSyr" 2011 wine review by (PB)

Purple to cranberry hue with aromas giving the classic Sangiovese bouquet on first whiff but then there is a blast of fresh fruit like candy apple cherry (the hard red coating on candied apples) with a rear guard of sweet herbs. This is a distinctive and enticing bouquet!

Palate--It tastes a little confused to me with the Sangiovese (60%) fighting with the (40%) Syrah. There's a nice sense of pie crust with residual baked-on cherry juice on it, red berries, and a touch of dried red fruit. Finish lingers a bit.

I had this wine several vintages ago and didn't care for it. It wasn't a bad wine at all it's just one of those preference things. I like Sangiovese when it's a blend if its with Cabernet Sauvignon, but not so much with Syrah. That's just me. This wine has a lovely bouquet though.

I see this around for anywhere from $9 on sale to $13. Just a word of warning--in these summer months, unless you have a temperature controlled cooler, don't drink this at room temperature unless your house is air conditioned and kept fairly cool. This wine changes dramatically as the temperature rises and the alcohol begins to engulf all else. This is true of any red wine and heat so don't be afraid to throw it in the refrigerator for 1/2 before you drink it and then raise a glass!

By the way Rocca Delle Macie is pronounced ROH-kah DELL-eh mah-CHEE-ah!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gascon Colosal "red blend" 2012 wine review by (PB)

Intensely pigmented with a dark tomatoey red, opaque hue.
Aromas of gigantic black fruit and loads of "stuff" going on! Tar, bold evergreen and spice, cigar box and more ripe berry fruit lurking underneath it all. Wow!

Palate--Again, gigantic immense bold deep, dark berries with thickish, rich texture. Finishes with a lingering dark fruit with some charred oak.

This "red blend" is Malbec, Bonarda, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Malbec and Syrah stand out to me but candidly I do not have a lot of experience with Bonarda.

I paid $9 for this $16 wine marked down. This is definitely an upper teens value so raise a glass and enjoy it with something with plenty of heft!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Big nose with dark berries, roasted notes, and cedar

Full bodied on the palate

Long, layered finish, complex with dark berries and earthy notes


If you have this wine stashed away, open it and enjoy! It's drinking beautifully right now at eight years of age. It's immensely flavorful and has a nice complexity to it that drives the finish. Well made and expressive, for sure. Expect to pay around $30 if you happen to see it in a store. Thanks to Ken and Emily for supplying this one over a Summer dinner on the porch. Raise a glass!

Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2011 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Wild berries and bramble on the nose

Full bodied and well textured on the palate

Dark berries, dried herbs, and resinous notes on the finish


Here's a widely available wine that's a great value and versatile with food. I found this at Trader Joe's for $9, and poured it with some grilled meat and vegetables on a week night. Made from Grenache blended with Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault, it delivers nice flavor and depth. For my money, Cotes du Rhone wines from the Southern Rhone valley in France continue present some of the best red wine values in the world. Raise a glass!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bridlewood Monterey County Pinot Noir 2012 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Fragrant red fruit bouquet on the nose

Medium bodied on the palate

Silky texture on the finish with red fruit, spice, and caramel notes


Here's a nice, elegant Pinot Noir at a good price. It's a relatively simple style, but it's harmonious and pleasing to the palate. Expect to pay around $12, and pour with anything from salad to lamb chops. Raise a glass!

Hedges CMS Columbia Valley Red Wine 2011 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Mixed berry notes on the nose

Full bodied and rustic on the palate

Harsh finish, heavily tannic, with flat berry and roasted notes


I've enjoyed this wine in the past, but the 2011 is not very good. It's an untamed, harsh wine that even with plenty of breathing probably won't develop. Unfortunately, take a pass, save your $14, and check back for the 2012.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wine tasting and the impact of medications by (PB)

If you visit our blog frequently you see that I have not posted very much if at all for some time. The reason being I am on medication for an issue and the particular medication messes up my ability to "taste" properly. It's important to note to your self when you are on any kind of medicine--even over the counter--meds as they may have an impact on your taster's ability to do its job.

With over 10,000 views a month on this blog, I am cautious not to impugn a wine carelessly realizing I may be unnecessarily creating diminished sales for a particular producer. For this reason there are all kinds of wines I have never posted my reviews simply because I did not trust the condition of my palate at the time of tasting. An upper respiratory infection (ie., a cold) can have a similar effect on your abilities even before your cold manifested itself with symptoms.

Tip off--if you are drinking a wine that you are at least familiar with the particular grape if not the wine and /or producer and it really seems "ucky" ask someone else to taste it and see if they think it tastes "OK." Sometimes my smeller is in fine shape but then I taste the wine and either the taste is off (eg. bitter when I know the type of wine is not generally bitter, or tart, or sour, or just tasteless or even the mouth feel is rather nasty.) Don't assume the wine is bad--it may be you! One good check is to try a wine with which you are very familiar; if it's kind of blech, forgo your wine experience until you're off the meds. Then raise a glass with confidence!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Carmen Reguengos Alentejo 2012 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Nose opens with red currant and raspberry

Medium bodied on the palate

Dry finish with red berries and herbs


From Portugal, this Alentejo is a pleasant, dry food wine. It shows good fruit backed by just the right amount of acidity and a dry finish. Don't expect it to jump out at you, rather simply enjoy it with a good meal. For $12, raise a glass!