Thursday, November 20, 2014

Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 Wine review by (PB)

Purple hue with bright aromas of spicy cinnamon, candy apple red coating, subtle notes of milk chocolate, gentle grape,(go figure) strawberry and a touch of raspberry. Wow! This may be the best bouquet of Nouveau in memory!

Palate--light and lively red berries with strawberry note and a minerally steely finish. This is well made with discernible structure that outshines many wines made to last a lot longer than this drink-it-now, quaffing delight.

At $10 this is an experience celebrated the world over on this third Thursday of November and this is one of the best Nouveau's in the last decade. Put a slight chill on it or take it at room temp--especially if you live in Maine or Buffalo. Don't over analyze it, just drink it and enjoy--Le nouveau est arrivé!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jean-Francois Merieau Le Bois Jacou Gamay 2012 wine review by (PB)

Daffodil, lots of spices, white pepper hint, with big "tequila" aroma, with cherry,strawberry fruit, and grapefruit! (unique)

Palate--subdued fruit with big white pepper and spice flavor, on a steely finish.

Wow--this "Touraine" Gamay I would ever have guessed was a Gamay. Unlike any Gamay I have ever had. Quite puckery tannins, bracing structure and should be an interesting pairing with my broiled cod in a tomatoey light sauce.

Expect to pay around $16 for this and I am glad I bought it as it is a truly unique experience so raise a glass!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Beaujolais Nouveau is coming!!! wine alert by (PB)

Remember this Thursday (Nov. 20) Beaujolais Nouveau is released all over the world. Nouveau is made from the Gamay grape and sent to market only 6 weeks after harvest! It is fresh, straightforward, and simple wine drinking at its best. In France, it is the cause for a national celebration observed annually on the third Thursday of the November with the wine being out for sale at the same time around the globe. It will cost you around $10 and Georges Duboeuf is the ubiquitous negociant although other "brands" should be fine.

If you happen to find a "Beaujolais Villages" Nouveau plan to spend another couple bucks.

At any rate--if you are into wine at all, you need to be a part of this annual ritual joining millions the world over drinking the same thing on the same day world wide so: Raise a Glass!

Buehler Chardonnay (Russian River) 2012 wine review by (PB)

Pale gold hue with aromas of apple and pear, melon and creme brulee with sweet vanilla bean.

Palate--a citrus beam runs right down the middle with mouth watering acidity, tropical fruit, vanilla ; made in the oakey style. The finish of this economical Chard hangs on for a good while.

I paid $11 for this which is a value for a Russian River Chard. It's juicy, well made and solid value making me want to say, "Buehler? Bueheler?. I will pair it with chicken and rice this evening which is chicken baked on top of rice soaking in mushroom soup so raise a glass.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Chusclan "Les Genets" 2012 wine review by (PB)

Cranberry jelly hue with aromas that are rustic, with a touch of forest floor, fresh cherry and cherry cream.

Palate--Lively mouth feel with vibrant acidity that makes my mouth watering, leaving a moderate wake of tart red fruit and a fleeting finish.

This blend of 5 Rhone grapes is predominantly Grenache which is what carries the day. This sells at a $17 price point but you can find it for a good bit less if you hunt. It's an interesting blend and a good food wine for which I say, "Raise a glass!"

Bogle Pinot Noir 2012 wine review by (PB)

Light raspberry bouquet with gentle spices and a touch of chocolate covered cherries.

Palate--Understated, fruit flavors, with an overly acidic foundation, a fleeting finish of faded fruit leaves my mouth underwhelmed.

Bogle has been producing some real values wines of late but this California sourced Pinot just doesn't do it. I'd let this one go by the wayside.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sierra Batuco Pinot Noir Reserva 2011 wine review by (PB)

Lighter ruby hue with aromas of spicy and bright raspberry/cherry

Palate--Initial impression of band aids with subdued tart, acidic red fruit with a slight band aid finish.

Who! This is not a good beginning but since it is Pinot Noir I have experienced this before and it disappears with some airtime. We shall see!

This wine is flawed and will be returned where I will receive a refund without issue. Any reputable store will do this; just be sure the wine is flawed and not just a wine you don't care for!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ghost Pines Red Blend 2012 wine review by (PB)

Deep black cherry hue with aromas of chocolate covered red fruit, with loads of red berry and blueberry hints, plenty of rustic spice, tart red raspberry.

Palate--Supple texture solid structure, bold, full bodied, berry fruit with hints of cocoa, and a finish that leaves your mouth tingling.

This is a Gallo partnered production sourced from grapes of Sonoma, Napa, and San Joaquin Counties. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Syrah, and Petit Verdot. I am always leery of such blends as few makers can do them well not ending up tasting like a confused stew of grapes; Beaulieu's "Tapestry" is one such stand out. When I first smelled this taht is exactly what I thought--Confused... But with some air, the wine comes together with the Zinfandel winning out and while I am not crazy about the bouquet, the proof is on the palate and this is a downright, interesting and tasty creation. I will be pairing it with grilled rib-eye and will be perfect.

Thanks to my long time birthday partner, hunting partner (sort of) and 4 wheeler partner for this birthday gift! Raise a glass and BTW it is available at Sam's Clubs though I am not sure of the price.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2012 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Tropical fruit bouquet with coconut and lime

Full bodied on the palate

Finishes with melon, citrus notes, and some creamy oak


Here's a rich, round style of Chardonnay from Columbia Crest in their highly reliable Grand Estates line. This one has really soft edges but just enough acidity to keep it honest. It's a crowd-pleaser for sure.

Expect to pay $11 or so, but I've seen prices from $8 to $13 recently. Raise a glass!

Perez Cruz Carmenere Limited Edition 2012 wine review by Billy

Nose: light notes of plum, cherry and a hint of mushroom
Palate: Firm tannins and moderate acids play with each other until the tannins win. Strong characteristics of loam and charcoal. Pleasant dry mouth feel.
Finish: Vegetal and long but subtle.
Overall: We paid $26 for this at a local wine shop. We also decanted it for 30 minutes or so before tasting it. This wine is 100% Carmenere grapes from the Maipo Alto region of Chile. The grapes are hand picked and the winery practices sustainable farming.

I am not a fan of 100% Carmenere wine.  But a very engaging wine store aficionado, RJ from Wine Republic in Excelsior, MN, persuaded us to try it.  He was a good advocate for the varietal and an engaging fellow.

This wine is well made and structured. But the Carmenere grape simply does not have enough character to create an amazing wine by itself. The nose has some teasing tempranillo and merlot hints but the fruit is obliterated in the mouth by the overwhelming taste of the "terroir". This terroir is akin to a spoonful of dirt dumped on your tongue.

For the money, go with a couple bottles of French Merlot blends or Old Vines California Zinfandel or even a middle level Cabernet. The French history of the Carmenere grape is evident in its potential for complexity but sometimes complex is just difficult.

Still, it was good to engage with a local wine shop owner who has opinions and is willing to go out on a limb to encourage patrons to try something new.

Concha Y Toro Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 wine review by (PB)

Substantially pigmented rich, dark cranberry jelly hue with aromas of over the top vegetal bouquet on opening that gives way to big, dark fruit, ripe plum, baker's chocolate. loads of forest floor and cedar with more fruit behind.

Palate--Bold, full bodied,vibrant, rich intense berries and other dark fruits with a sharp cocoa beam with a lengthy finish of spices, subdued fruit and rustic meadow flavors.

Concha Y Toro and I have had a relationship since the mid 70's. They were a big part of my early wine exploration and they have only continued to make their mark in the world wine arena. This is a classic Chilean Cab and Concha Y Toro does Cab WELL! No matter the price point of any particular varietal, their wines are generally super values and this is no exception.

I can't remember what I paid for this but seems to sell for around $15. At this price point, it is a BIG wine and lot for the money so grab some and reward yourself laying a few bottles down for a few more years and you won't be disappointed so raise a glass!