Monday, April 21, 2014

Domaine Sainte-Eugenie Corbieres 2011 wine review by (PB)

Lighter ruby hue with aromas that are quite similar to Pinot Noir; spicy raspberry and fresh cherry juice with cinnamon notes.

Palate--Perky structure with mouth watering acidity, bright and tart raspberry/cherry fruit with steely notes.

This surprised me and if I had been tasting it blind, I would have thought this was pinot noir.

The grapes of the Corbieres are Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. I am not sure of the blend here but tastes heavy on Grenache to me. At any rate--I paid $11 fro this lighter bodies red and I'm raising a glass here on Patriot's Day for the residents of Maine and Massachusetts!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Les Fees Brunes Crozes Hermitage Syrah 2009 wine review by (PB)

Jellied cranberry hue with aromas of dark berry fruit with lovely dill accents and black licorice.

*Palate--Subtle blackberry notes with a bit of a coarse structure,with white pepper notes. Finishes unremarkably.

Produced by Jean-Luc Colombo this is 100% Syrah from Cornas.

I am paring with a roast duckling with an orange sauce and should be just fine.

I paid $20 for this and candidly I'm not real impressed but in fairness, I may be coming down with something so my palate may be off a bit. As it stands, I would give this a pass.

*Update on above review: This wine has had a couple hours to breathe and we have finished with dinner. The wine was so much better with our roast duckling than by itself. It was in fact, not coarse with dinner, it was more complex than it seemed when tasted by itself and the bottle is gone. I could have gone back and simply edited my original post but I believe this serves to teach in the process of the whole wine experience. I am FAR from a novice in the world of wine. So I want this to show how an opinion of wine can change--legitimately--with a change in circumstances and time. So after the fact I have to say this was a very nice wine and a definite "Raise a glass" kind of wine. Old world vs New world--Viva Le Difference!

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!