Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Wine Cask's Recommendations

Feudo Arancio 2003 Nero D'Avola (PB)
Dried cherries; a hint of anise; candied berries on opening! Mouth watering tannins, classic old world style. At $8, this is a really nice value wine!

Damilano Barolo 2001 (billy)
A lucid ruby red with a nose of sensuous cocoa, cherry, and tobacco. In the mouth the structure is liquid velvet where cherries and cocoa and tobacco mingle with exquisitely balanced acids and tannins. The Finish is perfect - a lingering decrescendo without a missed note.

Research indicates this will age well through 2008 or so. $33 is fairly priced. Any less is a bargain and demands that you pick up a bottle.

Zind Humbrecht Gewurtztraminer 2004
A golden wine with a bouquet of fruit of apples, peaches, apricots and pineapple. In the mouth it is rich and full.

There is a layer of smoke that is subtle but definite and fascinating. The finish of this wine is lingering and full of fresh apricots that just keeps going.

This is great with food or as an aperitiffe. $20 but worth every penney! Go!!!

Rosenblum Zinfandel Oakley Vineyard 2003 (PB)

Cherry aromas and a little spice with dark berry aromas that are intense. Rich with nice raisiny flavors with a scant hint of chocolate and spice.

This is a food friendly wine and at $15, I HAVE to recommend this Zin!

Covey Run Riesling 2004 (PB)
Not to be confused with Covey Run “Dry Riesling” this wine is light, fresh and a bouquet of pineapple and citrus. In the mouth it is fresh, lively with a bit of “spritzig” (sparkle) and well balanced. At $7 this is a run out and buy all you find wine! Drink by itself or with a spicy dish or even Chinese!

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2001 (PB)
Already recommended once but I HAVE to recommend it again just in case you missed it! At $11, "Marvin K Mooney, Will you please go NOW" and grab this while you can!

Gallo of Sonoma Pinot Noir Reserve 2003 (PB)
This inexpensive Pinot Noir is a great value and wonderful example of the grape. Don't miss this one if you are ignorant of what classic Pinot aroma and taste is like. At $10, knock yourself out and raise a glass!

Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc 2004 (PB)
Straw colored with generous fragrances of pineapple, mandarin oranges and “grassy” aroma. It is supple with nice mouth feel and big pineapple and quince flavors. The finish is simply, nice! $12-$15

Covey Run Riesling 2004 (PB)
Pale golden on the pour with a nose of grapefruit and peach overtones. This creation is mildly sweet but then veers off to a nicely acidic offering that is both mildly sweet yet dry at the same time. As a Wine Spectator 87 point wine, Such a value is hard to find for under $8.00.

Eos Petite Syrah 2000
This is a Paso Robles red of deep garnet on the pour with good fruit of cherries with a touch of a little licorice and a smidge of cocoa with refined tannins.

Black cherries, a touch of licorice and this wine is at peak; is luscious with refined tannic structure. $22 but worth it!

Concannon Petite Syrah 2003
This wine is so intense in deep purple color it leaves pigmentation on the glass after you swirl. It has a unique nose that is deep and inky with a hint of milk chocolate. In the mouth this gorgeous wine is big with humongous but finessed tannins. Deep dark berry fruit is central with a subtle layer of anise. At $10 it is a find!

House Wine (2003)
The wine with the generic name, previously reviewed in June--look it up here--is still worth searching out. You'll regret it if you don't find it and give it a swirl! It will caost you about $12 (or less!)

Cline Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2004 (PB)
This wine is big in every way right on opening with a huge bouquet of dark fruit. It sells rich! In the mouth this wine is just as full with loads of body and flavor and mouth feel.

With a little air time, which isn’t necessary for this elegant creation, it is so full of flavor and if you ever wondered what “plush” tannins were like; this is it! This is just a nicely made, elegant wine. It finished velvety, and long–the finest tannins I have had yet! At the listed reference price of $18, this wine is a bargain BUT–Sam’s Club has it for under $13!

Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2003
Fruit filled with black cherries opening to a wonderful fruity wine with solid tannins and a rich flavor of hay and watermelon and little spice. At $8.50, give it a whirl; have I steered you wrong yet?

Chateau Montpezat 2003 (PB)
This lighter, garnet colored wine is from the Coteaux Du Languedoc. The bouquet is full of cherries and licorice. It is a little sweet with nice, even flavors. For a $15 wine this is VERY nice and worth seeking out!

Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (PB)

This wine is typical New Zealand with a bouquet of fresh cut apples and guava.
This wine is highly acidic in a good way and is fresh with big pear and guava flavors with a a sense of creaminess on the palate yet it finishes it clean and dry. At $10, pick it up and try it; I believe you'll love it!

Dry Creek Chenin Blanc 2004 (PB)
This pale straw white wine has a strong nose of pineapple, apples and tropical fruit that is fabulous. In the mouth, this quaff is solidly acidic making it a great pairing wine with many foods and it is neither sweet nor dry. It is a tad creamy and just plain impressive at $9. Don't miss this one. You can't afford too!

Camelot Pinot Noir 2003 (PB)
Read the complete review but don't waste time doing that before you run out and buy some of this bargain creation fro around $7! It has some complexity, great flavors and pairs well with a variety of foods. At this price, it's hard to beat!

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
It is deep and dark in the glass with raisiny and ripe blackberry aromas. Flavors are quite large with prunes and ripe fruit though hot on opening. A nice chocolate finish gives this $9 wine a shot at greatness. One of the best value wines of the year.
Concannon Petite Syrah 2002
Recommended back in March and now recommoneded again. check out the review and then go buy a couple bottles of this inexpensive, ($10) big wine!

Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Don’t be fooled by the rather generic name of this wine. The bouquet of this garnet wonder from Sonoma is graceful, fruity on the bouquet w/ a couple different layers of eucalyptus with a touch of licorice. It is rich in currants, with a sweetish fragrance and a great balance. I would push it to that “special” 90 range. You can find it for around $15!

Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (PB)
This New Zealand phenome is a pale yellow in the glass with a phenomenal classic “grassy” Sauvignon Blanc bouquet with a citrusy foundation. In the mouth this wine is superbly balanced with a solid base of acid.

It is rich and creamy in the mouth and the finish just keeps on going and going. At $8.99 buy some NOW!

Covey Run Dry Riesling 2003 (PB)
It's brilliant, and lively with a unique bouquet and a candied nose of something elusive and exciting. A bit sweet yet its acidity balances it out well. It turns buttery, fruity and wonderful with food or by itself. At $8, this is a winner and another recommended wine to seek after.

House Wine Columbia Valley 2003 (PB)
Search it out: at less than $12 it is a blend of Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot and it is really BIG! Chocolate, fudge and berry/cherry flavors with mellow tannins (after breathing and decanting) yields a BIG, full flavored wine.

Kendall Jackson Vinter's Reserve Pinot Noir 2003 (PB)
The bouquet fills the room of fresh fruit of raspberries, currants, black cherries and black berries. Full of spice that is elegant in balance with a touch of chocolate in the end. VERY nice especially at $12!

Cartlidge and Browne Pinot Noir 2003 (PB)
This light red beauty comes out of the bottle with seductive aromas of fresh fruit and pipe tobacco aromas. Has a tartness and pleasant finish of cherry fruit. At $10.50 this is a "search out" wine!

Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2003 (PB)
This South African from the Stellenbosch region is golden pale on the pour with fruit galore in the bouquet has a nose of pears, Apple, peaches and apricots with a hint of nectarines and a definite texture and flavor of rich cream. The 2004 is supposed to be even better! At $9 look for it!

Rosemount Estates Traminer-Riesling 2004 (PB)
Pale golden with a light bouquet of apricots and peaches. In the mouth it is sweeter than I would have expected but is quite refreshing. The texture is rich and there is a subtle hint of bananas which is quite nice. The finish is long and satisfying. This was a Wine Spectator top 100 under $15. I paid $6; NICE!

Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Marlborough "Regional Collection" $10
Wine Spectator rated this wine an 88 and a "Best Buy." It's every bit of that! So go for it and raise a glass!

Fetzer Gewurztraminer 2004 Valley Oaks $7
Put a good chill on this flavorful liquid Summer in a glass and just enjoy it to the max all by itself. Ahhhhhhhhhh.

Hahn Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Rich with intense berry flavors and lush tannins with licorice and raisiny notes with a nice flavorful finish. At $10 this is another great bargain!

Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
This $13 wine is must expereince wine of inexpensive first rate wines which are superior for thier price. It has a slightly minty, bouquet with sheer finesse in flavors and balance.

It is not only a great food wine but excellent all by itself. Don't let this one pass you by! Wines this good for this price are must buys! (See complete review in posts) (PB)

Sterling Vintner's Collection Pinot Noir 2003
This Central Coast delight is light on the pour with a raspberry bouquet with a real nice balance of fruit, tannins and acid. With a little time to breathe, cherries are up front and the balance is superior with a long elegant finish abounding in chocolate. At $12, this is worth hunting down before you miss it!

Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (PB)
This New Zealand creation is golden with a bouquet of kiwi fruit and pineapple. After a few minutes another layer emerges of classic Sauvignon Blanc grassiness.

Because I believe it is readily available and because it is such a good example of the grape, I have to recommend this. At $9.50, you can raise a glass or two.

Essensia 2003 Orange Muscat Dessert Wine (PB)
At $11, this half bottle of honey dessert wine bursts with floral aromas of orange blossoms and lilacs. From the provovative color to the caramel and fruit finish, this wine is a bargain all the way. Don't pass it up!

Chateau Du Donjon Grande Tradition 2003 (PB)

A nice surprise in an unknown red and for $8.50 a fresh, delightful guzzler. See complete review in recent posts.

Concannon Petite Syrah Selected Vineyards 2002 (PB)
This wine is rich with currant aromas, and dried raspberries. In the mouth it is wonderful, and big and tannins finish with a real finesse. Wow! At $10 you have to get this one--seems to be widely available.

    Snoqualmie Sauvignon Blanc 2003 (PB)
    This is a pretty and crisp straw colored wine that shimmers in the glass. There are loads of fresh cut apples, peaches and pears in the bouquet which is positively refreshing and tantalizing. With such nice acid it is great for food pairing. I had it with fried chicken and it was lovely.

    It finishes with some lasting fruit and at $5.79 a bottle I urge you to run to find it before it's gone.

    2 Brothers Big Tattoo Red 2003 (PB)
    Another winner from Chile. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Syrah is fruity with olives and yeast on the nose. It is amazingly big and balanced with an initial cocoa tease giving way to dried cherries. Good tannins make for a nice finish. At less then $10 this is a keeper. I would score this an 87.

    Chateau La Faurie-Peyraguey 2001 (PB)

    A luscious Sauternes, pale golden in the bottle. A gentle bouquet full of bananas and honey; powerfully sweet offset with a great acid foundation; floral scents and really ripe cantaloup or musk melons with a caramel sweep. I would give this wine a 92. Something special indeed!

    Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2001 (PB)

    Lighter on the pour with a bouquet that is fruity and the nose rich, even meaty. Medium bodied with robust tannins and a foundation of mixed berry flavors. A large presence of currants and raspberries climb on top with a nice silky texture. There is even some spice that tops it off for a provocative finish. It is a bargain value at $11.00. I would give it an 88 maybe even an 89.

  • Salmon Creek Chardonnay 2002/2003 (California)
    For the price, this one's hard to beat! You'll pay less than $5--seriously--and you'll be treated to buttery texture, decent acid perkiness and vanilla. I prefer the 02 to the 03 but only by a whisker. PB

  • Bodegas Escorihuela
    Malbec Mendoza Don Miguel Gascón 2000

    I paid $10 for it; tasted 1-10-05 This Argentinian is youthful in color and deep. Bouquet is nice but not huge. It is lively in the mouth with a unique bitterness and tartness neither of which is "bad" just intriguing. Even structure and nice tannins with cherries. This is well made and a good all around wine. Possible buy again. Wine Spectator gave it a "Best Buy." My reveiw was not as strong as theirs. They gave it an 88; I might give it an 84. (PB)

    Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2004
    This Chilean is another great buy out of S. America. It is huge in the bouquet of apricots and peaches. If I didn't know better I would have pegged it as a nice Gewurztraminer (another grape type)but the taste is characteristically Sauvignon Blanc. With a good acid base it is lively and citrusy making it another Wine Spectator "Best Buy." At $8-$10 you can't miss this one! (PB)

    Numanthia-Termes Toro Termes 2000
    This is a phenomenal Spanish red and At $22, this beautifully made wine of balance and fullness of flavors of spice, raisins, and a bouquet to entice even the most unlearned of wine lovers, is a MUST find. But good luck... (For more details, see my full review in the articles. (PB)

    Dry Creek Vineyards 2003 Chenin Blanc Clarksburg

    Don't let the name of the grape cause you to think "cheap white jug wine." This Californian is another steel at $8.50. On opening pears and pineapple lifesavers are impossible to miss. I was hooked almost before I had it in my mouth. But in the mouth it is rich in vanilla with a lovely citrusy tartness and slight lemon finish. I bought up the last two bottles of this I could find in a 75 miles radius. You should do likewise. Wine Spectator branded this a "Best buy." I'll say! (PB)

    Chateau De Flougerges 2001 $16
    This wine from the Coteaux Du Languedoc is beautiful and youthful in the glass and before swirling, a playful fruitiness danced its way into my presence that was almost candied like a hint of bubblegum. The bouquet is punctuated with a yeasty, fresh baked bread nose while swirling releases a chocolate surprise full of ripe berries. In the mouth there is a perky little hum, nearly “spritzig” to use the German term for a hint of carbonation only this is subtler. Tannins are lively and the wine is structurally sound. With some airtime, the yeasty fragrance mellows out and currants emerge with full rich force. The finish is somewhat delicate. Unique!(PB)

    Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2001:
    (see "quick Swirl" review for more info)
    This is an exceptional wine. I paid $16/bottle on sale; Wine Spectator scored it 90 points. This is a great buy from Chile!(NW)

    Camelot Pinot Noir 2002 $6.50 (PB)
    On the pour it is really light; almost enough to conclude that this couldn’t possibly be any good. In the glass it has light scents of currants and too much alcohol. But...with twenty minutes or so of air time, there was a thrilling though fleeting moment of dill which gave way to some pretty definite flavors of dried cherries and currants. At $6.50 where I bought it, how can you go wrong? I can’t wait to find the 2003! By the way, the 2001 of this same wine was equally good though more intense on raisins! Now put aside your scepticism and raise and a glass!

    Sebastiani Chardonnay 2001
    At $10 I sought out this wine as a recommended “best buy” from Wine Spectator. It even looks rich in the bottle causing me a second look to see if the bottle glass wasn’t tinted gold. It wasn’t, that was the color of this phenome. On the pour pears leap out of the glass and there is a rich butteryness in the bouquet. Wow! In the mouth, the flavors are deep and balanced with pineapple lifesavers underneath, silky texture and vanilla highlights to finish it all off.

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