Sunday, July 31, 2005
*But in the mouth it is as if this wine has given all it has to its bouquet. The flavors are fine but not what you would expect after such an impressive bouquet and worse yet, there is too much alcohol coming through. The finish gives another suggestion of bananas.
This could be a situation of bottle variation with respect to he disparity between what I might rate this wine and the Wine Spectator gives it. The bouquet is a strong 91; the flavors; 85. I paid $10 for a 375ml bottle because that is all the store had. It should run about $13 for a regular 750ml bottle. Once again, it’s hard to compete with New Zealand on this particular grape! Raise a glass!
*Note: Re-tasted this wine 24 hours later and it was a much better wine! Peaches galore in the bouquet and in the mouth. The rather oppressive alcohol flavors were non-existant. Odd-but this turned out to be a better wine than first reviewed--still my comparison with respect to New Zealand S. Blancs stands!
Saturday, July 30, 2005
In the mouth this wine is peppery in a large way with a subtle taste of chocolate, and a big blast of smoke that fades quickly. The finish is brief and it is a little “hot.”
Bringing the temperature down by chilling it in the refrigerator for an hour or so eliminates the premature volatility of alcohol aromas and nothing but big berry scents fill the air. The finish is still brief but with some nice raisiny notes. This is a good example of a Pinot Noir. I paid $13 for it but have seen it for $11. Not bad for the money and paired well with grilled pork chops with a lime, cilantro mayonnaise sauce both on the grill and with the meat when served. Raise a glass to beautiful Summer days of sun shine and 70's!
Thursday, July 28, 2005
They are as follows:
W.H. Smith Wines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Maritime Vineyard 2003
Rated 97! At a cost of $45. (The median price for a 97 point wine is around $195)
W.H. Smith Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Hellenthal Vineyard 2003
Rated 96! At a cost of $35.
Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2003
Rated 95! At a cost of $28.
For the Sauvignon Blanc devotee they list the following:
Grgich Hills Fume Blanc Napa Valley 2004
Rated 92 at a cost of $24.
Cliff Lede’s Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2004
Rated 92 at a cost of $18.
And listed as a “Smart Buy”
Paul Autard Cotes Du Rhone 2003
Rates a 90 at a reference price of $14.
Again I cannot vouch for any of these wines personally so--Caveat Emptor– but I have found the Wine Spectator to be fairly reliable–which means among other things, their tastes are similar to my own. Raise a glass and if you find any of these selections, please let us know what you thought and what you paid!
Monday, July 25, 2005
In the mouth it is actually a little sweet compared to most merlot styles, and marvelously balanced and full of flavors of spicy fruit, chocolate fudge aromas and flavors and it is absolutely wowing!!!
This wine is definitely at its peak right now. At $ 40 this wine would be fine; at the $10 price it is, if you find it, grab it and drink it right away. This a sensational first class quaff with a finish that makes you want to salute!
(This wine was already on the "Recommended Wine list--for a comparison of that tasting and this, go to the same one on the recommended list.)
Friday, July 22, 2005
Anyway, In the mouth this wine is big with a fruit forward flavor of berries and chocolate. It is raining outside which just started with one of those lovely summer showers that makes everything so fresh smelling. I am lighting my charcoal Weber grill–yes, some still actually cook with charcoal and this wine will pair well with a juicy T-Bone.
On breathing, it is well balanced with sophisticated tannins, good acid, and round flavors of fruit–dark fruit with a hint of blueberries and more chocalate. It is nearly perfect in the mouth. The finish is heavy with fruit...just plain nice. I am guessing the price is around $22. Raise a glass to summer showers!
Thursday, July 21, 2005
But as the wine warmed up it was much more like a S. Blanc with a bit of that grassy S. Blanc hallmark flavor. The texture was actually a bit creamy and the overall quality was greatly improved with a satisfactory finish. It was excellent with a variety of foods. At $10, it is a sturdy value.
This demonstrates the profound impact serving wine at the right temperature can have; a rather dull, mediocre wine turned into a pleasant, solid value just by bringing the temperature up to “cool” rather than “chilled.” Raise a glass; we did!
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
It was nice to have a decent wine on an airline flight.
It's worth a look up.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Raise a glass! We did!
This is baffling since this wine, regardless of year has been one of my very favorite wines. Beaulieu Vineyards had a TCA problem a couple years back. TCA is a contaminant of wines originating from a bad cork, or contamination somewhere in the system used for vinification. It can be the ruin of a wine producer and a real pain to find the source. Even in the worst year of TCA at BV, the Tapestry bottling was wonderful so go figure.
At any rate, the wine store I found it in a couple years back had changed its inventory to a "popular" selection of wine rather than the informed selection of wines it had previously. No Tapestry was found.
But what I did find was a bottle of Chateau Lynch-Bages, one of Bordeaux's premier wines of the Grand Cru Classe designation. It was a 1996 and they had what looked to be most of an entire case. It was priced at $69.95. This wine runs anywhere from $90-$115 per bottle. So, I will be hitting the store on my way out of town and picking up a bottle to take back to New England. Tonight, I will raise a glass to all of you of whatever it is we open. Cheers!
I purposely brought along my "wine tote" anticipating that special find and bringing it back to New England. A wine tote is a carrier usually made of a canvas type material with two compartments; one side is for one bottle of wine and the other side is supposed to be for carrying two wine glasses. There are also a couple little pockets for storing a cork screw and whatever else might aid your impromptu picnic. (You can find these for $15-$30)
Its primary purpose is for that Summer time outing to the seaside, lakeside or park and you want to bring along a bottle to open as you enjoy God's great outdoors. The compartments are lined with an aluminized substance with reflective and insulating properties with an "R" value probably somewhere around .3. Never-the-less, it does provide some kind of temporary protection of the wine from the scorching extreme of a sun baked vehicle.
With the wine glasses removed, it makes an adequate carry-all for two bottles of wine and fits neatly into a carry-on or suitcase.
Overwhelmed with the selections in front of me, I had my eye on a Beaulieu Vineyards "Georges De Latour" Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon-2001. But instead of just snatching it up, I grabbed one of the so-called wine experts of the store; explained to him my situation of travel and asked him for a couple recommendations of something special I could take back "home."
He said the BV Special Reserve was nice but he unequivocally steered me toward a Darioush 2002 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It was pricey at $65 but his exhuberance, excitement and unmitigated desire for me to try this wine over many others was compelling.
I then took him over to the Bordeauxs which was a who's who in winedom. I asked him to pick out something in the $30 range that was particularly nice. He gave me a choice of two or three bottles and after some interrogation I settled on the Chateau Leoville Barton 2002--$37.
With my wine tote in tow, I made my purchases and will head back for "home" tommorrow looking for the right opportunity to open each wine with a story and a memory. And there is the beauty of the study; it's more than drinking a beverage as I have written previously. It is about an experience, memories, stories and sharing of life with someone(s) special.
The next time you have to take a trip for business or pleasure, consider taking advantage of the destination to which you're headed and take an expedition or two for that special bottle of wine that might just turn your dreaded obligation into a wonderful adventure. Now raise a glass to our travels back to New England.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Robust nose booming with black cherry and wet leather and butter. On the palate it has a strong and pleasing acidity with well rounded tannins. Minerals and a hint of vanilla hang around with a finish that says, "WE ARE HERE!". The Finish is a taste bud snapshot without a camera. It contains a hat-tip (though not a full bow) to barrel aging and says "I'm Hearty".Indeed.
Quite light and elegant on the eyes. Quite a chardonnay style aroma on the nose. Citrus fruit, and sweet floral scent with honey on the nose. There is a bit of a spritzer with pleasing tannins that drop off very quickly to a very mild and elegant sliced green apple finish that almost is not enough but winds up making me say "ahhhhh."
A nice salad or greenery wine or fresh fruit accompaniment
If you are interested, you may view the Salty's wine list (with their review of this Pinot) here. The menu is in PDF format so you'll need Adobe's free Acrobat viewer plugin for your browser.
I've not sought out this wine locally, but given the Supreme Court's decision on wine shipping, you *may* be able to get it shipped to you.
It is now that I go back through those writings to share my thoughts on the wines enjoyed with you.
Here's a glass raised to all the wine tasted over the last several weeks.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I will be away from July 13-July 20 and more than likely, there will be no new posts between now and then unless life settles down for “Billy” and/or “NW” and they get behind the keyboard again.
So thank you for visiting, I shall return, and I appreciate your taking the time to stop by! Until we meet again at this website, by all means—“Raise a glass!”
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
This was much better than the Chandon reviewed previously to this entry. It has a tart finish with is down right juicy. I will search this out to buy a full bottle! I believe it sells for around $18. Raise a glass!
With some breathing, it is full bodied, robust and tones down to a decent balanced wine. Finish is smokey like BBQ aromas. It is really a kickin wine! Raise a glass.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
We kept going back and forth between wine list and menu before making each of our selections. It would be challenging to get a bottle of wine that would be a decent pairing for my wife’s Caribbean spiced grouper and shrimp and my coffee encrusted pork tenderloins with balsamic and roasted figs. We settled on the Mark West Pinot Noir listed above.
It was classic California Pinot in both color and Pinot bouquet that borders on a little stinky. It had a bouquet of raisins and fruit. In the mouth it was nicely balanced with good structure and ready to drink on opening. Though served a little on the warm side, it wasn't disturbingly so. It was a perfect pairing for my tenderloin. I really can’t say how it was for my wife but she didn’t complain and seemed to enjoy it as well.
Had I wanted to spend a bit more on the wine, I would have probably ordered one of the two (maybe three) selections of Zinfandel on the list but at $22 (remember that’s restaurant price)(about $12 retail) I went with the Central Coast Pinot and was glad I did.
Dessert was equalliy unique and wonderful.
We raised a glass and the staff even brought us out a split of Mumm’s–on the house–for our anniversary. This is the kind of extra touch that will bring us, and others back. If you’re ever in the central Maine region vacationing, don’t pass up this easily overlooked establishment of fine food!
The finish is actually lingering and creamy. With a pretty good chill on it, it is refreshing as an apperitffe which is why we opened it on the eve of our 32nd wedding anniversary before going out to dinner. It was a treat but not an especially great value at $17 for 375ml. Raise a glass today to our 32 years together!
Friday, July 08, 2005
With breathing, there is only a slight give on what I think are some pretty intense flavors locked away under an encasement of tannins. A slight hint of mint is apparent but not much else from the opening. This same wine of the previous year’s vintage (2002) is by far a better wine to drink right now. This one may deliver in a few more years but right now, it’s confrontative and insensitive. (I love inane wine talk like that!) Look for the 2002 to drink now and the 2003 to lay down. Both can be found for around $10. Now raise a glass!
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
What is being done with this grape gives portent to what will surely be rising prices for well made Chenin Blancs and Dry Creek does it as well as anybody and better than most. I have the 2004 on order and it supposed to be even better than the 03. No matter what you think, give this wine a try. At less than $9 you will be thrilled you did! Raise a glass!
Monday, July 04, 2005
I looked a couple places but to no avail. As it turns out, our major supermarket chain carries it and it’s CHEAP! $8.99 for this New Zealand phenome. It 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 which made it a perfect pairing with our Fourth of July Lobster–Oh yeah, Baby! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!! It has fruity flavors which other reviewers call “stone fruit.” I have no idea what a stone fruit is but I know an outstanding wine when I taste it. *This is a marvelous example of the grape type and at this price you have GOT to run out and pick some up. It seems to be widely available. It is rich and creamy in the mouth and the finish just keeps on going and going. Why are you even still reading this? RUN Forest, run and pick up some of this stellar–artificially corked wine NOW! And then–Raise a glass! Oh yeah!
*Wine Spectator rated this wine an 85. I think they need to add another 5 points to that!
I don’t remember what I paid for it but it was around $10 and it is worth the plain old summer fun this wine holds. Don’t worry so much about specific names for this wine; just pick up whatever Moscato you can find and chill it well and give it a whirl; I don’t think you’ll be dissappointed.
Raise a chilled glass and enjoy!
This wine is a Cotes Du Rhone produced red with a “Villages” designation. It is quite a light red color with an interesting nose of ripe plums and touch of raisins. It is austere on the palate, smokey and somewhat strident.. With a little breathing it is still hot and tannic but with a subtle and unique flavor that is hard to describe. Not much on the finish but then again, it didn’t cost much out of the wallet. When you compare this wine at this price to the previously reviewed wine at nearly 10 times the price, you begin to understand what we mean when we talk about wine value...
Now raise a glass.
It has a wonderful deep and rich purple color–very young looking like pure grape juice. The bouquet was light with fresh cherries. It is spicy on the palate and quite dry. Tannins are firm but not oppressive though the wine is quite closed. It has a decent finish that lingers.
With some air time, there are berries in the nose and some green pepper flavors. It is rather “hot” and quite peppery like a bold zinfandel. All in all it is a decent wine but not worth the price tag!
Say ouch and raise a glass.