Friday, June 26, 2009

St. Francis 2006 Old Vines Zinfandel wine review by Billy


Nose: Peppery Cedar spice (classic Zin!) and a dark berry cream on the nose.
Palate: Good structure, unassuming and uncomplex but sticking to what it knows well and doing it well!
Finish: soft and dark berries come back for a small but fine finish.

Overall: a nice 2006 california (sonoma) zin. I am eating it with pizza with which it goes perfectly! PB paid about $24 for this.

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Ironstone Vineyards Obsession "Symphony" 2007 wine review by (PB)


Pale straw hue with bubbles rising in the bottle. "Symphony" is actually the grape created in the 60's in Calif. from the Muscat and Grenache Gris.
It has a wonderfully, powerfully floral and tropical fruit filled bouquet that is sweet and wowing!

In the mouth, this wine is intense with balance and sweetness on a foundation of vibrant acidity loaded with tropical fruit flavors, stone fruit, green apples and is really a super quaffing wine for a hot summer's day. Chill it down and raise a glass of this value.

It costs a mere $9 and that from a store with elevated prices so you could probably find it for even less. In the words of my wife--"It's like a blond summer day."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ribeauville Vin de l'A. Grand Reserve 2004 Bergheim wine review by Billy


Nose: Spicy, steely with Honeyed tropical fruit, lemon grass
Palate: supple and rich with a delicate structure but a feel that spreads throughout the mouth for a delightful summer time refreshment.
Finish: beautiful and lingering stoney textures, creamed honey and melon, sweet grass and sugar cane.
Overall: This special bottle was given to me by a friend in Europe recently. It is a blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer from Alsace but the Bergheim region specifically which sets the bottle apart from other Alsacians. It is a pretty gold gilt in the glass. Gorgeous.

A beautiful bottle shared with my parents enjoyed with gratitude and fond memories of my friends.

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Ai Colli Amarone della Valpolicella 2005 Vivaldi wine review by Billy


Nose: Cherry Chocolate, wet tobacco and cedar spice hints
Palate: Very soft feel bordering on a sweet limpness, soft and round tannins provide the most structure.
Finish:resurgence of big and juicy black and blueberries

Overall: The nose is nice, the feel in the mouth leaves something to be desired but the finish is extraordinary. I paid about 95 Swiss Francs for this. There are definitely better wines to be had at that price, but there was still something special about this wine.

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Barolo Beni di Batasiolo 2004 wine review by Billy


Nose: Hazelnut husk and acorn aromas spiked with truffle (wonderfully earthy!), black cracked pepper, spicy plum and blackberry
Palate:big mouth feel with chewy tannins and a structure that is firm though short-lived
Finish: juicy berries with a long lingering oaky elegance that slowly decrescendos to a woody character.

Overall: let this breathe after opening. It will open up with berries and more layers on the palate and finish. As it breathes the nose opens up with a rich spicy cedar blackberry profile with smokey hints while the tannins soften on the palate and the finish becomes more of a uniform cedar. I paid about 75 swiss Francs for this on a recent trip to Switzerland and shared the bottle with colleagues. Wonderful!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Formula Shiraz 2004 wine review by (PB)

Sitting in Minneapolis doing a real time review with (Billy) of this blog. Dark black cherry hue with intense black cherry and berry nose with crushed dried autumn leaves and spice.

Burning unique palate with bitter mocha and unsweetened fudge, salty, musty flavors that are awkward. I didn't let this breathe and perhaps that will help but...fruit finish.

If this improves with air, I'll note it subsequently. In the $16 price point, raise a glass of something else like Mclaren Vale Tapestry Shiraz.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

St Francis Sonoma County Claret 2003 Wine Review (NW)



Tasting notes:

Mixed berries, plum, cedar, and vanilla on the nose

Full-bodied on the palate

More berries on the finish, with cedar and anise layers

I recently had the St Francis Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon from the same vintage, so it's interesting to see the similarities. Both wines exhibit a nice cedar layer, but this Claret has extra depth and more integration of flavors. Of course, it's more of a deliberate blend- in this case it includes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel.

This wine was on the wine list at a chain restaurant and it stuck out because everything on the list seemed to be 2006 or 2007, but here was an '03. It paired well with a small filet and side dishes. The menu price was $48 which is a total rip off as the wine typically retails for $18 or less.

Raise a glass- and hopefully one that costs you a bit less!

Racemi PietraLuna Negramaro del Selento 2006 Wine Review (NW)



Tasting notes:

Lavendar, cherry, pepper, and earthy notes on the nose

Youthful and fruity on the palate

Cherry, red plum, and lightly spiced on the finish

This is a youthful, fruity wine that will prove to be versatile with food and a nice option for a summer night when you really want a red wine. I can picture it with cold pasta salad, antipasti, or just about anything starchy.

Head off the beaten path for a bottle of Negramaro, a lesser know grape varietal that has typically finds its home in southern Italy. I paid $13 for the bottle at a gourmet cheese shop, but you'll likely find it closer to $10. Raise a glass!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Casa Lapostolle Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 "Cuvee Alexander" wine review by (PB)


Dark purple hue with pronounced black fruit and berry nose with slight vegetal hints and baker's chocolate.

Palate--rich flavors of bitter chocolate, blackberries that are ripe with dark plum notes, bread finishing with firm tannins and fruit.

Obviously young and will improve for a few years. Tends to always be a value and at $14 on sale, this is a good value to be sure so raise a glass.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

McWilliams Hanwood Estates Riesling 2007 wine review by (PB)


Pale golden with big, sweet, creme brulee aromas and powdery, light citrus. Nice!

Palate BIG acid, which I love, with lemon and light unripe grapefruit. Fruity and cleansing and at $9 this Aussie varietal is a keeper so raise a glass!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chateau Ste. Michelle "Indian Wells" Riesling 2007 wine review by (PB)


Straw hue with big tropical fruit compote aromas with pineapple life savers which gives way a day later to Granny Smith apples and peaches.

Palate--Ultra fruity and a touch sweet with an off dry presence and acid foundation that could use a bit more oomph. Finishes with fruit galore and lingers.

This is an $11 wine value and the Rieslings are really showing ridiculously well from the west coast and Pacific Northwest. So chill it down, raise a glass and just say, "Ahhhhhhh!" and who knows? Summer may yet show up in New England...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2007 wine review by (PB)


Purple with some depth and a deep bouquet of dark, blackberry and plum, Tight but nice--needs air.

Palate Heavy, a bit hot and very tightly wound. With time it opens a bit to a fruity, dark wild blackberry with some character and robust flavors. I paid $14 for this on sale and it is a decent example of Zinfandel but it's not the value of past Rancho Zabaco Zins.

Raise a glass to America's own grape!
Note--label pictured is close but not exact...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2007 wine review by (PB)


Bright cherry hue with pronounced strawberry, raspberry notes.

Palate--an edgy, coarse wine with a rough fruit front and a slightly bitter rear.

This Chilean Pinot was $9 while drinkable is not exciting in any way. I'd pass on this one.

(I reviewed this wine in December of 08 and said it was drinkable just like above. But you can do better at the ubiquitous $10 price point.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Xplorador Sauvignon Blanc 2008 wine review by (PB)


Xplorador is one of the value line wines of Chilean wine masters, Concha Y Toro and this one is another nice value. For $7--that's right count 'em--7, you get a wine that is supremely varietal with grassiness, some lemon and a touch of stone fruit in the bouquet which rises up from a pale gold hue.

Palate--citrusy, juicy core, really vibrant acidity, fuitiness and a nice finish. This is a lot of wine for the money and will cut through the fattiest sauce you can deliver. So raise a glass to this up and coming varietal out of Chile which just keeps getting better.

Friday, June 05, 2009

House Wine (White) 2007 wine review by (PB)


Made by Charles Shaw of K Vinters, this is a blend of Chardonnay, Muscat and Riesling. Previous vintage was made with Gewurztraminer I believe and was a superior wine. This one is okay but nothing special at $11 .

Pure straw hue with pear, peach and citrus aromas.

Palate--flowers up front with light peach and lemon. I chilled it down pretty well in an ice bath for sipping on my porch. It is made in the off dry, hugely acidic style that is crisp and clean finishing with summer fruit.
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Not as good as the 06 but still pretty good so raise a glass!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Dona Paula Los Cardos Sauvignon Blanc wine review by (PB)


This Argentinian super value is straw colored with a huge citrus bouquet of pears, apple, sweet grape fruit, and a grassiness reminiscent of New Zealand S. Blancs.

The palate is wildly vibrant with racy acidity, grapefruit flavors with citrus in general mixed in. The core is mouth watering and just a super value Sauvignon Blanc if you like really crisp and puckery white wines. I paid $8 for this in Maine which means you can probably find it for a buck or two less elsewhere. I'd look for it if I were you! Raise a glass to this Argentinian producer who makes some really super value wines!

Man Chenin Blanc 2008 wine review by (PB)


Gentle golden nectar with a big peach, vanilla, citrus and sweet spice underlay aromas.

Palate--Just as big flavors of creme Brulee with peach glaze, light lemon, pie spice, and velvet texture. A lot of wine for the price of $9.

Chenin fans should love this and the price makes it a value wine of the first order so raise a glass!