Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sean Minor 4B Central Coast Chardonnay 2007 wine review by (PB)


Note--This wine was sent to the WCB for review. The 4B on the label is for the "4 bears" which are the 4 children of the Minors. They cherish approachable wines and family--how can you go wrong?

Review: Very gentle golden hue with aromas of Meyer lemons, tart green apples, pears and a lovely sweet, vanilla, tropical fruit compote.

Palate--nice first impression with lovely structure that is velvety in the mouth with a really nice full, blast of off dry tropical fruit flavors that are almost explosive. This wine coats your mouth with a fullness that is simply well crafted and a finish that hangs on.

This is my first experience with Minor wines and this one is a major winner. At the $13 price point, this is a lot of wine so raise a glass to good wine, and great families!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Atalaya Almansa 2007 wine review by (PB)

This Spanish blend is made from Monastrell, Garnacha and Tintorera primarily. It is dark purple/garnet with aromas of big ripe dark fruit--blackberries galore, plum, cigar box, delightful.

Palate--Absolutely elegant tannins, sweet presentation, voluptuous presence with big ripe dark fruit that is mouth filling, bread, minerals and a texture that is simply rich! Wowwwww! It finishes with a hold that makes you want more. (This has all the finger prints of Michel Rolland's consultative style. I shall research it and see if I can find out if I am right!) BING! The senior tasteman of the WCB is right on the money! You can trust the WCB! Yeah BAYBAY!!!

I am having this with a nice grilled steak and it should be wonderful! (It was!)
This a big wine so pair it with big foods. This is so good though, by itself is just fine too.

This was a $13 wine and it is a BARGAIN.

Now all I have to do is remember where I bought it so I can raise a bunch of glasses of this bad boy!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Clean Slate Riesling 2007 wine review by (PB)


This Mosel (Germany) is certainly distinctive as to its style with a pale golden hue and aromas of lemon curd with vanilla cream notes, with citrus highlights.

Palate--Off dry with big minerally, wet stone first impression with lemon and citrus fruits. It is made in a relaxed style meaning acid is sufficient for a nice structure yet not with cutting crispness as I like my whites. Finishes with light green apple notes. A nice wine for $9 so raise a glass!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rosenblum Zinfandel Richard Suaret Vineyard 2006 wine review by (PB)


This Paso Robles Zin is a deep vibrant purple with aromas of spicy peppery, ripe black raspberry and plum with an under layer of candied notes with perfumy powdery scents. Captivating!

Palate--young, dark bitter baker's chocolate, loads of dark fruit on a bold structure that should mature in 3-5 years. At $28, it's another Rosenblum wonder! Raise a glass.

Vieux Telegraphe "La Crau" 2006 wine review by (PB)


This is the last of the wines the writers of this blog shared recently. The others are below.
Burgundy-like hue lighter garnet with nice aromas of sweet spicy fruit with licorice and cedar.

Palate--tightly wound even though opened 2 hours ago. It should have been decanted. Even with just 15 minutes in the glass it keeps changing with rye aromas,white pepper, and more.

It's not even fair to review this wine at this immature stage. It cost $69, will be a charming wine, but needs several years before it shows its charm. Lay down a bottle.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Trevor Jones Cabernet Merlot 1999 Wine Review (NW)



Tasting notes:

Bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, and plum sauce layered with spice

Silky and richly textured on the palate

Wild berries, chocolate, herbs, and spice layers on the finish

My wife bought me 10 interesting wines for our 10th wedding anniversary- all 1999 vintage.

Here's one of those treats. This Australian Cabernet- Merlot blend from Trevor Jones is drinking really nicely right now. In fact, it could continue to cellar. The fruit is ripe and youthful and the layers are well integrated. It sells for about $32. Raise a glass!

Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel 2006 Wine Review (NW)



Tasting notes:

Red berries, licorice, and herbs on the nose

Full bodied but a bit choppy on the palate

More red berries on the finish with some chocolate and spice

For $10, this isn't bottled to be a show stopper. However, it should show as good as other Zinfandels at that price like offerings from Rosenblum, Four Vines, and Bogle- but it doesn't.

Ravenswood has made a lot of good Zinfandel over the years, but pass on this one. Grab a 2007 instead, which likely just hit the shelves near you. And raise a glass of that!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rombauer Chardonnay 2007 wine review by (PB)


Pale gold with vanilla cream, citrus tropical fruit and spice.

Palate--Citrusy, nicely acidic bracing with minerals, wet stone, tropical fruit cream, inviting texture with a finish that hangs on.

This was the third wine (NW) (Billy) of this blog and I shared on a recent get together. It runs $30 and is one of (NW's) perennial favorites when in the mood for this style of Chardonnay. For $30, it's a fair price so raise a glass.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nicolis Amarone 2003 Della Valpolicella Classico wine review by (PB)


Deep garnet hue with aromas of sweet stewed prunes, cigar box, spice, cedar, cherry beneath the other aromas of asparagus.

Palate--Sweet foundation, well constructed, cedar, rich fruit, bitter coffee and lingering finish.

This was another wine the three of us at the WCB tasted together recently. This was my favorite of the wines we had and even though this was $46, it was a delicious treat and a worthy splurge so raise a glass!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beringer "California Collection" Pinot Noir 2008 wine review by (PB)


Light cherry hue with genuine Pinot aromas of light cherry and raspberry and a gentle hint of spice.

Palate--Steely first impression with uncomplicated tastes of fruity cherries with a slightly bitter mid palate. Yes, it is pretty shallow, and yes it is uncomplicated and yes, it fades quickly but let's have a reality check here.

This wine is made from sourced grapes from California. It was a special one time purchase by Sam's Club and this bottle cost less than $6 so what the heck? I will buy a couple more, put a chill on it and serve it to friends who wouldn't know a Pinot Noir from a Pinot Grigio. For the price, it's pretty easy drinking so raise a glass!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

LaVieille Ferme (red) 2006 wine review by (PB)


This value wine cost around $7 and I have reviewed it at various times, various vintages over the years. This is the last of the 06 I have. It presents with a still young purple hue and aromas of bright cherry/berry Grenache aromas with some light cedar or licorice. (This is a blend of four grapes.)

Palate--weak, a bit watery, not the wine it was a year ago.

These wines are meant to be drunk when they are released and even three years is pushing the limit of this otherwise nice value. Raise a glass to the 07's.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Marques de Casa Concha 2007 Chardonnay wine review by (PB)


A shimmering pale gold presentation with a bouquet of vanilla, pineapple, tropical fruit salad with fragrant, sweet powdery notes.

Palate-- nicely structured foundation with vibrant acidity, mouth filling citrus, oakey highlights in a fine textured wine. This is a lot of wine for the $14 I paid. Another Chilean value from the Pirque vineyards in the Maipo Valley. Raise a glass to this fine finishing Chard!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chateau Lynch Bages 2006 wine review by (PB)


In a rare alignment of the stars, dumb luck or the sovereignty of God, (NW) (Billy) and yours truly--the brain a palate trust of this blog-- were together recently for a weekend and that means tasting wines we wouldn't splurge on by ourselves. This Grand Cru Bordeaux--Paulliac cost $60.

It presents with a deep black cherry hue with gentle powdery, candied cherry, black cherry with fresh young berry fruit later on as it opens up.

Palate--this wine is of course young and not ready to drink as this caliber of classified growth Bordeaux are made to age for years, even decades. But as it stands it is tight, tannic, and closed but there are nice glimpses of what it will be in 10-20 years but right now, let it lie and set your alarm clock for 2020 and beyond. Raise a glass as we did on this special union of the trio of the
WCB!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fattoria Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2004 Wine Review (NW)



Tasting notes:

Leather, spice, plum, and currants layered on the nose

Thickly layerd and earthy on the palate

Layered finish of leather, cherry, herbs, spice, and earth

Nice wine! I drink a fair amount of Chianti Classico and this one has some weight to it. The layers unfold nicely and deliver a little extra complexity.

I grabbed a half dozen of these on sale for $16 a couple years ago and now realize I only have one left. That last bottle will be set aside for a while because I think it will be interesting to see how this wine ages.

By the way, I see wild price variation on this wine- and a lot of Italian wine for that matter. In fact, I've spotted this wine priced from $15 to $30. Make sure you check prices before you stock up. Then raise a glass!

Daniel Barraud Pouilly-Fuisse "Les Crays" 2003 Wine Review (NW)



Tasting notes:

Melon, nectarine, almond extract, and honey on the nose

Full bodied and richly textured on the palate

Stone fruits, honey, and a touch of hazelnut on the finish

Here's the best Chardonnay I've had this year. Richly textured with lots of nice layers, it delivers the whole package.

I wish I had a lot more of this in the cellar, but I don't. The bottle was a gift from a good friend half way across the country. It goes for around $36 but would not be easy to find. I think the 2007 is out now.

Raise a glass!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Neu Direction Malbec 2005 wine review by (PB)


Back in November of 08 we were sent this wine to review for Sam's Club which was embarking on a new venture to sell this wine which is a fair trade product meaning the makers and all invovled with the production of this wine receive a live-able wage for thier work.

This wine is from Mendoza Argentina--prime Malbec region of the world. This wine shows it with a deep, intense black cherry to garnet color. The nose is full of fruit with huge plum and ripe black berry aromas with notes of sweet licorice and spice hints. Really nice!

In the mouth this wine is almost thick in texture it is so rich with velvety tannic structure which will hold for several years. This wine is still young and will benefit from some age but is drinking well. It has bready notes with gobby dark berry fruit and tar; is bold, big and a full bodied wine with a finish that lets you remember what you were drinking.

I am not a big fan of Malbec but this wine is a lot of wine for the $10 price tag. Remember this is only available at Sam's Club and is worth buying a few bottles and following how it develops with time. Raise a glass. (Consistent notes with my Nov. 08 review.)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Eberle Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Black cherry and raspberry pie on the nose

Richly textured and medium bodied on the palate

Wild berries, cassis, and chocolate on the finish

I am reminded of Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon when I taste this wine even though it hails from Paso Robles. It has the smooth black cherry profile that is warm and inviting.

For $18 or so, consider this a relative value for California Cabs. And you can put some age on it too. I enjoyed a 1998 last year that had some elegance to it. Raise a glass to Eberle!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mer Soleil Chardonnay 2006 wine review by Billy


Nose:butter cream, daisy and melon
Palate:creamy texture, even and soft feel. Thick but not cloying for a full elegance. A Botticelli Woman of a wine.
Finish:Tapered and floral with apricots. Short.
Overall: I paid about 36 bucks for this wine. It is a wonderful extravagance. Rich feeling, not overly complex or pretentious. A splurge but a nice one. Get a bottle for a special occasion like a weekend date with your lover.

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Cline Zinfandel 2007 wine review by (PB)


This multiply reviewed production level Zin has a black cherry hue with decent aromas of fruity black berry with spice and a touch of mocha underneath.

Palate yields an initial blast of spice up front with a little hot, dark berries, and a touch of baker's chocolate finishing with an awkward aftertaste.

This isn't the best production level Zin Cline has produced in recent years but it was better even just a few months ago. This could be a slightly off bottle or it may be on its way out. It is still better than most Zins at the under $10 price point. See my previous reviews of this wine and raise a glass.