Monday, February 20, 2012

La Vieille Ferme 2008 (Cotes Du Luberon) wine review by (PB)

This oft reviewed wine is always a decent bargain with some years better than others. This This lightly tinged Rhone Valley blend is Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanc, and Roussanne grapes.

The bouquet is filled with tropical fruit with emphasis on ripe pineapple and a touch of lemon curd.

Palate--Tasty, dry, fruity melange of the fruits above and more. A nice acidic base makes it a good food wine but is fruity enough to se3rve chilled as an aperitif.

This is generally available for around $7and frankly, at this age I didn't expect it to be holding as well as it is. But it is drinking perfectly now and at this price point is a great buy. I will use a cup of it in my risotto tonight, and will be serving braised smoked pork hocks with the risotto. However I will pair a Sicilian Nero D'Avola with the meal. Raise a glass!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lost Block Pinot Noir 2008 wine review by (PB)

Tyrell's Wines produces this screw cap finished wine which is bricking (means it has a re-brown color to it, with coffe in the nose. Very unusual...
Palate--Old wine flavors, subdued red fruit, lingering stewed fruit finish. Clearly over the hill.

The reason I blogged this is precisely because it is a crew cap and not a cork. This is pretty much whatyou might expect of a "corked" wine and yet this is not closed with a cork.

At 4 years old, this wine should not be drinking this way. Something happened in the process of bottling that oxidized this. So make sure you note that even with a screw cap, wine can be ruined elsewhwere in the process!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cellar Molandro Besllum Montsant 2008 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Big aromas of spicy cherry and herbs on the nose

Full bodied on the palate

Pomegranate, lots of spice, and some resinous notes on the long finish


Rich and spicy with a long finish, this Spanish red offers a lot of character at a bargain price. At $15 or so, this wine is a great value and a demonstration of well integrated oak and spice unlike the wine reviewed below.

I planned to buy more, but am having trouble finding it. Obviously I wasn't the only one who enjoyed this wine. From the Montsant region of Spain, it's made from Grenache, Carignane, and Syrah. If your wine merchant still has some, grab it. Pair with an assortment of tapas- and raise a glass!

La Candelaria Cubo Seleccion La Mancha Tempranillo 2009 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Sweet aromas of vanilla extract and red licorice on the nose

Medium bodied on the palate

Smooth finish of candied cherry, milk chocolate, and maple syrup


I had a chance to try this wine a second time as I study the red wines of Spain. Once again, I'm disappointed with this wine after reading a good review highlighting its full flavor and value price. At $12 or so it's not expensive, but there are many other wines from Spain in this price point I'd reach for instead.

The problem with this wine that I mentioned last month is that it's over oaked which masks the real fruit character. This isn't often a problem with Tempranillo from Spain, but I can see it creeping onto the scene as winemakers try to cater to an international style of oak accents with their base level wines. Tempranillo is grown all over Spain and produces a variety of styles, but I've learned you need to be choosy in the value category. Especially lately. Raise a glass of something else!

Columbia Crest H3 (Horse Heaven Hills) Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 wine review (PB)

Nice deep black purple Syrah-like hue with crazy fruit jumping out of the glass on the pour.

Bouquet of Mint jelly with chocolate touches and great spice with blackberry and currant.

Palate--Super relaxed tannins and bold flavors of tar and berries with huge heavy mouth feel. Lingering finish!

This is a ridiculous value wine worth buying a case and cellaring. $12.50 a bottle and its a lot of wine. raise a case of this ultra-value wine!

Blason de Bourgogne "Montagny 1er Cru" 2009 wine review by (PB)

Nice big vanilla, Chardonnay nose with ripe pineapple and tropical fruit.

Palate--Steely, light lemon with fleeting finish.

For $9 this is a decent wine so raise a glass!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano 2008 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Currants and leather notes open on the nose

Full bodied and savory on the palate

Finishes with blackberry, cherry, and licorice


I like this wine because it's rustic and charming. It has a nice mix of fruit and savory qualities that typifies Sangiovese-based Tuscan reds from Italy. It's also a great bargain at $13. Serve with pasta bolognese- and raise a glass!

Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel 2009 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Spicy plum and blackberry aromas on the nose

Full bodied and richly textured on the palate

Rich, layered finish of spicy berries and currants


This wine is remarkably good every year, and the 2009 has it all. It combines richness and ripe fruit with a spicy character that's neither heavy or too sweet. For Zinfandel fans, here's a benchmark wine priced at $22 or so. A classic food pairing is barbecue, but don't be afraid to serve this with a variety of dishes. Raise a glass!

Cune Vina Real Gran Reserva Rioja 2004 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Fragrant aromas of strawberry and raspberry on the nose with resinous notes

Full bodied and dense on the palate

Long finish of plum, leather, and spice


This Rioja is aging beautifully. It tastes great now but could likely last a long time. It's packed with flavor, has good acidity, and a resinous streak suggesting the integration of oak.

The 2001 label is shown above, but is identical to the 2004 in this review. Made from 85% Tempranillo along with Graciano and Mazeuela, it's a Spanish wine worth looking around for. Lesser known that the flagship Cune Imperial, it's priced right at $36. Serve with short ribs and raise a glass!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Petite Rousse Syrah 2006 wine review by (PB)

Deep dark purple hue with bouquet of deep black cherry, nearly pure but many cooking orders.

Palate-- Big flavors of dark berry but a very strange feel on my tongue and a sharp presence with saliva stimulating tartness. $11.

In an earlier vintage of this Paso Robles wine I enjoyed this big Syrah. My taster may be suffering though the effects of a virus so this should be considered an unreliable review!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Villa Antinori Toscana 2007 wine review by (PB)

Deeply pigmented black cherry hue to the rim with a bouquet of Sangiovese fruit but a somewhat sweeter impression. Sweet cherry is what you get from a distance with slight tobacco and dark berry notes.

Palate--Varietal fruit up front with slight dark berry rear (Syrah?) Good tannic structure but slightly chewy yet yielding a nice silky texture. (This is Antinori's value priced Super Tuscan blended of 60% sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Syrah.

This is drinking well but will hold for several years. At $21 its a bit over priced but still a decent wine, just not a great value. Raise a glass.

Epicuro Nero D'Avola 2009 wine review by (PB)

Nice black cherry/garnet hue with big cherry aromas with sweet candy cherry notes.

Palate--gentle tannins, integrated,sweet cherry fruit foundation with a nice cherry finish. Sicily means Nero D'Avola and this is a very nice wine for the price.

This is another "Trader Joe's value wine for $9 and worth buying several bottles if you like Nero D'Avola and why wouldn't you? Raise a glass and buy more.

Pierre Andre Bourgogne Pinot Noir Reserve 2009 wine review by (PB)

Bright cherry aromas and strawberry notes.

Palate--Tightly wound, strawberry with a little white pepper with a good front presence but fleeting.

I bought this at Trader Joe's for around $12 I think. It seems to list elsewhere for considerably more. It's just Okay.

Caretaker Wines Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2009 wne review by (PB)

Solid garnet hue with strawberry bouquet that is pure strawberry fruit.

Palate--Solid acid foundation with simple but pure strawberry fruit flavor. This is uncomplicated and a good example of the grape at his value price point of $10.

This is yet another Trader Joes $10 selection and a decent value. Raise a glass!