Monday, June 17, 2024

Joseph Handler Riesling 2022 (Pfalz)


Very pale gold hie with aromas of tropical fruit, melon, green apple, and oil.        

Palate--Very slight "spritzig" (sparkle) with balanced flavors of tropical melange and gentle sweet baking spice.

I LOVE Riesling! People will say it is SWEET but it is actually FRUITY! Sweet means there is unfermented sugar remaining in the wine which is not the case.

Another Trader Joe's bargain at $6 grab some, chill it down and serve it on the deck, patio, pool-side all by itself or with fruit and light cheeses.  Raise a glass!

Corvelia Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 21 (Paso Robles)

Deep purple hue with aromas of  Rich dark berry, plum and black berry and savory spices.    

Big first impression with rich, ripe jammy berry fruit, well structured, youthful, tasty and savory. Finish lingers a while with rich dark berry goodness and blackberry pie.

Reviewed many times because it is such a value wine from Trader Joes. At $10 for an AVA Cab is a bargain and Corvelia is super so raise a glass!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Spasso Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2021

Deep dark plum hue with aromas of berry fruit tart, with baking spice Washington State cherries.

Palate--Relaxed structure, almost lazy but not, big spicy front with berry in the middle. 

Hmmm, not sure what to make of this.  First--the label is eye catching and fun! I love Montepulciano D'Abruzzo and maybe its youthfulness is getting in my way.  Not in a bad way, just ambivalent.  I am going to guess the structure of this will make this an exceptional food wine, so I withhold judgement *until I get my charcoal grilled lamb shanks of the grill.  

*My cumin laced grilled lamb shanks was spectacular with this wine!  Or should I say this wine was spectacular with my lamb shanks?  

Whatever; at $9 for this bottle, it was a perfect pairing and made you want more of everything.  So, raise a glass!

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Bogle Pinot Noir 2021 (California)

A rather dark hue for Pinot Noir with aromas of strawberry and bright red fruit.

Palate--Nicely constructed even if a bit harsh, with a big lip smacking foundation, decent fruit and some sweet/savory spices.

Bogle is reliable and a value wine producer. At $7 for this wine on closeout (more likely to see it upwards of $10-12). Reviewed previously, so compare.  Raise a glass!

Friday, June 07, 2024

Frei Brothers Chardonnay (Russian River) 2022

Pale straw hue with aromas of tropical fruits, pear and steamed fruit cocktail.        

Palate--Balanced front with masterful structure, brimming with stewed pears, vibrant chinese five spice, with a lingering finish, and lovely integrated acidity making it a very powerful, food friendly quaff. 

The Russian River AVA of Sonoma is one of the best America has to offer of this iconic varietal. I will be putting it through its paces with tonight's spicy shrimp, and polish sausage pasta.  

At the $20 price point, Raise a glass! 

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Monterra Merlot (Monterey) 2021

Garnet hue with purple highlights and aromas of rather "grapey" bouquet which is unexpected from a Merlot or actually ANY wine that is not made for guzzling or is plonk.

Palate--Understated, but with red berry fruit with spices at the edges, and not  the "grapey" presentation it gave in the nose. Still not very "Merlot" like.

This is a Trader Joe's offering and even at $7 it is fleeting barely drinkable though the uninitiated would never notice.  If you don't mind plonk, there is worse but this is not characteristic Merlot. Pass...

Monday, June 03, 2024

Cameron Hughes Lambrusco Lot 841


Grapey color and grapey bouquet with a slight apple aroma.

Palate--Effervescent on the palate with bright, grapey, cheery, flavors with a very quick finish.

Lambrusco is a very playful, uncomplicated, easy to drink red wine with low alcohol content (8.5%) and is wonderful chilled down and served with light appetizers or all by itself llpool side or just enjoying a Summer day.  I think I paid around $9 for it and it is simple, lively and refreshing so raise a glass!

Friday, May 31, 2024

PRADOREY 2019 VALDELAYEGUA (Single Vineyard)

Intense aubergine purple hue with aromas of rather elegant berry bouquet with floral violet, and a touch of cumin!

Palate--Fruit forward beginning with spicy, rich berry fruit, savory spices, with a rear palate of darker berry pie. Finishes with lingering berry and spice.

This "Single Vineyard" Tempranillo is quite lovely.  Listed at $25 I found it for $15 and it is quite a find at that price point. I am having a bone in grilled rib eye steak which will be perfect for this wine. If you can find it, raise a glass!

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel 2021 (Lodi)

Garnet hue with aromas of tighter blackberry fruit, with sweetish and spiced nuances

Palate--Heavy on the palate, loads of luscious dark berry fruit, with loads of zesty spices that are both savory and yet sweet. Finish is a touch coarse but it works!

I found this today at a local Walmart on closeout at $7.  What a steal!  I only bought 4 bottles but should grab the rest. Raise a glass!

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Vignobles Lacheteau "Touraine" Sauvignon Blanc 2023

Very pale straw hue with aromas of classic Sauvignon Blanc grassy bouquet, with light lemon/lime undertone aromas and perhaps light melon but the grassy bouquet is over powering.

Palate--Green melon first impression with a somewhat flabby structure but grassy S. Blanc flavors are strong and solid with a slightly bitter ending but lingering notes of grass.

Central France is the home of the Touraine and the Loire Valley. This producer makes lovely super value wine around the $8 price point at trader Joes.  I have never had this particular bottle by them and it is another nice value if you like Sauvignon Blanc. It is surprisingly "new world" in its make up and I won't bore you with the blah blah blah wine speak.  Branch out and see what you think.  Chill it down first and raise a glass!

I am pairing this tonight with home-made asparagus soup... which is a particularly challenging pairing so we shall we see what happens.  

Friday, May 24, 2024

Rosa Dell'Olma Langhe Nebbiola 2021


This is one of my favorite Italian grapes, the Nebbiolo. When you pour it, because of its very pale cherry red hue that it might be watermelon juice.   But that is classic Nebbiolo. Aromas of floral spring flowers, with a light touch of sweet savory spices.

Palate--It is a bit tart, with mouth watering acidity, stingy cherry fruit with those same spices you get in the bouquet.  

Now first the "get a grip" factor. Nebbiolo can cost you into the $20-$40 range and higher and they are quite lovely. This Trader Joe's regular is under $10!  Is it the classic Nebbiolo profile? Not if you mean voluptuous fruit, no, but with food friendly, mouth watering acidity, yes; Old world structure, yes, an eye pleasing shimmering ruby red in the glass, yes, and will it go with lovely tomato based pastas as well as Pizzas, ravioloi.s etc., yes.

So for Pete's sake, if you see these, grab them and enjoy them for what they are--a nice value wine!  Raise a glass!