Thursday, June 21, 2012

Luigi Bosca Pinot Noir Reserve 2009 real time wine review by (PB)

Brightly cherry hued Pinot with more pigmentation than many Pinots.

Bouquet--Gentle strawberry and slight "Chinese 5 spice" aroma and a touch of dusty raspberry as it warms up.

Palate--Pretty sedate for a Pinot with only hints of varietal characteristics. Mouth feel is a little awkward and the flavor that is there is fleeting. Finishes with a touch of smoke but the little fruit that is there does linger for a time.

This Pinot Noir is made in Argentina--the land of Malbec--and if they are serious about venturing into this finicky grape they have their work cut out. Many of the reviews I looked at after writing this up gave this wine 88 points of 100. With all due respect, this wine is more like an 80. Bosca has had one solid Pinot with the 2005 vintage according the Wine Spectator giving it an 89. They did not review the 09.

This was gift from a bud who was to find out today whether he had cancer in his lung or not. He did NOT which in my world where everyone I know who is checked for cancer seems to always be positive, this is great news so the wine will be linked in my mind to GREAT news. How can you go wrong with that? Raise a glass!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cercius 2010 wine review by (PB)

Youthful purple hue, dry cherry and interesting subtle strawberry with a chalky? curtain. (Seriously, even I don't know exactly what I mean!)

Palate--Some steel out of the gate with chewy, hot tannins and good fruit but all out of balance. However--decanted and given 2-3 hours and this is a down right solid, enjoyable wine--just immature.

Plenty of dusty cherry and a fine bean of strawberry that is unexpected in this 85% Grenache, 15% Syrah Cotes Du Rhone blend. It definitely needs to be decanted though. I paid $14 for this wine with a future so raise a glass!

Acre Chardonnay (Russian River) 2011 wine review by (PB)

Pale golden hue with a buttery lemon and tropical fruit bouquet with accents of melon, and vanilla cream.

Palate--Nice structure with a crisp, mouth cleansing acidic back bone full of Chardonnay flavors that are ridiculous when I tell you the price of this Trader Joe's exclusive wine.

Try $8 and then grab a case! Russian River is one of the premier AVA's (American Viticultural Association)and Chards from this region tend to start in the mid-teens and head up from there. TJ's has a couple of Russian River Chards in this price range and each one is true Chardonnay and a great value so raise a glass!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ecco Domani Moscato 2011 sponsored Wine review by (PB)

Lightly straw-hued presentation with a bouquet that will knock your socks off!
Fragrant, sweet tropical fruit with green apple and stone fruit, orange blossom, and a crazy presence of "Chinese 5 spice" (if you cook like I do, you know the unique sweet spice well!)

Palate--Sweet, but not cloying with stone fruit and beautiful tropical fruit with an acidic touch to carry it all well.

I was not expecting much from this Italian varietal even though I tend to really like Moscatos. But this is one of the best I have had. Italy grows a lot of Moscato and plans to expand that in the near future.

This is a great example of value wine. You take a grape that is not real well known, construct it well and you get a nice quaff. This will pair excellently with difficult to pair foods like oriental or Indian but is amazing as an aperitif in the Summer sun or picnic. Chill it well for drinking by itself for a refreshing dose of joy or serve it closer to cellar temp (55 degrees) to get the full appreciation of this nicely made wine. It runs $8-$10 so raise plenty of glasses of liquid summer!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shafer Relentless Napa Valley 2007 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Big, expressive nose of blackberry, black currant, and bacon fat

Full bodied and richly textured on the palate

Long, fine grained finish of black raspberry, spice, dried herbs, and chocolate layers


Here's a big, expressive wine and it's delicious.  There's dense layers of fruit and a really amazing, fine grained texture.  Relentless is a beautifully made blend of Syrah and Petite Sirah that runs about $60.  Open a bottle with good friends and a good meal.  Raise a glass!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa Valley wine review by (PB)

Nice blood to cherry red hue with vibrant aromas of deep blackberry with lighter notes of licorice and a touch of chocolate and tar. On the end is an unexpected earthiness with herbal nuances.

Hot presence a ripe black cherry and ripe tomato front with bold tannins and a smoky oak finish.

This wine is bold but rather course and full of heat. I decanted it for several hours but is just too immature to fully appreciate. Lay it down for another 5 years at least!

I paid $30 for this and now am sorry I opened it but I am sure will pair well with my grilled prime rib so raise a glass--of something more economical.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc 2011 "Private Selection" wine review by (PB)

Light straw hue with classic "grassy" S. Blanc aromas with guava paste, citrus and light melon.

Palate--Light honey with sharp acidity that will cut your tongue, lemon rind.

Pleasant lightly fruity/grassy finish that lingers.

This is a food wine that will cut through the heaviest grease or butter you can throw at it.

My wife paid $8 for it so try it with a nice Maine lobster with dripping butter and say, "Raise a glass!"

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2003 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Abundant aromas of dried apricot, honey, and spice on the nose

Full bodied and richly textured on the palate

Rich, layered finish with lots of spice on top of sweet fruit and toffee


Excellent wine!  It has big flavor, just the right weight, and a long, long finish.  Of course, it's still a bit young for a Sauternes as these dessert wines from Bordeaux can cellar for many decades in the bottle.

Every so often, I like to open Sauternes at the end of a good meal.  It's delicious to sip on its own or with some light dessert or fruit.  The good ones aren't cheap, though.  This was released at $60 and goes for a bit more than that now.  Raise a glass!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Catena Malbec 2009 wine review by (PB)

Purple hue of intensity that stains the glass.
Bouquet--dark blackberry with tar and deep spice
Palate--Rich dark berry fruit with supple texture, bracing acidity and firm tannins.
Slight bitter edge that will soften with age and lingering deep dark berry and smoke finish.
I paid $18 for this Malbec from the family whose name is Malbec.
Too immature to enjoy fully but in a couple more years it should explode and improve for many more years ahead.
So, Raise a glass!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Four Vines Zinfandel "Dusi Vineyard' 2008 (Paso Robles) wine review by (PB)

Nice garnet/ruby hue Bouquet--blueberry liqueur; with classic brambly, wild berry, spicy fruit with a touch of dark fudge on the end of the varietal bouquet. Palate--Nice big fruit bomb,(meant positively here) with touches of baker's chocolate at mid palate and a woody, charcoaly lingering--and I mean lingering--berry finish that goes on and on and on! Foundation is still a little chewy. I grabbed this on a trip to Minneapolis this past winter paying around $38 if I remember. I had not seen this Zin anywhere in my neck of the woods so I brought it home with me. This is solid Zinfandel with good structure. I am noticing that Sonoma Zins and Paso Zins seem to differ in the amount of pigmentation that ends up in the glass. (Sonoma Zins seem to be nearly black at this level where the Paso Robles Zins are much lighter in their presentation. But "lighter hue"--at least this one--does not mean lighter in structure, weight etc. This one delivers in a big way despite what might look like a wimpy start. If you love Zin, you'll love this so raise a glass!

Chemin des Olivettes 2009 wine review by (PB)

This Coteaux du Languedoc has a sexy bouquet of sweet cherry and blueberry notes with some spicey herbs. Palate--Soft tannins with supple fruit and black pepper beam
down the middle. I paid $11 for this and is a quality representation of Rhone wine even at this price point. Well made and affordable so raise a glass!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Dom Perignon vintage 2000 Brut Champagne review by Billy

Nose: Lemon flowers with yeast and warm crust notes.  After some time this amazing champagne opens up with additional layers.  At the end of this review I tasted again and pear, peach and honey are very evident smells that delight and tantalize.
Palate: Perfect, delicate, tiny bubbles that emerge from the wine, prickle your palate, then dissipate.  Extraordinarily creamy texture.  Gentle but firm acid. Some pear notes that are subtle.
Finish: short-medium finish with notes of grapefruit.
Overall:  I got this bottle as a gift several years ago.  Today I saw a bottle at the local wine store priced at $186. The character of the grape varietal that this is made from (chardonnay and pinot noir grapes) are very evident - especially the Chardonnay grapes.  They enhance this Dom Perignon 2000 with their unique character.  This was a very special day for me so we decided to celebrate with the Dom.  It is served alone but we have some chocolate, cheese, caprese salad, macadamia nuts, raspberries, cherries and croccantini crackers to munch.  Remember, if you have any kind of special wine or champagne, pick a night to open that bottle and enjoy!

Some additional "uncorking" photos are below.  This was my first ever bottle of Dom Perignon so I was very excited!

TWCB's Billy retrieving the bottle of Dom from the wine refrigerator where it was stored at 50 degrees for several years. Tonight is the night!

After removing the foil from around the top of the bottle (it was GLUED ON!) this is what you see.  Nicely branded cork stop / cage. Removing the cork cage reveals...

The Dom cork with the legendary crest.  Nice touch. Now for the best part...

Poured into a Dom Perignon Flute.  What a thing of beauty.