Friday, March 29, 2013

Holman Ranch Pinot Gris (Estate Grown) 2011 Carmel Valley Sponsored wine review by (PB)

Straw hued with aromas of pungent sweet ripe pineapples and creme brulee.

Palate--Fresh bright fruit with vibrant palate cleansing acidity and a clean finish.

This is bright wine that would pair well with any buttery dish--I'm thinking lobster but then I AM from Maine.

This runs $20 which is a bit steep for this varietal but certainly a solid well made wine. Raise a glass!

Holman Ranch Pinot Noir (Estate Grown) 2010 *Sponsored wine review by (PB)

Classic light Pinot hue which on opening has a bouquet of big pie cherry aromas with subtle strawberry underneath riding on a touch of cocoa with a suggestion of grapefruit or citrus.

Palate--This is a super fresh, crisp, focused Pinot with a big beam of fresh red fruit and a rear palate hint of grapefruit (unusual for Pinot Noir) with a touch of smoked wood finishing with a touch of oak. Just plain enjoyable!

*The good folks at Holman Ranch located in the Carmel Valley of California sent this to the WCB for enjoyment and a sampling of their wares. It runs about $33 and is of the caliber of a solid Pinot Noir you would expect at this price point. Holman Ranch was unknown to me until now as I do not see this wine in my part of the country. The Carmel Valley AVA (American Viticultural Region)is the 13th oldest and basically the smallest of all the California AVA's with only 300 or so vines in the ground. Needless-to-say production levels of the Carmel wineries tend to be quite low which is unfortunate for the consumer.

I have several other wines from Holman Ranch to share with our followers, so visit often to see the rest and Raise a Glass!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Carlisle Bennett Valley Cardiac Hill Syrah 2008 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Intense and ripe notes of wild berries on the nose accented by spice

Full bodied on the palate

Finishes with ripe fruit layers woven with cedar and mineral tones


This is a very good wine that's ripe and polished. It shows nicely integrated layers that are intense and persistent. While delicious now, it will also taste great for another decade. Made in extremely small quantities, you'll be fortunate to find this on a restaurant wine list. The retail price on release was $45.

California Syrah is achieving new heights, and from areas as diverse as Bennett Valley, Santa Barbara County, and Napa Valley. Add this one to the list of can't miss bottles. Pour alongside flavorful cuisine and hearty meat dishes, and raise a glass!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

*Cantina Zaccagnini Monte Pulciano D'Abruzzo 2009 wine review by (PB)

Nice ruby hue with intensity, and a bouquet that is quite good with some mysterious elements to it. It has a front of wonderful, tart pie cherries with a floral hint and a slight greenness reminding me of daffodils with a here again, there again note of milk chocolate.

Palate--This wine delivers varietal balanced fruit with solid structure and an all around delicious and inexpensive example of the grape and the terroir.

I see this wine for $17 most places but found it at Sam's Club for under $12. Look for the piece of vine affixed to the label! This is a really nice value and I will be getting more so be sure to raise a glass!

*Another vintage of this wine was my wine of the year pick a few years back so I always keep an eye out for subsequent vintages.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sommavite Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 wine review by (PB)

*Cedary, nearly minty and a touch floral Sangiovese with a lighter than usual (for Brunello) dark berry aromas all of which border on elegant and finessed.

Palate--Bright, balanced, bready, bold fruit presence with more berries than cherries with a plummy finish.

This Brunello is a bit simple for what it can be but it is well made, delicious and a Trader Joe's bargain at the $20 price point. Brunello's usually start at the $30 and up price point and that is for a young Brunello. For this age and this price it is super value and a "buy more" wine so raise a glass and enjoy!

*I just opened this wine and will only get better with some air!

VEO Grande 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Review by Billy

Nose: Mild Cherry, Licorice and Oak.
Palate: Mild and easy going in the mouth.  Very basic tannin and acid structure. Not complex.  Smooth and easy to drink.
Finish: Soft and quick.
Overall: This 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Calchagua Valley in Chile defines an easy drinking wine.  It has little complexity but it is smooth if simplistic in its execution.  But here is the kicker; this wine is typically sold for under $10.  It is a great drink-any-time with anything wine for that price.  It is a buy-a-case to have on hand for unexpected guests or when you just want to pour a glass without any guilt.  Its simplicity will pair as well with figs and cheese (pictured) as it would with pizza and popcorn or even munching on dry Cheerios.

Raise a Glass!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Greg Norman Shiraz 2009 (Limestone Coast) wine review by (PB)

Deep dark garnet with aromas of jammy black fruit, somewhat floral notes with subtlest hint of cocoa and lighter berries.

Palate--Bold presence with pleasant tannic structure and loads of ripe fruit. A touch chewy but also seems not to be holding up well which is surprising for the young age of this wine.

I think my bottle may have been a victim of poor shipping or storage as it seems to hold a lot of promise but seems tired and a bit awkward. If you have a couple I would definitely open one and check it. The decide if it merits another year.

I paid $12 at Sam's Club. I'll reserve judgement given the confusing presentation.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Numanthia Termes 2004 wine review by (PB)

Rigid lightly opaque ruby and black cherry presentation with aromas of earthy berry with spicy backbone. It is slightly rustic with a hint of age but with intriguing evergreen notes.

PALATE--nearly silky structure that is well integrated with toasted bread mid palate and bold dark berry foundation. Finishes fairly quickly but with nice mild fruit on the end.

This is Numanthia's every man's wine being in the affordable range of mid $20 to $30. It is comprised of 100% Tina De Toro grape. I have have had several of these through the years and they definitely need a few years on them to enjoy.

Will have it with (NW) of this blog with roasted whole chicken and root vegetables. Raise a glass to Bodega Numanthia!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Septima 2009 Malbec wine review by Billy

Nose: Plum, tar and rosemary
Palate: Excellent balance in the mouth with warm feel, gentle but firm tannins and solid acid structure.

Finish: Cherry and more plum with some green pepper and grassy notes.

Overall:  a delightful 2009 Malbec from Mendoza Argentina.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 wine review by (PB)

Bold black cherry hue with a nice Washington State bouquet of chocolate, a hint of black tea, with luscious, dark chocolate covered cherries and slight suggestion of Spruce.

Palate--big chocolatey front with solid blackberry and plum with laid back tannins.

This is just another delicious, straight forward, easy drinking cab from the reliable producers at Columbia Crest. Finishes with a slight touch of smoke and tea.

It is amazing how gentle and supple this wine is already drinking. Better yet, I paid $7.50 for it in New Hampshire which is the price I saw it for on my way back from Los Angeles. If you can find this wine at this price, this is a buy-a-case kind of wine that is drinking great now and will be good for another 5-8 years. So raise a glass as I will when I grill my chicken-fried Moose cube steaks in a few minutes!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Sepp "Gruner Veltliner" 2009 wine review by (PB)

This Gruner has a nice gentle golden hue with aromas of tropical fruit, powdery vanilla and a touch of "grease."

Palate-- A touch sour front impression with crisp acidity yielding a mix of tropical fruit, and tart Granny Smith apple with a candied note to itreminding me of bubble gum. There is a fresh hint of clean light wood with a lingering citrus note.

Gruner Veltliner is the signature grape of Austria and offers a vibrant, acidic white that will pair well with buttery seafood which I will be trying tonight with fresh mussels in a garlic wine sauce.

I paid $10 for this Austrian clean white and worthy of raising a glass!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Alain Jaume & Fils Grand Veneur Reserve Cotes-du-Rhone 2010 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Big nose of berries and fig with garrigue aromas

Full bodied on the palate

Plush finish with dark berries and sage


What makes this wine noteworthy is the fact that it's big and modern but still retains the garrigue dry herb aromas and nuances that make Cotes-du-Rhone wines so charming. If you haven't spent much time exploring the wines of the Southern Rhone in France, then start with this one. The overall quality has been amazing for the past decade and the basic Cotes-du-Rhone such as this offer excellent value. Expect to pay in the $17 range, and raise a glass!

Trapiche Broquel Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Rich dark berries and black licorice on the nose

Full bodied and plush on the palate

Finishes with layered dark berries and oak nuances


Along with the Trapiche Malbec, this is another winner! In fact, I haven't come across a bad wine from the "Broquel" label in the Trapiche line of wines from Argentina. This Cabernet Sauvignon is sure to please with ripe fruit and licorice on a full-bodied core with nice, rich layers to finish. Retail prices are typically around $15, which is a nice value. Raise a glass!