Thursday, July 31, 2014

Terra D'Alige Tatone MontePulciano D' Bruzzo 2010 wine review by (PB)

Nice black cherry hue with some heft to the pigmentation. Aromas of a deep, intense melange of spices, deep licorice and fruit with forest floor and more evergreen--WOW!

Palate--supple tannins with delicious dark berries, rich textured with a finish that is tart and mouth watering.

Montepulciano is one of my favorite every day kind of wines. Even at the lower price points of $8 they tend to be just great, easy drinking, red wines that pair with everything Italian and tomoatoe based, dishes

I paid $12 for this wine marked down from $16. At $16 this would have been a nice wine; at $12 it's a buy more kind of wine! Buy and raise a glass!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rancho Zabaco Heritage Vines (Sonoma Co) Zinfandel 2012 wine review by (PB)

Cranberry hue with aromas of brambly fruit somewhat subdued.

Palate--A subtle touch of licorice, under somewhat subdued rustic blackberry.

I have had some really stellar value productions of this wine in past years but this one seems off a bit. Nothing flawed about it, just really low key.

I paid $13 for this wine reduced from $16 and I would let this wine go at either price point.

I see this wine getting some strong reviews from a lot reviewers but I'm not seeing it in my bottle. In fairness, I'll give it another shot if I get the chance. Why don't you and let me know what YOU think!

Chakalaka "Spice Route" 2010 wine review by (PB)

Deeply pigmented opaque black cherry hue with aromas of deep blackberry, tar, spices and dark fruit.

Palate--Weighty presentation with loads of luxuriant dark fruit and a prominent charred wood presence. Finishes with more charred wood. Seems to have simplified from what it was about 20 hours ago when I opened it.

This is a blend of 6 different grapes. Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignane, Tannat, Durif and Grenache. I am typically not a fan of blends that try to mix more than 3 maybe four grapes although Beaulieu does it well with their Tapestry line. This is actually pretty well done even if it may not be my favorite style. I seemed to keep going back to the bottle and it was excellent with my pizza.

I paid $16 for this which was a good price and it is a different experience. South Africa seems to still be searching for identity. I hope they get it figured out as there is a lot of potential there but they might want to commit to what they think they are good at and stick with it. I jsut get the sense they are trying to live up to someone's idea of wine instead of what they have. At any rate--raise a glass!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Black cherry and dark berries on the nose

Full bodied  on the palate

Nicely textured on the finish with fruit that's layered with toasty oak and a hint of mint


This is a nicely made Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. It's fruity and well rounded, with good texture and well integrated layers on the finish.  I'm often asked for a good value Cabernet out of California, and I tend to recommend a handful of Sonoma County bottlings including this one.

Rodney Strong wines have been consistently good of late, so look for the label. Expect to pay around $16, and enjoy with a grilled steak. Raise a glass!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Vina Alberdi 2005 Rioja Wine Review by Billy

Nose: deep and lovely tobacco and cherry
Palate: easy drinking even balance of warm tannins and black cherry
Finish: warm and long with tea, tobacco and cherry through and through
Overall: this is a lovely 2005 100% Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain. It is showing age in the glass with brick red hues near the edge. It has a fantastic nose that is deep and rich. The mouth feel is quicksilver with passion. The finish is aged and wise and long. The bottle cost me $15 at the local wine shop.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thomas Goss Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 McLaren Vale wine review by (PB)

Young purple hue with aromas of fresh dark berry fruit away from the glass changing to spicy dark berry with cedar notes and green overtones and some tarry hints.

Palate--Hefty on the palate--big, somewhat harsh with solid fruit, a nice beam of black cherry/berry with a lingering finish and smokey wood to end. An immature wine that is going to some time to come around. I would love to taste this in another 5-8 years but should last considerably longer than that. Australia is a place to watch in the years to come for this varietal. Great things might be coming down the pike.

I paid $14 for this Cab and will serve it with grilled flank steak and chimichurri sauce so raise a glass!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mittelbach Tegernseerhof Rose 2013 wine review by (PB)

This Austrian Rose has a bright bouquet of subdued red melon and a touch of raspberry.

Palate--Nice burst of "zippy" fruit with a peachy aftertaste and a palate cleansing acidity.

I paid $15 for this Austrian rose which is about $5 too much. It's a decent, lively rose that tastes great chilled down on hot summer day, but there are SO many great roses today at the $10 price point that this is not worth the price. If you see it for about 2/3's less grab it, chill it and raise a glass. Otherwise try something else.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rocca Delle Macie "SaSyr" 2011 wine review by (PB)

Purple to cranberry hue with aromas giving the classic Sangiovese bouquet on first whiff but then there is a blast of fresh fruit like candy apple cherry (the hard red coating on candied apples) with a rear guard of sweet herbs. This is a distinctive and enticing bouquet!

Palate--It tastes a little confused to me with the Sangiovese (60%) fighting with the (40%) Syrah. There's a nice sense of pie crust with residual baked-on cherry juice on it, red berries, and a touch of dried red fruit. Finish lingers a bit.

I had this wine several vintages ago and didn't care for it. It wasn't a bad wine at all it's just one of those preference things. I like Sangiovese when it's a blend if its with Cabernet Sauvignon, but not so much with Syrah. That's just me. This wine has a lovely bouquet though.

I see this around for anywhere from $9 on sale to $13. Just a word of warning--in these summer months, unless you have a temperature controlled cooler, don't drink this at room temperature unless your house is air conditioned and kept fairly cool. This wine changes dramatically as the temperature rises and the alcohol begins to engulf all else. This is true of any red wine and heat so don't be afraid to throw it in the refrigerator for 1/2 before you drink it and then raise a glass!

By the way Rocca Delle Macie is pronounced ROH-kah DELL-eh mah-CHEE-ah!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gascon Colosal "red blend" 2012 wine review by (PB)

Intensely pigmented with a dark tomatoey red, opaque hue.
Aromas of gigantic black fruit and loads of "stuff" going on! Tar, bold evergreen and spice, cigar box and more ripe berry fruit lurking underneath it all. Wow!

Palate--Again, gigantic immense bold deep, dark berries with thickish, rich texture. Finishes with a lingering dark fruit with some charred oak.

This "red blend" is Malbec, Bonarda, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Malbec and Syrah stand out to me but candidly I do not have a lot of experience with Bonarda.

I paid $9 for this $16 wine marked down. This is definitely an upper teens value so raise a glass and enjoy it with something with plenty of heft!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Big nose with dark berries, roasted notes, and cedar

Full bodied on the palate

Long, layered finish, complex with dark berries and earthy notes


If you have this wine stashed away, open it and enjoy! It's drinking beautifully right now at eight years of age. It's immensely flavorful and has a nice complexity to it that drives the finish. Well made and expressive, for sure. Expect to pay around $30 if you happen to see it in a store. Thanks to Ken and Emily for supplying this one over a Summer dinner on the porch. Raise a glass!

Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2011 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Wild berries and bramble on the nose

Full bodied and well textured on the palate

Dark berries, dried herbs, and resinous notes on the finish


Here's a widely available wine that's a great value and versatile with food. I found this at Trader Joe's for $9, and poured it with some grilled meat and vegetables on a week night. Made from Grenache blended with Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsault, it delivers nice flavor and depth. For my money, Cotes du Rhone wines from the Southern Rhone valley in France continue present some of the best red wine values in the world. Raise a glass!