Monday, February 28, 2022

True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (Paso Robles)


Very classy, deep dark nearly black hue with aromas of cigar ash, blackberry pie, baked pie crust, sweet fruit above the rim, a touch of eucalyptus.

Palate--Nice first impression, rich dark berry fruit, tar, supple texture, mouth filling flavors, and a loooong, lingering black tea finish.

This is a very stately structured Cab. with surprising mouth feel, and profile. While being uncomplicated, it is never-the-less interesting and should be even more so as it breaths more. I see it selling on line around $24 but I know I didn't pay near that. This wine has the back bone to stick around for another 8-10 years only improving along the way. So I say--Raise a glass!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Scotto Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2017 (Lodi)

Lighter cherry juice looking hue with aromas of sour cherry, lovely spices, 

Palate--deliciously spiced on a gentle frame with a nice spread of red berries both slightly tart and sweet. Gentle finish lingers a bit.

This previously reviewed Zin from California (Lodi) was not quite up to it's usual performance (see Feb. 17 post) so I wrote that I would re-review another. This one is what you would expect as I have finished off about two cases of this value zinfandel. At a price point of $8.50 you really can't go wrong.  

Pair it with everything from pizza (which is waiting for me) to beff or wld game stews, chili with a little heat in it and see how versatile this Zinfandel can be. Raise a glass!

Friday, February 25, 2022

Gnarly Head Zinfandel 2020 (Lodi)

Darker garnet hue with aromas of sweet red fruit and cucumber-laced pomegranate juice!  (I know right?)  

Palate--Zesty, fruity, darker berry backbone with a liveliness that makes you want to just swallow a little more and a little more. 

I have had a lot of this wine over the past year paying around $8 a bottle for it most everywhere. It is readily available and is one of my favorite pairing with my super venison chili which I'll be preparing in about an hour.

Lodi--an AVA (American Viticultural Area) is not one of my most explored AVA's but their Zins are growing on me. At this price, raise a glass!

Villa Cerrina Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2020

Vibrant jellied cranberry hue with aromas of subtle, floral fragrant rose petal with a sweet cherry cream hint. Rustic, savory dried spices.  Nice!

Palate--Juicy acidity, with lip smacking tannins, tart cranberry, and a very quick finish. 

I opened this last night and purposely waited for it to breath over night in light of its youthfulness. It paid off.  My first impression last night was not very favorable being ill-defined, confused, a wine in search of an identity.  20 hours of airtime and it is hard to beat a wine like this that sells for around--sit down--$6 at one of our local mega chains called Trader Joe's.

For reference--Two nights ago I reviewed another Montepulciano D'Abruzzo  from "Podere" which I personally enjoyed much more. But that is just a matter of preference so remember that you like, what YOU like. There objective elements of good wine but in the end it comes down to YOUR preference. Just don't get stuck because you found something you like and tay glue to what you know. There is such a bounty of wine profiles at all price points discover what you like and keep on discovering and while your at it, "Raise a glass!"

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Casa Santos Lima "Confidencial Reserva" 2017

Deep and rich intensely purple hue right to the rim.

Aromas of rich, savory spiced dark berry, and twinge of salami at the edge.

Palate--Mouth watering acidity, minerally front, rich, flavorful, steely spiced berry middle, with a lingering finish of perfumy black pepper that is fleeting.

This is a full bodied red with a ton of gusto! You're not going to trounce this wine into obscurity by pairing it with a bold entree or rich, spicy tomato based sauces so throw caution to the wind and make a pasta course with big, bold, ultra rich pomodoro tomatoes and sautéed garlic or even a more subtle cut of beef grilled to medium rare. Give it a good hour at least to breath and then enjoy!

At the $9-$15 price point this is another super value creation worthy of your attention so raise a glass!

Monday, February 21, 2022

Podere Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2019


Crazy dark black cherry hue with aromas of a savory yet sweet, berry cream bonbons with a rustic edge.

Palate--Even keeled with a burst of bright flavorful cherry berry fruit with a lovely structure for a very food friendly quaff.  A nice gentle finish rounds out this value presentation.

Pairing tonight is homemade lasagne and it will be perfect. At the $10 price point raise a glass.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Gnarly Head "Authentic Black" 2019


This wine presents as a brooding, dark, nearly black wine with big jammy aromas of ripe black cherry, savory spice, cigar ash, and a slight twinge of blueberry.

Palate--KaBoom out of the gate the thickish structure, velvety tannins, loads and loads of jammy blackberry with a touch of espresso mid-palate, and a finish that just assaults the palate with enduring dark fruit.

I call this style a 20 megaton fruit bomb! Not everyone likes this type of wine but I love them as well as the more austere, old world breed.  People think these are hard to pair with food but I disagree. You might have to be a little sensitive to what you pair with it but just delay taking a drink after eating something on your plate that wouldn't quite work with this.  Minutes later and it is still lingering on my palate. 

My first thought was Syrah and/or Petite Sirah blend (maybe Zinfandel and a touch of Cabernet).

I paid $8 for this at a local grocery store and I am loving it paring it with my wife's and my Sunday night tradition of pizza.  It will do nicely so raise a glass!

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Chateau St. Michelle Gewürztraminer 2020


Spiced pineapple rings, a tropical fruit melange, wrapped in a pale golden hue.

Palate--Lovely peach nectar, sun ripened fresh pineapple, sweet pie spices, on a fresh foundation with a really nice lingering finish that takes you to a tropical paradise.  This wine is hard not to chug!

Gewürztraminer--meaning "spicy Traminer" where Traminer is the premier grape of Alsace and northern Germany, but has been crafted in a delightful way by a few vintners in North America.  North American varieties tend to be a bit sweeter than the Alsatian and German creations but done right, they are all wonderfully fresh quaffing wines great as an aperitif, or chilled down for a patio glass on a hot summer day. 

While you're at it, try St. Michelle's Riesling as well; you'll love it!

At the $10 price point I recommend you seek one out and give it a whirl. Raise a Glass! 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Il Roccolo Rubicone (NV)

Lighter hued garnet with aromas of slight mentholated hard cherry candies, a perfumy floral edge, with sweet scented body powder. 

Palate--watery texture, steely, red fruit, tart foundation.

My wife brought this home tonight and what is odd is that I find no vintage on the bottle. This is not a typical finding which means the wine is probably a blend of leftover batches(?) of numerous vintages and all thrown together. While it is listed as "Sangiovese" which is the specific grape and that this is an 

*"IGT" wine, it is a marginally drinkable. I think my wife paid perhaps $8 for it which was about $5 too much. I'll let her drink it while I open something else. 

*Indicazione Geografica Typica--IGT-- means the wine meets the requirements of the region in which the wine was produced. Sangiovese--the all star grape of Tuscany, (think--Chianti) can be fantastic when made well. Don't let your experience with this wine put you off from trying many other Tuscan delights!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Scotto Family Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi) 2017

Crystalline ruby hue with aromas of spicy canned apple rings, tart cranberry, and savory spices.

* Palate--unimpressive first impression, with a lip smacking foundation, zesty spices mid-palate, with a clunky fruity rear. 

While my favorite Zins tend to come out of Sonoma, much has changed in the wine world. The mega conglomerates like Bronco, Deagio, and Constellation have taken over many independent wineries not infrequently it seems shredding some of the best those independents did in the name of profit. Mind you I have NO problem with someone selling their company I am simply lamenting the tragedy--in my opinion, of what gets lost in the process.

At any rate--Scotto is a value Zin which costs a bargain price of $8.50. I have consumed a couple cases of it and will continue.

*Full disclosure: The above wine was open for nearly 24 hours when I did this review. That's not really fair so I will be re-reviewing this value Zin again!  

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Epicuro Nero D'Avola 2020


Lighter garnet hue with aromas of cinnamon laced cranberry juice, Halls mentholyptus cough drops, red berry cream candies.

Palate--Steely front, with relaxed tannins, summery red-berry fruit, a minerally finish.

I have had this wine many times over the years. Nero D'Avola is the signature grape of Sicily and they do it right.  and it tends to be a good value running about $8 a bottle. The structure of this one seems a bit awkward, and my least favorite of all the vintages I have had of this wine. 

It could be a one off which happens (called bottle variation) So I would still give it a shot. At this price point it's worth a try. 

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Innocenti Brunello Di Monalcino 2015


Medium garnet hue with bricking at the rim.  Aromas of sweet spring flowers at the rim, cigar ash, sweet cherry confectionary.  There's more fighting to the surface but this is right  upon opening.

Palate-- Mouth filling, juicy acidity, slightly bitter tannic note (a nice kind that I love!) pie cherry filling. 

This was the perfect pairing with our rib roast, roasted root vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy. It will continued to open as the dinner went on and of course there was nothing left to cork... This was a house warming gift from a special guy and very appreciated. Raise a glass! 

Masciarelli Montepulciano D'Bruzzo 2018

Pretty Dark Garnet with aromas sour cherry, rustic spices, with touches of sweet forest floor scents

Palate--Sweet/tart front with sharply acidic foundation, beautiful cherry foundation, with gentle tannins and a finish that lingers a bit. 

Masciarelli knows how to make wine and this one is value keeper!  I paid around $11 I think and it is really delicious. My wife is making potato/Italian sausage soup and it will be a perfect pairing so raise a glass!