Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Mencio Roble Alvarez de Toledo 2015 (Bierzo)


Egg plant hue looking very young even thought it's 7 years old. Aromas of sweet funky mushroom, fresh fruit on the edge, savory spices, white pepper and black pepper the end.

Palate-Some dried black berries, and salted crackers, with penetrating flavors of a mixed berry pie, plum, lip- smacking structure and a finish that says, take another sip! 

This northern Spain wine comprised of the Mencia grape is well made, and at the $14 price point is a ridiculous value quaff.  The Wine Enthusiast made this #8 of their top 100 wines of 2018 and a "Best Buy" designation.  I cannot argue!  Grab this and raise a glass as it is drinking really well right now but will hold for another 5 years.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Winemakers Selection "Classic Series" (Red Blend) California 2019

Really light hue on the pour with aromas that are reminiscent of Beaujolais Nouveau,  or fruity red jug wine, and while not exciting it is actually quite pleasant.

Palate--Surprisingly full of crazy fruity flavor, decent mouth feel, dark ripe berries, some bright cherry, and a quick finish.

This California blended wine is made for Walmart and if I were a wine snob I would not even be reviewing this.  But, I believe in the "get a grip factor." Meaning what?  Meaning this wine is $4! FOUR DOLLARS.  Even Brandon couldn't mess this up. 

So use this to make Sangria, drink it alone, pair it with your favorite foods and you really can't go wrong at this price.  Seriously tasty! Seriously simple, and yet a solid value so "Raise a glass!" 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Castello Di Querceto Chianti Classico Riserva 2017

Querceto   Chianti Classic Riserva 2017Bricking red at the rim with  a blast of super nice fresh cherry with the pull of the cork. Sweet candied spice, a touch of rose petal and violets. Amazing!

Palate--Integrated, steely, bright cherry pie with loads of spices both sweet and savory. Finishes fairly abruptly but still reminds you of summery, bright red fruit.   

This is always a solid representation of the signature grape of Chianti--Sangiovese--with its acidic charm, lovely fruit with a backbone of red ripe cherries. 

I have had Querceto over the span of decades probably more than any other Tuscan wine. Having been to Greve, Italy I am transported back to the time and place as I sip this Sangiovese classic again. This is the charm of good wine. It is more than a drink, it is an experience that conjures up wonderful memories of sights and smells and the beautiful Tuscan countryside.  

I paid $13 for this Chianti bargain and as always with this wine, I say, "Raise a glass!" 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Broken Earth Winery Grenache 2016 (Paso Robles)


Pours with a really light hue that looks rather like pinot Noir. Aromas of fruity sweet cherry hard candies, with a delicate sugary hint of red grapefruit.

Palate--Lively first impression full of vibrant fruity cherry, spice, reminiscent of pinot noir?  Seriously a unique Grenache presentation and an absolutely delightful "happy" profile that makes me want to celebrate Spring!

This is delicious, and full of flavor and well made so even at the price point of $28 thjis is a stellar Grenache so raise a glass!

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Mark West Pinot Noir 2019 (California)

Light ruby hue with aromas of strawberry, vanilla and spice.

Palate--watery mouth feel, confused palate, under-stated fruit, and a touch of vanilla; a peculiar impression... 

Sourced from grapes anywhere in California, such wines can be a real crap shoot ranging from utter plonk to an "Oh magosh" experience in those years when there is a bumper crop of great quality grapes and they are being dumped on the wineries that depend on surviving off such grapes. 

Unfortunately, those OMG years are few and far between.  That being said, sourced wines are inexpensive, and can be a real crap shoot depending on the crop in any given year. Mark West is one of the vintners however, who take care in what they choose to invest their money.  

This selection is not one of their best but is still a pleasant enough quaff with some nice Pinot fruit suggestions and after all, you're talking about an $8-$10 Pinot Noir. 

The non-discriminating palate which is most of us, will enjoy this and that is the bottom line.  

Friday, March 18, 2022

Corvelia Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 19

Lovely Cranberry jelly hue with aromas of wild berry pie filling, strawberry-cherry gum notes with sweet spice and honeysuckle with a maple syrup nuance!

Palate--A vibrantly lively and fruity first impression with loads of delicious fruit yet not a fruit bomb! Balanced, structured to drink NOW, yet with a vibrancy of acid to make it both a lone quaff or a dinner wine.

Corvelia has become one of my fave wine makers in both their Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Do not approach this wine as you would a $70 Napa Cab. But if you want a very drinkable, well made super value Cabernet that isn't trying to be a Screaming Eagle, at the $10 price point raise a glass!

Friday, March 11, 2022

Corvelia Zinfandel Lot 20 (Paso Robles) (


Deep aubergine, hue with aromas of tar, sweet black berry, an almost eucalyptus note-- but not quite-- with a big dash of savory spices.

Palate--Gargantuan, black berry front with some tannic back bone. Rear palate brings vanilla dark chocolate cream bon bons with a lasting finish.

Another tasty fruit bomb Zin from Paso Robles, Ca. from the folks at Corvelia. Sold at Trader Joes and I don't know if elsewhere, it is a fave of mine because at $10 it defies the price tag consistently. There is no vintage on the label and I tried to find the "Lot 20" to see if that helped but to no avail.  

At any rate, give this a shot if you like the big fruit bombs and raise a glass!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Gnarly Head Chardonnay (Central Coast) 2020

Nice lighter golden hue with aromas of cantaloupe, wet stones, vanilla, tropical fruit and citrus.

Palate--Nice structure with a minerally foundation, nice mouth watering acidity, loads of tropical fruit and a silky mouthfeel.

The Central Coast (AVA) American Viticultural Area, is a large region of California from Santa Barbara north to San Francisco.  So a wine so labeled means the grapes used in the wine came from that area of the state.

Gnarly Head is producing some really consistent value wines at the $10 price point.  This is no exception. Pair this with buttery dishes be it pasta, seafood, or even a lighter fare of pork or smoked meats. Another well done wine from these folks so "Raise a glass!

Saturday, March 05, 2022

The Wanted Zin 2018 (Puglia)

Black cherry hue with aromas of rose petals, sweet spices, 

Palate--Sweet first impression with hefty dark berry flavors with a huge burst of savory spices mid-palate on a new world structure, finishes with the remnants of dark berry and their skins.

Here's the weird thing: This hales from Puglia, Italy!  Now Zinfandel "was"unique, and totally American. BUT--it's genetic progenitor is from the primitivo grape that lives in Italy. I have had several primitivos none of which tasted at all like Zinfandel which happens to be my all time favorite varietal that I can afford...

So when I saw this recently labeled Zinfandel but coming from Italy, I had to snatch it up and see what it's all about.  YES--it tastes like Zin and frankly not at a bad quaff. It was purposely vinified to be like the American Zins we are used to and aged in American Oak. I have to hand it to them; they succeeded!

At $12, I glad I tried it and perhaps it will be a new day for Zinfandel over seas.   Raise a glass!


Wednesday, March 02, 2022

M. Chevallier Carte Noire "Brut"

Very pale straw hue with lovely pin prick bubbles, releasing their bouquet of lime and white melon.

Palate--A seductively dry bubbler with a quickly fleeting profile on the palate but what is there is fresh and fruity with lychee as the predominate flavor and a very subtle nutty end.

Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine made in the methode de champanoise style meaning the wine is fermented in the bottle developing its wonderful bubbles.  Cavas are easy drinking and inexpensive but ever so enjoyable.  My preference is I will take Cava over Prosecco every time but that's just me.  At around $9 it's a great buy so raise a glass!

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Les Roches Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Light golden hue with aromas of vanilla, papaya, mango, ripe pineapple, baked green apple pie and pie spices. 

Palate--Nice acidity, on a vanilla cream foundation, a subtle grassiness, more vanilla, and a touch of wood and stone on a creamy finish. 

This Loire, France Sauvignon Blanc is a really nice bargain at the $10 price point. S. Blanc seems to have lost it's cache over the past couple decades.  This is a shame as it can be vinified in numerous styles ranging from lightly sweet to bone dry but always very fruity and easy to drink. A cheese wine for sure but tonight I will be making an impromptu shrimp and pasta creation of a yet to be determined spices and sauces.  At $10 Raise a glass!!!