Friday, June 24, 2022

S. Niccolo Vin Santo Del Chianti Classico 2014


Opaque, orange/brown hue with aromas of sherry, burnt caramel, orange, and spruce, 

Palate--Thickish, ultra sweet, dill pickle, silky texture, acidity to carry the sweetness without being  cloying, and basically all the aromas in the bouquet transfer to the palate. The finish continues for what seems an eternity. 

I was skeptical of this wine having paid $25  for the 375 ml thinking it would be shot.  But it is absolutely lovely! I had a Chateau D' Y'Quem years ago and it cost $100 for 375 ml and it wasn't nearly this good. It has been minutes past and the finish is still vibrant and luxurious. Pairing it with almond biscotti.  

I paid $25 for the half bottle and it is worth that and much more so so raise a glass!

Louis Bernard Cote Du Rhone Villages 2018


A very nice and pretty intense deep black cherry hue with aromas of black cherry, fresh sweet ripe berries, with gentle spices and a hint of cocoa.

Palate--Intensely deep flavors of fully matured berries, enough tannins to carry this along for a few years with enticing flavorful berry compote, baking spices and a fairly quick finish.

Raise a glass!  

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Mezzacrona "Dinotte" (Red Blend) 2018


Pours very purply with aromas of subtle beef and a touch of BBQ smoke, with fresher fruit dressed with a spicy valance. 

Palate--Flavorful first impression with a steely front, silky texture, spiced thanksgiving apples, blueberry cream mid palate and a food friendly acidic beam.

I was predisposed to no liking this wine simply because I bought one bottle on close out for $7. I am pleasantly surprised! I really like this wine and plan to grab several more bottles when I am through the state where I bought it.  

This is a nice food wine and pleasant enough to drink on its own so "Don't judge a bottle by it's price...!"  Raise a glass!

Monday, June 20, 2022

Simi Merlot 2019


Young garnet hue with aromas of ripe black berry above the rim with ash, spices, 

Palate--Really steely first impression with chunky fruit and tannins, black pepper, blackberries, a slight vanilla edge at the finish as well as puckery, lip smacking ending.

Simi has great memories for me in my early years of wine exploration some 45 years ago. It was one of those Sonoma wineries I cut my teeth on. I don't often see them around my neck of the woods in Maine but I grabbed this one from a NH store on a recent trip. This wine will benefit from another 2 years when it will be a great value at the $12 price point I found it at but it runs around $20.  Raise a glass!

Sunday, June 19, 2022

La Burgondie Cremant De Bourgoyne

Pale straw hue with very light touch of pink.  Aromas of sweet red apples, and vanilla cream.

Palate--Nice pin-prick bubbles, with first impression of apple juice, fresh white grape juice at the edge.

This sparkler from France is distributed by Trader Joe's and will run you a very reasonable $8 if that. 

Chill it down well and enjoy it by itself, with lighter cheeses, or as I am doing, with Hooter's recipe buffalo wings!  Not an easy pairing but it works.  Raise a glass!!!

Robert Dubuisson Beaujolais-Villages 2018

Classic light strawberry hued wine with aromas of nuanced sweet raspberry juice, with a touch of strawberry and light baking spices with a hint of cinnamon.

Palate-- Classic Gamay profile with surprisingly bold acidic foundation and a quick finish that is clean and crisp.

What's the difference between Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages and Beaujolais Cru? 

Outside of price, the quality scale begins at Beaujolais--the French wine region growing Gamay grapes; then increases in both quality and price as you move to "Villages" which means the grapes were selected from a more narrow region, and climaxes with "Cru" which are harvests from 1 of ten specified regions within Beaujolais from which the grapes are selected each with there own unique flavor profile.

In a class all by itself is Beaujolais Nouveau which is again the Gamay grape but the wines are made to be released on the 3rd Wednesday of November all over the world. They are simple, straight forward, lovely guzzling kind of wines which enjoy an accompanying celebration in France on that Wednesday of release. In America they tend to run around $10-12. They are fruity, easy to drink and are made to be drunk within 12 months of release! Put it on your calendar and look for that day of release in your local wine retailer!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Wente Cabernet Sauvignon "Southern Hills" 2019

Purple hue with youthful notes of spicy berry, cigar ash, charcoal, sweet bight red fruit above the rim, subtle cola note.

Palate- Sweet fruity frame work with gentle tannins, steely front, loads of nice balanced red berries with a decent finish of all that's there.

Wente was one of the vineyards I cut my teeth on back in the mid 70's when I became infatuated with all things enological. I had a handful of their whites mostly. This is a round wine, with years to go before it is in full expression but the wonder today is how drinkable these wines can be on release. I think I paid around $13 which is a steal.  Raise a glass!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Giacondi "Vino D'italia" (NV)

Smoky garnet with bricking at the rim. Aromas of very slight cherry with almost no bouquet. This is a geriatric wine heading for the grave!

Palate--In the mouth it is a touch sour with rustic flavors of burnt cherry and some lively hints of bright fruit. It is drinkable but you must have pretty low standards.  :) 

I bought this several years ago because it was a large format and it was really CHEAP. I decided to open it and see if it might work for a sangria. By the way, (NV) means it is a non-vintage wine meaning it was made from a hodge-podge of juice from anywhere in Italy. To be honest, this is the kind of wine that could be served at your local--especially touristy--area of Italy at a casual restaurant. The best quality wine is generally exported to world markets.

I don't know how much I paid for this but I know it was probably around $10 for a magnum (1.5L) I did not expect it to be drinkable so that is the up side. It just may be ok as a base for Sangria so we shall see.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Castle Rock Merlot (Paso Robles) 2018

A big fruity bouquet with loads of cherry, and red berries, vanilla cream bon bons, Chinese five spice

Palate--Rich mouth filling flavors, velvety mouth feel, lovely structure, juicy cherry/berry flavors, a subtle touch of wood.

Found this on sale for $8.50 so I grabbed it as Castle Rock is one of the emerging wineries joining some of my perennial faves going back 40 years. One of those wineries is Sebastiani who just makes solid wines regardless of what they are about.  Castle Rock is impressing more and more every year as they produce consumer friendly wines that don't require a home equity loan. With the absurd economy brought on by absurd politicians, tanking daily, it is great to find a reliable maker who just makes good, affordable wine.  

Well done Castle Rock--RAISE A GLASS!

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Robert Mondavi Merlot (Private Selection) 2019

Purple with garnet twinge and aromas of confused fruit, subdued spices trying to find a place and sweet cherry bonbons

Palate--Sweet first impression, with potable cherry berry flavors and a quick, unremarkable finish.

This California sourced "Merlot" is a good example of what happens when you depart from your passion and gifting and pursue the monetary necessities to survive as a wine company in the day of gigantic conglomerates buying up the independent wineries.

The late Robert Mondavi was an icon and patriarch of California wine making putting California on to the world stage. Family infighting, and selling out for mundane table wines is what average America tends to drink muting the artistry of the founder's wines.  I miss the perfectionism of Mr. Mondavi and on a totally coincidental visit to Napa Valley one year, I had the fantastic joy of beholding Robert Mondavi in his vineyard celebrating his 83rd birthday. Talk about the luck of the draw.  At any rate, do not judge Mondavi wines on the basis of their production line plonk. Spend a few more bucks and drink to the memory of the Patron Saint of Napa Valley.