Monday, March 20, 2023

Columbia Crest "Grand Estates" (Washington State) Cabernet Sauvignon 2020


On opening, pours with an already aged hue for this young wine. Bouquet is quite nice with a warm bowl full of red berries with some skilled aging and with some fresher aromas of cherry/berry fruit.

Palate--First impression is nice with a structured presentation, with a perky, mouth full of red berries with a touch of raspberry fruit that needs time to kiss the air and allow what's there to rise up. (I just opened this 5 minutes before these remarks and will *review it after a couple hours as well.)  

*This is still pretty tight three hours later but mostly due to it's youthfulness in the bottle.  This is a decent inexpensive Cabernet and will only get better over the next 2-3 years but is enjoyable right now so Raise a Glass!

This is a $10 offering from Columbia Crest winery blended with small amounts of Syrah and Merlot. C.C. has a well established reputation for solid, value wines at the $10-$15 price point. I can't say I have ever been disappointed in several decades of experience with these wines. 

The "Washington State" on the label tells us the grapes were sourced (taken from) a variety of vineyards from various vineyards in the state.  As mentioned in other posts, the more focused the parcel from which the grapes are sourced the higher the quality of wine (and price) the wines will be. (There are however many exceptions to this rule.) So for example, if the label had said "Horse Heaven Hills" that tells you the grapes came from vineyards in that specific AVA (**American Viticultural Area).

**AVA is a legally, denoted area based on many rules/laws pertaining to quality and geological qualities of the different areas. This is true of wines all over the country and even the world however they have different terms etc. for them.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Ornelia Del Cripini Sparkling Apple 2022

Ornelia Del Cripini is my own home-made sparkling apple wine.  

I am hesitant to call something "wine" that is not made from grapes and I do not do "fruit wine" reviews. But THIS happens to be my own creation. After attempting to make Marechel Foch with my own home grown grapes over a decade with pathetic results (strictly a hobby) I abandoned my vineyard and switched to making apple wine because apples were abundantly available for free. 

As it turned out, it is actually a very fresh, bright, super fruity wine that tastes like--wait for it--APPLES!

I put it through a double fermentation to raise the alcohol content and then put it through a 3rd fermentation in the bottle patterned after the "Methode De Champenoise" method of the great Champagnes from Champagne France. 

This is strictly for private use and I reviewed it just for fun! I am raising a glass tonight pairing it with a salty "boiled dinner" for St. Patrick's Day! Happy St. Patty's Day to all you Irish out there! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Belles Vignes Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Straw hue with big aromas of sweet new mown grass, a citrusy lime suggestion, and vanilla pudding.

Palate-- First impression is steely, mouth wateringly juicy, and dry with classic grassy S. Blanc mid palate. Lingers on the palate a bit with a creamy textured finish.

I was a bit surprised (pleasantly) at the pronounced "grassy" presence as I generally associate this profile with American (California) Sauvignon Blancs. This French S. Blanc is well made and delightful.

It has been awhile since I reviewed this grape and it used to be my preferred "go-to" white wine for a number of seafood soups, and stews. This one is just a great value at $7 from Trader Joe's so raise a glass!

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Fior di Vino Chianti Classico Riserva 2018


Lightly turning magenta hue showing its first sign of age with aromas of violets, cherries, and cherry hard candies.

Palate-- Mouth watering tannic structure with solid acidity and showing off the classic Chianti "cherry" profile of Sangiovese--the grape. Finishes a bit stern but quite lovely with pizza! 

Another Trader Joe's offering for $8 and would buy another to have with any tomato based pasta dish so raise a glass!

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Emma Reichart Riesling 2021

Straw hue with aromas of mango, citrus, and a hint of vanilla.    

Palate-- Tart first impression with subdued fruit. Nice acidic beam with a citrusy and juicy middle.

This previously reviewed Trader Joe's offering is a very inexpensive Riesling ($7)  but has been quite enjoyable in the past.  The last two bottles I have had have been less than expected based on the past. I think I will not be getting anymore of this vintage so I would let it pass!

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

What is Port wine?


Port wine gets a bad wrap! What's worse, is that some people I know have bought "Port" wine when in actuality they weren't buying real port wine at all.  So as briefly as I can make it, "Real" Port wine is a "fortified" wine which I will explain in a second, that must come from Portugal!  So anything you might see in your grocery store where the label says PORT but is from any country other than Portugal  is not actually port wine. Real Port wine will often be labeled "Porto" or "Oporto" and originate from the Douro region of Portugal.  But there are exceptions.

So what is it and what makes it so different? When the port wine grapes are being fermented the maker stops the fermentation BEFORE all the sugar from the fruit is converted to alcohol. In order to do this, the wine maker adds a high alcoholic liquid--usually brandy-- which kills the yeast which is gobbling up the sugar producing alcohol. With the yeast killed the residual sugar from the grapes remains yielding a very sweet wine. And because the brandy used to stop fermentation is high in alcohol, port wines are also higher in alcohol than a normal red wine, sometimes up to 22% alcohol.

In an exceptional growing year, a "vintage" is declared and makers may produce "Vintage Port."  Vintage Port" is the highest quality of port there is and can run starting in the $25 range on release and just goes north from there. As a port ages, and Vintage ports need many years to reach their peak, can run well over $100 a bottle. And oh what an ethereal treat a good port is. Silky textured, immense, big bold, juicy flavors and while very sweet, the high alcohol, tannins, and acid make it an absolute delight to drink.

But well made ports in the $20 range are delightful as well and "Late Bottled Vintage port" (not to be confused with "Vintage Port") can be seductive, round, velvety, and spectacular in the $20-$35 range. What to serve with Ports?  Blue cheese, Stilton, salty big cheeses, dark chocolate, flourless chocolate tarts, and really anything strong and sweet.  But there are few things better than Port all by itself. Just make sure it is the real deal and raise a glass!

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Porto Morgado "Ruby Port"

This may be a Trader Joe's exclusive. I have been buying this value "Port" for years and have never been disappointed.  A bouquet of currants, ripe sun dried raisins and prunes are the routine aromas of this *"fortified" wine from Portugal.

Palate-Super sweet but nicely acidic to carry such intensity without being cloying. Intense raisiny, pruney front palate with loads of baker's chocolate, dried fruit and a decent texture for such an inexpensive Port.

At $6, this ruby Port is a fantastic accompaniment by itself or even more so with a variety of chocolates but my fave is DARK chocolate and makes you keep drinking and eating. At such an affordable price point, ($6) RAISE A GLASS! 

Monday, March 06, 2023

Rosa Dell Olmo Barbera D'Asti 2021


Simple purple hue with aromas of Bubble gum (seriously) crushed fresh grape with dried grapes, a sweet yet savory touch of spices, ruby red grapefruit!

Palate--unremarkable first impression, tannis, steely, angular, tightly wound with all the wonderful aromas in the bouquet rather lost on the palate.

This has been open for at least a half hour and if it's this austere at this point it may not ever come around. The bouquet is the best part of the wine at this stage but I will update when it has more time to open and dinner (tortellini's with an invented sauce by me).  Stay tuned...

Okay, actually this wine was another "value" food wine that was very nice with my tortellini. For $6 you really can't beat this. Just make sure you serve it with something friendly to an acidic, italian wine and then "raise a glass!"

Friday, March 03, 2023

Schloss Biebrich (Trocken)


Very pale straw hue with aromas of Lime, sweet spring flowers, orange blossom

Palate--Fine bubbles on the palate, decent structure, pleasant fruity mid palate, and a finish that is quick but satisfying.

This is a Trader Joe's wine for around $6 and it can't be bit for the price.  It is structured, fruity and pleasant. I have sparklers for many more times that price I didn't enjoy as much.  I am pairing it with Chinese take out and it will be great so raise a glass!

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Domaine De Argentine "Terroir Selection" Malbec 2021


With a hue of jellied cranberry sauce, the aromas of ripe plum, a suggestion of eucalyptus or mint and blackberry jelly.

Palate--Forthright first impression with a tannic backbone, dark fruit, a bit chunky, and needs to breathe.  Considering the price point of this wine, it is drinkable with a tomato based pasta, three cheese raviolis which I will be serving tonight but it is a bit hard to drink by itself. It finishes quickly but should be OK with dinner. 

This may be a Trader Joe's exclusive and at $5 it's worth a try. I won't be going back to it, but I'm glad I grabbed one.


Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Vignobles Lacheteau 'VOUVRAY" 2021

Crystalline straw hue with aromas of sweet tropical fruits, lime hints, a touch of cinnamon, and a nuance of baking spices.

Palate-An absolute explosion of a tropical fruit melange with sweet lime, ripe pineapple, and a structure that is gloriously close to perfect being razor sharp but integrated over all. 

This is NOT a sweet wine as much as it is an "off dry" FRUITY wine. What makes a sweet wine is residual (meaning unfermented) sugar. Cheap white wines and even some red wines can be purposely made to be sweet by either adding sugar after fermentation or stopping fermentation before all the sugars are turned into alcohol which can be disgusting though popular to some. "White Zinfandel" would be one example of MANY.  The Chenin Blanc grape--the signature grape of the Vouvray region of France, was co-opted in America and went through a very sad phase of being used for cheap jug wines. 

This fantastic grape emerged decades later being respected for the wonderful, spicy, zesty, wonderful wine that it can be and while Vouvray sets the bar, many "new world" wineries around the globe are now making quality Chenin Blancs as well.  At $10 this is a must buy and I will be serving it with our salty ham dinner which will be awesome.  If there is any wine left when dinner comes out, "Raise a glass!"  

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

NDP "Red Blend" 2021


Pours with a bold, dark purple hue right to the rim, with aromas of musty sweet red berry with a candied nuance.

Palate--unremarkable first impression structurally but pleasant fruit, of a gentle nature, a mellow foundation, and finishes quickly.

Having never heard of this wine and the label being of little help, I cannot find anything out about this wine on the internet. I am curious who makes it, what grapes are used and where in France it hails from. Strange!

I paid $7 for this TRader Joe's offering and perhaps it is made exclusively for them, I don't know.  At any rate it is unremarkable, underwhelming, and yet drinkable.  At $7--and not a penny more--it's okay.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Il Borgo COLLINARE "Nero-d'Avola" 2021


Pretty crystalline-like hue with aromas of "pretty" aromas of sweet berries, cola, lightly sweet spice, and cherry/raspberry cream.

Palate- Steely first impression, tart with mouth watering acidity, stingy flavors finishing quickly.

"Cola" is not an ordinary aroma I associate with Nero d'Avola which is one of my prefered, inexpensive, old world productions. Typically is more cherry berry is with a gentler profile and easy drinking. But this is tight on opening so we'll give it some air time!

After an hour or so, this is a really nice food wine I paired with my homemade pasta and a creation from my mind consisting of bacon, garlic, onion, red wine reduction, heavy cream, anchovies, grated parmesan cheese and garlic bread. At $7 this is crazy good wine so raise a glass!

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Marques de Colbert Reserva 2017

Lovely medium purple pour with aromas of sweet. bright fresh fruit on the edge with delicately sweetly spiced cherries, a slight suggestion of cola or rootbeer,  and blackberry finish.

Palate-First impression: (This is right upon opening.)  Structured with an acidic foundation, understated fruit, somewhat one dimensional, yet crafted rather than thrown together. Finishes with a layer of fruit trying to breakout. I suspect this will be a decent food wine and needs more time to open. 

After even ten minutes there is a black pepper rear palate, and flavors begin to integrate into one very nicely made wine. Tempranillo is generally the star of the show in Spain and for good reason. But this blend is really quite good.

This is a new wine to me comprised of 50% Bobal grape and 50% Tempranillo, the signature grape of Spain.  James Suckling, a giant in the world of wine was one of my respected experts cutting my teeth on The Wine Spectator. After many years he went out on his own and gives this wine a 91 point rating.
Now here is the get a grip factor: I paid $6 for this at Trader Joe's and it is a crazy value!  Raise a glass!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Oporto Kopke "Fine Ruby Port" (NV)

 Lovely deep, dark nearly black hue with aromas of ripe currants, raisins, plum. 

Palate-- Silky presence, with mouth watering, mouth filling flavors of plush, ripe late harvested raisins ripened by the sun, currants mid-palate, and finishing with a thickish texture of awesome dark fruit that lingers on and on and on.

My wife of 49 years bought me this for Valentine's Day and it is a wonderful treat. I adore oporto!

Normally I love porto by itself, with dark, semi-sweet chocolate, or, like tonight, we will be having dark chocolate, raspberry truffle ice cream and before having it I already know this is going to be heavenly.

At $25, it is a treat so go for it!  Raise a glass!!!

Reserve De Chas telles Tavel 2020

 A stunningly beautiful strawberry juice hue with the slightest hint of orange accompanied by aonas of strawberry juice, a nuance of cinnamon, and even a suggestion of tangerine.

Palate--Very nice first impression on the palate with a nice acidic foundation that is balanced and integrated flavors, and even a mild tannic pucker, all of which highlights gentle but definite strawberry happiness.

I reviewed this wine back in September and loved it then.  I love it even more now I believe. This is the kind of wine you want to chill down, crack it open at pool-side with friends or on your sunny deck. It is great by itself or pair it with various mild or even sweet cheeses and fruit. 

I will be parining it tonight with andouille sausage and shrimp with a a spicy rice jambalaya style. (BTW--it was quite perfect!)

At under $10 this is a no-brainer so buy a case to keep around and raise a galss!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

"B" by Fonbadet 2019


Quite a nice intense hue with aromas of dark plum, blackberry with a bouquet of gently spiced fruit and oak.

Palate--*a minerally first impression, with awkward mid palate, confused fruit and structure tightly wound and not very pleasant. 

(This wine was just opened and needs to breathe. There seems to be potential here but out of the gate it is not impressive.  I expect this to change.) 

*After some "air time" and having with my dinner it is indeed a much better wine. And while I have written before regarding "food wines" versus "quaffing wines" (wines being drunk by themselves) it bears repeating. There are structural differences between the two styles of wine. With food wines, both the wine and food is enhanced by each other. Quaffing wines may be excellent with food but are also excellent sipping them all by themselves. And of course there are exceptions in both directions but this is the nut shell version. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Estero "Red Blend" (California) 2020

Bold pour with dark purple hue and aromas of sweet candied dark fruit above the rim with ripe blackberry and plum on sweet and savory spices.

Palate--Fruit forward first impression on a supple foundation with intense dark fruit flavors that are juicy and flavorful. Finishes fairly decent and lasting.

I grabbed this "sourced" wine because it was a label I had never seen and I have a good friend who lives in Estero albeit on the opposite coast from California.  I am going to guess this is a blend of Syrah perhaps, Cabernet sauvignon and/or Petite Sirah.  Since I could not find information on what the blend is, I would say this is an approximation of what these grapes would taste like.  

A Trader Joe's value at $8 and if you enjoy a fruit bomb kind of wine, which I do under the right circumstances, then I say, "Raise a glass!"

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Cline "Ancient Vines" Zinfandel 2021 (Lodi)

Lighter hued, thinner looking garnet with Cherry/strawberry above the rim and deep[er in the bowl really nice deeper darker spicy berry fruit.

Palate--Impressive beginning with integrated berry goodness, lovely structure, balanced fruit, acid, tannins, which all come together harmoniously with nothing but Zinfandel goodness throughout. Finish lingers a good bit and presses your senses to go back for another mouthful. 

This was on sale at Trader Joe's for $10 which is $4-$5 less than usual. It is the best Cone Zin I have had in a few years and I will we pairing it with one of our favorite dishes called a French onion tart. (Think "pizza dough with a sour cream and cottage cheese mixture mixed in with thinly sliced whole onion, then spread over a pizza dough and covered--COVERED--with bacon...) It is pure happiness so raise a glass!

Friday, February 17, 2023

Vignobles Lachetteau Muscadet Sévre Et Maine (Sur Lie) 2021

Pale straw hue with nice fruity bouquet of lime, vanilla pudding. 

Palate--Lively impression with a minerally, melange of tropical fruit, melon, a hint of vanilla, and a slightly lip- smacking finish which is a nice ending for an off dry white wine!

This wine is generally a nice value. Not sure why this bottle is lack luster. It's still worth taking a chance for less than $10. Paired it with cajun spiced pork loin chunks sauteed with dried fruit, and rice pilaf.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Richebois Côtes Du Rhône Villages 2021


A burgundy-red hue with aromas of spicy black berry and dark cherry preserves. A very nice perfumey sweet enticing bouquet above the rim. 

Palate--Nice first impression with dark, brooding fruit on a very nice foundation and decent tannic structure. Finishes quickly.

I was leary of grabbing this at the $8 price point but am glad I did. This is a decent Cotes Du Rhone wine from a producer I am not familiar with but should be!  Pairing it with charcoal grilled pork chops so raise a glass!

BTW  This is a Trader Joe's selection...

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Mark West Pinot Noir (California) 2021

Lighter ruby hue with lovely aromas of summer berries, and candied fruit squares with a raspberry touch.

Palate--Nice first impression, with loads of strawberry, raspberry behind that, on a lovely structured foundation that makes it way too easy to drink and want to go back for more.  

This is certainly not a fantastic example of the storied Pinot Noir, but then again I didn't pay $300 for it.  At $12 it is a pleasant quaff which would be nice chilled or served as I am to pair with a baked salmon Valentine's dinner for my bride of almost 50 years. Raise a glass!

Friday, February 10, 2023

Famille Perrin Cotês Du Rhône Villages 2019

Intense nearly black, dark hue with big aromas of ripe blackberries,  with sweet candied black cherry bon bons; cocoa? lovely bouquet!            

Palate--Nice first impression out of the gate with bold spicy, dark berry fruit with a pronounced steely rear palate, loads of terroir, and a decent finish that lingers a while.

This S. France is a GSM blend (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre,) grapes and is a crazy bargain at the $12 price point. Previously reviewed with fairly consistent qualities.  Baked chicken with garden vegetables will be lovely with this wine.  Raise a glass!

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Corvelia Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 20

Dark purple hue with aromas hitting my nose from three feet away, sweet, violettes, perfumy fragrances of sweet dark berry fruit, savory spices on the rim.

Palate--Drinkable and enjoyable even at this young age, with loads of fruit and a structure to give it some class.

This is another of one of my favorite value wines (previously reviewed) for $10 and it tastes like a wine costing considerably more. This is a Trader Joe's offering and I have had many bottles of this along with their Zinfandel which I haven't seen in their stores ina good while. 

Having left-over Ziti and this will be another winner!  Raise a glass!

Bogle (California) Zinfandel 2019

Magenta hue with aromas of spicey dark berry and an aroma of pickled cucumber which is a first for this often reviewed wine...

Palate--A bit subdue from what I am used to with this wine with spiced berry, integrated, flavors carry through and finishes with a burst of Zinfandel goodness!

I have drunk many bottles of this value Zin.  At around $8-$10 a bottle you really can't do much better. Grilling out in February in Maine winter, and will have BBQ'd pork chops and it will be great!  Raise a glass! 

Monday, February 06, 2023

Bord Elegance Cotes Du Rhône Villages--Laudun-- 2018

 Medium bodied with nice ruby hue and aromas of sweet fruit above the rim, gently spiced red fruit int he bowl; needs to breathe!

Palate--Robust first impression with lots going on with dark berries, savory spice, and a finish that hangs on for a good while!

This previously reviewed "Cotes Du Rhône Villages" by the talented folks at Brotte winery is a lovely creation that is juicy, tart raspberry, and full of great flavors. I know I didn't pay the $25 reference price on this wine but it is a solid wine at that price. So finding it at half that is even more fun. Raise a glass.

Friday, February 03, 2023

Querceto Chianti Classico 2018

Pretty crystalline garnet hue with big cherry bouquet, gentle savory and sweet spices.

Palate--Nice structure, lovely, classic Sangiovese "cherry", with balanced spices. Fades pretty quickly.

I have had cases and cases of Chianti's from this great producer. Having tasted this wine in its home of origin will stay with me til I die.  There are several level of productions from Querceto and each one is a great value. Pairing it with baked Ziti--a wonderful comfort food pairing on a savage Maine winter night where temperatures will hit around 17 degrees below zero fahrenheit. 

I paid around $12 for this and I will be buying more when I have the opportunity. Raise a glass!

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Chateau St. Michelle Gewurztraminer 2021

Pale straw hue with aromas of peach, apricot, pineapple, an a hint of lime!

Palate--Scintillating *"spritzig" on the tongue, with a less than stellar acidity although adequate. Ample flavors of stone fruit and tropical fruits. Super quick minerally finish.

This Washington state Gewurz is not the best Ste. Michelle has made. This is tepid both in structure and complexity and the palate profile is weak. It is still tasty, (because I am a big fan of the grape) but this one would be better served chilled down as an aperitif rather than as a food wine. 

Even at $9 I would pass on this particular vintage but Ste. Michelle makes solid, quality wine over all so give them another chance! 

*spritzig is German for sparkling (natural carbonation)

Monday, January 30, 2023

I need your help if you will.

 I am finding that I find it difficult to get to my own blog on my cell phones or computer using a search engine. I would really appreciate some of you telling me how you access my blog.  You should be able to reply here.  Thank you in advance!     PB of the Winecaskblog

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Quivira Zinfandel 2017 (Sonoma Dry Creek)


Aubergine hue with aromas of perfumy, rose petal, lovely Zin bouquet with spicy sweetness on the edge.

Palate--*On opening--Silky, slightly tart, watery, thin texture, with austere fruit that is tightly wound. 

*After 90 minutes of breathing it is a delicious Zin with cranberry juice and a nice strawberry beam finishing with gentle black pepper at the very end... 

*This wine has been open for only a couple minutes and needs to BREATH!  I am confident it will be a totally different wine when it has been given some time! And I was right.  This is found at the $25 price point which is a bit hefty for the wine but it's a nice Zin and a nice gift from a friend. Raise a glass.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Stone Castle Vineyards Merlot 2018 *Updated review

Ruby hue with slight bricking on the rim.  Aromas of summer strawberry, sweet spring flowers, beautiful candided, cherries and a brief hint of mint right on opening.

*Palate--Tart first impression, with subdued fruit all around, one dimensional, flat mid palate.

Well, this happens and it is disappointing when it does.  The bouquet of this wine is quite enticing but unfortunately, sometimes a wine seems to give everything it had to the bouquet and leaves the palate high and dry. It is possible that it will open up and improve with breathing but I am not optimistic.

This wine is from Kosovo which is why I bought it.  You just don't see many wines from this part of the world. It has been aged for a year in French oak but it didn't help this wine at this point. With the slight bricking at this relatively young age, any contribution from the oak has been lost.  

*I will update this when has had time to breath.

        After giving it a day, even before we were done with dinner the previous night the wine was better as a "food" wine.  Tasting it about 20 hours later, this wine reminds me of a Tuscan Sangiovese.

The wine is still rather acidic but it works with the right pairing. I just took a taste with a piece of aged Gouda and it works really well.  So for a country that isn't known for its export wine industry, for the price of around $8 I would recommend giving it a try. It is at least a different wine experience.  Raise a glass!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Les Sommets Liés Corbieres 2020


Eggplant hue with aromas of bright red apple with bright cherries, with a lovely sweet floral suggestion of lilacs. 

Palate--"*Sweet" first impression with spicy, delicious red fruits, a well done structure, lip smacking acidity and a pleasant but quick finish.

The Languedoc-Rousillion region is one of the best wine values in France. The wines are fruity, well balanced, have character and gives you a big bang for the buck!

I think I paid about $12 (if that) for this really beautiful bargain so raise a glass!

*In this case "Sweet" does not mean sweet. I emphasize this because many do not like "sweet" wines but a truly sweet wine means it has residual sugar which has not been converted to alcohol. This is a well made quaff from Southern France 

Monday, January 23, 2023

Casa Santos Lima "Confidencial" Tinto Reserva 2018


Pretty Garnet hue with aromas of cherry, sweet cherry hard candies above the rim, gentle sweet spices. (Needs to breath)

Palate--Lovely first impression with a nice balanced acidic foundation which catapults the brimming flavors of ripe raspberry and cherry filling the mouth. Finishes quickly but again, breathing may enhance this.

This is one of those "buy more now" kinds of value wines that are much better than their price tag (under $10)

This will only get better with some air time so open it, breathe it, and raise a glass! 

 (check previous review of same wine from a couple months ago.)

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Rough and Ready Wine Productions Petite Sirah vs. Petite Verdot (Lodi) 2021

Youthful dark purple hue with aromas of bold blackberries with a blueberry hint and sweet hard candies with a grapey/cherry edge at the end.

Palate--Nice bold mouthfeel, big blackberry flavors which seem to end quickly but that could be my convalescing palate post covid. 

Petite Sirah, not to be confused with Syrah, is a very dark, very big fruity grape which is often used as a blending grape but also stands on its own when done in balance. Petite Verdot is classic blending grape of Bordeaux and imparts an intense, deep blackish-purple hue. There has been some "trials" in the past few years by wineries putting Petite Verdot as a varietal meaning bottling it on its own merits. It hasn't caught on (yet) but can be an interesting quaff.  

I think I paid about $8 for this youngster and for the price it is ok if you like the big, bold fruit bomb kinds of wine which I do when paired properly.  This one will be going with our home-made italian sausage soup and it will be just fine so raise a glass! 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Post covid update

 Drinking wine without thought or discrimination can be done and at time should be done. Just "enjoy" what you're drinking and if you're not enjoying it, dump it!  "Life is too short to drink bad wine." 

So my smeller/taster is recovering but it has a ways to go yet. Thanks for your loyal patience! Raise a glass!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Postponement of reviews due to Covid...

 As many of you know I am sure that one of the symptoms of Covid is a loss of smell/taste. Alas--My smeller is out of commission. For some people they regain their senses of smell and taste in a few days, for others it may be several months. Hopefully mine will be short lived. 

Until then--raise a glass!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Castle Rock Pinot Noir (Mendocino) 2020


Very pretty light crystalline ruby hue resembling a gorgeously polished gem stone.  Aromas of unique subtle milk chocolate with a definite citrus (grapefruit) on the edges, with a raspberry/strawberry beam.

Palate--Structured elegantly with a balanced presentation of the aromas, now to the tongue. It is juicy, with a stately palate not normally found in this level of wine. This is not your average Pinot and I believe will yield more when it breathes. Finishes quickly for now...

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Montes limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere 2017 (sorry bottle label will not paste in)

Black cherry hue with aromas that re green et the rim, with sweeter berries pushing the green aside.

Palate--Bright red berries with start structure, tar, hint of espresso at the back and nice fruit through out with that green edge and a touch of burnt wood. 

Montes is a notable Chilean vintner with solid production of Cabernets.  This one is a blend with 30% Carmenere fruit from the Colchagua Valley.

This is a tasty creation form Montes and the blend is well done!  I paid around $12 for it and it will pair well with our BBQ'd chicken on the grill so raise a glass! 

Monday, January 02, 2023

La Zorra La Moza Rufete 2015


Rusty garnet hue is just starting to show some aging. Plum with ripe red berry and blackberry notes with gentle spices.

Palate--Rather flat first impression, with a soury/tart front palate, lip smacking dry as dust tannins, and super quick finish.

This is not a great Spanish wine.   I paid around $6 for this closeout wine and it needs to be closed out! 

Pass this one by!

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Easton Zinfandel (Amador County) 2016

Lighter garnet hue with nice aromas of ruby red grapefruit, perfumey violet, sweet and tart pie cherry hint.

Palate-- Lovely first impression with a nice tartness and integrated flavors of luscious red berries, cherry cream, with a finish that lingers and leaves a nice "drink me more" ending. This is a distinctive Zin with the characteristic of giving one a fresh "first impression."

This was a present from a friend--a fellow oenophile-- who knows my love of Zinfandel and is much appreciated.

Around $20, this is nice treat so raise a glass!