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)