Sunday, August 27, 2023

"Vino" Rosé 2020 Washington State

Straw hue with a sweet edge in the bouquet with a touch of pine pitch and citrusy melon.

*Palate--Not a great first impression with sour, awkward, bland taste, clunky structure.  All in all--this is PLONK!  Dump it...  

*Ok--PLEASE read THIS!  This is a Charles Shaw wine and he makes excellent wines. So this HAS to be a flawed bottle for reason I cannot fathom since it has a screw top. Additionally, I found that the great James Suckling rated this a 91 point wine and after following his career and reviews with the Wine Spectator for more than a decade, I trust his reviews. So however it happened, this is NOT a fair review of this wine.

M. Chevallier Carte Noire Brut Cava (NV)

Pin prick bubbles on a gentle light golden hue.  Aromas of vanilla and lime.

Palate--Pretty scant on flavor but nicely constructed with a fleeting lemon lime-finish.  

This Trader Joe's exclusive (I believe) is $7 and I mean what do you want for $7?  Truth is, it is crisp, lively, fun in the glass and if you ice it down, it is refreshing and easy to quaff.  

One interesting side note--my wife made Hooters' Hot Wings last night which you would normally think BEER or even a gin and tonic. But wine? Well the truth is, this Spanish sparkler was pleasant in tamping down the heat without any strange mouth feel with such a pairing. So at $7, on balance, I have to say, raise a glass!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Wente "Morning Fog" Chardonnay 2021


Nearly translucent hue with aromas Lemon rind, sweet melon with a spicy kick

Palate--Slow out of the gate, with subdued fruit but lively acid and more fruit emerging as it warms up. Thinner kind of structure, with more fruit--Granny Smith apple- and a touch of tropical fruit salad.

This is a bit of a disappointment from Wente, a producer with whom I began my wine journey back in the mid 70's. I am not tasting the 90 - points the Wine Enthusiast gave this wine nor the profile.  At $14 this is a pass for me!

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Cline Old Vine Zinfandel 2021 (Lodi)

Garnet hue with aromas of Zinfandel wafting over to my nose that is 3 feet away.  Spicy raspberry, 

Palate--"Sweet" first impression but it is NOT sweet, but fruity!  Nicely crafted with loads of perky Zinfandel grapes, dark berry nuances, with vibrant structure and a lovely finish.

Reviewed many times because I drink a lot of it because it is a value--$10--and a great bargain for the price.  Pair it with any thing on the grill! And raise a glass!!!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Lupaia Toscana 2014

Hue is totally "bricked" with a subdue bouquet of aged dark berries and with yet still lingering bright berries over the glass with a melange of aged related goodness.  :) 

Palate--Tart, thickish mouth feel, dark berry and bright cherry. 

This is a "Super Tuscan" created by the legendary "La Lecciaia!"  (Super Tuscan ia a wine that does not adhere to the regulatory laws of Tuscany regarding grape composition etc.) This is a blend of Sangiovese--"the" grape of Tuscany--Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Super Tuscans can get quite pricey especially from this producer heading north of $100 a bottle.  This was $10 in 2014 on release.  Normally an inexpensive wine like this does not have the potential to age beyond 4-5 years but when your "must" is in the hands of a master, anything is possible. This was a wonderful treat found in my daughter's humble inventory. We had it with homemade pizza in a pizza oven and we raised a glass!

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Bogle Pinot Noir 2021 (California)


Medium bodied, lovely garnet hue with aromas of red berries straw/raspberries and bright red candies.    

Palate--Lively acidic structure--a bit harsh perhaps--with mouth filling flavors of tart red berries and mellower berries mid palate and a quick finish.  

This offering from Bogle--generally a value wine would have benefited from 1/2 hour in the fridge.  It is simply too warm to present its best.  This sourced wine from "California fruit" is "ok" but needs to be slightly chilled. Expect to pay a bout $10. But you find better for the same price point.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Tortoise Creek Zinfandel (Lodi) 2019

Garnet hue with aromas of rich berries, laced spice on the edge, and a density of fruit at the rim. 

Palate--Nice mouth feel and first impression of notable Zinfandel fruit with structured mid-palate with everything quite integrated with a nice finish that lingers.

This multiply reviewed Zin at $7 is absolutely ridiculous. I bought a case plus and if any are left when I return (this is out of state) I will buy another case.  

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

VINTJS Redwood Valley (Mendocino Co.) Zinfandel 2021

Cranberry jelly hue with aromas that are a bit unusual with muted fruit and awkward spice at the rim. 

Palate--Again--a bit unusual first impression with strained Zinfandel flavors with uni-dimensional profile that seems like it may be improving with some air. The finish is essentially non-existent.

I don't believe I have ever had this particular Zin (obviously bottled for Trader Joe's exclusively) and it is unimpressive when compared to the numerous other offerings now at the same price point. For the time being I am giving this a big PASS! *If it improves with air, I will update this. It did not improve and in fact became bitter.  Dump down the drain... 

Hmmm...At Trader Joe's today and I am bewildered by the price hikes on many of the wines I generally buy there.  Their Scotto Zin--which I have reviewed many times and is a bargain-- at $8 is now $10. Zins I just paid $10 for there are now $11 and $12.  So instead of buy 6-12 bottles of their zins which is pretty much my norm, I bought 2. 

Friday, August 04, 2023

Tuatea Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (Marlborough)


Light straw hue with aromas of lovely mown grass, citrus, lime, kiwi.

Palate--Vibrant, grassy front palate with lovely lemon/lime mid-palate, with off-dry fruitiness, and a nuance of vanilla curd in the finish. Structure is wonderfully acidic to cleanse that palate after rich, fatty sauces, gravies, etc.

I used to drink a lot more New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and I don't remember why I dropped off. It fills such an important food pairing purpose with rich buttery sauces and the goodness of fresh Maine lobster with "Steamer Clams" which is what was on my menu tonight. It is clean, tasty, balanced and at $7 how can you not buy it up!  Raise a glass. 

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Post Card "Love, Oregon" Pinot Noir 2020

A heftier garnet hue than most Pinot Noirs with an interesting and unique aroma of Spruce above the rim in passing, with red raspberry fruit, and a not quite "minty" presence--again unique!

Palate--Very first impression is of seasoning wood. (I just came in from putting a tarp over our 4 cords of wood for the winter) Raspberry and slightly tart structure finishing with a a fleeting reminder of what you just drank.

This is truly an unusual style of Pinot for me.  I "think" I like it but not quite sure.  Perhaps it will change on breathing. I paid $22 for this Willamette Valley Pinot and I'm still uncertain.  I will add to this review when I have it with dinner (stir fry)  and it has had more time to open.