Thursday, February 29, 2024

Scotto Family Cellars Zinfandel (Lodi 2017)


Solid cherry red hue to the rim with aromas of sweet spicy Zinfandel fruit, spices and red berry through out.

Palate--Nicely made, relaxed profile, lovely Zin variertal fruit, everything in the bouquet shows up on the palate, with a nice finish that hangs on a bit saying "Drink More!"

This Lodi Calif. Zin is a fave of mine and you have seen it reviewed here many times. Trader Joes has a hard time keeping this in stock and the price has gone up from $7 to $10 in the past 3 years....... Still a value so raise a glass!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2020


Nice pigmented dark garnet hue with aromas of leather, spicy currant, cigar ash, with underlayer of fresher red cherry-berry fruit

Palate--Bold presentation with ample fruit, solid structure, mid-palate of ruby red grapefruit, toffee, rear palate of baked, burnt apple, chewy tannins, and a fleeting though fruity finish.

This Chilean Cab from the Colchagua is a nice example of how solid the Chilean Cabernet landscape has developed over the decades into a world class contender.  I paid $10 for this nice wine but expect to pay a bit more. 

I am pairing it with my wife's homemade beef pot pie and it will be just fine. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Porto Morgado Tawny Port (NV)

*Ruby hue with aromas of spicy prunes, currants, and brighter red fruit above the rim.

Palate--Sweet front palate with a hefty foundation to carry the intense port sweetness without being cloying and the silky texture is alluring. Lovely prune whip, with voluptuous ripe dark berry fruit and more prunes. Finishes quickly but for the price makes you want more.

Pair this with fresh strawberries, or dark chocolate for a wonderful desert. 

This Trader Joe's offering for $8 is al always bargain and buy more kind of wine. Our local TJ's has had a tough time keeping it in stock sop buy when you can and raise a glass!

This is as closed to being a "ruby" port as it gets but it is a Tawny.  Typically should be a "tawny" or light brownish red due to the way it is made. For more information read my comments on other Tawny and Ruby and Vintage ports.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2017

Rich dark purple, black cherry hue with aromas of pure black berry, yeasty bread, rose petal,

Palate-thickish texture with brooding dark fruit, cigar ash, bold tannins, good acidity promising aging potential. Fleeting finish, but a nice touch of carraway on the end.

The ridiculous thing here is I paid $6 for this Argentinian beauty which was listed at $16 which would have been a dc cent price at that point even. 

Argentina makes spectacular Malbec and their Cabernet has been coming around for decades. This is a wonderful bargain and will only get better over the long haul.  I believe this will pay big dividends if you can manage to wait another 5 years but is enjoyable right now.  Raise a glass!

Navigator Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley 2022

Lighter garnet hue with aromas of cola, dried cherry, ash, savory spice.

Palate--A touch watery texture with flavors of spicy fruit, a touch acidic and tannic. Finishes with a more sedate profile but nothing to write home about.

I paid $13 for this wine although it was marked down from $35. The latter price would have been absurd. At $13, it is "OK" but there are better values out there. This is a pass in my Zin book.

Friday, February 23, 2024

90+ Cellars Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) 2022


Pale straw hue with big grassy aromas with grapefruit, lemon, and vanilla touches.

Palate--surprisingly off dry with big grassy Sauvignon Blanc character, nice acidity, grapefruit rind, and a grapefruity finish!

This New Zealand S. Blanc is crisp, varietal, and will pair nicely with our seafood chowder tonight. 

This will run you around $12 and it is drinks well so raise a glass!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Buehler Chardonnay Russian River 2019

Gentle golden hue with aromas of pineapple, golden peach, tapioca pudding, and stronger sweet spice at the rim. 

Palate-luscious vibrant summer fruit, nice acidity, fleeting finish but some lingering tropical fruit on the very end.

One of my perennial faves this Russian River AVA Chard I found at $8 (down from $24) and should have bought a case. Rats...

Raise a glass!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Porto Morgado 10 year old Tawny Port

A true tawny hue that if you ever want to know what a wine with age on it looks like this is a great example even though this one only has ten years on it. Aromas are baked caramel with an underlying prune whip and a lovely sweet fresh prune bouquet at the very edge of the glass . 

 Palate -- super sweet, rich brooding fruit, creamy texture, and a pleasing finish that is quite lengthy. This is a Trader Joe's offering that they have had for years and years although I never wanted to spend the extra piddling dollars to get the 10 year old tawny. What a fantastically lovely, well made port that has everything you want and more. Try this with semi-sweet dark chocolate for a real treat!

At $13 this is a steel and is a definite buy more! Raise a glass!

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Gazela Vinho Verde NV

Sparkling effervescent lightly golden hue on the first pour, with aromas of limes with sweet touch of vanilla.

Palate--Lively pin prick bubbles with fresh, limeade on a dancing platform. Gives an off dry but mostly dry front palate.  Quite tasty.

This is a simple, but fun Portuguese Vinho Verde with a decent sense of acidity which will make it go well with any number of lighter fare and cheeses. Tonight I will pair it with my wife's cream of asparagus soup.  We'll see how it works--or doesn't. Asparagus is one of the more challenging foods to pair with wine but nothing ventured. nothing gained!  

At $8 for this quaff, raise a glass!

Friday, February 16, 2024

Corvo Colomba Platino "Insolia" 2019

 Lighter golden hue with aromas of sweet citrusy vanila with pineapple and green apple.        

Palate--Tart first impression with mouth watering acidity, everything in the bouquet is present in the mouth. It's a tropical paradise of slightly tightly wound fruit but definite and delicious. 

Insolia is the signature white grape of Sicily and has a great reputation and now I know why.

Here's the "get a grip factor:"  This was $6 at a state liquor store I frequent when I am in the vicinity and they get massive buying power super good buys. I have made the 4 hour round trip several times just to go to these wine stores. Did mention they also have no sales tax so that is another 5.5% savings from what I would pay in my state if I could even them which I can't. So even with roughly $16 in tolls, gas and the time, it is still worth while making the trip. I was not familiar with this wine and I like it and will be pairing it with my wife's stir fry and it will be lovely so Raise a Glass.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Gibbs Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 "Three Clones" Saint Helena (Napa Valley)

Dark purple nearly black hue with big aromas of fruit carrying across the counter to my nose.  Elegant ripe blackberry, currant, rich Damson Plum.

Palate--Silky tannins, somewhat austere opening, tightly wound and needs time to open up. Foundationally a solid Cab from a great AVA but right now, too closed to appreciate fully.  Another 4 years would do it well but drinking enjoyably nevertheless. 

Will be serving with charcoal grilled, prime sirloin steak for my Valentine of over 50 years.  This was a gift and at about the $40 price point I expect more out of a wine. This is quite straight forward lacking complexity and muscle. Tasty? Again, yes but over priced by $15 or so. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Hubert Meyer Sylvaner 2021

Nearly crystal clear with aromas of gentle yet sweet citrus, tropical fruit melange deep in the bowl.

Palate--An off dry first impression with a good line of acidity, tightly wound at the moment but with warm, flavors of tropical fruit cocktail. Finishes rather quickly but with satisfying fruit.

A common grape of Alsace but also grown in Northern Italy and Germany. It is a very dry white wine yet its fruitiness can be confused with being "sweet."  It is not.  Chill it down some and enjoy it with buttery sauces, lighter cheeses and cream sauces with poultry. 

I paid a ridiculous $6 for this wine so raise a glass!

*Obviously the label shown is a different vintage!

High Valley Stage 1871 Cabernet Sauvignon "Lake County"

Dark, eggplant hue with aromas of elegant dark berry fruit, pipe tobacco, fresh red berry, a touch of sweet spice. Off to a great start...

Palate--Well structured fruit on an intense front palate, all kinds of dark berry and ripe berry pie on opening.  Needs to breathe!  Even after a few minutes this wine is presenting as a refined, artfully crafted wine.

I am pairing this with charcoal grilled lamb chops and it is going to be spectacular. Raise a glass!              

Saturday, February 10, 2024

VINO Rosé 2020


Straw hue with big aromas away from the glass of ripe rich summer fruit, 

Palate--Surprisingly tart first impression with auster fruit.

This is a $7 rosé on sale and because of who made it, I grabbed it.  Charles Smith is a noted Washington state winery who makes reliably good wine at numerous price points.  At this juncture, this is surprisingly "tight." The bouquet is lively but the palate not so much. 

If you pair this with the right food it will be ok for the price, but I wouldn't recommend it as an aperitif.

Galharda Douro 2020

Garnet hue with a slight opacity to it with aromas of red berry, pomegranate, sweet/savory spice.

Palate--Slightly tart front palate, with puckery tannins and robust acidity. Tart raspberry and cherry.

Whoa!  This is a lip smacking, over-the-top Douro (Portugal) creation that may be beyond mellowing out. 

At 4 years of age it is not very approachable but then again I just opened it.  I will see how this pairs with my Carbonara as sometimes these wines that are questionable by themselves are great with food. We shall see!

***With our dinner of carbonara, it really was a very nice pairing. For $6 raise a glass!

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Lamadrid Single Vineyard Reserva Cabernet Franc 2019

Nice intense, pigmented dark purple hue with aromas of wild berry, fragrant cherry, wood, more wild berry fruit

Palate--Still youthful a bit austere, tightly wound, high acidity, medium tannin structure.

This wine needs to open up so I will return to this and go at it again.  

Single vineyard wines are by definition (sort of) the best quality wine you can buy since all the grapes come from the same source meaning they were all grown and treated and ripened in the same way at the same time. That inherently implies a better quality wine. 

As I ams tasting this I am saying to myself, "This is not a very representative Cabernet Sauvignon."  LOL That might be because it is NOT Cabernet Sauvignon... :) 

There is potential here so I let it open up and see what we get!  

Messias Tawny Oporto

Burnt orange (tawny) hue with keen "browning" at the rim; aromas of baked orange peel, evergreen bouquet, stewed prunes, small hint of bright red berries in the rear palate.

Palate--Super sweet with silky texture, caramel or toffee, with a finish of baked caramel with a finish that lingers nicely.

 I have not had this particular Tawny port and it is quite a nice wine especially for the price. It was a gift from a friend for whom I repaired their watch (I am a hobbyist watch devotee). Ruby ports are a dark cherry, "ruby" red whereas a tawny port is well, tawny or slightly brown. All ports are fermented as usual but the fermentation is stopped by adding a high alcohol beverage like brandy. The high alcohol kills the yeast and stops fermentation leaving a lot of residual sugar which is why ports are truly "sweet" wines. Because of the addition of alcohol to kill the yeast, ports are higher in alcohol than other red wines.  This wine is nearly 20% alcohol.

This price point is around $18 and is a value for this wine so raise a glass.

Hubert Meyer Gewurztraminer 2021


Truly a beautifully golden hue with aromas floating across the space between me and the glass highlighted by ripe pineapple fragrance, cinnamon, 

Palate--First impression is tropical fruit salad, pears, sweet spices, a lively touch of *spritzig (sparkle) and a creamy mid-palate screaming for you to take another quaff!

This is an Alsatian wine from Alsace which is sandwiched between France, Germany and Switzerland. I would call this the signature grape of Alsace (pronounced All-Sahs) although Sylvaner is another grape of the Alsatian wine industry. 

This is SO ridiculously delicious I now regret not having bought a case! It was on sale for an absurd $6 when I would have given this wine rave reviews at 3 times the price. If you happen to be fortunate enough to find this in your neck of the woods, BUY it even at $18.  It is fabulous example of what the pure Gewurztraminer (which means spicy traminer) grape can be. 

I am pairing it with baked pork chops and sauerkraut and I think it will work superbly.  Raise a glass!

Monday, February 05, 2024

Montes Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 (Classic Series)


Rich dark blackish, purple hue with big aromas in a distinctive bouquet that I am having difficulty identifying. Woody cedar? with underlying dark fruit, and black olives which is a first for me! 

Palate--Big, angular first impression, with a rich texture, huge berry presence, with rich savory spices, and a mouth feel that is luxuriant. Finish is long and vibrant with those black olives very present. This wine needs another 3-5 years of age to be appreciated. 

Chilean Cabernet is a wine worth seeking out and always is a great value. Even the pricey "Don Melchor" from Concha Y Toro is a relative bargain for the price. This is a lesser level of Montes' productions and it well done. It can be enjoyed now but so much MORE will arise later down the road.  I found this gem for a ridiculous $6 on a special so Raise a glass!

Saturday, February 03, 2024

Hook or Crook Old Vine Zinfandel 2018


Deep dark eggplant hue with aromas of dense fruit--ripe blackberry and plum with cigar ash and wood. 

Palate--Big zesty mouth feel with dense dark, thickish, rich brooding fruit and loads of exciting Zin fruit that lingers on the finish!

 I just got this on special and then on sale from the special so I paid $7 for this gem. Lodi is coming around as one of my favorite Zin regions that I have available near me.  (Sonoma is still my fave) 

I just discovered that I reviewed this wine just back in October 1. Sheesh, I had no idea.  At any rate at the end of the day, though a slightly different review, I liked it then and I love it now!  Raise a glass!

Friday, February 02, 2024

King Fuy Girl Riesling 2021


Light straw hue with aromas of sweet vanilla, orange blossom, tropical fruit and creme brulee.

Palate--Lovely acidic front with loads of mouth watering fruit with tropical fruit, ripe pineapple, mandarin orange, and a fruity finish that lingers a good while.

Riesling is one of the most under appreciated grapes around. It is a lovely aperitif, or a gerat Summer chilled kind of poolside wine all by itself and it is lovely with normally hard to pair wine to go with Asian and Indian cuisine. 

King Fu Girl is a Washington State Riesling made by the iconoclastic Charles Smith. His wines are well crafted, and reasonably priced.  At $12 it is always a pleaser so raise a glass!