Saturday, March 30, 2024

M. Chevallier "Carte Noire" Brut Cava NV

Nearly invisible pale straw hue with aromas of summery melon, sweet nuanced fresh summer fruit.

Palate--Lovely tiny bubbles on the palate dancing through the melony fruit even if tight on the presentation. 

This is uncomplicated but fresh and crisp  and for the price $8 chill it down a bit and serve it up before, during or after dinner. Raise a glass!

Ressurection Sunday wine


Depending on what your Easter Sunday dinner might be you don't need to go expensive to go well!

Let's make this short and sweet!

Having a traditional ham or ham based dinner you'll want something to offset the saltiness inherent with a smoked ham in particular. A "sweet" wine is the perfect foil to the saltiness of the smoked delight.

Speaking in broad categories sparkling wines (the sweeter variety) are great. I have a personal aversion to Prosecco but it is wildly popular. You can find decent enough ones around $10-$15. 

Spanish "Cava's" are one of my favorite inexpensive sparklers of which there are a myriad of choices.    Freixenet is one of my "go to" favorites and will run you these days around $12.

If you live near a Trader Joe's they have bargain sparklers for $6 and up!  M. Chevallier Carte Noir Brut Cava is a nice bargain and drinks easily. (see my reviews of this wine previously posted.)

If sparklers are not your thin, try a Riesling or Gewurztraminer both domestic and German/Alsatian are all quite nice but vary in styles and price. Washington State Ste. Michelle makes some nice ones at the great price of $12. 

Whatever you are planning the most important thing is to remember the occasion! Easter--better called "Resurrection Sunday" is not about bunny rabbits, or Spring.  It is solely about the Savior of mankind coming to Earth to bring about the redemption of the soles of all those who have put their trust in Him. 

"“For our sake God the Father made Him--Jesus-- to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) 

His empty grave sealed the deal and He is returning one day to usher in the end of all things. Be on the right side of it all!  :) 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

San Antonio Winery Cardinale (American Sweet Red)

Purple hue with *bricking at the edges. Aromas of baked toffee, fresh fruit nuances, cherry.

Palate--Sweetness out of the gate, yet an acidic foundation that allows such intense sweetness without it being nauseating.  Hints of the aging of this wine heading into its latter days of life are abounding but this is still **drinkable. It finishes quickly to which some may say, Yippee" but for those who say "I don't like red wine" just might take a liking to this. 

Chill it down for a Summer refresher and enjoy with some lighter cheeses and even Bleu cheese. The saltiness of the cheese will be lovely with the sweetness of this not so great wine. 

Visiting this historic winery in Los Angeles is a nice easy trip reliving the days of communion preparation for the Catholic Church at its beginnings. 

* Bricking= a reddish brown hue which develops at the rims of wine that is headin south pretty quickly. It's perfectly fine to drink but has a very distinct profile you will either like or not.

**Drinkable meaning "safe" but necessarily a "good" wine but to each his own!  At $4 at Walmart on closeout, I am glad a bought 1. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Bogle Merlot 2021 (California)


Youthful; purple hue with aromas of tightly wound fruit, with a slight "stink" [not a bad stink] with cigar ash and savory spices. Black raspberry, and needs some time to breathe!

Palate--Thickish texture with loads of immature fruit, savory spices, decent structure but needs a couple years to integrate to achieve its potential. 

Drinking well though and will be great with my Winter-charcoal grilled strip steak!  Sam's Club buy at $8 so raise a glass!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Earthgrown Red Blend 2020

Deep purple hue with aromas of gentle blackberry with a cigar ash touch at the rim. Sweet berry fruit with a soapy bouquet that is actually pretty nice. 

Palate-- watery texture with slightly, tart first impression, tannic nuances out of balance, finishes with a crappy mouth feel and tannic fatigue.

I bought this at Walmart out of curiosity for $8. It reminds me of what I call "kit wine" meaning the kind of wine a do it yourselfer makes from a kit purchased on line. 

This is a pass...

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Knock On Wood Chardonnay (Willamette Valley) 2021


Light golden hue with aromas of Tropical fruit salad with lemon undertones and minerally vanilla cream with sweet spices at the rim.

Palate--Impressive beginning with nice acidity, and loads of summer fruit, citrus rind, clean and crisp!

This is a lovely Chardonnay from the Willamette Valley AVA from a stellar vintage of record breaking heat which can also kill a wine.  But this wine is intense, well made and a bargain at what I found it for which was around $8 when it goes for $20 and up.  I reviewed this same wine back in Dec. as well and it seems to be a bit more open and complex.  Now I wish I had bought a lot more at $8.  If you chance upon it, grab it and enjoy!  Raise a glass!

Friday, March 15, 2024

Bogle Pinot Noir 2021 (California)

Cherry juice hue with aromas of cherry, pomegranate, raspberry with oak notes.

Palate--Somewhat acidic first impression with woody fruit front and center, oftart raspberry finishing a bit chewy and fleeting. 

Bogle is a reliable value winery!  Buy with confidence on everything they produce. I found this on closeout at a local box store for $7! I bought 2 bottles. No, this is not complex, exciting, or 
"must have" but C'mon, at $7?  It's a no brainer. Pairing with my wife's baked chicken thighs and root vegetables.  Raise a glass.


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Bogle Zinfandel (Old Vine) 2021

This oft reviewed, (Sept.) -- and imbibed--Zin was on sale for $7.00 so I grabbed what they had left. 

Nice garnet hue with aromas of spicy blackberry, licorice, and spicy big fruit.

Palate--Good first impression with a load of rich berries, brooding flavors of more dark berries, and stout structure.

This is a reliable production and if you love Zinfandel it can be found very reasonably for $8.00-$12.00, sometimes less!  I buy it when it's at the lower range.

Tonight pairing with leftover homemade lasagna which works very well with this nice wine so raise a glass!

Monday, March 11, 2024

Belhara Estate Single Vineyard Malbec 2021

Nice rich looking dark purple hie with fruity aromas with yeasty baked bread, lovely dark fruit, grapefruit at the edge, sweet pie spice and savory spice as well...

Palate--Nice texture with big fruit front with hefty structure, blueberry pie nuances with a finish that lingers.

Reviewed just this past September, this is drinking very well and at $10 for a Single Vineyard Malbec it is is legal robbery!  This is a Trader Joe's super value wine so grab some and raise a glass!

Saturday, March 09, 2024

Cave De Lugny Mâcon-Lugny "Les Charmes" Chardonnay 2021


Nice golden hue with big aromas of lemon, vanilla, baby powder, and a sweet fruit salad.

Palate--Tart first impression, with a slightly bitter mid palate, supporting loads of lemon and lip smacking acidity. Finishes with a subtle honey ending. 

I paid about *$10 for this Burgundy and it is quite the wine.  Acidity is a bit over the top for most palates but I happen to love razor edge acidity. I will  be pairing it with my wife's broccoli cheese soup! Raise a glass!

I just ate at a restaurant a couple days ago and this wine was on their limited menu. Restaurant price was $36 for a bottle; $10 for a glass. A restaurant gets 4, 5 ounce pours out of a bottle or 5, 4 ounce pours. Don't get me started on gouging at restaurants when it comes to their liquor sales. I am all for making a profit but 360% markup (bottle price) is gouging.  $50 for 5, four ounce glasses is, _________ you fill in the blank.

Friday, March 08, 2024

Innocenti Brunello di Montalcino 2017

Bricking at the rim already with a nice deep garnet hue setting off aromas of Beautiful fresh cherry fruit up front with a rustic, forest floor bouquet and a hint of licorice...

Palate--Mouth watering structure with savory mid palate on top of deep dark rich cherry berry fruit, earthy,and chewy tannins. It finishes with more lovely, slightly lingering, red cherry happiness.

This pricey Brunello is Sangiovese through and through and crafted for some life. The bricking (slight browning) is a bit surprising  in that these should be age worthy for 15 years and beyond. I would drink this NOW to experience the lovely fruitiness still there although it will e a different wine in a couple years, it will be very pleasurable.

This was a gift but I see it at the $60-$70 price point. That's a little overshot for the wine but a nice treat. I will be serving it with my wife's lasagna! 

Thursday, March 07, 2024

Confidencial Reserva 2018

Intense, inky purple with sweet aromas up front, spicy red and bark berry fruit with nicely balanced spices, tar, baker's chocolate.

Palate--Integrated, structured pleasant filling fruit, berry pie filling, savory spice at the end with a lingering finish. 

A $10 (reference point $15) this multiple grape blend is delicious and priced below its value. It is drinking lovely and a  bargain even if still at $15 so raise a glass!

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Joseph Händler Riesling 2022


Very pale straw hue with fruity aromas of spicy pear, apple, chinese five spice.

Palate--Lively spritzig (slight pin prick bubbles) with lovely tropical fruit flavors, subdue green apple and robust spicy pear.

This $7 Riesling from the Pfalz region of Germany is quite juicy and delicious. It is another Trader Joe's offering and is surprisingly good for the money.  Chill it down a bit, and serve it with Asian cuisine or Indian or all by itself and raise a glass.

Monday, March 04, 2024

Poco a Poco 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon (Dry Creek Valley)


Intense dark black/purple with aromas of pine pitch, spicy black cherry, 

Palate--Juicy foundation, lively savory, dark cherry and blackberry, pine, and a touch of mint. Finishes with a slight chewiness, and flavors linger a while telling you to get more! 

For such a young cab from this AVA it is drinking quite well. It will be even better and more integrated in another 2-3 years. The Wine Enthusiast gave this a generous 93 points.

This was a gift from a special friend and it is a lovely Cabernet from Sonoma (Dry Creek Valley AVA) and sells for around $30. It will be paired with charcoal grilled short cut steak and it will be perfect.  

Raise  a glass!