Saturday, June 29, 2024

Foncastel Picpoul De Pinet 2023


Lighter golden hue with aromas of Cantaloupe, musk melon with a squeeze of lime juice on top with sweet vanilla pudding on the edge.

Palate--Vibrant mouth feel, nice acidity with loads of zesty fruit, lovely structured wine with a nice mouth feel and finish that lingers.

The Languedoc region of France is a reliable producer of all manner of the wines they ship and they are always a very nice value.  This is no exception. 

Serve this chilled at pool side, with cheeses and crackers, or pair it with a variety of seafoods and French onion soup as I am having tonight.  At $13, this is a definite raise a glass!

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Masciarelli Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2021

Opaque, garnet hue with aromas of subtle milk chocolate, cherry berry, strawberry licorice.

Palate--Clean cherry and berry flavors with rigid acidity, mid-palate savory spices and cocoa, finishing with a black licorice ending.

This is one of my favorite budget Montepulciano D'Abruzzos and never disappoints. It goes with all kinds of Italian themed dishes but I served it with my wife's special dinner of boneless rib eyes on the charcoal and hardwood grill. It was perfect.  I grabbed this for $9 at my favorite wine shop in Portland, Maine and will return tomorrow to see if I can score any more.  Raise a glass!

Monday, June 24, 2024

Cooperativo Sociale "Primitvo" 2020


Purple/garnet hue with aromas of nice sweetish red/purple flowers, violets, with a savory yet sweet spice note overlying it all.

Palate--Decent first impression, with relaxed tannins and structure. Notes of Berry beams down the middle, with nuances that remind of numerous fruity, Italian wines, but honestly not much of *Zinfandel.

I am having this with indoor pan grilled Bratwurst--due to heavy rains, sauteed onions and green peppers on top and it will be great! 

*Primitivo is the genetic "parent" of what we know as Zinfandel. Zinfandel was unique to the United States although S. Africa and Australia now produce Zinfandel as I understand.  I have never seen one however. 

My wife bought this for me for Father's Day and I believe it runs around $16. Raise a glass!

Thursday, June 20, 2024

J. Lohr Wildflower ValdiguiƩ 2022

Purple hue with aromas of fresh grape, some spice, and since we just came through a rain on my ripe strawberry patch, well, there you go!    

Palate--Cranberry driven first impression with a sweet tartness, andsome stern minerality.

I'm not sure about this wine as a matter of preference. It is a decent enough summery kind of wine chilled down well, and reminds me of Beaujolais Nouveau in the sense that it can be quaffed without having to parse every nuance of the grape but rather just enjoy it with friends.

I am going to have it with charcoal grilled venison burgers and we'll see what happens. For around $9 its worth a try.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Warres LBV (Late Bottled Vintage Port) 2009

Brownish purple hue with aromas of prune whip, raisin,  super sweet, dark, brooding fruit.

Palate--Silky textured, sweet prune, currant, raisin, lingering, lovely mouth filling dark prune flavors with a lasting finish that reminds you what you were just blessed with.

This is a great treat my wife gave me for Father's Day and it is wonderful! Since most normal human beings cannot afford "Vintage Port" LBV is a great way to experience a close proximity to Vintage Port. This is thickish, balanced, complex and glorious in its presentation. 

For a splurge of $35 enjoy it all by itself or try it with strawberries or dark Chocolate and Raise a Glass!

Monday, June 17, 2024

Joseph Handler Riesling 2022 (Pfalz)


Very pale gold hie with aromas of tropical fruit, melon, green apple, and oil.        

Palate--Very slight "spritzig" (sparkle) with balanced flavors of tropical melange and gentle sweet baking spice.

I LOVE Riesling! People will say it is SWEET but it is actually FRUITY! Sweet means there is unfermented sugar remaining in the wine which is not the case.

Another Trader Joe's bargain at $6 grab some, chill it down and serve it on the deck, patio, pool-side all by itself or with fruit and light cheeses.  Raise a glass!

Corvelia Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 21 (Paso Robles)

Deep purple hue with aromas of  Rich dark berry, plum and black berry and savory spices.    

Big first impression with rich, ripe jammy berry fruit, well structured, youthful, tasty and savory. Finish lingers a while with rich dark berry goodness and blackberry pie.

Reviewed many times because it is such a value wine from Trader Joes. At $10 for an AVA Cab is a bargain and Corvelia is super so raise a glass!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Spasso Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2021

Deep dark plum hue with aromas of berry fruit tart, with baking spice Washington State cherries.

Palate--Relaxed structure, almost lazy but not, big spicy front with berry in the middle. 

Hmmm, not sure what to make of this.  First--the label is eye catching and fun! I love Montepulciano D'Abruzzo and maybe its youthfulness is getting in my way.  Not in a bad way, just ambivalent.  I am going to guess the structure of this will make this an exceptional food wine, so I withhold judgement *until I get my charcoal grilled lamb shanks of the grill.  

*My cumin laced grilled lamb shanks was spectacular with this wine!  Or should I say this wine was spectacular with my lamb shanks?  

Whatever; at $9 for this bottle, it was a perfect pairing and made you want more of everything.  So, raise a glass!

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Bogle Pinot Noir 2021 (California)

A rather dark hue for Pinot Noir with aromas of strawberry and bright red fruit.

Palate--Nicely constructed even if a bit harsh, with a big lip smacking foundation, decent fruit and some sweet/savory spices.

Bogle is reliable and a value wine producer. At $7 for this wine on closeout (more likely to see it upwards of $10-12). Reviewed previously, so compare.  Raise a glass!

Friday, June 07, 2024

Frei Brothers Chardonnay (Russian River) 2022

Pale straw hue with aromas of tropical fruits, pear and steamed fruit cocktail.        

Palate--Balanced front with masterful structure, brimming with stewed pears, vibrant chinese five spice, with a lingering finish, and lovely integrated acidity making it a very powerful, food friendly quaff. 

The Russian River AVA of Sonoma is one of the best America has to offer of this iconic varietal. I will be putting it through its paces with tonight's spicy shrimp, and polish sausage pasta.  

At the $20 price point, Raise a glass! 

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Monterra Merlot (Monterey) 2021

Garnet hue with purple highlights and aromas of rather "grapey" bouquet which is unexpected from a Merlot or actually ANY wine that is not made for guzzling or is plonk.

Palate--Understated, but with red berry fruit with spices at the edges, and not  the "grapey" presentation it gave in the nose. Still not very "Merlot" like.

This is a Trader Joe's offering and even at $7 it is fleeting barely drinkable though the uninitiated would never notice.  If you don't mind plonk, there is worse but this is not characteristic Merlot. Pass...

Monday, June 03, 2024

Cameron Hughes Lambrusco Lot 841


Grapey color and grapey bouquet with a slight apple aroma.

Palate--Effervescent on the palate with bright, grapey, cheery, flavors with a very quick finish.

Lambrusco is a very playful, uncomplicated, easy to drink red wine with low alcohol content (8.5%) and is wonderful chilled down and served with light appetizers or all by itself llpool side or just enjoying a Summer day.  I think I paid around $9 for it and it is simple, lively and refreshing so raise a glass!