Monday, December 10, 2007
My weather rant is about the local forecasters and scare mongers that were telling people how bad the weather was going to be all day Saturday and to please for gods sake do not even think about leaving the house all day....if your life depends on it. When I was driving to work I was expecting Armeggedon on the streets and to my surprise it was just wet. I didnt slide once on the way to work. I wonder where the line is drawn between information and hype to keep people watching your own show. The problem comes when people here this and see how bad it wasnt then when a bad thing comes along they assume they had cried wolf yet once again. Shame on them.
Avignonesi Rosso 2004 Italy A blend of Sangiovese Cab and Merlot. A nice drink for the money. Raspberry color to brick with a touch of leather and tobacco on the nose. Great pasta wine
Star Lane Vineyards Syrah 2004 The wine was tasty , more of a northern rhone style with iodine and bacon fat. Very dark inky color but I have to say I really hate the label. I will carry it in the store but the label looks old before you get to the product. Some would say its subtle but I hope its not too subtle and gets lost on my shelves
From Bodi wines.
Laird Ranch Red Hen Ranch 2002 Oak oak and more oak. A touch of vanilla but not much.fruit. I dont think the wine is going to ever lose the oak.
PepperbridgeCabernet Washington 2003
Friday, December 7, 2007
Look for Lazy Creek Pinot Blanc from Anderson Valley
Look for the new Tastebud magazine for Christmas suggestions.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I have to say the top 100 was a diverse list from around the world which is nice to reflect the growing popularity of once obscure wine regions. one of the problems with the list though is often times we are already into the next vintage and people are looking for that particular wine. I can say that chances are it will be well recieved next year but that doesnt seem to help. Of the wines in the top 100 I do have about 6 in stock. The Vieux Telegraphe #20, The Argyle Sparkling Late Disgorged #25 and #32 Mont Olivet Chateauneuf. It was a good year for the southern rhone.
#70 Voge Cornas, #58 Reva Syrah from Alban and #90 Mulderbosch Sauv Blanc are also in the store. Good luck finding most of the top 100 in this market. you will probably have better luck on the internet.
Happy Thanksgiving Alan
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Patricia Green I was able to try the estate bottling which we have in the store and 4 of her single vineyard offerings. I can not find my notes on these unfortunately but I remember being happy that I had a case of the estate already in the store. It was also interesting to taste the subtle differences between the 4 vineyards. I remember liking the 4 Winds and one other. Not much help when I dont have my notes sorry
Two Hands out of Australia has been getting great press recently, most recent the 2005 Bella Garden was picked as one of the top10 wines by Spectator this week. Major brands has just picked up this line so all they have are 2006.
I also lke the names they have given their bottlings.
Yesterdays Hero 2006 Grenache what one Australian winemaker called the "Noxious Weed" because it grows without help or when you dont want it to. This wine had a strong acidic push to it with plum and cherry , good finish. The problem is you can get great Spanish Grenache for $10 . Selling Australian Grenache at $45 is a problem.
Bad Impersonator shiraz 2005 Starts out Juicy but is ends up being disjointed and rough and not very interesting at all.I dont know what its trying to impersonate but they got the bad part right. a surprise from these guys.
Gnarly Dudes Rich and round, lots of mocha and berry. a quick finish but still mighty tasty.
In the garden series we have Lily's on the shelf. Fruit bomb start but the acid in it makes it flesh out nicely. dark dark purple. just what you want from Australian Shiraz.
Check out Patricia Green website. They have fun with their wine and it shows.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Chardonnay "Leveroni" 06 from the northern part of carneros seemed to be a little tropical fruit, specifically banana. Not overly oaked and creamy. A nice wine at $33.
Adi Rose 2006 made from syrah. not a sweet rose but not very interesting either. I have to admit i had it with some curry that should have gone well with it but I did not seem to have a lot going on. Beth made this herself from purchased grapes.
Dijon Clones Pinot Noir 05 Lush rich cranberry juicy long silky finish. just what a california pinot should be.
Briggs Cabernet Napa 2003 luckily a short vintage they are getting ready for the 04. this wine from spring and diamond mountain is all about the pretty oak nose and soft almost too soft tannin.
Briggs Zinfandel 2005 Not a big fruity bomb very elegant style. with just a hint of the briary character you come to expect. Very nice but pricey at $32.
Also from Bodi wines I tasted two interesting and unique wines. One from Consilience made with Grenache Blanc which is actually one of the white grapes permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape. The wine led to a conversation with the salesman about why they would choose this wine and price it like they do. It was a pretty clean straw colored wine with interesting sweet overtones Gobs of creaminess and the sweetness carries onto the finish. It would run around $35 and a definite hand sell. and I dont have the time unfortunately .
also Consilience Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara 2005 Lots of upfront fruit of dark berries but the word I see i used to describe it was disjointed and chunky.Maybe over time it would meld together but I wouldnt know.
Pinnacle with Craig Rohner. Danjan Berthoux Bourgogne Rouge 2005 High expectations with this one given the vintage but some upfront cranberry but not much of a finish. pretty mousy wine for the money.
Onix 2006 from Spain . Good dark fruit and color is pretty. lengthy finish for a $14 wine. made from grenache and carignane.
Can Blau 2006 a blend of carignan syrah and grenache. a potent combination from montant in spain. beautiful nose of violets and leather. a bit quick on the finish but pretty none the less.
Charles Smith holy cow merlot 2006 I have to say this was one of the first K wines I did not like. The holy cow chardonnay was alright but the merlot tasted green, not terribly interesting. He rights of the wine tasting of tobacco,, well maybe like the stale tobacco you get from bars after a hard night. passed on this one
The good news is Dane Wines are back in stock and I will have the American Beauty 2006 here starting tomorrow. only 9 cases came to kansas city of this wine. should be great.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Today with Ron DiGiovanni from JJ Gazzoli I tasted what he called the perfect thanksgiving wine. it was from oregon. Brandborg Winery and the wine is called OR Blanc. A blend of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Sweet enough for most side dishes and pretty nose of Gewurz.
From Bernie Lee with Premier Cru we tried Stonecap Shiraz 04 from Columbia Valley. Dark rich color of purple a little heat on the palate from alcohol and a strong hint of coffee on the finish. I was hoping for a little more finesse but for $10 its not bad.
From Madeline with Classique some french wines
St Peyre Picpoul 2006. A soft easy drinking wine with nice mineral and lemon zest finish. I have a picpoul from Hughes Beaulieu that sells very well for me so its nice to have another wine from that grape and region.Picpoul is a grape that can be added to Chateauneuf du Pape to help soften the harsher Grenache and friends.
Domaine Du Bois des Meges Cotes du Rhone 2003 This wine tasted somewhat maderized or cooked. stewy aromas and finish show it to be a bad bottle.
Domaine Du Bois des Meges Gigondas 2004 Definitely the wine of the day for me. Dark purple color, tannins that go for days. coffee and cocoa on the finish. Lots of time to age and this wine will be really great. 92 parker points. $30 in store.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Duo Cabernet Blend Chile 04 23% Merlot that shows in the palate. Very juicy. touch of mint and cute package. who can ask for anything more for $13
XYZin 10 year briary, bing cherry juicy, nice tannin a little heat that you expect from the alcohol. My notes say a touch of tea came to me at the finish.
Grand Veneer Rose Cote du Rhone 2006 Hearty red in the bottle for a rose, turned to salmon in the glass. Mostly grenache, a touch of strawberry, and blueberry with a soft finish. In the store for around $15.
Castoro Cellars Zinfusion 2005 A blend of vineyards that Castoro uses. Opaque color of ruby soft, lush and with 14% alcohol surprisingly not hot.
Regalat Zin 05 Napa Its always fun to have a weird bottle. The nose smelled medicinal and plastic, the flavors were strong tannin and medicine. At first I thought it was plastic meets bacon fat but then plastic stayed with it. Needless to say I wont have this in the store.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
yesterday tried some things.revisited some things
Chateau Marjosse White Bordeaux 06 Very mineral and tart..great with shellfish. a blend of sauv blanc and semilion. from the entre-deux-mers which translates to between two seas but its really two rivers..those wacky french.
Robert Pecota Kara's Vineyard Cab 03 from Napa the wine was good but showing what the vintage is about. upfront fruit. not terribly exciting but you get your moneys worth. he names his wines after his kids. kara is a daughter there is also andrea's his dessert wine. there was a stevens merlot but he must have disinherited him or something. Anyway it will be around 30 on the shelf.
From JK winesk who specialize in Italian I tried a new white. Ciarea which means welcome in Italian. made from Cortese grape which is what Gavi is made from. An interesting thing happened when tasting this wine, when sipping the wine it was smooth and slightly mineral. when spitting the wine out it was reminding me of a prosecco, a little bitter and acidic. so when you drink this one besure not to spit. very light enjoyable on a patio .
Friday, November 2, 2007
We followed that with Don Olegario Albarino from Spain. I have been a fan of albarino for a long time. This wine is all about soft almonds, and a lush roundness that doesnt have the heaviness of chardonnay. This is one of the priciest but the quality is there.
Far Niente Chardonnay from Napa . It tries to be more burgundian in style, more mineral less oak but it can not hide its origin. They do no Malolactic fermentation which keeps it from being over the top creamy but still... sweet fruit and lush flavors are traditional with Napa fruit.
K Vintners Cougar Hills Syrah lots of beautiful syrah notes, lavender violet and dark cherry. a lighter body than expected but a long finish of earth and bacon fat. yumm
Green and Red Zinfandel Napa Chiles Valley 2005 Rich soft zin, not the heavy alcohol monster. The only red they do is Zin and it shows. mmore bordeaux style
Rutherford Hill Cabernet 2002 very pretty nose of cassis and pencil box, good fruit on the finish. maybe a little light but very drinkable.
Mount Veeder Cab 2004 Lots of lush juicy tannin with good acidity. I remember thinking this wine could age for some time.
Silver oak 2001 soft, a little subdued but it didnt get decanted so maybe suffering from body shock. the other thing that happened was we tried this after the.
ZD Abacus A cabernet of 8 different vintages blended together in the solera style. Probably one of the silkiest, most lovely wines I have had. But for $365 it better be. I decanted it for about 4 hours before drinking and the wine was perfect. Beautiful nose and cassis and dark cherry on the palate. Nice long finish too..
If you would be interested in a tasting like this contact me at the store. We can accomodate around 10 people in the conference room. That seems to be just the right number for this kinf of tasting. Salut
Monday, October 29, 2007
A touch sweet, finish is OK but just. not a very interesting wine for the money.
Carol Shelton Rocky Res 04
from a dry creek vineyard light opaque purple pretty purple flavors, nice briar flavors quick finish except for the alcohol level. she has other zins in the store that seem to be more user friendly.
Santa Alicia Reserve Chardonnay 2006
fruity but a bit of a rough harsh ending. good mouthfeel
Santa Alicia Reserve Carmenere 2005
lost grape of bordeaux found in chile ..pretty vibrant red color. a touch of eucalyptus..not terribly interesting but at this price point not disappointing.
Milton Park Shiraz 06 South Australia
Iodine turning to mint on the palate. Deep rich flavors and nice long finish.
Gordon Brothers Merlot Washington 06
Nice varietal character. Juicy with a lot of ripe cherry on the finish.
Gordon Brothers Cab Wasshington 02
traditional nose of pencil lead, nice mouthfeel and finish of black cassis. may be a little pricy for what you get.
Gordon Brothers Late Harvest Gewurz 05
almond colored pretty gewurz nose, not overly cloying and just thick enough to stay on the palate. could handle a creme brulee.
Santa Alicia Late Harvest Muscadet 04
a touch of sweet, earthiness and honeysuckle. lots of apricots on the finish.500 ml at $10 good value
Foradori Myrto 06 Sauv Blanc and Incrocio Manzoni wine from trentino in Italy.
creamy like malo went through. I am not familiar with the second grape but liked the wine. Long finish for a white. It will be in the store for around $18
Pernot Bourgogne 2006
nice mineraltiy, a touch of warm chard but obviously not Californian.
Foradori teroldego rotaliano trentino 05
Not aware of this grape type, leathery dark nose interesting dark fruit on the finish with just a touch of greenness or tobacco on the finish. maybe the varietal has a bitter finish. much like many ex spouses.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Vidal A hybrid. Light color and taste. It was actually a vintaged wine which is different than most of their wines. Stainless steel and good for it.
Seyval A hybrid found in Missouri. A touch heavier with some oak influence.
Norton 2003 Rusy color with a cinnamon nose. Light fruity finish was nice. A good and inexpensive intro to this best of Missouri grapes.
Villa Rouge NV Interesting blend of grapes. Cranberry is what I got. Not overly sweet just a touch so.
Gabrielles Blush NV A off dry blush. maybe too sweet for true rose drinkers but dryer than a white zin.
Vignoles NV another missouri hybrid. A touch of cotton candy on the front but a dry finish.
White Steuben NV Tastes like grape jam and works well with peanut butter. No fooliing.
Kasselfest NV Named for the city in Germany that the Brothers Grimm worked in. This wine is a dark blush. almost the color of sangiovese. Not overly sweet but hard to place what to serve with.
All in all the wines were fine. Well made. The problem with Missouri wines in my opinion are they seem to be uninspired. Good for quaffing but just nothing to recommend other than the fact they come from the state. Hybrids can withstand the cold and still produce a good quantity of fruit each year
Right now I have the Vignoles and Norton in the store.
Ghost Pines Chardonnay 05 A touch creamy, short finish.
Ghost Pines Merlot 05 Soft juicy. dark color but not a long finish. easy drinking for sure but for the money?
Ghost Pines Cabernet 05 Right colors nice flavors but too oaky or woodsy on the end.
The wine for these bottlings come from the old Martini vineyards. I am not sure if these will be around for a long time. They are labeled as "Winemakers Blend" but isnt that lke calling a cake 'Bakers Cooking"? It seems redundant. Who else would make it? Im just saying....
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tried some new wines from them that were actually wines that they bought when they purchased a place for its facilities.
Napa Cellars Sauvignon 2005 Sweet grassy light bodied and not very interesting.
Folie e Deux Chard Melon nose, ripe fruit, vanilla, malo. All things that make california chardonnay so popular.
Napa Cellars Merlot 2003 Just a touch old but lots of oak barrel in the nose. lots of barrels
Trinchero Chicken Ranch 2004 Soft wine, quick finish nice but expensive for the quality.
Napa Cellars Zin 2004 The best of the bunch but for $17 you can find other wines that give the same flavors for less. A softer style wine.
Napa Cellars Cabernet bright color a little alcohol flavor.
Folie e Deux Cabernet 2004 A strong oak nose but soft on the finish. A good intro to Cabernet for people getting into that type of wine.
Trinchero Main Street 03Black fruit aromas and flavors Cassis long finish. too old for the shelf though. Soon will have an 04 on the shelf.
Majnoni Guicciaridini Chianti Reserva 2004 82% sangiovese. Lively acidic with a cherry tomato finish. Aged just right with just a good touch of oak. Will be in the store for around $22
Canonica a Cerreto Chianti Classico 2004 From the heatwave year. Definite sangiovese color with a leathery aroma that goes to the finish. I liked this wine a lot. There is just a touch of Merlot added that gives it the bounce it needs. $22 or abouts in the store.
Canonica a Cerreto Sandiavolo A super tuscan of Sangiovese, Cab Sav and Merlot. I didnt write much about it but I liked it a lot. 90pts from Spectator and Gambero Rosso liked it enough to give it 2 out of 3 glasses
Casisano Colombaio Brunellot di Montelcino 2001 92 pts Spectator. Everything that you want a brunello to have. big and lots of tannin that actually is pretty smooth. $50 area in the shop
Yvon Mau Colombard/Chardonnay 2006 Colombard is one of those grapes that has a bad reputation and usually deserves it but in this case it has given Chardonnay a little more sweetness without being overly sweet. It will be in the store for about $7
Chateau Haut Grand Champ 06 Sauvignon Blanc but not very interesting. Crisp but a quick and lean finish.
Chateau Le hautre Brande 2005 Bordeaux Most of the wines below will be over 70% Merlot. In a strong vintage like the 05 will be I was hoping to find a few great buys and I did find one I liked. Th is wasnt it. Light body quick finish. not very interesting.
Chateau Jalousie Beaulieu 2005 75% merlot bright color and pretty mocha flavors. At $10 this will be a great wine to try Bordeaux.
Chateau Cotes des Rambaux Very subdued, uninteresting.
Chateau de la Haute Liberde Cotes deBerg80% merlot french stink and dirty flavors. not a good wine for what it cost.
Chateau Barrall Chevrol Fronsec 2005 Pleasant earth flavors but not overly good for the money
Vieux Chateau Negrit Saint Emilion Pretty nose from the Cabernet Franc but nothing in the taste to make you want to buy it.
Chateau Ducla Permanence 2004 Silky but not in a good way. Maybe a good wine to try a Bordeaux wine but not at $30
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Domaine Servin Chablis Premier Cru Butteaux 05 To be a premier cru the land must meet certain requirements from the state. These usually include slope, soil type, exposure, basically anything that produces great grapes. This bottling was light yellow with mineral notes and a round finish. Maybe a hard sell at $30 though.
Moris Monteregio di Massa Marittima 02 An interesting wine in that I had neverr heard of it. We are assuming its Tuscan with predominately Sangiovese. Leathery nose with a soft texture but at $23 I cant really recommend it.
Avvoltore Maremma Sangiovese, cab and Syrah. Suprisingly intense wine for the age. Lots of grip on the palate. Needs steak or pork to be complete. Pretty black fruit or plum finish. Parker gave it 92. It will be in the store for about $42
Durrand Syrah Vin de Pays 2005 Pretty color but flavors and aromas were a little green. Maybe young but my guess is overcropped or new vines.
Consilience Rodney Shull Syrah 2004 Wine of the day Deep dark color rich mocha flavors beautiful finish,
Friday, October 12, 2007
Terlato Premier wines
Rutherford Hill Chardonnay 05 Light oak influence. just a touch of roundness or malo. I was impressed with the quality and the price.
Rutherford Hill Merlot 03 Juicy, nice mouthfeel for a merlot, has a touch of syrah in it.
Rutherford Hill Cabernet 02 All five bordeaux varietals. Very soft wine, nothing offensive at all about it.
Bommarito Rep brought by these
Cousino-Macul Chardonnay 06 Chile pre phyloxera rootstock.. bright yellow color, non oaky,
goood acid with a little sweeter finish than I would have liked.
Leitz Dragonstone Riesling 2006 Nice minerality to the nose, sweet initial flavor but a drier finish because of the acidity.
French Paradox wines from Major Brands. This sales rep was French at least and very pleasant.
Lupe Cholet Bourgogne Chardonay 05 estate bottled. 1/3 in new oak..very pleasant introduction for people in the white burgundy. Will be on the shelf for about $17
Secret de campane 2005 Grenache, Carignane and Cinsault Good acidity, a touch of Iodine on the finish. Not bad for the price.
Chateau Barat 04 Definite french stink with 52 % merlot drinks well with touch of dirt and mineral. a good intro to bordeaux at $14
Last and definitely not least wines from Ridge winery I love the wines from this producer. They are really field blends of Italian varietals such as carignane and cinsault.
2005 Three Valleys Sonoma The least expensive and easiest sipping wine. 2/3rds comes from lytton springs vineyard. great intro to ridge wines.
05 Lytton Springs Vineyard Dry Creek Fruit forward on the nose and palate. Another juicy but more typical zinfandel.
05 Geyserville Sonoma True Zin. Big bold black fruit jam, but not heavy on the briary overtones. dark and inky color and flavors. yumm
05 York Creek Napa of Spring Mountain. Tight nose and that was after being opened for a day. Austere or bordeaux style that will be a good food wine.
2003 Lytton Springs Syrah probably my favorite. i wanted to keep my nose in it cofermented with a little Viognier. It was lovely, smooth silky and just the right amount of the bacon fat on the finish. this would be perfect with ribs or any food with a pepper sauce. Very nice in the store for around $37
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Parducci Chard Mendocino 05 Ugly label that is being addressed. The wine has the oaky, buttery thing going for it that Americans seem to like. A little too much so for me.
Parducci Pinot Noir California 05 Its hard to find a good Pinot Noir in the $10-$15 price point. This tries hard to be there and it is not an unpleasant wine but not a show stopper either. Good colors but just not there for someone who likes good Pinot Noir.
Big Yellow Cab Mendocino 2005 Cute label and juicy, fruity, boring wine. Very drinkable all it needs though is a cute animal on the label instead it has a cute name.
Mike Ditka Cabernet Sauv. Mendocino 04 Ok all jokes aside this wasnt a bad wine. Bright fruit, nice grip or tannin, a pretty green tea finish. Around $22 in the store next week.
Zig Zag Zin 2004 High in alcohol but not terribly hot. Not terribly interesting either. Another cute name that will sell its self.
Lindauer Brut NV New Zealand Chard and Pinot Noir with a little Chenin. Not a very interesting wine but a good price point. A little toasty a little soft. Nothing to write home about. It was the house Champagne for the Hyatt hotel chain at one time.
Brancott Unoaked Chardonnay 06 A little malo no oak all stainless steel. It may have been my tasted buds over worked from the sparkling wine but it really didnt seem to have a lot of complexity.
Brancott Sauv Blanc 06 New Zealand through and through. Gooseberry, cat pee you name it.Nice viscousity a definite starter wine for people looking for NZ SB.
Stoneleigh Sauv Blanc. 06 Different style, more concentrated fruit less aromatics though.
Brancott SB Reserve 06 creamy and smooth definitely worth the upgrade in style and texture.
Brancott Pinot Noir 06 From the south island, a cooler pinot that is more tart fruit. very light body to read through.
Stoneleigh Pinot Noir 06 vibrant color, lots of dark cherry and mocha flavors on the finish. Best wine of the bunch.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Holy Cow Chardonnay 05 from the guy who have us "House Wine". Lots of upfront fruit which was interesting coming from Washington state. A little tropical fruit finish.
Bernard Eifel Spatlese Riesling 05 beautiful nose of mineral and lemons and light honeysuckle. The finish is sweet but bordering on the petrol that so many people like. to me it is a sign of being able to age and develop complexity.
Mon Couer Chave 05 Grenache et.al. a hot nose but rich flavors. quick finish but still somewhat young.
Triebaumer Blaufrankish/Cabernet Austria smoky from the Blaufrank, structure from the cab. very nice wine.This would work well with fish or heavy pastas.
Ojai Stolpman Vineyard Syrah 04 94 from parker and not surprising with the big nose and jammy fruit. leather and roses on the nose. A long warm finish. Definitely california syrah.
Also tasted Camelback Tempranillo, Grenache Shiraz from Australia. An interesting blend in an uninteresting bottle. I was hoping for interesting character but instead got a rather bland wine. A good starter wine I guess.
Pretty Sally Cab/Shiraz 04 from Australia. Pretty Sally was a prostitute with a heart of gold, or so they say. She went from California gold rush to Australia where she operated a house for some time just outside of reach of the law. This blend seems dominated by the cab in the nose and has a nice enough finish but the other wines from this vineyard have impressed me more in the past.
Chateau de la Geffiere from Puligny 06 disappointing chardonnay from france. nice viscousity but some what of a flat finish.
Felice American Celebration Red Wine 2001 To taste this wine and have it be 6 years old I was surprised. Lots of forward fruit and a bit of cedar. the problem is most of the wine on the shelf like this bottling is 2004 or so, trying to sell an older wine is hard because the perception is it having been in the store for a long time and not selling so something is wrong with it even though it is new to the store.
From Bommarito out of St Louis.
Carr Carneros Chardonnay 05 interesting nose that has a richness to it, not quite sweet but perfume. good fruit, nice acidity. not an ager here as my salesman derrick says but good for now.
Paneretta Chianit Classico 04 Surprisingly fruity, actutally bright fruit with a touch of leather or tannin on the end.
Cafaro Cabernet Sauvignon 03 Like putting your nose in a wooden pencil box. lots of pencil lead, cedar and vanilla.. this would not be confused with a bordeaux wine at all
Here are the wines that we tried last night
Marquis de Gelida Cavam 2004 Made in the method champenoise with indigenous spanish grapes.
Irony Pinot Noir Monterey 2005 lightest of grapes very finicky in the vineyard and winery.
very soft and light red fruits.
Rocca della Macie Chianti Classico 2003 made predominately with sangiovese grapes. this heat wave vintage wine shows more fruit than usual. Sidebar-super tuscan though not an official designation is made when winemakers want to produce wines outside the laws imposed for the area.
Alamos Malbec Argentina 2006 originally known as a blending grape in bordeaux in argentina the grape has developed a richer flavor profile. This wine changed the minds of several people about malbec and south american wines i think.
Hecula Monastrell(Mourvedre) Spain 04 The hit of the night lots of full flavors and aromas.
Gemtree Bloodstone Australia Shiraz 05 Another well received wine, Australia is known for big jammy wines and this was no exception.
Just a side note. I do give out several wine tastings to charities but you can have a wine tasting at your home too. I only charge for the wines tasted that night. I bring wine glasses and (usually) notes about the wines tasted.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Cape Mentelle Shiraz 04 Beautiful wine with dark color and dark fruit flavors. Margaret River is a cool region in Southwest Australia so the wine almost tastes like a northern rhone with Iodine and bacon fat. Interesting combo I know but its typical.
Fattoria Lucignano 2005 Chanti Colli Fiorentini 2005 One of the lesser known regions of Chianti with Classico being best known. This wine had the typical rusty color of sangiovese whih is 80%. A fuller bodied mouthfeel and dusty finish . Pretty good for $16.
Kasteel Belgium ale. triple fermented with higher alcohol Rich creamy and not overly hoppy.
Kasteel Brune(Brown) called brown sugar in a bottle. made from a whiskey malt to me it tasted like the old time molassis candies that our neighbors gave us at halloween. If you like that taste its great. smooth too
Delirium tremens Triple distilled clean malty cute name.
Delirium Nocturum Dark malt, taste of coffee very smooth and a touch hoppy at the end.
Delirium Noel High in alcohol made with 7 spices such as Anise and nutmeg. This beer can age for up to 5 years because of the guts its got. Reminded me of the Brune but not as sweet.
After tasting these beers I was trying to think of foods to pair these with and it makes sense that german style foods are perfect because they , the beer, need a strong food to go with them otherwise everything would be out of balance.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
He was also very nice in giving me a bottle of Olive Oil they make in small amounts at the winery. Only to their favorite customers or at least thats what he told me. :-)
Au Bon Climat Hildegard White. A blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Aligote Very light color, strong aromas that do not sit well, Tasted a little maderized or cooked.
Schug Pinot Noir 06 As Craig says this may be the vintage to kill the Pinot craze because it is too French in style. Very light in color and palate. A little barnyard in the nose.
Rocky Gully Viognier and Shiraz 2005 I have this in the Corner so I am glad I liked it. Dark color, dark berry flavors with that lovely taste of bacon fat at the end.
Chester Kidder Red WIne from Washington. Bordeaux meets Rhone in United States.
Lots of cedar, hits the middle palate but doesnt give up much at the end. A young wine. Did I tasted garlic at the end or was I ready for lunch? This winery Long Shadows was built by the man who made Chateau st Michele famous. He sold out and made a winery that specializes in the winemakers from around the world. Interesting concept.
Black Wing Shiraz 05 Australia Manure nose. reminds me of the story on Truman when reporters asked Bess couldnt she get him to stop saying that to which she replied"Do you know how long it took me to get him to say that!!"
Tapestry Bakers Gully Shiraz Australia 05 Coffee and mocha, nice acid, but there are dozens of Shiraz languishing on my shelves already.'
Chateau Cablanc Bordeaux 2001 Being that it is labeled Bordeaux it has to come from somewhere in that region but at $14 probably not any of the famous chateaus. Fragrant nose and light body. A good starter wine for someone wanting to try this region.
Regalat means Extraordinary but for me it tasted like a chemical I couldnt place. Lots of oak and not much fruit. Oh it was a Zin.
Salvestrin Cabernet 03 My answer to the Silver Oak Napa Valley at half the price. Pretty cedar nose. lots of grit that i like on the fromt of the palate. Definitely can age or be decanted. $50
Shooting Star Sauv Blanc 05 Lake County stainless steel, light style. Shooting Star is the Indian description for Jed Steele's middle name, Tecumsah.
Steele Pinot Blanc 06 I am liking this grape type more and more. Oregon makes some beautiful examples and this one from cali is good too. Nice ML (malolactic fermentation) smooth, round with a nice hint of mineral at the end.
Steele Chardonnay 2006 Sticks to the glass, lots of glycerin and natural sugar but not overly sweet on the palate.
Shooting Star Zinfandel 05 Juicy, briary finish you associate with zin. very nice finish.
Steele Syrah 02 Iodine was the first aroma I got, nice acidty and finish I wish more people enjoyed Syrah.
Laughing Magpie Shiraz 06 Viognier and Shiraz together in the style of a northern rhone. lots of aromatics from the viognier. Deep rich color.
Twenty Eight Road Mourvedre 04 Big full bodied wonderful wine. Definitely coming into the store soon.
Derelict Vineyards 2004 Bush vine grenache. powerful nose. good acidity. hot but not overwhelmingly so.
Sticks and Stones. Tempranillo, Grenache and Souzou. 2004 Juicy acid. medium bodied.
Galvo Garage Cabernet, Cab Franc, Merlot 2004 Strange wine, after taste that I cant figure. Named because of the garage wines coming out of Bordeaux. Not my style.
Coppermine Cab 03 Tight. Glass staining color. Definitely needs aging and/or decanting.
LoveGrass Shiraz 04 For the money the best of the bunch. Minty, juicy nice acidity. $17
Dead Arm Shiraz 04 named that because of the look of the tendril that the bunch grows off of, i think, i always thought it sounded like a medical condition. Soft tannin, good fruit. I must have been in a minty frame of mind because that came through again.
This winery is well represented in the store. Prices range from $10 up. Parker favorites so you know they arent afraid of oak and alcohol.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Kris Pinot Grigio 2005 it tasted off to me.. a little moldy not a good bottle. I look forward to trying it again
Allegrini Soave 2005 minerals and light. 100% Garganega and stainless steel. Pleasant example of the type of wine that has been around for a long time. I remember when I first started Soave was synonimous with cheap italian whites. Not so this one
Zenato Valpolicella Superiore 2004 With any European wine that has Superiore on the label there will be more alcohol. This one had an interesting nose of supple leather and ripe fruit on the finish.
Argiolas Costera 2005 From the island of Sardinia. Cannonau or Cab Franc . Deep color with a dark cherry finish.
Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2003 Usual suspects for Valpolicella region but they add 5% Sangiovese which makes it not being allowed to be called Valpolicella. This wine over the last few years has been a Wine Spectator darling even being in their top 100 several times
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Check out my new mid price discount bin. Wines that are around $20 originally marked down significantly to move out. The wines were ones that I had thought would sell or we need to get rid of to make room for the next vintage. Sounds like a car ad but not nearly as expensive.
Now that summer is over you do not have to give up on those rose' wines. They make the perfect aperitif wine, or for salads. When it comes to turkey it will be a very nice match.
De Martino Chardonnay Legando or Legacy. Surprisingly rich for no malolactic fermentation. lots of tropical fruit overtones. but not sweet.
Apaltagua Carmenere 2004 No oak. Last month in the Tastebud magazine I said something to the effect of wine with tacos..not so much. This wine had an interesting jalapeno spice to it that might work. By itself though it was a little offputting.
Apaltagua Cabernet 05 Dark rich color in the glass pretty cocoa on the finish that turned a little bitter.
The winner of the group was Antiyal 2004 A Carmenere, Cab and Syrah blend. This vintage received 92 from Spectator. Really pretty cab nose and long finish. Cost on the shelf will be around $45. You will have to look for this in the lay down French section though because my Chilean section does not have a lay down area and this needs to lay down.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Domaine des Chazzelles Vire-Clesse region of Macon in Burgundy. 2005 A great year for Burgundy, white and red. This wine though leaves a bit to be desired in both approach and finish. It wants to be fruity but isnt and wants to leave refreshing on the finish but it disappears. Maconnaise wine is a good bargain for Burgundy but there are better.
Please check out the 05 Burgundies that we have brought in for the holidays
Conn Creek Anthology 03 A bordeaux blend from Napa 60% cabernet with the rest merlot, cab franc. Deep Opaque color with lots of cab influence on the nose and palate. Good acidity though. Should last many years.
North Star Merlot Walla Walla 2003 Northstar only produces Merlot, this bottling is their high end. Pretty blueberry notes on the nose and nice lush mouthfeel. The problem is people do not usually want to spend over $50 on a merlot since that wine has tendency to be inexpensive. Try the Northstar Columbia Valley that I have in the store though. This winery hasnt been around but for a few vintages.
Col Solare 2003 This means shiny hill. This winery is a collaboration between CSM and the Italian family Antinori. With 80% cab it could be classified as such but they search for the idea of the blend. Dark ruby color with acidity on the mouth to be good for steak or fatty foods. had a little spike of tannin at the end which would also smooth out with some red meat.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Prunier VS VS stands for very special having been aged 3 years in oak before bottling. Prunier is told to me to be the 3rd oldest cognac house. I wonder though if that isnt like Kansas City saying it has more fountains than Rome. Who is really going to check. Light caramel colors with hot aromas of lemons. The heat is expected but a little harsh for the first sip of the day. There is a reason most Cognac is served at the end of the meal and end of the day.
Pineau des Charentes Blanc A light aperitif drink, which by definition is before dinner to help whet the appetite. This particular bottling is made up of Chardonnay grapes and Cognac. A bit of a sherry nose with a nice light finish.
Menorval Calvados Prestige basically this is Apple brandy produced in the region of Calvados located in Normandy where it is too cold to grow grapes. The apple juice is distilled. The aromas are definitely of apples with hints of meringue or toasted marshmellow. The finish though is dry and long.
Liqueur d'Orange Prunier A blend of Cognac and orange. Immediate nose of Orange (duh) and cocoa Not terribly hot on the palate and a pretty long orange finish. Lots of acidity nice and fresh on the palate. Not as heavy as I remember Grand Marnier to be which would be a similiar libation.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Adelsheim Pinot Blanc 2006 A warm year like 06 in Oregon helps the grapes reach a degree of ripeness that makes Pinot Blanc a little rounder than usual but still an interesting drink. Pinot Blanc being a mutation of Pinot Noir does well in Oregon.
Adelsheim Pinot Gris 2006 As with the Blanc the Pinot Gris is a mutation of Pinot Noir and yes I know its a white grape. With the ripeness this one has picked up just a hint of sweetness but still good acidity to keep from becoming cloying.
Adelsheim Pinot Noir 2006 Lush ripe and almost Californian in style but still enough earthiness to let you know its not. I will have this in shortly and if its anything like past vintages it will be gone by Christmas
Adelsheim Pinot Noir Deglace 375ml
A dessert wine from Pinot Noir. Sweet because its on the vine longer but not syrupy sweet with enough acidity to keep it fresh after every sip, perfect for creme brulee.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The first is Broadbent Vinho Verde A wine already in the store. From Portugal this is a light slightly effervescent wine that is not a vintage wine. These wines are set with a little CO2 at bottling which gives the wine a spritz at opening.
Musar Cuvee Rose 2004 The current vintage which is interesting because the wine comes from Lebanon. A rose made from Cinsault one of the Rhone grapes but here found in Lebanon. Not Missouri either but the country. very nice aromas of strawberry and dry finish.
Musar Cuvee Rouge 2003 Lebanon Okay here is a cautionary tale. As I was tasting this wine I found it to have a slight maderized or cooked taste. What this means is the wine got heated at one time since bottling. I was cautious about this but did ask her to try it. She agreed that it was cooked. The thing is I didnt want to say something because after all this time I still didnt trust my palate. So if your dont like a wine do not be afaid to mention it to a clerk or server,
Chateau Musar 1999 The big boy from this winery. Made up of Cabernet, Carignane and CInsault. This wine historically needs lots of aging to open up. Madeline even decanted the wine and it was still tight. Cedar seemed to be the dominant aroma and the wine was very tight on the palate, This is a cult wine for several of my wine buyers, I have had them in the store since the 193 vintage.
La Colombaia Bianco di Custoza A light wine from the Custoza region of Italy. A blend of wine but mostly Garganega which is a light not very impressive grape. They do stainless steel which keeps it fresh which helps.
Carpeneto Chainti Classico 05 A good vintage with traditional brick colored juice and a good finish. Sangiovese and Canninolo traditinal grapes.
Carpeneto Reserva 2003 From a hot vintage which produces less acidity which means less longevity. But since most wine is comsumed within hours of purchase that really isnt a problem. Fruity wine with a nice finish.
Benvolio Pinot Grigio 05 Italy Not yet in the market but nice light and inexpensive. Would probably range about $8 or so when it comes in the market
Yangarra Chardonnay 06 McClaren Vale Australia This was a wine that has been unoaked and no malo which means pure expression of fruit.. From a selling point the price point of around $15 for Australian Chardonnay is a hard sell
Arceno Prima Voce Italian 03 I wrote it had an interesting leather thing going on. It is I believe a super tuscan which means it has other grapes than typical Italian varietals . In this case Cab, Merlot and Sangiovese
Chateau L'Abbaye Bordeaux Superior 04? Merlot, Cab Franc and Cab Sav. Cocoa was the flavor that stuck with me. Interesting low prived Bordeaux.. This is an example of how vintage can make a difference because I did not like last vintage at all but this one is a winner.Around $14
Domaine Lignere"Aric" Corbieres France This is one of those regions that really doesnt get the press it deserves. Caragnane one of those workhorse grapes Lots of spices and a long finish. It will be in the store for about $30 so mostly a hand sell for me,
Yangarra Old Vine Grenache Rich ripe with good acidity that keeps me liking this wine as opposed to a lot of Aussie Shiraz Usually too syrupy and hot with alcohol. This one is well balanced and will be around $28
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Unwooded (Not Unoaked) Chardonnay 06 Valle Central Chile
typical bright yellow that is found in chardonnay. light fruit easy drinking a well made if boring wine
Cabernet Sauvignon 05 Chile I have never been a big fan of Chilean red and this did nothing to make me change my mind. A bit dirty a bit green olive. tastes of steak sauce. My guess it would go well with red meat,
Shiraz Australia 05 bright fruit in the glass with not a lot of aromas coming out. juicy not a lot of tannin or follow through
These are from the Sebastiani people who brought Screw Kappa Napa and Smoking Loon to name a few. So i imagine there will be a lot of advertisement for them. They can sell themselves which means I do not have to. Salut
Via Terra Genanacha Blanc one of the white grapes of the rhone and spain, full bodied and mineral with a hint of dried fruit'
Pazo San Mauro Albarino Rias Biaxas 05 I usually love Albarino Such an interesting grape from the northeast corner of spain.This one does not disappoint Fruity but not sweet Medium Bodied Perfecct for fish or paella Around 15dollars
Optimus Chardonnay Languedoc or Southern France 06 Stainless steel so it wont show that oaky flavor which is oky with me. nice roundness but not overwhelming either.
Marco Real Granacha Rosado 06 Rose is in big time this year, Parker gave ut 88 pts.Light strawberry color, a little tinny on the nose then some rose. A little fuller bodied than I thought it would be from the nose. Maybe a little late in the season for rose though Around $10
Domaine De Saline Pinot Noir 05 from Corsica I am aware of these Corsica and Sardinia producing good fruit but this is a first for me.
Bricky color like sangiovese but surprisingly full bodied for a $12
Marco Real Garnacha 2005 Navarra A up and coming good price wine region from Spain. 88 pts from Parker Pretty color and nice full aromas on the nose. Cherry finish that is just a touch sweet .great wine for my corner. My corner for those who do not know is where the wines that get great press and great price go. These wines are not in the market long enough to put on shelf but definitely need to be highlighted
Tumbleweed Vin de Payes 04 Cute name doesnt always mean terrible wines this is a blend of different grapes. Nice color light flavors but not terrible interesting not bad either could be a possibility
Domaine l'Estagnol Safran 2005 Vin de Payes Vaucluse Southern france made from Carignane and other southern rhone grapes. definitely french on the nose with woody notes Juicy mouthfilling fruit but not a long finish.
Zaris Barrica 2004 Ribera del Duero One of my first favorite regions in Spain. All tempranillo Dark ruby color Surprisingly fruity on the nose that translates to the finish. Very nice for the money if you like a more new world style. $14
Acustic 2005 Interesting because I am tasting a wine I have never heard of before. Samso which could be another name for Carignane which i will investigate also with granacha 92 parker points. Old vines too which usually create a richer wine.Fruity and delicious not very tannic, perfect for game or steak Another great corner wine. $19 high end for the corner but worth it,
Monday, September 10, 2007
Also I will use this post to announce when a special wine comes into the store that I only get a few of. For instance I just got in three bottles of Pride Merlot. Not a lot but I was glad to have it back in the market after a 3 year absence.
Much more to come. Salut Alan