Wednesday, November 18, 2009

terra firma wines

chateau la raze beauvallet medoc 2005 light bordeaux nice style but not very interesting

Domaine de Rozets Cotes du Tricastin 2007... hoping to be as good as the other southern rhones I have had...but mineral notes..fruity nose but the finish is watery and weak

Chateau Bolchet Costieres de Nimes 2007...WOW what a great wine and for such a little money

50/50 grenache and syrah... iodine, juicy.. some bacon fat...just a nice bottle of wine for themoney...HIGHLY liked.. wine of the day...good turkey wine too.

this is why I buy wine from this small distributor...great value and flavors. you never know

silver oak with brooke michaels

2008 Twomey Sauv Blanc Napa pungent and expressive...a cross between the grassy style with a little grapefruit...

2008 Twomey Pinot Noir Russian River 2006 light style..some red fruits...a little green...from what had been a pumpkin patch

2004 Twomey Merlot a massive merlot...

2005 Silver Oak Cabernet Alex soft and 100% cab....tasting coffee

2004 Silver Oak Cabernet Napa more bordeaux style.. bourbon on the nose to me...from the American oak I guess...some heat on the palate.

Mark Neville with Sinskey

Abraxas 2008 a single vineyard alsatian white...clean lively and crisp ...hard sell though for $30 great turkey wine

Pinot Noir 2007 fruity nose, candied fruit on the palate...would be a good turkey wine too..match the cranberries.

Merlot 2006 Carneros.. bright lively fruit that isnt bogged down with any heavy oak...not brooding like some carneros can be

POV 2006 I forgot to ask what POV stood for...a bordeaux blend..a little green on the nose, but nice texture on the tongue... lots of red fruit and again not too dark and forbidding.

slow november

With the large tasting a few weeks ago and a cold there havent been many reasons to post.

This first part of the week some big names were out and were some smaller guys

Grateful Palate from Australia
Known for a lot of good wine at all price levels.

Skulls G.S.M. sweet and juicy.. interesting label

Evil Incarnate 2004 Shiraz juicy, thick and expensive.. cold wasnt letting me get to a lot of the flavors.

The Wine Shiraz 2004 99pts from of the most beautiful packages I have seen. Reminds me of kindergarten color wheel in a good way... big and lush from some of the oldest vines in australia

Anamorphosis. 2005 I will carry the wine only because ofthe presentation. Shiraz and juicy with hints of all kinds of things I couldnt smell but the presentation was worth the price of admission
you have to see it to appreciate the play of imagery and bottle

Bitch Bubbly NV a blend of shiraz, grenache and riesling...cute label..cute juice...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

gary childers of cannon wines garco

2008Gassier Sables d azur provence...pretty perfumy nose of rose and strawberry..mocha? earth on the palate...nice fruit finish

2007 patriarche macon village some mineral, green apple, nice viscosity...

2007 roc de chateavieux vouvray....dry mineral finish..bright citrus flavor with a long finish... very nice chenin blanc

2007 ogier heritages cotes du rhone... earth and roses...turns the corner to mocha instead of being dull on the palate... not as ripe as some of the others but still tasty.

2005 rigal malbec southwest france...having had this a few times i was predisposed not to like it and it didnt fail... dirty nose, a bit juicy..good color but overall lacking for malbec

2006 chateau douley bordeaux... pretty french stink. a bit tobacco...dried red fruits..

2008 laroche petit chablis a touch light...quick finish..a little minerality but pleasant enough...was expecting a little more oomph from it though...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Domaine LaRoche with Robert from Garco

Laroche has been in the market before. A very good quality Chablis producer.

Dom. Laroche Saint Martin 2006 round and a little honeyed...pretty finish..

Dom. Laroche Fourcharmes Vielle Vignes 2006 some toasty notes, very round..and generous on the palate..

Dom Laroche Les Blanchots 2005...bright yellow..acids but not tart... a little butter?? and hazelnut? interesting wine from a great vintage

grapes of spain with madeline.

Aurelio Cabestrero is an importer new to this market...but one that parker has named one of the wine personalities of the year.

Vivir Vivir 2007 Ribero del Duero.. 100% that nice mixture of new and old world styles. earthy on the nose but good fruit to back it up..nice long finish. great price

El Curato 2006 also from tempranillo only its called tinto de Tora... long finish with dark berry flavors..tobacco...nice

Abadal Reserva 2001 a blend of merlot/cabernet/syrah. spanish stink? on the nose.. fruit earth and touch of odor..may have been a bad bottle or may just be over the hill.. missing something

Los 800 2004 Priorat Garnacha, Carignan iodine nose from syrah? some spices and a quickish finish.

Los Cantos 2006 Ribero del Duero Tempranillo...pops with bing cherry and not much else.

Pujanza 2005 Rioja tempranillo.. rich and full bodied spicy and beautiful finish... maybe just a little pricey.

grapes of spain with madeline.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Larry and Shirlee Londer with Londer Vineyards

Located in Anderson Valley this relatively new winery has been making impressive chards and pinot noir.

2007 Dry Gewurztraminer made in stainless steel tanks using champagne yeast to help pop the aromatics. little residual sugar. long finish..great acidity

2006 Kent Ritchie Chardonnay round fruit with melon and apple..not as much as a central coast but infused in nicely..

2006 Corby Chardonnay also a round but crisp style..

2006 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ...cranberry definitely and spice and mushrooms....acidity and long finish.. lovely

2006 Londer Estate Grown Pinot Noir...cola on the nose and dried fruits on the palate with a supple finish...perfect for turkey and thanksgiving.

2006 Paraball Pinot Noir barrel selected wines , soft lush fruit.. with a little meatiness on the back.

2007 Sweet Gewurztraminer made in the bonny doon ice wine style..stone fruits but not over the top sweet... light viscosity with the acidity...pretty wine with desserts..

terra firma bordeaux

Chateau Massieu-Boutet Bordeaux 2005 from the entre deux mers area, light purple in the glass..and french stink on the nose, light and dirty on the palate

Chateau Pontet Fumet 2005 strange cork with no chance of taint...something to do with the wax I believe...dark color, enjoyable berry fruit, soft tannins on the finish..

Chateau de Mallertet Cru Bourgeois 2003 a pretty french stink this time.. dark purple,some spice on a nice finish... cant sell 03 though..

Friday, October 23, 2009

Janna Kline Rinker with K Vintners

one of the saddest days is when charles smith sold "House Wine" to Precepts Brands...because of Missouri laws there has to be reconcilliation between the new owners and the old distributor if they wish to switch to a new distributor..that involves money and so far neither side is producing any results so that we may not have House Wine in the Kansas City Missouri market for some time...more to follow...

Charles Smith K Vintners is an energetic winery from Washington state. His wines are big and brash usually very in your face fruit and generally enjoyable.

El Jeffe ( The Boss) mostly Tempranillo with 30 % Cab...2007 juicy and soft...some cedar...Tempranillo is not found a lot in Washington and this is one interesting wine...reminds me of the newer style spanish wines that try to be new world

Roma and Ovide are Cab/Syrah blends with the Roma usually being the lighter feminine side and Ovide more muscular and strong...this year the roles, at least for now, seem to be reversed.

Phil Lane Syrah 2006 dark, juicy and very interesting. Not quite rhone style and not quite california either

Morrison Lane Syrah 2007 dark... brooding... from the oldest syrah vineyards in Walla Walla planted back in the last century...1984 very tannic and needs time to open up a little but very nice prospects.

Devils Dictionary description of a bride, a woman with a promising future behind her.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nickel and Nickel with Jim Doehring

Nickel and Nickel is property of Far Niente owner and son. Mostly known for cab they are also doing syrah, pinot noir, chard and zin.

2006 vintages all

Branding Iron Oakville, surprisingly repressed and mild for the wine. lots of upper roof texture which could translate to tannins...

C.C. Ranch Rutherford.. one of my favorites..and with the rutherford dust it was earthy and fruity... lots of grip and texture.

Copper Streak Stags Leap so named for the soils...lots of mid palate action but not a long finish for me on the back.. I did hear some say they liked this one the best.

Dragonfly Vineyard St Helena the lighter style and first one I could see why... elegant and restrained... soft

Kelham Vineyard Oakville. supple juicy and one of my favorites...

Sullenger Vineyards.. the home ranch as it were..l soft elegant and some pretty cinnamon and spice on the finish.

State Lame Ranch Yountville.. big and bruising this would need some time for the tannin to settle.

Stelling Oakville.. rough and tannic and long lasting

Tench Oakville...from barnyard to cassis in the nose...i really liked this one for it complexity and change in the glass.

Vogt Vineyard Howell Mountain.. heavy, classic and long lived.. mountain fruit with lots of pepper and cassis...

these wines were tasted with food at Capital Grille so some of the wine I am sure changed with food...started with seared tuna and ended with a strip steak.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

robert noecker garco

Patriache Macon Village 2007 golden yellow in color and a little unctious.. some minerality and nice viscosity...but would have liked a longer finish

Portal Duoro Red 2006 made from three of the port grapes.. freshness on the nose...almost like a breeze.. and a whiff of strawberry some mocha and plum on the palate..with a finish of bing cherries and earth.

Tuttobene Toscano 2006 dark cherry color, italian stink of earth and leather on the nose, bright fruit on the palate with a long finish for the price point.

domaine and estates with thierry plumettaz

Scharffenberger brut nv mostly delicious apple...nice mouthfeel...long name

Roederer Estate Brut mostly chardonnay and a little lighter mousse...still a nice wine for the money

Pio Cesare barbera d'alba 2007 bright fruit on the palate...nice finish...pretty wine...italy's merlot

Marques Murrietta Rioha Riserva 2004....after many times trying this I still think its over oaked and over done...fruit forward...american oak...and a little hot on the finish

Delas Chateauneuf du Pape 2007 Haute Pierre...upper stones..mostly grenache with syrah...wet stones on the nose gravel....dark brooding and way to young...pretty smoky bacon and meat on the finish

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

jp vintegrity and vineyard 59 imports

Montirius Cotes du Rhone 2007 cherry and bright..seemingly typical of the vintage.. in the store

Antugnac Chardonnay 2008 from the Languedoc..surprisingly tropical fruit and light finish...cant decide if it wants to be american or not..

Antugnac Pinot Noir 2007 soft pretty fruit...seemingly the same as above but a pinot noir at this price I know will sell...

Dierberg tasting at the American Restaurant

Last week I was invited with several wine buyers for restaurants and writers to a double blind tasting of Dierberg Chardonnay and Star Lane Cabernet, by the Dierbergs and Bommarito the distributor. I have to give credit to them for allowing their wines to be showcased in such a way with the optimum showing coming in first on both accounts.

The chardonnay came in 2nd with Sonoma Cutrer Sonoma Coast being first. The other two wines, which i lost the notes so I can not remember, were also from the northern part of California...central coast chard is SO pronounced in the tropical fruit that I was pretty sure which one was the Dierberg

The cab unfortunately came in last...I found the wine to be a little on the green olive, slight dirt, almost a chilean cab...the winery of the group was Insignia from Joseph Phelps...a 150 plus wine...the other wine that showed well was Jordan Alexander Valley..

I tried to explain that it was a close contest in my mind between 1st and last ..which it was...and that they were in good company because Merryvale did a similar tasting with like minded cabs and came in last was also interesting the table talk afterwards...

craig pinnacle

La Cana Albarino Rias Biaxas 2008...loved by the advocate but I found it was sweeter than a torrontes and not as interesting ..cute label though

Novy Rosella Vineyard Chardonnay...big fruity and oaky and toasty no wonder parker gave it great press

L'Aventure Optimus 2006..lowered in price and worth the money..juicy cedar...long cherry finish...more cab was showing than the syrah

Girard /Windsor Sonoma with Angela Bartolai

Girard Sauv Blanc Napa 2007 very grassy and herbal...hard to try at 9 in the morning

Windsor Sonoma Chardonnay 2007 mellow ..soft light a touch of ml and alright

Windsor Sonoma Pinot Noir 2006 soft and mellow...mushroom and earth...long finish and refined for a cali pinot

Windsor Sonoma Cabernet Alexander Valley 2005 traditional cab flavors..nice mellow tannins though the finish was a little fast.

ridge with dan buckler

Ridge Three Valleys 07 juicy, a blend of all ridge grapes...value wine for ridge

Ridge Geyserville 2007 cinnamon and spice.. very refined for a zin...soft

Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains Cab/Merlot 2006 a bordeaux style wine with the nose of bordeaux . soft cassis and pretty supple..

Ridge Monte Bello 2005 tasted in 375ml because that was all that was left of the vintage.
beautiful nose, lots of graphite and cassis. toasty tasty oak at the end.

mike ramsey with zaca mesa

Zaca Mesa known mostly for Rhone varietals

Roussanne 2005 rich in texture and still young for a 2005...

Cuvee Z 2006 dark color but a little green on the palate...age issue i am sure...pretty peper and a long finish.

Z Three... a blend...lots of flavors going on but the older vintage seems a little strange..soft lush tannins and generally nice but a hard sell

Black Bear Syrah 2005 made with old Chapoutier cuttings.. very rhone in style...even the bacon fat at the end...yummy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

garco with robert noecker

Domaine de Ballade 2008 sauv blanc/colombard french wine..zippy was a word to describe it.. but i found it tart. more green asparagus and grassy... longish finish but in this instance not a great thing

Bagatelle Samur Loire 2007 cab franc and very much so...pretty nosem, roses and earth.. a touch green but it goes away... bright red cherry notes.. soft finish with a little tar and walnuts?

Domaine de Florets Gigondas 2007 dark purple in color and tight nose, dark and jammy fruits and when opened up would pick up more fruits..

Tikalo Rubens 2007 100% tempranillo...juicy with an earthy touch on the finish.

Alba Liza 2007 earthy on the intake but nice fruit on the longish finish... red berry fruits...light and easy and blend of tempranillo and grenache

Thursday, October 1, 2009

wine in an rv

Concha y Toro has a whole lot of wine going on with many different levels. I got to taste a few of these and even in a plastic water glass they showed well.

Eolo Trivento 2007 named for the god of wind? in Argentina...a little syrah blended in to give some smoke and backbone and as Susanna Balbo said yesterday even 1% can add a lot

Golden Reserve Trivento malbec 2007 soft and supple maybe a little boring but hard to tell with the type of glass tasted in

Marquis de Casa Concha Carmenere 2007 the national grape of Chile, with this I can see why it is usually blended.

Don Melchior 2006 a blend of cab and syrah; very tight and young...and needing a glass not plastic to show off

Cape Classics with Amy Halloran CSW

featuring south african wines

Indaba Chenin Blanc 2008 rhubarb spicey and not in a bad way... a little cinnamon and spice..

Mulderbosch Sauv Blanc 2008 interesting grassy start and then a softer subtle grapefruit like New Zealands version..more food friendly

Indaba Shiraz 2008...earthy nose, some fruit on the palate but a little too restrained for my taste.. not rhone and not australian

Mulderbosch Faithful Hound 2005 great story for animal lovers...a bordeaux style blend.. light oaky nose, good cassis fruit...

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2006 Merriman was the man who brought modern wine making to S.Africa in the late 1800's... unfortunately this wine was corked.

Regency Wine Group with Patrick Kelly

Inca Torrontes pretty honeysuckle almost viognier nose, melon and definitely a riesling drinkers wine...light finish

Calistoga Cellars Sauv Blanc 2007 sweet, unoaked and unexciting

Calistoga Cellars Chardonnay 07 very typical california chardonnay, tropical fruit notes and very mellow and round...

Castillo de Monseran Granacha a little green on the nose, not overly juicy for the grape that makes a good jammy wine...many good examples of this in the market

Inca Malbec earthy on the nose, somewhat juicy and delivers for the money

Home Grown Red 2007 a blend of petite sirah, syrah and barbera from california... dark purple on the glass lots of extraction of color...nice fruit somewhat quick finish

Calistoga Zinfandel 2006...smoke smoke and more smoke...if you like smoked blueberry this is for you.

Calistoga Cabernet best of the bunch for sure... beautiful nose...nice fruit on the longer finish.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Masters of Malbec tasting

Susana Balbo, Luis Reginato, Santiago Mayorga winemakers from Argentina. I thought most of their talk was pretty much the usual of blending, what the different elevations give to a wine, would love to have heard more from Susana because I think in a man's world of Argentine wine she has been an interesting voice.

The biggest thing I learned was Bonarda is not really Bonarda at all but a french varietal that was mistaken for a long time...Also the Torrontes grape is a hybrid of moscatel and mission grape varietal from spain...

The 3 malbecs I did try where all older which I found interesting given the relatively younger vintages we always carry.

Mendel 2006 brightest and deepest color. glass staining in fact.. dark roasted coffee on the nose and plumy sweet finish

Nosotros 2006 bright cola nose, lighter color in the glass, more raspberry on the palate

Nico by Luca 2005 pretty spices on the nose, medium colored and bodied...juicy red berry fruits...pretty wine

Firesteed winery with Gerrie Goddard

Firesteed one of the sponsors for Pinot Fest that I attended last year in oregon

Pinot Gris 2007 no oak no malo...creamy texture still..and some minerality on the finish.

Riesling 2008 alsatian in style with a bit of petrol and minerals and yet some sweetness. and acidity...not overly sweet not overly dry

Pinot Noir Oregon 2007 a touch green on the nose..typical for the vintage but for the money still a good one..

Cayalla 2004 RTW red table wine...light purple in color...getting a little tired on the activated all the middle and none of the sides...seemed strange that way.. some heat to on the finish...cabernet franc and cab sauv and a bunch of other varietals...

Friday, September 25, 2009

friday wine

Continuum 2006 made by Tim Mondavi in the style of Opus One the wine he helped oversee for some time...dark and powerful.. graphite and cassis...big style in the nose...and in the mouth a little tight..smooth tannins though and long finish but still just a baby...will be in the store for around $140.

Portal 20 year Tawny soft on the palate, raisony, nutty, vanilla and not as viscous as I expect from the age of the wine... around $40

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gazzoli with Ron DiGiovanni

Wellington Vineyards Roussanne 2007 round on the palate...maybe a little hint of tropical fruit...interesting varietal even if it wont sell much

Domaine Cantarelles Cabernet 2005 from around the rhone valley area..light almost watery..some oak on the back..a little iodine on the finish.

Bell Big Guy Red..named for the dog on the property.. This is a blend of left overs that sometimes works but here its a little clunky and not overly enjoyable.

Duval-Leroy with Michel Brismontier

What a wonderful way to start the day, with some great value french champagne

Brut NV 75%Pinot Noir the rest Chardonnay green apple on the palate...pretty creamy mousse also.

Vintage 96 Brut oaky, toasty, light green apple...70% Chard..

Rose Saignee 100% Pinot...full bodied..earthy, yeasty and chocolate...lovely finish

Lady Rose.NV light salmon in color...close to the Rose Saignee only it has a little more residual sugar...not overly sweet and refreshing...nice but I the sweet drinker would be disappointed and the regular rose drinker would be put off by the overt sweetness not found in the usual Saignee...only comes in 375ml

jc wine cellars with chris straatman

Marsanne 2007..very viscous...honeyed but tight..will show much better in 2 or more years. very dark yellow in color...

Imposter 2007 Red mostly predominate zin and a kitchen sink of other viscosity..tasted better than the first time...

Syrah Fess Parker Vineyards 80 % syrah...beautiful wine, coffee, and mocha and very intense...

Rockpile Syrah 2006...a soft american style syrah...long lingering finish..not a lot of complexity just good fruit

Broken Compass 2006 stinky nose, a little gamey on the finish..and a quick finish too....

Aveniu brands with mick roberts

Spanish Quarter Cab.Tempranillo blend...soft easy not a bad wine but with all the great spanish out there this really isnt....cute labeling though

Vina Zaco Tempranillo 2006 dark purple, earthy somewhat on the nose, taste of oak and fruit...a little old world..a little new world...cant quite make up its mind...

2007 Septima Malbec...juicy and a little earthy on the palate...nice dark plum finish...very enjoyable malbec

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

kenyon schmanske of fosters group

Fosters main concern here is Beringer , Chateau St Jean

Stags Leap Petite Sirah Napa 2005 dark purple...would have like to see more fruit..very tight..that seemed to be the theme of most of the high end wines tasted ...needs time to air out

Souverain Sauv Blanc 2006 Alexander Valley...grassy, grassy and then grassier

Beringer Private Reserve 2005 lots of oak and tannin...more fruit would be nice but by late this afternoon it should be tasting very well

Beringer Knight Valley 2006..a earthy, herbal nose, light, juicy and consistent

Chateau St Jean Cinq Cepages 2005...purple in color, surprisingly light in tannis but they may still be sleeping...elegant...maybe

Penfolds Club Tawny...NV .. nice almond and biscotti flavors...soft viscousity..pretty finish

Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2005 wow..a great shiraz that is neither rhone nor australia..not overly oaky, and as with all the others it could use some decanting time but truly an elegant wine...unfortunately it has almost doubled in price because of Fosters concern with pricing overseas...go figure.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Christopher Rowe and Australian wines with Garco

2008 Stump Jump Riesling...not usually a fan of riesling from australia because it seems to fall into either too sweet or bone dry..this wine is a little of both...definitely sweet on the palate and then the petrol and minerality come through on the end...nice price point too

Penly Estate Pinot Noir Coonawarra 2006 fruit forward...not overly dry finish but not very interesting with a quick finish.

Penley Phoenix 2006 Cabernet sweet nose, cassis and just a bit of dirt on the end...noticable tannins on the finish.

D'arenberg High Trellis Cabernet too much bing cherry for me..sweet fruit and no pronounced tannins to speak of.

Shoofly SHiraz, Fleurieu of the and lots of it...full bodied and nice is somewhat quickish finish for the beginning...everything I would want from a northern rhone except for the finish but for the price very nice

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nickolai Biscardo and Garco

Gaierhof Pinot Grigio..2008...a nice pinot grigio, maybe even a very good one, and it is in the the socks of santa margherita...

Bonci Verdicchio 2007 low tonnage which means high density...corked bottle but looking forward to trying it again.

Terre di Sole Sangiovese 2008 dark color from ripen grapes..trying to be more new world and easy drinking..which is does..very fruity and jammy for the money

Terre di Sole Nero D'Avola 2005 old world style wine...light fruit and textures...very soft

Borgo Pretale Chianti Classico Reserva 04 a touch rustic.. typical nose for sangiovese from here..earthy, leather.....roses..somewhat of a quick finish though.

Biscardo Amarone 2000 traditional raison silky texture...very tight having just been opened it didnt show as much as it would later in the afternoon

Le Gode Brunello di Montalcino 2001 also just opened and very tight oak and dirt and an aromas I can only describe as pesticides.. which blows off...tannic and big...soon to the 2003

wine with kevin hodges/appellation

Il Folio Cuvee Piagar....nv. a little on the extra dry side..yet still some bitterness on the end,.

Servin Chablis 2007..bright yellow and bright fruit..a little limey and nice finish...

Hoopes Cabernet 2006 dark aromas, almost meaty..oaky, and a little one sidedly so...fruit wasnt showing well...

Domaine Gauby 2007 Southern france..soft, some iodine, expecting more body from this wine with the grapes..syrah, grenache...surprisingly soft

pinnacle with craig rohner

larochette manciat 2007 white burgundy cleann crisp good acidity, but quick watery finish

siduri pinot noir sonoma county light color, nice intro to pinot if not a great pinot itself

colosi rosso 2007 juicy not at all earthy like a sicilian would be...some astringency of tea at the back

Borsao Crianza 2006 aged in oak this wine shows a lot of stuff...nice tannins, anise and licorice...very good wine year in and year out even in harder vintages

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pannotia with Doug Frost

Pannotia takes it name from Pangea the original land mass that eventually separated to form the continents we know today. The wines are from all corners of the wine world. Doug helps in putting the final assembly together.

Verdejo Rueda Spain 2006 crisp start but the vintage age is showing at the back with some oxidation...

Torrontes Mendoza 2008...bright crazy floral aromas that make you think the finish will be crazy sweet but it dries out just enough to be a great food wine

Riesling Rheinhessen 2007 germany, a riesling that isnt too dry and too sweet...which makes people who like either to be not fans of the wine...

Garnacha Rueda 2006 again showing a little age on the nose, almost sherry, maderized...still juicy and a soft finish

Malbec Mendoza 2008 best of the bunch some intense dark color and almost like a syrah that intense...i really liked it for the money...

Zinfandel Mendocino 2005 pretty fruity to cherry comes to mind...and a quick finish

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fineline wines from Glazer's

A new brand introduced through and made for Glazers.. Fineline is featuring more central coast fruits.. interesting labeling with a woman on a wire with the chardonnay and man on a wire with the red perpetuating myths here

Chardonnay monterey fruit..typical cali fruit..a little flabby and soft

Merlot...nice fruity nose, soft body...the best of the bunch

Cabernet sweet nose,nice finish...good intro to california cab.

Opus one lunch at JJ's on the Plaza

One of the perks of this job is my annual lunch or presentation from gina voci with opus one...tasted a henriot nv brut champagne to start..very elegant and light...

Opus One 2006...the aromas immediately put me to mind of entering Hall's or Bloomingdale's. A wonderful mixture of perfume, wax, talcum, pencil lead...the body of the wine still youthful was showing great fruit...and long lush finish..

Opus One 2005....definitely more cabernet in the nose, lead pencil and cassis fruit... not as lush as the 2006...probably from the aging.

For lunch we had Filet and it was soft and tender and very nice...

todd mathis with martine wines

Gonet Medeville Brut Tradition NV ...nice way to start a morning with this wine unfortunately my allergies hit this morning so I wasnt able to enjoy it as much as possible...yeasty nose, and nice green apple fruit..seemingly more chardonnay than pinot... couldnt tell the mousse from squirrel with my runny nose though

Feraud-Brunel Cotes du Rhone Village 2007...great press and probably great wine but all I could get from it was acidic dark fruit and lots of it... again I will want to retaste when the clariton had kicked in

Niepoort Colheita 1995 always thought this winery sounded more south african than Portugese. toffee colored from the aging and still nice fruit and some almond came through on the finish.

Ch Gillet Les Justices Sauternes 2003 lush mouthfeel, honey nose, apricots..nice but not an easy sell for one and full bottles of sauternes seems like a lot of wine since its so rich

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fess Parker with Manou Chahmirzadi

Fess Parker one of the early pioneers (pun intended) in the Santa Barbara area...finding a nice blend between rhone wines and burgundy

Ashley's Vineyard Chardonnay 2006 sweet fruit, round flavors...a little too california style for me..the 07 is just around the see what that does.

Ashleys Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 mushroomy nose, fruit with lots of to be burgundian but just too much fruit up front to buy that

Epiphany Gypsy Red 2004.. a little old...grenache syrah blend...some nice fruit behind it but I would never be able to see it for $25

Epiphany Petit Sirah 2005 Inky...lots of coffee and rich flavors. that are more syrah in style..somewhat quick finish for such a rich upfront flavor. in the store

slow first week of september

Not a lot of wine to taste this last week. We did get some exciting deliveries though

The first vintage of Lewis Alec's Blend in 3 years. Also Lewis Syrah, both 2007 vintages... both not rated but given the excellence of their brands and the vintage I imagine they will be in the lower to mid 90 point range...

Villa Pozzi Pinot Grigio 2008 soft, easy drinking, another italian pg

Villa Pozzi Nero d'avola..all the bench marks for italian red wine..a little earthy, leathery, nice fruit on the back though...

Castello di Monastero 2005 Chianti Classico lightly rusty color, typical nose and acidity is fine..medium bodied finish...ok

ColdiSole Brunello 2003...drinksfine but I know people are looking for the 2004 vintages of brunello...and this one wasnt exciting enough to get behind.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ethos by Chateau St Michelle

Ethos Merlot Washington 2006 this is what used to be the reserve... big and tannic...lots of oak...not much fruit...very disappointing

Ethos Cabernet Washington ...not as much of an oak bomb but still very tannic and oaky...thought i would enjoy these more...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lucio Mastroberardino of Terredora Di Paolo

Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Blanc 2008 from indigenous grapes of the area...with lush mouthfeel and minerality it is a fun wine to try. I dont sell many but they are really good finds for people looking beyond pinot grigio from italy

Falanghina 2008 sounds like a race car but another grape type found in campania...clean and lovely...citrus and just the slightest hint of pepper...

Greco di Tufo bright yellow, some off aromas on the nose...want to try again

Fiano di Avellino 2008 clean and bright...soapstone and minerals...great food wine..

Fiano di Avellino CampoRe a single vineyard wine avellino. great wine..very intense for an italian white..almost like a california chard without the oakiness...

Aglianico 2007 bright purple, cinnamon and spice and pretty long finish, wine of campania

Lacryma Christi Rosso... cinnamon, earth and violets..much like a cote du rhone but prettier...

Taurasi Italina stink, spice and follow through on the finish with both...the southern italian version of barolo

Taurasi CampoRe 2001 some aging going on in the bottle..oaky earthy stink.. bright but intense...and very tight...can use more ageing and air.... truly worth &70 plus dollars...

mastroberardino have lots of family drama like the sebastiani's and mondavis, families dont always agree about ways to run a winery.

Monday, August 24, 2009

craig with pinnacle

St Innocent 2007 Shea Vineyard...typical of the hard vintage...flat, uninteresting...a little watery..not a lot there there

St Innocent Temprance Hill 2007 from a little farther south and a little more heat...this wine shows really nicely in the nose, mushroom and earth...the flavors dont carry quite as much weight but still a nice wine and they have brought the price down significantly.

Mas de la Dame La Gourmande les Baux de Provence 2006 back in the day this would have been a great find ...grenache and syrah...and not terribly pricey but with all the great southern french wines coming in this is just so so...some earth some juice but nothing exciting.

wine with jp and derrick

York Creek Pinot Blanc 2008 rich and aromatic...round mouthfeel and nice fruit flavors.

Boxler Edelzwicker 2007 Alsace...normally a blend of left over whites, gewurztraminer and riesling being most predominate...surprisingly sweet for alsace...blame that on global warming...round on the mouth with a long minerally finish.

Case Ibidini Insolia Sicily 2008 from the warmth comes round almost tropical but not quite that sweet...creamy finish...not overly fruity but not mineral either...interesting wine

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jonata with Matt Dees the winemaker

I tasted this wine in may on a day when I had 5 other reps.. and it still by itself it really was an excellent winery...and tasting with the winemaker didnt hurt either

La Flor de Jonata ..2006 the flower in spanish..and lots of tropical fruit but a nice crispness...still for the money it would be a hard sell

La Tierra de Jonata 2005 the earth...mostly sangiovese...fruity, and no saddle leather or dirt that is typical of sangiovese from italy...lots of forward juicy fruit...

Corazon de Jonata 2005 syrah/cab/ and others..even a touch of sauv blanc.. dark purple..very fruit forward and and acidic tea on the back...very much fun

El Alma de Jonata 2005 ..the soul.. violets..tannic and rich..brooding?? but a really soft finish..sweet fruit.. a contradiction in flavors... mostly cab franc yummy

El Desafio de Jonata 2005... the defiance..named because they were told no one does well with cabernet sauvignon and it does have all the bells and whistles of good cab...but nothing truly as exciting as the syrah or cab franc...

la Sangre de Jonata 2005 . the blood of jonata... too many great aromas and bouquets to get all in one sniff...its all the things I love about syrah from the northern rhone .. juicy, dark fruits...a wonderful wine. one of my favorite wines of the year I would say

La Miel de Jonata NV ..the honey... liquid creme brulee...icewine and late harvest and trockens all together.. semillon and sauv of the best desserts I have had in a long time

Jonata is the name of the original land grant back in the day

vintegrity with jp gilmore

Lumos Pinot Gris oregon 2008 crisp and light..refreshing but too many pinot gris from oregon already that dont sell

ernesto catena padrillos Malbec argentina padrillos means studhorse and you can read your meaning in that.. a nice malbec, not heavy but definitely finish.

york creek cuvee one california nv a cab/merlot blend..with some other fun varietals.. good fruit, longish finish...nice for the money...around $16

jk wines with hoyt

siemma rosso nv blend of nebbiolo, barbera and dolcetto....from Lodali a little green on the nose, not much weight and a quick finish

musaragno cab franc 2007 missing the nose of cab franc but ju8icy and nice acidity with a touch of italian dirt...nice finish..will be featured in the winter wine tasting i think

Old Hands Monastrell Yecla Spain 2006 ripe but almost too ripe,...quick finish..not bad but lots of wines from this area more enjoyable and the same price if not less

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The winery JC Cellars is know available in Missouri...not much made and not much that didnt go to st louis... really nice syrah and pinot though.. i did try the imposter which was a field blend with zinfandel and such..very disjointed and disappointing

Also tried some wines called Sans Promis which means without permission which is why they wont be made anymore because they were made without licenscing from the state of california.. chardonnays were way to pricey for the value and they wont ever be back in the state..anyway...interesting wines today all together...

Terlato with chris dodgen

Chanson Vire Clesse 2006 strong mid palate but nothing else...burgundian chardonnay without a lot of character.

Tangley Oaks Chardonnay 2006 not a lot of ml or oak for those people looking for more fruit less outside sources

Tangley Oaks Merlot 2oo6 Merlot...good mouthfeel, light finish..not disagreable but not much exciting going on.

Mazzoni Toscana Rosso 2006 aromas of sangiovese, light saddleleather, terroir followed by good red fruits and finishes with some dirt. one of the nicer super tuscans i have tried ina while..

Ernie Els Cirrus Syrah South Africa of the best wines tried today.. beautiful nose that almost suggests northern rhone...iodine and earth...dark mocha and berries on the palate.. long finish that keeps going and changing

Luke Donald Claret Napa 2005 traditional california meritage blend...and nose, soft unremarkable finish...a little heat from the alcohol/

Brandlin Cabernet Napa 2004 from Mt Veeder and it taste it...full tannin from wind blown vines..lots of stress and lots of depth. dark purple color, full bodied.

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2004 from the great vintage.. more approachable than I thought it would be... with a long lush rich finish...nose of sangiovese and italian earth

king estate with shelli shepard

King estate has ties to kansas city...used to own king radio that became bendix

king estate acrobat pinot gris 2007 light, pinot grigio style.. a little sweeter and less serious?

king estate signature pinot gris...2007 a work horse for them and consistently good if not overly exciting

king estate next oregon riesling 2007 a touch sweet, quick finish and a little dull at the tension or acid

2007 next pinot noir oregon a little herbal, light. quick finish...

2007 king estate signature pinot noir...light which is typical for the vintage..good food wine just a little soft for what i like.

king estate domaine vin de glace pinot gris...take the grapes, freeze them and then take out the water..liquid apricots...soft not overly sweet...lots of legs.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Artesa with tim shippey

Artesa winery has been around for about a decade. Housed in the beautiful winery that was once Codorniu California site in Carneros...

2007 Artesa Chardonnay Carneros creamy, light oak, good legs.. nice finish...

2006 Artesa pinot noir Carneros cola and cranberry, tart and yet a sweetish finish.

2006 Artesa Pinot Noir Reserve Carneros Estate a little more burgundian in style, according to the salesman...but hard to hide the calif fruit...and some floculates too

2005 Artesa Merlot Napa/Sonoma herbacious stinky feet...and not in a good way.. red fruiton the palate...with some of the stinky feet coming seems cool climate merlot can either be like this or really tannic and enjoyable like truchards.

2005 Artesa Cabernet Napa/Sonoma some stinky feet but not as much as the merlot, nice coffee aromas medium bodied and nice finish

2005 Artesa Cabernet Reserve Napa penicl lead and traditional cab aromas...good fruit and tannin up front but slowly missing the middle and not a long finish.

2005 Artesa Elements a red of the bunch for me.. tempranillo as the base with a whole range of other red grapes... nice acidity, juicy and medium bodied...good food wine.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

the other guys with premier cru/jonathan white

The White Night Viognier Clarksburg 2007 smells more like beaujolais than viognier...more banana . sweet

MooBuzz (because california is the land of milk and honey) Chardonnay 2007 golden yellow, very california in style.

Moobuzz Pinot Noir 2007 Monterey fruit...juicy cranberry and tea on the finish.. nice for the price

Leese-Fitch California Chardonnay 2007 typical california chardonnay, a touch hot on palate..boring label

Plungerhead Loid Zinfandel 2007 made from 40 to 80 year old vines.. juicy and smokey, a pleasant surprise...lots of good zin character...

Robert Rentsch of Dobbes

2007 wine by Joe (Dobbes) Pinot Gris light, not much minerality more round. light green apple after taste.

2007 Wine by Joe Pinot Noir light color, some whole cluster pressings... a touch of banana... good example of what oregon pinot can taste like.

Dobbes Grand Assemblage Cuvee Pinot Noir 07 lots of acidity...good fruit.. nice finish...a good example from a hard vintage... this wine changes each year with the blend..depending on the quality of the single vintages.

arnold goldberg with alexander valley vineyards

a staple in my wine repetoire since I can remember.. very solid if not very exciting...

AVV Chardonnay 07 soft ml. some oak but mostly stainless steel..going toward the lighter side

AVV Dry Rose of Sangiovese. dry and strawberry, rose and fruity nose...definitely a dry finish. and great for summer

AVV Sin Zin 2007 woulld like more fruit on it...still a dependable zin year in...cute label

AVV Temptation Zin... opening up from the last time I tried it...more fruit..less briar..

AVV Estate Cab 2006 full flavor cab...84% cab..uses all the bordeaux varietals. could be called meritage if it wanted to...

AVV Merlot 2006 big full bodied merlot..not the insipid style that the less expensive brands can be...

Cyrus 2004..their high end..big boy very tannic, and lots of juicy berry flavor... nice special occasion wine

Monday, August 3, 2009

Derrick bommarito

Care Syrah-Tempranillo blend 2007 dark purple and coffee on the palate...the northern rhone often gives this type of experience at 3 times the price....we have their rose for the summer too

Massone Gavi 2008 a touch nutty on the finish. a much more interesting and food friendly wine for summer than pinot grigio...made with the Cortese grape...a touch of stone fruit on the finish...nice and round palate

Vina Mayor Verdejo Spain 2007 one of the prominent white wines of spain, verdejo is a hard sell to american consumers... this wine really had a lot of torrontes feel to me..just a hint of sweetness with good acidity.

cellar selections with juan guardia

one of the premier suppliers for value wines from the old world...several of their wines have been staples in my corner for many years.

Val de Sil 2007 Godello mineral, a little herbacious and just a little too dry

Roger Champault, Sancerre 2007 sauvignon blanc as its meant to be.. light yellow/green
rounder than most sancerre i have had and still it was all stainless steel, stirred on lees i imagine, just a hint of sweetness that surprised me

Espelt Saulo Red 2007 from emporda region of spain near the french border.. a little green on the nose, grenache and carignan blend... rustic through and through...a little alcoholic on the palate... but a cute label and it tasted better after being open a few minutes.

L'hortus Rouge, Pic saint loup, Coteaux languedoc, 2007 syrah, grenache and carignan. really beautiful nose, with mocha and red cherry fruit on the palate...

Artadi Pagos Viejos Rioja 2007 beautiful fruit...dark and potent..long tannic finish..tempranillo

Aalto Ribero del Duero 2005 cedar, earth and fruit on the nose, long long finish...french 5 hours open I bet it would rival any big california cab,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

gazzoli imports

a large tasting of kacher wines, an importer of fine french wines...too many to mention but they will be coming in shortly in small increments.

Domaine Ehrhart Pinot Auxerrois favorite white wine in a long time...round, wonderfully so.. viscous soft almost like liquid cotton candy but not nearly that sweet.. from the offshoot of Pinot Blanc an offshoot of Pinot Noir...

Cote de Jardin Cotes du rhone 2008 soft, easy drinking but not exciting.

Domaine Gournier Viognier 2008 banana on the nose and palate..soft..not overly floral like Viognier can be...

Wellington Cabernet 2005 California juicy black fruit through out...long finish.. nice bottle for the cost

Domaine Danta Duc Cotes du rhone 2006 lots of savage or earthy flavors...typical of cotes...but not the 2007 which everyone is asking for.

pinnacle with craig rohner

2007 Prinz Tradition Trocken Riesling Rheingau sweet for a drier apples..another riesling

2006 Araldica Barbera d'asti soft nose, ripe cherry big time...kind of a one note wonder

Colosi Nero d'Avola which I must have tasted before because I had some in the store but this time it really made an impression...ripe dark fruit on the nose, long supple finish...a perfumed is now in the corner with good buys for the store.

2007 Vinum Pets Petite Sirah dark purple color, steak sauce smells in a bottle..gamey and dark berry fruit

Friday, July 24, 2009

dry creek with don wallace

president of dry creek winery don wallace invited me to pierponts for lunch and a taste through of some of their wines. dry creek has always been in my wine consciousness. they have paired down their offerings though, concentrating on doing a few things really well

chenin blanc from california can be a bit too sweet and flabby but the 2007 and 08 versions of Dry Creeks was crisp and acidic and just enough fruit to not be confused with vouvray.

dry creek sauvignon blanc, not to be confused with their fume blanc that will still be made. loads of stone fruit, melon and juicy, made with the musque clone of sb

heritage zinfandel 2006 vibrant purple in the glass, although it could be the light in the restaurant, juicy, dark berry and just a little dusty finish..all the bells and whistles you expect from zin

cabernet sauvignon 2005 dark purple, cassis and lead pencil nose, acid and just a little heat on the tongue...not a fruit bomb but not overly tannic either

mariner 2005 a bordeaux blend..i have to be honest I hated the 2004 version of this wine...thought it was too much oak and no fruit. this vintage is much softer...very pretty nose, juicy finish.

endeavor 2004 sweet maple nose, deep color and juicy..was surprised how supple and velvety it was for a 2004...mostly cab with 10% petite verdot

Thursday, July 23, 2009

rhone wines from Appellation

If these are any indication of the rhone vintage 07 its going to be very very good.

Domaine la Font d'estevanas Cairanne cote du rhone village rich bose, very rich and full bodied on the palate...a touch of alcohol but overall very enjoyable...parker said 89+

Domaine la Font d'estavanas La Grange Daniel a blend of rhone red varietals..pleasant a little earthy, softer finish but still very engaging.

Domaine les aphillanthes Cuvee tres cepages.(three grapes), full bodied and luscious...91pts parker

Domaine St damien Gigondas VV 2006 earth, spice, cinnamon...

Domaine st damien Gigondas Les Soutyrades 2006 93 parker...again with the rich and cinnamon...long full finish..very nice

Domaine gardies mas las cabes rouge syrah,grenache and carignane soft, juicy and yet a little rustic on the finish...will match nicely with meats and stews for cooler weather.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pine Ridge Vineyards with Tony Fabiano

Pine Ridge long a staple on my wine lists and in the store.

Chenin Blanc/Viognier 2008 started out a little tart to me..rhubarb and then the Viognier kicked in and smoothed everything out. all stainless steel and this bottling makes up more than 50% of all their production. Located just south of Stags Leap District in napa.

Chardonnay Dijon Clones 2006 creamy, buttery and lots of ml on the nose, surprisingly clean on the palate..long finish

Crimson Creek Merlot 2006 a touch green on the nose, some cab and petite verdot built in to give it a little more complexity

Napa Valley Cabernet 2006,...this bottling was known as the Rutherford-Oakville bottling until this vintage. dark purple in the glass...blueberry on the nose, soft tannins but nice long lasting flavors..napa valley cab for the cab lovers.

ridge watson of Joullian winery

On the week that his brother was playing in the british open ridge watson was in town promoting his wine. The wines are consistently good in quality and his hometown connection doesnt hurt either. Tasted through Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Cabernet. All in the store.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Somerset Ridge with Tricia Zirker

A pretty new but prolific winery from Kansas. the wines are made from mostly hybrid grapes with some Cab and Cab Franc showing up.

Flyboy Red a blend of Cabernet and Chancellor which is a hybrid of merlot and ?, a touch grapey and then juicy..not a dry wine but not sweet either..just juicy.

Buffalo Red Semi Sweet...made with Chambercin.. sweet but not cloyingly so..a tart finish..

Ambrosia, Late Harvest Traminette...when thinking of ambrosia salad there is a lushness, with a hint of nuts and obviously sweet.. this wine has all those except the sweet..or at least not overly sweet...and for a dessert wine thats what I want..seems a little restrained..

Aphrodite..goddess of love..color of desert sunset...musky nose but not a musky wine...strawberry

Cakebread wines with Jim Parker of Kobrand

interesting with the economy things that were never tasted become available ...cakebread has a pinot noir and zinfandel that will be in the store soon. they were out tasting other things also

Sauv Blanc 2007 soft, melon light finish

Chardonnay Reserve 2006 soft , easy, some nice ml and sweet fruit on the finish.

Merlot 06 soft, easy and easy to say

owen roe washington/oregon with Matt Rice

A new winery for Missouri, Owen Roe gets a lot of good press from wine spectator.
2007 O'Reilleys Pinot Gris///alsace style. light body with a little oily character

2007 O"Reillys Riesling a drier light style wine...some residual sugar but not typical for american.

2008 O'Reillys Pinot Noir Oregon beautiful wine..maybe even the wine of the tasting...loads of dried fruits..good acidity.

2008 Sharecroppers Pinot...named because of the growers contracts...tasty pinot but for my money the O'Reillys was just as good

2007 sharecroppers cab..good tannins but not as much forward fruit as I was expecting

2008 Abbots Table..a blend of 8 grapes...juicy predominately sangiovese and cab

2007 Ex Umbris Syrah Columbia Valley...very northern rhone in style..lots of coffee and roasted beans...dark flavors my favorite Owen Roe wine

2007Solomon Hills Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley...sourced grapes from central valley in california...a little dirt or body odor on the nose and nice enough fruit on the palate but the oregon pinots are better
2007 Rosa Mystica Cab Franc, Yakima valley from some of the oldest plantings of cab franc in washington...dark, intense and good tannin structure..very nice

2007 Owen Roe Cab DuBruil nose, juicy front fruit and a long finish.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ignacio edwards with luis felipe edwards winery in chile

Sauv Blanc 2008 nice typical sauv blanc...a little grapefruit...

Chardonnay 2008 clean fruit..easy drinking...nice lightly oaked example. no ml so not as buttery

Carmenere Reserva...nice fruit...

merlot rough somewhat tannic...pretty oaky...and a touch dirt

cabernet the best of the first bunch...juicy and just enough tannins without the overriding dirt and green olive flavors that sometime come through.

Dona Bernarda Reserva beautiful nose, multi layered on the nose and palate oak and, shiraz, petite verdot and carmenere blend..named after Ignacio's mother.

wine with lee from appellation

DeSante Sauv Blanc 2007 lots of high end notes but nothing really ringing for me...a newish winery that makes supposedly great red wines...

DeSante l'altilier (sp?) sauv blanc and semillon...very nice...refreshing and soft...semillon really helps this a lot...

Dupont-Fahn Bourgogne 2007 reported to be declassified Mersault..light color, great acidity..crisp apples..juicy and not much ml or oak influence... very nice

Charvin Vin de Pays 2006 a blend of grenache and syrah that has a strong masculine aroma but finishes pretty rustic and rough...

London Cabernet nice juicy finish of black cherry and spice...great value right now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vias wines with Craig

Araldica Gavi 2008 a light soft summer white that left me wanting a little more body, or spirit...not a bad wine by any means just not too inspiring

Damilano Barbera d' Alba 2007 plum colored in the glass a little green on the nose and front of the tongue...not very fulfilling for the promise of the bottling

Damilano Nebbiolo d Alba 2006 the makings of barolo and barbaresco..the nebbiolo grape can take a lot of oak and time to settle down...this bottling has a dirty italian nose,, some nice front tannin and dark cherry flavors,, a little anise on the finish...interesting for what it is...and priced right too...

Pecchenino Dolcetto d'alba.2oo7 one of the first wines I really enjoyed was a dolcetto or little italian. it is easy to see why this is called in good terms the beaujolais of Italy...light, fruity and yet some firm tannin and finish... liked a lot

Produttori di Barberesco 2005 long finish good acidity...light color for such a muscular wine...\

Bruni Poggio d'elsa listed as a sangiovese, cab blend..a smell of steak sauce and cinnamon...juicy and fun...

Gruet winery with Billy Wieman

Gruet out of New Mexico one of the best producers of sparkling wine in the country.

Tasted through two offerings
Blanc de Noir NV predominately Pinot Noir...fruity and not overly dry... nice mouthfeel to it.

Demi-Sec NV and here I have to say I was not tasting well because in the afternoon people were picking up a corked quality... there seemed to be a little something but I didnt find it got more pronounced I guess as the day wore was not overly sweet but there was a nice crispness...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

blind tasting

I tried a wine today blind...a white wine that didnt have a lot of glycerin so there were no legs...a slight citrus aroma...a hint of sweetness but somewhat flabby on the palate... my guess was an Italian Pinot Grigio or was german Muller-Thurgau from the Franken region...2007...I have had a few of the M-T and most of those from Oregon... it is easy to see why it is considered by some an inferior grape type...a hybrid of sylvaner and riesling I believe...named for the gentleman who produced it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sake master class with Ataru Kabayashi

Sake is one of those spirits that I find fascinating and then my brain cells let the knowledge go...Obviously made from rice it has its own culture surrounding it.. There will be only minute differences from one to another but viva la difference as they probably dont say in France

Table rice is milled where 90% is still used. Special rice for sake is milled down from 70% to less than 50% remembering the more you lose in the milling the less you will have for the final product. The milling process is a slow and gentle one often taking days on end to complete.
To me all sake has a somewhat similar nose. The way the air smells after a gentle summer rain...clean, a little flowery perfume. nature

matsunoi Wishing Well... reminds me of mocha, very light and delicate and yet a long finish because of the sugar that coats the tongue.

Nyukon Into Your Soul cucumber, banana and grapefruit essences...not heavy at all

Kiminoi Emperor'Well...delicate.. and a little more heat on the finish...richer and more fullbodied than previous sake
Kirin-zan named for the mountain Kirin which was a mythical flying dragon thought to bring happiness...earthier aromas, a light citrus aftertaste...
higher acidity sake can handle the heat of warming...most are recommended now to be chilled instead.

Karen Coy sweeter on the palate...and higher acidity...using yeast that will not be mentioned

Daku Nigori which is apple on the palate that turns into coconut...milky complextion...

plum sake...light brown in color...a bing cherry nose...plum,cocoa and bing cherry on the would be interesting to put that with a dessert... think of apple cider on drugs.

sake is called Junmai if there is no added spirits...Junmain Dai-gingo is super premium having more of the rice milled away..

In sake the idea of terroir only really relates to the water used... most use a soft water which creates a compleletly different taste in the end product.

Fredick Wildman with Jeff Stierman`

Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec 2007 last years version got really good press. dark purple with rich aromas of dark fruit and oak, a touch thin on the finish though.. maybe 07 wasnt as ripe a vintage as 06 was

Trapiche Oak Cask Syrah 2006 purple, easy drinking, fruit forward and not terribly interesting

Broquel Malbec 2006 Good color from long maceration...fruity and a touch smokey but pricey for what you get

Vina Adriana Venturin Malbec Trapiche 2006 a ratings darling..teeth staining color...strong tannins, rich in aromas but not a fruit bomb very restrained and elegant...amazing nose of cedar and dark fruit...a winner around $55

Hopler wine with Christof Hopler (no umloutes on my typewriter sorry)

Guess I should learn how to spell umloutes before I try to type it.
Hopler a winery from Austria...most wine in austria grown on the eastern side due to the high nature of the I know how far maria had to walk....

Pinot Blanc 2007 some effervescence..softer not as lush as some pinot blancs I have tried... good minerality...

Gruner Veltliner 2007 the national white grape of austria soft...grapefruit light??? pretty finish... very perfect wine for 100 degree weather

Pinot Noir 2005 a little old I think, hot, light rusty color showing some age....

Eiswein 2004 not grown for some time because of the past few years being warmer than normal...touch of honey and delicate.

Trocenbeerenauslese...i love german..when they want to come up with a word they just stick another on to an old one and it becomes this long...drawn out word...meaning dried berries that were late picked...with botrytis.. very rich and sensual... made mostly from samling(again no umloutes over the a)

Noble Reserve 2001..reminds me of gas more than petrol on the thick and gooey...but not overly so with the acidity keeping that from happening...think stone fruits on steroids... yummy

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

hirsch winery with jasmine hirsch

Had tried these before but this was the daughter of the winemaker.. who would be described as a grower vintner in other countries because he produces relatively small amounts and sells to several of the big names in the sonoma coast region.

Hirsch Chardonnay 2007...bright color, lots of minerality or terroir, minimal new oak...a touch soft. I think I was expecting a little more bracing character... but high in alcohol without showing it...nicely balanced

Bohan-Dillon Pinot Noir. 2008 just bottled and showing some shock in its youth. young light..bright fruit but not much complexity...may be a sign of the vintage.

Hirsch Pinot Noir 2006 cola color almost rusty and unfiltered I would guess..soft, perfumy, very enjoyable with red fruit flavors and soft of the inbetweens not quite oregon but not typical california.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Henriot with Kimberly Keslin

Mostly French products here
Henriot Brut Souverain NV nice crisp mouthfeel and supple apples would be predominate flavor...finished a little quickly\
Bouchard Pere & fils Bourgogne Blanc ... mineral, soft some nice stone fruit and really creamy for burgundy.

William Fevre Chablis 2007 ..the fevre's own more grand cru vineyards in Chablis...lots of minerality and crisp but not teeth chillingly so.

Bouchard Bourgogne Rouge 2007 not showing well...bottle shock.

Bouchard Beaune Chateau Blanc 2004 soft drinking wine, not showing its age..but losing some on the end..

Bouchard Beaune Chateau Rouge 2005 lots going on...good earth, good fruit and just really an enjoyable bottle in general from several different premier cru lands

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oronoco Rum

Tasted Oronoco rum today from brazil, they spell it brasil, and made by a cachaca producer. interesting that the oronoco actually runs through most of venezuela. found out on a cruise that venezuela was spanish for little venice because the first homes discovered there by europeans were supported on sticks so they were above the ground.

The rum was rich, sweet with a beautiful essence of vanilla and not that hot on the tongue from alcohol. a sipping rum for sure although it would make nice rum and cokes...but for the money they would be very nice

The Original Malbec 2007 France. Vin de Pays.. from the home of Malbec in the south of france. fruit and stink together as the french wines do.. round flavors but a bit earthy on the finish. would be a better food wine than cocktail wine you would find from Argentina.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Celia Congdon with Andrew Will Winery Washington

Andrew Will named for the two sons of Chris Camarda. having gotten a lot of good press lately from the spectator I was looking forward to tasting through the line carried by Pinnacle.

2006 Two , cab franc, merlot beautiful nose, a little fleshy may be from being just a little too room temp franc nose. and a quicker finish than i thought would happen

Champoux 2006 named after the vineyard owner. cab,cab franc and merlot .garnet in color, long finish of cedar and black fruits, tongue tingling acidity.

Ciel du Cheval 2006 (what others in the region call Horse Heaven) a blend of cab, cab franc, merlot and petite verdot. soft, blueberry fruit and a little heat on the finish.

Sorella 2006 mostly cab, merlot, cab franc and petite verdot... a woodsy hearty aroma, great silky tannin, nice round flavors and smooth finish... spectator 95pts.

I agree with his philosophy of wine in allowing the blends to take precedent over straight varietals...

August Briggs with Joe Briggs winemaker

A mid sized winery..lots of family history
Chardonnay Leveroni Vineyard 2007 nice crisp and very uncalifornian style.. too fruit forward for Burgundy but definitely a light touch on the oak.

Pinot Noir Dijon Clones 2006 round cola more fruit forward...not austere but again not over the top either... a little hot on the finish but not a deal breaker

Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 dark color, fruit forward with a strong finish..

the dandelion on the label is in honor of a family member who thought it was the perfect flower...not wanting to believe it was actually a weed

Monday, June 8, 2009

light monday

After the debacle of trying to watch the tony's last night and Katie Horner chiming in for most of them I really did need a drink today but there were not many options.

Pinnacle Imports
Novy Syrah Russian River Valley 2006...this wine is all about the fruit..dark extracted color, juicy black berry fruit..none of the savage or earthy flavors that the rhone can give up

Bennett Lane Maximus Napa 2005 called a feasting wine and I can see why, it would work well with big chewy red meat...fruit forward and some interesting after flavors of coffee and blood

From Bommarito
Leitz Dragonstone Rheingau 2007 one of the wines I will feature in the July article of Tastebud. sweet but not overly...stone fruits of the likes of peaches and apricots...mineral finish

Chateau de Birot Premieres Cotes du Bordeaux 2006 fruity for a bordeaux..fleshy tannin and nice back flavors of meatiness.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bell winery with Anthony Bell

Bell Sauv Blanc Lake County 2007 mineral and fig..a touch heat

Bell Chardonnay 2007 Napa only 14% oak, a softer style than expected given the amount of stainless steel used.. a touch of the toasty oak and a little hot

Bell Rose 2008 a rose of syrah...strawberry colored, not a wimpy rose..a strong earthiness with some dark red berry fruit

Bell Claret 2006 a bordeaux blend with some syrah...beautiful nose of cedar and cassis...silky with some spice on the end

Bell Cabernet Napa 2006 soft tannins and a bit of earthiness..cedary nose again..dark color

Bell Clone 6 Cabernet Rutherford..deep color and flavors.. a bit of the rutherford dust..tight finish that should open up.

Bell Syrah Syrah Foothills lots of juice but not a long again..

Big Guy Red 2006 named after the family pup.. syrah, cab and merlot with the cab over playing the syrah fruit.


Terra Firma
Heritage de Chantecaille 2005 french stink..promise of fruit that never comes through..a dried stewey finish.

Rooster Syrah 2009 a romania syrah..fruity light but pleasant..easy drinking a cute label

Golden Barrel
Santa Alicia Chard Chile 2008 nice acidity, some ml..some heat from alcohol too... cutesy label

Santa Alicia Cab Chile 2007 bitter, harsh, rough finish.

Fina Sobreno 2005 Spain...dark color..cedar nose and cedar taste.. very tannic..needs time to open up.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

wines for the day

from casey major brands.. a new wine from eric solomon..90 points from parker..all grenache.. juicy and stinky..highly extracted quick finish but tasty when in the palate...

from terra frima
Byzantium Blanc de Transylvanie 2006 somewhat dullish, maybe from the age... pinot grigio. gewurztraminer and Feteasca Alba blend...the nose what somewhat promising because of the gewurz but finished dull

Sole Chardonnay 2008 Romania. pretty toasty nose, some tropical fruit on the nose and palate..creamy texture a touch hot on the tongue so will be a better food wine than just cocktail.

2007 Domaine des Rozets Coteaux du Tricastin soft nose somewhat green and uneventful on the palate.. but it did have a longer finish...just there are too many good wines at the same price point

2007 Domaine de Couron Cotes du Rhone 2007 iodine..juicy..needs some time to settle..a nice savage flavors on the palate..will be in after the 06 are gone.

Prosecco Baby NV frizzante style..light and just a right touch of the mousse.

Prosecco Babbo Extra Dry NV sweeter style but light and not as nice as the first wine with a higher price tag

Rosso Toscano Sangiovese 2007 opaque purple..traditional nose, a little fruity but needs a little more body but at $8 will be a nice enough wine.

Garco Wines
Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir 2007 indicitive of the vintage..leather and coffee smells like when you walk into a barnes and noble.. but the flavors are quick and fade fast

Crane Lake Pinot Noie 2008 from the Fred Franzia 3 buck chuck statement.. cranberry, earth and light

Ogier Cotes du Rhone 2008 nice traditional flavors..good mouthfeel and finish.

Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee mostly merlot but the cab nose sure comes through...currant and dark berry..nice tannin and texture.

STG Cabernet 100% cab from the Russian river.. dark in the glass and dark fruits on the palate...soft finish but good for the money.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

about the doug frost article today

I was just reading the kc star and saw the article that doug frost wrote about available wine in kansas..and how far kansas has come in the wine world from 30 years ago when it was next to impossible to get a good glass of wine in the state.

Having written for a small publication myself and seeing what I write sometimes not mean what I wanted because of editing, and I have a great editor by the way, because of my limited use of english grammar. So I am giving him the benefit of the doubt because his words could have been twisted around from what he originally wrote... The fault I have with the article is what is left not mentioning the wines are also available on the Missouri side the reader is left with the impression that they are only available there...and 95% of all those wines are available on the Missouri side. So it became a nice little p.r. blitz for Kansas wholesale, retail and restaurant sales as he mentions. I know they have been the red headed step child for a long time and it is good to see more options open in the state.. just remember if you see a wine you like chances are still good that you will have more chances on the missouri side...thats all I am saying...

wine with jp from vintegrity

Interesting wine from spain ..a grower cava...Cava Avinyo Brut..Non vintage I think...pretty light bubbles made from traditional cava grapes.. which there are three and not coming to me right now...paralleda? xarello ? macabeo?...i can be the norm crosby of wine easily...and there is a little more richness to this wine... grower cava would indicate it is made by the people who grow the grapes opposed to Codorniu or Freixenet that buy them from growers and put their name on it.. lovely mousse foam with still the indentifier of a slight burnt aspirin taste on the very back..

Dashe Brothers 2006 Louvau Vineyards Winery... dry creek..I would buy this myself if no one else will...dark purple, juicy with dark fruit flavors..cedar and vanilla..and loaded with all the zin goodness. around 34$

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adelsheim Winery with Michael Adelsheim

Having been sponsored by this winery at Pinot Camp last year I always like to see the wines promoted.

Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2007 light in texture..a little minerality and nice finish.

Pinot Blanc 2007 good acidity, lush texture with a hint of apple on the finish.

Rose of Pinot Noir 2008...beautiful strawberry in the nose, salmon pink color and just the right amount of fruit... I am so looking forward to the 2008's from oregon

Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2007 indicitive of the vintage..lighter style, not a lot of tannin, soft nose of cola and berry...quick finish..

Pinot Noir Elizabeth's Reserve 2007 good fruit, may have been a touch corked...

Deglace of Pinot Noir 2007 their version of ice wine.. soft easy and quick...almost reminds one of a muscat...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Inland Sea Barrel tasting

On monday I had the opportunity to taste through some wines that Michael Amigoni has in barrel at the boulevard warehouse. I once referred to Michael as a gentleman farmer which harkens back to the days of George Washington who farmed in name only, well when Michael comes into the store covered in mud and dirt from working in his fields I know he is definitely hands on.

Chardonnay.. 8 barrels produced. a rough start on the nose but tastes much smoother, a little toasty on the finish.. nice ml and good fruit on the finish.

Viognier a very tight nose with good stone fruits on the palate with a finish that keeps going

Cabernet Franc To kati Block taken from the to-kalon block of mondavis wine. lots of aromatics you expect from cab franc, soft tannins and red fruits.

Malbec most of it comes from Lodi in cherry and long juicy finish.

Mouvedre all about the soft fruit but the finish is quick and a little disappointing.. still young though.

Cabernet Franc Stealth Ridge Block smoky, sweet almost savory..and a soft cocoanut vanilla finish, some of his cooperage comes from A & K who make barrels for silver oak...this is the same toast level they use.

Friday, May 15, 2009

w.h.wednesday part 6

Ionia Imports with Scott Reed

at least they had wines I hadnt tried before..

Suliccenti Insolia 2007 Sicily.. bright fruit with a little rustic bent to the finish.. interesting wine but I have better Insolia in the store..

Kudyah Nero D'Avola Sicily 2005 fruity nose and juicy..nice acidity a great food wine.

Ronna Syrah Sicily 2005 Ronna means show a softer side of syrah.. unoaked and uninteresting.. juicy with enough fruit but not a great show of what the grape can do.

Kroara Red Piemonte barbera Light purple int he glass. a nice wine for the money a touch plummy and mocha on the finish.. this will be at the next wine tasting in june

La Capannelle Toscana 2005 IGT so it is not exactly Sangiovese, a blend with merlot and syrah.. traditional italian stink.. good acidity but missing something of a nerve...cute label though

w.h. wednesday part 5

Hank Wetzel and Alexander Valley Vineyards

2007 Alexander Estate Chardonnay ..straw, a toasty oak..not a lot of ml on the tongue ...

2007 Alexander Dry Rose of Sangiovese.. light rusty pink..light fruits quick dry finish.

2007 Alexander SinZin oaky nose, and dark berry and a little heat

2006 Alexander Temptation Zin = light a touch briary but overall pretty quick finish.

2006 Alexander Merlot dark color in the glass..sweet fruit tobacco on the finish..

2006 Alexander Cabernet best of the bunch.. nice grip and fun finish...

2004 Cyrus..named for Cyrus Alexander for whom the valley was named. lots of purple color, oaky, sweet vanilla..very supple tannins with a good long finish.

2005 Alexander School house Top of the Crop dark purple, juicy and tannic.. lots of lead and cedar...a little heavy for me

w.h.wednesday part 4 bearboat winery

BearBoat Pinot Gris..2006 some bottle variation going on here because it was a little cloudy and had strange flavors... maybe a little old

Bear Boat Sauv Blanc 2007 soft , clean and herbal but not very interesting

BearBoat Chardonnay 2008 toasty caramel, nice palate of chard fruit with a long finish.''

BearBoat Riesling 2007 central coast. a touch diesel on the nose, almost alsace in style.. too rich for alsace though. not for the kind who like KJ Riesling

BearBoat Syrah 2006 Russian River Valley more of a jammy fruit style wine...a little black pepper but not for the money...

BearBoat Pinot Noir a touch earthy on the nose, nice finish. rusty garnet color in the glass, tight nose with some red berry fruit coming through

w.h.wednesday part 3 ken volk with Mike Brown

Ken Volk was a founder of Wild Horse in Central Coast.

Malvasia 2007 light straw color, nutty, floral on the sweet nose.. dryer style finish. almost alsace in nature..texture seemed to be the word of the day..

Negrette 2004...interesting grape varietal.. found in the south of france..a hybrid from the cote de fontenat.. floral with a cola nose, juicy and a bit dusty... a touch earthy finish.. the next release will be 2007 and that will be in the store.

Merlot 2005 some more cool climate grape characteristics..lots of grip, and tannin and darker berry fruit flavors..not a wimpy wine at all.

Mourvedre 2005 bright color, bright cherry fruit on the palate.. very cool finish..will be a great food wine.. these are the from the oldest central coast plantings of mourvedre..soft plummy finish.

w.h. wednesday part 2

Silverado winery with Jonathan Emmerich Winemaker

Silverado Sauv Blanc 2008 a sweet nose and lots of grapefruit after just having orange juice.

Silverado Chardonnay 2007 clear straw color, light toasty and soft ml, clean fruit and nice texture.

2005 Silverado Merlot Napa dark cloudy and brooding in the glass...tannins on the climate merlot is a good thing.. 11% cab

2005 Silverado Cab Napa sweet cassis and pencil lead..soft tannins and very smooth..the merlot was actually more of a texture...some tobacco and tar on the finish.

Silverado Solo 2005 100% cab, clear in the glass..dusty on the palate with nice black berry fruits.. very viscous..a teeth stainer

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

wine hell wednesday part 1

and only two days later another day of wine reps with suppliers or actual winemakers.

Terra Firma
2007 Chateaux Mayne Pargade Bordeaux blanc light melon, grassy and a little rustic on the finish..tasting a little tired

Cinecol Torrontes Organic 2007 floral, soapstone on the nose, melon fruit carries through to the nice finish.. torrontes is the white grape of argentina as far as I am concerned.

2007 Terra Romana Pinot Noir...a touch of the french stink. soft red fruits on the palate..but a little soft on the ending...good for the money though.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A well known producer of Prosecco, the Mionetto brand I believe was one of the first in this market. Prosecco is a grape grown in the Northeastern area of Italy and became famous when mixed with peach nectar to make Bellini's.

Brut Prosecco NV ( almost all Prosecco will be Non vintage) dry side, nice stone fruits on the palate and good finish..not the burnt aspirin that I sometimes get from the grape.

Moscato Dolce Mionetto.. pretty muscat nose, soft texture, sweet lush palate...nice acidity to carry through to the end.

elyse with alex pryor

Alex Pryor who operated "Zin" in the space where Michael Smith is today, works for Elyse Vineyards in Napa.

Elyse Rose 2008 lots of strawberrys and fresh fruit on the dry side.. made with primarily Valdigue which for a long time was called Gamay Beaujoulais. Perfect summer wine.

C'est Si Bon 2005 a grenache, mourvedre, syrah blend from grapes grown in Sierra Foothills. deep color and dark fruits with a hint of bacon fat on the end.

Morisoli Vineyards Zinfandel 2006 rustic like you want the wine to be,,.,.briary and jammy with just a hint of too much heat but the juicy character finishes it off.

Cabernet Tietjan Vineyard 2005 dark opaque color all about dark berry flavors, oak dill and vanilla...all the bells and whistles of a good cali cab

Hell monday part 4 major brands Jonata

Jonata is the central coast companion to Screaming Eagle. New to this market

Le Flor De Jonata 2006 a Sauv blanc, semillon blend.. interesting nose but not in a good way..and way over priced at $55

Le Corazon 2005 a blend with sweet vanilla nose and sweet fruits...good acidity and finish..dark purple. The bargain of the group at $80

Le Tierra de Jonata 2005 Sangiovese from central coast. A following of sweet fruit, not much on the way of aromas...some spice..very tight and generally boring..the fundamental question is when looking to transport Sangiovese are you looking to continue the tradition of what the varietal gives or get something more full bodied and juicy, in which case Grenache does the same.

La Desafio de Jonata 2005 Mostly Cab, and bordeaux blend. aroma of steak sauce, heinz or a-1
big tannins from fruit and barrel, some heat from high alcohol. definitely needs time to open up and let those tannins settle down to show off the fruit more..a long finish. Parker gave this wine 96 and it definitely has his style all over it. $130

La Sangre de Jonata 2005 Syrah and what a wonderful wine. Almost would have mistaken it for a Northern Rhone except for too much fruit. bacon fat all over the place. long finish.. favorite of the day but again.....$130

La Miel de Jonata NV a semillon and sauv blanc blend to resemble Sauterne but made in the desert,...and what a great dessert...round marshmellow flavors with a texture that doesnt want to stop. Cat Pee yellow and sweet nose...very pretty.. I will have some in the store for me if it doesnt sell...500ml around $80

Monday, May 11, 2009

hell monday part three-bommarito

Dierberg is a better known name in St Louis with a chain of grocery stores but they have been making wine almost half a decade.

Dierberg Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley toasty nose and smoky, carries into the palate..some tropical fruit..nice finish

Dierberg Syrah 2006 dark purple..juicy yet finishes a little on the lean side..none of the good bacon fat but still juicy

Star Lane Sauv Blanc 2006 sweet melon nose, melon and grassy on the palate..typical cali style for me.

Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Ynez 2005 a lovely french stink, ynez stink?, bordeaux blend that definitely needs time to open and soften up...a nice vanilla, dark cherry flavor..long finish.

Three Saints Chardonnay 2005 Santa Maria Valley tropical fruit nose, appropriate acidity and a long finish with hints of the tropical fruits.

Three Saints Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 a high altitude wine, pretty cedar on the nose, lots of cassis and dark berry flavors. soft tannins..very enjoyable.

hell monday part two...mike dorsey and milbrandt

Milbrandt was started when the vineyard owners realized a good thing was happening with the grapes they sold and started making wine too..they still sell to some great winemakers like Chateau Ste Michelle and Charles Smith Located in the middle of Washington state wine country.

Pinot Grigio 2007 the weakest of the bunch...very subtle, mineral and a quick finish.

Chardonnay 2006 a touch earthy on the nose, lots of chardonnay fruit and no ML but it was pretty viscous from the warm climate fruit.

Riesling 2006 soft, a touch diesel and really very good for washington state...Dr Loosen thought this was good enough to put a large part in his Eroica bottling with Ch. St Michelle

Merlot 2006 as much as I like cool climate merlot, see Truchard and , this one came off as a little vegetal for me. soft red fruits but not the grip that you need from this type of merlot.

Legacy/ strike that it is now know as The Estates because Jess Jackson had copyrighted the name and was going to sue...The Estates is cab predominately.. beautiful nose of tea and pencil and dark fruits..sweet fruit on the palate and a nice long finish.

Monday from hell-Missouri Beverage

One of those days where everyone in town has a "ride-with" with wines to try. I wish there could be a way to schedule these things but until then here goes my list.

Montinore Muller-Thurgau 07 soft grapefruit on the nose, finishes sweeter than i thought it would...interesting wine..a hybrid made in germany named after the gentleman who made it.

Montinore Gewurztraminer 2006 typical pretty nose, soapy floral lots of acid..and chunky not really smooth.

Montinore Pinot Noir 2007 Dark rusty color, tangy and bing cherry a little rhubarb...definitely from the lighter 07 vintage..

Badger Mountain Riesling 2007 NSA (no sulfites added) a dull nose and dull flavors...i think it may have been an off bottle because the stuff sells ok...not sweet at all and no acid to carry it through..

Badger Mountain Cab/Merlot 2004 showing some age...heavy cab influence with a bit of rustic weight to it...looking forward to the 05 also NSA

Powers Muscat Canelli 2007 an asti nose because you know that they have the same grape...again a little chunky and also doesnt finish as sweet as a muscat should

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mary Michelle Winery Illinois

As hard as they try to make world class wines there are just too many factors against them...but at least they try...

Illinois Cellars Unoaked Chardonnel 2006 a sweet and foxy nose, almost musky..not quite chardonnay and not quite riesling....

Illinois Cellars Norton 2008 dark purple in the glass and slightly smoky sweet nose, boysenberry with a hint of the tinny mineral traits on the finish.

Applewine...which may have been the best.. using a riesling yeast this wine is light yellow, a bit of caramel and cinnamon, not knowing you would not guess apples...

Velvet Red Sweet Concord NV raspberry in color, tastes like what you think grapes should taste like...foxy finish where it starts out sweet and then gets dull.

Velvet White Niagara straw color, see above

Vidal Blanc Icewine 2005 dark yellow and burnt caramel , round in the mouth but dried fruits, not overly pleasant finish...a bit chunky...

robert with garco

Domaine Gerbeaux Macon Chaintre 2008 chardonnay, light yellow, mineral and lemony.. a bit too watery for me

Domaine Gerbeaux Macon Solutre 2007 chardonnay, light yellow n color but with a nice texture...

Domaine Pral Beaujolais 2007 strawberry mineral or tinny character like I see in this wine...gamay by the way...just not overly exciting.

Domaine de Chateaumac Cuvee Bastien 2007 Cotes du Rhone...beautiful wine...dark color, 100% grenache.. a touch dirt but mostly bright fruit..missing the bacon fat from syrah..darn it.

Leonard Kreutsch Piesporter goldtroppchen Spatlese 2006 a diesel bomb ready to explode with a few more years... bright yellow and very viscous from all the sugars... mineral and petrol...

terra firma wines

Vina Robles White4 2008 a blend of verdehlo, vermentino, viognier and sauvignon blanc....interesting combo, with the viognier and sauv blanc being more standoutish.. bright acidity and a touch of lemon and vanilla with a long finish.

Domaine de Couron Merlot 2007 dark color in the glass with a hint of green veg on the nose that doesnt really stop the bright cherry fruit, almost a mocha finish..round and tasty.

Domaine de Couron Cuvee Marie Dubois Syrah 2005. if this wine wasnt from the 2005 vintage I would have taken a full case.. iodine and dark berry...ripe fruit, pretty pretty wine...almost voluptious... but the 2007's are almost here and they will be spectacular.

Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape 2006 pepper on the nose and wow a lot going on...great savage or garrigue flavors great fruit and beautiful finish.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Alan Cannon with Rombauer Vineyards

Rombauer Chardonnay Carneros 2007 interesting for a wine from cali with 100% malo and barrel fermented this wine was not the fruit or butter bomb that some can be...carneros is one of the coolest growing regions in california and this gives you just a hint of oaky toasty goodness with out hitting you over the head

Rombauer Merlot 2006 I love carneros merlot..very dense and chewy with lots of rich fruit and spice...

Rombauer Zinfandel 2007 the glorious vintage for cali Zin...the nose on this yelled out Sweet Tea...boysenberry and blackberry fruits but not cloyingly so.

Rombauer Cabernet 2005 90% cab with the rest cab franc...softer style...

Rombauer Diamond Selection Cabernet 2003 cedar and dark fruits, cedar almost overpowers... but the fruit comes through on the finish...

ron lachini with Appellation

Lachini is a small winery in the Chehalem hills between Portland and Salem'

07 Pinot Gris Family Estate lemon curd and citrus...creamy mouthfeel..not the bone dry alsace type but not the fruit bomb either..nice

06 Lachini Estate Pinot Noir earthy, mushroom and rich.. garnet color in glass, dark berry fruit on the palate...

07 Lachini "S" Pinot Noir light cola aromas, light color, red fruits? on the palate with good acidity to the finish.

06 Cuvee Giselle Pinot Noir dark garnet and again the cola nose, cinnamon? and a touch sweet with long fruit finish.

06 La Bestia Cabernet from Red Mountain in Washington... heavy duty fruit and not a lot of finese...

06 "il molinello" bordeaux style Red Mountain.. mostly cab and merlot, with a lot of the merlot influencing the wine...molinello means swirl, to blend, dense thick fruit and a nice finish...the better of the two washington wines.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

terra rosa

The other day I was excited about a pinot noir from this company that will be priced at $8. I was saying how you never can tell what the little guys will put out to try. This time with 4 wines I found3 with nothing to really enjoy for the money. But you have to keep trying.

La Villetta Frascati Italian 2007 the original nose was of vanilla and flowers but the mouth was minerals and a dull finish. the more i thought about it the more I wondered if it wasnt oxidized or slightly heated at some point in its travel.. too bad because Frascati can be a nice change from ubiquitous pinot grigio.

Terra Romana Milenium White 2006 a sauv blanc, riesling and muscat blend. a touch sweet from the riesling nice mouthfeel and inexpensive evolution .. not quite conundrum

Chateau Senailhac Bordeaux Superior 2004 superior gives it a little more alchohol...earthy, tar and almost italian in nature..a hard sell anyway because of the vintage...

Domaine Couron Marselan 2007 what was described as a hybrid of cabernet and syrah... very pretty in the glass but the palate was all about the tinny young vine character...nope

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


moral to this juice and wine dont mix

Coopers Creek marlbourough 2008..seemingly a softer style of NZ SB

Coopers Creek Riesling diesel and mineral..not sweet but tart.

Coopers Creek Pinot Noir soft and easy andboring

Seitz Pinot Blanc 2007 Alsace..what I love about Pinot Blanc..round and yet lively.. lots going on for a lighter white wine

Darnat Bourgogne (Mersault) 2007 acidity and soft fruit, a quick finish...was expecting more power from the wine given its pedigree and price.


Hopler 2007 Pinot Blanc..Austria a soft style pinot blanc...some minerality and viscosity but not much more..

St Innocent Vitae Vineyards Pinot Gris Willamette valley 2007 soft, some minerality but not much there

Kung Fu Girl Columbia Valley Riesling 2008 soft style...seems to be a theme to my tasting today... not sweet for a riesling..although this area is known for more mineral and less fruit...not much acidity..

Maison de Lamartine Cassis de Bourgogne NV... a cassis from burgundy...a little earthy on the nose and very thick rich dark raspberry flavors...looking forward to tasting another bottle because I heard other reports.

from Bernie Elio Perrone Bigaro NV a moscato/bracchetto mix..sweet nose and just when you think it is going to finish sweetly it turns a touch bitter...


Consilience Grenache Blanc 2006 interestingly wall street journal a few weeks spoke of their love for all things grenache from california..rouge or blanc or rose...this wine has the depth of color, traditional nose of grenache blanc...something like green olive meets honey...viscous on the palate but the flavor to me is caramel flavored rhubarb... maybe it is one that will be better in time...other white rhone wines seem to always be better much latter.

Consilience Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Barbara 2006 earthy, dirty and B.O.
lots of tart rhubarb flavors at the front that do not get mellow... I dont usually dislike rhubarb by the way..

Consilience Petite Sirah Santa Barbara 2005 dark color that promises dark fruits that does not deliver...stewed nose and quick flavors..acidity but not much fruit..and given petite sirah is a fruit bomb usualllyy.....


Stump Jump Verdelho Australia 2008 a grape original to Spain that makes great sherry there. In Aussie land it gets riper and sweeter...this would be like riesling without the heavy sweetness at the end...lots of green apple and rich texture

Windsor Vineyards Monterey a mellow yellow color...sweet ml aromas and nice touch of oak on the finish...the wine will be labeled with Missouri or Kansas State logos..i think

Stump Jump Sticky Chardonnay...dark yellow color and thick...round flavors of butterscotch, butter rum? and just butter in general... a soft lingering caramel apple flavor...

new and exciting

One of the recession positives for me and the store, things that normally go only to restaurants are available. Case in point..Merry Edwards Pinot Noir, never got it and today I have a case in store...Lewis Cab Reserve I acquired 3 more bottles....also today Harlan, and two single vineyard Bonds came stuff for sure.

also Forman from Napa and Carlisle who is gettting a lot of attention for their Shiraz and Zins

Thursday, April 23, 2009


It seems every one is bringing by Rose this week.. I had one from the Provence that was too dry.

Bell Rose 2008 from Syrah I think..didnt write it down for some reason.... dark raspberry in color, strawberry/rhubarb on the palate and a long finish for a rose..

Bell Claret 2005 a bordeaux blend with syrah to the mix...dark ruby color, soft cola on the nose, silky tannins and a touch of cedar on the long finish.

Care Rosado Cab/Tempranillo great label...very modern and artsy... typical light fruit flavors and a pretty quick finish. buy it for the label..

Simi Blitz with Susan Lueker

One of the chances to meet with the winemaker...and here her side of the story.. Simi has a history of strong women...the original owners wife started the first roadside tasting table in Healdsburg.

Sauvignon Blanc. 2008 Sonoma easy drinking, typical california style of herbs and spice...

Roseto (Rose) from Syrah... bright translucent garnet...soft strawberry flavors with nice acidity.

Chardonnay Sonoma ...definitely a lighter style of Chard... not overly oaked with just enough ml to make it have some character..

Chardonnay Russian River ....smells like creme brulee in the glass...bright yellow and soft and supple on the mouth...very enjoyable.

Merlot..may be the disappointment for me of the wines...a little lean and green...with some malbec added.

Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley...lead pencil and cassis..classic cali flavors and aromas... a great wine for us at the store.

Cabernet Sauvignon Landslide 2005 single vineyard...named for the rock formations on the property... dark color, rich and silky tannin... very nice long finish.

Zinfandel Sonoma 2006 for those looking for the more delicate or feminine zin this is a good example... you still get some of the briary aspect but it falls away quickly.

Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2004 the color was dark for the bit of aging it has done.. sawdust and pencil shavings on the nose.. and juicy fruit...long finish...i noticed the tannins were hitting all over the place from the first sip to finish..can definitely store for some time

wines with ciaran molloy

Altosur Torrontes 2008 a lightly sweeter version of torrontes...pretty varietal aromas of flowers and honey...

Ardeche 2006 by Louis LaTour soft, a bit on the fruitier side which fits many american palates.

Groom Bush Block Zinfandel 2007 Australia not many zins outside of california and this may be a reason why...aromas of bad breath and B.O. that don't thank goodness translate in the palate...there are some nice berry fruits but like sangiovese done in california you want to ask..why?

Groom Shiraz 2007 lush, juicy, the kind of wine australia is known for... dark purple in the glass, and dark berry fruit...with a coffee and mocha finish...just lovely.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Josa Galdos with Heredad Ugarte

This supplier of Rioja and La Mancha wines is based in Lawrence Kansas.

Rienares Viura 2007 Viura is a grape indigenous to spain..sometimes called Macabeo and used in their Cava's. this wine was tart and bone dry...a bite in back and mineral finish...needs food

Reinares Tempranillo 2007 bright purple in old world style with an earthiness and light on the fruit...

Mercedes Eguren Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 dark purple, supple and suprisingly good...not the overly berry flavors of cali but nice.

Mercedes Eguren Shiraz/Tempranillo 2006 a touch of chlorine or Iodine on the nose, lush palate but lacking in a fruit wave to overcome the earthiness..

Heredad Ugarte Cosecha 2006 rioja wine with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Grenache.. 6 months on oak...young vines and that shows in the mouth more than nose... a little tinny but not overpoweringly so.

Heredad Ugarte Crianza 2005 dark purple in the glass..92% Tempranillo old world nose...pretty red fruits on the palate with a nice long finish...

Domino de Ugarte Reserva 2004 95% Tempranillo and 5% Graziano...unfortunately corked.

Martin Cendoya Reserva 2004 named after one of the founders of the winery.. dark purple in the glass again...made from some of the oldest vines in Rioja..100 to 115 years.. dense and of the wines that needs aeration and time to open up to show all it most compelling taste was the end with a coffee note...

Interestingly I always thought Rioja had to have Tempranillo in the bottle but they can be any or all of Tempranillo, Graziano, Grenache and one more...whites are Viura, grenache blanc...

J wines with Steve Rubsam

Interesting when a style comes through a set of wines tasted...all of my notes today said "Soft"
and some of the wines could be described as feminine.

J Pinot Gris 2007 done in stainless steel but with some lees stirring...some creaminess to it...good acidity

J Chardonnay 2006 a new product from this producer for this market...most of their chard ends up in the sparkling program. light oak and vanilla...soft fruit..almost too soft.

J Russian River Pinot Noir. light cola color, viscous on the glass but not as thick on the tongue... earthiness on the back of palate but not a lot of upfront fruit...not a typical for california.

J Nicole Pinot NOir light opaque color.. soft but good quality...

J Sparkling Cuvee 2o made from Pinot Noir 49%/Chardonnay 49% and Pinot Meunier... soft and of the best selling sparklers from california for this store.

J Rose Sparkling NV earthiness on the nose and creamy and rich on the palate...a very light hint of pink in the glass.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Misc wines today

Pinnacle Rabbit Ridge Pinot Grigio 2008 light yellowish tint...sweet and viscous in style..but quick finish.

2007 Rabbit Ridge Barrel Cuvee Chardonnay off bottle, no fruit..

Cartlidge and Brown Pinot Noir 2008 light colors and flavors...traditional california style pinot but on the light side...hopefully it will improve with a little age.

Derrick from Bommarito
Havens 2005 Napa Merl0t ...interesting style..merlot with a sangiovese style.. a little saddleleather...a little fruit...maybe from the age.

Lily Pinot Noir 2007 pretty california style..fruit forward with nice acidity... pleasant

Chasseur Russian River Chardonnay 2006 ...heavy malo in the nose and palate..a touch of green veg or rhubarb...not liking this bottling...will try again

Cline wines

The time of year again for Cline Zinfandels

Bridge Head 2007 softer in style than the others with red fruits...

Big Break 2007 huge and jammy, nice texture with high alcohol but not to showy on the finish...

Small Berry Mourvedre..pretty garnet color, concentrated and mocha on the finish,...lovely wine

Cline Sonoma Zin...2007 grown over a hot spring..dark purple and dark interesting syrah kind of finish...

Mourvedre Rose 2008 salmon light pink..sweet strawberry.. raspberry nice tartness.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

renteria winery

One of the perks of tasting wine is it takes place once and awhile in very nice enviorns. Today I had a lunch with others at Starkers Upstairs with the winemaker Oscar Renteria. The family has been in Napa valley for many decades developing relationships with some of the big guns in the wine industry.

2007 Chardonnay Carneros a clean crisp light on the oak and ml chard...great with food.

2006 Salva Tierra Cabernet Napa good california cab...named after his mother-in-law...trying to get brownie points no doubt.

2006 Knittel Vineyard Pinot Noir pretty food wine...color of bright garnet...some earth and cola on the nose...

2005 Mount Veeder Napa Cab ... woodsy aromas on the nose, nice cassis and tannin on the palate/

winner of the day....Fourteen...taken from Fourteen producers in Appellations all over Napa and Sonoma from some of the big guns... only 1 ton per producer...this is where the contacts with people have paid do such an ambitious project. silky and almost perfect for the price...will have a six pack in store soon.. only around $95

also got to try some older vintages thanks to Jim Coley of starkers and Mr Renteria himself.

1999 Renteria Napa a touch brickish in the glass. sawdust and dirt on the nose, sweet fruit and silky tannin on the palate...long finish..beautiful

2002 Tres Perlas Stags Leap Vineyard...made from what were described as midget vines in the Stags Leap District...three pearls stand for his three daughters..typical of the 2002 that I have tried...lush opulent fruit, a touch of alcohol on the nose that does not translate at all to the palate...beautiful wine..we will have a bottle of the 2003 as only 144 magnums were made...period