Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2007 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone

This is a negociant wine I believe; only the "Chateau" labeled wines are from the Barruol Family vinyard holdings. The 98 Chateau Saint Cosme "Valbelle" Gigondas was the best wine that I have had all year besides the 82 Pavillon Rouge from Chateau Margaux. This wine is very good, and one of the best Cotes du Rhones that I've had this year. 07 is supposed to be a great Rhone vintage, and this wine delivers. Pepper, a little garrigue, licorice and plums. Turns to cherries once it's in your mouth, and then a slightly tannic finish with herby notes. Balanced and tasty. 14$ A-

2007 Abbots Table Wine

I love Owen Roe. This is a deep, fruity wine with cherry and spice aromas. It has 10 different grapes in it! Sangiovese, Cinsault, Zinfandel, Merlot, and quite a few more... and its got lots of ripe, sweet fruit...but not as good as the Layer Cake from last night. I have a bottle of this in the cellar also. B

Monday, December 29, 2008

2007 Layer Cake Malbec

Rich, juicy wine. Lots of blueberry and blackberry, pepper, and chocolate notes. Very fruit forward--a smoking wine! This is about 15$ by me, but 12$ in Washington. A

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2002 Alejandro Fernandez Dehesa La Granja

100% Tempranillo from Castilla y Leon. A wonderful, earthy nose with coffee, black fruits and figs. Silky smooth with plummy/curranty fruit and a nice finish. This wine is delicious, well-made, and cheap. A

Saturday, December 27, 2008

2004 Prunotto Barbaresco

42$ at Costco. 04 was a legendary vintage in Piedmont. This Barbaresco has some intense aromatics going on--it makes sense that Nebbiolo is the Pinot Noir of Italy after smelling this wine. Berries, sweet cherries, earth, a HUGE hit of truffle, and flowers. In the mouth, balanced fruit leads to an earthy/tar note an then to a long finish that is slightly dusty. Certainly a tasty wine! Pretty cheap for what it is...A-

Thursday, December 25, 2008

2007 The Crossings New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Not bad. No idea where this came from, but it was in the back of my parents fridge. Typical green aromas--a little grassy, with passionfruit and tart citrus. A little short in the finish, but not bad.

Also had a 2006 Peppoli Chianti Classico from Antinori. This wine had a lot of depth, and had typical chianti flavors of cherries, earth, and some leather. Good, but not for the price. The Rocca di Montogrosso that we had a few months ago was the same price, but had more character, and was a lot better. C+

Monday, December 22, 2008

2006 Perrin & Fils Vinsobres "Les Cornuds"

Another wine from Perrin and Fils that is a great value. 16$. At least as good as last nights Chateaneuf du Pape, but half price. From the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel, this wine is from the new Southern Rhone appelation of Vinsobres. 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah. Lots of structure, with a peppery, black fruit nose. Licorice, plums and blackberries on the long finish. This could age for another 5 years to mellow--there is still a fair amount of tannin. A-

Also had a few other wines tonight at Tilth, where my little brother and I had a prix fix featuring ingredients from Theo Chocolatier. There was a Muller Thurgau from Alto Adige, which was great with a butternut squash soup that had pomegranates and a chocolate cream, a Touraine with a coppa ravioli (the best wine of the night), a barbera d'Asti with a rabbit leg confit with truffle butter, celery root and parsley salad, and finally, a peanut butter cup and chocolate tort with a porter beer. All in all, a great night.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

2007 Barnard and Griffin Columbia Valley Syrah

Lots of blueberries and vanilla. Sweet and modern. Only 10$. The same wine from California would be 30$ or more. A-

2006 Clos de L'Oratoire Chateauneuf du Pape

30$ at Costco. Plums, licorice and spice. A more modern Chateauneuf du Pape with sweet fruit and not as many savoury flavors. Dense and structured. This wine got 91 points from Wine Spectator. Very good, but not as good of a value as last nights Indian Wells merlot, and missing the depth of the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape's that I have had. B+

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Indian Wells" Merlot

Infinitely better than the Toscano Rosso. Blackberries, vanilla, and a tobacco/spice nose lead to a long finish with a fleshy texture. I liked this wine a fair amount. B+

2006 Giordano Tuscano IGT

Not a bad wine, but not really inspiring. Boring. Aromas of cherries, maybe some spice. Lacked enough acidity to balance out the fruit, so it was kind of flabby. Maybe they should give up the whole "Super Tuscan" thing in favor of a Chianti designation. This could have been made anywhere. C- Update: Had another bottle (my Dad bought it again over Christmas), same thoughts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2006 Arbor Crest Sauvignon Blanc "Bacchus Vinyard"

Got this wine as a gift from a vendor. The winery is based in Spokane, Washington and uses Columbia Valley fruit, so I'm pretty sure they don't grow the grapes. New style, new world wine. Doesn't have the snap that I expect from Sancerre and New Zealand. It is nicely fruity. Tropical fruit nose leads to a grapefruit finish. Drinks okay, but it's awfully sweet and it seems to be missing the essence and snap of Sauvignon Blanc--this might as well be Pinot Grigio or some other white grape. Seems designed to be inoffensive. D+

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2003 Raimat Tempranillo

5.99$ at TJ's. Lots of plums and spice. From the Costers del Segre DO. (I have no idea what part if Spain that is...I'll have to look it up.) A little short on the finish, but velvety with nice fruit. B

Friday, December 12, 2008

2006 Luchetti Lacrima di Morro d'Alba

K and L wine club wine. Lacrima us a weird indigenous grape...this wine is interesting. There I'd a hugely peppery nose that veers to
violets and some tart fruit. The wine us smooth and balanced, and cut through some awesome Urbani black truffle pasta from my sales rep. Perhaps a bit short on the finish but a cool and interesting wine. A-

Thursday, December 11, 2008

2005 Columbia Crest Two Vines Chardonnay

Apples, pears, a little spice and a creamy mouthfeel lead up to a tasty 6$ wine. I love my home state. Very satisfying, and lots better than any 6$ California chardonnay that I have had in my entire life. B+

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2005 Domaine Du Bouscat Bordeaux Superior

From K&L. About 15$. This wine is primarily merlot, with 10% malbec, 10% cabernet franc, and 20% cabernet sauvignon. Also mentions on the back "micro-oxygenation," so I wonder if Michelle Roland had anything to do with this wine, or perhaps another enologist in vogue. On the nose, this wine had cherries, plums as it opened up more, vanilla, and spices. In the mouth, plums and minerally flavors lead into a tannic finish. This wine could definitely age for a few more years; it would mellow out on the tannin and integrate better. Longer decanting would help too (only decanted for one hour). B

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2007 Clay Station Viognier Lodi

This is great for 3.99. Honeysuckle, citrus, and jasmine notes. (Actually the back of the bottle is accurate as far as a description). B+ for the value factor. It's a fun wine.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

2003 Couly-Dutheil Chinon Clos de l'Echo Crescendo

Couly-Dutheil was founded in the 1920s, so it's been around for a while (more info at the Wine Doctor). This wine is a single vineyard Chinon from the Loire Valley. Picked up this wine at Costco of all places for around 45$. This wine was extremely tight until it had been open for about two hours. An interesting contrast to some of the less expensive cab franc wines that I have had recently (one that come to mind was an 8$ Kermit Lynch Bourgueil that our neighbor poured for us a while back) because of the riper fruit and the less noticeable cab franc aromas. This wine still has a lot of the leafy flavors that are associated with cab franc, but it takes on a smoky, almost olivey savory character. This is a lot different than some of the bell pepper, more green and vegetal cab francs that I have come across. After the initial smoky, leafy, flavors, this wine unfolds to have plush blackberry fruit, and is balanced by a good acidity (albeit less than some of the cheaper cab francs, but more than some of the new-world cab francs that I've had from Washington like Walla Walla Vintners), and a savory, finish. An enjoyable wine, that was intellectually stimulating and fun to drink. A

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

2005 Chateau Puynormond Montagne Saint-Emilion

This is an interesting wine that I picked up from K&L a few months back. Montagne Saint-Emilion is an obscure French appellation (I'm guessing somewhere close to St.-Emilion). This wine was about 15$; it's pretty good for that price. 90% merlot, with 10% cab franc. Lots of cherries, and a deep earthiness, maybe a little bit of chocolate too. Chewy tannins, even after a 24 hour period of being open. Went very well with leftovers of lamb. Good food wine. B

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2007 Two Hands Angels Share McLaren Vale Shirz

Number 83 on Wine Spectators Top 100 of 2008. This wine is dense and high alcohol. Definitely wouldn't go too well with food. Damn close to port-like. Tasty though. Not really my style--just too big and too much at once. Lots of fruit--plums and blueberries mainly. Also a lot of bacon, licorice and spice. Finish is really long. Not as nuanced as many of the Syrahs that I really like, but still good. Seems too over the top, others might feel different. I mainly can't see drinking more than a glass of this at a time, because it was just too much. Every time I buy a wine like this, I have the same thoughts. B-