Grenaching it Up Again

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Quivira Winery

I seem to be on a bit of a Grenache kick lately. Who can blame me though, Grenache makes some lovely wines! I found this bottle lurking on my shelves and decided to give it a go. I’m also a club member at Quivira, so I’ve got at least another bottle of this hanging around from a club shipment. The wine in question is the 2008 Quivira Wine Creek Ranch Grenache. It clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and the 2009 (current vintage) retails for $26.

On the nose I found sweet raspberry, cherry, cherry coke, spice, pepper, strawberry, and vanilla. In the mouth I got all the same red fruits as the nose along with some spice and a bit of oak. I think this wine could use some bottle age to really bring it around. I’ve had many other vintages of this wine and have always enjoyed those very much, though they have usually had a bit more time to age than this one.

Back to My Roots

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Quivira Winery

Zinfandel, and specifically Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, is really where my journey with red wine began. If you’ve been a long time reader of the wine blog, I’m sure you’ve read where I’ve written about going to Sonoma for the first time on my honeymoon 5 years ago and how I fell in love with Zinfandel on the trip. I’d previously really been a “white wine only please” person, so it really was a turning point for me in my love of wine. These days I don’t drink nearly as much Zinfandel as I used to, but I do like to go back and revisit those wines that helped me fall head of heels for red wine. Tonight we tried the 2008 Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. It clocked in at 14.8% alcohol, had a real cork closure, and retails for $20.

On the nose I got blackberry, spice, oak, herbs, baking spice, licorice, black cherry, and a caramel note. In the mouth I found tart, tart blackberry, the kind that make you pucker your lips a bit, black fruit, spice, chocolate, and juicy black cherry. The palate showed mostly juicy black fruit for me with plenty of tannins and acidity. At $20, this is a steal for a great Dry Creek Valley Zin.

Citrus Explosion

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Quivira Winery. Though I am a member of their wine club as well.

Quite some time ago I wrote about the Quivira Sauvignon Blanc Complete, which is their barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc. I commented that while it also had its merits, I preferred the other, non-oaked Sauvignon Blanc they used to make and lamented the fact that the steel tank bottle had not been included in my club shipment. Shortly thereafter, the folks from Quivira contacted me to offer a sample bottle of the un-oaked version. In the midst of moves, floods, and other general rearranging, I just found it hiding in the corner. The 2007 Quivira FIg Tree Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $17 online. Current vintage is the 2008.

Right out of the bottle the nose hit me with citrus. Lime and grapefruit competed for attention, but in the end, both just punched me in the nose. Some white pepper and spice gave the nose depth. My notes have “lime” and “grapefruit” each written 3 times in a row. In the mouth, the grapefruit turned into a sweeter grapefruit, with more lime, lime, lime, and some salty edges. The sensation when you suck a lime and lick salt after taking a tequila shot came to mind, minus the well-grade tequila, thankfully.

Back in the DCV

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Quivira Winery.

The Dry Creek Valley that is. Whenever I open a wine from one of the wineries we visited on our honeymoon, it makes me very happy. Especially when that wine is consistently one I love. Quivira has been one of my favorite wineries since our first visit back in 2006. We’ve been club members since 2006 too, so we’re always enjoying Quivira wines. Tonight we opened the 2007 Quivira Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. It clocked in at 14.9% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for $20 from the winery.

On the nose I found chocolate, black cherry, plums, spice, pepper, cranberry, vanilla, and cream. I loved the nose on this one. Yum. In the mouth I got cranberry, black cherry, spice, pepper, plums, and berries. I found the wine to be quite dark with a smooth finish. I think this would have been great with the herbed parmesan rack of lamb I made a couple weeks ago…

Pay Homage

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Quivira Winery.

And I’ve previously reviewed this wine as I’m a club member at Quivira and it arrived in a club shipment 2 years ago. I reviewed this wine a year and a half ago. Honestly, I don’t think my notes could be any different. Which is why I am reviewing this again. You can read the first review here. When last I reviewed this, it was fairly recently in the bottle. The wine is the 2006 Quivira Hommage a Ampuis Syrah. It had a real cork, retails for $36, and clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume. The thing about this wine is that it’s actually fermented with Viognier skins. The first time I drank this, shortly after it was bottled, that was readily apparent. Blind I would have called it Viognier. That’s mostly gone now with the Syrah really shining through.

On the nose I found pepper, black cherry, cherry pie, plum, violets, earth, spice, smoked bacon, and smoke. The only hint I found of the Viognier was that the nose had a flowery, perfumey quality that I associate with Viognier. In the mouth I got black cherry, black plums, violets, berries, and blue fruit. The mouthfeel was fantastic with well integrated tannins and juicy full fruits. I really enjoyed this wine again, even though it was entirely different from the first time I drank it.

Mourvedre My Darling, Mourvedre

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Quivira Winery

I feel like that commercial for hair club for men…I’m not only the founder, I’m a client too…I’ve been a member of the Quivira Wine Club for going on 4 years now. I have tons of their wines in my basement. I usually tend to sit on the reds for a bit though, so I’m happy to have a chance to taste them earlier through sampling so I can decide what more to order for myself and how long to hold my own bottles.  Now, I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Mouredre, Monastrell, Mataro, whatever you want to call it.  One of my favorite “obscure” grapes.  Tonight I pulled the 2006 Quivira Mourvedre from the basement, thinking it might work well with a pot roast I had made.  I’m guessing this retails for around $30….I know I paid $27 for the one I got in a club shipment, it had a real cork closure and clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume.  It appears this vintage received a score of 89 from Wine Enthusiast, so I’m going to go ahead and cross post this blog over on the 89 Project.

On the nose I found campfire smoke…I love that smell in wine, black fruit, blackberry, boysenberry, cedar, vanilla, chocolate, spice, and herbs.  It had that dark brooding nose I love in wine. In the mouth, more black fruit with black cherry thrown in, blackberry, herbs, chocolate and pepper, also some tart raspberries lurking in the background.  The wine had nice tannins that will see it through a few years, though we really enjoyed it now with our pot roast!

Rerun Review

I reviewed this same wine nearly 2 years ago and at the time said I’d try to hang onto it for a few years to see what it would do.  Wow, if my notes from two years ago are accurate, this is now a totally different and aged wine. I loved it before and I love it now, but my note could not be more different! You can read my original review here.  I’m talking about the 2005 Quivira Mourvedre.  The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, and I think it cost me around $24 in a club shipment quite some time ago.

On the nose I first noted the aroma of chocolate syrup. I liked it, but less than 5 minutes later I found it completely gone and replaced with bittersweet chocolate, raspberries, spice, pepper, mulberry, strawberry, black tea, dried violets, caramel, a dark herbal note, and black berry lurking in the background.  Totally different from two years ago when my notes centered around dark bramble fruit!  In the mouth I got tart red fruit, raspberries, strawberries, black cherry, chocolate covered cherries, spice, anise, and some dark fresh blackberries on the finish.  Although it’s a completely different wine 2 years later, I still love all that it has to offer.

Complete Sauvignon Blanc

My bottle graveyard on the coffee table.

Back when I first joined the Quivira wine club, they made a delightful Sauvignon Blanc that retailed for around $13. It wasn’t oaked, and it was a perfect weekday wine.  I wrote a review on it a few months after starting Wannabe Wino Wine Blog.  Then, I didn’t get any other Sauvignon Blanc from them until last year’s fall shipment. And to my surprise, they’d switched to an oaked Sauvignon Blanc. Now, inherently, there’s nothing wrong with oaked I just prefer the unoaked kind.  Now that I visit their website, it seems they do still make the the unoaked version, it apparently just doesn’t come in the club shipments. Pity too, for $10 less a bottle and no oak, I think I’d like that better.  In any case, the wine for the evening was the 2007 Quivira Sauvignon Blanc Complete. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, and retails for $28.

On the nose I found lemon verbena, mint, vanilla mint, melon, pear, and vanilla cream.  In the mouth I found the wine to be smooth and round and the oak was nicely integrated.  I got flavors of cream, pear, lots of melon, vanilla, pineapple, and lemon. The wine had a great mouthfeel, and with the slight oaky characteristics, would probably do well in place of a Chardonnay with a roast chicken.

Now to get my hands on some of the unoaked version.  I should have a side by side tasting of the two wines…I have another bottle of the Complete in the basement!

Same Wine, New Vintage

I previously reviewed the 2005 Quivira Grenache here, about a year and a half ago. I absolutely adored it, so when 2 bottles of the 2006 arrived in my latest club shipment I danced for joy! The 2006 Quivira Grenache from Wine Creek Ranch clocks in at 15.9% alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure, and cost me $26 in my club shipment. Oddly enough, when we drank the 2005, my parents were also here visiting!

On the nose I found ground nutmeg, anise, blueberries, black cherries, chocolate milk, vanilla ,spice, earth, perfumed flowers, and slight banana.  In the mouth I got flavors of chocolate, red fruit, raspberries, cherries, and the crumble on top of apple crisp. It tasted like black cherry pie with vanilla cream in a glass.

Overall, the wine showed as light and delicious in the mouth, with tart fruit, and a gorgeous, seductive nose. Once again, I absolutely adored this wine, but I think it could use some more time in the bottle. I have 2 more bottles in the basement, so I think I’ll just tuck the away for another year or so. Check back in then for an updated review! ;)

It smelled like Viognier


The wine was a 2006 Quivira “Hommage A Ampuis” Syrah. The wine hails from the Dry Creek Valley (please go see Dr. Deb’s excellent rant on the value of multiple varietals from the DCV), clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, and cost me $36 minus a club discount in my club shipment. The notable part about the winemaking technique of this bottle is that the Syrah juice was fermented on Viognier skins (this also makes me wonder if Quivira has a Viognier they’ve been holding out on!).

And the oddest part was the it smelled like Viognier. If I were doing a blind tasting and hasn’t yet actually tasted this wine, I would have said “Viognier!” and been very confident in that proclamation (except for maybe the slightest hint of dark berries, that would have thrown me for a minutes, but I still would have said “Viognier”). The nose was floral, with pears, violets, honeysuckle, and just a suggestion of dark berries. My notes helpfully say “How very odd.”

The color of the wine was dark purple, like any other Syrah. So I was expecting it to be big and chewy like a Syrah despite its time spent playing with Viognier skins. Instead, this was a much lighter and delicate red wine on the front of the palate. It showed blackberries, blueberries, spice, cinnamon, and black cherry.

My first glass was tannic on the back of the palate. The wine needed air or time or both to loosen up. I have a second bottle of this in the basement and I will hold it for another year or so to see if the time in the bottle will help the wine integrate a bit more. This is the first Syrah I’ve had that involves Viognier, though I’ve seen/read about some that contain upwards of 5% Viognier juice. I think I’d like to get my hands on one of those and see how it compares to this one that simply fermented on the Viognier skins.

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