Run and Get It. Now.

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

No, seriously, why are you still reading instead of going to go get some of this wine? Perhaps the humidity is on my brain, but I can’t think of anything better to drink the DC swamp than the 2013 Cornerstone Corallina Rose of Syrah. In fact, I did just so yesterday. Twice. Once at Rhone Rangers and then a bottle over dinner last night. The Corallina retails for $25 and sports a screw cap.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) It has acid, structure, and great fruit.

2.) 90 degrees and humid yesterday. Chilled down and drinking it on the porch, I could almost forget about the weather.

3.) I love a Rose of Syrah as the Syrah tends to lend body to the wine.

4.) For all the Rose naysayers, try this and you will be a convert.

On the nose I found strawberry, raspberry, cherry, stone fruit, and lime. The palate reflected the nose perfectly. The racy acidity balanced nicely with just a hint of a fuller note on the finish.

 

 

Poser? No, Pousseur.

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Theoretically it is spring here in the DC area. Given today’s weather with a high of 61 and cold rain, I remain unconvinced. However, I am taking the opportunity to work my way through some of the red wines still lurking in the basement. Tonight I chose the 2010 Bonny Doon Le Pousseur Syrah which has a screw cap closure, clocks in at 12.8% alcohol by volume, and the current 2012 vintage retails for $26. I can’t find the photo I took of this wine.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Pass the lamb please.

2.) We had this with sausages, which also worked, but I really wanted some grilled lamb.

3.) Lots of complexity in the wine at this price point.

4.) The wine had an incredibly long and lingering finish.

 

On the nose I got plums, pencil lead, spice, and meat. In the mouth I found cocoa, plum, berries, blue fruit, spice and a finish full of lingering dusty cocoa covered blueberries. I kept imagining myself sipping this on an early September night around a campfire.

 

What wine goes with a furlough?

 

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the importer, F. Wildman and Sons.

Especially a furlough happening in 80+ degree October? Something cheap and cheerful, cheap being the most operative word in that sentence. I’m on my fourth day of furlough and thought I’d dig around for something that isn’t a budget buster and is a pretty tasty quaffer as well.  No need to resort to drinking swill when there are plenty of bargains to be had out there in the sub $10 range. Today I chose the 2012 Marc Roman Rose. It’s a rose of Syrah, has a screw cap closure, clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume, and is on sale online for only $7.99.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) For the same price (or even a little less depending on your market) as a critter wine, you can instead have this delicate and interesting rose. Get this.

2.) In general, looking for wines with an F. Wildman import label has served me fairly well. I love their selections overall and they seem to do a pretty decent job with QPR.

3.) Rose, which I tend to drink in spades in the summer months, also makes an excellent foil for the upcoming heavier holiday foods season.

4.) My photos definitely don’t capture it, but the rose in the bottle has the prettiest pale pink color.

 

On the nose of the wine I found raspberry, cherry, white flowers, and apricot.  The wine had a really floral and delicate nose.  In the mouth I got cherry, raspberry, and lime. I took two notes about the acid on the palate, which evidently, I thought was well done. It’s really the acidity on rose that holds it together for me, minus that you end up with an often cloying, flabby wine….which I’ve had my fair share of over the years. Put out the Marc Roman Rose with your stuffing and sweet potatoes and you’ll have a happy crowd.

 

 

 

Syrah Kind of Day

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

We had a cold cold week in the DC area last week and I was digging red wines. I wrestled the 2008 Bonny Doon Bien Nacido Syrah from it’s comfortable resting place in the cellar and dragged it upstairs to pair with some good old fashioned meatloaf.  Seems like comfort food and red wine make it just a little cold out. Especially when your heating system decided to give out for the second time in the winter and you needed to seek alternate sources of warmth. The Bonny Doon Syrah sports a screw cap closure, clocks in at 13.9% alcohol by volume, and retails for $42.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The Bien Nacido has  a nose you can get lost in.

2.) I’d recommend decanting the Bien Nacido and letting it get some serious air. It kept getting better and better with time in the glass.

3.) I think, given how the wine developed in the glass, combined with the acidity and tannins, the Bien Nacido could easily age for quite some time.

4.) Meatloaf was good, but next time I’d go with my rosemary/mint/mustard/breadcrumb crusted rack of lamb.

 

On the nose I found spice, cedar chest, cinnamon, baking spice, the aroma of Christmas, (pine tree, spices, cookies), espresso, pepper, cherry, and raspberry.  I would have kept sniffing at the wine, but I was afraid to lose my second glass to Matt if I didn’t move on to the palate.  In the mouth I found meat, black cherry, leather, spice, raspberry, plum, pepper, earth, and more black fruit.  Overall, the wine had great structure and acidity and seemed alive in the glass to me.

 

Stepping Up to Rose

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Cornerstone Cellars.

Today turned out to be a gorgeous day in the nation’s capital, so it seemed a perfect time to bust out some Rose. I plucked the 2010 Cornerstone Stepping Stone Corallina Rose from it’s resting place in the basement to join us on the back porch for some afternoon sipping. The Corallina Rose retails for $18, has a real cork closure, clocks in at 13.9% alcohol by volume, and is made from 100% Syrah.

1.) If you like your Rose with acid to spare, this one is for you.

2.) The palate mimicked the nose perfectly in this wine.

3.) The Stepping Stone line from Cornerstone is pumping out some great wines, my fav is the Cabernet Franc.

4.) We just stopped by Cornerstone on our latest Napa trip, look for that post soon.

On the nose and in the mouth I got lime, raspberry, cherry, strawberry and spice. The red fruits smelled delicious coupled with the racy acidity on this Rose. Pair with BBQ this summer for a great treat.

 

WBW #71 Rhones Not from the Rhone

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Hahn Family Wines.

Rejoice! Wine Blogging Wednesday is back! I missed it so. Though, admittedly, I totally missed the first reincarnation last month…having average about 4 hours of sleep a night and dealing with a fussy newborn, wine was not much happening! But I’m in for this month’s edition hosted by my friend Tim of Wine Cast. He’s chosen Rhones Not from the Rhone as this month’s theme. I must say, I am very partial to the Rhone varietals. Viognier, Grenache, Mourvedre, ets., are some of my very favorite wines. Oh, and Syrah! Who can forget a good Syrah. And some of the ones I love the most hail from outside the Rhone. A cool climate Syrah from CA is a lovely pleasure!

For this WBW, I chose a wine that represents 3 Rhone grapes. I know Tim asked us to look beyond the normal Grenache and Syrah, but with little spare time, this is my best effort these days.  I think I get a disposition given I have an 11 week old.  My wine is the 2009 Hahn GSM. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. It’s composed of 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, and 3% Mourvedre. Yum. It had a Diam closure and clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume. I’m not sure what it retails for as it was a pretty limited release from Hahn Family Wines and I believe it is sold out. You should definitely keep an eye for the next vintage of this from Hahn. They were trying a few different wines this year, including a Grenache Blanc!

On the nose I got strawberry, spice, cedar, baking spices, cinnamon, pepper, cherry, and bacon fat. I could really smell the influence of the Syrah on the nose of the wine, though the Grenache clearly also contributed. I think the Mourvedre showed up more on the palate.  In the mouth I found strawberry, red cherry, spice, blackberry, black cherry, and earth. I found the wine to have nice acidity and structure with good tannins on the finish. Overall the fruit showed as juicy and fresh. I enjoyed this wine very much.
Many thanks to Tim for hosting and I think I got my entry done in time! As always, a tip of the hat to Lenndevours, over at the New York Cork Report, our founding father.

More Party Wine

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Gallo Family Wines

As you might be able to tell, I’m a tad behind on reviewing wines. If you follow the wine blogosphere, you will see that most other wine bloggers reviewed this wine in August or there about.  So I’m tardy to the party, but that’s ok, I’m bringing a wine that will make another great party bottle. Often, I have folks ask me to recommend a “sweet” red wine. Well…ok. Red wine, in general, is not really sweet, unless you’re talking some of those dessert wines with raspberry or chocolate essences infused. Red wine has varying levels of dryness. This wine, the 2008 Apothic Red, is sweet in the sense that it is less dry than other red wines, and would likely be great for the “I don’t like red wine crowd.” Which generally, and with its price, makes is perfect for a party where you have a mix of folks and are going to be serving lots of bottles. The Apothic Red will fit the people looking for a “sweeter” red and there are lots of other options for folks who have a taste for drier reds. The Apothic Red clocked in at 13.1% alcohol by volume, has a MSRP of $14, but is available for around $9, had a real cork closure, and is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Merlot.

So here’s where the “sweet” showed up to me right away. On the nose. A snoutful of chocolate syrup, jammy berries, blackberry syrup, blueberry pie, and vanilla. My notes say “really very sweet nose” and “overwhelming chocolate syrup.” Not so much my thing, but like I said, for the “sweet” red wine folks, this is what you are looking for.  In the mouth I got blueberry, blackberry, a chocolate syrup aftertaste, jammy black fruit, and an overall sense of pie.  Basically, if you took slices of blackberry and blueberry pie, blended them together with chocolate syrup, and put it in a glass, this is what the Apothic Red smells and tastes like.

 

Making Trouble

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Produced by Hope Family Wine, the Westside Red Troublemaker is a blend of three vintages of wine, the 2007, 2008, and 2009. On first sniff I said “Syrah!,” and later upon examining the promotional materials that accompanied the wine I found that it is indeed dominated by Syrah, being a blend of 53% Syrah, 37% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache. The wine hails from Paso Robles, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for $20. We enjoyed this with a steak, but I think I’d have it with my homemade pizza next time.

On the nose I found plums, blackberries, black fruit, herbs, mint, pepper, chocolate, a meaty note (hi Syrah!), and spice.  In the mouth I got black cherry, plum, blackberries, spice, and pepper. Overall I found the wine to be juicy with some tannins and nice acidity which is why I think it would do well up against a pizza with tomato sauce. I’m always looking for good pizza wines, and this one seems to fit the bill well with vibrant juicy fruits and enough spice to carry it through.

 

 

Stepping Up

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Cornerstone Cellars.

What better way to celebrate the winter than with a nice hearty red? I can’t really think of one. Especially when it’s Syrah. I love Syrah. And I really enjoy finding new ones to savor, which is exactly what I got in this bottle of 2008 Stepping Stone Syrah by Cornerstone Cellars. And the price can’t be beat for a good bottle of Syrah. At $20 a bottle, this is a steal. Hailing from Napa, the wine had a real cork closure and clocked in at 14.9% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found violets, fresh plums, black cherries, cedar, flowers, and a spicy perfume aroma. Lucky for Matt I was just tasting and spitting at this point, or else this might have been one of those cases where I snapped at him for drinking more than his share while I was still lost in the nose of the wine.  In the mouth I got black cherry, black plums, earthy notes, red raspberries, and some spice.  The palate showed mostly juicy tart cherries for me though all the fruit tasted fresh picked.  A great little bottle of wine from a winery that continues to impress me.

 

 

 

Grenache Syrah Mour…

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from F. Wildman.

Strike that. This wine is not a typical GSM blend. It’s missing the M, the Mourvedre. The 2007 Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallele 45 from the Cotes du Rhone is 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $10, though I see it floating around on sale for $9. For $9-$10 this is a great bargain wine.

On the nose I got cherry, real tart bright red cherries, plum, raspberry, pepper, spice, and something that reminded me of a wood-burning fire in the fireplace. I was struck by how aromatic this glass of wine was.  In the mouth I got the same fruits as the nose, though they also tended toward being a bit darker with black cherry and black plum floating around.  I also found spice and pepper and overall the fruit showed as tart and fresh with good acidity and tannins holding this little bottle of wine together.  A definite buy at the price point.

 

 

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