Try this Wine.

I loved it. An overall fabulous bottle of wine, it had it all. An amazing nose, flavorful in the mouth, excellent structure and acidity, good tannins, I could go on….

The wine was a 2005 Quivira Grenache 2005 from Wine Creek Ranch Vineyard. It cost us $20.40 in a club shipment, clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. I’ve always liked Quivira and this is easily among the top wines I’ve tasted from them.

On the nose I found dark fruit. It was actually surprisingly floral overall. I specifically detected blackberries, strawberries, black currants, vanilla, and spice. This was a very aromatic wine.

In the mouth I would describe this wine as round, smooth, and full-bodied. Again, the dark fruit showed through, with slightly sweet strawberries and blackberries being the most prominent flavors. Overall this was a very dark wine.

I served it with homemade bruschetta and pizza and it was a fabulous match. A great pizza wine in my opinion!


On the Ridge

Although our weather has been admittedly hot, we have had a cool(er) streak for the last week. I jumped at the chance to dig into some more of my red wines to mix things up around here a bit. I try my best to drink a variety of wines to report on for everyone!

The bottle I picked was a 2004 Ridge York Creek Zinfandel. We picked this bottle up on our April trip out to the Sonoma are when we visited the winery. The bottle cost $28, had a real cork closure, and contained 13% Petite Sirah.

On the nose I found the elements of a great dessert. Vanilla, chocolate and blueberries dominated, with a hint of anise rounding out the aroma. In mouth the wine was silky smooth; the bottle disappeared before I knew it. I got blackberries, blueberries, and a peppery kick. Overall the fruit tasted very fresh.

I served it with a perfect summer meal: burgers on the grill, pasta salad, and potato salad. This seemed like a very food friendly Zinfandel. I’ve got another bottle clanging around and I look forward to drinking it.

Not a great picture, but a great wine!

I just could not get the lighting for this picture to come out. I tried lights on, lights off, flash on, flash off, lights dimmed….then I finally just gave up because I really wanted to drink the wine.

The wine was a 2006 St. Martin Reserve Sauvginon Blanc from the France Vin de Pays d’Oc. It weighed in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, cost me $6.49 at Total Wine and had a screw-top closure I believe. We drank this late one evening when it was far too hot to go to bed and a cold glass of wine sounded divine.

The nose of the wine was floral with peaches and melons. I would also describe the aroma as being crisp and fresh. In the mouth I found melon and oranges. The wine had great acidity and balance and was perfect for the intolerable heat of the evening. I would definitely seek this one out again, the value for the cost was excellent.

Getting Higher

Sheesh, the wine of the evening clocked in at 16.1% alcohol by volume! I almost didn’t serve it with dinner because we had to go to work the next day and I was a bit leery over the alcohol content. But being the good wino that I am, and for the sake of the blog, of course, I pressed on and found this to be an excellent bottle of wine.

The wine was a 2005 Felta Creek De la Montanya Zinfandel that came in a club shipment, had a real cork closure and cost $20.80.

On the nose I found blackberries, spice, black currants, and old leather. Yes, old worn in leather. In the mouth there were peppery spices, blackberries, black cherries, and plums.

The wine had a spicy kick which almost completely disappeared after an hour sitting out. Overall, this was rounder than most Zinfandels I have had, and despite the high alcohol content, really not overwhelming. The fruits were actually smooth and soft and the wine had excellent flavors after being allowed to sit out.

I served this one with a steak on the grill, and the match was pretty good given the peppery spices in the wine!

Rhoneing Around Again

Apparently I’ve been delving into the Rhone varietals lately, and here is yet another one. The wine was a bottle of Chateau de Nages, Appellation Costieres de Nimes Controlee, Reserve 2005 White Rhone Wine. The blend was 60% Grenache and 40% Roussanne. The wine weighed in at 14.5% alcohol by volume (high for a white!), had a plastic cork and cost me $7.99 at Total Wine.

On the nose I found honey and apricot and I would call the overall aroma sweet. Which oddly contrasted with the flavor in the mouth with I would overall describe as spicy. Go figure. I found lemons and oranges in the mouth and the wine tasted slightly oaked, but I can’t find any information on what kind of fermentation this bottle went through.

Overall, my impression was “eh.” The wine was NMS.

Crowing about the Q Wines

This post marks my very last bottle from my last WineQ shipment. I now have to wait until Septemberish to order more my from Q, given the hot weather here. Any wine would fry in an instant traveling to our humid, heat-induced haze. Well, at least I closed the shipping season off with a bang!

Our last bottle of Q wine was a Croze Rose from the Suisun Valley, Napa, California. It weighs in at 13.75% alcohol by volume, cost us $13.99 (free shipping!) and I believe had a real cork closure.

This was an entirely Cabernet Sauvignon-based Rose, which I believe to be a new one for me! As I hope you can tell from the picture, the color of this wine was stunning and so pretty.

One the nose I found strawberries. I would also call the nose light and slightly sweet, with a distinctly fresh scent. In the mouth, the wine was fresh and lively with strawberries and watermelon. The wine was incredibly refreshing and perfect in out 100+ degree weather. I really enjoyed the way this wine played on the palate. Overall, it tasted a bit like a very light and fruity cabernet!

I served the wine with parmesan breadcrumb-baked tilapia, green beans and 4 cheese risotto. It was a great match for the risotto, easily cutting through the creamy flavors, and at the same time, did not overwhelm the light flavors of the tilapia. I would certainly put this wine in my Q again.

Fruit of the Sea

Or “Mer” as the case is with this bottle. My French isn’t fabulous, as in, not very good at all, but I do know that word…close enough to the Spanish “Mar,” a language I speak well enough, for me to recognize it!

I bought this wine for $6.99 on my second trip ever to Total Wine. The wine is Cler’ Blanc “Special Fruits de Mer” Vine de Table Francais. Besides that, it says “Sauvion-Le Cleray-Vallet L.A. France, was 11.5% alcohol by volume and had a plastic cork.

On the nose I found pear, melon, and lemon. It was a very light wine, with a bit of minerally undertone. In the mouth there were flavors of pear and peach with good minerality. Overall, the wine was crisp and dry, I would probably serve it as an apertif were I to get it again.

I served the wine with cedar-planked salmon, broccoli, and wild rice, but I prefer my previous recommendation of Pinot Noir with Salmon. The pairing just works better for me. Alas, as I know from personal experience, and confirmed by a recent Pinot Noir round-up over on Good Wine Under $20, the cost of Pinot Noir is certainly not making it’s way into budget friendly territory any time soon.

7 months later

I’m starting to go back now and taste some wines that I tried 7-8 months ago and have more of in my collection to see how they are coming along. The bottle we drank this time was a 2004 Hop Kiln Old Windmill Zinfandel, weighing in at 14.2% alcohol by volume, having a real cork closure and costing us $20 at the winery.

We last tasted Dec. 7, 2006, so it’s been 7 + months for this one to sit in my cellar and age. Last time I said let it hang around for a while longer to let the alcohol dissipate.

While the heavy alcohol scent was not nearly as apparent this time, the flavors in the glass were still wound tight and needs to sit out before they unwind to be distinguishable beyond “dark fruit.”

After a bit, I found currants, raisins, dark cherry, spices, cloves, and leather on the nose. In the mouth I was getting
cherries, black currants, and spices. The wine is still slightly tannic, but a lot smoother than the last time. I think I have another bottle or 2 left, I’ll definitely set those aside for at least another 6 months.

I served this with oven-baked chicken, broccoli and 3 cheese risotto, but again I am of the opinion that it would be better with a steak. I just didn’t have any steak hanging around! Also, the wine didn’t show the big blackberry and raspberry flavors I have come to expect from many California Zinfandels. Instead, it reminded me a bit more of a blend with Cabernet Sauvignon. Maybe my taste buds are going wacky.

Not so happy

I wanted to take a minute and let everyone know that my work has now filtered all blogs with a “typepad” or “” url. So now I can no longer even read blogs on my lunch break, including responding to comments on my own blog.

I can also no longer post my reviews at lunch, which was when I found the largest number of readers seem to come through here. My blogging strategy has always been that I write up posts as Matt and I are drinking the wine, I save the post, and then publish it at lunch-time.

I’m trying to figure out how blog reading and writing are going to fit into my day now. Does anyone have an opinion on whether I publish posts around 6:45 am est or around 8 pm est?


Crab and Roussanne

I swear we eat things other than crab legs and pizza. I know you can’t tell that right now, but I am really just behind in getting up posts. A virus infected my work computer so I have had no internet access during the day as I am sans computer at the moment and just haven’t been able to catch up on getting posts up!

We drank this 2005 Marry Me Roussanne by Roshambo with a dinner of snow crab leg clusters with fresh lemon and butter. (I will admit, this is one our favorite summertime dinners!) The wine came in a club shipment, had a real cork closure, weighed in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, and cost us $12.00.

On the nose I found lemon, honeysuckle, something tropical, pear, and white flowers. The nose was very aromatic. In the mouth the wine tastes a bit like a slightly heavy unoaked chardonnay, though it was a bit tart. Flavors displayed in the mouth were pear, honey, and apricots.

I thought this was a good effort from Roshambo and for the price point was a very good value. I also like trying new varietals, so that made my day as well.