Hanging around the Domaine

*Disclaimer: I received this wine in a sample pack from Domaine547 for my review.

Domine 547 that is.

The wine was a 2003 Vinas del Cenit Tempranillo, Castilla y Leon, Spain. Specifically from Vino de la Tierra de Zamora. The bottle had a real cork closure and is available from Domaine 547 for $19.99. Matt tossed the bottle before I could record the alcohol content, sorry folks. It’s actually made from 100% Tempranillo grapes, which might be a first for me, many have something else blended in!

On the nose the wine was smoky with blackberries and black currants being the predominant fruits that showed through. The blackberry was big and jumped out of the glass. I also found spices, espresso, and bitter chocolate. The nose was very complex and once again Matt tried to steal the wine away from me! In the mouth the wine was silky. Blackberries, black cherries, anise, dark chocolate, and coffee came through in the flavor of the wine.

The smokiness of the wine was very unique. It was apparent in both the mouth and nose and added a very intriguing element to the the wine. Although the wine is drinking beautifully now, I think it could still have some time in the cellar and be even better. At such a low price from Domaine 547, this is an excellent bargain, especially since I see it selling elsewhere around the internet for anywhere from $30-$50!!

For the second time in recent memory I felt like I should be wearing a smoking jacket while drinking this wine, making deals in a back room. It was dark with lots of depth. And it just so happened that I was actually wearing the sweater that I refer to as my smoking jacket the night we drank this bottle! So I made Matt take a picture of me for you, the only thing missing is my computer which he made me put down for the picture.

Alliteration Anyone?

I crack myself up sometimes (and yes, I laugh at myself frequently…hey, at least I’m amusing someone….). But really, the was the first thought I had at the producer name “Frank Family.” The wine of the evening was a 2005 Frank Family Chardonnay. This bottle was a gift from my dear friend Lindsay who very kindly sent me some wine for my birthday and tells me that this is her favorite Chardonnay ever.

The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, and and had a really cool bottle with the picture printed right on the bottle….I’m not sure my photography skills can do it justice. The bottle hails from Calistoga, CA.

On the nose I found vanilla spice, apples, toffee and oak. The aroma was nice and intriguing and I had to keep my nose in there for a while before I finally realized it was toffee I was smelling (toffee a.) isn’t something I smell anywhere very often and b.) isn’t something I’ve found in wine before). In the mouth I found slightly buttery apples, pears, and minerals.

Overall the wine was smooth and creamy. It made for some very easy drinking. I preferred it on it’s own as opposed to with the dinner I prepared. I made a very creamy dish I call chicken roll-ups, and I think the cream needed a more acidic wine to cut through it. The wine got a thumbs up from both Matt and I on it’s own after dinner.

Thanks Linds! 🙂

Touring Tuesday #5

Our final stop on our summer tour of Northern Virginia wineries found us at Village Winery. Village Winery is a fairly new addition to Virginia Wine country, being founded in 2005. They offer very small production wines that are all made without the help of any machinery. The tasting room is housed in a small part of a larger barn structure, as they are currently restoring the old, larger barn.

The tasting room is simple and fairly unadorned, with a small tasting bar at one end. My brother in law and sister in law were on our trip to Village and it was here they found their favorite wine of the trip. Some of the photos are courtesy of my sister in law!

Apple Wine: $12. Apple cider, crisp, sweet but not cloying. Matt, his brother, and our sister in law’s favorite wine at Village. We took home two bottles, they took home one.

Viognier: $17. Peach, topical fruit, and odd sour/sweet note.

Cabernet Franc Rose: $15. Not sweet at all, very different, a bit medicinal. NMS.

Merlot: $17. Chocolate, raspberry, leather, light, nice body. A very good red effort. My favorite of the day, we took home one bottle.

Merlot Cabernet Franc Blend: $18. This wine also has Petite Verdot mixed in. Raspberry, blackberry, spicy, fairly light bodied. A good VA red.

Cabernet Franc: $17. All I got on this one was barnyard. It was recently bottled, I think it had bottle shock.

Elderberry Wine: $15. Sweet aroma, dark berries, very rich.

We met this camera-shy goat and his friend who didn’t want to be in my picture on the way out! (And yes, I am the shorty of the family. Also, my brother in law felt that you all needed to see me in action, hence the picture of me taking notes!)

All in all, a very nice stop in a beautiful setting in Virginia. The scenery is one of my favorite parts about visiting VA wine country, especially on a beautiful summer day!

WBW #39 Silver Burgundy

Brooklynguy, aka Neil, is our host for this upcoming WBW! And, in keeping with his specialty, the theme is Silver Burgundy. By Silver Burgundy he is referring to the Côte Chalonnaise or the Mâconnais.

Neil has lots of information posted that will be extremely helpful as I search for a bottle as Burgundy is not a region I am at all familiar with. You can find all the details here. Send the link for your write-up to Neil by November 14 or your write-up if you don’t have a blog and would like to participate! I look forward to trying something new again this month!

Also, be sure to head on over to Catavino for the round-up of WBW #38 Portuguese Table Wines. Ryan and Gabriella made an excellent map depicting all the regions from which we drank wine this month!

Hope to see everyone over at Brooklynguy’s Wine and Food Blog next month!

Not a good photo, but a good wine!

Apparently I need to take the camera away from Matt. I occasionally ask him to take a picture of the wine for me because he is opening it and pouring it and I am curled on the couch and too lazy to move. This is latest result, see my birthday post for what was supposed to be a picture of the cake…..

The wine was 2006 Doukenie Sauvignon Blanc that we picked up on our visit to Doukenie this summer. It cost us $16.20, had a real cork closure and clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume. The wine was finished in neutral barrels.

Overall, the wine was light and crisp. It showed grass and tropical fruit on the nose. In the mouth the wine was very tropical, with pears and a crisp finish. This was my favorite from our visit to Doukenie. I normally don’t care for a Sauvignon Blanc that has seen oak, but I do really like this bottle. I think it’s the first Sauvignon Blanc I’ve seen from a VA winery and I’m fairly impressed!

FAQ Answers

I’ve been receiving more email than is usual around here, and many of the emails are asking similar questions, so I thought I’d finally sit down and address them in a more formal manner.

1.) Do you get paid to write about various websites/companies/etc?

No, I do not receive a dime for writing this blog, it’s done in my free time for fun, my own education, and the amusement and education of those who happen upon my little world.

2.) What is your policy on receiving wine samples?

I am happy to accept samples. Please email me so we can discuss details. I advise you that reviews will be objective and I will disclose to my readers that I received the bottle as a sample from whomever sent it.

3.) Can I write a post for your blog about an item I am trying to sell?

The simple answer is no. I am happy to review said item if you wish to send it to me, but I will not post your review of your own item.

4.) Will you advertise xyz for me?

No. At this time I do not wish to have advertisements on my blog.

5.) Why don’t you rate wines?

I prefer to let my descriptions do the talking and I hope that if you read a few of my reviews you will soon be able to see what language I use to describe my enthusiasm for a particular wine.
6.) Where can I buy a bottle of 2005 Voulet (with an oomlat on the “u”) Antichi Giochi Piemontesi, Casorzo?

I purchased this bottle at the Curious Grape in Shirlington, VA. They do not ship outside of VA. I also noticed lately that UnWined in Alexandria, VA has bottles by the same producer, though I did not see the identical bottle, it suggests that they might be able to procure it for you if you would like.

7.) Where do you get your wine?

I purchase 95% of my wine. The other 5% is samples and gifts from my friends. I buy my wine at a variety of local wine shops, through WineQ and through a multitude of winery clubs that I belong to. I try my best to inform you of where I got a specific bottle.

8.) Have you ever had bottle xyz?

Generally, if you haven’t seen a review of it here, the answer is probably no since there is so much wine out there. If you want to see me review a particular bottle (keeping in mind that I am generally not willing to spend more then $20 on a bottle from a producer with whom I am not familiar), please suggest it and I will do my best to hunt it down.

9.) What does NMS mean?

It stands for “not my style.”

I hope that helps, and please let me know if there is anything else you are dying to know about the blog or me.

Weekend Round-Up

At UnWined in Alexandria (home of my WBW Portuguese wine!) you will find a special event NEXT Sunday, October 21 from 3-5. Stop in to taste the wines of Cantine Grotta de Sole.

Tonight at Out of Site Wines in Vienna you will find a tasting of 2004 Possums Shiraz from 5-8 pm. Now who doesn’t want a wine with the same name a snarling rodent with large teeth? It’s from Australia, so maybe Edward has heard of it?

Tomorrow at Out of Site, stop by for a tasting of selections from a new distributor, Nice Legs. The company features boutique wineries of the Pacific Northwest and will be pouring 4 selections two of which are from Walla Walla! Catie would be proud.

Tonight at Arrowine in Arlington from 5:30-7:30, sip a selection of wines poured by Bill Mckenney of Michael Downey Selections. I’ve got nothing creative to say about this.

Tomorrow at Arrowine, 2 tastings from 1-4! You will find all of the selections from October’s grapes of Spain being poured. Albarino, Verdejo, Monastrell, oh my! Around a dozen selections! Ryan and Gabriella over at Catavino will scold you if you don’t go. You will also find Dionysos pouring a selection of their wines.

Finally, a big event in Reston this weekend. Festa Vino 2007. Food, wine, entertainment, crafts. Looks like many VA wineries are participating as well as importers of Italian wine. Around 50 wines will be poured. $25 at the door gets you the tasting and your take home glass.

Back in the Q

After a LONG summer hiatus (and really, I probably should have held off given that the weather has still been in the 90s here) I am finally receiving wines from WineQ again! I am very very excited to be trying new wines that I have seen advertised all summer on WineQ and excited simply to have something different to drink!

I put this bottle of 2006 Croze Sauvignon Blanc at top billing in my Q pretty much as soon as it was announced on the site. I had tried the Croze Rose back in July from my last WineQ shipment and really enjoyed it. I’m actually considering it as a Thanksgiving wine! So it was a no-brainer to add the Sauvignon Blanc.

The wine cost $17.99 (free shipping!), was 13.0% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. It hails from the Monte Lago Vineyards in Lake County.

On the nose I found grapefruit, a sweet tropical fruit note, and pineapple. A very enticing aroma and it made me want to jump right in…especially given our weather….seriously, 90+ in October?? In the mouth the wine was light and crisp. The fruits were tropical, with pineapple, citrus, and peach showing through.

We drank this on its own but I would definitely pair it with my crab legs when I get another bottle. I’m glad to be back on my Q with such a success in my first bottle of the shipping season!

WBW #38 Portuguese Table Wine

Ryan and Gabriella of Catavino set us to task as the hosts of WBW #38 this month to drink a Portuguese table wine. We were to avoid Port for sure, and if we could, choose a wine that was not a Vinho Verde or from the Duoro region of Portugal. To me that is a mighty assignment, as I was soon to discover while I traipsed all over my corner of VA in desperate search of something different! I *believe* I’ve only ever consumed one wine, to my knowledge, from Portugal, and that was a Vinho Verde, with which I was very much underwhelmed. So it was with that in mind that I looked high and low, feeling a bit like Goldilocks as I said “No, that’s Vinho Verde. No that’s from Duoro.” Until, finally, on Monday I got to say, “Yes! That one is just right!”

My find was made at UnWined, oddly enough where I also found my first (and only) Vinho Verde. The bottle I chose, out of the 3 they had that weren’t Port, Vinho Verde, or from Duoro, was a 2002 Qunita da Mimosa Red Wine. I don’t think you can get much more “Table Wine” like than a “Red Wine.” It hails from the Fernando Po Zone of the Palmela DOC. The wine is made of Castelao grapes, known locally as the Periquita grape. The wine cost me $16.99, had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume. I chose it for a couple reasons, one is very superficial, in that it had a purple label and my favorite color is purple, and the other being that it was the last lonely bottle of its kind hanging out on the shelf and I felt bad for it. I have never claimed to be logical in my wine selections!

On the nose I found tart cherries and a bit of alcohol with a slight medicinal note at first. That blew off fairly quickly to reveal a wine with a lot going on in the aroma. I got sour cherries, red fruit, currants, and pie spices. I will be thankful that Matt went upstairs to read and left me with the bottle or I think the rest of the bottle would have been gone before I tore my nose away from the glass! In the mouth, lots of flavors burst through. I found tart tart cherries (and yes, I mean really tart), red berries, blackberries, and a slight sour note. Overall the wine was a bit tannic, but that faded as my glass set out. The fruit in my glass was very pronounced and fresh. I definitely recommend this bottle.

Thanks to Ryan and Gabriella for hosting and for getting me, once again, to try something completely different!

Touring Tuesday #4

Our next stop in VA wine country found us at Corcoran Vineyards, formerly Waterford Vineyards (another big company that came after a little winery in VA for the name they were using…ya know, in case they ever wanted to expand into the wine business…..). Moving on though, Corcoran was a delightful place to visit. This was one of our stops when we went tasting with my brother in law and sister in law.

Unfortunately, the ceiling was a bit low in the tasting room, as it seems to be in a very old home, low ceilings are common around these parts. My brother in law and husband barely fit in and both had to duck to get in and out the door. Our tasting host was very welcoming and knew a lot about the wines she was pouring, and also a lot about beer festivals! Corcoran was pouring 4 wines the day we visited.
2005 Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay: $18. Pear, apple, sweet tropical fruit, crisp overall, yum! My favorite of the day, we took home a bottle.

2005 Cabernet Franc: $18. Raspberry, cherry, leather, tannic.

2005 Meritage: $24. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Barnyard funk, raspberry, cherry, tannic.

2006 Seyval Blanc: $12. 4% residual sugar. Orange blossons, citrus, sweet, with a crisp finish, nice mouthfeel. Matt’s favorite, we took home a bottle.

A quick stop along a very windy road, but worth the trouble to find. Friendly people, gorgeous setting and tasty wine. Who could ask for more?