Happy New Year!

Just a quick post to wish you and yours a happy and healthy 2009!

Enjoy the evening, I hope everyone is drinking something excellent!



Bargain Pinot Noir

I chose the 2006 Le Jardin de Charlotte Becky Wasserman & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir as the wine for the evening.  I purchased this from Domaine547 several months ago for $17.99.  It clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume and had a Diam closure.

On the nose I found vanilla cream, tart berries, leather, cedar, earth, spice, and black cherries.  In the mouth I got flavors of raspberry, black cherry, more red fruit, red cherries, a little earth, and spice.  I found the fruit to be tart and fresh, with the mouth showing darker than I anticipated from the mouth.

At $17.99, this is an excellent deal for a Pinot Noir. Especially with the holidays upon us, I’m looking for great wine at a great price to serve with all the guests coming over and stopping by throughout the season.  This one certainly fits the bill.


Albariño is Excellent!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from WineQ because I am Beta Club member.

It’s been quite a while since I had an Albariño and that’s a shame, since it’s a great grape, and is wonderful as a substitute for situations in which I would normally choose a Sauvignon Blanc. WineQ helped get me back on the Albariño train, and I’m going to start trying to seek them out again. I chose the 2007 Bokisch Albariño Clement Hills Vineyard to go with our omelets! It clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, hails from Lodi, and you can purchase it for $15.99 from WineQ. (I’m finding the Bokisch wines to be absolutely excellent values so far!)

On the nose I found pineapple, cream, tropical fruit, apple, and pear. I was surprised by how aromatic this wine was, the fruit just jumped out of the glass. In the mouth, I got apple, tropical fruit, apricot, and peach. I found the wine to be crisp, dry, and refreshing. It actually worked really well with our omelets, a surprise to me!

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! 😉

Checking Another Grape Off

On election night, Loweeel and I were chilling, drinking a lot of wine, and eating a bunch of ribs. He brought over this Tofanelli 2000 Charbono so that I could gain another grape on my Century Club application. We saved the tiniest bit for Matt for when he finally got home so he wouldn’t miss out on his chance to taste it! The wine hailed from Napa, clocked in at 14.3% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure. Many thanks to Loweeel for sharing!

On the nose I got anise, almost a hint of eucalyptus, wild berries, red berries, blackberries, spice, toast, and something kinda nutty. In the mouth I found a hint of something meaty, fresh tart berries, sweet spice, cinnamon, pepper, and nuts.  The wine was wild…animal like and it worked fabulously well with the beef short ribs I made.  I’m always up for the surprise of a new grape, and I thought this one was just fabulous!

Kick Ass Kick Ranch

By happy coincidence, WineQ has started carrying some of the awesome wines made from Kick Ranch Vineyards grapes, some of the same ones I got to taste at the Wine Blogger Conference. Brittany of WineQ gave me this bottle in September when I was out in San Francisco for work! The wine is the 2006 Carica Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc. The wine clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume and can be purchased from WineQ for $20.99.

On the nose I found lemon grass, meyer lemon, grass, grapefruit, and more citrus. This wine was all citrus, all the way! And just because I love all my readers, I actually went out recently and ate a Meyer lemon just so I would finally be able to have a reference point for a commonly used wine descriptor! I’ll tell you more about where I got that lemon in a later post! In the mouth, grapefruit, citrus, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit, fig, and kiwi showed in the mouth.

At first in the mouth, all I could taste was grapefruit and citrus, but that soon gave way to a mouthful of tropical fruit! I found the wine to be crisp and dry, with great acidity and structure.  The had some minerality and great fruit. I really enjoyed this bottle of wine! I served it with a dinner that I actually really like, and took pictures of, but the pictures make it look disgusting. I made chicken breasts stuffed with bacon and cream cheese and finished with a sauce of chicken stock, cream cheese, and drippings. Great food, and an excellent match with the wine, but I won’t share the pictures!

As Close to a Cabin as I Get

Mauritson 1I chose the 2005 Mauritson Rockpile Jack’s Cabin Vineyard Zinfandel to drink tonight.  Mauritson recently began offering a slew of Rockpile Vineyard single vineyard designate wines.  I believe they now produce 4 vineyard designate Zins, a Petite Sirah, a Syrah, and couple of red blends all from teh various vineyards in Rockpile.  The wine clocked in at 15.5% alochol by volume, had a real cork closure, and cost me $27 in a club shipment.

On the nose I found bramble fruit, blackberries, pie, spice, dark fruit, vanilla, cream, raspberries, and black cherries. I loved the nose on this Zinfandel, it just jumped out of the glass and smelled scrumptious.  In the mouth I got plums, black ad red berries, black cherries, chocolate, pie, vanilla, and licorice.

Overall, this is the kind of Zinfandel I love. The fruit showed quite fresh and the wine was fruit forward. It had tannins to spare, so I’d say this one could hang out for a couple of years if you want to sit on your bottles. I think I’ve got one left, so I’ll try to hang onto it for a year or two and I’ll let you know how it’s doing!

However You Pronounce it….

It still tastes good! And as I learned recently, lots of people have trouble pronouncing Viognier. Hint: it’s not pronounced Vee-og-on-er.  Second hint: the “g” is silent.  🙂  This version is the 2006 Twisted Oak Viognier. It cost me $21.99 in a WineQ shipment, clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

On the nose I smelled orange creamsicle, oak, toast, vanilla, cream, pineapple, and ginger.  The ginger struck me the most, it smelled as if someone had ground fresh ginger right into my wine.  In the mouth I got flavors of apple, pear, spiced peach, pineapple, and lemon cream. Sorta like the filling in a lemon danish from a family bakery…not the stuff in Hostess pies.

Overall, the wine showed as spicy and crisp.  It’s amazing to me what a difference it makes to have an oaked Viognier versus and unoaked one.  I love both types, but it’s certainly a completely different wine when it’s oaked. I think the oaked version would do really well with my Thanksgiving dinner.

*I seem to have misplaced the pictures I took of this bottle….

Bits and Bobbles

First, Tim from Cheap Wine Ratings has the WBW #52 round up posted. (Okay, he has for a few weeks already, but I’m a little slow, and wanted to wait until I had the next WBW news to post!  Looks like some great participation this month (I hosted last December, so I feel for Tim in trying to get people to turn out around the holidays!) and quite a few cheap and cheerful Value Chilean Reds to check out.  You can read the full round up here. wbw-new2

Second, the theme for WBW #53 is up!  Our host this month will be El Jefe over at Twisted Oak.  Jefe has set us to the task of selecting a breakfast wine, with the them “Wine for Breakfast.”  And, the caveats are you can’t go for the obvious-Rose, Sparkling, no dessert wine, nor any mixed wine drink like a Mimosa.  Think outside the box!  Jefe says we can go full out and drink with our breakfast (I think I’ll have to pass…) or have breakfast for dinner!  We love a good omlette for dinner in our house…but we always have a Rose with it!  Send your entry into Jefe by Jan. 14.  You can check out all the details here.

Third!  Press for Wannabe Wino!  I haven’t been able to see this month’s Wine Mutineer Magazine yet, but I hear my blog is in there as a wine blog you should be reading!  Pretty darn cool! I connected with the Wine Mutineer folks at the Wine Blogger Conference on the 2nd night’s dinner (dear lord, people who are my friends, why do you let me talk to the press after I’ve spent the afternoon drinking by the pool??) and gave a short interview about my blog!

And finally, I’m on Wine Biz Radio!  Again, why my friends didn’t stop me from talking to Randy and Kaz DIRECTLY after I’d spent 4+ hours drinking by the pool, I have no idea, but I sound surprisingly coherent (if a bit rambling) and I talk about the blog, Virginia wine and wineries, and the decision made by the VA legislature to strip the right to self distribute from our local wineries. You can listen to the whole episode, which features lots of other GREAT bloggers too, right here.

So, that’s all the news that’s fit to print here!

Dark as Night

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Humanitas so I could participate in Twitter Taste Live.

Up last for the evening of Twitter Taste Live was the 2006 Humanitas Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles.  It clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume, had a fake cork closure, and can be purchased for $20.  A word to the wise: While this is an excellent wine, it really needs some time in a decanter. Probably a good two hours or more.  I had our bottle open for about 3 hours before we tasted it, but not decanted, and it really wasn’t opening up.  We stuck the cork in and saved it for the next night, and it definitely did better, but you could tell the flavors were still tight.  So decant, decant, decant!

As the title suggests, this wine showed dark as night in the glass, completely inky, and letting no light through at all!  On the nose I found pepper, orange rind, lilac, berries, black berries, black currants, lots of spice, duty cocoa, earth, forest floor, nutmet, and blueberry. The wine had quite the enticing nose.  In the mouth I got blueberry, blackberry, plum, spice, earth, leather, anise, black cherry, and chocolate.

Overall, the wine had tannins to spare. It would be great with a grilled steak, as the tannins would marry nicely with the fat in the meat.  At $20, this is an excellent value, and could hold its own well against much pricier Cabs.