Spring is Cold

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Wines of Chile.

Well, the first day of spring passed and it’s still really cold.  Spring my rear end…it’s still 40 out!  I’m hoping that when we get back from Sonoma it will be nice and warm and I will be justified in drinking all these crisp white wines I love!  I chose the 2008 Carmen Reserva Sauvignon Blanc from the Casablanca Valley in Chile to drink last night.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $10.

On the nose I found gooseberries, grapefruit, citrus, lemon, slight vanilla, and sharp grass.  From the nose, I would honestly have picked this one as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc if I hadn’t known it came from Chile.  In the mouth I got flavors of lemon, lime, grapefruit, tropical notes, grass, and lots of citrus.  Overall, I found the wine to be very refreshing with great acidity.  Nicely done for $10.

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Really Nothing to Do With Wine

Except maybe if I can tenuously make some connection between organic farming and conservation and save the planet and all that jazz.  But I wanted to share anyway because I just think this is SO COOL.

A couple weeks ago, on our drive to work, which takes us along a lengthy stretch of the Potomac River on the Virginia side, we started to notice a crowd gathering with telephoto lens cameras on the side of the road, and that the Park Service had cordoned off an area where police cars used to lay in wait for commuters.  A few days later I was able to drive by slowly enough that I could look and see a giant nest up in a tree about 40 feet in from the side of the road.

Well, as it turns out, we saw the inhabitants the other day…..BALD EAGLES!!! Two of them, a mating pair I’d guess, nesting on the banks of the Potomac!!!!  How freaking cool is that?  I so hope I’ll be able to see the Eaglets in the near future.  But regardless…there are WILD Bald Eagles nesting in the DC area.  It gives me a thrill and I grin from ear to ear every day now when I see them perched up there, guarding their nest.
Just wanted to share!

Riding Mustangs

Have I mentioned before how much I love the wines from Coral Mustang?  I think I have, 😉 , but just in case, I’ll say it again…I love these wines!!!  The Rose is amazing and the Tempranillo is divine.  Tonight I chose the 2004 Coral Mustang Tempranillo to sip with my lamb and mashed taters.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and I believe it cost me $22 from WineQ, but they are sold out, so I can’t be sure.

I first noted how dark the wine appeared in the glass.  On the nose I found berries, spice, wood, earth, black cherry, vanilla, and pie.  In my notes, I described the nose as “yummy.”  The wine tasted fabulous.  I almost didn’t want to take notes because I got so wrapped up in drinking the wine!  I got flavors of blackberries, black cherries, black plums, spice, earth, herbs, smoky notes, and almost a hint of raspberries.  The fruit tasted like it just got picked off a bush and crushed into my glass.  This is a wine you would remiss to not have a chance to taste….the 2005 is wonderful too!

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The Great White Yonder

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.  Our annual pilgrimage to the Sonoma area.  This will be our 4th trip as a couple and it never gets old!  I wish we could just stay and never come home.  Having only made our first visit in 2006, by the end of this visit we will have spent a total of 20 days in the area…with me having a few more spent on my own! Not bad given we live in Virginia.

For a twist, we are going to go to Napa for 2 days to taste and visit with some folks who have kindly offered to show us around. I’ve only been to Napa once, and enjoyed my visit to Titus…thinking we’ll go back there so Matt can enjoy it too!  That should be Saturday with Thea and ending up with up at Lisa’s for dinner.  We also have a full day planned with some lovely hosts I’m looking forward to meeting on Friday.

As far as the Sonoma part goes, I’ve got so many people I want to see and so many places I want to take Matt…I’m just not going to be able to fit them all in, sadly.  That’s ok though, gives me an excuse to go back! We’ll be stopping in to see some old favorites (hopefully Coffaro, Teldeschi, Mounts, and Michel Schlumberger) and making some new friends over at Mill Creek.  I’d also love to be able to go taste with Penny of Coral Mustang (eek, I need more hours in the day!!) and Patrick of Iridesse will be escorting us around on our first afternoon in town!

Matt seems to think this is work…but really, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do on my vacation!  Plus, I humor him and go on ski trips, so he gets to humor me and my wine tasting!  What do you think?  Anything else I just MUST do that I’m missing?

Viognier On My Mind

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR folks for Wine of Chile.

Viognier.  I love it.  And I find it to be truly underrated/underappreciated.  People don’t seem to talk about it much, but that’s okay with me, more for me to drink and enjoy.  Actually, shush, maybe we shouldn’t talk about here either…wouldn’t want it to get all popular and such 😉  I chose the 2008 Casa Silva Viognier from the Colchagua Valley in Chile for tonight.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and looks to retail for somewhere between $16-$20.

This wine had a beautiful nose.  It smelled of honeysuckle, apricot, peach, stone fruit, honey, spice, orange blossom, and flowers.  In the mouth I found lemon pith, apricot, peach, orange, and flowers.  Overall, the wine showed as crisp and lean in the mouth with nice acidity and lovely fruit.

Curses, Foiled Again!

I thought I had a new grape here.  Major disappointment on my part to learn that Monastrell is simply Spanish for Mouvedre, a grape I love and have already tasted many times.  So I guess I’ll just have to keep searching for my Century Club application…these last few grapes just aren’t coming quickly!  Anyway, I chose the 2006 Juan Gil Monastrell to drink with the cheese dinner we had the other night .  The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and cost me (I think) $18 from Domaine547.

On the nose I found chocolate, wood, licorice, spice, smoky campfire, herbs, and cranberry.  The nose had this amazing and intriguing campfire smell.  In the mouth I got flavors of dark fruit, blueberries, cranberries, licorice, and smoke.  This wine was ready to drink with smooth fruit, good acidity, and nice structure.  Definitely a bargain at the price point!

Chardonnay From New York!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Macari Vineyards.

It’s not terribly often I get a chance to taste wines from New York.  Though I frequently read about them over at Lenn’s place.  So when the Macari family contacted me to see if I would like to sample one of their wines, I jumped at the opportunity.  Shortly thereafter, the 2007 Macari Reserve Barrel Fermented Chardonnay arrived on my doorstep.  The wine hails from the North Fork of Long Island, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for $22.99.

On the nose I found pear, apple, honeyed apriot, butterscotch, cream, peach, and tropical notes.  I really enjoyed the nose on the wine.  In the mouth I got flavors of apple, pear, white peach, lemon, and some spice.  I thought the wine had just the right amount of crispness and acidity and I found the oak influence added nice structure.