Eau de Kitty Kat

*Disclaimer: I received these wines as samples from St. Supery to participate in the St. Supery Twitter Taste Live.

Last weekend I participated in the St. Supery Twitter Taste live, where I tasted 4 wines from St. Supery at the same time as other winos across the country and tweeted my notes as I did so.  I believe it was the most successful TTL yet, with reports of over 700 tweets being written over the course of the hourish long tasting.  That’s a whole lot of twittering fools! First up for the evening, we tasted the 2008 St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc. It had a plastic cork, clocked in at 13.3% alcohol by volume, and can be found for around $18 online.

The kitty kat jumped out of my glass. Before I even poured this into my glass, I smelled that kitty from a mile away. Now, some people are turned off by what is inelegantly called the aroma of cat pee….but it doesn’t really bother me. If it bothers you, this isn’t the wine for you.  My next note: this wine smells like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It’s grassy, with citrus, gooseberries, grapefruit, lime, and tropical notes.  In the mouth I got grapefruit, grass, gooseberries, lemon, lime, and just a whole moutful of citrus.  I loved it. I found the wine to be crisp, refreshing, tart, and tangy.

What’s In Your Folio?

View from the porch.

View from the porch.

Our very first stop on our last day of our most recent California trip took us to Folio Winemakers.  Now, I was only familiar with Folio through their tweets, but Thea of course had been there many times.  I’m trying to come up with a sentence about Thea getting around that doesn’t sound insulting, but I’m failing miserably, lol. Folio Winemakers is the newest (I think) endeavor from Michael Mondavi…yes those Mondavis.  Folio houses several wine companies, and a visit allows you to taste through the lot if you’d like.  The day we visited, a special event was going on, so many of the winemakers were on hand, making our visit extrodinarily cool.  Some day, I’d like to return and park myself in one of the chairs on the back porch with a glass of wine and enjoy the lovey view of the vineyards.

2008 Oberon Sauvignon Blanc: Lime zest, orange, tropical notes, grassy, citrus, pineapple, minerality, peach, lime.

2007 Spellbound Chardonnay: Buttery, apple skins, ripe peach, cream, oak, spice, apple.

2008 IM “Isabel Mondavi” Deep Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon: Watermelon, cranberry, white pepper, pomegrante, orange edges, green peppers, bright aroma, dry, red currant, red cherry.

2007 Hangtime Pinot Noir: Spiced, smoke, cedar, red berries, cranberry, bright, tart red fruit, red berries, red cherries, tart.

2006 IM Willamette Pinot Noir: Smoky, black pepper, red cherries, earth, violets, darker in the mouth, cherries, tart, a little sharp.

2006 Mayro Murdick Pinot Noir: Carneros. Earth, forest, vanilla cream, smoke, cedar, red fruit, red berries, red cherries, red currants, spice, tannins.  Really liked this one.

2005 Oberon Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon: Nice red nose, with some vanilla bean, cream, red berries, red fruit, tannins, spice, tea.

2006 Emblem Oso Cabernet Sauvignon: Smoky, black fruit, black plums, herbs, herbal, chocolate, black cherry, smooth, really bright fruit, tannins.

2006 Emblem Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon: Black cherry, black plum, pepper, spice, chewy, licorice, blackberry, black fruit, tannins.

2006 Salvia Tieria Cabernet Sauvignon: Dried black cherry, black fruit, nice structure, pepper, blackberries, dark, nice fruit, acidity, anise, herbs, long finish.

2006 Medusa Creekside Old Vine Napa Zinfandel: Boysenberry, spicy, pomegrante, smooth, redder fruit, nice structure, red fruit.

2006 Medusa Hoodoo Creek Zinfandel: Pepper, cedar, cranberry, black cherry, spicy, black plum, really peppery.

2005 Hangtime Mounts Vineyard Syrah: Black cherry, black fruit, black plum, some vanilla, nice fruit, a bit tannic, really well done. We took one home.

2008 Obernon Moscato: Pineapple, honey, apricot, honeysuckle, very nice, orange, blossoms, ripe peach fruit.
Somehow, I can’t find the photos of anything but the vines that I took!

Spy This!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Spy Valley Wines.

Lots of Spy Valley wines being consumed around the Wannabe Wino house these last couple of weeks. After this one, I still have a Gewurztraminer and a Pinot Noir to taste and tell you about.  Overall, I’m really enjoying the Spy Valley line, the stand out for me so far has been the Sauvignon Blanc, but I would buy any of the ones I’ve tasted.  Tonight we tried the 2007 Spy Valley Pinot Gris. It had a screw cap closure, looks to retail for around $15, and clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume. That’s another nice thing about the Spy Valley line–relatively low alcohol levels overall compared to the wines I usually drink.

On the nose I found lemon zest, lemon grass, white flowers, very faint golden delicious apple, faint pear, melon, and some tropical notes.  In the mouth I got spice, white pepper, tropical fruit, star fruit, melon, a crisper apple, and a spicy kick on the end.  The fruit in the mouth showed bigger than I expected based on the nose, but it also had a spice characteristic throughout that lent the wine some depth.  We enjoyed this bottle.

At the Circus

I have no idea why, but the bottles from the Garsa line from Solomon Wine Company always make me think of a circus. Perhaps it’s the bright label colors and designs or the pink wine in this bottle, but whatever the case may be, I think circus.  We plucked a bottle of the 2006 Garsa Rosado de Sangiovese from our basement the other night.  I purchased this when I visited Murphys, California last October. I can’t remember the price and I don’t see it on the website, but I want to say it was around $14-$15?  It had a real cork closure and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume.  We enjoyed it after dinner while rocking in our new Adirondack chairs that we picked up on our TN vacation. Oh yes, I said rocking. And on our front porch no less. We’re positioning ourselves to become crotchety old folks who yell about the damn kids in the street 😉

On the nose I found strawberry, cherry, black cherry, a hint of cedar, raspberry, and black cherry candy like the blowpops they used to make, though I’m not sure they have that flavor any longer….I haven’t had one in years.  In the mouth, the cedar on the nose seemed to follow through with spice, pepper, raspberry, currants, black cherry, cherry, and other red fruit.  The wine showed as crisp with nice structure, and served the warm evening well.

It had a nice nose

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Michel Schlumberger.

We’ve been drinking our way through Michel Schlumberger’s second label, Petanque.  Tonight I grabbed the 2007 Petanque Sauvignon Blanc to drink with the grilled Cod I made.  The Petanque line is designed to be easy drinking backyard wines to enjoy with friends over a lawn bowling game.  The Sauvignon Blanc retails for $12.95, has a plastic cork closure, and clocks in at 13.8% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found lime, spice, tropical notes, white flowers, pineapple, orange blossom, melon, and molasses. (That last note was a bit odd.)  I liked the nose…I thought it promised good things in the mouth. In the mouth I got melon, lime, peach, and a general sense of overripe citrus.  The mouth seemed to fall off and it wasn’t crisp like I expected from the nose.

Announcing WBW #60: I Have Zinned

Many Happy Returns to Wine Blogging Wednesday! This August, when I get the honor and pleasure of hosting for the second time, is the 5th birthday of WBW! Lenn of Lenndevours deserves some huge credit for starting the tradition 60 months ago.  That’s older than most wine blogs around today, so for it to have survived the comings and wbwlogogoings of original participants, the proliferation of wine blogs and wine social networks, and everything else that’s changed in the last five years is a testament to how many wine lovers enjoy this event every month.

In case you are new to the world of wine blogs, WBW is a once monthly event where a host blogger (that’d be me) sets a theme and bloggers and wine enthusiasts from around the world choose a wine to meet the theme.  The host then rounds up the posts in some fashion so everyone can discover some new blogs and visit with old friends to see their takes on the theme.

Zin fangirls (and guys), Zin Freaks, and even those of you who aren’t so sure about Zin, get ready! The theme for this 5th birthday of WBW is “I Have Zinned.”  Nothing too crazy there. It’s summer and I’m not sure about the rest of you, but we are grilling and BBQing almost every night here at the Wannabe Wino household.  Zinfandel is my absolute favorite wine to pair with grilled foods and bbq, so in honor of the height of grilling season, I’m asking everyone to pull out a Zinfandel, throw something on the grill (or the Foreman or in a pan if you don’t have either), and tell me about your favorite grilled or BBQ’d food and how it goes with Zinfandel.

The deadline to submit is August 12th.  You can leave a comment here or shoot me an email at ctsonadora@gmail.com with a link to your blog post. As always, if you don’t have a blog and would like to play along, send me an email with your write up and I’ll toss it up as post here. I’m hoping for some record participation for the 5th Birthday event, so don’t let me down!

Boys and girls, get Zinning!

A Repeat Winner

I must sound like a broken record with this wine. Here’s the review of the 2007. And the 2006.  But really, it is my absolutely favorite Michel Schlumberger wine year to year. Of course….I don’t drink the Cabernet Sauvignon in my club shipments because I’m gathering a 10 year vertical to serve….well, it will have to be in a few years because I currently have 1998 through 2005. I’m almost there.  Don’t you want to be my friend when I pop that open? Totally off point though. I picked the 2008 Michel Schlumberger Pinot Blanc to drink this evening. I’d been ITCHING to open it since it arrived in one of my recent club shipments.  The Pinot Blanc sports a real cork closure, clocks in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and I believe it retails for $21, though I got it in a club shipment and every M-S club shipment is $50 regardless of what’s in the box.

On the nose of the Pinot Blanc I found sweet ripe pear, white peach, white pepper, a hint of honey, spice, lemon, honeysuckle, and white flowers.  I liked this wine so much last year that I put it in the Summer Sipper Wine Blog Pack I helped design for Jill.  In the mouth the wine showed lemon, peach, honey, ripe pear, ripe apple, melon, and a little essence of apple cider.  Overall, it’s crisp, light, and consistently delivers a bottle of wine that I love.

Sorting It Out

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Sort This Out Cellars.

I’ve been friends on Twitter with stoc, or really Felicia, the personality behind STOC, which stands for “Sort This Out Cellars” for quite some time.  Recently she tweeted about taking STOC on the road, and I wondered if they would be coming to Virginia, alas, no, but Felicia offered to send me my own personal “road show” to taste.  Among the wines was the 2006 Sort This Out Cellas Viva Las Vegas California White Wine.  Viva Las Vegas White retails for $15, has a cork closure, and clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found honeysuckle, white flowers, orange zest, golden delicious apple, lemon, pepper, and pear.  In the mouth I got spice, pepper, apple, crisp pear, lemon, white pepper, orange, orange zest, and tangerine.  I like the finish on this one. It struck me as clean and zippy. The Viva Las Vegas would make a great wine to enjoy poolside on a hot day.

Lawn Bowling. Kind of. And Wine.

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Michel Schlumberger.

Michel Schlumberger recently released a new second label called Petanque. Petanque is a French game that I sorta equate with Bocce. A little different I guess, but I’m not quite so sure since I’ve never played! But the idea behind the line is that they are wines you’d enjoy while playing a leisurely game with friends. Nothing to ponder, just something to drink while hanging out.  We tried the 2006 Petanque Syrah the other night with bacon blue cheese burgers. It retails for $12.95 a bottle, has a plastic cork, and clocks in at 14.4% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found spicy plums, blackberries, chocolate, pepper, black currants, and oak.  In the mouth I got plums, blackberry, black fruit, raspberry, spice, and pepper, along with a good dose of oak.  It went fabulously with the burgers, the oak seemed to do well with the grilled food.  We served the second bottle this weekend with bbq ribs and chicken and it was gone in an instant!

Spies in the House

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Spy Valley Winery

Spy Valley makes some excellent QPR wines. I’ve been really pleased with everything I’ve tried so far from the line. I’m looking forward to tasting the Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir that I still have left.  I’m not sure if the Riesling is available in the US as I don’t see it for sale online.  The 2008 Spy Valley Riesling clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, has a screw cap closure, and looks to retail for around $20.

On the nose i found lemon, spice, white pepper, white flowers, wet stone, and peach.  In the mouth I found peach, pear, lemon, orange, honey tones, stones, and lime on the finish.  The wine was crisp and a really nice effort.  I enjoyed it with grilled chicken marinated in Italian spices, probably not the best match, but it worked.