Reading My Mind

*Disclaimer: The owner of Branford Wine and Spirits gave this wine to my dad for me to try. I’m not sure that even counts as a sample but whatever, here’s the disclosure.

Jay of Branford Wine & Spirits must have been reading my mind when he picked out this bottle to give to my dad for my visit. I have really just been in such a Sauvigon Blanc mood lately and fresh off the Wines of Argentina Twitter Taste Lives, I was happy to try yet another Argentinian Sauvignon Blanc. We opened the 2007 Altosur Sauvignon Blanc after dinner. It had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, and I see it retails for around $11.

On the nose I got grapefruit, flowers, banana, lemon, and tart citrus.  In the mouth more citrus, lemon, grapefruit, spice, and tropical notes. While the wine was crisp, I find the style to be different than New Zealand and it would probably appeal to those who think New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is too tart.



Albariño Albariño Albariño

Say that 10 times fast! Here’s another grape I don’t drink much of unless I seek it out. And I should. I really like Albariños and find it makes a good mate for the light seafood dishes I enjoy so much in the warmer months. However, I always find myself gravitating towards Sauvignon Blanc. Anyway, I pulled out the 2007 Licia Albariño from the box my dad and I got at the Madison Wine Exchange. It had a real cork, clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume and I believe it ran us about $15.

On the nose I got flowers, peach, nectarine, honey, pear, and citrus notes. In the mouth I found lemon, white peach, pear, orange, more citrus, and stone fruits. The wine had nice acidity and I found it to be crisp. W drank this on its own, but as I said, it would be nice with some grilled white fish in the summer.


Back in Sauvignon Blanc

This week white wine has been my fancy. I’ve opened several Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, and Sauvingon Blancs. No idea why I’m on a white wine kick, but there you have it. Tonight I have more Sauvignon Blanc to open as well as another Gewurz. We’ve been up visiting my parents all week and I can’t resist the wine shop that’s just a couple blocks from their house. Though it didn’t have any Gruner and I really wanted a Gruner the other night. Instead I popped open a bottle of 2008 Starborough Sauvignon Blanc. It had a screw cap closure and my dad bought it for about $11 at Branford Wine and Spirits.


On the nose I got passion fruit, lime, slight green pepper notes, white pepper, and tropical aromas. In the mouth I found more tropical fruit, citrus, spice, passion fruit, and lime.  A good bet if you’re craving a typical tart New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!


Yummy Pinot Noir

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Rodney Strong.

I’ve been on a real Pinot Noir kick lately. I don’t know what’s gotten into me since I’m such a Zin freak usually and I love big heavy reds as the weather turns cold. But when I find myself in the basement hunting for the wine for that evening in the last few nights, I’ve gone straight for the Pinot. I was especially interested to try this 2007 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Davis Bynum sold to Rodney Strong in the summer of 2007. So this would be the first year produced under the name for the Rodney Strong brand. Matt and I actually visited Davis Bynum in 2006 on our honeymoon…it was the only winery we didn’t buy wine at on that trip. We very much liked the wines, but the staff in the tasting room was indifferent to our presence. And it was the only winery we had stopped at that entire day. They also wanted an absurd amount of money to ship to VA. So we left without buying anything. I wanted to see how the wines were faring under Rodney Strong’s stewardship and I must say I am happy to report they are excellent. The 2007 Russian River had a real cork closure and retails for $35.

On the nose I got spice, cherries, earth, red fruit, herbs, strawberries, chocolate, and just the slightest hint of cherry Coke.  In the mouth I found baking chocolate, red fruit cherries, strawberries, herbs, spice, tea, raspberry, and juicy red fruit.  Overall, this had a fantastic long finish, nice tart fruit, and great structure and acidity. We really enjoyed this bottle of wine and I would highly recommend it.


Gobble Gobble!

I hope all those celebrating today enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Getting French on you

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Roberts Fine Wines.

I felt like something jut a bit different the other night, so I pulled the 2006 Domaine La Combe Blanche Minervois La Liviniere La Chandeliere from a sample box. An online store, Roberts Fine Wines sent me a couple of bottles from their selection. They carry only small production French wines and the La Chadeliere had a pressed cork, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $24.  The wine is a blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache. (Mmmmm, Grenache….)

On the nose I got black cherry, blackberries, black fruit, black currants, pepper, spice, crushed violets, cedar, and chocolate.  In the mouth I found black cherry, currants, leather, spice, tart red berries, spice, and pepper.  I thought the wine had great acidity and nice tannins. I think I’d serve this with one of my lamb dishes as a substitute for a full on Syrah, just for something a bit different.  I always think that I need to expand on my wine experiences and try more French wines, though at the moment my wine budget is all tied up in my wine clubs!

Milliarium Pinot Noir

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Milliarium Cellars.

I felt like a Pinot Noir the other night, and we don’t have much of that in our own collection, so I pulled the 2007 Milliarium Split Rock Vineyard Pinot Noir from a sample box. It clocked in around 14% alcohol by volume (I neglected to record it!), had a real cork closure and retails for $46. Milliarium Cellars (which I unfortunately misspelled when I first wrote this review and am now correcting as well as adding information since I can now find the website….) is owned by John Zielinski. John, it appears, like many of us, was bit hard by the wine bug and combined his love of science with his love of wine and created Milliarium Cellars. Milliarium Cellars currently produces 2 Pinot Noirs, the Split Rock and the La Encantada which I will review in the net few weeks for you!

On the nose I found Dr. Pepper, pepper, earth, cherry, cola, spice, and raspberry.  In the mouth I got cherry, raspberry, spice, black cherry, and pepper. Overall the wine displayed fresh fruit, a long finish,  and nice acidity. We drank it with meatloaf….not the most graceful pairing, but it was fine! I’d like a bottle for my upcoming holiday feasts and parties as so many of my friends and family enjoy Pinot Noir.

Charming My Darling, Charming

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Folio Winemakers.

I decided I would really love some Gruner Veltliner for Thanksgiving. And I wish it could be either of the Laurenz V. Gruners that I’ve tried in the last few weeks. Alas, I am visiting my folks for the holidays and the wine shop near their house only had one Gruner on the shelf and it was rockgut. Not what I  was going for.  Oh well, at least I have the memory of the 2006 Layrnz V. Charming Gruner Veltliner to keep me going. (PS-the person in the wine shop told me Gruner isn’t very popular…so is it really just popular with Sommeliers? Because I see it stores at home as well as all over restaurant wine lists….) Anywho. The Laurenz V. clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and retails for $24.99.

On the nose I got lemongrass, pineapple, tropical notes, peach, and green beans.  In the mouth I found white peach, white pepper, tropical notes, pineapple, and nectarine.  I found the wine to be round up front with nice acidity on the finish.  It felt fuller/lusher than the other Laurenz V. I tried a couple weeks ago.  I served this with Matt’s signature dish: Gruyere/bacon quiche and it was a fantastic match. I’d recommend both Laurenz V. Gruners that I tried, though for bang for you buck I’d highly recommend the Laurenz . and Sophia Gruner I tried earlier this month.


Review Part Deux

I used this wine as my entry for Wine Blogging Wednesday this month, but felt it also deserved a full review since I liked it so much. I chose the 2006 Wertzberger Syrah as my “Wine Muse” for this month’s meeting of the internet winos. I’ve met Bill Wertzberger a couple times now out at Teldeschi winery where he is the assistant winemaker. He also makes his own wines there, tiny itty bitty little lots ranging from about 25 cases to about 50 cases of each kind.  I’ve long pined after his Grenache (which is finally in bottle, half a case of which is resting in my basement!) and he suggested I might enjoy his Syrah as well, so I purchased a bottle for around $25 on one of my recent CA trips. The 2006 Werztberger Syrah clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume and had a plastic closure.

On the nose I found the wine to be floral.  I got aromas of chocolate, violets, spice, vanilla beans, plums, and pepper. I wrote in my notes that it “smelled purple” and “perfumey,” almost exotic with spices and crushed flower notes.  In the mouth I found red fruit, raspberries, strawberries, black cherries, spice, and slight hints of chocolate.  The wine seemed so smooth to me that I wrote down it was like liquid velvet with a fresh red fruit kick on the finish.  Overall, just a great bottle of wine.



Red Red Wine

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Wines of Chile in order to participate in the online Wines of Chile tasting.

The 2nd wine I tasted after almost 3 weeks of no wine! Yay for wine! Don’t you worry, I’m making up for lost time and am back to my regularly scheduled tasting (drinking). The 2nd wine I picked out of the box of 8 Carmeneres was the 2008 Viña la Rosa La Capitana Carmenere. It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $20.

On the nose I got berries, cocoa powder, bramble fruit, toffee, smoke, nutmeg, earth, spice, pepper, currants, and some green notes. I wrote in my notes that the wine smelled like Thanksgiving. The mouth was tight and seemed simpler than the nose.  I found black cherry, black currants, plums, blackberries, spice, and pepper.  I really wanted a steak with this wine!