The Kitchen Sink

Well, not really, but close. Actually, David Coffaro does make another blend that might as well be called the kitchen sink since it contains a little bit of every wine they produce. This one, on the other hand, is a field blend, the 2007 David Coffaro Block 4. David Coffaro has some of those cool old vineyards where lots of different varieties are planted all together. This particular Block 5 field blend contains 50% Zinfandel, 25% Petite Sirah, 9% Carignan, 8% Syrah, and 8% Peloursin. It clocked in at 15.6% alcohol by volume, and like all Coffaro’s wines, it had a screw cap closure. I bought this in a an order of futures, so I’m going to venture to guess I paid around $12-$14 for it. (I say it year in and year out, but ordering futures from David Coffaro is one of the most economical ways for me to get some really good wines into my basement.)

On the nose I got blackberry, blueberry, milk chocolate, cinnamon, pepper, and an herbal note. In the mouth, more blueberry, spice, blackberry, cinnamon, pepper, cranberry, and other dark fruit. The palate had a great spicyness too it along with being juicy juicy juicy. This one went down really easily.



*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample to participate in a Taste Live Event.

Yikes. Sometimes I find these reviews of wines I drank a month or two ago and think, eek, why did it take me so long to publish this?? In early March? or late February? I participated in the Patz and Hall Taste Live event.  We tasted through a few of their currents releases and a pre-release (at the time…) of their 2008 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay which was to be released in March. It had a real cork closure clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $33. I also can’t find the pictures of this wine. I’ll search again later and edit if I find them.

On the nose I got tropical notes, pineapple, yellow apple, pear, white flowers, spice, and baked pear. (Gotta watch my typing there, I almost left that as “baked bear” which would have been totally odd given I have no idea what bear smells like and certainly not baked bear. Can you even bake a bear?) In the mouth I found crisp apple, crisp pear, tropical fruit on the back palate, nuts, lemon, spice, more lemon, and baked apples. The wine had some toast on it, but I found it to be well integrated. This was my top wine for this TTL event.

Big ol’ Zin

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample form J. Keverson Winery.

It’s BBQ season. I’m pretending that it hasn’t rained this last week and we are out every night grilling. I love grilling season because Matt likes to grill, which means I don’t have to cook as much, and grilling is super easy since I can leave stuff marinating all day and all we have to do when we get home is toss it on the grill! No prep work at night means we can eat at a (relatively) normal hour even when we don’t get home until 7:30, 8pm… Along with BBQ, comes Zin. Yes, I love my white wines in warmer weather, but nothing quite beats Zin with a good rack of ribs. And that’s what we did this week, using the 2007 J. Keverson Buck Hill Vineyard Zinfandel. This is a big ol’ Zin clocking in at 16.5% alcohol by volume, with a real cork closure, and retailing for about $27.

On the nose I got smoke, plum, currants, blackberries, chocolate, nuts, and more black fruit. In the mouth, plum, blackberries, and other black fruit dominated. The palate rounded out with dusty baking chocolate and cherry. I thought perhaps the alcohol might knock my socks off, but it did not, it integrated well with the tannins and produced a very juicy Zin that complemented our ribs nicely.

New Zealand Pinot Noir

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Gallo Family Wineries.

I’ve had a few Pinot Noirs from New Zealand. Mostly at a Wines of New Zealand tasting I went to last Spring where there were dozens to taste. I think this is the first time I’ve actually sat down with a a bottle of it to give it some thought and time and taste it in my normal manner with food, without food, etc. Tonight’s bottle was the 2005 Whitehaven Pinot Noir. It had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 13.6% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $20.

On the nose I found smoke, strawberries, caramel, herbs, raspberry, more herbs, earth, leather, smokey cedar spice, plum, and pepper. It had a fairly classic Pinot Noir nose, which is nice to find at this price point. In the mouth I got notes of red cherry, raspberry, tart fruit, smoke, earth, and strawberry. I wished some of the herbal notes had translated onto the palate.

Citrus Explosion

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Quivira Winery. Though I am a member of their wine club as well.

Quite some time ago I wrote about the Quivira Sauvignon Blanc Complete, which is their barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc. I commented that while it also had its merits, I preferred the other, non-oaked Sauvignon Blanc they used to make and lamented the fact that the steel tank bottle had not been included in my club shipment. Shortly thereafter, the folks from Quivira contacted me to offer a sample bottle of the un-oaked version. In the midst of moves, floods, and other general rearranging, I just found it hiding in the corner. The 2007 Quivira FIg Tree Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $17 online. Current vintage is the 2008.

Right out of the bottle the nose hit me with citrus. Lime and grapefruit competed for attention, but in the end, both just punched me in the nose. Some white pepper and spice gave the nose depth. My notes have “lime” and “grapefruit” each written 3 times in a row. In the mouth, the grapefruit turned into a sweeter grapefruit, with more lime, lime, lime, and some salty edges. The sensation when you suck a lime and lick salt after taking a tequila shot came to mind, minus the well-grade tequila, thankfully.

Bacon + Pinot Noir

*Disclaimer: I didn’t pay for this wine. It was a freebie given to me at the Wine Blogger Conference.

= heaven in a glass. We’ve been trying to expand our culinary repertoire here at la casa de Wannabe Wino lately and to do so we’ve been using this cookbook I snagged years ago called “A Treasure Trove of Great Recipes” when I saw it mentioned in the NYT. Every Sunday (give or take) we pick a recipe and give it a whirl. Some are winners, others, not so much, but mainly because they say things such as “Use duck bone crusher machine.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a duck bone crusher machine handy. Anywho, recently we tried Roast Chicken with bacon and bread sauce. What better than a Pinot Noir to accompany our chicken? I plucked the 2007 Cuvaison Pinot Noir from the basement. It clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for around $28.

On the nose I got spice, herbs, strawberry, cherry, black cherry, pie, and red currants. In the mouth I found strawberry, cherry, red fruit, spice, raspberry, and a hint of earth. Overall the wine showed tart fruit,  had great acidity and a long finish. My notes say “this was fantabulous with our roasted chicken/bacon.”

Wine Lovers Unite!

I direct you to this post over at Vinography. I read about this House Bill yesterday and nearly cried. If you at all value the ability to order wine from retailers/wineries outside your state, I urge you to call/write your Congressional Representative immediately. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE CHILDREN, IT’S SIMPLY ABOUT SUPPORTING AN ANTIQUATED MONOPOLY DESIGNED TO LIMIT CHOICE FOR CONSUMERS AND TO STOP PROPER/LEGAL INTERSTATE COMMERCE. Preventing consumers from ordering wine from retailers/wineries outside their state does nothing to protect children from alcohol. Tossing “children” into a bill is the fastest way to get it attention and get it passed because no one, and I repeat no one, wants to be seen as even potentially connected to voting no on a bill that will “protect” the children. It’s a ruse. An insidious ruse meant to hide the real purpose of the bill, which is to keep money in the pockets of distributors and keep wine choice out of the hands of consumers.  VOTE NO on HR 5034!!!


I Wente There

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample in order to participate in a Taste Live event.

I am often the queen on being unable to resist corny titles/jokes. So when the opportunity presents itself, I can’t help myself. A few weeks (months??) I’ve lost all track of time at this point, ago I joined in the fun for the Wente Taste Live Event. I really enjoy Taste Live, it’s fun to hear everyone’s reactions to the same wine simultaneously. Up last for the evening, (I believe) was the 2007 Wente Nth Degree Syrah. Wente wines hail from Livermore, and this one had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $40.

On the nose it was all meat that jumped out at me first. Grilled meat, charred meat, BBQ, and bacon fat. Under enough meat smells to turn a vegetarian’s stomach I found chocolate, berries, and eucalyptus. In the mouth this showed as a big jammy wine to me and all the meat went away. I got raspberry, blackberry, plums, red edges, chocolate, and coffee. While it had some nice acidity on the finish, overall I found the wine to be big, smooth, and juicy.

An Oldie

We bought this wine so long ago. It had to be in 2006. It might have even been on our honeymoon. I don’t recall what I paid for it then, and I didn’t write it down anywhere. Looks like the 2006 is retailing for around $24, so I’m going to guess that’s about what I paid, give or take. The wine is the 2005 Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyards Chardonnay, which clocked in at 14.2% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure.

On the nose I got caramel, vanilla bean, vanilla, spice, pear, honey, apple, and toasty oak. In the mouth, the fruit came out of hiding with apple, pear, tropical notes, and toast rounding out the palate. Although the oak was there, this was no butter bomb. It had great acidity that kept all the flavors in check and was more like an apple crumble in a glass.

Jiggity Jig

Home again home again.

After a (too short, as always) trip to the Sonoma area, the Wannabe Winos return home. Until the last day we had absolutely perfect weather and visited some great wineries. We also ate like kings and visited with many friends. Coming up in the next few weeks I have plenty of reports on all the wineries we visited (with lots of new to us ones!) and much more.

Happy Spring!