Step on this Stone

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

I adore this wine. I adored it last year when I tasted it before it was even bottled. I adored it when it came out in bottle for the 2007 vintage.  And the 2008 version is even more worthy of my adoration since it’s yummy.  The wine in question? The 2008 Cornerstone Cellars Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc.  It clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for $30. Sometimes Cabernet Franc can be a hard wine for me to love. However, as my wine tastes have evolved over the years, I find myself more and more drawn to its herbs and red fruit flavors.  I love the Stepping Stone Cab Franc for its ability to pull all the elements I like about Cab Franc into one wine while leaving out some of the ones I used to find off-putting.

I first have to note the lovely ruby color of this wine.  I don’t think my pictures do it any justice at all, but it is a stunning wine.  On the nose I got strawberry, herbs, earth, raspberry, mint, chocolate notes, red cherries, and violets.  To me, the fruit smelled as if it had been fresh picked and was still warm from the summer sun.  In the mouth I found cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and herbs.  The fruit showed bright, red, and tart, with good acidity and structure.  If I had more than two thumbs I’d give this wine more than two thumbs up.




From Georgia. The Country.

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

I’ve had wine from a few far flung places. But most of my wine drinking experience comes from larger producing countries, like the US, France, Australia, etc. Once in a while I get a chance to taste wine from somewhere totally different, as is the case today. I’m doubly pleased with this wine since it’s from Georgia, the country, where I’ve never had a wine from before, and it’s a sparkling wine, so it contributes to my mission of drinking more sparkling wine this year!  We tried the 2007 Bagrationi Reserve Brut first, which had a traditional Champagne closure, clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, and retails for $20.

On the nose I found yeast, lemon, pineapple, sourdough bread, and a some other tropical notes.  In the mouth the tropical notes came to the forefront for me, with pineapple, and citrus rounding out the flavors. The sparkling had great bubbles and nice acidity.  I also think this adds some more grapes to my list of grapes for the Century Club, being composed of Chinebuli, Mtsvane and Tsitska, though I need to look those up to make sure they don’t also go by other names. For $20 this is a great and interesting sparkler that I would definitely keep an eye out for.



I have a system

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

And it usually works fairly well, in terms of how I take notes and write up bottles of wine.  Whomever opens the wine takes the pictures. Then, I taste with dinner. After dinner, I move over to my little couch and take notes as I’m tasting directly into a draft blog post. The bottle of wine gets finished over the next day or two and then I put it beside my couch, until such time as I am going to post, so that I have it for any information I want off the bottle. At times, the bottles go missing. I think little wine bottle elves make off with them. This throws my system off. Like today. I have 20 empties next to me. But I’m missing the one I am writing, the 2009 Cono Sur Organic Sauvignon Blanc. It retails for about $13 and had a screw cap closure.

On the nose I got lime, tropical undertones, steel, white grapefruit, and peach notes. Overall I found the nose to be fairly citrusy.  In the mouth, more lime, peaches, and grapefruit, along with lime zest showed up. It still had that flinty, steel note from the nose, but it lacked the sweeter notes on the palate that I perceived on the nose.  In comparison with the other Chilean Sauvignon Blancs I tasted that evening, this was had more acidity and leaned more toward the mouth puckering element of Sauvignon Blanc. I found it very refreshing.



I Dream of Gruner

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

I unabashedly love Gruner Veltliner. It’s fun, easy to drink, generally easy on my wallet, and tastes pretty darn good to me. I also think it’s perfect with Thanksgiving dinner (oh my, yes, I’m already thinking ahead for Thanksgiving wines!) with great acidity it stands up nicely to the mish mosh of foods. Last night we tried the 2008 Rotes Haus Gruner Veltliner. It had a real cork closure, retails for around $20, and clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found white flowers, honey notes, peaches, and banana notes. Aside from the banana, it reminded me quite strongly of Riesling. In the mouth I got peaches, honey notes, a gravelly/stone streak, and citrus zest on the finish. The wine had great acidity and tasted crisp and fresh to me. I thought the flavors and texture melded well to make a lovely, refreshing wine. I’d definitely add it to the Thanksgiving menu.