All Twisted Up

I’ve been diving back into my own wines lately. You would too if you saw the state my basement is in. It’s actually quite frightening as there are boxes everywhere, wine spilling out of them, and absolutely no room on the racks, even though I just bought another 112 bottle storage rack. So this evening I pulled out the 2006 Twisted Oak Torcido. I got this in a club (I originally typed “cluck” here, I clearly have Twisted Oak rubber chickens on my mind) shipment who knows when. I’ve been a Twisted Few member for quite some time now! The Torcido is Grenache, clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure, and retails for…well, I don’t know, but the current (2008) vintage is $32.

On the nose I got blackberry, black raspberry, spun sugar, slight toffee notes, some chocolate syrup notes, spice, and herbs. In the mouth I found raspberry, blackberry, some blue fruit notes, spice, and cloves. After sitting for some time in my cellar, I’m really digging what this wine has become. I think I’ve got another one or two tucked away and I’m excited to see what they taste like in the coming years. I’m sure you’ll read about it here!


Drinking Local (Once Again)

With the 2011 Wine Blogger Conference just around the corner, and it being in my own back yard, I thought it high time I bring out some of the VA wines that I have in my cellar and get you all excited for what you have to look forward to out here on the East Coast! One of my favorite VA wineries is Rappahannock Cellars. They are doing excellent things with both Cabernet Franc and Viognier, two of the wines that VA does best in my humble opinion. Tonight we opened up the 2007 Rappahannock Cellars Cabernet Franc, a wine I purchased in Sept. 09 on my last visit out there. It clocked in at 13.8% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and I can’t recall what I paid, but it retailed for around $25 I believe.

On the nose I found strawberry, raspberry, earth, forest, chocolate, chocolate syrup notes, herbs, and spice. Yum. The nose certainly made me look forward to tasting the wine.  In the mouth I got raspberry, fresh strawberry, earth, and a good herbal note. The wine had great structure and acidity and is an excellent example of what VA can do with this grape.

Making My Day

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

It’s a miracle! With this post I am caught up on all wines that I tasted in 2010! I’m close to being caught up with the first half of 2011 as well, since I kept up better with those. Within the next month I will be back on track. My only other wine from the 2nd Beaujolais tasting that was not corked was the 2006 Christophe Pacalet Cote de Brouilly. The wine had a real cork closure and retails for about $17. Again, this got recycled before I could record the alcohol content.

I first noted the ruby color of the wine. It intrigued me and I wish I was better with a camera to have been able to capture it for you. Alas, despite my best efforts, I pretty much suck at taking pictures. On the nose I found red cherries, red berries, spice, dirt, and earth. In the mouth I go more tart red cherry, raspberry, and just a hint of the spice and earth. Mostly this was all red fruit on the palate for me, very fresh and clean.

Another Winner

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

Here’s a Torrontes that meets all the characteristics I want when I have a bottle of it. Lovely nose, good acidity, great citrus flavors, and more. And a decent price point. Can’t beat that. The 2009 Crios Torrontes was probably my favorite wine from this tasting. My mom even loved it and kept asking for more and she’s not a wine drinker at all. The wine clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure and retails for around $13.

On the nose I got lots of lemon. In fact, I wrote in my notes “lemon lemon lemon.” I also got honeysuckle, honey, and grapefruit. In the mouth I found lots of grapefruit, lemon, orange blossom, orange rind, and white pepper. The wine had some heft on the palate giving it good structure and body.

A Second Beaujolais Tasting

*Disclaimer: I received this wine in order to participate in a Taste Live tasting.

I had the opportunity to participate in another Beaujolais tasting this winter, as part of a series held through the Taste Live site to explore the wines of Beaujolais outside of Beaujolais Nouveau. Sadly, 2 of my wines for this particular tasting ended up being corked, so I only have 2 to report on. The first is the 2005 Pascal Granger Juliénas. Keeping in the vein of the other Beaujolais tasting I participated in, I found these wines to provide a lot of bang for your buck in terms of depth, structure and flavor. I would seek out most again. The Pascal had a real cork closure and retails for about $20. The bottle got recycled before I recorded the alcohol content.

On the nose I got black cherry, spice, forest floor, black plum, and a slight herbal note. A very aromatic nose, I wanted to get lost in it. Alas, the fast past of the tasting leaves little time for studying the wines. I came back to it later though. On the palate I found the wine to display more red fruit than the nose would suggest. I got raspberry, cherry, and spice with a nice mineral vein running through. This is another that would work really well with Thanksgiving; it would complement many different foods easily.

Another Chilean

*Disclaimer: I received this wine to participate in a Wines of Chile Tasting.

This is the last wine from this tasting. I think. Woot! One step closer to being caught up on all the posts I owe you from that time!  This particular wine came from a Wines of Chile red blends tasting, which was very interesting and exposed the wine bloggers to an array of blends outside the norm. The 2005 Valdivieso Eclat clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for around $24. It’s a blend of 56% Carignan, 24% Mouvedre, and 20% Syrah.

I found this to be a very dark wine. It showed black fruit, blackberry, earth, plums, and a touch of raspberry on the edges. I thought the nose was dominated by the Syrah. In the mouth I got black plum, cedar, earth, blackberry, smoke, spice, and herbs. I would describe this wine overall as intense. It had a lot of everything going on and definitely deserves your attention.

Chilean Blends

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample to participate in a Wines of Chile Tasting

Have I mentioned lately how much fun the Wines of Chile Tastings are? If I haven’t, I should. The lovely PR people for the Wines of Chile gather a herd of cats [wine bloggers], send us all wine, a corkscrew, and something else fun from Chile and then let us video taste with the winemakers from Chile. It is just about the coolest thing I get to do as a wine blogger. I look forward to these tastings every time. This wine comes from a tasting I participated in back in late October. Again, I’m tardy, but better late than never? One of the wines was this 2006 Maquis Lien. It clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for $19. The wine is a blend of 42% Syrah, 30% Carmenere, 12% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petite Verdot, and 7% Malbec.

On the nose I found plum, smoke, meat, spice, pepper, bubblegum, a green note, mint, and chocolate. The bubblegum is something I found on several of the wines in this tasting, all of which had Petite Verdot in common, making me wonder if the Petite Verdot lent that characteristic to the wine. In the mouth I got black cherry, back plum, lots and lots of tannins, pepper, blueberry, meat, chocolate, and earth. I found it to be darker on the palate than I had anticipated and the tannins made me think running this through a decanter would be a good bet.

Playing in My Spice Rack

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

Baking spices peppered the nose of this wine, causing thoughts of Christmas cookies to dance in my head. We just started in on the HOT weather here and I’m already dreaming of Christmas. Though can you blame me? Christmas will be extra special at our house this year with our daughter’s first birthday to celebrate at the same time! What wine am I talking about? The 2007 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. It clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for about $20.

On the nose I got woody note, cinnamon, baking spice, vanilla, dark fruit, blackberry, black plum, and black cherry. This smelled so much to me like baking cookies that it almost made me want to fire up my oven in the heat. Almost. In the mouth I found blackberry, black plum, black cherry, pepper, baking spice, anise, and cinnamon. The wine had nice tannins and good acidity and was quite spicy, which was very yummy.

More Beaujolais

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

I feel like the little engine that could. I am so close to being caught up on old posts that I can almost taste it. Everyone at my house is looking at me because I’ve been sitting here all day bloggering away trying to catch up. I have a limit though. If the baby will let me, I’m hoping to type up 5 more posts for the day which will put me at having written up 15 today. I’ll be just a few short of being caught up again then and we can move back into what I’m tasting right now, since I’m back to drinking wine again! Up next in the Beaujolais tasting was the 2009 Chateau des Pethieres Beaujolais which clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for about $10.

On the nose I got smoked meat, mint, sweet fruits, cherry, sweet strawberry, and smoky notes. In the mouth I found the wine to be darker than I expected given the sweet red nose. Black cherry and black currants dominated with some smoky edges. The fruit still seemed sweet to me, but so much darker than the nose. This wine had more tannins and less acidity than the other two reds in the tasting.

Wine with Dad

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR firm for the brand.

I got a pitch from a PR person a few months back for a wine for Father’s Day. Now personally, I think the person who you are celebrating should get to choose the wine, but since I happened to be going to visit my parents at the same time as the wine was arriving, I thought, why not? I’ll take it with me and see if my Dad would like to have this wine as his Father’s Day wine. Dad gave it a big thumbs up and wanted to know where he could buy some because he thought many of his friends would also really like the wine. The wine in question? The 2007 Lucente Toscana.  It retails for around $20 and had a real cork closure. I forgot to record the alcohol content in my sleep deprived state.

On the nose I found berries, black cherry, earth, leather, spice, and herbs. I thought this was a big, powerful red wine based on the nose, and it followed through on the palate. In the mouth I got tart cherry, blackberry, earth, leather, more black fruit, and some creamy vanilla. With air the wine smoothed out nicely and displayed some sweet tannins and good acidity.

So grab a bottle and enjoy with your dad! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, especially my own and to Mr. Wannabe Wino on his first Father’s Day!

Dad and me toasting!