Bubbles, Yum!

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

Oh how I love bubbles! I even made my own bubbles with some of my blogger friends in 2009.  It was just disgorged and shipped to us recently, I’m excited to tell you about it. Back to the point though. Bubbles. And yummy bubbles. You can’t beat that.  I’m adding another wine to my Thanksgiving wine recommendations for 2011.  The wine n question is the Domaine Carneros Cuvee de la Pompadour.  It clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, has a traditional Champagne closure, and retails for about $30.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I didn’t want to stop drinking this wine to take my notes because I was afraid Mr. Wannabe Wino would take more than his share while I took notes.

2.) This wine would be perfect with your turkey. It’s a rose and it’s a sparkling wine, can’t beat that!

3.) I would easily pay $30 for this wine.

4.) In fact, I will on my next wine buying trip.

On the nose I got raspberry, florals, cherry, slight apple, and wax notes.  In the mouth I found peach, pear, raspberry, and strawberry. On the palate the peach stood out the most, and tasted very fresh. Overall the wine had great bubbles and acidity and is bone dry.

 

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Big ‘ol wine.

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

On the same night we tried the Chateau Tanunda Riesling we also tried the 2009 Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz.  An Australian wine night in our house.  It clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure, and retails for about $20.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) In keeping with the 2009 growing season in Australia I found this wine to be hot.

2.) The heat and tannins mellowed a bit when I went back to it several hours later, but it was still just a bit too hot for me.

3.) If you’re into big boozy black and blue fruit wines, this is for you.

4.) Definitely decant and aerate this wine for several hours before drinking.

On the nose I found this wine to be sweet and a oaky with blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, and vanilla. I got lots of sweet oak on the nose. I could also smell the heat on the wine. In the mouth I found more black fruit, similar to the nose.  After letting it sit, it opened and I got blueberry pie, nutmeg, spice, cinnamon, chocolate, pepper, and vanilla oak.

 

Riesling from the Outback

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the PR company for the winery.

I don’t drink much Australian Riesling.  Actually, I don’t drink much wine from Australia in general. No particular reason, I should really try to do so more often.  Recently we popped open the 2009 Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Riesling. We drank it on its own, but I’m going to recommend this as a Thanksgiving wine as well, especially if you are looking to par down your wine budget a bit. This bottle will fit the bill well. The Chateau Tanunda Riesling clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, has a screw cap closure, and retails for around $13.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I liked this Riesling as an alternate style to some of the sweeter Rieslings I’ve been drinking lately.

2.) I intend to serve this as one of my white wine options at Thanksgiving this year.

3.) The wine delivered nicely for the price point.

4.) I usually suggest Riesling as a gateway wine for the “I don’t like wine” folks, but I think this one was a bit too dry to fall into that category.

On the nose I got lemon, stone, pear, apple, flowers, spice, and white pepper. The wine smelled light and lively and dry.  In the mouth I found mostly lemon, some round pear and apple edges. The palate was light and refreshing, simpler than the nose. Overall I found it to be dry with good structure.

 

Serve with Turkey

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Here in Wannabe Wino world we are making as much use of the waning nice days that we can and continue to grill out almost every night. One of my favorite things to do on the grill is an eye of the round roast, which I love with Pinot Noir.  So I descended into the basement and picked the 2009 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley to pair with the roast.  It has a real cork closure, clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $30. Somehow I misplaced the photo for this bottle.   Thanks to Rodney Strong for the image.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) The Davis Bynum Pinot Noir is my first Thanksgiving wine recommendation for the season.

2.) From year to year this is a good buy for Pinot.

3.) I would think this retailed for a lot more than it does.

4.) It also went very well with the eye of the round roast we served it with.

On the nose I got pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking spices, smoke, cherry, black cherry, and black raspberry.  In the mouth I found tart black cherry, earth, smoke, black ripe fruit, leather, and slight oak. Overall the wine had nice acidity and good structure.

 

Grenache Blanc, How I Love Thee

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery

This wine hid in my basement. Which is a total shame since it appears it’s now sold out.  However if they decide to make it again, you should go get some. Quickly apparently.  I still want to tell you about it though so you know it’s yummy and will be aware of it next time they release some.  The wine in question? The 2009 Hahn Grenache Blanc, which clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume and had a real cork closure.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) For the quality and price point I find Hahn wines to be some of the best around.

2.) I love Grenache Blanc. You should too.

3.) We drank this with grilled chicken. Perfection.

4.) I would really like Hahn to make it again.

On the nose I got apple, flowers, white pepper, pineapple, star fruit, tropical notes, yellow apple, coconut cream, grapefruit, and lemon.  In the mouth I got apple, pear, star fruit, grapefruit, lemon, and an herbal note. Overall, I found the wine to be light and fresh.

Even More Bears

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from the winery.

Even though I wasn’t making food that went very well with this wine, I was really in the mood for a Pinot. So I plucked the 2009 Sean Minot 4 Bears Carneros Pinot Noir from the basement. It clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for about $13.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) It’s a $13 CA Pinot. And in this case, that’s a good thing.

2.) The wine had an awesome nose with many of the herbs I grow in my garden standing out.

3.) We drank this with BBQ pork ribs. The BBQ sauce overpowered the wine a bit. I suggest something with a little less heft to match with this.

4.) Our neighbors really liked this bottle at the neighborhood cookout.

On the nose I got chocolate, spice, red raspberry, red cherry, oak, vanilla, cream, toast, mint, and basil. The palate was a little complex than the nose. I found black cherry, black plum, and some spice.  While the fruit was mostly juicy, I got a bitter note mid palate.

 

 

 

2010 Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc

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

Although our weather is turning a little cooler here, I’m still tossing plenty of white wines into the mix. Even at only 80 today the humidity is a bear. Hunting in the basement I went for the 2010 Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc. I haven’t previously had any wine from this producer, so I was eager to give it a shot. The wine had a screw cap and clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I loved the nose.

2.) On the palate I found it to be a bit too “fat.” I didn’t think it had quite enough acidity to hold all the tropical fruits in check.

3.) Chill it really well and have it with some sharp cheeses and the fattiness is curbed a bit.

4.) I’m still more a fan of Sauvignon Blanc from other regions over Napa.

On the nose I found melon, pear, orange cream, pineapple, and other tropical notes. The nose was quite aromatic and I really enjoyed sniffing it.  The palate was simpler, with more grapefruit and guava notes and some pineapple and other tropical notes.