Time for Zin

Our warm weather disappeared. How disappointing. So to lift my spirits, I dug around in the basement for something bigger and red. Nothing like a bottle of Zin, my first red wine love, to brighten and warm up a day. Tonight I chose the 2007 Talty Filice Connolly Vineyards Zinfandel, which we picked up on our last trip out to Sonoma (the vineyard is in Napa though) in 2010. I paid around $35ish for this bottle, it has a real cork closure, and clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) This bottle reminded me why I need to explore more Zins from Napa. I stick to Sonoma mostly, but Napa has many good offerings as well.

2.) Talty is a winery I’ll be keeping my eye on. Perhaps another visit next week is in order!

3.) There’s just something about your first (wine) love.

4.) This wine had all the black fruit and spice that made me head over heels for Zin in the first place, plus a nice hit of chocolate.

On the nose I found blackberry, black plum, spice, chocolate, black currants, black cherry, and cedar chest.  In the mouth I got black cherry, black currant, spices, pepper, chocolate, and other black fruit. Plenty of tannins on the finish made me think this could mellow in the basement for quite a bit longer. I have another bottle that I will let rest down there for another year or so.

 

2009 Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir

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

Along with my current Cab Franc obsession, I’m also really liking Pinot Noir a lot these days. Perhaps it’s the warmer weather driving me towards reds with lighter flavors. Or maybe I just like wine. Lots of wines. Tonight we tried the 2009 Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir which was just a lovely wine overall. The wine has a real cork closure, clocks in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $45.

Four takeways from this wine:

1.) The price is a little steep, but this is a really well done Pinot.

2.) The nose reminded me a Hope chest. Perfumey with cedar and spice. Yum.

3.) I’ve had some pretty great Pinots from New Zealand lately.

4.) This wine just kept getting better the more time it spent in the glass.

On the nose I found herbs, smoke, spice, cedar, violets, and some spicy notes. In the mouth I got raspberry, cherry, pepper, spice, black cherry, black raspberry, and cedar. The flavors were really deep and the wine had great structure and body.

 

 

Love at First Sip

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

I’ve been digging on Cabernet Franc lately. Something about the fresh fruit notes and lovely spices and earthy bits is just really appealing to me. I happily plucked the 2007 Maryhill Cabernet Franc from the basement to sip on the other night. It has a real cork closure, clocks in at 14.4% alcohol by volume, and the current 2008 vintage retails for $18.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) $18 is a steal. Run, don’t walk, to scoop up this wine.

2.) The nose on the Cab Franc was pure deliciousness. Hit many of the classic Cab Franc notes.

3.) The flavors followed nicely to the palate with great acidity.

4.) I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve tried from Maryhill Winery.

On the nose I got pepper, violets, black cherry, espresso, chocolate and spice.  In the mouth I found black cherry, spice, cedar, espresso, black plum, raspberry, and a mineral note.  Overall, the fruit was very fresh and it had great acidity carrying the finish.

 

Oh yummy!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample.

I originally tasted this wine for a Taste Live event late last year, but the kind folks at Benziger sent 2 bottles in case something was off with one. So I stuck the 2nd bottle into the pile ‘o wine (aka my basement) and figured I’d get to enjoy it at a future date. And enjoy it we did.  I’ve actually had the Benziger Sauvignon Blanc many times in the past as it’s one of my “go to” wines at restaurants.  Tonight we guzzled the 2010 Benziger Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma County. It clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, has a real cork closure, and retails for $25.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) Pair it with a creamy dish.

2.) Or an afternoon spent rocking on your porch.

3.) Lots of acidity and clean crisp fruits make this ideal for the 80 degree day we are experiencing today.

4.) This wine disappeared really quickly at my house. I don’t think I got my fair share!

On the nose I got grass, lemongrass, lemon, melon, and slight green pepper. In the mouth I found white peach, melon, lemon, grass, and herbs.  The wine had a great grassy note on the nose and mouth and fantastic acidity.

 

 

Intelligent?

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

Very much so. At least, that’s my opinion of the 2007 Wesley Ashley Intelligent Design Cuvee.  We popped the cork (real) on this 13.8% alcohol by volume wine that retails for $38 on a Saturday evening to enjoy with roast lamb.  The wine is a blend of 51.5% Carignan, 15% Grenache, 14% Cinsaut, 11% Petite Sirah, 4.5% Mouvedre, and 4% Pinot Noir.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I generally don’t look at blends before I taste the wine. My first note for this wine is “smells like Carignan.”

2.) Carignan is growing on me lately. This is the second heavily Carignan wine I’ve had in the last week, and I’m digging it.

3.) This is like a spiced cherry campfire in a glass.

4.) The lamb was a good call with this bottle.

On the nose I got spice, pepper, earth, campfire, and black cherry. In the mouth I found black cherry, black currant, spice, pepper, and a touch of earth.  Overall the wine was smooth, spicy, and very nicely done. A good balance of fruit, spice, and earth.

 

Back East

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

We’re heading towards the end of chilly weather and I’m in that in between stage of hankering for reds and yearning for light summer whites. However, I’m still sticking with the reds for the time-being.  Tonight we headed to New York via the wine, grabbing the 2005 Macari Estate Merlot from the basement. The wine has a real cork closure, clocks in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and the current vintage retails for $21.

Four takeaways from this wine:

1.) I’ve really enjoyed the last several wines I’ve had from New York State.

2.) I think the Wine Blogger Conference should consider Long Island as a future conference site.

3.) This wine had one of those noses where I just kept my nose buried in my glass.

4.) Macari has consistently impressed me since I first tasted their wines.

On the nose I got pepper, strawberry, black plum, earth, eucalyptus, forest floor, herbs, cherry, and Christmas tree. In the mouth I found raspberry, black fruit, pepper, and spice. Good tannins and juicy fruit, combined with a fabulous nose made for an all around lovely wine.