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.

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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.

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.

Loving on the Beaujolais

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

I’m almost embarrassed to admit how little experience I have with French wines. But it’s true. I fell in love with California wine and while I make forays into other areas (see my affairs with Gruner Veltliner and sparkling wines for examples) I usually find myself coming back to my first love time and again. I should really spend more time with French wine though because as I learned through the Beaujolais tastings I participated in, you can get a lot of bang for your buck among these wines. Next up for this tasting we had the 2009 Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees L’Ancien which clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, had a plastic cork, and retails for around $13.

My first notes on the wine say “holy aroma on this one” and “it’s like the wine is jumping out of the glass.” A good start, no? I found blackberry, blackberry pie, raspberry, cherries, smoky notes, and more yummy tart fruit. In the mouth I found the fruit to be bold, with cherries, strawberries, and raspberries dominating and spice and herbs rounding it out nicely. Add to that excellent acidity and a pocketbook friendly price point and I’d put this wine high up there on my list of excellent Thanksgiving wines to stand up to the medley of dishes served on that holiday. (What, too early to be thinking of Thanksgiving?)

Slightly More Recent Live Tasting

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

Most of my old tasting notes have been from the live tastings I’ve participated in. I find it very difficult to enter my thoughts into Twitter, respond to my fellow tasters, ask questions of the wine makers AND type notes into a blog post at the same time, so I jot down my notes on paper. Egads, paper! How quaint and old fashioned of me. However, the problem then becomes motivating myself to retype those notes into the computer instead of writing them up as I go along, my normal modus operandi. In any case, for this tasting we focused on Beaujolais. Not the Beaujolais Nouveau stuff.  We tasted the 2009 Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais which clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for around $13.

On the nose I got tart berries, raspberries, blueberry, blueberry pie, spice, cinnamon, cream, currants, and pepper. In the mouth I found tart blueberries, raspberries, black currants, pepper, and cherries. For $13 this wine had a lot going on with good structure and nice acidity to boot.

An Old Tasting

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

Oops. Here’s another set of long lost posts from a Twitter Event I participated in last September I think. A few set of posts from those types of tastings fell through the cracks for me last summer/fall as I generally jot my notes down on paper (the horror!) while doing the tastings and then have to go back and type them into the computer. That involved way too many steps for my tired self this fall and so they fell by the wayside. Never fear, I’m getting them done now! The 2009 Les Griottes Beaujolais Rose was the only Rose in this Beajolais tasting. It clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a plastic cork closure, and retails for about $16.

Apparently I was on a color of the wine kick when I was taking notes last fall as I also noted the lovely salmon color of this wine. On the nose I got strawberry, red cherry, and cranberry. I could almost smell the acidity on the nose. The palate mimed the nose exactly. Overall the wine was light, crisp, and refreshing. My only issue is that I’m not sure I’m willing to pay $16 for a Rose.

Getting my Bubbly Groove On

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Pasternak Imports

Here’s another bubbly favorite of mine. It’s as if Pasternak Imports packed up all my favorite NV bubbles into a box and shipped them to me. That’s the best kind of box to open up! This is another Lucien Albrecht bubbly, this time the Rose Cremant d’Alsasce. I buy this one at the Total Wine and More quite frequently as well and it’s another standard for me to recommend to anyone looking for a great moderately priced sparkler. It retails for about $16, clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, and has a traditional Champagne closure.

First I need to note that I love the color on this wine. It’s a lovely pale salmon. On the nose I got strawberry, raspberry, sourdough bread, and yeast. In the mouth I found fresh raspberries, like you picked them yourself and ate them off the bush, strawberry, cranberry, and tart cranberry sauce. You really can’t beat this sparkler for the price point.

A Perennial Favorite

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Pasternak Imports

I love this wine. Love it. I have purchased it many many many times for myself and recommend it frequently to anyone looking for a moderately priced sparkling wine. I’m fairly certain I’ve written about it before, but it bears another mention, just in case you’ve forgotten or in case my memory is faulty and I didn’t write about it! The wine in question is NV Lucien Albrecht Brut Cremant D’Alsace. It retails for about $16, clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume, and has a traditional Champagne closure.

On the nose I got apple, pear, nuts, yeast, honey, and toasted almond. The nose has just a hint of sweetness about it that I love. In the mouth, the flavors track pretty well with the nose. I found pear, green apple, honey, honeysuckle, lemon, and bread. The wine has great bubbles and good acidity. Perfect for a mid-week sparkler or a great way to start off your weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from F. Wildman.

Many times I get wines pitched to me for various events. Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving…pretty much any random holiday that pops up on the calendar. Even Groundhog Day. I’m not really one who works on any particular piece. My tasting method of wines leans towards the “I’m making x for dinner and y wine will/should be nice with that, we’ll open it tonight!” But given this pitch involved bubbles and my very first Mother’s Day, I bit. I love bubbles and who can say no to a glass of sparkling on a special day? Therefore, today found me popping open a split of Pol Roger Extra Cuvee de Reserve. It clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, had a traditional Champagne closure, and a 750mL bottle retails for around $54.

On the nose I got lemon, grapefruit, orange, apple, flowers, and crayon wax. A lovely fruit bowl of a nose. In the mouth I found lemon, grapefruit, apple, and a bit of orange zest. The apple in the mouth seemed more tart than on the nose. The wine had great bubbles and a racy backbone. I very much enjoyed my glass of Mother’s Day bubbly! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, to everyone who is in a motherly role, and to all those who will someday make great moms.

A bonus picture of my little one, because who doesn’t love a smiling, bald baby?

First Rose of the Season

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from F. Wildman Imports.

A Rose by any other name…Well, it’s finally the time of year here for lighter wines, including Roses! Excellent. I love the spring, which appears to be getting cut extremely short here this year since we were so late starting. The other night we tried the 2009 Attitude Jolivet Rose. The wine clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for about $10.

First, I loved the color on this wine. It was almost a salmon color. On the nose I got raspberry, strawberry, and orange zest. I thought it was light, fruity, and pleasant. In the mouth I found cherry, raspberry, strawberry, and a citrus zest backbone. The wine had good acidity and I found it to be refreshing on a warm spring afternoon.