Grenaching it Up Again

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Quivira Winery

I seem to be on a bit of a Grenache kick lately. Who can blame me though, Grenache makes some lovely wines! I found this bottle lurking on my shelves and decided to give it a go. I’m also a club member at Quivira, so I’ve got at least another bottle of this hanging around from a club shipment. The wine in question is the 2008 Quivira Wine Creek Ranch Grenache. It clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and the 2009 (current vintage) retails for $26.

On the nose I found sweet raspberry, cherry, cherry coke, spice, pepper, strawberry, and vanilla. In the mouth I got all the same red fruits as the nose along with some spice and a bit of oak. I think this wine could use some bottle age to really bring it around. I’ve had many other vintages of this wine and have always enjoyed those very much, though they have usually had a bit more time to age than this one.


Getting my Garnacha on

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

Fruity and light. That’s pretty much what I look for in a red wine as the temperature creeps up to the high 90s. Unless I’m inside where we keep the AC running. In which case, it feels like winter and I’ll take a glass of that Zin, please. Seeing as how we were eating outside tonight, the 2008 Tapeña Garnacha fit the bill. The wine had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $10.

The nose on this wine struck me as spicy and floral. I got pepper, cherry, plum, cedar, earth, and raspberry. In the mouth I got black cherry, black plum, raspberry, spice, and pepper. Overall this was a really bright, fruity wine.



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!

WBW #71 Rhones Not from the Rhone

Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Hahn Family Wines.

Rejoice! Wine Blogging Wednesday is back! I missed it so. Though, admittedly, I totally missed the first reincarnation last month…having average about 4 hours of sleep a night and dealing with a fussy newborn, wine was not much happening! But I’m in for this month’s edition hosted by my friend Tim of Wine Cast. He’s chosen Rhones Not from the Rhone as this month’s theme. I must say, I am very partial to the Rhone varietals. Viognier, Grenache, Mourvedre, ets., are some of my very favorite wines. Oh, and Syrah! Who can forget a good Syrah. And some of the ones I love the most hail from outside the Rhone. A cool climate Syrah from CA is a lovely pleasure!

For this WBW, I chose a wine that represents 3 Rhone grapes. I know Tim asked us to look beyond the normal Grenache and Syrah, but with little spare time, this is my best effort these days.  I think I get a disposition given I have an 11 week old.  My wine is the 2009 Hahn GSM. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. It’s composed of 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, and 3% Mourvedre. Yum. It had a Diam closure and clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume. I’m not sure what it retails for as it was a pretty limited release from Hahn Family Wines and I believe it is sold out. You should definitely keep an eye for the next vintage of this from Hahn. They were trying a few different wines this year, including a Grenache Blanc!

On the nose I got strawberry, spice, cedar, baking spices, cinnamon, pepper, cherry, and bacon fat. I could really smell the influence of the Syrah on the nose of the wine, though the Grenache clearly also contributed. I think the Mourvedre showed up more on the palate.  In the mouth I found strawberry, red cherry, spice, blackberry, black cherry, and earth. I found the wine to have nice acidity and structure with good tannins on the finish. Overall the fruit showed as juicy and fresh. I enjoyed this wine very much.
Many thanks to Tim for hosting and I think I got my entry done in time! As always, a tip of the hat to Lenndevours, over at the New York Cork Report, our founding father.

Making Trouble

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

Produced by Hope Family Wine, the Westside Red Troublemaker is a blend of three vintages of wine, the 2007, 2008, and 2009. On first sniff I said “Syrah!,” and later upon examining the promotional materials that accompanied the wine I found that it is indeed dominated by Syrah, being a blend of 53% Syrah, 37% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache. The wine hails from Paso Robles, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a real cork closure, and retails for $20. We enjoyed this with a steak, but I think I’d have it with my homemade pizza next time.

On the nose I found plums, blackberries, black fruit, herbs, mint, pepper, chocolate, a meaty note (hi Syrah!), and spice.  In the mouth I got black cherry, plum, blackberries, spice, and pepper. Overall I found the wine to be juicy with some tannins and nice acidity which is why I think it would do well up against a pizza with tomato sauce. I’m always looking for good pizza wines, and this one seems to fit the bill well with vibrant juicy fruits and enough spice to carry it through.



Getting Into Grenache

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Hahn Family Wines

Grenache is one of those grapes I wish people would pay more attention to, as it makes some wonderfully aromatic wines that I just adore.  I know it’s scary to try new things 😉 but I urge everyone to go out this year and at least try a bottle of Grenache. Or a GSM (Grenache, Syrah Mourvedre) blend, the traditional place many people find the Grenache grape. Give it a go, it will be worth it.  You could start here with the 2009 Hahn Grenache, a lovely little bottle of wine that we cracked open the other evening. The 2009 Hahn clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, hails from the Santa Lucia Highlands, had a Diam closure, and retails for…well, I’m not sure, but I’m guessing it’s in line with the other Hahn wines in the Grenache line, somewhere in the $12-$16 range. I know it was a fairly limited production wine, and it might be sold out, but keep an eye out for the 2010 if this one is gone.

On the nose I got pomegranate, cherries, flowers, spice, white pepper, black cherry, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Fantastic aromatic nose that just jumped out of the glass and made you want to jump into it.  In the mouth I found black cherry, pepper, earth, blackberry, vanilla, and raspberry.  Displaying tons of acidity and juicy fresh fruit, this wine and a roaring fire made for a very relaxing evening in the Wannabe Wino house.

Grenache Syrah Mour…

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

Strike that. This wine is not a typical GSM blend. It’s missing the M, the Mourvedre. The 2007 Paul Jaboulet Aine Parallele 45 from the Cotes du Rhone is 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume, and retails for about $10, though I see it floating around on sale for $9. For $9-$10 this is a great bargain wine.

On the nose I got cherry, real tart bright red cherries, plum, raspberry, pepper, spice, and something that reminded me of a wood-burning fire in the fireplace. I was struck by how aromatic this glass of wine was.  In the mouth I got the same fruits as the nose, though they also tended toward being a bit darker with black cherry and black plum floating around.  I also found spice and pepper and overall the fruit showed as tart and fresh with good acidity and tannins holding this little bottle of wine together.  A definite buy at the price point.



Step on this Stone

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

I am digging the new line of wines from Cornerstone Cellars. They are reasonably priced and the varieties are interesting and fresh.  Not to mention, the wines are really good.  I’ve always enjoyed the flagstone (Cornerstone..teehee) Cabernet Sauvignons from the winery, so I’m pleased to report that the new introductory line is certainly living up to the reputation established by the winery.  This week we tried the 2007 Stepping Stone Grenache.  It retails for $20, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 15.5% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I got bittersweet chocolate, pepper, spice, black cherry, crushed violets, flowers, anise, and strawberry. This wine had one hello of a nose…that perfumey dark fruity chocolately goodness that I like to get lost in while Matt finishes a glass before I’ve even started. In the mouth I found black cherry, raspberry, strawberry, spice, earth, and pepper. The tart fruits just popped in the mouth and slid into a juicy goodness on the back of the palate.

Getting French on you

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Roberts Fine Wines.

I felt like something jut a bit different the other night, so I pulled the 2006 Domaine La Combe Blanche Minervois La Liviniere La Chandeliere from a sample box. An online store, Roberts Fine Wines sent me a couple of bottles from their selection. They carry only small production French wines and the La Chadeliere had a pressed cork, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $24.  The wine is a blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache. (Mmmmm, Grenache….)

On the nose I got black cherry, blackberries, black fruit, black currants, pepper, spice, crushed violets, cedar, and chocolate.  In the mouth I found black cherry, currants, leather, spice, tart red berries, spice, and pepper.  I thought the wine had great acidity and nice tannins. I think I’d serve this with one of my lamb dishes as a substitute for a full on Syrah, just for something a bit different.  I always think that I need to expand on my wine experiences and try more French wines, though at the moment my wine budget is all tied up in my wine clubs!

A Twisted Affair

Not too long ago, as a Twisted Few member, I received an email advertising a 50% sale on Twisted Oak’s 2005 Grenache.  Being that I love wine, Twisted Oak, and Grenache, it seemed a no-brainer.  A case arrived on my doorstep a week or so later, adding to the bazillion bottles of wine already in my basement, but at only $12.50 a bottle, making a most excellent mid-week bottle.  I picked the 2005 Twisted Oak Grenache to pair with my mom’s homemade sauce and meatballs which she brought with her when my folks visited last week.  Since dad received some Twisted Oak for Christmas this year, I thought it would be good if he could taste some of mine to compare!  The Grenache cost me $12.50 on sale, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found chocolate dessert, drizzled with raspberry sauce, and followed by a savory herb component.  Really, I got chocolate, raspberry, strawberry, herbs, red currants, flowers, and just really bright red fruit all around.  In the mouth I found flavors of red berries, raspberries, red cherries, milk chocolate, really bright red fruit, and just a lovely taste of a silky milk chocolate bar.  Yes, I realize I said milk chocolate twice, but that flavor kept coming, both up front, and on the finish.

My final note on this wine?  I’m so happy I have a case (minus one) left to drink!