A Twisted Night

We actually dug into our own wines the other night…it’s been a while and trust me, with my club shipments back on for the season, it’s been piling up like there’s no tomorrow. All of our wine racks are totally full, as well as at least 9 styrofoam shipper bottoms and a good 4 cases I haven’t even opened yet. If you’re following along, that would be about 400 bottles. Yikes, it would take us over 2 years to drink that many bottles! So we pulled out the 2008 Twisted Oak Viognier that came in a recent club shipment. With the club discount it cost $17.60, had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume.

I paired this with some homemade chicken soup which I think is actually a match I’ve made before, though I’m having trouble finding the post! On the nose I found pear, pineapple, tropical notes, spice, banana, and cream.  In the mouth I got pear, peach, tropical notes, pineapple, banana, and spice. The nose and palate tracked pretty well and the wine had excellent acidity. Perhaps a good mate for upcoming holiday dinners? Though really, I’m still not sure anything goes well with sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows!

Not Crushing It

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Don Sebastiani and Sons.

The Crusher series of wines is one of several labels from Don Sebastiani and Sons. It falls under the Three Loose Screws brand and is intended to be a line of affordable single varietal wines mostly from Clarksburg, CA. I wrote earlier about the Cabernet Sauvignon that didn’t much taste like Cabernet Sauvignon. This time I have the the 2007 The Crusher Viognier.  It had a plastic cork, retails for about $12, and clocks in at 14.9% alcohol by volume…pretty high for a white wine.

I wanted to like this wine. I really did. In general, I love Viognier. But I didn’t love this.  The nose showed banana, flowers, honey, lemon, melon, pineapple cream, underlying yellow apple, and pear.  A good start. But in the mouth I found it to be very bitter and acidic.  I also got vanilla, pear, peach, some oak, cream, apricot, and a spicy aftertaste.  I see other reviews around the wine blog world that really liked this.  NMS.

Yummy in My Tum Tum Tummy

*Disclaimer: I received this as a sample from Lange Twins Winery

I love Viognier.  LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!  I’m always so excited to get Viognier in the mail, something a little bit different than the standard Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio that people tend to send me.  I recently reviewed and liked the Lange Twins Petite Verdot/Petite Sirah blend, so I was happy to get a bottle of the limited edition 2008 Lange Twins Viognier in the mail a couple weeks ago.  The wine had a screw cap closure (which I actually didn’t realize until I tried to use my foil removed on the foil and started cutting into the screw cap…), clocked in at 14.9% alcohol by volume, and retails for $16. (But it’s really limited, so you should go buy some. Now. It’s really good. Go. Now.)

On the nose I found peach, pear, flowers, nectarines, white pepper, tinned pears, honeysuckle, and lemon.  This had a FABULOUS nose! I kept smelling and smelling and smelling and Matt kept draining his glass. In the mouth I got lime, honey, peach, pear, lemon, spiced pears, tropical fruit, and spice.  The wine had a great round mouthfeel, but was still really refreshing.  I could easily see how Matt’s glass had a hole in it!

Give Me More!

This wine is SO GOOD that I don’t want to stop and take notes. I’m too busy smelling it and drinking it and reveling in all that is excellent about Viognier.  I wrote about the same bottle last year and had I realized that, I wouldn’t have bothered to stop to take notes but since it arrived in my most recent club shipment, I ASSumed that it would be a more recent vintage. But that’s okay, because this one is so excellent, it actually deserves a second review, if for nothing else but to convince you to go buy your own bottle or 12.  Especially if you enjoy Viognier.  You can read my first review here. I will tell you that it’s not common for me to not want to take notes! I’m speaking of the 2007 Nelson Family Vienyards Viognier.  It had a cork closure, cost me $16.80 in a club shipment, and clocked in at 14.8% alcohol by volume.

I found the nose to be flowery with peaches, apricots, honey, spice, pears, orange blossoms, and lemons on the edges.  A scrumptious nose that you just want to dive into and swim around in…so enticing that you can’t wait to take a sip.  In the mouth I got peaches, pears, honey, lemons, spice, and soft orange flavors.  This wine had great citrus, excellent acidity, and nice clean fruit.  It’s an incredibly well done wine with fabulous aromatics and a delightful taste.  Enjoy a bunch this summer!

Feeling Uninspired

At times, I drink a wine, and think, this wine is fine. Nothing wrong with it at all and I wouldn’t say no if someone offered me a glass, but it’s just not something that grabbed my attention in any way.  It didn’t make me sit up and say “Wow, I love what’s going on in this glass.” And that’s fine, there’s certainly a place for those kinds of wine as not every occasion calls for deep contemplation of the wine in your glass.

Anyway. I purchased the 2007 Domaine de Couron Viognier at The Winery in downtown Alexandria while out hunting for an Albariño to take to a Spanish wine tasting. It caught my eye as something new on the shelf so I thought I’d give it a try.  I think it had a a real cork, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and cost me $15.99.

I found the nose to be extremely aromatic, with flowers, tangerines, honeysuckle, lemon, melon, and figs. In the mouth I got minerals, stones, lemon, apricot, tart citrus, and melon.  The wine showed as crisp, clean, and dry.  I thought the alcohol seemed a bit high and showed a bit, especially on the nose, but did integrate as the wine warmed a bit.  It is a perfectly drinkable wine, it expresses a typical Viognier profile, and it’s not a bad price. I’d drink it if someone handed me a glass.

Smells Like Crayola

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

I usually pretty up my tasting notes for you.  Mainly because they often contain lines such “OMG, yum.” or “The H [meaning Matt] likes.”  Today I’ve decided to leave in one such note, which is “Smells like Crayola.” I could pretty that up and tell you it had waxy notes or some such thing, but really, I truly mean it smells like when you open a box of crayons.  I chose the last of the Viogniers I have from Chile for the evening, the 2008 Cono Sur Visión Viognier.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 13.5% alcohol by volume, and looks to retail for around $8.  At $8, this is a fabulous buy, I’d get it in a heartbeat for that and would probably pay as much as $15 or so for a similar bottle.  Oh, and for real, my first tasting note from this bottle is “The H likes.” 😉

On the nose I found lemon, orange blossom, flowers, Crayola, stone, lime, and apricots.  It had a gorgeous sweet flowery honey characteristic that I absolutely love about Viogniers.  In the mouth I got flavors of pineapple, tropical notes, lime, mandarin oranges, lemon, minerals, wet stone, tangerines, and flowers.

All that in a bottle that can be found for as low as $7.99 on the internet.  Definitely worth your time and wine dollars given that $8 can often buy you a terrible bottle of plonk.  The gems for $8 are out there though, and I would certainly recommend this one.  It will be added to my list of “Great $10 or Under Wine Buys” for 2009.

Viognier On My Mind

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

Viognier.  I love it.  And I find it to be truly underrated/underappreciated.  People don’t seem to talk about it much, but that’s okay with me, more for me to drink and enjoy.  Actually, shush, maybe we shouldn’t talk about here either…wouldn’t want it to get all popular and such 😉  I chose the 2008 Casa Silva Viognier from the Colchagua Valley in Chile for tonight.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and looks to retail for somewhere between $16-$20.

This wine had a beautiful nose.  It smelled of honeysuckle, apricot, peach, stone fruit, honey, spice, orange blossom, and flowers.  In the mouth I found lemon pith, apricot, peach, orange, and flowers.  Overall, the wine showed as crisp and lean in the mouth with nice acidity and lovely fruit.