Chardonnay In My Glass

I have been listening to the call of white wine, despite unusually cold spring temperatures here.  No idea what’s going on with the weather this year, but if we jump from cold to hellishly hot muggy swamp without a nice spring period, I think I’ll cry.  Big crocodile tears.  We usually only get maybe 2 months of really nice weather in the spring in DC, but so far this year it’s been more like 2 days and we are fast approaching the point of no return where summer comes.  Regardless of the weather, I’m in a white wine mood.  Tonight I chose the 2004 Bonneau Chardonnay.  I purchased this wine from WineQ for $27.99, it had a real cork closure, and clocked in at 14.9% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found lemon grass butter. Yep, all one thing. I also got pear, apple, spice, and peach.  In the mouth I found flavors of pear, green apple, peaches, lemon, grass, hay, nice spice, and some tropical notes as it warmed it.  I think the wine must have been very lightly oaked…I didn’t find any vanilla or toasty notes, but it had nice structure that seemed oak influenced.

The only concern I have here is the price point. $28 is more than I spend on an average red bottle, let alone a white bottle.  While this was a very nice wine, I’m not sure I would pay that much again.


Syrah Overload

Pretty soon I won’t have any Syrah left in my basement if I keep drinking it this fast.  I rarely get on a kick like this, but despite having 4 bottles in less than 2 weeks, if you offered me more right now I’d knock people down to get to it! To satisfy tonight’s craving, I grabbed the 2004 Smith Wooten Calaveras County Tanner Vineyard Syrah from the basement.  I purchased this from WineQ for $27.99 (free shipping woohoo!), it had a real cork closure, and it clocked in at 15% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I got anise, spice, blackberry, blueberry, pepper, sage, herbs, some funk, and plums.  I love when Syrahs have some herbal notes on them.  In the mouth I found cranberry, plum, pomegrant, cherry cola, and just the slightest spice.  The herbal notes from the nose didn’t follow through to the mouth and I also found the wine to display more red fruit than I would have expected based on the nose.  I did enjoy the cherry cola hint in the mouth!

Sipping Sauvignon Blanc

This wine had the oddest closure I’ve ever seen.  I don’t even know what to call it.  It had a plastic ring that peeled off like the top of milk container, and then it had a plastic stopper made of the same black material.  Odd.  Anyway, I chose to drink the 2006 Deerfield Sauvignon Blanc the other night.  I purchased this from WineQ for $21.99 and it clocked in at 14% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found grass, pineapple, cream, straw, tropical notes, something spicy…almost like nutmeg, and lemon.  I liked the nose on this one.  In the mouth I got tropical fruit, meyer lemon, some white grapefruit, grass, stone fruit, and lemon zest.  The finish lingered with tart grapefruit.

The price on this one was too high for me for what I found in the bottle.  The wine seemed a bit astringent to me with sharp edges that I didn’t care for.

Riding Mustangs

Have I mentioned before how much I love the wines from Coral Mustang?  I think I have, 😉 , but just in case, I’ll say it again…I love these wines!!!  The Rose is amazing and the Tempranillo is divine.  Tonight I chose the 2004 Coral Mustang Tempranillo to sip with my lamb and mashed taters.  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and I believe it cost me $22 from WineQ, but they are sold out, so I can’t be sure.

I first noted how dark the wine appeared in the glass.  On the nose I found berries, spice, wood, earth, black cherry, vanilla, and pie.  In my notes, I described the nose as “yummy.”  The wine tasted fabulous.  I almost didn’t want to take notes because I got so wrapped up in drinking the wine!  I got flavors of blackberries, black cherries, black plums, spice, earth, herbs, smoky notes, and almost a hint of raspberries.  The fruit tasted like it just got picked off a bush and crushed into my glass.  This is a wine you would remiss to not have a chance to taste….the 2005 is wonderful too!

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Long Time, No See

I’ve been off Zinfandel lately.  I have no idea why as it remains one of my favorite grapes, I just haven’t been drinking it like I used to for some reason.  Which is a shame, I’ve got tons of great Zins in the basement and we are in/rapidly approaching the season where I prefer to drink Whites and Roses! I chose the 2004 Esca Zinfandel to drink the other night.  It clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and I purchased it for $22.99 from WineQ.

On the nose I found blackberry, spice, pepper, plum, and raspberry.  I enjoyed the nose a lot.  In the mouth I got flavors of blackberries, dark fruit, spice, pepper, and some raspberries.  The wine is very much ready to drink, and would go nicely with some upcoming warm weather bbq!

Graciano? WineQ to the Rescue!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample because I am a member of WineQ‘s Beta Club.

I chose the 2005 Bokisch Graciano for the evening. I hadn’t yet checked Graciano off my Wine Centiry Club application, so I was happy to receive this wine in the mail from WineQ!  It had a real cork closure, clocked in at 14.5% alcohol by volume, and retails for $25.99.

The nose (which by the way, I spelled “noze” in my quickly typed notes….too much LOL Cats for me I think) on this wine really opened up over the course of the evening.  At first I found sour cherry, tomato vine, earth, spice, licorice, red currants, and some funky mint.  After an hour or so the nose opened up with fabulous dusty chocolate and brown sugar.  In the mouth I got flavors of sour cherry, leather, blacker fruit than on the nose, earth, mostly black cherry, and other dark tart fresh fruit.

Albariño is Excellent!

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from WineQ because I am Beta Club member.

It’s been quite a while since I had an Albariño and that’s a shame, since it’s a great grape, and is wonderful as a substitute for situations in which I would normally choose a Sauvignon Blanc. WineQ helped get me back on the Albariño train, and I’m going to start trying to seek them out again. I chose the 2007 Bokisch Albariño Clement Hills Vineyard to go with our omelets! It clocked in at 14.1% alcohol by volume, hails from Lodi, and you can purchase it for $15.99 from WineQ. (I’m finding the Bokisch wines to be absolutely excellent values so far!)

On the nose I found pineapple, cream, tropical fruit, apple, and pear. I was surprised by how aromatic this wine was, the fruit just jumped out of the glass. In the mouth, I got apple, tropical fruit, apricot, and peach. I found the wine to be crisp, dry, and refreshing. It actually worked really well with our omelets, a surprise to me!

Kick Ass Kick Ranch

By happy coincidence, WineQ has started carrying some of the awesome wines made from Kick Ranch Vineyards grapes, some of the same ones I got to taste at the Wine Blogger Conference. Brittany of WineQ gave me this bottle in September when I was out in San Francisco for work! The wine is the 2006 Carica Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc. The wine clocked in at 14.4% alcohol by volume and can be purchased from WineQ for $20.99.

On the nose I found lemon grass, meyer lemon, grass, grapefruit, and more citrus. This wine was all citrus, all the way! And just because I love all my readers, I actually went out recently and ate a Meyer lemon just so I would finally be able to have a reference point for a commonly used wine descriptor! I’ll tell you more about where I got that lemon in a later post! In the mouth, grapefruit, citrus, lemon, pineapple, passion fruit, fig, and kiwi showed in the mouth.

At first in the mouth, all I could taste was grapefruit and citrus, but that soon gave way to a mouthful of tropical fruit! I found the wine to be crisp and dry, with great acidity and structure.  The had some minerality and great fruit. I really enjoyed this bottle of wine! I served it with a dinner that I actually really like, and took pictures of, but the pictures make it look disgusting. I made chicken breasts stuffed with bacon and cream cheese and finished with a sauce of chicken stock, cream cheese, and drippings. Great food, and an excellent match with the wine, but I won’t share the pictures!

You say Garnacha, I say Grenache

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from WineQ because I am a Beta Club Member.

It’s all the same thing and it all tastes good to me. I love Grenache. I wish someone would name it the next “it” grape so that I could have many more to choose from! But alas, or, well, I guess not alas at all, since I love it too, I hear lots of predictions that Petite Sirah will be the next big thing. Who knows though? As long as it’s wine and it’s good, I’ll drink to whatever the next big grape is!

I chose the 2006 Bokisch Garnacha from WineQ for the evening. Mainly because I love Grenache and I really wanted to taste this one. I tried an Albariño from Boskich the other night and loved it!

The wine had a real cork closure, clocks in at 14.5%, and can be purchased for $17.99 from WineQ.  My first note for this wine involved the color. I really thought it looked exactly like a Pinot Noir in the glass. On the nose I found pomegrante, raspberry, strawberry, spice, red plum, and flowers.  In the mouth I got flavors of bright red fruit, cranberry, sour red cherry, pomegrante, pepper, spice, herbs, sage, and more red fruit.

Overall, my first impression of the color being like a Pinot Noir carried through to the actual wine. If I had tasted this blind, I would have guessed Pinot Noir, hands down. Now, I’m not sure what that says about my blind tasting skills, but there you have it.  I found the wine to be juicy, full of tart fruit,with nice acidity and herbal qualities. I actually remarked to Matt that it was like drinking a glass of alcoholic pomegrante juice!

Drinking from the Q

*Disclaimer: I received this bottle as a sample from WineQ because I am a member of their Beta Club.

We were looking for an after dinner wine the other night, something light and low in alcohol. The 2006 Ceja Sauvignon Blanc fit the bill nicely. You can buy this bottle from WineQ for $25.99, it clocks in a 12.9% alcohol by volume, and it had a real cork closure.

I loved the color on this wine. It had a great pale straw hue in the glass. On the nose I found aromas of grass, citrus, lime, lemon, grapefruit. The nose showed an incredible bouquet of tons of citrus. I love the grassy characteristic that California Sauvignon Blancs often have. In the mouth I got flavors of pineapple, star fruit, melon, lemon, grapefruit, and a nice herbal element.

Well chilled, this wine went perfectly with the muggy weather that we seem to still be having here in the DC swamp. As I said, we drank this on its own after dinner, but it would be perfect to whet your appetite as a before dinner drink.