Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Offering 2008 Red Wine




The Offering 2008 Red Wine$28.15-$31.99, 90 points (41% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 27% Mourvedre, and 2% Viognier, from Santa Barbara County), has a true Bordeaux color of black currant and elderberry. 
The aroma is sweet-spice and cedar with mushroom and violet notes.
On a nearly full-body, The offering displays layers of flavor, dominated by black fruit and licorice on an earthy back-drop. Though the label says that there is 15.4% alcohol, I found it well integrated and smooth. Another taster had scored this wine 90 points as well, but noted a whiskey-like quality, sweet yet spicy, and another taster had more poetic thoughts when  his "heart skipped a beat with an overwhelming heat." (88 points)


I bought The Offering at Bella Vino (Now closed).


Index-of-reviewed-wines


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Tokara Stellenbosch Director's Reserve 2007 Red Wine-Bordeaux Style


Tokara Stellenbosch Director's Reserve 2007 Red Wine
-Bordeaux Style (67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot, and 5% Melbec aged 22 months in French oak), $50.33, 92 points, was a gift and probably NOT available in New Hampshire stores, but  if you can make a special wine purchase, this is a different kind of red-wine and worth the money especially if you can find it for less. (Tasted blind)
The color is garnet welling black, the aroma is a bit mute, but pleasant earth notes and traces of clove are present. There is noticeable acidity, and the tannin follows the finish with plum and hints of black currant.
Ben said: "Buttery with a smooth, but mute finish, 89 points." Ethan said: "Creamy wine with caramel notes and flavor hints reminiscent of a bock-beer and a touch of the complexity of a "fortified wine, 90 points."
I'm sure that must peak someone's interest! Yes!

Index-of-reviewed-wines

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Justin Vineyards Isosceles Paso Robles 2007 Bordeaux-Style Red Wine



Justin Vineyards Isosceles Paso Robles 2007 Bordeaux-Style Red Wine, $50.94-$64.99, 94 points, was part of a blind tasting done by three of us Newbie wine lovers; comments in quotes belong to either Ben or Ethan, but which I had no disagreement with, as our pleasure in this wonderful wine was pretty-much the same (Consensus Wine Reality) with Ben having scored this wine 95 points and Ethan scored this wine 94 points.
I bought this at the NHLS 93 South on sale for $50.94: a great buy in my book if you're looking for a special wine. Recommended to me by the manager, Paul; good choice Paul!
Bordeaux-styled, rich, complex, food friendly, and having a sense of terroir (terˈwär).
The color was garnet with purple grains welling opaque, the aroma was sweet-spice and earth, and the flavors were layers of red satin fruit perfectly integrated from beginning to the long delicious finish. Flavors were reminiscent of "Warm morning sun with Tuscan-breezes (Wine flowing from) cool slate, having raspberry hints." [Ben], The "balanced flavors of cherry and raspberry notes with hints of cedar made for a remarkable drinking experience." [Ethan]

Can you tell that we all liked this wine?



Index of reviewed wines


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Marietta Old Vine Red Lot #52




Marietta Old Vine Red Lot Number 52, $15.30-$16.99 (On the web for $9.99), 87 points, has a rich and complex aroma though it is subtle; the aroma is a beautiful Redwood, a plethora of cooking spice, and a hint of candy-cane.
The color is a bright "Burgundy". 
I drank this red wine upon opening, but with air Lot #52 (Non-Vintage) nicely mellowed. The first mouthful was a bomb of red cherry syrup, very juicy and sweet (13.5% alcohol), but it was the late palate and finish where the nuances of Zinfandel in this red wine excelled with good acidity, spice and everything nice, hints of plum and licorice. 
Here's the list of varietals: 55.1% Carignane, 15.4% Grenache, 14.3% Mourvèdre, 7.1% Petite Sirah, 5.3% Zinfandel, 2.8% Syrah.
I bought this wine at Bella Vino, now closed.



Index-of-reviewed-wines


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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baron Philippe de Rothschild Cadet d'Oc Languedoc-Roussillon 2009 Cabernet AND Bonny Doon Contra 2009 Red wine


Baron Philippe de Rothschild Cadet d'Oc Languedoc-Roussillon 2009 Cabernet,  about $10.00, 87 points may be short of fulfilling the Sommelier's  fantasy, but as a red table wine at a fair price this is a winner. Bought at Hannaford's supermarket and available to my neighbors for about $10.00, this wine is still very new and just a bit sharp around the edges. Bright magenta color, gentle aroma of earth and dried herbs, this wine has a medium body and carries smoothly with black-berries, but the finish makes this another  unremarkable wine;  as a good tasting red table wine, it is better than the average.

Bonny Doon Contra 2009 Red wine (55.1% Carignane with 15.4% Grenache and 14.3% Mourvèdre, with dollops of Petite syrah, Zinfandel, and  Syrah), $11.89-$15.99, 90 points, has a violet purple color, with an aroma of sweet-spice and grape.
The medium body delivers a delicious blend of espresso-tobacco hiding in vine and black fruit. Contra has a lingering white-pepper finish to top it all off.
Bought at the NHLS for $11.89

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas Everyone, that means everyone, because this isn't about us, it isn't about the Catholic church, Martin Luther, the Queen of England, Mecca, Siddhartha, the United States or the world, it's not about you or me, but what God has done and is doing through His Son.
Of course a wine blog isn't about Christmas. This post isn't even about "water into wine", but about what God was doing:
"He did this so that now, through the church, the wisdom of God in all its variety might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realm in keeping with the eternal purpose that God carried out through the Messiah Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through his faithfulness." INSB





What I see in this picture is an expression of Love's eternal past and a "scarlet thread" leading right to my heart and into the confidence of my mind no matter the trouble, because the world, the universe is not mine, my own life is not mine, as time attests to, but belongs to Him "Who so loved the world. . ."
"The earth is the LORD'S and the fullness there-of. . ."
So with this Christmas music I end my Christmas posts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgdXD2-muLQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVeB7ACVgO0

And this is for all you folks in "Fly-over" country:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDaGhtjftT4&feature=related

I wanted to take a moment and say sad farewells to Brad and Danny who have been a big inspiration to me; I've mention their video-blog a few times, but their ending the show of wines and reviews ends one of the best and most fun to watch, and Down-Under informative wine programs. They will be missed!
http://wineweek.com.au/

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Banfi Col DI Sasso Toscana 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon & Sangiovese


Banfi Col DI Sasso Toscana 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon & Sangiovese, Approximately $10.00,  88 points, has a crystal clear ruby-red color, aroma is muted earth and mushroom, with very nice flavors of cranberry and red cherry, espresso hints and just a touch of tart apple (A first for a red-wine for me) carried on a medium body.
I thought I'd find an Italian wine to please the Holiday palate, and though I've been disappointed in the super Tuscan's before, this is a winner for me.


http://nhwineman.blogspot.com/2011/02/index-of-reviewed-wines.html


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The Three Tenors sing Winter Wonderland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRR3MmO8xPI

Bonterra Vineyards Mendocino County 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon



Bonterra Vineyards Mendocino County 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $12,99-$15.99, 87 points, is a lovely fruit-forward everyday red table wine; the price is in the range most people can afford, and the flavor (Plum, cough-drop cherry, with hints of black currant) is rich and smooth enough, and the structure is sure enough, with a bright red appearance and a pleasant cherry aroma, that this Cabernet will complement your Christmas table, especially if your have a larger gathering.
For those who pay-a-mind to these things, Bonterra boasts its organic vineyards.
After tasting this wine the next day, the spirited spice finish has prompted me to up my analysis of the Bonterra 2007 Cabernet (Sometimes a wine just needs a little air to bring-out its hidden jewels. This brings me in line with the other wine tasters who gave this wine 87 and 88 points (I was behind the eight-ball on this yesterday). Some may want to keep in mind that WS gave this wine a score of 75 points.

Index-of-reviewed-wines

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Mollydooker "The Maitre D" 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon


Mollydooker "The Maitre D" 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon


Mollydooker "The Maitre D" 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $28.79-$31.99, 88 points, is deep ruby-red with purple hues, the aroma is quite grape-like with a bit of glycerol which carries over to the palate on a smooth medium body, and finishes long on spice.
Two other wine tasters absolutely loved this wine and scored it in the mid nineties; they had aromas of fresh pollen and spring-streams, cinnamon and Mexican spice, with noticeable heat (15% alcohol) which they liked in this wine. I found it over-priced.

Index-of-reviewed-wines


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Michael W. Smith sings Christmastime:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgxWZZTkjIk&feature=related

Vérité La Muse 2002 Red Wine Is California Red





Vérité La Muse 2002 Red Wine, $78.84-$169.00, 93 points, is another Bordeaux-styled wine with an emphasis on Merlot (not technically a Meritage designated, having Merlot 92.5%, Cabernet franc 7.2%, and just a touch of Malbec).
From the price you can tell a number of things: usually quality (Caveat emptor), scarcity, and collect-ability, but since I paid the low end of the spectrum, and if you can still find this wine in New Hampshire, I'd like to suggest the Vérité La Muse 2002 Red Wine as a gift this Christmas to the wine-lover you have; the reason being the quality, scarcity, and collect-ability (Some say you can properly store this for 20 years).


Vérité La Muse 2002 Red Wine has one of the most interesting bouquets I've experienced, as it began with earthy coriander, leather, and mushrooms, even as hours past I caught hints of round cedar notes on whiffs of alcohol.
The color was a bit cloudy garnet.
This wine has firm tannin supporting layers of damson-plum, mulberries, and black berries.
Finishing long, the Vérité La Muse 2002 Red Wine displays tart cherry and white pepper on a medium to full body.


Enjoy the music of the seasonJesús alegria de los hombres (BACH) Sissel Kyrkjebø.avi

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mount Veeder Napa 2007 And Beringer Napa 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon



Mount Veeder Winery Napa Valley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $28.04-$39.99, 91 points, is another Bordeaux style wine minus 2% Petite Syrah.
The color is bright ruby-red with orange flecks and a broad transparent rim.
With aromas of black-cherry and hints of cooking spice, dried flowers, and herbs this wine excels on the nose.
The body is medium and carries a juicy red-raspberry in a rich cherry-plum and licorice matrix.
The finish is memorable black currant and spice. 


Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, $11.99-$39.99, 89 points, is heavier, is more pungent with cedar, clove, and cinnamon. The color is bright ruby-red with orange hues, and ultimately this is pure Cabernet Sauvignon.
The flavor profile is more plum and licorice, very much a smaller sibling to Beringer's other more expensive Cabernets.


What can be said about these wines is that you can, if you wait and watch for the sales, buy very good Cabernet Sauvignon wines for reasonable prices.


At $11.99 Beringer is quite a DEAL, but for a more interesting, but more expensive wine experience, Mt. Veeder is my pick.


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You tube Christmas selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCfqVzP-pEY

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sebastiani Secolo 2006 Sonoma Red Wine



Sebastiani Secolo 2006 Sonoma Red Wine, $19.99-$39.99, 89 points, needed to be decanted, as you can see the debris inside my decanter.
This wine had a true Bordeaux color and Bordeaux style except for the 1% Petite Syrah.
This Red wine has a medium body, is a quaffer, is smooth, and is a food friendly Red Wine.
The aroma is a sweet earth and spice.
The flavor is a delicious plum-cherry with licorice notes, but with an unremarkable finish.
In the final analysis the 2006 Secolo is an excellent table-wine that few will notice, but will be heartily drunk with the Red-Wine-Food-Fare you serve.
Christmas music can be heavenly! Sissel - In The Bleak Mid-Winter

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hahn Central Coast 2009 Meritage Continues 2011 Christmas Bordeaux-Style Wine Ideas


Hahn Central Coast 2009 Meritage, $11.99-$18.99 (Last Chance Wine NHLS), 91 points, continues my Bordeaux and Bordeaux-styled wines for Christmas food-fare recommendations, great wine exploration, and just for fun with family and friends.



Hahn Central Coast 2009 Meritage has a beautiful aroma of Cedar and Cigar-box, the color is more Shiraz-like than Bordeaux, the medium body carries an odd ensemble of mint, eucalyptus, muted blackberries, lively cola, and pepper, all go with a long finish. I usually don't care for floral flavors, but this wine is so well balanced that the flowers in the flavor is forest-floor and just another image in this Monet painting. Don't let the $11.99 fool you, this is a serious wine (45% Cabernet, 29% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 11% Melbec, and 3% Petite Verdot) where this Bordeaux-styled wine is greatly influenced by its 11% Melbec.
I paired this Meritage with a tenderloin, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, corn and milk chocolate; wow was that good!




Oh, want a Christmas song recommendation?


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Check-out a price near you: http://90pluswines.com/Wine/9JGGKFONA09/Hahn---Meritage-Central-Coast/2009.aspx

Monday, December 12, 2011

Covey Run 2006 Semillon Ice Wine and Ricardo Santos 2009 Semillon White Wine

Semillon as a dessert wine, an aperitif, or as a White wine for fish, oysters, shrimp, or other sea-food meals; I had this with cod and scallops.

Covey Run 2006 Semillon Ice Wine, $22.99-$25.99, 90 points, was surely an amazement: dessert itself without being too sweet or too cloying, having a rich flavor of sugared peach cobbler. Some would suggest drinking this with savory meats, and others with desserts, but this is one to taste; I enjoyed this with cashew-powered cookies, but I mostly enjoyed this by itself.
The color is harvest amber gold, the texture is light, but robust, and the aroma is citrus.

Ricardo Santos 2009 Semillon Mendoza, Argentina,
$13.49-$15.49, 87 points, has a very strong complex aroma, there is orange and lemon, but there is some nondescript odor which reminds me of sweat (Not altogether bad if you think in terms of your lover), and even a hint of fig.
The color is a pale yellow, and the texture is lush without being viscus.
The flavor is warm (Though the wine was 40-50 degrees) and approachable; it reminded me of a Sauvignon Blanc blended with a rich Chardonnay.
This is an interesting wine; I found myself going back and forth trying to decide just how I felt about it. Ambivalence is not the right word, because there's just too much here, too many layers of flavor and aroma to dismiss.
Index-of-reviewed-wines

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Handel bequeathed us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11xABcKjux8

Pitule Neirano 2010 Moscato D'Asti Italian White Wine



Pitule Neirano 2010 Moscato D'Asti Italian White Wine, $14.07-$15.99, 90 points, was another fine wine suggested and bought at Paula's Wine boutique (now closed ) http://www.bellavinonh.com/.
This a light-sparkling White wine ( frizzante ) of the Asti area of Piedmont, Italy is simply delicious, having a lightly sweet flavor of peach, a light-body with a major refreshment factor. Often labeled as a dessert wine, this wine is great by itself or as an aperitif, some will like to pair this with milk chocolate desserts.
Having a very limited experience with dessert wines, and in the past I have not been pleased with this varietal, but now that I've been happily steered in the right direction, I'll be finding more of these to compare the Pitule Neirano to.
I've already given some of this as a  Christmas present, and doesn't the label just work so well with the season?


Index of Reviewed wines


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Saturday, December 10, 2011

2006 Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release compared to Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007


Conn Creek 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release, $28.88-$39.98 (On the web for $17.99), 89 points,
Beringer Knights Valley 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $14.99-$23.99, 90 points, are close twins when tasted together, but not the price; both have deep magenta hues, both are medium bodied, smooth, and have primary flavors of black fruit and licorice, but the differences are pronounced in the aroma and the finish:
Conn Creek's aroma is a basic grape with some cedar notes, the finish is a nice spicy currant.


Beringer Knights Valley's aroma is a complex bouquet of cooking spice, mocha, and boysenberry, while the finish is not quite the drama of the  Conn Creek's, it still has a presence that continues with its more hardy tannin. The Bordeaux style is accentuated with a small blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Since you can see that the Conn Creek's alcohol is 14.5% I should tell you that the Knights Valley's is 14.3%
Both Cabernets paired nicely with a Porterhouse Steak, but one wine taster said that the Knights Valley conspired to up the quality of flavor in remarkable ways.
So, once again, here's to Laurie Hook.


Index-of-reviewed-wines



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Sarah Jane McMahon's beautiful voice brings Christmas nearer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ4ryq8JAcw&feature=related

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon




Robert MondaviNapaValley 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, $15.56-$29.99, 91 points:
At this time of the year I often get involved with people who want to buy wine as a gift below $20.00, and my safe-bet is right here; I paid $15.56 for a bona fide gem of a Cabernet Sauvignon with just a hint of Syrah.
Core-black color gives-way to ruby and orange glitters at the rim.
This wine possesses a wonderful aroma of Black-currant and cherry with hints of plum and ground Coriander, all carried nicely on a nearly full body of silk with a bit of espresso-mocha on a fair spiced plum finish.
This is a quaffer, and at 15% alcohol you'll notice it.
I've reviewed the 2006 with similar results, and I'm hoping to get to the 2007 when a certain someone gets home for the Holidays. 
В холодні ночі це вино є теплим і гострий:-)

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Cheers with a glass of wine and a song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4Jg8t9g3MI&feature=related

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cartlidge & Browne Dancing Crow2009 Sauvignon Blanc


 

Cartlidge And Browne Dancing Crow 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, $9.00-$15.00, 88 points, is simply a very nice, crisp, refreshing, and fish friendly wine. 
As many of you know Sauvignon Blanc is the "Mother" of Cabernet Sauvignon, but I would never have guessed it.
This "Dancing Crow" is the most Lime-like Sauvignon Blanc I've tasted; with hints of lemon, the light yellow color, and proper acidity all lead to a satisfying and inexpensive wine for refreshment or with your meal. I had this wine with Conch and Scallops. 
Sorry I don't remember where I bought this; Todd, if you remember selling this, please let me know.



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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chalk Hill Estate 2007 Red Wine



Chalk Hill Estate 2007 Red Bordeaux Style Wine, $63.74-$74.99, 94+ points, was a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Malbec, 13% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, and 1% Carmenere.
This Red Wine had the deepest Ruby red without being opaque.
The nose belied its intense color with gentle airs of cinnamon, clove, and cedar, with just hints of bacon and tobacco.
The nearly full body carried beautiful flavors of smoky blackberries, licorice, and finished with a tremendous white pepper and tart cherry.
With this wine you get what you pay for; there is only the transformation of sun and fruit, water and stone, hands and toil, into a compelling wine of distinction, flavor, and complexity.
This is a wine for today and tomorrow. This is art, not only on the label, but in the bottle.

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Time to warm-up with a cheerful glass of wine and a Christmas song by Sarah Brightman.

Stag's Leap Cellars Napa Valley 2006 Merlot



Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley 2006 Merlot, $31.12-$43.99, 90 points, is as my son describes: "A Mercedes Benz, no matter the age and no matter the model, it is still a Mercedes Benz." A well built car is so much like a well built wine, and to not see wine as constructed, is to miss just how difficult it is to make a very good wine.


Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley 2006 Merlot is a balance of a sexy perfume (I usually don't like), silky blend of black olive, plum, strawberry, allspice, truffle, and the kitchen-sink. 
The aroma begins strongly floral, but tones down, as it does on your palate, with some air. 
The color is deep-dark ruby-red with purple tones.
The texture is a silky smooth, medium to full bodied, and the finish has a bit of spice to add complexity.
As I've said, I don't usually like powerful floral flavors, but this wine somehow is able give those floral flavors meaning in the context of its Gestalt without over whelming the wine.
As for advocacy, this is an expensive and not an everyday wine, but lots of us know people who drink mostly Merlot, and you may want to give a special gift; this is a special gift.


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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chateau Nardian Saint Emilion 2009 Bordeaux And Two Kissing Cousins From Californian Appellations

Chateau Nardian Saint Emilion Grand Vin De 2009 (100% Merlot) Bordeaux, $16.99-$18.99, 88 points, has a mature Burgundy color welling opaque, and having pleasant earthy aromas with candy-cane hints. The medium body carries just a hint of acidity and tannin. The flavor is earthy black fruits with a pleasant, but marginal finish.


Franciscan Estate Napa Valley 2007 Merlot (92% Merlot, 5% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Petit Verdot) $13.50-$20.00, 89 points, has a youthful Burgundy color with a dark core, spectacular aroma of flowers and cooking spice, carried nicely on a medium body of of firm acidity and noticeable tannin, with flavors of tart cherry and violet hints, finishing on a fair bed of spice.


Merriam Vineyards Windacre Russian River Valley 2005 Merlot is labeled Melot, but it is a Bordeaux-styled wine (93% Merlot 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Cabernet Franc), $29.70-$32.99, 90 points, steps-up the intensity with a bit more alcohol (14.2% vs. 13% and 13.5% respectively). Having a youthful Burgundy color with clear-bright ruby hints radiating from a near black core, this Merlot (Bordeaux style) wine has an aroma of fall leaves and a touch of alcohol, a medium bodied wine of a balanced acidity and a light to moderate tannin presence. The flavor profile is black fruit and Damson plum. There is a bit of heat throughout, but that heat is most noticeable on the long finish. 


Three Merlot wines, very similar in color and flavor, with some differences in aroma, but the Merriam stands out in alcohol and price; for $13.50 the 2007 Franciscan (Bought on sale at Hannaford's supermarket, Hooksett, NH) is your "Best Buy", but if you're out for quality and 1 or 2 points makes a difference to you, then give the Merriam a try (Bought at http://www.bellavinonh.com/ ). 
Just a note on "Grand Vin" which means a winery's best wine (this was a small "blind tasting") and 88 points might not seem like a fair score, but that 88 points really out shine's and makes MUCH MORE sense than WS giving Stag's Leap Artemis 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon 80 points; I guess my repeating this gripe manifests my disorientation with their reality, but once again they're the pros.


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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meritage Wine (Geyser Peak And Lyeth Wines)

 Meritage Wine is a non-French way of saying a wine is a "Bordeaux style" of wine without the French origin. These wines are usually food-friendly (The French treat wine in the European tradition of wine equals food).


I have two examlpes of California Meritage Wines for your consideration as a substitute for French Bordeaux, but it is important to understand that to have a Bordeaux style wine, the wine does not have to be a certified Meritage wine, but rather typically (Sometimes having only two varietals) a blend of any of these six wines: (For Red Wine) Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Melbec, Carménère, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Geyser Peak Alexander Valley 2005 Meritage, $17.99-$35.99, 89 points, is not always an inexpensive wine, but at the lower-end of the price scale is a fair value. Quaffable is a word that comes to my mind as we polished-off this bottle in a brief foray into a mostly Cabernet Sauvignon wine (68%). The color is a deep garnet, but black at the core. The aroma is a pleasing soft coriander-clove.
The wine body is medium to full which carries flavors of primarily plum and licorice, and having a fair finish with some heat.

Lyeth Sonoma County 2006 Meritage, $12.74-$17.99, 87 points, is a more affordable Meritage with a similar profile, though not quite as dry and with almost no heat on the finish as was the case for the Geyser Peak, and also having a medium body. The aroma is a muted cluster of cooking spices, but the flavor, though not as lush, is predominately plum and licorice with a more noticeable tannic presence and a longer finish.
At the lower price, this too is a fair buy and won't break your bank account for something a little different and competently made.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Dinner And Wine Reviews-Bordeaux Wines




Chateau Bonnet 2008 Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon, $13.99-$15.99, 91+ points, was such a nice change from the fruit-bomb of a Concha Y Toro 2009 Merlot last night (85 Points).
Wine 101 has the Bordeaux wines to be from the Bordeaux region of France, though indigenous varietals are grown all over the world and are usually listed as these six wines: Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Melbec, Carménère, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, or blends (There are Bordeaux White Wines which I'll save for another post). It is important to understand that the designation of "Meritage" is the same varietals without encroaching on the Bordeaux region of French origin.

Chateau Bonnet 2008 Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon proves once again that there are very good French wines for very reasonable prices.

Chateau Bonnet 2008 Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon has a somewhat deep cloudy magenta color with a large transparent rim.
The aroma is a quite nice flowers and plum with hints of cinnamon spice and earth.
The medium body carries the very dry wine with ample tannin.
Flavors of gentle violets accent the more powerful plum and cherry.
The finish is fair, but delicious.
How does this wine pair with chocolate? How does Fred Astaire go without Ginger Rogers, Sony without Cher, or even Batman without The Joker, oops, Robin?
I was very pleased with this wine, and for $13.99 and at least a 91 point wine makes for a best-buy from me.


Vin français est une aventure en beauté !
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Castello DI Monastero 2007 Chianti Classico



Castello DI Monastero 2007 Chianti Classico, $16.14-$20.99, 91+ points, is my last Thanksgiving wine review, but Christmas is coming quickly and I want to present a few Bordeaux varietals common to NH. So, if you haven't finished with your preparations, then this one should do quite nicely. I bought this one at the New Hampshire Liquor Stores a few months ago, but I wouldn't doubt that you'll find this wine to be obtainable almost everywhere.
Castello DI Monastero 2007 Chianti Classico opened with a perfect ruby hue, the aroma is a very nice earthy blackberry with subtle hints of cinnamon and clove, this very dry red wine has a medium body and carries a rather straight forward but excellent flavor of  blackberries with earth tones and hints of licorice. The finish is long on smooth tannin and black pepper.
I paired this with Chipotle Pasta and sausage with a cheesed Focaccia grilled in the oven, but this wine will pair well with poultry or beef as well.
This is a great stand-alone wine if you like a dry red wine.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Ridge Estate 2009 Chardonnay And Roland Lavantureux Grand Vin De Bourgogne 2009 Chablis

Ridge Estate 2009 Chardonnay, $33.14-$38.99, 89 points, begins its rite of passage with an unpleasant aroma, though subtle we all noticed (Made me think there might be a problem with the bottle itself) the off blue cheese nature of it, but as it breathed for sometime, I notice that negative quality dissipated and was replaced with ripe melon; all these aromas were present on my palate, but late palate pepper became apparent and made for a rather nice finish with just a touch of spearmint. The color is light gold in a matrix of a medium body.
I've been a big fan of Ridge wines, and I'll want to try another Ridge Chardonnay, but this one doesn't get a buy from me, because of the price.


Roland Lavantureux Grand Vin De Bourgogne 2009 Chablis, $18.69-$21.99, 88 points, has a pale yellow color, an aroma of gentle lemon-zest, a medium body, and flavors of grapefruit-lemon with just a hint of lime. The finish is fair with ginger and floral notes.
Though I like this wine there are other Chablis wines I've reviewed that I like better and at a comparable price.


Both these wines were up to the task of pairing with Buffalo-wings, fried Haddock, and Turkey-gravy with mashed potatoes.


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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Plumpjack NAPA Valley 2009 Chardonnay An Expensive But Worthy Thanksgiving Choice



Plumpjack NAPA Valley
2009 Chardonnay Reserve, $39.09-$49.99, 92 points, is nearly everything an excellent California Chardonnay should be: balanced with subtle oaky vanilla, quaffable and creamy, but very refreshing (Not heavy) pear-pineapple, and hints of quince; there is the gentle aroma dominated by pineapple, the color of transparent gold, and the long finish with noticeable ginger that works so good together.
We liked this wine very much, and though we served the Plumpjack Chardonnay with Lobster-bisque this is a wine for almost any cuisine.
Now I know my neighbors won't like the price (I didn't, even at $39.09), but let's face it, Thanksgiving-Christmas is only once a year; this is not an every-man-everyday bottle of wine. As for me, I don't eat-out more than two or three times a year, and when I do the cost is always more than the price of a bottle of Plumjack, which makes this my treat.

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