Saturday, February 26, 2011

Syrah (Shiraz) $8.99 VS. $49.99 VS. Whatever


Boarding Pass 2007 Shiraz, South Australia, $8.99$-20.99, 91 points, is everything a good Shiraz is all about. I bought Boarding Pass at the Bedford New Hampshire Liquor Store's (Power-buy). This is a steal for such a good wine. Now this ain't no French Syrah, this is as wild as the Outback, very akin to a brambly California Zinfandel, and pair it with Mexican, with big steaks, with hamburgers, barbecues or grilled  lamb (just as you would a Zin), this wine has zip, and you just might get zapped, but don't miss-out on the value of this wine if you like a rich spicy wine that will not leave you or your friends flat. Sincerely, if you like Zinfandel wines, and you have not tried this wine, you will thank me; look into my eyes-thank me.
Boarding Pass is well constructed, there is no ill flavors, there is layers of wine-energy at a price that could fuel a Boeing-747 or a Ford F150, and with gas at $3.20 a gallon, just think, a short ride in that pick-up costs as much as this bottle of wine.
Cheryl, (You know who you are!) if you are reading this, does it seem that your recommendation was a good one?


Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2011 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Thursday, February 24, 2011

From France To California-From $49.99 To $23.99


Well, here's the comparison.
Here is the testable results of two Syrah wines, both are quite similar, but check-out the price!
In my last post I reviewed the Mas Du Soleilla Coteaux Du Languedoc La Clape Les Bartelles 2007 Syrah $49.99, 90 points.

Now let's get to the challenger:
Morgan Monterey 2008 Syrah, $19.99-$23.99, 90 points, has some familiar floral hints, but they are just that, hints.
This Syrah is a bit more subtle, yet the color is very close, the aroma leaves out the leather, but is rich in grape-cherry-pie, almost pungent though pleasant.
This Syrah is just as luscious, and maybe just a bit more delicious, yet not quite as complex and interesting.
The New Hampshire Wine-man scored this test a tie, scoring the Morgan Monterey 2008 Syrah 90 points, but at $19.99-$23.99 a clear winner and best buy.



Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2011 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mas Du Soleilla Coteaux Du Languedoc La Clape Les Bartelles (WHAT?)





Okay, okay, I said:
"Do you get lost when it comes to French wines? Just remember the wine tasting of 1976: California wines won.
I'm not pooh-poohing French wines, and have tried some fair priced good wine from France, but for the beginner, like me, it can be a mine-field of complexity and high prices. Why not begin with value wines from the USA that can help to get your own palate oriented before you get discouraged?"

Well, my on-going exploration into Zinfandel wines and its rich spicy near-kin the Syrah-Shiraz almost forced me to take a "leap-of-faith" and try a French Syrah (80%) to have some sense of comparison. The
2007 Mas Du Soleilla Coteaux Du Languedoc La Clape Les Bartelles (I already have writer's cramp) was heartily recommended to me, and for $50.00, there had to be some hard pressure applied to get me  to buy this wine.
The results are not clear even to me.
There are strange floral flavors here, but complexity with silky tannins and balanced acidity and layers of black currant held my interest. This wine needs to breathe, and the second day was better than the first. Nearly black to Shiraz purple, aromas of leather and currant, this is a big wine that shouts tender lullabies and will appeal to certain palates, but as the Lilly's Garden, Rutherford Merlot, Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha, and Whitehall Cabernet Sauvignon, the Mas Du Soleilla Coteaux Du Languedoc La Clape Les Bartelles is not my "cup of tea", but I can understand why some do and will love this wine, but I scored it 90 points, and at $50.00, not a buy for me (again) nor do I recommend this wine at this price.


Copyright 2010-2011 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ravenswood Single Vineyard 2007 Zinfandel Wines In Spades


If you were waiting for my review of the Ravenswood Zinfandel Belloni Vineyard Russian River Valley 2007 Zinfandel , your wait is over in spades, because I not only tried the Belloni, but the Dickerson, Big River, and the Teldeschi,  Single Vineyard 2007 Zinfandel wines as well.

All these  Ravenswood Single Vineyard 2007 Zinfandel wines I've reviewed here have the same winemaker (Joel Peterson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXOKMaRLbI4&feature=related ), or (Joel Peterson-Dallaswinechick), and all of them have a similar feel, all have been aged 20 months in 100% French oak, and all these  Zins are far superior to those other Ravenswood Zins already reviewed: [Ravenswood Zinfandel, Napa Valley 2005, Ravenswood Zinfandel, Napa Valley 2008, Ravenswood Zinfandel , Vinter's Blend  2007]

Ravenswood Zinfandel Dickerson Vineyard, Napa Valley, 2007 Zinfandel (100%), $29.99, 92 points. This one has the nicest aroma of all these I've tried, and the best eucalyptus  flavor of any wine I've tried (delicate). This is an exceptional  Ravenswood  Zinfandel with the typical  Single Vineyard Zinfandel  smooth and uncomplicated drinkability. The Dickerson intends to be a Zin and only a Zin, no masquerading  as anything else but a Zin. with the bramble and the pepper. I like this one the best of the seven Ravenswood Zins I've tried so far. Went great with a spiced-up strip steak and buttered Jewish rye.

Ravenswood Zinfandel Belloni Vineyard Russian River Valley, 2007 Zinfandel  (co-fermented  grapes from Zinfandel, Carignane, and Petite Syrah), $25.49, 90 points.
Dark magenta, aromas of blackberries which is true to its flavor, but having a smooth medium body with hints of licorice, and a long finish of white pepper.
Paired well with a green-pepper pizza.

Ravenswood Zinfandel Big River Vineyard, Alexander Valley, 2007 Zinfandel (100%), $25.49, 90 points.
Dark and dense royal purple color, aroma is a bit vegetative with something different: new car-smell (Not offensive). Let me know if you find that true. The flavor is big, tannic, and finishes spicy with a long white pepper finish.

Ravenswood Zinfandel Teldeschi Vineyard Dry Creek Valley
2007 Zinfandel, (76% Zinfandel, 22% Petite Syrah, 2% Carignane),  $25.49, 91 points.
Dark and dense (On the fringe of purple shiraz), medium bodied though early palate light, rolling-into a big berry-grape bomb, having hints of licorice and black pepper, finishing modestly with white pepper. Paired well with Chipotle Chorizo sausage and spaghetti in tomato sauce.
I found some of the scoring on this last wine interesting: WS rated this wine 86 points (I, humbly, found that  to be ridiculous). The other was International Wine Cellar's score of 94 points just a bit of a stretch though not unreasonable. It is important  to understand  and to accept subjectivity as an inherent fact, and hopefully honest opinions are given, but I do take some comfort in being nicely in the middle of the two extremes.


Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2011 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Green and Red, Neal Rutherford Dust 2008 Zesty Zinfandels






Green and Red 2008 Zinfandel Chiles canyon, Napa Valley, $20.99, 92 points, has the color of a young Bordeaux with aroma of currant and blueberry, is fruit-forward with a medium plus body and bright acidity. This Zin has remarkable character, having a long finish of white and black pepper. I'm in love with this vintage, it is true to  its brambly nature of blackberry, yet is robust where the Neal Zin is vibrant. 

Neal  Family Vineyards 2008 Zinfandel, "Rutherford Dust", Napa Valley, $22.09, 91 points, is the cleanest Zin I've yet tasted.
The color is budding red rose, and the aroma is sweet plum and blueberry.
Neal has made a quintessential Zinfandel with bramble berry, tongue tingling cascade of spice, dominant plum with hints of cigar, and cherry liqueur,  which are almost over-whelmed by the macho zest that is carried by a medium body with good acidity.
The finish is long and captivating with as much spice as Arrakis.




Index-of-reviewed-wines


Copyright 2011 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger



Monday, February 7, 2011

INDEX of REVIEWED WINES





  INDEX of REVIEWED WINES
is being reconstructed; keep in mind that most wines reviewed (except for maybe 9) were found and bought in New Hampshire.
 
  Lets get the scoring (I use the 100 point rating system loosely) out of the way; everyone has a scoring system of one kind or another, and like politics, everyone's own predilection, style, or system is important to them.
Whether one uses adjectives like, wonderful, spectacular, average, poor, other, or the five point, 10 points,
20 point, 50 point or 100 point systems makes NO difference to me; I use the 100 point system cause it's the most widely used and it's user friendly (JMO), but it is important to see a couple subtleties: An excellent wine scoring 90 points (arbitrary) that costs $100 isn't anything like a 90 point wine that costs $20, it's a QPR (Quality/Price/Ratio) issue; also, a reviewer that's tasted 10,000 wines is more likely to rightly divide any wine against another, that's why you'll hear sommeliers say: "taste, taste, and taste some more."
  I did want to mention a pit-fall with some of the other ways of helping someone to chose when purchasing one wine verses another: Anecdotally, the other morning I was comparison shopping for a Zinfandel, lo and behold a major Web wine dealer listed a Twisted Zinfandel at $9.99 with a higher rating than a Seghesio Zinfandel Old Vines at $26.79; keep in mind that it wasn't the cost that was problematic for me (mostly for the uninitiated), but the quality, and I've had both wines: There is NO comparison! Luckily, they did provide the Seghesio with an additional WS 93 point score, no other score like that for their twisted friend.
  My interest is mostly local and concentrates mostly on wines available in New Hampshire; the average purchaser of wine in NH isn't looking to buy wines from the producer, and I know few people that buy from dealers.
  So, my opinions expressed usually between 75-97 points are just that, my opinions, and if that works as a guide to family and friends, then that makes my day!
Cheers!
 
 
Albariño (International)

Areni Noir

Austrian Wines

Bandol, France's Wine Apellation on the Mediterranean  

Barbera from Italy, The Everyday Red Wine.

Barbaresco, Barolo, and the Enigma of the Nebbiolo Grape Produced in Piedmont Italy

Beaujolais The Gamay Grape

Bordeaux Red Wines

Bordeaux White Wines

Brunello di Montalcino

Cabernet Franc (USA)

Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)

Cabernet Sauvignon (International)

Cabernet Sauvignon (USA California)

Cabernet Sauvignon (USA North West)
                        USA Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wines Tasted/Reviewed in 2015

Carménère

Cava (Spanish Sparkling Wines)

Chablis

Champagne with regrets

Chardonnay (International)

Chardonnay (Italy)

Chardonnay (USA)

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Chenin Blanc/Vouvray

Chianti, Italy's Classic Wine
Chianti Classico (Italy's Flagship Red Wine)
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
Chianti Classico Riserva, Sangiovese With Class!
See: Morellino di Scansano (Sangiovese, Region of Scansano)
Chianti Index Vestige


French Alsace Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée

Gavi (Cortese di Gavi)

Gewürztraminer (International)

GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) 

Greek Wines

Italian Red Wines (Blended- IGT etcetera)
Italian White Wines

Malbec

Marechal Foch New Hampshire's Very Own Wine?

Meritage (USA) Bordeaux Styled Red Wine

(Meritage) International Bordeaux-Styled Red Wines

Merlot (International)

Merlot (USA)

Montefalco Sagrantino

Montepulciano D'Abruzzo Red Wine

Morellino di Scansano (Sangiovese, Region of Scansano)

MOSCATO White Wine

Petite Syrah/Durif Wines

Pinot Grigio (Gris) International

Pinot Grigio (Italy)

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris (USA)

Pinot Noir (France)

Pinot Noir (New Zealand)

Pinot Noir (USA)

Port/Sherry The Fortified Wines

Portuguese (Red Wines)

Primitivo (Italian Zinfandel)

Prosecco (Italian Dry, Extra Dry, and Brut White Sparkling Wines)

Red Wine (USA)

Rhône Red Wine 'BLENDS'

Riesling (Australia)

Riesling (Germany)

Riesling (USA)

Rosé Wines
           Rosé Wines (France)
                     Rosé Wines (USA)

Rosso di Montalcino

Sangiovese, Italy's Signature Grape

Sauternes

Sauvignon Blanc, (International) Fumé Blanc, Sancerre White Wines

Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

Sauvignon Blanc (USA)
                    Best of 2013 Cali SB
                      "Best of Show" 2013 Cali Sauvignon Blanc (62) Tasted

Shiraz (Australia)

South African Wines

Spanish Red Wines
   Spanish Calatayud Red Wines
      Spanish Campo de Borja (Aragon) Red Wines
         Spanish Jumilla Red Wines
            Spanish La Mancha Red Wines
               Spanish Montsant Red Wines
                  Spanish Navarra Red Wines
                     Spanish Priorat Red Wines
                        Spanish Ribera del Duero Red Wines
                           Spanish Rioja Red Wines
                              Spanish Toro Red Wines
                                 Spanish Vino De La Tierra De Castilla Red Wines
                                    Spanish Yecla Red Wines

Spanish Fortified Wine
                        Alvear 2011 Pedro Ximenez de Anada Montilla-Moriles (Andalusia, Spain), $9.79-$154.00*, points

Spanish White Wine

Sparkling White Wines: My humble beginning, not Prosecco, nor Cava, nor Champagne: see separately.

Syrah (France)

Syrah (USA)

Torrontés White Wine

Valpolicella

Vermentino White Wine

Vinho Verde

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Viognier White Wine

Vouvray/Chenin Blanc

White Wine (miscellaneous-imported)

White Wines (USA)

Zinfandel Wines


Miscellaneous blog posts

2016 Christmas Wine Gifts (Sweet and Simple Picks)
2500th post begins a seven year NHWM celebration.
April 5th and I'm still thinking red wine!
April 5th and I'm still thinking red wine! Wait, it's May 8th now!
Are wine Labels going to the birds?
Are Wine Labels Going To The Birds Part II?
Are Wine Labels Going To The Birds III?
Beaujolais Nouveau NHWM, why the narrow focus?
Beringer Wineries, Why They are go to wineries.
Bubblies For New Years Eve 2016-2017
Buehler Vineyards of Napa Valley, why it's a "go to " winery.
California Cabernet Sauvignon, The Growing Divide!
Chianti Classico's Black Rooster (You've always wanted to know!)
Clos Du Val Family Owned Estate Vineyards, Why it's a "go to winery".
Corks and Others
Darioush of Napa Valley, why it's a "go to" winery.
David Boyer
Diane: You Were Sweeter Than Wine
Dry Creek Vineyard, why it's a "go to" winery.
Early History of California Wines
Eureka! Reasons for not drinking Zinfandel:
For The Wine Geek
Frog's Leap Napa Valley, Why it's a "Go to Winery."
"GOOD NIGHT, Mrs. Calabash--wherever you are!" (Not a Wine Post)
Grgich Hills Estates, why it's a "go to winery".
Groth Vineyards, why it's a "go to" winery.
Hahn Family Estates Winery, why it's a "go to" winery.
Halloween Wine and Décor featuring Once Upon A Vine Red Wine, Wicked Bold 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine, and Chronic Cellars Paso Robles Purple Paradse 2013 Red Wine
Happy New Year (2017)
I'm a groove wine drinker; no I'm a fad wine drinker; not sure, but I think I'm a red wine drinker. . .
Italy, I love you, I love you not, I love you . . .!
Italian Wines (Where's the Love?)
Merlot Rediscovered
Merriam Vineyards, why its "go-to" winery.
National Chardonnay Day (2016)
Nebbiolo wine and the confusing issue of buying, aging, and storing them.
Newbie Me And Zin
NHWM's Last-minute Gift Recommendations (2015)
NHWM's Milestone
Pairing Charts
Pistachio Nuts, The Food That Pairs With All Wines
Pure Plonk!
Red wine, chocolate, and health debated by moi!
Remembering that cute Petite Sirah
Ridge, why it's a "go to" winery.
Rosé Wines, The Big Domestic Push
Russia Русские любители вина
Russians love (used to) The New Hampshire Wine Blog!
Sauvignon Blanc (Cali), four years worth of speculation!
Shafer, why it's a "go to" winery.
So why do so many hate wine. . .scores. . .
Sparkling Critters These Wines That Glitter
Stags' Leap Napa Valley, Why it's a "Go to Winery."
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Why it's a "Go-to Winery."
Talking about wine, an angel's share of musing.
Ten helpful rules for new wine drinkers
Thank you Mr. Lemieux and Market Basket
Thanksgiving inevitably leads to Christmas well-wishes. . .
The Fun Of Smelling!
Tuscan Vines Waxes Wine Philosophical
Unnecessary Fear And Loathing Of French Wine Labels; Well, Maybe Not Unnecessary!
Vinsanity, The Wine Blog From Over-there To Over-here
What is a "go to winery"?
Wine and Dogs, Sons and Daughters: The Wonder of Sentiment
Wine and Food Pairing Charts
Wine and three days of snow!
Wine as a last-minute Christmas gift (2014)
Wine Blogging Motives and Modus Operandi
Wine Labels As Art (links to photo posts)
Wine Pairing; exempli gratia (e.g.) PB-and-J
Wine Spectator Magazine Rates My Bragged About Pinot Noir as #67 in Their Top 100
Wine tasting can go viral!
Wine Week 2017 a reposting (sort of) from 2016
Wine: What's the ruckus all about?
Wine's saintly music
Wine Theft Is In The Top Ten Of Shoplifted Items
Zinfandel-America's Wine-“Dance with the one who brung ya”
Zinfandel Red Wines Enjoyed Years Ago Revisited
Zinfandel suffers, not from a lack of interest . . .


Copyright 2010-2014 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spanish Wines Part II


Let's get real: Spanish wines are made by people who leave their trademark on them.


Wine as a whole is very subjective, but a few things should be considered: Inexpensive wines generally have their limits, and quality generally will be reflected in price.

Exploring fair to good ((Sometimes very good) wines can be inexpensive.
Exploring different wines can be fun.

Spanish wines are maybe the most fun (For Me) Geographically to explore.

Exploring wines as one would explore a beach or a city could just be a kind of compass in these adventures, a souvenir, memorabilia that pin-points people, places, times and things.

Okay, not so much interested in my musings, but I think it is important that how we get somewhere is as important as getting there. So, sampling wines along the way, though not always great wines, still leaves us with something enriching.


I've heard it said that California makes some of the world's greatest wines, but also some of the sweetest most disgusting wines in the world; hopefully, taking our spin around Spain will not leave us with that ill attitude.


New Hampshire shoppers should be able to find the six wines I'm going to briefly comment on, or a more recent vintage. I must restate that vintage does make a difference. However, there are some wineries that make great efforts to be consistent. Consistency can be ferreted-out  with a little research, but when you're a casual wine drinker and just brave enough to try something different,  when the price is so nominal as to be inconsequential, then a "have-at-it" attitude will make for a fun exploration; wine-tasting parties have this kind of mindset, but not all of us can or want to make a party of it; I, for one, will have a glass of Red wine and get sleepy.

So, with this long preface (You are getting sleepy) let's get to the wines.

is  from the region of Moncayo, South of Navarra (Region we visited in a previous post)  in Northern Spain. Exploration wine at this price is okay for me, but I was glad it wasn't more. This was a unique wine for me, if not particularly pleasant; with an over-whelming spearmint flavor (True to its nose), I am not a fan. Though overall, not a bad wine, with floral flavors and a medium body, this wine was especially good with dark chocolate.  
It is important to note that this is a young wine and as it cellars a while may improve. So, I've bought more than one bottle and will try again next year.

Traveling East we come to the region of Costers Del Segre, just North of Priorat (Region we visited in a previous post); here we find Castell del Remei Gotim Bru 2006 Red Wine, $10.19, 85 points a typically tart wine, but not a typical Spanish wine. Having blended Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Garnacha, Castell del Remei Gotim Bru has constructed a complex and interesting wine worth the $10.19 I paid for it.


Heading South, once again we come to Priorat (I'm beginning to know my way around). Nita 2007 Red Wine, $22.94, 90 points, uses 45% Grenache, 35% Carignane, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Syrah and combines them into a wonderful expression of the region; glassy rose-pedal color, with a faint blackberry aroma, light to medium body with a full-bodied flavor of fruit that is consistent, pleasantly tart with both a spicy palate and finish. Pair-able with many different tomato-based Mediterranean cuisine, or stand alone.


Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica 2007 Red Wine, $9.34, 87 points maybe the best value of the six wines. With layers of fruit and nuanced flavors of herbs and spices carefully and discreetly woven into the blend of 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah. The region of Montsant is just South of (In the Shadow of) Priorat.

Hecula 2005 Monastrell, $10.19, 87 points, is from the region Yecla, still further South of Montsant along the East coast. 100% Monastrell (Mataro) from unirrigated vines, having  produced an interesting wine of unpredictable flavor, nice aroma lost in darkly hidden color and magic. Well, so much for the "science" of wine-tasting!

Wrongo Dongo (Bodegas Juan Gil Jumilla) 2008 Monastrell, $7.64, 85 points, another 100% Monastrell wine, but this time from Jumilla, which is nearby and just West of the Yecla region. With big plum flavors and a big aroma of dark berries this a clean Red Table Wine; paired well with Lamb and Feta cheese. 







Friday, February 4, 2011

Stop & Shop & Jack London Merlot


To the Lady I met at Stop And Shop this morning (Friday), you were the one buying the  J Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon Seven Oaks (You know who you are), in case you are still interested in the Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Sonoma County, California 2004 Merlot, $9.50, 91 points, is a great Merlot that retails for $27.99.

This is what you would have paid for the J Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon Seven Oaks, at the NHLS, on sale for $15.99.

Here are the links for comparison,

J-Lohr-Seven-Oaks-Cabernet-Sauvignon-2007

Kenwood-Jack-London-Vineyard-Merlot-2004

nh.govWine locator and Price

My own review of the Jack London 2004 Merlot is 91 points; This Merlot has aromas of cocoa and sweet plum, color of purple-grape-skin and plum, but the real deal is the flavor, and that is wonderful: silky and sleek, gentle blackberries and gentle spice finish. The last Merlot I tasted that was this good, cost me $27.00.

Just remember that the store purchased this wine by mistake, and once it is gone: "say good-bye."

For others interested, the Stop And Shop is in Bedford New Hampshire. This is a steal!



Index-of-reviewed-wines

Copyright 2011 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Wine & Spirits Boutique of New Hampshire" Anyone? And Wind Gap Syrah Where Are You?

I have made some friends in the New Hampshire Liquor Stores, and that got me thinking about a statistic I heard today (70% of wine purchases are made by women in food stores). Whether that is so or not I'm not sure, whether it is true to NH is unclear, whether NHLS cares is unknown, but I was reflecting on my own experience with wine purchases, that being my first foray into buying wine began in the food markets (Liquor implied something seedy and unclean), but since I was intent on following my new passion, where was a New Hampshire resident to go? Well, I've since been so impressed, especially with store 33 and its finesse and boutique character that I thought, for marketing purposes, that the NH Liquor ORGANIZATION should consider giving this store, if not others as well, a new suave name: "Wine & Spirits Boutique of New Hampshire" had a nice "Feel" about it to me. I could just see a big sign with
                  "Wine AND Spirits
 Boutique of New Hampshire"
and the familiar NH Liquor Store Logo underneath and inconspicuous as a marketing plus.


Just a thought!

Well, I'm not going to leave without giving a big plus to another wine and where I purchased it:

From Bella Vino, 4 Cobbertts Pond Road in Windham, New Hampshire (Now closed), I picked-up the Wind Gap Castelli Knight Ranch 2007 Syrah.

WOW! This wine needs all the Big Adjectives I could Muster: Massive, Muscular, Meaty, and Macho, come to mind. For me, this wine began with a wine aerator and about a one-third full Cabernet Sauvignon glass. Out came Big aromas of bacon fat (Too strong) and hidden blackberries, especially currant, with plum and fig. All the big aromas, tannins, and flavors, too strong at first, toned down into a wonderful experience that was akin to breaking a wild Mustang.

The Wind Gap Castelli Knight Ranch 2007 Syrah, approximately $45.00, 91 points, developed (revealed) layer upon layer of character and depth over four days (A first for me). This wine needs to be decanted, and I've been told will bottle well for ten years.

The only other wine I can compare this with is the slightly more floral 2006 Two Hands Lily's Garden, but in the end they are two different animals. However, I think if you like the one, you'll like the other.


Oh, Spanish wines part two will be coming, and Zinfandel is never off my mind; I've recently purchased some very interesting new Zinfandel wines and can't wait to get to them.


Index-of-reviewed-wines
Copyright 2011 Dennis Tsiorbas. All rights reserved, Template provided by Blogger



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spanish Wine

Now that I'm over my "Merlot madness" I've sprained my brain on some of Spain's numerous wine regions (More than 60), sampling a number of Spanish Red wines and letting them transport the New Hampshire Wine-man, to Spain's heart, the region of La Mancha. La Mancha is the largest wine region in the world. Here Volver ekes out of rock, sand, sky, air, and sparse rain, a labor of love to transmute time and space into a bottle of rich, aromatic, and gossamer wine memories.

Volver La Mancha 2007 Tempranillo, $11.04, 90 points, is gentle, yet spicy, polished, yet earthy, it is richly vibrant with furtive hints of espresso and tobacco.
This is a winner of a wine, from its value price, intriguing label, Geo-history, down to the fine flavorful finish.
The traveler from across the Atlantic was impressed!


East of La Mancha is Almansa with its Atalaya 2007 Red Wine, $12.74, 90 points, a gulper of a Red wine, dark, aromatic, smoothly enjoyable and pair-able, not a pretender of distinction, not a feast in itself, but pleasure in a bottle: a "helpmeet" on the table, with generosity for friends and family in ambiance.

The New Hampshire Wine-man presumes to rate a great buy:
Heading straight North is the Campo De Borja region from where Borsa Crianza, a 60% Garnacha (Sweet "water" from sand and stone), 20% Tempranillo, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, blends soft aromas and ruby colors into a balanced complexity having wonderful flavors of blackberries ending with a long finish of pleasant pepper.

 

Borsa Crianza 2006 Red Wine, $11.04, 90 points
I bought two of these for a steal, but wished I had bought a case.

Traveling East again, I stumbled upon The Priorat region and the "best" wine of my Spanish adventure. Though not all the Spanish wines I've tried are 90 plus points, my amazement with the QPR is great (Purposefully I left out lesser reviewed wines, [those reviews will come later] to show respect for those in Spain who have made such treasures in bottles). However my first Priorat wine, though my favorite Spanish wine, is a bit pricey, at $36.54 (Not an inexpensive wine), but well worth that price (If it were a more recent vintage, I would have gone back and bought more).

2005 Ferrer Bobet Priorat Red Wine, $36.54, 92 points, (53% Carignane 35% Garnacha, 7% Syrah, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) is beautifully aromatic and vibrant, with a royal purple color, medium bodied, enticingly gentle early palate, and with late palate pepper morphing into a finish of spicy effluence, the 2005 Ferrer Bobet Priorat,  is not going to knock you over, but is restrained and mature, pure palate pleasure, stand alone or with almost any cuisine.



Rioja region is well know and appreciated by wine-lovers all around the world, and is our next stop.

Marqués de Cáceres Reserva 2004 Rioja, $18.74, 90 points, begins rich and finishes luscious, with a clear ruby color, sweet aroma, easily drinkable, and flavorful, this wine quickly became one of my favorites.