Thursday, February 28, 2013

TUSSOCK JUMPER Vin De France Pinot Noir Bin 10




TUSSOCK JUMPER Vin De France Pinot Noir Bin 10, $9.99, 87 points, explodes with a brilliant sunburst red and terminates with a broad watery rim.
Enter an issue all wine tasters sooner or later come across: the smell of soap in a wine. It has happened to me only two times, but today is one of them. I am fastidious about  hand-washing and rinsing my wine glasses, so when I poured a glass of the TUSSOCK JUMPER, swished and swirled, first noticing a hint of soap, I poured, swished, and swirled another glass, but the smell was exactly the same. With a hint of spicy red cherry, the aroma was still passably okay though a bit faint.
Medium bodied with good acidity and light tannin, this dry red wine impresses with juicy flavors of cherry, plum and licorice.
The finish is fair with woody spice and menthol.
New Hampshire Pinot Noir enthusiasts will find this as a "New Item" at the Market Basket Super Market in Londonderry, NH.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Red Bicyclette Vin De Pays D'OC 2008 Pinot Noir





Red Bicyclette Vin De Pays D'OC 2008 Pinot Noir, $4.50-$10.00, 86 points, begins (we'll get to the controversy later) a light pomegranate red color with a clear rim.
Spicy red raspberry and sweet red cherry lift gently from the glass as a pleasant fragrance.
The somewhat rough medium body has good acidity throughout, but light tannin is almost unnoticeable.
Woody flavors of cherry and plum are good if one dimensional and a bit chalky, but the finish is fair with spice.
Those who like a dry red wine with less alcohol (12.5%) may find this a good change of pace if you can find it.

Okay, Decanter.com reports on charges brought against those responsible in the pinot-noir-red-bicyclette-scandal and Jancis Robinson.com reports on the "Judgment", though Gallo's  Susan Hensley says this fraud does not include the 2007 or 2008 Red Bicyclette vintages of their Pinot Noir wines.
As for me, it's all just a tempest in a glass of ice-tea; however, as with counterfeit Bordeaux wines from the East or who knows where, I'm glad that someone is watching what's going on.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

J Vineyards Russian River 2008 Pinot Noir


J Vineyards Russian River 2008 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$34.99, 92 points, appears deep clear ruby red, but tapers toward the clear rim with hints of dark carrot orange.
With sweet red jam, a hint of thyme and earthy plum, begins a metaphorical "Jammin" (Bob Marley).

The medium body has ample acidity for almost any cuisine, the tannin is mild to moderate, the flavor of cherry-cola, black licorice, and bourbon (14.4% alcohol) all trail silky smooth into a long peppery finish.

Delicious with dark chocolate!




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Monday, February 25, 2013

Château Brane-Cantenac Margaux Grand Cru Classé 2008 Bordeaux


Château Brane-Cantenac Margaux Grand Cru Classé 2008 Bordeaux,  $49.29-$57.99, 91-plus points, resonates black currant, color (trails pomegranate with a broad transparent rim), dominates the nose and the flavor profile, though hints of licorice and coffee add some complexity, and the finish is fair with white and black pepper with a trailing hint of menthol.
This dry red wine breaks just past medium body, carries good acidity with approachable and moderate tannin. Having 13% alcohol in such an edifice of a wine, makes the alcohol difficult to notice.
It appears that the premium we pay for these Bordeaux wines can be a bit weighty, but considering their longevity and consistent quality, I'll continue to seek them out.
I know that the New Hampshire State Liquor Stores sell wine as a business, but having made so many 2009 Bordeaux wines available to us was a great choice, one I'm grateful for.


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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Castle Rock Russian River Valley 2007 Petite Sirah




Castle Rock Russian River Valley 2007 Petite Sirah, $10.99, 83 points, trends from its black core to a Bordeaux red color with yet a clear rim (identical to the red truck Petite Sirah), though the odor begins quite differently with light sweet yellow mustard (a first for me in any wine), sweet cooking spice and a touch of cedar.
Tasting quite differently as well, sharply acidic and tannic, tart to almost sour cherry masks most other flavors, and trails long into the finish. Inspecting the cork revealed no flaw, and the flavor seemed okay, but a flaw in this wine is not without question.


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Red Wine and Hearing


If you haven't heard, there is another reason to drink red wine, but I'm guessing that the pros and cons will always cloud one's motivation(s) for drinking red wine; I began drinking red wine for the simple fact that I could keep it for years in the cellar, and during disasters, while everyone else would be drinking bottled water (that goes bad first), I would have something a bit tastier.


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http://oto.sagepub.com/content/129/5/463.abstract

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Château De Ribebon 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur


Château De Ribebon 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur, $12.74-$16.99, 88 points, greets the eyes with a dense ruby color, trending pomegranate toward a clear rim.
A profuse perfumed aroma of cherries and sweet cooking spices propitiously lifts out of the glass.
The medium body carries good acidity and nuanced tannin into a flavor profile that follows the aroma with tart/tangy red cherry as a standout.
Finishes fairly and with just a hint of chalky spice.






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Friday, February 22, 2013

red truck california 2006 petite sirah


red truck california 2006 petite sirah, $9.00-$14.99, 88 points, trends from its black core to a Bordeaux red color with yet a clear rim.
Has a rather pleasant aroma of cooking spices, dried herbs, black currant, and sweet red cherry.
The smooth medium body, with fair acidity and tannin, though tame, is quite delicious; a gentle cornucopia of black fruit is just too easy to drink.
Finishing a bit thin, still delicious with a touch of spice and a hint of warmth (13.9% alcohol).
If you are one of those people who find most red wines too acidic, too tannic, or just overwhelming, maybe even too expensive, too sweet or dry, then give red truck a tasty-try; let me know if I am right about this!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Château La Barauderie 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur


Château La Barauderie 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur, $11.04-$12.99, 85 points, rejects any Bordeaux wine color that is typical of Bordeaux, and is a bright sunset orange-red with a very broad watery edge.

My first sniff screamed alcohol (14.5%) and an oily red grape.

My first taste followed suit, but a sticky caramel-bourbon heat dominated all other flavors in this medium bodied dry red wine of high acidity with a moderate tannic presence, rendering them insignificant, as ostensibly intended.

This woody alcohol laden wine will appeal to those who want more of an affective wine than one which can be savored.






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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Château Malescot-St.-Exupéry Margaux 2008 Bordeaux




Château Malescot-St.-Exupéry Margaux 2008 Bordeaux, $48.02-$56.49, 92 points, begins with a deep-dark ruby color trending black currant and terminating at the glass rim with a clear ring.
Sweet floral red cherry and earth with hints of cinnamon and alcohol (13.5%) are aromatic.
Full bodied red wine with good acidity and easy layered tannin carries a plethora of flavors dominated by black currant and other blackberries, with rich black licorice and violets, though hints of clove and dried savory herbs accent the flavor profile.
Ending with warm spice and subtle mint, finishes fairly long, though restrained.
I found that I enjoyed this Bordeaux more after being opened for several hours.
A note on the 2010 vintage: the price is now $130.00.




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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Château Bellevue Entre-deux-Mers 2010 White Bordeaux




Château Bellevue Entre-deux-Mers 2010 White Bordeaux, $7.99-$14.99, 88 points, begins with a lemon/lime color with copper tints.
Bright white grapefruit and floral perfume are pleasant.
Medium body with good acidity and rich texture accent the grapefruit and light melon flavors with a touch of slate, though the wine suffers a bit from a lack of crispness and has a slightly sour note, the finish of ginger is long and tasty.
Château Bellevue Entre-deux-Mers 2010 White Bordeaux paired perfectly with my homemade Pollock chowder.
Varietals are Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.




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Monday, February 18, 2013

Château Côte Montpezat Grand Vin 2009 Bordeaux



Château Côte Montpezat Grand Vin 2009 Bordeaux, $19.12-$22.49, 89 points, pours core black and trending ruby with an orange after-glow as it meets the glass rim broadly clear.
Predominately, earth and leather bully the aroma with some black currant notes and hints of tangy red cherry and cinnamon, all of which carry over to the palate in a full bodied red wine of unusually weak to mild acidity and remarkably easy tannin.
The palate tapers into the fair finish of plum, licorice, and mild spice.







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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beringer Napa Valley 2010 Pinot Noir

Beringer Napa Valley 2010 Pinot Noir, $9.99-$19.99, 90 points, begins more purple to ruby in color than does it appear burgundy; watery rim? of course, this is a young wine!
Aromatically, this wine is rather tame, though some floral red fruit and alcohol (14.3%) is manifest.
Beringer Napa Valley 2010 Pinot Noir is another wine of textual interest, as it is very silky, weak to mild acidity and tannin, yet medium-plus in body, and though it is juicy, it is not flabby as one might expect.
If ever I've tasted a gulper of a wine, this is it; with subtle flavors of blackberries and boysenberry, nothing stands in the way of just drinking this deliciously smooth wine until you reach the fair finish, where you may pause for the spice and eucalyptus.
At the 'blow-out' price of $9.99, I purchased a much better wine than the price I paid for this, but don't expect fireworks.





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Corks and Others


Those crazies and their corks, I never considered myself among them, but as I couldn't help but notice the differences in cork enclosures, I had to share a couple of observations, as boring as that may be.
First, I noticed that great wines had longer corks (coincidence?), and I'm supposing that they are a better-grade of cork as well; yes, there is bad, fair, good, better, and best corks, as is there to everything (I humbly hope this blog makes the grade to fair).
For those who have a modicum of interest in the subject, corks cost money; yes, you pay for them, and a great one can cost close to one dollar depending on source and quantity purchased; maybe Groth will let us know what it cost them to profoundly seal their Reserve Cabernet!




My second thought is that people who love wine are like people who love cars, music, or anything; so, whether you like the ease of a screw-cap, the tradition of hearing the "pop" of a cork, or the glamour of a glass enclosure, none of this should lead us to being judgmental, an over-ripe condition I find too often in vintners and wine enthusiasts. "Why can't we just get along?"

I met a man at Market basket on Saturday, he so impressed me with his straight-forward approach to wine: "Wine can be simple, white or red, sweet or dry, and how much do I want to pay for it?" Too often we worry about decanting or how old the wine is, and though there is a place for things like this, ask yourself: in a blind tasting do you ask if the wines have been decanted?
Sometime,  try to just grab a bottle of wine, maybe you might not even look at what it is, and experience the wine from opening to disappearing, how it evolves in the glass without preconceived notions. Forget the pedigree and enjoy the reality of the moment; this is something I find in newbie wine-tasters (a fresh perspective); here there is no place for smug, snobbish, and sophomoric superiority.
That's my pennies-worth for today.



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David Boyer, Class of 1855, has some insight into wine and its relationship to oxygen and the proper aging of wine. 
"Aging wine in bottles only differs in that topping up does not occur again (unless a special old bottle is taken to the winery for the sake of preservation, a very rare occasion). In the bottle molecules of oxygen reach the wine by moving up in molecular sized spaces between the cork and the neck of the glass bottle. Again, this is a good thing and it is how wine evolves with age."

I doubt that a screw-cap allows any external oxygen to effect the wine, but if anyone has a thought on this, like many (maybe most) wines are not meant to be aged at all or very little, so in that case a screw-cap seems to make sense, chime-in.


 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bodegas Obalo 2011 Rioja




Bodegas Obalo 2011 Rioja, $13.00, 88 points, reflects considerable purple hues in an otherwise dark ruby color, and rims broadly transparent.
The mostly floral red cherry aroma reminds me of a sweet red-wine, but that carries over to only the near full body early palate and diminishes through to the tart, almost sour finish.
Mild acidity and tannin, juicy cherry and plum, with little spice may appeal to gentle palates, and the price makes this a last minute "if you are shopping at Hannaford's super market" (bought mine at the Londonderry store) great choice.





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Friday, February 15, 2013

Gallo Sonoma County 2008 Pinot Noir

 

Gallo Sonoma County 2008 Pinot Noir, $3.49-$10.99, 88 points, reflects the archetype Burgundy red color with a broad transparent rim.

The aroma strikes with strident toasty floral red cherry, alcohol (13.9%), and a hint of cedar.

More a medium-plus body, of good acidity and underlying tannin, than many Pinot Noir wines I've tasted, more Zinfandel-like with jam-like fruit, cherry and plum among them, but add the finish of long-lasting hot spices makes this difficult to pin-down in a blind tasting.

The $3.49 price was a computer-pricing error, but even at the sale price of $8.99, how, for a large gathering, can this pretty good wine be beat? In a time of inflation (There are good buys to be had) this wine at this price is what can save a wedding-party for example, considerable expense while being satisfying.


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Pinot Noir (USA)

 
Pinot Noir (USA)
 
  
 


Keeping in mind that Pinot Noir is not one of the red wines I drink very often, I still have my opinions and gladly share my reviews, especially with those who have inquired about these wines.
Ben, my best-bud, has discovered his own predilection toward Pinot Noir, so this updating and refining of my list of reviewed wines owes its genesis to him.
When I first began drinking red wine, Bearboat and Kendal Jackson were inexpensive (about $15), and quite delicious; later I tried other more expensive offerings, and often (more than with other varietals) was disappointed; so, with so much wine and so little time, I shied-away from them.
It has been said that a good Pinot Noir will cost $40 and more, I doubt that's true, but as with all great wines, price comes with the Terroir!

This new Index is being constructed (work in progress) to make searching easier, especially for smart phone users.



667 Monterey 2010 Pinot Noir, $14.99, 88+ points
A to Z Oregon 2014 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$19.99, 88 points
Acacia California 2015 Pinot Noir, $9.99-$14.99*, 90 points
Acacia Vineyard Carneros 2007 Pinot Noir, $23.99, 90 points
Acrobat Oregon 2012 Pinot Noir, $17.99-$19.99, 84 points
Adelsheim Willamette Valley 2011 Pinot noir, $18.69-$24.99, 90 points
Alderbrook Vineyards Russian River Sonoma County 2011 Pinot Noir, $17.99-$29.99, 86 points
alma rosa Santa Rita Hills 2007 Pinot Noir, $19.59-$25.99, 90 points
Anne Amie (Willamette Valley, Oregon) 2014 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$24.99, 89 points
Argyle Willamette Valley 2011 Pinot Noir, $21.24-$29.99, 91 points
Argyle Willamette Valley (Grower series) 2012 Pinot Noir, $19.99-$29.99*, 88 points
Bearboat Russian River 2006 Pinot Noir, $14.99, 91 points
Bearboat Russian River 2008 Pinot Noir, $15.29-$17.99, 89 points
Bearboat Russian River 2009 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$19.99, 88 points
Beringer Napa Valley 2010 Pinot Noir, $9.99-$19.99, 90 points
B.R. Cohn Russian River 2010 Pinot Noir, $24.99-$39.99, 89 points
Cambria Santa Maria Valley Julia's Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir, $18.69-$23,99, 90 points
Cambria Santa Maria Valley Julia's Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$23.99*, 91 points
Carneros Creek 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve, $21.99-$24.99, 88 points
Cherry Pie Hundred Acre Vineyard Stanley Ranch 2007 Pinot Noir, $39.99, 89+ points
Cline Sonoma Coast 2012 Pinot Noir, $11.99-$17.99, 88 points
Cupcake Central Coast 2010 Pinot Noir, $6.99-$11.99, 86 points
Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Jane's Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir, $21.74-$34.99*, 91 points
Decoy Sonoma County 2011 Pinot Noir, $22.09-$25.99, 88 points
Domaine Carneros 2010 Pinot Noir, $17.84-$23.99, 85 points
Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills 2012 Pinot Noir, $32.79-$$44.99, 94 points!
Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve 2007 Pinot Noir, $38.24-$59.99, 92+ points
Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée 2008 Pinot Noir, $29.99-$39.99, 88 points
Dr. Konstantin Frank Finger Lakes 2013 Pinot Noir, $22.49-$24.99, 88 points
Duckpond cellars Willamette Valley 2008 Pinot Noir, $18.99, 90 points
Elk Cove Five Mountain Willamette Valley 2012 Pinot Noir, $31.99-$39.99, 92 points
Elk Cove Willamette Valley 2007 Pinot Noir, $20.39-$28.99, 87 points
Erath Estate Selection Willamette Valley 2010 Pinot Noir, $19.99-$23.99, 93 points
Erath Oregon 2008 Pinot Noir, $12.60-$18.00, 91 points
Erath Oregon 2011 Pinot Noir, $13.99-$18.99, 90 points
Erath Oregon 2011 Pinot Noir, $14.95-$18.99, 88 points
Erath Willamette Valley Estate Selection 2012 Pinot Noir, $15.99-$23.99, 93 points
Estancia Pinnacles Ranches Monterry County 2008 Pinot Noir, $13,59-$18.99, 86 points
Etude Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros 2011Pinot Noir, $35.69-$44.99, 92 points
Firesteed Oregon 2011 Pinot Noir, $11.99-$19.99, 88 points
Flowers Sea View Ridge Sonoma Coast 2010 Pinot Noir, $58.64-$68.99, 95 points
Flowers Sonoma Coast 2011 Pinot Noir, $41.64-$48.99, 92 points
Gallo Sonoma County 2008 Pinot Noir, $3.49-$10.99, 88 points
Garnet Vineyards Monterey County 2012 Pinot Noir, $11.19-$15.99, 85 points
Goldeneye Anderson Valley 2006 Pinot Noir, $34.79-$74.99, 91 points
Hahn Winery Estate Santa Lucia Highlands 'S~L~H' 2014 Pinot Noir, $24.99-$29.99, 90 points
Inman Family Russian River Valley 2010 Pinot Noir, $12.79-$27.99, 86 points
J Nicole's Vineyard Russian River Valley 2008 Pinot Noir, $34.19-$52.99, 93 points
J Vineyards Russian River 2008 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$34.99, 92 points
Joel Gott 2012 Pinot Noir, $15.19-$21.99, 89 points
Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast 2012 Pinot Noir, $34.99-$49.99, 93 points
Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast 2013 Pinot Noir, $38.24-$49.99, 92 points
Kendall Jackson Estate Outland Ridge 2012 Pinot Noir, $27.99-$34.99, 93 points
Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve 2012 Pinot Noir, $17.59-$24.99, 84 points
Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve 2006 Pinot Noir, $14.99-$17.99, 89 points
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve 2012 Pinot Noir, $13.59-$18.99, 88 points
King Estate 2009 Pinot Noir, $23.79-$27.99, 90 points
La Crema Monterey 2009 Pinot Noir, $13.50-$18.23, 87 points
La Crema Willamette Valley 2012 Pinot Noir, $7.98-$32.99 ($25 promotional gift card applied), 92 points
La Follette Van Der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma 2009 Pinot Noir, $25.49-$29.99, 91 points
Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards Willamette Valley 2013 Pinot Noir, $15.29-$25.99, 90 points
Lemelson Vineyards Thea's Selection 2010 Pinot Noir, $25.49-$31.99, 91+ points
Lincourt "Lindsay's" Sta. Rita Hills 2012 Pinot Noir, $12.74-$29.99, 90 points
LWC (Loring Wine Company) Gary's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands 2009 Pinot Noir, $33.99-$39.99, 91 points
MacMurray Russian River Valley 2012 Pinot Noir, $15.99-$24.99, 91 points
Mac Murray Russian River Valley Ranch 2011 Pinot Noir, $19.99-$33.99, 88 points
Meiomi California 2012 Pinot Noir, (375 ml) $10.39-$12.99, 88 points
Meiomi California 2013 Pinot Noir, $15.99-$21.99, 87 points
Merriam Vineyards Russian River 2012 Pinot Noir Cuvée, $19.99-$24.99, 92+ points
Merry Edwards Sonoma Coast 2008 Pinot Noir, $46.99, 93 points
Merry Edwards Russian River 2009 Pinot Noir, $49.29-$60.99, 93 points
Morgan Santa Lucia Highlands Double L Vineyard 2009 Pinot Noir, $39.09-$49.99, 93+ points
Morgan Santa Lucia Highlands Twelve Clones 2007 Pinot Noir, $21.99-$31.99, 92 points
Morgan Santa Lucia Highlands Twelve Clones 2012 Pinot Noir, $22.99-$28.99, 92 points
Murphy-Goode 2008 Pinot Noir, $11.99-$17.99, 89 points
Murphy-Goode 2009 Pinot Noir, $9.99-$18.99, 89+ points
Nicholson Ranch Sonoma Coast 2008 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$38.99, 90 points
O'Reilly's 2009 Pinot Noir, $20.99, 88 points
Pali "Huntington" Santa Barbara County 2011 Pinot Noir, $19.54-$22.99, 88 points
Paraiso Vineyards Santa Lucia Highlands "Faite" 2012 Pinot Noir, $19.99-$64.99, 91 points
Parker Station 2009 Pinot Noir, $10.00-$14.00, 86 points
Ponzi Vineyards Willamette Valley 2008 Pinot Noir, $26.34-$35.99, 89 points
Ponzi Willamette Valley Travola 2011 Pinot Noir, $20.39-$26.99, 87 points
Proud Pour Umpqua Valley 'This Wine Saves Bee Species' 2015 Pinot Noir (Oregon), $19.54-$24.99, 90 points
R. Stuart Autograph Willamette Valley 2007 Pinot Noir, $25.49-$29.99, 91 points
redtree 2009 Pinot Noir, $8.99-$10.99, 86 points
Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Carneros 2012 Pinot Noir, $24.99-$29.99, 85 points
Rodney Strong Russian River 2009 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$22.99, 90 points
Saintsbury Carneros 2007 Pinot Noir $23.99-$26.99, 90 points
Sanford Santa Rita Hills 2010 Pinot Noir, $23.84-$43.99, 89 points
Schug Carneros 2009 Pinot Noir, (375ML) $8.50-$18.99, 86 points
SCV Freestone Hills Sonoma Coast 2010 Pinot Noir, $24.99-$34.99, 90 points
Sean Minor Carneros 2009 Pinot Noir, $12.74-$16.99, 89 points
Siduri Ewald Russian River Valley 2006 Pinot Noir, $25.99-$39.99, 89 points
Siduri Santa Rita Hills 2011 Pinot Noir, $22.99-$32.99, 92+ points
Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Oregon 2007 Pinot Noir, $32.99-$50.00, 92 points
Soter Vineyards Planet Oregon 2013 Pinot Noir, $22.99-$10.99, 87 points
Sterling Napa Valley 2012 Pinot Noir, $15.99-$22.99, 87 points
Talbott Logan Sleepy Hollow Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir, $18.69-$24.99, 88 points
Thumbprint Russian River 2008 Pinot Noir, $22.99 (Power buy NHLS)-$45.00, 90 points
Thumbprint Russian River 2012 Pinot Noir, $15.99-$49.99, 89 points
Vampire Napa Valley 2010 Pinot Noir, $11.99, 84 points
Vinum Cellars Monterey 2014 Pinot Noir, $13.59-$16.99, 89 points
Willamette Valley Vineyards Oregon 2012 Pinot Noir, $20.99-$22.99, 91+ points
Wine By Joe (Oregon) 2010 Pinot Noir, $10-$15, 87 points
Wine by Joe Dobbes Oregon 2012 Pinot Noir, $16.99-$18.99, 87 points
Wind Gap Sonoma Coast 2014 Pinot Noir, $28.04-$32.99, 93 points






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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Argyle Willamette Valley 2011 Pinot Noir


Argyle Willamette Valley 2011 Pinot Noir, $21.24-$29.99, 91 points, appears light cranberry red with orange tones in the glass where a clear rim demonstrates considerable capillarity.
Though the aroma faded quickly, a toasty red cherry was pleasant.
The medium body carries ample acidity with mild tannin, but the light flavors of strawberry and raspberry with tart red cherry and spice that continued throughout the palate and into the juicy finish, were delicious.

The 12.5% alcohol was almost unnoticeable.
Never have I had a Pinot Noir that reminded me so much of a Rosé wine; if I hadn't bought and poured it, I would have guessed that it was an unusually robust Rosé.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blau (Cellars Can Blau) D.O. Montsant Spain, 2011 Red Wine


Blau (Cellars Can Blau) D.O. Montsant Spain, 2011 Red Wine, $12.00, 90 points, begins with bright clarity of a deep purple red color and a clear rim.
There's a lovely floral fruit on the nose.
Varietals are a well balanced 50% Mazuelo, 25% Syrah, and 25% Garnacha.
Having a medium body of bright mouth-puckering acidity and noticeable tannin helps to build support for a cornucopia of black and blue fruit which carry into the juicy finish.
The 14.5% alcohol is almost unnoticeable!
Good as a stand-alone wine, but great with pizza.
Bought at the remarkable full price of $12.00 (what a steal) at the Londonderry Hannaford's super market. 
 







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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day-Gifts of Wines and Chocolates (Last minute)



Valentine's Day, gifts of wines and chocolates begins thematically with her: Emeri Non-Vintage Pink Moscato, South Australia, and chocolates, $19.99.
Wine for the him in your life: Joseph Phelps (California) Insignia and chocolates. Price is not an issue!
 

 



  




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Château La Dominique Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2009 Bordeaux



Château La Dominique Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2009 Bordeaux, $56.94-$66,99, 94 points, (100% Merlot), began, not as I usually describe a wine, with its appearance in the glass, but on another 'planet'.
Before I get into my review routine, I should confess that I've never tasted a Merlot quite like this one (manifesting a severe lack of experience). Invigorating and with excitation, incredible spiciness tingled my tactile senses from beginning to end, and it did so within its medium-plus body of good integrated acids, strident tannin, and black fruit.
The long finish intensified the spiciness, added tart grape-skin flavor, and a warm 14.5% alcohol.
Appeared dense ruby and trended purple-red with a broad clear rim.
Aromatic floral cedar, earth tones, and toasty cherry (in the common vernacular) were awesome.
La Dominique isn't for everyone, but if you have a palate that craves a pure dynamic well of textural flavor, then give this one a taste.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

La Follette Van Der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma 2009 Pinot Noir




La Follette Van Der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma 2009 Pinot Noir, $25.49-$29.99, 91 points, appears cranberry to burgundy red in color and has a broad clear rim.
Unripe red cherry, grape-skin, and a hint of cedar greet your nose.
The medium body has more than ample acidity, and along with mild tannin carry pleasant flavors of grape-skin, tart red cherry, and red currant deep into the finish that culminates with bright hot spices.







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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Merry Edwards Russian River Valley 2009 Pinot Noir



Merry Edwards Russian River Valley 2009 Pinot Noir, $49.29-$60.99, 93 points, begins in the glass ruby toward burgundy in color with a clear rim.
Aromatic grape-skin, earthy red cherry, and a hint of cinnamon are pleasant.
This near full-bodied Pinot Noir is substantially about the luscious and elegant texture, silk and satin metaphors come to mind, yet bright acidity and layers of silky tannin give backbone to what in a lesser wine would be understood as cloying.
Warm (14.3% alcohol) cherry and plum are dominant flavors, but nuanced boysenberry, mulberry, and coffee make for an interesting complexity.
Merry Edwards RR Pinot Noir finishes juicy with spice accents.
If cost is not so much an issue as is the greatness of the wine, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this wine.


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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cameron Hughes Lot 136, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon




Cameron Hughes Lot 136, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.99, 89 points, has a dense ruby to black currant color with yet a broad clear rim.
The nose shows rich black fruit, plum, and sweet cooking spice, all of which carries into the palate on a full body of fair acidity and smooth drinking mild tannin.
Showing some heat on the fair finish (14.9%alcohol) with licorice and spice, Lot 136 impressed me, but its unfair down-fall was that we drank this red wine with the 2008 Groth Reserve!





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"Blizzard of 2013", from -Wineman's White-Window


The "Blizzard of 2013" will go down in the record books, and though summer barbecues haunt my window, friends and family will see us persevere, and even make some memories, not to mention that we have food and drink (wine); "let it snow, let it snow!"

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Robert Craig Mount Veeder Napa Valley 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

 
Robert Craig Mount Veeder Napa Valley 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $63.74-$74.99, 94 points, has a black core that transitions to bright red with a broad transparent rim.
The nose seemed made-up of many subtle tones without being overwhelmed by any one aroma; I found several descriptors, some of which you may take with a "grain of salt": floral cedar, black olive, clove, and celery salt combined to make a bouquet worthy of this wine.
Full bodied with bright acidity and round accessible tannin conveyed lush flavors of blackberry, black cherry, tart red cherry, plum, licorice, and dried savory herbs.
Finishing with a warm (14.8% alcohol) and long trailing palate, the climax of spice wrapped-up an exceptional red wine.
This big young red wine is very drinkable now and will pair well with spicy meats, stews, Italian or French, cream or tomato sauces, but because the Robert Craig is that good as stand-alone wine, I'd (if I had more of it) drink it with anything!


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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Château Sainte-Barbe Grand Vin 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur


Château Sainte-Barbe Grand Vin 2009 Bordeaux Supérieur, $13.59-$15.99, 89 points, appears near black at the core, trends deep black currant red, terminates clear, with draping dense legs.
The pronounced cedar aroma claims its dominance over leather and earth, but with time and air calms to a light black olive.
Full bodied and juicy with blackberry, boysenberry, and damson plum, all resting on a platform of good acidity, near moderate tannin, and accentuated with coffee liqueur.
The finish trails a fading palate into a long subtle spice marked by heat (15% alcohol).





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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Neal Napa Valley 2011 Sauvignon Blanc



Neal Napa Valley 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, $16.14-$19.99, 91 points, pleases with a coppery gold color.
The pleasure continues with a bright aroma of honeydew and a toasty Lychee which is supposed to be reserved for Gewurztraminer.
A light bodied white wine carrying bright acidity (perfect with my scallops) and a pure focused lemon/lime and grapefruit.
Citrus notes highlight a long juicy finish.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Banfi Castello 2007 Brunello DI Montalcino


Banfi Castello 2007 Brunello DI Montalcino, $49.29-$62.99, 92 points, begins light and bright in the glass; the cranberry to burgundy color terminates transparent at the rim.
The nose was asleep; even with considerable swishing and swirling the slumber was tenacious, but finally some hints of sweet cooking spice and tobacco became apparent.
Flavors of mild red fruit, especially strawberry, were warm and delicate, but the fortunate finish culminated a rather weak effort for a Brunello; the medium body of good acidity and moderate tannin found its footing in a trailing palate, a touch of heat (14.5% alcohol), and a long lasting spiciness.

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