Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
My stepfather-in-law stopped by with a Sauvignon Blanc for us to try on their way to Vermont for their 30th wedding anniversary. It was enjoyable. It tasted slightly more enjoyable with Muenster Cheese (my favorite as a kid). I tasted sort of the usual citrus and melon. Nothing out of the ordinary. But it paired very well with the cheese, and vice versa. Not much of a finish.
I don't get as excited tasting whites as I do reds. To me, although they are different, most Sauvignon Blancs taste similar and Chardonnays taste similar and Pinot Grigio's and Reislings taste similar. But I find much greater distinguishing characteristics among reds.
My cousin just married a "Reisling man" and I've invited them for dinner somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I hope to learn a lot. His best friends own a fairly well-known vineyard that specializes in Resiling. It's his favorite wine. I am hoping to be enlightened and have more to report in the future.
My Uncle brings a Reisling every year for our opening Thanksgiving appetizer (in addition he usually brings a Red Zin for the main meal, and a Port for dessert). He knows his Reisling also - I think I may have previously written that he turned me on to Reisling one Easter afternoon when he served it with prosciutto and melon. Uusally I find Reisling too sweet. But he knows precisely what food accompanies what wine well and it was an awesome pairing.
Maybe the sun will shine today
And clouds will roll away
Maybe I won't be so afraid
I will understand
Everything has its plan
"Either Way" - Wilco
7.50 out of 10
$11.99 / 1.5 L bottle
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This was a good French wine - will buy again.
She dances to "Wilco"
Round and round she goes
She bends down and looks at me upside down through her knees
Then she bounces up and spins until she's dizzy
I want to write a poem about her dancing
And she laughs "Oh for Heaven's Sake!"
Full of life and so much fun, oblivious to Time
Dancing to the chorus "Can You Leave Me Like You Found Me"
I can't imagine life without her as I sip my Gigondas wine
$14.99 / 750 ml bottle
14% alc. by vol.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Mr. Patterson basically writes that he at first tasted minerality everywhere in every wine, trying hard to understand it. He even attended seminars related to geology and vineyard cross-sections and soil samples. He then checked the science behind it and seems to have succumbed to believing it's mostly "hooey". Some of what he had to say is summarized below:
"Nothing in winedom is more prized than the miracle of minerality. This elusive characteristic, found only in certain wines and discernible only to selected palates, carries a potent symbolic charge: tasting minerality is tasting the living soil that gave birth to grapes.
There's a good chance, of course, that minerality is mostly hooey.
First of all, people have the darndest time agreeing on what 'minerality' is . . . flavor, aroma, a texture?
Then there's the little problem that rocks don't taste or smell at all . . . (yet here he mentions his friends' contradictions) My mineral-centric buddies explained, with some condescension, that wet rocks clearly do have a smell - even a hosed-down sidewalk gives off a scent.
It gets worse. Modern plant biology holds that flavors and aromas are manufactured within the grapes through photosynthesis, not transported up from the ground into the berries.
More likely, according to state-of-the-art research, what gets called minerality is some combination of acidity and sulfur compounds."
For me, Root: 1 smelled exactly as it tasted. I knew when I smelled it that it was going to give me that "hot rocks" taste. I did not taste a lot of fruit - slight cherry in the beginning followed by spicey earthiness and warm stone with a lingering finish. But, alas, there was no mineral experience here.
Robert Parker gave this wine a 90 rating.
8.25 out of 10
$9.99 / 750 ml bottle
14% alc. by vol.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Will drink again. (Good every day wine to have on hand and drink now.)
Ladybug Red is a blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Merlot and Cabernet. The vines are aged an average of forty years. Although it does not say so on the label, this is an organic wine. I have not found any really good organic wines for some reason, but this was a pleasant surprise to learn it was organic and yet tasted so good.
It drinks well on its own and would probably pair well with lighter foods (turkey burgers, chicken, tomato-based light sauces and pizza). Nice berry flavor followed quickly by pepper and then a slight toasted oak fnish.
Besides being a pretty good value, I really like the Lady Bug factor here. Lolonis Vineyards shipped in huge amounts of Lady Bugs and Praying Mantis for use as natural pesticides. Lady Bugs do not like grapes but they do like eating other insects.
She walks along the cliff's edge,
always searching out to sea.
Waiting, watching, longing,
Eyes on the horizon, wishing today for it to be.
Her Victorian dress, long and black,
tattered by the constant tug of the wind.
Her black boots worn to gray, always walking,
waiting for that ship to come in.
Watching to see that mast rise up,
where water and sky form a line.
Longing for the Captain to finally come home,
bringing her faraway treasures and fine wine.
$12.99 / 750 ml bottle
13.9% alc. by vol.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
"Drink wine, and you will sleep well.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Will drink again. See the rating below.
I am not fond of Chianti. It is too dry and there is not usually much of a finish for me. Tonight, I had a Chianti I thoroughly enjoyed. This was very good. I think if you're a Chianti lover, you are going to really appreciate this wine. Actually, if you're not a Chianti lover (as myself) you will appreciate this wine. It's a good wine to start with.
It was very fruit forward in scent and taste. It was a "deep, plum red" in color (per The Guy's description and I concur). After the fruit, I was hit with the dryness which is usually where I stop liking Chianti because that's all there is. But it was followed by a nice finish. It was definitely "Chianti" in taste, but at a "higher" level. It had a smoothness and a lingering finish that made it especially good. And, for the first time, I tasted plum. It tasted good on its own and with our dinner (home-made pizza with fire-roasted tomatoes, ricotta, fresh organic mozzarella, chicken sauteed in garlic, olive oil, organic mushrooms and fresh parmesean cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes).
"The Bro" is visiting from out of town and, along with massive sized pumpkins, he brought me beautiful chrysanthemums, gifts for my children, (3) bags of apples (I think he's hoping they will get used in a pie or two before the weekend's up), and . . . (6) bottles of wine. He sure knows how to cheer me up. I bought the Chianti for tonight's dinner, however.
"The Bro" had this to say about it: "I like Chianti - but it usually has a higher acidity and this one doesn't. There's a slight acid and then it just ends, followed by an exceptionally smooth finish."
"The Guy" felt this Chianti tasted like a "cheap, Italian table wine." (He just likes to play Devil's Advocate and we just humor him and throw him pizza crust.)
Tomorrow's review will be of Penfold's Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz (courtesy of The Bro).
SGT JASON LANTIERI
At the flagpole along my morning route,
I was introduced to you today.
I felt a lurch in my chest,
and once again, wished we'd found a better way.
In tribute, majestic flag flapped in the wind,
set at half-mast on it's pole.
The reports, all no longer new,
tell the sad story, the loss of yet another soul.
A future comes to a screeching halt,
no way for it to come back.
As another family is stricken,
by the loss of a son in Iraq.
8.25 out of 10
$21.99 / 750 ml.
13% alc. by vol.
As a side note: Wine Spectator gave this Chianti a 91 rating.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Valle De Casablanca
Paso Robles, I am SO glad you found the Phantom as alluring as myself. You are a lucky dog that you've got yourself a case.
Might drink again.
Note: I have posted two reviews tonight. Please see my review below of Clos du Bois 2004 Chardonnay.
OK - This is very funny to me. With regard to the Phantom wine that I reviewed a few nights ago (the same wine I also refer to above in my comment to Paso Robles) I read an on-line review while looking where I might purchase it. The person loved Phantom, but one of their "tastes" they picked up was "Creosote". I made all kinds of comments to The Guy about whether or not he thought that person climbed into their fireplace and licked the back wall to actually know what creosote tastes like. Now, I know fully well in the back of my head that I have smelled weird things in wine that I have not actually tasted in real life (cat pee comes to mind for instance). So I really do know better than to poke fun at a strange taste. But I did it anyhow.
Tonight I eat crow. The Carmen Reserve had a strong bouquet of fruit and earthiness. The flavor was very dry fruit with a hint of vanilla, then pepper, followed by a slight smokiness and then . . .creosote!! I actually tasted what I think creosote would taste like. We had a fire in our chimney a couple of years ago (due to a buildup of creosote) and the smell that resonated that night was what I tasted in this wine. Therefore, I didn't particularly like it. But then the finish turned earthy and the creosote went away and it was slightly long. Even though it was a really weird experience, I am glad I had it. I like a wine that has the ability to make one taste strange things.
Take me to the vineyard.
Is it wrong, is it a sin?
I want to press the grapes into my hair,
rub their juices on my skin.
I want to bathe in moonlight,
pour the wine over my head.
Let it run until it finds my mouth.
I long to fall asleep in a vine-filled bed.
7.75 out of 10
13.5% alc. by vol.
$11.99 / 750 ml.
Will definitely buy again.
We went to a family surprise party held privately down by the sub base at this little hole-in-the-wall bar "VooDoo Daddy's". We had a great time and I enjoyed a few glasses of Clos du Bois' 2004 Chardonnay. It was very good and really hit the spot for some reason. First taste was of strong oak and pear followed by intense buttery vanilla - just what I long for in a Chardonnay. I had a lengthy conversation with the bartender who did a great job of seeking me out and keeping my wine glass full. She's really young and her husband is serving in the Navy. He was home for the day and she had to work and he was shipping out for Japan the next day - not a happy bartender. But she still took care of me.
I did not take a picture of the bottle so I thought I'd share a picture my daughter actually took of the wall.
8.0 out of 10
13.5% alc. by vol.
$11-14 / 750 bottle
Friday, October 5, 2007
Might drink again.
As I was doing my "photoshoot" for this blog, I opened the wine to pour into our two glasses and went to work shooting some pix. The entire dining room filled with this wonderful, strong fruit scent while I took shots. I started salivating anticipating what the wine would taste like. The color was really dark purple - almost like ink.
The taste was bitter first and tasted a bit like Robitussin cough syrup, then very spicy and peppery and dry. Slight fruit with a short finish ended it.
I was disappointed based on how wonderful the initial room-filling aroma was. The taste didn't hold up to what I smelled. It definitely tasted better after having sat open for half an hour. It's a good wine for the price and would probably do best as a drinkable one to have on hand for casual entertaining. I bet it is a wine that will definitely improve with age.
7.5 out of 10
$11.99 / 750 ml
14% alc. by vol.
I received my "Wine Enthusiast" mag this afternoon and was psyched to find my favorite location featured: the Barossa Valley. There is a featured article on some of the bigger Barossa Vineyards and then the Buying Guide in the back is chock full of highly rated Barossa wines. Some (actually most), unfortunately, are on the very pricey side - "my" 2004 Yalumba Octavius is one of many (the one I so hope to be able to taste one day) having received a nice rating of 94.
The following is a link to the on-line mag, though it's only updated through September as yet. The Barossa article is in the November issue.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Will drink again.
A striking scent of lemon, grapefruit, thyme and pear. Served well-chilled, this wine was excellent with halibut (visit http://www.cheznathalie.com/ for the exact recipe). It tasted good on its own, but I enjoyed it more with dinner. It was slightly more acidic than I like, but most sauvignon blancs affect me that way (I'm a Chardonnay girl when I'm not all things red). What I really loved about this wine was that it was all fruit until it followed a bite of my halibut and then the oregano in the recipe suddenly burst forward following a sip of the wine. The taste was right on with how it smelled. Mostly lemon, grapefruit and pear up front, followed by a little acid, then thyme, then a nice subtle mineral finish.
Questions remain unanswered
Too much unsaid
Watch the flame
Confusion becomes the norm
Nothing remains the same
Trying to clear the head
Wanting shapelessness to take form
7.75 out of 10
13% alc. by vol.
$17.99 / 750 ml
Monday, October 1, 2007
54% Petite Sirah
43% Old Vine Zinfandel
California - V.2004
Will most definitely drink again.
Supposedly, this wine is only found in retail stores once a year - just in time for Halloween. Then it's gone again and hard to get your hands on. I got the last bottle in the store I was at. They have more on order but it's not due in for a couple more weeks.
I was beginning to think 2007 was going to end without my tasting a most excellent wine. That's when the "phantom" came in. Awesome. Deep, deep ruby color. The bouquet was heavy smokey fruit - not sweet. While there was almost a burst of fruit flavor initially, it quickly became dry and smokey followed by an outstanding mineral and earth finish.
I preferred this wine on it's own. The night we had it we had a light leftover and salad menu so I didn't try to pair. It is recommended to serve with a hearty winter dish. The Guy and I consumed the bottle and tonight, as I write, I long for more. I keep going back to smell the empty bottle.
In the name of freedom or politics?
Famlies split, long enough.
Lives affected, changed, taken.
Abandoned tractor sits, finish now rough,
bearing the sign of so much foresaken.
9.0 out of 10
$19.99 / 750 ml bottle (but have seen on-line for $16)
14.8% alc. by vol.