Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stag's Leap ARTEMIS

Cabernet Sauvignon

Oh. That's so more like it. I am content. The Bro and I went wine shopping tonight - he did the purchasing and we brought home some good stuff. The Artemis gave off a braised meat-herb sent and tasted like black berry fruit with rosemary mixed in. I loved it. The Bro (I have to find a new handle for him - not only does he hate it, but I do too) wasn't sure at first and thought there wasn't much of a finish. I experienced a subtle, slow to arrive finish that was just fine. The Guy liked the tannins he experienced right off. Once we introduced aged Old Quebec cheddar cheese and La Panzanella Croccantini peppercorm crackers to the wine, we were all pretty happy. Something about the peppercorns brought the wine to a new level. Highly recommend.

This wine on-line is regularly $55, on sale for $47. The Bro and I found it locally at a regular price of $48, on sale for $37. The taste and sale price are well matched. I highly recommend this wine if you can get it for the lower price. I think $55 would be paying too much. $48 would be pushing it.

May no man's touch ever tame you.
May no man's reigns ever chain you,
And may no man's weight
ever lay freight your soul...

And as for the clouds
Just let them roll
. . .

Roll away


8.25 out of 10
$37 / 750 ml. bottle (on Sale)
13.8% alc. by vol.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Morgon Beaujolais

Georges Duboeuf (Blah!)

I apologize to any Georges Duboeuf fans out there. But, had I really looked at the label, I wouldn't have purchased it. I have never had a Georges Duboeuf wine I've liked. Once again, the French wines just don't have enough substance to keep me interested. This was weak, watery, uninteresting.That said, I am sure there is a "right" pairing out there somwhere for this Beaujolais, just not my dinner tonight.

I told the guy at the counter I was making grilled crab cakes and tuna. I was looking (as I always am damn it!) for an Albarino (come rescue me SPAIN!!!!!!). THIS was what was recommended. I decided against it, walked around some more. Didn't see ANYTHING interesting and went back to this. I didn't even study the label. I completely trusted the young, eager fellow behind the counter (he looked more like a Budweiser connosieur to me).

I didn't think the Beaujolais would be a good accompaniment to the crab cakes, but I thought there was a chance it would work with the tuna. But the tuna was nice and meaty like a steak would be and I prefer a full-bodied wine with a hearty piece of meat or fish, not something light.
Luckily, I had a Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, 2008 on hand. The KJ was excellent with the crab cakes, as I expected. It tasted good with the tuna too, at least much better than the Morgon. But it was still no Albarino. :(

I am putting all my trust and hopes into next week. The Bro and Uncle Bob will hopefully save me. It is Thanksgiving, my favorite time of year and I am just in a complete funk. I am sadly thinking I need to find a non-budget wine to be happy. I know, intellectually, that I don't have to spend a lot to be pleased. But I also know I don't have a lot of time to shop around for a great bargain. I need a pleasant change.

Ironically, as I have not been partaking in any wine, the Morgon actually gave me a slight "buzz" after one half tumbler. Oh!!! I bought The Guy a couple of Reidel Merlot tumblers. I have always loved them. I bought some for The Bro for Christmas a couple of years ago and always wanted some myself. They are just awesome. I love wine glasses and their wonderful stems. But there is also something very beautiful about a well made tumbler too. :)

I toss and turn like the sea
If I drown tonight bring me back to life
Breathe your breath in me


6 out of 10
13% alc. by vol.
$15 / 750 ML bottle

Friday, November 6, 2009

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

La Valentina

**See update below for additional food pairing**

I was at a restaurant the other night and I had a glass of a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, but not La Valentina. I never did get any further info on it. But it was excellent alone, with calamari and with pizza Caprese. I went to my local wine store this weekend actually looking for a pinot noir to accompany some organic chicken soup I was making a big pot of. I had to walk past the Italian section on my way over to pinot noir. As I walked past I remembered the wine I had and decided to look at the labels, thinking it would be cool if they had a bottle, highly doubting that they would. In fact, they did, only it was the La Valentina versus the other that I can't recall. So I bought it anyway because the other was so good.

This was good. The other was better, but I would buy this one again. I feel like the other was more full. This was more medium bodied, but it was smooth, with black cherry and herb flavors. I made a hearty lean turkey and black bean stew this evening and I added this to it and also had a glass with my meal. They were very good together.

I have found another Italian red that I like very much.

**UPDATE: The Montepulciano was excellent with leftover organic chicken soup.

I go about my business, I'm doing fine
Besides what would I say if I had you on the line
Same old story, not much to say
Hearts are broken, everyday.


8.0 out of 10
13.5% alc. by vol.
$14 / 750 ml. bottle

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Bogle Vineyards

A blend of Petite Sirah, Old Vine Zin & Old Vine Mourvedre - I just LOVE saying that word!!! MOURVEDRE (more-vay-drrruh)

Well, the night started off well enough. Halloween. My most not favorite night of the year. I was looking forward to it ending and pouring myself a glass of phantom (something I was hoping to make a Halloween tradition actually).

Each of my children desired to be at someone else's house and I was taxi driver. I eventually got into it though and even dressed up for my little one. We matched. And we stayed together. The first song that came on the radio as I started driving was my old favorite, Donovan's Season of the Witch. And I thought: this is going to be a great night.

I was ending the evening at a party where my oldest daughter was and couldn't wait to get there. However, I was tired and it was pouring and I was the only one dressed up and I was given a glass of Little Penguin Merlot upon my arrival there. Hah! I deserved that. I wrote not that long ago about it being a decent wine for the price. It was the last thing I wanted. I'd brought a Cab with me and didn't know how to tactfully request that it be opened instead! I caught up with some old friends that were unexpectedly there and had a few laughs and then headed home minus my daughter who randomly wanted to go to her friend's house for the night with another friend. I drove home in the pouring rain after getting pelted by acorns and felt the beginning of a bad headache. Damn that Little Penguin! I got home and went to bed, without any desire to visit with the phantom. So much for my "new" tradition.

Finally, the next day, after taking the dog for a workout and raking leaves for a couple of hours, I opened the phantom and watched the sun go down across the field. The scent of the wine had that wonderful "stone" characteristic to it - I've likened it previously to the scent of rocks baking in the sun. And a strong scent of cherry was mixed in.

Initial taste was rather chalky but it opened up to a black pepper creosote followed by a smooth rather quick finish. I liked it, it was better after sitting open for a bit, but I was disappointed as the 2004 was rather awesome two years ago. In case you don't know, Bogle releases the phantom each year around August's end and then it's done until the following year. It always comes out in time for fall, and Halloween appropriately. I totally missed last year's 2005 production and decided to make a point going forward of getting it for Halloween evening. The 2004 had an awesome smoke flavor to it. There was only a hint of that this time around. Still a good wine - it might be better in a few months time. I will now look forward to next year.

Carving the pumpkins.

Preparing the seeds for roasting.

Me and my sunshine.

Oh when I look over my shoulder
What do you think I see?
Some other cat looking over
His shoulder at me
And he's strange, sure he's strange
You've got to pick up every stitch
You've got to pick up every stitch, yeah
Beatniks are out to make it rich
Oh no, must be the season of the witch
Must be the season of the witch, yeah
Must be the season of the witch.

Donovan, Season of the Witch

8.0 out of 10
14.5% alc. by vol.
$19 / 750 ml. bottle