Archive for the ‘Wine Tasting’ Category

A warm afternoon, getting ready to grill some pizzas, a Rose seemed like a good idea, and this one was on the 15 under $15 list from Total Wine.

Applellation:  Costières-de-Nîmes (Southern Rhone).

Tasting Notes:  This is a Granache based Rose, and has that Southern Rhone style of a little rustic and very sensible.  Pale pink. Nose is muted, a little strawberry and cherry, lots of minerals.  This is very nice! More strawberry and watermelon on the palate, with lots of minerality and acidity. Quaffable, but would also be great with a host of summer foods, Asian flavors, or anything on the spicy side.  Solid value. Very Good.

Price:  $10.99 at Total Wine.


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It’s unfair to a certain extent, because I l*o*v*e Chenin Blanc in it’s French forms (Vouvray) that showcase honey, flowers, apples, and high acid.  I happen to think Vouvray are oft overlooked great ‘with food’ wines.

This one, well, it’s got the acid down.

Appellation:  Western Cape, South Africa

Tasting Notes:  100% Chenin Blanc.  Pretty pale color. Nose is mango, pineapple, apple, and lemon.

Dominated by the pineapple, this is a very high acid wine. Lots of lemon, a little mango too. On it’s own, it’s a little acidic, but with food, it settles down nicely. Am I going to run out and buy more? Probably not, but if I were having 50 people over for banquet chicken, this would work just fine. OK.

Price:  $7.99 at Total Wine

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This is the first of the 15 wines of summer under $15 from Total Wine in Towson.

I don’t expect much from a $10.99 Pinot from California. Heck, I don’t expect much from a sub $25 Pinot from anywhere. This didn’t change my expectations.

Appellation: Sonoma

Notes: Just barely more than a rose in the glass. Not much on the nose, a little fruit, but more like smelling a glass of water. Fruit is muted, and that’s all that’s there. Thin, disjointed, a little heat at the end. I guess if you got a good chill on it and drank it with some BBQ you’d be happy. OK.

Price: $10.99 at Total Wine

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The power of high quality wine has gone further than expected, especially in La Rioja, Spain. Not only has it delighted and surprised fellow wine fanatics, but it has attracted the attention and respect of the international wine community to Spain, and has even inspired Gran Reserva (Vintage) one of Spain’s most successful telenovelas. La Rioja wine has broken through geographical and often tense political boundaries between La Rioja and the Basque Country where the wine is jointly produced. To our delight, it has given a common identity to this Spanish region as they share the success of their wine. And now, La Rioja Alta winery has produced one of the finest and highest rated wines, with a profound and complex character that cannot be missed!

La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva 2001 is a delectable wine produced from Tempranillo grapes (90%) from 40 year-old vines located in Briñas, Villalba and Labastida that are perfectly complemented by a 10% touch of Graciano vines from Melchorón and Rodezno Briones vineyards, all of which belong to the DOC of La Rioja.

In February 2002, the wine was transferred to the self-made, 4 year-old American oak barrels being racked through the traditional barrel-to-barrel method for 4 years, every 6 months. The wine was bottled in June 2006 and has been maturing in the company’s cellars for over six years. In order to preserve maximum organoleptic components, the wine was subject to a gentle filtration, which can produce few sediments with age.

Now is a perfect time to acquire this fiercely anticipated red wine from La Rioja. It is worth the effort of purchasing it simply for its exclusive quality and extraordinary taste, but it will also be a great acquisition for any wine cellar as it will continue to evolve for 5 to 6 more years, and has great drinkability until 2040.

SIGHT: Ruby red, with a slight garnet rim. Very bright, has thin and elegant tears.

SMELL: Fresh, vibrant, with fine notes of candied fruit, spicy black fruit, excellent ripeness with a hint of coffee and chocolate mint.

TASTE: Solid structure, round and sweet elegantly polished tannins. Silky, soft and durable aftertaste.

ALCOHOL: 12.5% °

Serve at 17 ° C, decanting recommended

PAIRING: Red meats, Añejo or other semi-soft cheeses, Jamón Ibérico de Bellota

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This is the seventh of twelve wines tasted from the Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting.

Wine #7:  2010 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere

Appellation:  Cachapoal Valley

Notes:  14% ABV.  Deep color.  Plum jam and chocolate nose.  Very rustic.  Good fruit, some complexity, huge acid.  This becomes a sour candy.  I like acid and I like sour, but this becomes off balance.  Some heat, too, but I’m not sure if that’s the acid or the alcohol talking.  Grows on me as I drink it, decanting may smooth out the rough edges.

Rating:  2.5/5 (got an extra .5 because it’s getting better.)

Price:  $22 SRP

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This is the sixth wine tasted at a Wines of Chile blogger tasting.

Wine #6, 2009 Morande Gran Reserva Pinot Noir.

Appellation:  Casablanca Valley

Notes.  100% Pinot Noir.  Proper color and transparency, very floral notes with red fruit.  Lots of strawberry, some spice.  Acidic.  Off balance to me, I’m unimpressed, but it’s OK.

Rating:  2/5

Price:  $17.99 SRP


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This is part of an ongoing series of posts covering a Wines of Chile Blogger Tasting.

Wine #5:  2009 Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir

Appellation:  Casablanca Valley

Notes:  100% Pinot Noir, 14.5% ABV.  Deep color.  Red fruit nose, almost jammy.  Very fruit driven at first, with cherry and strawberry, then some floral and pepper sneak in.  Good acid.  A little off balance to me, but the velvet mouthfeel and good potential for food pairing win me over.  Not really a typical Pinot.

Price:  SRP $32

Rating:  3/5

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