Tasting Notes for Saturday, January 28, 2006
Theme: "Wines from Places Where It's Warm"
Wine 1: Finca La Linda Brut NV. Argentina. Made by Luigi Bosca. This is the second time I've had this, and I wasn't as impressed. Yeasty and crisp, but too tart for my tasts. Ashy aftertaste. Very well could have been an off bottle or a bad temperature. $19.
Wine 2: 2004 La Bamba Chenin Blanc-Riesling. Argentina. What an odd combination. It's got a Riesling nose, though it's very thin and slightly tart. Not sweet, but overall dull. $8.
Wine 3: 2004 Redbank Sauvignon Blanc. Victoria, Australia. Some grapefruit flavors, but thin for a Sauvignon Blanc. Tastes more like a Pinot Grigio. $11.
Wine 4: 2005 Elderton Unwooded Chardonnay. Barossa, Australia. This white had more body than the previous bottles, but very acidic. I found it off balance, and I generally like unoaked Chardonnays. $14.
Wine 5: 2004 White Knot Chardonnay. McLaren Vale, Australia. Better balance, mild acids. Good fruit flavors, probably great for fish. Well rounded finish. Good little wine. Also, this is the first wine I've seen in person that featured a Zork enclosure. $12.
Wine 6: 2005 Craneford Viognier. Adelaide Hills, Australia. Hints of spice cake on the nose, bold fruit flavors on the tongue. No touches of grass or herbs, but I liked it a lot. Almost like a Riesling. $18.
Wine 7: 2004 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir. Marlborough, New Zealand. Strawberry and cream aromas, light and fruity, tart and delicious. $16.
Wine 8: 2004 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap". Franschhoek, South Africa. Get this: a combination of Merlot, Grenache Noir, Malbec, Syrah, Ruby Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cinsault. We were all pretty excited about tasting this oddball, but I was a little disappointed. It had a woody, toasty aroma, a surprisingly light beginning and slight bite on the finish. Ultimately thin tasting. $11.
Wine 9: 2004 Terrazas Alto Malbec. Argentina. From the Argentine outpost of Moet Hennessey. Plum flavors, mild tannins. Well balanced with a slightly bitter finish. A great bargain Malbec. $12.
Wine 10: 2000 Bleasdale Cabernet-Shiraz. Langhorne Creek, Australia. Light mint aromas, full bodied with black cherry flavors. Well rounded and balanced--an excellently crafted wine. $18.
Wine 11: 2003 Antis Cabernet Sauvignon. Argentina. Roast beef aromas, slight peppery flavor and a short finish. Interesting and affordable Cabernet Sauvignon. $15.
Wine 12: 2001 Bellevue Estate Tumara Titan. Stellenbosch, South Africa. Deep cherry aromas, forward fruit and mild tannins. Really wonderful. A Bordeaux blend, broken down as 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, and 5% Petit Verdot. $17.
Tasting Notes for February 11, 2006
Theme: Valentine's Day
Wine 1: Villa Giada Moscato d'Asti. Piedmont, Italy. Not too sweet, some honeysuckle and apple flavors. Moscato d'Asti was one of the first wines I fell in love with, and though I don't drink it much these days it always brings a smile to my face. $18.
Wine 2: 2001 Argyle Brut. Oregon. Sparkling wine made from 45% Pinot Noir & 55% Chardonnay. No real nose, little bitter, tart and crisp. Not overwhelmed, particularly at the price. $23.
Wine 3: Bouvet-Ladubay Rosé Excellence NV. Loire, France. Made from Cabernet Franc. Herbal and bitter, not great. This was my second tasting of this wine, and my opinion has remained the same. $16.
Wine 4: 2004 Solitude Chardonnay. Carneros, California. Butter and oak, a little vanilla and cake. A classic California Chardonnay. $28.
Wine 5: 2003 Georges Dubuf Borgogne Aligoté. Burgundy, France. I sampled this back in November, but today it was served as a Kir, with a splash of Crème de Cassis. Odd flavor, I wasn't really impressed. I wasn't a fan of the wine on its own either. $14.
Wine 6: 2003 Georges Dubuf Saint-Amour Domaine de la Pirolette. Beaujolais, France. Some strawberry flavors, soft tannins, mild and drinkable. Good example of a Cru Beaujolais. $15.
Wine 7: 2004 Queen of Hearts Pinot Noir. Santa Barbera, California. Soft tannins, light berry flavors, really not bad for a bargain Pinot Noir. $15.
Wine 8: 2002 Raymond Reserve Merlot. Napa, California. Raspberry flavors, thin, not exciting. Very short finish. $20.
Wine 9: Folie à Deux Menage à Trois Red. Amador, California. A blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Merlot. Strawbery jam dominates, though this isn't as sweet as previous years. Better balance. $12.
Wine 10: 2001 Terra Valentine Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa, California. Black cherry nose, deep composition, dry and with lovely tannins. A spectacular wine. $35.
Wine 11: 2003 Novelty Hill Syrah. Columbia Valley, Washington. Peppery aroma, very light tannins for its age, delicious berry flavors. Wonderful wine. $20.
Wine 12: Le Rive Birbet Frizzante NV. Piedmont, Italy. Made from Red Muscat, this is sweet, almost like grape juice, slightly syrupy. Apple and cranberry flavors were lovely. I found myself really liking this unique wine. $18.
Tasting Notes for Saturday, February 25, 2006
Wine 1: 2004 Kitfox Foxy White. Salado Creek, California. An interesting white blend of 50% Chenin Blanc, 20% Chardonnay, 15% Viognier, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, and 5% Orange Muscat. Muscat on the nose, some pear flavors. I found it a little too sweet. Short finish, medium tartness. $13.
Wine 2: 2004 Basa. Rueda, Spain. Combination of Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, and Viura. Very grassy nose, taste, and finish. Some lemon, very herbal. Fascinating wine. $10.
Wine 3: 2003 Chateau Bonnet Entre-Deux-Mers. Bordeaux, France. A white Bordeaux made from Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle. Very mild, soft and with a short finish. Not exciting, too thin. $14.
Wine 4: 2004 Hedges Cellars CMS. Columbia Valley, Washington. Chardonnay, Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc. Bigger fruit flavors than the previous wines. Tastes mostly of Chardonnay. Short finish. $13.
Wine 5: 2001 Louis Bernard Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Rhone, France. I think this might be the first white Châteauneuf-du-Pape I've had. Made from Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Marsanne, and Viognier. Odd aroma of candied peel and fruit, apple cider. Unique flavor and full bodied feel. Quite nice. $29.
Wine 6: 2001 Chateau de Callac. Bordeaux. France. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc. Lovely deep color, crisp cherry flavors, tart and mouth-drying tannins. $20.
Wine 7: 2002 Ferrari-Carano Siena. Sonoma, California. Interesting combination of Sangiovese, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep plum and dark fruit aromas, succulent fruit forward flavor, mild tannins and easy finish. Well crafted wine. $20.
Wine 8: 2003 The Lucky Country GSM. Barossa, Australia. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. Not much of a nose, but full fruit flavor. Easy drinking and not too heavy, but I thought it needed more Syrah. $15.
Wine 9: 2002 Hendry Meritage. Napa, California. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot. Inky dark purple, full fruit with lots of dark plum and some cherry. Good claret-style wine. $33.
Wine 10: 2004 Boekenhoutskloof "The Chocolate Block". South Africa. Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Viognier. Deep full colors, little too bitter and tannic for me. Something is off balance, but it might be better with food. $33.
Wine 11: 2002 Ridge Geyserville. Sonoma, California. Great combination of Zinfandel, Carignane, and Petite Sirah. Cranberry juice nose, black currant flavors, deep dark color. All in all a wonderful wine. I'd really love to just sit and enjoy this for an hour or so after dinner. $30.
Tasting Notes for Saturday, March 25, 2006
Theme: Italy (and I forgot to jot down the years on every one of these)
Wine 1: Vernaccia di San Gimignano S. Quirico. Tuscany, Italy. Made from Trebbiano, supposedly the favorite wine of Michelangelo. Slight lemon flavor, barely tart. Nice and refreshing. Makes me long for summer. $15.
Wine 2: Principessa Gavia Gavi. Piedmont, Italy. Made from Cortese. A little grapefruit, but otherwise a clean, thin white. $15.
Wine 3: Giovanni Almondo Roero Arneis. Piedmont, Italy. Arneis is the grape. Clean and fruity, not tart but a little bitter. $20.
Wine 4: Bollini Pinot Grigio. Trentino, Italy. Mild lemon flavors, some minerality, ends up like a flat mineral water with a slice of lemon in it. $13.
Wine 5: Di Majo Norante Cabernet Sauvignon. Osci, Italy. Jammy Zinfandel-style nose. Mild tannins, creamy flavor with good spice notes. Fun wine. $13.
Wine 6: A Mano Primitivo. Puglia, Italy. The ancestor of Zinfandel. Black cherry, good fruit forward wine. Medium tannins. $13.
Wine 7: Virna Dolcetto d'Alba. Piedmont, Italy. I think this is the first Dolcetto I've had, and it wasn't anywhere near as sweet as I'd heard. Mild and dry, with plum peel flavors. The host suggested serving it with Indian food. $15.
Wine 8: Dante Rivetti Barbera d'Alba. Piedmont, Italy. Mild, a little thin, not really complex. I was left wanting more. $24.
Wine 9: Monte Antico. Tuscany, Italy. 100% Sangiovese. Nice dark color, big tannins and mild fruit flavor. $13.
Wine 10: Falesco Vitiano. Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Raspberry aromas, medium tannins, well balanced. $17.
Wine 11: Colognole Chianti Ruffina. 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino. Smoky tones on the nose, dark berry flavors. Well balanced. $17.
Wine 12: Castello di Lucignano Chianti Classico. Tuscany, Italy. 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo. Nice and dry, good fruit with medium tannins. $23.