This was a light, but enjoyable Pinot Noir. Lighter in body and more delicate in composure than most Oregon Pinots, bright fruits up front with light chemical notes on the back of the palate. 13.5% ABV.
This Brunello di Montalcino was delicious. It had pronounced black fruits, both fresh black raspberry and stewed black cherry, with notes of a dusty dirt road that made it lovely. Plush mouthfeel; great length on the finish. Made for an excellent pairing with pork sugo atop polenta.
I thought this was a pretty outstanding Pinot Noir. Even though it had 14.7% ABV, it showed more baked and dried fruits than I expected, showing fig, prune and a port-like caramel. Yet it was still floral, with a plush body and everyone who tasted it very happy.
Hailing from the Chehalem Mountains within the Willamette Valley AVA, this Pinot Gris was a nice find. It featured notes of baked pear and pineapple upside down cake without the uncanny sweetness. Will pair nicely with a winter squash risotto.
The nose on this Willamette Valley Pinot is adorable. It smells exactly like a Pinot, laced with roses and earth, with hints of ripe black fruits barely standing out. On the palate, it shows black cherry and pomegranate, with hints of roses, fresh soil and dried porcinis. The finish is lengthy, but a bit hot. Overall, a solid showing.
This was a good Pinot Noir. At 13% ABV, it was much more extracted than I had anticipating, showing baked cherry and stewed blackberries on a plush body. Will pair nicely with a roasted pork tenderloin.
Amancaya is a wine produced by a joint effort of Domaines Barons de Rothschild and Nicolas Catena. But you wouldn't know it when you taste it. It's a wine that's dominated by oak and tannins, with hints of blackberry, black cherry and autumn spices peaking through. Don't drink it alone - make sure you pair it with a T-bone steak or brined pork chops. $18 is about twice as much as I would have liked to have paid for this wine.
This Willamette Valley Pinot is approachable at a very young age. On the nose it has that Burgundian funk of freshly turned soil and musty basement. On the palate, it's lively up front and mellow on the finish - zingy red raspberry melds into stewed black raspberry and pomegranate with hints of roses and granite. I'm quite pleased with this purchase and will definitely go back to the store to grab another bottle. Or three.
Fruit forward, yet elegant, showing notes of black cherry, pomegranate and hints of cassis. Slightly floral. Great structure, with the elegance again showing in the silky mouthfeel. Enough tannins to allow this to age gracefully for the next 3-4 years. Would love to pair this with duck breast.
Fresh, lively and very approachable. Showed black cherry and pomegranate atop a satiny body, with light showings of terroir that need a touch of time in the bottle to be able to fully show themselves. I'd lay it down for a couple more years. This made for a wine that paired greatly will morels, and really allowed them to stand out, as if they needed any help.
When I ordered this Barbera from the menu at aPizza Scholls in Portland, Oregon, it was exactly what I was looking for in a Barbera. Black cherry and fresh currant, with a nice amount of oak and tannin to help it stand up to the 'za. Oh, and it was a margherita pizza with capicola. Perfect pairing.
Ready to drink now, but will improve with a couple years in the bottle.
This wine looks absolutely stunning, and will cause people to stop, point at the glass and state to the server, "I'll have one of those." It resembles cranberry juice, which shows on the palate, with a subtle French oak. Easy to drink, and makes for a good pairing with Salade Nicoise.
A decent showing of Torrontes. Lively, zesty fruit profile almost more reminiscent of a Loire Sauvignon Blanc than a Torrentes, and missing the distinct floral aroma. But refreshing, and a good pairing for grilled shrimp.
This Chardonnay from the Willamette Valley is a good example of Chardonnay. It showed tangerine, Turkish fig and peach, with a delicate showing of French oak and chevre. It's balanced, medium-bodied and works well with food; pair with roasted game hen.
Strangely enough, this started out tasting like a Burgundian Chardonnay from the Macon region. And that's not a bad thing. Full bodied for a white Pinot, laden but not overpowered with French oak, and showed Meyer lemon, pear and baked apple. As it opened up, it lightened up and was much more crisp than the first tasting. I paired this with grilled chicken-apple sausages, roasted butter potatoes and garlic spears, which worked well, but I think this would pair really nicely with some fried oysters.
I really like this Gruner. Quite floral! It showed Pink Lady apple, yellow peach and lime, with tangerine blossoms and hints of vanilla and effervescence. It doesn't show the minerality of a great Austrian Gruner, but rather has a lightly creamy body that actually works well and makes the wine quite approachable. Pair with grillables like skewered veggies and shrimp.
Wow. This Cornas is an animal right now, and was unfortunately opened way too soon. But it's a great wine now, and wow it is definitely destined for greatness. It's made from 100% Syrah from vines that are over 90 years old. It shows a gorgeous fruit array of tarry black plum and black currant, a smattering of herbs, espresso and cedar. And the oak and grape tannins are nothing less than muscular right now. Lay this down for a good long while, until around 2020.
You know the Quintessa red blend is from Rutherford as soon as you feel and taste that red dust the region is famous for towards the back of the palette. It shows dense stewed black fruits, vanilla and mocha up front, and bright raspberry and dark chocolate on the finish. The body is plush and velvety. I'd lay this down in the cellar for at least another 4 years, but would prefer to let it age and open it between 2018 and 2022. This will make a great pairing with filet mignon, but I'm thinking I'd prefer a New York strip myself.
This Hermitage made for one of the most amazing food and wine pairings I've experienced. We paired it with a roasted leg of lamb, butter potatoes, sauteed fiddlehead ferns and morels. Oh, yes. The wine on its own showed outstanding pomegranate, stewed blackberry and dried fig, with woodsy notes of dried leaves, cedar, morels and antique books. It was elegant and graceful, and reminded me in structure and composure of a great Burgundian Pinot. I wish I had another bottle in the cellar, and this wine alone is making me consider lining up a vertical of Jaboulet Hermitage.
Decant 1 to 2 hours before your meal. It can be opened now, but it may benefit from another 3-5 years in the cellar; open between 2012 and 2016.
Oh my. I tasted this in between a 1998 Jaboulet Hermitage and a 2004 Cornas, and they were so similar yet so different. The Chave Hermitage was outstanding. It was showed perhaps more extracted notes fruit than I expected, but the black cherry and stewed blueberry were powerful but gorgeous. Notes of freshly turned soil, morels, flowers, black pepper, a hint of vanilla and paprika. It's huge, yet integrated and graceful. I'd recommend laying this down another 10 years, and open it from 2018-2022. Pair a meat that is rich enough to match up with this wine, such as braised duck.
This Littorai Chardonnay is perhaps one of the best representations of the Chardonnay grape that I've tasted from California. It was vinified in a mixture of used barrels and stainless steel tanks, which produced a much cleaner representation of the fruit. This Chard showed fresh melon, pear and white peach, with light floral, lime zest and metallic notes that made it a refreshing quaff.
This Pinot had so much funk it was undrinkable. I know that this is a normal representation of J. Christopher's wines, as I've been impressed by many of their wines. But this particular bottle I believe was suffering from a defect such as brettanomyces. I will taste this again soon.
This was decent, but was not my favorite Willamette Pinot Noir. It showed a lovely rose aroma on the nose, and black cherry on the palate, but each of the people I served this wine to made note of the extraction that produced flavors reminiscent of county fair candy. I won't be buying the 2007 again, but have seen enough promise from Illahe that I still look forward to trying their next vintage.
A great showing of Riesling from the Rheingau region of Germany. Lovely honeysuckle on the nose, with ripe peach and apricot on the palate, with a nice dose of minerality mid-palate. Low alcohol at 9% ABV. This can lay down in the cellar for another 5 years, but is showing great now. I'd love to pair this with Indian.
This grower Champagne was a really good wine, and especially for the price. The fruit was much more impressive than most, with green apple and pear coming to the forefront of the nose and palate, followed by chalk and a lighter toast/vanilla than expected. I will definitely buy this Champagne again.
This Cremant has a soft and delicate body with an almost forceful frizzante. Features notes of lime, grapefruit and muskmelon, with a hint of calcareous love. It's good. I'd pair this with something that would work well with the frizzante - like charcuterie.
The first sip is exactly like biting into a Grannysmith apple - tart, acidic, rindy and bright. It shifts mid-palate, where lime and floral notes peak out. And, I have to admit, I am a big fan of this being in a liter bottle, which means 1 more glass of wine :) Pair with Thai food.
French oak! The vanilla bean notes that permeated this wine never wavered from opening the bottle until the last drops left the glass. There were other worthy notes - navel orange, Meyer lemon and herbs de Provence. This is not representative of the Savennieres I've come to know and love.
This white Burgundy had a surprising and welcome amount of French funk - that cheese rindy, basementy characteristic that I love to find in a wine. The notes were ripe - Tangerine, with some ruby red grapefruit and baked pineapple. I'd like to buy this wine again.
It's a been a while since I tried this particular sparkling, and when I saw it was from South Africa my first thought was, "This isn't going to be good." But it was, surprisingly so, and might have single-handedly axed a wine prejudice that I didn't realize I had.
This Pinot Noir / Chardonnay mixture makes for a nice, approachable sparkling rose wine. It featued strawberry notes that reminded me of a fresh-yet-jammy strawberry found atop a shortcake, a brioche finish that was not too strong and a medium effervescence. I'd happily consume this South African sparkler again.
This is a tasty treat from the Greco di Tufo DOCG appellation of Campania, Italy. It was zesty and lively, with notes of lemon rind, lime and Orangina. The chalky, calcareous notes derived from the soil provided a great balance. Reminded me of a nice Gruner Veltliner. This paired well with duck prosciutto risotto, but I think it's really calling for pasta all'olio with shrimp.
It's been a couple days since I tasted this wine, and I'm left with 2 distinct notes to characterize this wine by: vanilla, and a creamy body. There were other flavors that were featured in the wine, such as bosc pear, red delicious apple and grapefruit, but it's the oak characteristics that really stood out.
I have a lot of problems with this wine. It's called Integrite, as a French translation for Integrity. And yet there's no appellation information on the front or back labels. Where does this wine come from? There's no grape information on the labels. What is this wine made of? And this wine is specifically labeled Non-Vintage. What years were whatever grapes in this wine grown?
What makes wine a wonderful experience is because for a moment it connects you to a particular time and place - to a specific grape that was grown in a specific vineyard that received specific weather in a specific year and was produced by a specific person or group of people. And when you taste a wine with all of those specifics in place, you feel as one with that place and those people and that wine.
Sure, this particular wine tastes decent, with a ripe black cherry and black raspberry, with subtle hints of mocha, autumn spices and vanilla. However, Integrity is exactly what this wine is sorely lacking.
I really like this wine. It shows pear, white peach and orange zest, with a hint of aspargus and a floral, almost soapy, finish. But it's the intangible aspect of, well, biodynamic-like complexity and earthiness that is making me want more. Pair with paella. Oh. Yes.
This is a great wine for people who like highly extracted Pinots and Cabs. It's a little muted on the nose, showing only oak and dried tobacco. On the palate it is fruit forward, showing extracted fruit flavors of prune, stewed blueberries and pomegranate, with tobacco and woody notes on the finish. For me it's slightly off-track for a Ribera del Duero, but that's just me.
Like most of the Aligotes that I've consumed, this wine is a bit odd. And not in a bad way exactly, just in a "different" sort of way. You'll have to try it to know what I'm talking about. I'd say it's a cross between a Burgundian Chard, a Vouvray and an Albarino. A lightly creamy body, with subtle vanilla notes atop flavors of mandarin orange, lime zest and pink grapefruit, and just the slightest bit of crushed seashell. It's always fun to try an Aligote, and always fun to move on to the next bottle.
I found this at a small wine shop near Pike Place in Seattle. When I mentioned to the wine steward that I was looking for a Vin Santo, he strong-armed me into buying this wine, telling me it would make me "geek out". It was an easy sell.
This wine was absurd on the nose. Absurd. It showed aromas ranging from pistachio to Indian spices to dried fig to orange peel. It was all over the place. On the palate, it showed a good balance between sweet and dry, with a light syrupy body. It shows honeysuckle, St- Germain, Meyer lemon, apricot and pistachio, and is really a great, balanced desert wine. I will definitely buy this wine again. Pair with panna cotta.
Any number of cheesy movie lines can be used to describe this wine. My favorite - This wine had me at hello. I'm serious. This wine is gorgeous in the glass, with a peachish pink hue that reminds you of a Hawaiian sunset. And on the palate, it waltzes, showing green apple rounded out by Meyer lemon and white peach, with a light effervescence that's balanced by a light creamy body. And it's dryer than it is sweet, but will still meet the needs of those with a sweet tooth. I've turned many friends on to this wine, and each has said to me that it's their new favorite wine.
Pair this with light appetizers that will allow your palate to focus on the wine instead of the food.
Meh. Maybe it's just me, but $15 Cotes du Rhone wines just don't live up to the expectations I once had. This in particular is disjointed. The flavors all hang around in the glass, but never quite come together. Black cherry, pomegranate, popsicle stick, autumn spices all appear in snippets, but never meld together.
This is a deep, mesmerizing Gewurztraminer that surprises anyone who thinks the know what a Gewurtz tastes like. The nose shows a touch of fruit and a floral, almost soapy aroma. Pear, honey and apple blossom pair together with bucheron cheese rind, potting soil and a light minerality to create a great experience in the mouth. This received a 2 thumbs up from everyone I served this wine to.
This was a mediocre showing of Chardonnay from the Macon region of Burgundy. It showed flavors of papaya, melon and touches of vanilla and grapefruit. The body was a little flabbier than most wines from this region.
I didn't care much for this wine. It started out tasting super dry, with nutty aromas and flavors, much like an Oloroso sherry. As it warmed a bit, it showed a higher acidity, gooseberry and lemongrass, and reminded me more of a Sauvignon Blanc. After 2 glasses, I decided to save the rest and just use it for a cooking wine.
Zippy! This shows a high acidity, with notes of lemon and lime, and a aluminum-like minerality that combined make this a very refreshing wine. It kinda tastes like Sprite, without the corn syrup. Pair with fish tacos.
I love this wine. Seriously, it's delicious. It features a medium effervescence, with notes of green apple and pear, a nice acidity and a slight sweetness that makes it an approachable wine for those with a sweet tooth.
For $10, this is a solid wine. It shows a good acidity, with notes of grapefruit and green apple on the palate, and hints of asparagus on the nose. My only criticism is that the body is a bit flabby. For food pairings, I'd serve steamed mussels with white wine, shallots and parsley, using this wine to prepare the mussels.
This was a decent representation of Soave. It showed pear, lime zest and ping grapefruit, with a medium acidity and slight chalkiness. Will make a great pairing with gnocchi topped with freshly grated white truffle.
A good showing of Torrontes from the Mendoza region of Argentina. It shows a really nice floral aroma on the nose, and notes of yellow apple, kumquat and the tiniest touch of mint on the palate. Would happily pair this with crab cakes and a red pepper remoulade.
The only wine I tasted in the entire month of October that made me stop in my tracks. It was a deep golden color, like the color of apple juice, and featured complexities that reminded me of some of my favorite biodynamic wines. It was nimble, with a bright minerality and featured apple and pear balanced with cheese rind and Turkish spices. Would love to find this wine again.
Bone-dry, this has more of a flavor profile of a Gruner Veltliner than a typical Riesling. But that's because the minerality of the soil that shines through on this Riesling. It shows slate and steel, which enhance the lemon and lime flavors, and make for a quite refreshing quaff. The floral aromatics, for me, are what makes this Riesling true to its type. I will definitely purchase this wine again.
A decent showing from the Priorat region of Spain. It's a straight forward wine that I would consider New World in style. It shows fresh off the vine blueberries, ripe blackberries and heavy body, with persistent new oak tannins and a touch of autumn spices. Pair with a pork roast.
This is a wine that caused everyone to turn their heads after one sip. Now, it might have been because the tasters were all new to German Rieslings. But... I would have turned my head too. An aroma of Bucheron cheese rind permeated the wine, but allowed all the loveliness of a great Riesling to shine through... From the honey and flowers, to the cantaloupe and dried pineapple. $13 is an outstanding price!
A really enjoyable Tuesday night wine, with a full floral bouquet and a fruit profile of pink grapefruit, lime and honeydew melon. Torrontes, in my opinion, is a very underrated grape, and this is yet another example of that fact.
This Oregon rose reminded my of some of the best roses from the South of France - specifically of those from Domaines Ott in Provence. The wine was a gentle pink in hue, featured notes of strawberry and white peach, and every single sip was elegant. Pair with light nibbles and an ocean sunset.
Features a haunting nose of deep forest, wild mushrooms and damp cedar shavings. On the palate, black cherry and hints of pomegranate combine with the forest aromas to create a thoroughly expressive wine. Drink up though, because the mouthfeel is starting to slip just a bit. But all in all this is an outstanding wine - one that is a great display of the depth of a true Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
I've been tasting a lot of $7 wines recently looking for good bang-for-buck sitting-on-the-porch wines. I've found another. The Palazzone Dubini Bianco shows a very fruit forward array of grannysmith apple, lime and watermelon, and is quite crisp and refreshing.
Oh. Wow. One sniff of this wine and you'll know it's a biodynamic wine. Its aromas and flavors shapeshift every time you pick up the glass. It starts crisp and minerally while still cold, and as it warms and opens up shifts to soft, layered and floral. Notes of honeydew melon, kaffir lime leaves, pink grapefruit rind, slate and wildflowers just begin to describe the flavor composition of this wine. Highly recommended.
You had me at "rose from the south of France". This is a great rose. Soft and fruity, featuring notes of cranberry and cassis, with a touch of vanilla and hints of thyme and autumn spice. It is notably lacking in the bitter leafy finish that accompanies many other similar wines. Pair with grilled pork tenderloin.
24 years later, this Port is still going strong. It is a well-crafted Port that features notes of roasted almonds and hazelnuts, stewed black plum and dried fig, with a decent does of tannin still remaining. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another bottle, and would open it now through 2015.
This Trebbiano d'Abruzzo tastes like a $7 wine. It's crisp, dry and features notes of red delicious apple and pear, and is rather ho-hum and unmemorable. Next time I'll spend a couple more dollars and buy a better wine.
Syrupy. This was the thickest wine I have ever tasted, and I don't even know that I would call it a wine. It was syrup. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but I really wanted to drizzle it over a dessert like an affogatto, or maybe even waffles. It had a great flavor composition of dried figs, molasses and hazelnuts, and is definitely a Sherry I will purchase again in the future.
This ain't your typical 2 buck chuck. This is a grungy, dirty, barnyardy, band-aidy kind of wine, the kind that wine geeks crave after and the meek pass on. Features cherry, stewed red fruits, black plum, autumn spices, limestone and funkalicousness. Great bang for buck.
When you find a Chardonnay that was sourced just 4 miles from Chassagne-Montrachet, you just have to buy it. This Rully is a good display of a true Chardonnay, with notes of Grannysmith apple and pear, hints of chalk and limestone, and a smooth texture. Aged French oak barrels made their presence in the notes of vanilla bean, but it was not overwhelming. Will make a great pairing with roasted chicken or turkey.
Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about. A lightly effervescent wine that is floral, has a high acidity and will pair perfectly with tonight's sole in hot butter and lemon. Lemon, clementine and golden delicious apple skin lead the flavor foray, but the kicker might actually be the funky Bucheron rind that hits you on every sip. I will definitely buy this wine again.
This reminds me very much of a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Not only are they both Tuscan, both it's a great wine that compares in quality to Chianto Classicos, if not an entry level Brunello. This Montecucco in particular features a haunting layer of fruits, including a deep stewed blackberry up front that fades into fresh blackberry and a touch of pomegranate. Graphite / pencil lead, granite and cinnamon round out the flavor profile, which is followed by a medium length finish.
This Cotes du Rhone features pomegranate, mulberry and blackberry, with subtle earthen notes of hay and autumn leaves. It also has a medium oak presence of fresh tobacco and vanilla that I expect to dissipate over the next year or two. I think this was $12 that was very well spent.
Smells floral and super sweet on the nose, but is pleasantly dry/off-dry on the finish. Ripe pear, peach and a touch of mango line the palate, while a subtle minerality lines the cheeks. 10% ABV. Great wine if you're looking to ween someone off of white zin :)
Early in the day before tasting this wine, I was smelling a purple rose, and when I stuck my nose in this glass of wine, I swear it smelled exactly like that rose. Great perfume, notes of black cherry, stewed pomegranate, cinnamon, slate and dried mushroom. A lovely wine.
I thought this Cotes de Ventoux had a good flavor profile of extracted black cherry and cassis, as well as barrel spices. But I couldn't get over the fact that this didn't taste like a Cotes de Ventoux, but instead more like a young New World counterpart.
Blueberry and pomegranate are the first flavors you'll notice when you sip this wine. And all you will need is one sip to know this is a wine you will happily drink until the last drops are gone. Hints of chocolate and espresso make this seem as appropriate for dessert as it is for dinner.
Bright black cherry, black raspberry and blueberry line the palate from this fruit-forward wine. Oak and barrel spices lead the finish with a touch of baseball card bubble gum to polish it off. Give this a few years of time to mature in the bottle.
Deep earthy notes of rich potting soil, char and hummus, with black cherry and stewed black raspberries. This Syrah / Bonarda blend would love to be paired with a grilled pork tenderloin. I firmly believe that this will satisfy the palate of any lover of Napa Cabs.
On the nose this smells like a full-blown Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, this also displays a very forward flavor profile, meaning that it is much more flavorful than I had expected. Notes of stewed cherries, jammy raspberries and freshly rolled cigars make this a very rich rose.
I love Torrontes. I do. This isn't the first time I've announced my affection for the grape, and after tasting this Balbo Torrontes I know it won't be the last. Canned pear, white peach, and nectarine with a smattering of flowers, and is nicely balanced between dry and sweet.
I just can't seem to get enough Torrentes wine these days - they are all delicious and excellently priced. The Bodega Norton featured lovely floral notes on the nose, with a mixture of green apple, grapefruit and peach on the palate. Everyone who tasted it picked up the bottle to try to memorize the label. And for under $10? Nice!
Now this is a Cava with some funk! Reminded me more of a mid-level Champagne than a Cava. Super apple, with chalk and seashells that combed the cheeks on the way down. Long finish. Great with oysters or mussels!
I really enjoyed this red from Castilla y Leon. It's brambly, with fruit that rambled from stewed blueberry and baked plum to fresh Bing cherry. Notes of molasses, dark chocolate and potting soil highlight the eccentricity of this wine.
This white from the Savoie region of France, and particularly the village of Abymes, features a crisp, fresh acidity with notes of peach, strawberry and lime. A touch of chalk and river stones soften the acidity, and the wine ends with a mid-finish. Very nice, especially for the price. Some will say to pair this with Thai, and I agree, but I think this is a perfect pairing with mac 'n' cheese!
This Fleurie Beauj features a nice fruit profile of black cherry, loganberry and red delicious apple skin. What I loved about this wine was the minerality - a granite and limestone residue clung to the cheeks and grew with every sip. The oak seemed a little thick on the back of the palate, but perhaps this will soften after 1-3 more years in the bottle. Worked well with pork chops cooked up in the iron skillet.
A refreshing change of pace for the Chardonnay grape, this Beaujolais Blanc displays a rocking acidity up front. On the palate, flavors of honeydew melon, grapefruit, lemon and gooseberry are complimented by the scent of morning glories, with a subtle limestone in the mid-back palate.
The best way I can describe this 2nd growth Margaux is to say that it reminds me of Mr. Miyagi at age 49. You know, he's growing wise, his words pack more weight than his punch, but he still has enough power left to make his force known. That being said, I was surprised and excited to see how well this 19 year old wine was aging. It showed a lively garnet color, with just the slightest bit of browning around the edges. On the nose, a heavy cigar box aroma was obvious after first opening, which blew off and showed wet hay, strawberry patch, and faded red raspberry as the wine opened up. On the palate, it showed an expansive range of flavors, predominantly a classic fruit punch medley of black cherry, strawberry, red delicious apple peel and stewed red raspberry that still had some acidity left to it. The oak tannins were still kicking a bit, while the graphite and dry creek bed terroir gave it a great well-roundedness. This wine is deserving of its 2nd growth stature, and if stored properly will continue to age gracefully through 2013.
An excellent representation of an outstanding wine region. The Wolfer Goldrube Spatlese turned heads around my dinner table, and caused a couple of people to email me the next day with the question, "What was that wine and where can I buy it?" It's a wine that starts super sweet on the front of the palate, with a honey and golden raisin flavor, but shifts to a dry, extra long finish of kiwi and baked apricot. This will age gracefully for another 10 years, possibly more.
I really enjoyed this Sauternes. It featured notes of honeyed apricot, baked peaches, creme brulee (a touch on the burnt side) and fresh vanilla bean. Paired this bad boy with macaroons - it'll knock your slippers off.
I bought this wine simply because the wine stewardess said to me, "This wine is sexy." I've always found that comment laughable, so I thought I'd see exactly what "sexy" meant in wine terms. It showed layers of baked plums and fresh raspberries, cheese rind, wet hay and hummusy soil... This wine wowed me. And while I didn't find a sexual attractiveness to this Tempranillo, I did go back to the store the next to day to buy another bottle.
To me, this tasted like sparkling blood orange juice. I'm a big sucker for blood oranges, so logically I dug this Rose. Good minerality, with a little chalky/slatey action that both clung and cleansed the cheeks, and a nice effervescence.
Apricot and golden delicious apple show at the forefront, but what steals the show is the racy minerality and herbaceous aroma and finish. This is a great example of a Vouvray, and a true wine geek's wine.
Yowza! It's a little difficult to find a vintage Champagne from the late 90s, as the best vintage was 1996 and all of the '96s were scooped up as soon as they hit the shelves. This 1998 from Larmandier-Bernier was one of those wines that rarely made an appearance this side of the pond, and somehow ended up in my hands. It was nothing short of fabulous. It featured complex flavors, of which stood out were baked pear, grannysmith apple, toasted brioche and Bucheron rind. Chalk and powerful minuscule bubbles formed an amazing mouthfeel. A great special occasion wine, if you can find it...
Really good, and a nice find at $12. Features a firm acidity, with ripe kiwi, fresh peach, a touch of petrol, and of course a nice slatiness to boot. Dry on the finish, but any sweet wine lover will be fooled into thinking it's a sweet wine, so it's a perfect wine for a wine newbie.
This is my new favorite Prosecco. I know, I know, it's something I say about every 2 weeks or so, but this time it's going to stick for a while. There's something different about this Prosecco that's just hard to put my finger on. Is it the cleanliness on the palate, the way the frizzante caresses the mouth with firm yet gentle bubbles, or is it the kiwi and melon flavors that align so perfectly with the inherent minerality? I don't know what it is exactly, but this Prosecco rocks!
Most Beaujolais is one-dimensional - fruit atop a flimsy body. This is not your typical Beauj. It features black cherry, fresh blueberry, and a granitey goodness coats the entire palette after just a few sips... this is Beaujolais terroir at its finest, ladies and gentlemen. Outstanding.
I opened this Barbera on one of those rare nights that it was just me, a glass of wine and a good book. The tannins and imbalance in the wine kept distracting me from the book, neither of which I finished that evening. The wine featured blackberries, barrel spices and oak.
The flavors and aromas on this Pinot were great - super elegant black cherry and boysenberry that shift and change each sip, with a smattering of rose petals and hints of cheese rind and musty basement. This is definitely my kind of Pinot. While outstanding now, the fruit tannins are still packing a little punch, and I fully expect the wine to be ready for prime time from 2009-2010.
Stick a pint of black peppercorns in a cigar box and you'll be able to mimic the exact aroma coming out of this glass. The black cherry and blackberry on the palate are nice, but they are quickly consumed by spice and tobacco and will leave you thinking, "Where's the wine?"
I tasted this wine right after Justin's "The Orphan", which is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend, and I found little difference between the two wines in taste and structure. It showed extracted black cherry and plum, with a nose-singeing 15% ABV, and none of the earthy nuances that you look for in a good Pinot. This did not taste like Pinot Noir, nor was it anywhere close to being worth $47.
Lightly sparkling with a balanced sweetness, this Moscato shows baked pear, fresh apricot, and a dollop of honey with a clean, honeyed nose. Will make a great pairing with Baklava, or apple crisp and vanilla ice cream.
The nose is full of freshly cut flower stems. On the palate, this shows crazy gooseberry, Grannysmith apple, anise, petrol and slate. Bracing acidity. Would make a lovely pairing with an endive salad topped with walnuts, goat cheese and apple slices.
I tasted this wine over a week ago and it's had me baffled. I've had such a hard time figuring out a way to be eloquent about this, but maybe it's not possible. Joly is regarded as the grandfather of biodynamic wines, and this one is mind-bending. It's oxidized to the point that it looks like apple juice. The nose, well, made me feel like I was sticking my nose in the jar of candied aniseed right by the cash register at the Indian buffet, with wet hay and the leftover apple must from the cider mill. The palate was weighty, viscous with a tremendous amount of hay, honeyed apple and freshly cut dill. This is a thinker's wine folks, because after a couple sips you can't even begin to talk about anything else - all the focus is placed on the wine.
This rosé shines a gorgeous ruby red. On the nose it shoes fresh squeezed strawberry juice, with hints of original flavor Kool-Aid. On the palate it features bright strawberry, cranberry and orange up front, a zesty bite mid-palate and a smooth fruit finish. Truly captivating.
A deep cranberry color in the glass. The nose emits smells of asparagus, cedar and grapefruit zest. On the palate this rosé is a little awkward, like it wants to be Sangria -- add some sugar and maybe it will work. It shows a combination of blackberry and navel oranges up front with asparagus and grapefruit zest on the finish. I almost finished a whole glass.
Precision. Simply put, this Rosé was made with precision. It's a super-light pink-peach in color and zesty on the nose. On the palate, it shows strawberry, peach and pink grapefruit up front, with a finish of fresh strawberry and lime zest. The acidity is balanced, the body is smooth yet grips at the right times, and the overall is experience is very nice. Maybe it's because I just saw the movie, but I'd love to pair this with Ratatouille.
This Pinot comes from Oregon's most renowned vineyards, planted way back in 1966. It features a complex aroma, with fresh black cherry, dried tobacco, sage, Graham crackers and a hint of orange zest. The aromas really shine through on the palate, where it is smooth and silky, with a fresh acidity and great display of the volcanic soils in which its vines were planted. This is a Pinot Noir represents a true Willamette Valley style.
On the nose, this demonstrates the floral quality of a great Pinot, but I'm a little concerned about the jamminess of the black raspberry and black currant. And those extracted fruits really come through on the palate in an assertive way, where all the floral and earthy qualities of a good Pinot get masked beneath its fruit-forward style.
Subtle nose of fresh strawberry, hay and wildflowers. Up front it tastes sweet, with notes of fresh strawberry, cranberry and grapefruit rind, but it finishes dry and peppery. Pair with Salade Nicoise.
Takes about 20 minutes to open up, although if you have a decanter handy you can really speed up that process. Exactly what you'd expect out of a well-crafted Pinot... Black cherry, spice and subtle oak. It's elegant, not the over-extracted BS Pinot that tends to line the shelf nowadays. A worthy purchase.
A tasty quaff, and the first time I've seen a sparkling Nebbiolo. It's been a couple weeks since I tasted this so I don't recall specific tasting notes... I remember it was definitely good, but not good enough to be worth the $32 price tag.
This is the first good Pinot Noir that I've tasted from the Columbia Gorge. John Paul from Cameron proves again that he is one of the best winemakers in Oregon. Black cherry with a crisper acidity than most Oregon Pinots, subtle spice and some great cellar funk on the finish.
If this sparkling wasn't missing a little Kimmeridgian love, I would have sworn this was Champagne. It displays freshly baked apples, pears, a splash of lime, brioche, Bucheron rind and a hint of smoke. A nice find for $14.
I took 2 bottles of Berger's Gruner camping last weekend. When I pulled it out of the cooler, one of my campmates said, "Don't tell me we're gonna drink white wine while we're camping. No way." 15 minutes later, he tapped the 2nd bottle and couldn't get enough. Reminds me of Sprite, but with a lighter body, drier and nice minerality. And the price? $10 for a 1 liter bottle. That's a great deal.
Not to repeat what the back label says, but this rosé is made with Southern Rhone grapes in the style of a Tavel. It's a great, easy to drink wine. It displays notes of strawberry, grilled peach, cranberry and a finish of grapefruit zest and caramelized peppers. Think Puttanesca. Roasted red peppers, grilled sausages, and fresh mozzarella on salad or pasta.
Up front this shows an extremely high alcohol content, almost tasting like a flavored Listerine. As it blows off (the high alcohol nature never completely blows off) it displays baked apple and lime, with hints of caramel and cinnamon. Hot and acidic on the finish.
I found this Bugey in a wine shop in Walla Walla, of all places! Definitely the lowest alcohol (12%) that I've seen on the label of a bottle of red wine in the last 3 or 4 years. Made from the Mondeuse grape (from the Syrah family), this Bugey showed tart cherry, autumn spices and smidgeon of gravel. It was a nice change of pace from the over-extracted 15% ABV wines that dominate the market shelves. Pair with lighter game dishes, like a rabbit spatzle.
I don't care how much I have to pay to get my hands on a 2005 Beerenauslese, it's worth it. 2005 is said to be the best vintage that any German winemaker can remember... While I could have laid this down for a decade or two, I couldn't wait to open it immediately. It was unreal. It tasted like apricot-filled beignets with powdered sugar on top, and still managed a semi-dry baked apples finish that lasted for minutes. Outstanding!
Displays notes of honeysuckle, Jonathan apple and pineapple, stones and a touch of petrol. Dry and medium bodied with a light frizzante on the tip of the tongue. A good wine that is appropriately priced.
When I think of German Riesling, this is exactly the aroma and flavor profile I think of. Notes of pink lady apple, loads of slate, white peach and a touch of petro on the nose. Dry yet super vibrant, well balanced, and perfect for dinner or dessert. A great wine for Indian cuisine.
Displays notes of strawberries, cranberries, toasted barrel and vanilla, and goes down smooth. Paired well with grilled halibut and green garlic, and would make a great introductory rosé for any newbie.
I don't know that I've ever said this about a Syrah before, but this Syrah is pretty. It's because of the lively acidity that is paired with the black currant, stewed black raspberry, bacon and black pepper. If I were tasting this in a blind tasting, I would say this wine resembles a cooler climate Rhône like St. Joseph. Well done!
Black cherry, black currant, red plum, rose petals, autumn spices and black pepper on top of a hefty body, with a smooth mid-long black fruit finish. If you like bold Pinots, or are looking for a great pairing to go with your flat-iron steak, this is your kind of wine. Tannic now, this will need some time in the bottle, so lay it down until 2009, but I think this will peak around 2011-2012.
The aromas wafting from this Pinot change with every sniff, from coffee to lemon zest to bacon to peppermint to lavender. Black cherry up front that evolves into a stewed strawberry mixed with the aforementioned aromatics mid-palate. Fantastic structure, filled with complexities, and still maintains a great balance. This, in my opinion, is a truly remarkable Pinot Noir.
When tasted next to the '05 Mt. Jefferson, the first impression this Pinot leaves that there is a remarkable difference that 1 year of aging in the bottle will bring to this wine. Fully integrated, with all of the intangibles that make a hallmark Pinot: ripe black cherry up front, hints of volcanic soil, a fresh acidity and a silky smooth body, and a finish of stewed strawberries. Best around 2010.
A gorgeous nose, and fresh on the palate, featuring fresh pomegranate, baked Jonathan apples, and black plum. Every aspect of this wine - the acidity, the fruit, the tannin, the terroir - all are in balance. While approachable now, expect this Mt. Jeff to be fully-integrated in 2008, and best in 2010-2011.
Wow, I feel like my nose is firmly planted in a bouquet of freshly cut mixed spring flowers, and for some the reason the florist sprinkled white and black pepper on the bouquet! It was a good choice nonetheless, as I'm enjoying the nose so much I'm not sure I want to take a sip. But I do anyway, and find notes of honeysuckle, green apple, white peach and lychee, with a peppery stone fruit finish. A fantastic food wine. Hands-down the best New World Viognier I've experienced.
Crisp pear, lemon and apple peel with a touch of clay and a hint of butter on the finish. Nice body, dry, yet crisp and refreshing. After a long hike this Pinot Gris is exactly what the doctor ordered!
Kumquat, lime zest and honeydew mixed with saffir leaf and dill, followed by an off-dry medium finish. This is more of a food wine than a stand-alone wine... Pair dill-topped halibut and grilled romaine lettuce. A well done Chenin.
With a high acidity and minimal presence of oak, this Willamette Chardonnay is fresh compared to most of its U.S. bretheren. D'Anjour pear, grape fruit and lemon zest with a hint of gravel and a hot finish. A good candidate for barbecued chicken breasts.
This Pinot was the type of wine that I could smell for hours and never get tired of the aroma. It was floral, as in I'm standing in the middle of a rose garden floral, with hints of lavendar, cinnamon and a touch of vanilla. When I finally tasted it, it was elegant with flavors of black raspberry, cherry and a touch of acid on the finish. Its substantial body will allow it to pair lovely with roasted pork tenderloin.
Seemingly extracted at first, this velvety-bodied Pinot begins as with deep black cherry, then melts over the tongue and erupts into a pool of floral-laced maraschino cherry, pomegranate and red delicious apple peel. Hints of autumn spices, toffee and caramel intermingle with the mid-long finish.
A lovely blush color in the glass with a plethora of tiny bubbles. Flavor profile of pear, maraschino cherry, toast and a hint of seashells. An enjoyable quaff, and excellent with oysters topped with a Champagne mignonette!
Rustic notes, white raisins, lemon zest, saffron and golden apple with a docile frizzante. This is definitely one of the better US sparkling wines that I have tasted. Bottled in 2005, this still has about 1/2 year of life left in it, so drink up!
Bright red fruits, nice acidity, subtle minerality and smooth finish. This was a Tuesday night wine, opened more for relaxation than for a dinner pairing, and was exactly what the doctor ordered. Would be great with spaetzle topped with braised rabbit.
This is a real food wine. So much so, that I could only use food to describe it... It reminded me of spinach salad topped with a mound of grapefruit and garnished with prosciutto and prosciutto. Friends with whom I tried this wine agreed with the flavor profile, and also agreed this would be a great food pairing as well, as would a prosciutto and shellfish risotto.
A great price for this wine, which is excellent for an outdoor sipper, with shrimp on the barbie and a side of guacamole & chips. Kiwi, lime and honeydew on a substantial body. Simple, to the point, and good.
A brut that\'s a blend of all 3 Champagne varietals (Chard, Pinot Noir and Pinot Muenier). A light and easy quaff that\'s great for starting the evening off. Or if you\'re ending the evening, it makes a great pairing with popcorn.
100% Pinot that exudes similar characteristics that you\'ll find in a still Pinot, that funky, terroir-induced good luvin\'. Rich, creamy, vibrant and brings tha funk. What\'s not to like? Excellent with oysters.
Gorgeous rose color in the glass. Light raspberry and yeast on the nose. Creamy yeastiness with bright fruits on the palate. Finish that lasts a long time. An excellent Champagne, much better than Veuve which is found at the same price.
I decanted this old-style Barolo for over 1-1/2 hours and it still needed more time. A definite keeper for the long haul, perhaps 2017-2019? Deep black cherry with freshly rolled cigars and a substantial body. Majestic with rack of lamb and a black olive tapenade rub.
This is one hell of a wacky wine... I love it. Roasted pecans and a subtle oxidation scent on the nose are followed by an experience on the palate that is all over the place. Fruits like German Spatlese. Uber-minerality. Roasted walnuts and pecans. Aniseeed, white pepper, baklava. Crisp, yet dry. Finish that lasts for minutes. Minutes! I dig wine, but rarely am excited the way this Pinot Blanc excites me.
It\'s only $14, but there\'s just not enough going on this wine to make it worth more than $10. Sure, it features grapefruit, Meyer lemon, pear and vanilla. But, what about terroir? What about something that can separate this wine from any New World Pinot Gris?
Anyway, if you do buy this wine, open it for a backyard barbecue, with skewered shrimp and skewered ahi tuna marinated in an Asian marinade.
This was my first experience with Toreldego, and I was quite impressed. Like esbrown said, fresh black cherry and plum with autumn spices and a soft, but nice body. I look forward to trying more wines from Foradori...
My friend Meghann proved she was a true friend by whipping out the decanter and breaking out this big daddy on me while her boyfriend Jim cooked up a delectable rack of lamb. Wow I feel spoiled. Chateau Margaux\'s second label, Pavillon Rouge, is of just slightly lesser quality than its primary label, which is a 1st growth Bordeaux. Lesser quality is an overstatement, however, as this wine went 17 years and is still at its prime, although you can till this is its last year before its downhill trek. It features haunting aromas that reach deep into your soul and rattle your vertebrae. Still vivid fruits (black cherry and currant) are yielding to the mustiness of an century-old basement, aged potting soil that hasn\'t been turned for a couple of years and the remains of grandpa\'s tobacco pipe. The flavors are integrated and still delicious. Meghann, if you\'re reading this, thanks for sharing such a delightful treat. I\'ll remember this wine for years.
Woah. Hands down one of the oakiest wines I have ever tasted. It makes sense, considering this wine was barrel fermented and barrel aged. Yet it worked, somehow, as the flavors of this wine melded together and created a pretty fantastic experience. From subtle vanilla, to kumquat and citrus, to walnuts and cellar funk, this wine hit a number of flavors and was a delight to drink. Reminded me of an aged Chenin Blanc from the Loire.
Almost gray in color, this Cremant du Jura had a great frizzante, and flavors reminiscent of green apples, tangerines and the creaminess of a cream puff. Worked great with sashimi and was well worth the price.
How does that Beggin\' Strips commericial go? \"It\'s BACON!\" A noseful of it that is, along with earthy, woody characteristics that shelter the nose from the glass\' muted fruits. They come alive on the palate however, where black fruits and shrooms explode on the front of the palate before being muffled by heavy grape and oak tannins on the finish.
Heavenly. Baked raspberry and plum, raisin, mocha and mint. Earthen qualities of stone, soil and dried tobacco leaves. Immense tannins and plenty of aging potential. Hot, long finish. Words could never do this port justice.
Wow, this tastes French. Smooth, silky, and stanky, like that mmm mmm good cellar funk stank that we\'ve come to love about Cameron wines. It features a standard Pinot profile of red cherry, rose petals, harvest soil and autumn spices, but it\'s that funk that takes this wine to a whole new level.
This wine is 11 years old and it is still drinking wonderfully, although I would recommend popping that cork now rather than waiting. Classic Alsace Riesling characteristics, with a round body and excellent balance between citrus fruits and terroir notes of stone and crustacean shells. A kick of orange zest and petrol line the lengthy finish.
Oh man. This Kabinett Riesling went up against the likes of a Slovenian Chardonnay, Alsatian Gentil and Sauvigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru, and was by far the favorite of the bunch. From the awesome 2002 vintage, Joh. Jos. Prüm used many of the leftover fruits that didn\'t make it into its Spatlese, and put it in this Kabinett. It seems sweet, but it\'s deceptively dry. Complex, with honeymelon, baked nectarine and peach, followed by slate, schiste and spice, with a long finish.
Oh, this was one of those wines that you got to taste right after its peak. And you can tell -- this wine really used to be something. Soft, silky cherry and a supple bouquet garni on the finish, but mid-palate it just dissipates on the tongue. I still really enjoyed the wine, I just wish I would have popped the cork in 2005.
Decanted 2 hours before drinking, and still nowhere near ready. Great fruit and earthen notes, and meaty! Let it sit in the cellar another 8 years or so (2015). Excellent with pan-seared mustard, rosemary and Javanese pepper-encrusted lamb loin, with the pan deglazed with this wine.
Would you like a little wine with your tobacco? I couldn\'t believe how cigar-like this wine was. I don\'t know about you, but I prefer fruit over tobacco when it comes to my the wines I consume. It was a decent wine, don\'t get me wrong, but I will look elsewhere for my next HHH Cabernet Sauvignon.
This Grand Cru Champagne features one of the brightest examples of Granny Smith apple that I have ever tasted, followed by Gruyere, toast and a peppery zing. The body is light, however, and the intense frizzante dissipates after 2 minutes in the glass and leaves the consumer with a glassful of flab. My dinner guests loved it, while I was miffed that this Grand Cru turned out less than grand.
Trutina is the Latin word for "balance", and is a great name for this Walla Walla blend of Bordeaux grapes. It is much fresher than expected, with fresh black currant and black cherry that shifts into a jammy plum mid-palate. Subtle hints of fresh tobacco, iron and clay help the fruit shine. This is a great bottle of wine for the price, one I will definitely purchase again.
Sorry, but a urine-colored wine is never that attractive. I rarely say that the look of a wine alters the way I feel about it, but this is one of those special, er, not so special cases. Otherwise, the wine certainly wasn't bad, with the flavor profile of a low grade non-vintage Champagne. Slatey and yeasty, with candied fruit flavors up front, green apple and Meyer lemon mid-palate, and a smoke and toast finish.
Jammy and caramelly on the nose, and after the first sip I couldn't figure out what the heck I was drinking. I looked at the label to verify, and sure enough it was Willamette Valley Pinot, but the 15% ABV is what really threw me off. Don't get me wrong, it's a good wine, but it tastes more like Napa Cab than Oregon Pinot. It features ripe fig, stewed raspberries and caramelized sugar with a syrupy body and a medium candied fruit finish.
This Riesling from the Nahe region of Germany is named Quarzit for the quartz-laden soils the Riesling vines are grown in. It is off-dry, with perfumed floral notes, baked peach, apricot and a touch of gooseberry, with a minerality that I can only call quartz because of the background information above. This is a wine that will please both dry and sweet Riesling lovers.
This was a red like a rustic farmhouse, with that scent of worn hardwood floors and a black cherry pie that had popped out of the oven 6 hours prior and was now cool on the kitchen table. On the palate, black cherry and roasted fig mix with orange zest, black pepper and oregano. It's hard to find a Piemontese Nebbiolo for less than $20, and when you do find, it probably won't be very good. This was the exception.
Citrusy! Lemon, lime, grapefruit zest, with accentuating notes chalk, flowers, cactus and avocado. This is another Gascogne white wine that is great for the price. Made by the same co-op that makes Colombelle.
Blackberry coulis, baked plum, chocolate, sage and autumn spices all mingle together nicely on the front of the palate. The finish is a little on the hot side, with notes of cigar box and subtle hints of black fruits, which makes this an appropriate candidate for a cold autumn night over a hot summer day.
In my opinion, this is one of the few great California Cabs in the less-than-$20 price range. It displays black cherry, currant and brambly licorice with subtle notes of chocolate and cinnamon. The soft tannins make this a very quaffable wine even in its early age, perfect to keep you warm on the first cold night of autumn.
Coming from a vintage that was not widely celebrated, the Quinta do Crasto port proved worthy of its vintage designation. "Fresh!" is the first word that comes to mind when speaking of the ripe raspberries, pomegranate and fresh Turkish fig flavors that portrude from the wine. Towards the end a spice array of cocoa powder, orange zest, cinnamon and cayenne appears, and afterwards the minute-long finish tastes of fruit with a hint of spearmint. Well balanced and made to last through 2015.
Next to the Moscato d'Asti from La Spinetta's other vineyard, Vigneto Biancospino, this Moscato d'Asti much more mild. That being said, this was a fantastic Moscato. Dry and not as dessert-like as its sister, it showed notes of golden raisin, baked peach and apricot, with hints of caramelized sugar, mascarpone and a subtle frizzante.
At first this Negroamaro tastes like a old worn horse saddle with a few berries crushed atop it. I wondered if I'd make it through the first glass... and then it opened up, and nicely might I add. It showed a fruit array of pomegranate, black cherry and black plum with cigar box mid-palate and dusty autumn spices on the finish.
Easily confused as a Cotes du Rhône Rouge, this Bierzo was like a diamond in the rough. I don't know about you, but when I don't have very high expectations when it comes to the Bierzo region. But this red displayed a sudden manifestation of autumn spices on the palate and fresh black cherry, berry and the slightest hint of cocoa powder. Exactly the type of wine I will be reaching for the first chilly night of fall.
When I smelled a noseful of cellar funk, I knew I was in for a real treat. This Willamette Valley rose features notes of peach, strawberry, lime leaf and buttermilk biscuits. It shows a medium acidity, a medium weight and a mid-long finish. A well balanced, standout rosè.
Woah, it's Beaujolais on steroids. Dark, black cherry and blackberry provide an unexpected heaviness in this wine, yet the body is smooth as silk. Various spices come in and out, and the closest thing I could pin this to was a veggie pot pie I had recently, which was loaded with wild mushrooms and fresh thyme. Good, but not quite the Beaujolais I was expecting.
When the first aroma you catch is strawberry shortcake, how can you not anticipate the flavors to come? Bright cherry and stewed strawberry show a rather fresh acidity, while mid-palate notes of Beaujolais' granite soil come into the mix. Autumn spices and black pepper lead the finish of medium length. For the price, this is an excellent buy.
The focus of this Beaujolais was a little... off. Heavy oak tannins and artificial, almost plastic flavors hid notes of fresh blueberries and grilling spices. This was one of those wines where you may or may not make it through the first glass.
This Columbia Valley Viognier shows baked peach, orange zest and banana with complimentary notes of brie rind, black and white pepper. Medium bodied and a spicy finish. The high alcohol level (14.5% ABV) is my only complaint, as it makes for hotter than expected quaff.
This Champagne is a real knee-wobbler. Über-smokey with heavy brioche, yet balanced with bright green apple and pear. Features a flourishing efferevescence, while a punctual minerality dots the palate here and there, just when you need it to. Expressive and stunning, without being too overblown.
Green apple, unripe peach and fresh lime dance on the tongue with the help of miniature bubbles that coax the palate. Notes of brioche, slate and minerals with subtle overtones of smoke and a savoriness on the long finish. Integrated, complex and an outstanding Champagne.
A gorgeuous cranberry in color, this rosé Cava features a subtle effervescence. Soft ruby red grapefruit and lemon combine with chalk, raw almond and bay leaf. A smidgeon of red plum sneaks in on the dry finish.
Ray Coursen created this Rosé in the style of a Rhône Tavel. Baked rhubarb, baked strawberry and raspberry with a vanilla custard up front, which evolves into herbs du Provence on the dry finish.
Crisp acidity and a robust body.
A dry, yet refreshing quaff. The Zardetto Zeta Prosecco features an expressive fruit array of fresh peach, quince and grapefruit zest. While refreshing, it's definitely complex with notable minerals and intermingled seaweed, cashew, and a smidgeon of 7up on the mid-long finish.
Hmph. When you see a wine looking that gorgeous in a bottle you expect a little follow-through on the palate. Nope. The red raspberry, baked strawberry and rose petal notes were certainly promising, however the all-wood finish wasn't exactly what I was hoping for.
Heavy toast aromas hit the nose immediately. On the palate, this Cava shows green apple and pear, with notes of yeast, minerals and cream. The finish is short and afterwards there is an undesirable metallic flavor that coats the cheeks. But hey, for a $5 bottle of bubbles, it's not a bad buy.
Hot on the nose, with penetrating alcohol, black pepper and barnyard notes that mute the subdued black fruits. On the palate, black cherry and blackberry are immediately noticeable, but the wine shifts mid-palate to pepper and a metallic, aluminum can flavor. The finish is swift -- the fruits dissipate quickly and afterwards there is a quick flash of fire. Hot, hot, hot.
Many refer to this 3rd growth Margaux as being second best in its appellation, only behind the 1st growth producer Château Margaux. And we can see why. A tantalizing array of fruits, including black currant, black cherry and blackberry coulis on the finish. Cigar box may be the most notable spice on the palate, but dill, stones and sand all make their way onto this silky-bodied claret. It's a little disjointed now, as if it's currently going through puberty, and will gradually shed its youthfulness over then next 10 years. If I had a second bottle, I'd open it for a special occasion in 2021, maybe for a pet's birthday (so I can toast to the guest of honor and drink all of the wine myself).
One whiff of the aroma coming off of this Nebbiolo and every one in the tasting panel <i>knew</i> this was a Barbaresco. Yellow rose, orange blossom and char accentuated the fruit flavors of prune and Medjool date. The tannins are still tight and prove this wine still has a few years before it will be ready.
Not the crisp Chablis that we typically experience, but rather a little muffled, a little funky, and well on its way to becoming a thing of beauty. Fresh pear, yellow apple, and red grapefruit paired with earthen notes of stones and chalk. The mid-long finish is lined with fresh fruits, as well as a touch of cream and butter.
Quite the flavor array up front with peach, apricot and honeysuckle, with freshly cracked black pepper and candied aniseed on the finish, like the kind you find in the doorway at an Indian restaurant for a breath freshener. The only thing that bugged me about this wine was the relatively high alcohol, but this a very slight blemish for a great wine.
Up front, this Cotes du Rhône features deep, a dark spicy mix of blackberry and cherry, with hints of paprika and Cajun spices. As it opens up, Medjool date and quince sneak into the flavor array, with dust and a touch of spearmint on the finish.
Clean! Peach up front, melon mid-palate and Granny Smith apple on the finish. Dry, with chalk and slate notes that coat the cheeks, and an über efferevescence like a power spray washer, but in a good way.
The only way I can describe this wine is by invoking the name of the man, the myth, the legend: Don King. Say what you will, i.e. "What the hell is this guy smoking?" or "What does this have to do with wine?" or "Who?" But the mixture of dark fruits seem frazzled when it first enters your mouth, it's unique mid-palate with black pepper and pencil shavings, and although very different, this wine gets the job done.
From the Touraine appellation found within France's Loire Valley, this Malbec features fresh black cherry and raspberry up front, with char, lead and pepper on the finish. A basic table wine meant for a backyard BBQ.
Shizzou, it's a white pepper bomb! This Pineau d'Aunis from the Touraine region of France smells and tastes like a Turkey Dinner... roasted meats, green beans, mashed potatoes, the whole smorgasboard. It does have some good qualities, such as melon and strawberry and tasty spices. As a standalone wine, no way, but this <i>is</i> an impeccable food wine.
Giddy gooseberry, rad ruby red grapefruit and ovatious orange with mondo minerality and hellatious herbaceousness. I'm sorry this wine review is so lame, but it was so good it made me silly. It was outstanding.
This Chenin Blanc from the banks of the Loir river within the Loire Valley is named L'Effraie, literally translated as The Owl. It's mouth-watering, sophisticated and (I have never used this term to describe a wine) sexy. It shows two gushes of flavors, up front bright gooseberry and peach and mid-palate river stones and slate. One member of our tasting panel stated, "If I had to choose one wine to spoon with at night, this would be it."
When tasting this wine, one member of our tasting panel stated, "Ask the Winegeeks.com readers to tell us what this wine tastes like, because we have no clue." It's true, there's something that we couldn't quite put our fingers on, but here it goes... Golden raisin, melon and lime zest with a briney/grassy and elusive flavor mid-palate. Maybe the best Muscadet Sèvre et Maine I have tasted. Decant before serving.
Say it out loud... "Eff-err-vay" and then the French word for 100, "cent", to make the name "Effervescent". That's right folks, ol' Monsieur Brun brings quite the light-hearted approach to this wine, and I tell ya, it's a wine that will make you happy. A peppy frizzante with notes of strawberry, cranberry, roasted figs and hints of vanilla and minerals with an off-dry finish. Excellent.
Earthy, cheesy and floral on the nose with light fruit aromas. On the palate, this bone dry rosé features a hefty amount of citrus zest, with prominent melon and golden delicious apple. Bone dry with an over-zesty kirsch finish.
A silk-laden body very well may be the defining feature of this Merlot. It features notes of black raspberry, black currant and prune with a dark chocolate accent mid-palate that sure is hard to complain about. The finish is lengthy with hints of tobacco and smoke.
Rich, candied fruits including dried blackberry, blueberry and orange peel. Layer after layer, you'll search for adjectives -- smoky, perfumed, earthy, spicy, caramelly... and when it's all said and done, all that remains will be the thought, "Wow. That was a damn good wine."
Grilled meats and spices immediately stand out as if this wine was screaming, "Fire up the BBQ!". This Syrah features black raspberry, plum and Marcona almond, while mid-palate notes of lilac and Easter lilly add sneak into the mix. This may be Brett and Denise Isenhower's best display of balance between masculine and feminine characteristics, the ying-yang of Columbia Valley.
One sniff and all I could think was, "Mmm... Rhône..." That barnyardy goodness that is characteristic of the Syrahs of France's Rhône Valley gently wafts out of the glass. On the palate, this Syrah shows opulent, reduced fruit flavors of black currant and blackberry, with hints of loam, sand and black pepper. The finish is a touch on the oaky side, but all-in-all a good showing from the Columbia Valley.
Chocolate, licorice and dried black cherry coax the nose closer and closer towards the glass before the mouth forces itself and down the hatch it goes! This Cab-Merlot blend coats the mouth with its plush body, with notes of black raspberry and terroir (fresh cut tobacco and sand) rounding out the flavor array. Excellent bang for the buck!
Smells like a spring walk as the sun rises in the morning, with prevalent floral aromas of yellow rose and orange blossom. Fruit driven flavors line the palate with pineapple, banana, nectarine and crisp yellow apple and a toasty vanilla fruit finish.
Olives! Green, black, you name it. A touch trichotomous, with a berry-driven silky body up front, a bare patch of dried mushrooms in the middle and a tannic finish. It's good, don't get me wrong, but for a CdP wouldn't you expect something that's mind-blowing?
A rather demure nose makes way for a more forward-style French rosé with hints of sweet cherry, red raspberry and candied orange zest. A bit of residual sugar hits the palate, although this is a dry rosé.
Light in structure like a Beaujolais, with darker fruits such as black cherry and loganberry. Roasted corn, oregano and cigar box round out the flavor profile. A nice Monday night wine -- something inexpensive to open that you don't have to think about while you drink it.
This Willamette Chardonnay will smack your cheeks with its vivid fruit combination of pineapple and unripe orange. Orange creamsickle, vanilla and Graham cracker make you wonder if this is meant to be a dessert wine. Maybe not the best food wine, but served alone it will be a crowd pleaser.
Burgundian in style, this Willamette Chardonnay features notes of white peach, red apple, Brie rind and vanilla bean. The texture is interesting full with a fuzziness not unlike the skin of a peach, with a fresh acidity and a finish much like Confectioners' sugar.
Roasted coffee, cassis and dusty earth show on the nose. On the palate, this Merlot blend displays notes of cooked blueberries, prunes, char and crushed black pepper. A fresh acidity and a mid-long finish make this a great find from the Cape of Good Hope.
One member of our tasting panel stated, "If Pinot Noir was grown in the southern Rhône valley, this is what it would taste like." This Pinot displays that down-home, funky, shroomy, barnyardy goodness. Some may shiver at the thought of it, and others simply smile or curl their shoulders up to their ears in a little glimpse of earthly delight. It shows stewed blackberry, cherry, plum and a little Dr. Pepper to boot. An outstanding showing of an old-world wine from a new-world region.
A fresh acidity highlights the fruit array of wild plum, stewed cherry and orange zest. Notes of shitake, Niçoise olive and brown sugar help the wine seem multi-dimensional, while the satin body seals the deal. An excellent wine for the price.
Marvellous fruit complexities and impeccable balance make this a wine worthy of the $60 price tag. Creamy, yet zesty, with notes of unripe banana, pineapple, ruby red grapefruit, lime zest and a spice array of thai basil, spearmint and dried tobacco. Hints of roasted pheasant and little of that "Cameron Cellar Funk" allow this wine to really shine.
Zippy! This Chardonnay features fruit notes of peach, pear and lime. But the most intriguing factors were the flavors of mustard seed and Gjetost, a Norwegian caramel cheese that will make you pause a moment to think. Intriguing, yet refreshing!
Honey, floral and mineral notes set the tone for this white grape medley, which shows good balance. Honeydew, yellow apple and grapefruit provide a refreshing burst of acidity, which will make this a nice wine for a blazing summer day in 2006.
Muted on the nose. Grapefruit and pineapple up front, with stones and minerals that coat the cheeks. The finish is lemony. Actually, the finish tastes like someone peeled a lemon and shoved the entire rind in my mouth. Not bad, but not necessarily good either.
Unreal fruit complexity, including various berries and citrus that continuously pop around the palate. This sparkling Gamay features cranberry, raspberry, baked rhubarb, blood orange zest with minerals and a touch of toast. Great effervescence. A Sherry-like roasted nut starts the finish, which continues on with fruit, fruit and more fruit. Wow.
Honeysuckle and citrus on the nose with the slighest hints of petrol and pine. Sweet up front, yet dry and tart on the finish. This Verdejo shows notes of green apple, gooseberry, lemon zest and stones. A nice summer quaff.
Lovely terroir aspects of dust, wet foliage and porcini mushrooms made smiles appear around our tasting panel's table. This Sangiovese shows dried red raspberry, overripe blackberry, quince paste and red apple skin with hints of lilac and graphite. An awesome food wine!
One of the few times the term Extra Dry really means Off Dry. This could stir an argument, but what it really comes down to is that the wine tastes good. Does anything else matter? Not really. But here are the tasting notes anyway... Quite the fruity quaff with notes of pear, green apple, and a minerally-peach off-dry finish. Great frizzante and a touch of sugar to keep it a little on the sweet side. Nice.
Crisp and refreshing peach, clementine and zesty citrus make for a mouth-watering combination. It carries a heavier weight mid-palate than one might expect, which in my opinion helps the wine carry itself better than many others in its category. This Verdejo is bound to compete for my favorite summer wine.
Juicy red raspberry and black cherry are displayed up front, while cedar, fresh button mushrooms and autumn spices show on the back of the palate. The finish is long and reminiscent of papaya. But perhaps the most striking features of this Pinot Noir are its yellow rose aroma and body with multiple layers of silk. An excellent example of Morey-Saint-Denis.
There's an old wood on the nose, like the inside of a hope chest that hasn't been opened for 75 years. A light, yet creamy body and profound stone and earth notes set this wine apart from most we've tasted recently. Yellow apple, lemon zest, pear and Macadamia nuts are displayed vividly in this Melon de Bourgogne.
A real wowser up front, with notes of Meyer lemon, clementine, mango, pronounced honeysuckle and clove. The finish is with a dry grapefruit and blanched almond finish. This is a wine I've purchased numerous times and finally set aside one for review -- it's a great find from a region that we don't come across very often this side of the pond.
Crisp like a Grüner, but heavier in structure, like a Mâconnais Chardonnay. Fruits highlight the landscape of this wine, which shows green apple, peach and tangerine with hints of ruby red grapefruit rind and stones. Well balanced and lovely.
Up front, this Gaglioppo-based wine shows black cherry and black raspberry. Around mid-palate, fresh-cut firewood, anise and pepper show through. Maybe the most notable feature is the finish that tastes exactly like red delicious apple skin. I don't know about you, but I detest the flavor of red apple skin. Too bad, otherwise this wine was enjoyable.
Blackberry, black cherry and plum skin lead the flavor array of this Alexander Valley Merlot. It contains subtle complexities that leap out at you in spurts... first root beer (more Barq's than A&W), then fresh potting soil, then cedar and finally the aroma of fresh rain on a recently burned patch of forest. Wines like this renew our faith in California Merlot.
Fresh blackberries, black plum skin and roasted meats are the dominant flavors in this fiesty wine. Fresh tobacco, mulch and a touch of vanilla line the finish. A little "green behind the ears," but not too shabby.
The body of this Chardonnay has a subtle cream texture that is offset by a high acidity. It's a very green wine... notes of green apple and lime zest, with a woody character not unlike the young, green branches. Hints of butter and vanilla arrive mid-palate.
Grapefruit and tangerine rind, with intense honeysuckle, orange blossom and petrol aromas. The finish leads with slightly puckery fruits, but turns a little Band-Aidy right at the end. A subtle distraction from a wine that is otherwise very good.
A crisp, clean wine that will make you feel like you're in the middle of the forest, right beside a trickling creek. Fragrant wet stones and dry leaves are paired with green apple and pear. The body is medium and the finish is buttery with a subtle flair of pepper.
The nose resembles what you get when you store licorice in a cedar box. On the palate, oak, tart cherries and raspberries dominate the flavor profile on a body a touch flimsy. One dimensional, yes, but for $7 it's hard to complain about as a table wine.
This is one rosy rosé. The only thing I can really compare it to is rose tobacco I tried once in an Egyptian smoke shop. It's like Valentine's Day in my mouth. Besides the unreal floral notes, cranberry, mandarin orange, banana and lavender highlight the flavor profile of this dry, medium-bodied wine.
As soon as this wine entered my mouth I thought, "this has to be Beaujolais." It was light, and fruity, with that perky kind of fruit that makes Beauj so quaffable. And then mid-palate it turned to the dark side, with a ravenous array of fruits, kalamata olives, tannins and spices that give the wine another turn of the screw, so to speak. A nice table wine.
Woah. If Parliament had a liquid muse, I'm willing to bet this would be it. It's funky, with broad aromas that range from Comté to wet hay to Macadamia nuts. Melon and apple notes accompany the ever-complex flavors of this Chardonnay. This was without a doubt one of the most profound American white wines I have ever tried.
Our tasting panel went back to this wine 6 times in a span of 4 hours and each time it tasted exceedingly unique. The melon and orange zest backbone shifts into nut, pepper, cheese and calcareous notes. A good, but given the hype rather disappointing display from the French monopole -- the flavors were there but just didn't come together. Drink up because the fruits are about on their last leg.
This Alsatian Riesling shows a rush of honeyed sweetness up front and a fruit profile of green apples, honeydew and kiwi. A hefty smattering of minerals, lime leaves and green herbs coat the back of the palate and ends with a dry finish.
Like an old blacksmith's workshop, an old wood-laden mustiness swirls around this glass of juice. The extracted cassis, black cherry and boysenberry, make this a trademark Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Notes of barbecued smoke, black pepper, cloves and licorice appear mid-palate and combine with the silk body and tinge of acidity to make this a wine with great balance. One member of our tasting panel exclaimed, "This wine is just a pleasure to drink!"
Everything about this Cabernet screams black. A deep, dark crimson color with heavily stained tears. Menacing black fruits -- black currant, black cherry and black raspberry. Black pepper and earthen notes that speak of the shadows of the forest floors. But even for being such a powerful creature, the silky smooth body and finish allow it to maintain an excellent balance. It'll wow your guests.
This Petite Sirah is so dark you could use it as ink to dip your pen in. Very fruity with plush black cherry, cassis and blueberry and a hint of vanilla mid-palate. But the finish may be where it's at, as it ends with a mocha flavor that really sticks around for a while. Lay it down for a few years, but if you pop the cork now make sure you decant it.
One member of our tasting panel stated, "Woah, this tastes like a cherry covered with pepper." It's spicy, like tingly on the tip of your tongue spicy, with jammy plum and cherry notes, a plush body and an integrated earthiness.
Elyse has the fruit bomb down to a science with this Zinfandel! Silky black raspberry and marionberry jam with oodles of barrel spices, toffee and a bitterness on the finish not unlike a fresh cup of dark roasted coffee first thing in the morning. The tannins are layered and will require either a little down time or a thick hunk of pork. You choose.
Literally translated from Italian as "mixed black," this blend of black grapes features a conglameration of characteristics. The driving flavors are vibrant blackberry and marionberry, with spices that explode across your tongue. Fresh cut wood and smoky undertones made me feel like I was drinking from the lip around the campfire.
An earthy quaff that displays marion berry and black cherry, with a rush of, believe it or not, papaya mid-palate. It shows a lovely mouthfeel, and resembles a barbecue pit with pepper, char and mesquite flavors. Good as a standalone wine, a real wowser with barbecued goodies.
This wine is not for the terroir-timid. Black raspberry and cherry lurk in the shadows beneath loam, char, wet hay and black pepper. Rose and morning glory waft in when you're least expecting it, then a smattering of Indian spices dot the palate on the finish. The body is smooth, plush and silky, and makes you long for more. Outstanding.
Light and perky, with fresh mulberry followed by hints of dust, brioche, flowers, and black pepper. A friend once asked, "Why buy American Gamay when you can just buy a Beauj?" This is why. It's a fine example of American Beaujolais, if you will.
Here we have a California Syrah that is produced in the style of Saint-Joseph. Deep ruby tears stain the glass. Bright blackberry, blueberry and a touch of pomegranate are joined by black and white pepper, Niçoise olive, smoke and a smidgeon of bark. Fruity, yet rustic. Nice.
Plump body and solid structure, this California Syrah makes you check your fingernails to see if they are full of loam. Rich, vibrant black fruits complimented by fresh cracked pepper and subtle floral notes that drive the wine home. Maybe the best "California" labeled wine I've ever tasted. $18? Surely you can't be serious.
This blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne made heads turn around our tasting panel's table. Floral and honeyed melon aromas waft out of the glass, while the palate shows ripe ruby grapefruit, lime zest, a hint of unripe banana, mint and lavender. Limestone notes accentuate the flavors that shrink and expand, cower and overwhelm... there's so much going in this glass of wine. Perhaps a few years of down time will allow everything to mellow and congeal.
This has a pretty unreal body for a Pinot Grigio; fuller than expected with hints of clay that provide a great balance to the acidity. It displays notes of unripe pineapple, tangelo, lemon zest and fresh whiffs of mint and vanilla bean. Nice clean finish.
Coming out of the bottle, this PX is a deep brown and almost seeps out of the bottle like molasses. This is one glass of gooey goodness, with dried figs and molasses smothering the palate. It shows notes of dried prunes, roasted pecans, orange zest and finishes with baked cherries. Outstanding richness and flavors; excellent balance. Will make any diner rejoice over dessert.
The first impression of this blanc de blancs is a heavy brioche on the nose and a powerful effervescence -- you can watch it create ripples in the wine as the bubbles explode upward. On the palate it displays a plethora of fruits, including green apple, pear, lemon zest, and a hint of blood orange. The finish is a subtle apple and yeast, and quite dry at that.
At first it's a little funky, like barnyard funky in the wet hay sense. After 20 minutes it blows off, and you're greeted with a puckery combination of lemon and grapefruit, with a wedge of mango in the middle. Chalk and white pepper highlight the fruits on a medium-light body.
An earthy, tobacco- and mushroom-filled glass of juice. It displays rich black fruits and stewed raspberries with notes of stewed tomatoes, dried herbs and dust. After tasting a number of mediocre Chiantis, the Savignola Paolina Chianti Classico Riserva provides a breath of fresh air!
Now here is a wine with a body that is simply amazing -- composed, elegant... some would even say soothing. On the palate it shows a composition of stewed cherry, blood orange, rose petals, damp forest leaves and minerals. Outstanding flavors and structure, with tannins that are still a bit tight and the flavors not quite gelled together. Lay it down for another 6 to 9 years.
A terroir-filled red featuring none other than, yes, you guessed it, rocks and gravel. The flavor profile includes dried plum, black raspberry, orange zest, roasted meat, forest floor and pepper. An excellent example of a southern Rhône-style wine.
Here we have a wine that requires as many adjectives as it does nouns: Fresh, crisp, clean, vibrant. It displays lemon, lime and river stones with a slight effervescence. The real shocker is the price -- it's a profound $12 purchase.
This silky-bodied Pinot displays black cherry, red raspberry, paprika and autumn spices with a medium length finish. The tannins are a little fiesty, so while made to drink now it would benefit from a little cellar time.
Bright cherry, raspberry and pomegranate appear on the front of the palate and ends with an earthy-fruit finish. One member of our tasting panel stated, "This may be the best $10 wine I have tasted in the last two years." Very nice.
One sip and you'll know this is serious wine. Rich, extracted black currant, raspberry and fig appear on the palate with barrel spices and hints of sand. Excellent structure and balance. Notable fruit and oak tannins make this Cab seem bold now, but with a decade in the cellar it will evolve into the elegant quaff it was designed to become.
This plush-bodied Merlot is not your standard run-of-the-mill Washington red. It features ripe black cherry, chocolate, cinnamon and subtle notes of dust and cigar box. A mid-long finish of fruit and barrel spices seal the deal nicely. Approachable now, the prevalent oak tannins could use a year or two to settle.
The only analogy I can use for this Pinot is to call it Mexican Pinot Noir. Like Mexican chocolate, it's a fired up version with cinnamon and cayenne, and a stinging ABV (13.7%). The fruit flavors resemble that of Port with baked black cherry, prune and fig, with a silky body and a skinny finish.
If you've ever scraped out a vanilla pod, that's what you'll think of when you smell this Chardonnay, which can be categorized somewhere between a dinner wine and a dessert wine. It's dry, yet full of lush apricot, baked citrus, vanilla and freshly grated lime zest, reminiscent of a French pastry. Well balanced with integrated flavors.
This Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend displays notes of peach, canteloupe, lime and hay. The body is a little heavier than expected, imbuing it with a smooth texture, while the pineapple finish has good length. Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.
When a winemaker says he wants his wine to exude a style as opposed to grape or terroir characteristics, I normally think he's full of hooey. But call me converted. An opulent display of black fruits and fig, married with a smooth, plush body and a long fruit finish. Well done.
Very interesting. The aromas coming out of this glass wreak of alcohol, making the wine seem like a cross between Port and Cognac. But when it hits the palate it spreads gently across the tongue, resembling a black raspberry-pomegranate coulis with generous spices, hints of cedar and good balance.
The aromas coming off this wine smell like someone is firing up the grill next door, the meaty, smoky aromas coming over the fence into your yard. On the palate, this Cabernet Sauvignon is straight forward, with notes of black currant, cherry and potting soil, with a smooth fruit finish.
This red blend from the Veneto region features notes of marionberry, black raspberry, cassis and orange zest complimeneted by roasted meats. The body is plush and the finish is bitter, like pomegranate pulp. Tremendous complexity.
How often do you find a Beaujolais Nouveau made from old vines? The aroma is more reminiscent of Syrah than Gamay, with notes of spicy pepper and a hint of roasted game. This excitement leads to the palate, where black cherry and blueberry show up front and vanilla, pepper and slate show near the dry finish.
Quite a delicious profile of candied lemon, satsuma orange, baked apple and key lime accented by caramelized sugar and the slightest hint of cinnamon. One member of our tasting panel stated, "It's just stupid how yummy this is."
Featuring quite the floral bouquet, this German Riesling shows a delicate balance of fruit, flowers, stones and sweetness. The flavor profile will remind you of Lemonheads candy, with notes of apricots, Mandarin orange and cane sugar. Well done.
Wow. Sip after sip we were amazed by the balance shown by Drouhin's Chablis-Montmains. It displays lemon, golden delicius apple, pink grapefruit and a banana-like creaminess. It is fragranced by a bed of gardinias and accented by the noticeable limestone and Jurassic marl prevalent in the appellation. And the finish, oh the finish.
A rich purple in the glass, this sparkling Lambrusco is a real shocker. Why is it a shocker? Well, how many times have you heard "sparkling Lambrusco" and "good" used in the same sentence? Exactly. It's dry, with ripe blackberry and blueberry flavors highlighted by subtle clay and a medium frizzante. Kudos to Ca' De' Medici.
A textbook New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, its first impression is the gooseberry aroma on the nose. Notes of apricot, golden delicious, grapefruit, chanterelles and slate pave the way for a long, dazzling finish. Great balance.
Jammy cherry and black currant are the primary features on this Chilean Syrah, which also shows Provencal herbs and a touch of toasted oak. While smooth up front, it's the peppery cinnamon-cayenne finish that makes it a tasty treat.
Made from 100% Parellada grapes, this Penedès white resembles Sprite with a touch of Petrol on the nose. Meanwhile, on the palate it shows lemon, lime zest and unripe pineapple, with accentuating notes of sea salt and roasted almonds.
A red table wine from the Douro region of Portugal that features notes of baked black fruits, maraschino cherry, grenadine, cigar box and autumn spices. Straight-forward, easy to drink and ideal for an improptu weeknight gathering.
A more pure Chardonnay than most of its counterparts, with a fruit forward display of honeydew, lemon and dried apricot on the finish. Subtle oak influences can be found here and there with hints of vanilla cream, but the extensive finish is all fruit. Very good.
The black cherry and black raspberry in this Cabernet Sauvignon are muddled by red apple, with a higher acidity and expected, and green oak. Notes of pastry and pepper try to round out the wine on the finish, but the wine is just too green. Too bad - Estancia normally produces worthwhile Cabs. Try next year's vintage.
The aromas coming of this Chianti are everything you'd expect - dried fruits, fig and prune with a dustiness that makes you feel like you're walking down a back road in Italy. But on the palate it falls apart a bit, with a very light body, and flavors that shift to faded cherry, raspberry, green apple and an all-oak finish.
Montes called this Carmenère purple for a reason -- it's a gorgeous chocolatey purple color. It displays extracted cassis on the nose with hints of fresh herbs. The Purple Angel provides one of the most opulent fruit displays you will find in a wine with concentrated cassis, black currant, orange zest and licorice, as well as hints of molasses, bark and dust that provide it with excellent balance.
This Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley shows remarkable extraction and thick, red-stained tears on the glass. The meaty aroma makes you think about peppery pork spareribs. On the palate, it displays black currant and black raspberry, tobacco, pine and the slightest bit of maple syrup. Outstanding.
Candied black fruits with a twinge of bitterness on the end that is reminiscent of Lemonheads Candy -- and if a Blackberryheads Candy existed, this is what it would taste like. Meaty pepper notes show on the slightly syrupy body to make this a wine with good structure.
An interesting experience... The aromas that waft out of the glass of Tempranillo and Grenache transport you to an orange grove with zesty orange and floral aromas. On the palate, black cherry, pomegranate and candied orange are complimented by floral notes and tea leaves. Exotic.
Notes of black raspberry, black cherry and blueberry, smoke, mushrooms and toast. The flavors and body are quite likeable, but there is so much oak it ventures into the realm of just being "wood". It's kind of like a popsicle, where you keep sucking on the stick after the frozen yumminess is all gone.
One member of our tasting panel stated, "I could just sit here and smell this wine." Coffee, baked fruits, leather and roasted pork can all be found within the robust aroma. And it doesn't stop there. On the palate, the cassis and baked blackberry show amazing extraction, while the spice backbone consists of coffee, cinnamon, cayenne, toasted oak and char. Lovely.
One of the first wines we've tasted where we can say "green bell pepper" where it's actually a good thing. Bright red cherry and a nice roasted green bell pepper up front with hints of minerals, cinnamon and licorice and a smooth body. A good example of Columbia Valley Cabernet Franc.
On the nose, this red table wine from the Dão region of Portugal shows dried red fruits and the tantalizing aroma of Roquefort cheese. On the palate, the flavors shift more to the leathery side, with wild berries on the forefront while candied orange and caramel are featured on the finish. Drink quickly though, this one isn't built to last.
This Côtes-du-Ventoux displays cherry, blackberry and apple peel with black and white pepper for accent. While the body is very smooth, the tannins still have a little bite that will quell in the next year. A nice table wine at a very affordable price.
Warre's made the guessing game of "when the hell do I open this wine?" easy for us by cask aging this Port for 4 years then bottle aging it for another 6 years before releasing it to us ravenous geeks. Smooth up front, this Port shows fig, dried cherry, chocolate and raspberry. It gradually shifts to autumn spices, mint and orange peel and finishes like an atomic fireball. Nice!
Complex, complex, complex. There's nothing quite like the experience of a wine that surprises you with a new flavor every sip. Vivid black cherry and cassis up front, and after that you name it: Coffee, peat moss, vanilla bean, damp earth, autumn spices, molasses, chanterelles... the list goes on. The velvety body and extensive spice-laden finish make this a wine to celebrate.
At first glance, the gorgeous magenta color displayed by this Pinot Noir is captivating. Spices and a prominent rose fragrance accentuate the plethora of fruit flavors, including fresh black cherry, cassis, black currant and grilled orange zest. The plush, silky body takes this wine to the next level, giving it the taste and feel of elegance.
In a blind tasting you just might confuse it as a Grenache-Mourvèdre blend from the Southern Rhône, as murky fruits and wet hay dominate the aroma profile. But this Pinot Noir really comes to life on the palate. Coffee, chili, achiote and black pepper give the opulent black cherry and blackberry a robust backdrop. Combine the flavor profile with a supple body and lengthy finish, and you have yourself a real wowser!
Close your eyes, then take one whiff of this glass of juice and there will be no doubt in your mind -- this IS Pinot Noir. Black cherry and raspberry are complimented by the earthen qualities of bark and truffle, with hints of cinnamon and black pepper on the finish.
In the early 1990s, wine geeks created a consumption rule called ABC -- Anything But Chardonnay -- to avoid the contemporary style of juice that made you wonder if you were gnawing on wood. This Chardonnay will make any wine geek rethink their rule. It displays lively pear, apricot, vanilla bean and a hint of grapefruit supported by an ultra-smooth body. It's a fine example of what we like to call CDR -- Chardonnay Done Right.
Pineapple and melon hit the tongue with a stroke of acidity, which shifts into notes of unripe banana, mint and minerals. Although drinking nicely now, this Pinot Gris could use a couple of years in the cellar to allow the flavors to gel together.
Derived from Vigna Giovanni's 22-year old vines, this Willamette Valley Riesling displays a tremendous acidity that creates an ideal balance with its sweetness. Apricot, tangerine and kiwi delight the palate and are accentuated by a subtle minerality. The apricot finish is off-dry and just doesn't want to end.
Grappling tannins define this young feisty one. Deep cherry and prune mingle with mushrooms, clay and dirt in this terroir-driven wine that can only be described as rustic. It is drinking well now, but it could use a few years in the cellar to gel together.
This Grüner displays a light frizzante on the front and an unreal minerality. Papaya, grapefruit, lime and arrive front- to mid-palate. The body is light, with a touch of syrup in the texture, and is dry, yet refreshing.
Dried black cherry, raspberry and orange zest come together in a seductive way, and quite surprisingly after looking at the price tag. Rose and tobacco add to the yum factor, and the wine finishes with caramel and black pepper.
Caramel is the first flavor that comes to mind when thinking about this Oregon Pinot Noir. It also displays notes of fig, dried black cherry and orange zest mingle with char and ash. The body is silky smooth, and overall this is a well balanced wine.
Made from the Lacrima grape, this wine shows concentrated cassis, huckleberry and dried blueberry on the palate. But the driving force behind this wine is the omnipresent perfume of roses, like you're in the middle of a rose garden and everywhere you look it's red, red, red! Notes of toasted barrel, smoke and black pepper are thrown in the mix and the body is velvety. Overall, this is one special wine.
A lighter bodied Nebbiolo that has perhaps seen a year too long in the wine shop. On the front of the palate, fig and dried black cherry are fading, and morph into caramel, char, dust, dried herbs and anise as they near the back of the palate. An excellent wine last year, a great wine this year, and not so good next year.
I can't believe it's not butter! Seriously. The aroma is all butter. The palate is mostly butter, with notes of melon, lime zest, white pepper and a creamy body. Too much butter? By itself, yes. With food? First of all, food is mandatory. And with food you'll find it pretty tasty.
On the nose, this Vouvray smells like roasted chicken with herbs du Provence. On the palate, it resembles the juice of freshly pressed Grannysmith apples, with hints of peach and gravel. Dry, yet refreshing.
White peach, apple and pear appear on this Chardonnay that is balanced by notes of smoke, minerals, cream and almonds. The crème brulee finish is subtle, yet keeps going and going... and going. Balanced, complex, elegant. Yes.
Did somebody say Cheese? Yes! Yes, somebody did say cheese. Smoked Gruyere appears on the nose, on the palate and a few other unnamable sensory parts. Some would say this is a bad thing Â– but not us Winegeeks! Mandarin orange, lemon, lime, white pepper and stones also appear on this syrupy-bodied Viognier to make it a decently balanced wine.
Smells like a spicy Thai lemongrass dish. On the palate, this Burgundian Chardonnay shows something we like to call "lots of love" Â– something Lionel Ritchie would be proud of. Orange, apple cider and lemon combine with smoke and Gruyere, and ends with an extensive finish to give you the feeling that someone up above had planted this bottle in the store just for you.
Norton produces a Malbec which many wine geeks feel is a consistent best bang for buck wine. This particular vintage displays raspberry, currant, mocha and orange zest, with a firey cayenne kick on the finish.
Some people love the barn-smell of a Brettanomyces-laden Rhône red, others do not. This Syrah-Grenache blend features notes of strawberry, currant and cherry with autumn spices. And you'll feel like you're sitting in a barn when you drink it. If you do buy this wine, please decant it.
Full of complexity, you can pull any of 70 flavors out of a hat and it could be used to describe this super smooth Port wine. Black licorice, dried fig, dried blackcurrant and dark chocolate lead the flavor foray, while the finish will remind you of a sip of Hennessy. The Crusted Port may make you wonder why you're saving for that vintage port...
Apricots, apricots everywhere. But this creamy-bodied Viognier from the Rhône Valley isn't exactly a straight-shooter... It also displays notes of pear, lime, orange zest, pepper and loads of honeysuckle, with a beer-like finish (kinda hoppy, kinda yeasty) that will make you stopping buying those 12 packs of Bud.
Looks like fruit punch. Smells like the cinnamon candy Grandma makes every Christmas. Tastes like a fruity Pinot Noir, without the terroir influence. Put a light chill on it and you're in for a dandy treat.
Melon, mandarin orange and lemon are the primary flavors in this Chardonnay from the New York Finger Lakes. But around mid-palate a baseball card bubble gum flavor sneaks in and stays put for a while. A good effort though.
This Zinfandel shows notes of deep black cherry and baked black raspberry, with hints of vanilla, pastry and pepper. Given its smooth body and feisty fruit finish, overall it's a well made wine. And for $17? Hell ya!
If you're a fiend for oaky, buttery Chardonnays, look no further. Vanilla bean and butter dominate this Chardonnay that displays notes of lemon, melon, orange and pepper. Medium bodied with an oak finish.
Opulent extraction. Black currant, black raspberry and plum lead the flavor foray, with barrel spices, pepper and cayenne arriving mid-palette. The tannins are firm and the finish is somewhat fruity, but mostly a powerful cedar oak. Delicious.
Close your eyes for a second, and you'll revisit that childhood moment where your big brother stuffed you in Mom's hope chest and wouldn't let you out for an hour. This Taurasi is smothered with cedary oak, with an occasional glimpse of raspberry, dust and pepper, and is downright unenjoyable. We decanted the wine and tasted it once every hour for 6 hours and it never changed for the better.
This Hermitage captivates the eyes with a deep garnet color. A truffles aroma will intrigue you, while blackberries, leather, stones, orange zest and black pepper dance around, sometimes integrating and sometimes standing out alone. A great wine.
Extremely light red in color. It smells like a blend of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc -- hints of black fruits and worn biker leather. On the palette it's a bit vegetal with hints of berry, cherry and orange zest.
A Shiraz so dark it will stain your teeth purple within the first two sips. Fear not, my friend, as savoring this wine is worth any razzing you may receive. Dried black cherry and fresh black raspberry mesh with licorice, molasses, cinnamon, cayenne and black pepper. Great flavors and good integration.
On the nose, this wine displays vibrant floral aromas with notes of orange zest and melon. On the palate, it displays canteloupe, pear and red plum rind on the palate. Decently balanced, this Pinot Blanc from the New York Finger Lakes is a good find.
The first whiff of this Riesling gave us quite a surprise -- it smelled just like Hawaiian Punch. On the palate though, it displayed good results. Melon, mandarin orange and lime with a touch rosemary and hazelnut on the dry finish. A tasty treat from the Finger Lakes.
This Finger Lakes wine is glorified fruit punch and shows cherry, berry and red apple. The characteristics of the many grapes fail to integrate. However, this red is easy to drink, and a decent starter wine for the newbie.
In a blind tasting I might have guessed this white was a German Riesling. It smells botrytis on the nose, while the palate shows honeyed melon, green apple and orange zest. The body is light in weight, yet creamy in texture with a fresh acidity tingles the tip of your tongue.
This hearty Zinfandel will remind you of blackberry cobbler topped with caramel, which finishes with a strong pepper and cayenne Bam! It's jammy, with kickin' tannins that need a couple years to settle. Outstanding.
The aroma will remind you of Peaches 'n' Cream. On the palate, lush peach and apricot combine with vanilla and hints of rosemary. The body is full and creamy, while the combination of acidity and dryness balance each other out nicely.
This Supertuscan features hearty black fruits, including black cherry, dried raspberry and pomegranate. Notes of orange zest and dried herbs make this a great dinner wine. The clay soil in which these grapes were grown imbues a nice, smooth body.
Cherry, blueberry and baked strawberry all appear on this Cab Franc from the Finger Lakes region of New York. This body is lush, supple with subtle hints of char, smoke and dried leaves that prevent it from seeming one-dimensional. Nice!
Stand back - it's a fruit bomb! Cranberry, cherry, melon and a touch of orange zest highlight this rosé from the Southern Rhône. Intense fruit flavors up front with a dry finish filled with herbs du Provence.
A straight-forward rosé that displays notes of peach, strawberry, lemon zest and wildflowers. As one member of our tasting panel put it, "It's like a 7 year marriage. Sweet in the beginning and bitter in the end." Serve chilled.
A nice Champagne from Gruet et Fils, the founding company of Gruet Winery in New Mexico. It displays notes of green apple, passion fruit and lemon zest with powerful brioche and mushroom. The finish is mid-long and reminiscent of a good Amontillado Sherry.
Complex! Grapefruit, green apple and orange show on the palate, as do notes of minerals, smoke, brioche, gruyere and truffles. A nice integration of flavors and a mid-long finish. A worthy homage to Gilbert Gruet, the founder of Gruet et Fils in Champagne.
Woah. This Rosé displays fruits so vibrant you'll think you're the King of Greece, being fanned and fed strawberries by concubine slaves. It shows notes of delicious strawberry, cherry and green apple peel with great minerality, brioche and a touch of cream on the body.
A gorgeous rosé, with quite a mousse on it! At first it displays green apple, then lime, and finally strawberry at the end. The frizzante is nearly overpowering, and the body is a touch sandy in texture.
Baked apple and pear are complimented by a metallic-lime that arrives mid-palate. This demi-sec lives true to its name, with a honey-like sweetness that makes it a great choice as an apertif or dessert. An ideal wine for the newbie wine drinker.
Now here is a sparkling wine with great balance. This Blanc de Blancs, or white made from white grapes, displays luscious grannysmith apple and pink grapefruit which provide a nice acidity that keeps it from seeming dry. The fruits are balanced by minerals and a touch of brioche. Elegant; reminiscent of French Champagne.
Chardonnay in New Mexico? That's right. This full-bodied Chardonnay features peaches galore. Notes of mandarin orange, baked pear, bubble gum, lime and honeysuckle sneak in mid-palate and lead toward a medium finish.
This New Mexico Chardonnay displays flavors of fresh pear, grapefruit and orange with notes of vanilla and white pepper. Its heavy, almost syrupy body is balanced nicely by a decent acidity and a lenghty finish. Drink this mellow wine on an equally mellow evening.
Sourced from the Eden Valley and Robe, both known for being cooler regions of Australia, this wine displays notes of succulent white peach and honeydew are followed by lime, vanilla bean and caramel. This Chardonnay is well balanced and easy on the wallet, making it an excellent buy.
This Pinot Noir features cherry with complimentary flavors of raspberry and strawberry. Toasted oak, clove, mint and a hint of smoke and help this Pinot prove that there's more to Tasmania than just its devils.
Complex, concentrated fruits with a sweet twist on the finish that makes this Zinfandel quite the palate pleaser! Gravel notes grant this wine a smooth body and help quell the formidable tannins. Is showing nicely now, but could stand a few years in the cellar.
The aroma is so profound it will make your knees wobble, but the taste just isn't quite all there. Cherry cola and cough syrup are joined by cinnamon, clove and minerals. The ABV is super-high for a Pinot, nearing 15%. Maybe this Pinot will shape up after a year or two in the cellar?
Italian for "homage," this is Seghesio's tribute to founders Edoardo and Angela Seghesio, and is worthy of its title. It's gorgeous on the eyes, and delicious on the palate, with notes of black currant, raspberry, mocha and gravel. This supertuscan-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese has tannins on steroids, and is a great cellar candidate!
A Sangiovese with a high acidity and high ABV. With notes of black raspberry, blueberry, raisin, dried herbs and hazelnuts, there are some really good flavor components here. It just needs a little cellar time before it's ready to rock 'n' roll.
If you love fresh blackberries, the Seghesio Barbera is the wine for you. Besides blackberries, it displays hints of raisin, rum, smoke, dust and roasted tomato. A fun discovery from this side of the pond.
Peach, baked pear and lime appear in this Arneis, a stubborn Piemontese vine transplanted in Sonoma County. The body is creamy, yet shows a high acidity. It's a little green and finishes with gravel and almonds.
This Supertuscsan features notes of dried cherry, raspberry and plum with hints of leather, game, rosemary and pepper. Here, Antinori provides further proof that the Chianti region of Tuscany is producing great results with French grapes.
Berries, berries everywhere! Berries from the forest, berries from the fields and berries from the thicket. The subtle French oak allows this Mendoza Malbec to remain true to the varietal and adds hints of cinnamon and clove to the deep berry flavors. Opulent and delicious.
Baked apple and pear are joined by subtle hints of vanilla bean from the French oak it was aged in. The finish is smooth apple custard that lingers for quite a while. This wine shows a certain sophistication that has previously been missing from other Mendoza Chardonnays.
Suprising on the palate, this Mendoza Merlot displays ripe black cherry, baked blueberry and chocolate with a silky body. The finish is reminiscent of chocolate chip cookie dough, which will make the Cookie Monster in all of us happy.
This Malbec shows bright blackberry, cassis and baked blueberry with notes of chocolate, cedar, cinnamon and clove. If you haven't tried Malbec before, this wine will make a great first -- True to the varietal, easy on the wallet.
Super smooth body, with a nice flavor profile -- Banana, baked pear and lemon combine with vanilla custard to make this Chardonnay easy to drink. The finish is a cross between oaky and zippy, which helps prevent the wine from seeming too dry. A definite crowd-pleaser!
This Gewürz features notes of honeyed apricot, flowers and a hint of spice. The body is syrupy and it is a little sweet for most palates. But if sweet wines are your thing, this may be the jackpot.
Ripe blackberry and raspberry, with notes of cinnamon, pepper, green pepper and a hint of root beer. The mouthfeel is nice, but the finish is reminischent of a leathery apple peel and dies all too quickly on the end.
Concentrated black raspberry, black currant and baked blueberry with a hint of bacon fat and a peppery finish. The tannins are still a bit tight and could use a little time to settle, but it's still drinking nice. Perhaps the greatest attribute of this Cab is its plush body. Rich and sincere.
The affects of the warm Napa Valley climate is displayed in this Sauvignon Blanc which shows banana custard and peach preserves. The body's as soft as a feather-down pillow and ends with a lime-oak finish.
Bitter lemon rind and Listerene flavors dominate this Ardèche aberration. Keep drinking, and you'll notice a light touch of melon and banana peel, but this one may be best used as mouthwash. Then again, isn't mouthwash cheaper?
On the nose, this Shiraz will make you feel like a koala bear with vivid eucalyptus and bubble gum aromas (koalas always look like they're chewing gum, right?). On the palate, the baked currant, raisin and fig flavors are concentrated and mingle with molasses, orange zest and candied peanuts. Rich and yummy!
This Grenache blend shows deep, rich berry and pepper aromas on the nose. On the palate, baked black raspberry, cherry and orange with a strong black pepper lurking behind the scenes. Fire up the grill for this ideal barbecue wine.
This Cab features a distinct and appealing Sonoma County Cabernet aroma. On the palate, the flavors are as basic as it gets -- black currant, berry and toasted oak with tannins that provide good pucker power on the finish. Simple for an Alexander Valley Cab, but sometimes simple is good.
The various characteristics of the three grapes in this blend are immediately apparent -- Nice apple and acidity from the riesling, leaves and herbs from the Sauv Blanc, and a buttery roasted chicken skin from the Marsanne. A good combination of flavors!
Smells like a moccachino! You may feel the urge to head to Starbucks, but wait just a second... This Malbec displays ripe blackberry and cassis on the palate with notes of chocolate and espresso to provide a placebo for your caffeine cravings.
This Chardonnay displays apple, Mandarin orange and canned pear with hints of vanilla bean and green banana. The texture is smooth, yet the fruit flavors provide a crispness that balances the wine. A good example of a Monterey Chard that's not too overdone.
Concentrated baked black currants and raspberries highlight this Sangiovese-Cabernet Sauvignon blend that displays notes of smoke, char and pepper with a touch of tasted oak. But perhaps the best features are its rich body and a finish that tastes like strawberry shortcake. Bravo!
The latest ripening grape in Australia is the Bordeaux varietal Petite Verdot, which is illustrated by this wine. It's filled with prunes, baked currant and jammy pomegranate, while notes of pepper, pine and vanilla accentuate this Petite Verdot.
This Cab displays ripe black fruits -- blackberry, raspberry and black currant. Dried leaves and a strong mineral component provide rounded features. Many believe Château Meyney should be upgraded to a 5th growth. Maybe they're right.
Produced from vines grown on the "Coster," or steep slope, this Priorat displays ripe blackberries and baked blueberries with strong mineral and dust components. But just when you think you're getting to the good stuff, the oak makes it's appearance and overshadows the good berry flavors.
Renwood's 2003 Viognier displays good floral and spice attributes with grapefruit, pear and vanilla. Its creamy texture resembles a Chardonnay, but it's a little lighter and a touch more acidic. A little overoaked, but not bad for $10.
The aromas that waft out of the glass remind you of Thai spices -- curry, coconut, peppers. But one sip and you'll think, "If there was a white licorice, this would be it." After the distinct anise flavor, you'll pick up notes of peach, pineapple, almonds, honey and a finish of both stones and oak. Good, but not great.
While the name may be scary, fear not! This Chardonnay bares no resembles to the horse named Cockfighter who's said to haunt the Pooles Rock Hunter Valley vineyard. It's crisp, with notes of mandarin orange, melon and red delicious apple and has a nutty finish like a New Castle Brown Ale.
Overripe black currant and blackberry on the front with a dried blueberry and black plum rind on the finish. Oak and leather dominate the wine at first, but it develops a rich, sumptuous texture after being opened 1-1/2 hours, so be sure to decant this Sangiovese.
This blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano must be decanted. After it opens up, notes of overripe cherries, fig and candied orange integrate nicely with cedar and dried leaves. A pleasant surprise from the town of Velletri, just south of the Tuscan border in the region of Latium (Lazio).
Here is a Sauv Blanc that is wallet-friendly and easy to drink. Pear, melon and unripe pineapple flavors are followed by herbs and pistachio shells and a crisp finish. Great for sipping on the porch on a hot summer night.
This Malbec is laden with fruit. Boysenberry, cherry, plum skin and red apple all make their appearance and are joined by pepper, vanilla and toast. The mouthfeel is nice, with a texture resembling processed cotton. Good!
This Syrah is a glass full of fruit. Stewed fruits, cassis, strawberry jam and raisins are joined by oak, molasses and fresh cracked black pepper. Let this sit a couple years to let the complexities come out fully.
Aged solely in stainless steel, this Chardonnay displays profound minerality. Great fruit flavors, including baked apple, white peach and bosc pear, come alive in this wine and are followed by a lengthy fruit finish. Well done!
On the nose, this Sauvignon Blanc produces scents reminiscent of dill pickles, grass and herbs. On the palate, it shows grapefruit, bananas, macaroons and minerals, with a finish like a margarita -- tart lime and salty.
You can tell before you even taste the wine that this is one of the most powerful concentrations of fruit you can find in a glass. It's practically purple! Wonderful baked black currant, black raspberry jam and dried plum are just some of the fruit flavors that stand out. Throw in a touch of leather, a smidgeon of chocolate, some spices and tannins, and you have one hell of a wine!
You can always count on Tuscan Sangiovese wines to come through as great food wines, and this Vino Nobile is no exception. After taking an hour to open up, baked strawberry and dried plum integrated nicely with molasses, leather, tobacco, pepper and dried leaves. Just fruity and just earthy enough to carry this wine through dinner for a great meal.
May be the closest thing to a Burgundy Chardonnay that you'll find on this side of the ocean. Complex and expressive, this Chard shows apple butter, lemon and vanilla curd, with notes of smoke, herbs and minerals.
Toasty and meaty, with deep fruits including dried blueberry and blackberry jam. The finish is filled with the taste of fresh cracked peppercorns, making this a good choice for a dinner or barbecue wine.
On the nose, this Pinot offers light berry and forest floor aromas. On the palate, it displays great cherry and earthy flavors with a hint of pomegranate. But it's best feature may be its body -- silky and beatiful. It's everything you'd want a Pinot Noir to be.
Arguably Jadot's best-selling white, this Chardonnay proves to be an ideal summer drink. It's crisp, yet smooth, with notes of green apple and lime complimented by grass, minerals and a touch of whipped cream.
As this Syrah enters the mouth, it's everything you'd expect -- black raspberry and black cherry flavors with notes of toasted oak and spices. But on the end it goes awry, with the flavors turning into astringent lime and gorgonzola cheese. Weird!
This Cabernet Sauvignon offers one an impressive fruit complexity that keeps you guessing constantly as you taste the wine. You'll hit every berry and even cassis! The fruit is followed by notes of minerals, lilacs, herbs de Provence and an oak-cinnamon stick finish. Immaculately structured.
Blessed with a supple body, this Pinot Noir is both integrated and complex. Black cherry and raspberry flavors mix with notes of flowers, minerals, pepper and a hint of blueberry. If Sideways turned you on to Pinot, this wine will solidify your love for the grape.
Here is a Pinot with berry flavors so dark, it's almost sinister. The fruits are complex, shifting from dried cherry to baked blueberry to black currant, with a mineral component that helps showcase the fruit.
Here is a wine that smells like Christmas! Pine and cinnamon potpourri waft out of the glass. On the palate, pomegranate is joined by cherry and red raspberry, slate and molasses. But perhaps the best feature of this Pinot is its silky body.
Wow. Sticking your nose in the glass will transport you to a restaurant kitchen with the smells of anise and steak on the grill. On the palate, this Syrah is deep, heavy, almost murky, with concentrated baked raspberries and a hint of blueberries followed by graphite and black peppercorns. Drinking beautifully now, this wine will benefit from a few years in the cellar.
Depending on the temperature, this Suav Blanc ranges from gooseberry and grapefruit flavors when cold to margarita when warm, minus the tequila and salt of course. With a crisp acidity, this is a great wine for a hot summer day.
Stick your nose in this glass and you'll think your trapped in a cedar chest. On the palate, black raspberry is cloaked by cedar and fresh cinnamon sticks and finishes with char, green olives and oak. Good, but too much wood! Open this Aglianico an hour before serving to let the fruits open up.
At 8 years of age, this Sangiovese-Cabernet-Malbec blend is showing its maturity with a tan hue around the rim. The black raspberry and strawberry also display marks of age with dried flavors, and are joined by eucalyptus, aniseseed and Italian spices. Great flavors, but this blend is just slightly past its prime, so drink up!
Lighter bodied than most Chardonnays, this wine displays notes of tropical fruit that shows its Australian roots. Pineapple, lemon and creamy peach, which ends with a dry finish reminiscent of butterscotch candy.
Up front, this wine is crisp, displaying notes of pear, green apple and grass. As it moves through the mouth, it shows vanilla and almond extract, with a finish like sugar cookie dough. If Cookie Monster drank wine, he'd choose this Sauv Blanc!
Full of subtleties, this Nebbiolo covers the essentials with great fruits, spices and structure. Its primary features are raspberry, dried plum, barrel spices, char and roses. The berry finish is long and surprisingly smooth, with a hint of barbecued game. Delicious.
Great aromas of chocolate cherries and fresh cracked pepper on the nose. At first, it displayed ripe cherry and raspberry, with notes of slate, char and pepper. After opening up an hour it turned to something I could only place as a bar of dark chocolate filled with dried blueberries I had once.
This Sauvignon Blanc originates from two nationalities -- melon and grapefruit flavors from the California sun, and French cheese, smoke and vanilla bean characteristics of the French oak it was stored in. We shall call this Freedom Wine.
The clove honey and spring flower bouquet that wafts out of this Sémillon will make you think you're a bee! The flavors are cobbleresque with baked apricot, baked peach and red delicious apple that intermingle with vanilla, honey and pepper.
At first, this Meursault is a glassful of dichotomies -- Light bodied, yet full. Acidic, then not at all. Complex, yet not. An hour after opening everything melds together. Melon, lemon, smoked cheese, brioche, vanilla curd and wildflowers subtly peak out of this Chardonnay, with nothing standing out. Complex, round and delicious.
Touted as Fuligni's crème de la crème, this Brunello displays remarkable elegance and complexity. Vivid berry jam and fresh blueberry with a noteworthy, velvety texture that holds the wine together. An extraordinarily long finish makes this Brunello breathtaking.
A complex nose with tobacco, anise, autumn spices, tar and rose. Fresh and dried black fruits with a rose finish. Tremendous structure and finesse. Austere now, with ferocious tannins that will help this Barolo eventually become a thing of beauty.
This Nebbiolo provides a bouquet of flowers with a generous helping of spice and mint. On the palette, heavy dried plum and dried cherry mesh with gravel and charcoal. A serious wine that needs some cellar time.
This Nebbiolo is endowed with a soft, thick body, thanks to the calcarous soil in which it is grown. Berry and cherry flavors enjoy the company of rose and coal. Lively tannins will grant this Barolo a relatively long life. Long finish.
Liquid cherry-pie. Seriously. Lovely bright red fruits mixed with powerful vanila bean and a hint of toast. Notes of minerals, fresh cracked black and white pepper and exotic spices. A velvety, cheek-massaging body is this Pinot Noir's best feature.
A lovely lavender-orange blossom bouquet. Dried cherry with a hint of candied fruit (Lemonheads, if you can believe it), with a nice touch of potpourri blended in. Silky, integrated and complex with a finish was a little short, but overall this is an excellent wine with a minor blemish.
Atomic fireballs (cinnamon and cayenne) give the dried raspberry and baked cherry a head-turning twist. Nearly overrun by a worn leather flavor, this Vino Nobile has a great velvety body and long finish to give it some redemption. This will need a little time to open up, so be sure to decant.
A member of our tasting group said, "This tastes like blueberry and plum on railroad tracks with a freight train coming." This Cab Sauv is richly extracted with fierce grape tannins that push your tongue around. A heavy, yet smooth body spiced with barrel spices, white pepper and chocolate. Will need some cellar time before it's ready.
A Port-like concentration of fresh blackberry and stewed berries. Barrel spices, leather and fresh dill. Gorgeous silky body and a lengthy finish that begins with berries and dissipates into oak spices. Great combination of power and finesse.
A lovely, complex bouquet. On the palette this Sauv Blanc is tart, with strong lemon and lime flavors slightly rounded out with a touch of baked apricot and autumn spices. Needs time to breathe, so open an hour before serving.
Nice fruit flavors including lime, dried apricot and orange zest. Sea salt, ginger and a hint of straw bring out the true colors of this Sauv Blanc, which ends with a crisp finish and a surprising length.
A complex bouquet loaded with spice, potting soil and funk (the groovy kind). Has an integrated palette, with notes of pineapple, lemon custard, butter, herbs de Provence and flowers. Lighter bodied, yet creamy, with a fantastic finish.
Prevalent clay and limestone with integrated baked cherries, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla. Nicoise olives join the fray, which may be distracting to some, but appreciated by others. Good tannins and structure.
Wow. This very well may be one of the best example of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir on the market. Cristom has shunned the popular method of over-extraction and has created a wine that can be described as nothing less than elegant. Fresh black cherry, rose, smoke, pepper and Bucheron rind meld perfectly together atop this Pinot's satin body. Its many nuances will keep you searching for adjectives to describe until the final sip.
Wow. Promiment earthen characteristics of stones and minerals. Smoke, chocolate and autumn spices join baked black cherry, dried fig and dried raspberry. Has a heavy, port-like body and robust tannins that need a few more years to mellow.
Rich with terroir, this St-Estephe is laden with tobacco, dry soil, French cheese and herbs. The dried plum and black currant are nearly dormant and waiting to open until the future. Monstrous and tannic, this needs to sit another half a decade.
Baked cherry and cranberry, complimented by notes of pastry, lavender, pepper, and barrel spices. Dry rocks and cedar add to the flavor profile. Smooth and velvety body with great length and great balance. Oak needs a couple years to mellow.
Deep ruby red in color, this pinot noir has strong new oak and cedar flavors. Cherry and red currant jam are prominent, the texture is velvety texture and tannins are pronounced. Open an hour before serving.
This full-bodied wine starts with great black cherry and blueberry. Cocoa, vanilla and violets arrive mid-palette, and integrate nicely with cigar and pepper notes. Robust tannins make this a very well balanced wine.
Closely resembles a cherry brandy, with strong cherry flavors joined by orange zest, chocolate, vanilla, hazelnuts, anise and baking spices. A straightforward wine, with a great texture and high alcohol content that is slightly distracting.
A very floral wine, with strong notes of honey and bruleed sugar. Baked peach, fresh apricot and orange liqueur are complimented by vanilla and baking spices and a hint of rust mid-palette. Overall, this wine has great balance.
Artificial strawberry and blueberry flavors with notes of gravel and metal. Has a nice creamy texture, and a vanilla flavor that is a little overwhelming, yet the flavors are balanced enough to make this a pleasant wine.
Can you say chocolate? It's all over this wine, which will satisfy your chocaholic cravings. Besides chocolate, roasted plum, raisin and baked cherry are complimented by vanilla, pistachio, licorice and spearmint, all in good balance.
An expressive wine with strong fruit notes of raspberry, cherry and orange zest. Dried porcini and numerous spices make an appearance, including smoke, tobacco, dark choocolate, espresso and licorice. Has an extensive length, with a pleasant hint of radicchio on the finish. A muscular wine, this will remind you of a Batman episode. Kerpow!
Raspberry and black currant are cloaked by black pepper, cayenne and char. Dry soil and cedar make an appearance, and most notably, malevolent tannins that require some time to settle down. Open an hour prior to serving.
Beautiful. Intresting fruit characteristics, including baked apricot, baked plum and orange zest. Various flavors combine to provide complexity, including stone, petrol, autumn baking spices and lots of candy flavors (most notably taffy, grape bubblegum and circus peanuts). The flavors are very well integrated and the length is incredible.
Good fruit characteristics, with peach and apricot up front, and green apple and lime on the finish. The texture has a slightly syrupy texture with a medium weight. It's heavy on oak, which provides nice caramel and vanilla custard flavors but really hurts the finish.
Great fruit characteristics of green apple, peach, kiwi and lime. Floral, stone and dry oak notes compliment the fruit to make this wine quite expressive. Wonderfully balanced, with a long, complex finish and a nice medium-heavy body. A joy to drink now, but could use a little cellar time.
Good fruit flavors, including baked red fruits and maraschino cherries, that combine well with notes of chocolate, mushrooms and tobacco. But the texture is strange, with a gritty body and strong tannins that seem restless in your mouth.
This resembles a really young ruby port, with a thick, syrupy body and notes of baked cherry, dried fig and prune. Super sweet, maybe too sweet, with molasses and chocolate mid-palette, with a finish that ends almost before it begins.
Nice plum and cherry flavors, with a smidgeon of orange zest and underripe characteristics. A smooth texture, with a pronounced tannins and a fair amount of spices, including cinnamon, pepper and cayenne.
Pow! Even after 9 years this wine has a huge aroma and taste. Loaded with dried cherry and dried plum, yet balanced by eucalyptus, mint, parsley and pepper spices. The body is silky, and dry soil provides a touch of terroir.
Dry, yet very port-like, with high concentrations of dried plum and dried cherry. Strong caramel flavors with light notes of smoke, char and vanilla essence. Suprisingly robust, although slightly faded, tannins and a decently thick, sandy texture. Still showing well, but is at the end of its lifespan.
Elegant, with soft, mature tannins and a great structure. Highly concentrated dried plum and dried cherry notes, complimented by dried leaves, graphite and violets, lead a captivating finish. An experience that words cannot capture properly.
You can nearly chew the pastry aromas, which follow on the palate with wonderful brioche, vanilla bean and hazelnut flavors. Great concentrations of lime and canteloupe, accompanied by light metal and limestone characteristics. But, the texture is the most notable feature -- prominent miniscule bubbles, with a slightly malty, slightly chalky texture that coats the mouth beautifully.
The expressive bouquet provides bakery aromas, as well as wet straw. The wine is viscous, with prominent melon and lemon/lime flavors and a medium-high acidity. Various terroir features, most notably stone and wildflowers, make this wine exceedingly complex.
Ruby with a blue tint, this wine looks gorgeous in the glass. However, this poorly balanced wine is unattractive to the palette. It has a chewy texture, with a cherry-flavored bubble gum flavor further degraded by notes of raw green bean and Nicoise olive.
Abundant, powerful oak characteristics provide black pepper spices, smoke and tobacco. Fruit notes of black cherry and blueberry are nearly overshadowed, but still manage to shine through to provide a decent balance.
Light floral and pear aromas. Dry, with only a slight bit of residual sugar. Starts out well with green apple, melon, and vanilla bean, but the finish ends before it begins, and the only thing left is a chalky residue on your cheeks.
A relatively high concentration of baked blueberries and bing cherry, with notes of brioche, dark chocolate, dill weed and black pepper. The tannins are still vibrant. Drinks well now, but could use a little cellar time.
At first glance, this wine looks clear as water with a slight beige tint to it. This simplicity continues on the palette, where green apple, kiwi and lime zest combine with light vanilla and clove. Light and refreshing.
Aromatic purple flowers on the nose turn to delicious fruits on the palette. Notes of melon, dried apricot, coconut and honey are followed by Indian spices and stones. Has a great acidity and fruit character that carries through the finish and makes you want more. Great now, but could use a couple years in the cellar.
Notes of red cherry, and baked strawberry, date and fig, followed by yeast, smoke, leather, a nice array of curry spices and garam masala. Chewy and rich, this well balanced wine has a long fruit-spice finish.
Good concentration of baked black fruits, ripe red cherries and orange zest. Notes of leaves, dry soil, cedar, mint, thyme and chocolate integrate together nicely for a rich and powerful structure. Drinks well now, but will benefit from cellar storage for 2-4 years.
A slightly chewy texture, with primary notes of kirsch, black cherry and baked plum. Ends with a solid finish and a flurry of spices including mocha, cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla and clove, as well as a touch of graphite.
Tantalizing aromas of pear, melon, pistachio, honey and baklava. Complex fruit flavors of baked apricot, baked apple, poached pear, and lime zest combine with honey, brioche and vanilla bean. Our tasting panel agreed, if love had a smell or taste, this would be it.
Smells delicious, like a fresh blueberry pastry. And then you taste it. Notes of blueberry, fig, and black raspberry jam are overcome by stone, dry dirt, leather and wet tree bark. Terroir can be great, but this is a little excessive.
Primary flavors of blackberry jam and plum, which are rounded out by a good amount of black pepper spices, clove, vanilla and cardamom. A great balance of fruits and spices, followed by a smoky finish.
A good balance of fruit flavors, including cherry, red plum and raisin, are joined by licorice, cinnamon, clove and pepper. Chewy, with leather and tobacco mid-palette, followed by a long, spicy finish.
A little depreciated, with black fruits that gravitate into stewed fig and plum. Contains a fair amount of leather, smoke and meat, with pepper and clove spices. Good, but a little over the hill, and on a downward slide.
A powerful, earthy bouquet, containing aromas of dry soil, mushrooms and leather. On the palette, dried fruits, cherry, plum, and earthen qualities of dust and dry leaves. Long oaky finish, complete with vanilla, smoke and black pepper.
Concentrated and powerful with wonderful texture and depth. A great mix of kirsch and black fruits, as well as pepper, curry, coriander and dill. A nice, long finish that's just a tad heavy on the oak. Beautiful.
An intriguing combination of aromas, including black fruits, Easter lillies and terroir. Silky smooth, the taste does not disappoint, as black cherry and dried plum notes join barrel spices, leather, smoke, cedar and cinnamon. A nice, long finish of fruit and bittersweet chocolate.
Apricot, lemon and vanilla combine with brioche, blanched almonds and tannins to make your mouth explode with delight. But, a super dry, metallic finish leaves you wondering, "Was it all just a dream?"
Wow. Black raspberry and cherry jams are joined by smoke, pepper, tobacco, meat and vanilla extract to make this a superbly balanced wine. The tannins claw at your cheeks, as if to say, "No! I'm not ready yet!!" A good candidate for the decanter.
An elegant dessert wine, with abundant flavors of orange peel, raisin, chocolate and cinnamon, and notes of star anise, clove, and nut oil. Powerful, with a finish that never seems to diminish. Delicious.
Close your eyes and smell, and you'll think its a cognac, but the apple, fig and dates on the palette inform you otherwise. Notes of caramel, toasted oak, coffee and celery seeds give this a great finish.
With leather, salted meats and pepper on the palette, this nearly grunts like a <I>cinghiale</I>, an Italian wild boar. It's feisty -- hot and spicy, with light fruit flavors of red cherry and dried plum to help quell your fears.
Black cherry and jam flavors combine with smoke, black pepper, cayenne and powerful tannins to create an intense experience. Ravenswood's motto, <I>No Wimpy Wines</I>, is fully realized with this every sip of this wine.
Quite dry, yet an abundance of fruit flavors. High in citric acid, with prominent lime flavors, as well as green apple, honeydew and vanilla. Also leaves an undesirable chalky residue in the mouth on the finish.
Harsh at first, this Chianti will need to be opened at least one hour before consumption. Scents of prosciutto and black pepper make you wonder whether or not you'll have to chew your beverage. But it opens up with nice black raspberry and black cherry flavors, with pepper spices on the finish.
A light taste of concentrated strawberries hidden behind the distracting smell and taste of roasted potato skins. An abnormal taste possibly caused by one of the driest summers on record on the Niagara Peninsula.
A deep ruby color, this Cabernet Sauvignon is pretty on the eyes. But its harsh on the nose, with intense smells of petrol and acetone that nearly prevent you from tasting black cherry and black raspberry. Smoke and pepper flavors unsuccessfully try to round this wine out.
Contains a powerful bouquet of black currant, raspberry and chocolate. This is a fruit-forward wine with flavors of dried cherry, as well as hints of strawberry, orange peel and chocolate, all in good balance.