Saturday Tasting Archive: 09.29.13 “The Lady’s Choice”

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings No Comments

 

Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices. Carolyn’s life part II begins today. Come by taste some great wines and have some fun with us.
Jacquart Champagne Brut Mosaique NV

Jacquart Champagne Brut Mosaique NV: Buy Now, on Sale through Oct. 3, 2013

88 Points – Wine Spectator, Web Only 2013
“Modest and juicy, with a delicate bead and flavors of white raspberry, melon, kumquat and smoke. Drink now.” -Alison Napjus

Zaca Mesa Chardonnay Santa Ynez 2010

Zaca Mesa Chardonnay Santa Ynez 2010: Buy Now, on Sale through Oct. 3, 2013

“With over 35 years experience growing Chardonnay on our estate; the coolest sections of our vineyard have reliably produced our distinctive style. These sections are planted with two complimentary clones of Chardonnay: Wente adds subtle nutmeg and clove notes and Mt. Eden brings tropical fruit flavors. The 2010 Chardonnay shows bright mango, papaya, tangerine, and pear aromas and flavors that marry with toasty oak from ten months of barrel aging.” -The Winery

Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli de Guetaria Rose 2011

Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli de Guetaria Rose 2011: Buy Now, on Sale through Oct. 3, 2013

90 Points – Wine Advocate, October 2012
“The color is a pale light salmon, and the wine (which is never racked) includes a good measure of CO2 (which is part of the typicity of wines from this area). Beautiful notes of earth, crushed rocks, strawberries and cranberries are followed by a light-bodied, refreshing, dry rose that is one of the more esoteric yet distinctive dry roses in the world. Drink it over the next year.” -Robert Parker

Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel Sonoma County 2009

Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel Sonoma County 2009: Buy Now, on Sale through Oct. 3, 2013

89 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, May 2012
“This ripe, moderately full-bodied offering reminds that ripeness does not necessarily come at the expense of good balance, for, while it claims 15.5% abv on the label, it is a deep, impressively fruity wine that shows surprisingly good manners. Marked by a keen sense of berries from beginning to end and holding on for a long finish, this is one to serve alongside richer foods such as a slow-roasted pork shoulder.”

T'Jara Cabernet Franc 2010

T’Jara Cabernet Franc 2010: Buy Now, on Sale through Oct. 3, 2013

“76% Cabernet Franc, 16% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 18 months in barrel. 2010 was a stellar vintage with a long, hot, dry summer resulting in beautifully ripened grapes. Fruit explodes from the glass with raspberry and blackberry supported with nuances of mint as well as ginger, allspice and tarragon.” -The Winery

Amapola Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley 2008

Amapola Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley 2008: Buy Now, on Sale through Oct. 3, 2013

92 Points – Wine Advocate, February 2012
“The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is a gorgeous wine laced with expressive dark cherries, plums, graphite, grilled herbs and licorice. The fruit shows lovely density and richness, while the aromatics are starting to become expressive…The 2008 is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot, aged 24 months in oak, 80% French and 20% American. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.” -Antonio Galloni

Ozzie Winemaker: Tasting with The Judge – Judge Shinas comes to visit with his wines

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Shinas wines

Australia must be an awful place because the Australians are always traveling as far away from it as they can. Especially Ozzie winemakers who are out and about the whole world promoting their wines. In September we were visited by two eccentric Australians. We covered the Some Young Punks wines and their colorful winemaker Colin McBryde in a previous post. Today we discuss the fine wines of George Shinas, who actually is a law and order judge in Australia though I forgot to ask him the details.
The Shinas family immigrated to Australia from post WWII Greece in the 1950’s and grew their home winemaking practice into a family business. The vineyards are in Mildura, part of
Victoria in Southeast Australia,  with a hot dry Mediterranean climate that produces stressed gnarly vines and beautiful fruit. The names of the wines follow a criminal justice theme. The Verdict, The Guilty, The Innocent, Sweet Justice & The Executioner. There is no “Prisoner” and his wines are not to be confused with the Orin Swift red blend of that name. This is not a gentleman farmer, he is intimately involved every step of the way from the first buds on the vine to the final juice in his glass and he makes terrific terroir driven wines that are amazingly low priced for the quality they deliver.  The reds are treated to long aging in used barrel which allows for a lot of flavors to express themselves with out imparting a lot of wood flavor.

2009 The Verdict Cabernet spends 30 months in used French oak and has delicious flavors of dark berries, mineral dust and a little brambliness with a long finish and a rich, fleshy mouthfeel. Next to the top of the line “Executioner” this is my favorite of the reds.

2009 The Guilty Shiraz spends 24 months in oak, which is a heck of a long time for any wine. The fruit is picked at high ripeness and has the stuffing to warrant such extended wood aging. It is a powerful, inky wine with dark mulberry and blackberry flavors and a little spice as well

2008 The Executioner This is The Judge’s reserve wine, it is a Cabernet Sauvignon and  Shiraz blend with a touch of Viognier (ala Hermitage and Cote Rotie) from estate vines that are in excess of 50 years of age! This wine really rocks, I get more Cabernet Sauvignon character out of it than Shiraz, and the splash of Viognier really sparks the aromatics

2010 The Innocent Viognier Is not like any other I’ve had. It has the floral honeysuckle quality but also has some honeycomb and a little mineral note. It also has a little acidity and backbone missing in many Viogniers and I commend the Judge on his great success with this hard to cultivate variety.

2012 Sweet Justice Moscato Very yummy Italian style Moscato with a bit of fizz and low alcohol. It has a bit more fizz than the Italian and besides the floral, honeysuckle and grapey peach stuff going on it has a nice acidity (though still sweet) and a touch of mineral notes. It’s a very high quality version of this style of wine.

Saturday Tasting Archive: September 21, 2013 – 5 Wines 6 Countries with Paul

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings No Comments

 

Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices. Every Saturday at 3pm.We have 5 wines from 6 countries, or is it 6 wines from 5 countries . Here’s the line up at crazy low prices:
Shaya Verdejo Old Vines Rueda 2011 See details 

Shaya Verdejo Old Vines Rueda 2011

90 Points – International Wine Cellar, September 2012
“(80% raised in stainless steel, the rest in large French oak casks): Pale gold. Musky pear and pit fruit aromas are complicated by suggestions of honey, minerals and anise. Shows a suave blend of richness and vivacity, with a note of bitter lemon pith accenting deeply pitched orchard fruit flavors. Shapely and supple in texture, finishing with noteworthy length.” -Josh Raynolds

Johannishof Riesling Spatlese Rheingau Rudesheimer Berg Rottland 2010: Buy Now, on Sale through Sept 26,2013

94 Points – Wine Spectator, November 2011
“Exotic-tasting, with loads of dried mango, guava and pineapple flavors that are very creamy and rich. There’s a lush mouthfeel, with a long, vibrant finish of spice and white chocolate. Drink now through 2035. 100 cases made.” -Kim Marcus

Chateau Tanesse Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2010 See details

Chateau Tanesse Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2010: Buy Now, on Sale through Sept 26,2013

89 Points – Wine Spectator, Web Only 2013
“Very racy, with bergamot, mandarin orange, cassis and bitter cherry flavors moving briskly, pushed by dark spice and black tea notes. Features nice buried chalky grip on the finish. Dense but sleek. Drink now through 2018.” -James Molesworth

The Crusher Clarksburg Petite Sirah 2011: Buy Now, on Sale through Sept 26,2013 

“The Crusher Petite Sirah pours a dark, inky purple – classically Petite Sirah. Breaking away from other hard, heavy Petite Sirahs, this wine’s aroma leaps out of the glass with fresh blackberries, toasted walnuts, and a toffee-like edge. It is incredibly aromatic and bright, like smelling a fresh rose. The wine transitions on the palate to rich, creamy blueberry flavors, a full-bodied, milk chocolate mouthfeel, and caramel oak nuance. Rich and soft, it evokes thoughts of cocoa butter and nutmeg. Velvety, mouth-filling tannins lead to a faintly sweet, strawberry finish. The bright, juicy fruit flavors of this wine are nicely balanced by its darker, caramel flavors and well integrated oak. 

“Mushu pork or Szechwan beef with a sweet chili sauce would be excellent pairings with the dark but aromatic qualities of this Petite Sirah. A plum sauce would also marry with this wine particularly well. For backyard grilling, a juicy sirloin burger with Sonoma jack cheese often pairs well with red wine and our Petite Sirah would be a fantastic example of this combination. Try this for dessert: spiced poached pears with the wine left over after dinner. The rich, dark, creamy flavors of our Crusher Petite Sirah will meld with the pears and take this dessert to a whole new level. Sourced from the upcoming Clarksburg appellation, The Crusher is a tribute to the fundamental relationship between the grower and the winemaker. From the vineyard to the crusher to your table, The Crusher captures the freshness of this world-class growing region, which is just beginning to emerge on the wine scene.” -The Winery


Oliverhill Shiraz Red Silk 2011 See details

Oliverhill Shiraz Red Silk 2011: Buy Now, on Sale through Sept 26,2013 

90 Points – Wine Advocate, December 2012
“Deep purple black in color, the 2011 Red Silk Shiraz is scented of macerated black plums, crushed blackberries and black currants with underlying black pepper and Indian spice hints. Medium to full-bodied with plenty of youthful black berry and pepper flavors on offer in the mouth, it has a solid backbone of medium to firm grainy tannins and refreshing acidity, finishing with good length. Approachable now, it should remain good to 2016+.” -Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Cycles Gladiator Boneshaker Zinfandel Lodi 2011 See details

Cycles Gladiator Boneshaker Zinfandel Lodi 2011: Buy Now, on Sale through Sept 26,2013

“So what is this new bottle branded Boneshaker, with a ghoulish label from bold Gladiator Wines? The fruits of the labor of our restless winemaker ss this muscular Lodi Zin from century old vines. Fragrance and aromas of black cherry and leather arise. Not heady but subtle, yet affording surprise at its balance of fruit and oak upon first taste with a finish structured and absent of haste. From the first cork pulled and first sip taken, leaves vinous thirst slaked and bones thoroughly – SHAKEN.” -The Winery

Mora’s Monthly Midweek Spirit Tasting: Wednesday September 18, 2013 4 to 7pm – Whiskies, Craft Vermouth, Eau de Vie & Cognacs -at the shop!

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How to build a Manhattan

I don’t know about you but I’m going to mix some superpremium Rye (from the Copper Fox Distillery)  and superpremium Vermouth (from Quady) and make a superpremium Manhattan

Join us for the monthly “Wednesday Night Flights” We conduct a free, fun and educational guided tastings of a wide variety of fine artisanal spirits. These are excellent products that represent excellent value. click here and read more about the line up see you Wednesday night.

Copper Fox Distillery Virginia Rye Whisky See details Copper Fox Distillery Virginia Rye Whisky

“Our latest way of ‘shaking up’ the whisky world. A remarkable rye whisky made with an extraordinarily generous amount of our smoked malt. The mash bill is 2/3 rye and 1/3 malted barley…

Quady Vya Sweet Vermouth 375mL See details Quady Vya Sweet Vermouth 375mL

“Vya Sweet is a blend of Tinta Roriz and Orange Muscat, and is hand infused at Quady Winery with a selection of over seventeen herbs and spices…

Clear Creek Distillery Pear Brandy 375mL See details Clear Creek Distillery Pear Brandy 375mL

 

“This is classic eau de vie de poire. We use Williams (Bartlett) pears from our own orchards in Parkdale, Oregon…

Prunier Family Reserve Cognac See details Prunier Family Reserve Cognac

“This quality was created in the 1970’s and is mainly composed of Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and old Fins Bois which bring fruit and mellowness to the general structure…

“Among the cognac qualities the V.S. is the youngest of the cognacs allowed to be sold in bottle after a minimum ageing of 30 months in oak casks…


94 Points – Wine Enthusiast, February 2013
“The silly name of this delicious, hard-to-put-down blended Scotch supposedly is derived from…

Saturday Tasting Archive: September 14 – Spain & South Africa with Mercedes

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings No Comments

Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices. Every Saturday at 3pm.  Come taste Great new wines from the Dombeya Winery in Stellenbosch as well as a great line up of Spanish wines with our favorite consultant Mercedes. Here’s the line up at crazy low prices:

Dombeya Altus 2007Buy Now Dombeya Altus 2007 Save 20% Through September 19, 2013

17.5pts/20 (91 Points) – Decanter, February 2013
“Fruit pastille and cassis aromas. The same on the palate, as well as black cherry and plum, dark chocolate, cocoa and freshly turned earth…

Dombeya Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Buy Now Dombeya Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Save 15% Through September 19, 2013

The wine’s nose shows flavour of passion fruit, guavas and wet stones. The palate is full bodied and very minerally with lingering flavours of passionfruit, pineapples and ripe figs and…

Bodegas Niel Santofimia 2012 Buy Now Bodegas Niel Santofimia 2012 Save 15% Through September 19, 2013

85% garnacha tintorera and 15% merlot, fermented in stainless steel and then aged for three months in older French oak: Opaque ruby. Black and blue fruits on the highly fragrant…

Celler Barbara Fores El Templari Terra Alta 2010 Buy Now Celler Barbara Fores El Templari Terra Alta 2010 Save 20% Thru September 19

90 Points – International Wine Cellar, September/October 2012
“Vivid ruby-red. A spicy, perfumed bouquet evokes fresh strawberry and raspberry, with bright mineral top note…

Dominio de Atauta Parada de Atauta Ribera del Duero 2009 Buy Now Dominio de Atauta Parada de Atauta Ribera del Duero 2009 Save 20% Thru September 19, 2013

90 Points – International Wine Cellar, September/October 2011
“Bright purple. Fragrant nose displays blackberry, violet, black pepper and spicy oak….

Sonim Brut Reserva NV Buy Now Sonim Brut Reserva Save 15% Thru Sept 19th

88 Points – International Wine Cellar, November 2009
“(40% parellada and 30% each of macabeo and xarel-lo): Bright straw. Peppery lemon and lime aromas are complicated by herbs and white flowers…


Bodegas Naia Las Brisas Rueda 2012
Buy Now Bodegas Naia Las Brisas Rueda 2012 Save 15% Thru Sept 19th
A nice  50 50  mix of Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc
“Las Brisas has a wide open, ripe array of fruity and grassy aromas that attack the nose on first sniff. In the mouth it is a bright, open, colorfully fruitful and refreshing white wine filled with gobs of ripe white fruits…

Saturday Tasting Archive: Sept 7, 2013 Featuring wines of Arizona

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings No Comments

Maynard & Arizona Stronghold Vineyards
Taste  great wines on sale  at great prices. Every Saturday at 3pm.  This week we have to wines from Arizona! The man behind the vines is none other than Maynard Keenan, front man for Tool and Pucifer. Here’s the line up and our crazy sale prices:

Mr. Keenan has is a serious vigneron and a pioneer in producing wine in the high deserts of Arizona.

Arizona Stronghold Lozen 2010 Arizona Stronghold Lozen 2010 Buy Now save 20% through Sept 12

“Pure, rich and concentrated, offering a wonderful mix of cedar-laced currant, black cherry mineral and sage. It is both intense and supple, with excellent depth. Best from 2013 through 2018. 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 14% Malbec.

“Strength of a Warrior and Complexity of a Nurterer. Rarely do these contrasting qualities find the balance in their intersection as seamlessly as they do in Lozen, the Chihenne – Chiricahua Apache warrior, shaman and seer. Her brother, Bidu-ya, is quoted to have said, ‘Lozen is my right hand…strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people.'” -The Winery


Arizona Stronghold Tazi White Cochise County 2008 Arizona Stronghold Tazi White Cochise County 2008 Buy Now save 20% through Sept 12

86 Points – Wine Spectator, Web Only 2010
“A full-bodied, unctuous style, with lots of tangerine, apricot, lemon peel and grapefruit pulp notes backed by a broad, slightly waxy edge on the finish. Atypical, but will have some fans for its overt character. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Malvasia Bianca. Drink now. 1,967 cases made.” -James Molesworth”2007 marked an important year in wine history with the coming together of two men who launched Arizona into the fine wine scene. Eric Glomski (Owner/Director of Winemaking at Page Springs Cellars and previously Winemaker at David Bruce Winery), Maynard Keenan (Owner of Caduceus Cellars and singer for some po-dunk band called TOOL) are now together under the banner of Arizona Stronghold Vineyards.” -The Winery 


L'Ecole No. 41 Semillon Columbia Valley 2010 L’Ecole No. 41 Semillon Columbia Valley 2010 Buy Now save 15% through Sept 12

89 Points – Wine Enthusiast, April 2012
“This reliable producer of ripe, fleshy Semillon has made a good, crisp version in this difficult vintage. Green apples and tart pears offer a slight hint of honeysuckle, but the juicy acidity is the main component here. Barrel fermentation adds just a touch of toast.” -Paul Gregutt”Remarkably brilliant with vibrant fruit and balanced acidity, this wine shows fragrant citrus blossom and honey aromas, with pretty layers of lemon bar, apricot and keylime expanding on a balanced finish. Few Semillons show their richness and complexity as those produced in Washington State. Our cool harvest nights help to ensure crisp natural acidity, making this a wonderful food pairing wine.” -The Winery 


87 Points – Wine Enthusiast, December 2012
“There’s pure lychee fragrance on this rich, smooth and oily-textured wine. It is ripe and off-dry, with honey and white fruit flavors that are offset by spice. Screwcap.” -Roger Voss

90 Points – Wine Spectator, August 2013
“Ripe and smooth, featuring a spine of acidity and tannins that keeps the cherry, tobacco and underbrush flavors focused, with a firm finish and fine length. Best from 2015 through 2022. 30,000 cases made.” -Bruce Sanderson

Henry's Drive Shiraz Dead Letter Office 2008 Henry’s Drive Shiraz Dead Letter Office 2008 Buy Now save 20% through Sept 12

90 Points – Wine Advocate, December 2010
“The Dead Letter Office Shiraz is usually a McLaren Vale dominate blend, though for the 2008 Dead Letter Office Shiraz fruit harvested after the heat-wave was not used and therefore the proportions are 62% Padthaway and 38% McLaren Vale. Very deep purple-black in color, it gives intense ripe plum, blackberry and kirsch aromas with some pencil shavings and chocolate plus whiffs of mint and undergrowth. Very concentrated and rich, this full-bodied Shiraz is well structured with crisp acid and medium-firm fine grained tannins. There’s still a suggestion of oak apparent in the long finish. Approachable now, it should continue to drink to 2016+.” -Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Saturday Tasting Archive: August 31, 2013 HIghlights of our TastingItalian wines with Vias Imports

Free Weekly Saturday Wine (and sometimes spirits) Tastings No Comments
2008 Cogno Barolo Ravera and  Walter Fissore Winmaker
Here’s a few random thoughts on the last tasting…
This was the star of the show. It is showing very well at present with strong but fine tannins that will melt in time. The main flavors are still primay berry, spice and floral notes with underlying mineral qualities. It shows LOTS of stuffing with an amazingly long finish and will age beautifully, definitely built for the long haul. Three things to remember
1. there are 5 sixpacks left
2. we have an incredible price for it
3. Cogno’s top Barolo, Vigna Elena was not made in 2008 so all that juice went into Ravera

This was quite a surprise. It is a plump full bodied wine with nice pear notes and good acid struture. The color is actually almost a pale pale copper probably from prolonged skin contact.  It also spends a little time in neutral French oak which contributes to the roundness of the wine. Very nice

90 Points – Wine Advocate, October 2012
Very tasty, It is a 50 50 Barbera Nebbiolo blend, the Barbera gives it bright acidity and red fruit flavors and the Nebbiolo gives it a nice bass line of lower earth and dark fruit tones.

A perrenial favorite of mine, the best way to describe it is it is like a red version of a Moscato d’Asti. It is low alcohol (5.5%) a little fizzy and tastes like fresh ripe red grapes with lots of strawberry and raspberry flavors. Almost too easy to drink