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Da Vinci Chianti Riserva 2007 Wine Review (NW)

Date: Mon, Feb 10, 2014 Wine Tasting

Tasting notes:

Dark berries and leather notes on the nose

Full bodied and dense on the palate

Long finish with savory spice notes on a dark berry core

Summary:

This is a very good Chianti- dark and complex. It has great depth and a lot of flavor, made in the modern style with extracted fruit notes and spicy accents from oak.

I've seen this priced around $20, which is what I paid. It's a decent value for the quality, albeit not a bargain basement price. Pair with your favorite pasta and red sauce, and raise a glass!

--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Brazin Zinfandel 2010 wine review by (PB)

Date: Mon, Feb 10, 2014 Wine Tasting

Substantial garnet hue with aromas of big cocoa notes with classic brambly zinfandel along with loads of spice and wild blackberries and ripe plum.

Palate--Mocha mid-palate with rich textured deep berry goodness on a plushly textured foundation with bold finish of thick *tar. Quite tasty!

This Lodi Zin is better than I expected. I was already (negatively) biased by its **name and the fact that it was from Lodi. I had a bad experience visiting Lodi a couple years ago when I walked into a tasting room ready to spend some decent money on the wine but the proprietor was too busy with the good old boys at the bar to even acknowledge my presence which was difficult to do considering the small area of the room. I left without buying a thing and a bad attitude. I have shied away from Lodi wines ever since. So why did I buy this? I had a gift certificate to a wine store with a very small inventory and this was about the only thing I was remotely interested in being the Zinfandel fan that I am. This is actually one of the better Zins I have had in some time. I paid a hefty $20 for it which is a premium price but seriously, is not a bad price for the wine. It can be had for as low as $12! Bottom Line? Raise a glass!

*Tar doesn't seem to be a palatable or positive comment but it is. Tar is often a common descriptor for big bold Cabernets and other bold reds. Well, this is quite tarry!

**I do not like the label of the wine, and I do not like the name at all. Shouldn't matter in the least I realize but it does to me and I spend WAY more on wine annually than probably 95% of the populace; are you listening marketers?

At any rate, given all the negatives I had keeping me from liking this wine, it is a GOOD wine so again "Raise a glass!"
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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" Chops & Burgers" Bordeaux 2010 wine review by (PB)

Date: Sat, Feb 8, 2014 Wine Tasting

Garnet hue with aromas of fresh cherry fruit, Chinese Five Spice, cigar box, and fruity cedar underneath.

Palate--Soft structure with fruit forward drinkability in a popular style. (Michel Roland's hand???) Cedar mid-palate and quick finish.

This oddly named wine is imported by Barton and Guestier I suspect catering to the nouveau enophile who wants ready-to-drink, soft, fruity red wine. As a blend of Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, it's better than I expected and at $9 it will please many palates. As much as I am fighting it, I like it, so I have to say it, Raise a glass!

(Pairing it with baked homemade macaroni and cheese.)
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Cesari Boscarel (Merlot/Cabernet) 2012 wine review by (PB)

Date: Thu, Feb 6, 2014 Wine Tasting

This Cesari blend of 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Sangiovese from the Veneto region of Italy has a black cherry presentation with a bouquet that is robust and spicy with aromas of sweet cherry, black berry and plum with cigar box hints. There are points where it is nearly floral and powdery with a suggestion of Gamay in its simplicity and joy! Quite nice!

Palate--Finely structured with a super soft foundation that supports big berry flavors, with some gentle spice and a seductive approach that makes you want to drink more. Finish has more red berries.

I saw this heretofore unknown wine to me and since it had the Cesari name on the label I had to grab it. Cesari is one of the monumental Italian wine makers and I was not even aware that he produced a wine in the $10 price range which is what I paid.

I am blown away by the elegance, the solid performance and otherwise delicious production this is. I hope I can find more somehow as this is the kind of wine that would make my top ten for the year. If you see this, BUY it and just revel in what a wine of this price can be. (I am finding it for as low as $6 on line which is insane!)

Raise a glass as will I when I pair it with my Carbonara this evening!
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Castle Rock Pinot Noir (Mendocino Co.) 2011 wine review by (PB)

Date: Wed, Feb 5, 2014 Wine Tasting

Pale cherry hue that might even be showing a touch of age.

Bouquet--Wonderful Chinese 5 spice on strawberry and raspberry notes with a suggestion of floral cocoa.

Palate--Almost velvety on the palate delicious touches of strawberry and raspberry fruit in abundance with a "dressed up" kind of ending.

This is one of those wines you kick yourself for not having bought more when you had the chance but then again you didn't know what was in the bottle. This is a really well made and tasty Pinot Noir which at this price point--$11--makes it a super value wine. I will look for more but I got it out of state! Raise a glass if you find some a buy a couple more to drink within the next year. It won't get any better than this!
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet 2011 wine review by Billy

Date: Tue, Feb 4, 2014 Wine Tasting

Nose: charcoal, plum, strawberry, blueberry
Palate: Good balance and solid structure between acids and tannins. Pleasing slate and stony notes combine with plush berry flavors.
Finish: soft finish that lingers with flavors of blueberry and slate
Overall: I paid between 10 and 15 for this bottle of wine at a local store. It is a pleasant and soft California Cab. It shows nice earthy notes and is a soft and accessible Cabernet.
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Millbrandt Vineyards "Traditions" Chardonnay 2012 wine review by (PB)

Date: Tue, Feb 4, 2014 Wine Tasting

Pale gold presentation with ample aromas of vanilla curd and peachy citrus with powdery green apple notes and candied sweetness.

Palate--Mouth filling flavor with racy acidity carrying oaky touched, stone fruit on creme brulee with a smart green apple finish.

This is a really nice Columbia Valley Chard that has a lot going for it. It's lingering fruity finish is tantalizing and almost classy! I will pair this with a fried cod filet and cheesy polenta aka--grits.

I paid somewhere in the $2 price range and it reminds me of Rombauer, one of my favorite chards for about 2 1/2 times the price. So this is a super value wine and Wine Spectator gave it an 89 and "Best Value" rating which I didn't know until after I reviewed it. Need I say, "Raise a glass?"
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon (Gran Reserva) 2009 wine review by (PB)

Date: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 Wine Tasting

Garnet hue with interesting bouquet with aromas of black tea, sweet cedar/menthol, and underneath it all there is some ultra ripe sweet plum and a touch of dark berries.

Palate--Plush tannins with integrated dark berry fruit and a solid, pronounced beam of black berry. Finishes with some cedar and more blackberry.

This "Santa Rita" Maipo Valley (Chile) Cab. seemed just "too green" on opening. But then I let it breathe a couple hours and holy cow; a seductive, complex and unique bouquet emerges to where I just want to sit and smell it.

I paid $16 for this recently and it is drinking fabulously. This will be enjoyable for several years to come so to raise a glass!
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Chateau Mayne Guyon Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux 2011 Wine Review (NW)

Date: Sun, Jan 26, 2014 Wine Tasting

Tasting notes:

Dark fruit and clove on the nose

Full bodied on the palate

Dark berries, roasted notes, and oak on the finish

Summary:

Here's a great value Cotes de Bordeaux for only $10. It's made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and delivers big flavors along with a structured finish. Stock up on this one.

Enjoy with a variety of food, most obviously red meat and rich sauces. Raise a glass!


--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Guenoc (California) Petite Syrah 2010 wine review by (PB)

Date: Sat, Jan 25, 2014 Wine Tasting

Garnet to black cherry hue on the lighter side for this grape;

Bouquet--spice rises over the blackberry and plum on the swirl but comes around with warming and air.

Palate--Thin texture, with numerous but confused tastes happening out of the gate; *will breathe it a bit also letting it warm up from my seasonal ambient cellar temp (56 currently)

Having done so, it does improve from what it was at the start with some nice *plummy, blackberry and black tea salvaging what it was on first impression.

It's still not a great example of what this grape can be and usually is even at this price point but it's not bad. I think I paid around $14 for this and I wouldn't do it again.

The reason I write reviews like this occasionally stating that I am going to re-review the wine later sometimes, is precisely so you can learn to better taste wines for yourself. This wine was going to be panned initially but allowing it to come around served it well. Sometimes first impressions can be deceiving with wine so be patient, and give it another chance later in the evening or even the next day. Sometimes there is a whole different wine waiting for you if you do! Raise a glass.
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 wine review by (PB)

Date: Fri, Jan 24, 2014 Wine Tasting

Pretty garnet hue with aromas rising of sweet cherry, with spices even from a distance. Up close on the swirl and into the bowl, bouquet of big earthy forest floor and evergreen galore,with notes of black licorice.

Palate--Relaxed, integrated structure, with mouth filling flavors of all the above aromas notes. Tannins are still a tad immature meaning this bottle has more age to go before fully integrated.

I reviewed this wine sometime ago and I will compare what I wrote then to now. I believe I liked this wine better the first time around which is why I bought more. This is till a really fine Chianti especially at the $20 price point. I just liked it better when it a was bit younger--at least that is my memory.

I reviewed this wine back in June of 2012 and indeed my memory was correct. I have heard of wines going through a "dumb phase" and candidly I can't say I know what that is or if it truly exists. But this is such a fine wine with all the right stuff, if there is such a thing as a dumb phase that wines sometimes go through, then perhaps that explains the clear distinction from this 07 to the last.

Either way, at $20, this is a stellar example of excellent Chianti from one of several recent storied vintages so raise a glass!
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Masciarelli Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2011 wine review by (PB)

Date: Tue, Jul 9, 2013 Wine Tasting

Black cherry to garnet hue with bouquet of cherry, slight rose petal, dill and spicey licorice.

Palate--Lovely fruity, cherry and licorice touches with solid structure, and a beam of nice bright fruit mid-palate with a nice texture. Finishes a little quick but a nice all around Montepulciano and a great food wine.

I paid $11 for this wine after many years of shunning the Masciarelli label. For some reason I don't recall, I had associated this wine with cheap red wines that have earned the designation "plonk." Strangely this was all based on the proximity of this wine to the plonk wines.

After reading a review of another vintage of this wine by (NW) of this blog I spied this and thought I would give it a shot. Hey we all do stupid things in our lives right? I prejudged this wine and ended up finding a value so raise a glass!
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Empty Nesters (NV) wine review by (PB)

Date: Tue, Jul 9, 2013 Wine Tasting

This beautiful wine presents with a slightly ambered golden hue and a bouquet brimming with fresh apple fruit and a hint of sweet spice.

Palate--First impression is boy this is really sweet but then a supercharged acid foundation rears up and suddenly you say, boy this is a dry wine and then you swallow and you think, this is just ridiculously side kicking good with fruit in big supply with a a great balance of sweetness and acid. Finishes with a nice Granny Smith kind of appley ending.

OK, you cannot buy this wine; it is home crafted apple wine friends of our made and it is outstanding! Sorry to tease you but this is SO good it deserved a place on the WCB so we are raising a glass or three! Thanks Jane and Roger. Well done--no really, WELL DONE!
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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Duplin Carolina Red Reserve 2010 "wine" review by (PB)

Date: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 Wine Tasting

Pale watermelon hue presentation with interesting sweet aroma I can't identify.

Palate--Really sweet, grapey, candy and nothing more.

This is made by Duplin Vineyards of North Carolina and if you ice this wine down and you don't like real wine, this might be just the fit for you. It is what I would call soda pop wine and on a hot summer day like today it might be enjoyable in small quantities at pool side.

Better yet--use this as the base wine in a nice Sangria, and raise a glass.
--A Review from The Wine Cask Blog. Creative Commons: Attribution - ShareAlike 2.5 applies

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