I grabbed this because I thought perhaps "Virua" might be another varietal grape I had not yet tried but alas, it has about a billion other names like Macabeo and Ugni Blanc which of course I have had. Oh well, I have not had it though by itself because it is normally a blending grape. This wine hails from Spain.
It was interesting--Gargantuan tropical fruit bouquet that is impressive with a sweet menagerie of lime, mango, orange, pineapple and pear notes--wow!
Palate--although this was quite warm, it was RACY with an acid edge to it that could cut your tongue. Wowza--and I like strong acid in my whites but this is a bit over the top. Beyond that though there is lots of tropical fruit all over the mouth and this wine actually makes your mouth water it is so juicily acidic. (The next day I had it chilled and wasn't quite so sharp but neither was it as full of flavors.) Bottom line is Ii paid $6.50 for it and for that I can't complain but wouldn't buy it again. Raise one glass anyway!
Nose deeply layered with apricot, asian pear, honeysuckle, and almonds
Thick, rich, and creamy on the palate
Long, long finish with many layers of stewed stone fruit, fig, orange marmelade, honey, and spice
Here's one of the great dessert wines of the world. A late harvest Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, this wine is almost endless. Begin with it chilled and allow the wine to warm up as you drink it, and you'll be amazed at the layers that emerge and develop. The range of flavors is tremendous, and the color and texture also set it apart. Wine Spectator awared this wine 99 points, and it's a steal at $50 for a 500mL bottle. Raise a glass!
Intense wild berries, black cherry, and herbs on the nose
Full bodied and dense
Mulberry, black tea, chocolate, and spice
Here's a blockbuster Carmenere from Chile and most certainly one of the best produced. Once just a simple blending grape in several regions of France, Carmenere has shown a lot of promise as a varietal wine in Chile for some time now.
This one is rich and expressive as well as full bodied and intense. While it carries some of the herbal tones typical of Chilean reds, it has plenty of fruit to round things out. For $32 or so, it's worth seeking out. Raise a glass!
I've been growing wine grapes for over ten years--well over in fact and only recently (three years ago) decided to try my hand at making wine. I have always been a "by the seat of my pants kind of guy." "Intuitive leadership" is the marketable name of the characteristic.
So this is my third year of trying to produce Marechal Foch--a hearty wine grape that will survive the Maine's winters. I was particularly excited this year as the growing condition seemed near perfect unlike the past two years which were so wet, everything basically rotted on the vine.
Total yield this year? It will net me about 6 bottles of wine. You read that right--not 6 hectares; not 6 acres, not 6 barrels or even 6 cases, but 6 bottles--maybe. Based on previous year's harvests and production of similar quantity, the cost per bottle puts it somewhere between Screaming Eagle and Petrus and I assure you nothing it is nothing like their quality. Truth be told, previous vintages have been barely potable.
This year I stopped the fermentation of a few half-bottles attempting a "Nouveau" style which was actually pretty tasty! The rest of the vintage--one quart of must--is proceeding to full fermentation as I write. My hopes are high, my expectations are low. But as I handle the grapes, prune the vines, incessantly check on their progress nearly daily through the growing season I sense what it might be like to have a real vineyard, and produce a wine that is not necessarily spectacular but decidedly good. The anticipation of what might be, makes it worth it. Such is life too I suppose. But this blog is about wine not philosophy so raise a glass!
Sale score on this wine at $15 regularly $22. Nice dark black cherry hue. Bouquet is full of nice plummy, black berries and spices with hint of eucalyptus and cigar box and a touch of green pepper.
Palate--is rich with gorgeous, ripe tannins, loads of dark berry fruit, with a delicious cocoaey fruit finish that lingers a long time and this is right out of the gate without any air. Raise a glass!
(Served with espresso rubbed, grilled rib eyes; oh yeah!)
Deep rich black cherry hue with rich dense black cherry--berry fruit with pipe tobacco notes.
Palate--thickish, velvety tannins supporting luxuriant dark berry fruit that sits heavy coating the mouth finishing with more dark fruit and an espresso core.
(NW) brought this up last weekend. It is Chilean and had I not known what it was I would have sworn it was Cabernet Sauvignon from the bouquet. Tasting though is a different experience than Chilean Cabs. Carmenere has become a singular varietal due to the expertise and success of Chilean growers/producers.
At $35 or so a higher tier Carmenere is a relatively economical way to experience a rich, big Cabernet-like wine. So raise a glass.
Purple/garnet hue still youthful for a 5 year old wine. Dusty cherry aromas with a sweet line of gentle herbs.
Palate--Chunky tannins, a bit angular with some cedar, light licorice and sweet cherry fruit. This wine is basically just not ready to drink. Potential is there but still surprisingly young.
It was fabulous with our charred grilled rib-eyes. This was a gift to my wife from our son who probably paid around $40 for it. Raise a glass.
This Vin De Pays rose is 100% Syrah and the heft of the Syrah grape tends to carry through a bit in this rose. It presents with a beautiful watermelon juice hue with a huge bouquet of flowers, powder, and bubblegum deep in.
Palate--full bodied (for a rose) with strawberry touched off by a raspberry tartness underneath sweet fruit. This is a "big" rose. I paid $8.50 for it and noted to myself to "buy more" so Raise a glass! This is a nice accompaniment to many dishes of a light to medium heft. One of the best roses I have had in a long time.
This Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignane has a nice medium deep black cherry/garnet hue with moderate bouquet of red fruit, some bright cherry though tightly wound.
Palate--White pepper, very tight on fruit--decant...Decanting doesn't help much but yields some subtle sweet licorice with earthy notes on the bouquet with the help of air.
This hails from the Cotes Du Rousillon (Midi region of the Rhone) and was given a 90 point rating by the wise folks at the Wine Spectator. I hesitate to go against the experienced palates of those guys but 90 points seems really generous. Even with more time--which it clearly needs--I don't see the potential for such a rating. At any rate-for $11 it is a decent experience so raise a glass! (Paired it with a really nice refrigerator aged strip steak grilled on the coals) The wine did not enhance the meal.
My babe and I were shopping for wine today and she said she wanted to get this because someone voted it the best Pinot Noir under $11.
This is the most beautiful looking wine in the glass that I have seen in a longtime. It is a gorgeous brilliant ruby that looks like a gemstone that should be worn not drunk.
Bouquet--Gorgeous floral fruit with ripe strawberry and awesome notes of sugared basil on the nose with cocoa powder,spices and a WOW factor.
Palate--Interesting tang on the palate though a bit stingy on fruit--it might open up some; Finishes with a nice strawberry and dusty cocoa that lingers.
This is a real value at $9. What a nice, easy drinking red. Buy more and raise a glass!
Nose slow to reveal cherry, sweet plum, and herbs
Medium bodied on the palate
Earthy cherry finish with some leather and spice notes
I've been sampling a lot of super-Tuscans lately as I find them to be surprisingly good values. Not the $200 wines, but the value lies around the $30 mark. This wine seems to run a broad spectrum of pricing on the internet from in the $20's to around $40.
I recently shared a bottle at a Morton's and found the wine to be a little flat. It's a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot that suggests an interesting flavor profile but comes up short. It just doesn't seem to have much depth like similar wines from the region. There's a lot of great stuff from this region, though, so don't hesitate to raise a glass of Tuscan charm!
Fragrant berries and plum on the nose
Full bodied on the palate
Red fruit, vanilla, spice and oak layers on the lingering finish
Here's a richly flavored and well oaked Merlot. It has nicely integrated flavors and appears to be ageing well. I'd be curious to taste this in another 3-4 years.
Unfortunately, I don't have any in my cellar as this was supplied by friends at a recent dinner. It runs about $20, and in fact, they had purchased this bottle at the winery on release roughly 4 years ago. Raise a glass!
At $39 I expect a lot of wine. Rosenblum essentially never disappoints.
Deep dark black cherry/cranberry jelly hue with sweet ripe black cherry aromas with rich tarry scents and blueberry pie.
Palate--Big dark flavors with bitter sweet chocolate nuances, loads of dark heavy fruit that is mouth filling and luxuriant. Finish delivers.
Another great example of single vineyard Zinfandel. Needs to be paired with something really bold like char-grilled steak or big tomatoey garlicky sauce with pasta or just enjoy by itself.
Nose: Daisy blossom, dry hay and cantaloupe aromas backed by a spicy warmth.
Palate: firm and tight on the palate with a soft nectarine-y core.
Finish: nice body on the finish that keeps it long with very nice raw almond and some more nectarine tones and some warmth in the back.
Overall: Online this white Washington wine will retail between $11 and $15 which is quite reasonable for this quality white. Thanks to the folks at Duo PR and to Maryhill Winery for providing us at The Wine Cask Blog with samples for review (Thanks Caitlin!). The acid core maintains a pleasing crispness that is a nice alternative to the typical summer whites of Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. The finish is incredibly long for a white which sets it apart.
Raise a Glass!