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2007 Bramblewood Zinfandel

Date: Fri, Mar 5, 2010 Wine Tasting



Back in May of last year we reviewed the 2006 Bramblewood Zinfandel and since that time have drank a pretty good bit of it as it turned out to be pretty darn good and very consistent.

Recently, the 2007 vintage was released and I picked up a couple of bottles to try.

The two vintages appear to be pretty similar, with the 2007 being slightly more closed and having less of the earthiness and more of a fruit and spice profile. The fruit is pretty dominant but there is still a good bit of spice. There is still a bit of cocoa on the finish.

At this point, I definitely would prefer to drink the 2006 but I suspect that this one will develop as well.

Cheers!

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2007 Bramblewood Zinfandel

Date: Fri, Mar 5, 2010 Wine Tasting



Back in May of last year we reviewed the 2006 Bramblewood Zinfandel and since that time have drank a pretty good bit of it as it turned out to be pretty darn good and very consistent.

Recently, the 2007 vintage was released and I picked up a couple of bottles to try.

The two vintages appear to be pretty similar, with the 2007 being slightly more closed and having less of the earthiness and more of a fruit and spice profile. The fruit is pretty dominant but there is still a good bit of spice. There is still a bit of cocoa on the finish.

At this point, I definitely would prefer to drink the 2006 but I suspect that this one will develop as well.

Cheers!


Read Full Wine Blog Post

2006 Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting



This is another one that we used to drink on a fairly regular basis but for whatever reason had fallen off our list. We were both very pleased that I grabbed a bottle the other day.

This is a very well balanced cabernet that is not overtly tannic. While the tannins are definitely present, they are more reminiscent of an aged cabernet where have burned off but with the fresh fruit of a young wine. Full of black cherry and currant, this was extremely silky throughout. The finish hinted at some white chocolate and lingered moderately.

Generally I would recommend putting some food up with a cabernet, but this one actually does better by itself in our opinion. While it would certainly work with food, I think you would lose the nuances of this fantastic wine.

This is also drinking very well right now, and I do not think that it will significantly improve with age. However, I think it will stay consistent for 4-5 more years before any tapering off.

Cheers!

Read Full Wine Blog Post

2006 Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting



This is another one that we used to drink on a fairly regular basis but for whatever reason had fallen off our list. We were both very pleased that I grabbed a bottle the other day.

This is a very well balanced cabernet that is not overtly tannic. While the tannins are definitely present, they are more reminiscent of an aged cabernet where have burned off but with the fresh fruit of a young wine. Full of black cherry and currant, this was extremely silky throughout. The finish hinted at some white chocolate and lingered moderately.

Generally I would recommend putting some food up with a cabernet, but this one actually does better by itself in our opinion. While it would certainly work with food, I think you would lose the nuances of this fantastic wine.

This is also drinking very well right now, and I do not think that it will significantly improve with age. However, I think it will stay consistent for 4-5 more years before any tapering off.

Cheers!


Read Full Wine Blog Post

2007 Xiloca Garnacha

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting


This past weekend we found a new wine shop for us here in the Sarasota area. Not that it is a new shop, just new to us. The cool bit is that it is actually a butcher's shop so we found a great source for quality meat and a fantastic wine store. Check out The Butcher's Block if you are in the area.

There were a couple of bottles open for tasting while we were there. We liked this one enough to bring a bottle home with us. And we enjoyed it just as much at home with our steaks as we did in the store, so it was a good decision. And the price was tough to beat... $11.99.

The nose was full of red and black fruit, notably cherry but also some blackberry. We were somewhat concerned that this might be a fruit bomb as there was nothing on the nose to suggest anything else, but from the first sip to the last drop there was a solid core of black pepper that blended nicely with the fruit. The only negative to me on this one was the very short finish that it had.

Cheers!

Read Full Wine Blog Post

2007 Xiloca Garnacha

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting


This past weekend we found a new wine shop for us here in the Sarasota area. Not that it is a new shop, just new to us. The cool bit is that it is actually a butcher's shop so we found a great source for quality meat and a fantastic wine store. Check out The Butcher's Block if you are in the area.

There were a couple of bottles open for tasting while we were there. We liked this one enough to bring a bottle home with us. And we enjoyed it just as much at home with our steaks as we did in the store, so it was a good decision. And the price was tough to beat... $11.99.

The nose was full of red and black fruit, notably cherry but also some blackberry. We were somewhat concerned that this might be a fruit bomb as there was nothing on the nose to suggest anything else, but from the first sip to the last drop there was a solid core of black pepper that blended nicely with the fruit. The only negative to me on this one was the very short finish that it had.

Cheers!


Read Full Wine Blog Post

2008 Rosenblum Cellars "Vintner's Cuvee" Sauvignon Blanc

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting



We were disappointed with this sauvignon blanc. Not that it was bad mind you, but it was certainly not the style we like.

This was a rich, fat sauvignon blanc that did not exhibit the zesty, mineral style that we love so much. Rather there was lots of white flowers and perfume on this, with peach notes across the palate. There was little, if any acidity, that showed itself.

If you like fruity, white wines this might be a good choice for you. If however you prefer the New Zealand style of sauvignon blanc, I would look elsewhere.

Cheers!

Read Full Wine Blog Post

2008 Rosenblum Cellars "Vintner's Cuvee" Sauvignon Blanc

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting



We were disappointed with this sauvignon blanc. Not that it was bad mind you, but it was certainly not the style we like.

This was a rich, fat sauvignon blanc that did not exhibit the zesty, mineral style that we love so much. Rather there was lots of white flowers and perfume on this, with peach notes across the palate. There was little, if any acidity, that showed itself.

If you like fruity, white wines this might be a good choice for you. If however you prefer the New Zealand style of sauvignon blanc, I would look elsewhere.

Cheers!


Read Full Wine Blog Post

2005 Franciscan Merlot

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting



What is up with us and merlot lately? For the longest time I can not remember us ever drinking merlot; heck, I do not even remember trying any at tastings. But here we are again writing about a merlot that we have recently drank.

Okay, in fairness this is one that I have always liked but it had gotten so expensive in Birmingham ($22-23/bottle if memory serves) that because of my general disdain for merlot I had let fall off the radar. I noticed a bottle the other day for $15.99 so decided to give it a try, and am very glad that I did.

This is not a fruity merlot like a lot of them are. Neither is it light, or even medium, bodied. This is serious merlot. Drinking this blind you would think that it was an aged cabernet, without the tannin structure. Lots of black fruit underneath with some chocolate on the finish which lingers a long, long time.

If you are not a fan of merlot but do like full-bodied, solid wines you might do yourself a favor and check this one out.

Cheers!

Read Full Wine Blog Post

2005 Franciscan Merlot

Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 Wine Tasting



What is up with us and merlot lately? For the longest time I can not remember us ever drinking merlot; heck, I do not even remember trying any at tastings. But here we are again writing about a merlot that we have recently drank.

Okay, in fairness this is one that I have always liked but it had gotten so expensive in Birmingham ($22-23/bottle if memory serves) that because of my general disdain for merlot I had let fall off the radar. I noticed a bottle the other day for $15.99 so decided to give it a try, and am very glad that I did.

This is not a fruity merlot like a lot of them are. Neither is it light, or even medium, bodied. This is serious merlot. Drinking this blind you would think that it was an aged cabernet, without the tannin structure. Lots of black fruit underneath with some chocolate on the finish which lingers a long, long time.

If you are not a fan of merlot but do like full-bodied, solid wines you might do yourself a favor and check this one out.

Cheers!


Read Full Wine Blog Post

Upcoming Events in Sarasota/Bradenton

Date: Mon, Mar 1, 2010 Wine Tasting

There are a lot of sources detailing upcoming events in a given market. A couple of good ones for the Sarasota/Bradenton area is This Week in Sarasotaand Local Wine Events(which is also good for a lot of other areas as well). So, I am not planning on trying to recreate what is also out there on the Internet.

However, there are several events over the next couple of weeks that we plan on attending that are worth mentioning:

This coming Friday, March 5, at 6:45 will be attending the next Taste Dining & Travel dinner. Once again being held at The Tuscany at Freedom Village. We previously went to a wine dinner at the Tuscany (see this review) and are very much looking forward to returning. The cost is $55 per person.

On Saturday, March 6, will be at Michael's Wine Cellar for the monthly wine tasting. This is always a great event with a large number of wines from around the world being tasted. Unfortunately, at this time of the year it is extremely crowded in a relatively small space so getting to taste everything (or even most things) can be a challenge. Free for Connoisseur Club members and $10 to join if you are not already a member.

This past Saturday we discovered a new butcher's shop here in Sarasota. We have been looking for a good one since moving here and have at last found it. The Butcher's Block has an excellent selection of meats as well as a range of other produce and essential foodstuff. What is outstanding though is their extensive wine selections. There is a wide range of wines from around the world, as well as a very nice temperature controlled cellar for high-end wine and a good selection of large format (1.5 liter) bottles. Every month, on the second Tuesday, they also hold a wine tasting from 7 - 9 pm and the next one will be Tuesday, March 9. The cost is $10 per person.

Finally, On Wednesday, March 17 (which happens to be St. Patrick's Day) there is a wine tasting over at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits on University Parkway from 5:30 - 7:30. I may even venture a guess that there could be some green beer here as well (but that is just a guess!) $10 per person.

We hope to see you at one (or more) of these events.

Cheers!

If there is enough interest in this, I will be happy to start regularly posting of events that I know are upcoming. Drop us a note and tell us what you think. And if you are hosting an event that you would like to see posted, also drop us a note.

Read Full Wine Blog Post

Upcoming Events in Sarasota/Bradenton

Date: Mon, Mar 1, 2010 Wine Tasting

There are a lot of sources detailing upcoming events in a given market. A couple of good ones for the Sarasota/Bradenton area is This Week in Sarasotaand Local Wine Events(which is also good for a lot of other areas as well). So, I am not planning on trying to recreate what is also out there on the Internet.

However, there are several events over the next couple of weeks that we plan on attending that are worth mentioning:

This coming Friday, March 5, at 6:45 will be attending the next Taste Dining & Travel dinner. Once again being held at The Tuscany at Freedom Village. We previously went to a wine dinner at the Tuscany (see this review) and are very much looking forward to returning. The cost is $55 per person.

On Saturday, March 6, will be at Michael's Wine Cellar for the monthly wine tasting. This is always a great event with a large number of wines from around the world being tasted. Unfortunately, at this time of the year it is extremely crowded in a relatively small space so getting to taste everything (or even most things) can be a challenge. Free for Connoisseur Club members and $10 to join if you are not already a member.

This past Saturday we discovered a new butcher's shop here in Sarasota. We have been looking for a good one since moving here and have at last found it. The Butcher's Block has an excellent selection of meats as well as a range of other produce and essential foodstuff. What is outstanding though is their extensive wine selections. There is a wide range of wines from around the world, as well as a very nice temperature controlled cellar for high-end wine and a good selection of large format (1.5 liter) bottles. Every month, on the second Tuesday, they also hold a wine tasting from 7 - 9 pm and the next one will be Tuesday, March 9. The cost is $10 per person.

Finally, On Wednesday, March 17 (which happens to be St. Patrick's Day) there is a wine tasting over at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits on University Parkway from 5:30 - 7:30. I may even venture a guess that there could be some green beer here as well (but that is just a guess!) $10 per person.

We hope to see you at one (or more) of these events.

Cheers!

If there is enough interest in this, I will be happy to start regularly posting of events that I know are upcoming. Drop us a note and tell us what you think. And if you are hosting an event that you would like to see posted, also drop us a note.


Read Full Wine Blog Post

2007 Ravenswood Zen of Zin Zinfandel

Date: Mon, Feb 22, 2010 Wine Tasting



We have been drinking a pretty good bit of the 2006 Zen of Zin and it has been consistently very good. We liked it enough to make it an everyday wine. Yesterday I picked up a bottle of the 2007 to go with some grilled hot Italian sausage.

The 2007 is still very good, but it definitely shows that it is younger. There is more fruit and less spice than in the 2006. It is also a bit more full-bodied than before but I would still call this medium-bodied overall.

These are both good wines, but of the two the 2006 matches our palates better.

Cheers!

Read Full Wine Blog Post

2007 Ravenswood Zen of Zin Zinfandel

Date: Mon, Feb 22, 2010 Wine Tasting



We have been drinking a pretty good bit of the 2006 Zen of Zin and it has been consistently very good. We liked it enough to make it an everyday wine. Yesterday I picked up a bottle of the 2007 to go with some grilled hot Italian sausage.

The 2007 is still very good, but it definitely shows that it is younger. There is more fruit and less spice than in the 2006. It is also a bit more full-bodied than before but I would still call this medium-bodied overall.

These are both good wines, but of the two the 2006 matches our palates better.

Cheers!


Read Full Wine Blog Post


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