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Old Vines Kindle Young Wine: Bodegas Ateca Garnacha de Fuego 2007

Date: Fri, Oct 31, 2008 Wine Tasting

There's still plenty of fire left in the belly of old gnarly Grenache vines in Calatayud, Spain. These old vines manifest their destiny in Garnacha de Fuego 2007, imported by Jorge Ordoñez, and sold here in Tennessee for well under $10, and in some areas of the country nearer to...

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Can the Circle Be Unbroken? Bogle Phantom 2005

Date: Fri, Oct 24, 2008 Wine Tasting

In between the last sips of the last glass of this bottle of Bogle Phantom 2005, I pick up my blue guitar and strum a few measures of that old hymn and wonder what it means. What circle? The reason this tune is on my mind has to do with...

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Red, White and Brews: Tait Ball Buster Shiraz 2006, Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier 2007, Duvel Belgian Ale, and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Date: Thu, Oct 16, 2008 Wine Tasting

The 2006 edition of Bruno Tait's Ball Buster is true to form. Like Barack Obama, it's a velvet glove on an iron fist. This I verified on the night of the third Presidential debate of 2008, by drinking the third bottle to date. Mind you, writing about it is not...

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Red, White and Brews: Tait Ball Buster Shiraz 2006, Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier 2007, Duvel Belgian Ale, and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Date: Thu, Oct 16, 2008 Wine Tasting

The 2006 edition of Bruno Tait's Ball Buster is true to form. Like Barack Obama, it's a velvet glove on an iron fist. This I verified on the night of the third Presidential debate of 2008, by drinking the third bottle to date. Mind you, writing about it is not...

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Zins Off the Beaten Path: Girasole Mendocino Zinfandel 2006 and Renwood Sierra Foothills Zinfandel 2005

Date: Wed, Oct 8, 2008 Wine Tasting

Among the reds, Zinfandel is the most primal and comforting. Often seen as outclassed by buttoned-down Cabernet, temperamental Pinot Noir, or blockbuster Shiraz, Zin dispenses with all the formalities, allowing you to find your Z-spot. It's like riding down the beach road, after the tourists have left for the season,...

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Hardly Petite: Michael David Lodi Petite Petit 2006 and EOS Paso Robles Petite Sirah 2004

Date: Tue, Sep 30, 2008 Wine Tasting

Petite Sirah was originally known as Durif, named after Dr. François Durif who first crossed French Syrah and Peloursin in 1880. Acreage of this misunderstood grape has been on a roller coaster ever since, but is on an upswing once again. Michael David Lodi Petite Petit 2006 is the perfect...

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2 Nice Australian Red Blends: Heartland Stickleback 2006 and Marquis-Philips Sarah's Blend 2006

Date: Tue, Sep 30, 2008 Wine Tasting

There may be several bottlings of Stickleback 2006 out there, or at least, I've seen different compositions quoted for this vintage. This bottle reads, "51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Shiraz, 10% Grenache". Stickleback has a lot of personality, and may not appeal to everyone equally. It's rather on the dark and...

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A Taste of Havana BC (Before Castro)? Hey Mambo Swanky White 2006 and Sultry Red 2006

Date: Mon, Sep 22, 2008 Wine Tasting

Don Sebastiani and Sons has a new label out, and it captures the mood of the new wine buyer quite well. Hey Mambo is in step with young wine consumers who are just discovering what they like. The dynamic duo of winemaking, Richard Bruno and Greg Kitchens simply can't not...

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A Weird Bottle, A Postage Stamp of a Label, A Big Mouth, A Screw Cap, and A Very Likeable Red Bordeaux: Francis Coppola Encyclopedia Bordeaux Cabernet

Date: Tue, Sep 16, 2008 Wine Tasting

At first, you can't wrap your mind around the "Erlenmeyer flask" shaped bottle and the other non-standard elements. Then you think, this must be a clever juxtaposition. Weird bottle, un-weird wine. No one would go to this length to draw attention to bad wine. Then you think, this isn't a...

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Not Your Father's Gallo? Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007 and Da Vinci Chianti DOCG 2006

Date: Mon, Sep 15, 2008 Wine Tasting

E & J Gallo Winery is doing a good job with their vast portfolio these days, and they seem to understand the sweet spot of the market, $8-$15 a bottle wines. But telling someone "this is a new wine from Gallo" doesn't help sell it. There is a negative stigma,...

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2005 Peter Franus Brandlin Vineyards Mount Veeder Zinfandel

Date: Sun, Sep 7, 2008 Wine Tasting

Before all the all the details and adjectives I have one thing to say - Wow. I'm tipping my review hand here early by starting with the fact that the 2005 Franus Brandlin Zinfandel is an amazing bottle. It's one of those wines you want to tell all your friends...

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A Look At Three 2006 Paso Robles Cabs: Robert Hall, Victor Hugo and Justin

Date: Sun, Sep 7, 2008 Wine Tasting

Robert Hall is a most likable person. From my selfish point of view, his second career in the wine business has been more rewarding than his first career as a real estate developer in Minnesota. You wouldn't be blowing smoke or be guilty of sacrilege, if you called him the...

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A to Z Wineworks Night & Day Oregon Red 2005

Date: Fri, Aug 29, 2008 Wine Tasting

There is a Samuel Johnson quote on the back label that states, "The fact of twilight does not mean you cannot tell day from night." The choice of this obscure yet provocative and timely bite of wisdom from 300+ years ago would have to make you curious about what's in...

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Château Candale Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2005

Date: Thu, Aug 28, 2008 Wine Tasting

Wine making dates back 1800 years in Saint-Emilion, yet there seems to be plenty of controversy these days about the wine from here. Who are the top chateaux and who are not? This is the subject of a 2006 classification and more recently, a contrary court ruling earlier this year....

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