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USA Pinot Noir Bruliam Wines Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Sonoma Coast California 2010 USA, Pinot Noir, Bruliam Wines, Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California, 2010N/ Deep black cherries and plums. Musky spices, clean oak, and perfumed lavender delight. Pine needles stored in a cigar box.

T/ Full mouthfeel. Acids are still dancing after a fair amount of bottle rest. Herbed, complex cherry and soft plum skin flavors.

Elegant. Clean. Rich.

Two years ago this wine was absolutely delicious… and she still is.  I find her flavors and mouthfeel deeper but her acid and clean lines still drive a wonderful balance.

http://www.bruliamwines.com/

Winemaker = Kerith Overstreet

Price = $46

N = A

T = A

I  = A

Overall =  A

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Australia Shiraz Viognier Terlato Chapoutier 2013 Australia, Shiraz and Viognier Blend, Terlato & Chapoutier, Victoria, 2013Blend:  95% shiraz and 5% viognier

N/ Countryside sage and soil, a virtual walk amongst wild sagebrush and lavender. Black cherry, taffy, fresh rain, and wet cement. Wonderful. Her only distraction is a hint of rubber.

T/ Medium full mouth feel. Dusty, black cherry and cassis with a slightly disjointed cranberry pucker. Woody flavors and a nice mineral component do play.

Winemaker =  Michel Chapoutier

http://www.terlatochapoutier.com/

Alcohol = 13.5%

N = A-

T = B-

I = B+

Overall = B / B+

From the winery: “Fermentation:  Grapes are destemmed and fermented in cement or stainless steel tanks.  The maceration lasts 3 weeks in order to extract soft and elegant tannins. Aging:  100% aged in tanks.  Bottles 10 to 12 months after harvest.”

The wine was a media sample generously provided by the winery.

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Italy Red Blend Merlot Syrah and Sangiovese Liberta Collazzi Vineyards Toscana 2012 203x300 Italy, Red Blend (Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese), Liberta, Collazzi Vineyards, Toscana, 2012N/ Cellar room, sage, crushed rose petals, cassis, light confection, sweet woods, forest floor, and rhubarb.

Complex and delightful.

T/ Light to medium mouth feel. Silky but bouncing with acidity.

Clean, mineral driven cassis and red berries, with a cranberry tartness that tamed with time in the glass.

A perfect food wine that worked seamlessly with both light and heavy fare.

http://www.collazzi.com/collazzi_eng.html

Price = just $21! This wine is a bargain.

N = A

T = A-

I = A-

Overall = A-

This wine was a media sample kindly provided  by the winery.

More about the estate and their wines:

“Of the estate’s 960 acres, just 62 acres are currently planted to vine. The well-draining soils composed of clay, sand and gravel are rich in limestone and low in organic matter offering ideal conditions for the cultivation of fine wine grapes. Part of the estate lies in a natural amphitheater with perfect south-westerly exposure which means the microclimate is normally warmer and drier than the surrounding area. The excessive amount of sunlight and the high daily temperatures allow for an optimum, grape ripening season. Planted with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malvasia Nera, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese red grape varietals and the Fiano white grape varietal, the Collazzi estate produces four wines: Collazzi, Toscana IGT – is the Collazzi estate’s flagship wine. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Liberta, Toscana IGT – is a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese. The name Liberta (meaning freedom in English) was chosen as a reference to the Collazzi coat-of-arms, which has included the word ‘Liberta’ since 1376, when the family who owned Collazzi at that time was honored with its own crest in recognition of its heroic fight for the freedom of Florence. I Bastioni, Chianti Classico DOCG – meaning ‘bastion’ in English comprises of 80% Sangiovese, 18%, Merlot and 2% Malvasia Nera. It takes its name from the bastion-like architectural garden walls surrounding the Collazzi villa.”

https://www.facebook.com/collazziusa

https://twitter.com/CollazziUSA

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USA Cabernet Sauvignon Faust Napa Valley California 2011 USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Faust, Napa Valley, California, 2011N/ Right after opening she had some smoldering campfire aromas that I typically associate with carmenere rather than cabernet, but, as I thought, these dissipated over the next 20 to 30 minutes.

In short, open up well before you intend to enjoy this bottle – she needs some airtime in order to blossom.

Her nose is classic Napa cabernet with aromas of ripe cassis, black cherry, forest floor, and lovely (but a tad powerful for me) oak.

T/ Medium-full to full mouthfeel. Big payload of black fruits and black cherry with some tart cranberry flavors as well. She closes with a nice mineral presence and a lingering tartness.

http://www.faustwine.com/wine/

Winemaker = Charles Thomas

Price = $55

N = B+
T = B+
I = B+
Overall = B+

This wine was a media sample kindly provided by the winery.

From the winery:

“To express the complexity of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape and diversity of the Napa Valley, Faust seeks Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Agustin’s family vineyards in Rutherford and Coombsville, Napa Valley’s newest appellation located in the eastern foothills south of Atlas Peak. Agustin’s relationships with growers in other Napa Valley appellations, such as Yountville, Mount Veeder, Atlas Peak, St. Helena and Rutherford, round out the wine with small lots from these spectacular mountain and valley terroirs.

Faust is crafted at the Quintessa winery in Rutherford, a state-of-the-art winery with the most modern technologies. The grapes are hand-picked, double-sorted, gently crushed and fermented in stainless steel and French oak fermentation tanks. After cold-soak and fermentation, the must undergoes a maceration period that can last up to three weeks. Critical flavor, aroma and color compounds are extracted at this phase. The wine is then transferred to French oak barrels for an aging period of 19 months.”

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New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Dashwood 2013 300x291 New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc, Dashwood, Marlborough, 2013N/ 5 out of 10 on my cat aroma scale. Which would be nice for a whole lot of folks, but just a bit high for my personal preference.

Gooseberries, honeysuckle, and sun bleached rocks are nice though.

T/ Medium mouthfeel. She starts with a nice lime and honeysuckle tartness, then proceeds into some light yellow fruits and yellow grasses.

Her flavor is fuller than her nose suggests, and she ends with has a nice clean honeysuckle finish.

Price = $11 – $15

N = B / B-
T = B+
I = B
Overall = B / B-

This wine was a media sample generously provided by the winery.

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USA, Moscato, 14 Hands, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2013

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N/ She is a wonderful gardenia and white flower explosion. Soft honeysuckle, sandalwood, and rock notes play second fiddle to the flower power. T/ Medium to full mouth feel. Round and coating. She’s dominating by a white flower reduction, that is delicious, but accounts for almost all of the show. Her close, however, saves the performance […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Winemaker Focus / Cornerstone Cellars / Jeff Keene / Napa Valley, California & Oregon

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I had the privilege of sitting with winemaker Jeff Keene for an extended tasting of Cornerstone wines. The offerings were delicious, impressive, and showed a broad range of styles. The wine also importantly showed restraint in all the right places. Jeff was 100% delightful and explained his winemaking philosophy beautifully. Passion is an over-used word in the […]

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New Zealand, Pinot Noir, Goldwater, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, 2012

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N/ Spice, nutmeg, BBQ smoke, and rock dust hover over cherry and black cherry notes. Hint of forest floor. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Medium acid work… was hoping for just a bit more dance. Warm cherry and black cherry notes. Smoked meats and wood. Mouthwatering, extended mineral and cherry finish. http://pasternak-wines.simpleflame.com/pdfs/Goldwater%20Pinot%20Noir%202012%20product%20sheet.pdf Alcohol = 13.5% Price = […]

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Italy, Garganega, Soave, Rocca Sveva, Classico, 2013

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N/ Yellow flowers, honeysuckle, melon, sun bleached rocks, with hints of resin and spice. T/ Medium full mouth feel. Nice introduction of melon and tropical fruit notes. She is more rounded and has a higher mouth weight then would be expected from her nose. Some mouthwatering action on the close. Her only fault is that I […]

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France, Rosé, Bila-Haut, Michel Chapoutier, Pays d’Oc, Roussillon, 2013

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Red blend of cinsault and grenache. C/ Beautiful salmon and amber / pink. N/ Delightful rosé signatures of strawberries, raspberries, and sun bleached rocks, but also with hints of peach and melon. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. A nice lively acid introduction complete with raspberry and jolly rancher flavors but she is more complex than that… […]

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France, White Blend, Bila-Haut, Michel Chapoutier, Côtes Du Roussillon, 2013

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White blend of: grenache gris, greanche blanc, macabeo, and vermentino. N/ Vanilla taffy, sea spray, marine wafts, melon, hay, cedar, and dry river rocks. T/ Medium mouthfeel. A lime and honeysuckle tart starts thing off, leading to some softer honeysuckle, tropical fruit, and green apple notes. A touch of slate closes her. Highly gulpable. This […]

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Italy, Glera, Prosecco, “Extra Dry,” Sparkling Wine, Spumante, Prosecco DOC Treviso, Mionetto, Brut, “Organically Grown Grapes,” Valdobbiadene, Veneto

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Note: this is one of the first wines where I’ve enjoyed (very much) the non-organic variety of the same brand and then actually enjoyed the wine made with organic grapes even better. This is a quality to price champion. N/ One of the purest expressions of green apple aroma that I’ve ever encountered outside of an […]

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USA, Gewürztraminer, Snoqualmie, ECO, Columbia Valley, Washington State, 2012

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N/ Pine needles, lime zest, and light wafts of vaseline. The latter being a bit surprising as one typically finds those in riesling, not gewürztraminer.   She also has an interesting herbal and spice note that I frankly cannot quite put my finger on, my best guess is some mashup of tarragon and nutmeg, but it […]

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Beer, Active Fermentation, Homebrewing

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For my friends who have never seen active fermentation in process, this video shows some yeast going to town. (Para os meus amigos que nunca viram o processo de fermentação, este vídeo mostra algumas leveduras tendo muita diversão). Homebrew Four Active Fermentation 07JULY2014 Please Share & Enjoy:

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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Snoqualmie, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2013

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N/ Sun-bleached rocks, green apple skins, light yellow fruits, lime zest, and sunshine. Cat aroma scale 1 out 10, which is the absolute perfect amount to let you know that it is sauvignon blanc, but without the offensive aromas that sometimes plague greener versions of this grape. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Lean, mineral driven green apples […]

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USA, Red Blend, Whistle Stop, Snoqualmie, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2012

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Red blend of: 70% cabernet sauvignon and 30% merlot N/ Deep and dusty plum jam wafts, mesquite wood, paprika, black, wet soil. T/ Medium-full to full mouthfeel. Round, black fruit flavors with a touch of barbecue spices. While she has an ample fruit payload, she also has some nice, clean lines of minerals and wood. […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Wente, Riva Ranch, Heritage Block, Arroyo Seco, Monterey, California, 2012

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N/ Rich and full. Wonderful butterscotch and oil waft well for the fans of such, but restrained in such a manner that even those of us who are not partial that profile can really enjoy this nose. Luscious yellow fruits, clean notes of oak, and slate. T/ Full mouthfeel. Wow, this one is huge. In […]

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Winery Visit / Winemaker Focus / Abiouness Wines / Nicole Abiouness

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I was at a fab party in Sonoma a few months back that was bursting at the gills with great, and varied, wines and local winemaker royalty.  Admission price to the party was an interesting bottle of wine. Aside from two that were clearly jokes, there were approximately 40 other fascinating offerings. I was, predictably, like […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mandolin, Central Coast AVA, Hames Valley, Paso Robles, California, 2012

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N/ Round wafts of black cherry and cassis. Old, wet wood, forest floor, and granite. Hints of tomato leaf and paprika.T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Big, bold flavors of plum skin, black cherry, chocolate, and cassis. A few untamed, tannic, bites, but multiple layers and luscious fruits. She also, thankfully, has some clean lines […]

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France, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, Domaine de la Perrière, Cher, 2013

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N/ Unfortunately, for me, the cat/ammonia aromas are too high on this wine. I give it about a 6-7 out of 10 on my cat scale. Some people really enjoy that aroma, I simply don’t, so don’t let that scare you away from this wine if you do enjoy that smell. Underneath that I get […]

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