Italy, Sangiovese, Chianti Classico, Cecchi, Tuscany, Chianti, 201290% sangiovese

N/ Red berries, blueberries, earth, river rocks, wild herbs, the smell of the countryside after a rain.

Lovely.

T/ Medium mouthfeel. Red and blue fruits, great earth, mushroom, light game, and mineral notes.

Acid work is perfect for a variety of dishes.

http://cecchi.net/en/

Price = $22

N = A

T = A-

I = A-

Overall = A-

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

 

 

 

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Spain, Tempranillo, Campo Viejo, 2013N/ Red berries, cassis, brick dust, tobacco, crushed slate, eucalyptus, smoky forest floor, black soil.

Earthy loveliness.

T/ Medium weight mouthfeel. Red berries, ripe cranberry, smoked meats. Delicious wood, tobacco, and cedar notes. The flavors of sweet boysenberries without the sugary notes.

Mineral and acid dancing on her close, which begs for another sip.

Absolutely delicious.

Flat out amazing for the price and the wide distribution.

www.campoviejo.com

Price = ~$8-10

N = A
T = A+
I = A+
Overall = A+

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

Fun facts:

The grape’s name comes from temprano, which means “early” in Spanish, because it ripens earlier than most grapes. You can find some other fun facts on the varietal below:

  • It is Rioja’s most widely grown grape, with 81 percent of the total planted acreage dedicated to it.
  • Tempranillo, often referred to as “Spain’s noble grape”, is usually aged for several years in oak barrels before serving.
  • With three sub-climates within Rioja, the grape can produce a variety of flavors depending on where in the region it is planted, ranging from light to deep and full-bodied. Campo Viejo grows and harvests the grapes in all three sub-climates to create a true taste of Rioja.
  • A mutation can occur in the red grape, resulting in a white Tempranillo. Campo Viejo’s winemaker, Elena Adell, was one of the first to know about the existence of this varietal. She is a pioneer creating several trials with the white Tempranillo to gain a deeper knowledge.”

 

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USA, Pinot Noir, Anaba, Sonoma Coast, California, 2012N/ Cherry, raspberry, roses, cedar, a touch of white pepper, and cracked flint.

T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Clean cherry and raspberry flavors with nice wood tones. Mineral and acid presence very well balanced with the fruit.

She closes with a pleasant lingering spice note.

Very nice Sonoma Coast pinot example with an attractive price point.

Alcohol 14.3%

www.anabawines.com

Price = $34

N = A-
T = A-
I = A-
Overall = A-

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

From the winery:

“VINEYARD NOTES Our Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir consistently delivers high
value. We always source the best vineyards in the revered Sonoma Coast
AVA, and this vintage is no exception. Blending select lots from
Roberts Road Vineyard, Dutton Ranch, Las Brisas Vineyard and Tina
Marie Vineyard incorporates and balances the distinct flavor profile
of each site. The resulting wine is interesting and complex yet easy
to drink.

TECHNICAL NOTES Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Vineyards: Roberts Road Vineyard, Dutton Ranch, Las Brisas Vineyard,
Tina Marie Vineyard Clones: 115, Pommard, 667, 777 Harvest: 9/13 –
10/17 Brix: 22.9 – 24.2 TA: 5.6 pH: 3.51 Alcohol: 14.3 Method:
De-stemmed, 12% whole cluster, cold soaked for 4-6 days in stainless
before going through native fermentation. Basket pressed when dry.
Aging: 11 months sur lees in French oak barrels, 40% of which were
new. Cases produced: 1576”

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France, red blend, Michel Chapoutier, Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Bila-Haut, 2014Red blend of syrah, grenache and carignan.

N/ Black cherry, plum skins, compote, multiple aromatic herbs like sage and rosemary, and tobacco leaf.

The smell of a walk in wild country. Outstanding.

T/ Medium mouthfeel. A large payload of black cherry, black berry, and savory notes all with a nicely balanced gentle sweetness.

Her close is gentle but lingering.

Price = $15

http://www.chapoutier.com/

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

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

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USA, Chardonnay, La Rocca, Castello di Amorosa, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Barbara, Napa Valley, California, 2013N/ Tropical fruits, green apples, seaspray, and fresh canvas. Incense and chamomile. Fresh rain with a hint of flint.

2-3 out of 10 on the butterscotch scale, which is perfect.

Beautiful and complex.

T/ Medium mouth feel. Delicious green and yellow apples with some light tropical fruits and lime notes as well.  Lasting mineral close.

Paired perfectly with sushi, seaweed salad, and a tempura avocado.

This wine is a winner!

http://www.castellodiamorosa.com/

Price = $45

N = A
T = A
I = A
Overall = A

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

Winery notes from the 2012 vintage…

“Tasting Notes

Ripe and fruity wine, with tangerine and flowery orange blossom complemented by exotic pear, fig, and honeydew melon aromas and a creamy, toasty oak bouquet. Silky and mouth-filling, this is an impressive style of concentration and intense flavors of tropical fruit, peach and hazelnut that are harmonious and provide a delicious, lingering aftertaste.

Awards
Gold Medal – 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Vineyard Notes
Bien Nacido Vineyards is an iconic American vineyard located in the Santa Maria Valley along the central California coast, which has been producing highly acclaimed vintages for over 40 years. It has been named one of the Top 25 Vineyards in the World by Wine & Spirits Magazine, and in 2010 the California State Fair named Bien Nacido Vineyards “Vineyard of the Year.”
Food Pairing Notes
Great paired with appetizers, herb-roasted chicken and rich seafood dishes, or all on its own.”

 

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Italy, Vermentino and Chardonnay, Mazzoni, Bianco Di Toscana, Montalcino, Toscana, 2014

Uncategorized

White blend of 75% vermentino and 25% chardonnay. N/ Fresh rain, soft yellow grasses, seaspray, green apples, light tropical fruits, and toast points. Lovely. T/ Medium mouth feel. Fresh melon and pear flavors with lime zest dancing about. Popping acid work. Clean lines and nice mineral presence. The aging on lees this wine had was just […]

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Argentina and Chile, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, Amancaya, Gran Reserva, Bodegas Caro, Les Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite) (Chile) & Catena (Argentina), Mendoza, 2012

Uncategorized

Red blend of: 60-70% Malbec and 30-40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rated two hours after decanting. N/ Plum skins, complex spices, red berries, wet rocks, gunpowder, forest floor, warm cherry pie, wild herbs and lavender. Wow! T/ Medium full to full mouth feel. Deep flavors of liquid plum skins, black fruits, blackberries, and blueberries. Matured and solid […]

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New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc, Jackson Estate, Stich, Marlborough, Wairau Valley, 2013

Uncategorized

N/ Gooseberry, light cat, honeysuckle, bright citrus zest, fresh rain, green herbs, oyster shells, wet rocks. Oh my. Very nice. T/ Medium full mouth feel. Delightful lime and lemon zest flavors dance on mouthwatering acids. Clean. Alive. Herbal notes and minerals abound on her close. A job well done. This is how I want my New […]

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Italy, Sparkling Wine, Franciacorta, Brut, Lo Sparviere, Agricole Gussalli Beretta, Cuvee Number Seven

Uncategorized

N/ One of my favorite aromas in the entire world is saffron. This is the first wine I’ve ever smelled that had some of the characteristic aromas of saffron. Simply blew me away, and admittedly biased me to loving this wine even before I sipped it. Her other aroma attributes include light citrus, pears, green […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Freemark Abbey, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 2013

Uncategorized

N/ She starts with lovely river rocks, granite, and a soft minerality. Crisp hay, white flowers, honeysuckle. Marine wafts. 1 out of 10 on the butter scale, which is perfect for me. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Delicious lime and light yellow grass notes. Clean, with lovely crisp green apple and light citrus fruits. Solid […]

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Australia, Pinot Grigio, Jacobs Creek, Two Lands, South Australia, 2014

Uncategorized

N/ Rainwater, hay, pear, honeysuckle, green apple and river rocks. Clean and inviting. T/ Light to medium mouth feel. She starts with melon flavors accompanied by light pear and apple notes. Her acid presence is nice, but I’d like just a bit more. Minerals are good and long lasting finish. All in all a freshing, […]

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France, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Cremant, Cremant D’ Alsace, Rose, Brut Rose, Lucien Albrecht

Uncategorized

N/ She starts with a lovely salt blast, followed by flint, light strawberry wafts, and red apples. T/ Light to medium mouth feel. Lovely, dancing acid which accompanies elegantly restrained flavors of red apple, tart cranberry, and honeysuckle. She has an extended close of minerality and red apple. http://pasternak-wines.simpleflame.com/pdfs/Lucien%20Albrecht%20Brut%20Rose%20Product%20Sheet%20SRP.pdf Price = $22 N = A- […]

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Austrailia, Chardonnay, Jacob’s Creek, Two Lands, South Australia, 2014

Uncategorized

N/ Crisp, clean, lime zest, honeysuckle, and river rocks. 4/10 on the butterscotch scale. T/ Medium to medium full mouthfeel. Strong tropical fruits and some lighter honeydew melon notes framed by surprisingly robust minerality given the strong fruit contingent. Delivers lots of flavor with good balance. Acid too low for what I tend to enjoy […]

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Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Jacobs Creek, Two Lands, South Australia, 2013

Uncategorized

Decanted one hour before enjoying. N/ Sharp flint and a nice mineral presence introduce you to deep notes of forest floor, cassis, and blackberry. She has just the right amount of funk, and a very faint vegetal aroma. T/ Medium full mouth feel. She has a fleeting sweetness upon first sip, that leads to wood […]

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Chile, Carmenere, Montes Alpha, Colchagua Valley, 2012

Uncategorized

Red blend of: 90% carmenere and 10% cabernet sauvignon. Color/ Simply amazing. Almost black. Squid ink pomegranate juice and black soil came together as one deep, dark, brooding color. N/ Wonderfully void of some of the reduced aromas that are unfortunately associated with some low priced Chilean wines – especially upon first opening. Deep notes of ripe […]

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Spain, Rose, Rosada, Vina Real, Cune, Rioja Alta, Rioja, 2014

Uncategorized

100% tempranillo N/ Bright and clean with lovely fresh rain aromas, citrus zest, wet rocks, granite, and dry hay. T/ Light mouthfeel. Nice, dancing acids over a rich minerality with light flavors of red berries, honeysuckle, and pink grapefruit. She has an extended, mineral rich finish with nice mouthwatering action. For me, a true delight. […]

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Chile, Pinot Noir, Ventisquero, Kalfu, Sumpai, Leyda Valley, 2013

Uncategorized

N/ More wood in first sniffs than I was expecting, also plenty of spice. Star anise, nutmeg, and then deep, dusty black cherry and cherry aromas. She also has a bit of the reduced aromas that are unfortunately common in many affordable Chilean wines. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Quite divergent from the nose in the sense […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Antica an Antinori Family Estate / Napa Valley, California

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                                        Antica Napa Valley is an Antinori Family Estate located a lengthy, but beautiful, drive up Soda Canyon road in Napa. If you want incredible, even for Napa, scenery make an appointment and go.  I won’t wax on […]

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Chile, Chardonnay, Ventisquero, Kalfu, Kuda, Leyda Valley, 2013

Uncategorized

An un-oaked chardonnay whole cluster fermented in stainless steel tanks. N/ Very agreeable dried hay, honeysuckle, sun-bleached rocks, crisp green apple, and pears. Rose petals. Also has a hint of gooseberry more commonly associated with sauvignon blanc. Love this nose. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel, which is a bit of a surprise as  I was expecting a lighter […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Faust, Napa Valley, Coombsville, California, 2012

Uncategorized

Red blend of: 80% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot. Note: over 50% of the fruit for this vintage came from the 110-acre Faust Vineyard in the Coombsville district, which is the highest percentage that has ever made it into the final blend for this wine. I’ve enjoyed almost every wine I’ve had from Coombsville. […]

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