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France, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Cremant, Cremant D'alsace, Rose, Brut Rose, Lucien AlbrechtN/ 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- / B+

T = A-

I =B+

Overall = A-

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

From the winery…

“HARVEST & AGEING Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir free-run juice. The whole cluster hand picked grapes, are softly pressed in a pneumatic press, hence the coral, light pink salmon color. Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé is made by using the same methods as in Champagne, i.e “methode traditionnelle”. After the second fermentation in the bottle, lee ageing lasts for 14-16 months, followed by remuage and disgorging.”

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Austrailia, Chardonnay, Jacobs Creek, Two Lands, South Australia, 2014N/ 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 – but this will not be any issue for most chard lovers.

http://www.jacobscreek.com/us/our-wines/two-lands/

Winemakers =  Bernard Hickin and Ehren Jordan

Alchohol = 13.2%

Price = $12-$14

N = B+

T = B+

I = B

Overall = B+ / B

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

From the winery…

“WINEMAKING This Two Lands Chardonnay is a fusion of winemaking expression. Jacob’s Creek Chief Winemaker Bernard Hickin and award-winning Californian winemaker Ehren Jordan set out to create a distinctive, full-flavoured Chardonnay that combines Australian character and Californian craftsmanship. With his extensive knowledge of South Australian vineyards, Bernard selected the right fruit to match their vision for a vibrant wine that would showcase its generous varietal flavours in new and exciting ways. He chose parcels from the Padthaway, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra regions and together the winemakers decided to pick the fruit later in the season than normal, allowing time on the vine to increase sugar levels and reduce acidity. Ehren then suggested stopping fermentation before the wine was bone dry, leaving some natural residual sugar and creating a fuller mouth-feel. Selected parcels went through malolactic fermentation and spent time in contact with French oak, as well as time on yeast lees, to soften the acidity and add texture. In addition, some parcels were fermented with wild yeast, delivering additional complexity to the rich, ripe fruit flavours.”

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Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Jacobs Creek, Two Lands, South Australia, 2013Decanted 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 and earth tones with blackberry, cassis, and currant. A woody and soft tannin close.

http://www.jacobscreek.com/us/our-wines/two-lands/

Winemakers =  Bernard Hickin and Ehren Jordan

Alchohol = 13.9%

Price = $12-$14

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

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

From the winery…

“WINEMAKING Two Lands is a fusion of winemaking expression. This rich and silky Cabernet Sauvignon was collaboratively created by Bernard Hickin, Chief Winemaker of Jacob’s Creek, and award-winning Californian winemaker Ehren Jordan. It was Bernard’s experience that saw the selection of fruit from two diverse climates to meet their joint vision of combining Australian character and Californian craftsmanship to create a dense, ripe wine with soft approachability. A conscious decision was made to pick the fruit later in the season to deliver lower acidity, rounder, softer tannins and riper flavours, with prominent dark berry fruit. Some time on yeast lees and in contact with French oak helped to integrate the tannins. Ehren sought to further soften the assertiveness of the Cabernet by adding specific parcels of wine that sweetened the mid-palate. In addition, some parcels were only partially clarified on lees prior to maturation, to build greater texture and mouth-feel.”

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Chile, Carmenere, Montes Alpha, Colchagua Valley, 2012Red 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 plum skins, black fruits, taffy, dark wet soil, leather, and smoked paprika. Wonderful and flat out massive.

T/ Medium full mouth feel. Black and purple fruit medley. Multiple layers of fruits, woods, and flinty minerality.  Grilled meats, and flavors of smoky barbecue. Her only slight distraction is a minor pucker and a bit of dustiness.

Decanting and 30 minutes wait, however, will take care of both.

I think Montes Alpha is on to something here as this was clearly held back a year or even two compared to normal carmenere offerings.

The time in bottle was very well spent as this is one of the more affordable, delicious carmenere I’ve had in a long while.

http://www.monteswines.com/

Alcohol = 14.5%

Price = ~$15

N = A+
T = A-
I = A-
Overal = A

This wine was generously provided by the winery.

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Spain, Rose, Vina Real, Rosada, Rioja, 2014100% 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. Yes, decidedly old world in style, just the way I like my rose. At $14 this is a bargain.

Delicious on her own, but also well suited to a wide range of foods as her  acid can cut through a lot.

www.cvne.com

Price = $14

N = A-

T = A-

I = A

Overall = A-

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

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

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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

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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

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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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Chile, White Blend, Reserva, “Devil’s Collection,” Casillero del Diablo, Concha y Toro, Casablanca Valley, 2013

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White blend of: 85% sauvignon blanc, 10% chardonnay, and 5% gewürztraminer. N/ 2 out of 10 on sauvignon blanc “cat aroma” scale, which is just right for me. Lemon zest, gooseberries, yellow dried grasses, honeysuckle, herbals, and a touch of butter. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Rounder that one would expect from her nose. Citrus, light grass and […]

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Hula Hula, Mixed Drinks, Foofy Drinks, Brazil, Brasil

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Hilariously foofy – but really all delicious…. Cocktail artistry by Juliana Glistau. Carve: A big pineapple, deftly give the top a modern haircut. Combine: Coconut milk, condensed milk, vodka, ice, meat of a pineapple – blenderize. Garnish: Mint, cherries, and star fruit.   Em Portugues…   Hilariantemente “foofy” – mas realmente todo delicioso. … Maestria do […]

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Chile, Chardonnay, Cocha y Toro, Serie Riberas, Gran Reserva, Colchagua Valley, 2012

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N/ 4 out of 10 on the butterscotch scale. Very agreeable and pronounced wafts of sun bleached rock. Outside of the actual tea, this is an amazing mimic of the aroma of chamomile. Sea spray, and a hint of iodine/kelp. Really, really nice. One of the nicer Chilean chardonnay noses I’ve encountered. T/ Medium full […]

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USA, White Blend, The Whip, Murrieta’s Well, Livermore Valley, California, 2013

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White blend of 28% Sémillon, 24% Chardonnay, 14% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Orange Muscat,11% Viognier, 11% Gewürztraminer and 1% White Riesling. N/ Gardenias, honeysuckle, white and yellow flowers, marine/beach and salt, fresh hay, honey and light confection. Complex and alluring. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Lightly sweetened honeysuckle, pear, limes, tropical fruits and melons. Some creamy butter […]

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USA, Riesling (Semi-Sweet), McGregor, Finger Lakes, New York, 2013

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N/ Pleasant florals, peaches, apricots, balsa wood, yellow grasses, and light vaseline. T/ Coating full mouthfeel. A fair amount of acid still shines thorough a full payload of sweet peach and pear juice, triggering a nice mouth water. Too sweet for me, but certainly not cloying, and many will enjoy the levels here. Simple but complete. A […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 Hands, Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2012

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Recommend decanting. This can be easily accomplished by pouring into a clean glass pitcher, if you do not have a “proper” decanter. Wait at least 30 minutes, preferably one hour before enjoying this. N/ Deep notes of slightly smoked plums skins dominate her nose. Ripe currant. Crushed fall leaves. Forest floor. Taffy. Suntan lotion. T/ […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Jamieson Ranch, Double Lariat, Napa Valley, 2011

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N/ Plum skins and black, brooding fruits dominate. Cassis, black cherry, pine needles, wild herbals, and brick dust as well. Barbecue. Cedar. Robust and complex. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Massive black fruits, cassis, and black cherry. Ample acid work, with some nice defined layers of flavor intermixed with the more amorphus big fruit […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Parducci, True Grit, Reserve, Mendocino, California, 2012

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Red blend of 80% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, and 5% syrah. N/ Dusty plums, boysenberries, rhubarb, paprika, redwood sawdust, and slate. T/ Medium mouthfeel. She starts with a tart pucker leading to clean lines of black fruits, ripe cranberry, and red berries. Nice mineral notes, light tobacco flavors, and some sandy tannins close her out. […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Bruliam Wines, Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California, 2010

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N/ 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 […]

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Australia, Shiraz and Viognier Blend, Terlato & Chapoutier, Victoria, 2013

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Blend:  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 […]

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Italy, Red Blend (Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese), Liberta, Collazzi Vineyards, Toscana, 2012

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N/ 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 […]

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