Red blend of 81% cabernet sauvignon,16% malbec, and 3% petite verdot

C/ Squid inky bloody beet juice. Impressive – and I can’t explain how a color can be this, but it is seductive.

N/ The smell of freshly printed money – i.e. big wafts of oak. Big ones. Barrel room dampness at it most alluring. This is what you expect a powerhouse Napa cab to smell like – cassis, blackcherry, and loads of complex wood and organic layers. But her nose really shines with roasted wild herbs and sage sprinkled over raw game. Acidic wafts of freshly cracked flint. Gunpowder and paprika (if that is not a band name, it should be). Clean, black soil.

Sexy.

T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. ICBM payload of blackcherries, blue and black fruits, plum skins, and woody organics. Really mirrors the nose quite closely. My old world preferences had me wishing for just a tad more acid, but that is a tall order with this much fruit and wood.

Lovely, and she closes with echos of rich fruit and deep oak.

Price = $65

www.thehesscollection.com

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

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

From the winery…

“Our signature Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our estate Veeder Hills Vineyard. The elevation of this vineyard ranges from 600-1,120 feet, and its steep slopes and sedimentary clay and shale soils restrict root growth, resulting in Mount Veeder’s hallmark small berries with intense fruit flavors. True to its appellation, this wine possesses dark concentrated fruit flavors and robust tannins.”

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Sparkling (Charmat method) of 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir.

N/ Rhubarb, raspberries, mixed berries, crushed rocks, and hints of oxidation/port aromas.

T/ Medium mouthfeel. Nice acid pop with red berry flavors mixed with a light touch of lime. Tannins do play but they do not bite too deeply. Slight mineral close.

Winemaker = Bret Jackson & Diego Ribbert

http://www.valdiviesovineyard.com/

Price = $13

N = B-

T = B

I = B

Overall = B

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

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Ingredients: pine nuts, garlic, basil leaves, olive oil, and salt.

1) Cut off ends of garlic
2) Grind garlic cloves and pine nuts
3) Add pinch of salt (to taste)
4) Grind some more
5) Add olive oil
6) Grind some more
7) Top off with lots more olive oil
8) Let sit for at least an hour to extract even more flavor
9) Enjoy on everything!

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N/ Strawberries, crushed rocks, hay, wild herbs, orange rind, and light wafts of Grand Marnier.

Interesting and unexpected.

T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Strawberries and cream. Cranberries.

Clean lines of minerals on an extended close for a rosé.

http://www.bodegaspaniza.com/en/

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

Also see… http://www.nextgreatgrape.com/

From the winery…

“Vinification

After stemming, the grapes macerate for several hours with their skins in order to extract their colour and aromas. The must is then taken to a stainless steel tank where it ferments at a temperature of 20º C. After the fermentation, the wine is decanted several times, clarified and stabilized before being filtered for bottling.”

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

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N/ Saline and sea-spray, cotton candy, crushed oyster shells, lime zest, basil, tarragon, and honeysuckle.

T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Lime coated jolly rancher strawberry candy, a lick of granite (and if somehow you’ve never licked any rocks you need too, trust me), a hint of slate, and a close of ripe cranberry.

Delightfully complex and rewarding – especially for the price point.

http://www.ferraton.fr/default_gb.cfm

Price = $14

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

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

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USA, Pinot Noir, White PInot Noir, Left Coast Cellars, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2016

Uncategorized

N/ A bit subtle. Light cherry. Sun bleached rocks. Straw. Chamomile. Salt. T/ Medium to medium plus mouthfeel. Surprisingly fatty in the mouth. Cherry, strawberry, and canned pear juice. Shortish finish. I think I liked previous vintages much more than this bottling. Price = $24 http://leftcoastcellars.com/ N = B- T = B- I = B […]

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Spain, Red Blend, Tempranillo, Cabernet, and Syrah, Abadía Retuerta, Selección Especial, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León, Sardón de Duero, Duero, 2013

Uncategorized

Red blend of: 75% tempranillo, 15% cabernet sauvignon, 10% syrah and other red varieties such as merlot and petit verdot. C/ Squid ink, blood, and beet juice. Awesome. N/ A dark, lurid tarn (which, I love the smell of by the way). Deep mature oak notes, massive black and purple fruits, wafts of country sage […]

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Argentina, Torrontés, Kaiken, Terroir Series, Salta, Cafayate Valley, 2016

Uncategorized

N/ Yellow and green grasses, white flowers, geraniums, fresh rain, gooseberries, sun bleached river rocks, and a light hint of chlorine. Delightful. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Bright lime, honeysuckle and liquid flower notes. Steeped hay and chamomile. Clean mineral and flint lines. More focused and linear than most torrontés I’ve had. In a very good way. […]

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Italy, Glera, Prosecco, Frassinelli, Valdobbiadene, Brut, Prosecco Superiore, 2015

Uncategorized

N/ Honeydew and cataloupe melon, hay, river rocks and damp soil. T/ light mouthfeel. Lively effervescence. She starts with lime zested over melon slices. Followed by light peach notes and a close of river rocks. Very nice. www.prosecco.it Price = ~$15 N = B T = A / A- I = A- Overall = A- […]

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Italy, Glera, Prosecco, Gustino B, Ruggeri, Valdobbiadene, Prosecco Superiore, 2015

Uncategorized

N/ Lime zested over river rocks. Seaspray. Nice but a bit too subtle. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Tart green apple, lime juice, crushed granite and oyster shells. Delightful, refreshing, no faults but not complex enough. www.prosecco.it Price = $25-$30 http://www.ruggeri.it/our-wines/giustino-b/?lang=en N = B- T = B I = B Overall = B This wine was a […]

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Italy, Glera, Prosecco, G&G, Valdobbiadene, Prosecco Superiore, Millesimato, 2015

Uncategorized

N/ Pear juice, toast, fresh oyster shells, and sun bleached dirt. Delightful. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Thankfully quite dry. Citrus, lime, and white pear. Acid kissed, crushed granite close. Really enjoyed this. Crowd-pleaser for wine nerds as well as those that believe they need a lot of residual sugar in their sparkling – they […]

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New Zealand, Rose, Villa Maria, Private Bin, Hawkes Bay, 2016

Uncategorized

N/ Steamed hay, bing cherry, jolly rancher candy, oyster shells, beach spray. Fresh wafts off a tidepool in a very pleasant way. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Clean lines of cherry, strawberry, and ripe cranberry. Nice mineral finish with a kiss of lime zest to trigger a mouthwatering good bye. Lovely. http://www.villamaria.co.nz/ Price = $15 N = […]

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USA, Pinot Gris, Left Coast, The Orchard, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2016

Uncategorized

N/ Salt and sunshine. Hay. Spice and light smoke. Seaspray. Grapefruit zest. Chamomile and more chamomile. Basil and oregano. River rocks. The spice/herbal notes were a pleasant surprise. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Chamomile tea. Pear, grapefruit, and honeysuckle. Malt, spice, and flint finish. http://leftcoastcellars.com/ Price = $18 N = A T = A- I = […]

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Italy, Location Wines

Uncategorized

C/ If I had to guess this wine by color I would have a tough time placing her in Italy. It is extremely dark with New World syrah-type hues. N/ Deeply organic, rich soil smeared upon crushed black cherries and plums. Wonderful sage wafts. As I’m smelling and tasting this wine it appears to be […]

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France, Rosé, Red Blend, “Les Vignes” Rosé, Domaine de Bila-Haut, Michel Chapoutier, Rousillion, 2016

Uncategorized

Red blend of 78% grenache, 14% cinsault and 8% syrah. N/ Freshly crushed oyster shells, light wafts of strawberry Jolly Rancher candy, fresh hay, and sun bleached granite. Screaming for oysters, sushi, or ceviche. T/ Light mouthfeel. Wonderful acid work with light citrus tones, light strawberry flavors, a faint cranberry pucker, and multiple layers of […]

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Chile, Chardonnay, Unoaked, Natura, Emiliana, Valle del Bio Bio, 2016

Uncategorized

N/ Yellow grasses, chamomile tea, citrus, yellow apples, oyster shells, and honeysuckle. Light spice. Inviting. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Citrus, honeysuckle, and crisp apples notes with a nice amount of mineral notes. http://www.naturawines.com/ Winemaker = Emilio Contreras Price = $9-$10 N = A T = A- I = A- Overall = A- This wine was […]

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USA, Syrah, Acorn, Axiom, Alegria Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 2013

Uncategorized

98% syrah and 2% viognier. N/ Delicious barrel room wafts, wild herbs, ripe plum skins smeared over warm river rocks, taffy, crushed granite, black and purple fruits. The smell of a wild field of sage and prairie bushes. Absolutely lovely and complex. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Taste mirrors her nose and while she is full […]

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Italy, Vermentino, La Mora, Checci, Maremma Toscana, Toscana, 2014

Uncategorized

N/ Fresh rain, spring creek, yellow grasses, oyster shell, light chlorine, and marine wafts. Refreshing. Made for seafood or light fare. T/ Light mouthfeel. Citrus, crushed rocks, honeysuckle, and chamomile tea. Very nice acid close makes her perfect to pair with a wide variety of foods. http://www.cecchi.net/en/la-mora-vermentino-/43 Price = $20 N = A T = […]

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Argentina, Malbec, Trivento, Amado Sur, Mendoza, 2014

Uncategorized

A malbec with 11% bonarda and 10% syrah. N/ Clean aromas of black cherry, plum skins, wild herbs, rich oak and crushed granite. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Black cherry, plum compote, blueberries, and layers of oak. Price = $15 http://www.excelsiorwines.com/wine/amado-sur-malbec-blend/ N = A- T = B I = B Overall = B This wine was a […]

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Spain, Albariño, Bodegas As Laxas, Laxas, Rias Baixas, 2015

Uncategorized

N/ Yellow grasses, oyster shells, honeysuckle, sunbleached rocks, and green apples. Delightful and scream scream screaming for shellfish! T/ Light mouthfeel. Clean flavors of chamomile, ripe honeysuckle, citrus, crisp spring water, and tart green apples. Paired very nicely with pan seared shrimp with a garlic butter and tarragon dipping sauce and a side of steamed […]

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