From the category archives:

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USA, Red Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, The Hess Collection, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, 2014

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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. […]

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Chile, Sparkling Wine, Brut Rose, Valdivieso, Valle de Casablanca y Bío Bío

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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 […]

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Simple Homemade Pesto

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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 […]

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Spain, Garnacha, Rosé, Paniza, Cariñena, 2015

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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 […]

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France, Rose, Ferraton Père & Fils, Samorëns, Côtes du Rhône, 2016

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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 […]

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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