Posts tagged as:

$20-$40

USA, Chardonnay, Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley and Bien Nacido Vineyard, 2013

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First off, if you’ve never been to the Castle near Calistoga, you must give it a visit. Here is my earlier write up on it… http://www.brainwines.com/winery-visit-castello-di-amorosa-calistoga-napa-valley-california/. CdA offers a wide selection of wines, and here I want to compare and contrast two of their 2013 chardonnays… Napa Valley 2013 chard… ($29) N/ Fresh rain, river […]

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Argentina, Malbec, Trivento, Golden Reserve, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, 2013

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C/ One of the darker malbecs I’ve ever seen – almost black. Upon swirling appears like black neon blood with a beet juice floater. Pro tip: whenever a “floater” is offered with a cocktail, just do it. N/ A lurid tarn from Edgar Allan Poe’s prose. Gobsmacked with deep oak aromas, black musty soil, black […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montes, NapaAngel, Napa Valley, California, 2008

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Suggest decanting and waiting at least two hours before enjoying this wine. N/ Deep barrel room aromas, black fruits like black currants and black cherry. Bell peppers and the smell of a freshly grilled steak. Black soil, forest floor, pine needles, freshly crushed granite, flint, and gunpowder oh my. T/ Moderate plus tannin and moderate […]

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New Zealand, Pinot Noir, Loveblock, Central Otago, 2012

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N/ She leads with spice, lovely wood notes, and violets. Cherry and black cherry bathed in exotic spices. Black pepper, paprika, and bacon. Smoky dust. And then more lovely bacon. Really lovely. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Cherry, red berries, and a little cranberry pucker. Soft wood and earth notes. Clean mineral flavors on her close. http://loveblockwine.com/ http://terlatowines.com/new-wines/new-zealand/loveblock Price […]

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Italy, Sangiovese, Chianti Classico, Cecchi, Tuscany, Chianti, 2012

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90% 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 […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Anaba, Sonoma Coast, California, 2012

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N/ 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 […]

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

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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

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

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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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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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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, 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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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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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://www.pasternakwine.com/ Alcohol = 13.5% Price = […]

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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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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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Winery Visit, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg, California

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Jordan Vineyard & Winery The Jordan grounds are a sight to behold.  The approaching road winds through beautiful country and lulls one into the thought they must be approaching a modest farmhouse teeming with disheveled chickens pecking about, goats with neck bells clanging, and wafts of barnyard. Instead, the road takes a decidedly manicured turn […]

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