Posts tagged as:

Syrah

Chile, Rose of Syrah, Concha y Toro, Casillero del Diablo, Reserva, Valle Central, 2015

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Rose of syrah, cinsault, and carmenere. N/ Light wafts of strawberries, raspberries, dried hay, wild herbs, and wet cement. T/ Light mouthfeel. Appropriately refreshing. Strawberry and red berry flavors with some nicely balanced acidity. Fun, just as it should be. 13% alcohol www.casillerodeldiablo.com Price = $11 N = B+ T = B I = B+ […]

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France, Red blend, Michel Chapoutier, Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Bila-Haut, 2014

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Red 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 […]

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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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USA, Syrah, Rusack Vineyards, Ballard Canyon Estate, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, California, 2011

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Red blend of: 91% syrah and 9% petite sirah. N/ Deep plum and blackberry stew, black cherries, and dark black soil. Rosemary, smoldering campfire, and split flint. Clean aromas of a fall forest floor. Fantastic. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Amazingly smooth. A light glycerol weight that helps bind together a remarkably balanced load […]

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Bulgaria, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir & Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet, Vini, Veni Vidi Vici, Thracian Valley, (2009-2011)

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I was delighted to sample five bottles of Bulgarian wine, across six major grape types. They all retail at a fairly amazing $8.99 – $9.99. For me, the rose of pinot/syrah and the sauvignon blanc were clear stand outs.  The rose ($8.99) I posted  here http://www.brainwines.com/bulgaria-rose-pinot-noir-syrah-vini-veni-vidi-vici-thracian-valley-mmxi-2011/. The sauvignon blanc well, look, she is my least […]

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Bulgaria, Rose (of Pinot Noir & Syrah), Vini, Veni Vidi Vici, Thracian Valley, MMXI (2011)

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A blend of 60% pinot noir and 40% syrah. N/ Acidic, crushed river rock waftings introduce aromas of strawberry jolly rancher, wet steel, and cranberry. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Surprisingly weighty given the acid focus of the nose. Dripping, acid dancing strawberry, cranberry, and cherry flavors intermix with lime juice – in a balanced, mouthwatering […]

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USA, Red Blend, Acorn Hill, Acorn Winery, Alegría Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Healdsburg, Sonoma, California, 2009

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A red blend of: 54% Syrah, 44% Sangiovese, 1% Viognier, 0.5% Canaiolo, and 0.5% Mammolo. N/ Clean, inviting, barrel room wafts layer perfectly atop blackcherry, plum skin, and savory notes.  Wet earth, wild herbs, and aged leather delight. She closes with a touch of sage and wild prairie. Complex countryside aromas here. Love it. T/ Medium […]

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USA, Rosé (Syrah), Stepping Stone, Cornerstone Cellars, Corallina Rose, Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, California, 2012

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N/ Rose petals, red berries, herbs, and strawberries. Light caramel and barrel room. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Nice mix of red berries, strawberries, and a touch of a cranberry bite and citrus zest. Ample acid and mineral/rock notes play and please. Dry, lively fun. Another great wine from Cornerstone. Winemaker = Jeff Keene http://www.cornerstonecellars.com/2012corallina Alcohol = […]

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Chile, Red Blend (“Winemakers”), Reserva, Casillero del Diablo, Concha y Toro, Rapel Valley, 2011

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Red blend of: 60% syrah, 25% carmenere, and 15% cabernet sauvignon. N/ Lightly cedar-smoked black cherries. A pronounced mineral and wet steel blast of aroma. Soft caramel and chocolate flavors. Hint of tomato leaf slightly detracts from a fairly warm and inviting nose. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Juicy flavors of red berries and boysenberry jam. Soft […]

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USA, Rosé of Syrah, PINK Girl, Napa Valley, Coombsville, California, 2012

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N/ She starts with aromas of clean hay and crushed river rock. Nice acidic raspberry wafts bring the fruit. Some jolly rancher strawberry aromas also play. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Acidic popping and slighlty effervescent – with flavors of strawberries and raspberries.  Red apples and ripe watermelon.  Hint of herbs. Well balanced. Thinner, but […]

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USA, Syrah, Reckless Moment, Clavo Cellars, Paso Robles, California, 2008

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N/ Black cherry taffy. Manzanita and cedar. Black and white pepper. Strawberry balsamic. Sage and wild herbs. Lovely, but this nose took some time to blossom, very much suggest you decant and wait at least an hour, preferably  three, before enjoying. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Bracing acidity deftly leads into dark black cherries, black fruits, and ripe […]

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Argentina, Red Blend, Malbec (with Bonarda and Syrah), Amado Sur, Trivento, Mendoza, 2011

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A red blend of: 78% malbec, 12% bonarda, and 10% syrah. C/ Beautiful black neon purple squid ink. N/ Deep, dark purple and black fruits. Savory notes with a caramelized violet reduction sauce.  Gunpowder. Freshly cracked flint. Wet, black soil. Bakers chocolate. Hint of white pepper. A few swampy notes, however lightly detract. T/ Full […]

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Chile, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tarapaca, Gran Reserva, Valle del Maipo, 2010

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Red blend of: “94% Cabernet Sauvignon; 6% Syrah-Petit Verdot.” Best wait at least one hour post decant on this lady. She shines even more after 3 hours. C/ A bit of a curious rim that suggests a much older wine and her neon purple is typical of a Malbec, not a Cabernet. Not sure what […]

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USA, Red Blend (Syrah, Merlot, Malbec), Robert Mondavi, Private Selection, Coastal Crush Red, Central Coast, 2011

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Red Blend of: 67% Syrah, 24% Merlot, and 9% Malbec. N/ Dried black cherries, slightly candied cassis, and cherry cordials. Sweet and taffy-like. For the first two hours she had an unfortunate note of rubber and/or vinyl, however, this finally dissipated at approximately two and a half hours post decant. Once gone, nice fruit and […]

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USA, Red blend, Les Chevaux (Merlot dominated), Columbia Crest, Horse Heaven Hills, Cascade Mountains, Washington, 2010

Red blend of: 80% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Syrah. N/ Plum stew, blood, game, black cherry and flint. Pine needle tea. Black tea. Dominated by acidic snaps of flint dust. Balloons and band aids. Barrel room. Forest floor. A bit wild and interesting. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. The first thing you taste is a […]

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USA, Red Blend, Rocks!, Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Cellars, North Coast, California, 2010

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Red blend of: Zinfandel from Lake County, Syrah from Sonoma, and Napa Valley (Carneros) Merlot. N/ Reduction sauce of plum skins.  Smoked oak and paprika. Deep cassis, wet earth, and river rock. Wild herbs with a blast of sage. Pine and cedar. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Dry, angular, plum and cherry. Pine needle tea. Berries and […]

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Winery & Vineyards Visits – Acorn Winery (Alegría Vineyard) in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA

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Highlights The warm and knowledgable Betsy and Bill. True “Field blending” (40-50 different grape types on just 27 acres). Great wines. Excellent and down-to-earth atmosphere and wine making approach. Solid soil and cork learning tools on display in the tasting room. Learning without effort. 40-50 varietals = from A to Z, seriously. Madeline Angevine and […]

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USA, Rose of Syrah, Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Cellars, Corallina Rose, Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, California, 2011

N/ Bright, acidic granite dust sprinkled on a reduction of rose petals and strawberry. Rhubarb, burnt sugar, and light barrel room. The nose is much more reminiscent of an actual full red wine, not just a rose. Quite mature, with a feel of old world elegance. Delightful. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Very pleasing balance between strawberries, […]

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