Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hanna Sauvignon Blanc 2015

From Hanna Winery in Sonoma/Russian River Valley, California, this vibrant Sauvignon Blanc is fermented and aged in stainless steel on the lees.

The colors in glass are pale green shades of lemon or hay. I would call this "off dry", expressing a fresh and vigorous acidity with deep intensity and low tannins while weighing in on the medium side. On the nose I get fresh hay, summer stone fruit and dried fig with floral notes. On the palate is green pepper, ginger, spice, a minty citrus, green melon, grapefruit rind or pomelo and an herbaceous aftertaste with a lingering finish.

This medium bodied white wine can be an excellent holiday pairing with any shrimp dish.

SRP at $20

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cecchi Chianti Classico 2014 DOCG

It's been 10 years since I've been to Tuscany, but I can close my eyes and be transported there anytime I want. I can close my eyes and breath in the verdant aromas of the countryside, the citrus scent of lemon groves, the purple fields of lavender, the smell of freshly dug, earthy truffles. Last night though, I didn't have to close my eyes. Last night I opened a bottle of quintessential Italy... Cecchi (pronounced Check-ee) Chianti Classico.

Made from 90% Sangiovese grapes, aged in wooden casks for 12 months, then 2 months in bottle before release. Ruby red colors with a nose of intense red fruit, forest floor and tobacco. The weight is of medium body with smooth tannins while strawberry, raspberry and white pepper are displayed on the palate. The finish is long and playful reflecting fruit and earth... in a glass.

A perfect food wine, I paired it with pasta and red sauce, but will work well with roast turkey, chicken or red meat.

It's worth a try, so take a virtual trip to Tuscany... for $22.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Little Black Dress Diva California Red 2013

Winemaker Margaret Leonardi crafted this red blend from Mendocino, California. Made from a blend of mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Petit Sirah, with smaller amounts of Zinfandel, Tannat, Mourvèdre, Garnacha, Malbec and other red grapes.

Ruby colors with aromas of cherry, cassis and licorice, then a mild lingering toasty edge. The palate showing playful notes of wild berries and dried flowers combining to form a complex show for the money (about $12).

Monday, November 7, 2016

Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Rosso 2014 DOC

Here is a new winery from the Cusumano family in the volcanic and fertile Mt. Etna appellation of Sicily, producing their Alta Mora Etna Rosso from 100% Nerello Mescalero grapes indigenous to the region. Fermented in stainless steel tanks then successive fining in 2,000 liter barrels.

Soft tannins and a bright acidity with bold character and complexity, this red shows like a Nebbiolo with slightly lighter volume.

Deep ruby red in the glass with intense aromas of blue fruits, moist earth and spice, touched by sprigs of lavender. The palate shows white pepper, spice and a lovely herbaceous finish. At $24 this would be a sure winner at any Thanksgiving dinner.

14% Alcohol.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Barton & Guestier Cotes De Provence 2015

This Barton & Guestier Rose from Cotes De Provence is a lively blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 20% Syrah with soft, muted but complex aromas of lovely florals, followed by hints of apricot and peach, then still more scents of marzipan and honeysuckle. The muted aromas are contrasted by an intensity of flavors with melon/cantelope, spices, light pepper and ripe fruit. There are bold chewy textures on the palate and finishes with jam and spice. Perfect for July weather.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

St. Donat Estates Marga Furmint 2013, Hungary

As promised, here is another pretty Furmint. This one, from Csopak above Lake Balaton where light reflecting off the lake provides plenty of sunshine, the marly soil encourages growth. Aged in steel tanks and used oak barrels for 6 months. Clear pale husk colors the glass and subtle and warm aromas of bread and toast, hints of smoke, green apple and pear and a pleasant minerality. Flavors are creamy and rich, the palate is smartly sharp with a snappy floral ring along with a citrus edge. Long glowing finish. SRP $25 per bottle.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ventisquero Grey Carmenere 2013, Single block, Maipo Valley, Chile

From Ventisquero's Trinidad Vineyard this Carmenere is aged 18 months in French oak barrels.

Dark ruby paints the glass, medium weight but opaque, aromas of verdant black fruits, anise and cassis and fresh cherry pie. Beautiful silky tannins leaning against an even brighter acidity testify to a smooth, clean and smoky palate of blackberry, barnyard and finishes with green pepper.

The flavors settle nicely, yielding to quite an earthy and lengthy finish. This. Is. Wonderful!