Monday, June 19, 2017

Valdivieso of Chile Brut Rosé

From the Central Valley in the southern area of Curicó where the foothills of the Andes make for cool evenings and allow gentle ripening, this sparkling wine made with 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay is made using the Charmat method. The wine is mixed in a pressure tank of stainless steel together with sugar and yeast. The fermentation takes place in the tanks not in the bottle. This method is also used to make Prosecco.

The colors in glass are a deep peach and fine effervescence while aromas of ripe summer fruit play with a note of bread. On the palate an off dry effervescence rises out of an intense bouquet of strawberry, raspberry and peach making for a beautiful and refreshing summer wine.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2016 Barossa Valley

“I’m the Dude, so that’s what you call me. That or, uh His Dudeness, or uh Duder, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.” — The Dude

“Careful man, there’s a beverage here!” 
— The Dude

There sure is!  I know it's not a White Russian, but this Two Hands Gnarly Dudes (Named for the gnarled old Shiraz vines that produce this luscious grape) is the beverage here for "The" Dude on Father's Day. 

And it comes from Australia's Barossa Valley made with 100% Shiraz and aged in French Oak for 12 months.

In the glass the colors are a ruby red with brighter red at the rim. The aromas are a stunning and attractive blend of cassis and underbrush with hints of salumi, herbs and slate. On the palate more blackberry and plum with bold, smoked meats and cigar box. Finishing long and bold with a hit of spice and black pepper. 13.5% alcohol. A great way to wish The Dude Happy Fathers Day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Loveblock Pinot Noir 2013, Central Otago, New Zealand

Produced in New Zealand's Central Otago, a terroir perfectly adapted for a Pinot Noir, Loveblock is surely a special red wine with a delicate but intense signature.

The grapes were cooled for a pre-fermentation cold soak of five days, then warmed and innoculated. Hand plunged twice each day and pressed at dryness, the grapes then underwent fermentation.
Aged 11 months in older oak to retain the pure intensity of the fruit.

Aromas of violets and glycerine touched by herbal infused dark fruits, wafting delicious ripe plums and hickory smoked bacon. On the palate are wonderful fresh strawberries counterpointing mushrooms and black pepper and deep earthy tannins. Fine balance of acidity and tannins with a 13.5% alcohol content and a $37 SRP.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Federalist Dueling Pistols 2014

Federalist Wines brings this luscious blend of half Syrah and half Zinfandel from Sonoma/Dry Creek Valley Appellation in California. Each varietal is fermented separately from free run juice. The individual lots spend an average of 15 days on the skins. Upon completing primary fermentation, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation then aged for 15 months in 20% new American (adds sweet notes) and Hungarian (adds spicy notes) oak barrels.

Rich and big and chewy... in its prime with bursting ripe fruit and a balance of great acidity and supple tannins.

Dark purple colors with extremely vibrant aromas: deep and dark with a persistent intensity of black fruits (black cherry and blackberry) pressed against cedar planks.

The robust aromas are matched in intensity by a rich palate of chocolate covered cherries, green peppers, marzipan and black pepper with a finish is that is long and satisfying.

A great Holiday gift at $29. Happy New Year to all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Markham Merlot 2014

Wow, this $26 bottle drinks like it's $50! Chewy with silky tannins and excellent balance. Ruby red colors, aromas of strawberry jam, marzipan and cigar box. The palate shows caramel, baked fruit pie, licorice and milk chocolate. A perfect special red for the Holiday season.

"Located in Napa Valley, Markham owns 350 acres of vineyards, strategically located in several of the area's best growing regions. The Estate vineyards provide the backbone for the blend, totaling 50% of this bottling. Merlot from Oak Knoll contributes sour cherry character while Yountville components provide the classic Bing cherry aromas and flavor. The jammy notes come from blending in warmer up-valley fruit from Calistoga vineyards. Much care is taken to maximize the filtered light and allow the Merlot to hang freely within the canopy during harvest. This allows the fruit to mature and color evenly. The wines are sent to barrel as individual lots to mature, allowing for greater understanding of the direct impact of our viticultural and fermentation practices each vintage. "

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.