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.

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.