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Sunday, September 29, 2013

2011 Pink Moscato Allegro

Last night was a good night, tasting two Moscato and both were sister wines.  I actually prefer the Pink Moscato Allegro just slightly over its counterpart because there is just a hint of more depth to this sweet treat.  The folks who grow the Muscat Canelli grapes that go into these bottles have been doing so for around 30 years and it shows that they really pick the ripest, fruitiest grapes.  The winemaker adds just a touch of red wine to the Moscato, giving it a very lovely pink hue throughout, but it isn't a dark as in the bottle image.  Cherry flavors come through as do more traditional Moscato triggers like peaches and citric fruits.  The finish is very tame and the nose is not overwhelmingly perfumed in any way.  I really like this wine and think it pairs very well with a simple chocolate brownie.  This one will not disappoint.

ABV:  8.5%
Appellation:  California
Cases Produced:  10,000
Retail Price:  $12.00
Score:  88


2011 Moscato Allegro


Moscato has been coming on strong for a couple of years now and it really satisfies the sweet tooth for both wine drinkers and occasional sippers.  Muscat Canelli is the grape used to make this light bodied and fragrant wine.  This isn't my first look at this wine and I'm equally impressed each time I taste it, thinking of how versatile it could be with spicy foods or just as a nice night cap.  Light golden color throughout the glass with orange and peach dominating the fruit and joined by wild spring flowers.  This wine is very clean and not over-acidic but leaves you with a very nice lasting impression.  The low ABV is also appeals to many part-time wine fans.  I highly recommend this to anyone seeking a good Moscato!

ABV:  8.5%
Appellation:  California
Cases Produced:  15,000
Retail Price:  $12.00
Score:  88



Thursday, September 26, 2013

2011 Stickybeak Toscana

I love $20 bottles of wine.  Why?  Because the magical "$20" price tag generally is a dividing line for a lot of folks who dabble in wine.  And if they feel they can get a great wine for that magical number then they have accomplished something.  I will tell you now that this is a great bottle of wine and you will spend your money well.  The 2011 Stickybeak Toscano is an Italian import blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah, with the primary being the first.  Stunning bold red color in the glass and ripe fruit with dried herbs leap from the glass.  The Merlot and Syrah add body and a touch of complexity to the drinking experience and your palate is greeted with cherries, a hint of tobacco and herbs.  This is a nice tight wine and one that will deserve another look in 6 months or so.  I've tasted several Stickybeak wines the last few years and they never disappoint!

ABV:  13%
Region:  Tuscany
Retail Price:  $20.00
Score:  90

www.stickybeakwines.com 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2012 Tin Roof Cellars Sauvignon Blanc





I generally prefer a couple of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs - like most, I have my favorites.  But I'm open minded and each wine I taste gets a fair shake. The 2012 Tin Roof Cellars Sauvignon Blanc really tickled my tongue for two reasons - flavor and price.  When an SB is made well, it is something to be celebrated.  Lets face it - there are a lot of not-so-good Sauvignon Blanc on the market, but this is not one of them.  This wine is full of zest and I love an SB that has a tangy and back end fruitiness.  Grapefruit is your friend here and the fresh cut grass, while present, isn't overwhelming.  This wine is a dead ringer for Asian cole slaw and any salad that features a vinegar based dressing.  Very straightforward and tasty!  Don't let the ABV discourage you from trying it.  You'll be glad you did.

ABV:  13.6%
Appellation:  California
Retail Price:  $10.00
Score:  89

www.tinroofcellars.com 

2010 Tin Roof Cellars Merlot


Today is the first day of autumn and what better way to welcome the season than with some comfort food and comfort wine.  The 2010 Tin Roof Cellars Merlot offers an abundance of flavor, value and comfort in a solid wine.  Aged in both French and American oak, this wine is an easy drinker right out of the gate and has a beautiful deep red color.  The nose offers familiar Merlot notes and there were bits of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blended in for some extra body and flavor.  In the mouth this wine is very juicy with coffee bean and chocolate nuances.  Some might find this on the sweet side for their liking, but I'm impressed.  And the $10 price tag makes this a wine you will enjoy through all of football season!

ABV:  13.5%
Appellation:  California
Retail Price:  $10.00
Score:  88

 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

2010 Penfold's Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet





I have a thing for Australian wine in general, and the 2010 Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet blend from Penfold's is one that you could consider your daily drinker.  Budget minded and full of tasty fruit, this wine is a blend of 75% Shiraz and 25% Cabernet with fruit from some very reputable vineyards in South Australia.  Very dark red with cherry red near the edge, this juice is chocked full of mouth watering black fruits, baking spices and cinnamon stick.  There is just enough oak to add to the appeal and hints of cocoa powder the background. Very smooth medium bodied wine that will please the senses!

ABV:  13.5%
Appellation:  South Australia (Padthaway, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Wrattonbully)
Retail Price:  $12.00
Score:  87

www.penfolds.com

Saturday, February 16, 2013

2010 Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot






Many folks get skeptical about a mega winery's ability to make wine that appeals to the more sophisticated palate and some have received a bad rap over the years.  But Kendall-Jackson stays true to their roots with the Vintner's Reserve series of wines, including this 2010 Merlot that is 100% estate grown.  The composition of the wine is 99.5% Merlot with just small touches of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc that add some depth, contrast and color to the Merlot juice.  Dark red in color, this wine promotes expressive aromas of plum, black cherry and baking spices. On the palate is much of the same, but at times I detected a hint of sweet ginger and chewy berries that brought out a nice strong finish in this well rounded wine.  I have to tell you - I'm a fan!  To me, good Merlot is often great Merlot and this is no exception.  This 2010 Vintner's Reserve stands on it's own merit and it can be enjoyed with or without beef or bison.  

ABV:  13.5%
Appellation:  Sonoma County
Retail Price:  $19.00
Score:  90

www.kj.com 

2008 Stave 28 Reserve Red Wine






Friends, listen closely.  Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this wine, let me stress that there were only 80 cases of this bottled, so do yourself a favor and get some now.  This 2008 Reserve from Stave 28 will take you to the small wine chateaus of France without leaving your home.  I had the pleasure of tasting this both as a pre-bottle sample and now in bottle, and the wine is really amazing and I loved seeing the contrast between the two.  This wine will be a good one to lay down for a few years and see what further develops, but the current indications are both promising and rewarding.  Gorgeous red and purple blend in the glass with sexy legs and a nose of dark fruits, sweet but subdued smokiness and an earthly aroma that is subtle enough to be reminiscent of a French counter part.  In the mouth is a very smooth and satisfying wine of depth, providing the palate with dark fruits, vanilla, black currant, cigar smoke, hints of leather and pine needle.  According to wine maker Michael Weyna this juice spent over 3 years in French oak, which is an impressive feat and the long nap has been kind to this wine.  This blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot is married beautifully and the finish is memorable with well integrated tannins.  Again, this wine will only continue to bring more pleasure with age and you'll be glad you found it!

ABV:  14.3%
Appellation:  California
Cases Produced:  80
Retail Price:  $45.00
Score:  94

www.stave28.com 

2010 19 Crimes Red Wine Shiraz Blend






The 19 Crimes wines from Victoria, Australia features three different labels, all with the mugshot of a different criminal on them.  You really need to check out their web site to find the stories behind the criminals. This wine is a blend of Shiraz and Durif that features lots of ripe fruits and vanilla on the nose.  In the palate is a lighter bodied wine with ripe and sweet red and dark fruits and a softer touch by micro tannins that make this wine an easy drinker, even for someone who traditionally doesn't drink red.  I think this is a good entry level red or 'crossover' wine from white to red.  The finish is short but the wine is memorable and for this price point is a very good value.

ABV:  14%
Appellation:  Victoria, Australia
Retail Price:  $12.99
Score:  87

www.19crimes.com

Monday, December 3, 2012

2011 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay






The 2011 rainy season was very good for this Chardonnay.  This 2011 vintage is a 100% varietal that was seven month sur lie and the result is wonderful.  This medium yellow wine presents a cinnamon applesauce aroma with spring flowers and citrus fruits.  In the mouth is a very lively and silky wine with apple, lemon zest and pear.  When served at proper temperature (not too cold folks) more flavors of melon and lemon custard also show themselves.  The finish is clearly refreshing and it dances in the mouth.

ABV:  13.5%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  74,000
Retail Price:  $18.00
Score:  89

www.franciscan.com