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Thursday, March 5, 2015

2013 Hope Family Wines Liberty School Merlot

2013 Hope Family Wines Liberty School Merlot
Where can you find a great Paso Robles, California Merlot for under $20?  Right HERE!  This is the 2013 Liberty School Merlot from Hope Family Wines and it has a wonderful blood red color and warm aromatics that fill the senses.  Stewed blackberries and dark chocolate are the primary flavors of this well structured wine.  I love 100% Merlot when it is made well, and this one surely is!  While it's still tight, some air time opens up the layers of dark berries, leather, cocoa and dried herbs.  The finish is lingering and mouth watering.  I highly recommend that you take a look at this wine and it is one that should drink very nicely for at least 5 years and likely more!  Incredible value and enjoyable.

ABV:  13.5%
Appellation:  Central Coast
Cases Produced:  11,532
Retail Price:  $16.00
Score:  90

www.hopefamilywines.com 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2011 Baron de Hoen Cave de Beblenheim Pinot Gris


I have to admit, I was very surprised by this wine - in a good way!  From the French Region of Alsace comes the 2011 Pinot Gris Baron de Hoen Cave de Beblenheim.  Often a Pinot Gris drinks well for only 2-3 years, but this wine is in its prime and drinking great!  In the glass is a stunning and beautiful gold color that is complimented by the impressive peach and floral aroma.  In the mouth is a sweeter-than-traditional Pinot Gris and one that I found completely satisfying.  Peach, apricot and brown sugar were the primary flavors and the finish on this wine was crisp and lingering.  This would be a great wine for a dessert or for fish and chicken dishes.  Well done!

ABV:  12.5%
Appellation:  AOC Alsace
Cases Produced:  Unknown
Retail Price:  $14.00
Score:  85

www.cave-beblenheim.com

Sunday, February 1, 2015

2009 Krupp Brothers Veraison Red Napa Valley






From the Stagecoach Vineyard comes another amazing wine from Krupp Brothers.  This is a red wine blend of 35% Syrah, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 12% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.  The dark purple ink color draws you in and is hauntingly sexy, second only to the earthy and toasty aromas of juicy plum and vanilla.  Swirling this wine really lifts the wine and will lift your spirit!  In the mouth is a very lush and full feel with incredible dark chocolate and black raspberry and a suggestion of sweet smoke on the very satisfying finish.  This is a wine that would be hard to share with anyone else because you'll want to keep it all to yourself!

ABV:  15.03%
Appellation:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  2,135
Retail Price:  $55.00
Score:  93

www.KruppBrothers.com

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2012 Rodney Strong Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County



I had the pleasure of tasting this 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County from Rodney Strong Vineyards.  Nice dark garnet color in the glass with sexy legs and a full aroma of plum, black cherry and a hint of oak.  The real kicker in this wine is the full impression of spices and pepper in this wine, both in the aromas and taste.  In the mouth is a satisfying, medium bodied wine that finishes smoothly and presents flavors of plum, red raspberry, pepper and spices.  I really enjoy the spice in this wine, which is often present from many Cabernet.  It makes this wine more memorable and wouldn't overpower the food you choose to eat with it.  I would consider this a great value and at this price point could easily become a daily drinker.  Introduce this to your friends and you're guaranteed to receive an "I really like that" response!

See my YouTube video review about this wine!

ABV:  13.5%
Appellation:  Sonoma County
Cases Produced:  Unknown
Retail Price:  $20.00
Score:  87

www.RodneyStrong.com

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2013 Quady Winery Electra California Moscato






This might be an odd time of year to write about Moscato, as it is generally considered a summertime wine.  But I was intrigued by this bottle and I'm thrilled that I took a leap of faith an opened this in January.  I've found that you can't really put a season on this Moscato.  For those of you who love Moscato, like my wife, this could easily be a daily or weekly drinker!  It's easy to see why this wine made the Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Best Buys of 2014.

Pale golden and extremely aromatic, this wine doesn't present itself as a 'typical' Moscato.  It's a blend of over 75% Orange Muscat and the remainder is Muscat Canelli.  Wonderful apricot and wildflower aromas jump from the glass and warm the senses.  In the mouth is a light and extremely flavorful collection of pear, apricot, light brown sugar and bits of orange zest that keep this from being a sugar bomb like so many other Moscato on the market.  The Orange Muscat really comes through on the back and sides of the tongue.  Clean and smooth finish and it makes you want to get that next sip in right away!  This was tasted well chilled which is how it should be served.  Quady Winery is out of Madera, CA and they have a large distribution in the US so you shouldn't have any trouble finding this or any of their other wines.  This is definitely my new favorite Moscato and it's a fun wine to share.  Delicious!

ABV:  4.5%
Appellation:  California
Cases Produced:  Unknown
Retail Price:  $14.00
Score:  94

www.QuadyWinery.com



Saturday, January 24, 2015

2012 Krupp Brothers The Doctor Red Wine Blend






I hope you didn't read the title "red wine blend" and think "ehh, I'm a purist and love a single varietal".  It that's the case, you're missing out on A LOT of great wines, including this one.  This is a newly released wine from Krupp Brothers (December 2014) and is a smart blend of 48% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec.  The grapes of course came from their famous Krupp Brothers Vineyard as well as the esteemed Stagecoach Vineyard.  The blend is spot on and the low Cabernet Sauvignon contribution keeps this wine from feeling hot in the mouth. 

Dark purple in the glass, nearly opaque.  The aromas are dark black fruits including black cherry and blackberry with some sweet cherry tobacco and spice cake.  The flavors on this wine really take a hold of you and are beautifully married together - the dark fruits, touches of caramel, semi sweet chocolate chips and dried spices.  This wine provides a beautiful full mouth feel and is so mouthwatering smooth on the finish that you'll swear the wine is 8-10 years old.  I recommend some ample swirling time or an aerator/decanter combination since the wine is so young and you will be blown away by your reward!  While you can drink this now, you should easily get 15 years out of it in your cellar too.  I don't know how you could improve on this wine!

Information about this wine and the Krupp Brothers from my first ever video review! 

ABV:  14.8%
Appellation:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  607
Retail Price:  $100.00
Score:  95

www.KruppBrothers.com

Friday, January 23, 2015

2012 Rodney Strong Merlot Sonoma County

I love Merlot.  Judge me or not.  Some folks consider Merlot and Chardonnay to be 'beginners wines' because they are so plentiful and everyone produces them.  But if a Merlot is made well and offered at a very fair price, it's a win-win situation.  The 2012 Merlot from Rodney Strong is from the Sonoma County Appellation and what I would definitely consider a great QPR wine (Quality-Price Ratio).  As you can see, the color is stunningly dark, which is not always the case with Merlot but a real turn on for me personally.  I actually poured some on some white paper to marvel in the color. 

Besides the color, there are some medium sweet aromas of black cherry, plum and a nice representation of dried spices from the 16 months in barrel.  A little time in the glass really opens this wine up and provides a very silky mouth feel and smooth finish with the plum and cherry flavors with a damp earth undertone.  This wine is offered by RSV at the magical price point of $20 (where the majority of wine buyers feel comfortable) and is lovely on its own or would pair well with food with an earthy vibe.  I'm genuinely impressed.


ABV:  13.96%
Appellation:  Sonoma County
Cases Produced:  Unknown
Retail Price:  $20.00
Score:  88

www.RodneyStrong.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2013 Rodney Strong Sonoma County Chardonnay

The 2013 Rodney Strong Sonoma County Chardonnay is a new release and one that you'll want to add to your warm weather wine line up.  Pale yellow in the glass, I sampled this at 65 degrees and that helped lift the predominant aromas of apple and lemon zest.  In the mouth is a lively acidity that dances in back of the throat and flavors of apple, pear, nutmeg and a hint of vanilla all make an appearance.  This is easily a daily drinker and priced right.  After the initial tasting I finished a glass with some pasta alfredo and the pairing was spot on.  Rodney Strong has a history of making flavorful wines for all palates and price points and this one won't disappoint!

ABV:  13.5%
Appellation:  Sonoma County
Cases Produced:  Unknown
Retail Price:  $17.00
Score:  86

www.RodneyStrong.com