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Thursday, February 10, 2011

2006 Cooper's Hawk Cabernet Zinfandel

Cooper's Hawk hasn't made a wine I haven't liked yet.  So far everything I've tasted of theirs has been red, but that will surely change.  The 2006 Cabernet Zinfandel blend is medium purple and has great aromas of dark plum, cherry, spice and licorice.  This full bodied, smooth wine has wonderfully chewy tannins and flavors of plum, dark berries, black currant and leathery spices.  If you're looking for a lot of flavor and you haven't tried a Cooper's Hawk wine yet, start here. 

Score:  89

2009 Clif Family Winery The Climber Zinfandel Blend

I wish I had tasted this on Super Bowl Sunday, as this would have been a perfect accompaniment with the chili.  Spicy dark cherry and blackberry on a wonderfully aromatic nose.  There is so much going on with the flavor and structure that you wonder how they can sell this so cheaply.  This is a blend of 63% Zinfandel, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah and 2% Merlot, so you're getting spicy plums, smoked game, blackberries, juicy red fruits and a great dark red color.  Soft and lingering tannins will leave you smiling with this wine.  For the $14 US suggested retail this would be considered a smart buy.

Score:  88

2008 Goose Watch Winery Viognier

Sometimes some of the most memorable wines we find are by accident.  And that's what happened here.  Straw yellow in the glass with a silver edge, this full bodied sweet wine presents plenty of mango, pineapple, apricot, peach and floral aromas.  Very full feeling in the mouth with grapefruit, peach, pear and apricot in the glass with a hint of spice on the back end.  Dry and refreshing and the 13% ABV makes this one an all day drinker with dozens of food choices. 

Score:  91

Monday, February 7, 2011

2007 Fiddlehead Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Happy Canyon

I fell in love with Fiddlehead's Sauvignon Blanc about three years ago.  They primarily craft Pinot Noir these days, but they make Sauvignon Blanc oh so well!  There are some bright fruit flavors on the nose and in the glass - guava, lime, lemon and grapefruit which is lovely and lasts from start to finish.  You also get some cut grass which is typical of Sauvignon Blanc, vanilla and a very creamy finish with sweet citrus fruits that make this as enjoyable as any SB I've ever tasted.  You can find this for around $25 US and it should be consumed in the next 18 months for best enjoyment.

Score:  90

2009 Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay

If anyone ever told you that you can't get a good bottle of wine without spending a lot of money, they are wrong.  For under $10 US, you can get a bottle of wine that looks and smells as good as it tastes.  Soft aromas of pear, apple, honeydew and butter present much of the same on the palate.  There is a very crisp finish and a sweet linger that makes this a fantastic wine at a price point everyone can afford.  Stock up on this for the warm months - you'll want to drink this will many styles of food.

Score:  89

2007 Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Reserve

If you like blended varietals, you're going to absolutely love this BV Tapestry Reserve.  This wine is a blend of 5 grapes - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.  Wonderfully aromatic nose of blueberry, blackberry, cedar, licorice, spices, mocha and black currant.  There is so much going on here your mouth will start watering!  The palate give you dazzling tastes of berries, licorice, sweet and smoky cedar and dark chocolate in a velvety and mildly tannic finish that is sweet and memorable.  This wine is priced around $45 US and would make a great special occasion wine that you will be able to enjoy for the next 10 - 15 years.  Just incredible.

Score:  94

2009 Tensley Wines Santa Barbara County Syrah

Incredibly dark red in the glass, this young Syrah is bursting at the seems with aromas of blackberry, graphite, flower boquet and dusty earth.  Great full body and flavors of raspberry, smoky game meat, chocolate and violets with a firm but enjoyably textured tannins.  This wine is young and full of life and will drink exceptionally for the next 5 - 7 years.

Score:  92

2007 Continuum Estate Proprietary Red

This is the second vintage from Tim Mondavi and family and the second vintage I have tasted and reported on.  Gorgeous dark red in the glass with wonderful dark fruits on the nose mixed with some dark toasty oak and plum.  Decanted for approximately 90 minutes, as this wine, being so young and powerful, needs some air time for a proper tasting.  Lots of dark fruits, spices and black currant in the mouth, with an uplifted mild leather and sweet cedar taste in the end.  Wonderful now, this 2007 vintage will be absolutely near-perfect spectacular in 7 - 10 years with this wonderful blend that includes 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc and 18% Petit Verdot.  The high concentration of the latter will really add color and depth to this in the bottle if you can wait to drink it.  This is definitely cellar worthy!  I should note that the 2007 vintage sold out in just a few weeks, so you'll probably have to find this at an online retailer or at wine auction like I did if you want to grab it. 

Score:  97

Sunday, February 6, 2011

2009 La Crema Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Deep red color and very aromatic of red cherries, rose petal, spice and currant.  Very balanced and very small and delicate tannins combine with a palate of black cherry, dried spice and red raspberry.  This wine finishes with a very pleasing and juicy finish.  Love this!

Score:  93

2007 Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah

Eberle Winery, founded by Gary Eberle, is considered the pioneer of Rhone wines in Paso Robles.  And Gary's demand for perfection, combined with winemaker Ben Mayo's artwork, make some fantastic wines.  The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah is a 50/50 blend and produces wonderful aromas of blueberry, plum, peppery spices and wild game in a dark red full bodied wine.  In the mouth is a flavorful combination of plum, stewed blueberries, roasted red meats and spices with a hint of leather.  The tannins are firm and in check and leave you with a long enduring and almost magical finish.  Pop and pour this one now or you can definitely hold it for another 7 - 10 years with no problem.

Score:  92