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Saturday, April 9, 2011

2009 Zonte's Footstep Lady of the Lake Viognier


This 100% Viogier is a food that can accompany a wide variety of spicy or bold flavored foods.  Straw color in the glass, the aromas of citrus, lime zest, honey and cooked apricot are very noticeable and pleasing.  The palate is very juicy and full of citrus flavors and sweet stone fruits that give way to ginger, peach and melon towards mid palate.  The bright acidic flavors are refreshing and long lasting.  If you like Viognier you will love this wine!  Drinking great right now.  Buy a couple of bottles and age one 5-6 years and you will mostly likely enjoy this completely different with some age on it.

About Zonte's Footstep:  An indpendent Australian wine company ran by 12 hard working and tireless people who don't take themselves very seriously - just their wines!  They will tell you that "The truth is out there in the vineyard but the proof is in the bottle".

ABV:  13.5%
Retail Prce:  $14.00
Score:  91

www.zontesfootstep.com.au
www.oldbridgecellars.com

2009 Truchard Vineyards Chardonnay


This is a fine example of an elegant Napa Valley Chardonnay.  Truchard's 2009 Chardonnay is crystal clear medium yellow wine with bright aromas of fresh pair, lemon zest, vanilla and fresh fig.  Tropical fruits begin to appear with additional swirling.  The citrus flavors mesh with the toasty oak, vanilla, honeysuckle and minerals with a balanced acidity for a lively but creamy finish.  This wine spent 10 months sur lie in French oak, adding to the creamy and full textures.  This wine will drink well for many years.

About Truchard:  The winery was selected as the "Estate Winery of the Year" by Wine & Spirits Magazine in 1997 and 1998.  Winemaker Sal De Ianni joined Tony and Jo Ann Truchard at Truchard Vineyards in January 1998.  The vineyard contains a variety of soils:  clay, shale, sandstone, volcanic rock and ash.

ABV:  14.1%
Retail Price:  $30.00
Score:  93

www.truchardvineyards.com

2008 Truchard Vineyards Syrah


This 2008 Syrah from Truchard will surely be a favorite among Syrah lovers.  Lovely dark purple in the glass with hints of red, this Syrah has a power nose of blackberry, plum, earth, sweet cream and pepper.  Jammy berry and dark cherry flavors are prominent with pepper and wet stone nuances that blend wonderfully with the supple tannins, leaving you with a long and moderately spicy finish.

About Truchard:  Established in 1974 by Tony and Jo Ann Truchard with 20 acres of land.  The Estate Vineyard now encompasses 400 acres, 270 of which are planted.  The winery currently makes 11 different wines, producing 16,000 cases per year.  They also sell grapes to more than 20 premiere Napa Valley wineries.

ABV:  14.3%
Retail Price:  $28.00
Score:  91

www.truchardvineyards.com

Thursday, April 7, 2011

2008 Palouse Winery Ahh Syrah


The 2008 'Ahh' Syrah from Palouse Winery carries the perfect name.  While you might associate a white summer wine as refreshing, this Syrah is extremely smooth and flavorful, full of dark berries, black currant, chocolate and tar in the glass.  It puts a refreshing smile on your face!  The nose is fragrant with dark fruits and smoky pepper, but not a fruit bomb.  The aromas and flavors marry well, and the soft tannins provide a delicate but full mouth feel.  Lots of body and flavors but not over the top.  Delicious.

ABV:  13.8%
Retail Price:  $29.00
Score:  94

www.palousewinery.com

2008 Palouse Winery Mystique Merlot


The 2008 Merlot, called 'Mystique' from Palouse Winery is pleasing dark garnet color in the glass and very aromatic.  Great combination of black cherry, ripe plum, damp earth and vanilla on nose.  The flavors found include young blackberries, black cherry, plum, and herbs.  Towards the end there is a hint of green pepper and bittersweet chocolate that round out a great tasting robust wine with a very nice long finish.  This wine spent 18 months in French oak but is not overly woody.  In fact, for a young Merlot this wine is tasting very smooth and silky.

ABV:  13.8%
Retail Price:  $27.00
Score:  91

www.palousewinery.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2009 Pacific Rim Winemakers Organic Riesling


If you're looking for an organic Riesling, look no further.  This Pacific Rim Winemakers organic Riesling is delicious, well priced and contains a very low alcohol content.  Pale golden in color, citrus and honeysuckle aromas are lifted to the fore.  The citrus flavors are dominant and include pear, apricot, a touch of lemon zest and honeysuckle.  Slightly sweet and very crisp.  You need to visit their web site to learn about their commitment to organic farming and learn all about their wines.  This can be found at many big box retailers, so it is widely available!

ABV:  10.5%
Retail Price:  $12.99
Score:  92

www.rieslingrules.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

2009 Hedges Family Estate CMS Sauvignon Blanc


If you're expecting a Sauvignon Blanc like most of the others you have tried, you're going to taste this and be very pleasantly surprised.  No fresh cut grass here.  This is a blend of 77% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Chardonnay and 3% Marsanne, creating fragrant aromas of candied apple, orange peel, pink grapefruit and ripe pear.  The palate is defined by the crisp definitive flavors of citrus that provide a mouth watering and luscious full mouth feel towards the mid to back palate.  My guess is that this will continue to develop some other flavor elements in the bottle in the next year if you give it a chance and want to buy a couple of bottles - one for now, one for later.  Great refreshing wine that should be considered for the warm months ahead.

ABV:  13.5%
Retail Price:  $14.00

www.hedgesfamilyestate.com

2010 House of Independent Producers La Bourgeoisie Chardonnay


The label looks like a fine French wine, and if you read it carefully you'll get a chuckle to find this is "An Anonymous Vintners Production" wine.  What do you get besides an incredibly long name?  (I left off Dionysus Vineyard from the title).  This wine is medium yellow in the glass with that hasn't touched oak and provides a delicate balance of peach, pear, guava, melon, green apple and new spring flowers in the mouth and on the nose.  The folks at Hedges Family Estate believe in letting wines speak for themselves with little manipulation, focusing on the terroir and letting the wine speak for itself.  This one does and the nice medium finish lifts some great mineral elements towards the end.  This is a very good dry and medium bodied classic Chardonnay.  (2009 label shown)

ABV:  13.5%
Retail Price:  $14.00


www.hedgesfamilyestate.com

Sunday, April 3, 2011

2006 Luna Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Here's a great Cabernet Sauvignon from 2006, where a lot of other vineyards struggled during this season.  Young and vibrant, this ruby red wine has straightforward but very pleasing aromas of blueberry, black raspberry, plum and dark chocolate.  The Frech oak provides a nice toasted flavor that marries the black and dark juicy fruits with the chocolate and some granite.  Firm tannins provide lots of structure and an incredibly long finish.  Buy this wine now while it is still available and then set it aside for a few years to enjoy with an incredible meal or great friends.  This wine should drink superbly for the next two decades.

ABV:  14.5%
Retail Price:  $55.00
Score:  93

www.lunavineyards.com

2007 Burgess Cellars Napa Valley Syrah


I'm a sucker for good Syrah and this newly released 2007 vintage from Burgess Cellars is nothing short of amazing.  Nearly black in the bottle, the wisps of garnet on the edges provides a gorgeous picture in the glass.  Very fragrant aromas of fresh cut spring flowers, very ripe blackberries, fresh blueberry and Asian spices.  This wine is not for the faint of heart as it is bold, powerful and crisp.  The back end of the palate lifts some mild pepper and sweet plums with a kiss of bittersweet chocolate.  Very rich and young, but not overly fruity or perfumed.  This is how Napa Valley Syrah should be made.  You can certainly enjoy this young wine now, and you should probably get several more bottles to see how this wine develops over the next 15-20 years.  This is a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache and this wine was just released in February 2011.

ABV:  14.5%
Retail Price:  $28.00
Score:  95

www.burgesscellars.com

2007 Two Mountain Winery Cabernet Sauvignon


The 2007 release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Two Mountain Winery is a medium purple wine that is presents pleasing aromas of black and red raspberries, plum and black currant with a hint of espresso and toasty cedar.  In the mouth is a well balanced and smooth bodied wine with dark berry fruit combined with some polished leather and damp earthiness.  The oak is well integrated and not dominating and the tannins are very mild.  You can expect a very long and lingering finish in this wine that should drink easily for 15 years if cellared properly. 

ABV:  13.8%
Retail Price:  $28.00
Score:  91

www.twomountainwinery.com

2007 Hagafen Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine


Hagafen has again proven to me why they continue to be one of my favorite producers in Napa.  The people there are very hospitable and the wines are delicious.  The 2007 Brut Cuvee Sparkling Wine is a blend of 78% Pinot Noir and 22% Chardonnay.  This is not your typical yeast flavored sparking wine, but rather a complex and multi-flavored and aroma wine that is a real palate pleaser. 

Medium to deep straw in color, the aromas that are most dominant are citus, chocolate truffle, young raspberry, honeydew and freshly baked bread.  I first sampled this not as chilled as most would so the aromas would come through more dominantly, but once chilled the aromas continued to shine.  The flavors are full of citrus and tropical fruits, semi sweet chocolate, bread and mild chai.  This dry sparkling wine provides a fantastically long finish and plenty of flavors that hang on the palate.  The low alcohol content has great appeal as well.

ABV:  12.0%
Retail Price:  $36.00
Score:  92

www.hagafen.com