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Thursday, June 30, 2011

2008 Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz

The 2008 Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz is dark, rich and inviting in its appearance and aromas.  This wine was decanted prior to tasting (I know, I should have done the Mollydooker Shake!) for about 45 minutes.  Incredibly lifting aromas of red raspberry, cherry pipe tobacco, smoky cedar plank and blueberry pie fill the glass and grab you like a bear hug.  Fantastic dark fruit flavors, cherry, spices, black currant and dark chocolate coat the mouth in this full bodied wine with firm tannins.  The finish is pleasingly smooth and the flavors stay on your taste buds for a long time.  If cellared properly you could get close to 10 years of prime drinking out of this wine.  As a big Shiraz fan, I really love this wine and I know you will too.

About Mollydooker Wines:
Mollydooker Wines of McLaren Vale, South Australia is the brain child of owners and winemakers Sarah and Sparky Marquis, who have received critical acclaim for their wines and have won countless awards.  Their labels include The Blue Eyed Boy and Gigglepot - named after their children Luke and Holly.

ABV:  16%
Region:  South Australia
Sub Region:  McLaren Vale/Padthaway
Retail Price:  $25.00
Score:  92

2008 Prix Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc Moskowite Vineyard

The 2008 Prix Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is a fine kosher wine that exemplifies the best that the Sauvignon Blanc grape can provide.  While there is a crispness in this wine, the multi layers of flavor result in a fuller mouth feel and a softer texture that will win over those who traditionally shy away from this varietal.  Pale yellow in the glass and primary aromas of citrus and fresh cut grass, this wine has a boquet of flavors that include lime, lemon candy, grapefruit, buttery popcorn and vanilla.  The wine completes its journey with a long lasting imprint on your palate.  You will love this wine, and for a single vineyard reserve wine I would consider this a bargain.

About Prix:
The Prix label is one of three labels produced by Hagafen Cellars of Napa Valley.  Hagafen produces these labels:  Hagafen, Prix and Don Ernesto.  The Midwest Wine Guy is thrilled to have such a popular winery as the June 2011 Winery of the Month!

ABV:  13.5%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  151
Retail Price:  $27.00
Score:  92

2010 Hagafen Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

The 2010 Hagafen Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp and lively white wine that pleases the palate and makes a statement.  This wine is full of citrus fruits on the nose and in the mouth.  Starting out smooth and subtle, you quickly get a taste of the citrus layers, lemon zest, lime and bees wax.  The acid provides a backdrop for a finish that stays in the back of the throat for minutes.  Contrary to some Sauvignon Blanc, this fine wine has no bitter aftertaste.  The finish is wonderful and the aromas draw you in, allowing for an extremely pleasurable wine tasting experience.

About Hagafen Cellars:
Hagafen Cellars produces award winning wines in the Napa Valley.  They are the June 2011 Winery of the Month at Midwest Wine Guy.  Check out their You Tube videos!

ABV:  12.5%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Retail Price:  $18.00
Score:  90

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2007 Borra Vineyards 47.5 Degree Red Wine

The 2007 Limited Edition Red Wine blend from Borra Vineyards consists of 60% Syrah, 20% Petite Sirah and 20% Mourvedre, which combine to create a delicious and approachable wine full of flavor and style.  The wine is nearly as dark as the bottle and hauntingly beautiful.  Dark fruits, hazelnut, fig, warm vanilla dominate the nose and invite you to a tasting experience you aren't soon to forget.  The flavor profile of dark skinned plums, black cherries, dark chocolate, braised beef, licorice and peppery spices are distinguished and blended so superbly that you would have trouble finding anything wrong with this wine.  The tannins are firm and juicy and the finish goes on and on.  The alcohol content isn't overwhelming and there is virtually no heat on the nose or in the mouth.  Simply fantastic.

About Borra Vineyards:
Stephen J. Borra began making wine for his family in 1967, and the results were quite good.  After nearly a decade of success, Steve formally started Borra Vineyards.  The winery was bonded in 1975, producing Barbera and Carignane wines from their grapes in Lodi.  The desire to grow grapes and produce wine now runs four generations deep on both sides of the Borra family with a passion that seems to grow stronger with each new era.

ABV:  14.0%
AVA:  Lodi
Cases Produced:  96
Retail Price:  $35.00
Score:  94

2007 Borra Vineyards 47.5 Degree Syrah

This 100% Syrah is a very dark red and purple streaked wine with bountiful aromas of plum, pork fat, leather, blackberry and molasses cookie.  With some swirling these aromas reach right to your core and create a mouthwatering experiece even before your first taste.  Once on the palate, you experience dark and red fruits and a nice raspberry and blackberry jam combination.  There is a smokiness to the pork fat now that combines with fit, vanilla creme and licorice.  There is a feel of fine leather in the glass and on the nose towards the back end of this scrumptuous wine.  This wine opens up very nicely with some time in the glass and provides a very big lingering finish.

About Borra Vineyards:
Borra Vineyards traces its roots in Lodi back three generations, and the roots go even further back to a small town in Italy.  Stephen J. Borra is owner and winemaker for Borra Vineyards, but the foundation of the winery goes back a hundred years ago to his maternal grandfather.  Over a century ago, Steve’s grandfather Giuseppe Manassero embarked on a journey from Carrú, Italy, to begin a new life.  He made his way to Lodi, California, where he set out to create something that reminded him of la dolce vita in Italy.  And with Italy as his muse, he planted the grapevine cuttings for what was to become a beloved family tradition that has grown into the family business.

ABV:  14.9%
AVA:  Clements Hill, Lodi
Cases Produced:  200
Retail Price:  $35.00
Score:  93

2008 Cubanisimo Estate Pinot Noir

The 2008 Estate Pinot Noir from Cubanisimo Vineyards is lively, fun and well rounded.  Medium red in the glass, it boasts aromas of blackberry, orange peel, rosemary and green tea.  In the mouth is a medium bodied and flavorful expression of cherry, strawberry, mushroom and rose petals which combine to leave you with a long lasting and favorable impression of this 100% estate grown fruit Pinot Noir.  There is good balance now, but I anticipate another year or two of bottle age will develop it further. 

About Cubanisimo Vineyards:
The vineyards face southeast from a 650 foot elevation and have sweeping views of Oregon’s wine rich Willamette Valley. Initially in 1991, eight acres of Pommard grapes were planted on Jory and Nekia soils of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. We planted two more acres of Pinot clones (115 & 777), on rootstock (101-14) in 2001 and we planted 2.5 acres of Pinot Gris in 2007. Early harvests provided grapes for King Estate, Erath and Evesham Wood. In 2003, Cubanisimo started producing estate wines with 540 cases produced.

ABV:  13.0%
AVA:  Williamette Valley
Retail Price:  $30.00
Score:  90

2007 Methven Family Vineyards Reseve Pinot Noir

The 2007 vintage Reserve Pinot Noir from Methven Family Vineyards offers a lighter bodied bright red wine with aromas of strawberry, cranberry and earth.  In the mouth are red fruits, damp earth, young oak, sassafras and milk chocolate.  This wine opens up remarkably after some time in the decanter, which is where young wines should be.  The acid in this wine integrates nicely with the fruit and helps provide you with a long and memorable finish.

About Methven Family Vineyards:
Allen and Jill Methven’s family spans the United States with ties in Michigan, Texas, California, New York, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska but their heart exists in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. It is here, near their home in the Eola Hills, that they have planted vineyards dedicated to the grapes that have made this area famous…Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. From these meticulously tended vines, some of Oregon’s finest wines are being crafted in extremely small lots, each hand selected for quality.

ABV:  13.5%
AVA:  Williamette Valley
Retail Price:  $55.00
Score:  89

2009 Naked Winery Sugar Daddy Muscat

Yes, you're reading this correctly - Naked Winery!  The 2009 Sugar Daddy Muscat is one of the winery's most popular wines and it is easy to understand why.  For the wine drinker who prefers a sweeter appertif it is right up their alley, but not so overly sweet that a traditionally non-white drinker can enjoy it too.  The wine is a beautiful straw color and a crisp and refreshing blend of white peaches, pear and bread dough on the nose and in the mouth.  Add some nutmeg and cooked apples and you have the making of a very nice tasting wine that works best when served well chilled.  The finish is clean and crisp. 

About Naked Winery:
Naked Winery has facilities in Oregon and Washington.  They invite everyone to "get Naked" with their tempting wine labels that include:  Penetration Cab, Vixen Syrah, Naughty Chardonnay and many others.  Check out their fun web site today.

ABV:  11.5%
AVA:  Columbia Valley, WA
Retail Price:  $24.00
Score:  88

2008 Calera Ryan Vineyard Mt Harlan Pinot Noir

The 2008 Ryan Vineyard Mt Harlan Pinot Noir from Calera has it all - looks, flavors, finesse, and the ability to hang for awhile.  This garnet colored wine immediately strikes a chord with the energetic yet well restrained aromas of black and red cherries, black currant, cranberry and damp earth.  In the mouth is a well structured flavor combination of strawberry rhubarb pie, vanilla custard, cinnamon stick, and an inkling of some delicious mineral characteristics.  This is a Pinot Noir lover's wine and one that should be enjoyed over a delicious meal with friends.

About Calera Wine Company:
In 1975, Josh planted his first 24 acres of pinot noir in three separate parcels. In the Burgundian tradition, he named each parcel individually to emphasize the fact that each would produce a distinct wine. The original plantings are the Selleck Vineyard (5 acres), Reed Vineyard (5 acres), and Jensen Vineyard (14 acres). These vineyards produced their initial tiny crop in 1978.  Josh purchased a neighboring 300 acres of the limestone laden mountain in 1982. When he planted 2 acres of viognier on its slopes in 1983, he was one of California's first winemakers to explore this variety.

ABV:  14.9%
AVA:  Mt Harlan
Cases Produced:  972
Retail Price:  $40.00
Score:  94

2008 Calera Pinot Noir Central Coast

The 2008 Calera Pinot Noir is a blend of fruits from the Central Coast.  The stunning red and scarlet colors invite you in as do the distinctive aromas of cherries, strawberry, cola and earth.  In the mouth is an incredibly silky wine with rich flavors of strawberry, cherry, orange peel, cassis and sweet wood.  This Pinot Noir has characteristic, flavor and quality that you would find in a small lot single vineyard Pinot, but without the price tag.  The tannins are very fine and integrated and the finish is smooth and subtle.  Best enjoyed before 2014.

About Calera Wine Company:
Josh Jensen's winemaker mentors in Burgundy were adamant that pinot noir and chardonnay must be grown in limestone-rich soils, as present in the Côtes d’Or, to make great wines. Upon his return from France in 1971 he spent two years searching throughout California to find limestone before finally purchasing, in early 1974, a high-elevation parcel with a limestone deposit of several million tons. Located 90 miles south of San Francisco and about 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, it is near Mt. Harlan in San Benito County. Its elevation is 2,200 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest and coldest vineyard properties in California.

ABV:  14.4%
AVA:  Central Coast
Cases Produced:  12672
Retail Price:  $24.00
Score:  93

2007 R&B Cellars Swingsville Zinfandel

The 2007 Swingsville Zinfandel from R&B Cellars is a true testament that fantastic wine doesn't have to cost a fortune.  At just $12US retail, this wine would give any Zinfandel thrice its price a real run for its money.  This wine is cranberry in color and has lifting aromas of blackberry cobbler, cherry, tobacco and pepper.  In the mouth you get a medium spicy wine that has plentiful flavors of the red and black fruits, sweet wood and strawberry.  This wine is very rich and has that "make you feel good" quality about it.  Extremely versatile with about any beef dish, this Zinfandel is one that you won't soon forget.  91% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah.

About R&B Cellars:
R&B Cellars is Alameda's largest family-owned winery. It is part of the burgeoning East Bay urban wine scene and is a member of the illustrious East Bay Vintners Alliance, a group of 22 outstanding urban wineries in the East Bay. R&B's core mission has been to create high quality wines that deliver tremendous value to the consumer. Since 1997, winemaker Kevin Brown has taken a detail-oriented and labor-intensive approach to crafting the highest quality wines. Each of the winery's varietals, having earned 90+ point scores and numerous accolades across the country, has helped to set R&B Cellars apart from the traditional players in the marketplace.

ABV:  14.8%
AVA:  Lodi
Cases Produced:  8125
Retail Price:  $12.00
Score:  92

2007 Calcareous Vineyard Tres Violet

The 2007 vintage Tres Violet from Calcareous Vineyard is a red blend that consists of 58% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 12% Mourvedre wines.  This wine is incredibly dark in the glass and bursting with aromas of mature plums, blackberry, fig and cinnamon.  In the mouth is a very full and rich wine that coats the mouth with a glycerin feel and flavors that include dark cherry, blackberry, strawberry, honey, and clove.  The three varietals blend beautifully and create a sweeter finish with polished tannins and a finish that will keep this wine on your mind for a long time.  Delicious!

About Calcareous Vineyard:
Calcareous Vineyards is located on Peachy Canyon Road in the Westside hills of Paso Robles, California. Established in 2000, Calcareous Vineyards is a 442-acre estate that begins about one mile to the west of town and stretches for several miles towards the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  The expanse of this land offers many opportunities for optimal vineyard sites and varietal selections.

ABV:  14.8%
AVA:  Paso Robles
Cases Produced:  840
Retail Price:  $38.00
Score:  91

2009 Riverbench Pinot Noir

When one thinks Pinot Noir, usually Oregon is your first thought.  But here is a stunning California Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley that will turn some heads.  This bright red wine may appear a bit thin at first, but with some air time in the glass or decanter, you're going to reward yourself with a stunner.  The aromas are fantastic with fresh strawberries, raspberry preserves and a welcoming funky mushroom earthiness that is reminiscent of fine Bordeaux.  All of those aromas come through in the flavors, combined with dark cherries, flint and just a hint of oak and you have a killer wine here.  Incredibly fine grained tannins help create a smooth and polished lingering finish.

About Riverbench Winery:
Riverbench Vineyard was established in 1973, when its first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were planted on the property. For years since then, some of the most renowned wineries in Santa Barbara County have purchased our fruit for their own wines. Over time Riverbench has become a prominent name for high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Santa Maria Valley.

ABV:  13.6%
AVA:  Santa Maria Valley
Cases Produced:  365
Retail Price:  $28.00
Score:  92