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Saturday, September 17, 2011

2009 Mandolin Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast


September 17, 2011
This 100% Cabernet is a straightforward good value wine that is easy on the wallet.  Deep red color with aromas of plum, cherry and cigar wrapper.  In the mouth is a medium bodied wine that presents flavors of cherry, red and blackcurrant, hints of vanilla and light oak.  The acidity provides a finish that is pleasing to the palate.  Drink within 2 - 4 years for best enjoyment.

About Mandolin Vintners:
Mandolin is a collaboration between veteran winemaker Philip Zorn and longtime wine executive Brent Shortridge.  Mandolin wines are internationally recognized as outstanding values.

ABV:  14.0%
AVA:  Cental Coast

Cases Produced:  1,667
Retail Price:  $12.00
Score:  88

www.mandolinwines.com

2009 Mandolin Syrah Cental Coast


September 17, 2011
What I like about wines like this is the amount of value you get in the bottle.  Here is a 100% Syrah that has wonderful familiary Syrah aromas of blackberries, pepper and vanilla.  The flavors are the same with additions of nutmeg, light toast a kiss of cinnamon.  The wine finishes very smooth and is a perfect pairing for hearty chili or barbeque. 

About Mandolin Vintners:
Mandolin currently produces Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes sourced from Monterey County, CA.

ABV:  14.0%
AVA:  Central Coast
Cases Produced:  418
Retail Price:  $10.00
Score:  87

www.mandolinwines.com

2009 Vin Parfait Red Wine


September 17, 2011
The 2009 Vin Parfait California Red Wine is a blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Zinfandel, 13% Syrah, 11% Petite Sirah and 6% Merlot.  Plum skin in color, red berries and cherry dominate the nose with a smackling of oak and vanilla.  In the mouth is a medium bodied wine that presents black and red raspberries, spice and vanilla.  The finish is brief but the wine is memorable.  This wine is a great girls night out pleaser!

About Vin Parfait:
Want to find out more about the Vin Parfait wines?  Click HERE to access their Facebook page.

ABV:  13.9%
Appellation:  California
Retail Price:  $13.99
Score:  86

www.vinparfait.com

2009 Vin Parfait Chardonnay


September 17, 2011
Pale yellow in the glass, this wine is very fragrant of honeydew, warm vanilla, baked apple and spring flowers.  In the mouth is a light to medium bodied crisp flavor combination of apple, pear, buttery oak and vanilla.  This wine is framed well by the zesty acidity and could be considered your every day drinker.  It is very enjoyable and should be readily available.  The blend is 95.5% Chardonnay, 3% Riesling and 1.5% Muscat.

About Vin Parfait:
Vin Parfait was created to target fun, sophisticated young women looking for the perfect treat.  The wines are sold at Target stores nationwide.

ABV:  13.9%
Appellation:  California
Retail Price:  $13.99
Score:  85

www.vinparfait.com

2009 Solitude Wines Chadonnay Carneros


September 17, 2011
Bright golden in the glass, this Chardonnay presents aromas of pear, lemon zest, coconut and floral notes.  The wine is not heavy and has a very smooth feel on the palate with noticeable acidity.  The well integrated flavors of pear, peach, fig and honeysuckle provide layers of enjoyment in a drier style of Chardonnay that will accompany many styles of food.

About Solitude Wines:
The 2009 Carneros Chardonnay is the twenty-second vintage from winemaker and founder Richard Litsch.  His wines have developed a reputation for being consistently good at a very fair price.

ABV:  14.2%
AVA:  Carneros
Cases Produced:  3,180
Retail Price:  $29.00
Score:  91

www.solitudewines.com

2007 Sodaro Estate Blend Red Wine


September 17, 2011
The 2007 Sodaro Estate Winery Estate Blend is a smart combination of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 27% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot.  Dark purple in color with hints of black, this wine is incredibly fragrant with black and red raspberries, plum, cherry tobacco, fresh picked herbs, blackcurrant and leather.  There is a lot going on here and the nose is nearly paralleled by the flavor profile.  This wine has a full bodied feel, but not heavy due to the round and polished tannins which provide for a very long and satisfying finish. 

About Sodaro Estate Winery:
You can connect with Sodaro Estate Winery on Facebook!  Click HERE to find out more about their vision and their wines.

ABV:  14.5%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  375
Retail Price:  $65.00
Score:  94

www.sodarowines.com

2007 Sodaro Felicity Cabernet Sauvignon


September 17, 2011
The 2007 Felicity Cabernet Sauvignon from Sodaro Estate Winery is a wonderfully rich and focused deep garnet colored wine with definitive raspberry, black cherry, mocha and cedar notes.  On the palate is a smooth and subtle wine that focuses on the fruit flavors but brings the mocha on board, joined by allspice, vanilla and tobacco leaf.  The tannins are well integrated and provide a solid backbone for a wine that can be enjoyed now or for the next 12 -15 years.  This wine is a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.

About Sodaro Estate Winery:
Founder Don Sodaro's grandfather Guiseppe Sodaro was a barrel cooper in Italy before coming to America.  The Sodaro Estate Winery honors and continues a family legacy of passion for and dedication to wine as a complement to life.

ABV:  14.5%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  1,097
Retail Price:  $40.00
Score:  91

www.sodarowines.com

2005 Chateau Routon Mourvedre


September 17, 2011
The 2005 Chateau Routon Winery Mourvedre is deep garnet colored wine that is full of cherry, rich chocolate, cinnamon and black pepper.  This wine is rich in color and flavor and the nose also contains some faint herbal qualities that add to the appeal.  The back of the palate presents a sweetness of the above flavors combined with sweet wood and the finish is very smooth.  This wine is drinking very well right now and should for the next 3-5 years.

About Chateau Routon Winery;Nestled in the heart of the California gold country, the Chateau Routon Winery is located in the Foothills of Southern El Dorado County within the Fair Play Viticultural area. 

ABV:  14.5%
Appellation:  California
Retail Price:  $22.00
Score:  89

www.chateaurouton.com

2009 Simi Winery Pinot Noir


September 17, 2011
The 2009 Pinot Noir from Simi Winery is ruby red in color and has an abundant of aromas pouring from the glass.  Raspberry, cranberry, pound cake, plum and violet are in the forefront, but after time in the decanter, toasty vanilla was present.  Decanted for one hour.  This wine is as smooth as velvet and the micro tannins are almost non-existent.  Black cherry, spices, vanilla and plum play their parts in the flavor profile, combined with just the slightest drop of mocha near the finish.  Fine example of a California Pinot Noir that won't break the bank.

About Simi Winery:
Simi Winery was founded in 1876 in San Francisco, CA by brothers Giuseppe and Pietro Simi.  They moved the winery to Healdsburg, CA in 1881 and the winery creates fine wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir.

ABV:  14.5%
Appellation:  Sonoma County
Cases Produced:  12,500
Retail Price:  $23.99
Score:  90

www.simiwinery.com

2010 Simi Winery Sauvignon Blanc


September 17, 2011
Simi Winery's 2010 Sauvignon Blanc is a tasty light wine that pairs well with lighter fare.  Pale straw color with a blue-green edge, lifting aromas of lime, pineapple, grapefruit, spring floral boquet, apple and mineral combine for a delightful and expressful combination of solid Sauvignon Blanc.  Straightforward flavors of lime, grapefruit, tea and guava are joined with mineral undertones for a crisp and clean finish with a hint of sweetness.  Readily available and at a great price.  This is a great fall campfire wine!

About Simi Winery:
Simi Winery, located in Healdsburg, CA opened its Landslide Terrace Pizza Kitchen earlier this year, and it will remain open through the fall.  This pizza kitchen offers winery visitors an opportunity to experience authentic artisanal pizzas that feature fresh farm ingredients by Chef Eric Lee. 

ABV:  13.5%
Appellation:  Sonoma County
Cases Produced:  59,591
Retail Price:  $13.99
Score:  88

www.simiwinery.com

2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz


September 17, 2011
The 2010 Velvet Glove Shiraz from Mollydooker is their flagship wine, providing the end user with the highest rating of Marquis Fruit Weight available.  Sparky told me that the 2010 Velvet Glove has a 96% Fruit Weight, and this wine is truly a masterpiece.  If you have never experienced Shiraz, don't start with this one!  All others will pale in comparison.  Work your way up to this bottle; you'll know you've hit mecca.  I thought the 2009 was wonderful, but the 2010 is phenomenal.  Black as night in the glass, this wine has a lot in the flavor profile.  Spicy plum, blackberry syrup, ripe red raspberry, mocha, gently toasted oak, and touches of roasted meat and asphalt.  The wine glides effortlessly in the mouth to the back of the palate, awakening your taste buds with incredible fruit flavors and gentle reminders of vanilla, mild pepper, sweet spices and oak.  The tannins are incredibly fine and this wine is silky smooth with polished edges and the right amount of lively acidity for a finish that will leave you wanting more.  If ever there was a perfect Shiraz this is it.

About Mollydooker Wines:
Did you hear about the 'Label our Lefty' Contest?  The new Sparkling Shiraz will be called Miss Molly after a worldwide search/contest!  We can't wait to meet her!

ABV:  15.5%
Appellation:  South Australia
Cases Produced:  1386*
Retail Price:  $185.00
Score:  100

*Approximately 1/3 of this number (462 cases) were damaged during a forklift accident while getting ready for export.

http://www.mollydookerwines.com.au/
http://www.mollydookerwines.com/

2010 Mollydooker Gigglepot Cabernet Sauvignon


September 17, 2011
I had the pleasure of tasting through the complete 2010 lineup of Mollydooker wines this week and the 2010 vintage is nothing short of extraordinary.  The 2010 Gigglepot is nearly black in the glass and completely focused on providing you with a lively display of fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon.  Rarely do you find a Cabernet anywhere in the world this young that is ready to drink, but this one is ready to pop and pour now, but you can certainly put this one back for years of enjoyment as well.  The nose is a display of ripe and juicy fruits - blackberry and plum - and clove adds to the sweet aroma you get with some swirling.  Spices and dried herbs are abundant and round out the mouth watering sneak peak of what is to come.  In the mouth is ripe dark fruits that explode with flavor, joined by medium oak, warm vanilla and sage.  This is one of my favorite 2010 Mollydooker wines!

About Mollydooker Wines:
Have you ever wanted to meet Sparky Marquis, half of the energetic winemaking husband and wife team at Mollydooker?  Check out their web site for the winemaker dates in the United States.  (It is a fantastic time!)

ABV:  15.5%
Appellation:  South Australia
Retail Price:  $49.00
Score:  94

www.mollydookerwines.com.au
www.mollydookerwines.com

2008 Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley


September 17, 2011
Dark, almost opaque purple in the glass, this Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits blackberry, spring violet, mineral, leather and pencil lead on the nose.  In the mouth is a lush and flavorful combination of blackberry, plum, soy sauce, and spices.  Flavors are balanced and the wine is wrapped up in a tight package.  This wine will continue to develop and soften around the edges for the next few years and will be enjoyable for the next 15.  Comprised of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc.

About Abeja:
Check out the Abeja web site to find out about the winery, the wines, and the inn.

ABV:  14.9%
AVA:  Columbia Valley
Retail Price:  $40.00
Score:  90

www.abeja.net/winery/

2009 Abeja Washington State Chardonnay


September 17, 2011
This Washington state Chardonnay from Abeja is a delicious dinner wine or a solo drinker.  This wine marries a wide variety of fruit and supporting flavors and is a beautiful golden straw color in the glass.  The nose lifts up aromas of spiced pear, peach and lemon candy.  When the wine sits in the glass and is brought up a few degrees in temperature, additional aromas of nutmeg, butterscotch and warm vanilla follow suit.  In the mouth is a voluptuous palate pleasing wine with flavors of the tropical fruits, butterscotch and moderately sweet spices.  If this wine was a woman you'd definitely call her sexy!  Drink now or for the next 5 years.

About Abeja:
Abeja is Spanish for the word "bee", which parially describes this winery's respect for nature and the land that they work.  Winemaker John Abbott consistently produces highly rated Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Washington.

ABV:  14.2%
Appellation:  Washington
Retail Price:  $35.00
Score:  93

www.abeja.net/winery/

2007 Peter Franus Napa Valley Merlot


September 17, 2011
I enjoy a good Merlot.  And I love Peter Franus' wines, so I assumed this would be a great marriage, and it is.  The 2007 Merlot from Peter Franus a pleasing fruit forward wine that exhibits a nose of black cherry, mocha, herbs and just a hint of flint.  In the mouth is a sexy and flavorful wine that blends black cherries, spices, wisps of mineral and toasted oak.  Medium bodied and well rounded light tannins help bring this package together and it will put a smile on your face.

About Peter Franus:
Do you love Peter Franus wines?  Share you experience and pictures with them.  Click on SHARE YOUR PICS to send your pictures and thoughts to Peter!

ABV:  14.9%
AVA:  Napa Valley
Retail Price:  $30.00
Score:  90

www.peterfranus.com

2007 Peter Franus Red Hills Lake County Red Wine


September 17, 2011
2007 vintage wines from California are just hard to beat.  And from what I've experienced so far, any wine from Peter Franus is a winner.  The 2007 Red Hills Lake County Red Wine blend is another great example of the incredibly style and talents of this wine maker.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre with concentrated flavors and one you can enjoy now or the next 5+ years.  Deep purple in the glass, this wine offers a lot on the nose - blackberry, blueberry, clove, dried spices and bacon drippings.  In the mouth is a lively and alluring wine that pulls you in with the  powerful berry fruit, spiciness and hints of floral undertones.  I don't know what the percentages of the three varietals are in the bottle, but they hit a home run.  This wine is incredibly good and can be enjoyed now or for a good 8 - 10 years.

About Peter Franus:
The vineyards that produce this wine are located 3000 feet above sea level and according to Peter Franus, are some of the most beautiful and peaceful vineyard sites he has ever worked with.  The elevation of these sites allow for an incredible temperature variation between day and night, resulting in grapes with incredible flavor and colors.

ABV:  14.6%
AVA:  Red Hills Lake County
Cases Produced:  70
Retail Price:  $28.00
Score:  93

www.peterfranus.com

2008 Alante Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Picture taken from 2006 Alante Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

September 17, 2011
The 2008 Alante Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a Cabernet lover's wine.  This gorgeous dark red wine is regal in nature and 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine opens with black cherry, ripe plum, black currant, spice, clove and toasty oak.  If the aromas weren't mouth watering enough, the real enjoyment begins when the flavors of black cherry, black raspberry, cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate hit your palate.  This is a fine example of Napa Valley Cabernet, and the mouth coating wine features an incredibly long and lovely finish.  Towards the back of the palate you experience distint mineral and spicy undertones and tannins that are incredibly smooth and fine.  Approachable now and should withstand the test of time for nearly 2 decades.

About Alante Vineyard:
Alante Vineyard winemaker Paul Colantuoni is the son of Italian parents and a citizen of both the United States and Belgium.  Paul joined the Alante team and has worked with other prestgious wineries in California, France and Italy.

ABV:  14.9%
Appellation:  Napa Valley
Cases Produced:  239
Retail Price:  $74.00
Score:  95

2009 Rosa D'Oro Arneis

September 17, 2011
Arneis means 'little rascal' because of its challenge to grow this grape varietal.  The 2009 Rosa D'Oro Arneis is their first harvest and they are really onto something.  The wine is a simple and enjoyable Italian dessert style of wine that has a wonderful aroma of pear, straw and apricot on the nose.  In the mouth is a medium bodied moderately crisp wine with flavors of pear, honey, Macadamia nuts, and apricot preserves.  Beautiful golden color and a very smooth finish. 

About Rosa D'Oro:
Do you Tweet?  If so, you can click HERE to follow Rosa D'Oro Vineyards on Twitter!

ABV:  12.8%
AVA:  Dunnigan Hills
Cases Produced:  40
Retail Price:  $18.00
Score:  88

www.rosadorowine.com

2009 Rosa D'Oro Barbera


September 17, 2011
If you're looking for an inviting red wine, both in taste and value, you should consider the 2009 Rosa D'Oro Barbera.  Barbera is traditionally Italian, but this wine has some new world west coast flavors thrown in, creating an amazingly approachable and versatile wine.  Black cherry, raspberry and mineral on the nose. In the mouth is a very juicy and flavorful combination of the raspberry and cherry, along with cranberry and herbs.  Hints of oak and very fine tannins complete the sensory experience and you can serve this wine with a wide variety of foods.  Amazing juice!

About Rosa D'Oro:
You can click HERE to connect with Rosa D'Oro Vineyards on Facebook!

ABV:  13.8%
AVA:  Clear Lake
Cases Produced:  209
Retail Price:  $20.00
Score:  96

www.rosadorowine.com

2009 Rosa D'Oro Sangiovese


September 17, 2011
The 2009 Rosa D'Oro Sangiovese is an atypical Italian varietal that is a real winner with not only Italian food, but most spicy cuisine as well.  Light bodied and light red with hints of gold, this wine presents cherry cola and spices on the nose.  On the palate is a blend of black cherry, strawberry, bay leaf and focused acidity.  This wine spent 11 months in barrel, providing just a small hint of oak.  Delicious.

About Rosa D'Oro:
In addition to producing old-world Italian wines, Rosa D'Oro also produces their own varietal wine vinegars and extra virgin olive oil from their own estate grown trees.

ABV:  13.5%
AVA:  Clear Lake
Cases Produced:  212
Retail Price:  $20.00
Score:  90

www.rosadorowine.com

2009 Rosa D'Oro Primitivo


September 17, 2011
The 2009 Primitivo from Rosa D'Oro is a flavor packed full bodied red wine with dominating red berry fruit.  Primitivo is Zinfandel's first cousin, and this wine exhibits a lot of delicious ripe red fruit, fine tannins, dried herb and some fresh earth.  A bit thinner than Zinfandel, but incredibly tasty with a very long and memorable finish.  Don't let the 16.1% ABV dissuade you from trying this one.  The 11 months in barrel keeps this wine well in check and there is virtually no heat in the mouth, just a ton of flavor.  Low production and an incredibly fair price are also part of the appeal of this wine.

About Rosa D'Oro
Rosa D'Oro has been growing premium wine grapes in California for nearly 60 years.  They focus on the production of old-world Italian wines of the highest quality made from their own vineyards. 

ABV:  16.1%
AVA:  Clear Lake
Cases Produced:  215
Retail Price:  $20.00
Score:  91

www.rosadorowine.com