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Saturday, May 05, 2007

2006 Marco Real Garnacha Rose

I dropped by the local wine shop as I had a hankering for a rose. This one came strongly recommended and was about $12.

A bit of strawberry on the nose.

The palate is a nice blend of strawberry, bing cherry, and just a slightest hint of cinnamon....a nice bit of acid and a touch of sweetness make this nicely balanced.

The finish has a nice spicy zing to it.

I’d put this on the list of my top three favorite roses....strongly recommended.

1996 Lynfred Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

I was browsing a department store and found this labeled $11 - I knew from visiting the winery that this bottle sells for far more at the winery itself - $40 in fact. The capsule felt good so I grabbed it.

Deep plum, ripe black fruit, and oak on the nose.

Mild, smooth tannins, deep black fruit - ultraripe blackberry, plum - actually, prune - dark chocolate, cassis, and a bit of tobacco on the palate. Complex and deep - impressive to say the least, especially coming from Illinois.

The finish has a bit of prune and tobacco.

I gotta say, if I found this again for $11, I'd buy a bunch of it, but if I had $40 to burn I would look elsewhere.

2005 Argyle Pinot Noir

I picked this up for $17 at a local wine shop as I seem to recall reading good things about this producer.

Spice and earth on the nose, not much fruit.

A slight burn, a bit of earth, funk, anise, cherry, and chocolate.

The chocolate is a bit more pronounced on the finish but disappears quickly.

Perfectly acceptable though I can't help but think it's not really worth the pricetag...perhaps if I found it on sale for under $15.

2004 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

We had this one at a tasting a while back and I was so impressed by it I picked up a bottle at $25.

Vanilla on the nose.

Vanilla, oak, tobacco, cherry, and blackberry on the palate with medium tannins.

The finish lingers with some fruit - I’m thinking prune mainly - and fades gently away to tobacco.

Not bad at all, it’s a strong wine and one that I’d recommend even at the price.

2005 Redwood Creek Pinot Noir

I've been seeing this around and figured I'd give it a shot. A 1.5 liter bottle was $9, but I figured I’d just get a standard 750ml for $5.

Raspberry and blueberry on the nose.

The palate has a bit of cherry and wood, and that’s about it. No depth or complexity and only mild tannins.

Just a hint of spice on the finish.

It’s not bad, but there’s nothing really happening - if you want a Pinot Noir avoid this one, if you want a cheap, generic red wine, it’s passable.

2005 Redwood Creek Pinot Grigio

I had another coupon so I picked this one for under $5. I figured it was worth a shot.

A bit of grapefruit, but really not a whole lot on the nose.

The palate brings lime zest, a touch of honey, and a fair amount of white grapefruit.

A lemon-lime finish fades quickly but not before a somewhat astringent unpleasantness takes over.

Probably the worst Pinot Grigio I can recall drinking...still palatable, but there’s no reason to pick this up when there’s so many decent bottles in the same price range.

2004 Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul-de-Pinet Ormarine

This was a special for $6 at a local wine shop and I figured it may be worth a shot.

I get a bit of stone fruit on the nose, Fran smells Lysol (I think it’s a mild citrus scent mixed with alcohol).

Grapefruit, lime zest, mild floral notes, spicy apricot and lots and lots of lemon.

A citrus rind finish lingers for some time.

Truly outstanding, especially at this price....a very nice, crisp, dry white wine that I’d strongly recommend.

2004 X Winery Red Blend

We’ve enjoyed this before at tastings and I found it for $10 so I gave it a shot. I could not figure out how to get a decent that’s the best I could do.

Licorice, vanilla, and cherry on the nose.

Cherry, oak, spice, and a lot of vanilla. This is a big fruity wine with not much in terms of tannins and even has some sweetness.

The finish lingers with distinct and clear cherry vanilla. Very nice.

An excellent wine and an exceptional bargain. Strongly recommended.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

2005 Hartley Ostini Hitching Post St. Rita’s Earth Pinot Noir

I picked up this bottle based on a nice shelf talker and a vaguely sinister logo. At $25, I bought it for a special occasion...Fran’s last day at her old job seems like a good enough one for me.

Oak and raspberry on the nose.

Cherry, oak, berry, and cola on the palate. The tannins are mild to medium and the acid is present but not severe - a great food wine or fine by itself. We had it with salmon steaks but enjoyed most of the bottle alone.

Raspberry, funk, and root beer on the finish.

An excellent Pinot Noir, but of course, it’s not in our day to day price range. Should I find this one on sale I’d pick it up without hesitation.

2004 Red Bicyclette Chardonnay

Yep, another cheap Chardonnay from France. It was on sale and I figured it may be worth a shot.

Apple on the nose.

Some apple, cantaloupe, and grape on the palate, a somewhat buttery mouthfeel.

A generically fruity finish fades quickly.

Not bad at all, but certainly not great, no depth but enjoyable - which is saying a lot from a guy who detests Chardonnay. For a cheap supermarket wine, this isn’t bad.

N/V Cook’s Grand Reserve

We’ve had Cook’s before and I basically felt it was an acceptable drink, in an alcoholic soda sense, but not in a wine sense. I was in the mood for something simple and cheap so I figured I’d pick up a different Cook’s - the

White bread on the nose - really not much of anything.

The palate has some yeast and has something of a 7-Up quality to it though not as sweet.

The only taste on the finish is an odd chemical like mouthfeel.

If you’re throwing a party, you’re on a budget, you want to start it off with sparkling wine, yet you forgot to buy any, the party’s starting in a few minutes, the specialty wine store is closed, and you have to buy something at the grocery story - this will work fine. It’s cheap and it’s too blah to be offensive.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

2005 Jacob’s Creek Shiraz

This was on sale at the local grocery store for about $5 and I figured I’d pick it up since two out of the three cheap Australian Shiraz that I’ve had have been pretty decent.

The nose has a sharp alcohol burn and just a suggestion of plum.

Raspberry, tart blueberry, cherry, anise, some medium tannins, not much oak, and a hint of carob. No spice or any distinct Shiraz elements...which is my frequent gripe with cheap Australian Shiraz - it’s certainly drinkable, but there’s no varietal characteristics.

Zero finish outside of a bit of quickly fading cherry cordial.

After a day, we tried this one again and it was the pretty good except for a very unsettling aftertaste - fecal matter? Not sure but it’s not pretty.

Not bad for a cheap grocery store find as long as you drink it in one sitting. I’d recommend it.