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Saturday, June 30, 2007

2005 Mollydooker The Boxer Shiraz

Well, it's great to be back – The Wineauxs have been on hiatus for close to two months. We moved and have slowly been settling in. Our updates will be back to their typical frequency – at least a couple times a week – and we have a whole wine fridge full of interesting bottles we look forward to writing about.

I've been sitting on this bottle for a while, mainly because I love the label art. Since I recently picked up a bottle of the 2006 vintage I figured I may as well crack this one open.

A note on color – I don't recall seeing a wine this dark's nearly black.

This one punches you in the nose with jam, dark plum, blackberry, and the like.

The palate can best be described as explosive. Huge berry and plum, a touch of alcohol, jam to the tenth degree, and some cocoa supporting it all. After some time in the decanter, dark chocolate became very pronounced. Virtually no tannin.

The finish lingers with, no shock, black fruit and chocolate.

I suspect this is a fairly polarizing wine – people who like this sort of thing would be in love with this, but if giant, jammy, fruit bomb doesn't sound appealing then I'd say steer clear. A while back we gushed about an Australian Shiraz called Layer Cake – this is on par with that one for sure. If you can find this one, give it a shot.

2004 Ditka's Da Coach Merlot

I found this one for $9 and figured since Ditka's Pinot Grigio wasn't that bad, perhaps this would be worth a shot.

Cherry, but mainly black pepper on the nose.

The palate is mainly cherry, a bit of blackberry, some pepper, and spice and a nice zing of acid. If this is not the lightest bodied Merlot we've had, it's certainly up there – it's almost more of a Pinot Noir body.

There's really not much in the finish other than lingering tannin and just a bit of cherry.

Ditka's wines are shockingly good, no offense to da coach. This is a solid, smooth wine – nothing complicated, but for $9 it works well.

2001 Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico

While we've had plenty of lower end Chianti, I don't remember ever even trying a higher end one. I was poking around our local Costco and noticed this one for just under $30 so I jumped on it since it has received strong reviews.

Earth and oak on the nose, a bit of cherry, some plum, and a lot of that Italian funk.

A bit of strawberry, some nice smooth tannin, a whole lot of earth and funk, some anise, some oak, some smoke, and a hint of dried black fruit – prune or raisin, a bit of barbecue sauce, and some cherry – tart and dried – as well.

This wine has a finish and a half. It starts with strawberry, fades with some tobacco, and oak notes linger for well over a minute.

An excellent wine and one I'd recommend to fans of Chianti. We like the cheaper stuff so this splurge was a nice change of pace – a bigger, denser, and deeper change of pace that I very much enjoyed but certainly wouldn't want to just randomly crack open. If you're having a special Italian dinner, skip the Gabbiano and grab something like this.

2006 Menage a Trois Rose

It's hot and sticky which means I grabbed a rose. We've had this one for a while and I think I paid around $9.

A bit of strawberry and a touch of cinnamon on the nose.

The palate is actually a bit spicy...actually a slight bit of tannin, cinnamon, some raspberry and cherry. At best this is off dry, definitely not sweet.

The finish actually lingers longer than I'd expect and yes, it's all berries and spice. I just looked at the label and this is a blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Gewurztraminer – the spice is not shocking at all now that I read that.

In a word – spicy. In another word – strange. Not bad at all, if you know roses I'd suggest picking up a bottle, it's certainly unique and quite enjoyable. If you're new to roses – and you're afraid they're all like White Zinfandel, this will smash that stereotype.

N/V Candoni Moscato d'Italia Terre di Chieti

Fran was reading a wine book – I forget which, but some sort of “beginner's guide” of sorts – and in it, the author mentioned that as a very broad rule the more subtle the wine label the more expensive the wine. I present you with this Moscato from Italy that I picked up for $6 on a whim.

A bit of orange on the nose and not much else.

Citrus notes on the palate – orange, grapefruit, some tangerine perhaps. This one has a little bit of fizz that gives it a nice extra dimension. At only 6.5% alcohol, one can indulge in this one.

Not much finish except for some lingering honey-tinged sweetness and maybe, you guessed it, some citrus notes.

For $6, you really can't go wrong. It's a simple, quaffable wine that I can't argue with...great by itself on a hot day, with dessert, or even with spicy food.

2005 Fetzer Valley Oaks Merlot

We recently went to a wine fest and Fetzer had a booth promoting all the environmentally friendly aspects of the winery – using biodiesel, solar power, etc. Being a fan of that sort of thing – and a fan of Fetzer's Gewurz – I felt persuaded to pick up some other varietals and see how they hold up.

The palate has a bit of spice and a whole lot of berry and plum. With only mild tannins, a tiny hint of oak, and a bit of sweetness, I'd be tempted to call it a fruit bomb.

No real finish except for raspberry and perhaps a hint of a chocolate and spice – dare I say, mole?

I paid $6 for this and I pretty much got what I expected – a thoroughly drinkable red that's a bit too sweet on its own, but set me up with a bottle of this and a slice of pizza and I'll be content.

2005 Coppola Sofia Carneros Pinot Noir Rose

We were having some Indian takeout on a nice summer day and I figured I'd grab a bottle of rose. I stopped by a local shop who had very little in terms of rose, so I was stuck with this one for about $9.

Perhaps a bit of earth on the nose.

I get some strawberry, some earth, just a bit of tannin but certainly still smooth. Fruity, but not sweet at all.

Not much finish really.

As with just about all the Coppola wines I've had, it's certainly not bad, a decent wine for the price, but by no means groundbreaking.