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Friday, February 20, 2009

2007 Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc

A somewhat grassy nose – we don't drink much Sauvignon Blanc so this is a thinker to be sure. I feel like there's some coconut and pineapple going on in there as well.

I'm getting more fresh grass on the palate and more tropical fruit – grapefruit, pineapple – and a little bit of green pepper (the vegetable) all with a dash of white pepper (the spice). There's a slight touch of sweetness and a reasonable balance of acid.

The finish is somewhat vegetal – green and yellow bell pepper and even a bit of asparagus. Strange.

I'm probably being generous with my wine rating because I have less experience with SB, but this is certainly an interesting wine.

Wine: 7
Value: Definitely

2005 Mark West Pinot Noir

This was a gift from a neighbor, but I recognize it from stores at selling for more or less ten bucks.

A big nose loaded with black fruit.

On the palate, plum and cassis with some sort of miscellaneous dark berry, like boysen. Fairly one dimensional – flabby, virtually no acid, and very mild tannic structure.

Blue – or some other miscellaneous dark – berry on the finish.

Big, fruity, sweet – nothing varietally correct or terribly interesting here. For a Pinot Noir, this is lousy – for a wine, it's tolerable.

Wine: 4.5
Value: No

Sunday, February 15, 2009

N/V Albero Organic Spanish Sparkling Wine

Those who read this blog with some degree of frequency know we're on a perpetual hunt for decent, cheap sparkling wine. This was five bucks at Trader Joe's and difficult to pass up.

A little bit of lime and slate on the nose.

Rather sweet – if you're not a fan of sparklers because they're too dry, but don't quite want a dessert wine, this may work for you. If you know sparklers and like them dry but want a mildly sweet wine to pair with dessert, this wouldn't be bad either. It's mostly oranges, some orange blossom, and just a bit of pear.

Alright – it's sweet and one dimensional, but there's also nothing “bad” here, nothing funky or unpleasant, which for a $5 sparkler is a gigantic success. It's an easy quaff – perfect for a picnic, with spicy faire, or with a simple dessert

Wine: 5.5
Value: This depends on your perception of my review, if a bit of sugar in a sparkler peeks your interest, I'd say go for it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

2006 Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz

To celebrate post #500, I thought long and hard about what to open – settling on this one. We are fans of Mollydooker's Boxer Shiraz, this one is the “mid-range” offering which goes for around $50, and finally there is a more expensive one (Carnival of Love, I think) which we probably won't be trying anytime soon since I can't imagine dropping $80 on an Australian Shiraz (especially on this economy).

Black cherry on the nose. After a few hours, some spices really start presenting – cinnamon mostly – as well as plenty of earth.

Fairly similar to The Boxer, but less heat overall. Black cherry, blueberry, and vanilla. There's some very solid structure here as well – nice tannic backbone and some mild oak flavors as well. As this opens, some very candylike aspects come through – it almost makes your teeth hurt. Dare I say I get a bit of Dr. Pepper on the back palate and finish? After a few hours in the decanter, some new things pop up: chocolate, toffee, and coffee, with some new earthy and spicy notes.

Blueberry ice cream on the finish with some anise, tobacco, and mocha...just when you think it's gone, a bit of black pepper creeps in.

Thinking back to the 2006 Boxer (which was a disappointment compared to the 2005 and 2007), this is obviously better. Compared to the 2007 Boxer? I'm not convinced. If the quality of the Boxer gives a hint to the quality of this, then I'd be very curious to try the 2007 – but for $50, I certainly can't justify this.

Wine: 8.5
Value: No

Post #499

The next post is #500 – which I find to be pretty insane.

We've had hits from all fifty states plus DC.

We've received hits from, at last count, 53 countries, including some interesting ones: Macau, Samoa, Lebanon, Oman, Singapore, among others. I hope our Singapore visitor didn't get caned.

We've received some nice comments, some pissed off people calling us snobs, some pissed off snobs calling us idiots, some pleasant (and not so pleasant) comments from winemakers, and some excellent recommendations from people about places to visit or bottles to try.

The future will bring more of the same, so I invite you to keep reading. We'll be taking an array of local trips in the coming months to try some wineries throughout the Midwest (suggestions welcome, so please drop a line) and hope to work our way to California at some point.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

N/V Lynfred Winery Vin de City

This is ten bones at the winery and we dug it at a recent tasting, so I snagged a bottle.

Strong raspberry on the nose with some earthy notes as it opens.

Decent acidic backbone, no really tannins, tons of fruit. Black cherry and blackberry with a little bit of chocolate.

Raspberry sticks around for a while.

For what is – a simple, non-vintage pizza wine – this is fine.

Wine: 6
QPR: Yep

Saturday, February 07, 2009

2006 Gabbiano Chianti Classico.

I believe this was $11 at Costco, which is tough to argue with.

Earth and chocolate on the nose.

Smooth drinking – cherry mostly with a bit of blackberry. Not much in terms of tannin but reasonably acidic background. In the 2006 regular Chianti I got some cola notes, and I'm getting them here too with a bit of root beer.

A short finish of earth with a tad of garbage.

While this is fine, I'm not convinced this is worth the extra $4 over the Chianti.

Wine: 6.5
Value: Pass

Sunday, February 01, 2009

2007 Tabor Hill Kerner

You don't see Kerner much – it's a grape from Germany that a couple wineries in Michigan grow - sorta like a Riesling. This winery is in southwest Michigan and one of the few in that area that we felt strongly about.

A pretty bold limey nose.

I'm not sure you'd find this to be much different from most Rieslings – good acidic backbone, a touch of sugar, and mostly stone fruit, mostly peaches though I'm getting some interesting bits of pear.

Lingering peach on the finish with a bit of vanilla.

This may not be the most complex wine on the planet, but it's an extremely enjoyable wine – very easy drinking and

Wine: 7
Value: Absolutely