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Saturday, September 25, 2010

2005 Mas Des Bressades Cabernet-Syrah Vin de Pays Du Gard

We had this at a tasting a fair number of years back and were big fans so we snagged two bottles. About a year and a half ago we opened one and it was awful - imagine half Cabernet, half Listerine - even after many hours of air it was undrinkable. I decided it would be best to wait a while and see what happens with the second bottle. Here we go again, this time blind....

Cedar, strawberry, earth on the nose.

If this wine were a bear, his name would be smokey. The palate brings tobacco, cedar, cherry, blackberry. Nice acid, fuzzy tannins, good fruit, earth, and spice balance.

Everything's good, but the finish gets a bit weird - green spices overwhelm. Basil, oregano, mint, all with a bit of green bell pepper.

The finish bugs me - while not enough to ruin the wine, certainly enough to knock a few points off. Serve with food - red sauced pasta and sausage (braised in this same wine perhaps?) - and you should be set. If I had another bottle I might sit on it for a while. Not bad for $11.

Score: 86

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tweet and Taste Michigan - Thursday, October 7

It is true, there is another Tweet and Taste coming up on Thursday October 7. Complete details can be found over here at

An array of wine bloggers and the like will be tasting three wines from Silver Creek Winery in Michigan, up there on the Leelanau Peninsula near Traverse City. The wines on the agenda are:

Silver Leaf Pinot Gris
Silver Leaf Dry Riesling
Silver Leaf Purple Foot

Purple Foot is, I believe, Blaufrankisch, an interesting varietal that showed very nicely from a couple T&T's back in a bottle from Shady Lanes.

The basics - on Thursday, October 7 at 7 pm CST, you jump onto Twitter and search #ttmi, that's the hashtag you use to follow the, you will get updates from everyone talking about the wines whether you follow them or not. (Are you following The Wineauxs, by the way?) Posts literally go up every few seconds, so it's interesting how things pan out. Because it all moves so fast, you get very real immediate opinions of people, many posts here can come together over the course of a few hours, so when put on the spot strange comments come out.

If Twitter doesn't quite work for you, you can try logging into Tweetchat, which I think is easier to read in realtime.

AND FINALLY, if none of this appeals to you, make sure you log onto The Wineauxs by midnight or so that night, full detailed reviews of each wine will be posted up here, scores and all. Michigan by the Bottle will also have a roundup in the following days - they usually do a good video round up where they discuss each wine and highlight some tweets.

In a couple days I hope to have an offer up here for discounted shipping - so stay tuned, snag a few bottles, and drink and post along, everyone is welcome to participate.

Enormous thanks and much respect go to Shannon and Cortney from Michigan by the Bottle for putting this all together. Become a fan of theirs on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, download the video podcast - they are one of the best wine sites out there and one of the few I read regularly.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2006 Layer Cake Shiraz

This goes for about fifteen bucks retail and previous vintages have been outstanding. Let's see how the 2006 does.

Mocha and plum on the nose.

If you want a beautifully made Shiraz, this is it. Coffee, chocolate, plum, black cherry, blueberry, a dash of root beer concentrate - big, fruity, not much for tannins, but acid is present, a bit of earth and spice give it nice balance. Mid palate brings strawberry and vanilla.

A soda like finish - root beer and cola notes - brown spices as well.

If you are firmly against fruit bombs, this may not sway you but it's still worth trying. It's well made, has very nice depth, and best of all, an obscene value.

Score: 92

Sunday, September 19, 2010

N/V Henry-Detaly Champagne

This was nineteen bucks at Trader Joe's - an authentic Champagne for under twenty bucks? How could I not buy one?

Vanilla, caramel, and pear on the nose.

Caramel and orange - an odd sounding combination, but since it's not, you know, really orange and caramel, it works. I'd call this more than a bit sweet - certainly more of an extra dry. A tad yeasty, a bit of red apple, and a bit of a tangerine thing. Not bad.

Definite residual sweetness on the finish with some toasty qualities perhaps slathered with some marmalade.

While it's a fairly tasty wine and one of the cheaper Champagnes out there, you can do much better outside of the Champagne region - be it other parts of France, Spain, California, or - yep - Michigan.

Score: 85

Sunday, September 12, 2010

N/V M Lawrence Wet

This is a $15 bottle from L Mawby up in Michigan. The M Lawrence line are all wines with the secondary fermentation done in vats instead of the traditional way. They're also nearly uniformly solid...let's see what this one brings.

The nose has the softness of golden apple but just a faintest bite of green.

Apple is the dominant quality here. Mostly the tart, green apple varieties. The acid has a nice balance, a lot of times green apple implies sharp acid, but it's well integrated here. A touch of sweetness - while this is a sec it feels drier than many Bruts I've had. The best part of L Mawby's cheaper offerings is that even if they are simple and more of a quaffable style, they have none of the flaws you see in cheaper sparklers from other areas (an often metallic kind of quality as well as an unpleasant oily mouthfeel). Light, crisp, tasty.

Yep, more crisp apple and pear qualities on the finish.

Not bad at all. I'd buy it again.

Score: 88

Saturday, September 04, 2010

2006 Marilyn Merlot

This retails for around $27, though if you go to their website it's selling for a whopping forty bucks a bottle.

Fresh green spices, black licorice, cedar, and cherry on the nose.

Black cherry, mint, menthol, cedar, fresh green spice - vaguely cough syrup like. A bit thicker in body, very gentle tannins, just a touch of sweetness, but really quite balanced.

Brown spices, a bit of fresh red bell pepper, and a dash of menthol on the finish.

For a 'gimmick' wine this is pretty good. For a $40 wine, it's not. If I found this for under $20, I could see snagging another bottle.

Score: 87