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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2009 Georges DuBoeuf Moulin a Vent Domaine de La Tour Bief

I seem to have misplaced a real photo of this label.... 2009, if you believe the experts, was an excellent year for Beaujolais. Having just tried some 2010 Nouveaus, I figured I should give some love to a Cru. This bottle goes for $14, which puts right on par with the Nouveaus...

Overripe strawberry, plum, mild chocolate, and even milder eucalyptus, but not at all in a harsh way.

A bit tart, a lot of dirt, some cherry, tobacco, a little bit of oak - a big mouthfeel, but everything nicely put together. It's all quite nicely integrated, I'm digging it. As it gets more, it becomes more interesting - a back palate of root beer and vanilla...

Some of that raspberry fruit and leaf thing linger on the finish, with a bit of a chocolatey thing as well.

A solid wine at a fine value...I feel pretty lousy I didn't snag more of these Crus and focus on them instead of the Nouveaus. I may snag some more this week.

Score: 90

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2007 Jackson-Triggs Proprietors' Reserve Vidal Ice Wine

This quarter bottle was a gift, but I believe it goes for about $20 - 187 ml though...not cheap.

A borderline absurd nose - pineapple, vanilla, cream, papaya, mango, way deep in there even some petrol notes.

As a good ice wine should be, it's sweet, but not so much it's over the top. Everythng on the nose - pineapple, vanilla, papaya, mango, miscellaneous tropical fruit - like the syrup from fruit cocktail - plus some distinct baked pear notes. The sort of wine that you want to just take your time, sip slowly, and enjoy on its own.

You guessed it - the finish suggests pineapple ice cream.

I've long said dessert wines are tough to score because as long as there's just a bit of balance they seem excellent. Of course, they're generally pricey to make and buy, so if someone is making an ice wine it's probably going to be at the very least decent. I've had many an ice wine and this one is easily one of the better ones.

Score: 93

Thursday, November 25, 2010

N/V Schramsberg Vineyards Mirabelle Brut Rose

This goes for S23 through the winery, but can be found for a few bucks cheaper if you shop around. Schramsberg is a fairly well respected sparkling wine producer so I was happy to finall try a bottle.

Red and pink apples on the nose.

Nice...more of that pink apple - more the skin than the flesh. A touch of sweetness, some very light cherry, a very nice toasty quality - I'm even getting just a suggestion of root beer. This is solid stuff.

Yes, more pink apple, but pear is coming through a bit more potently, along with a bit of raspberry tea (leaf)? A fairly long finsih as well...

The notes may be somewhat short, but only because the wine is so good I just want to sit back and enjoy it. Grab it.

Score: 92

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving wines

What are you drinking with Thanksgiving dinner?

Every site you read will tell you something different, traditionally you hear Beaujolais, Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, but this year I've been hearing all sorts of rumblings that Cab is the way to go (perhaps thanks to this Slate article).

As for The Wineauxs? I was tempted to bring a Beaujolais Cru but the ones I've had (reviews coming soon) have been so strong I'm hanging onto what I have for formal notes. Instead, I'm bringing the following:

2009 Woot Cellars Albino Rhino

The last bottle of the six we bought. It's a bit sweet, fruity, and quite tasty overall. I dig it and think it will complement the variety of options nicely.

2009 Old Shore Vineyards Tree Line Pinot Noir

The wine of the year in my opinion. This would go with just about anything, so I'm stoked to see how it holds up the variety of Thanksgiving offerings.

2008 Root 1 Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

No notes on this one, but we've had it before and dug it enough that it seemed a worthy addition - not a first choice, but let's see how Slate holds up.

2009 Saracco Moscato D'Asti

A new one for us - the family digs moscatos and this one has gotten some love online so it seemed like a good buy at eleven bucks.

What about you? Post a comment.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beaujolais Nouveau 2010

I didn't even bother pretending I wasn't going to snag some Beaujolais Nouveau this year...I went to the local shop, sampled six different wines, and picked the best three. Oddly, five of the six struck me as quite you will read in the posts below, an ounce in a plastic cup shows far better than a few ounces in a nice glass.

The really sad part of this day is that the Cru Beaujolais, the really good wines from the region, came out recently as well - most of them are situated just a few feet from the Nouveau in your local shop...they are significantly better wines, and even worse, they're priced the same. Not one Cru Beaujolais in the local shop was over $15 - while three of the Nouveaus were under $11, the other three were $15 and $16.

If you want my advice....snag a 2010 Nouveau and snag a 2009 Cru Beaujolais...pop them both and do a side by side tasting. You very well may like the BN more, but I think it's worth comparing what the region "really" produces and what the third Thursday in November brings....

2010 Pierre Chermette Beaujolais Primeur

This one was $13 and struck me as quite respectable in the shop.

Something about this nose reminds me of bratwurst. I can't explain it. Sage? Beyond that, raspberry infused black tea on the nose.

Heavier than one may expect, one may even think this is a light Pinot Noir by feel. Cherry, raspberry leaf, dirt, black tea, reasonably balanced acid in an almost citrusy kinda way...not bad at all.

Cherry and black raspberry on the finish with just the faintest bit of mint, almost a cough syrup thing, with a vague garbagey thing, a slight taste of 'decay' if you will.

Easily the winner of the three BN's I bought, no noticeable flaws, but a wine of this quality for $13? Pass.

Score: 82

2010 Chateau Cambon Beaujolais Nouveau

At $14 this was the priciest Beaujolais Nouveau in the store....during the tasting, it seemed to be the most interesting one overall (I did not know prices, for whatever that's worth).

The nose here is subtle....a bit of chocolate, a bit of peanut butter, a bit of banana, and a bit of turpentine....I imagine this is what Elvis smelled like in the later years.

Cherry kijafa...I've never had cherry kijafa straight, but I've had it in crepes and this is it...there's something that tastes vaguely off, as if the cherry kijafa sauce was good, but the crepes have been sitting around for a few weeks.

Cherries on the finish but as it fades, some of that sad rotten banana comes through and that is something I just can't get behind.

Of the three, this is in the middle - there are some unpleasant qualities, but they're relatively subtle and don't necessarily "ruin" the wine...I'm being generous aren't I?

Score: 76

2010 Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais Nouveau

This ran me $13 and has been relatively reliable in the the very least, the label is fairly classy.

That banana thing...actually, you know, this totally hits me of strawberry banana yogurt.

Smokey - almost to a point of strangeness, liquid smoke blended with banana and a bit of artificial strawberry.

Yep, strawberry banana on the finish.

Disappointing. Even more so because at the shop this one struck me as the best tasting and most interesting of all the Beaujolais Nouveaus...the smokiness got to me I guess.

Score: 71

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2008 Georges Dubeouf Morgon Jean Descombes

This wine goes for about $14. Morgon is a region within Beaujolais, so this is the same area that gives the world the Nouveau swill in November - here's a better offering.

A bit of raspberry tea on the nose.

On the initial attack I get a little bit of cola but it quickly morphs into strawberry - sort of a strawberry jam thing, with some stems, leaves, and extra seeds thrown in. Perhaps a splash of blueberry and tart cherry as well. Excellent acid, slighly overbrewed tea like tannins, on balance dry, no discernible wood - an easy drinking wine that still has a backbone.

Raspberry comes out on the finish.

I dig it and would recommend it. In a few days it will be the third Thursday of November, walk past the Nouveau and snag a bottle of this instead (it's basically the same price). You won't regret it.

Score: 87

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2007 Kirkland Signature Series Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon

This was $17 at Costco. It was between this and a cheaper Kirkland offering, but I figured I'd be fancy with my Prime Steak. Seriously - Costco carries prime steaks for $11 a pound or so. That $40+ steak at Morton's or where ever can now be had at home for under $10. Outstanding. Just don't cook it beyond medium rare or you're a rube. I should've taken a picture of that steak...maybe the next one. Where was I? Oh yeah, $17 Cab, Costco's private label, Stag's Leap District, let's give it a whirl.

Plum, casssis, eucalyptus, and an odd sort of petrol thing on the nose.

Smoothalicious. More cassiss and plum, some blackberry, black cherry, a touch of vanilla, a bit of a Twizzler sort of quality, not much in terms of oak and mild enough tannins that I'd drink this sooner rather than later.

More of that black cherry on the finish.

For $17 this is pretty solid - it's not a crazy value that will have me buying it by the case, but it's definitely a recommendation and one I could easily see buying again.

Score: 87+

Friday, November 05, 2010

2009 Frisk Prickly Riesling

A half bottle of this is $6 at Whole Foods but they also sell it in four packs for $20. It's a blend of mostly Riesling with a bit of Muscat Gordo thrown in.

A candied pear quality is present on the nose - pear Jelly Bellies or even

Every so slightly effervescent - as in there are bubbles that linger in the glass and a bit foams up to the top of the glass, but no streams. A nice balance - sugar and acid are well integrated with neither being terribly noticeable. The flavor profile is actually fairly unique - kiwi, pear, unripe honeydew, even a bit of guava.

An apple thing - pink lady - lingers on the finish for quite a decent length.

We enjoyed several bottles of this over the summer at Ravinia and I'll be drinking more over the coming months. This is not what you may expect from an Australian dessert wine, served blind you may guess Germany - good stuff.

Score: 89

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

2006 Louis Jadot Savigny-lès-Beaune Primier Cru Les Vergelesses

This bottle goes for about $35 and is from the Burgundy region for those who don't know their French wine labels. The cork had some issues, moist with a bit of seepage, but the wine doesn't look or taste off.

Rich black cherry on the nose with some interesting floral notes - rose and lavender.

I gave this one a few hours to open and I think it needed it. Everything is very subtle, nothing is going to jump and hit you on the cherry, raspberry, blackberry tea, and a very mild brown spice - clove mostly, nicely balanced, smooth tannins, quite nice all around.

A bit of a black tea thing on the finish, with a dash of blackberry leaf and black cherry.

Not cheap, but if you want to get a nicely done Burgundy this is worth a look.

Score: 89