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Thursday, September 29, 2011


And with that....

It's been a pleasure doing the blog for the past five years, and I'm not necessarily quitting, just going on hiatus for a while.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

N/V M Lawrene Sex Batch #79

So many cheap jokes with this wine, I'm just going to leave it be.

Watermelon Jolly Rancher on the nose.

Peach, strawberry, watermelon, a touch of sugar, but balanced.

Almost a toasty quality, like ever so lightly toasted white bread with a bit more of that watermelon candy thing on the finish.

At $15 a bottle, I have no objections.

Score: 87

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2009 Velvet Devil Merlot

This goes for about $12 retail and as you can see, is a rather eye catching label.

Straight up dark chocolate on the nose - usually I see chocolate covered something or another, but this is just chocolate.

More chocolate on the palate, but some cherry notes come through as well. Big, fruity, a touch sweet, not much for tannins, reasonable enough acid, but overall quite jammy.

Some more interesting things come through on the finish - more chocolate and cherry, but blueberry presents itself as well as some vanilla.

A gateway wine for the Yellow Tail lover in your life. If you're having a big party, this is worth serving, pair it with ribs or burgers and you're good to go - jammy and quaffable, but there's something in the background that tells you there's more than meets the eye.

Score: 85

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2008 Joel Gott Amador County Dillian Ranch Zinfandel

The question I ask you is, who is Joel Gott? Something with railroads, yes? Wait that's John. He also spells and pronounces his name differently. I wonder if he's related to Joel Gott? Costco - $20 - Zinfandel - alright.

I hate alliteration, but I'll be damned if there isn't some Port poached peaches on the nose, Strawberry in a Starburst kinda way, or maybe it's cherry in a Skittles kinda way?

The palate brings cherry licorice, plum, vanilla, very nice acid, good tannic backbone

The finish brings more of the same - mildly sweet cherry licorice with a sweet tobacco kind of thing.

I quite dig this - I must start buying more Zin.

Score: 89

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

N/V Jean Farris Marito White

This $14 bottle is a blend of Seyval Blanc, Viognier, and Chardonnay. This is our first review of wine from Jean Farris Winery located in Lexington, Kentucky. We liked this place so much on our trip to Florida, we went a couple hours out of the way on the way home to stop, pick up some wine, and have brunch at the winery's restaurant.

White grapefruit, lime, and slate on the nose.

More of all that on the palate - white grapefruit, lime, slate, along with some orange zest and lemon qualities. Quite dry, well balanced acid, not terribly complex, but certainly rather tasty.

A short finish with soft grapefruit notes dominating.

A solid summer wine, good perhaps for people who like Sauvignon Blanc, and worth checking out.

Score: 87

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

N/V M Lawrence Green

This is a new, limited offering from M Lawrence - it's called Green because the bottles are reused (actually reused/washed/sanitized - not recycled) and because it's their spin on vinho verde....the grape is cayuga, which is a green grape as well. How green! Retail is fifteen bones.

A clean nose, kinda grapey...

Light overall - apples, grapes, loads of acid, quite dry overall to my palate.

Some lime, lemon, and slate lingers on the finish along with a green apple candy thing way on the back.

It's a solid wine, but it's certainly in a distinct style. Great for the remaing summer heat - light, crisp, dangerously drinkable, and well priced, no complaints!

Score: 86

Friday, September 09, 2011

2009 The Pinot Project

This one has been getting some good press and at $12, I decided to take a stab at a bottle. From what I understand, this is one of those negociant deals where the winemakers bought some cheap grapes that were good enough to make wine out of...let's see.

Raspberry jam on the nose.

Raspberry jam on the palate - very soft, very simple, nothing here would suggest Pinot Noir. At the same time, it's not exactly bad, it's not sweet or anything like that, just sort of one dimensional.

You guessed it, raspberry jam on the rather short finish.

Not bad as an adult beverage to go with a random dinner...somewhat one dimensional and dull. Sad to say, this is not the miracle Pinot Noir you are probably looking for.

Score: 80

Saturday, September 03, 2011

2006 Jean Farris Syrah

Kentucky wine - grapes produced with the help of the cold Kentucky Rain, best served with a side of polk salad, which looks something like a turnip green. Now, that's polk. dun. Salad. dun dun. What was I saying? Oh yes. We visited Jean Farris a few months ago, loved it, and bought a random selection of wine - this one is new to us.

A funky nose...odd, garbagey, chocolatey, strange.

Not as funky on the palate - loads of chocolate, a bit of black pepper, mostly cherry, but certainly a black cherry covered in dark chocolate sorta thing. Not much for noticeable oaky qualities beyond some mild vanilla in there, with nice acid and tannic structure.

Blueberry comes through on the finish, as well as blackberry, some more cherry, a mild implication of mint, maybe a spring of eucalyptus for good measure.

$25 ain't cheap, but this certainly doesn't offend even at that pricepoint especially when you consider the oddball region. Well played...more Jean Farris in the coming months, wines we've tried before buying, that should prove stronger than this.

Score: 88

Monday, August 29, 2011

2010 Kirkland Signature Pinot Grigio Friuli, Italy

A seven dollar house label Pinot Grigio - how good can this be?

Apple and pear on the nose.

Excellent balance, solid acid, vanilla, pear, and a bit of peach.

More vanilla and pear on the finish.

Good Pinot Grigio is hard to find and pricey. Cheap ones tend to be flabby and dull - this one isn't great, but it's not flawed like one would expect from one of the level. Well done, Costco.

Score: 86

Thursday, August 25, 2011

N/V Jean Farris Rose

Jean Farris...a winery on the outskirts middle of Lexington, Kentucky that grows most of its own grapes. Sounds like it could go really wrong, doesn't it? Read on about this $20 bottle.

This is one of those roses that needs time to open - seriously, give it an hour in the glass or maybe run it through a Vinturi or something.

Watermelon Jolly Rancher with some strawberry notes as well...kind of a candied strawberry, like the filling of a cake from the local Jewels.

This is literally like a liquid watermelon Jolly Rancher. A bit sweet, quite tangy, fairly heavy bodied...I can see this being fairly polarizing, but put me firmly in the pro camp. There's more strawberry on the palate as well, along with some apricot and nectarine, and thrown together with a pinch of black tea.

Yep, more of that watermelon Jolly Rancher thing along with some stone fruit, a dash of nectarine (real), and peach (Jolly Rancher) bring some interesting depth on the absurdly long finish.

This is a distinct style. You may hate it and I totally get why you would...but some wines are so absurd, so distinct, and so undeniably well done, that you have to give them love.

Score: 93

Monday, August 22, 2011

2010 Charles and Charles Rose

It seems like we've had this before, but I see no review of it on this blog...I think it was a Ravinia pick. This one ran me eleven bones.

Strawberry jam on the nose.

A bit spicy...nice acidic backbone, tart cherry, raspberry, and peach tea...a very nice balance with fruit and spice blending together.

A peach tea sorta thing, perhaps even a fuzzy navel quality.

I've found straight up Syrah rose to be iffy....this one works nicely. For a hot weather quaffer, this works.

Score: 87

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2010 Old Shore Vineyards Turkey Nest Pinot Gris

This bottles retails for $18, but the winery produces only a limited number of bottles, so you pretty much have to buy direct from their website.

A mild grapefruit thing with some interesting gasoline sorta notes. I hate when Americans use the word petrol.

Dry, light, orange blossom, peach fuzz, grapefruit zest, well integrated acid, almost a bit of's a fairly floral wine really, but not in a perfumey sort of way. Don't ask me to explain it.

The finish starts with pink grapefruit, then fades to white, then fades further to zest. It's a finish and a half really - quite lengthy and pleasant.

This wine makes me crave oysters....a very nice bottle to be sure, perfect for the summer, but dangerous in its easy drinkability.

Score: 89

Monday, August 15, 2011

2009 Torbreck Barossa Valley Woodcutter's Shiraz

There is a restaurant we frequent and this bottle frequently calls my name from the wine list, I decided to have it at home for it's $22 retail instead of the marked up list price. I respect Torbreck, we need to drink their stuff more often.

Cherries on the nose.

Quite big - not over the top ridiculous, but big nonetheless - cherries, vanilla, a little bit of oak but mostly fruity with some mocha and even some bell pepper qualities.

Plummy, peachy, cherry-y....a big finish with all sorts of stone fruit without any burn.

Can't knock it, but I'm also not knocking over old ladies to grab another bottle.

Score: 86

Monday, August 08, 2011

N/V G.H. Mumm Brut Rose

This retails for $62. I paid substantially less due to a post-Valentine's Day sale...I guess the local store though a ton of people who be springing for the $60 Mumm Brut Rose instead of the $15 Mumm Napa Brut Rose.

A bit of peach, some strawberry, and a touch of vanilla on the nose.

A bit of pink grapefruit, some nectarine, a nice burst of toast...kinda like a piece of very light rye toast with some sort of grapefruit marmalade. Crisp, dry, and fairly full bodied on the palate.

The grapefruit quality lingers for some time.

Certainly quite good, especially for a a grapefruit fan, but I can't get behind recommending it at the price.

Score: 89

Friday, August 05, 2011

2010 Nine Walks Sauvignon Blanc

This bottle is what we call an industry sample - in the interest of full disclosure I need to tell you this bottle was comped. It was still tasted in the same rigorous way as all wines we taste here - semi-blind without a care of hurt feelings or broken relationships, this is a blog after all. That said, this retails for $11

Classic New Zealand SB nose - grassy and grapefruity with a bit of vanilla bean.

While the whole grapefruit and grass thing is there, there's also some great tangerine notes, vanilla, well balanced acid and I'm going to say there's a dash of sugar or two, but it all works together nicely.

White cherry in a Slurpee kinda way on the finish, with orange blossom, grapefruit zest, and a bit of rose.

On par, if not better, than most $10 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs I've had. This one is certainly worthy of being put in your rotation.

Score: 88

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

2008 Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc

This is a tough wine to gauge the's the kinda wine that seems to retail for $16ish, but it's always on sale for $10-13, so basically, if you're interested, shop around.

Zest...lime zest, perhaps lemon zest....a zesty nose.

Grapefruit dominates, mostly white grapefruit implying more acid and tartness than sugar, along with some green apple qualities. Not sweet, but not over the top in its acidity.

Grapefruit on the finish that fades quickly.

Not bad, but I guess not really my style - I tend to prefer the cheap New Zealand SBs. If you found it cheap, you could do worse, but you could also certainly do better.

Score: 84

Saturday, July 30, 2011

2006 Raymond R Collection Cabernet Sauvignon

I loved the 2003 of this wine, so when I saw the 2006 the other day, I snagged a bottle without hesitation at about $18.

Licorice - black and red - on the nose.

More of that licorice - mostly cherry - mixed with some vanilla and blueberry. Smooth tannins, good acid, some sweet oak and mild tobacco, and some brown spice as it opens - well played.

The finish brings brown baking spice plus some chocolatey notes, along with black cherry.

Solid. The regular "Raymond" label Cabs tends to be very smooth, this has a little bit of an edge, some 'bite' if you will, that while perhaps suggests a less well crafted wine, I think makes a more interesting one.

Score: 91

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2006 Iron Horse Fairy Tale Celebration Cuvee

The way I saw it, if I was going to spend money on a souvenir I might as well get something I really want - here we are, a sparkling wine exclusively available at Disney properties, prices vary on where you're buying it, but the Boardwalk Resort gift shop was charging $35.

Grapefruit and green apple on the nose.

Mostly grapefruit to me, a bit of caraway, solid acid, a bit of golden apple, some orange and I know this sounds odd but I get a honey sort of taste, but I'd still call this wine bone dry.

Spiced apple, sort of like pie filling, on the end, and an interesting orange, almost baked orange sorta thing on the finish - once again though, this is quite dry.

An excellent wine - Iron Horse typically delivers and at $35, I have no gripes. If you can't find it at a shop, some of the restaurant wine lists put it at about $65 - I'd snag it.

Score: 91

Saturday, July 23, 2011

2008 Kanonkop Pinotage

We don't drink much South African wine...we don't drink much Pinotage, I decided to splurge on a reputable one.

A thick blackberry syrup kinda nose along with that famous burnt rubber smell - I drank this blind and the nose gave it away.

Interesting...a unique wine, more of that blackberry syrup on the palate, not much oak or tannin, but loads of acid, stone fruit, peachy, plummy, that whole thing, all with some chocolatey notes as well....

You guessed it, blackberry on the finish, as it fades some spicy qualities - mint, mostly - lingers. Not bad.

An interesting wine. Retail out here was $32, so that's certainly nothing to sneeze at, but if you want to try a nice version of this varietal, it may be worth your while.

Score: 89

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mobile friendly

The Wineauxs is now mobile device friendly.

Just point your browser to and a version of the site enhanced for mobile devices will automatically load. As far as I can tell you can't search the blog easily from this, but you can just scroll down and revert to the traditional site and pull it up that way.

Not too shabby if I do say so.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

2007 Napa Cellars Zinfandel

This goes for $15. This may be an unfair thing to say but I view this as a grocery store sorta wine...I don't know if I've seen it at an actual wine shop, it's more like the middle to top shelf of the local large chains. That's not a criticism, more giving you an idea of where to find it.

Black cherry, chocolate...actually, quite a bit of chocolate and some coffee as well for a nice mocha nose.

Fruit forward, but enough depth to not be fruit bomby....cherry and blueberry for the most part, but some stone fruit comes through along with a bit of very mild green spice.

Almost some Dr. Pepper like qualities on the finish along with peaches, like the red peach flesh around the pit.

Not too shabby....not shabby at all. Approachable and balanced enough that I'd have no qualms serving this at some sort of BBQ this summer.

Score: 87

Saturday, July 09, 2011

2006 L Mawby Sandpainting

This is a special release from L Mawby, I don't think it's necessarily an exclusive to their wine club but at only 500 bottles or so it's certainly one of their more limited releases.

Caramel on the nose - an interesting thing I sometimes read about but never actually get. It's not necessarily sweet smelling, but it's distinctly caramel. Beyond that a bit of pear.

Caramel apple on the finish, straight up red apple dipped in caramel sans peanuts...very interesting. A bit of limeade thrown in, but overall a rich, complex mouthfeel.

A second big fat burst of that caramel dipped red apple on the finish with some peach skins, and a bit of grapefruit linger for some time on the finish.

This I like...a lot. The "Sandpainting" line is going to be limited release offerings and this first one is a great start.

Score: 92

Saturday, July 02, 2011

2008 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville

I was stocking up on some spirits and needed to get to six bottles to get a discount....this caught my eye as a reputable producer I had never tried, so I snagged a bottle for $22

Black cherry on the nose. All black cherry really.

Black cherry on the palate along with some vanilla and plum notes. Little depth, little acid, little backbone, little of interest.

Black cherry on the finish.

A bit's not awful, just dull. It's the sort of wine I'd deglaze a pan with - it's tasty enough and I wouldn't feel like I'm wasting something great.

Score: 85

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2010 Chateau Bonnet Bordeaux Rose

French rose at Costco for nine bucks - I'm game.

Watermelon rind, pink grapefruit, and cinnamon on the nose.

Watermelon rind, pink grapefruit, and cinnamon the palate.

Watermelon rind, pink grapefruit, and cinnamon on the finish.

Do you like watermelon rind, pink grapefruit, and cinnamon? If so, you may like this wine. It's tough to get too serious about a standard cheap rose, but that said, it's more than tasty enough to snag a bunch and get a party going, get a party going, because it's time to party, and you will party hard.

Wow, the song I just referenced is 10 years old. Getting old sucks.

Score: 86

Saturday, June 25, 2011

N/V Korbel Organic Sparkling Wine

I can't say I've read much about this wine, but I found it on sale. Regular retail on this is about $17 which is considerably pricier than standard Korbel. How does it fare to the regular, rather mediocre stuff?

I get some marzipan on the nose - something I don't see often, almond, orange, sugar - I dig it.

Right off the bat, this is easiest the best Korbel product I've had - orange marmalade, toast, rye. Dry overall and a not over the top, though somewhat thick mouthfeel.

Red apple and orange oranges on the finish.

Seventeen bones is asking a bit much, there are better wines at this pricepoint to be sure, but this really isn't bad at all. Depending on how important the organic this is to you, this may be a worthy product to look into.

Score: 87

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Next Restaurant - Chicago, IL - 6/22/11

Hype is a tricky thing....

Before Next even opened there was tons of hype. I signed up to their e-mail list almost a year before they opened. A year.

The five star reviews that followed (written by professional reviewers whose anonymity were compromised so they were served courses regular folks will never get to try - our cab driver had an elaborate conspiracy theory about this, I won't repeat it in case he's right) kept the hype snowballing.

The fact that the only way to secure a reservation in advance is log into their website in a magical ten second window where tickets have not been all bought up also adds to the allure. The restaurant would release something like fifty tables at once and they'd be gone in under thirty seconds. Insanity.

Is the Paris 1906 version of Next worth the hype? How could it?


We start with Hors d'Ouevres. This was paired with Vincent Carre Brut Champagne.


From here out, you get a picture of the wine first, then the food it's paired with....

An interesting French white that smelled like sherry and tasted like a super light white sherry...or maybe a glass of some miscellaneous white wine with a spike of sherry? It was interesting in an academic way.


This went with the Potage a la Tortue Claire....Before:



I'd like to make a brief digression from talking about Next to make a formal request to people who dine in restaurants, go to wine tastings, attend performing arts events, ride public transportation, or work in a small office. Go easy on the perfume.

The woman next to us had a lovely perfume, I actually really liked it - I just wish she didn't feel compelled to squirt herself 19 times before walking in the building. To put a positive spin on it, since my jacket is still infused with her scent I can bring it to Nordstrom and ask a shopgirl what it is - get the Christmas gift for the wife done early.

I digress.


Next course -

Paired with Filet de Sole Daumont


Paired with Supremes de Poussin.


Paired with Gratin de Pommes de Terre à la Dauphinoise

and Caneton Rouennais a la Presse


The palate cleanser was the Salade Irma (no wine with this) -


Served with the Bombe Ceylan:


Ending the meal with the Mignardises...a caramel, a pistachio marshmallow thing, and the most interesting one on top - beet flavored jellies.


I have little to say because a quick google search and you'll find countless reviews written by people more knowledgeable and eloquent than I'd ever crank out. The chicken was a bit of a miss (purely a "to my taste" situation rather than a poor execution).

Dinner *seemed* incredibly rushed and quick, but we were still there for close to three hours, so it was anything but. Service was outstanding in every regard - friendly with great introductions to the food and wine, a few jokes here and there, all relaxed yet professional.


We took in a few drinks at The Aviary next door as well....

An amuse bouche of watermelon infused with something or another.


The Blueberry -

You can see the spout there, you pour it in your small glass....tasty, dangerously smooth.


This is the after of the Ginger drink...

This guy got a "before" of the Ginger, so you can check that.--

The Dark and Stormy...classy! You drink this from a bottle in a paper bag, if memory serves it's dark rum and homemade ginger ale.


I also had an Old Fashioned encased in a ball of ice that was then smashed at the table...didn't get a photo, but this guy did. It was encased in a ball of ice that the serve smashes - the drink explodes, the liquid fills the glass, and the shards of "glass" are your ice. Pretty sweet.


The drinks are tasty, creative, and beautifully presented. They are also quite expensive - though really, it's not that unusual to see a $12 martini in any given Chicago restaurant - so it may be worth popping in and trying something genuinely unique if you're looking for a fancy night out.

Update 10/13/11 - Upon visiting The Aviary again last night, I've redacted my comments about poor service. Great, friendly staff all around.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2009 Lynfred Winery Pinot Noir

To those not in the know, Lynfred Winery is located in Roselle, Illinois - a suburb of Chicago - they do not have vineyards, but get grapes from various places....Michigan, Washington, California are all represented, I think Illinois and Oregon are as well. My understanding of the process is they have contracts with vineyards, get the grapes shipped in immediately after they are picked, and then the wine is made at the winery itself.

This is an "American" Pinot Noir, I believe the grapes are from Washington, and the retail is about eighteen bones. This is a newish label, it seems some of the newer wines have it, and if I may say so - I find it to be an improvement over the (already nice) older style. Kudos to the graphic department!

Earth, mocha, chocolate, and carob on the nose with an undercurrent of raspberry.

Raspberry tea, dark (like ultra mega 94% dark) chocolate, mocha, super ripe plum and blackberry.

Almost a green tea like finish with more of that mocha.

Simply put, most under $20 Pinot Noirs aren't worth your time, but I'd say this one is. Nicely played.

Score: 88

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2009 White Cottage Ranch Elene Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon

About fourteen bucks at Costco, this one was. It was the only rose they seemed to carry, hopefully that will change soon.

Watermelon of the natural and artificial sort on the nose.

More or less standard in the whole strawberry and watermelon thing, but it has a full bodied mouth feel almost oily in consistency....there is a type of candy that comes in a tube and has the consistency, more or less, as gel toothpaste - imagine sour watermelon gel candy in wine form - here you are. There's a bit more sweetness than I prefer in a rose, but the acid and that full bodied feel bring it all together into a sort of harmony.

A candy quality lingers.

I want to clarify - I keep using "candy" terms but this is not a blush wine by any means, it's a solid rose, firmly acidic, mildly tannic, full bodied, complex, but with a candy - a sour candy - dominating component. I can see some not caring for this....for me, it works.

Score: 89

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Le Deauville - Lexington, KY - 5/28/11

Lexington has a few classy places in the hip area near Transylvania University. We opted for Le Deauville because the online menu looked intriguing...the online menu is quite different than the actual one, but that's not terribly unusual. We went with a five course chef's tasting and the waiter was able to whip up a wine pairing as well.

As you can see, the restaurant got progressively darker, so image quality gets a bit iffy.

As I said, the online menu is different, so my descriptions will be lacking...

Mixed salad with poached egg. While I officially still hate eggs, things like this are helping me come around - not bad at all.


Tuna tartare with avocado. To me, this was great - Fran found the lime a bit too forward which threw it off...I liked the hint of ceviche quality it added to the dish.


Rack of lamb. I hate to oversell things, I hate to say "this is the best X I've ever had" (especially since the best fish I've ever had was consumed just a few days earlier) but I'm just going to come right out and say, this is the best lamb I've ever had. Ever. Anywhere. Lexington, Kentucky. Best lamb ever. We will likely be visiting this area again later this summer, I'm coming back to this restaurant exclusively for this dish.


Sea bass with a roasted tomato, potato, and something or another. Not a big fish fan, but this was solid...I'd also say it was oddly coursed after the lamb, but the flavors were quite bold, so it held up fine.


Creme brulee for me.


Chocolate mousse for Fran.


Flat out outstanding and with five courses, five wine pours, tax, and tip at just over $200, a genuine bargain. I look forward to returning.