Orin Swift D66 2011

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I have sampled Orin Swift’s The Prisoner and am familiar with their full on style.  Heady and high in alcohol with great extraction.  This wine is no different.  It all began with a rich dark purple hue in the glass.  Wild flowers, blackberries, earth and plum come across on the nose.  Violets and plums with layers of dark fruit compote and an earthy component attack the palate full bore.  I loved the very smooth mouthfeel that hides the whopping 15.2% alcohol.  Melded tannins and a balanced acidity contribute to the silkiness.  This wine is made from Grenache, Syrah and Carignan from the Catalan region.  Terroir of the French countryside is evident. Old world in fruit yet New world in extraction and style.  It finishes with a touch of cinnamon and blueberry pie. 2014-2020 would be my guess for a drinking window.  I give it 92 points and for $33 it deserves 5 stars.  Deeeelish.  Salut…..

orin swift d66

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Chardonnay ‘Karia’ 2012

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For the past two weekends I have been tinkering on the Big Green Egg, trying to perfect a Turkey so I am ready for Thanksgiving.  The first effort was not very good, the recipe was too involved and the timing was not right plus I had to leave the grill alone for most of the afternoon to see my son’s football game.  I tried to cook it ‘low and slow’ but it ended up being dry.  This past weekend I tried it again, using the standard 325 degree heat, very little wood chunks, and a simple bouquet of herbs shoved up it’s heiny.  It worked.

I planned on drinking the Mazilly Pommard with the bird and I opened this Cali Chard up for my folks and Moxie, who prefer white wine.  I got in a glass or two myself and was glad I did, this wine is good.  Light yellow in color was to be expected, so I delved right into the nose.  Lemon zest, melon and yellow apples greeted me right off the bat.  Zesty with a hint of steel were on my notes for an initial impression.  I then got green apples and melons.  A smooth transition to a delightful mid palate left me thinking it was not quite buttery but silky in texture.  The wine had a long finish and I gave it 91 points.  I paid around $24 at Costco for it and will give it 4 stars.  It paired beautifully with the bird.  It would also ring with some seafood, perhaps a creamy pasta.  Tasty stuff.  Salut….

stags leap Karia chardonnaybig green egg turkey

Domaine Mazilly Pere & Fils Pommard ‘Les Noizons’ 2011

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I hate it when I open a bottle way too young.  It’s such a waste, yet I feel compelled to begin my tasting cycle at an early stage so I can watch a wine evolve.  This bottle was unfortunately way too young for my amateur palate to really discern what the pro’s talk about.  It offered textbook color and shade in the glass with a nose of cherry and cranberry.  My initial taste was of tart cherries and crunchy pomegranate.  I tried to coax more out of it but alas, it is in slumber.  I will not delve too much deeper into the wine, saving it for a later date for a follow up.  Right now I’m going with 90 points vs. the pro’s at 92.  My drinking window would be in the 2017-2023 range.  I made note that it was not Burgundian right now, but more primal and Pinot like.  I really hope it evolves with some earth and funk, perhaps a touch of dark fruits would be nice.  I paid around $25 for it making it a 3 point effort.  Salut….

mazilly pommard les noizins

 

Havens Bourriquot Red Wine Napa Valley 2010


I opened this Havens Bourriquot after cellaring it for a year and felt compelled to write something.  I have seen wines evolve, but never quite like this.  My notes last year pointed out several factors that I find interesting.  I mentioned oak, long tannins on the finish but most importantly the wine was chameleon-like in it’s flavors.  After evolving, this wine has changed dramatically.  Here are my notes:

Black cherry nose
Huge amounts of coconut on the initial
Black fruits. Currants and some smooth oak
91 points
Well integrated tannins that peak out on the finish

The thing that really intrigued me was the coconut aspect.  I have never had a wine that made me scratch my head and query the fact that I was tasting coconut.  This wine was full on, in your face with the nut.  I got oak as mentioned in both tastings and the tannic structure was very similar.  This is one killer wine, I just love it.  Patience has paid off with this wine as I greatly enjoyed it in its youth and am continuing to enjoy it in it’s evolution.  I must check to see how many I have left.  Salut….

havens bourricot red wine napa valley

Maison Trenel Pouilly-Fuisse 2011

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This French appellation has always appealed to me for it’s softer flavors and more rounded mouthfeel.  I enjoy steely Chardonnays, mineral edged ones, buttery versions and even over-oaked Cali offerings, yet Pouilly-Fuise is consistently the one style that both Moxie and I enjoy the most.  The pale golden color was a good introduction.  Pears, apples and green melon on the nose gave an inkling of what lay ahead.  A smooth entry with tart yellow apples, citrus, flint, butterscotch and a touch of clove were really confusing my overloaded palate.  I wasn’t expecting such a myriad of flavors!  A long finish with balance made me really like this wine, 90 points. Turkey, oysters and salmon would pair perfectly with it.  $28 and 4 stars for this Burgundian beauty.  Salut….

trenel les tillers

Wild Haven Pinot Gris 2013

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A Columbia Valley charmer that Moxie picked up a while back.  She meant to make Sangria and bought a bunch of different whites to try.  The party never materialized so I got to open her choices.  This one was very pale gold in the glass and had aromas of pineapple, citrus, cantaloupe and ginger.  It was not as acidic as I like but had a mouthful of lemon/lime, melon and some apple. A mid palate switch to blood oranges and the spice mix again. 87 points and 3 stars for this $11 wine.  Drink now with light fare or by the pool on a hot day.  It has a unique flavor profile that should appeal to many as an easy drinker.  Salut….

Wild Haven pinot gris

El Angosto Los Almendros 2009

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I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this Spanish blend of Garnacha Tintorera, Syrah and Marselan but it sure looked good in the glass.  Oregano, violets and black fruits on the nose were intriguing.  Pepper, blackberry, tar and capsicum on the initial attack were delightful.  Pinpoint tannins and a nice balance of acidity gave this wine a rounded and smooth mouthfeel.  The tannins are long , tingling the gum for over a minute- surprising.  I drank it with smoked pork one night, but ended up drinking several more bottles of it this week with other dishes, all delightful pairings.  Focus on  juicy steak or hearty stews for the best results.  This is a really versatile and delicious wine with a drinking window of 2014-2019.  It gets 91 points from me and 4 stars with its $25 price point.  Salut….El Angosto Almendros Single Vineyard Tinto

Chateau Doisy-Vedrines 2011

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To top off our Sunday Roast dinner I pulled this amazing beauty out of the cellar and let it loose.  I had tasted the Doisy-Vedrines 2010 previously and needed an equally big night to taste this vintage.  After thoroughly loving the Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon with our dinner it was appropriate to get this bottle cracking.  I previously gave the 2010 95 points, how would this one hold out?

Golden yellow in the glass with a nose of honey, candied pear, botrytis and peach cobbler.  Almond crisp with apricot torte and honeyed pears came in the first wave.  Pineapple syrup with flowers and citrus fill the mid palate along with some pear pie, absolutely gorgeous. Sublime balance with a razor sharp acidity and 60 second finish make this a near perfect wine.  Top to bottom- a smooth transition, 96 point plus for me.  I noticed huge legs in the glass and had to double check the bottle, 13.5 % alcohol but nary a sign of it.  One final thought….Uncious but not stuffy.  I paid $22 for this stunner worthy of 5 stars.  Ps. I bought all they had of the two vintages!  Salut….

doisy vedrines sweet wine

Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

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One thing I love about the Fall is cooking Sunday Roast.  Being half English, it’s in my blood to bang out Beef, roast veggies, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.  The Brits wouldn’t  serve up such fare without a bottle or two of Claret (Bordeaux red).  I switched it up a touch and went west, to Napa.  This wine was simply amazing.

Huge nose of violets, plums and blue fruits from a beautiful purple-hued glass.  Big mouthfulls of black plums, dark currants and absolutely gorgeous tannins greeted me right off the bat. Perfectly balanced with a hint of acidity and a polished finish that lasted forever. I later got olives, fig paste and perhaps a touch of eaucalyptus. This is a stunning wine. 93 points for me for this $60 effort make it a 4 star wine.  Salut….

merryvale cabernet sauvignon

 

Sterling Vintner’s Collection Aromatic White 2011

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Moxie bought this bottle to make some white Sangria, plans changed so the bottle was left untouched.  This past weekend I returned home from Asia for two weeks of staycation and a much needed break from flying.  This bottle was opened on Saturday evening for some friends, Moxie and I finished it the next night.  It’s a blend of several white grapes, reminding me of the Conundrum White, but in a different league.  I’m guessing Viognier, perhaps some Gewurtztraminer with a backbone of Sauvignon Blanc.  There is no info on the label or the web, so I am relying on my palate.  I did not take notes on this bottle, simply enjoying it for what it is.  Refreshing, charming, inexpensive and unique.  Perfect for an afternoon aperitif, perhaps even with some light fare.  This one will please many and for the $8 price it get 3 stars for a modest 84 points.  Salut….

sterling vintner's collection aromatic white

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