Edmeades Zinfandel Mendocino County 2012

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If you read my write up on the Lagarde Malbec you will know that we were at dinner with friends.  The Malbec never made it to the table, this tasty Zinfandel was more than up to the task of handling our beef short rib dinner.  I made some quick notes as Moxie was giving me the evil-eye for using my phone at the table.

Reddish purple with long legs in the glass. Nose of cinnamon, plums, orange peel and some vanilla.  Initial tastes of plum and cinnamon with gently spiced cola. Tannins are subdued with a balance of acidity. 89 points and very food friendly. It sorted out the ribs with their strong flavors and offset the fat found in such a tender and delicious cut.  The finish is mid length. This wine will pair well with any marbled meats and could stand up to a hearty BBQ with its spice component.  A bargain at $15 this one may need to bought in bulk.  4 stars from me.  Drink 2015-2018.  Salut….

Edmeades Zinfandel Mendocino County

Lagarde Primeras Vinas Malbec 2011

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We went over to our friends house for dinner last night.  My buddy, known as Big Red, had bought this one specially for our dinner of short ribs.  It never made it to the table as we opened it soon after we polished off the Carneros Pinot I brought for appetizers.  None of us could wait to try it.  We were not disappointed.

Reddish color that was somewhat unique in a Malbec, they usually run the gamut of dark purple to the black wines of Cahors.   Red currants, strawberries and iodine were some of the hints we picked up on the nose.   A super smooth entry of red fruits, some ink, black cherry and a Tempranillo-like medicinal tinge were what treated us in the first wave.  Mid palate is where the tannins finally kicked in having lurked initially.  Supremely balanced with acidity and a touch of oak the whole package is well rounded and polished. The length is ideal. 93 points and begging for a steak, perhaps some shaved ham. $40, 93 points. Full bodied Argentinian ready to drink till 2022.  A top wine if I may say so myself.  5 stars for sure, seek this one out.  Salut….

lagarde primeras vinas malbec

Domaine Gilles Blanchet Pouilly-Fume 2013

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From the Loire valley comes this Sauvignon Blanc.  Pineapple and flint on the nose tell me this is going to be a rather refreshing wine.  Crunchy acidic bite of green apples and pear greet the palate for an initial impression. Good vibrancy with a citrus mid palate that leads to a generous finish. Nicely balanced if you like this style of Sauvignon Blanc- steely, lean, not overoaked and refreshing. I served it with some Cajun spiced Cod and an arugula salad. 88 points from me and definitely a re-buy for $16.  Perfect for a hot summer day with a salad, sitting by the pool or nibbling on oysters.  3 stars.  Salut….

Gilles Blanchet Pouilly-Fume

3000 Anos Bullas 2006

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An interesting blend of Old Vine Monastrell and Shiraz from the Spanish Bullas.  It’s a town in the southeast part of Spain in the Murcia region.  Nose of earth and plum jam with an initial attack of blue fruits and stone. A hint of oak and some cardamom come through. Very integrated tannins meld with the balanced acidity giving a nice mouthfeel. This wine is aging well and will go till 2018 . Back end lights up with some violets and rustic charm. An overly optimistic MSRP of $90 make it a major pass even with 93 RP points.  I found it online for $30, which makes a lot more sense.  91 points from me and 3 stars.  Pair it with some earthy game or perhaps goat cheese pizza.  It yearns for tapas as well.  Salut….

3000 anos bullas

 

Cune Crianza 2010

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From Spain’s Rioja came this blend of Carignan, Grenache and Tempranillo that I had a hard time with.  The pro’s were all over the map with scores ranging from 90 down to 82.  I paid $13 for it but found it for $10 elsewhere.

Nose of earth and blue fruits with some hint of oak.  Atypical for Rioja- muted flavors of blueberry and bramble. Slightly rough tannins but good acidity seem to balance out in the end with a very muted finish overshadowed by the tannic frame. 86 points from me and 2 stars.  I think one merits another look as it may be bottle variation.  How is it possible to have such varied impression from others I wonder.  I will look for it in the future and report back.  Salut….

cune crianza

Four Vines Skeptic Petite Sirah 2013

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From Paso Robles comes this dark, extracted purple Petite Sirah.  I am always on the hunt for decent wine from this varietal and this one happened to be on special at the BevMo.  Normally priced at $25, it was basically BOGO- $12.5 making it a steal.
Purple fruits and bramble on the nose woke me right up to the fact that this was a rich and powerful wine, just how I like them.  On the palate a thick pasting of Asian plum, ginger and rawhide with mild tannins and a background of acidity. Nice mid palate of jam and rhubarb that gave way to a nice mid length finish.  I’m going with 89 points and 3 stars.  It’s well worth a visit if you can get it on sale.  Salut….

four vines skeptic petite sirah

La Boheme Act 4 Syrah Gamay Yarra Valley 2013

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Indeed, a blend of Syrah and Gamay.  Best known as the key ingredient in Beaujolais, the Gamay grape is lighter and more perfumed than most.  It can be made in several styles from the easy drinking Nouveau to the cellar worthy Cru Beaujolais.  I have fond memories of drinking it in the cafe’s of Paris and long to return- slightly chilled and always refreshing with a lunch of steak frites.  When I saw the two varietals combined and from Australia no less I felt obliged to spend $10, my curiosity was immense.

Interesting nose of grape jelly with a touch of oak.  Light and refreshing, like Gamay should be. Tart and tannic like a syrah can be. Very unique attack with some plum, purple skittles, and violets. Medium finish and a tannic exit. A must try just to see how the two grapes intertwine. 87 points. 3 stars. $10. 13.5%  make it a tidy number for an al fresco lunch without being too heady.  I will be buying more soon, as I feel this one might develop some interesting hints in the short term.  Salut….

La boheme syrah gamayIMG_2691

 

Cosentino ‘The Poet’ Meritage 2012

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I picked this bottle up at the Napa tasting room, where I joined the club and indulged in tasting just about everything they had.  I really enjoy the wines from this winery, they suit my style, budget and usually have enough unique character to set them apart from the thousands of others in the valley.  This one was $36 for club members, $45 for the rest.  It opens up in the glass and shows off a bright purple color.  On the nose- nice plum and blue fruit compote.  A nice intro of plum, currant, black cherry and gripping tannins.  Acidity is very present and balances the young tannins somewhat.   The blend of this wine is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 9 % Cabernet Franc and the 1 % left is Malbec.

This Bordeaux blend appeals to me greatly and the wine drinks well, albeit young.  The mid palate just hit me with some powerful plum essence with a silky touch of flowers, probably the Franc I suspect.  The finish is average in length and the tannins simply disappear.  I’m thinking this is a shorter term wine with a drinking window of 2016-2020.  91 points from me and 4 stars.  Salut….

cosentino the poet

 

El Vinculo 2006

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Broken cork- never a good start…. unless the wine is unharmed and is as good as this one.  Funky Tempranillo nose of earth, black cherries and garigue.  Full power attack of aged leather, tobacco, black berries and dark cherry jam. Very balanced with some tight tannins and sharp acidity. Mid palate shows some real stuffing, sour cherry with leather and black brooding fruits. The finish is long and the tannins continue to caress. This wine is still very young and will age gracefully, all the pieces are in place. 93 points from me which differs considerably from one pro who gave it 90 and my peers only managed 87 points.  I’m sticking with my guns and searching for more.  At $15 per bottle you can’t go wrong- 5 stars for sure and another winner in the books. 2015-2025  Salut….

el vinculo

Ollara Clasico Reserva 2009

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The label says Decanter magazine gave it 97 points- that’s huge and worthy of the $35 entry fee.  I was actually blown away once I opened this Rioja gem.  Thick purple hues in the glass with a solid nose of bramble, blackberry, oak and ginger.  Initial attack of super smooth fruits- blackberry, blue berries, orange peel and a dancing acidity that mingles around. Super duper smooth tannins grace the whole mouth and provide an amazing mouthfeel, not sumptuous, nor lean – just present. This is an amazing wine. Mid to back end is where I find some wood, lighter red fruits and as it airs out- more gripping tannins. Not exactly textbook Rioja, it’s a cross with Bordeaux and young Brunello. Simply amazeballs. 95 from me make this a 5 star wine with a long life ahead. 2025-2028.  Salut….

ollara clásico reserva rioja

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