Turley Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel 2006

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Wow, what an amazing bottle of wine.  Courtesy of my west coast friends, we opened this beauty up and indulged in some of the finest Zinfandel I have tasted.  From what I have experienced, California Zins are usually huge, bombastic and very high in alcohol.  This one has certainly mellowed in the cellar and is unique.

See-through purple that was bright as day.  Maraschino cherry nose with some violets, very interesting.  Smooth, if slightly sharp entry of cherry and kirsch. Floral, light and refreshing with sleek, almost invisible tannins and a long finish.  Hints of rhubarb on the mid palate were not expected from this delicious yet atypical wine. Needs cellar time to develop some earth and funk, but is drinking beautifully now.  I am going with 93 points.  The only place I saw it was at auction, be prepared to pay upwards of $50+.  4 stars and a treat to be able to taste such a wine.  Salut….

turley zinfandel hayne vineyard

Citille Di Sopra Vigna Poggio Ronconi Brunello di Montalcino 2008

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I have to admit that I only wrote a few short lines about this wine and did not even give it a rating.  Bad me…  This is what I made note of:

Pinkish purple
Cranberry, pomegranate and a mid palate hit of strawberry
Very young with crispy tannins and a pinch of acidity

Can’t be bad after all.  I sometimes get the stink eye from Moxie if I have my phone out at the dinner table, she knows that I am trying to take notes but I do have small, impressionable kids who need to learn by example- no phones at the table.  This one can be had for around $35.  Salut….

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Andrea Oberto Barolo 2010

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I sometimes find myself writing basic notes and then forgetting about the wine until many days, and several bottles later before I post to the blog.  It makes it hard to put pen to paper and relive the wine after a period, but this one was different.  I wrote several lines of notes and after reading them I could almost taste the wine again.  It had a thick purple appearance with a nose of plums, cocoa, pomegranate.  Smoke, iodine, plum jam, blueberry preserves and eucalyptus all exploded on the palate with crispy acidity and generous tannins. An interesting taste/mouthfeel combo that kept me coming back for more.  There was a lovely oregano hint on the longish finish. Served with lamb shanks, it was the perfect combination.  I noted that is had ‘Bright fruit, Napa ringer’.  I can’t wait to see the other bottles evolve, it’s going to be magic for this 92 point effort.  Some of the pro’s went as high as 95 on it, we shall see.  You can find it for about $35, making it a solid 4 star wine.  Salut….

andrea oberto barolo

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

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