San Felice Campogiovanni docg Brunello Di Montalcino Tuscany Italy 2010

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Run, don’t walk to your local wine shop if you have any desire to taste a delicious Brunello.  I don’t have notes on this wine as I drank it at a company hosted dinner and thought it would be rude to whip out the ole iPhone and ignore the boss for the sake of a review.  I will say that I took away some main points- it is textbook Sangiovese that is drinking on pointe, the flavors are rich and balanced, the acidity and tannins are right where they need to be and the wine was a superb accompaniment to the Lamb chops with mint sauce.

Good Brunellos will evolve and in their evolution will take on Pinot Noir characteristics reminiscent of aged Burgundy.  This wine is on the path and I am super excited for it- the trail is well marked and it has the backbone, stuffing and correct components to get there and provide years of pleasure.  While it drinks beautifully now, it will no doubt be an amazing wine in another 10 years and more.  The pro’s gave this one huge scores and I will do so as well.  96 was the highest and WS gave it 95.   I concur and given its $40 price tag this wine is a steal and worthy of 5+ points.  Salut….

san felice campo giovanni brunello di montalcino 2010

Michel Chiarlo Barolo Palas 2010

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I got this bottle as a gift and thought I would open it to pair with some hearty pasta.  The wine turns out to command a lofty price in excess of $50, and got decent scores from the pros.  Here’s my take:

Slight bricking on the edges with a coppery tint in the glass.  A delightful nose of cherry and earth.  The first taste is sour cherry and green peppers.  The acidity that this wine opens with carries on through to the mid palate.  Right now it is one dimensional.  There are some good tannins that round the wine out but to be honest it is too young.  89 points from me and pretty much a pass unless it shapes up and gets a little bit of flab, some more fruit and a little less acidity.  This may happen if it gets some bottle age and nature is kind.  2 stars from me.  Salut….

michele chiarlo pales barolo

Yering Station Shiraz Viognier 2010, Yarra Valley Australia

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I got an email recently advertising this wine at a crazy good price, under $10 for a 90+point wine.  I was intrigued and bought a few bottles.

A nice purple that did not quite show over the top extraction that presented a nose of baked plums, blackcurrants and vanilla. The initial taste is somewhat expected with respect to my comment about extraction. This wine is far more subtle and refined compared to some of the more bombastic Aussie Shiraz’s I have tasted. It does come with a price though, 14.5% alcohol that just slips by unnoticed. The flavors are delicious, with blue fruits, a hint of pepper and violets. Tannins still lurk in the background and give the wine a nice crunch.  The acidity is ever so slight and does not overpower. The mid palate is where this wine shines, the fruit is very much alive and the mouthfeel hits its pinnacle. The finish is decent in length and gives a nice tannic coating that does not overpower. Overall a delicious wine that I am having with homemade pizza baked in the Big Green Egg.  89 points and 4 stars based on it’s normal retail of $16. Drink now- 2020.  Salut….

bering station shiraz viognier yarra valley

Sigston Swift Tatachilla Block Reserve Shiraz 2011, McLaren Vale

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This was the second Sigston Swift bottle at our tasting, the other being the Aunt Prissy Tempranillo.  This Reserve Shiraz has a bit of bottle age on it and is drinking well.  A nice purple color that leaves a sexy set of legs on the glass and introduces you to a nose of gorgeous black and blue currants. I’m missing the telltale white pepper notes associated with Mclaren Vale Shiraz, but they are replaced with some vanilla that I’m really liking. On the initial attack I get black berry torte, some blueberry pie and a touch of cinnamon. Mid palate wise it just flows on from the front end. The wine finishes with perfume, some slight tannins and black cherries. I think this wine is worthy of 87 points and 3 stars for its $15 price point.  Drink now-2018.  Salut….

sigston swift tatachilla block reserve shiraz

Sigston Swift Aunt Prissy Tempranillo 2014, McLaren Vale

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A friend brought this to the tasting, and I was impressed.  I was not expecting a Tempranillo from Australia, nor one that was this delicious.

Dark purple, with lots of extraction.  A full on nose of black currants, a hint of earth/dust and possibly some eucalyptus. A super smooth intro of Ribena, black olive and spice on the palate.  The tannins are very integrated and there is a nice touch of acidity.  The mid palate gives black fruit and an interesting note of bell peppers.  This wine drinks well now and will drink nicely all by itself or perhaps with some charcuterie.  It may have some cellaring capacity but the structure calls for pop-n-pour.  It closes with a sour cherry note and a mid length finish that I enjoyed.  I’m not sure if much oak influenced this wine but the relatively low 13% alcohol makes it a treat to drink.  I really like this wine and look forward to it becoming more widely available.  A very respectable 88 points from me and 4 stars for its $15 price point.  Salut….

sigston swift aunt prissy tempranillo

Mollydooker Miss Molly Sparkling Shiraz, South Australia 2010

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I first opened a Miss Molly in January of 2014.  This second bottle has been cellared in hopes of seeing evolution.  I only drank it in a flute, rather than tasting it as I did the first time.

Nose of cassis syrup, with an effervescent plum component.  On the palate is where it all starts- pepper, spice, black berries, plum jam and cassis.  The mousse keeps bringing back the blackberry and cassis throughout the mid palate and on to the finish.  The wine ends with a white pepper and cassis note in a somewhat short fashion.  I don’t detect any tannins but there is a definite acidity that keeps the wine fresh and bracing.  I previously gave this wine 90 points, but at this stage it gets 88 points.  We drank it with grilled salmon and Caeser salad.  It would rock some raw clams or perhaps roasted quail.  3 stars for this $25 offering.  Salut….
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Finca Antigua Crianza la Mancha, Castilla, Spain 2009

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I bought this on sale for $11 and couldn’t be happier.  I got three bottles but may have to re-order by the case!  Opaque dark red/purple from this 50% Tempranillo, 20% Merlot, 20% Cab, 10% Syrah blend. The nose gives up mint, capsicum and a touch of blueberry. On the palate an interesting mix of blueberry, earth and pomegranate. The wine exhibits some forward acidity which explains the pomegranate component. It finishes nicely with a healthy, balanced dose of tannins that rest in the gums and make me reach for the glass. This is a yummy wine that defies the typical Spanish profile yet provides juicy, interesting flavors that should evolve and mature. 90 points and 5 stars for this great quality to price ratio.  Salut….

finca antigua crianza

Domaine Sebastien Magnien Pommard Les Perrieres, Cote de Beane, France 2010

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A Burgundy bottling that comes with great acclaim and which I have waited long enough to try.  See through light purple, hinting at refinement and class.  The nose has strawberry, pomegranate and twizzlers.  All typical of good Pinot Noir!  The initial taste is very elegant, light and juicy. Strawberry, rhubarb and juicy acidity merge into a mid palate of cherry kirsch. The finish is long and laced with tannins as well as that bracing acidity. This wine is exuberant and young. The earthiness and funk that I crave in Burgundy wines has not yet evolved. I would imagine another 4 years in the cellar might extract the results I’m looking for. 91 points for now and I am excited for the next bottle in a few years!  4 stars for this $55 offering.  Salut….

les perrieres

Clos St. Thomas ‘Chateau St. Thomas’ Rouge, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2008

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I have recently started to modify the titles of my posts to more closely reflect what other sites use.  One site in particular has added my blog to their reviews section and I want to make sure they are cataloged properly.  I may go back and modify some of the reviews I have done to become more searchable and SEO friendly. In the meantime, I plan on doing more tastings and more reviews.  This particular wine is a favorite.  My father and uncle both got me a few bottles of the 2008 St. Thomas, of which their cousin owns.  When I drank it 18 months ago it was really good, yet still primal.  The notes that follow will hopefully show you the evolution and value of cellaring certain wines.  What was a 91 point wine has now come out as worthy of 92, and 5 stars for it’s incredible $22 value.

Mature, bold and balanced. This wine has finally rounded it’s tannins and now the whole package is seamless and smooth. The mouthfeel is gorgeous with rich plum, cassis, leather and vanilla. The tannins are ever present but not dominating. They counter the acidity perfectly. This wine has evolved incredibly. The mid palate is especially present with rich plum and a hint of the oak. It will evolve further and run for another 10 years minimum. Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot and Syrah blended.  92 points. I’m serving it with grilled rib steaks and home-grown tomato salad.  Salut….

clos st. thomas wine

Alexander Valley Vineyards Wetzel Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

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I was recently in an airport lounge and saw this wine being offered.  I am a fan of the winery since our visit there in 2015.  If you are ever in the area and want to enjoy a nice tasting, fun staff and cool dog I suggest you visit Alexander Valley Vineyards.

Nice rich purple in the glass with a nose of eucalyptus and plum jam -maybe blackberry reduction. The initial taste is super smooth. I mean seriously smooth, with blackberry, nutmeg and tobacco flavors. This wine has a seamless transition from front to back. Amazing and extremely balanced. I’m loving it. 92 points, which is high but this wine is drinking on pointe and deserves credit for its immediate satisfaction. It may cellar for another 3-5 years but why wait?  I found it online for $15, but MSRP is around $22.  They blended a touch of my favorites in for color, aroma and balance.  Merlot at 6%, with a touch of Cab Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. For sure a 5 star wine, stock up and serve alone or with pretty much all the classic red wine pairings.  Salut….

wetzel fmly estate cab sauv alex valley sonoma county north coast california usa