Thursday, September 3, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - Spanish Red - 2004 Casado Morales Rioja Gran Reserva

Since our trip to Spain last year when we spent a few great days in the Rioja Alavesa area (the Basque portion of Rioja), I have been very intrigued with wineries from this area, producing wines with grapes purely from this area. Historically, grapes from the Alavesa sub-region have been blended with grapes from Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. In this case, a Gran Reserva level Rioja for only $35 only added to the intrigue.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - Argentina Red - 2012 Fabre Montmayou Malbec Phebus Gran Reserva

The term "Gran Reserva" on a wine bottle makes me think of the oldest and the best that a winery has to offer.  Even though the definition of the term varies between Spain (means 5 years of aging for a red wine) and Argentina (means 2 years of aging), the general concept of the longest aged wine, typically with the best grapes that will benefit from extended aging - is the same.  Today I'll be tasting an Argentinian Gran Reserva Malbec from Phebus winery in Mendoza.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - California Red - 2011 Oak Ridge Ancient Vine Reserve Zinfandel

This week's wine is a Zinfandel from Oak Ridge - who bottle a "regular" Zin, as well as this Reserve-level wine. The promise of ancient vines makes me think of a big, delicious, jammy California wine... let's see if this wine delivers!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - California Red - 2013 Line Shack Winery Petite Sirah

San Antonio Valley is a relatively new "official" wine region (a.k.a. an AVA or American Viticultural Area) that has existed just since 2006 in Monterey County, California. A creation of a new AVA can denote a new area of grape growing or an area that has distinguished itself as being unique from a larger AVA that may have originally contained the area.  In this case, growers in the area believed that there were specific characteristics of the San Antonio Valley that set it apart (and perhaps even above) the larger Monterey County AVA.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - California Red - 2012 Calcareous Vineyard Tres Violet

Calcareous is a winery I have on my list for our next trip to Paso Robles (October, but who's counting!).   I've never had their wine before, but have read some very good things... so when I came across this little number...let's drink!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - Italian Rosé - 2014 Albino Armani Schiava Vallagarina IGT

On my last visit to Total Wine and More to stock up, as I was grabbing a bottle (or two) of Charles Smith Rosé, one of the Total Wine staff recommended this Italian Rosé.  Over 110 degrees here in Arizona, so a tasty chilled Rosé is a wonderful thing... so let's give it a try.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - California Red - 2010 Darioush Napa Valley Shiraz

Even though my less expensive class of wine I use for my wine rating scale is "Everyday", it doesn't mean that after a particularly rough Wednesday you have to settle for an Everyday selection. Even a Wednesday deserves a splurge wine, and this time it was a wine from one of my very favorite wineries. Dariush makes a great Cabernet that you will see on many restaurant lists, but my favorite from their offerings is they Shiraz.  Typically Australian wines  are the ones who use "Shiraz" instead of Syrah, but in this case it is the Persian ancestry of the winery owner and a nod to the city of Shiraz in Iran. Enough geography though... let's drink.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - French Red - 2009 Château Arnauton Fronsac

France was a big part in our fight for independence from England, so how better to say thanks this Independence Day than to imbibe in some of their wonderful export - wine! This wine is from Fronsac, an appellation within the Bordeaux region just northwest of more recognizable right bank appellations like Pomerol and St. Emilon. As a right bank appellation, Cabernet Sauvignon is not the star here - instead this wine is mostly Merlot with only a tough of Cabernet Franc.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - Spanish Red - 2005 Señor de Lesmos Rioja Reserva

Wine aging is not always just about the oak barrels for Spanish reds. Take this wine, which is aged a total of 27 months in those good ole' oak barrels, but then is moved into concrete vats for more than a year. Some winemakers believe that cement provides cleaner flavors with less risk of imparting unwanted flavors compared to oak barrels.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - California Red Blend - 2012 ONX Reckoning

The folks at ONX (pronounced onyx) make some of my favorite Paso Robles wines, and actually some of my favorite wines period.  I very much appreciate their approach to focusing on creating the best blends they can, and don't pay much attention to varieties that are typically blended together (or wines that typically aren't used much in blends at all).  Take their wine Reckoning for example - which includes Rhone varietals Syrah and Grenache, Tempranillo which is typically the lead grape in Spanish wines such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero, Zinfandel which also normally plays the lead role, Petite Sirah which is sometimes added to a Zinfandel to provide additional acid and tannins, and Malbec which plays the starring role in South America, but is a minor blending partner in Bordeaux wines.  Forget the rules! Just make great wine... I love it!!!  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - California Red Blend - 2013 Chronic Cellars Sofa King Bueno

While shopping at Costco for 1,000 roll packs of toilet paper and 50 pound bags of Brussels Sprouts, I happened by the wine aisle (no accident there) and saw this wine - Chronic Cellars Sofa King Bueno (say it out loud if you don't get it immediately).  Oh yeah, no matter what I'm getting this wine.  Hmmm.... from Paso Robles - that's pretty cool.   A blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre... that's also pretty cool. Let's drink!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - California Red Blend - 2009 ONX Brainchild

I typically try and select wines that are available through retail. But ONX wines from Paso Robles are just so damn good that you need to find a way to try them!  Today I'm trying a new one for me - Brainchild, a blend of all sorts of grapes you don't usually  see together - Tempranillo, Cabernet, Grenache, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. There was only 108 cases of this wine produced, so I hope I don't like it too much!