Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Update - Doña Paula Los Cardos Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 2008 - $10

I tasted this wine again tonight - see this wine's main post for tasting notes!

Contado Aglianico 2005, Molise, Italy - $12

Another wine recommended by Gary V of Wine Library TV. Robert Parker rates this Di Majo Norante Contado Aglianico 2005 at 89, and Wine Enthusiast at 88. Aglianico is grown in the Campania area of Italy, and originates from a Greek varietal that was considered a first growth wine (Premier Cru).

Marques de Murrietta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2001 - $40 to $50

Just another wine I'd like to try - suggested by Gary V of Wine Library TV. It's a Tempranillo blend, apparently reminiscent of an old world Bordeaux.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

B & E Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Paso Robles, CA - $20

This was the final wine of the evening, and I've had it before at Driftwood Estate Vineyards. The grapes are grown and the wine is made in Paso Robles (my favorite Cab Sauv area).

Aroma - peppery, kind of hot
Taste - cocoa, spice, peppery long finish

I've had this wine with brisket before, and I thought it was very, very nice.

Update - El Coto Rioja Crianza 2005, Special Cuvée, Spain - $12

I tasted this wine again tonight - see the main post for the update!

Sterling Vitner's Collection Zinfandel 2005, Central Coast CA - $10

After Thanksgiving dinner (see wine note here), we headed over to a friend's house for the UT/A&M game (we won!). This was one of several red wines they had opened for their dinner earlier.

Aroma - raisins
Taste - raisins, simple, easy to drink, short finish

This wine was okay for the price point. I really prefer the Organic Red Truck Zin 2006 from Mendicino County, which is right around the same price.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ridge 2007, Geyserville, California - $29.99

This red blend was the fifth of five wines we tasted today at the Austin Wine Merchant, and is made from 58% Zinfandel, 22% Carignane, 18% Petite Sirah, and 2% Mataró. Geyserville is located at the Western edge of Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, just northwest of Healdsburg.

Aroma - fruity, jammy
Taste - minerals, dry, moderate tannins

Wine Spectator and Connoisseurs Guide rated this wine a 91.

I like this wine - it's on my "to buy" list!

El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa Old Vines Garnacha 2008, Navarra, Spain - $12.50

This Bodegas Nekeas Spanish Garnacha was the fourth of five wines we tasted at the Austin Wine Merchant tonight.

Aroma - earthy, deep dark fruit
Taste - watery, one-note (Mel thought it smelled and tasted sweaty, JS thought it smelled and tasted dirty)

Disappointing after such a strong start with the aroma. There are much better wines out there at this price point. However, it was rated 90 points by Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, so perhaps someone out there will like it.

Siduri Van Der Kamp Vineyard Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir 2007 - $19.99

This was the third of five wines we tasted tonight at the Austin Wine Merchant. I'm not a huge Pinot Noir fan because I like red wines with more body than Pinots usually have. Also, I find that most of the PNs that I like are at least $20, and the ones that I really really like are usually closer to $40. I really love lots of reds that are in the $10 - $20 range, so why spend the extra for a varietal that I only like equally or less?

Aroma - light, red fruit, initially a scent of caramel
Taste - peppery, bitter fruit, green/young (JS also thought it was woodsy, and Mel liked it a lot)

I didn't love this wine, and the more I drank it the less I liked it. I probably won't be spending the money for this Pinot.

Joseph Drouhin White 2008 Saint-Véran, Burgundy, France - $13.75

This was the second of five wines we tasted at the Austin Wine Merchant today. It's a white Burgundy made from Chardonnay grapes. I'm not crazy about American Chardonnay, but this French Chard was pretty good.

Aroma - creamy (Mel thought clean)
Taste - the pourer told us that she thought it was minerally (Mel said crystalline, JS said velvety)

This wine definitely didn't turn me completely off like Chards usually do. I think I'll have to try it with food to be sure!

Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Noble House Riesling 2008, Germany - $10.75

This was the first of five wines at tonight's Austin Wine Merchant tasting. I highly recommend these wine tastings, as I always learn just a little bit more about wine from the really knowledgeable staff at AWM. I went to this wine tasting with Mel and JS.

I don't have a lot of experience in Rieslings. Here are my thoughts.

Aroma - crisp, sweet, opening to pineapples
Taste - white grapes, pears, slightly sweet

A wine distributor at the Royal Blue Thursday wine tastings once told me that Rieslings have a definite aroma of petrol, and I've never been able to find that in any that I've tasted. In talking with Greg Soechting, one of the owners of AWM, I realized why this is. Greg said that good, sweet Rieslings that have been aged 10 - 20 years do have a definite petrol smell/taste.

Either Greg or Mel also mentioned that the acid and sugars lend this wine well to spicy, rich foods, and most Asian foods.

I'm still not a Riesling convert - not just yet!

El Coto Rioja Crianza 2005, Special Cuvée, Spain - $12

This was the third of three wines I tasted this afternoon at Whole Foods. It is made from Tempranillo grapes.

Aroma - red fruit
Taste - red fruit, bitter at the end, medium body, very long finish

I generally like Tempranillos, but this one in particular wasn't a huge standout. Hoya de Cadenas Reserva Tempranillo is still my everyday go-to Tempranillo.

Update - November 26, 2009
This was one of three wines I tasted during the UT/A&M game Thanksgiving evening. I drank this wine without food, and it seemed to have been opened for a few hours before I poured a glass for myself.

Aroma - spice
Taste - red fruit, tobacco, light to medium bodied

Update - December 19, 2009
Featured in a tasting at Whole Foods...

Aroma - tight, peppery
Taste - smooth, pepper, strong tannins

Update November 20, 2010
Second wine for our British Sunday Dinner main course.

Aroma - red fruit, old world musty
Taste - red fruit, musty, medium tannins

It held up well to the beef! See the link above for details about the entire dinner!

Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir 2008, Valle Central, Chile - $6

This Chilean Pinot was the second of three wines I tasted today at Whole Foods. It is definitely not a good choice, even at this price point, which is actually two bottles for $11.99. There are so many better choices that would go well with Turkey (this being the day prior to Thanksgiving) - the first that comes to mind is one of my favorites, Vincente Gandia Hoya de Cadenas Reserva Tempranillo 2004 - $10 at Whole Foods.

Aroma - wet dirty sponge
Taste - bitter fruit

Needless to say, I wouldn't waste my $11.99 for two bottles of this. I'd go with a $10 Tempranillo first. I'm surprised that Whole Foods has chosen this as a current Top Ten Wine.

J. P. Chenet Blanc De Blancs Brut Sparkling White Wine, France - $10.99

This was the first of three wines I tasted at Whole Foods while finishing up my Thanksgiving grocery shopping.

This sparkling white wine is from France, but is not from the Champagne region, which is why it's not called Champagne.

Aroma - crisp and light
Taste - crisp and light

A nice, light, Sparkler. Probably very food friendly, and seems like a good value for the price point. Will have to have it with oysters sometime!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grayson Cellars Lot 10 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Paso Robles, CA - $10

This Cab Sauv is going to be another favorite of mine! I purchased it at Whole Foods for around $10 - I think it might have been on sale. It can also be purchased at Royal Blue. It's a Cab from my favorite Cab region, Paso Robles.

Aroma - dark fruit and dark chocolate
Taste - dark fruit, dark chocolate, soft tannins for a Cab Sauv

This wine was rated 89 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

This is one I'll definitely purchase again!

Update - January 3, 2010
Had this wine again tonight with the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for Parker Beef Stew.

Aroma - dark cocoa
taste - dark fruit, and chocolate, more candy-like than the Bordeaux we had earlier tonight.

Update - January 28, 2010
Tasted this wine tonight at Royal Blue, and it's still a wine that I really like.

Aroma - dark chocolate, dark fruit
Taste - soft tannins, minerals, dark fruit, and dark chocolate

Snacks included at the tasting were bacon-wrapped almond-stuffed dates, and spiced almonds and pecans - both were fabulous with the wine!

I purchased this wine at Royal Blue for $10.75 to have with our Barefoot Contessa's Parker Beef Stew tonight, and they went very nicely together.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

V. Sattui Angelica, St. Helena - $29

FB brought this great wine to have with our fabulous homemade desserts (biscotti, apple cake, and Tiramisu). It was the sixth of six wines we tasted tonight, and it was AMAZING!

Aroma - honeyed
Taste - apricots, creamy, very sweet and viscous (Mel said syrupy - like liquid honey)

Yum - thanks for sharing, FB! Mel says that Angelica is an endangered wine, so she was super-excited to be able to taste it!

Palo Alto Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008, DO Maipo Valley, Chile - $11

This Chilean Sauvignon Blanc was really refreshing, and was the fifth of six wines we had with our fresh pasta!

Aroma - lychees, tropical fruit
Taste - dry, crisp, green (Mel adds citrusy and zesty)

I'll have to try it with some seafood in the future!

Il Grappolo Rosso di Montalcino 2004, Italy

This was the fourth of six wines we had with our fresh pasta tonight! FB said that he bought it at Trader Joe's. I searched extensively online for it, and it's not a wine that I can find very easily online. Hence the 2006 image even though we tasted the 2004.

Aroma - red fruit
Taste - red fruit, solid tannins

I remember liking this wine, which I believe is 100% Sangiovese, and I'd love to try it again if I can find a bottle of it!

Pavilion Crossing Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Sonoma County - $16.50

This was the third of six wines we had at Fresh Pasta Night.

Aroma - chocolate and spice
Taste - chocolate and fruity

I think I liked it, but will have to try it again to be sure!

Ali Sangiovese di Toscana 2007 - $10

This was the second of six wines that I tasted tonight at Mel and JS's Fresh Pasta Night get-together.

SP brought this Donna Laura Ali Sangiovese, and as you know, I always believe in matching wine and food from the same country - seems to work most of the time.

Aroma - dark fruit, musty
Taste - tobacco, solid tannins, leathery finish, medium-bodied

I liked it, and will probably try it again!

Update - Perrin & Fils Les Cornuds 2007, Vinsobres, France - $19.99

Tonight was fresh pasta night at Mel's. JS's Italian mother made AMAZING spaghetti, linguine, and cheese ravioli with fresh tomato sauce and meatballs. And to celebrate, everyone brought a bottle of wine (or two!).

This was the first of six wines we had with Fresh Pasta Night! I also tasted this wine a few hours earlier at the Austin Wine Merchant, so see my tasting notes all in one post here!

Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir 2006, Willamette Valley, Oregon - $35

Now this was really nice Pinot Noir. One of the wine staff at Whole Foods says that you need to purchase around this price to get a quality PN. It was the fourth of five wines we tasted today at the Austin Wine Merchant.

Aroma - red fruit, cherries; D also described it as "musty"
Taste - light to medium bodied, lightly reminiscent of leather, dry, light tannins, red fruits, berries, lots of layers

I'd love to try this wine again sometime with food. Wine & Spirits rated this at 93 points, and the Wine Advocate at 90 points.

Perrin & Fils Les Cornuds 2007, Vinsobres, France - $19.99

This was the last of five wines we tasted at the Austin Wine Merchant this afternoon before embarking on our own little mini-downtown condo tour!

I actually recognized this wine as one that D has picked up at Costco for me for around $10. It's comprised of 65% Syrah and 35% Grenache, which is (according to our AWM wine pourer) the opposite proportion of varietals usually blended into this type of wine (usually there is more Grenache than Syrah).

Aroma - D and MK smelled an initial top note of black licorice that evaporated very quickly; dark fruit, smoky, metallic (was it because we weren't having any food with the wine?)
Taste - dark fruit, very tart, very dry, hard tannins

I love strong tannins in wines, so I actually liked this wine just fine. Apparently it was listed in Wine Spectator's recent list of Top 100 Wines. WS gave it a 91, and Robert Parker gave it a 90.

Update - later this evening...
I brought this wine to share with everyone at Fresh Pasta Night at Mel and JS's. I know how much Mel loves French wines, especially Syrahs, so I thought this would be a great wine to share with her. She said it was her favorite of the evening - yay, I'm glad she liked it!

Update - May 14, 2011
Had this wine with our gourmet dinner club event tonight - see the tasting notes here.

Trimbach Riesling 2007, Alsace, France - $17.50

This was the third of five wines we tasted at Austin Wine Merchant today. I'm not a huge fan of Riesling, and even though Alsace is supposed to be the best place to grow the Riesling grape, I'm still not really loving the taste of this varietal.

Aroma - lychees
Taste - light, simple, tart, slightly sweet finish

We were puzzled because the wine pourer at the AWM kept saying that this wine is really dry. I didn't taste dry at all.

Stephen Tanzer rated this wine 87 points, and Wine Spectator rated it at 91 points.

Cousiño-Macul Sauvignon Gris 2006, Maipo Valley, Chile - $13.75

This was the second of five wines we tasted today at Austin Wine Merchant. It's a Chilean wine that is actually produced from a grape varietal that is believed to be a mutant of Sauvignon Blanc. It's a grey grape - hence the name Sauvignon Gris!

Aroma - apricots
Taste - dry, bitter, tropical fruit without being sweet

Robert Parker rated this wine 86 points. I didn't love it, and will probably choose a Sauvignon Blanc over this any day.

Argyle Brut 2005, Willamette Valley, Oregon - $22.50

The Austin Wine Merchant has twice weekly wine tastings and this is the first time I've taken advantage of them! They take place on Wednesdays from 5pm - 7pm, and on Saturdays from 12pm - 3pm. Today they featured Thanksgiving Day wines - wines that you might serve with your Thanksgiving Feast!

This was the first of five wines we tasted at the AWM today. This sparkling white wine from Oregon is 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay. Robert Parker rated it a 92, and Wine Spectator a 90.

Aroma - green apples, fresh, crisp
Taste - tart apples, grapefruit

D also pictured Aspen trees when he tasted this sparkling wine - perhaps related to the crisp environments we usually find those trees in?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tenuta Caparzo Rosso di Montalcino 2005, Tuscany, Italy - $20

MK brought this wine over last night for SYTYCD Girls' Night In, and it was the perfect fit! It's made from Sangiovese grapes in Tuscany.

Aroma - chocolate/cocoa, dark berries
Taste - chocolate, red fruit

We had this wine with a penne/pesto/tomato/feta cheese pasta dish - fabulous!! Wine & Spirits rated it 90 points.

I'd love to have this wine again - seems that it would go great with most Italian foods!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Waring Pro™ Professional Cordless Wine Opener - $40

Got this wine opener as a gift this weekend. It's AWESOME! With the tendinitis in my elbow acting up, it was a relief to not to have to twist and pull anything to open a bottle of wine. With the push of 2 buttons, the wine was uncorked and the cork was released!

I'm not usually a gadget person, but I really love this one!! Thanks to my brother and his wife for this really thoughtful present!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Terra Andina Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, D.O. Valle Central, Chile - $9

We brought this wine to RS/MS's place for dinner tonight. I purchased this wine for $9 at Whole Foods.

Aroma - red fruit, very fruity
Taste - strong tobacco, dry finish, bitter at the end

We had this wine with fried tilapia (a little metallic tasting with the fish), couscous with spinach and walnuts, and a salad of cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, celery, and Cuban lime dressing.

I really like this winery's Carmenère. This CS is fine, but there are better choices out there close to this price point. I'd rather spend a few more dollars to get a Sebastiani ($13), Liberty School ($11), or Rodney Strong($11) Cab Sauv.

Gabbiano Chianti DOCG 2008 - $11

This Castello di Gabbiano Chianti is a traditional blend of primarily Sangiovese, but also includes small amounts of Canaiolo, Trebbiano, and Colorino.

Apparently the DOCG designation means this Chianti meets the rigorous winemaking standards set by Italian law and guarantees that the wine is produced using the highest quality of traditional winemaking methods, and only 21 zones in Italy have the prestigious honor of being recognized as meeting the DOCG requirements. Cool!

Aroma - red fruit
Taste - red fruit, dry, light-medium bodied

We had this wine at RS/MS's along with a dinner of fried tilapia, couscous with spinach and walnuts, and a salad of cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, celery, and Cuban lime dressing. I thought it went better with this dinner than the Terra Andina Cabernet Sauvignon that followed.

Our host mentioned that he has purchased this wine in the past at Central Market. Online, the prices range from $8 to $13 per bottle.

Pillar Box Red, Padthaway, South Australia - $12

I'm not sure which vintage of this wine we drank tonight, so I'm going to guess that it was the 2007, which seems to be on the market right now. I've purchased this wine a few times from Costco, and I've never really loved it even though Robert Parker rated it a 90.

Henry's Drive 2007 Pillar Box Red is a blend of 65% Shiraz, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot.

Aroma - prunes
Taste - tobacco, dark fruit, bitter finish

Again, not one of my favorite wines. Drinkable and a good wine for the price, but I probably won't purchase it myself simply because I really don't prefer it. It always tastes extremely bitter to me.

Viña Alarba Old Vines Grenache 2007, D.O. Calatayud, Spain - $9

This wine by Bodegas y Viñedos Jalón accompanied my La Condessa veggie brunch plate this morning- scrambled eggs, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, brioche, and salad with a light vinaigrette. Cost at La Condessa - $6.50 per glass, $26 per bottle.

Aroma - sweet cherries
Taste - tart cherries, nice tannins

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate rated this wine 88 points. It's priced at $8.75 per bottle at the Austin Wine Merchant - excellent!

Update - February 10, 2010
I purchased a bottle of this wine at the Austin Wine Merchant thinking that it could be a good light red wine to have with seafood, much like Pinot Noir (which can be hit or miss as far as I'm concerned).

This wine was PERFECT with Asian shrimp stir fry today - coconut butter, chopped onions, turkey bacon, soy sauce marinated tofu cubes, baby bella mushrooms, organic broccoli, soy sauce marinated shrimp, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil on top of basmati rice. Yum!!!!! Just what was needed after a very, very long and emotionally-draining day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CMS Red 2008 by Hedges, Columbia Valley, Washington State - $14.50

This was the second wine I tasted at Royal Blue tonight. Again, April Collins from Vintage Wine Marketing had tons to tell me about this wine and wine in general.

This wine is 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, and 6% Syrah.

Aroma - dark fruit
Taste - fruit, tobacco, layers upon layers of flavor (nice complexity), nice tannins

April also smelled and tasted white pepper. She says that the complexity makes this wine taste like a more expensive wine. She also mentioned that the grapes for this wine come from what is now the Red Mountain AVA (which was formerly part of the Columbia Valley AVA).

April says that she much prefers mountain fruit – she says that almost every cult wine comes from mountain fruit, and that mountain fruit tends to produce wines with nice, round tannins.

Update - June 25, 2011
Had this wine at a mystery red wine party - see the updated notes here!

CMS White 2007 by Hedges, Columbia Valley, Washington State - $14.50

I think this has been my favorite Thursday night wine tasting at Royal Blue! The wine importer, April Collins from Vintage Wine Marketing, was really passionate and knowledgeable, and I really enjoyed talking with her and learning from her.

This line, whether red or white, has the same name - CMS. For the white blend, CMS stands for Chardonnay, Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc, and the reason that the wines aren't listed on the front label in the usual order of highest percentage to lowest percentage of varietal is that the winemaker always uses the same initials in the same order.

This white is a blend of 62% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% unoaked Chardonnay, and just 3% Marsanne. I could really smell the SB - in fact, the aroma was overwhelmingly SB. I could taste a little of the Chardonnay, but it wasn't heavy and overpowering like the Chards I don't prefer.

Aroma - light, citrus, very reminiscent of my favorite SBs
Taste - light, but with some body, faintly reminiscent of Chardonnay

April gave me a few more tips about this wine and wine in general. She said that Marsanne usually emits aromas of Fruit Loops, and that it tends to lend a slightly oily mouthfeel to wine. It's usually used as a blending grape in small percentages, and thus is not usually listed on the bottle so most folks don't actually know when they are drinking a wine that includes Marsanne.

She also mentioned that the Hedges family produces this particular line of wines at a price point under $15 - awesome! Wine Enthusiast rated this wine 88 points.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chono Reserva Carmenère 2006, Maipo Valley - $12

So I think I've turned MS and SD on to Carmenère, which I absolutely love! They picked up this one at Whole Foods.

Aroma - chocolate, caramel
Taste - tobacco, dry, nice tannins

This is the second time I've had this particular wine, and I really, really enjoy it!

Brian from Virtuoso Selections (the distributor for this wine) says that at a wine tasting for Houston sommeliers involving many, many expensive wines, Chono Carmenère was actually the top pick! Great to know!

Update again - Terra Andina 2008 Carmenère, Chile - $8 to $10

What an amazing wine! See what I paired with it by clicking here!

Pisato Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2007 - $10

This wine paired so well with Ribollita (recipe by Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa). It's also listed on the Whole Foods Top Ten, and it's made with organic grapes. I bought it at Whole Foods.

Ribollita Recipe


  • 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1/4 pound large diced pancetta or smoked bacon
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (3 carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (3 stalks)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped or shredded savoy cabbage, optional
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cans white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 4 cups sourdough bread cubes, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


Heat the oil in a large stockpot. Add the pancetta and onions and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, 1 tablespoon of salt, the pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes with their puree, the cabbage, if using, the kale, and basil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for another 7 to 10 minutes.

Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree half of the beans with a little of their liquid. Add to the stockpot, along with the remaining whole beans. Pour the bean cooking liquid into a large measuring cup and add enough chicken stock to make 8 cups. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Add the bread to the soup and simmer for 10 more minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve hot in large bowls sprinkled with Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Castaño Monastrell Yecla 2007 - $10

I've always liked this wine, and I can usually get it at Whole Foods.

Aroma - chocolate, leather, pepper
Taste - firm tannins, slightly bitter at the end

This wine went GREAT with veggie stir fry! It rated 90 points with the Wine Advocate (Jay Miller), 90 points with Robert Parker, and 88 points with Stephen Tanzer.

Update - November 29, 2009
SD and MS came over for a glass of wine tonight, and we tried the Monastrell again.

SD - aromas of damp rag, but thought it tasted good
D - celery
me - vegetal

Interesting - we didn't have any food with this wine tonight.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rívola Sardon De Duero 2007, Tierra de Castilla y León, Spain - $15 retail/$28 restaurant

We stopped by The Grove for dinner tonight. We asked for a Carmenère initially, but the waiter said that they didn't have any on the menu because it didn't move - sad.

This Abadia Retuerta wine was a 60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon blend, and it was very, very nice! For dinner I had halibut ceviche, and the wine was quite good with it. This seems like a really food-friendly wine. The waiter actually said that the CS gave the Tempranillo a little more body, which I think is exactly right. It makes the Tempranillo a little more "solid" but the wine's still light enough to go with fish.

Aroma - peppery, red fruit, minerals
Taste - nice tannins; smooth, found, full flavor

Past vintages have rated between 88 and 91 with Robert Parker and Stephen Tanzer. I wonder where else I can find this wine because I really, really like it!

Update - August 25, 2010
This red wine blend (60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon) from the Abadia Retuerta winery was $15 at Whole Foods.

Aroma - currants, a little hot
Taste - currants, black tea, moderate tannins

This wine went so well with our take out from Zocalo Cafe -
Campechana and Ceviche for me, and the Chicken Tacos de Fajita for D. Fantastic pairing!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Live-a-Little Really Ravishing Red - $9

So I have to admit that I thought I really, really liked this wine. It's available at Whole Foods for $9, which is such a nice price point for an organic red wine.

Unfortunately, I couldn't even drink more than a glass of this wine this time around. While it smelled of chocolate, it tasted like tart cherry cough syrup - yuck! I can't believe that I used to really like this wine - could it have really changed that much?!

Maybe it's the wine - maybe it's just me. Nevertheless, I'll probably never buy this wine again. So sad.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kali Hart Pinot Noir 2007, Monterey County - $20

This wine is really bright and light - I smell and taste cherries galore! It's a really nice PN for the price! I'll definitely try it again!

Wine Enthusiast rated this wine 90 points. MS and SD, thanks for bringing it over!