Friday, April 30, 2010

Petroni Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma, CA - $25

This 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma was the fourth of four wines I tasted tonight at Royal Blue. It sells for around $23 online, and would be priced at around $25 once it enters the Royal Blue shelves.

Aroma - salty citrus, apricot
Taste - salty citrus

Not my favorite SB. I'm not a huge fan of salty wine. At this price, I'd be a lot better off purchasing a Malborough, New Zealand SB.

Petroni Rosso di Sonoma Estate Grown 2006, Sonoma Valley, CA - $20

This red blend earned 92 points from Wine Enthusiast. It was the third of four wines I tasted tonight at Royal Blue. It is a blend of Sangiovese Grosso (around 80%), Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. I found it online for around $20, although once they begin selling it at Royal Blue, it will cost around $30 or so.

Aroma - dark fruit, inky
Taste - dark fruit, inky, strong tannins, smoky leather

I liked this wine okay. It wasn't my favorite of the evening, though. At the price point of $30 (what it'll be sold for at RB), I'd probably opt for the preceding Bonarda instead.

Durigutti Bonardo 2008, Mendoza, Argentina - $14.99

This was the second of four wines I tasted tonight at Royal Blue, and it costs $14.99/bottle there. Wine Spectator gave it 86 points.

Aroma - red fruit, light spice
Taste - red dry fruit, very strong tannins

Yummy! This is one of the first times I've really liked both the white and red served at the Royal Blue Thursday night tasting!

Update - July 29, 2010
Featured again at Royal Blue wine tasting - $15/bottle

Aroma - cherries
Taste - cherries, wood, tobacco, moderate tannins, a long finish

I really like this wine!

Update - July 23, 2011
Featured again at Royal Blue wine tasting - $15/bottle

Aroma - tart cherries
Taste - tart cherries, black tea, soft to moderate tannins

Okay, but I didn't like it today as much as I usually do because of the tartness. Could have been the pairing with the food or having it immediately after the white.

Update - July 27, 2011
CC brought this wine to TV night tonight.

Aroma - black currant
Taste - black fruit, tea and wood

Like it again! Must be the food pairings! Tonight we had devils on horseback, Moroccan spiced olives, and chips and Moroccan spiced dip.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Animus Vinho Verde 2008, Portugal - $11.50

This was the first of four wines I tasted at Royal Blue's tasting tonight. I found scant information about it online, so all I know is that it is a very young white wine.

aroma - floral
taste - floral, acidic

I really like this wine! Great price, too!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Yountville, CA - $20

This Napa Valley wine was a gift from JB for D's birthday. It was rated 91 points by Wine & Spirits.

Aroma - dark fruit and chocolate
Taste - dark fruit and chocolate, long finish, moderate tannins

This is a really good wine, but didn't go great with pesto turkey wraps and celery/Granny Smith/red grape salad. I think it needed something meatier to really ground the flavors. But all in all, a good wine!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Punto Final Malbec 2008, Perdriel, Argentina - $12

This Argentinian Malbec is actually 97% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc, unoaked, aged in stainless steel for 10 months. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate rated it 90 points.

Aroma - red fruit, a hint of chocolate
Taste - dark fruit, dark chocolate to tobacco, soft to moderate tannins, very clean long finish

I usually only think of white wines as having a very clean taste, but this red wine, for some reason, does as well. And it went so well with shrimp and spinach in garlic white wine sauce! I really love this wine!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Le Coq Rouge 2007, Languedoc-Roussillon, France - $17

This wine is in the Vin de Pays d'Oc region of France. It is a blend of 43% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 8% Grenache. MS and SD brought it for our LOST and GLEE viewing party.

Aroma - red fruit, pepper
Taste - pepper, tobacco, moderate tannins

A good wine, especially at this price point.

Update - May 4, 2010
Aroma - red fruit, spice
Taste - red fruit, light spice, moderate tannins, tobacco finish

We had this wine with Whole Foods whole grain chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry/açaí covered in dark chocolate. Yum!

Monday, April 19, 2010

MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir 2007, Central Coast, CA - $15

This was the third of three wines we had at JB's tonight. It was rated 90 points by Wine Enthusiast.

Aroma - light fruit, pepper
Taste - bright fruit and spice

We had this wine with salmon and curry/maple syrup sauce, roasted romaine lettuce with orange vinaigrette, rice with carrots/onion/garlic/lemon/mint.

The Wolftrap 2008, South Africa - $11

This was the second of three wines we had tonight at JB's. It is a blend of 68% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, and 2% Viognier, which is interesting since there are very few red/white blends.

Aroma - fruit forward, cedar, spice
Taste - fruit forward, cedar, spice

We had this wine with salmon and curry/maple syrup sauce, roasted romaine lettuce with orange vinaigrette, rice with carrots/onion/garlic/lemon/mint. Yum!

Update - Château Liversan Haut-Médoc 2005, France - $15

See this wine's main tasting page for updated notes and food pairings!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Riussanelle 2008, Minervois, France - $14.99

This red blend from Châteaux de Rieux is a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Cinsault, and 20% Grenache. It was the second of two wines I tasted at Royal Blue tonight. While these notes are about the 2008 vintage, I could only find an image of the 2007 vintage.

Aroma - red fruit, raisins
Taste - raisins and stems, strong tannins

Had this wine with crackers and feta cheese. It's a good wine for the price.

Italo Cescon Veneto Pinot Grigio, Italy - $17.99

This Italian white is 100% Pinot Grigio, and it was the first of two wines at Royal Blue's tasting tonight.

Aroma - a little like Chardonnay and beer
Taste - better than it smells, but acidic, tart, green fruit

I wouldn't buy this wine.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Teira Zinfandel 2006, Sonoma County, CA - $16.99

This California Zin is priced at $16.99 at Royal Blue. SP served it tonight during her last-minute dinner and snacks.

Aroma - raisins
Taste - red fruit, black tea, soft tannins

I think I had an allergic reaction to this wine, which is a shame because I liked the taste. I might purchase it again, but will need help drinking it!

Secreto Carmenère 2008, Chile - $10

This Chilean Carmenère by Viu Manent is a fun and affordable wine! MS and SD brought it to our LOST viewing party tonight! Their website reports that it actually contains 15% of other "undisclosed" red varietal(s).

Aroma - dark fruit, spice
Taste - fruit, very peppery


Monday, April 12, 2010

Mo Salinas Monastrell 2006, Alicante, Spain - $11

Bodegas Sierra Salinas produces this blend, which is mostly Monastrell but also contains Garnacha, Tintorera, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate rated this wine at 90 points. I purchased it at Whole Foods for $11.

Aroma - red fruit, light pepper, a little hot
Taste - red fruit, black tea ending in minerals, moderate tannins

Made pesto palmiers and pesto pasta with fresh baby bella mushrooms, beefsteak tomatoes, and Parmesan tonight. This was not the best wine pairing with the food, but afterwards the wine tasted great on its own.

Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir 2007, Russian River Valley, CA - $6.50/glass, $26/bottle

I ordered a glass of this California Pinot Noir at Huisache's Grill tonight, where we had dinner with LM, LM, RM, LL, and BL. I have to say that I was surprised at the very reasonably-priced wines at this New Braunfels restaurant - this wine retails for $20/bottle on and the restaurant sold it for only $26/bottle - not the usual restaurant markup. Wine & Spirits rated this wine at 88 points. It is actually a blend of 97% Pinot Noir and 3% Syrah.

Aroma - cherries
Taste - tart cherries, tobacco

I actually thought that this wine tasted a bit sour, so I wondered how long it had been open. I thought that since this restaurant is also a noted wine bar, that it would be safe to order a glass of wine rather than having to order an entire bottle (I was the only one having wine!). I was really disappointed in this wine, especially since it didn't compliment my spinach salad with fried oysters very well. I'll have to try it again.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Sonoma County, CA - $12

This wine is 92% Cab Sauv and 8% other Bordeaux varietals (this could include any or all of the following: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec). Robert Parker rated this wine 90 points, and I bought it at Western Beverages for $12.

Aroma - dark fruit, cedar, hot
Taste - dark fruit, tobacco, medium-bodied, moderate tannins

I like this wine - it tastes like a lighter-bodied version of some more expensive California Cabs. I am leaning towards the chocolaty-er Cabs at this point, but can't afford to drink them everyday. This is a good value wine, and even though it smells just a tad bit hot, it's not anything that turns me off to this wine.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Beckmen Vineyards Cuvee Le Bec 2008, - $21

This red wine blend is 51% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 16% Mourvèdre and 6% Counoise. MK purchased it for driveway drinking at Royal Blue tonight for $21. The vineyard's website's suggested price is $18.

Aroma - cassis
Taste - dark fruit, moderate tannins

Again, just had this wine with crackers.

Note: the image above is from the 2007 vintage.

Update - Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Chile - $10

Please see this wine's main page for updated tasting notes.

Davis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, CA - $49.50

This was the second of several wines we consumed during Driveway Drinking tonight. It costs $49.50 at Royal Blue.

Aroma - fruit, earth, soil
Taste - fruit, spice, strong tannins, tobacco

I would probably buy this wine again - it was a good wine, but a little pricey for everyday drinking.

Seghesio Zinfandel 2008 Blue Cap, Sonoma, CA - $24.50

This was the first of several wines tonight during Driveway Drinking. RJ bought it at Royal Blue for $24.50, and it was rated 89 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. RJ served it slightly chilled, which is how I prefer wines as well.

Aroma - dark fruit
Taste - dark fruit, black, tea, moderate tannins

I had this wine with a little piece of spanakopita - yum! RJ says to be sure that you purchase the blue cap, not the red cap Seghesio Zin.

Graziano Zinfandel 2006, Mendocino, CA - $16

This was the second of two wines I tasted tonight at Royal Blue.

Aroma - tight nose, light bright fruit
Taste - light fruit, pepper

This was an okay Zin. I would probably purchase it in the future.

Update - October 28, 2010
I tasted this wine again tonight at Royal Blue's Thursday Wine Tastings. The wine was poured by Rae from New Vintage Wines.

According to Rae, the fact that this Zin is grown in Mendocino causes the wine to be lighter-bodied than the average California Zin. The alcohol content is 14.5%, which is actually on par with most CA Zins. This wine retails for $16.50/bottle at Royal Blue.

Aroma - dark fruit
Taste - dark fruit, light spice, black tea, moderate tannins

This wine is fine as far as Zinfandels go, but the high alcohol content has me shying away from most Zins right now. Bummer, because I really used to love them! But palates are always evolving! This would be a good buy if you don't mind the high alcohol content.

Graziano Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Mendocino, CA - $12

This was the first of two wines at tonight's Royal Blue tasting. It is priced at $12 a bottle there.

Aroma - clean
Taste - smooth, not too acidic, clean

This is a good SB. If you like yellow/green fruit in your SB, then this might not be the wine for you. But there is certainly a market for the less fruity SBs, and the price point is quite compelling. I tasted this wine with crostini and sundried tomato paste.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Caymus Vineyards Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Napa Valley, CA - $100

This awesome vineyard always makes great wines! MS and SD gave this one to us for Christmas. We drank it on D's birthday - a very special day! It's rated 94 points by Wine Spectator.

Aroma - dark fruit, earthy, mushrooms, complex
Taste - blackberries, dark chocolate, soft to moderate tannins

An amazing wine! Wish I could afford to drink this one everyday!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Urban Uco Malbec-Tempranillo, Mendoza, Argentina - $9

This 50/50 blend of Malbec and Tempranillo from Argentina is interesting. I purchased it for $9 at Costo. It also seems to have several different labels - the one above is the one that I purchased. Jay Miller rated it 90 points.

Aroma - hot, soapy
Taste - red fruit, soapy, moderate tannins

Not a fan of the soapy taste, but it's very slight and actually makes the wine taste clean (is that weird?).

Update April 7, 2010
This wine tastes more like tobacco today.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cooralook Pinot Noir 2008, South Australia - $14.99

This South Australian Pinot Noir was the second of two wines I tasted at Royal Blue tonight.

Aroma - cherries
Taste - fruit, tobacco, finishes in lilacs/purple flowers, very light pepper

A nice wine for the price - easy to drink and very food friendly.

Ca 'Stella Pinot Grigio 2008, Delle Venezie, Italy - $13.50

This was the first of two wines I tasted at Royal Blue's Thursday night wine tasting, and it costs $13.50 a bottle. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks - yay!

Aroma - crisp, clean, citrus
Taste - crisp, pear, light

I tasted this wine with pears and prosciutto, so I'm not sure if that influenced the elements I thought I tasted in the wine. This is a nice, reasonably-priced Pinot Grigio.