Monday, May 31, 2010

Zuccardi Q Malbec 2007, Mendoza, Argentina - $15



This Argentinian wine by Familia Zuccardi was rated 90 points by Jay Miller of Wine Advocate, 89 points by Wine Enthusiast, and 92 points by Wine & Spirits. We purchased it for $15 at Costco. It is a nice wine, fruity and well-rounded with soft to moderate tannins, and I'd love to try it again in order to make more detailed tasting notes.

Update October 23, 2011
Aroma - red and dark fruit
Taste - red and dark fruit, soft tannins, dry, dark chocolate finish

Like it! Went so well with all of the food, which included beef tri-tip and New York strip steak, teriyaki mahimahi, yucca root, and roasted veggies (onions, bell peppers, Portobello mushrooms, and zucchini).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Capezzana 2007, Barco Reale di Carmignano - $18.95


This red wine blend by Conte Contini Bonacossi is made of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, and was rated 89 points by Wine Spectator. It can be purchased online for $13, but costs $18.95 at Royal Blue downstairs.

Aroma - currants, a little hot
Taste - currants

I liked this wine! MS and SD brought it over to share tonight - superfun!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Layer Cake Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina - $13



This may be my new favorite wine! I've found myself getting a little bored with some Cabs, especially California Cabs, which have generally been my favorite. I purchased this Malbec for $13 at Western Beverages, and Robert Parker's Wine Advocate rated it 91 points.

Aroma - black fruit and mocha, a little spice
Taste - blackest fruit, mocha, licorice, spice, complex, long finish, soft to moderate tannins

This wine is so interesting, and sits in the mouth so nicely. I really, really love it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tapeña Tempranillo, Spain - $7

Had this wine at Manuel's tonight - it was priced at $7/glass and $26/bottle. It can be found for between $6 and $8 per bottle online.

Aroma - bright red fruit, yeasty
Taste - bright red fruit, tart, soft tannins

We had this wine with chips and salsa, guacamole, ceviche, and chicken & beef fajitas. It was good, but much easier to swallow at retail price vs. restaurant price!

Calvet-Thunevin Cuvée Constance 2005, Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes, France - $13


This red wine blend is 50% Grenache with 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan. It was rated 90 points by Wine Advocate, and sells for between $10 and $17 per bottle online. I borrowed the image on the right from the 2004 vintage.

Aroma - fruit, spice, a little hot
Taste - fruit, black tea, moderate to strong but well-rounded tannins

This wine was great alone and with a few eclectic munchies. We had it at JR2's with everything from hummus to vegan chocolate cake. I'd absolutely buy it again!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Portal Roble 2007, D. O. Terra Alta, Spain - $17.50



This red wine blend from Cellar Piñol is an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Syrah. It was the second of two wines I tasted tonight at Royal Blue. The Terra Alta region of Spain is right next to the Priorat region. The interesting thing about this wine is that it's aged in Hungarian oak, which helps to impart some spiciness to the wine (according to the distributor's rep). I borrowed this image of the 2004 vintage, but the wine I tasted tonight was the 2007 vintage.

Aroma - fruity, smoky, a little spicy
Taste - fruity, smoky, a little spicy, soft to moderate tannins

A very drinkable wine. I think there are some really good ones around and just under this price point too. A nice wine to bring to dinner.

Ipsum 2009, Rueda, Spain - $11.50



This was the first of two wines I tasted at Royal Blue tonight. It sells for $11.50 there, and is a brand new import from Spain - just arrive two weeks ago, according to the distributor, Virtuoso. It's a white wine blend from Bodegas Hermanos del Villar of 60% Verdejo and 40% Viura. I found that it sells online for around $8. The rep from Virtuoso, Colleen, told me to look up the importer, Ole, as they have a great catalog available online.

Aroma - apples, apples, apples!
Taste - apples, good acidity, bitter end (reminiscent of beer)

Had this wine with shrimp cooked in chorizo drippings, and tomatoes and chorizo. The shrimp actually made it taste a tad metallic, which makes it not as food friendly to me as the typical Sauvignon Blanc would be. This is a maybe for me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Update - 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Washington - $12.99



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

Big Woop Red 2008, South Eastern Australia - $12.99



If you like Australian reds this is a really good deal - 1L for only $12.99 at Whole Foods, which is where I tasted it today. This South Eastern Australian red is actually a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, and Petit Verdot, and was rated 89 points by Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.

Aroma - dark fruit, smoky, inky, smooth soft tannins
Taste - tart tart fruit, moderate tannins, sharp

Not my favorite wine, but a definite maybe for some, especially at this price point!

Update - Doña Paula Los Cardos Malbec 2008, Mendoza, Argentina - $7.99



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

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lorca Monastrell 2006, D. O. Bullas, Spain - $10



This Spanish Monastrell is actually a blend of 70% Monastrell and 30% Shiraz, and costs $10 at Costco. It was rated 86 points by Wine Spectator.

Aroma - barnyard, old world
Taste - musty, moderate tannins

I'd buy this wine again - it's a good wine for the price, and I'd like to try it with food.

Chateau Arnauld Grand Vin de Bordeaux 2005, Haut-Medoc, France - $13



This French Bordeaux is a blend of 55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot. I purchased it for $13 at Costco.

Aroma - red fruit, a little hot
Taste - red fruit, moderate tannins

This wine went great with our veggie burgers on whole wheat buns, romaine, Roma tomatoes, red onions, stone ground mustard, and ketchup, with roasted Russet potato slices on the side. It's a very reasonably-priced and food friendly Bordeaux, and I would definitely buy it again.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Torremoron Tempranillo 2008, Ribera del Duero, Spain - $13.75



The Abs came over tonight for a spontaneous evening out - we went driveway drinking at Royal Blue. It is well-priced at $13.75 there, and it ranges in price online between $10 and $13.75. Robert Parker gave this wine an 88.

Aroma - red fruit
Taste - bright cherries, very soft tannins

This 100% Spanish Tempranillo was the perfect wine to go with pita chips and hummus!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Firefly Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Central Coast, CA - $15



AP brought this wine over for our LOST viewing party tonight - she bought it at Randall's for $15.

Aroma - very fruity (strawberries?), kind of hot
Taste - fruit and spice, black tea finish, moderate and smooth tannins

I would drink this wine again.

Update - May 8, 2010
AP called and said that this wine was on sale for half price at Randall's!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Newton Red Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa Valley, CA - $22



This Cab is actually a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Cabernet Franc. It was rated 94 points by Wine Enthusiast. It ranges in price online from $16 to $29. JR and JR brought this over to share with us one night.

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

I like this wine! Would certainly buy it again! I'm having it with beef lo mein, shrimp/broccoli/mushrooms in white wine/garlic sauce, and fried chicken (don't ask - it's leftover night).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gascón Malbec 2008, Argentina - $12



Had this Don Miguel Gascón Malbec over at MS and SD's tonight after dinner at Garrido's. MS said that he thought he bought it at Whole Foods. The price online varies between $10 and $14. Wine Enthusiast gave it 90 points.

Taste - so good! soft tannins, fruity but subtle

LOVE this wine!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Juan Gil Monastrell 2007, D. O. Jumilla, Spain - $16


This Spanish red wine is 100% Monastrell, and Josh Raynolds from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar gave it 90 points. MK brought it over for movie night tonight.

Taste - fruit and tobacco, moderate tannins

We had this wine with food from Chinatown Downtown - Kung Pao Chicken, Cilantro Shrimp, Beef Lo Mein, and roasted broccoli and mushrooms (a la Sassy Wine Belly). Yum!

Tohu Pinot Noir 2007, Malborough, New Zealand - $19



I purchased this New Zealand Pinot Noir from Costco for $19. It was rated 91 points by Wine Spectator and 89 points by Wine Enthusiast. It's also #92 on Wine Spectator's top 100 of 2009 list.

Didn't take actual tasting notes for this wine, but I really liked it and will definitely buy it again!

We had this wine tonight with takeout from Chinatown downtown - Kung Pao Chicken, Cilantro Shrimp, and Beef Lo Mein. Perfect!