Monday, August 29, 2011

Alto Moncayo Garnacha 2008, Campo de Borja, Spain - $45

MS and SD gave me this wine for my birthday. We decided to open it tonight to celebrate our anniversary. It is 100% Grenache, and it can be purchased at the Austin Wine Merchant for around $45.

Aroma - black fruit, a little hot (16% alcohol content explains that!)
Taste - black fruit, inky, full-bodied and concentrated (almost like port), strong tannins, long soft silky dark cocoa finish

I especially like the finish on this wine - SO GOOD! This was the perfect finish to a fantastic evening!

Cipollina - 2 pizzas and 2 wines

Tonight we celebrated our wedding anniversary at Cipollina. What a casual but intimate experience! The service and food are both absolutely excellent!

Cascina Bruni Villa Lisa Barbera d’Asti 2009, Italy - $9/glass
I ordered a glass of this wine to go with my kale/pesto/olive/garlic pizza. The wine was light and fruity with soft tannins. I would have loved for it to be slightly chilled on a warm evening like this (it hit 109 degrees in the ATX today, y'all!). It went great with all of the food, including my pizza and D's salad and pizza.

I've had this wine previously at Second Bar + Kitchen. See those tasting notes here.

Skouras Saint George 2008, Nemea, Greece - $8/glass
This wine is 100% Aghiorghitiko, which is a red varietal that is very heat-resistant. D ordered this wine with his butter lettuce/carmelized onions/tomatoes/olives/feta salad and his Margherita pizza. It was very dark and inky with a little must, and it went well with all of the food, including my pizza.

I did find it for $15/bottle online. Not too bad of a markup.

Great dinner at Cipollina!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chilensis Reserve Pinot Noir 2009, Maule Valley, Chile - $11.99

I purchased this wine at the Austin Wine Merchant for $11.99/bottle.

Aroma - cherries, spice, a little hot (at 14% alcohol, not surprising)
Taste - dark cherries, spice, soft tannins, dark dark cocoa finish

A nice wine. We had it with dinner, which consisted of mixed greens salad/chèvre/cherry tomatoes/bacon/18 year traditional balsamic vinaigrette and pasta alla Formiana. Yummy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Big House Red 2010, CA - $9.95

CC brought this wine over for our TV viewing night. It retails for $9.95/bottle at Royal Blue. It's a proprietary blend of SEVERAL varietals, including Petite Sirah, Syrah, Montepulciano, Barbera, Nero d'Avola, Tempranillo, Malbec, Aglianico, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Tannat.

Aroma - dark fruit, a little smoky
Taste - dark fruit, slight vanilla, a little wood, soft tannins, a little smoky

We had the wine with Parmesan cheese/Braeburn apples/multigrain crackers, potato chips, chocolate-covered bacon, and apple pie. Yum!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Feudi Della Medusa Rosso 2005, Sardinia, Italy - $27

I purchased this wine at Spec's for $27/bottle. It was recommended to me by a staff member there. It was rated a 90 by Robert Parker.

Aroma - fruit and must
Taste - fruit, minerality, a little wood, moderate tannins, black tea finish

We had this wine with sushi, Kung Pao tofu, and forbidden rice tropical salad. It went well with everything!

Update August 24, 2011
Had the last glass of this wine with Braeburn apples, multi-grain crackers, Parmesan cheese, and dark chocolate-covered bacon. Yum!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Martin Ray Pinot Noir 2009, Santa Barbara County, CA - $50

Had this wine with dinner last night at The Carrallon. It was suggested by our waiter and retailed there for $50/bottle. I found it online for $18/bottle. Past vintages have been rated in the high 80's by Wine Enthusiast.

Taste - soft fruit, minerals, soft tannins, very subtle

This was a very nice wine. It went well with my butter lettuce salad, but my miso marinated mero tasted slightly metallic with it. But I still really enjoyed the wine.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lindeman's Bin 50 Shiraz 2010, Australia - $7

PBS brought this to share for TV viewing night. It retails for $7/bottle online.

Aroma - dark fruit, a little spicy
Taste - dark fruit, spice, moderate tannins

Lindeman's is known for their good value, everyday drinking wines, and in casual situations this one would be a good choice. It went well with snacks such as truffle oil popcorn and dark chocolate-covered almonds.

Ludovicus 2010, Terra Alta, Spain - $12.95

CC shared this wine with us on TV viewing night. He purchased it at Royal Blue for $12.95, and it's a blend of 40% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignane, 15% Tempranillo, and 10% Merlot.

Aroma - dark fruit, grape stems
Taste - dark fruit, dark cocoa, moderate tannins, dark cocoa finish

Like! Good with truffle oil popcorn!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Heavyweight Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, California

This wine is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah, and 10% Zinfandel. JS and GM brought it over to share last night.

Aroma - dark fruit, a little hot
Taste - dark fruit, moderate tannins, some wood, slightly sweet

This wine went well with our dessert - warm brownies with vanilla ice cream! Being slightly on the sweet side, it may be challenged by some foods.

Lar de Sotomayor Vendimia Seleccionada 2007, Rioja, Spain

This wine by Bodegas Domeco d Jarauta is 100% Tempranillo and was rated 90 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. AW and FZ brought it over to share last night.

It was medium-bodied and dry, and went great with the shrimp and bacon pesto pasta we had for dinner last night!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Austin Wine Merchant - Marietta Cellars Tasting

Another educational tasting at Austin Wine Merchant today. I've had the Marietta Cellars Zinfandel before - it's a bit heavy for my taste, but since a new release of the Cabernet came in this month, AWM held a tasting today for four Marietta wines.

Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot Number 55 N.V., Geyserville, CA - $10.99
This wine is a proprietary blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane.

Aroma - dark fruit
Taste - dark fruit, inky, nice tannins

I like this wine, and it's a good price for everyday drinking.

Marietta Cellars Zinfandel 2009, Sonoma County, CA - $17.50

Aroma - dark fruit, a little hot
Taste - dark fruit, strong wood, a tiny bit thick, strong tannins

This wine is a maybe - it's very thick, and I think that the taste profile is quite simple. Seems overoaked to me.

Marietta Cellars Angeli Cuvée 2007, Alexander Valley - $24.99
This wine is also a proprietary blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Carignane. The grapes are from more prestigious vineyards than the Old Vines Red N.V.

Aroma - dark fruit, licorice
Taste - dark fruit, like cough syrup, bitter

A very pensive maybe on this one - I really thought it tasted thick and syrupy like cough medicine, but someone out there may like it.

Marietta Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Alexander Valley, CA - $19.99

Aroma - black fruit
Taste - dark fruit, black tea, strong tannins, dry, dark cocoa finish

I like this wine best out of the four.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Sonoma County, CA - $19.99

AP brought this wine to TV viewing night. It was rated 87 by Wine Enthusiast. I found it online for $19.99/bottle.

Aroma - dark fruit, hot
Taste - dark fruit, tobacco and wood, moderate tannins

At 14.6% alcohol, it's no wonder this wine smells hot. But it tastes good with roasted marinated olives!

Truchard Pinot Noir 2007, Carneros, CA - $31.99

CC brought this wine to share on TV viewing night. He bought it at Royal Blue for $31.99/bottle.

See notes from this tasting on this wine's main page.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bota Box Old Vine Zinfandel 2010, California - $18.99/3L

This is definitely a first - Sassy Wine Belly buys boxed wine. Here's a little context - we were going to see a play at a park that doesn't allow glass containers, so I stopped at Whole Foods to see which wine they could recommend that was not packaged in glass. This is the wine they suggested. It's the equivalent of four bottles of wine for $18.99 - quite a good deal!

Aroma - black fruit and spice
Taste - black fruit, spice, dry, moderate tannins

This wine travels well, and is supposed to keep for a month after you open it. It's not my preferred wine for daily drinking, but it will be my preferred wine for bringing to areas that don't allow glass.

We brought the following snacks and they all paired well with the Zin - rosemary marinated Kalamata olives, basil/garlic green olives, almond-stuffed green olives, Marcona almonds, Parmesan cheese, various crackers and chips, carrots, hummus, artichoke dip, watermelon, and cherries. Yum!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Evodia Old Vine Grenache 2009, Calatayud, Spain - $10

JB gave me this wine as part of my birthday present. She got it from Whole Foods, where it retails for about $10/bottle. I brought it to TV viewing night to share. Stephen Tanzer rated this at 90 points.

Aroma - dark fruit
Taste - dark fruit, a little wood, dry, soft tannins, long finish

I liked this wine, but some of my friends who prefer Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignons didn't like it so much. We had it with truffle oil popcorn - maybe it was the food-wine pairing that folks didn't prefer?

See my previous tasting notes on this wine.