2006 Fetish Wines Playmates (South Australia, Barossa Valley)

Deep purple in color. This wine gives of a nose of blackberr, spice and oak. Although not overly sweet it is lush and ripe. Hints of smoke, blackberry and black cherry. Fine grained and sweet tannins carry all the way through the long finish. This wine is a blend of Shiraz, Mataro and Grenache. Notable for it’s balance of ripe fruit and elegance not usually found it Aussie Shiraz and blends. I’m not very familiar with the Mataro grape other than it’s the new world equivalent of Mourvèdre or what it brings to the party but it’s a great wine overall.main_fetish

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Battle Of The Inexpensive Viogniers

I am admittdly not much of a white wine drinker. It’s not that I don’t like white wines, it more that I would most always prefer to have a red if given a choice. One varietial that I do enjoy is Viognier. Becasue it’s trying to turn into Spring here we decided to try a couple of inexpensive ($10-15) Viogniers to see if we would be adding them to our regular summer white rotation. First up, the 2007 Sobon Estate Amador County Viognier. The wine was  light straw color. The nose gives slight apple and pineapple flavors. The wine is very crisp which is not usual for a Viognier of this age. The finish is almost bitter.  Next up, the 2006 Rockhouse Viognier which has a North Carolina appellation designation. The winery is a small operation  in Tryon, NC.  This wine was slightly darker in color that the Sobon and has a slightly sweeter nose. Across the palate pineapple leads the way with a mineral note that carries through the short finish. The Rockhouse was slightly better than the Sobon but neither will make it’s way into our regular white wine rotation. There are others in the price range that are better like Cougar Crest from Washington and Alban (if you can find it) from California’s Central Coast.

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Ten (Central Coast, Santa Rita Hills)

sea_smoke_ten_2006Dark ruby red color. The nose gives off hints of sassafras and rose petals Ripe red cherry flavors lead the way in the mouth with notes of strawberry, loam and white pepper. The finish is medium length with well integrated tannins hanging on all the way through. Well balanced for a medium to full bodied Pinot Nior. Excellent but expensive for most ($80). It will be interesting to see how the change of winemakers from Kris Curran to Don Schroeder affects the house style of these wines. The Santa Rita Hills (along with the Russian River Valley) produces some of the best Pinot Nior fruit in the state of California.

Published in: on March 29, 2009 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2007 Mollydooker Cabernet Sauvignon The Maitre D’

A very dark shade of purple. The nose is full of spice and red cherry. Very fruit forward with flavors of cherry, currant and vanilla. The tannins are fine grained and integrate well. Almost a hint of rock salt on the finish which is medium length. Cabernet Sauvignon purist would say that this wine is ultra ripe. If you enjoy left bank Bordeaux, this wine might be a bit over the top for you. It’s fruit forward and showy but not overbearing. Classic Aussie Cabernet and that remains true tothe Mollydomollydooker_maitre-doker style. Drink now as this one is built for enjoyment in the near term.

2006 Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon (USA, California, Napa Valley)

rudius_2006 A Rudius is ceremonial or symbolic sword, made of brass or bronze and wood. Rudius is also a Napa based label that produces Cabernet and Syrah. This 2006 is the debut vintage for the producer. Dark purple all the way to the rim. Lots of red fruit flavors and hints of black currant as well. The style is refined and well put together. Seemed a little tight still so best to wait another year. No indication from the winemaker as to the source of the fruit other than Napa Valley. Seems crazy to say it’s a value at $60 but if you are looking for high quality Napa Cabs at anything less than $75 this wine would qualify. Has the potential to age well. Excellent debut.ed style

Published in: on March 24, 2009 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Pascual Toso Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Bottled (Argentina, Mendoza, Maipú)

pascual_tosoThe color is a inky dark purple. Smokey red fruit on the nose that leads to flavors of of tart cherry, tobacco, green olive and a strong oak note on the finish. The tannins are drying and lingering. A representitive example of value branded Argentina Cabernet Sauvignon. At $9 it’s good but not great.

2006 DuMOL Pinot Noir Ryan Green Valley (USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley)

Spicy wild-berry and raspberry on the nose. The flavors across the palate are wild-berry, cola and plumb. This wine is very well balanced with a nice minerality in the structure. The finish is long with the fine grained tannins hanging on all the way through. It’s an indulgence for most ($75)  and hard to find, but a must try if you want to experience artisan wine making in this class of California Pinot Noir. DuMol is at the head of the class when it comes to rich, complex and indulgent California Pinot dumol_ryanrs. These wines are crafted so they are worth the extra effort in finding them and the extra price on a special occasion.

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 12:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Los Maquis Calcu (Chile, Central Valley, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley)

2005_calcuThe nose is full of smoke and red fruit. Although this wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Carmenère it’s the Carmenère notes that are most prominent to me. The red fruit turns a bit tart across the palate and there is also notes of tar and dusty wildberry. The gripping tannins linger on the finish. This wine is from Chile’s Colchagua Valley which is known for rich Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere. It’s not great but it’s good for the price which is around $10.

2006 Four Vines Zinfandel Maverick (USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County)

Dark berry and slight spice nose. The palate is dominated by a cherry cola flavor with anise and dusty blackberry. The finish is a little raisnywith lingering tannins on the finish. Four Vines produces a wide range of Zinfandel wines from various California appellations in this price range and this one would about middle of the pack. Good but not great.four_vines_maverick

Published in: on March 8, 2009 at 12:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Buehler Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (USA, California, Napa Valley)

2005_buehler_nappa_valleyA good amount of sweet dark fruit on the nose. Currant, blackberry and hints of dill and cedar across the palate. The finish is long with fine grained tannins hanging on all the way through. Buehler seems to always deliver consistent quality at a fair price with their Napa Valley designated Cabernet Sauvignon and this 2005 vintage is no exception.

Published in: on March 6, 2009 at 2:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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