Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
This dark red, medium-bodied wine comes from the Alicante region in south eastern Spain along the Meditteranean Sea. Alicante is a region as well as a grape, although this wine is made from 100% Tempranillo, the same grape used to make wonderful Riojas. The winemaker described this un-oaked wine as earthy with some licorice flavors. Unfortunately, I picked up more old plum and leather with an unusual spice on the backend. The tannins were fairly mild and the finish was short. Overall, we were both disappointed with this wine. As the the wine opened, it actually got worse instead of better. I would pass on this next time. It retails for $11.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
I previously posted the Malbec from Santa Ana and how good it was. When I saw this Torrontes, I had to give it a try. The Bodegas Santa Ana has been producing wines since 1891 in Mendoza Argentina. The 2007 Torrontes Reserve has a greenish gold hue and is made from 100% Torrontes grapes. It has a nice floral aroma of flowers and citrus, along with some pear and oak. I also thought it had a little too much alcohol coming through on the nose. On the palate, it had the apricot and white peach usually found in Torrontes wines. Additionally, there was some pear and red apple (not tart). Again, there was some mild oakiness along with a rubbing alcohol taste on the back end. I was a little turned off by the alcohol aroma and flavor. My wife liked it a little better than I did. This is not a highly acidic wine but is relatively dry. I would stick to the Luigi Bosca La Linda Torrontes (see prvious post) over the Santa Ana. The Santa Ana Torrontes Reserve 2007 retails for $10.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
My wife picked up this wine this past weekend to serve with a tray of appetizers. It was INCREDIBLE. This wine comes from Bodega Lurton in Mendoza Argentina. Twin brothers Francois and Jacques Lurton came to Mendoza in 1992 after having worked with their father and other wine and Champagne producers. Their father is renowned Bordeaux maker Andre Lurton. In 1996, they purchased their first plot of land and started growing vines. This particular 2008 wine is a blend of 80% Torrontes and 20% Chardonnay. If tasted blindly, you would probably not pick up on the Chardonnay. In fact I thought it reminded me of a Viognier and my wife thought Chenin Blanc. The coloring is almost as clear as water but the nose had incredible aromas of peaches and apricots along with some oranges and citrus. There were wonderful floral notes on top. The palate was full of fruits and mineral tastes from the terroir. Tierra de Luna, which translates into Land of the Moon, is a rocky region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains with almost volcanic looking ground. This is one of the nicest white wines we have had this year. And for $7, it is a STEAL!!!! It certainly does well with appetizers but the next time you serve a spicy dish, open a bottle of the Tierra de Luna Torrontes - Chardonnay 2008. For my next pot of chili, this will be the wine of choice.
Friday, November 6, 2009
We started with the 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir. This ruby red colored wine started off with a tight nose with a small amount of cherries peeking through. Had I tasted this blindly, I would have thought it was strawberry Kool-Aid. It was very light with a sweetness of strawberries and some cherries. There was no structure to the body and had no signs of any tannins or oak from the aging process. I don't think any additional aging will save this wine. We were both very disappointed in this Reserve. It cannot compete with the Oregon or California Pinot Noirs. The 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir retails for $14.
Next, we tasted the 2008 Pinot Grigio. This light to medium bodied straw yellow wine started with fresh aromas of green apples, pear, honey (I eat every day!) and some citrus. On the palate, the fruit flavors of pear and lemon were crisp and refreshing. It is a semi-dry wine with not alot of acidity but well balanced for a nice finish. The 2008 Pinot Grigio was an enjoyable wine and would be a good choice if you are looking to pair with seafood, light cheeses, even some white meats. You might want to try this for Thanksgiving with the turkey. The 2008 Pinot Grigio is a great value wine that retails for $8. This was one of our favorites from this 6 bottle tasting. I am generally not a Pinot Grigio fan but this is a must try.
Third, we tasted the 2007 Reserve Chardonnay. This bright golden colored wine opened with overbearing nutty oak and buttery aromas. There was some lemon trying to escape. Reminded me of a butter cream cookie. On the palate, it was dry with gentle sweetness of melon, peach and a hint of pineapple. However, there was no finish to it and it left a bad after taste. Again, we were disappointed with this Chardonnay. For $14, we would pass on this next time.
The fourth of six wines we tasted was the 2006 Reserve Shiraz. This deep purple wine started off with a full black fruit aroma with some oakiness and spices. On the palate, this full-bodied wine was jammy with lots of plums, blackberries, and raisins along with some licorice and pepper. This opened up as the evening went on. The tannins were pretty smooth. It would pair nicely with the typical grilled meats, stews, or blue cheeses. I would also serve this with spicy Mexican (or New Mexico) foods or with some southern cajun dishes. A few more years of aging and this should really be nice. The 2006 Reserve Shiraz retails for $14.
Next to last was the 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This garnet colored full-bodied wine was a bit overpowering of oak. There was some cassis, blackberry and cedar on the nose. The taste was full of black fruit as well as some chocolate and a hint of vegetables on the back. Once again, there was a little too much oak for my preference and the tannins were a bit chewy. It was aged with French and American oak for 18-20 months. You might want to cellar this reserve as well. We probably used more for cooking than drinking. You could pair this with a rich steak, BBQ sauces, goulash, and possibly some spicy Italian red sauces. This was aged for nearly two years before bottling. We would rate this in the low to maybe mid 80 point range. The 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon retails for $14.
And finally, the 2008 Reserve Riesling. This greenish-yellow Riesling was the other favorite in our house. The citrus and flowery aromas were perfectly balanced along with fresh citrus flavors following through on the palate. There was some minerality and a little green apple flavors to finish it off. It had good acidity with a wonderful finish. Not the sweet Rieslings you might think about for a dessert wine. It could pair with the usual suspects of a white wine but I would definitely pair this with Asian or Thai dishes. My wife makes a great Morrocan chili that I will pair this with next time. The 2008 Reserve Riesling retails for $14. Another must try. Since this posting, the 2008 was given a 90 point rating by Wine Spectator and also ranked #73 in the Top Wines of 2009.
Overall, there were some disappointments and some unexpected winners. These were our first bottles from Jacob's Creek and we will likely go back and try some older vintages to see how they have aged. The next time you are out buying wine and not sure what to try, pick up some Jacob's Creek. Would love to hear your feedback.