What is both crisp, fruity, a bit sour and a tad sweet – a Pomegranate and this ’09 Modus Pinot which has some fun traits that I’ve not recently seen in a Pinot. Jason (the winemaker) does some cool stuff with his bigger reds, but this was a great surprise that I really enjoyed.
Most people don’t think of mint and wine in the same sentence, but this Merlot from our friends at Bartholomew Park in just that. Of course it tastes like wine, but the finish is fresh mint and crisp.
So this is my first post in a long time and my first of 2013 and I’m resolving to do this a little differently and have some more fun with the blog too. There are many flavors we find in wine – from the obvious oak, chocolate and vanilla to the more abstract starfruit. My goal this year (or for how long I can sustain it) is to select a different, unique flavor component every time that I find in the wine I drink. Also, I’m making this even more challenging – no basic, high level “hints of berry” stuff either.
This will challenge my palate…and let me know if you find anything similar in the wine you drink. Cheers.
For this Rutherford Grove Petite Sirah: Cherry Coke
We visited Lava Vine on a recommendation from another winery on our last trip to Napa. They are in Calistoga and we were on our way to Healdsburg, so this was a great find! It was a happy hour atmosphere when we stopped in while Joe, the winemaker and owner poured the wine for all. He has an engaging way about him (as he holds court from behind the wine bar) and you can tell that he takes a lot of pride in his wine. Well, he should – - it’s fantastic!
This Napa Cabernet is big, but not overwhelming. It reminds me of a blueberry cobbler, with the ripe berry and balance of cinnamon and finish of graham and vanilla.
If you’re in Napa and you don’t visit Lava Vine, you’re missing out on the unique experience of meeting the winemaker and understanding the connection to what’s in the bottle. If you don’t do that at Lava Vine, make sure you do it somewhere. Cheers.
This is the 2nd bottle of The Crusher that we’ve enjoyed – the first was in July 2011 and this is a great sequel. I really like Pinot Noir in the summer as it goes well with many foods that I prepare (tonight: red salt crusted pork loin chop and roasted asparagus with olive oil) and it doesn’t overpower it at all. Summer is great for whites, but I can’t drink white wine all summer; I get bored.
We’ve enjoyed a few Schild Shiraz wines in the past and this was another, very enjoyable find. From Total Wine, this Shiraz is another 92pt Wine Spectator bottle for less than $18. This is a serious rating:cost ratio (if there is such a thing) and not a big, in-your-face Shiraz. Sure, it’s bold and fruity, but balanced as well. Cheers.
We continue to be happy with the wines we drink from Paso Robles and this is no exception. The 2nd of 12 from our Wine Library purchase, this $15.98 (list $24) is a great bottle with a WE 90pt rating to boot. It’s a full bodied cab that is balanced with fruit throughout and a violet finish that tends to linger a bit. We enjoyed this with a grilled flank steak and veggies…and our animal crackers for dessert as well.
This is the first bottle we opened from our Winelibrary order (love that they ship to PA!). This Pinot from Jackhammer has grapes from each of the Central Coast counties (Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara) and is representative of all. For $14, this is a bargain as it’s tough to find a solid Pinot for much less than $25. This is a very full Pinot that reminds me more of a Tempranillo as it’s fleshy fruit is quite evident. It’s smooth without the earthy-ness that comes with the “traditional” pinots. Loved it!
We bought this great Cab when we visited Chappellet’s gorgeous winery and vineyard a few years ago. We went with a close friend who was making her initial pilgrimage to the Napa Valley…I think she’s ready to join the “wine country” cult.
This wine was just phenomenal, and not because Wine Spectator told us that it was. It’s a very full bodied wine – - what that means exactly, I can’t articulate beyond the description that my taste buds were overwhelmed by berry and smooth vanilla without the overpowering fruit bomb of many Napa Cabs. This lives up to the reviews and I look forward to visiting Chappellet this year during crush to pick up some of their new offering.
There are many folks who shun Merlot in favor of Cabernet Sauvignon and other varietals. I’m not one of them and actually prefer Merlot in many cases to a big Cab…in fact there are some Merlots that can stand up to their big brother – the Cab Sauv any day. That discussion is for another time.
Last night we finished off this smooth bottle of Zellerbach Merlot which is a very food friendly wine. It’s not a cherry bomb, but definitely has some fruit and vanilla and a lightly smokey finish. I picked it up for $9.99 at Total Wine and it’s a great deal for Tuesday night or any other night of the week. Cheers.