Tuesday, May 6, 2014

B Side 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

The Winery:  B Side
The Wine:  2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
The Price:  $16.99 at Costco

B Side is a secondary label of Don Sebastiani & Sons.  The grapes for B Side wines are sourced from vineyards on the eastern slopes of the Napa Valley, hence the name B Side (for those who don't know, the B Side of 45s and 78s was the song on the flip side of the record from the hit song...sometimes the song on the B Side was good, other times not so much).

The bottle was stopped with a natural cork and decanted an hour before tasting.  The wine is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Verdot and 4% Merlot grapes.  It has aromas of blackberry, vanilla, caramel and cassis.

The wine has flavors of cranberry, cherry, chocolate and almonds.  It is a bright, fruity wine with plenty of tannins.  It is a very delicious wine that boasts deep fruity flavors.  If you are not one who enjoys being smacked in the face with tannins, then this probably isn't a wine for you.  But I find it to be very enjoyable and one that I would definitely recommend giving a try.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Apolloni 2010 Cuvee Pinot Noir


The Winery:  Apolloni
The Wine:  2010 Cuvee Pinot Noir
The Price:  $19.99 at Whole Foods

Apolloni is an Oregon winery located in the Willamette Valley AVA.  The winery was founded in 1999 by Alfredo Apollini, a first-generation American.

The wine is made from Dijon and Pommard clones.  It was aged for 16 months in French Oak barrels.  The bottle was stopped with a natural cork and decanted an hour before tasting.

The wine is light red in color with a slightly brown tone.  It has aromas of moss, cherry and grass.

The wine has flavors of cherry, raspberry and vanilla.  It is a light and thin example of an Oregon Pinot Noir, which is the norm for a $20 bottle.  It's a decent wine, but one that would move from decent to exceptional if the flavors and aromas were more pronounced. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pendulum 2010 Red Wine

The Winery:  Pendulum
The Wine:  2010 Red Wine
The Price: $15.99 at Whole Foods

Pendulum is a Washington State winery, located in Walla Walla.  This wine is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 15% Grenache, 14% Mouvedre and 3% Malbec.  The wine was aged in French and American oak barrels for 19 months before bottling.  The bottle was stopped with a natural cork and decanted for an hour before tasting.

The wine is dark purple in color.  It has aromas of blueberry, cherry, leather and chocolate.  This is a very delightful wine.  It is bursting with fruit flavors of sour cherry and blackberry with subtle undertones of cocoa and vanilla.

This is a very good wine at a good price.  I recommend giving this one a try.  It's a fine example of the quality of Washington blended wines.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Talbott 2009 Logan Pinot Noir

The Winery:  Talbott Vineyards
The Wine:  2009 Logan Pinot Noir
The Price:  $16.99 at Costco

Talbott is a California winery, located in the Central Coast AVA. The winery was established in 1982 by Robb Talbott,

The Logan Pinot Noir is made from Estate Grown grapes.  The bottle was stopped with a natural cork, and decanted an hour before tasting.  

The wine is dark red and has aromas of strawberry, cherry and blueberry.  The wine has crisp fruit flavors of tart cherry and blueberry with a peppery bite on the finish.  I find it to be richer and more full bodied than is typical of California Pinots, which I normally would like.  But unfortunately the flavors are too in your face, and the wine does not taste much like any Pinot Noir I've tasted.  It tastes more like a Petit Verdot, but not a good Petit Verdot.  This is a pretty bad wine, even overlooking the fact that it does not taste like a traditional Pinot Noir. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Crusher 2010 Clarksburg Petite Sirah

The Winery:  The Crusher (a label of Don Sebastiani and Sons)
The Wine:  2010 Clarksburg Petite Sirah
The Price:  $12.99 at QFC

The Crusher is one of the labels of Don Sebastiani and Sons.  In addition to The Crusher, Sebastiani produces Aquinas, B Side, s|k|n, Pepperwood Grove, The Paso Project, Smoking Loon and Big Green Box. 

The Petite Sirah is a blend of 76% Petite Sirah and 24% Merlot.  The bottle was stopped with a natural cork, and decanted an hour before tasting. 

The wine is a deep purple in color and has aromas of boysenberry, strawberry and just a slight hint of peppermint. 

The wine is anchored with a strawberry jam flavor, which is rounded out by fig, prune and tart grapefruit.  The wine is a bit heavy on tannins, but very enjoyable. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

St Francis 2008 Old Vines Zinfandel

The Winery:  St Francis
The Wine:  2008 Old Vines Zinfandel
The Price:  $16.99 at Safeway

St Francis is a Sonoma County, California winery.  The grapes for this wine were harvested from vines that are over 50 years old, with many of the grapes from 100+ year old vines.  The wine is aged from 12 to 15 months in American Oak. 

The bottle was stopped with a synthetic cork and decanted an hour before tasting.  The win is dark purple in color and has aromas of raspberry, black cherry, vanilla and blueberry. 

This is a very smooth, velvety wine.  It is bursting with big fruit flavors of cherry and blackberry with a hint of tobacco.  This is a fantastic wine at a very good price.  It's definitely one worth picking up. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gran Oristan Gran Reserva 2000 Red Wine

The Winery:  Gran Oristan
The Wine:  Gran Reserva 2000 Red Wine
The Price:  $11.89 at Safeway

Gran Oristan is a Spanish winery, with the grapes sourced from the La Mancha DenominaciĆ³n de Origen.  The wine is a blend of 65% Tempranillo and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine is aged in American and French Oak for 24 months before bottling.  The bottle was sealed with a natural cork and decanted an hour before tasting.

The wine is dark red in color.  It has aromas of black cherry, prune, vanilla and blackberry.  It floods the palate with flavors of blackberry and cherry with a slight bite of pepper on the finish.  For under $12, this is a fantastic wine!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Columbia Crest 2009 Horse Heaven Hills Merlot

The Winery:  Columbia Crest
The Wine:  2009 Horse Heaven Hills Merlot
The Price:  $12.99 at Safeway

Those who regularly read my reviews may have noticed that I don't usually review Merlot.  That's because I'm really not much of a Merlot fan.  But this wine was recommended by a wine seller recently, so I thought I'd give it a try.

As the name indicates, the grapes for this Merlot were grown in Washington State's Horse Heaven Hills AVA.  The wine is a blend of 96% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Malbec.  The bottle was stopped with a natural cork and decanted an hour before tasting. 

The wine is very deep purple in color.  It has aromas of blackberry, plum and cherry.  This is an awesome Merlot!  It has a bold blackberry taste, blended with a cherry and chocolate finish.  The wine is very velvety and the flavors are rich, bold and smooth.  I highly recommend this one, even if (like me) you're not typically a fan of Merlot.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quinta do Portal 2007 Mural Reserva

The Winery:  Quinta do Portal
The Wine:  2007 Mural Reserva
The Price:  $8.69 at Costco

Quinta do Portal is a Portugal winery, located in the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal.

The bottle was sealed with a natural cork, and the wine was decanted an hour before tasting. 

The wine is a blend of 40% Tinta Roriz, 40% Touriga Franca and 20% Touriga Nacional, with 25% of the wine being aged in French oak barrels for nine months before bottling.

The wine is a deep, dark burgundy in color.  It has aromas of cherry, blackberry, cassis and vanilla. 

The wine is a bit lighter in flavor than the dark color and rich aromas would indicate.  It is a delicious wine, with flavors of cherry and raspberry.  It is a nicely refined wine, with velvety smooth flavors. 

While the wine is not bursting with bold fruit flavors, it is a wonderful wine at an absolute bargain price.  It's definitely one worth checking out!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chehalem 2007 Stoller Vineyards Pinot Noir

The Winery:  Chehalem
The Wine:  2007 Stoller Vineyards Pinot Noir
The Price:  $23.99 at Costco

Chehalem is an Oregon winery, located in the Willamette Valley's incredible Dundee Hills AVA.  Chehalem was founded in 1990 by Harry Peterson-Nedry
and Bill & Cathy Stoller.

The bottle was sealed with a natural cork, and the wine was decanted an hour before tasting. The wine is ruby in color with a slight brown cast to it.  It is a bit thinner in appearance than I prefer in a Pinot Noir.

The wine has aromas of blackberry, cherry, plum and leather.  It has flavors of raspberry, cherry and blackberry with just a touch of spice.

This is a very good wine.  It has bright fruit flavors, and is very smooth and well-balanced.  It's definitely a wine worth trying!