Sunday, November 9, 2014

2012 Seven Hills Walla Walla Merlot

Holy Moley!  I am exhausted and I think I'm coming down with a cold!  First the exhaustion, which comes from helping the kids I hired to clear the leaves from my yard (have I mentioned I have a lot of leaves?).  Yesterday my iphone counted over 15,000 steps and today as I type this I'm up to 16,132 steps!  What the heck kind of employer am I?  I should have been napping while they did the leaves!  So after working in the cold the last two days as well as drinking beer in my friend's cold garage in celebration of his 30th birthday on Friday night, it's a recipe for illness!  But at least tonight I'm feeling up to opening a bottle of wine, and tonight's is a favorite, the 2012 Seven Hills Walla Walla Merlot!

The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass with great clarity.  The nose is a nice array of licorice, leather and a hint of Asian spice.  The taste is a burst of fruit up front, plum, black cherry and a hint of cocoa powder, which transitions to some nice minerality midpalate.  The tannins are still a bit young, but very well integrated, supporting a long, velvety smooth dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, it's an incredibly pleasant bottle right now, but it's sure to age well for another five years or more.  Now that I have a bit of my appetite back, tonight I am enjoying this wine with a rare grilled Hereford T-bone steak from my favorite local butcher, along with a backed potato and some steamed asparagus.  What goes better with Merlot than a nice steak?  Cheers!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

2004 Valentina Cubi Morar Amarone della Valpolicella

Well, it's the first Saturday of November and that means it's officially "Cellar Saturday" that time when I open a bottle of wine that's been given some time to mature in the cellar.  Tonight's feature is one that I actually bought fairly recently, the 2004 Valentina Cubi Morar Amarone della Valpolicella, a 10-year-old Amarone that should just about be hitting it's prime about now!  And for those of you who are unfamiliar with Amarone, it's a classic northern Italian wine made from the Corvina and Rondinella grapes which are partially dried (for up to 120 days) before pressing.  The result is usually a much more concentrated and powerful red wine that is a personal favorite.

This wine is a deep ruby color in the glass with a bit of opacity.  The nose is classic Amarone, rich fruit notes of raspberry and raisin, over cascading aromas of leather, white pepper and just a hint of lavender.  The taste is quite subdued up front, with some mild flavors of blackberry and cherry intermingled with vanilla and pipe tobacco, that gives way to some spice notes of white pepper and Asian spice midpalate.  The tannins are very nicely integrated, supporting a long, flavorful and very dry finish.  A very classic Amarone.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it is a fine example of the wine and a nice value, as I bought this one from Wines Till Sold Out for just $30.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a simple dinner of rare grilled New York Strip with grilled leeks, a baked potato and some steamed green beans.  This wine would also pair well with a lot of Northern Italian dishes, such as a nice wild mushroom risotto with a bit of Asiago shaved on top, wow I'm making myself hungry again!  Cincin!

Friday, October 31, 2014

2012 Seven Hills McClellan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

HAPPY HALLOWINE!!!  Ok, so I left work and got right home to carve a pumpkin and get ready for all the ghosts and goblins to come asking for candy from 6-8 pm, and the pumpkin is carved, seeds are in the oven and now it's time for a glass of wine before the chaos begins!  And tonight I've opened a bottle of my most recent wine club selection from Seven Hills Winery in Walla Walla (one of my favorites!), the 2012 McClellan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon!

The wine is a lovely deep violet in the glass with great clarity.  The nose is quite nice, with aromas of leather over some ripe boysenberry and cherry notes and just a hint of dried herbs.  The taste is just wonderful, with a rather subdued bit of fruit up front, berries and cherry that quickly gives way to some lovely mineral notes midpalate, dusty limestone and basalt and a bit of peppercorn.  The tannins are young but very well integrated, lending a bit of spice and velvelty mouthfeel for the long, smooth dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, with plenty of room to improve with some time in the cellar.  It was also a lot less expensive than I expected, with a list price of $45 and with my wine club discount it was only $38!  Maybe not an everyday wine, but for a special occasion like Hallowine, it's ideal!  Tonight I'm just having a glass with handing-out-candy duty, but it would be ideal with a nice steak or a hearty Italian meal, but for tonight, considering the kids are coming soon and it just started snowing (SNOWING?!?!?) it's just fine by itself.  Cheers!