Saturday, April 25, 2015

2010 Helix Columbia Valley Sangiovese

Happy Saturday!  It's been raining here all day, so I decided to get some errands done since yard work is out of the question.  I went to Costco, then to Meijer, then to Martin's my local market where I get most everything, and what would you know they had fresh Morel mushrooms on sale, so how could I resist buying 3/8 of a pound (it doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a lot!).  And now I've decided to open a bottle of wine to help clear my head as I contemplate what interesting Morel recipe I should try, and what better wine than the 2010 Helix Columbia Valley Sangiovese, from the Stillwater Creek Vineyard.  Helix is the second label be Reininger, one of my favorite Washington producers of this varietal.

The wine is a lovely rich garnet color in the glass, with great clarity.  The nose exhibits beautiful aromas of leather, oak, tar and black pepper spice, just as you would expect from a great Sangiovese.  The taste is lovely, with a mild bit of fruit up front, black raspberry and cassis that melds into some earth and floral notes, edging toward some nice peppery spice midpalate amid some dark chocolate and mocha notes.  The tannins are well developed, providing a velvety mouthfeel and mild acidity supporting a long, exceptionally dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's a nice wine and drinking well now, but I really do prefer the 2009 vintage which I reviewed here.  Tonight as I ponder the coming Morel madness, I am enjoying this wine with some Monterey kabobs, with sirloin, peppers, red onion and some lovely spicy citrus seasoning, a baked potato and some grilled asparagus.  This wine is so food friendly, it's hard to think of any dish that you couldn't enjoy with it.  Cheers!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

2012 Legend of the Vine Cabernet Sauvignon

Well it's a weeknight and time to have a bottle of everyday wine to sip.  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of 2012 Legend of the Vine Cabernet Sauvignon from California, a wine I recently picked up at G.B. Russo's in Grand Rapids for a terrific price.

The wine has a nice ruby color in the glass with nice clarity.  The nose is better than I was expecting, with notes of blackberry, violets and a hint of leather.  The taste was somewhat lackluster, with somewhat syrupy fruit up front that transitioned to some earthy notes of oak and black pepper midpalate.  The tannins are still a bit tight, leading to a very dry but pleasant finish.  After a little while, the wine does open up quite a bit, but it's still quite earthy though the fruit rush subsides quite a bit.

Overall, I would rate this wine a 7, it's not a particularly memorable wine, but it's very easy to drink and a good value as I bought this one for about $8.  Tonight I am pairing this with some linguine with spicy marinara and a fresh arugula salad, a nice simple dinner with enough spice to balance out the fruit of this wine.  Cheers!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2013 Barricas Malbec

If you've known me a while, you know I tend to have a love hate relationship with Malbec, there are some I enjoy and others that leave me really turned off.  Let's hope tonight's wine isn't the latter!  Tonight I've opened a bottle of 2013 Barricas Malbec from Mendoza Argentina, and if there's at least one thing the Argentinians do well it's Malbec.

The wine is a bright ruby in the glass, with very nice clarity.  The nose is chock full of ripe red fruit, mulberry, black cherry and plum with some floral notes of violets.  The taste is actually quite nice (see we did get the love kind tonight!), with some ripe fruit up front, wild berries and tart cherry that quickly transition to some baking spice and mocha notes midpalate.  The tannins are fine but still a little tightly wound given their youth, but they still provide a nice foundation for a long, smooth dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's easy drinking, an ideal everyday wine at a terrific value as I found this at G.B. Russo's in Grand Rapids for less than $8!  The wine does come with an artificial cork, which I'm not a big fan of, but it doesn't detract from the overall wine.  This wine would pair well with red meats or a variety of Latin foods, but tonight I'm enjoying it with some Italian sausage ravioli with some Alfredo sauce with red and green peppers and grape tomatoes, for a fresh pasta meal, as the ripe fruit and tight tannins really pair well with the rich cream of this sauce.  Cheers!