Sunday, September 14, 2014

2011 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas

For tonight I've decided on a nice GSM blend to enjoy in the evening, and which I think will pair well with a rather challenging dinner.  So I've opened a bottle of 2011 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas, a classic Rhone Valley blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah (30%) and Mourvedre (10%), produced with fruit from vines about 40 years old, so hopefully that will add to the depth of flavor in the wine.

The wine is a deep ruby in the glass, with nice clarity.  The nose is wonderful,with great fruit notes of black cherry and plum overlaid with some lovely spice notes of black pepper and lavender, with just a hint of leather.  The taste is a blast of ripe red fruit, cherries, raspberries and plum, with some pronounced floral notes, that transitions to some wonderful minerality midpalate, notes of limestone and oak, iron and spice. Though young, this wine shows some nice finesse with fine tannins supporting a long, smooth dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, with potential to improve with age, and it was a terrific value as I bought this one from Wines Till Sold Out for only $20!  And for the pairing, ahhh...the pairing, tonight I am enjoying this with a nice chicken Korma, a rich and very fragrant Indian curry dish with a variety of root vegetables over some steamed basmati rice.  The fruit and mineral notes in this wine make it a perfect foil to the aromatic and fragrant spice of the curry.  Cheers!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

2011 BTR Cellars The Chief

Well, another busy Saturday, filled with grocery shopping, laundry, the gym and now it's time to relax a bit with a glass of wine and some dinner!  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of wine from a producer I discovered on my last tasting trip to Walla Walla, the Mark Ryan Winery which is actually based in Woodinville, Wash., though they opened a tasting room in Walla Walla and I was impressed.  So tonight I'm opening a bottle from their second label, Board Track Racer (BTR) Cellars, the 2011 The Chief, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Merlot (30%).

The color is a deep, brooding indigo in the glass, somewhat opaque.  The nose is a lovely combination of ripe black fruit, cherry, plum and blackberry, over hints of tobacco, limestone and oak.  The taste is wonderful, with some ripe cherry and blackberry that transitions easily to some complex mineral and spice notes midpalate.  The tannins are somewhat refined, supporting a velvety mouthfeel and a lush, long, dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8 with some opportunity for improvement with another couple years in the bottle, and it's a pretty good value at $25 from the winery, but I bought this bottle at G.B. Russo's in Grand Rapids for $28.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a classic pairing of rare grilled Angus NY Strip, grilled Brussels sprouts and a baked potato.  And then after dinner, I might just enjoy sipping another glass on the patio, cheers!

Friday, September 12, 2014

2012 Bell Canyon Napa Valley Reserve Red Blend

Happy Friday!  Well around here it's sure starting to feel like fall, I think the high didn't even reach 70 today and it's supposed to be in the 40s tonight!  At any rate, I've opened up a bottle of wine from Napa Valley, a 2012 vintage, which many experts are saying could eclipse 2007 as a great Napa vintage.  Now I like Napa Cabernet a lot, but this wine is a red blend of Syrah (50%), Malbec (18%), Grenache (15%), Petit Verdot (15%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (2%), so here goes nothing!

The wine is a deep, inky purple color in the glass with bright ruby on the edges.  The nose is a nice combination of fruit, black cherry, tar and green grass, suggesting this wine might still be a bit tightly wound.  The taste is a blast of ripe fruit, black cherry, blueberries and a hint of vanilla that transitions nicely to some toasted oak and mineral notes midpalate.  The finish is actually quite nice (I was expecting it to be rather abrupt), but it was long, smooth and dry, and it has the potential to improve with some time in the bottle (and it presents much better after decanting).

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, with the potential to improve as it matures, and it was a pretty good value for a Napa red blend at only $14 from Wines Till Sold Out.  Tonight I am actually pairing this wine with some seafood, a nice flounder filet with a baked potato and some steamed carrots, as this blend is somewhat lighter with flavors that complement some more hearty fish.  Cheers!