Sunday, April 13, 2014

2010 Salvatore Principe Blue Groove Zinfandel

So tonight I'm having my Easter dinner a week early, so what goes better with glazed ham than a nice Lodi Zinfandel?  I can't think of anything, so tonight I've opened a bottle of 2010 Salvatore Principe Blue Groove Signature Series Zinfandel that I bought yesterday at one of my old time favorite wine stores, G.B. Russo's in Grand Rapids.


The wine is a lovely deep purple color in the glass, classic Zin.  The nose is a marvelous, jammy combination of black plums, raisins and a hint of leather and limestone.  The taste is a wonderful  blast of fruit, plums, raisins, blackberries and cassis that lasts for a few seconds and then transitions to some herb notes of black pepper, thyme and cocoa powder.  The finish is lovely, with some bold tannins supporting a long, silky finish that seems to last a minute or more.  A classic Lodi Zinfandel, rich, fruity and somewhat rustic.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, as it's a very nice example of a quality Zinfandel, but it was also a terrific value at just $7!  I wanted to buy a case, but there were only three bottles left, so I bought those.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with my early Easter dinner, of glazed ham, some red hasselback potatoes (thanks for the recipe Epicurious! Red Hasselback Potato Recipe at Epicurious) and the ubiquitous green bean casserole!  The wine makes such a great compliment to meats like ham, but it would also be great with a steak or pizza.  Cheers!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

2009 Peique Ramon Valle Bierzo

Yes I know, it's been a while since my last post and since I've been so busy with work lately that shouldn't be surprising.  So I'll make up for it this afternoon, after completing all my yard work I finally have time to open a new bottle and enjoy a glass of wine, and today it's the 2009 Peique Ramon Valle Bierzo, a wine that is made from the mencia grape of Spain, and one that I've not had the opportunity to try before.  Mencia has developed somewhat of a negative reputation, since some newer vines were planted and many producers focused on mass market wines meant to be consumed soon after bottling.  Fortunately this wine is from 55-60 year old vines, so it might be more of an age worthy sort of wine. So here's to trying new wines!


The color on this wine is a deep ruby, somewhat darker than I expected.  At first blush, the wine had a distinct nose of "Frankenberry" but as I let it open up a bit, the fruit subsided and a lovely combination of leather, spice, tobacco and espresso made themselves known.  The taste was rather surprising, as I was expecting a rush of fruit at the outset that never really appeared.  There were some hints of berries with a good bit of spice at the outset, black pepper and anise that quickly transitioned to some lovely mineral notes midpalate.  The finish was quite striking, with some balsamic over the stark minerality of dusted limestone and granite that made for a long, dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it was very interesting as a new varietal that I've note tried before, and it was a nice value, as I bought this one from Wines Till Sold Out for about $11!  Although this wine hails from the northeastern part of Spain, tonight I'm pairing it with a starkly Mediterranean sort of dish, of fresh mussels sauteed in garlic and olive oil and then simmered in some San Marzano tomatoes and spicy red peppers and tossed with linguine with a touch of fresh basil and shaved parmesan to finish it off, my classic version of mussels fra diavalo!  The fruit and minerality of this wine are an ideal compliment to the hearty spice of the sauce and mussels.  Andiamo a mangiare!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2010 Seven Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Well, Washington Wine Month is coming to an end, and despite that fact that I am starting to battle a cold, I felt it important to end this special month with a bang, so I've cracked open a bottle that I just received in my wine club shipment last week, the 2010 Seven Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  Now unlike some wineries, Seven Hills doesn't produce a reserve wine every year, in fact the last one was the 2008 Red Mountain Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and I don't even recall the last one prior to that one (I just looked, and this is only the tenth reserve Cabernet from Seven Hills, this one sourced from the old vines at the Seven Hills Vineyard and the Fire Ridge Vineyard).  So it's definitely a special sort of wine.


The wine is a deep, inky purple in the glass with bright ruby along the edges.  The nose tells me immediately I'm in for a treat, with aromas of rich leather, blueberries, plum and spice notes.  The taste is intense, with a burst of ripe black fruit, plum, blackberries and black currant that gracefully transitions to some dark chocolate and licorice notes midpalate.  The finish is just outstanding, as the structure of the tannins are so well ingrained with the fruit that you end up with a powerful finish that lasts seemingly forever, or at least until you take another sip, which you can't help but oblige!

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 9, it truly is an outstanding effort, but it's priced accordingly at $75, not including any wine club discounts.  This is a wine I would have absolutely no problems bringing to my bosses house for dinner, and he drinks some spectacular wines!  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with the simplest of immigrant dishes Polish galumpkis, or stuffed cabbage rolls, which I stuffed with some ground beef, ground sausage and rice.  This wine would also be perfect for a rare grilled porterhouse with all the fixin's (yes, I said "fixin's"!) or a variety of earthy, spicy dishes.  Cheers!