Sunday, May 27, 2012

2007 Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards Red Wine

Another wine evening, I mean fine evening, but I repeat myself!  Tonight I am enjoying a wonderful bottle of 2007 Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards red wine.  It was 2000 when I was introduced to Ravenswood, and the single vineyard wines were always at the top of their offerings, and the Pickberry Bordeaux blend was always at the top of the top.  To the fact that I was able to get a few bottles in a recent order from is fortunate so I can see if the wine still lives up to its reputation a decade on.

Well, to give away the surprise, it certainly does!  This is a classic Bordeaux style blend of Merlot (58%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (42%) from Sonoma Valley.  This wine is a bright ruby color in the glass, and the nose is a fragrant blend of red fruit, tobacco, licorice and musk.  The taste is surprisingly fruit forward, with hints of cherry and red currant at the front end, giving way to some complex mineral flavors mid-palate.  The finish is wonderfully dry with the tangyness of the tannins providing a nice firm finish.  The wine is still a little young, and will likely age quite well over the next decade or two.

Overall, I can't find much of anything negative to say about this wine, which is somewhat rare in itself!  I would rate this one a solid 9, with the only thing holding it back from an everyday drinking wine being the price, which at $30 is a bit of a stretch in these budget conscious times.  I am enjoying this one with tonight with a grilled ribeye and some roasted asparagus and corn on the cob, a traditional Memorial Day feast, but I've got a hunch I'll enjoy it just as much after dinner relaxing on the patio!

Friday, May 25, 2012

2008 Amavi Cellars Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Well, it feels like summer is finally here, as we've had a few days in the 90s, but the humidity isn't too bad yet, so the evenings have been nice and cool...perfect for enjoying a nice glass of wine on the patio!  And for tonight's glass, we have the 2008 Amavi Cellars Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a classic varietal from the Columbia Valley of Washington State.

Some of my absolute favorite producers are from the Walla Walla Valley, but this is a producer that I hadn't heard of before being introduced to it by Dave Russo, of my favorite local wine merchant, G.B. Russo's.  This wine is a classic Washington Cab, with a deep ruby color that looks almost black in the glass.  The nose has hints of blackberry, leather and tobacco, and just the slightest hint of mint.  The taste is remarkably fruit forward, with red berry, plum and Rainier cherry, followed by a bit of earthy spice mid-palate.  The tannins are well structured, giving a nice dry finish.  This is a nice big, bold Cab that would stand up well to those of Napa Valley, but at a much more attractive price!

Overall, I would rate this one a solid 8.5, as it has everything a good Cab should have, and at only $15 I don't know what else you could ask.  Tonight I'm enjoying this with a little linguine and spicy red sauce, but it would go well with a grilled steak or nearly anything you could cook on the patio as you're drinking a glass!

Monday, May 21, 2012

2008 Valley of the Moon Zinfandel

I love vacations, you can drink as much wine as you like, and never have to worry about the alarm clock disturbing your malolactic slumber!  So, since I'm on vacation, we'll have plenty of time to explore some wonderful wines, and tonight we have a 2008 Valley of the Moon Zinfandel!  You know how I love Zins, and this one has a cool label to add to the mystique of the wine. 

This particular Zin is from Sonoma, which produces some very nice wines and this one is no exception.  The color is a bright ruby in the glass, and the nose is rich with ample red fruit, with hints of blackberry, plum offset by a bit of leather and cedar.  The taste is somewhat fruit forward, with a bit of berry and black currant, which quickly gives way to a bit of jammy sweetness mid-palate, that finishes with a bit of vanilla and spice.

Overall, this one has a little more fruit than I'm used to, but that's what makes this wine the perfect accompaniment to my thick rare ribeye and grilled savory veggies, like peppers, onions, leeks and asparagus.  I tried this one at a tasting at my favorite local wine merchant, G.B. Russo's and it was great, so how could I resist buying a bottle for only $12?  I would rate this wine a solid 8, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a wonderful easy drinking wine as the summer nights heat up!

Friday, May 18, 2012

2009 Chateau Arnaud Saint-Estephe

I know I've been letting you down this month, letting work get in the way of important wine drinking, but that's all in the past now, as I am ready to get serious about my wine drinking for the rest of the month!  So tonight we are starting off with another of those "legendary" Bordeaux from the 2009 vintage, the Chateau Arnaud Saint-Estephe.  Most Bordeaux today seem to be from the other areas of the region, like Margaux, Medoc, Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, but there seem to be some areas that have almost been forgotten, like Saint-Julien and Saint-Estephe which comes from one of the northernmost areas of the left bank of the Gironde.

Popular or forgotten, I'll still enjoy them and tonight's example is no exception.  This wine is a full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%) and Cabernet Franc (10%), with deep ruby color in the glass, with a classic, almost inky appearance at the first pour.  The nose is packed with red fruit and currants, with hints of leather, wood and mint.  There is a good bit of rich fruit on the first taste, with some savory herbs mid-palate, and well structured tannins for a smooth dry finish.

You know I love me some Bordeaux, and this one packs a nice punch!  Overall I would rate this one a solid 8 with some room to improve with a little maturity.  This one was another great wine I bought from my favorite online wine merchant, Wines Till Sold Out, and though a little pricier than usual, I still felt it was a great deal for only $21.  Tonight I am pairing it with a rare New York strip, a baked potato and some steamed veggies, a classic American meal meets France!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

2008 Rockridge Road Red Wine

WOW!  It has been a hellacious couple of weeks!  Work has been absolutely insane so my priorities have been turned completely upside down with nary a moment to enjoy a nice glass of wine.  That's not to say I haven't been drinking wine, I just haven't had the time to enjoy it! 

That all changes now, I am getting back to somewhat of a normal schedule, and I even have some vacation time coming up, so watch out wine world, here I come!  So as I sit home on a Sunday night, I've decided to open up a bottle of 2008 Rockridge Road red table wine, a perfect wine for the every day.

This wine is a little lighter in style, but still a medium bodied red with a lovely ruby color.  The nose is an interesting combination of sweet fruit, leather and just the faintest hint of mint.  But don't be deceived by the aroma of sweet fruit, as this wine is really not sweet or fruity, there is a bit of blackberry on the front end, followed by tea leaves and spice midpalate.  The tannins are very soft, leaving the finish something to be desired, but still it's a nice easy drinking wine for a sunny, 75-degree day like today! 

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7, and it's certainly helped a lot by the fact that it's incredibly affordable at only $6 (come on, you can't afford not to drink this wine at that price!).  I picked up a few bottles after a tasting at G.B. Russo's, my favorite local wine merchant a few weeks back.  Tonight I am enjoying it with classic summer fare, some locally made brats and sweet potato fries!  YUM!