Sunday, February 23, 2014

2011 Poggio Al Lupo Morellino di Scansano

Tonight I am trying a new Italian wine that I haven't had the opportunity to experience before, the 2011 Poggio Al Lupo Morellino di Scansano.  Now I've learned that Morellino di Scansano is a wine made in the hilly regions of coastal Tuscany in the Maremma region (in the past I've even reviewed a couple of wines from Maremma).  Now unlike Chianti or Brunello, the Morellino di Scansano only needs to be made with 85% Sangiovese grapes, and there is no minimum aging requirement, so these wines can be released as soon as 8 months after harvest.  As a result, these wines are often more young and crisp than many similar but aged wines.

The wine is a lighter color in the glass, but still consistent with a primarily Sangiovese based wine, with bright ruby along the edges.  The nose is a complex bouquet of rich black fruit, ripe plum, blackberries and cassis along with some earthy notes of leather and oak.  The taste is quite nice, with a blast of fruit up front that easily transitions to some dried herbs, black pepper and cocoa powder midpalate, over the faintest hint of iron and granite.  The tannins are crisp but well structured leading to a very smooth, long and dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, as it's a lovely example of a Sangiovese based wine that I've not had before, and it was a solid value.  I bought this from Wines Till Sold Out for just $15.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with some barbecued chicken, a backed Yukon gold potato and some steamed broccoli, a nice Midwest Sunday dinner.  The fruit of this wine really makes a nice accent to barbecue, not as jammy as a Zinfandel, but very nice nonetheless.  Cheers!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2010 Reininger Carmenere

Tonight I'm exhausted, after doing chores around the house all day, including chipping a couple inches of ice from my driveway, so I guess that means I should open a bottle of wine!  And so I will, how about a bottle of 2010 Reininger Carmenere from the Seven Hills Vineyard?  Glad you agreed, since that's what I opened, as nothing helps to relax me like a nice bottle of Washington red wine from Walla Walla, and this one just arrived a week ago.

This wine is a deep, inky purple color in the glass, leading to some bright ruby along the edges.  The nose is just wonderful, with rich notes of blackberry, anise and white peppercorns accenting some lovely leather and earthy notes of limestone and fresh herbs.  The flavors are wonderful, with some lovely fruit and spice notes intermingling at the outset that effortlessly transition to some cherry cola, Asian spice and dusty limestone midpalate.  The finish is quite lovely with soft tannins that breathe great life into a smooth, dark and brooding finish that just begs you to take another sip.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's just a wonderfully complex example of this great varietal that just keeps me intrigued with each new vintage.  Tonight I'm enjoying this wine with some bay scallops with fennel and tomatoes tossed with linguine, a new recipe I found on epicurious and it's delicious!  The lovely fruit of the wine makes a great counter balance to the richness of the scallops, cheers!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

2005 Rio Bom Douro Colheita

Tonight I've decided to try some new things, from the food I'm making for dinner to the wine I've decided to open!  I've seldom had the chance to enjoy a wine from Portugal, but tonight I've opened a bottle of 2005 Rio Bom Douro Colheita, a recent purchase from the Wines Till Sold Out cheapskate event.

The wine is a very nice ruby color in the glass, about the same color as a nice Spanish wine, like a Tempranillo.  The nose is very interesting, with a lot of bright fruit at first, blackberries, plum, black cherry, but as it opens up, it displays more rustic and earthy notes, forest floor and a classic barnyard.  The taste is fruit forward with some notes of cherry cola and some cocoa powder, which transitions to some fresh herbs, tarragon and green tea midpalate.  The finish is quite nice, with rather mild tannins supporting a rather abrupt finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, as it's a solid wine that could complement a variety of dishes and it was a good value at around $14.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a wonderful dinner of fresh rainbow trout stuffed with oranges and fresh thyme along with some pesto linguine and steamed asparagus.  The earthy notes and fruit flavors of the wine really strike a nice note with the richness of the trout, but I could see this going very well with a variety of dishes from grilled steak to a nice braised beef stew.  Cheers!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2011 Barrister North Coast Red Wine

Well all right, I am back on the interwebs!  Which means I am no longer limited to doing blog posts from my iPhone and instead can do them will full access to spell check and a full range of fonts!  So to celebrate, I've opened up a bottle of 2011 Barrister North Coast red wine that I bought from the Wines Till Sold Out (WTSO) cheapskate even a few weeks ago.  Not they said it was similar to the Orin Swift efforts on the Prisoner, which I like so why not give it a try?

The wine is a lovely deep ruby in the glass the tends toward a nice purple at the center.  The nose is concentrated with fruit, black plum, cherries, cassis with some notes of fresh herbs and forest floor.  The taste is much less fruity than I was expecting, nice flavors of black licorice, coffee that transitions to some black pepper and spice notes midpalate.  The finish is quite nice, with subdued tannins and a smooth, elegant finish that beckons for another sip.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, as it's a nice wine that does live up to its reputation as the Prisoner's little brother, but at a value price (I think I paid about $18 for this one).  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with some fresh baked pork chops (did I mention that I went in with some friends and bought a pig last week?), baked potato and steamed asparagus, a classic Sunday dinner.  The fruit in the wine makes it an ideal accompaniment for the wonderful flavors of pork.  Salut!

Friday, February 7, 2014

2007 Shining Hill Columbia Valley Red Wine

So tonight is hopefully the last night without internet in my house, so the last of the mobile blog posts for a while!  To celebrate I've opened up a bottle of 2007 Shining Hill Columbia Valley Red Wine, a product of the Col Solare Winery - a collaboration between Marchesi Antinori of Tuscany and Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington state.

The wine is a lovely deep ruby in the glass with good clarity. The nose is a nice combination of leather, oak, ripe plum, and cocoa lower that washes over a base of fresh herbs and green grass. The taste is quite nice with a blast of ripe plum, blackberries and cassis up front that transitions to some mineral notes mid palate, iron, limestone and black pepper. The finish is quite nice, well structured tannins supporting a long smooth dry finish that lingers for 30 seconds or more. 

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, as it's a solid example of a nice Columbia Valley Bordeaux style blend at a good value as I found this one at G. B. Russo's  in Grand Rapids for only $19. Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a lovely tuna steak baked with Parmesan paprika crust, grilled asparagus and a baked potato. The mineral notes of the wine pairs so nicely with the flavor of the tuna and the spice. Cheers!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2002 Forgeron Cellars Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Here we are again, another Cellar Saturday, and this time I've opened a nice bottle of Cabernet Savignon from another of my favorite Washington producers, Forgeron Cellars.  When I was out in Walla Walla last year i had the opportunity to buy a couple of bottles each of a three-year vertical of their Columbia Valley Cabernet, vintages from 2002 through 2004, so tonight I've decided to open a bottle of the oldest, the 2002 Forgeron Cellars Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The wine is a lovely deep ruby color in the glass with a bit of opacity starting to show given it's maturity level.  The nose is just impressive, with a blast of fruit, dark cherry, cassis, leather and smoke over a bit of sultry spice.  The taste elegant yet complex in its layers, with some soft berry notes that give way to some wonderful earthy flavors of peat, green grass and some minerality, with hints of limestone and dark chocolate. The finish is very nice, smooth and dry, just as I would expect for a 12-year-old Cabernet produced in the style of a quality Bordeaux. 

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's just a great old wine that has aged remarkably well.  Although it's not inexpensive (I honestly don't recall what I paid for these), it's certainly a very worthwhile treat for the wine lover in you!  Tonight I am pairing this wine with, of all things pizza!  In this case a lovely homemade number with a thin crust, roasted vegetables and fresh hot Italian sausage along with a nice arugula salad with some white balsamic.  The wine just pairs so well with the spice of the pizza and you know, sometimes it just feels good to open a nice bottle for a simple meal.  Cheers!