Sunday, May 31, 2015

2011 Doubleback Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon

Have you ever had a tough week and couldn't wait for the weekend and then the weekend goes by so fast you wondered what happened?  Well that's the type of week I had last week and now that it Sunday evening, I just want to open up a really good bottle of wine to enjoy.  Tonight it's the 2011 Doubleback Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, produced by Drew Bledsoe and his wife Maura along with Chris Figgins as a consulting wine maker.  This particular wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), Merlot (5%), Petit Verdot (4%) and Malbec (1%) from a very cool vintage.

The wine is a beautiful deep garnet color in the glass with nice clarity.  The nose is a lovely combination of ripe wild berries, blackberry, marionberry and raspberry intermingled with some earthy notes of leather and a hint of baking spice.  The taste is a burst of tart cherry at the outset that transitions nicely to some vanilla bean and dark chocolate midpalate.  The finish seems to last until you take your next sip, as the smooth tannins undergird the fantastic acidity that abides in this long, voluptuous and exceedingly dry finish.

Wow, this is just a fantastic glass of wine, one that I'd easily rate a 9 with the potential to go higher with some time in the cellar, after all, I didn't even follow the cellaring recommendation of 5 years before cracking this one open!  It's somewhat more expensive at $89 so not easy to be an everyday wine, but in my opinion it was worth every penny.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a marinaded prime sirloin steak grilled rare along with some fresh grilled veggies, but really, this is the sort of wine that you don't really need to pair with anything to enjoy, so cheers!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Reininger CPR Red Wine

Today I feel like I got a lot accomplished, did a lot of weeding around the back yard, cut down some branches that we needing to be trimmed and cleaned up around the house.  So why not relax at the end of the day with a nice glass of wine, and tonight I've decided to open a bottle of Reininger CPR Red Wine.  CPR which are winemaker Chuck Reininger's initials is their third label, one where Chuck desires to take some of the best grapes and let his creativity and emphasis on quality come to the fore.  As a result, CPR wines are non-vintage and are not limited to any single AVA.  This is the first bottle of CPR I've opened, so here goes nothing!

The wine is a beautiful garnet hue in the glass with a bit of opacity.  The nose gives off a heavy perfume of leather, smoke, green herbs and some light notes of tart cherry and boysenberry.  The taste is not at all what I expected, there is such tartness in the nose I was expecting that, but instead there was a nice bit of blackberry and boysenberry at the front that quickly transitions to some warm spice notes midpalate.  The tannins were firm but exceptionally well integrated, creating a long, smooth and very dry finish, with just a bit of that tart cherry sneaking back on you right at the very end.  What an interesting wine!

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, it's a delightful and sophisticated blend that really keeps you guessing.  The leather, smoke and balanced fruit make this an ideal wine for hearty steaks or lamb, and it just so happens that I have a nice USDA Prime New York Strip to grill this evening, along with a big baked potato and some grilled Brussels sprouts.  A perfect evening to eat out on the patio!  Cheers!

Friday, May 22, 2015

2012 Mockingbird Hill Reserve Red Wine

So the long holiday weekend has commenced, along with the unofficial start of summer on this Memorial Day weekend, so why not start out with a nice bottle of wine?  Tonight I've opened a bottle of 2012 Mockingbird  Hill Reserve Red Wine, a nice blend from Sonoma County that I recently picked up on Wines Till Sold Out.

The wine is a nice deep ruby color in the glass with nice clarity.  The nose presents pleasant aromas of cherry, boysenberry and plum along with some earthy notes of peat and fresh cut cedar.  The taste is a nice combination of ripe fruit up front, with some blackberry and cassis presenting a bit of jammy fruit which transitions to some nice notes of tobacco and toasted oak.  The tannins were somewhat young and tight, but they created a nice foundation for a smooth, dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's drinking well now as a very approachable red blend, but at about $13, it's a value that would make this an easy choice for an everyday wine.  Tonight I am enjoying this one on the patio with an heirloom tomato caprese salad with 25-year balsamic, Tuscan herb olive oil and freshly cut basil, what could be better on such a gorgeous day?  It would also pair well with a nice steak or a hearty pasta with red sauce.  Cheers!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2007 Quarto Ducale Rosso di Cerignola

Ahhh...hump day (cue the camels) and what better day to enjoy a nice bottle of wine than the middle of the week as we are heading rapidly towards a holiday weekend!  Have I mentioned that we should be incredibly excited this year as Memorial Day falls as early as it possibly can while Labor Day falls as late as it possibly can which means this is going to be the longest summer humanly possible!  So to celebrate I've opened a bottle of 2007 Quarto Ducale Rosso di Cerignola, a blend of Uva di Troia and Negroamaro from Puglia, better known as the heel of the Italian boot!

The wine is a lighter color, somewhere between a pinot noir and a syrah.  The nose is very interesting, with a tart combination of cherry, fresh cut grass and spice box over hints of leather and prune,  The taste is quite nice, with some rich black fruit up front, blackberry, cherry and plum that transitions nicely to some notes of cardamom and minerals.  The finish is smooth with a velvety mouthfeel amid a final rush of flavor that reminds me of an Italian grandmother.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's a very nice example of the wine and a terrific value at around $15.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with some grilled terriyaki glazed pork tenderloin along with some grilled asparagus and steamed wild rice.  The wine is ideal for pork as the ample fruit makes a nice foil to the other white meat.  Cheers!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

2013 Wayne Gretzky Estate Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Sunday!  I know I've been slacking on my wine blog, but I've been busy with a visit from my Uncle Ron, so we went to some World War II battle reenactments and a dinner and USO dance with some nice big band music from the 40s, so I've had a hard time making room for the blog!  But tonight I've made time with a bottle of 2013 Wayne Gretzky Estate Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon,

The wine is a beautiful deep ruby in the glass, a classic Cabernet color.  The nose is a pleasant combination of oak, black licorice and baking spice.  The taste is a nice burst of jammy fruit, blackberry, plum and cassis that transitions nicely to some oak and floral notes midpalate.  The tannins are young but nicely structured for a nice warm, dry finish.

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's a nice wine to drink young and it was a good value as I think this one came from Wines Till Sold Out for about $13.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a nice rare grilled Angus T-bone with a baked potato with butter and sour cream and some grilled asparagus fresh from Michigan.  Yum!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

2010 Chateau de Cantenac Brown Brio Margaux

Happy Mother's Day to all you fine mothers out there!  In honor of my mother who passed away in 2010, I've been planting flowers like crazy, first at the cemetery last Friday and today four flats of impatiens along the side of my house (four flats is officially 192 individual plants!).   Needless to say, I am tired now, a perfect time to open up a nice bottle of wine.  Tonight it's the 2010 Chateau de Cantenac Brown Brio Margaux, which is still young for a Margaux, but just old enough to open!

The wine is a deep inky purple in the glass, with some bright garnet along the edges.  The nose is a lush array of ripe black fruit, cherries, plum, blackberries, all over just the faintest hint of Bordeaux funk.  The taste offers some fruit at the outset which quickly subsides to some earthy notes of leather, anise and oak.  The finish is somewhat refined, but the young tannins are still tightly wound, though they don't inhibit the long, dry finish that lasts for 30 seconds or more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it'd drinking nicely now, but will likely improved quite a bit over the next few years.  This wine was also a nice value from Wines Till Sold Out that I bought for just $25.  Tonight I am enjoying this first glass with my appetizer of fresh mussels sauteed in garlic and olive oil, which will be followed by a rare grilled Angus New York strip, baked potato and some grilled Brussels sprouts.  This is the perfect wine for a big steak, cheers!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

2004 Forgeron Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills

Happy springtime!  It's the first Saturday of May, which means it's Cellar Saturday, and on top of that it's an absolutely beautiful day here, sunny and in the mid-70s so what more could you want other than a nice mature glass of wine?  Tonight's selection is a lovely 2004 Forgeron Cabernet Sauvignon from the Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA of Washington State.  This is a bottle I picked up a few years ago in a three-year vertical, this being the youngest with a limited production of just 175 cases.

The wine is a beautiful deep purple color in the glass, leading to a bright garnet along the edges with nice clarity.  The nose is quite interesting, with some jammy fruit notes, strawberry, blackberry and prune, overlaying some lovely floral notes of violet and sandalwood.  The taste is just delightful, with some cherry cola and blackberry notes up front leading to some earthy notes of dusty limestone and smoke midpalate.  The tannins are very well integrated making for a velvelty mouthfeel and a long, smooth, captivating finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, it's marvelous right now and showing the full potential of a great Washington Cabernet, and although I don't recall what I paid for it, Forgeron in general offers some of the best values of all the producers in the Columbia Valley.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a classic spaghetti dinner, but it would go well with a nice steak or a hearty beef stew, or just sipping on the patio with some firm cheeses.  Cheers!