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Showing posts with the label blend

2017 The Shepherd Estate Red

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  It is always a pleasure working with a winery partner year over year and having the fortune to taste the same label but differing vintages.  We last tasted this wine for the 2014 vintage.  The 2017 The Shepherd Estate Red is once again a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Tempranillo.  All of the grapes are sources from estate vines and the mixture of each grape differs each year, depending on the quality of the grapes and the overall desired affect.  This wine is a dark inky purple in the glass and (although tough to see in the picture) the cork is nearly black and sexy.  Solid color to the edge of the glass.  Blueberry pie, cedar bark and plum primarily on the nose.  Baked cherry cobbler, vanilla bean and cremè de cassis are lovely flavors with hints of black pepper wrapped up in lush tannin.  These three grapes are always a favorite and this wine drinks very, very easily now or you can hold it for 5+ years.  Most of the wines are tasted unescorted by food, but this would pair well wit

2019 Mollydooker Two Left Feet

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  We were recently in Chicago visiting family and, of course, we had to check out the local wine store.  It's always fun shopping for wines and bourbons in a "new" city.  You never know what you may find.  Since it can be tough to find Mollydooker close to us (it is hit-and-miss) we decided to grab this bottle.  We have long been Mollydooker fans but had yet to write about any of the 2019 vintages. The 2019 Mollydooker Two Left Feet is a fun way to step outside of MD's famous 100% Shiraz offerings.  This is a blend of Shiraz (69%), Merlot (16% and Cabernet Sauvignon (15%).  Dark magenta in the glass with wonderful, long legs, the wine permeates the air beautifully with fresh raspberry, cherry and spices.  At 16% ABV this wine isn't for the faint of heart.  But it isn't fumy or bear any unpleasant hints of menthol that you can get from other high octane wines.  In the mouth is a effortless and polished feel of a wine that boasts hearty red fruits, aged peppere

2018 Flora Springs Trilogy

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  We have been fortunate enough to taste this delightful selection over the years both on this blog on our previous one.  This wine always puts a smile on our faces and never disappoints!  The 2018 Flora Springs Trilogy is an exceptional example of marrying three amazing varietals flawlessly, resulting in silkiness, body, incredible flavors and wonderful memories.  I kick myself for not getting a picture of this in the glass.  I guess it's incredibly easy to get excited and become lost in this wine.  I would love to show you the wonderful crimson colors and beautiful, ripe tannins but that will have to wait until next time.  The wine introduces itself with dark red and black fruits, cocoa beans, a wisp of book leather and roasted coffee.  These aromas make the mouth water and make way to ripe blackberries, juicy plum, mocha and dark toast on the palate.  The wine flows effortlessly that would pair well with an delicious prime rib, but we tasted this solo.  For us, it's the bes

2019 Upshot White Wine Blend - Rodney Strong Vineyards

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  Once in awhile we are introduced to a wine that really opens your eyes, especially at this price point.  The 2019 Upshot White Wine Blend by Rodney Strong Vineyards is just such a find.  If you're looking for a daily drinker for summer or a fun treat for your guests at your next outdoor dinner party, we think this one is a great choice!  Stone fruits on the nose joined with new spring flowers and a fresh summer rain.  In the mouth are ripe peaches, fig jam and just the perfect touch of salinity that opens up for an incredibly crisp finish.  You'll likely want this one chilled (but not over chilled) and we think this wine would be a great accompaniment to some hard cheeses and cured meats.  Enjoy! ABV:  13.0% Healdsburg, CA Suggested retail price:  $19.00 Drink The Bottles score:  85/100

2016 Coquerel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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"You really can't find any great wines under $100 per bottle" is a huge disagreement that you and I can have all day, every day.  It simply isn't true.  This 2016 Coquerel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect example of what I'm talking about today.  This wine is wonderfully delicious and won't kill your bank account.  And with only 322 cases produced, this wine surely won't be available much longer. In fact, the magnum is sold out, so you have been warned! This wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (about 82%) with a smart blend of Malbec remaining.  This gorgeous color reminds me of black raspberry pie in a glass.  It's deep and the aromas are soul-filling and mouth-watering.  You can really  appreciate the ripe black and red fruits, hint of cedar and dried spices and a bit of vanilla-y graphite.  In the mouth is a powerfully fruit-forward wine that introduces micro tannins with every sip, creating a sleek and persistent finish.  You can certainly

2015 Flora Springs Trilogy

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The 2015 Trilogy red wine from Flora Springs is a solid pleasure provider that was the star of the show on Cabernet Day this year, hands down!  Incredibly dark purple in the glass, the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (82%), Malbec (10%) and Petit Verdot (8%) is a slice of heaven in the glass.  So much flavor and elegance with sweet plum, tar, black currant, cedar shavings and black cherry showing off the fine tannins and long legs.  For such a young wine, this one is incredibly velvety on the tongue and the finish and you would swear it has been in the bottle closer to 10 years.  The fruit aromas carry over to the flavors and there is a sweetness that is reminiscent of swirling my vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup together as a kid.  The price point adds to the attractiveness of such a remarkable wine and while it would pair amazingly with a brisket, I chose to drink this one unaided and with a smile on my face ... and my glass! ABV:  14.5% Napa Valley, Californi

2017 Farmhouse White

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The 2017 Farmhouse White from Cline Cellars mixes it up and stands out from most white blends because of the uniqueness of the six varietals that are the backbone of this refreshing beauty.  Medium golden with loads of honeycomb and warm tropic fruits on the nose.  Hints of wildflower appear as this wine warms to (my) proper drinking temperature (which is room temperature).  Blended with Palomino (41%), Muscat Canelli (25%), Roussanne (22%), Marsanne (6%), Viognier (5%) and Riesling (1%), this wine provides a crisp and slightly sweet flavor profile of tropical fruits, pear preserves, key lime pie and cantaloupe. The finish is solid and this wine should be taken seriously, because it is one that will bring you back over and over again.  I would recommend this with raw veggies and dill dip or bruschetta that is high in garlic content. ABV:  13.5% California Suggested retail price:  $15.00 Drink The Bottles score:   87/100

2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon

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Here's a brand new wine label that I frankly, hadn't heard of but of course, I'm always eager to learn something new.  This 2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon is staight out of Columbia Valley, Washington, where many of my favorite red blends were born and raised.  A combination of Cabernet Sauvignon (81%), Merlot (17%) and Merlot (2%), this easy-to-imbibe red is a little fruity on the nose and at first sip.  Blueberry, vanilla and sweet spices predominantly fill the glass and if you like a softer, more subtle Cabernet blend, this is your jam!  In the mouth is more of the same but black raspberry and sweet tobacco round out the flavor profile with a very short finish.   My recommendation is to drink this with a bloody, salty, bone-in slab of beef or some hot Virginia ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches with spicy mustard.  It would be a match made in heaven. ABV:  14.5% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $12.99 Drink The Bottles score:   82/

2015 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious

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This wine makes me super happy.  I'll be honest, I had to look up the meaning of the word Bodacious to even see if it was a legitimate word.  I found very quickly that Bodacious should not be the name of the wine, but rather the wine review.   Bodacious.   That's all you need.  Holy cow, this wine from Jon Nathaniel Wines is a head turner!  I'll tell you what's in it soon, but what you really need to know is how it tastes and feels.  This wine pops in the mouth with cherry cola, black raspberry jam, chocolate bits, some hints of coffee and what I can only describe as dust from an old book depository at the tail end of the finish.  Weird?  Sure.  But accurate?  You bet.   Aromas of ripe red fruit, funky earthy dampness, cedar, vanilla and mocha are most prevalent.  This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Syrah (29%), Cabernet Franc (19%), Petit Verdot (11%), Merlot (10%) and Malbec (1%).   Can you cram anything else into the bottle?   Maybe, but why would you?

2015 Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

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It had been a spell since I had enjoyed any wine from Frog's Leap Winery , so I was really pumped about the opportunity to taste their latest Cab.   The 2015 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (13 %) and Cabernet Franc (9%).  Selfishly, I wish I had a case of this wine and if you want to invest in something that will pay you back ten fold in taste over the next 10-20 years, this wine is for you.  It's super young now, but you can discover some great  mocha, saddle leather, dark plum and medium spice on the nose.  Some might find full bodied flavors that you usually expect from a Cabernet at first, but thing wine is young and the Merlot addition adds structure and balanced flavors of black cherry, gravel, licorice and grilling spices.  I found this finish to be very long with a hint of peppery spice.  I'm loving this wine and I think it will continue to be fine polished if you give it some time.  Eat this one with a rare to me

2015 J Bookwalter Winery Conflict

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The J Bookwalter Winery team never ceases to surprise me with their wines, whether with their more "value priced" Readers Merlot or with this savory and heart-warming red blend.  The 2015 Conflict is a product of the Conner-Lee Vineyard consisting of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (47%), Merlot (45%) and Malbec (8%), making it a powerhouse in color and flavor.  Black fruits with violet and whisps of peppered rare beef swim in the glass.  This wine is immediately mouth-watering and has a welcome brightness that is married by the vibrant red colors throughout.  The black fruits carry over in the flavors and I think a hint of cardamom is carried by the spicy, slightly woody finish that to me, is as beautiful as the legs in the wine glass.  This is such an easy drinking wine and one that I would avoid with food.  It would pair well with a number of beef dishes, but I enjoy this wine so much that I want to remember it just as it is.  I think you'll get enjoyment out of t

2016 JACK Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

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I had the pleasure of tasting this 2016 JACK   Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, but I missed the mark by not enjoying it over a major league baseball game.  (Check out their story to see what this means!).  What first catches the eye on this specimen is the beautiful golden color and the logo that ties into the story of the founders.  This bottle is as handsome as Vernon and Chris are and popping the cork permeates the air with wafting aromas that suggest something special is about to happen to you.  I love California Sauvignon Blanc because it doesn't express overly grassy aromas like its New Zealand counterparts and it spotlights more fruity and floral aromas, which is the case here.  Honeysuckle and spring bouquet are dominant and inviting.  In the mouth is a silky example of a wine that has been well refined and initially has me dreaming of pineapple whip ice cream. This wine has bits of honeycomb and loads of baking spices along with a crisp green apple finish that is long and doe

2015 Krupp Brothers The Water Witch

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I have long been a fan of Krupp Brothers wines and absolutely love the story of the determination and passion behind how this winery became to be today.  Some of the best terroir in the area was there, but getting to it by removing a nearly infinite amount of rock and having little to no water were two huge obstacles.  This wine pays homage to the dowser that found water for Krupp Brothers and helped turn it into.......wine!  This 2015 Water Witch is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (38%), Malbec (24%) Petit Verdot (10%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Tempranillo (9%), Syrah (6%) and Merlot (3%).  This blend is a home run with a medium to dark ruby red color and long legs that run parallel to the glass stem. Aromas of cherry turnover, clove, cigar box and floral bouquet dance in the glass and sing loudly with some vigorous swirling.  This wine is very young but you know that it will continue to gain weight in the bottle over the next 10+ years.  Velvety in the mouth with a finish that seems t

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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The 2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that can be enjoyed immediately and often with its incredibly soft tannins and welcoming mouth feel.  Smooth and supple, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Merlot (6%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petite Verdot (2%) offers a solid medium purple color and slender legs in the glass.  The aromas of rapsberry, cedar and licorice aren't necessarily the stars here, but rather the supporting cast to a wine that offers the same in the mouth and adds red licorice, roasted coffee beans and soft spices to the mix.  Even with the four blended grapes, I had anticipated a much younger feeling and more acidic wine that would be bright and benefit from a few more years in the bottle.  That was certainly not the case here!  This wine is completely approachable and one that I think you will enjoy with a pot roast dinner if you're looking for a food pairing.  But, it can certainly stand on it's own merit. ABV:  14.3%

2014 Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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I was super excited to taste my first (and certainly not last) wine from Gamble Family Vineyards .  This 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a flavorful and classy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (86%), Malbec (8%), Cabernet Franc (4%), Merlot (1%) and Petit Verdot (1%).  On the britgher red side in the glass with fiery red streaks at the rim, this wine expresses well-blended aromas of black fruits, blackberry jam, well toasted French bread and pencil lead.  In the mouth is a medium bodied wine that feels polished and refined.  It's really difficult to imagine that this wine is so young.  It drinks like a wine that has been in the cellar, aging appropriately and gracefully for ten or more years.  In the mouth are flavors of the same dark fruits, cocoa powder, mocha, clove and some sweet spices.  The finish isn't extremely long, but this wine is one that keeps you wanting to tip the bottle in your favor.  I am genuinely impressed! ABV:  14.1% Napa Valley, Califor

2016 Farmhouse Red

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So, I was super excited to get this bottle of wine, which is produced by Cline Cellars of California.  Why?  Because to me this wine represents much more than what is inside.  This bottle represents to me heritage, education, appreciation and love for farming and the earth.  I guess I feel, in some way, that I have a "six degrees" connection with this bottle and what it stands for because farming has run in my family for generations.  Be good stewards of the earth and ye shall be rewarded.   The 2016 Farmhouse Red wine has some real energy.  As I was pouring this wine, the raspberry, smoky, scorched earth actually leaped from the glass.   Swirling only accentuated the same and completely filled the nose and throat with delicious, full, warm aromas.  In the mouth is a wine that makes a presence with the blackberry pie, toasted dark bread and sweet cherries that combine with a peppery and luscious finish that doesn't necessary linger, but is memorable and deliciou

2014 Readers Cabernet Sauvignon

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I've thoroughly enjoyed tasting the "Readers" wines over the past 45 days and I'm so pleased every time I have the opportunity to do so.  This 2014 vintage from Bookwalter Winery stands up to Cabernet blends that are easily twice the price.  While I am a staunch supporter of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the blends that have been coming out of the west coast for the past 10-12 years have really helped pull in more non-traditional red wine drinkers and in many cases, have helped create wines that are more flavorful and expressive.  This blend boasts blackberry jam, dusty library books and a distinct mocha aroma that is reminiscent of your favorite coffee shop.  In the mouth is a solid wine that doesn't feel tight or young at all, but rather more mature than it is with predominant flavors of blackberry, wet stone and steak seasoning.  In the glass, this wine has sexy legs and a color that puts a smile on your face.  The Readers branded wines are an exceptional value.

2015 Avalon Red Blend

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Did you know that most wine consumers spend less that $12 on average for a bottle and that over 90% of the wine is consumed on the day that it is purchased?  In other words, most people are buying wine at the grocery store or wine store, taking it home and enjoying it.  And with a name like Drink The Bottles  I can't argue with that logic.  But often, people will look at those same low priced bottles and not look past the end of their nose if they are looking for a quality, delicious wine.  And that would be a HUGE mistake by passing this one up.  The 2015 Avalon Winery BLEND is a red wine that includes some of my favorite varietals, which is probably why I am so drawn to it.  It is a beautiful plum skinned color in the glass with strong and welcoming aromas of fresh blackberries, barn wood and hints of licorice.  Made up of Zinfandel (54%), Cabernet Sauvignon (21%), Tannat (20%) and Petite Sirah (5%), the flavors include very juicy blueberries and blackberries, toast and mil

2015 Bookwalter Winery Suspense Cabernet Franc

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I've always kind of joked to myself that Cabernet Franc is the smaller, weaker cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Maybe the middle child who didn't get enough attention?  I've just seldom had a truly grand experience with Cab Franc, but as the Monkees would say.....now "I'm a believer".  The 2015 Suspense Cabernet Franc from Bookwalter Winery will change the way you think about this wine.  While it's not 100% Cab Franc, the 17% Merlot blend is smart and adds some depth and complexity to this Columbia Valley wine.  After the gorgeous deep garnet color, the nose presents lively cherry aromas with earthly sage and whiffs of pomegranate.  Where this wine really, really  got me was the surprise on the palate.   There was an unconventional and incredibly welcoming spice that joined the Cremè de cassis, cherry, raspberry and smooth-as-glass finish that leads to a very memorable tasting experience.  This is a healthy wine that is going to age amazingly and would

2014 The Shepherd Estate Red

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Once in awhile you pop and cork and get so excited because of the incredible color that is displayed on the cork.  When I pulled the cork out of this 2014 The Shepherd Estate Red wine, I knew I was in for a real good time!  Seriously, it was incredible.  Check out the picture HERE and I know you'll appreciate what I'm talking about.  So, I was completely unfamiliar with Shepherd Wines until I received this bottle.  Shepherd Wines is an offspring of my friends at Truchard Vineyards .  They currently offer 2 wines under the Shepherd label - a Sauvignon Blanc and this Estate Red. Seldom do I open a wine, roll my eyes skyward and then clinch a fist in pleasure before  tasting the wine.  But that is exactly what has happened here.  Before I get into that, I have to tell you that I literally cannot wrap my head around the fact that this wine has a $20 price point.  This wine is clearly worth at least twice that price and with just over 1000 cases produced, this is a wine t