Showing posts with label blend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blend. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

High West Distillery Cask Strength and High Country Single Malt Whiskeys

 

High West Cask Strength Bourbon-Rye Blend


High West Distillery was founded in 2006 by David Perkins, and his wife Jane and began distilling in 2007.  You've undoubtedly seen these eye-catching bottles at most alcohol retailers, but did you know that High West started all of those years ago with just a small 250 gallon still?  Fast forward to 2024 and you now have a world class, internationally-known brand that is producing fantastic spirits!

Today we're sharing our thoughts with you on two of High West's whiskey offerings - the Cask Strength Bourbon-Rye blend and the American Single Malt Whiskey, dubbed High Country.  Both were tasted neat in Glencairn glasses.

The High West Cask Strength Bourbon-Rye Blend is a combination of straight bourbon and straight rye whiskeys that carry an age statement of six to ten years.  As if the age statement wasn't impressive enough, add on a proof of 117.4, a beautiful label and a mahogany color that catches the eye and you have something special here.  Stone fruits and citrus blend with maple candy and dusty bookstore on the nose.  The higher proof welcomes you with a lovely hug and quickly brings baked peaches, marscapone, saddle leather, hints of passion fruit and mocha.  These flavors drift off to an impressive and noteworthy finish with sourdough toast and honey.  Delicious!

ABV:  58.7% (117.4 proof)

Distillery:  High West Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $69.99

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100



The High West High Country American Single Malt Whiskey is a limited-release offering comprised of a mash bill that is 85% base malt, 14% carmel 60 malt and 1% chocolate malt.  If you're a single malt fan, then we highly encourage you to take a look a this!  Don't let the low proof deter you as this is distilled on the grain, helping coax a myriad of flavors and character to this whiskey.  

Copper color with another impressive label, you feel like you're walking into a bakery in full production in a small village in the mountains.  There is no other way to describe the near-sensory overload you get with this - baked goods, farm fields in the fall before harvest, chocolate, vanilla and maple.  We're going to go back and give this a few drops of water at a later point and see what else this whiskey is cooking up.  Brown butter, honey flavored candy, shortcake, vanilla ice cream and mountain air round out the flavors, hitting all of the senses just right.  Single malt fans, this is YOUR whiskey!

ABV:  44.0% (88 proof)

Distillery:  High West Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $79.99

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish Series: Mizunara

 

Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish Series: Mizunara

We're going to tell you right up front that everything we have tasted from Barrell Craft Spirits so far has been delicious.  The Mizunara Oak Cask Finish Series we are tasting today is no exception to our expectations.  It is the color of pure, unrefinded honey and the 100 mL sample bottle proves that good things come in small packages.

Barrell Craft Spirits are the leaders in blended whiskeys, producing winner after winner, often using unique mash bills and differing aged whiskey to create something that is definitely palate pleasing.  The mash bill on this bottle is 76% corn, 20% rye and 4% malted barley.  This "Edition 001" release is comprised of the following bourbons:  Indiana - 6, 7 and 9 years old, Tennessee - 8 and 14 years old and 8 year old Kentucky bourbon.  The final blend is then matured further in Mizunara (Japanese Oak) barrels, further adding to the flavors and memorable drinking experience.  Mizunara Oak must be a minimum of 200 years old before it can be used for aging casks.  In many cases, the trees can reach an age of 500 years.

Tasted neat, this selection presented clay earth, maple syrup, ripe strawberries, honey and leather.  There is a lot going on here and we strongly encourage you to play with this by adding a drop or two of water or tasting it with a singular ice cube.  It's almost insane what other aromas and flavors come to the surface with the water addition.  Honey, barn wood, mint, cookie dough and herbs are dominant flavors, but that also changes with a couple of drops of water.  This whiskey has a considerable finish that invites you back for another sip.  Love this!

Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish Series: Mizunara Label

ABV:  58.21% (116.42 proof)

Distillery:  Barrell Craft Spirits

Suggested retail price:  $84.99

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100



Thursday, July 11, 2024

2023 Flora Springs Soliloquy White Wine

2023 Flora Springs Soliloquy White Wine

The long days of summer are here and that means it is white wine season!  Historically, we have only tasted red wines from Flora Springs Winery, so we were excited to have the opportunity to try something new to us and this one was timed perfectly with the hot weather.  The Flora Springs Soliloquy White Wine is a blend of primarily Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay and the lesser known Malvasia added for complexity and flavors.  This is one of Flora Springs flagship wines and it is quickly noticeable why it carries that identity.

Pale gold in the glass with hints of greenish blue on the rim, this wine is immediately identifiable as primarily Sauvignon Blanc by the familiar meadow grass, floral and stone fruit aromas.  We tasted this slightly chilled to take advantage of the full tasting experience, but there is no doubt this would be a porch sipping or pool party wine served well chilled.  Citrus fruit, vanilla, and apples are dominant with honeycomb and sea salt showing up in the very pleasant and medium finish.  The acidity is perfect and this isn't overly bright like some Sauvignon Blanc wines tend to be.  We love what Flora Springs has done here and think this is a real winner!

2023 Flora Springs Soliloquy White Wine Label

Flora Springs Soliloquy Wine

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, CA

631 cases produced

Suggested retail price:  $70.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100





 

Monday, July 8, 2024

Lodestar American Blended Whiskey

Lodestar American Blended Whiskey

Two cousins who worked over a decade in the music and film industry found that they had discerning palates for whiskey and wanted to fill what they thought was a void in the beverage industry.  The inaugural and flagship blended whiskey from Lodestar Whiskey has a cool, laid back California vibe with mellow flavors and appealing owners.  They are relatively new to the space so they aren't distilling their products (who has a cool $25 million to do that?) but they are stepping outside of the box to blend warm and welcoming flavors with a combination of straight high rye bourbon and American single malt whiskey.

While blending isn't new and it definitely is an art form, what Anna and Wendelin are doing is charting their own course and getting people to notice.  We certainly did!  Medium chestnut color with graham cracker crust, orange and lemon peel and chewy caramel candy on the nose.  Those aromas led the tasting notes as well, but we also picked up sweet rolls and a lingering reminder of apple butter and minimal spice.  Tasted neat.

We really like what Anna and Wendelin are doing so far and we look forward to seeing what releases come next.  This whiskey was created to bring folks together and to try something that is tasty, unique and affordable.  We can only imagine what a family reunion is like with these two!

Lodestar American Blended Whiskey Label

ABV:  45.0% (90 proof)

Distillery:  Unknown (Bloomington, IN)

Suggested retail price:  $44.99

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100



 

Monday, May 13, 2024

2021 Flora Springs Trilogy

 

2021 Flora Springs Trilogy

This is our third vintage of Flora Springs Trilogy to taste and review over the years, and it has always been a consistently delicious and top performer.  For the 2021 vintage (their 38th bottling), there is a new label design which is (in our opinion) more elegant and welcoming that previous offerings.  As most of you know, we do take in consideration label design, or what we call shelf appeal, when scoring our wines and spirits.

The 2021 Trilogy is comprised primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) but also includes Petit Verdot (10%) and Malbec (5%).  This flagship wine is incredibly silky-smooth throughout the entire tasting experience, offering up tannins that are glossy and fine.  A swarm of aromas that include ripe dark berries, graphite and cedar are introduced initially, but this isn't a fruit-bomb, in-your-face type of wine, which is extremely refreshing.  After some time in the glass, the cedar yields to more earthy style of aromas.  The black fruits carry over on the palate with whisps of chocolate shavings, mint, minerality and suggestions of pine.  This wine is very structured and refined.  

We tasted this wine unaccompanied first and then paired it with some hard cheeses, cured meats and jams.  While the jams were not the best pairing, this wine absolutely soared with the aforementioned meats and cheeses.  If someone were building a wine cellar and asked us to give them 20 different wines to stock/cellar, this one would definitely be in that group.  It is perpetually delicious and each vintage is just breath taking.  Well done!

2021 Flora Springs Trilogy Close Up

ABV:  14.2%

Winery:  Flora Springs: Napa, CA

2.300 Cases Produced

Suggested retail price:  $100.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100



Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Barrell Craft Spirits Dovetail

Barrell Craft Spirits Dovetail Whiskey

We could not be more excited for an opportunity to sample and share with you the Dovetail finished whiskey from Barrell Craft Spirits.  We have been a BCS fan for sometime, polishing off a few bottles of their Seagrass Rye and other offerings over the last year.  Tasted from sample, this offering of Dovetail comes in at 124.7 proof but does not drink hot at all.  The fact that it was finished in rum, port wine and Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from Dunn Vineyards really adds some incredible finesse and flavors to this lovely and aromatic whiskey.

On the nose is a soul-searching saddle leather aroma, followed by slight pepper, campfire smoke and sweet yellow fruits.  There are hints of that lovely limestone or wet rock aromas that peak through as well.  It's a medium chestnut color and we think if we had added a couple drops of water, the dark cholocate flavors would have made an entrance.  We tasted this neat and there was sweet ripe mango, tobacco smoke, herbs and peppercorn on the palate.  This lovely whiskey stays with you to the very end, providing a finish that is long and it calls you back like a siren of the sea.

Is this a keeper?  You bet!  We have never had a bottle of anything from BCS where our reaction was, "Ehh, it's ok".  They have all been winners and they don't last long around here.  This one is right in line with the quality and expert blending that you expect from Joe Beatrice, Tripp Stinson and Nic Chistiansen.   Absolutely delicious.




ABV:  62.35% (124.7 proof)

Distillery:  Barrell Craft Spirits

Suggested retail price:  $79.99

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100




 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Traveller Whiskey

 

Traveller Whiskey

What does a country music superstar and one of the world's most famous distilleries have in common?  Well, let's find out!  Right out of the gate, we're going to tell you that we were surprised that this wasn't a marriage between the 8-time Grammy winner and Jack Daniel's, but we'll get to that later.

Chris Stapleton has teamed up with Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley to offer this first-of-a-kind blended whiskey with a celebrity association from the Frankfort, KY landmark.  Gimmick?  Genius marketing?  When this bottle was released just a few weeks ago we heard comments all over the board.  Most whiskey enthusiasts were skeptical, but admittedly, they "had" to have that bottle.....or three.  Some people cried foul and said this was all a poor attempt at boosting sales for both the country crooner and the distillery.

If you know anything about either one, you quickly realize that they don't need to boost their sales.  Both parties are doing just fine.  Stapleton has a net worth of about $25 million and climbing.  Buffalo Trace invested $1.2 billion into their expansion in order to keep up with demand.  So, you can debunk the sales boosting theory.

While many country music fans welcomed the collaboriation between the two brands, some questioned why Stapleton, who is admittedly now sober, would add his name to the bottle.  Well, back up a second.  Stapleton recently told Rolling Stone that while he isn't exactly sober, he has cut back on his drinking.  The miscommunication was from a previous interview last year, but "CS" admits that he does enjoy drinking alcohol (he has about 200 bottles of bourbon at home), but not to the volume he used to in younger years.

We love Buffalo Trace.  We really, really enjoy all of their products that we have tasted to date.  When we heard that Harlen Wheatley and Chris Stapleton had joined forces to marry a bottle of blended whiskey, we were pretty excited about the opportunity to find and taste this one.  We really thought that Jack Daniel's would have snagged Stapleton first, especially with his remake of the hit song, "Tennessee Whiskey".  But......we're not mad!  Stapleton had been approached by distilleries and brands before, but the joint effor with BT felt right.

So let's talk about Traveller Whiskey.  Over 50 whiskey blends were sampled and number 40 was the winner and what made it to the bottle.  While the mash bills, age statement and specific sources are under wraps, Buffalo Trace says that this blend is from "award winning distilleries".  This was blended and bottled at the Frankfort distillery.  The bottle features a roadmap of the back woods and the liquid inside is a gorgeous light to medium brown.  Once you pop the cork you're going to love the abundant aromas of vanilla extract, ooey gooey butter cake and carmel syrup.  The nose is definitely on the sweeter side, and that carries over to the first flavors you experience with that intital sip.  Lightly salted nuts and kitchen spices finish this out with a somewhat short finish.  

Almost immediately after Traveller Whiskey was released, we saw several 'taters' flipping these bottles on the secondary market for upwards of $150 per bottle.  Take our advice and don't pay that for this bottle.  Is it one worth having in your whiskey library to share and talk about with friends?  Sure.  Is it worth an inflated secondary price?  Not in our opinion.

No matter what your opinion is of this bottle, we can all agree that it is getting harder to find, is on the minds of collectors and enthusiasts alike, and it has created some buzz in the whiskey world.  Selfishly, we would love to see more artistic collaborations between Buffalo Trace and other music superstars, but that remains to be seen.  Cheers!

Traveller Whiskey Bottle Detail

Our video review of Traveller Whiskey on YouTube




ABV:  45% (90 proof)

Distillery:  Buffalo Trace

Suggested Retail Price:  $39.99

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

J Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey

 

J Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey

There has been a buzz online for several months about J Rieger's whiskey offerings.  Admittedly, we weren't familiar, but the excitement was growing both locally and across the country since they released their first bottle about 20 months ago.  Well, it's not their first, but there was that pesky Prohibition that go in the way.  It only takes a spark to get a fire going, right?  When we came across this bottle of J Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey at a local liquor store, we snatched it up.  In fact, it was the last bottle on the shelf and it has been difficult to find since that time.  Why?  Well, let us tell you!

This is a blended whiskey, coming at 92 proof.  The blend includes straight rye whiskey, straight bourbon whiskey and light corn whiskey - all aged 4 years or more.  But there's also the smallest amount of oloroso sherry from spain (15 year) that is introduced to the blend to create a unique and welcoming flavor profile.  In fact, whether you are a sherry fan or not, you pick up on that decadent and rich buterscotch aroma at first pour.  Dried fig, dark chocolate morsels, candied almonds and allspice swirl around in your mouth, providing you with a solid and mildly spicy finish.  

We paid only $29.99 for this bottle of whiskey and it is an absolute winner!  The price generally ranges from $24.99 to $35.99, depending on your location.  Currently, Rieger's is distributed in 28 states and I'm guessing they will be expanding more in the upcoming year.  Available in 375ml, 750ml and 1.75L bottles.  J Rieger has a fascinating and long history, dating back well before Prohibition.  But in current day, they have been "back in business" since 2014.  Their first release, Bottled in Bond Straight Rye, was released in August of 2021 and they haven't looked back since.  We can't wait to see what is in store for this delicious and proud brand.

ABV:  46% (92 proof)

Distillery:  J. Rieger & Co.

Suggested retail price:  $29.99

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100



Monday, April 25, 2022

2018 Hamel Family Wines Isthmus

2018 Hamel Family Wines Isthmus

We were recently introduced to Hamel Family Wines and their 2018 Isthmus red blend.  This wine is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (64%), Merlot (18%), Cabernet Franc (14%) and Petit Verdot (4%).  This wine is very rich up front with dominant blackberry, plum and pomegranate fruits.  Clove, grilling spices, river rock and ripe dark fruits blend to create a stunning and memorable wine that is approachable now and will also drink very well for the next 15+ years.  Wonderful texture with the medium to heavier mouthfeel.  We decanted this wine for about 90 minutes prior to tasting and that helped bring this selection to a compelling and delightful finish.  Ruby red in the glass to the rim.  While we don't often taste wines with food, we do think that this would be a delicious accompaniment to a bone-in ribeye steak.

2018 Hamel Family Wines Isthmus label


ABV:  14.5%

Sonoma Valley, CA

2,698 cases produced

Suggested retail price:  $90.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93+/100



 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine

 

2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine

This was our first experience with the wines offered by Scout & Cellar of Texas.  They seem to have a little bit of something for just about everyone, especially if you are budget-minded, as most of their offerings are in the $19 - $36 range.  At those prices you can find a daily drinker, no doubt!  This wine is the 2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine (blend) from California.  You would typically find Cabernet Sauvignon in a red blend, but this one is a combination of Zinfandel (48%), Merlot (23%), Petite Sirah (12%), Carignan (9%) and Barbera (8%).   You don't find Carignan in too many California wines, even as a blending grape, so that was interesting to us.  This wine had a great medium purple color with blackberry, coffee bean and menthol nose.  With a lighter-to-medium mouthfeel, flavors of sweet blackberry preserves, roasted coffee beans, pepper and red licorice.  This is not a sugar bomb (if we have given that impression) but it is on the sweeter side.  The really cool things about this wine is that it is vegan, unfined and unfiltered.  Scout & Cellar prides itself on offering wines that are more "hands off" and clean.  We like that idea and we enjoyed this wine!

2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine Label

ABV:  13.9%

California

Suggested retail price:  $24.00

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100



Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine

Here's a another winner from a winery that we were introduced to about 13 months ago.  The 2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine is a luscious and aromatic offering that offers a dark purple and mouth watering welcome to the palate.  Ripe dark cherry, pencil lead, cocoa bits and cherry tobacco on the nose.  In the mouth is a powerful blend of red fruits, barn wood, black tea and cherry licorice.  This wine is framed with a solid acidic backbone and pulled together nicely for an amazing finish.  Tips the scale at nearly 15% alcohol but the balance is in check.  There were only 150 cases produced, but this one should be in your cellar while you can grab it.  Enjoy it optimally for the next 12-15 years.  Well done!

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine label


ABV:  14.9%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $75.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100

Monday, December 13, 2021

2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend

 

2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend

The 2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend is a wonderful example that delicious wines don't have to break the bank.  This Napa Valley stunner blends Syrah (69%), Cabernet Sauvignon (26%) and Merlot (5%) , creating dark and bold aromas of blackberry, cigar smoke and grilling spices.  You get amazing mouth coating flavors of blackberry cobbler, tobacco leaf, vanilla and black cherry. The tannin is powerful yet polished and the finish is one that makes you turn your head and smile.  We filtered and decanted this wine as there was a moderate amount of sediment.  It is absolutely delicious and while it will likely age well for a decade or more, we like this one now or within in the next 3 years for best enjoyment.

2017 LOBO Wines Custom Red Blend Label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $70.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

2019 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine

 

2019 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine

We were really taken back by the 2018 vintage of this wine and the 2019 doesn't disappoint!  This is the 2019 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine.  The wine is a Bordeaux Blend that consists of Cabernet Sauvignon (62%), Merlot (20%), Malbec (12%) and Cabernet Franc (6%).  This is not an "in your face" type of wine but rather one with a graceful introduction to blackberry and cherry aromas framed with cedar plank.  In the mouth is a glass-like feel with very polished tannin against flavors of plum, blackberry, cherry cordial and baking spices.  The closing moments of the wine linger and this young wine will surely continue to provide more depth with some time in the bottle.  Simply lovely!  700 cases produced.

2019 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine Label

ABV:  14.5%

Walla Walla, WA

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90+/100

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

2018 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine

2018 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine


We have been fans of Washington wines for many years but this was our first introduction to Caprio Cellars.  This winery not only produced solid and memorable wines, but they are also involved in many philanthropic activities as well.  If this 2018 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine from Dennis Murphy is an indication of how impressive all of their offerings are, then these Walla Walla wines are a definite "must add" to your cellar.  Powerful with the first sip before decanting and medium purple in the glass.  Distinct red berry mixture with cedar plank, plum and red licorice.  This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (59%), Merlot (19%), Malbec (15%) and Cabernet Franc 7%) is a smart blend that helps create some structure throughout the entire glass and beyond.  The flavors mirror the aromas and after decanting for about 90 minutes, the tannin softened considerably and led us to a velvety and balanced finish.  We detected a bit more woodsy notes after the decanting and the wine was equally appealing.  This is one of those wines that makes you clench your fist because it's so darn good.  Loving this and you can surely enjoy it 10+ years as it won't slow down for a very long time. 700 cases produced.

2018 Caprio Cellars Eleanor Estate Red Wine Label

ABV:  14.5%

Walla Walla, WA

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

 

Monday, November 1, 2021

2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley

 

2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley

We have tasted wines from Truchard Vineyards for several years now and it is always exciting to taste different vintages to see how the compare from year to year.  We last tasted this wine from the 2014 vintage.  The 2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley is a young wine, but feels more mature due to the older Carneros vines that develop the unique fruit for this example.  The 2018 vintage is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (88%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Petit Verdot (1%) and Malbec (1%).  This is a very similar blend to the 2014 vintage but a unique wine on its own.  Dark cherry, plum, violet and spice box aromas are at the forefront with beefsteak tomato appearing as the wine opens up.  The dark purple color is like an old friend, inviting you to sit and stay awhile and it is joined by raspberry, plum, vanilla and allspice to create a transformation that is rewarding and very tasty.  The wine has a softer finish than what we recall from the 2014 vintage but it does linger for moments and puts a smile on your face.  Get this wine from Truchard now and save a bottle or two back to enjoy in 10+ years.  We are confident that this will continue to evolve and pleasure the palate.

2018 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Carneros Napa Valley close up

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, CA

Suggested retail price:  $40.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Monday, September 27, 2021

2017 The Shepherd Estate Red

 

2017 The Shepherd Estate Red wine

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 with a hearty cut tomahawk steak with seasoned potatoes.  And, as always, this wine is an incredible bargain at just $25 suggested retail.

2017 The Shepherd Estate Red wine label

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, Carneros, CA

Suggested retail price:  $25.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100




Monday, July 26, 2021

2019 Mollydooker Two Left Feet

 

2019 Mollydooker Two Left Feet

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 peppered steak, vanilla and grilling spices.  If you like blended wines that are very flavorful and cost-friendly, you can't go wrong with Two Left Feet!

2019 Mollydooker Two Left Feet close up


ABV:  16.0%

McLaren Vale, South Australia

Suggested retail price:  $30.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

2018 Flora Springs Trilogy

 

2018 Flora Springs Trilogy

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 best choice.  This wine is absolutely delicious and it is easy to recognize why this is Flora Springs' flagship wine.  Wow!  It's almost perfect....

2018 Flora Springs Trilogy label

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, CA

3,900 cases produced

Suggested retail price:  $85.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100




Friday, May 28, 2021

2019 Upshot White Wine Blend - Rodney Strong Vineyards

 

2019 Upshot White Wine Blend

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!

2019 Upshot White Wine Blend Label

ABV:  13.0%

Healdsburg, CA

Suggested retail price:  $19.00

Drink The Bottles score:  85/100



Monday, July 13, 2020

2016 Coquerel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


"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 pop this one open now or cellar this for several years.  This wine is solid and very delightful.  Please visit my friends at Coquerel Wines to purchase this directly here:  2016 Coquerel Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

ABV:  14.5%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

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