Monday, May 21, 2018
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 to linger for minutes, the cherry leads the way with semi-sweet chocolate, cigar smoke and dried earthy spices falling in suit and helping create a memorable and delicious treat. With just over 500 cases made, this wine is an exceptional value and would be a great accompaniment to smoked brisket if you're wanting to show off your taste of great wine to friends.
Napa Valley, California
Suggested retail price: $70.00
Drink The Bottles score: 92/100
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
One of the most enjoyable things about wine blogging is the ability to not only share stories of great wines through the blog, but also the occasion to physically share a bottle of wine with friends. And that is exactly what happened with this 2014 Abacela Barrel Select Tempranillo. I was lucky enough to introduce a new varietal to a friend, honestly not knowing his palate or his preference in wines. To say that he was impressed would be a gross understatement. I chuckle inside when someone finds a wine that they love, they take a sip, discover something new, talk about it....and repeat! Gorgeous dark purple velvet in the glass with blackberry smokiness combines with espresso and exotic spices on the nose, this wine is made proper in all aspects. In the mouth is a very welcoming and delicious basket of dark fruits, smoke-charred hickory wood and spices that wake you up at first taste and follow this wine all the way to it's very long and memorable finish. The good news? This wine is really an amazing example of Tempranillo. The bade news for my friend? He might expect all Tempranillo to be made this fine! Outstanding example of Oregon grapes and stellar wine making.
Umpqua Valley, Southern Oregon
Suggested retail price: $33.00
Drink The Bottles score: 93/100
Thursday, April 5, 2018
I'm a sucker for Tempranillo. It's one of about 4 wines that I really, really enjoy, but think it is either greatly underappreciated or often ignored for more popular varietals. This 2015 Abacela Fiesta Tempranillo is not only delicious, it is an incredible value for what you get out of the bottle. Medium to bright crimson throughout the glass, this wine is very fruit forward for this varietal, which is typically more reserved across the board. Aromas of spiced, stewed red fruits and dark mocha engulf the senses and instantly produce a mouth-watering sensation that is only quenched by the first taste of this beauty. In the mouth are dark fruits, plum skins, vanilla and a beautiful and smooth finish that again presents the dark mocha. This wine has been in the bottle for less than a year and it is the kind of bottle that a Tempranillo lover (like myself) would not want to share. With magic like this, it's easy to understand how Abacela was the Oregon Winery of the Year in 2013. The 2014 vintage is sold out, so get to the Abacela web site to secure your 2015 vintage soon. Just lovely!
Umpqua Valley, Southern Oregon
Suggested retail price: $23.00
Drink The Bottles score: 92/100
Sunday, March 25, 2018
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 that won't last long once the word gets out. This could be the viral wine of this season! (Clinches fist again.) This beauty is a blend of Syrah, Zinfandel and Tempranillo. No wonder I love this wine so much. These are 3 of my favorite reds. I think Zinfandel and Tempranillo get overlooked all too often by most people in the wine world. But we have a love for each other.
Medium red with dark purple hues in the glass, incredibly aromatic blackberry, baking spices, old barn hay mount, vanilla and clove on the nose. So much going on here and as I was swirling, the aromas literally wafted right up out of the glass before I stuck my nose in. I knew this was going to be something special - and it is. Juicy, jammy and mouth-watering flavors of blackberry, barn wood, cherry cobbler and hints of a marinated, lightly peppered brisket. When I give an overall score on wines, one thing I have to consider other than the obvious (presentation, aromas, flavor, finish) is the value. And I can't stress this enough. Twenty bucks for this wine is a flippin' steal!
Napa Valley, Carneros, California
Suggested retail price: $20.00
Drink The Bottles score: 95/100
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