Sunday, April 29, 2018
When we think of red wine, we commonly think French or American oak barrel aging. We wouldn't normally think bourbon barrel aging in present day when the aforementioned are so prevalent and readily available, certainly more than they were 50 years ago. But aging Zinfandel in new and used bourbon barrels in small batches is exactly what 1000 Stories Wines is doing. The use of used barrels is smart because the barrels provide a mellowness that makes this wine ripe for immediate drinking and the barrels also add some character to the wine. Not overly complex but beautiful in a medium red color, this California Zinfandel exhibits primarily bright cherry aromas with spicebox and vanilla. In the mouth is a softer Zinfandel with flavors of cherry, strawberry hard candy, carmel and hints of vanilla syrup. This is a fun and very drinkable wine that I personally wouldn't pair with a food due to it's softness and sweet flavor. It packs an alcohol content that is nearly 16% but it is so mellow that it isn't a distraction. Pick up a bottle and enjoy it for yourself!
Suggested retail price: $18.99
Drink The Bottles score: 86/100
Saturday, April 7, 2018
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 mildly peppered tar. This wine is bolder than most would expect (including present company). It doesn't linger but finishes solidly and I'm going to certify this an FGW - Flippin' Good Wine!
Suggested retail price: $11.99
Drink The Bottles score: 89/100
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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