Posts

2020 Penny's Hill Malpas Road McLaren Vale Merlot

Image
  Situated in McLaren Vale which happens to be one of Australia's most exciting wine regions, here are things you would want to know about the Penny’s Hill Winery . History Established in 1988, this promising winery is named after the hill at the base of which it is located. Considering this winery has all the elements of a great vineyard in place, the vines were planted in 1991 at the property in a unique narrow-row configuration to amplify vineyard productivity along with grape and wine quality. In the year 1993, the newly-planted Malpas Road property was purchased, followed by an adjacent highly prized hay-producing paddock in 1996 that was planted to vines and named Goss Corner. After wo years, the original Goss family homestead, ‘Ingleburne’ was added to the Malpas and Goss properties to reconnect to make it an entire holding. Ownership & The Team Founder Tony Parkinson passed on the ownership and management of the business to his good friend and fellow Sou

Winery Spotlight: Mollydooker

Image
  If you were to write a story that had its ups and downs, trials and tribulations and eventually an overwhelming and sustainable success, you would be reading about Mollydooker.  In just over fifteen years under this label, Sarah Marquis, now sole owner and chief winemaker, has taken this brand from near bankruptcy to  a wildly successful and philanthropic company.   We were first introduced to Mollydooker wines back in early 2011 when we, as fledgling wine writers, were reaching out to Australian brands, trying to expand our global wine knowledge base.  Their US contact shipped us a few bottles and we were immediately hooked!   How could such young wines be so flavorful and instantly drinkable?  What about aging for years and year?  What is this witchcraft that they are performing in Australia?  We were baffled and excited at the same time. Sarah Marquis - Owner and Chief Winemaker at Mollydooker In the fall of 2011, we had the opportunity to attend a Mollydooker wine dinner at an ob

2020 Fieldhouse 301 Red Wine

Image
  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 thing

2018 Enkidu Cabernet Sauvignon High Mayacamas

Image
Rich in texture and flavor with mouth-coating dark fruits, graphite, damp earth and oak.  That's what we discovered in this  2018 Enkidu Cabernet Sauvignon High Mayacamas wine.  Powerful fruit abounds from first sip to last with petite and polished tannin lead to a scrumptious finish.  These grapes come rom Cabernet Sauvignon from three distinct areas - Sonoma County (63%), Napa County (25%) and Lake County (12%) and four separate vineyards.  This wine is very classic Cab but has a lighter feel on the back end.  It's quite remarkable and the price won't offend you at all!  This is our second sample from Enkidu and the quality and consistency has been spot on.  Drink now and for the next 10+ years. ABV:  14.6% Sonoma, CA Suggested retail price:  $45.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  92/100  

2018 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Image
  The 2018 Davis Bynum Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is an absolutely lovely and fragrant wine.  The color is absolutely stunning and the aromas of fresh strawberry field, tea and oak draw you in immediately.  In the mouth you are quickly greeted by fresh and juicy strawberries, damp earth joined with silky tannin.  This wine could easily be an everyday drinker for the Pinot Noir fanatic.   ABV:  14.5%  Sonoma County, CA Suggested retail price:  $25.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  89/100

2016 Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon

Image
  2016 was generally a very good year for California Cabernet Sauvignon.  By far, the growing season was steady and uneventful, allowing grapes to help produce solid wines.  This  2016 Laurel Glen Counterpoint Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Mountain is 100% Cabernet (yay!) and one that is extremely fairly priced.  We won't say "value priced" wine as that tends to actually devalue a brand.  We are going to call this wine an incredible deal.  Juicy blackberry, plum camp fire and cigar box on the nose with, at times, hints of dried spring flowers.  A dark, robust wine with flavors of black fruits, cherry tobacco, allspice and earthiness.  The wine really pulls you in immediately and leaves a solid finish on the palate.  This is the first Counterpoint that we have tasted and these 50+ year old vines are really strutting their stuff.  Excellent choice!  Drink now or for the next 10 years. ABV:  14.6% Sonoma Mountain, CA Suggested retail price:  $50.00 Drink The Bottles  score

2018 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

Image
There's a lot going on with this wine that we love.  We, of course, have to start with the obvious first - the bottle.  No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  Yes, that is a 750mL bottle of wine.  The "petite" or stubby bottle is a nod to the marketing team over at Galante.  In fact, we really like everything they do and if you're a cowboy fan........ you will love it!  So let's talk about the wine.  This is the  2018 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah .  It is estate bottled and comes from two different vineyards of seriously different elevations.   The color on this wine is absolutely mesmerizing.  It's a deep garnet and reminds us of a crushed velvet that you hung on your wall in the 1970's.  When we opened this bottle, aromas of boysenberry and cedar leapt from the bottle and we had a suspicion that this was going to be something very, very good.  With some air time, other aromas like toasted ciabatta and fresh blacktop joined in on the fun.  Str

2017 Patel Napa Valley Red Wine

Image
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! ABV:  14.9% Napa Valley, CA Suggested retail price:  $75.00 Drink The Bottles  score:  93/100