Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Valserrano Reserva ’09 $20

Rioja (Spain)

I had opened a bottle of the ’05 Gran Reserva of this same wine for dinner with my family, which I felt was an outstanding selection.  My father shared his delight with it and proceeded to go out and buy another bottle a few days later.  Little did dad realize he bought the ’09 Reserva and gave it to me.  To keep things “simple”, the difference in these wines is obviously the vintage year and the Gran Reserva is aged longer in oak and in the bottle.

I decided to enjoy the ’09 Reserva with dinner a few weeks later and from the aromas alone, a balance of blackberries, crushed plums, black pepper and hints of toasted wood, gave me the impression there was something special about this wine.  On the first taste a flavor bomb of rich, ripe dark cherries, currants and toasted oak had me craving more.  My NY strip steak was grilling with a smoker box of mesquite chips and was about to be done.  This wine was sure to pair perfectly. Velvet tannins with tight fruit on a lingering finish had me hooked on this amazing new find.  Thanks dad!

The wine is made up of 90% Tempranillo which is a predominate varietal in the Rioja region of Spain.  10% Garnacha makes up the remaining grapes and aged in 50% American and 50% French oak provided for a very nice balance. Full body, robust and just plain awesome!

For the Reserva at this price point and overall taste structure, I’m making a return visit to the wine store to pick up more bottles before it runs out of stock.  For reference, the Gran Reserva is great as well and goes for about $29.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Honoro Vera Garnacha '13 $8

Calatayud, Spain

It's not often I think much of an in-store wine tasting on a Saturday afternoon in a  "big box" type store selling wine.  A few days ago I was on a errand to buy some spices and stumbled upon various wine distributors offering up samplings throughout the store, so I thought why not give a few new labels a try.  I must admit, I was striking out for wines I liked until this one, so I bought a bottle.  Given the affordable price point ($8) and a "like" with my tasting, I felt like this was a great find.

The wine varietal is Garnacha which is very popular for this region in Spain.  It opened up with aromas of dark cherries and black pepper spice.  On the first taste, flavors of ripe plums, blackberries and macerated strawberries gave way to a nicely balanced, fruit forward wine, yet not too sweet.  Medium body tannins with a slightly dry finish supported a flavor profile of what you'd expect in a much more mature vintage. 

This was an excellent wine for the price and my intentions are to go buy more before the price increases.  I'd recommend you check World Market or your local wine store and pick up a bottle for yourself.  Don't let the label scare you.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Anakena Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 $13

Chile, Cachapoal Valley

While shopping for a few new Cabs to try and write about the wine sales clerk voiced a definite “thumbs up” for this one.  For the price point, I figured why now.

It opened up with bold aromas of black cherries, dark chocolate, toasted wood and hints of earthy minerals.  I guess you could say it has some typical qualities on the nose for many cabernets.

With a steady swirl, dark red, heavy legs draped my glass awaiting a first taste.  Black currants, ripe cherries and mocha balanced nicely for a medium bodied flavor.  Soft tannins and a clean finish made for an easy drinking, great value wine.  This would pair well with beef, pork or a grilled portabella mushroom drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bris Andes, Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 $10

Colchagua Valley, Chille

First of all, if you find a Cab this good for $10, I want to know about it!

From the makers of some very high-end wines, Barons De Rothschild (Lafite), this is an incredible value with a high-end taste.  The aromas marry a balance of dark cherries, blackberries and a hint of fresh cracked pepper.  From the first sip to the end of the bottle this has a smooth mouth feel with a pleasant balance of fruit.  Ripe red berries with hints of toasted herbs followed by a subtle finish make for an excellent choice for dinner or pairing with your favorite cheeses and meats.  I paired this with an Ancho chili crusted pork tenderloin and with my final glass, some dark chocolate after dinner.

This was an amazing price point that will probably increase to $15/bottle in a year or so.  Found it at Total Wine.  It’s ready to drink now!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Earthquake Strikes Napa Valley

As some of you have heard, this past Sunday, August 24th, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Napa Valley and Sonoma County.  The damage was intense to many homes, historical buildings and businesses including wineries and their supporting companies.  Thankfully there have been no reported deaths yet 200 injuries is nothing to ignore.

My heartfelt prayers go out to those recovering from this earthquake and a speedy recovery to those injured.  May we all support them in whatever way possible.

The following is a story by Wine Spectator online with further details.

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/50442?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=WS_BreakingNews_082514%20(1)


 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.