Saturday, September 27, 2008

Louis Bernard - Cotes-du-Rhone Villages

Price: $10.99
Region: France
Year: 2004

So far I have attempted to pick a wine each week that I have little or no knowledge on. I was also staying away from wines I knew received lots of praise and positive reviews. I just thought this would more likely then not influence my reviews. This week however, I decided to pick up a wine I knew received lots of awards, and also showed up on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list a couple of years back. I also thought I couldn't go wrong with a wine that only costs $10.99, yet had so much positive feedback.

Being that I'm not always up on the regions in France, and which type of grapes make up certain wines, the first thing I did was check out the bottle. This particular wine was a blend of 70% Grenache, and 30% Syrah. Now, if you've read these reviews each week, you probably know by now I always love a good Syrah, but have never gone out of my way to pick up a wine that was primarily Grenache. That being said, I poured a glass to have with dinner. The color of the wine was very dark, almost ruby red. In addition, the wine had a wonderful smell. It wasn't overly distinctive, but definitely pleasant. I love the smell of a good wine, and this was definitely worth taking a second sniff. So, when I took my first taste, I was not very surprised to find how much I enjoyed this wine. It was extremely well balanced, for the initial taste, through the very smooth finish. The taste hung around just long enough to invite another taste. I must say I was very impressed with this wine. I was a little hesitant that all of the things I read about this wine would set my expectations too high, but I must say it met them all. If your just looking for a good bottle of wine tonight, this one definitely fits the bill.

Rating: 4.5 corks - (This one is going to be hard to beat)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Montecillo - Rioja

Price: $8.99
Region: Spain
Year: 2004

Had a little extra time to walk around this week, so decided to wander into a different aisle. While most of the aisles in my local wine store are set up by variety, there are a couple that focus on wines from a particular region. Int his case, I went to take a look at the Spanish wines. I have to admit, this is a region that I haven't tried too many wines from, but ones that always seem to have good things written about them. The wine I chose was a Rioja, that was primarily made from the Tempranillo grape.

The first thing I noticed about this wine was its deep ruby color. I usually don't pay a whole lot of attention to color, but this one was definitely noticeable. After giving it a little swirl, and giving it a good smell, I also think it had a wonderful aroma. The first thing that came to mind was "floral". Although I try to stay away from being overly descriptive about smell, it just seemed more along those lines the say, fruity. While the first impression based on sight and smell were positive, now came the important part, and it didn't disappoint. This wine was very smooth, with a very long finish. I just liked teh overall taste very much, and the best thing was, it was just a little different then what I usually drink every week. I think overall if it had been another Shiraz or Merlot, I wouldn't be as impressed, but the uniqueness was just a good change of pace. I will defintiely seek out some other Tempranillo based wines to see if this turns into a new staple for me.

Rating: 3.75 corks (A great change of pace)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wolf Blass - Yellow Label Shiraz

Price: $9.99
Region: Australia
Year: 2005

I was actually contemplating skipping the review this week because I wasn't sure I was going to have a chance to enjoy a bottle of wine due to other commitments, but as things worked out, Saturday turned into a good night for some wine. We also had a lot of rain, and it just had the feeling of one of those night you could sit in, watch a movie, and enjoy some wine. I headed over to a store closer to my house, but with a smaller selection. I've talked about my default wines before, and I promise to get that list up on the website soon, but there doesn't seem to be any doubt that my default variety, when I am having trouble deciding what to have, is Shiraz.

I have read a lot of good things about Wolf Blass Shiraz, and at $10, it seemed a bargain if all of what I read was true. The color and smell were what I expected. Very dark, almost purple color, and a nice aroma with a hint of spiciness. I took my first sip, and I was not disappointed. The intial taste was very smooth, not too fruity, with an excellent finish. It definitely had slightly spicy flavor you would expect from a Shiraz, but not bitter, and definitely not overpwering. This wine went especially well with the chicken, artichoke pizza that we ordeered. So all in all, I would say a very good bottle of wine, for a rainy Saturday night!

Rating: 3.5 corks (Won't be disappointed)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Coastline - Cabernet Savignon

Price: $8.99
Region: Paso Robles - California
Year: 2006

A little late again on my review, but this past Monday being Labor Day, my schedule was just a little off. Anyway, the Saturday and Sunday part of this weekend was fairly normal. I bought a couple of different wines, but the one I decided to review was a Cabernet Savignon that I had never tried before. To be honest, I had never even noticed it before, there was a section of Cabernet wines in the store that were listed in the buying guide for the store, so it seemed like a safe enough bet.

I opened up this bottle of wine to have with a good block of sharp cheddar cheese as an appetizer. There are few things I like better then a quality cheese and a good glass of red wine, so I was hoping I found a gem, even though at this price it is a rare find. As would be expected for a Cabernet Savignon, the color of the wine was very dark red, but the smell was a little light. It definitely had a nice smell, but it just wasn't very strong. The first sip started out well enough, with a good first impression, but then the the taste seemed to become muted. The taste just didn't linger much at all, so in general, it had no length. One of the best parts of drinking a wine to me is when the taste hangs around for a few seconds, and this wine just died off too quickly. I wouldn't say it isn't totally without merit, as the initial taste is good, but I was just hoping it would hang around a bit longer. For the price, it is definitely worth giving a try, but it doesn't rise to the top of the list.

Rating: 2.75 corks (A middle of the pack wine)