Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tin Roof - Merlot

Price: $11.99
Region: California
Year: 2005

I still have a little bit of a backlog of reviews, but I haven't had time to sit down and write up the weeks I missed. I will certainly get to it soon. In the meantime, I am going to write about my wine from this past weekend, as it is fresh in my head. There wasn't too much special about this Friday night, just a normal take out dinner from our favorite little Italian eatery, with a wine store next door of course. I was just having a salad, so wasn't predisposed to any particular wine. I just wanted something medium bodied, so I went straight to the Merlot aisle. After looking at a couple of selections, I saw this bottle of Tin Roof, and at $12, seemed like it was worth a try.

So, when I got home, and got everyone's dinner ready, I sat down with my glass of wine, and my salad. At first glance, this glass of wine looked very much like many other medium-bodied Merlots. Not super dark in appearance, but not weak looking by any stretch. It really had a nice looking depth to it. When I gave my glass a little swirl, and took a sniff, I was pleasantly surprised. A very nice floral bouquet, that was definitely not weak, but not overpowering. A good balance. At this point, I was really looking forward to tasting this wine, because it had been a while since a new Merlot caught my attention. When I took a sip, this one definitely did that. A very nice forward flavor, that was very smooth, with great length. It wasn't a velvety smoothness like a good Cabernet, but definitely a smooth tasting wine, with great texture. I have to say, once of the better Merlot wines I have had in this price range in quite a while. I was so impressed, I went back on Sunday to get another bottle for Sunday night dinner. The first new addition to the "top 5" list in a couple of months.

Rating: 4.0 corks (a repeat buy for sure)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Earthquake - Syrah

Price: $30
Region: California
Year: 2005
So, I am a few weeks behind I know, but I have a good reason. I recently changed jobs after 13 years at my previous job, and things were a bit hectic. I am however, back in the swing of things, and have three reviews to write up over the next couple of days. This first one is a departure from the normal routine as it was a present from my wife. It is more expensive then the wines I set out to review, but still wanted to post a review on this one. Anyway, after I decided to take this new job, my wife stopped by the store on her way home one night, and picked out a nice bottle of Syrah.
We were having rice and shrimp for dinner, so as I helped around the kitchen to get dinner ready, I poured myself a glass of wine. Right off the bat I knew this was a bold wine. The color was a deep dark purple, very pleasing to the eye. After admiring the color, I gave my glass a swirl, and smelled a very nice Syrah for sure. Not too strong, but extremely pleasant. So far I was very impressed. As I took a sip, the smoothness hit me right away. A great bold flavor for sure, but one that hung around for a bit too. A nice smooth wine with great length. I must admit there wasn't much I could find wrong with this wine. Definitely one worth the extra money for a special occasion when you done't feel like spending $50 or $100 for a bottle of wine. Now, I probably won't add this to my top five, although it certainly scored high enough. I just want to be sure to rank the wines that fit into the original criteria of this blog. That being said, if you have a few extra dollars one evening, this one I would recommend for sure.
Rating: 4.5 corks (A great wine)

Friday, July 3, 2009

S. Orsola - Chianti

Price: $9.99
Region: Italy
Year: 2007

This week I was determined to stay in the Italian aisle until I left with a wine I hadn't tried before. I'm just not as familiar with the grapes on some of the different kinds of Italian wine, so it just takes me a little longer to pick one out. Well, after about 15 minutes, I narrowed it down to a couple of choices, and finally picked the S. Orsola Chianti. I can't say there was really any deciding factor, but sometimes that's just how it goes. Anyway, since I was determined to get an Italian wine, I also decided to pick up our favorite pizza for dinner. A large pie with grilled chicken, artichoke, and spinach. Sounded like a good Friday evening to me.

So, I sat down with a couple of pieces of pizza, and a generous glass of red wine. One thing I found interesting when looking at a couple of different bottles of Chianti, is that some stated "full-bodies", while one or two stated "light-bodies", but the far majority were listed as "medium-bodied". The bottle I choose was of the medium variety. So, it wasn't unexpected that the color was a bit on the light side. It didn't look weak or anything, but definitely not big and bold. Along the same lines, the smell had a bit of a floral hint to it, but it wasn't very strong. It was definitely time though to give it a try. I took my first sip, and all of the taste seemed to go right tot he back of my tongue, with a bit of a bite. In addition, the taste seemed to fade pretty quickly. It wasn't an awful taste, but I was definitely hoping for much more. All in all, I would say it was a middle of the road kind of wine. When Sunday rolled around, and it was time to have my in-laws over for dinner, my wife told me she was cooking an Italian dish for dinner. Since I had long finished the bottle of Chianti I bought on Friday, I took another trip to the store, and grabbed the only Italian wine on my default list Monte Antico-> http://winereviewsyoucanunderstand.blogspot.com/2008/12/monet-antico-sangiovese.html -> and it was good....

Rating: 2.5 Corks (Going to have to pass)