Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mercedes Eguren - Shiraz/Tempranillo

Price: $12.99
Region: Spain
Year: 2006

I purchased a couple of wine this past weekend, and being that it was Father's Day, I treated myself to a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to go along with the fillet mignon we had for dinner on Sunday, but maybe I'll get to that review next week. Right now, I wanted to write about the wine I picked up on Friday on my way home from work. I went into the store looking for a bottle of Shiraz, preferably Australian, because I was just in that kind of mood. It just goes to show you that sometimes the best laid plans never turn out quite like you thought. As I was walking up the Shiraz aisle, this bottle just kind of jumped out at me. I'm not really quite sure why, because as you can see, it definitely isn't the flashy packaging. I think it was just the fact that I saw the word Tempranillo along with the word Shiraz. I have had a few very god wines made from Tempranillo for a very reasonable price, so I just thought the mix sounded interesting. At a 50/50 mix between Shiraz & Tempranillo, I was quite sure what to expect.

Dinner was a normal Friday evening stop by the pizza store. I know that is starting (if it hasn't already) to sound a bit repetitive, but it works for us. Anyway, when I first sat down with a glass, I thought it had a very distinct coloring. More a fruity looking purple than anything else in my opinion. At this point I tried to continue with an open mind, not trying to favor either of the two grapes, but when I swirled the wine around, and gave a sniff, I would have to say the Shiraz came through loud and clear. It had a very nice earthy Shiraz smell, with a nice trail of spice. At this point I was thinking that might be a common theme with this wine, but the taste threw me a bit of a curve. When I firs took a sip, I was kind of surprised that all of the flavor tended to hit the back of the mouth, but it truly was a great blend of the two grapes. It It had a slow start, with a distinguishable fruitiness in the middle, with a nice spicy finish. I would say overall a ripe fruit kind of taste, but definitely unique. I know this might seem like strange thing for me to say, especially this week because I started out looking for my tried and true, but I love finding something off the beaten path every now and again, and this one definitely fits the bill. A really nice change of pace & a good wine to boot.

Rating: 3.5 corks (A nice blend)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cono Sur - Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $9.99
Region: Chile
Year: 2008

Sometimes it seems that work gets in the way of writing my weekly review (I missed last week). Luckily however, it doesn't get in the way of enjoying a new bottle each week. In fact, it might be one of the main reasons why I sit down with a bottle every weekend, but I guess that's another story. Interestingly enough, this week's review was a bottle that my wife picked up for me one evening. It was a nice gesture after a particularly long day last week, but it also meant I didn't have to stop on my way home from work on Friday. She picked it because it had mentioned organic farming, and she was pretty sure I hadn't tried this before, so it worked well for what I usually try to find. While this winery definitely has some organic wines, I do not believe this particular variety is organic. Either way, we ordered some pizza last Friday night, and I sat down to enjoy (hopefully) a new bottle of wine.

I also hadn't had a new Cabernet in a little while, so it was even a good choice as far as the grape was concerned. I do not believe I have had too many wines from Chile, so really this was a good choice all around. When I poured my first glass, the wine had a very pleasant color, but a little lighter than I would have expected for a Cab. No complaint, just an observation. Interestingly enough, the smell was similarly light, but there was no doubt it was a Cabernet. I didn't get enough the first time around, so with another pass, I could definitely smell a nice fruity wine. At this point, I was pretty convinced that the taste would align with the sight, and smell, but as seems to be the case more often than not, it is hard to make assumptions before you actually taste the wine. This wine was definitely not short on taste, as it had good tannins, that were not really heavy, but the wine was fairly smooth, if just a bit tart. It really did have a nice overall flavor that I quite enjoyed with my ham and pineapple pizza (my favorite). I think I will take a look at their organic wines someday, as my first go around with this cleverly named wine, was quite enjoyable.

Rating: 3.0 corks (Will try others from this winery)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Manage a Trois - Red Blend

Price: $11.99
Region: California
Year: 2008

It was nice to have a three day weekend this past Memorial Day, and I do have a wine to review, but I decided to try and get to my backlog of wines before I don't remember some of the more subtle details that I sometimes forget to write down. This particular wine was one I had been looking for at my favorite store for a few months now. My wife had tried it at a dinner party we went to (not sure how I missed it then) & she said she really enjoyed it. When she says that about a red these days, I tend to give it a try. While I didn't have much luck finding it at my favorite store, I happened to run across it in the Zinfandel aisle of another store I stop by every now and then. Although I did not write it down, I'm pretty sure I had just picked up a peperoni pizza, and had the notion that a Zin might do the trick. This is one of those minor details that would have soon slipped my mind if I didn't get around to this review. This wine is actually a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, but happened to be in the Zin aisle of this particular store. When I saw it sitting there, and for a reasonable price, I had to give it a try.

Sometimes I fall prey to the notion of having to have a Zinfandel with pizza, and this just happened to be one of those days. So, I sat down with a slice, and poured myself a glass (not a bad start to the weekend). As one would expect from a wine made from these three varieties, we have a nice dark red wine on our hands here. I would tend to say it was almost purple in color, but you get the gist. Once I gave the glass a swirl, and took a sniff, I immediately realized why it was in the Zinfandel aisle, because out of all three, that particular smell sure shined through. At this point, I was pleased, but a little perplexed as to why my wife was a big fan. if there is a wine she almost categorically does not like, it is Zinfandel. Anyway, trying to figure that one out may be a bit beyond my capabilities. I was a little less surprised at that fact when I took a sip of this wine. While I definitely tasted a bit of the boldness & spice of a Zin, this wine had very smooth edges, and great length. It had a very good structure, with a bit of "jaminess" (if that's a word). I thought this wine was a great alternative to a straight Zinfandel, and definitely worth the price of admission.

Rating: 3.5 corks (Definitely give it a try)