Thursday, November 17, 2011

Clos Julien - Pinot Noir Reserve

Price: $25
Region: Oregon (Willamette Valley)
Year: 2008

I seem to be getting into the habit of working a little late on Thursdays, and then opening a bottle of wine for a glass or two once I get home. Today is no exception. The difference here is that I usually have a glass and then sit down and write. while tonight, I have not had a sip of this wine yet. We'll see how my initial reaction translates into a review. Unfortunately with this method I am not getting to my substantial backlog of reviews. We had another couple of good wines last week that I would like to get to, and will try to write about this weekend. Nothing in quite some time has really knocked my socks off. Here's hoping tonight is that kind of wine.

This is actually a wine my wife bought me for an anniversary gift. There is a really great 'boutique' wine store here in Delaware that I really don't get too that often (Moore Brothers), but when I do, I love to look around for something I've never tried before. This time I was looking for a decently priced Pinot Noir. Not sure why, was just hoping to catch a break with this particular variety. Some Pinot Noir wines are very opaque in color, and while this one does have some of that characteristic, it is a bit fuller looking. The one thing I noticed about this wine as it has been sitting here for ten minutes, is that when I'm within a few inches of the glass, I can already get a feel for the aroma. I'm not really sure I can quite place the smell, and I'm also not sure I really like it. Anyway, on to the more important aspect for me, the taste..... Well, at least I know I didn't find that wine that knocked my socks off. It is good enough, but the taste just doesn't wow me. Overall, just too thin for my liking. I'll be the first to admit I'm a horrible judge of a good Pinot Noir, but what I do know is what I like to drink, and I'm not sure I'd spend anther $25 on this one. I would guess some people would point to a review like this as my lack of real wine tasting experience, and that's OK, I'm just trying to find good wines at a good price, and this one just doesn't make the cut.

Rating: 2.75 corks (Try the Angeline instead!)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ten Lakes - Merlot

Price: $14.99
Region: Sonoma Valley, CA
Year: 2008

I knew I was going to try and put aside some time to write a new review tonight, but this was definitely not the wine I had intended to review. I was planning on reviewing a bottle of Pinot Noir that we had the weekend before Halloween, but when I got home from work today, my wife had opened this bottle of Ten Lakes Merlot for dinner, so as I sit here and have another glass, it seemed a bit silly not to review this wine. This is the one problem with having a few bottles tucked away in the basement, is that a bottle usually gets opened on Thursday night, along with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I guess now that I say that, it isn't really a problem at all.

As I sit here and take a look at this wine, it is a bit darker red then some of the more middle of the road Merlots I am used to buying. It really is does have a deep, dark red color one would usually attribute to a California Cab or an Argentinian Malbec. To go along with that color, it also has a really great aroma. This is where it part ways from some of the bolder reds, but it enjoyable all the same. I' having a little trouble placing the smell, but I would say it is a good mix between fruity and floral. So, finally as I take another sip, the one word that comes to mind is consistent. It isn't a wine that jumps out at you, but I can taste the suttle hint of blackberries, without the heavy Cab tannins. This isn't a wine I would order with a juicy Fillet Mignon, but with a bit lighter fare, it would go quite nice. Not a whole lot to complain about with this wine, so if you're in the mood for a different Merlot then the standard choices, give it a try.

Rating: 3.75 corks (Definitely worth trying!)