Thursday, December 20, 2012

Columbia Creat - Armitage Red Blend

Price:  $9.99
Region:  Washington State
Year:  2009

It is obviously getting very close to Christmas.  It is the time of year when I tend to gets lots of bottles of wine as gifts from various people (work, friends, etc.).  It seems like we are on track for the same again this year.  I hope to stay current with the new wines that come my way, which means I'm going to have to sit down and write more than once a week.  I don't think I can get much more current then writing about the wine I opened this evening to have with dinner and have a glass of right next to me as I type away.  This one was a gift I actually just received today from someone at work, so I thought it was as good a choice as any.  Interestingly enough, it is another red blend, which I've reviewed a few of lately.

This wine is a blend of a few different grapes, but from what I've read online, it seems to be mostly Syrah, with some Merlot, Cab Franc and Sauvignon.  With those grapes, it is no wonder it is a deep, dark red color.  It also has a very strong, but pleasant aroma.  What first came to mind, and still does as I take another smell, is mixed berries.  Nothing in particular stands out to me, but the blend is very nice.  The berries is a common theme as I take sip.  What I like about this wine is the flavor hits you right up front, and really lingers quite nicely for a strong, but smooth finish.  Now, it is not one of those $10 bottles of wine that you would think cost 2 or 3 times that amount, but it is a solid entry at a good price.  Might make a good wine to give someone at work as a present :)  Enjoy!

Rating: 3.50 Corks (Nice flavor, decent price)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Radius - Red Blend

Price:  $9.99
Region:  Washington
Year:  2011

I did a little holiday shopping at the local Total Wine & More this past weekend.  This is definitely my favorite time of year as I always put aside an afternoon or two to spend browsing the aisles of Total Wine.  I had bought a few wines that were a little above my normal price range that we will probably enjoy with family around the holidays.  When I get to a few of those, I will be sure to review them right here.  As I was rounding out my cart though, I was looking for something I could have with dinner that night.  I have tried the Radius Merlot before at my Father-in-law's house, and never something that knocked my socks off, but it is always in the top 10 list of wines sold at Total Wine.  This bottle caught my eye and was listed as one of the employees favorite wines, so I thought I would give it a try.

Given the Merlot is not one of my favorite wines, I really tried to go in with an open mind.  It is obvious lots of people like this vineyard based on how well the Merlot sells.  The one thing that was not listed on the bottle were what grapes actually make up this blend.  I did a little looking around online, but didn't find it right away, so didn't worry too much about it. When I poured myself a glass, I was a bit underwhelmed by the color.  Not a huge deal, but just a bit clearer then I was expecting.  It had a decent enough aroma though.  A bit of flowers mixed in if I had to chose what stood out most.  So, when I went to take a sip, I wasn't that surprised that it just didn't do much for me.  It was smooth enough, with a consistent flavor, but didn't stand out to me in any way.  Interestingly enough, I asked my wife to take a sip and she just loved it.  Maybe I'm missing something because they seem to sell a lot of wine, but I will pass on this, and the Merlot, based on the fact I've tasted quite a few quality wines in and around the same price range lately.

Rating: 3.0 Corks (Not my favorite)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Red Rock - Winemakers Blend

Price:  $10.49
Region:  California
Year: 2010

Getting back into the swing of things, and just have a ton of wines that I need to write about.  I have a lot of notes from some wines I tasted while I took a little break from this blog, and I hope to get to them soon (always good intentions), but it is sometimes just a little easier with wines I tasted recently.  That is the case with this week's wine.  There was nothing in particular that made me grab this wine as I was strolling through the aisles of my favorite wine store a few weekends back; except for the fact I was looking for a new red blend to try.  This one fit the bill with a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Sirah.  So, I added it to the growing pile of bottles in my cart and decided I would have it with dinner that night.

With having moved to a new house within the last couple of months, there are a whole new set of takeout restaurants close by to try.  This night we ordered from a great Mexican/Burrito shop that is quickly gaining popularity in my book.  I poured myself a glass and loved the looks of the wine in my glass.  The dark red, almost black color of red blends like this one is just one of the things that really draw me to these wines.  When it came to the aroma, the Cabernet was really what stood out for me.  Now, I promise this was not on purpose, and who knows, maybe it was subliminal based on the name of the wine, but the word I wrote down a couple of times in my notes for this wine was balance.  The wine really did have great balance and consistency from the first sip, through the last taste on the back of the tongue.  Even after I write my notes down regarding a wine, I rarely read the back label, but for some reason I just happened to do that with this wine, and everything about this wine (and winery overall), talks about balance.  All I have to say is that this is one of the few wines that I ever thought truly hit the mark with how they described their wine on the bottle.  If balance what their goal, it was certainly achieved. I will definitely go back for another round....

Rating: 4.0 Corks (Great 'balance')