Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pierre Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf du Pape 2003 wine review by (PB)

Prune juice hue with aromas of cigar box, and a touch of cedar. Nuanced cherry fruit underneath.

Palate--Mature beyond peak, subdued cherry berry fruit, rustic undertones, finishes sharply.

Our 2nd wine opened for Thanksgiving which surprisingly is also showing its age. Old world style wines go with food better than by themselves as a very general rule so this will again pair well with our bounty.

At the $50 and up price point, this needs to be drank NOW!

Chateau Malescot St. Exupery 2006 wine review by (PB)

Dark black cherry hue showing some age;

Bouquet--sweet, stewed brandied blackberries,a hint of licorice or spice;

Palate--Mature wine going over the hill but characteristic, mature fruit flavors of dark berries and spices with an earthy touch. Finish lingers with a gentle reminder of mature Margaux Grand Cru Classe.

Chicago guest brought this for Thanksgiving and it will be a wonderful pairing. It is ready NOW and needs to be drunk immediately so don't tarry! Expect to pay over $50 if you can even find it. A perfect Thanksgiving pairing!

A nice treat to highlight a nice day of giving thanks to the One from whom all blessings flow.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Thanksgiving wine to serve?


A Thanksgiving Day meal with friends and family provides a perfect opportunity to enjoy nice wine. Because so much fuss is made over food and wine pairings in general, I find people get a little stressed out about what to serve guest on this special day. Fortunately, many wines have a much broader range than they get credit for. With that in mind, I have some basic suggestions that might help.

If you are planning a very traditional Thanksgiving meal, complete with Turkey and all the assorted sides, a number of red wines can work well like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Merlot. All of these varietals have a pretty broad range, except maybe the Zinfandel. However, I put Zinfandel on the list because it works well with cranberry sauce and heavy starches like mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes.

In order to make things even more festive at the table, I suggest you offer guests two wines. This is especially easy if you are able to provide you guests with two wine glasses and allow them to pour and sip as they like. Simply place the bottles on the table and allow your guests to discover the different pairings as they please.

As a rule of thumb, plan for at least a half bottle per person while at the table. Which two wines? Try offering one Cabernet Sauvignon and one Pinot Noir, perhaps both from American wineries in the spirit of the holiday. 

While wines at the dinner table are often the focal point, don't forget that you can create a special experience with wines before and after the meal. A nice bubbly is a great way to start the festivities, especially with assorted appetizers or finger food. To finish things off, try a nice dessert wine. Something sweet but light, for example a muscat or icewine, should help wash down the pie. Do this before the coffee.

Raise a glass to a Thanksgiving table complete with wine!

Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 wine review by (PB)

Black cherry hue with an off putting aroma at first sniff like "cheap" fruit. I know that's not very helpful but it just reminds me of a $3 wine which is made up of whatever the maker could find.

Palate--Very steely, fruity front with juicy berry flavor. Fleeting finish.

I can't figure out why I bought this in the first place but I paid $13 for it which was about $8 too much. Look for something else.

Cotes Du Rhone 2010 E. Guigal wine review by (PB)

Slightly browning on presentation; with aromas of mature cherry with a tinge of aged bouquet.

Palate--Mature, juicy acidity, with fruit that is starting to head south. Older cherry notes with a touch of spice and wood.

I am surprised that this is heading south but it is a good quaff at the moment. If you have a bottle laying around it is time to raise a glass!

Monday, November 24, 2014

OZV (Old Zin Vines) 2012 Sponsored wine review--by (PB)

This Zin presents with an eye catching crystalline ruby/garnet hue.

Aroma--Cinnamon "red hots" candy over cocoa and the more gentle, strawberry, Bing cherry fruit. Under neath it all there's a creamy vanilla nuance.

Palate--Almost silky mouth feel, with relaxed tannins and loads of cocoa on top of the gentle, vanilla laced, juicy red fruit.

This is not what I expect when I taste a zin because the characteristic, wild or brambly fruit foundation is not there. Meaning what? Meaning this is a mind blowingly different Zin that is more refined than ghetto.

I've visited Lodi on my wine explorations and it is an up and coming AVA in California just starting to come into its own. This wine is made from Zinfandel grapes grown on 50-100 year old vines which according to those who know, lends a special "something" to the fruit produced from such aged vines. (Blended with a touch (4%) of Petite Sirah)

Bottom line--would I buy it again? Absolutely; Zinfandel is my specialty grape and I love unique! This fits the bill as a big "tasty," "juicy" and easy drinking quaff so raise a glass!

Antigal "Uno" Malbec 2010 wine review by (PB)

Nice black cherry hie deeply pigmented right to the rim:

Aromas of robust, blackberry and dark berry aromas with cigar box and vanilla touches. Really beautiful herbal spicy bouquet that is finessed and borders on elegant.

Palate--Big, rich berry flavors with a touch of licorice. Finish is rather short but well done construction.

2010 was a great vintage for Malbec and the Mendoza region of Argentina if my memory serves me right. I am not a big fan of Malbec but I could become so with this wine! This is a classy, NICE wine and at $14 a great value so raise a glass. This bad boy will be hanging for years to come!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Concha Y Toro Marques Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Wine Review (NW)

Tasting notes:

Black currant and coffee on the nose

Full bodied on the palate

Dense finish with dark chocolate, coffee, sage, and blackberry

Summary:

This wine is always good, year in and year out. The 2012 drinks like a polished Cabernet that costs much more than the $20 you'll likely pay for this. Chile is still a value, for sure. It has dense fruit and integrated layers that give it depth and persistence. Pair with meat dishes and enjoy. Raise a glass!

Laurent Tibes Les Camuizelles Carignan 2004 Wine Review (NW)


Tasting notes:

Rich and concentrated nose with spicy red currant and black cherry

Full bodied on the palate

Finish fades a bit with plum, spice, and sage

Summary:

I picked this up on an excellent closeout sale for just $5, as it normally runs around $20. It's drinking nicely, although just beginning to fade a bit. Carignan is the featured grape from this producer in France. Enjoy while the fruit flavors are still in tact. Raise a glass!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 Wine review by (PB)

Purple hue with bright aromas of spicy cinnamon, candy apple red coating, subtle notes of milk chocolate, gentle grape,(go figure) strawberry and a touch of raspberry. Wow! This may be the best bouquet of Nouveau in memory!

Palate--light and lively red berries with strawberry note and a minerally steely finish. This is well made with discernible structure that outshines many wines made to last a lot longer than this drink-it-now, quaffing delight.

At $10 this is an experience celebrated the world over on this third Thursday of November and this is one of the best Nouveau's in the last decade. Put a slight chill on it or take it at room temp--especially if you live in Maine or Buffalo. Don't over analyze it, just drink it and enjoy--Le nouveau est arrivé!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jean-Francois Merieau Le Bois Jacou Gamay 2012 wine review by (PB)

Daffodil, lots of spices, white pepper hint, with big "tequila" aroma, with cherry,strawberry fruit, and grapefruit! (unique)

Palate--subdued fruit with big white pepper and spice flavor, on a steely finish.

Wow--this "Touraine" Gamay I would ever have guessed was a Gamay. Unlike any Gamay I have ever had. Quite puckery tannins, bracing structure and should be an interesting pairing with my broiled cod in a tomatoey light sauce.

Expect to pay around $16 for this and I am glad I bought it as it is a truly unique experience so raise a glass!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Beaujolais Nouveau is coming!!! wine alert by (PB)

Remember this Thursday (Nov. 20) Beaujolais Nouveau is released all over the world. Nouveau is made from the Gamay grape and sent to market only 6 weeks after harvest! It is fresh, straightforward, and simple wine drinking at its best. In France, it is the cause for a national celebration observed annually on the third Thursday of the November with the wine being out for sale at the same time around the globe. It will cost you around $10 and Georges Duboeuf is the ubiquitous negociant although other "brands" should be fine.

If you happen to find a "Beaujolais Villages" Nouveau plan to spend another couple bucks.

At any rate--if you are into wine at all, you need to be a part of this annual ritual joining millions the world over drinking the same thing on the same day world wide so: Raise a Glass!

Buehler Chardonnay (Russian River) 2012 wine review by (PB)

Pale gold hue with aromas of apple and pear, melon and creme brulee with sweet vanilla bean.

Palate--a citrus beam runs right down the middle with mouth watering acidity, tropical fruit, vanilla ; made in the oakey style. The finish of this economical Chard hangs on for a good while.

I paid $11 for this which is a value for a Russian River Chard. It's juicy, well made and solid value making me want to say, "Buehler? Bueheler?. I will pair it with chicken and rice this evening which is chicken baked on top of rice soaking in mushroom soup so raise a glass.