If you’re like us and typically spend around $10 a bottle for your daily drinkers, then you probably also spend $30-ish for your mid range “special occasion” wines. Well, have we got a suggestion for you! This puppy is soooooooo nice! I think it is really under rated by the big-wigs at 90+, and we’ll be fixing that mistake for them.
Plenty of time has gone by since this wine was put in the barrel and bottle. I’d say it should be drank between now and a couple of years from now. The age indicator for us is the orange hue around the edges in the glass. It’s just beginning to appear. There’s a note of that dusty barrel that aged wine gets too, which this has some of. And then come the almost ironic part of this wine. It’s freshness! I love, love, love the fresh fruit aromas and flavors in this wine. Primarily strawberry, with touches of red plum, cherry, and blackberry. This is not saturated, baked fruit, thank you very much. I like a good fruit bomb from Australia, Chile, or Argentina as much as the next guy, but when you taste this you’ll realize how refreshing the fresh fruit is. Body is mid-range, not too dark or light. It has moderate complexity, with a good bit of oak, without too much vanilla (which I’m not a huge fan of), a little black pepper (yay!), and just a touch of veggie action. Tannins are fairly mild, but it has enough tannin and acidity to eat with something like bbq chicken, or other medium to heavy meat dish. I would even have it with steak, if it’s cooked with light seasonings. Not for Tennessee BBQ ribs.
It has a moderately long finish that leaves nothing unpleasant in your mouth… except maybe a desire for another sip. I will say it is hard to stop drinking this wine, so, you might want to pick up at least a couple of bottles. Get’m while they last! Still available at the time of writing! We’ll try not to buy up all of them. LOL
I’m becoming convinced that some of the best wine from California is from Alexander Valley. Not to over emphasize the region over the producer….
There’s a story behind how we got this wine, but you’ll have to ask to hear it (comment!)… but we didn’t pay for it (OK, fine, Rika’s boss gave it to her). Basically, all we knew was what was on the bottle, and that it cost around 20 bucks.
The wine has a pretty nice bouquet – certainly not timid. Rika said she smelled a sugary candy. I think it smells of vanilla – a result of the toasted oak. In fact, it is mostly oak, a fairly strong floral component, and noticeable alcohol. When I first smelled it I thought it might be a little hot, but it isn’t. It is 14.5% alcohol, which is slightly high, but it has enough umph else-wize to hide it. (more…)
February 162003 Gagliole Rosso
Is this Borolo? Sure tastes like it. This is a massive and serious wine! We had it with our Valentine’s dinner. Before the pour i wiffed the cork and got really excited… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
October 222006 Monte Antico Toscana
This is a blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Spicy on the nose, and a light to medium color density.
I wasn’t expecting much before opening this wine, given the low cost and who’s heard of an Italian wine with a screw cap? Not me, I’ve only seen it in Aussie wines mainly, and occasionally with Californian wines. But hey, I tried a Cote de Rhone this summer that was not only screw cap, but had a plastic bottle! OK, we’re not talking about a very serious wine obviously, but still… winemakers are clearly willing to experiment.
January 12006 Virgin Vines Shiraz
My experience with wine has made me a disbeliever of labels. Almost like the prettier the bottle the worse the wine. I know that is a gross generalization and should never actually be applied, but…. Anyway, the bottle is one of the best I’ve seen. It looks like its hand painted grape vines and wording. The big turn off for me, like a big red flag,
December 292006 Molly Dooker Blue Eyed Boy
This is a big, big wine! It is like pouring yourself a glass of ink! Forget about seeing through it, but on the edges there’s some beautiful dark violet color. The aroma, to me, reaks too much of alcohol… but beyond that there’s dark fruit, cherry, and rose.
December 12006 Felsina Chianti Classico
I didn’t have really high expectations for this wine, because I saw it as “the cheap version” of the Felsina Chianti Classico “Rancia”, which goes for twice the price. But this wine is not half as good. I’ve fallen for this scenario before… buying the lesser wine of a maker who’s premier wine is fabulous. I have found this seldom means much. In this case, however, what you get is what you would expect, if you didn’t have my experiences… a very nice Chianti Classico with real character and depth.
November 302004 Vin de Pays d’Oc Jean-Louis Denois “Chloé”
This is the 2nd vintage of this wine we’ve had, the first being the 2003. Again, my expectations were high, but this time impressed me even more. This is for sure the same wine and most of what was found in it last year, are present this time around, but with a bit more fruit and acidity. It isn’t at all hot, and still has little tannin. After 18 months in the barrel, you can definitely taste it, a little smokey vanilla. The black pepper was more subtle this time and licorice was non-existant sadly. The finish is quite nice and long. Most people will see this as a better wine, including myself. Highly enjoyable! Remember to decant!
November 272005 Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano
I like simple labels, and that’s one thing that appeals to me about this wine. It looks simple, but you get the feeling all the passion went into the wine. Upon decanting this bottle, that was also apparent. The nose was quite interesting, with ripe fruit (mostly red), floral, and spice… and sweet somehow, not like candy so much as maybe a confection. On the pallet it is floral, smooth red and blue fruits, low-medium acidity, and bit of tannin at the end. There’s mostly the same on the finish, but adds a bit of black pepper and a vegetal component. The after-taste is quite long, and I could swear that in there somewhere there’s watermelon.
November 161998 Mauro Molino Dolcetto D’Alba
We were very lucky to get this wine, and the luck runs deep with this purchase. As you already know, if you’ve read this blog at all, we’re relatively new to “the serious” wine scene. As such, we don’t have a cellar with 10+ year old wines to pull from, from time to time. That day will come eventually, but for now, we’re stuck trying to find those wines for a price we can afford… because we tend to like them quite a bit. Of course with age comes risk – risk of spoilage. We don’t know how this wine was stored all these years. Lucky for us, apparently it was stored well.
I got this wine during K&L’s Italian wine clearance sale. The original price was $17 and was on sale for 4 BUCKS! I figured, for 4 bucks my expectations would be low and it wouldn’t matter much if it was spoiled or just not that great. But we totally hit paydirt with this one.