Stacked Bottles: 10-26-12

Here are some recent bottles we’ve tasted, the by-product of presidential debate viewings, scoffing and scolding:

Altovinum Evodia Granache, 2010 Argentia Old Vines – $13
– A light garnet through and through. The swirl test indicates that, yes, it swirls in the glass nicely.
– There’s a vivacity to this nose. The blackberry is forward, the alcohol reserved, and the oak just present. You can’t sniff it forever, no matter how elegant it is, before it losses most of its mystique and falling flat.
– It’s got a punch like only a tempered flower could give – if it were ten feet tall and had a little more of an umph behind its pedal-y muscle. Once it calms down there’s a terrific acidity that melds perfectly with the lightest kiss of sweetness and a tinge of a dark tar linger. The Evodia is quite a bit forward, but don’t let that fool you because there are layers to discover.
Overall: Worthy. Pick this wine up. You can find it anywhere between $10 to $14. It’s worth every penny and will accompany an array of dishes. But your best to pair this with an expressive cheese and tough country bread. Proceed with a steak, too, if your into a heavy muscle to accompany your meal.

Kiler Grove 2009 Grenache – $18
– Lighter than you’d expect for a grenache, exhibiting a lightish purple.
– Deep strawberry and raspberry will envelop and hug your nostrils. Trust me, you’ll want to smell this forever. Once you’ve been up into the wine’s business for some great deal of time you will also get a whiff of lingering wood floor and leather shoe with a sprinkle of dust atop it all.
– This is another bold wine to confront. The closest it comes to is a bold zinfandel. It’s unlike the old-world feel of your typical greanche. This could be a big determent for those of you so inclined to the typical style. This is 100% grenache, though. As such this is merely another expressive style of the grape. There’s a great deal of forward momentum in the mouth followed by a deep linger, but there’s little in the mid-range.
Overall: Worthy. Despite it going south (or west, depending on how you look at it) of what you’d expect to be expressed through a grenache, this wine is going to please a good deal of you. This grenache is a little loud, as if it’s the loudest woman in the room who you absolutely adore, but could never spend your life with. Pair with some fresh mozzarella balls to beckon it’s full expression.

Some Bottle at an Awkward View.

Bouchard Aîné & Fils, France Heritage da Conseiller, 2010 Pinot Noir – $6
– Welcome to the light side of pinot noir.
– Some floral, but it’s mostly masked by a syrup-y linger with some black licorice.
– The syrup prevails with a kick of anise and dry wood. There’s a distinct lack of balance and no acidity, which this sorely needs.
Overall: Skip it. You can get some more worth-while pinot noirs for just a buck or two more. Not that this is the worse cheap wine out there, it just happens to not be pliant enough for our six dollars worth.


Stacked Bottles: Two 10-17-2012

We’ve opened a few bottles over the last week, simply having a ball when accompanying them with the Presidential debates and some fresh dinners made from the best of the local produce that’s still available during this fall season. We’d recommend stock pilling all the swirling colored tomatoes you possibly can while their still around. Make a spicy tomato sauce and reserve it as a side dish for a course of fine bread and fresh mozzarella. Read below to see what inexpensive wines we’ve popped open. There are two in particular that will go great with the aforementioned end of the season fare. It’s during these times, when the nights are worthy of a bulky blanket and the morning walk requires a jacket and the air radiates a comforting must, that we must take special note of. Fall happens to be just as finite as that fine dream you had last week, but can’t seem to fully recollect. It comes and it’s fine and brightening and special, but then gone just as a fine bottle of vino is when shared amongst a group. There’s never quite enough of it.

Bogle Vineyards 2010 Petite Sirah – 13.5% – $9
– Strikingly, it looks like grape juice. Newman’s Own, to be exact. There’s no real thinness to be seen, it all appears to be the murky spread of concentrated juice.
– A faint glimmer of hope as we reach the nose; and there is a light floral sensation followed by a trenching sweetness. Some light cocoa, too.
– It was noted that, on the tip of the tongue, a prevalent, distasteful, charred coal was present. However this wasn’t an unpleasant effect on me personally – having something to do with my burned away taste buds in that region. The mid and finish spoke of over-processed techniques: residual sugar and heavy use of oak. However we found the the wine had a fair amount of decent tannic coating and a well balanced smoothness that was juxtaposed to its bulking, weighty feel.
Overall: Skip. Not a dispiriting wine by any means, just rather torrid and lacking any concentration. The Bogle is interesting, yet the focus is swirling, hodgepodge and lacking the de rigueur of petite sirah.

Jacob’s Creek 2009 Cabernet Sauvingnon, Australia – $6
– Dark Garnet with little thinning on the edges to be seen.
– A hint of licorice and a touch of molasses.  A fairly light and discreet nose.
– A tar and cherry mix, particularly in the backend. Low acidy, but high on the power-y tannins. There’s a solid linger, but it doesn’t leave you in wonderment.    
Overall: Worthy. The Jacob’s Creek is a sold wine for the price. We’d say that it could even stack up to many $12 to $17 wines we’ve had.

Salmon Creek 2010 Merlot – $6
– A solid red with a brown tinge near the edges.
– A mixture of simple sugars and plum fill the nose. There’s a smudge of metal vat that comes across when the wine opens when warmed to room temperature.
– A little sweeter, but not overwhelmingly so. There’s a syrup, cherry, apricot and levy soupçon that’s interesting for the price range here. Not much of a linger. t will leave you quickly.
Overall: Worthy. Salmon Creek continues to impress us. These aren’t your standard two-buck-chuck. They’re not up there, so to speak, but they have no distinct aura of cheapness to them either. They will hold up well to most dishes and serve as a great, every evening, wine for whenever.


For the Screen, For The Wine

The group was slow to start as they sat idly awaiting instruction. Spirits were low as they looked to their blue-temperatured screens or blank notepads as an artist would awaiting a shipment of colored oils. It was time to make my move and open the wines that two others and myself had brought. It was far too sad a site to endure any longer.

The knife slid through the bread I had made for the evening, followed along with slicing of the cheese (a long-time-coming revisit of Dubliner cheddar). Turning around I found myself trapped by a sneaky, well-built character who was looking for the same relief I was but was afraid to make the first move. He eyed me removing the corks from all three wines as he attempted a stilted chit-chat about how are writing was really going, indicating that he had not made the move for the wines before because he had never before opened a bottle. He asked who the chick was who made the bread. A patronizing grin blossomed on his lips when I had told him I baked it. We somehow ended our short conversation with the best cooking method of whole garlic; and his smirked remained, so I left promptly, making sure to fill his hand with a cup of wine and a slice of bread to better distract him from following me.

The instructor suckled and bit upon his usual cigar as he held a script up high. He was mocking the use of semi-colons again, of which was a favorite pass time of his. Yes it was my script (yes, everyone knew it), and yes, I could not longer pay attention until the rant was over. The Harlow Ridge, the wine of my choosing for the evening, sloshed down my throat quite easily.

Harlow Ridge 2009, Lodi California Cabernet Sauvignon – $10
– A medium hued red with a fair mix of healthy cabernet-brown.
– Oak was most prevalent. Some leafy and gravel redolence.
– Cranberry in the front, an austere sweet in the mid followed by a finale of olive, grass and cinnamon.
Overall: Worthy. Cabernets are known to be sturdy, a real safe bet. This is a cheap, very resilient wine that will hold up to any dinner or cool evening. I would buy this again… even for the sole intend of a dedicated wine night.

Looking up, one wiry haired grandfather-to-someone looked shocked as his script was mauled to bits with disapproving resentment over its lack of appropriate comma use. He seemed to be abstaining himself from the comfort of the snack table. I saw to it that I would sample all the more in his stead.

Raven’s wood 2008, Merlot – $12
– Very dark purple with no other discernible shadings.
– Hardly a trace of smell. Most fascinating. Dust? I fancy this shy wine already.
– Not shy at all. It’s a spicy and sweet concoction of oak zeal and lemon bitterness.
Overall: Skip. The sweet element overwhelms whatever there could be left to discover. It’s a little thin and puerile.

The instructor looked violently through his notes and gave up with a garrulous string of grumbling curses, and finally rubbed his eyes vigorously in thought.
“The unexamined life is a life not worth living,” he finally sputtered out. “Aristotle said it.”
“Socrates,” I corrected with a tip of my glass.
He simply stared. Suddenly the skin I was in felt a little tightened and my throat seemed to be clogged. Time for another drink. Just how much are personal resentments reflected when taking into account their work? The thought sent me shrinking. To the table!

Starmont 2009, Chardonnay – $8
– lemon-tinged clear.
– Smelled of wood that was defecated on… a hint of petrol disturbance.
– Let’s put it nicely: It was like mixing a diluted sprite with a slab of young mango that was tumbled with a half-package of jello… the raspberry variety.
Overall: Skip it. See it, then dismiss it quickly.