Sunday, November 19, 2017

Exploring the Wine Trees line: Central Coast, California, red blend and two dry sparklers from Italy

I'm pleased today to have the opportunity to sample three wines from Wine Trees, a modern collection of wines highlighting some intriguing global regions, providing value-based offerings.  Founded in 2008, the Wine Trees name was inspired by the founders’ daughter; while exploring the vineyards near their home, looking up, she creatively termed the vines “Wine Trees".


With this perspective, Wine Trees embraces the ever-changing world of wine with an open mind and a passion for discovery.

Today I'll be trying three very different styles of wines from their selection, two hailing from Italy and one from just up the road in the Central Coast of California.  Review samples were provided by Wine Trees' representative. 

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Bervini 1955 Prosecco DOC Millesimato Extra Dry.

Original tasting and review : This is $$ Bervine 1955 Prosecco DOC Millesimato Extra Dry, Veneto-Friuli Venzia Giulia, Italy, 2016, finished at 11% alcohol and first sampled one year from vintage date, in November, 2017.  Stainless steel tanks and a secondary Charmat-style fermentation define the winemaking treatment.

Inspired by this wine: Such a pleasant chat with a friend, tucked at a cozy table in the bright dining area.

In the glass: Clear with hints of yellow and green.

On the nose: Poured at crisp, cool temperature, shows waves of gentle depth from clean white fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this may be bright but layered.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact showing bright lemons and grapefruit upfront, quickly cleansed by a wash of light, cleansing bubbles.  The notable acidity is just lightly offset by the very light off-dry elements, leaving a clean, acid-wash finish that percolates up into your cheeks.  Deeper layers emerge as your sip warms just a touch.

In summary: Overall, rates three full stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, and touches a plus for its late-blooming nuances.  The strong rating and attractive price combination make this a good value.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Bervini 1955 Spumante Rosé Extra Dry.

Original tasting and review : This is $$ Bervini 1955 Spumante Rose Extra Dry, Frinezia Giulia, Italy, non-vintage, finished at 11% alcohol and first sampled in November, 2017.  Like the prosecco, the rose is finished in stainless steel tanks with a secondary Charmat-style fermentation.  The grapes used are a combination of glera (which is the commonly used white grape of prosecco) and a red grape called raboso.

Inspired by this wine: We're sitting on the sunny back porch, kids and dogs running on the lawn.

In the glass: Clear with hints of light pink peach.

On the nose: Poured at very cool temperature, shows a light funky depth above the gentle fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this may be fun with some sincere overtones.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact bringing forward dry red raspberries and strawberries, surrounded with a bold acidic cloak.  The finish is long and clean, drawn slowly forward by the clean fruity acids that draw the sip into the upper chambers of your cheeks.  A just-ripened peach element emerges as the temperature rises in the glass.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale and will add a plus when its potent acids are offset with an appropriately tangy food or appetizer.  Good value.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Barrel Road Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Blend.

Original tasting and review : This is $$ Barrel Road Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Blend, Central Coast, CA, 2015, finished at 13.2% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in November, 2017.  The blend of red grapes was aged in part for three months in used bourbon barrels which began life making Backbone Bourbon in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and which traveled west to help with the aging of this blend.

Inspired by this wine: We've set up camp in the deep woods; starting a fire to make dinner. 

In the glass: Deep burgundy, almost opaque in the center.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows some dark oak with gentle fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this may be somewhat modest and restrained for a central California red blend.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact consistent with the aromatic impressions.  First blush of red fruit is accompanied by the aged-oak overlay.   But the impression is not deep, bold and black - but more like medium-bodied, aromatic and bright.  Spices and red berries predominate, and lead to a modest and clean finish.  The barrels remain more as a memory rather than as an overpowering conclusion.  That's just about what you'd want barrels to do!

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.



Saturday, November 18, 2017

Review: *** $ Chateau Souverain Merlot, CA, 2014 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Chateau Souverain Merlot.

Original tasting and review : This is Chateau Souverain Merlot, CA, 2014, finished at 14.3% alcohol and first sampled three  years from vintage date, in November, 2017.

Inspired by this wine: We're out in back, sawing some logs for the campfire.

In the glass: Deep magenta, moving to opaque an inch from the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep, perky purple flumes of fire- and oak-tinged fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this may be bold and lively.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a first bright flash of lively ripe blackberry, unfolding to a deeper surround of velvety tannins and mashed dark plums.  Some acids move in for a grip on the finish.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale and is a best value at its attractive price point.

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: ***+ $ Dark Horse Double Down Red Blend, California, Non-Vintage = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Dark Horse Double Down Red Blend.

Original tasting and review : This is Dark Horse Double Down Red Blend, California, Non-Vintage, finished at 14.5% alcohol and first sampled in November, 2017.  This is said to be a limited release vinted by winemaker Beth Liston, but the origin (beyond California) of the grapes are not specified.  Varietals are tannat, teroldego, zinfandel and petite syrah. 

Inspired by this wine: We're at the picnic table, campfire smoke is blowing past, we're ordering up well done burgers. 

In the glass: Black burgundy, opaque within a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows smoky and sweet black fruit.   From the aroma, seems like this may be bold and layered.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact plenty of black oak surrounding a big, beefy dark red fruit.  Enough acidity to lift the dense fruit flavors.  Finish is modest, deep, but clean.

In summary: Overall, rates three plus stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, celebrating its bold layers and depth.  This is a no-brainer best value at its bargain price point.

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Don't Miss: Burbank Winter Wine Walk - Coming up soon!!

I hope you have already procured your tickets to the Burbank Winter Wine Walk and Holiday Street Fair for 2017, being held this coming Saturday, Nov. 18, from 4-7pm in downtown Burbank, CA.   

Although tickets for the tasting are already sold out, anyone is welcome to browse the Fair, as shops along San Fernando Boulevard will be open for business.   If you were too late to join this year, consider visiting the shops so you can get a "taste" for what you can experience next year - but with real wine then!
There will be some 30 wine, craft beer and food sampling stops throughout the route.

Whether you are there to enjoy the wine or just the ambience, you'll have access to over 100 eateries in downtown Burbank (food not included in ticket prices), and there will be free live performances from a main stage set up at San Fernando Boulevard and Palm Avenue.

Hope to see you there!   BTW, Spirit of Wine will plan some select reviews of wines sampled at the Festival, so you can get an idea of what may be on tap (no craft beer reference implied!) for future years. 

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Lodi Old-Vine Zinfandel Virtual Tasting

Today we are pleased to be participating in an intriguing event: A Lodi Old-Vine Zinfandel Virtual Tasting as part of National Zinfandel Day 2017 festivities.  Please look for more information about the event at www.facebook.com/LodiWine or on Twitter or Instagram via #lodiwine and #LodiOldVineZin tags.

Of course, you can always find the most expressive and descriptive reviews right here, on Spirit of Wine.  But you already knew that!!

Below are tasting notes for the wines offered as part of the Virtual Tasting:


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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Fields Family Wines Old Vine Zinfandel.

Original tasting and review : This is Fields Family Wines Old Vine Zinfandel, Stampede Vineyard, Clements Hills, Lodi, CA, 2014, finished at 14.3% alcohol and first sampled three years from vintage date, in November, 2017.

Inspired by this wine: My uncle passed me a cigar, we chatted about times past.

In the glass: Deep brick with hints of orange and maroon.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep, savory sage and tobacco.  From the aroma, seems like this may be bright, funky and playful.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact even a bit brighter and more playful than anticipated, with perky raspberry acids coating the fruit up into your nose.  Lingering bright red fruit finish.

In summary: Overall, rates a solid three stars for its perky power on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Earthquake Zinfandel.

Original tasting and review : This is Earthquake Zinfandel, Michael David Winery, Lodi, CA, 2014, finished at 15.0% alcohol and first sampled three years from vintage date, in November, 2017.  There is a touch of petite sirah blended with the zinfandel.

Inspired by this wine: Zipping up a down vest against the chill, looking forward to a walk along the woodland lane. 

In the glass: Deep magenta at the rim, moving towards opaque black in the center.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep black berry and surrounding oak.  From the aroma, seems like this may be full, lush and savory.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much as anticipated, with a deep wave of full black berry fruit being the first attack, followed by soft, bright touches of oak and tannins.  A modest finish lifts with some cleansing acids.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a big plus for depth and power on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Ironstone Rous Vineyard Zinfandel.

Original tasting and review : This is Ironstone Vineyards Ancient Vines Zinfandel Reserve, Rous Vineyard, Lodi, CA, 2015, finished at 15.0% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in November, 2017.  Vines are a remarkable 106 years old.

Inspired by this wine: Grandpa is taking me to the basement to hunt for some of those long-buried boxes of treasure!

In the glass: Deep bordeaux-colored center with light orange bricking at the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows a layered, dusty, sweet aged oak.   From the aroma, seems like this may be full with depth and sophistication.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are, at once, sweet, rich, dark, chalky, with fully ripe deep blackberry fruit and layers of sinuous oak.  It tapers graciously to a clean, deep, and just refreshing-enough finish.  Remarkable.

In summary: Overall, rates an impressive four stars, and touching a plus, on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, recognizing its resinous depths.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Harney Lane Old Vine Zinfandel.

Original tasting and review : This is Harney Lane Old Vine Zinfandel, Lizzy James Vineyard, Lodi, CA, 2014, finished at 15.7% alcohol and first sampled three years from vintage date, in November, 2017.

Inspired by this wine: We're readying chairs and blankets for the family to enjoy a high-energy Labor Day parade!

In the glass: Deep mahogany with bricking at the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows an energetic candy apple upfront, with soft fruit behind.   From the aroma, seems like this may be fun and expressive.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact black fruit surrounded with subtle wash of clean white sugar.  Oak elements poke through the sweetness to bring depth and layers.  The finish is a slow fade to a rounded, clean wisp of fruit, pulling for the next sip.

In summary: Overall, just touches four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, representing both depth, layers and an unmistakeable friendliness and expressive invitation. 

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading thtis full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Monday, October 30, 2017

New Zealand in a Glass!

"New Zealand in a Glass" was an informative seminar presented by New Zealand Wine, focused especially on local renditions of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.  The seminar provided some quick facts about New Zealand, including reference to its deep southern lattitude, several hundred miles south of the southern tip of Australia.  The seminar proceeded to a sampling of a number of both typical and atypical New Zealand varietals.

Here they are, with inspirational suggestions and brief tasting notes: 

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, 2014, Hawke's Bay:
Inspired by this wine:  Prepping for a big family picnic, we're all chopping food!
Light clear yellow, tropical and earthy
aromas.  Fresh and vigorous fruit, with a soft finish.
3+ on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Te Mata Cape Crest.

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, Marlborough:
Inspired by this wine:  Watching stars on a dark and gently cool evening.
Very light yellow.  Light sweet funk.  Round, soft, lightly sweet filling palate.
3+ on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Greywacke Wild Sauvignon.

Astrolabe Taiho Sauvignon Blanc, 2015, Marlborough:
Inspired by this wine: Fun playing raucous video games with friends.
Gentle light yellow.  Soft round fruit.  Lays out for a sweet and full fruity finish.  Minor pepper hints.
4 on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Astrolabe Taiho.

Nautilus The Paper Sauvignon Blanc, 2016, Marlborough:
Inspired by this wine: Sombre yet uplifting conversation with a good friend.
Crystal with hint of yellow.  Solid, lightly sharp nose.  Clean, clear body and lengthy mineral finish.
3+ on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Nautilus The Paper.

Dog Point Chardonnay, 2014, Marlborough:
Inspired by this wine:  Exhaling deeply after an ambitious run.
Clear crystal.  Light fruit with hint of funk. Clean and lightly spritzy, sweet finish.
3 on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Dog Point Chardonnay.

Jules Taylor Pinot Gris, 2016, Marlborough:
Inspired by this wine: Shopping for jewelry!
Hint yellow.  Clean, bubbly, hint earth.  Sweet acid wash and soft finish with hint of sugar.
3+ on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Jules Taylor Pinot Gris.

Framingham Old Vine Riesling, 2015, Marlborough:
Inspired by this wine: Reconnecting with an old mentor.
 They are challenging you to think.
Light yellow.  Sweet with black pepper.  Soft and peppery wash into the close.
3+ on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Framingham Old Vine Riesling.

Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling, 2016, Central Otago:
Inspired by this wine: Heading for a date - excited and nervous.
Hint yellow on crystal.  Subtle with funk.  Clean sweet with fresh acid wash to keep things uplifted.
4 on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Felton Road Bannockburn Riesling.

Martinborough Vineyard Home Block Pinot Noir, 2014, Martinborough:
Inspired by this wine: Curled on a wool blanket, eating s'mores.
Very light mahogany. Stark with black pepper. Soft with sweet black pepper.  Quick but full finish.
4 on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Home Block Pinot Noir Martinborough.

Mahana Clays & Gravels Pinot Noir, 2014, Nelson:
Inspired by this wine: Enjoying an evening by the outdoor fire.
Light mahogany.  Funk deep red fruit.  Tangy flesh through the finish.
3 on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Mahana Pinot Noir.

Villa Maria Taylors Pass Pinot Noir Reserve, 2009, Marlborough:
Inspired by this wine: Let's plan a vacation!
Light red.  Soft tangy red.  Clean, balanced finish with light acids.
3 on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Villa Maria Taylors Pass Pinot Noir Reserve.

Mount Edward Pinot Noir, 2011, Central Otago:
Inspired by this wine: Gathering the gang for a big, exciting
reunion.
Violet deep red.  Deep settled red fruit.  Violet depth in the fruit, clean and long finish.
4 on the five star Spirit of Wine scale.
Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Mount Edward Pinot Noir.

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.