Thursday, April 28, 2011

Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2009

Finally, something to write home about.
I've been dealing with an ulcer issue for a few weeks and when I did feel good enough to uncork a wine, it was either plonk or corked. Until tonight.
I got home from work tonight feeling quite good and a bit hungry and really not planning on opening a wine before bed.  One of them bowl of cereal and maybe a banana type nights.  But, Shirley cooked up one of my faves for tomorrows lunch.  Stuffed green peppers.  Now hers are a little different than the norm.  She add lots of veggies and uses ground turkey in lieu of fresh ground beef. She also likes them a little dry and I like lots of sauce, so I had to add some tomato sauce and some tomato from a can of whole tomatoes before heating up for a bedtime snack.  After the first bite, I just had to check the wine fridge for something to accommodate one of Shirley's finest.  And that I did! a Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Reserva  from the Casablanca Valley in Chile. Now I am a big fan of NZ Sauvignon Blancs and not a big fan of wines from Chile, but now, I may have found a Chilean wine that changes all that.
Beautiful aromas of peach, grapefruit and honeysuckle.  A lot like what I find in my Finger Lakes Rieslings. In the mouth, there was a hint of melon with more citrus and a nice smooth honey feeling. With the stuffed peppers, I felt the finish was a little weak, but sipping afterward, I found the finish to be dry and long and the taste was "ooh-la-la"   At a $12 price, I am definitely adding this one to my list of must haves. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

HR 1161 And A New Chapter on Wine in the Capitalists' Bible

 I am stealing this article from Tom Wark.  Tom is the author of one of my favorite wine blogs. Fermentation, The Daily Wine Blog  
This is where I go to find information on what is happening in or the current trend in the wine industry.  He is also an advocate for the defeat of H.R. 1161.
As a wine consumer and wine blogger I feel obligated to allow my readers to understand just what this bill means to you, but I am not a journalist and do not possess the writing skills needed to do justice to this most important piece of  legislation.

HR 1161 And A New Chapter on Wine in the Capitalists' Bible

by: Tom Wark

Today the Wall Street Journal took a strong stand against H.R. 1161, calling it a "Bad Bill" and taking notice that if passed it would "reduce choices and raise prices for consumers."
What I like most about this important editorial from a newspaper that is carefully watched on Capital Hill is the editorial board's keen awareness of the the truly anti-American nature of the bill seen in the way it would strip wine retailers of their commerce clause protections by allowing states to erect trade barriers against wine retailers—a practice that the U.S. Constitution was built to deter:
"The wholesalers and their friends in Congress argue that [The] CARE [Act} promotes state sovereignty and limits Congressional abuse of the Commerce Clause. We might remind them that the original purpose of that clause was to stop states from enacting protectionist laws. The very reason James Madison called the Constitutional Convention was to eliminate interstate trade barriers that were balkanizing the union."
It's practically inconceivable that Congress would consider endorsing a bill that allows states to erect trade barriers and anti-commerce legislation at a time when our economy is trying to ride out the worst recession in years. HR 1161 isn't merely special interest legislation. It is bad for the recovering economy, bad for job creation, bad for commerce and bad for consumers.
Cheers to the Wall Street Journal for recognizing a dog when they see one and calling it out for how ugly it is.

To learn more about H.R.1161 and how it effects you, read here.. Fermentation, The Daily Wine Blog. and let your Congressional Representative be aware of your opposition.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bogatell Garnacha Blanca 2010

I recently received this wine from the fine folks at Savorian Inc. Savorian Inc. is a Brooklyn-based company that owns, distributes and imports wine from Catalonia, Spain. Savorian Wines' portfolio is made up of two collections; white Bogatell™ and red El Raval™. Bogatell™ is crafted from the finest grapes picked from the best vineyards of Terra Alta in Catalonia, Northern Spain.  
Grenacha blanca is a variety of white wine grape that is related to the red grape Grenache. It is mostly found in Rhône wine blends and in northeast Spain.
In Spain it is mostly found in the Spanish wine regions along the Pyrenees, particularly in Navarra and the Terra Alta region in Catalonia. Bogatell is a white wine made from 100% Garnacha Blanca grapes and is produced in the small mountainous regions of Catalunya called Terra Alta.
I found lots of melon and floral aromas with some green apple and citrus.  After a short time opened the aromas seemed to come more alive with lots of apple and a dry grapefruit.  In the mouth the wine was nice, crispy with lots of citrus and apple. The finish was very dry with some tropical fruits and citrus.
For dinner, Pam broiled Swai filets covered with tomato chunks and Italian sweet peppers and served it with a great garden salad.  The Bogatell was a very impressive pairing with the fish.  Sipping afterwards was a little disappointing.  Not bad, but I think I may have been expecting more.   Definitely a wine meant to be enjoyed with food.  Will be perfect with summer salads and light foods on the grill, like chicken, pork and fish.
I don't have any info yet as far as pricing, but understand it will be under $20 and that is a pretty decent price for this wine. As of now, Savorian Inc. is one of a few companies in the world that is licensed by the state of New York to sell wine to retail outlets (restaurants and bars) and should be in the stores soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Two More From Cinnabar...

After a few beer nights, I finally was able to open, taste and drink two remaining red wines I have received from Cinnabar Winery; the 2008 Sextant Vineyards Syrah and the 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon.
We did the Syrah first with a light dinner of breaded chicken fingers with a mix of steak and sweet potato fries.
Like all the Cinnabar wines, color was very dark.  The Syrah a dark purple with lots of fruit on the nose.  Black cherry, plum and blackberry aromas with some added herbs and spice and a little anise and oak in the mouth.
The finish was long with flavors of blueberry, black cherry and a hint of espresso. A very, very nice Syrah.
Two nights later I dragged out the grill for the first time this year.  Shirley picked up two nice cuts of Filet Mignon for Pam and I and Pam wanted them done on the grill (Shirley doesn't eat red meat) and so I obliged. We threw in a baked potato and fresh green beans and opened the "gem" of the Cinnabars, the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Color was dark garnet with aromas of black cherry, blackberry, nutmeg and currant.  The mouth was a little more oakey than I expected but well balanced with some spice and leather.  Finish was smooth and extra long and full of elderberry, black cherry and maybe even a little boysenberry (I've be eating boysenberry jelly all week and that may be why I picked that up).  I'm not a big fan of Cabernet Sauvignon, but that can be changed with more like this one. The Cinnabar Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon is now the one to beat for my year end pick as best red wine tasted for 2011.
Suggested price for the Syrah is $36 and along with the other "Limited Production Series,"  the Sorcerer's Stone, can only be purchased at the Winery Tasting Room.
The Santa Cruz Mountains Collection Cabernet Sauvignon $45 is now distributed in 20 States.  For more info on where you can purchase visit

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cinnabar Mercury Rising 2008

Tonight was one of them nights when Shirley did not feel like cooking, I was not hungry and the NCAA Basketball National Championship was being played.  A game I have not missed in 38 years.  So, an early dinner of shredded wheat with soy milk and a 1/2 cantelope was paired with a tall glass of OJ.
But, I was not going to pass up watching, what turned out to be an awfully played game, without opening a nice red wine.
After finishing a delightful Cinnabar Sorcerer's Stone last evening, I decided to open up another wine from Cinnabar.  This one was another blend called Mercury Rising.
The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Peite Verdot and Malbec was again delightful. This California wine used grapes from Paso Robles, Lodi, Lake Country and Monterey County.
Aromas were cherry, earth and plum and a bit of leather.  Felt real smooth in the mouth with taste of dark plums, cherry, some anise and spice.  Nice long dry fruity finish with some mocha and tobacco.
After the game I cut up some goat milk Chevre cheese from the Lively Run Goat Farm in the Interlaken NY and finished the Mercury Rising.  Great way to end the night.
A very nice Bordeaux style blend and great value at $21.  Great wine for a wine and cheese evening with friends and family.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cinnabar Sorcerer's Stone 2008

Not being a wine connoisseur, I love it when I open a new wine and just fall in love with what I found or what, in this case, was sent to me for tasting.  Recently I received a few samples from Cinnabar Winery in the Paso Robles region of California.  Tonight I opened the 2008 Sorcerer's Stone, a blend of Zinfandel 85%, Petite Sirah 10% and Teroldego 5%  and right off the bat a relationship began.
A little smoke and a lot of fruit on the nose.  Black cherry, blueberry, black raspberry, dark plum and damp forest moss were all present.  Tasted some elderberry and currant with dark berries. The finish was dry, smokey and extra long. A little high on the alcohol (15.7%) and a bit oakey, but that is what I like in wine.  This wine will tame down nicely in years to come.  One that is very drinkable now and one you can cellar for the future.
The Sorcerer's Stone is what I consider a bit pricey at $45, but hard to beat for less.
Paired well with a very tender free range ham with roasted yams and asparagus.  Would like to try this summer with a nicely grilled T-bone or Rib Eye.