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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Toasted Head 2010 Untamed Red Review

Toasted Head Winery


13.5% abv
Clearance price $8.00
At Kroger
Blend: 45% Syrah, 28% Petite Sirah, 14% Zinfandel, 9% Merlot, 3% Tannat, 1% Tempranillo

The last time I had the Untamed Red, a few years ago, I was not impressed but, for 8 bones I’ll try it again.

Appearance: black-purple body; ruby highlights

Aroma: some oak mixed with dark berries

Flavors: juicy blackberry, black currant; some oak and spice swirl on the palate;

Mouthfeel: little jammy on the fruit; light earthy feel; pleasing spice on the back and finish; medium medium-full body;


To the Point: a very pleasing wine; and at this price I went back to the Kroger store and bought the rest the bottles.  


Friday, August 22, 2014

2012 Caymus 40 Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon

Caymus Vineyards
Rutherford, California, USA


14.6% abv
One liter bottle

I went to La Bistecca tonight for dinner and Jerry said they had this bottle available and I just had to have it.  The 750 ml bottle should run around 60 bucks retail.  The one liter bottle at a wonderful restaurant like this set me back 140.  It paired well with my filet mignon. Damn, I just love their filet.  

Being young, only 2012, I thought it was ready to enjoy now and should age well.  The boysenberry and blackberry fruits were sitting there in the front row.  Nice fresh oak; some toasted vanilla bean seemed to float around on the back of the palate; silky satin mouthfeel; tannins were well controlled for such a young Cab.  I’ll be picking up a case of this.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Toasted Head Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Review

Toasted Head Winery
Acampo, California, USA


13.5% abv
On sale at Kroger
For $9.59

I just cannot believe that I have never reviewed Toasted Head Cab nor Merlot.  I have always liked the TH Merlot over the Cabernet Sauvignon but, that was 10 years ago or so.  Let’s get on with the review.

Appearance: a somewhat translucent ruby body


Aroma: dark berry bowl with a hint of spice;

Flavors: not too often that I agree with what is written on a bottle of wine but, I my notes were real close to theirs; on the bottle: “… medium-bodied…, blackberry, cassis with hints of cloves and vanilla…”
I had: dark berries that remind me of blackberry, mulberry, and black currant; nice toasted vanilla probably coming from the oak barrel aging; pleasing herbal spice; an agreeable hint of oak builds as the wine opens


To the Point: I still like this wine; a great value wine at $9.59 a bottle on sale (and I got another 10% off); so, $8.65 a bottle – That’s it I’m out of here and going back and buy the rest of those bottles on the clearance table.   


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Storyteller Into the Fog Pinot Noir 2012 Review

Winepress Vintners
Sonoma County
Graton, California, USA


On sale at Kroger
For $14.00/ Reg. $21.00
13% abv

Appearance: a translucent crystal red with a deep red core


Aroma: soft and ripe end of the patch berries; as the wine opens there is a hint of floral and a delicate spice note

Flavors: the soft and delicate style continues to the palate with notes of black currant, black raspberry, and a lightly tart cranberry note; a hint of violet evolves with a pinch of of green peppercorn


Mouthfeel: yes, soft and delicate; medium body;

To the Point: a nice wine that you can pick up at the grocery store; probably not one for aging; a very good value wine for under 15 bucks; for 20 dollars and over it’s just okay 


Friday, August 1, 2014

Storyteller Once Upon a Dream 2011 Merlot Review

WX Wine Company
Graton, California, USA


13% abv
$14.00 at Kroger’s

So, the winery must have changed ownership from 2011 to 2012. WX Wine here in 2011 and on the 2012 bottle the company is WinePress.

Appearance: ruby red and translucent 

Aroma: the spice greets the nose first and then berry note(s) follow(s)


Flavors: red berries that remind me of red currant and red raspberry; peppery spice followed by some alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel:  thin on delivery; spice on the mid; alcohol warmth on the back and finish; light on the berries; sharp on the tongue


To the Point: for the under 15$ range it is okay; which means I would not buy it again; as a Merlot it is below average; berry notes too simple; overall too simple; the alcohol warmth is too much


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cock of the Walk Review

Cock of the Walk


If you like sugar red wine - this is for you.  I poured it on the grass after three sips.  If you are a real wine drinker forget it.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Frontier Red Lot No. 111 Review

Fess Parker Winery
Santa Maria, California, USA


14.9% abv on the label
$11.99 a bottle
From: Super Fine Wine & Liquor
NV – No Vintage
California Red Wine
Blend: 36% Syrah, 20% Cinsaut, 12% Petite Sirah, 11% Grenache, 8% Carignane, 6% Tempranilla, 3% Souzao, 2% Counoise, 2% Mourvedre
I think they may have missed one or two other grapes!

Appearance: ruby red body


Aroma: after letting the glass breathe for a while the nose seems a little more under control; big time peppery spice at first, as the nose settles – a berry bowl mixture comes to mind and it seems on the tart side of the berry taste

Flavors: right after opening the bottle it is a little tart; the tannins and acidity seem a little wacked out for the moment; black currant, raspberry, dark cherry, and cranberry come into play; nice spice note; a little earthy – more like a watery earthy style or mineral water


Mouthfeel: tart; soft flannel feel; tannins have a little bite; moderate acidity; mineral water on the edge; thin on the back and aftertaste;


To the Point: not bad for a 12 dollar bottle; drinks like a 12 dollar bottle; Lot No. 122 drank like a 25 dollar bottle for only 12 bucks; probably at it end for age; Lot No. 90 is out – I’ll have to look for this one.  


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Big Easy 2010 Review

Fess Parker Winery
Santa Maria, California, USA


14.9% abv
66% Syrah, 19% Petite Sirah, 15% Grenache
Aged: 20 months in 40% new French & American Oak
Runs around $35.00 bottle
Purchased: Super Fine Wine & Liquor Canton Michigan

Read the posting on the 2009 The Big Easy

Appearance: garnet with a purple edge, nice legs on the glass


Aroma: let this bottle open before enjoying; big juicy dark berries: blackberry, mulberry, boysenberry; solid earthy tone of soil – it’s like you can taste the soil the vines were grown in with each sniff; has sweetness and creaminess of a 55% dark chocolate; here and there I get a whiff of ground white peppercorn with its musty style;


Flavors: the first few sips right after opening the bottle it seemed a little thin; after letting it open the flavors really popped; rich dark berries mingle with the 55% like dark chocolate; a touch of campfire toasted marshmallow; tart cranberry on the mid; peppery spice seems to be more on the finish; nice earthy notes evolve – lighter earthy tone on the front and moderate earthy tones on the back;

Mouthfeel: tannins are under control; nice acidity; hint of sweetness swirls around the dark berry like bitterness; rich berry profile; pleasing earthy tone; dry feel;

Daniel Boone Coon Skin Cap

To the Point: decant this bottle for 30 minutes before enjoying; fresh out of the bottle comes across thin and once it opens up boy is it tasty; just as good as the 2009 blend; might not be as complex as that vintage but damn close; I highly recommend; can age till 2019; I bought a six pack case and I don’t think one of these bottles will make it to 2016 – so, I guess I should buy another six pack!


And, for the cigar lovers – this is great with a fine cigar.  I would recommend a medium rare filet mignon topped with blue cheese and cherries or grilled lamb chops; I will do a full dinner review with this wine down the road.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

the Dreaming Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Review

North Coast 2012
Geyserville, California, USA
13.5% abv


A collaboration between Dave Matthews and acclaimed wine maker Steve Reader.

Appearance: crimson body with nice ruby edges


Aroma: herbal upfront; lighter dark berries follow mixed with a hint of spice

Flavors: tart cherry; light dark berries; floral; herbal; toasted bread; dark chocolate bitterness on the finish;

Mouthfeel: tart upfront; nice bitterness on the finish; tannins are at work; nice acidity; seems simple and easy to drink


To the Point: you got it simple and easy to drink; 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trivento Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Reserve Review

Mendoza, Argentina
14% abv

I bought this bottle at a fund raiser for Waggin’ Tail Dog Rescue.
From what I recall it was around 10 or 12 bucks but, don’t quote me on that. 

Appearance: dark garnet body with a purplish-red rim

Aroma: nice dark berry notes with a touch of sweet earth

Flavors: black currant, plum skin, sweet herbal, light toasty oak,


Mouthfeel: smooth, tannins and acidity seem under control for a young wine, dark berries and earth on the aftertaste, fairly simple, easy to drink, 

To the Point: for the price – good; should make a nice wine to serve at a party; a good inexpensive restaurant wine. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Anderra Carmenere 2012 Review

Baron Philippe de Rothschild
Maipo, Chile


You can find this for under $12 a bottle

Appearance: black plum with a purple rim

Aroma: juice black berry; soil earthy tone; herbal note followed by a fine grind black pepper with a hint of pink peppercorn; sweet cedar

Flavors: black berry; red cherry; soil; spice; toasted vanilla; herbal tea; hint of brown spice

Mouthfeel: nice acidity; tannins under control; nice depth to the black fruit; good variety of flavors to make it interesting; the berries and spice coat the palate

To the Point: for the price a very nice buy; pleasing to drink


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Trapiche Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Review

Bodegas Trapiche
Mendoza, Argentina

14% abv
Oak Cask for 9 months
$13.99 from a grocery store


The first time I had this wine was wine I went to a restaurant, here in Michigan, and they just started the ‘cork the bottle’ law.  This is when you order a bottle of wine at a restaurant and you don’t finish it you can have them cork it and you can take in home.  That was a few years ago (I’ll look it up when that went into effect). 

This is an easy wine to drink.  A nice ‘restaurant’ wine.  Maybe, even a nice everyday wine.  Nothing big, nothing special, just pleasing to drink. 

I am finally doing a review on this wine for I don’t think I have ever reviewed it – once again – I’ll have to look that up too.  No I have not reviewed this wine. 

Now, dealing with wine laws, I stated the first time I had this wine was when they made a new law regarding ‘carry out’ wine.  Today, I just heard the State of Michigan passed a law that you can now bring your own bottle of wine into a restaurant ‘if they don’t have that wine’.  The person told me that the establishment will charge an ‘opening fee.’  And, once again I’ll have to look this wine up.  Damn, I have a lot of research to do!

Really, there is a big demand for this.  And, doesn’t this hurt the restaurant.  Let’s say that mister cheap skate comes in with this wine – a $14.00 bottle – and then he pays, I don’t know, let’s say a $5.00 opening fee.  That would bring the bottle cost to 19 buck for the consumer.  Yes, it would probably would have cost them $29.00 for the same bottle – saving the person ten dollars.  But, the restaurant owner is losing out.  And NO, mister cheap skate is not going to order ten more dollars’ worth of food.

Just looked up the new wine law.  It is called, House Bill 5046 and it was signed in December of 2013 according to Mlive.com.  It sounds like the big thinkers up there in Lansing Michigan think that it will help the Michigan wine industry.  REALLY!  What is there fifty wine drinkers, in the whole state, out there with their Michigan bottle of wine saying, ‘let me bring my bottle of Michigan wine into this restaurant?’  How about passing something really important to the people of Michigan.  Click here to read more about the new law

Let me get to the review.


Appearance: deep purple (not the music group from my time); purple edge; nice legs

Aroma: a pleasing nose; big dark berries reminding me of black berry; nice cedar spice; oak;

Flavors/Mouthfeel: juicy dark berries follow the nose; nice peppery spice; oak; good touch of tannins and good acidity;

To the Point: a very nice wine; like I said, a nice everyday wine; pleasing body, pleasing flavors; yes I would buy this again. 


Back to the new law.  Restaurants are encouraged to participate but, do not have to follow the new law.  It sounds like they can make their own ‘opening’ cost but, it cannot be the cost to cover the ‘difference’ of what they would charge. 

Personally, I can think of only one or two places I would do this.  The one place is up north in Port Austin where I like the food at the restaurant but, damn they have the cheapest wine a place can serve.  This law would help this place because I would go there more frequently. 


This law also hurts the server – you know the waiter or the waitress.  I bring in my $50 bottle of wine – do I tip them on that or the uncorking fee?  Answer: the uncorking fee.  I would tip on the cost of the bottle I brought in but, I would put money on it that the majority of people would not. 

Here is the side of me who likes this idea.  I like to go to a restaurant in Plymouth Michigan called La Bistecca.  The price of a bottle that I usually buy there would be in the 60 to 100 dollar range.  That would mean that the price of that bottle is really 25 to maybe 50 or 55.  I could now bring in a real 75 dollar bottle of wine that I really love at that price and I would be happy as a double peckered goat.  Just remember, that is if they don’t serve that wine and if they allow you to bring your own bottle in. 

I personally don’t think many people will take advantage of this new law.  I also don’t think it will hurt the owner of the establishment – they have enough money.  I think it will only hurt the server.  So, if you do this mister cheap skate – tip the server on the price of that bottle at least 10% and 20% on the rest of your bill. 

   

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cigar Box Reserve Malbec 2012: Review

Mendoza, Argentina


$16.99 saw it at some grocery store and had to buy it

Appearance: black-purple body with deep purple highlights; slow dripping leggs

Aroma: black fruit, reminding me of black currant and black plum; touch of floral and mineral; on the bottle it says violet, I got a bottle of violet vinegar out of the pantry and yep violet it is;

Flavors: fresh black berry, plum, black currant; light tart cranberry in the mix; a 70% dark chocolate like note swirls around the berries; mild cedar spice; moderate mineral earthiness;

Mouthfeel: dry; tannins are moderate and under control; nice black fruit bitterness on the back and aftertaste; a pleasing thickness to the body on the first glass – starts to get a little jammy on the second glass; I’ll give it a 6 on my strength scale – just inside the medium-full range;


To the Point: a pleasing Malbec; 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Bridge 2009 Syrah Cabernet: Review

Vinifera Wine Company
Paso Robles, California, USA


14.9% abv
Blend: 55% Syrah; 45% Cabernet Sauvignon
Under 10 bucks @ Meyer
I bought this over a year ago. I guess it is time to get the cheap stuff out of the cellar.

Appearance: big purple

Nose: nice syrah type spice and some dark berries swirling around; not complex but interesting

Flavors/Mouthfeel: thin on delivery; dark berries, little peppery spice, lacks depth and character but for around 9 bucks what do you expect; a generic bitterness – seems contrived;


To the Point: save your 10 bucks and put it toward a good bottle of wine; don’t ever serve to a friend – foe you are okay – friend never;


The aroma was okay – nice – after that forget it – since it is winter I’ll make purple snow