This red blend comes from the Dão region of Portugal. It's made up of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Alfrocheiro. It is all tar and black fruit with hints of smoke and spice. Reminiscent of some Rhone wine (I think instinctively of Rasteau), this wine offers a balance of fruit and earthiness, with a smooth medium bodied feel. Not much finish but for $15 it is a good buy, B+ sort of wine. I'm pairing this bottle with NCAA tournement basketball and a peppery NY strip. Friday night kitty-sitting looks a lot better!
After living in the Pacific Northwest last fall, I have tasted a lot more fresh hopped pale ale. I realize there are many more and I'm always looking to try new hoppy pale ales from around the country. This example has a subtle grassy bouquet mixed with toasty malty aromas. But then after a sip the bitterness hits hard. It's a bit off balance in this way.
For $10 this bottle might not be my idea of value. I would give this beer a B and might get it on tap if I can find it. All in all I'd take two Lagunitas for the same price as this great Divide.
I would have to put Spring Valley Vineyards in my top 10 Walla Walla winemaking establishments. This Syrah has plenty of pepper, raspberry, blackberry and plum notes that give it a richness and a spiciness that I love in the varietal. There is a hint of chocolate that melds well with the fruit-forward bouquet. All together you find yourself sipping on a dark, rich, sexy Syrah...
This bottle is $50 in the tasting room and might be available on the east coast (it is carried by Ste Michelle Wine Estates). This gets 93 points from my palate.
So my palate has led me lately to wines from the Iberian peninsula. Some decent, some stellar, and this Cava falls in the latter category. A vintage sparkler from Sant Sadurni d'Antoia, in the Penedés region of Catalonia, the Juvé y Camps 2008 Reserva de la Familia is crisp, toasty, layered with apple, jasmine, and peachy aromas. It has a clean, slightly tart finish that lasts. For $20 this bottle offers tremendous value for some delicious bubbly!
Heady, malty with hints of dried figs, this amber colored beer delivered everything that I love about Belgian ales. Sipped and savored at the Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring with a burger and tots. It really doesn't get much better than that! Tread lightly my friends, as this brew weighs in at 9% alcohol...
The 2005 Muga Selección Especial is a reserva from the Rioja region. Its dark red, garnet glow lures you to it immediately. Its earthy, leather-and-spice aroma hints at the depth and compexity present in this bottle.
This bold wine takes an hour or so to open up, so I recommend decanting and a lot of swirling. Soon a smokey cherry, allspice aroma emerges. The body is rich, with assertive yet polished tannins. Hints of dark chocolate and earth give way to a sleek, long-lasting finish.
This wine is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and the rest Mazuelo and Graciano. After its fermentation it spends 6 months in oak vats, then 28 more months in oak barrels. As it is a reserva, it then ages for at least a year in bottle before its release. Most reviews give this elegant wine 93 points. I agree all the way and would pair this beauty with lamb or game. $45-$50 and worth it!
This crisp white wine comes to us from the Saint-Pourçain Appelation in the Auvergne. It is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Tressallier (aka Sacy). Lemon zest and orange blossom aromas attack you right off the bat. It is light bodied, low alcohol, and absolutely refreshing! Hints of Granny Smith apple and pear play on the palate and make this bottle totally worth the $13 it cost me at Cleceland Park Wine and Spirits... Thank you Tony for the great recommendation!
I was excited to see this 2007 Tempranillo on the shelves of my local wine store, however after opening this bottle and giving it a sip I knew I would never buy another bottle. Some people with me thought it was smooth and easy to drink, but for me the sour cherry and leather aromas were overpowered by a confectioner's sugar sweetness that was caused by some serious ethyl acetate. Sometimes a little EA can lift the nose in a subtle way, making the fruitiness stand out a little more. In this case it was a blatant flaw. Even for $13, the price was not right for this tired, disappointing wine. C-
After a few minutes being open, these wines distinguish themselves in style and provenance. The Tablas Creek is cleaner, showing mocha and raspberry notes of the bat, reminding me off hot chocolate fondue with touches of Chambourd. This cuvée is composed of 40% Mourvèdre, 28% Syrah, 27% Grenache, and 5% Counoise. It is a bit spicy (pot pourri), but not as spicy as the French wine. There is a slate-like minerality that persists through the finish. It is well structured, concentrated to the point of sumptuousness. I wish I had some raspberry chocolates to pair with this delicious wine! For $50-$60 this wine is for special occasions. I give it an A rating and would recommend drinking at from now till 2020.
The first thing I noticed in the 2007 Clos de l'Oratoir is the old world smell. In short, this wine has some Bret. This doesn't hurt the wines intrigue, however; it only enhances the complexity and allure of this mushroomy, earthy Grenache-dominant Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Peppery charcuterie elements emerge on the nose and in the mouth. Herbs and dark berry fruit comingle with lean tannins. It finishes long and spicy and is a great example of why my favorite wines come from the Rhone valley! Definite A rating and a better wine for me than the California version of the Rhone blends. Definitely worth the $34 I spent on it!
With a little traveling, a bit of time, and an infinite amount of curiosity, I will explore the countless flavors life has to offer.