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June 29, 2007

Jewel 2004 Un-Oaked Chardonnay

We haven't really taken a stance on the whole "un-oaked Chardonnay" controversy we've heard about lately, but we enjoyed this guy quite a bit. We'll obviously have to do some more research to fully form our opinion.
The 2004 Chardonnay is produced in 100% Stainless Steel, both fermented and aged. This "un-oaked" approach produces a bright, fruit-forward style wine that is aromatic, clean and refreshing on the palate. The appealing aromas of citrus and tropical fruit lead to generous fruit flavors of green apple, melon and pineapple finishing with well-balanced acidity. This refreshing Chardonnay is at its very best with food.
Jewel 2005 Un-Oaked Chardonnay - White Wine
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June 28, 2007

Bootleg 2003 Grand Tuscan

bootleg-grand-tuscan.jpgWe have to admit, we picked this bottle because we like the graphics on the bottle so much, but sometimes you have to judge a book by its cover. This wine pushes the envelope of our "under $20" mission statement because ours was $19.99, but we were quite happy with our choice, probably because we're such Sangiovese fans.

An appealing marriage of old vine Sangiovese, Merlot and Ancellota. Sangiovese adds broad-faced, generous, marasca cherry while the Merlot is supple and round. The extremely rare, dark, intense Ancellota brings intense earthiness and terroir. Floral and opulent with cashmere tannins, hints of vanilla extract and red fruit reduction on the finish.
Bootleg 2003 Grand Tuscan - Italian Red Wine

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June 27, 2007

Veramonte 2004 Primus

We keep trying to move away from South American wines, but they keep dragging us right back in. Our latest love is the Veramonte Primus from 2004, a very nice dry red - the earlier vintages were very highly rated and we think the '04 matches up well too.

Primus is a racy blend of Carmenere, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon made from the highest quality grapes at the Veramonte Estate. It showcases the rare Carmenere variety, a distinctive grape that has found its home in Chile.

Well structured with mature, ripe fruit that exhibits an evolved complexity with a seamless blending of the three varietals. Velvety, with a medium body and smooth, yet powerful tannins.

Veramonte 2004 Primus - Bordeaux Blends Red Wine

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June 26, 2007

Madonna Wine, Coming Straight Outta...Michigan?

Here's another wine that can be filed under "Not Quite in Our Price Range" (it can probably also be filed under "Family of Celebrity Trying to Cash In," but who're we to judge?) - Madonna has released her own wine. Well, actually, her dad has, and he's making it in the place everyone thinks of when they think wine - Michigan. Anyway, you too can get your hands on some for the low, low price range of $25 to $40 per bottle.

The Material Girl’s father, Tony Ciccone, recently decided to advance his winery business by releasing Madonna Wine, which is available in five varieties: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay.

“Most of our wines are state-bottled wines,” Ciccone said. “We don’t try to make California wines or wines from France. We make wines that are Michigan wines.”

What does Michigan wine taste like anyway? Find out at the Madonna Store [via Battle Creek Enquirer]

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June 21, 2007

Bodega Inurrieta Norte 2003

We haven't tried a lot of Spanish wines, but we're certainly interested in the prospect. Most people think of very specific grapes when they think of Spain (Tempranillo springs to mind) but the folks over at Good Wine Under $20 have discovered a Merlot-Cab blend they like a lot - though you may have some trouble finding it.

This was a rich, smoky wine, with a deep inky crimson color and inviting aromas of spices, flowers, and rich red and black berries. Bodega Inurrieta makes their wine in the Navarra region, which has both warm Mediterranean and cooler Atlantic influences. These different influences help the grapes to develop their full potential without over-ripeness. The flavors of cassis, clove, and cedar were equally rich and inviting and lingered in your mouth, making it a pleasure to drink glass after beautiful glass. And you could do just that because the wine had 13.5% alc/vol despite its rich and flavorful profile. What most impressed me, however, was the wine's superb balance, since the acidity that gave the wine structure was perfectly paired with the fruit and the oak.
Read on at Good Wine Under $20

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June 19, 2007

2005 The Catch Pinot Noir

We're more than a little bit fascinated by celebrity wines, and we were pretty bummed a little bit ago when we missed out on the Red Sox wines that were released for charity. The latest we've heard of is called The Catch, and was released by former San Francisco 49er Dwight Clark. We've never heard of him, but we wouldn't mind checking out his wine after what we've read - it costs almost $100 per bottle which is out of our typical range, but it's for a good cause.

The wine is made of 100% Pinot Noir. The wine is a blend of four different clones from the Russian River vineyards and is aged in French Oak barrels for eight months. The proceeds from the sale of the wine benefit the Harmony Foundation for Children, which provides support and resources to underprivileged children.
via Luxist

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June 18, 2007

Electronic Wine Bottle Vacuum Sealer

The folks over at Coolest Gadgets have gotten their hands on an electronic wine bottle sealer that you just stick on top of the bottle and turn on, and it works it hoodoo. It actually sounds pretty cool, but with the rarity of times we actually have to seal a bottle instead of just finishing it, we'll probably stick to our old manual vacuum pumps.

When you place the pump on your bottle it will automatically seal and tell you when it’s complete. There’s also a thermometer for the wine and some recommendations for what temperature is best for your fine bottle of wine. While it doesn’t look terribly big in the picture, it is. Not obnoxiously big, but bigger than your average wine sealer (or cork.)
via Coolest Gadgets

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June 15, 2007

Bonny Doon Blagueur Syrah 2005

We love it when our readers speak up, so we were very happy when we got this email from David telling us about a Bonny Doon wine we've never had before. It sounds really interesting, and after reading what he had to say about it we figure this wine really lives up to its name (blagueur is french for "trickster").

Try the Bonny Doon Syrah 2005 Blageur (means clown), it’s $5.99 at Trader Joe’s. Do this experiment though: open it, it’s a screw top – a plus – try one glass. Take good notes. Then close it up and try it the next day after some air gets to it. It’s a world different. I note viognier which was totally absent the day before. It might be too young and need another year, but for the price and the way it tastes left over it’s worth twice the price.
Note: The only label image we could find was for the 2004; David goes on to advise that 2005 was when they started using California Syrah instead of French wine...if it ain't 2005 it ain't gonna work like this. Thanks for the tip, David - keep reading and keep sipping.

Learn more about Bonny Doon's wines at BonnyDoonVineyard.com

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June 13, 2007

Red Truck, Pink Truck...

...buy truck, drink truck. It sounds like a Dr. Seuss rhyme, but this is serious stuff - two quality wines (a red and a rose) that both cost around $10 and both have something to do with trucks. We haven't tried the pink, but we bought some of the Red Truck for a friend who happens to have a red pick-up, and were pleasantly surprised, especially for the price and the locale where we bought it (a gas station).


Medium-bodied and complex, flavors of chocolate, berries, cherries and licorice abound. The black pepper finish settles with smooth tannins. You can drink red truck anywhere, anytime (it pairs well with pizza and tomato based dishes). And for you die-hard Cline fans, take it for a spin and floor it baby, metaphorically speaking of course!
Cline 2003 Red Truck - Red Wine

Pink Truck is a classic wine with a very sophisticated twist. This exceptional new blend exhibits berry and citrus aromas and strawberry, raspberry and pomegranate flavors that tantalize the palate. Juicy orange notes make for a delicious, bright finish — a refreshingly complex wine crafted in a balanced off-dry style. A WELL-CRAFTED BLEND OF: Zinfandel, Grenache, Mourvedre
Red Truck Winery 2006 Pink Truck - Rose Rose Wine

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June 12, 2007

The Wine Zodiac: What's Your Sign?

They say your astrological sign can have huge effects on your entire life, so why not your taste in wine? We found an interesting post over at Good Wine Under $20 that touches on how your Libra- or Cancer-ness (or whatever your sign is) can affect your drinking habits. Who knew our indecisiveness in the wine store had something to do with the stars?

Do you read your daily horoscope in the paper or on Google? If so, do you know what your astrological sign might say about your taste in wine?

I was surprised to discover that there are a lot of places on the web that try to link wine to the 12 signs of the zodiac. Here are a few for you to check out in order to beat back the Tuesday doldrums.

Good Wine Under $20 - What's Your Wine Sign?

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June 11, 2007

La Vieille Ferme 2005 Cotes du Ventoux Rose

cotes-du-ventoux-2005.jpg

Here's a wine we actually haven't tried ourselves, but the review we read recently really got our tastebuds going. Matt Kramer at The Oregonian had the following to say about the 2006 varietal of this wine:
That said, this 2006 Cotes du Ventoux rose from the shipper La Vieille Ferme is one of the best roses I've had in quite a while. It's got everything that a really good rose should deliver: genuinely flavorful yet delicate fruitiness allied to refreshing acidity. And it has a nice watermelon-hue tint.

A blend of cinsault (50 percent), grenache (40 percent) and syrah (10 percent), this fruity yet fully dry rose combines the cherry taste of grenache with just a touch of "black fruit" flavor from syrah. It's a terrific rose, attractively packaged (with a desirable screw cap).

Not too shabby, and it's available online at Wine.com for under $10.

La Vieille Ferme 2006 Cotes du Ventoux Rose - Rose Wine

Also, don't forget Wine.com is doing a promotion through June 15 with 1 cent shipping on orders over $99; just enter code NUMBER1 with your order.

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June 8, 2007

Alamos 2006 Malbec

alamos-malbec.jpgThis just in - we're Malbec men, through and through. Typically all sweetness and leather, it reminds us of ourselves and it's our favorite import from South America, at least in the wine family. Alamos has been on our table more often than not lately, and we find ourselves liking it more each time we have it - plus it's in the $10 range.

The 2006 Alamos Malbec presents a deep, opaque violet color with purple hues. The nose is intense and complex, with ripe black fruits, sweet spice and a touch of violets. The mouthfeel is sweet and supple, with black cherry and cassis flavors mingled with spicy black pepper and a touch of leather. The finish is long and persistent with soft, sweet tannins.

Alamos 2006 Malbec - Red Wine

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June 7, 2007

How to Invest in Wine

We don't spend much time thinking about cellaring wine - doesn't really fit in with our mission statement. We guess the collecting might be fun, but it sure ain't cheap and the only real way to have fun with wine is to drink it. That being said, we understand why people get into it, and we found this interesting article on productdose that might make it easier if you decide to give it a shot. Plus, apparently fine wine prices are down a bit lately, according to the article.

Besides being able to drink your vino, there are financial incentives to buying wine. Wine makes sense as an option for diversifying your overall investment portfolio. High grade wines are less volatile as an investment than the stock market. According to Mahesh Kumar, author of Wine Investment for Portfolio Diversification, "There's a strong correlation between the economy and stock prices, whereas with fine wine prices, prices are uncorrelated with stock prices or bond prices. The only thing going to affect wine prices is a global recession - global being the key word there. We haven't experienced that for years. So we haven't seen a huge downturn in fine wine prices."
more at productdose

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June 6, 2007

Banfi 2003 Chianti Classico Riserva

Hey, did you know they make wine in Italy? We keep hearing so much about wines from South America, South Africa, California, we sometimes forget about the places we first associated with wine. Check out some hot Chianti action below.

This Chianti Classico exemplifies a modern approach to making this very traditional wine. It’s a satisfying middleweight with good flavor intensity and well-balanced structure, wrapping classic flavors in a sleek package. It has enticing aromas of tart red cherries, saddle leather and a hint of pungent dried herbs. In the mouth, it delivers bright flavors of dried red cherries against the classic Tuscan background of leather and oriental spice. The finish is long and aromatic, with crisp acidity supporting the lingering flavor of red Michigan pie cherries.

Banfi 2003 Chianti Classico Riserva - Sangiovese Red Wine

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June 5, 2007

Mak 2005 Sauvignon Blanc

mak-sauvignon-blanc.jpg

We've been digging on the Southern Hemisphere lately, and the latest addition to our tasting repertoire is Mak 2005 Sauvignon Blanc. We tend to like the SBs because they're a bit more tart, a bit more citrusy - it's not every wine you can often compare to grapefruit. We didn't get the grapefruit from Mak, but we dug it, and we think you will too.
...shows all that we love about sauvignon blanc---zesty, vivacious aromas of passionfruit and gooseberry lead to a palate brimming with juicy fruit characters and a citrus twist to finish. Mouth watering stuff!
Mak 2005 Sauvignon Blanc - White Wine
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June 4, 2007

2001 Toasted Head Chardonnay

toasted-head-chard.jpgWe've been getting into Toasted Head quite a bit lately, but until recently we hadn't tried their Chardonnay. We're glad we fixed that mistake - we were very much impressed with the quality of the wine and the nice fruity notes. We recommend it highly.

Taste Bright tangerine and pear fruit aromas are highlighted by clove and nutmeg. This medium-bodied wine has a crisp acidity and long finish, with pear and toasty butterscotch oak flavors, and creamy texture.

RH Phillips 2005 Toasted Head Chardonnay - White Wine

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June 1, 2007

CFW Monthly Roundup: May 2007

arty-wine-pour.jpgMay, May, May. 'Twas a good month, what with the weather warming up and our discovering some great new wines. So what did we get up to over the course of May, you ask? All sorts of cool stuff, from celebrity wines (Fess Parker) to discovering some new wines (Mourvedre, Bonarda, Carmenere) to discovering a bunch of wines under $15.

What did we have to say about such things, you ask? Read on after the jump, friends, read on after the jump.

ArrowContinue reading: "CFW Monthly Roundup: May 2007"

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