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November 5, 2007

Lagaria, Pinot Grigio 2004

Year: 2004
ABV: 13%
We Paid: $10
Website

Here’s a list of a few of the things I SHOULD have been doing on Sunday evening:
-Grocery shopping
-Working out
-Cleaning my bathroom
-Ironing work clothes for the week
-Buying a birthday present for my nephew
-Writing a rent check

Lagaria PG.jpgThe list goes on, but here’s what I actually WAS doing: sitting on my couch with my wife and sipping on the Lagaria Pinot Grigio. It’s light and tangy, like any Pinot Grigio, but unlike many there is a bit more complexity that lets it stand up to food, almost any food. In this transition of seasons, this wine goes with the last barbecues of the summer and the first Sunday roasts of the fall. And let’s face it, what do you want when you’ve been procrastinating all day? You want something crisp, cool, and easy to drink, and this wine is perfect.

Can you blame me for shirking my responsibilities to enjoy a lazy autumn night, good company, and a yummy wine? Didn’t think so.

Conor Hanover at Permalink social bookmarking

November 2, 2007

Sticks - 2004 Chardonnay White Wine

Year: 2004
ABV: 13.5%
We Paid: $14
stickschar.jpgThe color is a brilliant light straw with vibrant green hues. The bouquet possesses nectarine, peach and savory oak characters. The palate is clean and dry with tropical fruit flavors and a crisp zesty finish.

"Former Aussie rules footballer-turned-winemaker Rob (Sticks) Dolan, brought the wheel full circle when he (and others) bought, and renamed Sticks, the Yarra Ridge winery where he was once the winemaker. This is a great example of unpretentious Yarra Valley chardonnay style, fruit-driven with nectarine, honeydew and citrus, line and length its foundation."
-James Halliday

At Sticks 2004 Chardonnay - White Wine

Conor Hanover at Permalink social bookmarking

October 31, 2007

Halloween Wine: Casillero del Diablo Cabernet

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon
Year: 2005
We Paid: $10
ABV: 14%
Website

Casillero_Del_Diablo.jpegFrom the Concha y Toro Winery in Chile comes a series of wines featuring a devilish legend. The Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep (dare we say it?), blood red color. Its spicy currant fruit and velvety texture are devilishly seductive. It is a concentrated and elegant wine available for about $10 a bottle. We're pretty sure this wine is from, "the house of the devil." It's perfect for a Halloween wine and the website alone is worth a look.


Concha y Toro 2006 Casillero Del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon - Red Wine at Wine.com

Conor Hanover at Permalink social bookmarking

Delicato Shiraz 2004

Year: 2004
We Paid: $17 (3 liter box . . . almost 4 bottles!)
ABV: 13%
Website

delicato-shiraz-2005.jpgDo we even need to mention that this Shiraz came in a box? What’s the big deal? We’ve covered the wine-box debate before and little has changed. The CFW crew is interested in how the wine tastes, not the packaging. Although four bottles in one box is a great value. The FlexTap pushbutton-style spout is very cool too . . . and a little sexy. This little nipple device is easy to work, even with one hand when you’re trying to get those last few drops.

Delicato puts the same wine in its boxes as its bottles, and their wines have earned accolades both in the U.S. and at international competitions. Notably, Delicato’s entry was named “Best Shiraz of California” awards at the 2001, 2002 and 2003 California State Fair Wine Competitions.

The 2004 Delicato Shiraz lives up to its heritage. A powerful scent of spicy cherries practically bursts from the wine as you pour it. The flavor is a bit more subtle, tasting of blackberry and cherry. Overall, the flavor is balanced and quite smooth. The finish lingers with a fruity spiciness. The start and finish of this wine are so wonderful that they overshadow its pleasant flavor.

It’s little surprise that Delicato’s Shiraz is the best selling brand of that variety in the United States. If they can keep up with demand while maintaining quality, they are likely to hold onto that distinction in the coming years.

Conor Hanover at Permalink social bookmarking

October 9, 2007

San Gervasio Manubles - Vino de Mesa

More often than not, if I’m looking for a safe, food-friendly wine that won’t break my wine budget, I look to Spain—the home of Conquistadores, Generalissimo Franco, Picasso, Pamplona, Flamenco, tapas, Barcelona, and…vino. Spain’s wine industry is showing swagger in the global wine marketplace, sloughing off its sallow and insipid image for white and red wines that has been better suited for a sangria punch than as a single varietal.

But nothing ever stays the same, nowadays, anyone who ignores Spanish wine is either in a state of denial or missing the boat—or both. I tried a simple red vino de mesa. The table wine is a staple in Spain. This Grenache, Tempranillo blend was aged for two years in French oak and shows some of this varietal’s typical characteristics.

It’s fiery and taut to begin with but begins to release its aromas within a few minutes. The nose reveals dark fruit and peppery spices. The dense cherry and plum flavors are laced with rustic and earthy bits, leather, and oak. There are some chewy tannins to deal with but nothing overly harsh and the wine displays balance and a medium length finish. Not as big-bodied as some Ribera del Duero wines but not a lightweight either. Best to drink with robust food. I would drink it again but I might look for another Spanish wine first.

Head Wino at Permalink social bookmarking

October 2, 2007

Trimbach Gewurztraminer 2002 Review

Trimbach, Gewurztraminer 2002 Review

Year: 2002
ABV: 13%
We Paid: $16

Last night I was... no.

This wine reminds me of... no.

Eh... I got nothin'. No stories, no comparisons, no anecdotes. You know what this wine tastes like? Gewurztraminer. It's textbook Gewurztraminer. Medium-bodied, golden yellow in color. Lychee, honeydew, white pepper nose, great acidity and minerality on the finish. Frankly, it's delicious, and I'm not going to hold your hand through this. Trimbach is a well known producer, and they're always good. If you've never tried one before, you must. If you know and love them, pick this one up.

And yes, yes, you can have it with Asian food. It's Gewurztraminer.

Website: Maison Trimbach

Trimbach 2004 Gewurztraminer - White Wine at Wine.com

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September 27, 2007

Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano dAbruzzo Review

cornacchia-montepulciano-dabruzzo.bmpAzienda Agricola Barone Cornacchia
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Year: 2003
ABV: 13%
We Paid: $11

I was deep into a game of Snood the other day when one of the CFW crew walked into my office, stated, “Denique apertos Baccus amat colles,” slammed down an empty bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and left. My friend and co-worker had clearly enjoyed the wine, the entire bottle during lunch, but was unfit to write a review. I left work early and picked up a bottle of what my friend had forcefully and archaically suggested.

Roughly translated, my friend had slurred, “Bacchus loves the open hills.” As far as I’m concerned, whatever Bacchus loves is fine by me. Abruzzo is a region in central Italy on the Adriatic Sea side of the boot and if it’s not mountainous then it’s hilly. Put a ball down on the ground and it’ll roll somewhere. This region is known for the Montepuliciano grape which is a dark red with blackberry fruit flavors and has spicy and peppery qualities.

The 2003 Montepuliciano vintage is excellent, round in character, and delicious. It broadcasts ripe aromas of berries with spices, herbs, and earthiness. This is a rustic red wine with ripe strawberry and blackberry flavors that fills the mouth. This is followed by layers of leather, violets, a dash of peppery, and completes with smooth tannins and a fulfilling finish. The fruit is balanced adroitly with acidity that makes this a no-brainer companion choice for antipasti, pastas, grilled, or roasted meat. It’s the perfect wine to drink during the day, if you are lucky enough to have me as a boss.

Website : http://www.baronecornacchia.it/ (it's in Italian; good luck)

Head Wino at Permalink social bookmarking

September 25, 2007

Vertvs Tempranillo Crianza 2003 Review

Bodegas Iranzo
Vertus Tempranillo Crianza
Year: 2003
ABV: 13.5%
We Paid: $10

History is a favorite topic here at CFW. We’ve argued about everything from Urban II’s motivation in the first Crusade, to the ever-important Mary Ann and Ginger debate*. So, when we saw an affordable Tempranillo from Bodegas Iranzo, we were very excited. This is a family-owned winery who make their wine from the Finca Canada Honda Vineyard, a vineyard that can be traced back to the year 1355. That’s old by the way. The new twist is that Bodegas Iranzo make their wine from organically grown grapes; history and organic farming: heaven.

The Vertus Tempranillo is a Crianza that has been aged for six months in American and French oak.
It’s a bit difficult to get a grip on this Spanish wine. At first taste, I thought to advise making Sangria out of it, but by the end of the glass, I couldn’t even recommend that. There are redeeming qualities though. They would be the wine’s fruity berry aromas with herbs, spices, flowers, and light oak. There’s a round mix of dark berry fruit, licorice, violets with earthy background flavors. Then there are the bits of evocative leather flavors that emerge, conjuring up images of Spanish Dons and Conquistadors. However, the finish is shallow and overall the wine lacks distinction worthy of its ancestry and heritage. Living up to one’s history is essential.

* By the way, the answer to the important question is Mary Ann of course.

Head Wino at Permalink social bookmarking

September 21, 2007

2004 Terrazas Reserva Malbec Review

Terraza de los Andes Reserva Malbec
Year: 2004
ABV: 13.5%
We Paid: $10
Website

You think you’re tough? Need a muscle-bound lug of a red that can ride herd on a Saturday evening barbecue yet drink nice and easy? Try this high Andes Malbec from Terrazas. It’s supple and rich and full-bodied that dances with dark berries and plums together with leathery smoke and chocolate and a hint of tar. There are some sturdy tannins which are not unexpected but the complex wine softens with a lingering smooth velvety finish.

Probably only a perfectly rare porterhouse will be chewier than this Argentinean Malbec. It’s a hearty and pleasing red for the price - we found it for $10, but it's a value anywhere under $20. Find your favorite food that had a face, fire up the grill, and open a bottle of this very satisfying wine.

Terrazas 2005 Reserva Malbec - Red Wine

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July 11, 2007

Vinos Sin-Ley G2 Red Wine Review

vinos-sin-ley-g2.jpg

We're not familiar with Vinos Sin-Ley, but we like their attitude, considering the name means "Wines without law." They have a cool naming scheme for their Garnacha that lets you identify the quality of the wine easily (G1 is the cheapest, right up to G5, the most expensive). The review we found is of the G2; the next thing we hope to find is actual bottles of this wine, especially since Wine Weekly gave it 90 points.
Bright, ripe, open nose of red and black berries, earth, tar, hint of tobacco. In the mouth you get juicy, almost candylike (jolly rancher) wild berry flavors, along with mild earth, a touch of tar and sweet tobacco. Clean, with a polished, smooth texture. Acidity and tannins are mild, making this a better match for lean meats and fish rather than fatty beef and cheesy plates. Enjoyable on its own as well – fine for a cocktail quaffer. This is an enjoyable, easy drinking wine with more complexity than you’d expect from an under-$10 bottle. Great value.
From Wine Weekly
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