wine thread

Posted by: michael_d

wine thread - 05/21/05 12:32 PM

After seeing that so many folks here are into reds as much (if not more) as myself, I figured a wine thread was in order. This way I can keep track of everything here for my next shopping spree.

No fighting over speaker wire please.

Here’s my favorites (so far).

Cab – 99’ Silverado, 13.5 %
00’ Provenance Nappa, 14.4%
Merlot – 00 Provenance Napa, 14.4%
99 Stetzner, Stags Leap Dist 14.3%

This one is more of a blend than anything in particular. It’s a wonderful wine. Marietta, Angeli Cuvee, 15.6%

All of the above are full bodied with lots of berry flavor. Don’t ask me more than that, I’m not a wine taster, I’m a wine DRINKER. You can also still get any one of them for under $30 (US), which is usually as high as I go. There are simply too many dam good wines out there for under $20 to make me feel the need to spend more.

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/21/05 05:10 PM

mdrew,
A wine thread should be placed right next to the beer thread i say.

There are way too many good wines to list, but a favorite red this past year was a 1994 Lindemans Coonawarra Cab Sav.
My wife's fav is a 1996 Robert Mondavi Private Reserve Unfiltered Napa Valley Cab Sav (actually still have one bottle left).

We're venturing more into whites lately with some lovely pinot blancs coming out of Canadian wineries. I recommned the Gray Monk unoaked if you can find it.

Copper is copper, there is only one, but tannins come in the thousands!

Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/21/05 07:49 PM

Do tannins really come in the thousands? That's fascinating!

I thought this thread was going to be something about Barry Larkin or Pete Rose or some such.

I'm cheap, but discovered too recently that I really like Zinfandel. I like the ones I've had from Rancho Zabaco and Ravenswood in California.

Thanks for sharing the knowledge and recommendations.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/21/05 07:52 PM

I had a White Oak Vinyard zinfandel a few years ago with Peter. That stuff is fantastic. However, I haven't been able to find it in stores. As I recall, it was a '97. Could be very wrong.
Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/22/05 07:28 AM

I posted this one in that other thread, but I'll put it here too.
If you are into Zinfandel, look around for Saucelito Canyon.
'03 should be on the shelves now, but all of the last few vintages have been fantastic.
Small winery, 135 year old vines, family owned and run, great zin for under $20.
Easily in the same league as any of the hot shot big name Zin producers for lots less $$$.
And, if you are looking to branch out of Ca. Vino, there are no better values for big spicy reds than what is coming out of Spain these days. Even with the Euro killing the dollar, Spain is blowing the rest of the world off of the table when it comes to bang for the buck.
Trust me on this subject fellas, it has been my business for the last 24 years.
TjB

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/22/05 11:10 AM

I've never been much of a fan for spicy reds. Shiraz/syrah is not my thing although i still have alot potential tasting to do. I'm sure i'll find one that i will enjoy at some point.

Tom, on the subject of tannins. A bit technical but should give enough of an explanation. The chemical structure link also provides pictures of their molecular complexity. Unlike copper in a wire, tannins in a bottle of wine are NOT simple structures.

Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/22/05 01:17 PM

I got the Saucelito on my shopping list. Hopefully I can find it in state. Many of the wineries that mail wine, do not mail it to Alaska. And if they did, the costs would as much as the bottle.

I do like a good sharaz every now and then. Anything in particular from Spain that I should look for?

I tend to stick with Cali reds, but I'm finding quite few nice bottles coming out of Washington nowadays. Oregon too, for that matter.
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/22/05 02:12 PM

Hopefully the recent US Supreme Court decision will have an effect on interstate wine sales. Yahoo news

I try to hold down the per bottle frt cost by ordering full cases. My favorite wineries are Chateau St Michelle in Washington state and Chateau Julien in Carmel CA. I buy wine futures in Jan-Feb and wait for wine shipments. Buying futures usually saves me the cost of shipping. Because KY is one of those no ship states, I have my wine shipped to a pick-up location in S. Illinios.

Despite the bad aftereffects of "sideways", I love a good Merlot. Usually ready to drink when received.

For those of you with Sam' Clubs that sell wine. I have been real impressed with their "better" wine selections and pricing.
Posted by: Rock_Head

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/22/05 02:43 PM

Tom,
If you ever get the opportunity to tour the Ravenswood winery in Sonoma, it is well worth it! My wife and I stayed at a resort in Sonoma on our honeymoon two years ago and visited the winery. While sampling various wines we met the original owner of the winery and he gave us a fabulous bottle (Zinfandel) as a gift. We told him we were on our honeymoon.
Cheers,
Shaun
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/22/05 03:38 PM

Damn, I was going to drink beer today, but this thread got me a hankerin' for some vino.
I confess that I ususally pay little attention to what is written on wine bottles - aside from the price - but I like the Frei Bros Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay 2003 that Vons is always putting on sale. It's oaky and buttery; it's a style of Chardonnay that has apparently fallen out of favor, but WTF, I like it.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/22/05 03:45 PM

Oh yeah, there was really cool column in the Wine Spectator from March where the columnist was invited to a blind tasting dinner where everyone brought a bottle. The guy who brought the wine judged to be worst in blind tasting had to pay for dinner (apparently a hefty sum). Anyways, a $1,300 bottle of Petrus was judged 9th out of 10 wines and some Hungarian red came out on top.
Reminded me of the audio industry and its afficionados.
Link:
http://www.winespectator.com/Wine/Free/Feature_Teaser_Page?page_id=/Wine/Archives/Show_Article/0,,4973,00.html
Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/22/05 10:32 PM

"Anything in particular from Spain that I should look for?"

If you like Syrah then the stuff from Jumilla will most likely suit you. Big, fat, spicy. Most are made from Monastrell (mourvedre if it were from France, and one of the main grapes in the Rhone Valley) but there are also lots of syrah's coming from Jumilla.
Also look around for Garnache (Grenache) from Navarra and Campo de Borja. Two huge faves are Tres Picos from Borsao and El Chapparel from Vega Sindoa.
If you want to spend some big bucks you can look around for something from Priorat. Great wine, but very hot right now, and many have gotten expensive, unlike most of what is coming from Spain.
Enjoy.

Posted by: spiffnme

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 02:30 AM

mmmmmm....wine.

Here are a few favs

Cardinal Zin A great deep, dark Zinfandel.

Luna Pinot Grigio Nice fruity Pinot Grigio. A bit sweet, but not heavy.

BV Rutherford Cab Nice yummy cab that's not too terribly pricey.

Lancaster Estate 2001 Red Very smooth, with a sweetness similar to a port. Very pricy though. I only had a glass because I'm friends with a guy who works at a high-end restraunt, and I paid for the $10 glass and he gave me this, the $22 glass. (yeah, $22 for a GLASS)

Quady Electra Orange Muscat A fine desert wine. Lushishly sweet. I dare you not to like this. But remember it's a DESERT wine.





Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 10:49 AM

This winery was at a local wine festival recently so i had the opportunity to try them.
The Quady Electra was excellent. The Quady Elysium not bad, but not as exciting as the orange muscat version.
Best dessert wine of the night, and by far in a long time, Pilliteri Estates sparkling vidal icewine ($70 for half bottle). Just stunning.
It was like eating those candy pop rocks but with the vidal icewine twist for flavours.
The Quail's Gate Optima Botrytis affected icewine gave it a run for its money.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 11:10 AM

"Lushishly sweet"

I don't know if "lushishly" is a word or not... but it ought to be.
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 11:22 AM

Tried a "Jackson-Trigg - Vidal Icewine" last night ($25 for 1/8 bottle). Lushishly suits very well.
Posted by: WhatFurrer

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 11:31 AM

With all the talk of beer and wine, "lushishly" sounds like it describes you guys as well...j/k

Anyone other than Jack and Ray remember Foster Brooks?

WhatFurrer
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 11:45 AM

Wasn't he on "MatchGame" often?
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 12:07 PM

naw, that was nipsy russell!!

bigjohn
Posted by: chopa2less

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 08:26 PM

Recently, I tried a red wine from the Columbia Valley of Washington that I really enjoyed called House Wine. Cost me only about $11, a very pleasant surprise.

Also I really enjoy a couple of wines from the Languedoc region in France, Chateau Puech-Haut-Cuvée Prestige 2000 and Chateau de Flaugergues 2001.


Posted by: rcvecc

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 09:56 PM

does jonny walker count as a favorite red?
Posted by: Rock_Head

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/23/05 10:28 PM

and his brother blackie....
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 11:18 AM

Does anyone have a favorite house red they tend to drink?
e.g. That particular brand and grape they would buy 6 bottles of to keep for company and every other weekend which is not overly pricey but an all around good buy?

So far the only one that comes to my head that has been a constant for us to bring out is the Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Cabernet Savs. Its price is around $12 Cdn and seems to have the character of a worthwhile wine for a wide array of occasions. Not too pricey but refined enough for its price.
Our 'house' white has been the Lindemans Bin65 Chardonnay (at about $10 a bottle) but in comparison to some other recent whites just $2 more, i'm not sure we are going to stay with this one. It is nice, light but can be a bit young depending on the year that you can find. The bottles at least one year old are fine but anything from the previous year is a bit too bubbly.
We have yet to find a Cdn chardonnay that we like. I've tried the Beringer Stone Cellar chardonnay but compared to the more refined Founders Estate Series, it just isn't worth the price.

Another topic:

Does anyone here own a wine cooler of particular brand name? Danby, Eurocave, Vinotheque?
I would like to hear your thoughts.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 12:06 PM

Wine....cooler.

wine.....cool..er.


wi...

oh yeah, that's what I used to drink when I didn't know any better.

Posted by: bigwill2

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 12:44 PM

I find the BV Century Cellars cabernet pretty decent yet amazingly cheap. Using $1 off coupons and buying when it's discounted, it comes to about $6-7. Keep in mind that my taste in wine may be different than yours. I prefer clean, dry and woody reds to the ripe, jammy ones.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 12:46 PM

My latest “keep around the house for dinner” red is the Marietta, Old Vine Red. http://www.mariettacellars.com/wines/wine_redlot.html

I buy a case of 12, and pay around $8 per bottle that way. It’s a very nice, medium bodied red that goes with everything from spaghetti to creamy chicken dishes. And at that price, it’s hard to beat. Definitely the best red I’ve found under $15. I like all of the Marietta wines actually. The Cuvee is one that I listed above as one of my all time favorites. I’ve also bought a few cases of Hamilton Estate through GeerWade.com. Geer Wade finds small wineries and sells there wines through the internet. I’ve found some real bargains there. Some not so good, and many very good wines.

I have two wine coolers right now. I’m building a cellar, but until it’s done, the wine that I want to keep goes in the coolers. I’ve got a 32 bottle Avanti and a 54 bottle Stainless cooler I stumbled across at Costco for $400. It’s a Vinotemp cooler. The Avanti is a better cooler. I don’t ever hear it, and it maintains temp better. The Vinotemp is a bit noisy and cycles between 55 and 59 deg.

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 12:57 PM

Yes Ken, i guess i should have been a bit more exact in my statement of 'cooler'.
Perhaps wine fridge would have been a better term?
Think big unit.


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 12:59 PM

Thanks BW.
Coupons for wine?
We can get extra AirMiles here, but no coupons.

I also have a preference for more woody reds, not so jammy and young. My wife likes her reds to be dry, me not so much but it does add a certain something to dinners. I'll take a look for BV Century Cellars and see if i can get it locally.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 01:03 PM

OK, that makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Oooh, pretty...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 01:11 PM

Thanks mdrew. I'll take a look for the Marietta locally.
I'm not sure that buying wines via the internet works that well in Canada yet. Different liquor laws. Last i checked, i can't even buy via the internet between provinces and unfortunately, Manitoba is not a huge winery province.

That info on the coolers is much appreciated. A friend of mine was looking at Vinotemps just 2 weeks ago. I've taken more time to look around at other options. So far i'm pretty sold on this Eurocave model until our wine cellar can be put together. Their website states you can get a nice wood addition for the unit which would make it alot nicer IMO.



Posted by: DL30

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/24/05 06:36 PM

Yep, that Marrietta is very good. Consistent quality too year to year. A couple others that are widely available and inexpensive:

Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zin
Bogle Old Vines Zin
Rosemount Shiraz - although I can't remember - either the 2002 or 2003 is not up to usual standards
D'Arendberg Stumpjump Red (Shiraz/Grenache/Movedre blend)
Artesa 2003 Napa Chardonnay

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 11:17 AM

Stumpjump, now there's an excellent wine! We had a couple bottles for Thanksgiving in 2003. Cost Plus / World Market was selling it then.
Posted by: Amie

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 11:33 AM

Hey Chess -

Check out Salmon River pinot gris/ chard for a summer wine - so sprightly on the tongue! And Canadian to boot (to bout, if you're American). It won a blind taste test for a budget white we hosted. (And yes, we're so obsessed with blind tasting that we have been known to blind test cheese at 6 am so we don't make the wrong decision in our lunches! LOL.) I also hadn't had a Lindemans' in years, but somebody brought us their Merlot and it's lovely.

Anyone have any recommendations for a good wine with Moroccan food? Hosting a shin-dig for the ladies this weekend with spicy Moroccan soup, lamb kebabs, couscous, etc.
Posted by: sonicfox

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 12:00 PM

Any of the "reds" shown below would do for me...WELL, when I was in high school, that is!!! I'm sure the American's here will recognize these wines which might bring back some bad memories! My wine of choice was the Mad Dog, but I don't think I would care to even smell it now. Anyway, please continue on with the GOOD wines! I just thought I'd add a little humor.


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 12:03 PM

If you want to try a truly unique sauvignon blanc, one that is anything but simple or boring, i suggest this offering by The Crossing.
It was showcased at the Winnipeg Wine Festival a couple of weeks back. It sells for $20 at the MLC, a bit pricier than most might buy, but the flavours are intense. Limes, passion fruit, fresh cut grass with heavy flint and mineral tones and a slight smokey finish.
Just amazing.
I may never buy another sauv.blanc again unless it is from New Zealand. They offered a premium version, which the MLC does not carry, but it was alot smoother and not as vibrant. Just a beautiful wine.


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 12:04 PM

sonic, that first bottle looks like hot sauce.
Is that what BigJ would call a Texas wine?
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 12:08 PM

A Christom Pinot Noir
Posted by: DL30

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 12:09 PM

Peter,

Stumpjump is good stuff at a good price - I am a big fan of D'Arenberg's wines at all levels. If you like the StumpJump, try their Footbolt Shiraz - it run's about $15 per bottle, and footpressing is still a part of making the wine!

But if you really liked the StumpJump, try D'Arenbergs "Ironstone Pressings", McLaren Vale. It's a similar red blend to the Stumpjump, but it is the Big, BIG Brother.

You can find it for approx. $55/ a bottle, which is expensive - I think it is definitley a special occasion bottle/gift without going into bordeaux and signature california cab price territory. It has the advantage of being softer and fruity (blueberries/blackberries/spice if I recall?) enough to drink young, but it has a firm tannic backbone to cellar for a while. Nice long finish. I highly recommend this wine.

Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 12:36 PM

In reply to:

Is that what BigJ would call a Texas wine



ugh..! NO.. i think sonic is right, that is a high school guzzler. cause no grown person would freely drink any of those rot-gut, 7/11 wines. i dont even think they can be called 'wines'. i had many a bad nights on MD 20/20. dont remember most of it, and dont want to ...

i never had cisco.. but, nighttrain and strawbery hill were on the list. and the girls used to drink this stuff called 'sambuca'. it tasted like black licorice. YUCK!!

a few of the better texas wines are:
BECKER, i had some of their Viognier that was pretty good.
DRY COMEL, there Sauvignon Blanc was awesome with sirloin wrapped stuffed jalapenos.
FALL CREEK, this is easily one of the most popular Texas hill country wines. my wife LOVES it, and she always has a bottle of it in the house.

i am obviously more of a beer drinker, but i can be a whino from time to time. i like to cook with it.

bigjohn
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 02:16 PM

Heading off to BevMo right now to check on those Spanish reds, seabear. Muchos gracias.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 02:52 PM

They only had one: Campo de Borja Borsao 2003. The little card in front of the wine called it a "fruit bomb". We'll see.
Posted by: Rock_Head

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 03:22 PM

bigjohn:
Always remember to never cook with wine that you wouldn't drink....
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 03:39 PM

Very good point. My girlfriend is currently attending a cordon blue culinary school in London. Her instructors told her the exact same thing.

So I just make sure we ain’t drinking anything that would cause pains when pouring it into the pan.

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 05:34 PM

That's just great advice all around and one of the reasons why i've gone looking for 'house' reds and whites. The search involves finding wines that are nicely refined to drink on any general occasion, but are not so pricey that picking up a case comes like a downpayment on a car.
Secondly, to be able to use those same wines for cooking without wincing each time a half cup is poured into a searing pan instead of into the awaiting, watering mouth.

Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 09:51 PM

Tell them they are missing the boat if they are not buying the Borsao "Tres Picos"
More $$$, but not by much, and it is amazing.
A real personal fave.
But, if they are someone that you trust, then ask them to recommend whatever it is that they bought instead of the Tres Picos. Bright, clean fresh, Old Vines Garnache. Tons of white pepper spice, and once it has been open for a while, lots and lots of smoked bacon aromas and flavors. Incredible with spicy pork from the grill.

Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 10:20 PM

"The search involves finding wines that are nicely refined to drink on any general occasion, but are not so pricey that picking up a case comes like a downpayment on a car."

Exactly!
That for me is the ultimate challenge.
ANYONE can make great wine for $40 a bottle.
(Well, now that I read that line, I realize that it is an absolute LIE! There is WAY too much pure CRAP out there for large amounts of $$$s!)
But, to find the really, really good stuff out there for a reasonable amount of our hard earned dollars is the real trick.
After all, We are posting on the Axion Site, Right?
Speakers that sound like they should sell for 3 times the price, and people looking for wines that do the same.
Same idea, different sources of pleasure.

It has been a kick for me to see this Wine Thread take off in the last week, but I have been very, very reticient in posting to it because this is my livelihood and business, and is something that I (finallY!!!) know as much about as some of the other topics that are covered here. I do not want to post any opinions that I might have that might dampen anyone's enthusiasm for something that they like and enjoy!
So, in advance, please excuse me if one of my posts ends up sounding like "That is CRAP!"
And I promise to be a Severe Editor if I see that creeping in.
These worlds have a lot in common. It is all subjective.
I often like to invoke the same sort of feeling about the most important rule about wine that there was about the First rule in Fight Club.
The most important rule about wine is;
If you Like it, You like it! Nothing else matters!
Don't ever let someone try and talk you out of something that you like, and don't ever let someone tell you that you should like something that you do not.
End of rant...
Back downstairs for another glass of St. Innocent Pinot Gris...
Later,
Tom


Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 10:24 PM

"Always remember to never cook with wine that you wouldn't drink.... "

It is staggering to me when someone says "I'm only cooking with it."

Would you put meat in the pan that you would not eat?
It is great advice, and does make a huge difference.
Besides, it is another reason (not like we need any more excuses) to open a decent bottle of wine!

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 11:27 PM

In reply to:

ANYONE can make great wine for $40 a bottle.
(Well, now that I read that line, I realize that it is an absolute LIE! There is WAY too much pure CRAP out there for large amounts of $$$s!)



Oh absolutely.
I tried ZD Wines chardonnay at the wine festival. It was $50 a bottle. I pegged it at $16 before i knew the price.
You gotta be out of your mind. Fifty bucks for that?
In reply to:

It has been a kick for me to see this Wine Thread take off in the last week, but I have been very, very reticient in posting to it because this is my livelihood and business, and is something that I (finallY!!!) know as much about as some of the other topics that are covered here. I do not want to post any opinions that I might have that might dampen anyone's enthusiasm for something that they like and enjoy!



Feh.
Have you seen the beer thread lately? Or for that matter, how many views it has had?
Very popular topics in the booze category. I can't imagine why.
I think if anyone has a more intimate knowledge of any area of expertise, they should share it. For one i would appreciate alot of good wine leads and opinions. There are few around our place who enjoy it as much as myself, my wife and another friend, so short of joining a local wine club we welcome new ideas.
The conversation about the wine coolers gave me some things to consider and some first hand feedback from owners of various brands. VERY helpul indeed.
Now if only we could rename this thread to "Wine thread" just like the more generic "beer thread" to make finding it easier.

And what about these pinot noirs? I've tried some just recently and i'm not sure what to think. Extremely complex flavours. First thought off my head was 'burnt coffee'. I certainly think the hype is just that, a bit too much hype.
I was far more impressed with the New Zealand sauvignon blancs. Now those were truly fascinating. The quality and type of earth makes such a huge difference in the character flavour of the grape.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/25/05 11:35 PM

>>Now if only we could rename this thread to "Wine thread" just like the more generic "beer thread" to make finding it easier.

Amen to that. I almost missed the thread completely. I figured it was about football or communists or something...
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 12:01 AM

Seabear, I was pretty stoked heading into the wine store with your list of Spanish reds - I acted like I had a friend in high places letting me know what's what.
Seriously, my wine buying has always been centered on "deals". And, by the time I get around to drinking it, I have no idea where I got it or for how much. And to top it off, when I like a wine I can never remember it's name and am doomed to never have it again.
You're doing good work here.
edit:
BTW, my wife cracked open one of the bottles I brought home. After dinner I tried it - I liked it. How's this sound as tasting notes:
Sweet, then sour, then sweet again cherry flavors to start, giving way to a woody mid-section, and ending with darl fruit flavors (is that what they call "currants"?).
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 12:02 AM

My lord that sounds familiar. Peter will know what I'm talking about here...
Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 07:48 AM

"You gotta be out of your mind. Fifty bucks for that? "

Yeah, it is so prevalent that it can really depress you if you are in this business and have to go out and try and sell some of it.

"And what about these pinot noirs?"

Oh Man.I have always held that Pinot is the single most difficult varietal to crack into. Bottle for bottle there are more bad Pinots out there than perhaps any other wine. And you can spend more on Bad Pinot that you can on just about anything else out there.
BUT! When you first discover that one wine that opens the door to what Pinot can achieve it is a revelation like no other. Great Pinot will simply make you swoon. I think it is something about how elusive they are that creates all of the insane Pinot Freaks out there. Once you have that magical one, you'll never go back. You have Cab freaks, Zin freaks, Rhone freaks, ect... But eventually they all get bored and move on to something else. But someone who gets hooked on Pinot will crawl across broken glass just on the chance that the next one will be IT.
The other part of the facination is that there is no other red varietal (to me) that exhibits the Terrior of where it was grown more than Pinot. You can go from one side of a hillside to another in Cote de Nuits or Carneros or Willamette and see such a difference that you cannot believe they are the same grape.
And finally (well as finally as I can get right now... the subject of Pinot Noir is endless!) when you do get that great one, you know that it is a labor of love for the winemaker. You cannot make great Pinot Noir by accident.
Winemakers call it "The Heartbreak Grape" and for good reason. There are so many ways that it can go wrong, all along the way it is not funny. So great ones, truly great ones, are few and far between.
A couple very, very good ones that I have had lately are Cameron "Clos Electrique" 2002 from Oregon and Olssen's 2002 from Central Otago New Zealand. The Olssen's is sold out at the winery, but there might be some left in the pipeline. Both are very, very good.
And if you are looking for an inexpensive one (Pinot is the single hardest varietal to do cheaply) the best I have ever had is the Mark West Central Coast. Simple, but varietally correct, and delicious.
Later,
Tom
Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 07:55 AM

"Seriously, my wine buying has always been centered on "deals". And, by the time I get around to drinking it, I have no idea where I got it or for how much. And to top it off, when I like a wine I can never remember it's name and am doomed to never have it again.
You're doing good work here."

Heh, heh... Yeah, Wine sort of has that aspect built into it. 12.5%, 14%, 15.5%

Best advice is to get one of those Geeky Little Books and just write it down. The guys in the wine shop will think you're a complete bore, but it is better than coming home with something that once you open it you realize that you had it 4 months ago and thought it was terrible!
Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 08:01 AM

"How's this sound as tasting notes:
Sweet, then sour, then sweet again cherry flavors to start, giving way to a woody mid-section, and ending with darl fruit flavors (is that what they call "currants"?)."

Sounds pretty good to me!
And yeah, I'd say that sounds like currants.
TjB

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 10:49 AM

You know what sometimes helps BW?
A wine aroma wheel.
If you are just getting started in defining some common flavours, i recommend you print this off and have a look next time you are tasting. You can find some other notes on it here.


Posted by: bigwill2

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 11:09 AM

Very cool, chesseroo, thank you. I'll print that out when I get home.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 11:25 AM

Unfortunately the wine wheel stops short of many other possibilities.
That New Zealand Sauv.blanc we recently tried is a good example. It has an earthy, flint-mineral flavour to it, however under the earthy column, there is nothing in regards to soil-like characters. The wine also had some lime tones and again, a fruit missing from the wheel.
But it is at least a good starting point and has most of the common flavours listed.
On the plus side, it also provides some very negative characters to describe a wine. Often you can drink a wine, not like it and not be able to describe why (or even bother). Now you can try to pinpoint the flavour that it may have that you don't like and try to avoid buying any wines that might have such a tasting note listed on the backside of a bottle.

Posted by: bigjohn

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 11:32 AM

the closer i look at it, i see that this wheel can also be used to decifer flavors in beer. i often find many of the same taste elements in beer that are on this chart.

of course, with beer, you also have the aspect of color and clarity, as well as head and carbonation. but, this chart would still be extremely helpful.

good post..

bigjohn
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 11:37 AM

My wife and I drink our share of sauvignon blancs, too. I just nabbed a few bottles of a Jos Phelps sauvignon blanc on clearance. Interesting wine - tastes just like red apples.
My local wine country (Temecula, CA) makes sauvignon blancs that are typically flinty, mineral, bright fruit, and high acidity. Much different than that Jos Phelps wine.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 11:45 AM

Mmm, diesel yoghurt wine... Me favrito!
Posted by: AshBoomstick

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 12:17 PM

i prefer the ones that are a bit sweaty, moldy, and with a hint of skunk.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 01:04 PM

OK, I'll try to edit the title.

But I don't like white wines!! Can I keep it as "Red wine thread"???
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 04:17 PM

How bout just Wine Thread? The people who prefer whites are few and far between anyway.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 05:05 PM

Hey, you got one of them wheels for speaker descriptions?
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 05:49 PM

You don't like whites at all?! What if you're having chicken or ham or spicy ethnic foods? And you don't like cold rieslings or cold gewurz on a hot afternoon? Missing out on some good stuff.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 06:57 PM

Yeah. A nice cold Gewürztraminer is perfect with Thai food.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 09:08 PM

Speaking of white wine with Thai food, we don't have a Gewurtzraminer, but we could have the Peju Sauvignon Blanc tonight, Peter.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 10:43 PM

Mmmm. Zingy, grapefruity, with a subtly carbonated mouthfeel. Shoulda been chilled longer, though.

My tolerance has fallen to "cheap drunk". I've got a pleasant buzz going after only two mediumish glasses of white wine. Wheeeee!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/26/05 11:20 PM

Not really, but that doesn't mean I wont drink them. I just don't prefer kool-aid. If I want something cool and sweat, I just mix up a martini. Hmmmm ..... a martini thread.... I love to mix drinks.

I like Kim Crawford's (New Zealand)Chardonnay. Come to think of it, I really like their Merlot too. And I usually don't drink Merlot.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/27/05 12:02 AM

Hmm... I reckon I'm just easy to please. I like most everything - as long as its good.
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/27/05 12:18 AM

Varietals are the spice of life!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/30/05 03:58 AM

If any of you have any 98 Silverado Sangiovese in your cellars, now’s time to open them. I just opened one tonight at a little dinner party (fresh oysters, king crab and rib eye’s), and it was great. One of my buddy’s Girlfriends likes Merlots, so I figured I’d let her try something light, like the Sanviovese, and to my surprise, it was wonderful. I didn’t think 98 was a very good Napa year?

Another excellent bottle we opened was a Cline…. Ancient Vines Zin…2003. Full of berry flavors and full bodied, just the way I like them. With Zins, I either really like them, or hate them. I have not found any mediocre Zins. They’re either great or they suck. This one is great. I’m going to buy a couple cases tomorrow. It goes for about $15 (US) per bottle.

Posted by: warfer21

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/30/05 09:03 PM

I just opened one tonight at a little dinner party (fresh oysters, king crab and rib eye’s)



Now that sounds like a helluva good time!!

cheers
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/31/05 04:50 AM

If you like their ancient vine zin, you should try Cline's Ancient Vine Mourverdre. I think it's their best wine, and it's only $18.

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 05/31/05 10:56 AM

We had a Penfolds Robert Hyland CavSav last weekend. At $19 a bottle it was one of the least enjoyable expenditures i've ever had.
The wine itself showed promising character, but it was so harsh on the palate, it was hard to drink, even with food. A look at the tasting notes and spec sheet shows why. At 14.5% alcohol and a pH of 3.55...

Maybe if this wine could mellow with some cellaring, but still, that is a pretty high alcohol content which really takes away alot of smoothness. A single glass gave my wife a headache. Usually she is good for the first two or three.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/04/05 01:57 PM

While at the warehouse yesterday, they had a sale going on a bottle of 2000 SIMI, Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (reserve). I haven’t had this one before, but I’ve had other SIMI wines and thought they were pretty good.

Normal price for this bottle was $78, on sale for $32. So I bought a case of 12. Hope it was worth it………..if not, I’ll be handing out wine for birthday gifts.

Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/04/05 02:02 PM

I’ve had that bottle several times. It’s a ‘dandy’ in my book. If you like the higher Alcohol content wines, take a look at Stetzner. They usually have some kick.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/04/05 02:26 PM

That is one thing i'm not keen on, higher alcohol content.
I've had some nicely refined whites before that were quite smooth and very tasty and yet i was surprised to see they had a 14% alcohol content. There are certainly some wines, when properly done, that can have the higher content w/o affecting its overal enjoyability. We just didn't find that Penfolds to be one of them.

If you don't like that Simi, you are welcome to send us a bottle or two for personal inspection.
Posted by: DL30

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/05/05 01:03 PM

mdrew,

Had a bottle of Silverado Sangiovese 2001 at dinner last night - lots of tannin hiding the fruit. I imagine it would be a much better bottle with a little more age.

Also had a 2003 Seghesio Zin (sonoma county) - good stuff!

Anyone have any good Petit Syrah suggestions?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/05/05 03:03 PM

Ya, it needs a couple more years. I had the 2001 and 2002, both were disapointing. That 98 was frigging excellent though.....

If you like Silverado, you can get their 94' cab on line for about $40. It's amazing. Probably my all time favorite cab. Better than their 99, and that one ranked 23 in the Wine Spectator top 100 wines a couple years back.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/06/05 05:25 PM

Anyone have thoughts on a grape type to select while having dinner with a cream cheese stuffed portabello mushroom frittata?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 06/06/05 05:33 PM

Norton. Definitely Norton. Good luck finding it, though.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/06/05 06:34 PM

Wow, a real challenge.
You've perked my interest peter.
Please, stop at that though.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 12:44 AM

I never even thought to post this until this moment, but we're having some company over this weekend for a wine tasting party.
The theme happens to be chardonnay.
I don't have a list of the other bottles yet, but my choices (only need 2) for trial are:
2001 Peller Estates Signature Series Sur Lie
2001 Beringer Founders Estate
2002 Toasted Head

I have one more Californian downstairs with a French label, but i don't recall the name at the moment.
Someone did say something about bringing an $80 French chardonnay that the wine vendor gave him a deal on for something like $45. I'm beginning to wonder.

Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 01:05 AM

I’m not a big white drinker, but I do like that Toasted Head. I also like Boggle(sp), and the Kim Crawford unoaked chardonnay. I think the Crawford is my favorite white wine. Not too sweat, or too dry or too boring. Just right. A good friend of mine who happens to be a wine freak fell in love it.

http://www.kimcrawfordwines.co.nz/intro.htm

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 03:01 AM

chess, I hope you're doin a blind tasting. Seriously! Number some paper bags, pop those corks, and get those bottles into them (with you eyes closed). Brands/labels can affect your taste buds just as they can your ears.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 10:32 AM

Indeed we are doing a blind testing Peter.
My wife sets up the bottles labelled A through D. The lads sit in the basement and await the letter labelled glasses.
The last time we did this it worked out well except for a slight mixup. We had two ppl handing us glasses and one of them got the left and right bottles confused (picked up a glass in left hand but put it into our right hand and hence ONE of us thought it was the left bottle vs the right bottle....). So needless to say, when we tried to describe the wines and none of our character thoughts matched we questioned the servers as to how they handed us the glasses. Of course at that point, we had to start the tasting all over again. Keep in mind that this particular night involved two tastings with the first being white wines (2 bottles) and the second tasting being 2 reds. Also keep in mind that we don't usually spit during our tastings, but knowing that tipsyness can be a factor, we limit ourselves to 4 selections for tasting in any one evening.
Well as you could guess, by the time we figured out the glasses were mistakenly switched for one of us, we had to redo the red tasting and by the time we were done, the tasting notes were starting to look alot like the 1st year chemistry notes in that 8am class where i kept falling asleep.
We did eventually get it sorted out but by the time we were done, the reds only had about a half bottle left in each of them.
{sigh}
The hardships of life, i know.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 11:38 AM

Another fun variation to a wine tasting at home is to do it out at a restaurant. The person who brings the wine that receives the lowest score pays for dinner.
Posted by: Amie

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 05:31 PM

We're only allowed to bring our own wine in restaurants in National Parks . . . something about the liquor licensing act? BTW, Ontario (the province we're in) has state-controlled liquor, and that makes us the world's largest buying power for international wines, apparently.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 09:31 PM

The MLC (Manitoba Liquor Commission) also controls liquor in this province. They do have access to a wide selection of wines, but they never seem to have a wide selection. Every MLC in town has its own individual that places orders so you can find some product variation in each store, but they mostly carry the same old stuff. Asking for a custom order is rarely successful.
Unlike Ontario, private wine stores are allowed in Manitoba, however they can ONLY buy items approved by the MLC. On the plus side, you could get these wines at both stores, but as i said, the MLC rarely has a ton out of the ordinary whereas the private shops go out of their way to find the different selections allowed under the MLC umbrella.
It is a weird arrangement to say the least.
At least i know that the private wine stores cannot sell their products at a value greater than what is sold at the MLC. You can never overpay unless it is the gov't setting the price!


Posted by: DL30

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 09:43 PM

I am not sure of the state by state laws here in the U.S., but in Illinois (Chicago) there are many restaurants you can go to that charge a corkage fee if you bring your own wine. It can run from a few dollars up to $50.

There are also many restaurants here that are B.Y.O.B. which is a great alternative and generally leads to cheaper dining since you supply your own alchohol. It's definitely fun and you don't have to worry over selecting from a wine list that you may not know much about!

Posted by: BrenR

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 10:17 PM

And private wine stores are the subject of a Labour boycott here. MLC stores are staffed by MGEU unionized employees, private wine stores are not.

Bren R.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/07/05 10:42 PM

The local laws on bringing one's own wine and getting charged a corkage fee are in review if i recall correctly. They already do this in Alberta, but damn, if the corkage fees aren't enough to make you want to choke.
I think i would rather stick with picking an unfamiliar wine, although it is rare that the dining out experience has a wine list completely devoid of a single familiar name.
Even the local Montana's, Boston Pizza and Earls type places have recognizable wines. I've seen Robert Mondavi Woodbridge and Wolf Blass in some of the oddest places i never would have expected.

Posted by: DL30

Re: wine thread - 06/08/05 11:27 AM

Chess,

I agree that corkage fees usually prohibit/discourage bringing your own wine. I guess I forgot to mention about the B.Y.O.B. restaurants - NO corkage fee! I don't know how it exactly works, but it is easier for restaurants to obtain a BYO license than a full liquor license here. The restaurants vary from Steakhouses to Thai, Mexican to Indian, so there is an opportunity to try a lot of different combinations of wines and cuisines!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/10/05 04:00 PM

24 hours to the wine tasting.
Less than 24 hours to the speaker auditions.

Tomorrow is a busy day.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 06/10/05 04:12 PM

My wife just told me she wants to bail on the barbecue / wine tasting party we were going to attend in Napa tomorrow. One of her co-workers owns a very nice home in Napa that's close to some great wineries. I was looking forward to it, but her reason for not wanting to go -- schmoozing with co-workers vs. spending time with Steven and me -- is a good one.
Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/11/05 08:16 AM

"Anyone have any good Petit Syrah suggestions"

Vinum. Best I have had for the $$$.
As good as the ones that sell in the $20s, and way better than the cheap ones.
Right now they are between vintages, but in a few weeks start looking around for the '03.
Good stuff, and the fellows that make it have a great sense of humor.
And if you happen to like really good, really dry Chenin Blanc, try theirs. It is one of the best from Ca.
(And the picture of them on the front lable, holding up a sign saying "Will Work For Chenin" is a hoot!)
TjB

Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/11/05 12:13 PM

Last weekend, I took my list of wines that are on this string to the warehouse where I usually go. Nothing…..they didn’t carry any of them. I was pretty amazed seeing how this store has an enormous wine selection. But what I was told was that there are only five distributors that bring wine into Alaska, and this store uses all of them. The manager was telling me that there are literally hundreds of wineries throughout Napa / Sonoma and that I could spend a few weeks just going from winery to winery. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do, and have just not done.

So, I’m planning a trip to Napa this fall. A few friends and I are going to fly into Frisco and hire a limo for five days to take us from winery to winery. This way, there’s no driving while drinking…..and there’s gunna be some drinking. And the cost really isn’t all that bad split six ways.

What are the “must see” wineries? Should we stick to Napa, or include other areas? The five days includes travel time between Frisco and wherever we end up going, and I haven’t a clue how far away from Napa it is. Those of you that have done this have any suggestions?

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/11/05 01:32 PM

I would definitely include Sonoma in your trip. It's a little more relaxed and many of the wineries won't charge you for a tasting.

My favorite area to taste in is the Russian River / Dry Creek / Alexander Valley region, with the town of Healdsburg smack in the middle.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/12/05 02:21 AM

mdrew, i came across a site recently that had ppl rating some wineries for their perspectives on tours and other things.
I found it very helpful.
The link can be found here.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/12/05 03:07 AM

The chardonnay taste off came to a conclusion this evening.
First conclusion, price means nothing.
Second conclusion, individual tastes differ, but overall quality still seems to rank pretty equally in blind tasting with several individuals involved.

More info tomorrow on the 5 wines tasted.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/12/05 12:01 PM

The last blind testing I had at my house had similar results. We had ten bottles, all reds from $7.50 a bottle, to $40 a bottle. I even included one of my favorites, and I scored it a five out of the ten. There were six of us, and the unanimous winner was a $12 bottle of Meridian – Cab.

Thanks for the links fellas.

Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/12/05 12:59 PM

"Should we stick to Napa, or include other areas?"

Well, Napa certainly has PLENTY of great Wineries to visit, but if you are looking for fun, and to cut loose a bit, I would concentrate on Sonoma and a couple of other areas.
Napa has gotten to the point where many people take themselves just a bit too seriously.
The guys in Sonoma are a Hoot. WAY Looser.
Some cool places down n Carneros as well. MacRostie is great.
Actually, in Napa, just at the edge of Carneros is one of my all time favorite producers, George Hendry. Amazing wines, great fellow. By appointment only.
Straddling the crest between Napa and Sonoma (they actually have two tasting rooms on top of the mountain, one in Napa & one in Sonoma, connected by a walkway - something about local regs!)is Pride Mountain. I've had no contact with these guys in several years, but everyone I have sent there has had a great time.
I'll mine my addled brain and come up with some others that are fun...
TjB

Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/12/05 10:30 PM

It's beggining to sound as if I should take ten days vrs 5......

I better get a lone.
Posted by: DL30

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/20/05 10:55 AM

Chess,

Where are the Chard notes?

Also - tried an inexpensive New Zealand Sav. Blanc - Monkey Bay was the name. It was tasty, lots of citrus, with some mineral notes. It was $8.99 at Whole Foods, so probably can find it for a few dollars cheaper at any sanely priced grocery store/shop. Worth it.

I know this is a Red thread, and trust me I am not much of a white wine drinker, but I must investigate more New Zealand whites!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/20/05 02:19 PM

Try that Kim Crawford Chard then.
Posted by: Seabear

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/20/05 08:54 PM

"It was $8.99 at Whole Foods, so probably can find it for a few dollars cheaper at any sanely priced grocery store/shop. Worth it."

Doubtful you will find it elsewhere... it is a Whole Foods Exclusive. They run quite a bit of that kind of stuff...

And yes, it is pretty damn decent stuff for the $$$.

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/21/05 12:43 AM

I never did finish the thread on the wine tasting dinner. A total of 7 bottles opened, 5 tasted, 2 just for fun including one 1997 Sumac Ridge Pinot Blanc icewine.
More later.
I need sleep.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 06/21/05 12:50 AM

DL, the chard notes are coming.
Needless to say, price did NOT dictate best wine!

As for savblancs, the NZ offerings are FANTASTIC!!
So full of character compared to anything else i've tried with this grape. A winery to watch is The Crossing. They have a Marlborough and a Reserve savblanc that are just incredible. Fresh cut grass, wet stone and flint notes, lime character, just bam, alive with flavour. I also tried an Oyster Bay at lunch the other day. Very nice and a bit cheaper than The Crossing wines.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/24/05 02:34 PM

The notes on the chardonnay wine tasting (4 participants) from bottom to best:

8.20
Cuvaison Napa Valley US-Calif. Chardonnay 2000
14% alc $35
small, heavy oak astringent bouquet, toasted oak, pineapple and lemon flavours, sharp off the tongue, acidic, not smooth

8.35
Meursault
Chartron et Trebuchet (Burgundy) France Chardonnay 1999
13% alc $75
oak and dill bouquet with off nose smell, slightly acicidc, semidry, dill flavours, slightly bitter toasted nut finish (great with apricot infused cheese)

8.80
Toasted Head US-Calif. Chardonnay 2003
14.5% alc $28
apricot, vanilla bouquet, touch of spiceyness, tropical fruit, sweet buttery oak notes,med body, soft finish

9.30
Beringer Founders Estate US-Cal. Chardonnay 2002
13.9% alc $22
tropical fruit, floral mango notes, smooth, robust, semi-buttery with oak tones, soft finish

9.50
Peller Estates Andrew Peller Signature Series Canada-Ont. Chardonnay 2001
13.5% alc $28
small butter, vanilla bouquet, light toasty oak, fruit and honey tones with amazingly smooth texture and finish, brilliant wine!!

Of course the invidividual participants did corroborate while tasting but we did not all agree and the tasting was done blind. No one knew which wine we had except for the person who did the pouring in another room.
Although the Peller Estates came out on top by a HUGE margin, the Beringer and Toasted Head were consistently ranked #2 and #3 but in mixed order, and evenly (2 ppl vs 2 ppl on the order).
The most expensive bottle, the Meursault came in a dismal 4th while the second most expensive bottle came in last. Personal preference will determine the rankings but of the 4 ppl we had on hand, the quality and character of the chardonnays were ranked quite consistently the same.

Overall the evening was just fantastic.The blind tasting was a real challenge to see if one could figure out which wine was the one they brought. NONE of us got any of the wines matched right.
All of these wines except for the Peller Estates can be found in most liquor stores. The Peller Signature series MIGHT be carried in the fine wine sections across Canada, otherwise it needs to be ordered or bought directly from their website store.
All prices listed were in Cdn $.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/24/05 03:45 PM

...but they only ship within Ontario.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/24/05 04:31 PM

I never said finding it would be easy.
Three of us just ordered a case and we had it shipped to one of the parent's homes in northwestern Ontario. Since we are heading there for the July long weekend, we can pick it up, but otherwise we would not have been able to get it in Manitoba either.
If you have a local wine shop that you normally go to, i recommend talking to the person who does the ordering to see if they can get a case in stock. There are only a couple tens of barrels made though so the number of bottles are limited to about 20,000 if i recall. I had two, we drank one, and now ordered 12 more. They are at least down to 19,986.

Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/25/05 02:38 PM

How do you tasters come up with those flavor and smell descriptors? What’s oak taste like by the way?

That’s one thing that has always baffled me. I either like it, or I don’t. It’s either heavy or light, or dry or not. Spicy, I get that too. Fruity, I get that as well. But the rest??

Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/25/05 03:32 PM

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/25/05 07:08 PM

Hey, are you chewing gum?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/25/05 08:48 PM

Ummmm... ya lost me with that one. It was a serious question, take it easy on a redneck would ya? I’m still learning about wine. I at least spit my Copenhagen out now before drinking a bottle, or two.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/25/05 08:58 PM

Oh, I wasn't implying anything about you... I was actually agreeing, in a roundabout way! It would probably have made a little more sense spoken.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/26/05 12:33 AM

Sorry mdrew.
It was a quote from the movie "Sideways' that sparked not only a huge interest in wine tasting but especially the pinot noir grape. The boys were sipping wine and discussing flavours and the newbie wine fellow said...

You can get the idea of the smell of oak from wine barrels if you get the chance to visit a winery. I've never really come across the smell except from that source although i suppose if you had a good fresh chunk of American or French oak you could give it a quick burn, soak it awhile then sniff but i imagine it still might not be exactly the same. They usually roast the barrels before wine is dumped in so the 'toasted' smell comes from slightly burned wood. It tends to add a nutty flavour depending on how/what wine was put in along with the character of the oak wood.
If you have the chance, try to find two wines from a very similar region (or from the same winery if possible) where one is oaked and another not oaked. Chardonnays are done both ways but oak barrels are used in ageing the wine for virtually every common grape to varying extents.
Once you try some oaky chardonnays and then try a non-oaked version, you should get a pretty good idea as to how the oak adds to the flavour. It is pretty distinct and a relatively robust scent.

If i recall, there are scent kits out there which sell something like 40 common scents and flavours in wine to help out the beginning taster.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/26/05 01:51 AM

Ah... you do the chewing thing while tasting, right?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/26/05 11:14 AM

Well how else could i have detected that fine minty flavour and the smooth chewy texture?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/26/05 01:13 PM

A friend of mine has one of those kits you mention Chess. I don't think I want to take that step - at least not yet. I don’t want to be trying to figure out “what” a wine tastes like when I’m drinking it. I just want to “like it”, or not. I’ve had some pretty knowledgeable folks over for get togethers and I watch the way they drink wine. They don’t just drink it and enjoy it, they study it. I don’t want to end up like that, at least not yet.

As far as the oak, I’ve built numerous pieces of furniture out of oak. And the sawdust tastes like crap. I get the smell though……the smell is nice. Not nearly as nice as cherry, but nice. I’ll try picking out a couple different chardonnays to see if I can taste/smell the oak differences.

I saw sideways on the plane coming back from London a few months ago. I should rent it and watch it again. I liked what I could see on that itty bitty little screen.

And I was serious, I am a redneck, and I do chew Copenhagen. Even got big tires on my truck and never leave home without a roll of duct tape

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/26/05 02:15 PM

mdrew, i found that trying to figure out the flavours in wine has helped me define what wines i like better, rather than just random sampling.
Much like audio, certain characters of speakers work for some and not others. I'm not big on spicy foods and as such, i've never really liked Shiraz as a wine. One of its defining characters is a spicyness or peppery flavor and i've always found it sharp.
Once i started to 'study' the wine in a bit more depth, i came to realize that is probably why i don't like shiraz. The other flavour i despise is plum and believe me, there are a TON of red wines with plum notes.

As for the redneck thing, i think most ppl i met in the Yukon had big trucks with big tires and ducktape. I don't think it made them rednecks. However there was an oil crew i met from northern Alberta once....
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 06/30/05 12:02 AM

You may have just changed my perspective on this subject with some excellent points that I had not considered before.

Dammit....Now I have to think....and I just hate that.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/01/05 12:59 AM

I just returned from a wine tasting/buying tour in Temecula, Calif. I bought about 3.5 mixed cases. What surprised me most was the dessert wines. I've always dismissed these, but I found some real winners. Beautiful stuff.
Highlights:
Van Roekel's Gewurztramminer, which won the gold at the Calif State Fair apparently. Beautiful, soft and fruity. No acidic bite at all. Worth every penny.
Maurice Carrie's Summers End dessert wine. Steep, but it has great depth. Raunchy nose turned my wife off.
Mount Palomar's Riesling. It was from our first stop - I forget how it tasted, but I know it was good.
Hart's Silverstone Merlot (Silverlake?). So much wood in the nose I'm afraid it may be unbalanced, but I really liked it. $32 a bottle was a little steep, so I got only one. Their $32 Cab Franc was also very, very excellent - I can't remember if I got one of those or not (last stop ).
All the wineries seemed to have excellent Sangiovese and Fume Blanc/Sauvignon Blancs. Brought back a lot of both.
Great fun, good wines, friendly folks, and the classy Pechanga Indian hotel/casino is just 5 miles away. Two thumbs up.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/01/05 11:55 AM

Thanks for the tips, bigwill.

Anybody else notice the synchronicity between the advent of the Wine Thread and the new forum names (connoisseur)?

I like a (not-too-expensive) late harvest Reisling drizzled over peaches and ice cream as a dessert.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/01/05 12:46 PM

Gewurztraminer is a dessert wine? I find it goes excellently with spicy asian food, especially Thai. Mmmmmm.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/01/05 02:47 PM

Speaking of gewurz, it is 25C out and finally sunny today.
Wine on the patio deck anyone?

Vive le Canada!
Posted by: BigWill

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/01/05 04:19 PM

No, gewurz is a summer sipper, eh?. I only mentioned the dessert wines because I was surprised to find that I like them. I don't like port or sherry so I expected to not like these either.
The wines I listed were just some that I liked, dessert wines or not. BTW, the Pechanga rooms are around $100/night but are WAY nicer than anything else in the LA area for that price (at least from what I've seen). The whole place is nicely done (except the smallish pool).
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/01/05 04:51 PM

You don't like Port?!?!

I'll bet you could learn with enough practice on the right subjects.
Posted by: BigWill

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/02/05 04:10 PM

chess, what's 25*C in American? I was out at the river a week or two ago - it was 113*F and raining. Yuk.
Tom, I've only tried a small handful of ports and sherries. A couple were in friends' kitchens during high school, so I'm sure they were low grade. If I remember right, the flavors are of dried fruit, like figs and prunes, right? Not my cup o' tea.
Here's the local guys' website if you're interested:

http://www.temeculawines.org/
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/03/05 11:06 AM

25C in Farenheit would be 77F.
No where near 113.

You can find a good metric-imperial calculator here for bookmarking. I've used it for years.

If you are thinking of retrying a port, i suggest a nice tawny or ruby Fonseca to start. The 10 year is a minimum for me. Anything younger is often harsh.
Posted by: DL30

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/04/05 12:04 PM

Wife's 30th Birthday party last night - had House of Nobilo Sav. Blanc for the white. Crisp, refreshing, citrus and tropical fruit notes. Nice bottle for $8.99. Great to sip on the roof deck all night long. Maybe that's why my head hurts so badly today....
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/31/05 01:09 PM

I tried my first ‘good’ Pinot last night. I think I might just be hooked now. It had all the flavor of a robust Cab, but lighter on the tongue. I don’t really know how to describe it, but it just seamed to be a dam tasty, and very complex wine (lots of subtle flavors that didn’t just slap the taste buds like a Cab, but I could tell they were there). The last time I tried a Pinot, I thought it was horrible and I haven’t tried one since then. I was expecting the same, but was pleasantly surprised.

Oh, it was a 2001 Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir from Waipara Canterburry, New Zealand. A friend of mine brought it over who spends a couple months every year there visiting family.

Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 07/31/05 02:36 PM

I haven't had much Pinot recently. The last one I tried tasted of bacon and smoke! Prices are pretty high, too. The Wine Spectator seems to really like a lot of the Oregon pinots. Again, $$$$$.

FWIW, a few pages back I mentioned that the Frei Bros chardonnay was a buttery/oaky style. Not the current Russian River vintage in the supers. They pulled a fast one on me - clearancing the old bottles (beautiful stuff) and bringing in massive quantities of the new stuff (decent, but unremarkable). Sorry.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/04/05 02:42 PM

Had a bottle the other day that was sooooooo good, I thought I'd share. Plus, it's time to drink it. It was a 95' William Hill Cab reserve. I can't even begin to describe it with any justice. Very smooth with not even a hint of tannins. Medium to heavy body, starting to turn slightly brown, perfect..... If you have this in your seller, better drink it this year. I think its time is here.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/04/05 03:45 PM

My recent tasting fav, 2002 Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley CabSav.
It was a Keg evening, but a pretty good bottle. Will try again once the cellar is complete.
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/04/05 04:06 PM

In reply to:

Oregon pinots. Again, $$$$$.




Chistom Vinyards Pinot Noirs. Excellent!
Posted by: lkv_11

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/04/05 04:49 PM

I kinda feel that wine tasting is like auditioning speakers. People have different opinions of what is good, it's all subjective. Also the higher priced wines are not always the best.

Anyways, I have always like Shiraz from Australia. They are a good value. My favorite label so far is Yalumba. Full body, smooth, goes well with pasta!
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/04/05 06:59 PM

Awesome! I probably would have been put off by a brownish tinge in my wine - certainly in whites.

As part of my weight-loss plan I switched from beer to wine. I also joined wine clubs at 3 Temecula wineries this year.

This small winery is awesome:

http://www.thehartfamilywinery.com/wines.html

their big zin (16.2%) is monstrously good (scroll down to bottom of page):

http://www.criticschallenge.com/2005_F-J.html

I'll also personally vouch for their viognier, the Stonelake merlot, and the cab franc. If you buy 'em and don't like 'em, craigsub will give you a full refund.
Posted by: bugbitten

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/04/05 11:11 PM

link1

link2
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 01:08 AM

Oh man, nice to see this thread pop up again. Thanksgiving weekend was a HUGE winefest for Peter and I (and family and friends). We rented a nice riverfront vacation home in the Russian River Valley and had a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast followed by 2 days of wine tasting.

Just as a brief teaser - here was the wine selection for Thanksgiving dinner - BEFORE we did any wine tasting!


A brief list of the wineries we hit in the 2 days
Mill Creek - good stuff, nothing outstanding though
J. Rochioli - rumor had it they had an amazing Pinot, pity they were only tasting chardonnay that morning
Hop Kiln - Nice fruity, if a little simple, reds
Porter Creek - tops in my book - they did everything well, but had an absolutely amazing Pinot!
Gary Farrell - Great big complex reds
Martinelli - A sentimental favorite
Rodney Strong - Huuuuuuge complex, but the wines were very nice and their port is amazing!
La Crema - A surprise favorite - amazing Chardonnay and nice pinots
Selby - We went for the port - Peter took a case.
Everett Ridge - A nice end - and with a 30% discount for a case, we made away like thieves!

I came away with 11 bottles of wine and 4 bottles of port. I'd estimate that altogether we probably bought close to 9 cases of wine (there were 12 adults in the group).
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 01:18 AM

Thanks for the list - that Gary Farrell sounds up my alley. Any specific recommendations?

Seems like the port and sherry always gets bought late in the day, huh? Maybe when you're good and toasty?
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 01:30 AM

Actually, Peter made it quite clear that we had to find a good port on our second (and last) day of wine tasting. I think he's not too optimistic about the quality or quantity of port available in Virginia.

Gary Farrell has a couple zins that are really nice - I think wine.com has one of them. If you ever get the chance to go up into Sonoma County - you have to stop at Porter Creek. Definitely my favorite from the trip, and possibly from all my wine tasting adventures since living here. If money wasn't an issue I would've bought a bottle of everything I tasted (and a case of the Reserve Pinot ) - every single one of their wines was very good to outstanding.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 11:49 AM

Wow, a lot of responses to reply to….

The William Hill is not an expensive wine. They typically go for around 15 – 20 $US. The bottle I had was at a restaurant and cost $65. Not bad for a 95 reserve cab considering that restaurants usually tack on about $30 a bottle.

I had a Rodney Strong last night…….very good wine.

The brown I referred to was just slight at the edge when tipping the glass over a white napkin. Not really brown, but I could detect a color change from the main body in the glass.

Thanks for the tips on the wine tasting trip guys. I’m planning one for next fall. A few of my friends and I are renting a limo for a week and plan to stay drunk with a professional designated driver.

Posted by: Amie

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 02:59 PM

I didn't know there were port-ers on the board! Any recommendations? We're pretty limited in Ontario, but I have been known to smuggle some port over the Quebec/Ontario boarder before .
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 06:40 PM

Rodney Strong was the best port we sampled. I bought a bottle. Selby also makes a good port. I bought half a case -- it only comes in half-bottle sizes, and my wife loves it. The third port I bought was Christopher Creek. It was the third best, but still very good.

Korbel port is also quite good, believe it or not.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 07:44 PM

I like Grahms (sp?) 10 and 20 year old. The 20 I buy when I find it on sale, the 10 is usually in my cabinet. Tried the 40 once and it was quite tasty, but too expensive for me to buy it by the bottle.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 07:55 PM

Peter must be dipping into the port already. We didn't visit Christopher Creek.

Everett Ridge.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 09:11 PM

My experience with port and sherry is extremely ltd - never much cared for sweet wines until recently.

I liked this sherry so much that I bought a couple bottles (scroll down to tasting notes):

http://www.vino.com/wines/winery.asp?CID=12&WID=5413

their port is supposed to be their award winning specialty (but I didn't buy any).

I will very, very, very heartily recommend their 2002 sangiovese, however. One of my favorite wines in the area. Very versatile, woody, almost austere, dry, clean, tart fruit. Big award winner, but my uncle and sister-in-law both prefer other sangiovese. It's all subjective, I reckon.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 12/05/05 09:42 PM

oops. that's right. The port won't be delivered until Friday, along with the rest of the trailer's load.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/20/06 11:56 AM

ttt
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/30/06 11:29 PM

The Grahams is one of my preferred ports to date as well.
Fonseca usually sells a good variety.
Many other countries are getting onboard the port thing though. Had an Australian not long back that was quite smooth. Forget the name.
I'm still delving into this world but so far so good.

We had another big blind tasting over Christmas. Standard rules min. $30 / bottle unless you know it is a stellar winner. The two top favs from many folk were:
Robert Mondavi 2001 CabSav Reserve Napa Valley
and
Concha y Toro Don Melchor CabSav 2001
The middle rated wine was The Crossing Pinot Noir 2004
The lower rated were:
Francis Coppola Black Label Claret (Cab Sav) 2003
Fontesuli (sp?) Chianti Classico 2002

Anyone who has not yet tried a Kim Crawford or The Crossings Sauvignon blancs are missing out. New Zealand makes some wicked wines.

On another note, the wine cellar is COMPLETE!!
Over 700 bottles of beautiful California redwood storage capacity!

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/30/06 11:37 PM

and no pictures? damn, chess. I thought you knew better.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/30/06 11:39 PM

And exactly what do you think i'm working on at this moment Peter?
Sheesh, gimme a minute eh?

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 12:20 AM

Batts died in the digicam.
This will have to wait until at least tomorrow.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 12:34 AM

By the way, chess, how did your quest for a small TV come out?
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 12:42 AM

I was clicking that blue stuff for like ten seconds.

I read good things about that Don Melchor in one of the wine magazines.

What were you guys having with those wines, chess?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the Cellar Pics) - 01/31/06 12:42 AM

The search for a "small" tv did not turn out as hoped.
We settled on a Phillips 27" LCD instead of a Toshiba b/c they were out of the Toshibas and we did not want to wait.
Then we went on a cruise.
Then the 30d return period expired.
The Phillips is ok, but it won't be sitting in the family room for much beyond a year. The picture quality with dvds is more acceptable than cable, but the motion blurring (ghosting) is not very good.

As for the cellar, one quick preview pic (don't mind the awful digicam quality...Nikon shots will follow soon):


Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the Cellar Pics) - 01/31/06 12:47 AM

Oh you bastard! That looks awesome.
Posted by: jinhan

Re: wine thread (the Cellar Pics) - 01/31/06 08:23 AM

It's threads like these that makes me wish for a basement.


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 09:36 AM

In reply to:

What were you guys having with those wines, chess?



That night it was a big pot luck with a theme for "wild game".
As such, we had various methodologies of cooked caribou (roast), moose (steaks), salmon (whole) and bison (ribs).
Other dishes included some wild rice casserole, wild berry desserts, etc.
It was quite a spread.
Some of the wines were, as one put it so elegantly, "the bomb" with the moose steaks and caribou roast. The ribs were a bit tougher to pair but personally i liked the Don Melchor with those.

The notes i had for the Melchor were pretty intense. I actualy thought i was drinking the pinot noir when i first tasted it (did all the tastings blind of course).


Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 10:51 AM

Wow, not much of that type of fare in Calif. sounds good though.
Posted by: sidvicious02

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 12:22 PM

wow that's beautiful Chess, how did you do the stone work?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 12:50 PM

Very nice Chess. I plan to build a small cellar myself. – After the HT. Won’t be a walk in though…..not enough room.

Funny you mention Kim Crawford. Their merlot is what started me on this wine journey. I really like their Chard – and I don’t much care for whites.

Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 05:18 PM

Hurry up with the rest of the pics, will ya?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 08:19 PM

The stonework is actually cultured stone.
Prairie Stone
Anyone can put it up just like laying tile on a back splash. We had a contractor do all of the basement work though. I did some of the finishing material, staining, urethane, the door clavos, paint touch ups, etc.
The basement design was in part done by our interior designer (wall structures and layout ideas) while the decor and colours were all my wife and I.

I'll have the rest of the basement pics up soon. I'll throw up one more of the cellar tonight.

If you ever have another Kim Crawford, make it the Sav blanc. In fact, have ANY good New Zealand Sav blanc and let the tastebuds party!
Unlike any sav blanc from any other country i've tried yet to date.

Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 01/31/06 10:34 PM

I had a Portugese white varietal called alvarinho from Trader Joes a couple years ago - it, too, was unique. The nose was pure ocean, never smelled a wine like it - tasted of green fruit and grass, if I remember correctly.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: wine thread (the blind tasting) - 02/01/06 10:23 PM

Useless info here, but I received my wine club shipment from a local vintner and it included a white blend that is "exclusively bottled for members only."
Underwhelmed, I cracked it open tonight with some BBQ chicken (lemon pepper, herb and garlic rub under the skin ) and mushroom risotto. Oooh is it good!

Bright concentrated fruit, silky mouthfeel, a little vanilla and butter, a little sweetness in there somewhere, and a clean, clean dry, but lush finish. The old lady's assessment was, "It's clean." 30% viognier, 25% sauv blanc, 25% chard, 10% cortese, 10% riesling.

Here's a link if you'd like a crack at getting them to sell some:

http://www.mountpalomar.com/


Posted by: Amie

Big Fat Chards? - 02/06/06 09:15 PM

Are there any chard fans on the boards? Ian and I love what I'll term 'big fat chardonnays' and alas, I think I have rounded up the absolute last 2003 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chards that were imported into Ontario. The '04 is pretty mediocre, and there's nothing worse than that pause during a great dinner party where you try to decide if your guests are worthy of your last bottle of your favourite wine . . .

At any rate, I went to the liquor store and bought every bottle west of Ontario I could find, hoping to find another new world BFC we liked as much, and the closest we've come is a Beringer Stone Cellar - but if anyone out there can steer me right I would be most appreciative! Especially if we can get it in this fair province!!!!
Posted by: samandnoah

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/06/06 10:04 PM

Hi Amie--

My wife in particular likes BFCs! I have no idea if it's available up your way but Rombauer Chardonnays are huge. It used to be very affordable, but has snuck up in price over the last several years.

One that can still be found <$20 (US!) that I adore is Lambert Bridge Chardonnay. This Sonoma county BFC reminds me of liquid Creme Brulee. Truly outstanding.

In fact, Lambert Bridge is one of my favorite wineries, period. They make a superb Merlot that just barely qualifies as a Merlot. It is blended with 3 other varietals. The other two wines they make are a Zinfadel and a Sauvignon/Fume Blanc.

Hope you can find any of these!

Regards,
Rich
Posted by: Amie

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/07/06 07:48 AM

Thanks very much! I've got them on my list to look for.

Best,

Amie
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/07/06 09:46 AM

Well Amie, having been in Ontario and throughout Canada i can attest to some of the 'big fat chards' that we can get locally.
First off, if you liked the Beringer Stone Cellar, try the Beringer Founders Estate version (about $22/bottle). It is FAR more refined.
Secondly, i recommend in general most Californian chardonnays that have had 2 years of ageing and the 'sur lie' process (check out the labels). These are the ones that go through the major malolactic acid fermentation which provides that fat, creamy texture.
Third, we had a Robert Mondavi 1999 Chardonnay, Napa Valley Unfiltered the other night. Although i found the 14% alcohol a bit much, it was a characteristic fat chard for sure.
Lastly, my all time favorite, found in our own country, is the Peller Estates Andrew Peller Signature Series chardonnay. About $28 a bottle and you can get the 2002+ at this point (a little young, the 2001 is my fav), but SMOOOOOOTH SMOOOTH and creamy as carnation.
The Peller one you can find at local stores in the fine wine section or you will have to head to Niagara on the Lake for a day (get out the new jet).
The others can all be found at the liquor stores, fine wine sections although you may have to hit several stores as they do not all order the exact same wines. Call first.

Unfortunately i have not yet come across a truly fat and refined chardonnay for under $18. The new Australian Yellow Tail is pretty decent at $13/btl, but that is about as close as it comes IMO. There are many more Californian wines yet to try.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/07/06 10:00 AM

Really good Chardonnays are tough to find these days. Everyone seems to want "light" wines...

Chardonnay Latour used to be a "knife and fork" wine 10 years ago (maybe 15, yikes) but these days is just "OK". I sometimes suspect this is what happens when you raise your production levels without using any more grapes
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/07/06 12:48 PM

Not much of a white wine drinker myself (I think I’ve said that a few times).

But I’ll admit there are times when I get to craving one with a particular meal or those nice sunny evenings on the deck when a beer or glass of red just doesn’t seam like a good idea.

I’ve had the 2003 Chateau Ste. Michelle you referred to Amie. And it is good (for a white). I’ve got several in my cooler. So, if you like that one, then you have similar tastes as I do.

Some other chards that I look for when in the mood are: Bontara (an organic winery http://www.bonterra.com), Toasted Head, Kim Crawford and Fat Bastard (no kiddin, here’s a link http://www.fatbastardwine.com/fbwine_chard.htm).

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/07/06 08:02 PM

I'm more of a heavy body wine fan myself.
I like the lighter wines later in the evening or on a hot sunny day on the deck, but otherwise, give me the character!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/07/06 08:11 PM

You know, that Toasted Head is another good Cali chardonnay. I forgot about that one.

Come to think of it, didn't i have a report on the chardonnay taste off here somewhere?

Sure enough, here it is.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/07/06 09:49 PM

"...and there's nothing worse than that pause during a great dinner party where you try to decide if your guests are worthy of your last bottle of your favourite wine..."

LOL. I know that feeling. Truthfully, I'm starting to bogart all the good ones.

I haven't been shopping for those big chards lately, but I used to love them. Toasted Head, the Kendall Jackson Reserve my father-in-law brought over recently (REALLY oaky/buttery, but I forget the vintage).

My local wineries say the local fruit isn't suitable for that style, so they generally make the fermented in stainless version. Two of the best in my area, IMO, are the Mount Palomar chard - balanced with some oak and butter overtones, very reasonably priced, but not a BFC - and the Leonesse chard in my cabinet (I'll check the vintage if you want to roll the dice) - brilliant, beautiful fruit, but expensive.

Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 02/07/06 10:16 PM

I keep seeing the title and expecting discussion of green leafy vegetables...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 03/11/06 06:35 PM

And tonight we are trying out a Fetzer cab sav 2001.
Had an eyeball on a Silver Oaks cab sav not long ago, but darn pricey. Still, a cellaring wine is always something i'm on the hunt for.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 03/11/06 07:23 PM

The Silver Oaks is good stuff. My wife got a couple bottles from work over X-Mas, we drank the first waiting for a special occasion to open the second.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 03/12/06 01:11 AM

A couple of bottles of Silver Oaks from work?
Who does she work for exactly? Trump?
Those bottles are about $65 a pop and up.
Nice employer.
Great gifts.

Posted by: michael_d

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 03/13/06 10:21 AM

I have two of the Napa 95's that I need to drink real soon.

For the pice through, I'd not recomend Silver Oaks to anyone. I'd rather have a Provinence Cab any day for half the price.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 03/13/06 11:50 AM

The Silver Oaks are good, but there are some great wines for alot less money, I won't pay that much for a bottle unless it absolutely floors me.
Posted by: ChicagoTC

Re: Big Fat Chards? - 03/13/06 12:14 PM

Silver Oak was the first place we ever visited in Napa. Nice place and great wines. The Alexander Valley cab can be found for $50. I agree it's expensive but a good special occasion bottle with special meaning for us.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: inventory reduction - 05/21/06 02:57 PM

Last night a couple of my wine lover friends and I had our semi-annual inventory reduction night. We go through our coolers twice a year and pull out the bottles that we think are at the prime or due to turn. Each of us will pull out one of those bottles plus throw in something else we want to try with friends. We’ll make a night of it and cook up a good meal. Last night was Fillets with a creamy peppercorn sauce.

I started to take notes on each wine, but gave up. I really need to learn how to do that. The other guys were throwing words out there that were beyond me, but when they said it, I’d recognize the smell or flavor. The wine list:

93 Beringer, - Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve
03 Lamborn Family Vineyards – Napa Valley proprietor Grown Zinfandel (Papa’s Vintage)
02 Leonetti Cellar – Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley)
95 William Hill - Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
03 Dutton – Goldfield Zinfandel
01 Yalumba – Signature Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz / Barossa blend.
97 Silver Oak – Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

01 Dolce – Napa Valley Late Harvest Wine (desert wine)

Even though the Beringer was the most expensive bottle in the lot, I liked it the least. I think the few remaining bottles (if one were to find one) run about $250.

I ranked them like this – 7) Beringer 6) Dutton 5) Silver Oak 4) Leonetti 3) Yalumba

2 / 1 ) I like the Lamborn and William Hill the same and couldn’t decide which I liked more. Distinctly different wines but both were amazing. The other guys also preferred the William Hill over the rest of the bottles. The Leonetti was pretty damn good too, but a little young yet. In a couple years it will be something to look out for.

The Dolce was a real treat too. If you like desert wines, I definitely recommend this little bottle. Too expensive for me to buy ($150).

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Wine Post - 07/17/06 02:35 PM

Adding to the Californian zin list:

Painter Bridge.
Quite nice and inexpensive ($12 cdn).
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: The Wine Post - 07/17/06 03:09 PM

I'll have to try that one, only $7.00 here. We tried 5 new wineries to us in Paso over the 4th and found Catoro Cellars, we liked every wine we tasted there, inexpensive also. I've also found I like everything from Rosenblum Cellars.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Wine Post - 07/17/06 03:40 PM

Has anyone considered doing this (wine train) for a day trip?
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: The Wine Post - 07/17/06 04:04 PM

Chess, thanks for the link, my wife wants to head up North to see her father over Thanksgiving, I think this will be a definite addition to the trip I have heard that it is a really fun excursion.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Wine Post - 07/17/06 04:12 PM

Please post your complete thoughts.
I'm interested in doing this if we head out there next year but i would like to know if the excursion is worth the price.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/25/06 11:41 PM

A theme for awhile now has been to find some inexpensive wines ($10 Cdn or less) that are of good enough quality to want to drink more than once.
We have come across several that are beautiful summer sippers and given the state of this hot, prairie summer, i thought i would throw three of them out there for anyone looking for white, light and refreshing (maybe sweetness of 1 on the scale of 6):

1) Melini- Orvieto Classico amabile doc (umbria)
Italy
$8.95 Cdn

2)Gustav Adolf Schmitt- Niersteiner Kabinett
Germany
$8.25 Cdn

3) Sutter Home- white zinfandel
California
$8.45 Cdn

Those in S.Ont. may also want to try the vintage country white and red from Joseph Estate. $10.95 /bottle and semi sweet, but lovely flavours, simple and refreshing.
http://www.josephsestatewines.com/wine.html

Good quality, inexpensive reds are a bit harder to come by.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 07/26/06 09:32 AM

Quote:

3) Sutter Home- white zinfandel
California
$8.45 Cdn



What what what????
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/26/06 10:39 AM

Not what what what...white
Sutter Home white zinfandel
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 07/26/06 11:50 AM


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 07/26/06 02:48 PM

White zinfandel -- any maker -- is the Budweiser of wines. And that's an authoritative statement.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/26/06 04:13 PM

Quote:

the Budweiser of wines



So you are saying your tastes are too snooty to drink Budweisier?
You too good for a white zinfandel now??
Take it to the beer thread Mr. Van der Bilt.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 07/26/06 05:17 PM

Mine are.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/26/06 08:40 PM

Quote:

Mine are.



That goes for you too Mr. Trump.
Take it to the beer thread!

I plan on trying out a Wallaby Creek cab sav offering tonight. Only $10 a bottle.
Posted by: mrnomas

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 12:52 AM

I've a special filter on my door that causes White Sin to explore if it cross the threshold. Sorry, that's just plain crap. They should make them put the word wine in quotes on the bottle.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 02:04 AM

Peter, I assume then that if you visited and I brought out the Ripple that you wouldn't be pleased.
Posted by: BrenR

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 03:14 AM

Harrumph... I won't drink any wine that casts a shadow. Peasants.

Bren R.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 12:06 PM

Quote:



Good quality, inexpensive reds are a bit harder to come by.




How true......

I am ALWAYS on the look out for a good red at a good price. But I'm beginning to wonder if I haven't turned into a wine snob anymore. All the "cheap" reds taste like cool-aid to me lately. Just the other night I picked up a few under ten buck bottles hoping to find a new treasure, but we screwed up and had a damn fine Cabernet Franc fist. All the bottles I brought tasted like crap after that Cab.

But nothing beats a picture of White Zin mixed with sprite and cranberry on a hot summer day!!
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 12:08 PM

I can't say I've ever had a wine that even vaguely reminded me of Kool-Aid, unless it had the word "cooler" attached to it.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 12:21 PM

One of my wifes favorites for summer parties is White Zin mixed with pink lemonade in a big punchbowl.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 12:36 PM

People, people... there's a reason that hard liquor exists...
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 12:37 PM

Quote:

Take it to the beer thread!



Now, chess, I was going to let it go the first time, but really! I'm sure you're not actually accusing Beer aficionados of exhibiting the sort of elitism that has long plagued oenophiles, and which you so clearly abhor.

If I may be so bold as to project my reaction, I think Ken and Peter's response indicated surprise more than derision. People like you and Mike have offered such excellent counsel regarding the dizzying wine culture that it seemed incongruous to receive a recommendation for a variety that is widely perceived to lack depth.

So, to steer our wayward thread back to its meritorious level, can you educate me about the process by which a rich, robust grape like Zinfandel is reduced to that Blush-colored beverage? And are there economic or procedural reasons why the White Zinfandel is (falsely?) perceived as necessarily inferior to other wines of its ilk?

I mean, it's obviously something that CAN be enjoyed and COULD be well made, so why does it get such a bad rap?

Our summer wine thing is a sangria made from cheap zin, fruit juices and triple sec. It's really quite good, and looks lovely with the oranges, lemons and apples floating around in it.

Of course, while my wife and most of the guests are drinking that swill, I'm off having a civilized craft beer
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 12:44 PM

Nah, mine was derision.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 01:54 PM

Quote:

can you educate me about the process by which a rich, robust grape like Zinfandel is reduced to that Blush-colored beverage? And are there economic or procedural reasons why the White Zinfandel is (falsely?) perceived as necessarily inferior to other wines of its ilk?

I mean, it's obviously something that CAN be enjoyed and COULD be well made, so why does it get such a bad rap?

Our summer wine thing is sangria made from cheap zin, fruit juices and triple sec. It's really quite good, and looks lovely with the oranges, lemons and apples floating around in it.

Of course, while my wife and most of the guests are drinking that swill, I'm off having a civilized craft beer




Tom,
You do realize Chess was joking right?

But anyway, I'm not real sure how it's all done, but I believe that W Zin is made from left over grape skins that didn't make QC from other wines made. So in a sense, W Zin is the "left overs", or to put it crudely, the crap that the wine maker didn't want polluting his/her other wine. That's why it gets the bad rap. Some however are very good and the wine maker puts a lot of effort into them.

I'm sure Chess can elaborate or tell me I don't know squat, which I really don't.....

My favorite Sangria is Brandy (or Cognac), box of cheap Chardonnay, Controu, dash of cinnamon, mandarin oranges, cherries, peaches and a lime. I mix it, let it infuse for a day or two and then serve it in a picture with ice.

Quote:

People, people... there's a reason that hard liquor exists...




I was thinking about starting a "cocktail thread". I'm a pretty good mixologist.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 02:34 PM

I'd love a cocktail thread. I'm terrible at mixology--I need to learn more.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 03:13 PM

Quote:

One of my wifes favorites for summer parties is White Zin mixed with pink lemonade in a big punchbowl.




You see.
Now who the hell would do THAT with a Budweiser??!!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 03:15 PM

Quote:

People, people... there's a reason that hard liquor exists...




And what is the end of this sentence?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 03:17 PM

Quote:

Now, chess, I was going to let it go the first time, but really!



Dammit Tom. I don't think you heard me. I SAID, "Take IT to the BEER thread!!"


Don't make me come down there!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 03:34 PM

Quote:

made from left over grape skins that didn't make QC from other wines made. So in a sense, W Zin is the "left overs", or to put it crudely, the crap that the wine maker didn't want polluting his/her other wine. That's why it gets the bad rap



Actually that describes how grappa is made, and that stuff really is nasty.

Here's the easy scoop on the white zin, an inexpensive and refreshing summer sipper. Maybe the bottle is too common down in the States compared to elsewhere to properly enjoy its greatness.

Lobster once once a poor man's meat and now...
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 03:49 PM

After reading the wiki article on white zin, it seems we have it to thank for preserving many "old vine" zin vinyards. Seeing as I live zin made from old vines, I suppose I no longer wish for the complete erasure of white zin from existence.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 03:53 PM

So zin lovers OWE it to the white zin for the existence of old vine wines.
Pay some homage eh?

Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 04:40 PM

And let's not forget some of the old vine Zins that they use to make the Zin Ports, very tasty indeed.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 05:51 PM

I loves me some zin port!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 07:48 PM

I’m a big zin fan myself. Other than some of the Ridge zin’s (most are great), I by the Cline, Ancient Vine zin by the case. I keep it around for those “any day” sipping bottles. I get it for about $12 a bottle when I get it by the case. I reckon in the lower 48, one could pick it up for a lot less. A very, very good bottle. One wouldn’t know it by looking at the price tag.

Thanks for the clarification Chess. I figured I was wrong.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/27/06 08:27 PM

Quote:

I by the Cline, Ancient Vine zin by the case.



Really?
I haven't tried Cline yet but i do have their shiraz in the cellar. It was given as a gift but i haven't found an occasion to pop it open yet. There is a fellow coming over tonight for a game of pool and a glass of vino.
Not sure what we are going to open.

Maybe a cellar shopping spree will be in order in the near future to give the cellar a kickstart.
I've started looking at wine cellar software for organization of the place. I'm partial to Avos Vins but the Cellar! app isn't bad either.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 09:52 AM

Yep….it’s a dandy.

Another wine I buy by the case is a Melbec from Argentina that my favorite warehouse just started carrying. Not real sure how they name their wines, so here’s what the label has on it.

Catena
2003
Melbec
Mendoza
Argentina

It’s a medium to heavy bodied big red. Almost as smooth as a Merlot, but still has that tannin presence of a well aged Cab. Lot’s of fruit, some spice and a slight buttery finish. This one you taste all over the tongue.

It’s about $15 a bottle. I normally stay away from wines from South America, as I’ve got some pretty bad ones. But one night at a wine tasting event, a pretty girl and a few glasses of wine……well, long story short I spent $1200 on wine and more than that on actions for crap I don’t need, and this Melbec was one was one of the cases I bought. I continue to buy it, unlike the others that she talked me into.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 11:10 AM

I have not yet tried too many malbecs, but again, wikipedia can give you the scoop on the history.
Since i'm not a fan of many French wines, i'm not sure i would be keen on its Bordeaux style flavours.
In general i don't know alot of people that are overly keen on Argentinian wines, but personally i've found several good ones. I highly suggest you try a Chilean favorite of mine by Concha y Toro. The Don Melchor series. Amazing, but heavy, full bodied. Drink with a hearty rare steak.

Quote:

well, long story short I spent $1200 on wine



Fantastic.
And where did it all go?
At about at around $18 / bottle avg that should've got you 66 bottles.
That thousand dollars sounds like a good round number for a cellar spree.
Posted by: skyhawk669

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 11:48 AM

I actually have open a bottle of Melbec yesterday. My parents came to visit last weekend and my dad always brings a lot of "new" wines for me to try. I enjoyed it. The Concha y Toro is definitely worth it! My dad used to always bring some bottles during his trips to Chile.

Chesseroo: you don't like any French wine at all? I'm not a wine expert by a long shot but there's an amazing variety to choose from (well that's if you go there directly to get them ... Can't find all in import).
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 11:48 AM

We get to attend Tehachapi's 3rd annual Wine Festival tonight, local vinters as well as some of the Central coasts wineries will be in attendance, always fun to try some new and varied wines.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 11:57 AM

Quote:

you don't like any French wine at all? I'm not a wine expert by a long shot but there's an amazing variety to choose from



Not yet.
I haven't had a wine from every region though but i do know i'm not a Bordeaux fan. I have never enjoyed the big plummy flavour that seems to be a mainstay character of alot of French reds. To date i have much preferred the 'new' world wines. Most of my favorite reds are Californian and Australian with a few Chilean. Most of my favorite whites are Canadian, Californian, New Zealand and Australian with a number of German.
The new cellar org programs i'm looking at buying both list the contents of the cellar by type, region, country, whatever. Once i get it up and running and everything entered, i should be able to get a better idea of where my preferences seem to be based on percentages chosen and stocked.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 12:11 PM

Where's the love for Washington wines, chess?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 12:13 PM

Quote:

Where's the love for Washington wines, chess?



To be honest Tom, i don't think i've tried a single one yet.
I would have to double check my database, but i'm pretty sure i haven't had any.
It is on the list.
Maybe i will pick up a couple in the spree.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 12:25 PM

Last year on our trip to Seattle to visit some good friends we tried several of Washingtons wines and enjoyed them very much, unfortunatly I can't remember the names.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 01:02 PM

This is a fun website for the wine enthusiasts. Cellar Tracker
Posted by: skyhawk669

Re: wine thread - 07/28/06 01:56 PM

Well as French wine goes Bordeaux is far from being the best, but that's just my opinion. I'm more of a Burgundy fan.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 07/29/06 01:09 PM

Here’s a good source of information on Washington wines. Lot’s of good wine comes from Washington. http://www.washingtonwine.org/index.cfm Chateau Ste. Michelle for one.

Thanks for tip on the Chilean wine Chess. I’ll look for the bottle.

I didn’t get that many bottles. Some were well over $50. Like I said, a pretty girl; and I just can’t say no to a pretty girl. But I am drawing a sketch for a wine cooler that I’m going to make. I don’t have room for a cellar unfortunately, but I can build a pretty nice cooler for about 300 bottles. That’s plenty enough room for me.

I’ve never liked French wines myself. I tried a bunch last year when I was bouncing around the UK for a few weeks. Gave up on the wine and stuck to all those wonderful Ale’s. The one thing Brit’s do extremely well….is make beer.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/29/06 04:01 PM

Good link Mike.
I'll add that to the bookmarks and peruse it later today. This afternoon we are heading out onto the deck to sip a nice Quady Elysium, something that was actually mentioned earlier in this thread.
I prefer the Electra, but my wife has yet to try either. Should be nice on a semi hot day.

That Chilean Concha y Toro Don Melchor i mentioned is a $40 Cdn bottle and is a cellaring wine, but short term if i recall, 5-7 years more in bottle.
Ours was already 4 years in the bottle when we tried it so i doubt it would have seen much more maturing for another year or two.

I did alot of searching on wine coolers not long ago until we decided to make the cellar. We almost went that route ourselves with a 300 bottle dark wood design unit. They are incredibly expensive, probably about half the cost of our cellar, or more depending on the brand. A 300 bottle unit is easily 3-4k.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 07/31/06 10:48 AM

Quote:


I did alot of searching on wine coolers not long ago until we decided to make the cellar. We almost went that route ourselves with a 300 bottle dark wood design unit. They are incredibly expensive, probably about half the cost of our cellar, or more depending on the brand. A 300 bottle unit is easily 3-4k.




I’ve seen some prices on the coolers, and they are pretty expensive. That’s why I’m building one. Plus, I have a weird space to fill which dictates the need for “custom”. I’ll just be out the cost of the wood, stained glass for the doors and the cooling unit. 1000 bucks tops. A good winter project along with some cabinets for the kitchenette.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/31/06 11:15 AM

This Koolspace unit was the one we bought for our cellar. The price listed here seems much less than the Cdn equivalent. I believe it cost us over $800 but i would have to go back to the basement reno receipts to check.
It is quiet and does a great job. There is a squirrel cage fan inside which helps keep the noise to a minimum. The compressor rarely needs to come on and when it does, it is a vaguely audible hum.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: wine thread - 07/31/06 01:49 PM

>>Once i get it up and running and everything entered, i should be able to get a better idea of where my preferences seem to be based on percentages chosen and stocked.

One of my friends once mentioned that he received a better understanding of his preferences based on what he ran out of, ie if he had a lot of something in the cellar it usually meant he didn't like it
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/31/06 02:38 PM

Quote:

ie if he had a lot of something in the cellar it usually meant he didn't like it



And this is why i will never sign up for a mixer's box, or wine club that selects wines for you. I only buy a single bottle of new wines to try and decide if i want to buy more. Wines that i have had more than twice and continually be fascinated by the flavours are the wines that make it to the cellar in quantities of 4-6.
Lately we tend to have a number of red wines vs white in the cellar and i have figured the cause is due to the hot summer we have had. We have found ourselves drinking more light, whites out on the patio and only the odd red with a bbq.
Hence, a seasonal pattern which will balance again in any given year.
Isn't it amazing how the weather can drive so many indirectly related things?

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 08/01/06 03:39 PM

Quote:

Isn't it amazing how the weather can drive so many indirectly related things?


You mean this damned heat is actually causing more and more people to believe that global warming isn't a myth?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 08/01/06 03:43 PM

Quote:

You mean this damned heat is actually causing more and more people to believe that global warming isn't a myth?



Only until next summer when the weather turns to something other than heat, then all will be forgotten, again. In the meantime, you drink more white zinfandel.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 08/01/06 11:08 PM

Thanks for the link. Did you get your racks from this place? They are different than what I had in mind, but heck, I can’t build them for what they sell them for. What do you think of the cleat stile vrs the diagonal X stile?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 08/02/06 11:26 AM

We got our racking from this place, Genuwine Cellars.

Quote:

What do you think of the cleat stile vrs the diagonal X stile?



The individual bottle racks will hold less number of bottles compared to the diagonal bins or cross bins. The bins are more designed to hold a quantity of the same wine. I think one of those bins can hold about 16 bottles while 16 bottles of individual racking takes up another 50%? space.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 08/10/06 11:26 PM

Moving over to a new job in two weeks so i decided to crack something a bit more expensive tonight to celebrate.
A nicely chilled bottle of Oyster Bay Sav blanc from New Zealand. Very lime, fresh cut grass, effervescence and darn tart. Just makes you want to stick out your tongue.


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/29/06 10:29 PM

Quote:

Where's the love for Washington wines, chess?



Finally had one a couple of weeks back, one that i can remember.
Columbia Crest Chardonnay. VERY oakey, buttery, clove flavours and fanstatic with our smoked cheese and sherry white sauce over pasta and seafood.

Has anyone heard of the Californian company Faust? Or had one?
We gambled on a buy for the cellar two weeks ago which is now the priciest bottle we have on hand.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 10/29/06 11:42 PM

I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I've read some great reviews on it. It was just introduced in March to Ruth Chris Steak House wine selection from Quintessa Winery. Let us know what you think of it, if its good I'll have to track down a bottle.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 11/01/06 01:08 PM

Tried a new wine last night that the wife and I enjoyed very much, Root 1 Cabernet from Chile, very rich and spicy dark fruit tastes with a touch of pepper. At around $11.00 to $12.00 dollars a bottle I'm going to add a case to our collection for an everynight type of wine.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 11/01/06 05:21 PM

I had my first Cakebread a couple nights back. It was a 2003 Merlot. Damn good wine. It was the most complex, full bodied and wonderfully tasty Merlot I’ve ever had. Lots of black fruits on the nose with a slight vanilla finish. It hit just about every spot on my tongue with taste, very slight hint of tannins which at first made me think I was drinking nicely aged cab. I’ve always walked by them at the store because they usually run about $50 a bottle, but a friend brought it over so I felt obligated to try it…..

I’m looking forward to trying their cabs now.

I also had a Yulumba red and I went and pitched the bottle without writing down what it was. It was a combination of three grapes with a screw on top. Light body, almost like a Pino. 2004. I only had one bottle too…dangit. Any ideas what that was?? Man it was good and I don’t normally go for light bodied reds.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/01/06 08:29 PM

Cakebread whites are some of the best I've tasted. Their chard -- and I'm not normally a fan of chards -- is excellent.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 11/01/06 11:45 PM

I appreciate you guys very much.

I think that Washington Reds (especially Cabs and blends) are generally better than Washington Whites.

I'm extremely bitter that the Wine Thread has five stars and the Beer Thread only four.


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/02/06 07:54 PM

Ya that sucks about the star rating for sure.

I'm still working towards finding some good Chilean wines but the Concha y Toro brand is a good place to start.

I've heard of Cakebread wines but haven't ventured one. Aren't they on the expensive side of the fence?
Posted by: Amie

Re: wine thread - 11/03/06 09:30 AM

I checked out the Cakebread Chard that Peter recommended - $55 in Ontario. I'd be afraid to bring it in in case Ian liked it! ;-)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 11/03/06 11:42 AM

Cakebread is on the expensive side if you think a $50 bottle of wine is expensive. To me it’s expensive. I tend to look for bottles in the $20 – $40 range and walk by the ones that are higher than that. And then of course the bottles that are under $20 are always fun to try because it doesn’t hurt too much if they suck.

I must be lucky today. Sarah saved that bottle of Yalumba I liked so much. You guys got to try this stuff. I won it in a silent action bundled with a dozen other bottles at a Special Olympics support thing a few weeks ago. I’m just now getting to the bottles………Point being is that I never would have bought this bottle. I think they cost about $35 a bottle.

It doesn’t’ really have a name; I don’t know what to call it. I’ll just type what’s on the label.

Yalumba

Hand picked

90% Tempranillo + 5% Grenache + 5% Viognier

Barossa Valley

2004………..14.5% alc

http://www.yalumba.com/product.asp?p=153&b=18
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 11/03/06 11:44 AM

Wow, The Cakebread Chard runs from about $30.00 to $35.00 here with the Cabs and Merlots at the lowest around $56.00 going up to $70.00 depending on the vendor.
Posted by: Amie

Re: wine thread - 11/03/06 12:25 PM

You get used to the price differences living here. We have provincially-controlled liquor, beer and wine in Ontario. This makes us the world's largest wine-buying power and for some reason that has no benefits attached to it price-wise! We do have lovely liquor stores though. . .
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 11/03/06 12:38 PM

Those prices are almost enough to make me cut down on my wine consumption, almost.
Posted by: Amie

Re: wine thread - 11/03/06 01:53 PM

Nah, you just get creative! We gathered 8 friends for a 'best bottle under $10' competition - quite a challenge in Ontario! But there were some fun finds - only one would have stripped paint. I was laughing visiting a friend in Florida and touring the A-B-C - half the stock is under $10! You'd have to make the game 'best bottle under $7' there.

Edit - for the record, all the wine glasses are exactly the same, the bottles all arrive in a brown paper bag, and we label the bags a, b, etc. Nearly a double-blind test!
Posted by: BrenR

Re: wine thread - 11/03/06 02:27 PM

Quote:

Nah, you just get creative! We gathered 8 friends for a 'best bottle under $10' competition


Ah, oui... la Chateau Bébé Canard.

For the Americans who might not get the joke Baby Duck was always regarded as the bottle version of a box of wine when I was growing up.

Bren R.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/03/06 11:08 PM

I will take a look for some of these wines tomorrow at the shop, but i'm curious Amie, what was the list of best under $10?
You simply HAVE to share that piece of knowledge.
I know i can add one or two German rieslings to the list.
Posted by: sidvicious02

Re: wine thread - 11/07/06 05:07 PM

Quote:

Ah, oui... la Chateau Bébé Canard.

For the Americans who might not get the joke Baby Duck was always regarded as the bottle version of a box of wine when I was growing up.




Well it's certainly not in the same class as Fontana Bianca (i thumb my nose at Baby Duck drinkers everywhere!)
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/07/06 08:43 PM

Hey, baby duck has a real place in Canadian wine history.
I had some when i was younger although i doubt my parents drank much of it. I recall boxes of 4L Hochtaler in the garbage far more often.
Black Tower only once.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 11/12/06 08:58 PM

The family and I are planning our 7 day trip to Napa and Somona next Sunday, any recommendations on favorite wineries or vintages from the area would be appreciated. The wifes only must go at this point is Silver Oak.
We also plan on taking the wine train for a lunch or Dinner excursion, If anyone is interested I'll post my review of the Wine Train when we return.
Posted by: Rock_Head

Re: wine thread - 11/12/06 11:11 PM

Try the Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma. It's about a 5 minute drive from the town center. I would be interested in your thoughts on the wine train.
Cheers,
Shaun
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/13/06 09:45 AM

As a California ex-patriate, I am SOOO jealous. I went wine tasting here in Virginia a couple weeks ago. There is absolutely no comparison.

Some of my favorite wineries are:
Cakebread -- by appointment only
Praeger Port Works -- a must if you like port!
Markham -- one of the best Merlots I ever tasted was from here
V. Sattui -- they have a very tasty madeira
Cosentino -- everything they make is tasty

Many of these are further north -- St. Helena and beyond. Worth the trip, though.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 11/13/06 10:15 AM

Oh man, that sounds like fun. I have a bunch of friends that go every year, invite me every year and something inevitably comes up…..every time.

At any rate, three wineries on MY must see list (if I ever get there)….

Siverado – One of my favorite wines.
http://www.silveradovineyards.com/index.html
Lamborn – the best damn zin made, bar none. Great folks, one of the best wine makers in the business (Heidi Barrett).
http://www.lamborn.com/cs/lamborn/view/docs/9
Mondovi – take their wine tasting class.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/13/06 07:54 PM

Yes, love to hear thoughts on the wine train.

As for favs to see? WAAAYYY too many too count in the California region.
But offering up the best some have had will help me fill out my cellar with new brands that i have yet to try!!
Love the recent round of suggestions. I'll go shopping again next weekend.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 11/13/06 08:29 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, I'm going to try to get to all the wineries mentioned. My wife got our reservations in for the wine train today, I'm starting to get excited about the trip, I just hope the weather holds.
Posted by: Amie

Re: wine thread - 11/13/06 08:42 PM

I blindly picked out a great Pinot Noir at dinner Saturday - Waterstone. Lucky find! It was Napa Valley, I'm sure. Perfect with my escargot ravioli and grilled lamb - if your train stops there have a glass for me!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/13/06 09:12 PM

Escargot ravioli?!
Geez, Axiom must be doing better than i thought!!
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 11/13/06 09:50 PM

Thanks Amie, nice find on a boutique Pinot, that ones going on the list also.
One of the things that I really like about Napa and Sonoma, is for the smaller wineries they will have a large tasting room in town, it will represent 10 or 12 different vineyards. So for the Waterstone, and the Lamborn that Mike mentioned, I can park in the town center and do some serious tasting, although after about 8 tastes my wife refers to it as just drinking.
Posted by: BrenR

Re: wine thread - 11/13/06 11:32 PM

Quote:

Escargot ravioli?!
Geez, Axiom must be doing better than i thought!!


Doing well? They're reduced to eating sidewalk snacks!

Bren R.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: wine thread - 11/14/06 08:39 AM

>>Doing well? They're reduced to eating sidewalk snacks!

Not just sidewalks. I find mine crawling up the garage door.
Posted by: Amie

Re: wine thread - 11/14/06 09:22 AM

I have never understood why the snails you buy in the store are from the Philippines or Thailand. Don't we grow snails that are as good as anyones? Or are tropical snails more moist?
Posted by: Ajax

Re: wine thread - 11/14/06 11:07 AM

Quote:

Don't we grow snails that are as good as anyones? Or are tropical snails more moist?



Nah, they probably are domestic snails you're eating, but they tell you they're tropical snails so you'll buy them. I mean.......would you want to eat them if they told you they were from John's garage door?
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 11/14/06 08:37 PM

Quote:

Don't we grow snails that are as good as anyones?




I think most people prefer their snails to have accents.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: wine thread - 11/14/06 10:29 PM

After a couple of trips up and down the 'ol garage door I have to think our domestic snails would be a bit tough and stringy. Better a tropical snail that lounged on the beach its whole life.

Amie's question is a good one though...

EDIT -- didn't find anything conclusive in a quick search (other than a complaint from someone who "ordered escargot but was just served a bunch of snails in a styrofoam cup") but it appears to be a function of size. French snails grow relatively large but are very expensive, and there is a large & tasty breed of African snail which grows well in Asia (and is being raised commercially there) but doesn't seem to survive in Canada.

I bet our snails are just too small. There's probably a clever joke to be made but I just don't feel up to it today.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 11/14/06 10:49 PM

Actually (based on Freshman French class), the French export the big snails to us because they're not as good as the little ones. Incindentally, the good little ones are the ones that run (well, ooze) wild in Southern California, at least.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 11/14/06 11:00 PM

Quote:

Incindentally, the good little ones are the ones that run (well, ooze) wild in Southern California, at least.




And to think, it's just about dinner time. Hmm, what to make. . .
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/15/06 09:04 AM

The question is, what wine pairs best with urban land mollusks?
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 11/15/06 09:14 AM

Pinot Ipecac.
Posted by: Amie

Re: wine thread - 11/15/06 09:47 AM

There was a tiny worm in my artichoke last night. I discarded it foolishly - I should have tried it with the wine I was drinking!

Hey, can the Beer Thread possibly be this interesting?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 11/15/06 10:33 AM

No, but it's not nearly as disgusting!
Posted by: BrenR

Re: wine thread - 11/15/06 04:14 PM

Quote:

Pinot Ipecac.


Damn you... now hand me a towel so I can clean up this Pepsi spray.

Bren R.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 11/15/06 06:48 PM

Quote:

There was a tiny worm in my artichoke last night. I discarded it foolishly - I should have tried it with the wine I was drinking!

Hey, can the Beer Thread possibly be this interesting?




Try worms with Scotch. They go well together.
Posted by: kryolla

Re: wine thread - 11/17/06 09:19 PM

Because of this thread I am getting into wine . My fiance has always drank blush wine now we are getting into the more traditional wines. I already made a couple of trips to wine and spirits store as we call it here in Pennsylvania, I bought what people were talking about here such as William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Cline Zin and Cline Big Break Zin, and also a wine for dummies DVD lol. Unfortunately the wineries do not ship to PA so I am limited. Any other recommendation for a good Zin or Cabernet Sauvignon. Thanks Drew
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/17/06 09:29 PM

Wineries don't ship to Virginia either. It really gets my grapes.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/17/06 09:29 PM

Drew, there may be some good suggestions for cab savs already in this thread, but if you want to start with a quality wine at a reasonable price, the Robert Mondavi Woodbrige cab is around $13 Cdn (so less USD) and excellent for its price. Another good cab standard is Wolf Blass Yellow Label. They are big sellers, popular, but they are lovely quality performers for their price.
Painter Bridge is a Californian zin that is similarly priced and quite lovely.

Best cab i've had yet to date, a 1994 Lindemans Coonawarra. Hard to find now.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/17/06 09:30 PM

Well thank goodness those "Winersies" don't ship to Virginia Peter. Heaven knows what would happen if any winersies got loose.

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/17/06 09:32 PM

my, what ever could you be referring to?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/17/06 09:37 PM

SNeAkY bugger.
Got under that 30 minoot edit change ruel eh?


Speaking of wine, just finished a Painter Bridge zin...this....very...second, now onto some Grahams port.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 11/18/06 08:39 PM

Rosenblum is one of my favorite wineries, acocording to their storefront web site they do ship to VA Rosenblum
We are stopping at their winery in Alameda tomorrow late afternoon when we arrive up in that area, then it's on to Napa
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/18/06 10:32 PM

Nice find, HD! Perhaps legislation recently changed. I know I can find Rosenblum in grocery stores here, but the selection straight from the winery is obviously much better.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: wine thread - 11/19/06 12:03 AM

Yeah Peter, VA law changed about three years ago.

Drew, a similar situation applies to wines not sold in Pennsylvania stores .
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 11/25/06 10:47 PM

I'm drinking a great cab with a couple friends right now. So good I had to post it.... Well that and getting out of carving another damn turkey.

2002 Steltzner Cab
Stags Leap District

Heavy body, very long legs..(14.8%)

Berry on the nose at first
Spice, tobacco and plum
Berry finish.

This is definitely a complex wine. I've not ever had one go from berry, to spice and then back to berry again.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 11/26/06 12:27 AM

We went through Stags Leap District on Friday, there are 15 wineries in that district that are known for their world class Cabernets, we were able to visit five, Silverado being one of them.
One of the little facts that I learned while out there, is that their Cabs have a bolder taste than the Napa Valley area Vineyards, apparently due to the fact that they have a different water table, even though their vinyards in that valley run almost parallel to the main Napa wineries.
I'll be posting soon our favorites from our trip as well as our thoughts on the wine train.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 11/26/06 10:36 AM

That’s great that you got by Silverado. They are one of my all time favorite wineries. I love their Cab. Their 99 is THE bottle that got me drinking cabs several years ago.
Posted by: HomeDad

Wine trip with a couple pics. - 11/27/06 03:41 PM

The week went by to fast, to many wineries not enough time. I want to thank everybody for their suggestions, I was able to taste all but a couple of the wines suggested and all lived up to the hype, the only ones I couldn't find to taste were the Lamborn Zin and the Cakebreads, although I did purchase a Cakebread Cab and Merlot to be tasted later. Sonoma was skipped this year in order to take the kids to the Jelly Belly factory and the wife to the Napa Outlet Mall. I'll give our thoughts on the winetrain, our favorite buys and a couple pics. since everybody seems to like pictures.
The wine train was one of the highlights of the trip, the cars are elegantly restored, the food is gourmet quality. There are several choices of cars that you can choose to ride on depending on if you want a 4 course meal or if you just want to order from a menu. No matter what car you choose you are free to roam all the cars on the train. My favorite was the wine tasting car, for $5.00 you are able to taste 4 wines of your choice of the 30 or so different wineries represented, for $15.00 dollars, my wife and I were able to share tastes from 12 different wineries, compared to the cost of tasting in Napa where the prices run from $10.00 to $50.00 dollars a tasting depending on the vintage that's quite a bargain.
I would recommend this trip to anyone thinking about visiting Napa, it was well worth it.

Some of our favorite wineries that we visited and purchased from.
Cabs- Siverado, Silver Oak, Constantino, we purchased their Cabs and a few others, all their wines were outstanding.
Merlot- Markham, to me their 2000 reserve was one of the best Merlots I have ever tasted, we bought 1/2 a case.
Hagafen- Very tasty reserve Zin, small boutique winery
Sangiovese- Luna, great wine
Red Wine-Chimney Rock, winery in the Stags Leap Dist. their Levage was one of the best wines I had on this trip.
This was just our personal favorites of the many wineries visited, we needed another week

The wife, kids,and father in-law in front of Mondavi


The kids favorite, ariel tram to Sterling Winery


The Take

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 11/27/06 04:53 PM

I'm glad you liked the Markham Merlot. My tastes have been verified! But seriously -- I am completely jealous of your trip, and your newly augmented wine collection.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 11/27/06 05:33 PM

FANTASTIC TRIP! Great haul of wines!

Now i know i have to go before the border closes behind the upcoming standard body cavity search and brainwave ID scanning.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 11/28/06 04:24 PM

Sounds like you had a great trip. I’m equally jealous…..of the trip and that wonderful display of vino on your table.

I like Silver Oak too. I just don’t buy it anymore after they had a couple great years and became famous. For what they charge nowadays, I can find much better. But it’s still a damn fine wine.

So what happened at the Lamborn winery? It’s really too bad you didn’t get to visit them. They are very down to earth nice people. Plus you could have tried their new cab. A couple friends and I got a case of it shipped. It’s a special run with a limited number of cases (100 is all). We’re all just waiting for a good night to open one.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 11/28/06 05:48 PM

The Lamborn winery is open by appointment only, the wine train wasn't carrying their wines that trip and the wine wharehouse where I bought the Cakebreads were out also.
I figured since you were right on the mark with the Silverado, I ordered 3 bottles of their Zin yesterday from the winery
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 12/06/06 10:39 PM

3 bottles of the 2004 Lamborn Zin arrived via UPS this evening at my doorstep. So naturally that was our bottle of choice with dinner.
I'll have to concede that this is one outstanding Zin, very complex with rich black fruits and cherry, and some spicy flavor that adds to the complexity of the wine.
The wife and I loved the wine, which is saying allot since my wife is not as big a Zin fan as I am.
Needless to say, the other 2 bottles are going in the vault with our other favorite wines for a little aging, and to be opened only on special occasions.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 12/07/06 12:09 PM

My two wine drinking buddies I mentioned earlier are on Lamborn's invitation only mailing list. They buy a lot of their wine and get their new vintages automatically mailed to them. Whenever they get a bottle, I supply the house and food and one of them brings over a bottle. I haven't' had a Lamborn I wasn't very much impressed with yet. Next week we are going to try their private reserve cab.

Glad you liked the zin. It would seam that we have similar tastes.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 12/07/06 09:31 PM

So i'm guessing that Lamborn won't be available in my area then eh?


Just how big is the cellar that is going to hold that mass of collectors items anyway?
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 12/07/06 10:06 PM

Lol, my cellar is a fridge in the garage that I use exclusively for wine storage, I keep it on the lowest setting so it stays around 50 degrees. This trip pretty much filled it up with special wines, fortunately we have built in racks in our bar that will hold about 30 bottles of the everynight drinking reds, and we usually share a special bottle on the weekends.
I was thinking about buying a climate controlled cellar, if anyone knows about some decent ones that won't break the bank I'm all ears.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 12/08/06 09:06 PM

Quote:

if anyone knows about some decent ones that won't break the bank I'm all ears.



Actually there are quite a few being sold at places like Home Depot and Costco these days. Not sure about Walmart. Danby and Kenmore (Sears) are popular brand names. These are not the snooty versions of course, the ones that cost you arms, legs and first borns, but they seem to do the job and won't chill wines as cold as regular refrigerators.
Most look nicer too.
http://www0.epinions.com/pr-Kenmore_19245_Wine_Cooler_Refrigerator
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 12/08/06 09:36 PM

Funny you should mention the wine frig., I did a search last night thinking it would be a cool gift for my wife and I for Christmas, I ended up buying this one wine cellar
With an additional $25.00 off from Amazon, I thought it was a pretty good deal.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 12/09/06 01:13 AM

I have a friend in town who sells appliances out of a small shop, no big box store. I was looking at that exact fridge last year for another friend. The appliance store could not get rid of the things, no one was buying, so they priced them at cost which sad to say was a mere $199 Cdn.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Wine trip with a couple pics. - 12/09/06 03:38 AM

Wow, I guess he should have put them on Amazon, the wine refrigerators seem pretty popular this year, many of the models were already sold out, the one I purchased was one of their bestsellers.
Posted by: kryolla

Re: wine thread - 12/11/06 09:38 AM

Quote:

Drew, there may be some good suggestions for cab savs already in this thread, but if you want to start with a quality wine at a reasonable price, the Robert Mondavi Woodbrige cab is around $13 Cdn (so less USD) and excellent for its price. Another good cab standard is Wolf Blass Yellow Label. They are big sellers, popular, but they are lovely quality performers for their price.
Painter Bridge is a Californian zin that is similarly priced and quite lovely.

Best cab i've had yet to date, a 1994 Lindemans Coonawarra. Hard to find now.




Me and my fiance just tasted Wolf Blass yellow label and it is our favorite kinda on the sweet side though. Thanks for the recommendation.

Drew
Posted by: lomb7

Re: wine thread - 12/11/06 12:55 PM

I had a REALLY nice one yesterday. Got it at Costco for about $25. Rated at 93 or 94 points.

Review

http://www.skurnikwines.com/wines.cgi?rm=view_detail&wine_id=3505

Chateau La Vieille Cure
Fronsac
2003
French
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 12/28/06 12:39 PM

The wife, kids and I are in the the Morrow Bay area at her brothers house, his new girfriend brought over an excellent Port from Robert Hall last night. Turns out she works for Robert Hall wineries, so today we will be wine tasting all through the Paso Robles area ending at the Robert Hall tasting room where she gets a 50% discount, I see at least a case going home with us
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 12/29/06 10:43 PM

Out here in Okie-town we had a wine-filled holiday. I thought I should report that an Argentine malbec we picked up from a local (and excellent) wine shop was a great hit. If you can find a Kaiken Malbec (white and orange label), definitely pick it up. At only $14/bottle, it's easy to buy a case.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 12/30/06 09:37 AM

Catena is another good Malbec from Argentina. The 2003 in particular. They are about $20 per btl.

Come to think about it, I've been finding several good wines from Argentina and Chili lately.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 12/30/06 02:57 PM

Malbecs seem to be the latest craze following the pinot noir. I've been seeing alot more interest, articles and bottles around the past half year.
Mind you, the Wine Spectator just did some articles highlighting the Argentinian malbecs last month. The advertising helps.

I wonder when merlots will come back into style, maybe following Sideways II...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 12/30/06 03:02 PM

Speaking of wines, the annual tasting event is coming up tomorrow for New Year's. Do not know how many bottles are on the table yet but i've picked up a Lindemans 1997 Pyrus for the occasion.
http://www.lindemans.com.au/gifs/our_wines/pdf/Coon_pyrus97.PDF
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 12/30/06 09:30 PM

Chess, I'll look forward to your notes!

We, too, enjoyed an Argentine Malbec recently - I think it was a Norton (not sure of the vintage). Very tasty. Would buy it again.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 12/31/06 12:59 AM

Some of our friends convinced us to have a small combined News Years and birthday party for my little one who turns 3 tomorrow, so I'm providing the wine while they bring the food.
Before it turns into just drinking we plan on doing a small blind Cab shootout, a 2003 Cakebread, 2003 Siverado and a 2002 Silver Oak, my wife is getting pretty good at distinguishing the subtleties of different wines, I'm still at the "that's a pretty darn good wine" stage.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 12/31/06 01:15 AM

The Bodega Norton does indeed make a very good malbec from what i hear. I cannot seem to get one locally though i continue to ask around.

Our plans have changed somewhat. We just got dumped on with snow tonight and so our idea of opening the Lindemans Pyrus out at a friend's cottage in the afternoon has been nixed. The drive is too dicey to bother. So now we are spending tomorrow aft around the house instead, no wine tasting this New Years' but we will be opening one of my favorite chardonnays mentioned much earlier, the Peller Estate Andrew Peller Signature Series Sur Lie 2002.


Homedad, i look forward to your thoughts on the cab blind tasting. I can get some Cakebreads here but i cannot say about the other two. Their names sound familiar. If only these damn liquor laws would allow for cross border shopping.

Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 01/24/07 09:33 PM

The Cab blind tasting went great, as with any blind tasting everyone seemed to have a different favorite, for me the Cakebread got top honors, it tasted very similar to the Silver Oak, both were full rich cabs but Imho the Cakebread was a tad smoother,the Silverado which was rated a 95 by wine spectator came in 3rd for me, it was an exceptional wine and stood out from the other wines with it's unique cherry and oak taste but the fact that it was so different had half the group loving it and the other half not so crazy about it. My 4th choice was the Robert Hall, while good it was a little fruity for my taste.
On another note, Sunday we had a great Washington Cab called Genesis from Houge Cellars that was sent to us from some friends in Seattle.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: wine thread - 01/24/07 09:48 PM

I just went tasting at Silverado (among others) this past Sunday, and wasn't particularly impressed with any of their "Estate" offerings, though I didn't taste their reserve list (which included several wines close to or above $100/bottle). I did taste a very nice cab from Rutherford Hill, though (they also had a really tasty zin port, too - had to get a bottle of that).
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/25/07 08:37 PM

My wife bought me two tickets for Christmas for a port tasting at a local, private wine store for this saturday. The scoop is they have two bottles of a rare port, one of which is spoken for and the other may be opened at the tasting.
I have another friend with a ticket so 3 of us will be attending.
Two hours of tastings and talking about the Grandeur of Port.

Very very excited.
I will be taking many notes.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/26/07 03:15 AM

I've never been to a port tasting, sounds like it will be fun. I really enjoy port, we have several bottles of true port and some late Harvest Zins that many of the wineries out here refer to as port, but I'm sorely lacking in knowledge as to what makes a port great.
Looking forward to your tasting notes, perhaps I can learn something.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/26/07 09:48 AM

The Silverado seams to have lost their way over the last few years. I'm very disappointed as the 99 was absolutely wonderful. I've still got a few of them and there's no comparison between them and the last few vintages. The 99 was wine spectator's #20 and that made them quite popular. They've gone downhill ever since. Same thing happened with Silver Oak. Their 93 was the last vintage I really like. They still make a great bottle, but definitely not a great $80 bottle. I'd rather pick up a Provenance, Stag's Leap or Cakebread than Silver Oak.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/26/07 05:57 PM

Last night I decided to do a little red shopping at BevMo. Came home with these:

Hess (Napa Valley) '04 Artezin - I actually tasted this at the winery and had bought a bottle, but I never got to enjoy it (it went to my parents for Xmas). Opened it last night and really like it. Great body and nicely balanced throughout (definitely not a one-note zin). A nice deal at $18, too.

Roth (Alexander Valley) '03 Cabernet Sauvignon - bought it purely based off the glowing recommendation the little Bevmo info card had. I believe they called it the perfect representation of what an Alexander Valley cab should be. $40, so I have fairly high expectations for this one.

Laetitia (Arroyo Grande Valley) '05 Pinot Noir - Another one I bought purely off the info card recommendation. Pinot is probably the red I'm least familiar with, but I'm slowly getting to know it. Another good deal (well, hopefully) at $18.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/26/07 06:55 PM

I've had the Hess. Good bottle.

One thing I figured I'd throw out there to anyone reading this thread and running out and buying a bottle based on a recommendation someone posts.

This is primarily concentrated to Cabs, but all reds benefit from it as well. Let that sucker breath!

I used to laugh at folks that would tell me to do this, but have become a believer. I use my decanter for every bottle of red I open anymore. I bought this silly thing a few years ago for straining 'the good bottles' that get sediment after a decade or so, but it works amazingly well for rapid breathing (I'm impatient as hell). It works so well that I have two of them now. I pull a bottle out of the cooler, dump it into the decanter and let it sit for about twenty minute (swirling it every now and then). When friends come over for a wine swilling night, both decanters have wine in them.

So anyway, don't give up on a bottle unless you let it breath for a while. If you still don't like it, move on. No sense blowing money on something nasty to you twice. But definately give it time to breath. Some bottles go from down right horible to pretty darn good with a little air.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/26/07 07:00 PM

My cousin (a conneswer...) has also described using decanters for us. He actually asked for a decanter at a restaurant when we ordered a red wine. Seemed to work pretty well!
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/26/07 07:55 PM

Good advice. I don't have a decanter, but I'll usually pour myself a small glass after opening and then leave the bottle open to breathe. If I know I'm having wine with dinner, I'll open the bottle before I start preparing the food. It definitely makes a good difference in taste.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 01/26/07 08:27 PM

Quote:

The Cab blind tasting went great



I love the blind tastings almost as much as i love blind testing [audio].

Had to get that in there.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/26/07 08:30 PM

Quote:

I've never been to a port tasting, sounds like it will be fun. I really enjoy port, we have several bottles of true port and some late Harvest Zins that many of the wineries out here refer to as port, but I'm sorely lacking in knowledge as to what makes a port great.



I've never been to a formal wine tasting either. We attend the annual International Wine Festival here in town and have done so for five years running now, but that doesn't count.

As for what makes a port great, we are hoping to look into that more tomorrow. I think i know what i like in a port, so far i prefer tawnies over rubies, the caramel, nutty and toasted flavours with some sweet, quick heat compared to the ruby flavours of more berry.
I'm just hoping they really open up something truly interesting.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/26/07 08:45 PM

Quote:

Let that sucker breath! I used to laugh at folks that would tell me to do this, but have become a believer.



Actually mdrew, you will be glad to know that science supports this concept, although to what extent the flavour changes is a bit hard to test since technically both bottles of wine for testing would have to be open to the air before tasting. Granted the time difference in allowing oxygen (the real factor in air/breathing) to affect the wine would still be longer vs. shorter.

In any event, oxygen and wine, and the hundreds if not thousands of chemical compounds that make up the liquid (phenols, glycosides, numerous esters and ketones, many acids such as malic and lactic, flavenoids, acetyls, etc. etc.) interact immediately and constantly. However the rates of those reactions will vary and although some are relatively quick, most are not. I've heard about the various suggestions for times to aerate a red wine and it goes from anywhere between 20 minutes to several hours. Sometimes an excess of sulfide gas is retained in the small air pocket in the bottle and often this is another reason for allowing a wine to breath, to allow the rather unpleasant sulfides to dissipate. Keep in mind that even white wines may exhibit changes when exposed to oxygen after opening but given their more simple structure (MANY less pigmented tannins) the oxygenation process may not have as profound an effect.

The simple point is that there is no doubt, oxygen is a major player in the formation of wine components and aerating a wine will begin a change in its character. Also note that the longer one leaves a bottle open, on a counter say, the more the alcohol evaporates over time. Acidity levels can vary but i personally have found that some wines that were harsh in alcohol presence the night before are much softer on the nose the next day.

If anyone is really getting into the wine thing, i highly recommend this tome called The Oxford Companion to Wine. It is essentially an encyclopedia of wine terms but it is extremely informative and bloddy heavy.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/27/07 11:46 AM

Here is another good link to learn about wines Wine Spectator
You can click on the pdf links and print the guide, pretty handy if you throw a tasting at home.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/27/07 03:09 PM

There is some great information to be found in the Wine Spectator, however i find many articles to be rather snooty snobby, very aristocratic.
There was an article on wine cellars a few issues ago and they basically stated that good, standard cellars could cost between 50k and 100k from the vendors they polled. That's just ridiculous. Our 713 bottle climate controlled cellar was 6k.

Another article discussed the latest movement in wine auctions which are occurring more often at restaurants than in rental halls with uncomfortable steel chairs. The author described many buyers as serious collectors that call in orders and have representatives provide a physical presence while other 'newer' and more novice collectors show up in person hoping that some of the good wines will fall through the cracks and get nabbed by them, what the author referred to as "bottom fishers". The arrogance displayed in the writing is aggravating.

I have yet to see the Wine Spectator review a single Canadian wine that was not an ice wine. They often tout 600+ reviews this issue, but not one Canadian brand?
So much for objective perspective.

/end rant
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/27/07 04:33 PM

Port tasting countdown 2 hours.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/27/07 07:38 PM

I'll have to agree with you on Wine Spectators attitudes and alliances, when we were in Napa and Paso touring wineries several of the vinyard owners we met scoffed at some of Wine spectators top 100 choices stating that advertising and support do as much as having a great wine.
Agreed they do have some usefull articles, but I'm putting in my order for the book you mentioned. Have fun tonight.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/28/07 03:00 PM

Apparently the port was pretty good. Chess hasn't dragged himself out of bed yet.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting) - 01/28/07 06:08 PM

Quote:

Apparently the port was pretty good. Chess hasn't dragged himself out of bed yet



Ironic that just as i read this i had just returned from the wine store.
What a FANTASTIC evening.
10 ports
Ranging between $19 and $150 (cdn).
Tawnies, rubies, vintages, late bottled vintages, whites.
I'll list them soon.
Dinner first.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting- the notes) - 01/29/07 10:28 PM

Ok the ports tasted, in order (and they were in a specific order for a reason) were:

  • Warre's Fine White ==============================$16.41
  • Taylor Fladgate 10 yr old Tawny =================$41.95
  • Dow's 1992 Colheita Tawny =======================$29.44
  • Graham's 20 yr old Tawny ========================$69.99
    This set done in order of increasing age for tawnies.

  • Dutschke Old Codger Tawny =======================$21.99
    This tawny added as a non-Portugal offering for comparison.

  • Quinto do Infantado Medium Dry Estate Ruby =======$19.49
  • Quinto do Infantado 1996 Late Bottled Vintage ====$37.95
  • Quinto do Infantado 2000 Vintage =================$76.95
    This set done to compare increasing age of vintage style red ports, all from the same quinto.

  • Fonseca 1986 Guimaraens Vintage ==================$69.09
  • Smith Woodhouse 1997 Vintage =====================$60.02
  • Quinto do Infantado 2000 Vintage =================$76.95 (tested again here in this set)
  • Quinta do Noval 2003 Vintage =====================$150
    This set done to compare some higher priced premium ports from vintage years


I have notes on each, but that would make for an extensive post. If anyone wants further specifics, i can provide.
Otherwise, a short summary should hopefully suffice.


  • Warre's Fine White $16.41
    -simple, aperitif, cooking, drink cold

  • Taylor Fladgate 10 yr old Tawny $41.95
    -very standard, lots of alcohol

  • Dow's 1992 Colheita Tawny $29.44
    -a very good value for its price, drinking well

  • Graham's 20 yr old Tawny $69.99
    -very standard, lots of heat, subtle flavors, not worth the cost

  • Dutschke Old Codger Tawny $21.99
    -a new, personal favorite, much more sweet than the previous 4, very heavy butterscotch and caramel, smooth texture, controlled alcohol. It may have more sweetness but it also has a much richer character, something i like in a flavorful tawny. This is Australian.

  • Quinto do Infantado Medium Dry Estate Ruby $19.49
    -inky garnet, strong fruit, sweet cherry, young but for a great price

  • Quinto do Infantado 1996 Late Bottled Vintage $37.95
    -the overall best of the night, dark blackcurrant bouquent, very clean mouth feel, well balanced, drinking well

  • Quinto do Infantado 2000 Vintage $76.95
    -the biggest disappointment of the night, still young, may be in a sleepy stage, definitely needs a ton of bottle ageing, still a crapshoot into the future

  • Fonseca 1986 Guimaraens Vintage $69.09
    -heavy alchohol, anise and tar flavours, disappointing all around

  • Smith Woodhouse 1997 Vintage $60.02
    -another disappointment, compared to ANY in the evening this was thin and watery but had lovely brown sugar notes and molasses, not drinking well for its price

  • Quinta do Noval 2003 Vintage $150
    -floral bouquet, black cherry, inky, peppery, clean finish, this is going to be a wicked port in 15-30 years!!



If anyone wants to start with a good flavored, sweet, inexpensive soft port, i would recommend the Dutschke Old Codger.
If you prefer the vintage style (red), i would have to recommend you put out a bit more cash and get the 1996 Late Bottled Vintage or if you prefer to spend less, the Medium Dry Estate Ruby is a good shot. Just watch out for its slightly overdone heat.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread (port tasting- the notes) - 01/30/07 01:34 AM

Excellent, Chess! Thank you so much. I envy your experience, and appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (port tasting- the notes) - 01/30/07 08:47 AM

Thanks Chess.

I like a good port every now and then. I tend to migrate back to the Grahams 20 year though. I've tried the 40 year and thought is was grossly overpriced in comparison to the 20 year. Plus I get the 20 year for 40 bucks a bottle.

I'll try some of these others you mention.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (port tasting- the notes) - 01/30/07 09:00 AM

I'm have a bottle of Warre's Warrior (non-vintage) at home now. Picked it up at Costco for about $13. It's pretty tasty. I can post more detailed notes later if anyone wants. It's actually the first store-bought port I've had in a long time. I usually get them directly from wineries or portworks.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting- the notes) - 01/30/07 10:35 PM

Quote:

I tend to migrate back to the Grahams 20 year though. I've tried the 40 year and thought is was grossly overpriced in comparison to the 20 year. Plus I get the 20 year for 40 bucks a bottle.



I highly recommend you continue to look abroad for more options. The Grahams was really very generic. Many of those ports were like comparing a Coors Light to a microbrew quality. I was starting to lose faith that i was a port drinker, until i had that Old Codger and those fine rubies.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread (port tasting- the notes) - 01/31/07 12:25 PM

Great review Chess, there is obviously much that I do not know about port. Now perhaps I'll purchase one of the ports you enjoyed and compare it to what I have at home.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (port tasting- the notes) - 01/31/07 12:40 PM

Quote:

there is obviously much that I do not know about port



If you buy that Oxford Companion to Wine book, it will tell you everything about any subject that has to do with wine. I've very much enjoyed the sections on the chemistry myself.
The history, styles and process of port making is about three pages long.
Posted by: DL30

Re: wine thread (port tasting- the notes) - 02/10/07 12:42 AM

Been a long time since I've posted here but have tried a mess o wines that should be tried. These should be pretty available - at least in the U.S.


Woop Woop Shiraz $8 ish- nice blueberry. a hint of pepper to remind you that it's a shiraz - good mouthfeel. A nice every day drinking Shiraz

Jim Barry Lodge Hill - $15 Shiraz - drinks more like a $30. Great Tannic structure, fruit, long finish

Miramar - unoaked Chardonnay - hello! Nice to taste a Chardonnay without over oaky vanilla getting in the way. Sweetish in a tart apple sort of way, but very refreshing.

A couple good Oregon Pinot's that I am blanking on - I will check my notes on those - relatively inexpensive too!

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot - I know, I know the gag is anything but Merlot - but this is nice approachable, under $10 or around there a bottle. Nice oak, tannin vanilla and cherry - thank you, I will have more!

Silver Oak 2002 Alexander Valley ($60-70)- finally Silver Oak back to tasting like great Silver Oaks of the past. Textbook cali cab boquet - Great tannic structure - long, smooth finish.

Amon Ra Godolphin - Wow! Australian. 80% Shiraz 20% Cabernet Savignon. This is drinkable now. Powerful. A friend and I tried a bottle at a tasting and bought two - one for dinner that night with our families - one to wait until we can all meet up again. This wine derives incredible fruit from the Shiraz and I surmize the Cab help s to give it a velvety smooth finish. Dark fruit on the nose, dark fruit and earth on the pallet. I highly recommend this wine - It's about $50 a bottle, but you absolutley can not go wrong with this wine if you like Shiraz or shiraz blends.

I know I have more rattling around in my head - there are a couple spanish whites - an Alberino and a Savignon blanc that I will have to track down too.
Posted by: Amie

BFC Club - 02/28/07 09:43 AM

Had a yummy BFC last week - Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay, the 2004. It immediately made me think of bigwill2 and the BFC club! Amazing with roast chicken.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: BFC Club - 02/28/07 07:21 PM

that's funny, i had a Chateau St. Jean chard a couple weeks ago and thought of you, Amie. Seriously.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: BFC Club - 02/28/07 08:19 PM

I had a surprisingly tasty Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay a couple nights ago (some of which went into a pan sauce for the seared chicken breasts I cooked up). I picked it up at Costco for $15 and change. Usually I have to spend upwards of $30 to get a California chard that I like. This was a bargain.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: port - 02/28/07 08:38 PM

A little late, but thanks for the info on port! I'm a fan of port myself, but really had no idea where to turn to try something new. I've been working on a bottle of the Grahams 20 yo for awhile now. I'll try to find some of those others you mentioned.

btw...Justin Vineyards 'Obtuse' is a late harvest cab that I really love. Really worth finding a bottle.


Posted by: Amie

Re: BFC Club - 03/01/07 07:01 AM

Just checked our liquor control board's website (all liquore stores in Ontario are provincially run) and they have CHATEAU ST. JEAN SONOMA CHARDONNAY 2004 - is that the one? No sign of the Kendall Jackson Peter was talking about though I've gone 'off' our everyday white so it's time to start the hunt for a new one. We do this every year or so, probably right around when the vintages change, and freshen up our house brands.

BTW, Ontario has just started putting a deposit on wine bottles. You return them to the beer store to get your $.20 back.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: BFC Club - 03/01/07 07:52 AM

... even if you bought the wine before the deposit system was instituted. Finally I'm going to get my "sloth dividend" for not having hauled the empties out to the curb on recycle day
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: BFC Club - 03/01/07 09:24 PM

We've had that CHATEAU ST. JEAN CHARDONNAY. It was good, but i did not feel it was worth the price we paid here. Give the Bonterra Chardonnay a try. It is 'organic' (add a chuckle and a guffaw here) but quite good. Around $20/bottle.

Kendall Jackson makes pretty decent wines. We've tried several recently and all have been very good quality.

I can't say i've had a late harvest cab but i did try a cabernet franc icewine in Niagara two years ago. Fantastic raspberry flavours.

Spiff, if i come across any other port names worth trying, i'll be sure to post them. I guess i could add to that. We tasted a Peter Lehmann "King" port last weekend. Lots of raisin and tar flavors, light liquorice, light heat, medium body. Ok for $30 but this one might be worth cellaring for awhile to see what it does.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: BFC Club - 03/01/07 09:46 PM

I'm not much of a White Wine drinker, but some friends brought over a bottle of Kim Crawford 2006 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and we really enjoyed it.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: BFC Club - 03/02/07 01:38 PM

The 05 Kim Crawford Un-oaked Chard is good.

I also like the Bontara Chard.

I'd call both of these Big Fat Bastards.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: BFC Club - 03/02/07 05:05 PM

I have a few of those red topped KJ chards. good stuff, but I think the 2004 is MUCH, MUCH better than the 2005.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: BFC Club - 03/02/07 05:28 PM

Kim Crawford makes some excellent wines although the sav blancs from NZ tend to be on the pricey side.

There's nothing like a good big fat chardonnay. I prefer the oak flavored as opposed to the unoaked. It is amazing how much a chard tastes more like a riesling without the oak.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 03/04/07 10:52 PM

Adding to the wine list.
A $15 bottle of Santa Rita Reserva cab sav 2003.
Heavy, dark flavours (tobacco, dark cherry and berry with a bold, spice finish) but quite pleasant. I was expecting it to be more harsh overall but for a generic Chilean cab, it was very good.
A little roast beef, some roast potatoes and caramelized onions, carrots and parsnips rounded out the dinner. Dessert included a chocolate lava cake in sugar crusted ramekins .

Fantastic.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: Back to the reds - 03/09/07 09:40 PM

I'll have to confess once again to liking the barrel-fermented chards. Just had a Columbia Crest Grand Estates that was like a plate of butterscotches, but very nice. Room for both styles, I reckon.

I'll take a gander for that label, Chess. The wine looks good even if their website was apparently composed by the same guys that do the Chinese speaker sites.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 03/11/07 02:27 PM

Quote:

Columbia Crest Grand Estates that was like a plate of butterscotches, but very nice. Room for both styles, I reckon...



Absolutely. I've only had a handful of non-oaked chards so far and most were Cdn. I just haven't found one to be impressive.
Columbia Crest makes some lovely chardonnays too but i have not had the GRAND estates version.
It sounds, well, grand.

Quote:

even if their website was apparently composed by the same guys that do the Chinese speaker sites.



Those damn....website compromisers!!

Posted by: Amie

Re: Back to the reds - 03/17/07 07:31 PM

I've been meaning to ask - are our fellow quaffers south of the 49th parallel as in to 'alternative packaging' wines as we are these days? Our provincial liquor store is at about 5% alternative packaging wines now - everyday bevvies in tetra packs, or unbreakable 'glass', or just cork-free offerings. Is that catching on down there? (Not for anything you'd cellar, just for everyday drinking).
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Back to the reds - 03/18/07 06:53 PM

You mean like Black Box wines Amie?

----

Has anyone been to the V2V wine tasting in Napa?? Or, is anyone going? I hope to go this year with a couple frinds of mine.


-------
Please join the Stags Leap District Winegrowers
for its annual Vineyard to Vintner: "On the Trail of
World-Class Cabernet" as our vintners and winemakers
share their hospitality, say a heart-felt thank you to old
friends and welcome new ones to the neighborhood. V2V is a
day for those just discovering fine wine and those who have been
collecting for years. It is a day of swirling and sipping, learning
and laughing. Spend an intimate day meeting our vintners,
attending private open houses, tastings and seminars.
Then join us for a fabulous evening and dinner at
the renowned Stags' Leap Winery.

For event details and to make reservations,
visit our website. Tickets are limited and
reservations must be received by
Saturday, April 7, 2007,
so don't delay!
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Back to the reds - 03/18/07 11:39 PM

I've seen several different box wines as well as small bottle six packs of wine, not sure if the cork free bottles will ever catch on here, I was surprised when I purchased a $40.00 dollar bottle of Two Hands 2005 Brave Faces Shiraz from Australia and it had a twist off cap. I'm sure the cork sniffers would'nt find it very appealing. It feels a bit cheap to me. Everyday drinking I don't mind, but if I'm paying over $20.00 dollars I want a cork
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Back to the reds - 03/19/07 12:52 AM

I've had quite a few screwcapped wines, too -- mostly imports. I wish there were more. But I do like the sound of a good cork pop.
Posted by: DL30

Re: Back to the reds - 03/19/07 12:12 PM

HomeDad - liked your cork sniffer remark, although those who do "sniff" corks, miss the mark as to why they are presented corks at restaurants and probably don't know as much about wine as they think they do. One is not going to determine if a wine is good by sniffing a cork, although there are scents on the cork you will not get a full picture of the wine until you smell it and taste it in the glass. The cork is presented to an individual at a restaurant for inspection for two main reasons:

1. To confirm the wine is actually what you ordered.
2. To determine that the wine has aged properly and the cork does not show signs of rot, drying out, or leakage, which all indicate a poor seal and are a good indication that you should examine your wine when tasting for signs of oxidation/taint.

Point one developed when there was widespread abuse over a century ago of restrauntuers re-using famous bottles/vintages and filling them with their own wine and charging a premium for those who ordered them. One way for wineries to prevent this deception was to print their names on the corks, so that when the bottle was opened you were virtually ensured you got what you ordered (it's almost impossble to re-cork a bottle with a re-used cork without signs of use and wear).

Point two is pretty self explanatory.

The cork may always have it's place, but I think industry wide the move is going to continue toward screw caps and this is actually industry/consumer driven.

Imagine if 1 out of every 12 Axiom speakers sold was defective. There would be customer outcry and if not corrected, Axiom most certainly would go out of business. However, in the wine industry, nearly one out of every twelve bottles that is sealed with a cork is sealed incorrectly. This goes for winereies of every level. So if you buy a case of wine, odds are that one of the twelve is probably tainted, however you have no recourse. You can't return the bottle to the winery for a new one. And the wineries know this and basically have you over a barrell (pun intended).

How does that make you feel if you have bought a nice bottle for a special occasion and it's undrinkable? Or imagine if you are a collector and you purchase cases of First growth Bordeaux or cult California Cabs which will set you back hundreds of dollars per bottle? So compared with other consumer goods and standards of quality, wine has been slow in the uptake of new tech.

The industry is exploring other sealing/bottling techs. that seal better than cork, and sealing processes that are cleaner and ensure there is less chance of taint by TCA and other environmental factors/microbes, etc.

So enter the screw cap. It seals better and studies show it holds it's seal as well or better than cork over time. Of course you lose the presentation/romance associated with opening a bottle with a cork, but you are more likely ensured the wine you bought is going to taste the way it was supposed to taste.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Back to the reds - 03/19/07 01:47 PM

David, Good information, Thanks.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Back to the reds - 03/19/07 07:42 PM

Yes, very nice David. I know very little about wine, so every tidbit is helpful.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Back to the reds - 03/19/07 09:22 PM

Stay away from the pink stuff.
Posted by: DL30

Re: Back to the reds - 03/19/07 11:06 PM

Quote:

Stay away from the pink stuff.




And anything referred to as blush!

For full disclosure, I actually became interested in wine through a Blossom Hill white zinfandel back in 1993. I will categorically deny ever having liked the stuff and I refer to that incident as a misunderstanding

By the way, I am interested in good boxed wine referrrals, especially since my wife is pregnant, and I feel obligated to finish any bottle I open. Which can be viewed as a good thing or a bad thing. I like to focus on the positives however.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: Back to the reds - 03/20/07 12:19 AM

the best option at this point, IMO, are those synthetic corks (can't remember any of the wineries that use them off the top of my head). You still get to do the whole cork-pulling ritual, but no taint.

I'm not too fond of taint.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Back to the reds - 03/20/07 01:15 AM

Rosenblum and Barefoot are a couple that I know of that use the synthetic corks. I guess it pays to have a jar full of corks when a question like that comes up.
Posted by: Amie

Re: Back to the reds - 03/20/07 01:17 PM

In Ontario (out of interest, the world's largest single wine buyer), we've been presented a number of PET bottles (polysomethingorother that doesn't break when you drop it), screwcaps, synthetic corks, and now tetra packs. They haven't added a straw to the tetra packs yet, thank goodness!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Back to the reds - 03/20/07 03:31 PM

Quite thankfully so, since a straw directs the beverage to a very limited area of the palate.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Back to the reds - 04/12/07 09:43 PM

While I was in Whistler, I bought a bottle of Warre's Otima 10-year tawny port and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's aged 10 year's in oak barrels and is one of the best store-bought ports I've had. Highly recommended. It was about $25CAD, if I remember correctly.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 04/12/07 10:20 PM

And you drank the whole bottle?
Excellent gusto Peter.

I had Warre's Otima sometime last year. I still have yet to find anything nicer than this Late Bottled Vintage Quinta do Noval 1996.
Posted by: Amie

Warres Otima - 04/13/07 12:19 PM

Is that the one in the slender, clear bottle? If so, that's a favourite on this lake. And, a generous splash of that will make your French Onion Soup sing!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Warres Otima - 04/13/07 12:56 PM

That's the one, Amie. I had to drain the last couple ounces from the bottle before leaving the hotel for the airport...
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Warres Otima - 04/13/07 01:48 PM

I haven't found any Port for <$20 US that I like better than Warre's Warrior.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Warres Otima - 04/15/07 12:11 AM

I have about half a bottle of that left here. Costco carries it regularly, too.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Warres Otima - 04/25/07 01:31 PM

In a couple weeks we will be heading here for 3 days. Wine Festival It's a really fun weekend up in Paso and anyone in the area who enjoys wine should check it out. It reminds me of what Napa used to be like until the tastings and wines got so expensive.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Warres Otima - 04/25/07 03:08 PM

love the poster on the website.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Wines and festivals - 04/27/07 08:49 PM

The Winnipeg Wine Festival is in a few short weeks for those of you who are clearly planning on flying in for the event. Over 550 wines being showcased over a 2 night, 3 hour/night event, thus creating a sipping time of 19.64 seconds per wine per evening!!
Arrive early.
It will be a long 3 hour night.


Bren and Jordan, if you are attending let me know. We can meet up. We'll be heading there for Saturday night.
Posted by: BrenR

Re: Wines and festivals - 05/01/07 01:55 PM

Quote:

Bren and Jordan, if you are attending let me know. We can meet up. We'll be heading there for Saturday night.


I'll just be dropping off and picking up the wine connoisseur in the house... won't be attending myself.

Bren R.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Wines and festivals - 05/01/07 07:40 PM

Quote:

I'll just be dropping off and picking up the wine connoisseur in the house... won't be attending myself.



That's ok Bren. I will take plenty of notes to post which will probably sound like you've heard it all once before, assuming your significant other is a good note taker with only one free hand for a pencil.
Posted by: vassillios

Re: Warres Otima - 05/02/07 11:51 AM

Quote:

I haven't found any Port for <$20 US that I like better than Warre's Warrior.




Six Grapes port is verrry niiice
Posted by: vassillios

Re: Back to the reds - 05/02/07 12:08 PM

I work part time at a wine store. One day, a customer came in and pulled down our most expensive bottle, a 2001 Chateau Cheval Blanc ($365). So I say "man, i've always wanted to get that bottle". So he says "It's yours then" ("yeah right" i think to myself) and proceeded to pull down something else. His wife comes in with a pizza from the pizzeria next door, they sit down at the tasting counter and he says "Where's your cork pull?". "I'm sorry sir but you can't open that here". "But the owner lets me do it".

Long story short, I lock the door as it was closing time anyway and he offers me some pizza and wine and I dine with them. He paid for the wine as he was leaving and I say "Sir, you forgot your Chateau Cheval Blanc", "No I didn't"...and he left.

All I can say is that i'm glad I didn't pay for that wine...perhaps it needed more time to age.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 05/02/07 06:14 PM

Nice story Vasillios.
I've had one or two wines in the more expensive category and honestly, they were not a world better than a solid $40 bottle.
Still, it is nice to try something silly expensive now and again as a comparison and a splurge.

As for the Six Grapes, it is sitting in my cellar now next to 3 other opened bottles. I just haven't warmed up to it that much. It was touted as being more sweet than most Portugal ports but i didn't have that impression. I'm still quite taken with the flavours, texture and general character of the Aussie "ports" i've come across. My new mission has been to seek out more of them.
Posted by: DanielBMe

Re: Back to the reds - 05/03/07 09:33 AM

Has anyone here ever purchased wine futures? I just found out about wine futures and was thinking of getting a few bottles.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 05/03/07 11:16 AM

I have not looked much into wine shares as i'm not much into the investing of wine for resale. Some people may choose to buy wine shares if they are very keen on a brand or vineyard and want to get a piece of the limited stock of a particular release, but again i cannot say that we've been so picky to want to do this.

I am going to hazard a guess that buying in advance adds risk that the after casked wine is actually going to be good or at least as good as the money one spends buying in advance.
Posted by: DanielBMe

Re: Back to the reds - 05/03/07 11:51 AM

I just bought two lots - 6 bottles. One lot for $90 and one for $60. It isn't for investment. I just figured that I'm saving some money, in some cases quite a bit, by buying them now. Yup, you do take a chance in hoping the wine is worth the price. But I would suspect that there's isn't that much a risk from the better houses...I hope! Now I just have to wait until spring 2008.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 05/03/07 11:58 AM

And these wines are??
Come on now, don't leave us hanging.
Posted by: DanielBMe

Re: Back to the reds - 05/04/07 08:21 AM

I've never bought futures before and didn't really know what to buy. I could have gone to my local lcbo and talk to someone there but I decided to just take a chance and pick my own.

Côtes de Bourg - Red Wine
Fougas Maldoror 2005
500587 (XD) 750 mL
$33.00 per btl $99.00 per 3-btl. lot
Lots available: 795
RP: 89-91
Tasting Note: Quickly becoming my favorite Côtes de Bourg estate, Fougas-Maldoror's gorgeous 2005 reveals notes of chocolate, sweet cherry jam, smoke, and barbecue spice. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, and fleshy, it will offer beautiful drinking over the next decade. Score - (89-91). (RP)

and

Bordeaux - Red Wine
Marjosse 2005
500348 (XD) 750 mL
$20.00 per btl $60.00 per 3-btl. lot
Lots available: 795
RP: 87-88
Tasting Note: This lower pedigree wine represents undeniable quality/value rapport in 2005. This vintage is so deep in quality among the better run, less heralded estates, that these wines should appeal to readers looking for terrific values from Bordeaux. Most of these wines are Merlot-based and will be drinkable young. Sleeper of the vintage. Score - (87-88). (RP)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 05/04/07 05:26 PM

Quote:


Our summer wine thing is a sangria made from cheap zin, fruit juices and triple sec. It's really quite good, and looks lovely with the oranges, lemons and apples floating around in it.





Any one else have a good Sangria recipe? I’ve been volunteered to make a couple gallons of it for our Cinco de Mayo gathering tomorrow.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 05/04/07 11:05 PM

I'm partial to sangrias that have the extra kick of hard alcohol (e.g. whiskey, vodka, gin, brandy, rum). Lemon and orange slices are a must, of course, and you can add any other juicy in-season fruit you want. Keep the proportions as follows and you really can't go wrong:

For each bottle of red wine, add:
2 shots liquor (maybe tequila since it's Cinco de Mayo)
2 cups club soda, tonic, ginger ale, or any flavor of fruity soda (Hansen's works very well)
3 citrus fruits, sliced thinly (more orange than lemon or lime usually tastes better)
1-2 cups of other fruit (try kiwis)
2 tablespoons sugar (or less if the added carbonated drink is already sweet)

It's hard to go wrong, really.
Posted by: samandnoah

Re: wine thread - 05/05/07 01:50 AM

OK, here's my family recipe for Sangria. It really is good, especially if you make it the day before (except for the soda, add that at the end)

2 bottles red wine - Rioja
1/2 c Triple Sec
1/4 c Tequila
1/4 c sweet vermouth
1/4 c fresh lime juice
Lemons, limes, oranges (sliced)
sugar to taste
2 cups Sprite or 7Up
Mix all ingredients in larger pitcher except Sprite Add fruit slices and ref for a few hours. Just before serving add sugar to adjust sweetness and pour in soda. Serve over ice with slices of fruit.


Rich
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 05/14/07 11:06 PM

Returning after the wine festival weekend on saturday evening. A bit of a down year compared to the past, but we've found possibly one or two gems.
Now i just have to remember where i stashed my notes...

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Back to the reds - 06/01/07 09:01 PM

I'm drinking a 2005 New Zealand sauvignon blanc from Jackson Estate. It's very dry with good helping of zingy tartness. Grapefruit up front with strong herbal notes dancing around it and a very, very long finish.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Back to the reds - 06/01/07 09:07 PM

I was into whites last week. I'm back to reds now. I'm enjoying a Rickard's Red. Have you heard of it?
Posted by: Murph

Re: Back to the reds - 06/04/07 10:28 AM

Rickard's Red!!
How to hijack a wine thread with beer! LOL, you are my hero!
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Back to the reds - 06/04/07 11:49 AM

Rickard's Red. The poor Canadian's substitute for Red Wine .
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Back to the reds - 06/05/07 08:21 PM

A friend brought over one of his wine club bottles. They send him their latest releases. Man it was good.

Mount Veeder Winery
2003 reserve
Napa Valley
Red Wine
14.5%

Heavy body blend. More cab than anything, but very powerful berry on the nose. Dark in color, almost like old Bordeaux, which is what its description on the bottle says it is a blend of.

“Aromas of black fruit and tobacco intertwine with complex coffee, plum and vanilla flavors.” – Description on the bottle, and quite accurate.

I think they are about $50 a bottle now as a pre release, but will be in the $80’s pretty soon. Get a case now before they bump the price up. I liked it enough to order a case of 12 bottles. It’s definitely on my top five list.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Back to the reds - 06/05/07 10:17 PM

When's the party? I've been meaning to see Alaska... someday.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Back to the reds - 06/05/07 10:38 PM

I’m not going anywhere, so come on up. Fishing is ramping up if you’re into that. Halibut, cod, ling cod, snapper. In July the Silvers will be running. I could probably talk my buddy into take a group out. He loves showing off his boat. He had Munson build him a custom boat… 48’ aluminum jet boat with two 20” jets and 1300 hp. http://www.munsonboats.com/3240packcatphotos.html it’s about half way down, it’s called the Journey.

I’ve offered before, but no one takes me up on it.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Back to the reds - 06/05/07 11:52 PM

Send me some dates that are good for you.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Back to the reds - 06/06/07 08:35 AM


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 06/11/07 08:25 PM

I don't think i ever posted our latest 'gems' from this year's International Wine Festival.
I will have to find my notes.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Back to the reds - 07/26/07 05:14 PM

If you enjoy Zin this is one that mdrew turned me on to, excellent stuff now pre-releasing. Lamborn
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Back to the reds - 07/27/07 02:07 PM

We have a private tours set up for our October trip to Napa with the Lamborn winery. We tried their new cab and it’s wonderful. Too expensive for me at about $100, but it’s definitely a dandy bottle.

A buddy of mine pulled one of his old cabs out of the cellar the other night. I’m still thinking about that bottle..... Not sure if it can be found any more, but if you see it, grab it. Freemark Abbey 94'

We thought it might have turned, but after opening it, we ditched the cheap glasses in the picture and broke out the Riedels.


Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Back to the reds - 07/27/07 02:50 PM

Very tempting, looks like it is offered with two different lables B21
Freemark Abbey
I'll have to wait another week before I do any wine ordering, leaving for the Hyatt in Irvine tonight for my wifes 20yr high school reunion, then 5 days at the Disneyland hotel for the family. So far I've packed a 2004 Lamborn Zin, 2004 Luna Reserve Sangiovise and a 2000 Markham Merlot, that should at least get us through the reunion
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 07/27/07 03:02 PM

They do indeed look tasty.

A friend of mine is having a bbq tomorrow and is going to pull out a bottle of Mondavi Private Reserve unfiltered, 1988 cab sav.
I'll take pictures.
Then i'll measure its acid content and waft the bouquet before drinking just to be sure i don't get a mouthful of vinegar.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Back to the reds - 07/27/07 04:08 PM

Thanks Michael! I was just at the Freemark websight and they are selling if for $120 a bottle. I'm definately going to order a few from the link you provided.

.... this is one FINE wine. You guys should get one. You won't be sorry.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 08/23/07 07:27 PM

It's been awhile.

Latest big tastings:
1988 Robert Mondavi Cab sav, Unfiltered- Napa Valley
vs.
1999 Beringer Founder's Estate Cab sav
vs.
2004 Wolf Blass Yellow Label cab sav

Three tasters, four if you count the wife (the usual crew).
All three actually AGREED on every wine, flavours, and in guessing which was which.
No contest, the 1988 was the most complex and best with steak.
The Beringer was best with the Arctic char, lightly smoked (mesquite) and special rub.
Oddly enough the Yellow Label was the best for sitting around and drinking (more young, fruity, more simple) but was also the most harsh for acidity.

Honestly, i think the 1988 may have been a bit past its prime but geez, was it ever complex. One of the crew bought it for $50 on ebay a few years back and had his cousin cart it up from Texas.
Darn interstate liquor laws!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Back to the reds - 09/25/07 08:05 PM

So, in replying to my own post in the wine thread, i'll continue onward.

Travelling to S.Ontario this weekend. If we have time we might try to meet real80sman in Waterloo.
However, we need to make a stop over in Niagara on the Lake and do some shopping for new and delectable bottles. Up on the block, Peller Estate for the Signature Series Sur Lie Chardonnay, Josephs Estate vintage country red and white and Marynissen Cab-merlot 2001 if they have any left.
Posted by: michael_d

Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/19/07 06:32 PM

We just got back from Napa / San Francisco yesterday. From what I remember and the extra 3 inches around my waste, I can conclude that I had a great time. Lots and lots of great wine and food….. There’s no way in hell I could ever live in this area and keep from eating/drinking myself into a state of gross obesity.

To forgo the food part, we spent seven days in the Napa area visiting different wineries. We went to some of the big wineries that each of us are fond of, but for the most part, we tried to find some smaller, non-descript wineries and wines that we can’t find locally. I’m probably forgetting a few, but here are the ones that I can remember we visited.

In the group, there were five of us. I tend to go for big reds; cabs and zins mostly, but I’ll drink anything. I do not like heavy tannins, so Italian and French wines are ones that I avoid unless I’m looking for a bottle to go with food. If I’m looking for a bottle to go with food, French and Italian wines are what I look for. – that’s why they make wine….., to drink with food.

Sarah likes mellow reds like Petite Sarah or Pinot Noir or Merlot. She also likes white wines.

Dwight likes anything and is our wine expert. Dwight gets us into all the libraries and the folks at the wineries just love talking to him. He’s a great wine tasting partner that never failed to get the folks at the wineries to open up one of them “secret” wines.

Shelly and Pete tend to like merlots or anything with a cool label or nice proprietors. These two are just fun to hang out with.

Day 1

We arrived in the afternoon on a Sunday, which just happened to be the last day of the annual wine festival in Santa Rosa. There were over 500 wineries at the festival….so many wines and so little time… (I don’t recall much from day one). There are three that stood out and we ended up going to their wineries for a second try; Wattle Creek, Hook and Ladder and Larson Family Wineries. More about them later. There were many more that we all liked, but after a while, all the wines started tasting the same. One thing for certain, Zins are in this year. I’d say 80% of the wineries had a Zin on the table. I USED to like Zins…. I don’t think I’ll be buying any soon after trying dozens of them.

Day 2

Our first stop was Cakebread, which is an appointment only tasting. Great wine here. If you like big chards with an oak finish, try theirs. I ended up buying a mixed case of their reds and signing up as a wine club member. I like their estate grown wines the best, but they are all very good. I don’t quite know why, but I just like the smell and taste of all their reds. I had better wines, but Cakebread is definitely one of my favorite wineries. You can’t go wrong with anything they make.

After Cakebread, we had another private tasting set up at Flora Springs (thanks to Dwight) http://www.florasprings.com/
If you have not had their wines or been to their winery, this is a MUST have / visit wine / winery. They are one of three of the region’s largest privately owned grower. They own 1200 acres of fruit and sell fruit to some very reputable wineries (like Cakebread and ZD). Plus, they make a really great wine. My favorite is their Wild Boar Cab at $85 a bottle. We did some barrel tasting of their 06 cabs and what was in the barrel was terrific. I can’t wait till these hit the shelves. The entire staff is nothing short of great company and they all love to have fun.

After Flora Springs, we had to get ready for dinner. Thanks to Cesar for recommending the restaurant, it was definitely the best meal I’ve ever had, ever. We set up a six course wine pairing meal at Cyrus. Four hours of food and wine….. Highly recommended. Just be prepared to dig deep in the wallet. http://www.cyrusrestaurant.com/

Day 3

Franciscan Winery / Mount Veder Winery. These two have their tasting rooms in the same building. I have several bottles of each, so figured we’d swing buy and try their latest wines. This tasting was a miserable disappointment. I’ll keep my current bottles in the cellar and won’t be buying any more.

Private appointment at Rudd Winery http://www.ruddwines.com/
This was another really great visit (thanks to Dwight). The visit started out with a tour of the facility, then the tasting followed by a trip through their caves and a very special and closely guarded tour of the owner’s private library. This particular winery has an interesting story. Leslie Rudd is the owner. I didn’t know anything about Rudd before visiting his winery, but after seeing his winery and having an eye for quality craftsmanship and materials, I can say that he spared no expense with this place. It’s somewhat small at 50 acres, but it’s on the Silverado Trail and from what we were told, it took Rudd almost 30 years of waiting to acquire this winery. After he bought it in 96’, he ripped up all the vines and started fresh. He rebuilt the entire facility and dug all the caves. Rudd also owns several businesses in the area including Dean and DeLuca, the Press restaurant, the Brix restaurant and the Oakville Market stores. Rudd started and sold off Godfather Pizza and the Outback Steakhouse. The only business he owns that has his name on it is his winery. I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a billionaire’s favorite play house because it just reeked of care and money….

All that aside, the wines (all of them) were fantastic. I don’t care much for whites, but these were wonderful. He has two Cab’s and both are very impressive. One is his “Crossroads” cab and it is a blend of estate cab and non-estate cab and something else that I’ve forgotten. This bottle is made to drink now, or up to a couple years. The estate cab is on a level that I did not find in any wine the rest of the trip. I think this bottle will set the standard that all Napa cabs will be shooting for. Even though this one was made to cellar, the 2004 is wonderful right now. We bought a magnum of the 03 had it with dinner. I’m still remembering this bottle….. Ya, I bought a few of the 03’s ($130 each). The crossroad cabs are $65 each.

After Rudd we tried Elizabeth Spencer…. I wasn’t too impressed but that could be that I was still thinking about the Rudd wines.

Day 4

This day we set up a limo to take us to some small wineries in the Alexander Valley area. We just told the driver to take us to his favorite places…. The first stop was White Oak. We all agreed that this winery had the best Chardonnay of any winery so far with the exception of Rudd. But considering that the cost is less than half of the Rudd, we all thought the White Oak was the winner. Good news for us, the owner is from Alaska, and we can buy these wines locally.

After White Oak, the driver took us to a fairly rustic winery that we all sort of fell in love with called Field Stone Wineries. They opened up 11 bottles for us to try and we did just that. I liked every bottle they had so much that I signed up with their wine club and bought a mix of four cases. The best part is they’re fairly inexpensive. Their reserve cab was under $50 and it was the most expensive bottle they have. http://www.fieldstonewinery.com/

After Field Stone, we went to another winery that didn’t really impress me. I forgot the name, but it borders Silver Oak. Silver Oak didn’t impress me either, so no surprise here.

After that winery, we went to the Robert Young Winery. I liked all their wines, but they had terrible shipping fees and were not all that friendly. I did however leave there with a few of bottles of their cab sav. They came back in my luggage. Too bad about the shipping costs or I would have bought a case or two.

The last winery for the day was Stonestreet Winery. I didn’t like the wine or the place, and just felt like we were being treated like cattle. They didn’t get any of my money, or anyone else’s.

Day 5

This day we took the Wine Train, or as we call it, the gray hair express. At $80 a head, I can’t recommend this to anyone else. I enjoyed the train ride and the lunch was OK, but again, I felt like I was part of a heard of mindless cattle. We ordered a bottle of Louis Martini cab to try and they brought us the wrong bottle. I mentioned this to the bartender and he comped the bottle. Besides being free, it was a great bottle. The bottle was a 2003 Madrigal Petite Sarah and it was so good, we later went to the winery. Unfortunately, this is there first season as a winery and were busy with harvest so we couldn’t visit with them. http://www.madrigalvineyards.com/wine.html

I was able to find a couple bottles at the St Helena Wine Center and had them ship them to me with a few other wines that we had at different times during our trip that were excellent (2003 Prisoner Zin, 2004 Patz and Hall Pinot, 05 Lamborn Zin, 2003 Cain Five, 2004 Borra Red Fusion, 2005 Leviathan Hapa Red). They also had great prices on Riedel glasses, so we bought a few of those too.

After the wine train, we visited Andreti wineries. I wasn’t overly impressed, but Pete and Shelly liked their wines and bought some.

After Andretti, we visited William Hill. I was very disappointed with William Hill. I had a 95 reserve cab a while back and loved it. Nothing in their current line impressed me. I also found out that Gallo just bought them out. This may mean that they will get better seeing how Jim Beam owned this winery recently and Gallo is quite a bit more family orientated than Jim Beam.

After William Hill we zipped over to Stetzner Wineries in the Stags Leap District. All of us liked everything they poured…and they poured a lot. Their wines are great and reasonably priced considering who their neighbors are. You can’t go wrong with any of their wines. Their Merlot is exceptionally good. They sold me two cases of their reserve wines that they do not distribute. Out of all the reds I had this trip, theirs have the mellowest tannins of all, but they still have that big bold cab noise and taste. Lots of red fruit, but not overpowering. http://www.steltzner.com/

Day 6

Hook and Ladder – Small privately owned winery owned by a retired firefighter. Very reasonably priced wines and all are estate grown, processed and bottled. I would have bought several, but their shipping costs were unreasonable, so I passed on buying any. If you are a firefighter, you get a 20% discount, which is what drew me to this winery in the first place. I’m a volunteer firefighter, so I had to try their wines. http://www.hookandladderwinery.com/

Larson Family Winery – Another small, family owned winery. They have a terrific Pinot. I bought a case them. http://www.larsonfamilywinery.com/

Stags Leap Cellars – great Stags Leap Area wines, but I didn’t think they were as great as they think they are.

ZD – We tried all their wines and loved them all. What I don’t like about this winery, is that they buy all their fruit. They do buy from Flora Springs, so I think they will be consistent, but still, I prefer wineries who grow their own berries for some reason. http://www.zdwines.com/

Provinence – I have many bottles of this winery in my cellar and like them all. Unfortunately, I think they’ve gotten too big and their wines are not on par with my collection. I passed on everything.

Day 7

This day I had a terrible hang over…. After the last day of wine tasting, dinner and vodka inspired game of poker with Pete and Dwight, we weren’t feeling too perky. The only thing we had planned for this day was a tour of Castello di Amorosa. Even though I was horribly hung over, I was speechless wandering around this place. It’s a 120,000 square foot castle that was designed to be a winery!!! Every brick was brought over from Italy and it was all crafted with old world tools and techniques. I dare guess what the owner has into this place, but if it’s cool billion, I’d not be surprised. This place is so cool; it has to be seen to be believed. All the wines are designed to be authentic Italian wines. I didn’t care much for them because they are so heavy with tannins, but I have to admit that they are great with food. I don’t remember doing this, but I ordered a case of wine from them. It’s sitting on the floor and I’m afraid to open it to see what I ordered….. http://www.castellodiamorosa.com/

We finished this day with a visit to the Freemark Abbey tasting room. The 94 cab reserve I had a couple months ago inspired this visit. I was very disappointed…. None of us liked anything they poured.

Day 8

This was a travel day for us and we didn’t visit any wineries with the exception of a visit to the Wattle Creek tasting room in San Francisco. Their tasting room is located at Ghirardelli’s square and I’d recommend that you pay them a visit. They make about ten different wines and I liked them all. I like them so much that I signed up for their wine club. They have a deal where they ship for free if you buy two cases, two times per year. They got three cases out of me….. http://www.wattlecreek.com/index2.html

The next two days Sarah and I zipped around San Francisco. I learned the first night BS'ing with an Irish bartender to never use the "F" word, Frisco. It's either "the city" or San Francisco...LOL.. Too much to wright about the city, but that it was WAY COOL... I plan to go back and spend a few days.


All in all, we had a great time and plan to head back next year. Next year we plan to go in September when it’s a little warmer. I have around 12 gigs of photos do process and upload now. I also need to build a real wine cellar. I figure I have around a hundred bottles in the mail to me…..
Posted by: RickF

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/19/07 07:29 PM

Not much of a wine drinker myself Mike but what a heck of a review, thanks and it's good to see you back around the forum. I'm very glad you had a great time *and* you do know pictures from your trip is a prerequisite....welcome back big guy!


Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/19/07 07:33 PM

Mike, Thanks for the review and welcome back, I'm looking forward to some pictures, sounds like the wine train had a full load for your trip, for us the train was about 25% full and the ages ran from 21 to about 50 which probably made our trip more enjoyable, I hope you at least got into the wine car and did some sampling, that was my favorite part.
We are going up again in Dec. so if there are any must go to wineries or restraunts let me know.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/19/07 08:01 PM

Wow, that's a lot of wine. Sounds like you had a great trip.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/20/07 02:30 PM

I’ll upload some pics after I get some time this week.

Ya, the train was full. Too full to even wander back to the tasting car. The average age was over 50…..

In the Napa area I think it’s harder to find a bad restaurant that a good one. Everywhere we went the food was incredible. If you can get into Cyrus, you really need to try it. Expect costs to be over $200 each for a wine pairing meal. I’d also visit the Brix, Rutherford Grill, Silverado, Fish On, Mustards, Don Giovanni and the drive in for a good burger at the Refresher. There are many others, but those were the ones that come to mind. If you get to San Francisco, Gary Danko’s is every bit as good as Cyrus (maybe better) and also more expensive. Both Cyrus and Gary Danko are better than the French Laundry and just as hard to get into. One of the guys managing one of wineries we went to is a chef and worked at the French Laundry. He told us that chefs go to Cyrus, if that means anything to you.

As far as which wineries to visit…

Wineries I visited and recommend:

1 – Flora Springs is a MUST
2 – The Castle is a MUST
3 – Rudd winery (appointment)
4 – Stetzner (walk in)
5 – Cakebread (appointment)
6 – Feildstone (walk in)

Here’s a list of wineries I missed this trip, or heard about while in Napa. They are on my list to go to next trip:

Jordan – I love this wine but could not get an appointment. They give a tour and tasting. http://www.jordanwinery.com/
Madrigal – I found this wine during our trip and couldn’t make an appointment. http://www.madrigalvineyards.com/wine.html
Turley – I had a bottle of their Pettite Sarah last night and it’s wonderful. They are very small and hard to get any of their wines. http://www.turleywinecellars.com/
Lamborn – Very small producer and they do not have a tasting room to speak of. You basically set up an appointment to meat the owners personally. They are great people. http://www.lamborn.com/cs/lamborn/view/docs/41
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/20/07 08:15 PM

Oh geez mdrew, i missed all this.
I never got an email on the thread. Must be the new format, lost all the old settings.

This looks like i'll need some time to digest.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/20/07 09:07 PM

mdrew, i know some others are not as great oenophiles as they are, uh, beer-o-philes, but i personally have to say THAT WAS AN AWESOME REVIEW!!

Your trip just sounded simply fantastic.
Your list of taste tests is beyond impressive. I'm overjoyed that you skipped the major brand names and checked out some local talent and put together an excellent review of your favs, locales and why.
Very thorough.
However, i'm also seriously depressed that there is no hope in hell i will be able to get any of these wines around here!

I think perhaps sometime in the relatively near future we should get together and swap some wine cases. A visit to the great Alaska may bring back memories of my Yukon time. (I would send you a PM but i'm still working the clog out of my msg box).

I may not spend as much on the wine trips that you do, but i did bring back a cooler full (about 14 bottles) of wine from our recent visit to the Niagara region again in Southern Ontario and i discovered a lovely little vineyard.
You can check out there site here:
http://www.laileyvineyard.com/index.htm
They do ship across Canada and apparently do ship to the US. They've started using Canadian oak in some of their chards and cab sauvs.

Now i'm going to read back through your review and check out some of these wineries.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/20/07 10:06 PM

Glad you had a good time, Mike!

I'm curious--did you try the White Oak Zinfandel? Peter and I had it in a restaurant a few years back, and I thought it was quite good. I've never been able to track it down in a store, though.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/20/07 10:14 PM

This would be a good time for a visit Chess. I have numerous wino type friends and they all want to get together in the near future to try some of the wines all of us brought back. It’s sort of a ritual of ours. We all go searching for a great bottle, then wait till we can all get together and try them. It’s a great way to spend time with friends, and also share some good wine with folks who appreciate wine. Several are down right excellent chefs too…. So if you get the itch, just shoot me a note and I’ll set up a tasting night, or two, or three. We have the spare bedroom all outfitted with a new bedroom set and towels in the bathroom. I’ll put you to work designing my little cellar (that was going to be a small kitchenette)

I don’t know what the shipping rules are to / from Canada and US, but you might want to call the St Helena Wine Center. They are VERY helpful and know there stuff when it comes to California wines. They do not charge a ‘handling’ fee and only what it costs them to ship. They have an outstanding selection and are always out trying wines. I’ve already got my cases from them ($80 per case, second day UPS air). http://www.shwc.com/
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/20/07 10:31 PM

Yep, I had their "estate" Zin and found it to be pretty darn good, but it's $40 and I thought the Prisoner Zin to be much better, and it's only $35 a bottle (if you can find it). Another excellent Zin we had was from Vinyard 29 (the Aida Zin). We also had their "Cru" Cab, but it sure had me fooled. I thought it was a Zin. Vineyard 29 is another small Napa winery that has very limited lines. All are excellent that I tried. A little pricy though.... http://www.vineyard29.com/

All of us liked ALL the White Oak wines. Heck, you're so close you should just order a mixed case from White Oak. Shipping wouldn't cost you didly.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/20/07 10:58 PM

Wow. I'll repeat that. Wow. Truly impressive trip. Even though your write-up is overflowing with detail and is a marvel to behold, I'm sure it doesn't even begin to do the trip justice. I don't believe I've ever been more envious in my life. \:\)
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/21/07 12:02 AM

So Peter, does that tempt you to head back to California then?
Poor Ken needs more playmates anyway no?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/21/07 12:25 AM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
This would be a good time for a visit Chess. I have numerous wino type friends and they all want to get together in the near future to try some of the wines all of us brought back. It’s sort of a ritual of ours. We all go searching for a great bottle, then wait till we can all get together and try them. It’s a great way to spend time with friends, and also share some good wine with folks who appreciate wine. Several are down right excellent chefs too…. So if you get the itch, just shoot me a note and I’ll set up a tasting night, or two, or three. We have the spare bedroom all outfitted with a new bedroom set and towels in the bathroom. I’ll put you to work designing my little cellar (that was going to be a small kitchenette)


I will endeavor to get my PM box more empty by tomorrow so we can chat. I likely have enough Air Miles to fly there and back twice.
There is another possible trip to northern Manitoba for Christmas though and i'm burning vacation time for it. A second trip may have to wait a few months at least, but i think this could setup to be one really fun journey!

As for the cellar design, i can't take all the credit. The wife helped and our interior designer gave us several versions of basement outlays to help the idea process.
I also checked out variations at many websites, magazines and of course, some cellars makers.
These folks are actually based in Winnipeg but just before installing our racking, they came back from the US (NY if i recall) where they installed a 10,000 bottle cellar for some truly rich bastard.

A few shots of the cellar completed (i would put them inline but i never resized the buggers so the pics are huge):

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4

 Quote:
I don’t know what the shipping rules are to / from Canada and US, but you might want to call the St Helena Wine Center. They are VERY helpful and know there stuff when it comes to California wines. They do not charge a ‘handling’ fee and only what it costs them to ship. They have an outstanding selection and are always out trying wines. I’ve already got my cases from them ($80 per case, second day UPS air). http://www.shwc.com/

I will check out the site, but usually 'importing' wines into the country just doesn't happen. They have to be sent by a relative as a 'gift' and there are limits on quantities. I try to get my friends and relatives who live down there to bring bottles back with them. Unfortunately they are not as keen on carting around 14+ bottles in a cooler in the airports as i am.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Our Napa wine tasting trip report - 10/21/07 12:33 AM

One of these days, I'm going to have to go tasting in Napa--with someone else driving. Now that I have a kid. Oops. ;\)
Posted by: michael_d

Wine Cooler Options? - 10/29/07 11:35 AM

Well my plans to convert the basement kitchenette area into a wine cellar fell through. When I finished the space last winter, I did not insulate two of the walls, or put up a vapor barrier. Plus, I can’t place a cooling unit on any of the walls due to other room spaces or lack of wall space. Then there is the fact that the basement floor has radiant floor heat and there’s no way of isolating this area. I can’t use a remote mounted cooler because I didn’t put in the right size duct work…. I’m bummed….

So now I have around 150 bottles lying on the loft floor, another cooler full of bottles (60) and all my ambient air racks are full, and another three cases expected to arrive this week.

I need a bigger cooler. Either that or I need to build a free standing cooler.

Any recommendations for a not too expensive cooler that will hold at least 250 bottles? I don’t like to store bottles touching each other, so those coolers with fixed racks for stacking bottles onto one another are not an option for me.

If I could find a self contained cooling unit that I could vent out the bottom front of the cooler, I’d prefer to build one myself. That way I can pick out the wood and build it any size I want. The only cooling units I have been able to find are the kind that are designed for cellars.
Posted by: michael_d

A good Malbec - 10/29/07 11:45 AM

The past few nights we've been enjoying a Malbec from Argentina (a bottle each night). The lady at the local store recommended this bottle and we figured we might as well try it; it's cheap at $11 a bottle.

It's very good. Light tannin, great nose, light to medium body, great finish. I can't believe it's as young as it is, or as cheap as it is either.

Dona Paula
Los Carlos
Malbec - 2006

I'm beginning to think my pallet is changing. I'm really liking Pinots, Petite Sarahs and Malbecs lately. A year ago I was stuck on Cabs and Zins.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: A good Malbec - 10/29/07 05:05 PM

I had a couple different Malbecs about a year ago that I really enjoyed. I should try some more. At those prices, it's hard go wrong.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: A good Malbec - 10/29/07 10:42 PM

The wife and I enjoy Malbecs also, I don't think I've had a bad one yet, and your right at those prices they are great for the everynight non special occasion drinking.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: A good Malbec - 10/30/07 11:47 AM

We took a bottle to a freinds last night. It was a big hit with three out of the four others there saying they were going to go buy a case.

I've got two cases reserved for myself.

The bottle has a bit of spice to it. A friend of mine was telling me that that is common with Argentinean wines because the grapes are typically exposed to high winds. He was telling me that the winds make the skins tougher, which in turn gives them a ‘spicy’ taste characteristic. I guess there is a valley in France that is also exposed to winds and the wines that use this valley’s grapes are also spicy.

Who would have thought that wind could make something taste spicy….. One of things I love about wine….
Posted by: DanielBMe

Re: A good Malbec - 10/31/07 08:56 AM

You could try this site for larger wine coolers.

http://rosehillwinecellars.com/3rsV2/products.php?category=wine_cabinets&manufacturer=vintagekeeper
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: A good Malbec - 11/07/07 09:09 AM

Apparently there's no difference between audio and wine. To be more specific, your eyes will screw up the results when comparing two wines just as much as they will when comparing two speakers or amps.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: A good Malbec - 11/07/07 11:58 AM

I’ve been fooled at blind tastings before and ended up picking the cheapest ‘crap’ wine as one of my favorites. But, even though we do them to where you can’t see the bottle, you still get to see the wine. To me, part of tasting is to actually see the color and legs of the wine.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: A good Malbec - 11/07/07 12:00 PM

Ooh, I'm sure the wine experts on the board may have a comment on this, while I agree with some of the points may be partially valid, my 6 year old can tell a white from a red wine blindfolded just by smell alone. My wife and I always get wines we enjoy by taste rather than price, but even I of no profound wine knowledge will choke on a 2 buck chuck in a blind tasting. My wife who is much beter can 90% of the time distinguish the type of fruit and flavors in a wine by smell. That doesn't mean she will pick a $100.00 bottle over the black box as her preffered choice for taste though.
Posted by: michael_d

Trip pics - 11/23/07 08:10 PM

Finally got around to uploading some of our trip pictures.

Here's the score that wouldn't fit in my coolers.

Fieldstone tasting...

Stetzner winery...

The Castle...






Rudd winery...

Dwight's 99 Chateau Cheval Blanc Premeir Grand Cru ($1500 bottle of wine)

Rudd's Library

Flora Springs... Barrel Tasting

The caves at Flora Springs

Posted by: Mojo

Re: Trip pics - 11/23/07 10:57 PM

Mike,

Those are some awesome photos! What camera did you use? BTW, I'm not at all implying that your camera was the only factor for this picture quality. I can see that you have much above average photography skills.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Trip pics - 11/23/07 11:05 PM

Great pics and wine collection Mike, the stuff you couldn't fit in your cooler exceeded my last Napa take
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Trip pics - 11/23/07 11:15 PM

Wow, nice pics, Mike. That really makes me want to go on a wine tour. I may even start developing a taste for wine, too. . .
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Trip pics - 11/24/07 10:33 AM

Thanks guys...
I use an Olympus 510. I found that after a few glasses of wine, I'm not nearly the photographer I thought I was....

I'm heading back down this spring for the V2V at Stags Leap. I have a couple friends that go to that every year and tell me it's a ball.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Trip pics - 11/25/07 05:16 PM

Wow, Mike. Those are cool pictures. Did you ever think about a second career leading wine tours in Napa or elsewhere?

I continue to be impressed and humbled by the depth of knowledge and experience shared here, especially by the wine guys. Awesome.
Posted by: EFalardeau

Re: Trip pics - 11/25/07 05:31 PM

Great pictures! Looks like it was quite a nice trip.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Trip pics - 11/25/07 05:38 PM

When I first saw the pictures of all the wine bottles, my first thought, no joke, was "Boi-oi-oi-oi-oing!" \:\)
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Trip pics - 11/25/07 05:44 PM

So, are you channeling Mel Blanc today, Peter?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Trip pics - 11/25/07 08:15 PM

I’m thinking I just need to buy a winery. Route 29 is up for sale. 20 some million is all….

I can’t believe you history buffs haven’t said anything about the torture chamber shot of the castle. That’s a real bloody Mary (or whatever they called those things).

I’ve been trying a few of the bottles I brought back over the past week. I was almost afraid to, seeing how I was drunk most of the trip. So far, I’m pretty happy to report that they have all been wonderful bottles.

A couple worth mentioning….
The Larson Family Pinot is wonderful. Definitely grab a few of those.
The Wattle Creek 03 Shiraz is also wonderful.
All the Fieldstone bottles we’ve drank are wonderful too! So far I’d say their reserve cab is their best. They also have a great 03 port. I couldn’t believe how good it was, considering how young it is.

I’m looking forward to opening one of the Lamborn cabs in about a year. They only made 100 cases of it and it’s sold out already.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Trip pics - 11/25/07 08:36 PM

Chump change for you rich Alaskans.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Trip pics - 11/25/07 09:09 PM

That is an iron maiden. Not a very pleasant thing to endure, I'm sure.... Apparently they were very rare, so if that's a historic piece in the pic, it must be worth millions.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: Trip pics - 12/13/07 07:55 PM

With all the trouble logging in to The Community, it's time to pop a cork an a red. Just found Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin http://www.gnarlyhead.com/wine.asp. VERY drinkable, no food required. Not a big wine, but soft on tha palate and smooth finish.

Scott
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Trip pics - 12/13/07 11:39 PM

 Originally Posted By: a401classic
With all the trouble logging in to The Community, it's time to pop a cork an a red. Just found Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin http://www.gnarlyhead.com/wine.asp. VERY drinkable, no food required. Not a big wine, but soft on tha palate and smooth finish.

Scott

The Gnarly Head is a nice zin. Had that last New Years. I was hoping to find a red Cakebread for this New Years but alas, our local wine store is not getting anymore until after the 1st (through they did have a chardonnay available).
So instead i picked up a lovely port from Australia. Penfolds Grandfather. http://www.winestar.com.au/prod882.htm

mdrew, i had not noticed the photos you put up from the trip.
Simply amazing.
I'm simply yet in a complex way, amazed.

Is this darn favorites thread not notifying me anymore?
Bloddy settings.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Trip pics - 12/15/07 04:44 PM

I have not tried that Port. I'll grab one next time I see it.

I had a pretty good Zinfandel last night. One worth mentioning anyway…

2005 PK (Pezzi King) from Sonoma.

Medium body, nice nose, fruit forward, long finish with very light tannin. If you have a preference for Pinot or Syrah, you’d like this one.

Best thing about this one is the price. $12 bucks.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Trip pics - 12/15/07 05:46 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
I have not tried that Port. I'll grab one next time I see it.

I had a pretty good Zinfandel last night. One worth mentioning anyway…

2005 PK (Pezzi King) from Sonoma.

Medium body, nice nose, fruit forward, long finish with very light tannin. If you have a preference for Pinot or Syrah, you’d like this one.

Best thing about this one is the price. $12 bucks.

This damn thread is not sending me email updates.
What's up with that?

I have a port here called Willowglen.
I cannot seem to find it on their website but it only costs $11 and is quite nice, simple.
There is another Aussie port called Old Codger. A bit more expensive, but it has those thick, vanilla, toffee flavours that i love in a good tawny.
Posted by: michael_d

A good cab - 12/18/07 10:50 AM

I had a great, inexpensive cab sav last night.

2004 Buehler Vineyards / Napa Valley.

This one was unusual for a cab, at least to me. It had a buttery flavor up front with a strong fruit finish. I don’t recall ever having a cab quite like this. I'd say somewhere between medium and heavy bodied with just enough tannin to know it was cab, but very mellow considering how young this was. Just a hint of spice, with plum and blackberry.

This is one that my favorite liquor store recommended. The guys/gals that work the wine center are into wines and are always looking for great finds. Every once in a while I just ask one of them to fill up a couple cases of good wines under twenty bucks and they do a great job.

I'm ordering up a case or two of this one. I think it was about $15
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: A good cab - 12/18/07 10:15 PM

A buttery cab?
Interesting indeed.

Two friends recently went down to the States to do some liquor shopping thanks to the strong dollar. Here's what one had to say when he got back:

OK- Here's the rundown:

75 bottles

total spent Canadian after duty and currency conversion: $914.00
total value if purchased in Canada with taxes: $1482.00
savings: $568.00 or 38.3%
avg price per bottle $12.19
Cheapest bottle purchased: Yellow Tail, which is $15.16 at MLCC after tax (min savings of $2.97 on a bottle)
Max savings on a bottle: $29.21

Posted by: Murph

Re: A good cab - 12/19/07 10:22 AM

OK
Not wine, but last night I was in a liquor store looking for a wine for dinner and I noticed that it has finally hit the shelves. Legal Moonshine!!! I tried googling to find you a link but it hasn't made much of a splash yet. About the only thing unusual about moonshine around here is the legal part.

Two products
Straight Shine which is 50% alcohol
Straight Lightning at 75% alcohol

They also make a 40% vodka.

I believe there is only one other distillery in Canada licensed to make a moonshine product and that is in Cape Breton.

Note: I didn't buy it to try as I still have some of the 'less legal' stuff sitting in my cupboard.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 12/28/07 06:30 PM

Back to basics.

Good wine.

Joseph Estate.
http://www.josephsestatewines.com/wine.html
Vintage Country Red.
semi sweet to sweet (3 on the 6 scale).
Great before dinner or late evening light drink.

$11 Cdn/btl.
Limited area of service though.


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 12/28/07 06:33 PM

New Year's 2008 is upcoming.
As yet an unknown selection of red wines will be set forth for blind taste testing.

Tentatively:
Beringer 2000 Knight's Valley cab sav
Lindemans 1997 Pyrus cab sav/merlot/cab franc
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 12/29/07 03:57 PM

I have a new must buy gadget for all you wine snobs out there.

The Vinturi


"Simply hold vinturi over a glass and pour wine through. vinturi draws in and mixes the proper amount of air for the right amount of time, allowing your wine to breathe instantly. you'll notice a better bouquet, enhanced flavors and smoother finish. it's that fast. it's that easy."

This is one of the few instances where the marketing hype on some gadget is actually true. The guy pouring at Rosenblum's in Alameda had us all try a couple of their reserve zins from the bottle and through the Vinturi, and it was unanimous - the wine through the Vinturi really was smoother, more nuanced and had a better mouthfeel and bouquet. It's quite amazing what a difference it makes, actually. I belong to a wine club that I've been getting bored with, as most of the wines are nothing to write home about. The Vinturi has turned a few of them that were mediocre before into really enjoyable glasses.

Highly recommended!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 12/29/07 04:27 PM

Oh Adam, that is simply fanTAStic!!

{insert rolly eyes here}

Although aeration can change a wine's character through the introduction of oxygen and opening the wine to release its own bottled components to the air, the processes by which the wine will change (oxidation of tannins and other components or evaporation of alcohol) will vary with many factors (humidity, temperature, even the energy by which aeration occurs).

However, this is one test i have not tried.
Two bottles, equal in all respects. One aerated, one not, in an A/B blind test.
This IS a test i will do some day at least two or three times with bottles that are supposed to be 'better' after aeration.
I'll get some recommendations from the local sommelier (who is very qualified and extremely knowledgeable and has accreditations for his background) for the tests.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 12/29/07 05:46 PM

Gee, thanks for the rolly eyes, chess. Not quite sure if it's condescension I'm detecting or just skepticism, but then I guess I'm not a qualified, accredited and extremely knowledgeable interpreter of the tone of internet posts. \:\/

I'm well aware that there are variables that can change how aeration affects wine. All I'm saying is that I like the effect the Vinturi's accelerated aeration has on the wines I've tried it with.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 12/29/07 05:54 PM

 Originally Posted By: AdamP88
Gee, thanks for the rolly eyes, chess. Not quite sure if it's condescension I'm detecting or just skepticism, but then I guess I'm not a qualified, accredited and extremely knowledgeable interpreter of the tone of internet posts. \:\/

Yes, sorry about that, more skepticism than anything. Not condescension. I should have changed the rolly eyes to a 'raised brow' instead.
;\)
Your post just read a bit like an ad for the unit.
I don't disagree with the potential science for the conclusions but i still think tasting two identical bottles blind would be the ultimate indication of truth short of a complete chemical analysis which would be virtually impossible given all the components in wine.

This would be a fun thing to try for the wine club.
Posted by: ctown

Re: the wine thread - 12/29/07 06:00 PM

I'm a skeptic. The Vinturi looks like the equivalent of monster cables for my speakers, but then again, what do I know.

I'm no snob, but love to try some new wines when I am in the Okanagan region of BC for work. Found a beautiful Pinot Gris from Grey Monk last time I was there. Also was a big fan of Jackson Triggs Meritage.

My wife likes her white Zin and we just tried a Zin from Barefoot vinyards in California that is her new favorite. Great compliment to some spicy foods.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 12/29/07 06:12 PM

I realized it did sound much like an ad, but I actually am quite impressed with it. I even considered writing a customer testimonial, and I never consider doing those. I have the fullest confidence that you would easily differentiate between the two blind.

Actually, Peter is going to be over in a couple days (he got one for xmas, heh), along with a few friends and cousins. Might be a good time to do a little blind tasting.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 12/29/07 09:52 PM

Adam you sold me \:\) If they are using it at Rosenblum's that's enough for me, they happen to be my favorite wine club, I've never had anything short of good from them and their Zin's are remarkable. On certain bolder vintages my wife and I have always used a decanter and really have noticed the positive effect it has on the smoothness and taste, but I've never been crazy about washing and drying the thing. If it works as well or better than a decanter I'll be a happy customer.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 12/30/07 11:28 AM

 Originally Posted By: AdamP88
I realized it did sound much like an ad, but I actually am quite impressed with it. I even considered writing a customer testimonial, and I never consider doing those. I have the fullest confidence that you would easily differentiate between the two blind.
Actually, Peter is going to be over in a couple days (he got one for xmas, heh), along with a few friends and cousins.

So what you are really saying is that Peter should buy ME one for Christmas then?


 Quote:
Might be a good time to do a little blind tasting.

Indeed.
You force that wine down his gullet and then post your opinion here after.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 12/30/07 12:07 PM

Wine? Force? How exactly do you figure? ;\) I've concluded that the Vinturi does indeed make a difference after a few back-to-back aerated vs. non-aerated tests. Looking forward to more tests soon. I've got a 6+ hour drive with two kids ahead of me today before that happens though...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 12/30/07 12:30 PM

I wonder if they have a 30d trial policy?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/05/08 01:49 PM

I have now gotten into the habit of decanting any “young” bottle of wine I open, with more time sitting before drinking for cabs. I am not as skeptical as Chess in regards to this gadget and will be ordering one. Thanks for the link Adam.

It’s a well known, and proven fact that wine needs to breathe some to open up and really be enjoyed to its full potential, especially if you don't celler it for a few years. Many tasting rooms decant bottles; poor it back into the bottle and let it sit over night for tasting the following day. When visiting tasting rooms it’s pretty important that you know what the tasting room does in this regards if they don’t actually open the bottle in front of you.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/05/08 10:08 PM

My Vinturi should be here Monday, I'll grab a good bottle to do a little blind tasting with my wife. Last night we opened a 2003 Chimney Rock Elevage out of the Staggs Leap Disrict in Napa that we have been saving for a year, an intense burst of fruit with an extremely smooth finish, great wine.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 12:07 AM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
I have now gotten into the habit of decanting any “young” bottle of wine I open, with more time sitting before drinking for cabs.

This is interesting since most bottles that are recommended for 'breathing' are older reds, not younger ones.

 Quote:
I am not as skeptical as Chess in regards to this gadget

You know, i have these spare ice cubes that some Eskimo sold me...


 Quote:
It’s a well known, and proven fact

Oh, now them's just the taunting words aren't they?

 Quote:
Many tasting rooms decant bottles; poor it back into the bottle and let it sit over night for tasting the following day.

Well many people do many weird things in this world. I have a buddy who swears that putting his audio cables on little plastic risers perfectly syncs the sound, but only if they are elevated for exactly 10.2 hours. The same guy bought a wine 'ager' which is apparently a wine coaster with a magnet on the bottom.
The idea is to place the bottle on the coaster for say an hour and it 'ages' the wine a full day/month/year.

 Quote:
When visiting tasting rooms it’s pretty important that you know what the tasting room does in this regards if they don’t actually open the bottle in front of you.

My concern is about what they put into the bottles. I've never been keen on that chemical, formaldehyde flavour.

All incredibly humourous wit aside, i AM going to give the aeration concept a solid personal testing for the sake of self and science.
It should be grueling on me i'm sure.

The tests should include pours from a decanter and another pour using an aeration unit (i'll buy it for a friend for his upcoming bday).
All tastes will be done blind of course and i'll round up at least three people for the tastes including two who have worked over their palates for a number of years now.

So to get the parameters set up, which wine should change significantly with aeration that i can get locally?
Maybe a common but tasty US cab? Aussie cab?

Second, how long should the aeration in the decanter be?

Opinions welcome.
Posted by: Nachosgrande

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 01:20 AM

The Vinturi - nice takeoff of the Venturi Effect
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 01:50 AM

Chess, I'm still not sure if you're debating the entire concept of breathing / aeration being beneficial to a wine's flavor or if you're just skeptical about the efficacy of the Vinturi.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 02:02 AM

Sounds like a fun test :). I'm certainly no expert, but I have found that by decanting young tannic reds it tends to make them drinkable sooner, older reds I will usually decant for around 30 minutes, but there are also many reds we enjoy without decanting. I would grab a young and older full cab for the tasting or possibly even a couple tasty zins.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 11:23 AM

Chess,

With my older vintage reds (a very nice ’91 Columbia Crest Cab I had last week for example), I use the decanter as well, but its primary purpose is to filter out the sediment. Plus, it just adds to the ambiance of drinking a damn fine bottle of wine…..

With “younger” wines, I am referring to some of 03 cabs I have now (and younger) that I’ve lost patience cellaring and just want to drink. I also grab the decanter for any Petit Syrah’s or Zins. I don’t worry too much about Merlot, Pinot, Syrah, Shiraz or Malbecs. I never use it for whites…. I’m just throwing a WAG out there, but I would say that when using the decanter, it adds no less than two years of cellar time to a bottle. It opens up, brings out the nose and finish and mellows the tannins a bit.

As far as time in the decanter, I suggest one hour or however long it takes for the juice to reach room temperature. Don’t be bashful with swirling it in the decanter while waiting either. My decanter came with a filter that has several small holes in the bottom that spread the flow of wine out to the sides of the decanter. It works very well but I also swirl it a few times.

So give it a try and post back if you think this is all bogus or if you can tell a difference. I’m quite sure you will notice a difference if you go into this with an un-biased attitude.

Michael,

What varietals was that Chimney? I’ve not heard of it before. I like just about anything form the Stag’s Leap District. Come to think of that…are you going to the V2V Stag's Leap District wine tasting this spring? I'm going to make it this time with some freinds of mine.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 12:48 PM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Chess, I'm still not sure if you're debating the entire concept of breathing / aeration being beneficial to a wine's flavor or if you're just skeptical about the efficacy of the Vinturi.

I can clarify. The test would attempt to answer two things, one truly subjective.

First and most important, is there a difference after using two types of aeration methods?

Secondly and completely subjective, is it better after aeration?

If we can answer the first one more conclusively, then the second question can only be answered by each individual taster at that point. I have no doubt that the addition of air elements into an otherwise closed system such as a wine bottle can elicit chemical changes. I'm questioning the time and methods by which those changes take place and whether they make a noticeable difference within those restrictions (i.e., we could aerate a wine for 7 days before drinking rather than a few hours thus increasing the chance for noticeable change given longer reaction times).
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 01:01 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Chess,

With my older vintage reds (a very nice ’91 Columbia Crest Cab I had last week for example), I use the decanter as well, but its primary purpose is to filter out the sediment. Plus, it just adds to the ambiance of drinking a damn fine bottle of wine…..

I don't disagree with that at all.
Decanting helps to keep some of the sediment in the primary bottle and it presents more nicely at a table IMO.

 Quote:
With “younger” wines, I am referring to some of 03 cabs I have now (and younger) that I’ve lost patience cellaring and just want to drink. I also grab the decanter for any Petit Syrah’s or Zins. I don’t worry too much about Merlot, Pinot, Syrah, Shiraz or Malbecs. I never use it for whites….

Well now this is a perfect example as to why i want to test this blind tasting after aeration.
Why not a merlot, shiraz or malbec, but yes for cabs?
These are some of the widely reported variations i hear but have seen less proof than what exists for audio myths.
A fellow wine connoiseur in town is huge on aerating all his reds and has started to believe it helps the whites.
From the quote above, you are of a different opinion.
I want to test the starting basis, "can a change be detected"?
After that, any further statements about preferences for aeration and non-aeration would be up to the individual.

 Quote:
I’m just throwing a WAG out there, but I would say that when using the decanter, it adds no less than two years of cellar time to a bottle. It opens up, brings out the nose and finish and mellows the tannins a bit.
And others say that it adds one year, or 10 years.
I want to test the basic truth before throwing out guesses.
I can honestly say that i'm going into this test with a bias since i do believe wines taste different after they have been open for a day or more sitting on the counter, with somewhat less material inside than when it was opened (e.g. at least one glass poured out).
I've always wondered if the loss of alcohol through evaporation was a major contributor.
The local grand sommelier stated that the little vacuum pumps help but only compressed N gas in little canisters before re-stoppering a bottle would be useful in delaying the reactions. He obviously believes that oxygen is the sole contributor to change, however environmental chemistry is far more complex than that.

 Quote:
As far as time in the decanter, I suggest one hour or however long it takes for the juice to reach room temperature. Don’t be bashful with swirling it in the decanter while waiting either. My decanter came with a filter that has several small holes in the bottom that spread the flow of wine out to the sides of the decanter. It works very well but I also swirl it a few times.

For the test i will have to come up with a relatively common method for decanting aeration and set a reasonable time.
I'm thinking, soft pour down the side (typical for people to do to decrease the amount of sediment transfer) followed by a 30 minute to 2 hour sitting time. I'm thinking 30 minutes since most restaurants use a smaller figure so you can get around to dinner, but i'm also thinking 1 to 2 hours to be sure there is enough reasonable time for reactions to take place AND i know many people at home subscribe to the 1 hour minimum as a rule of thumb, sometimes longer.

 Quote:
So give it a try and post back if you think this is all bogus or if you can tell a difference. I’m quite sure you will notice a difference if you go into this with an un-biased attitude.

Like i said, i'm already biased towards tasting a change, i'm just not sure after how much, how long and using what aeration method.
Still need ideas for a good wine that is considered as a definite candidate for change for the tasting.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 01:19 PM

Mike,
The Elevage was a mix of Cab, Merlot and Petite Verdot.
We were already thinking about heading to Napa during the spring to see my wifes father, the kids Easter vacation will dictate the actual dates though, it would be great if the V2 fell within that week.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 03:03 PM

Chess,

You are definitely a scientist…. LOL..

I’m not, nor claim to be an expert at this. I’m still learning how to identify smells and tastes, so this decanting element is new to me as well. I have always noticed (prior to decanting) that the more ‘bold’ wines such as young cabs with a strong tannin presence mellow out (for lack of a better description) when it sits in a glass until it reaches room temperature. That is the only basis I have for recommending one hour. I’ve found that in my home, one hour is about how long it takes for the bottle to rise to room temp when in a decanter. I also limit decanting to the cabs and P-Syrahs, and some Zins because the ones I buy are usually heavy bodied with strong tannin presence. So, keeping that in mind, it may be that while I enjoy the big reds the most out of all wines, they come with a price. The price being tannins and its associated dryness, which is something that I do not enjoy. Merlots, Pinots, Syrahs, etc that I buy tend to be mellow with little tannin. If I could just afford, and only drink heavy / bold vintage cabs, I would be in wino bliss and probably not worry about decanting for aeration reasons. As far as whites, I’m just not a big white wine fan. While I enjoy them at times, they aren’t something I have a great desire to drink. So keeping that in mind, I’d suggest that you try a fairly young (04 or 05) Cab Sav that you know is of heavy body and fruit forward. Maybe one of the Beranger reserves, one of the Flora Springs Cabs, or if you can get one, a Mount Veder Reserve Cab Sav would be an excellent test bottle. At any rate, I look forward to hearing from you after you do your ‘testing’…

Michael,

I’m still waiting for the invitation, so I’m not real sure when it will be this year. It would be cool if we end up in the Valley at the same time. We could take a couple bottles to the Rutherford Grill and have dinner. (they don’t have a corking fee and actually decant your bottle, plus, I still daydream about their cornbread).
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 05:26 PM

Mike,
That would be fun if the dates work out, it would be no problem for us to have Grandpa watch the kids for a day or evening.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 06:48 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Chess,

You are definitely a scientist…. LOL..

Guilty as charged.

 Quote:
I’m not, nor claim to be an expert at this. I’m still learning how to identify smells and tastes, so this decanting element is new to me as well.

I'm still working on expanding my repertoire. The wine guides have been very helpful in providing a more broad range of descriptors.

 Quote:
I have always noticed (prior to decanting) that the more ‘bold’ wines such as young cabs with a strong tannin presence mellow out

This is a common notation which i hope we can review.
Incidentally, i just got back from one of the neighbors place and he cracked open a Peter Lehmann Clancy. He then pulled out one of his Christmas gifts and yep, it sure was a wine aerator, the Vinturi, as previously mentioned.
I talked to them extensively about the wine tasting idea and i may approach some of our neighbor in the near future about giving this a go.

Thankfully one of them is also an audiophile and two of them recently had media rooms added to their basements, though no Axiom owners.
An overall great conversation evening with some of my fav topics.

As for the 'test' wine, a Beringer Founders Estate cab sav i can get locally.
That is one option.
Any broad name zins and cabs from the US should be available here, but none of the ones mentioned so far other than the Beringers are familiar to me. I would have to check.
How about a Gnarly Head old vine zin?

Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 08:18 PM

 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
[quote=mdrew]

As for the 'test' wine, a Beringer Founders Estate cab sav i can get locally.
That is one option.
Any broad name zins and cabs from the US should be available here, but none of the ones mentioned so far other than the Beringers are familiar to me. I would have to check.
How about a Gnarly Head old vine zin?

Sounds like you will have an excellent time sipping good juice and talking audio. I’m jealous….

I have not had, or heard of the Gnarly Head, sorry. Pretty much any Beranger will be a good test. They tend to have a heavy Spice and Tobacco taste/smell to them. Aeration helps tame that, or so I have found anyway.

Another good one to try that may be available is a Stag’s Leap Petite Syrah. I just had a 02 the other night at a friend’s house and really wished we had a decanter. Great bottle of wine, but it took a good hour before it really opened up. Are they available where you’re at?

I'll give this some more thought and try and come up with some more vino's that might be good to test this with.

Another thought....Italian and French wines tend to have a heavy tannin to them. I don't care much for them for that reason. I know they intentionally design their wines for drinking with food and the tannin presence helps in that regards, but I buy wine to drink without needing food (although I do enjoy wine paring dinners), so I stick with US wines in general. So considering this, I suspect just about any heavy bodied red from Italy or France will be a good test candidate.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 08:34 PM

Stag's Leap is available here but expensive.
Keep in mind that we will need multiple bottles of the same wine given the number of possible tasters so we can't break any banks.

Approx. 3-4 people for sure, three bottles min. one for each aeration method and one fresh corker for an appropriate number of glass volumes for each person PLUS an extra 'fresh corker' to act as the blind glass.

The layout would be, tasters receiving 4 glasses, 2 aerated, 2 not and from the same bottle.
This way no taster can assume the next glass 'should' taste different. They will only know that two of the four might taste different but may not know which ones should or should not.

With four people tasting, someone should be consecutively correct.

We will of course have to try this at least twice to verify results and possibly a third evening with a different wine.

At this time i'm thinking, Peter Lehmann Clancy (about $18 bottle, reasonable, but nice to drink).
Possibly the Fetzer cab sav (about $14 a bottle, again nice drinker or with food).
Maybe even a Mondavi Woodbridge cab sav ($14 per bottle and some think it can be a bit unrefined).
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/06/08 08:35 PM

Maybe i'll consider one of these to ensure the quality of the pours:

Wine Decanting Machine by Ercuis


Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 01/07/08 02:02 PM

Fascinating discussion.

 Quote:
I've always wondered if the loss of alcohol through evaporation was a major contributor


I'd subscribe to that.

Most of my experience in this area is with beer rather than wine, but many of the principles are the same. Chess, I liked very much your mention of environmental change factors being more than just exposure to oxygen. I think there is a pretty fine line between "aeration" and "oxidization", though. I'd submit that there is such a thing as "too much" aeration, but I wouldn't know where to begin to measure it. It would be interesting to take a sample to the aeration extreme (put it in the blender?) and see how it is perceived.

Like Mike, I am NOT a scientist. It does make sense to me that the many different compounds in wine would be affected to different degrees by some of the methods you discuss. Also, don't forget about the impact of light. I'll bet decanted wine under hot lights tastes different than decanted wine in the dark, if you know what I mean.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/07/08 10:32 PM

Our Vinturi arrived today. So for the occasion I grabbed a 2004 Via Vega Red wine of Paso Robles out of the cellar and let it get to room temp.
The owner is the former Red wine maker for J. Lohr Winery in Paso Robles. This is a bottle that we always decanter being that it is fairly young and strong . The varietal make up is 46% Mouvedre, 42% Touriga Nacional, and 12% Souzao. As soon as the wife got home I grabbed two identical glasses and sent her into the dining room and popped the cork. One glass through the Vinturi one glass straight. I brought the two glasses to my wife, and with one sniff into each glass before even tasting she picked the glass that had been through the Vinturi. I asked her to taste the wine and tell me what she thought, After tasting she again chose the Vinturi glass and said "This is how the wine's supposed to taste" I then tried both glasses and had to agree, the Vinturi did in seconds what it can take a decanter up to an hour or more to do, it took the bite out of a young wine and made it immediately drinkable. We were both very impressed with this nifty little gadget.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/07/08 10:40 PM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
Our Vinturi arrived today. So for the occasion I grabbed a 2004 Via Vega Red wine of Paso Robles out of the cellar and let it get to room temp.
The owner is the former Red wine maker for J. Lohr Winery in Paso Robles. This is a bottle that we always decanter being that it is fairly young and strong . The varietal make up is 46% Mouvedre, 42% Touriga Nacional, and 12% Souzao. As soon as the wife got home I grabbed two identical glasses and sent her into the dining room and popped the cork. One glass through the Vinturi one glass straight. I brought the two glasses to my wife, and with one sniff into each glass before even tasting she picked the glass that had been through the Vinturi. I asked her to taste the wine and tell me what she thought, After tasting she again chose the Vinturi glass and said "This is how the wine's supposed to taste" I then tried both glasses and had to agree, the Vinturi did in seconds what it can take a decanter up to an hour or more to do, it took the bite out of a young wine and made it immediately drinkable. We were both very impressed with this nifty little gadget.

Ah now if only you had used a third and fourth glass and she picked out which two were identical in pairs, you would have had me sold.
Oooh, just that close!!

Anyone got a Vinturi for loan?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/07/08 10:49 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Fascinating discussion.

I've always wondered if the loss of alcohol through evaporation was a major contributor. I'd subscribe to that.


Well after a day of being open to air, more empty volume in the bottle and room temps, some alcohol will evaporate creating a 'softer' wine.
Adding any energy to the liquid will do the same (e.g. the blender concept). It would also greatly expose every little molecule to the outside world (increase surface area, increase reaction area).


 Quote:
I liked very much your mention of environmental change factors being more than just exposure to oxygen. I think there is a pretty fine line between "aeration" and "oxidization", though.

The assumption is that air is oxygen when air is composed of other elements/biotics as well. Microbes for one. People apparently think dust mites only crawl.

 Quote:

I'd submit that there is such a thing as "too much" aeration, but I wouldn't know where to begin to measure it.
And this is the tough part of environmental chemistry. How can you really measure it when dammit, we are talking about the whole environment being part of the reaction here?
Heat, light, elements, biotics, abiotics and most importantly, time. Variables so hard to control.
I tried to stop time once, my eyes went crossed.
Came back though.

 Quote:
Like Mike, I am NOT a scientist.
Perhaps not by training but certainly in heart and spirit most people i know have a curious side to find answers and that's all a scientist is, other than being armed with 10 years of academic text shoved in the brain.

 Quote:
Also, don't forget about the impact of light. I'll bet decanted wine under hot lights tastes different than decanted wine in the dark, if you know what I mean.

Actually i was thinking more along the lines of photolytic reactions but ok, heat and dark will work too.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/07/08 11:04 PM

 Quote:
Ah now if only you had used a third and fourth glass and she picked out which two were identical in pairs, you would have had me sold.
Oooh, just that close!!

Always the scientist \:\)
That's a great point though, I wish I had done that. We'll try again in a couple days, I'll open 2 bttles and give her a 4 glass test with both, now if I can get the kids to bed early that night it may be more than worth it. \:D
Posted by: PaulM

Re: the wine thread - 01/07/08 11:57 PM

Gnarly Head's zin is one of my favourite, moderately priced zins ($16-17 here). I describe it as an "in your face" red fruit (jammy) wine with modest tannins. A very versatile, easy drinking wine. If you are looking for a zin that might exhibit a modest difference from decanting (I'm in the "decanting makes a positive difference with reds" camp), I think the Gnarly Head would be a good choice. If you are looking for a zin that is more likely to be affected more obviously I'd recommend a zin with more tannins like the Four Vines "Old Vine Cuvee" zinfandel ($20 here). To my pallet it's more reserved than the Gnarly Head with smooth layers of black berries and a hint of spice (probably pepper) and its taste changed more from glass to glass.

I look forward to reading about the results of your experiment.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/08/08 10:34 AM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
I'll open 2 bttles and give her a 4 glass test with both, now if I can get the kids to bed early that night it may be more than worth it. \:D

Now there's a man who knows his priorities.
If only tempting the wife with buying new audio equipment would elicit the same results...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/08/08 10:41 AM

 Originally Posted By: PaulM
Gnarly Head's zin is one of my favourite, moderately priced zins ($16-17 here). I describe it as an "in your face" red fruit (jammy) wine with modest tannins. A very versatile, easy drinking wine.

I would agree with that overall impression. On the upside it is easy to find here.

 Quote:
If you are looking for a zin that is more likely to be affected more obviously I'd recommend a zin with more tannins like the Four Vines "Old Vine Cuvee" zinfandel ($20 here). To my pallet it's more reserved than the Gnarly Head with smooth layers of black berries and a hint of spice (probably pepper) and its taste changed more from glass to glass.

I would have to look around for this one.
 Quote:

I look forward to reading about the results of your experiment.

You and me both.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 01/08/08 10:54 AM

 Quote:
If only tempting the wife with buying new audio equipment would elicit the same results...

Romantic comedies have been working like gangbusters for us me. ;\) I'm 3 for 3.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: the wine thread - 01/15/08 02:55 PM

Thought this might be of interest to everyone. I posted it in the wine thread, but I expect it applies to the beer thread, to the audio threads, and maybe even to the video threads...
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: the wine thread - 01/15/08 04:22 PM

Interesting read, Ken. Sounds like this theory could be applied to consurism in general.

Just goes to show you how powerful our minds are. If only I can learn to harness that power. . .I'd take over the world.


Edit: I guess the power of suggestion would be more apropo.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/15/08 04:47 PM

This is why blind tastings are so fun. I’ve participated in several, and when done right, the results can be pretty interesting. I can’t even pick out my “favorites” most of the time. It's also interesting to me that folks who normally do not drink wine always pick the ones that have a huge nose and are fruit foward.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: the wine thread - 01/15/08 08:13 PM

 Quote:
It's also interesting to me that folks who normally do not drink wine always pick the ones that have a huge nose and are fruit foward.


I'd imagine that's the way some people choose speakers during in-store demos--the one with the heavy bass is probably more noticeable and therefore "better."

I'd probably pick the wine that's pretty fruity, too.
(I think I just opened the door to a bunch of jokes. . .)
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/15/08 08:44 PM

All this talk is making me thirsty \:\) We opened a bottle of 2002 Siverado Vinyards Cab last night, last year we drank the same vintage and I thought it was good, last night after a year in the cellar the bottle was great, don't know if it's my imagination or the wine just aged very well, next year I'll have to open another one, if I can wait. ;\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/15/08 08:55 PM

If you get your hands on the 99' cab, grab it. That was their last really great cab, and the bottle that got me into this habbit. I still like their wines, but they've failed to impress me like the 99 does (I still have a few).

I had an 05 Nickel and Nickel Pinot the other night....damn that was good. We should not have started the night out with it, because all the others afterward sucked in comparison. http://farniente.ibgcheckout.com/farniente/catalog/view_product.jsp?product_id=1250&cat_id=4
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/15/08 10:06 PM

Dang Mike, you caught me in a wine tasting mood, I ordered the 2005 Spring Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, and the 2004 Rock Cairn Cabernet Sauvignon. They've got some really nice looking wines, if they taste as good as the reviews they are getting I'll have to map this as a stop on our next trip.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/16/08 12:20 PM

LOL...

Hey, you wont regret it. Nickel and Nickel makes some incredible wines. Their Far Niente line is very good too, but they are a bit more expensive. If you are into desert wines, their Dolce is like tasting a little bit of heaven. It’s spendy though, too much for me. A friend of mine gets it (as well as the other two lines) and shares from time to time.

Another great wine to try is Vineyard 29’s “Cru”. http://www.vineyard29.com/
Actually, anything this winery produces is outstanding, but their just too expensive. The Cru is about all I can bring myself to buy. It’s similar to the Orin Swift's "The Prisoner" red blend (if you haven’t had that one, it’s another to try). http://www.brix26.com/products/The_Prisoner_2006_Zinfandel_Blend_Napa_Valley-110-0.html

I’ve had his 03 and 04, but have not tried the 06. I have a case of the 06 coming. I hope it’s as good as the other vintages.

Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/16/08 03:36 PM

I'll have to give the Prisoner a try, at $28.33 a bottle here NapaCabs it's easier on the pocketbook than the Nickel and Nickel.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: the wine thread - 01/16/08 07:46 PM

I haven't kept up with this thread, but thought it was worth putting in my current favorite, Pasta Red Reserve from Knapp Winery

I am working on a bottle of it now...about to have some with dinner tonight. The only bad part is it is a local winery in the finger lakes in NY, so I can't get more without going there! They don't ship to PA.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/16/08 08:05 PM

I'm sipping a http://www.jlohr.com/new_wines_cypress_02_cab.html Cyprus cab sav while reading some of the amazing sounding wines which i will likely never be able to buy anytime soon.

Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/16/08 08:29 PM

I've got a J.Lohr Hilltop Cab in my wine frig. I really enjoy their wines. It's been a tasting stop for us our last couple trips to Paso Robles. It's also a very popular restaurant wine here in Calif. If I'm not sure about a wine choice while dining out I'll usually go with a J.Lohr. if its on the list.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/16/08 08:37 PM

 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
.....reading some of the amazing sounding wines which i will likely never be able to buy anytime soon.
I reckon I shouldn’t tell you about the six bottle vertical we had last weekend then. Nothing too fancy, just 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 and 97 Fieldstone reserve cabs.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 01/16/08 09:00 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
.....reading some of the amazing sounding wines which i will likely never be able to buy anytime soon.
I reckon I shouldn’t tell you about the six bottle vertical we had last weekend then. Nothing too fancy, just 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 and 97 Fieldstone reserve cabs.

Well dammit, why didn't you call?

Posted by: Ray3

Re: the wine thread - 01/17/08 02:36 PM

 Originally Posted By: Zarak
I haven't kept up with this thread, but thought it was worth putting in my current favorite, Pasta Red Reserve from Knapp Winery

I am working on a bottle of it now...about to have some with dinner tonight. The only bad part is it is a local winery in the finger lakes in NY, so I can't get more without going there! They don't ship to PA.


It's only "the only bad part" if you live more then 45 minutes from the winery. Some of us ARE that close !!!

When you get a chance to get up here again, try "Tug Boat Red". It's also local and a simple little table wine. Bets example of showing what "a fruity finish" means.
Posted by: Zarak

Re: the wine thread - 01/17/08 04:54 PM

Have you tried the Pasta Red Ray? My wife and I stayed up at the Aroura(sp) Inn on one of our recent visits to the inlaws when we were up your way. Definately my favorite. I'll keep the Tug Boat in mind...which winery makes that one?
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 01/17/08 09:55 PM

My bottles of 2006 Prisoner Zin blend arrived today (jeez I think I ordered them Yesterday!) I've gotta say the wife and I both loved it, good heads up on this one Mike, Thanks. Probably one of the best under $35.00 bottles of wine I've had. I'm really enjoying some of these blended wines that are coming out of Calif. lately.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 01/18/08 12:31 PM

Good to hear! I haven't recieved mine yet and was hoping this vintage is as good as the past ones. Prisoner sells out pretty fast, so stock up if you like it. When it's gone, it's gone.

I like the blends too...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/15/08 08:57 PM

Keeping with simplicity this evening.
A 2004 Robert Mondavi Woodbridge cab sauv. I've liked the way the Woodbridge series mellows with a few yeas in the cellar.

It has a light earthy character, fresh dark berry with a dry finish. Nothing amazing, nothing pricey, just enjoyable.
A long time house favourite.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/15/08 09:45 PM

The wino friends came over the other day to celebrate a 40th birthday of one of them. We had some pretty incredible bottles.

We started off with an 03 Penfolds Bin 407 cab. Not bad stuff…. I think I still prefer the Bin 389 though.

Then we had one of the birthday boy’s presents (great thing about buying a friend a bottle of great wine, he shares it with you!)…. This was one from Chili. A very hard to find 99’ Almaviva / http://www.almavivawinery.com/ This bottle was terrific. Amazing nose, uniform tingle all over the tongue and pretty decent finish. I’m definitely looking at Chili for more wines after this one.

Next up was a 2001 Dominus cab magnum. Wow, what a bottle. We probably shouldn’t have had this one after the Almaviva though. For the money this one cost, I think I’d rather spend it on more Almaviva’s.

Next was a 2006 Patz and Hall Pinot. This was a downright delicious bottle with a very unique quality to it I’ve not ever experienced. All of us were intrigued. I don’t how else to describe it other than ‘effervescent’. It was as if the wine maker intentionally added extra yeast, but in a good way. I like this one so much I just put in an order for a case of it.

To top the day off, we opened up one of my all time favorites; a 99 Silverado Cab. Opening this one after all the others was a big mistake. My memories of a wonderful wine quickly dissipated. As much as I loved this bottle in years past, it just couldn’t compete with the Dominus, Almaviva or Patz and Hall. It has officially been dethroned from my top five list of wines…. I put it above the Penfolds, but not any of the others.

If you can find a Patz and Hall and like Pinot, definately give this one a try. It's about $40.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 12:22 AM

Last night we had a bottle of Root 1 Chilean Cab. at a restaurant for dinner, for a bottle that can be had for about $10.00 it was very nice.

When we came home we decided to open the Nickel & Nickel 2004 Rock Cairn Cab. just to have a glass for Valentines. I laugh when I think about it because my wife had a big smile on her face and said "now that's wine, even my wine snob brother would have to like this" \:\) Really a great Cab.

Mike, I'll have to look for that Patz and Hall Pinot. We've got some good friends that are big into Pinot and I've been saving the Nickel & Nickel Pinot until they come over, it would be great to have another good Pinot to compare.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 12:29 AM

As a postscript I found the Patz and Hall, ordered a couple bottles to try it out. Mike hasn't steered me wrong yet, so I'll bet these are as tasty as some of his other recommendations.

Chess I've always liked the Robert Mondavi Woodbridge cabs., the last time we were in their tasting rooms I had their Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, I believe it was a 2002 but I preferred the Woodbridge over the Reserve.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 10:27 AM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew

To top the day off, we opened up one of my all time favorites; a 99 Silverado Cab. Opening this one after all the others was a big mistake. My memories of a wonderful wine quickly dissipated. As much as I loved this bottle in years past, it just couldn’t compete with the Dominus, Almaviva or Patz and Hall. It has officially been dethroned from my top five list of wines…. I put it above the Penfolds, but not any of the others.


I try to limit myself to one or two 'good' bottles an evening.
When attempting to have too many good bottles, one's interpretations of what is considered a 'not as nice as i remembered' wine might still be an amazing wine, but it does seem to lose some respect when compared to more impressive offerings.

Our evening of tasting 5 bottles of reds, mostly cab savs, all between $30 and $40, had tainted my thoughts on the Francis Coppola wines. Then i had another recently at a top notch local restaurant and i was far more impressed than i was the first time around. Its quality was overshadowed by other wines.
I'm still reserving any judgement until i've tried at least one more bottle.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 10:30 AM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad

Chess I've always liked the Robert Mondavi Woodbridge cabs., the last time we were in their tasting rooms I had their Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, I believe it was a 2002 but I preferred the Woodbridge over the Reserve.

I imagine everyone is aware of the Yellow Tail wines floating around that hit the market with a real bang a few years back. They started in Canada by selling a chardonnay and a shiraz. Both were good for their price. Both were kind of sweet which is likely how they sold so well. Both had somewhat sharp finishes that was masked by the sweetness.
Now, in a local wine shop, i came across the Yellow Tail chardonnay Reserve. Two weekends ago we had a blind tasting.
I picked out the Reserve quite easily, but the differences between the two were subtle. The Reserve was much more refined, but all that aside, if you want to try a really fat bastard chardonnay, try this Yellow Tail Reserve.
Its bouquet alone is just huge.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 01:00 PM

I just want to thank you all again for taking the time to share your experiences here; this is my wine reference page. Any suggestions for readily available Spanish or Italian wines ($50 or under)? My father in law is a fan.

Cheers, friends.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 01:38 PM

That’s a good point Chess. I suspect if I opened another bottle tonight, I’d enjoy it. I know that if I drink too many glasses my pallet gets saturated and it all starts tasting the same. It’s at that point my glass gets water.

Michael,

I think you’ll like the Patz and Hall. Just keep an open mind. It is very different. Not sure if the wine snob relative will appreciate it though. Some wine snobs will even refuse to drink blends, which I find ridiculous. I have not had the N/N cab. I sure like whatever they come out with though. I just wish they weren’t so darn expensive.

A few more good pinots I’ve had lately worth trying….

05 Dutton Goldfields (Napa) < $45
04 Artesa (forgot where this is from) < $25
06 Paraiso (Santa Luca Highlands) < $35
04 Larson Family (Sonoma) < $25

To date, my favorite Pinot is the Nickel and Nickel followed closely by the Patz and Hall, then the Dutton, then the Larson Family with the Artesa and Paraiso in tow.

Last night I had a blend that was pretty darn good. It had a finish that just kept going and going. Well rounded, mild tannin with just a wee bit of fruit on the nose. This one is a good drinker or good with food. I should have decanted this one because it just kept getting better and opening up.

2004 Atrea Old Soul Red (Napa) < $40
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 01:43 PM

Tom,

I tend to not drink wines from Italy or Spain. They're just to tanic for my tastes because they are made to drink with food.

I did happen to see a write up in a cooking magazine recomending some Sicilian wines though. They sound pretty good and I intend to pick some up and give them a whirl. Here's a copy / paste.

--------

2005 Feudo Arancio Ner d’Avola Sicilia, Italy ($9) - A great introduction to Sicilian red wine and a tremendous value, this medium-weight red has pretty violet, black cherry and spice aromas, rich blackberry flavors and great overall balance.

2006 Feudo Arancio Grillo Sicilia, Italy ($9) – A fresh white to drink young, especially with seafood. Fruity and unoaked with melon, jasmine and white peach flavors.

2006 Cusumano Nero d’Avola Sicilia, Italy ($12) – A great example of Nero d’Avola, with Zinfandel-like berry flavors and cardamom and violet notes through the stiff finish.

2006 Cusumano Benuara Nero d’Avola / Syrah Sicilia, Italy ($16) – A hearty red with juicy blueberry and blackberry aromas, cherry jam and berry flavors, with hints of licorice and menthol.

2005 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Calderara Sottana Etna Rosso, Sicilia, Italy ($28) – Made from the Pinot Noir-like Nerello Mascalese grapes grown on the volcano Etna, this red has pretty berry, cherry, cinnamon and vanilla aromas, juicy red fruit flavors and black tea-like tannins.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 02:19 PM

Tom,
I don't drink Italian or Spanish wines often either, but I've bought wine from here Wine.com and they have a good selection, decent prices and a lot of good info.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/16/08 05:05 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
I just want to thank you all again for taking the time to share your experiences here; this is my wine reference page. Any suggestions for readily available Spanish or Italian wines ($50 or under)? My father in law is a fan.

Cheers, friends.

I haven't ventured far into Italian wines as of yet and i've only had one Spanish.
The one Italian red that i've really liked is from the north. Banfi Centine Toscana.
http://www.wine.com/V6/Banfi-Centine-Toscana-2004/wine/85683/detail.aspx
You should be able to find it rather easily. Very chalky tannins.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/18/08 05:30 PM

We had a very nice bottle last night that was one from my Brix26 wine club shipment. They ship me a mixed case every three months based on my preferences and not to exceed total case price. I never know what I’m getting, and when I do get them, I don’t know how much they cost unless I look at the invoice. I like to ‘not know’ until after I drink them so there’s no chance of influencing my opinion on them by price.

The bottle was a 2005 Syrah from JC Cellars. I thought it was an inexpensive bottle and logged on to reorder a case. Damn thing’s $50. $50 for a Syrah is too much for me, but if anyone’s really into Syrah’s, this one’s a dandy.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/19/08 08:30 PM

The wife wants to have a food and wine get together next month for around 12 people. It will inevitably start as a blind tasting then on to just drinking. \:\) I'm thinking of doing some Pinots since we normally do Cabs.
The fun part is she asked me to order a mixed case of wine for under $500.00 so I grabbed these. I got 1 cent shipping so I stayed within our budget.

Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Catena Alta Malbec 2004
Hartford Court Lands Edge Pinot Noir 2005
Martin Ray Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Erath Estate Selection Pinot Noir 2005
Girard Petite Sirah 2005
Meerlust Rubicon 2001
Luna Sangiovese 2005
Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium Red 2004
Harrison Syrah 2001
Folie a Deux Menage a Trois Red 2006
Smoking Loon Pinot Noir 2006

The bottles range from $8.00 to $110.00 so it should be fun time.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/20/08 12:39 AM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew

The bottle was a 2005 Syrah from JC Cellars. I thought it was an inexpensive bottle and logged on to reorder a case. Damn thing’s $50. $50 for a Syrah is too much for me, but if anyone’s really into Syrah’s, this one’s a dandy.

Yeesh.
$50 a bottle is a bit on the upside in our general price range. Those bottles i tend to keep for a few years and relatively special occasions.
I think our average bottle cost is probably around the $16-18 range.
Call me snobby. I wish it were cheaper.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/20/08 12:42 AM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
The wife wants to have a food and wine get together next month for around 12 people. It will inevitably start as a blind tasting then on to just drinking. \:\) I'm thinking of doing some Pinots since we normally do Cabs.
The fun part is she asked me to order a mixed case of wine for under $500.00 so I grabbed these. I got 1 cent shipping so I stayed within our budget.

Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Catena Alta Malbec 2004
Hartford Court Lands Edge Pinot Noir 2005
Martin Ray Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
Erath Estate Selection Pinot Noir 2005
Girard Petite Sirah 2005
Meerlust Rubicon 2001
Luna Sangiovese 2005
Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium Red 2004
Harrison Syrah 2001
Folie a Deux Menage a Trois Red 2006
Smoking Loon Pinot Noir 2006

The bottles range from $8.00 to $110.00 so it should be fun time.

Wow.
Nice selection.
There are a few that i have not tasted, but i have READ about.

Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
If this is the Napa Valley version (as opposed to the North Coast), i have tasted it and it is a lovely wine and the second top ranked red in my list since 1998.

I've only read about these three but a friend has the Alluvium in our cellar. I have the Knights Valley cab, also chilling for the right occasion. That malbec is outstanding from what i've read and is rather expensive here.
Catena Alta Malbec 2004
Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium Red 2004
Smoking Loon Pinot Noir 2006
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/20/08 01:46 AM

The Mondavi Reserve is from Napa, that's the one bottle I splurged on. Next to the Beringer the Malbec was the next priciest bottle, the Alluvian was on sale for $16.99 so that may be a good steal if we enjoy it.
The only wine I've tasted from the list is the Luna Sangiovese, I threw that bottle in because the 2004 was one of my wife's favorites. I've heard a lot about the Smoking Loons but never tried any, and for $7.99 you can't go wrong.
It should be a fun night, I'm sure a couple of the bottles will go down before the party. \:\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/20/08 11:01 AM

The Catena is excellent. I have several. I think mine are 03's though.

I've had Martin Ray too. We rented a house about four blocks away from the winery and I visited it.. a few times. Good juice.
Posted by: DL30

Re: the wine thread - 02/20/08 01:00 PM

TT,

Funny you should ask, this is the wine of the week from Wine Spectator's sips and tips: UNIÓN DE COSECHEROS DE LABASTIDA
Rioja Castillo Labastida Reserva 2001 (90 points, $19) "Fresh, firm and long. This balanced red offers crisp cherry, cola, vanilla, tobacco and fresh herb flavors, supported by well-integrated tannins that give way to a spicy, floral finish. Drink now through 2011. 15,000 cases made."

Also, K and L wine, http://www.KLWines.com are having a sale on the 2003 Columbia Crest Columbia Valley Reserve Cabernet Savignon. $16.99 This is an excellent Cab esp. for the price, great mouthfeel, integrated tannins, nice fruit. I have had this on numerous occassions this past fall, and bought many bottles as Christmas presents.

Tom you should be able to find it in your backyard!
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 02/20/08 01:21 PM

Thanks, DL. I will look for the Rioja Castillo. I appreciate the tip!

Yes, I'm pretty familiar with Columbia Crest, although I may not have had that exact vintage. I typically do try to patronize local vintners, especially since WA reds often provide excellent value.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/22/08 01:14 PM

 Originally Posted By: AdamP88


I finally put my Vinturi to the test last night. I opened a 2005 Twenty Rows Cabernet and poured an ounce or so into a glass straight from the bottle, and another through the Vinturi. I picked up an immediate difference on the nose. So much so, that it really is a no brainier that this thing works. Not only does it open up the nose, it opens up and tames tannins.

Seeing how I didn’t do this blind, I did the same thing for my girlfriend, but I made sure she couldn’t see which glass was which. She picked up on the aerated glass immediately. She didn’t like the wine all that much that wasn’t aerated (she doesn’t like tannins). She did however enjoy the aerated glass, and that was not knowing which one was which.

Later in the evening we went to a friend’s house to have a couple bottles with him and two other guys that were there. I brought my Vinturi along….. All three of them picked out the aerated wine. We even did the test a bit differently with the three guys. I poured a glass from the bottle and let it sit in the glass for twenty minutes. I then poured a glass threw the Vinturi and proceeded to do the blind test. Seeing how I had not done a "blind" test, one of the guys switched glasses with my back turned. Again, I imediately picked out the aerated wine.


The Twenty Rows was an excellent bottle too… Very nice and less than $20.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 02/22/08 01:27 PM

Okay, besides style points, what is the difference between using this thing and just giving your poured wine a bit of a stir with a fork or something?
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/22/08 01:32 PM

Speaking of good bottles, last night we had one of our bottles of the 2006 Patz and Hall Pinot.
I think ‘effervescent’ is a good way to describe it, the wine is very tasty and has a strong clean flavor of strawberry's and cherries. It kind of floats on the palate as if it was a lighter wine than it is.
The taste of the wine gets even more pronounced when had with food. I'm going to get a couple more bottles and cellar them until next year.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/22/08 01:35 PM

Tom,
That is too funny, next time I go tasting I'll remember to stick a fork in my wine and stir to see peoples expresions, it will probably start a fad. \:D
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 02/22/08 01:58 PM

Well, you'd obviously want a "special" fork, made of some rare element and designed in a wind tunnel or something.

Seems like the shortcoming of The Venturi is that is aerates all wine the same amount. Perhaps the amount of optimum stirring would vary between varietals or vintages.

Hang on, I'm going to go hire an engineer and work on a patent...
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/22/08 04:05 PM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
Speaking of good bottles, last night we had one of our bottles of the 2006 Patz and Hall Pinot.
I think ‘effervescent’ is a good way to describe it, the wine is very tasty and has a strong clean flavor of strawberry's and cherries. It kind of floats on the palate as if it was a lighter wine than it is.
The taste of the wine gets even more pronounced when had with food. I'm going to get a couple more bottles and cellar them until next year.


Excellent!! I was hoping you'd like it.

We are getting together with the wino friends tonight and are going to open up a Magnum of 04 Caymus - Special Selection. Parker gave it a 96 and Wine Enthusiast gave it a 97. Before we open up the Caymus, I have a 99 ZD Merlot to drink. Either that or the 92 Fieldstone Cab. I’m not sure which one to contribute yet… choices, choices.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 02/22/08 05:24 PM

Well, you could purchase two Vinturis, and run it through one into another one to double the aeration. Or pour half a glass through the Vinturi, the other half directly into the glass.

Hmm... time to experiment! \:\)
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/23/08 12:18 AM

Well my test will have to wait.
I've decided, that with all the feedback i've seen in a variety of areas including some who have attempted at least a partly controlled blind test of sorts, as well as those who i just trust to attempt an objective assessment over the faith filled rantings of enthusiasts, that this Venturi thing is worth buying to test out, if not at least for its entertainment value during a wine evening.

As such, i'm going to buy it for a fellow oenophile, a friend that normally swaps presents with us at xmas. I will pick one up sometime this year and later this fall, possibly even for fun at New Year's, it will get tested, thoroughly.
I'm very much looking forward [bias] to having a glass of wine opened up by this little gadget, increased in its aeration in decreased time thus providing for a different if not better enjoyment of the wine [bias].

IF my neighbor across the street comes out to chat again around spring time, i will see about procuring his Vinturi sooner to give the tests a go and then hopefully vindicate my present idea about buying it as a gift.

Again i very much look forward to this blind test.

The basic structure to begin with is as follows:
glass of fresh
glass of venturi from the fresh bottle
glass of aged in decanter 2h
glass of blanks (e.g., one person may have all 3 glasses of the same type, all people tasting will not know what combination, if any, of these forms they will receive and as such, could look like complete fools describing a glass of something that is identical to the other two).
The major difficulty?
If we don't spit, the tasters will be inebriated sufficiently by round three and tasting nothing but 'some kind of wine'.

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/23/08 12:22 PM

Just one of the threads i've come across on the Venturi trials.
http://tv.winelibrary.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7099&highlight=vinturi
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/23/08 01:46 PM

Chess
Thanks for the link pretty much reiterates what we've been saying. I bookmarked the site, it has some good reading.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 02/23/08 02:12 PM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
Chess
Thanks for the link pretty much reiterates what we've been saying. I bookmarked the site, it has some good reading.

Well the 'tests' some of those people have tried have still been uncontrolled to the extent that those tasting the wines KNOW the glasses are different. That is a key element to eliminate to control one's bias.

The fact that mdrew and folk knew the glasses were different BUT consistently (if he can confirm that again) picked out the Venturi glasses each time lends credibility to the concept. However, removing that aspect entirely will make the assessment a bit more objective and much harder to doubt or alternatively, easier to believe (depending on how one defines their null hypothesis). I am still inclined [bias] at this point to believe there will be a difference after reading through some of the things people have tried with this Venturi. Unlike some audio myths, the principle of chemistry involved with wine aeration has a valid science basis for why a difference could be achieved using the Venturi, so again, there is credibility behind the idea beyond the subjective reports. That doesn't mean all science principles can explain all these gadgets with credibility though.

A friend of mine has a magnetic wine coaster that reportedly aged the wine a year or a day for every hour it sat on this coaster. My friend believed it really worked. The concept of magnetic effects on any chemical matter could be shown at some level, but i really believe this concept far less provable or affecting than aeration through a substance. We can test the idea with the same, simple blind run at the wines.
In a blind taste test at his house (same wine, two bottles, one sat on the coaster the other opened fresh after two hours of waiting), he couldn't tell the difference and didn't understand why he could tell a difference after he first got the thing. He figured the magnet was losing strength.
No, i don't think so, but i guarantee i could find at least one wine forum out there somewhere that people have been chatting up this little gadget as much as the Venturi.

I'm just one to doubt a purely subjective opinion about anything that is related back to science principles. I prefer to see more objective evaluations which is why that chatter in wine forums really means little. Myths can be propagated easily so that gadgets can be marketed and sold successfully.
I think this Venturi may actually be a gadget that at least does something more substantial than say a magnet coaster AND i LOVE the idea that it does!
What a great thing to possibly be able to take a nasty wine, filter it for a few seconds with air and possibly change its character to something more palatable. IF NOT, toss the wine, but at least it MIGHT be able to improve it.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/23/08 02:25 PM

Chess, I think you need to get your scientific hands on one of these and put the debate to rest for good. \:\)
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 02/23/08 04:07 PM

Excellent news, Chess - glad to see you warming up to it. Now I can reveal my true identity as the Vinturi Marketing Director.







;\)
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 02/23/08 11:30 PM

Just what the hell does the former governor of Minnesota have to do with wine, again?


Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 02/24/08 12:46 AM

Considering you pour it in one end and it comes out the other before you drink it, I really wish you hadn't likened it to some big guy, Tom.


;\)


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 02/24/08 01:02 AM

Wasn't he a pet detective?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/25/08 06:18 PM

We overindulged this past weekend. Friday night we went to our usual place of indulgence, our friend’s house. This time I did my best to moderate my drinking to keep from saturating my pallet, considering the line up we were going to enjoy. I made sure to pour small glasses until I had a chance to sample each bottle. The night was in celebration of our host’s Superbowl winnings. They picked up a magnum of 04 Caymus, special selection. Not real sure what they paid, but it had to be over $300. I’m still not sure what I think about this bottle. While I was extremely appreciative to the hosts for sharing it, I found it too fruit forward for my tastes. It was terrific, but just not how I’d expect a cab to taste.

In addition to the Caymus, we had several other excellent bottles.

First up were two bottles I brought along.

1- Vintage Feildstone, 92 Cab. It was wonderful. Tasted just like a well aged cab should. ($60)
2- 98 Mondovi Napa Cab. Again, very nice bottle. This was when Mondovi used to know how to make wine. ($30 back in 2000)

Next up were a few bottles that a couple other guys brought along.

1- 04 Terra Valentine. Not real sure what this was other than a red blend. Very nice bottle though. (roughly $40)
2- 04 Leonetti Cellars Merlot. This vineyard has to be the best Washington State vineyards around. I have yet to have one of their wines that didn’t floor me. This one was no exception. ($75)
3- 04 Flora Springs Club Selection Merlot. Another great bottle. This one is only available to wine club members. ($25)
4- 2000 Chateau St. Michelle Syrah. I couldn’t believe how good this bottle was. Yummmm ($30)
5- 02 Havens Napa Red Wine Bourriqot. This was probable the most unusual red I’ve ever had. It’s a blend of Carneros Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Very nice bottle. I’ll be ordering some of these. ($40)
6- The last bottle of the night was a 2002 Quintessa Rutherford Blend. Another home run with this bottle. Too damn expensive for me to buy, but I’ll sure help anyone drink it, any time. ($135)

Saturday night a friend came over and we opened up a couple more bottles.

First bottle up was a 99 ZD Merlot that I’ve been holding onto for a few years. Very nice bottle. The taste of Merlot with the structure of a cab. Glad I have a couple more left. ($35)
Second bottle we had as a desert. I sliced up some fresh peaches and opened up an 05 Castello di Amorosa Gewurztraminer. The two paired very well. I’m not usually into white, and especially sweat ones, but Castello di Amorosa does a very nice job with their white wines. Not too sweat, great finish and structure. ($25)

Last night another buddy came over with a bottle of 03 Flora Springs Hillside Select Cab. Very nice juice. I’m glad he likes to share his Flora Springs wines with us, because I’d go broke buying them…. ($85)
Next bottle was one I bought out of curiosity. It was a Sonoma Coast, 06 Flowers Perennial. It’s a blend of 76% Pinot Noir, 15% Syrah, 8% Pinot Meunier and 1% Chardonnay. None of us were overly impressed with this bottle. It just didn’t have much going for it. Not much nose, structure and wimpy finish. I won’t be buying any more of these… ($40)

I’m on the wagon for a while after this past weekend.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/25/08 10:17 PM

You guys can sure throw a tasting! You don't need to come to Napa with friends like that. \:\)
Nothing so grand for us this weekend, but I did open a bottle of the Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium Red 2004 from the shipment I received today. The wife and I were very pleased with this full bodied dry Cab, for $17.99 Imo it's a great find, I'll be ordering a few more bottles while it's on sale.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/26/08 11:47 AM

You don't let the bottles sit for a while before you open them after you get a shipment?

Not real sure what happens or why, but they apparently go through some sort of bounce shock when traveling. I usually lay them down for five to seven days before opening.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/26/08 12:20 PM

I've never heard of bounce shock, good to know.
Normally new bottles go to the cellar or the rack from a week to a year depending on the vintage, but my wife saw the new shipment and grabbed one for dinner.
Most the wine I buy usually takes only a day in transit as most of them are from Calif. I would venture to say your bottles get a much more considerable amount of shock due to distance travelled.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/26/08 01:54 PM

When I first heard about this from one of my wino friends, my response was “Ya, sure – right; and where’d you say you parked your space ship again?” I’ve since become a believer. I’ve tried opening two different bottles the first day the shipment arrived, and they were just ‘off’. I opened them again a week later and they tasted right.

I can’t get anyone to tell me what happens or why, and I ask just about everywhere I buy wine. No one has been able to explain to me, to my satisfaction what happens.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 02/26/08 11:20 PM

I bet the Vinturi can fix that bounce shock. \:\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/27/08 09:53 AM

It’s worth a try…. Decanting doesn’t help though.

I had a nice bottle from Chile last night. Marques de Casa Concha, Concha Y Toro 2004 Cab Sav. Very nice balance, good structure, nice nose and good finish. Its age was pretty deceiving and I would have guessed that it had been lying down for several years. The best part, is it’s under $20. I’m really getting into these gems from Chile……
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 02/27/08 11:52 AM

I've had the Concha Y Toro Cabs and enjoy them very much, they run anywhere from $9.00 to $20.00 out here. Another Chilean Cab that we really enjoy is Root 1, runs about $9.00 to $11.00 a bottle.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 02/27/08 01:30 PM

Chile seams to be the best bang for the buck going right now. I have a mixed case of Chilean wines on order from Wine.com, including the Root 1. I’m looking forward to trying a few that I can’t find locally. I don’t think I had one in my cart over $15.

That Almaviva we had last week was an extraordinary bottle. They retail for about $60 when they are first released and Parker has been giving them +93 each year. If that were a California wine, it would most likely cost well over $100.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 03/07/08 09:08 PM

 Originally Posted By: Ray3
try "Tug Boat Red". It's also local and a simple little table wine. Bets example of showing what "a fruity finish" means.
Tug boat red?
That's just not right on a few levels.
\:o
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 03/07/08 09:09 PM

 Originally Posted By: AdamP88
Excellent news, Chess - glad to see you warming up to it. Now I can reveal my true identity as the Vinturi Marketing Director.

;\)


I'm set to buy one for a friend for Xmas this year. That means our New Year's dinner party will be a Venturi taste off!!

I know i know, it is 9 months away, but...maybe we'll try the decanter time tests in the meantime.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 03/07/08 09:13 PM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
I've never heard of bounce shock, good to know.


I've heard of it as "bruising".
I can believe that shaking up a red (or the occasional white) with alot of sediment can make for an unpleasant experience in the texture on the tongue, but really, the chemistry inside the bottle (a closed system) shouldn't be affected by a bit of sloshing otherwise.
The sediment may take awhile to settle though which could cause the wine to taste somewhat 'muddy' until it does.

You can find micro metal filters and funnel systems if one is in a rush to open the wine and drink before settling.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 03/08/08 03:24 PM

I had the 2006 Orin Swift – “The Prisoner” the other night. This is my second time with this bottle / vintage. The first time I had it, it was the same day my order arrived. I was pretty disappointed with it and was hoping it was off because of shipping shock. Whether that was why I was disappointed or not, it was very good this second go around. Fruit forward, but not too much like some zins can be. While there is fruit on the nose, it's mixed with smoke and pepper simular to a South American Malbec, which I find unusual. Great structure, mellow tannin and a finish that doesn’t really finish. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bottle with a finish this long.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 03/08/08 04:39 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
I had the 2006 Orin Swift – “The Prisoner” the other night.

You had a prisoner the other night?
Oh mdrew, tsk tsk.
;\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 03/09/08 01:02 PM

You need to stop hanging around Peter..... \:\)
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 03/09/08 06:43 PM

Actually, he needs to START. ;\)
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 03/20/08 01:49 PM

We're packing up tonight for tomorrow's trip to the coast for Easter. I'm taking a bottle of Chase Cellars Syrah as well as a bottle of Graham's 1994 Vintage Porto, neither of which I have tried. We will stop at a few of the Paso wineries to pick up anything else we might want or need , as well as a much anticipated stop at Turley's wine tasting room in Templeton.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 03/21/08 05:52 PM

Watch out for Turley. They are very hard on the checkbook. I love their wine, but sure hate how much they cost. Their P/Sirah's have got to be the best in the world.

I'm going to a blind tasting tomorrow. We will be pouring five different cabs from five different regions (North America, South America, France, Spain, Auz), ranging in price between $10 and $100.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 03/21/08 10:45 PM

Just got back from dinner and our last tasting stop at Turleys, they weren't tasting any of their P/Sirah's but I had five of the biggest and boldest Zins I've ever tasted, really some great wines.
What I was really pleased about is that this is the first time I've seen prices in a tasting room that were about half the price of online sales. The bottles ranged from a $10.00 table Zin (labled Red Velvet Presenti} to an $80.00 reserve. I purchased a case of wine (all Zins) Red Velvet, Turley's Presenti, Earthquake and Dogtown are a few I can remember without getting into the case, but the bottles I purchased ranged from $10.00 to $55.00 most being in the mid $30.00 range.
We plan on going back on the way home Monday just to check if our half inebriated palates missed anything we may want to have a second shot at. \:\) I'll also see if I can taste or grab a couple Petite Sirah's.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 03/22/08 01:37 PM

The St Helena Wine Center carries Turley, but I don't know where else you can get it.

I have not tried anything from them but their Petite Sirah. It’s good to know their Zin is good too. I’ve been on their “waiting” list to get on their “mailing” list for several months. A friend of mine gets wine from them twice a year, but it’s by allotment and he’s real friggin stingy with it.

If you ever get to San Francisco, you ought to swing by the Wattle Creek tasting room at Ghirardelli Square. I’ve been very happy with just about everything from them. Plus, if you get in the creek club membership, shipping is free.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 03/22/08 05:24 PM

What I learned from the folks at Turley is that they primarily only make Zin's with a few Petit Sirahs, their mailing list wait is now two years. My wife remembers seeing a couple P/Sirahs on the wine list so I plan on grabbing a few on Monday.

I've been on Wattle Creeks web site but have yet to order anything from them, I'll have to give them a try.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/01/08 08:53 PM

Just to recap Easter dinner, we enjoyed a 2005 Chase Cellars Petite Sirah, a 2004 Turley Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel and for desert a Graham's Vintage Port 1994.

We all enjoyed the Chase P/Sirah but all came to the same conclusion, it was good not great now, we thought laying it down for a year would possibly make it a great wine.

The Turley Zin we all loved, full bodied without being fruit forward, and a great finish.

Last for desert was the Grahams, I'll have to say it was remarkably smooth with great balance, I'm just not sure if for my tastes it was worth $100.00.

We liked Turleys wine so much that on the way home we stopped back at the tasting room, we bought several more Zins and a couple 2004 Haynes Vinyard P/Sirahs, I'll look forward to drinking these in the next few months.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/01/08 09:15 PM

Cool… I was waiting to hear what you thought of the Chase before I commented on it. I agree, it needs some time resting, or so I hope. I bought a case of the damn things. I was actually pretty disappointed with it, but I had high expectations too. It is a pretty complex wine and hard to identify what the bouquet is. Considering this, I do have faith that a little time lying down will make it a wonderful bottle. I do not plan on opening another for at least six months.

I just got some good news from Turley yesterday. They think they can get me on the mailing list for this fall’s shipment. I don’t recall which P/S I had, but it left a very lasting memory of being fantastic.

Speaking of P/S, I had a Marietta P/S last night. I had this a few weeks ago and recall that I liked it then. I like it even more now. I suspect my fancy Venturi helped open it up some. It’s quite a bargain too. It’s only about $15.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 04/01/08 09:28 PM

So P/S is not the same as POS, right?

I don't get why you guys keep mis-spelling "Turkey".
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/01/08 10:01 PM

Mike, that's sweet that you may get on Turley's list, they told me at the winery it was a two year wait, fortunately we drive that way about 4 times a year. I'll have to look up that Marietta, I've really taking a liking to the P/S's lately. I think my palates changing or I'm buying better wines, even the Merlots are starting to taste good again to me. Well, I did stop smoking last month after 25 years of the nasty habit, which has really made a difference in food and wine tasting.

Tom, as usual I chuckle everytime you post. \:\) I actually had to look up POS
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/02/08 04:40 PM

I too am experiencing a pallet change. I was a hard core heavy bodied cab sav guy a couple years ago, then I was on a zin kick, then it was merlot, then shiraz, then sirah, then pinot and now – like you, I’m also really digging Petite Sirahs. But, I still enjoy all over varietals too... I’m even getting into white wines, which I always considered to be kin to kool aid.

I believe that a lot of this shift in tastes / preferences is not that they are changing, but maturing. When I have a glass of wine now, I spend time trying to identify the bouquet; then I spend time trying to identify the taste on the mouth, gums and teeth, then the finish. I still can’t pick out cigar box or green pepper or the other gazillion flavors and smells I see on tasting notes all the time, but I now know the basics. I think knowing the basics and knowing what a good finish is, is why my preferences have evolved. It helps having friends who really know wine around. When we get together to share a bottle, they explain the steps to me and help me identify things. I don’t know if you have one or not, but I bought a wine wheel from Wine.com. It’s pretty cool to taste a glass and see where it lands on the wheel.

I look forward to opening a new bottle every day now. It’s finally dawned on me why drinking and appreciated a good glass of wine really is. Five years ago it was either red or white….. Nowadays I even enjoy fine stemware. Five years ago I’d drink wine out of tall water glass, or the bottle itself.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/02/08 04:40 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
So P/S is not the same as POS, right?

I don't get why you guys keep mis-spelling "Turkey".


Who said you could come out of your room? Get the F- back in there!!
Posted by: medic8r

Re: the wine thread - 04/02/08 07:07 PM

Tase him! Tase him, bro'!!!!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/12/08 02:40 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
So P/S is not the same as POS, right?

I don't get why you guys keep mis-spelling "Turkey".


Who said you could come out of your room? Get the F- back in there!!

Oh geez that's funny.
Someone let Tom out of the beer bottle and into the wine cellar.


I've been absent from the thread for awhile, unfortunately. It is apparent I've missed some interesting conversations.

We have a bbq scheduled in two weeks which will include a massive chardonnay tasting. A friend is bent on taking out a Rodney Strong or a Cakebread and betting it against some 'cheaper' chardonnays such as Toasted Head, Andrew Peller Signature Series Sur Lie and a few Aussies.

The bbq has 8 heads at last count. How many will be wine tasting i'm not sure; 4 of us at least.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 04/13/08 01:01 AM

Is that a tasting of massive chardonnays or a massive tasting of chardonnays? ;\)
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/13/08 01:04 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Is that a tasting of massive chardonnays or a massive tasting of chardonnays? ;\)

Yes on both counts.

Fattest chardonnay ever...YellowTail Reserve.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/22/08 09:52 PM

I’ve been drinking so many inexpensive wines from South America and Spain (under $15 that I call “drinkers”), that I’ve been buying from wine.com; I haven’t had a whole lot to recommend lately. The other night though, I opened a Napa Zin and it was outstanding. Terrific nose with fruit that wasn’t over the top. It has a good fruity pallet you find in most Napa Zins, but it also had some spice and smoke with it at the same time. It wasn’t the typical Napa over-extracted jammy fruit that Parker likes either, just nice crisp clean fruit. It’s high in alcohol (15.8%), but you’d never know it. The wine just hid it well and I would have pegged it between 13.5 and 14%. A little spendy, but I still recommend it to anyone who likes zins.

The wine is from Klinker Brick Winery. It’s their “Old Ghost” vintage…2005. $37.00 http://www.klinkerbrickwinery.com/old_ghost_old_vine_zinfandel.htm

I have six more on order……
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/22/08 10:13 PM

I'll keep that one on my list for later, if I didn't already have a truckload of Zins I would order a couple now.

I am interested in some of your favorite under $15.00 dollar buys from Latin America. I really enjoy the Root 1 Cabernet that I was getting for under $10.00 a bottle. I'm also really liking some of the Argentine Malbecs.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/22/08 10:25 PM

Two days to the chardonnay tastings.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/23/08 01:56 PM

I’ve had many great bottles from South America. It’s actually more of a challenge to find one I don’t like… I’ve had the Root 1 and like it. I usually have three or four in the “drinker cooler”.

Here’s a few I’ve tried and really enjoyed.

2004 Veramonte Primus $15
Anything from Concha y Toro (I love the Don Melchor) $10 - $65
2005 Santa Rita carmenere $13
2003 Gascon Presidents Blend Malbec $17.50
2004 Unico Luis Miguel Gran Reserva Cab $15
2005 Terrazas de Los Andes Malbec $15

One from Spain worth mentioning as well:

Los Rocas Garnacha $11
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/23/08 02:00 PM

Thanks Mike, I've tried a couple Concha y Toros and really enjoyed them. The others are going on my to order list.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 04/23/08 02:22 PM

I picked up a cab from Concha Y Toro form Costco and really liked it. The more it breathed, the better it got. (I forgot to use the Vinturi!) The third, and final, day, was the best.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/23/08 02:24 PM

Another one from Chile that I’ve mentioned a couple times already, but worth mentioning again is Almaviva. It's hard to find because they only have one US distributor that cascades to sub-distributors, but damn it's good. It’s a joint venture of sorts between the Concha y Toro Winery and the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. If you ever see one, just suck it up, pay the price and take it home for a special occasion. I’ve got a couple 99’s and if I see any when I wander through wine shops that are laying down, I buy them. I’ve had the 99, 2001 and 2004. They were all outstanding.

http://www.almavivawinery.com/
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/23/08 09:11 PM

Concha y Toro Trio 1999 was one of the best reds i ever had and it was a whopping 12 dollars.
They have since changed the 'blend' and i didn't care for the last one i had.

The Don Melchor is stellar, and ageing nicely in the cellar.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 10:43 AM

MMMMmmmmm, Don Melchor.



Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 10:58 AM

If the Melchor you are sitting on is an 02, you need to drink it now. I had one a couple weeks ago and it's not on par with the other vintages. I don't think it will keep much longer.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 11:05 AM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
If the Melchor you are sitting on is an 02, you need to drink it now. I had one a couple weeks ago and it's not on par with the other vintages. I don't think it will keep much longer.

In hindsight i thought i would double check the cellar.
I don't have a Melchor; i have a Don Amado that is cellaring ('99).
Funny because i swear i bought one, but maybe, just maybe we did drink it one New Year's that i just don't recall.
However, i do have a 2000 Peter Lehmann Mentor in the cellar so maybe that was the one i bought instead of the Melchor.

Perhaps it is time to buy some cellar software to keep track of this stuff.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 11:13 AM

Never heard of the Don Amado. Any good?

Speaking of software, last week I downloaded "the personal wine curator" for a 30 day trial. I like it so far. I wish it would gather more information from wineries, like lables and bottle prices, but I supose that would be pretty dificult to do. I'd also like the software to gather currnet action values, but again, I don't know if that's even possible.

At any rate, you can download the software here: http://www.thewinecurators.com/
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 11:33 AM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Never heard of the Don Amado. Any good?

Speaking of software, last week I downloaded "the personal wine curator" for a 30 day trial. I like it so far. I wish it would gather more information from wineries, like lables and bottle prices, but I supose that would be pretty dificult to do. I'd also like the software to gather currnet action values, but again, I don't know if that's even possible.

At any rate, you can download the software here: http://www.thewinecurators.com/


I have not had the Don Amado. I'm not sure where it came from. All i know is that it is a cellaring Chilean red.
http://www.torreon.cl/

Don Amado Special Reserve - 1999 - Cachapoal Valley
Description
WINEMAKER NOTES: This exceptional wine is the product of a very challenging growing season. 1998 was the driest year in Chilean history, which gave rise to Caber net Sauvignon and Merlot that were extremely lean yet excellent in ter ms of grape health, ripeness, color, flavor, and concentration. The must was fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged for 16 months in new French oak barrels. TASTING NOTES: This bright ruby-red and violet wine shows tremendous aromatic complexity with elegant notes of cassis, black currant, plum, and vanilla. Harmonious on the palate, this flavorful wine is warm, soft, and well-rounded with delicate tannins that provide structure and ensure its potential for ageing gracefully in the bottle.

Special Notes
This 1999 harvest has been distinguished for the following prizes: -Silver Medal Sélections Mondiales des vins, Montréal, Canada, March 2004 -Bronze Medal 1st Annual Wines of Chile Awards, Santiago, Chile, December 2003 -Recommended with 3 stars Decanter Magazine, London, UK, October 2003 -Silver Medal Challenge International du Vin, Blaye-Bourg, France, May 2002 - Silver Medal Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Belgium, April 2002 -Silver Medal Vinitaly, 10th International Wine Competition, Verona, Italy, April 2002



I've tried two cellar software programs and i like features of both. I wish they could be integrated together. I'm leaning towards the Avos Vins at this time.

http://www.cellarwinesoftware.com/index.html
http://www.avosvins.ca/indexeng.htm
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 12:14 PM

Thanks for the links to the software guys, I'm downloading the Demo of the Personal Wine Curator now, lots of good stuff on all three links.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 12:45 PM

I like the customizable cellar layout of Avos Vins and i find its reports more informative.
The pronunciation and dictionary features of Cellar! are pretty neat though.

Both programs take some setting up and yes, i agree with mdrew that some auto download features to fill in wine selections and so forth would be great, but highly unlikely.
At least the apps have lists of wine regions and many names already embedded so a complete typing of that information may not be necessary.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 01:24 PM

PWC auto polulates regions after you enter the sub region. It has several thousand wineries already in its database, so that's not a big deal either. The fields are intuitive as well. You put in a "T" for Turley, and it scolls to the "Tees". I entered 285 bottles in about three hours. It also has a "Drink By" function that's pretty cool. Not sure how acurate it is, but it's a handy tool to have. I'll probably stick with PWC seeing how I already put this much time into it. Plus, there web sight says they are coming out with a newer version this fall with some more features.

After using this software for a while, I don't know how anyone with any inventory at all can get along without it.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 01:30 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew

After using this software for a while, I don't know how anyone with any inventory at all can get along without it.

That PWC program is a pig compared to the others.
41 mb!!

Considering i thought i had a Melchor cellaring and i do not, i think it is time i spent the effort logging the 118 or so bottles in the cellar.
The Avosvins app also has a 'drink by' feature, but i think you plug in the expected drinking year yourself and then it tracks it from there, designating bottles with different colours (green, yellow and red) depending on the relation of present time to the entered corking date.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 01:46 PM

The drink by function with PWC is auto. You have to have the wine's varietal, distinction, year and region entered. You then just click the button and it tells you when you should drink it, and also the drink by date. Some bottles of mine it couldn't give me data because they are an "un-known" to the software. For example, I have some Wattle Creek Malbecs from the Alexander Valley region. It didn't recognize that. Apearently, there aren't many Malbecs in Napa...

There's a bunch of other things you can do with it, like pair foods and enter menus and different ratings, but I haven't messed with those much.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 06:49 PM

I'm going to try to get all my wines in over the weekend, I wish I had started this a couple years ago, there have been many good wines I've had that I can't remember the names of.
We actually received a wine lable diary type book a couple years back as a gift and never got around to using it, now I wish I had.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 08:15 PM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
I'm going to try to get all my wines in over the weekend, I wish I had started this a couple years ago, there have been many good wines I've had that I can't remember the names of.
We actually received a wine lable diary type book a couple years back as a gift and never got around to using it, now I wish I had.

I have a friend who was given a similar 'book' at his first intro to wine course.
He's barely used it.
In the meantime, i've used an Excel spreadsheet. Entry was alot faster and could sort data and move it around nicely. I think my friend gave up trying to 'find' his favorite wines in book by leafing through pages.

The Excel file is now 10 years old having started it in '98.
Of course, not all tastings make it as entries into the file for so many obvious reasons.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 08:40 PM

 Quote:
The Excel file is now 10 years old having started it in '98.

I'll bet you have some treasures on that list.

I really didn't start appreciating wine until my first Napa trip in 1997, started semi seriously collecting and drinking wine within the past 4 years along with my wife.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 08:51 PM

Wow, I just remembered the bottle that got me started drinking wine, I did a Napa and Sonoma trip in 96 or 97 (first visit) and purchased a Cherryblock 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon by Sebastiani in Sonoma for around $50.00, probably still one of the best wines I've ever tasted.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 09:01 PM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad
Wow, I just remembered the bottle that got me started drinking wine, I did a Napa and Sonoma trip in 96 or 97 (first visit) and purchased a Cherryblock 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon by Sebastiani in Sonoma for around $50.00, probably still one of the best wines I've ever tasted.

The first one i really remember was a Mondavi, though i did buy a bottle of Dom for university graduation, long before i was really appreciating wine.
Don't think i'll buy any more champagne or champagne style wines.
If i wanted a carbonated soft drink...
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/24/08 10:04 PM

My “Eureka” wine was the 99 Silverado Cab. I've only just started to really appreciate wine the last two to three years. Before that my favorites consisted of micro brews (which I still enjoy).

I have one more from Spain to add to the “buy” list…. @ $25.00

2001 Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva. It’s blend of Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Graciano grapes. Aged in French oak. This is one dandy of a bottle. I’m enjoying the heck out it right now….. Very nice bottle of juice. It’s not too much of anything and just the right balance of acidity and sweetness. I can’t quite make out the nose though. Not real fruity or smoky but just nice, crisp, and quite pleasant. Nice finish too. I don’t feel the urge to keep my mouth full of it.

Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/25/08 12:47 AM

We had a bottle of Santa Rita Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 tonight at our favorite Latin Cuisine restaurant in town, good stuff, another Chilean Cab I'll be adding to our list.
We paid $30.00 at dinner for the bottle, but wine.com has it for $16.99, I'm going to grab some bottles of the bottles mentioned from them by tomorrow to get the 1 cent shipping.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/27/08 02:08 PM

Chardonnay taste off:

Toasted Head
Rodney Strong Sonoma Valley
Fat Bastard
Gretzky 99

The Coles notes:
Rodney Strong was the overall best selected by 3 of 4 tasters.
Toasted Head was a close second, not quite as smooth a finish, but more bold flavours.
Neither the Fat bastard nor the Gretzky impressed any of our 4 tasters.

All tasting was done blind but scores and impressions were compiled together as a group rather than individual rankings summed at the end.
Prices on these wines ranged from $16-$24 Cdn though i do not know the price of the Gretzky.

I'm still working on digesting the 5 pounds of butter dill and anchovy paste crusted salmon that went with it all.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/27/08 02:56 PM

I find Chardonnay in general to be bland and tasteless. It takes secondary malolactic fermentation and oak aging to give it any taste, but that is usually over the top in the cheaper bottles from California and to a lesser degree in bottles from Southern Australia. Cheap bottles are typically aged with oak chips verses new barrels and they all taste like a stick of butter to me. About the only Chard I can tolerate is White Oak. They use oak barrels and a very mild malolactic fermentation.

I’ve had three of the chards you guys tasted (never had the Gretzky) and find you results mirror mine. If you ever see a White Oak, pick it up. I think you’ll like it.

Disclaimer: I haven’t quite figured out how to gauge any white wine yet…..I’m not a big fan of it.


I had a nice Shiraz / Viogner blend last night. It was a Zonte's Footstep from Southern Australia (Langhorne Creek). Very smooth and just a bit on the acidic side to give it a nice zing. Unique bouquet with raspberries and melon. $15 from wine.com.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/27/08 05:34 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
I find Chardonnay in general to be bland and tasteless. It takes secondary malolactic fermentation and oak aging to give it any taste, but that is usually over the top in the cheaper bottles from California and to a lesser degree in bottles from Southern Australia. Cheap bottles are typically aged with oak chips verses new barrels and they all taste like a stick of butter to me. About the only Chard I can tolerate is White Oak. They use oak barrels and a very mild malolactic fermentation.

The conversion of lactic to malic acid is a common process. Yes, many people are not fans of the 'fatness' this can construe upon a chardonnay and too much diacetyl (the buttery smelling compound) can make the wine bitter if not controlled but the malolactic fermentation IS also used in the production of red wines!
Some say the process bastardizes the wine from what is otherwise a good tasting grape. However, i am a fan of the smooth mouthful and texture that it provides and i like the heavy oak flavours. My least favorite chardonnays are French b/c as you say, they taste bland.

Unoaked chardonnays are far more like rieslings and gewurztraminers IMO, but if you are not a white wine fan, and find them all generally the 'same' without character, you may not see the point of discerning between these grapes.
Compared to red wines whites are indeed more subtle, but if you ever tasted a Germany riesling that smelled like cat urine and compared it to a BC region style riesling, there is NO way you would ever say that white wines are generally all bland and the same.

One of our wine tasters last evening stated he only has "white or red" at home, but mostly drinks reds. He's never done a wine tasting before. By the time we ran him through some things consider during the tasting (alot of the basics we've all heard before...first you look at the colour of the wine, then you swirl the wine, etc. etc.), he discovered differences all on his own just from the bouquet. He simply never paid attention to such details before and also lumped all red or white wines as tasting pretty much the same. Now he realizes what is meant by closed bouquet. He tried the oaked and unoaked chardonnays and understands what is meant by "smooth" texture. There was a marked interest in trying some more tastings again and i would not be surprised if he takes a slower glance at wine descriptions the next time he heads to the store.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: the wine thread - 04/27/08 05:50 PM

To all you oenophiles:

What are the best red wines under $15?

Are there any you care to recommend under $10?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 04/27/08 07:41 PM

Were you educating me Chess, or other readers? My comments were in regards specifically to Chardonnay. I too like a little oak, but not to the point where I feel like I just bit into a stick of butter, which many are like.

I prefer a good Sauv Blanc from Marlborough (New Zealand) or Casablanca Valley (Chile) then Chardonnay.

Mojo,

Look above at my recommendations for Chile and Spain. Those are the best bang for the buck on the planet right now. Hop on over to wine.com and filter your search to Red > South America > price. Then do the same for Spain. I have found terrific bottles for under $15. With South America, the wines have a general “earthy” / “smoky” nose and pallet to them. With Spain, you get more of a traditional fruit forward type of wine. Neither have that big, in your face chewy characteristics found in Napa reds and French Bordeaux, but that isn’t always desirable, so I tend to hop around the globe to fit my mood.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: the wine thread - 04/27/08 08:27 PM

Thanks!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 04/27/08 10:22 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Were you educating me Chess, or other readers?

Nope, just talking in general. Sometimes people don't know the whole process of what MLF is or all the side compounds created in the process like diacetyl (the buttery smell).

 Quote:
My comments were in regards specifically to Chardonnay. I too like a little oak, but not to the point where I feel like I just bit into a stick of butter, which many are like.

Are we talking about oak flavour imparted by barrels or the fat texture imparted by the MLF? I've had one or two oaky chardonnays that were not 'fat' in texture. The both tended to be more nutty in flavour and hence i'm thinking the winemakers toasted the oak barrels too heavily. The smooth texture created by MLF is used in reds to control acidity. I've had a few smooth reds and again, i really quite like the mouth feel in texture but i also prefer low acid wines most of the time.


 Quote:

I prefer a good Sauv Blanc from Marlborough (New Zealand) or Casablanca Valley (Chile) then Chardonnay.

I thought you weren't a white wine drinker?
;\)

 Quote:

Look above at my recommendations for Chile and Spain. Those are the best bang for the buck on the planet right now. Hop on over to wine.com and filter your search to Red > South America > price. Then do the same for Spain. I have found terrific bottles for under $15. With South America, the wines have a general “earthy” / “smoky” nose and pallet to them. With Spain, you get more of a traditional fruit forward type of wine. Neither have that big, in your face chewy characteristics found in Napa reds and French Bordeaux, but that isn’t always desirable, so I tend to hop around the globe to fit my mood.

Unfortunately we cannot buy wines from online stores in the US, not unless you get them shipped to the state south of one's province, drive down, pick them up, pay duties at the border...
The array of wines available down south can be far greater than here, depending in part on where you live and which provincial government has a stranglehold on the liquor imports.

Good wines for under $10 in Canada?
Brutally tough if they even exist.
Decent reds under $15, there are a number. For easy to find ones Mojo, i recommend looking at Fetzer and Mondavi's offerings at your local Liquor Barn. Sticking with some again, easy to find N.American names, also see Beringer, Kenwood, Kendall Jackson, Ironstone (all make good zins, cabs, and some chardonnays).

If you want to venture out and get recommendations from the local wineshop folk who know what they have in stock, then i would recommend a variety of Chilean reds as well.
Concha Y Toro is pretty common. Have a look for their Trio.

Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/27/08 10:25 PM

Tex,
I'll second Mike's recommendation, for the price Imo there is nothing that compares to the Latin American wines.
Chile and Argentinian wines are a couple of my favorites.

When you decide you want to spend a little more, the choices go up exponentially.

Let us know what you go with and your thoughts.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: the wine thread - 04/28/08 02:01 PM

Just got back from a wine tour in Paso Robles about a week ago...so I figured I'd share some gems we found with you all.

We'd gone to a few places in Paso a few years back, and quite enjoyed Tablas Creek, and [url=]Opolo[/url]. Tablas makes some quite good whites, Rhone blends. Opolo is best known for their great Zinfandel. A few years later, they do not disapoint. Tablas still makes great white wine blends, and Opolo continues to produce terrific, big, tasty Zin.

The new gems we found included Adelaida, while a pricey, we really enjoyed their Reserve Syrah, and Rhone style whites.

Pipestone was another favorite...one of the few stops in which nearly every bottle we tried was quite excellent. Their a husband and wife micro-winery, and do pretty much everything themselves. All organic. Just darn good stuff. Again their Syrah was my favorite. Their Zinfandel is somewhat unusal in that it was a bit sweet. Very jammy. It could almost be drunk as a desert wine. It would certainly need to be paired with some very spicey, bold food. Very tastey though.

Zenaida Cellars was good too. We really enjoyed their Cabs, I particularly like the 2002 Estate Cab, which at $22 was really reasonable.

I saved our favorite for last. Dover Canyon Their Viognier was good, but their "White Bone" white blend was outstanding. What really blew us away though was their Zinfandels. Simply amazing. I had no idea Zinfandel could be so good. The '06 "Cujo" is their entry level Zin, and it alone was the best Zin I've ever tasted. Then I tried their '06 "Old Vine", which was even better. Lastly we tried their '06 Reserve which was outstanding as well. We stopped by on Friday, and immediately bought several bottles. We had our full limo tour on Saturday, hitting a bunch of vineyards, and then decided we had to go back to Dover Canyon on Sunday before heading home. We bought another full case then. Sooo good!

A quick note on some places that didn't float our boat so much...

Four Vines...not bad wine at all, I actually enjoyed their Chardonay quite a lot, but nothing really stood out from their wines, and they were pricier than any place else we visited.

Still Water...their wines again, weren't bad at all, but nothing special. They do also make their own olive oil from 100+ year old olive trees on their property, and THAT was very tasty. It's also one of the most beautiful properties we visited. Well worth stopping by for the views, and olive oil. The wine though...eh.

Midnight Cellars. Bleck. I think they cater to people who tend to not like wine. It all tasted like watered down juice.

If you get a chance to visit Paso Robles, do it! It was a blast!
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/28/08 05:06 PM

Craig, Thanks for the tips, I've tried all the ones that you listed except for Pipestone and Dover Canyon. I wasn't crazy about Four Vines either, though it seems to be quite popular up there. We are heading up there either this weekend or next so I'll put those two on my list.
Paso really is a great place if you want to try some great wines at reasonable prices.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: the wine thread - 04/28/08 05:50 PM

Yeah...if you're going don't miss those two! Pipestone is a little out of the way, but not really...it just seems like it because so many others are right on top of each other.

Just noticed my link to Opolo above was bad...

Opolo


Posted by: spiffnme

What got me started... - 04/28/08 06:41 PM

Our first wine trip was through Santa Ynez, and at the time Roger and I enjoyed wine, but weren't what you'd call enthusiasts. The first wine that really grabbed us and made us realize just how good a bottle of wine could be was this beauty from Sunstone.

2003 Sunstone Eros

I've since had other wines that were likely as good or better, but this was certainly the first one that made me really start getting interested in fine wine. \:\)




Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 04/28/08 11:25 PM

We actually served an un-oaked Four Vines Chardonnay at our wedding. After having tried so many oaked and malolactified chards, it was a refreshingly crisp break from the norm. (And it was a great deal at the time, too.)
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 04/29/08 02:30 AM

I can only speak for their reds, it's very rare that I will do any white wine tasting unless someone compels me to have a taste.
So most opinions I have of wineries are based on reds only, lately I have started to delve a little into whites, but I would consider myself a complete novice when it comes to white wines.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: the wine thread - 04/29/08 02:44 AM

yep...If I'd bought a bottle of Four Vines, it would have been the Chardonnay.

fyi...had a bottle of 2001 Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon tonight.

Very smooth, yummy fruit. Not very spicy, and old enough to eliminate nearly all the tongue biting tannins. Crazy easy to drink. Almost too easy for my taste. But still very tasty.

I just googled it, and was surprised to see the price online is between $60-70 per bottle. I paid $59 at a restaurant!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 05/17/08 07:19 PM

Having just returned from the wine festival, i'm unimpressed at the offerings this year.
Found only one i liked, never got through the whole show (vendors seem bent on dog and pony shows holding up the tastings) and the price went up another 5 bucks a head this year.

At some point it will become too pricey a ticket to bother attending anymore.
Posted by: michael_d

Paso Robles - 05/18/08 04:21 PM

Paso Robles looks like a good place to visit this fall. I was planning on going back to Napa, but I’m getting tired of the over inflated Napa prices. It’s getting hard to find a good bottle from Napa for under $20.

Are there good restaurants and decent places to stay in the Paso Robles area? How far of a drive is it between the wineries? In comparison to Napa, how is this are for the whole wine tasting experience one can expect from the Napa area?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 05/18/08 05:39 PM

After another weekend of overindulgence, I have a few really great bottles to put on the list and a few to avoid as well.

Thursday started out harmlessly when I went to pick up a couple boxes of wine at a friend’s house that UPS dropped off for me while I was out of state. My buddy asked me if I was thirsty….six bottles later I went home.

Selby Pinot Noir – Outstanding Pinot. Crisp, ripe fruit on the nose and pallet. Nice finish. Medium body. http://www.selbywinery.com/vintages/currentvintages/a05LovePinotNoir.html

Can Blau Celler – Another great bottle from Spain. It’s a red blend that we found to be very well balanced with a nice fruity nose and pallet with just a hint of spice and smoke. This one is hard to believe it’s under $20. http://www.wine.com/v6/wineshop/Detail.aspx?product_id=93492

Nickel and Nickel chardonnay – Excellent chard with just the right amount of oak. At about $50 though, it’s not one I’d buy.

Rudd Winery Sauv Blanc – All of us were in agreement that this is the best Sauv Blanc we ever had. It was amazingly crisp with all kinds of ripe fruit. Pretty spendy for a Sauv Blanc at $35 though…. http://www.ruddwines.com/wines_sauv.cfm

2003 - Lamborn First Vintage Cab Sav. This bottle was opened to see if it was still good due to a mistake when storing it. It was stored too close to a cooling unit and had ice on the bottle. My buddy has several of these and all were stored wrong, so he decided to open one and get the anxiety over with. It was freaking wonderful. This bottle is on my top five now. Definitely one of the best bottles I’ve ever had. The nose was amazing. It’s one of those nice crisp fruity noses that you don’t need to put your nose in the glass to smell and not a hint of being too ripe or jammy – a perfect nose to me. I couldn’t find any fault with this bottle. They are out of the 03, but you can still buy some 04’s, which is their second vintage. I was told the 04 is even better, but have not opened one yet. http://www.lamborn.com/lambornfamily/page/exclusive.jsp

1927 Alvear Pedro Ziminex – This is a half bottle I bought from wine.com. They blend new barrels with old barrels, which is how it can be called a 1927 wine, because they blend it with the 1927 vintage. I’m not all that familiar with the process, but the wine sure was tasty. It’s super viscous and very, very sweat. A half bottle goes a long way. If you like thick desert wines, you’ll love this one. http://www.wine.com/v6/wineshop/Detail.aspx?product_id=92464


Friday night was a birth day party for a friend’s kid. We all brought a bottle of wine and tasted each. Out of all the bottles drank (many), only one is worth mentioning.

06 Wattle Creek Pinot. I am a wine club member of this winery and have yet to drink a bottle of theirs I haven’t enjoyed. The Pinot is one of theirs that sells out pretty fast, so this was a first time trying it for me. It did not disappoint any of us and I’ve already ordered two more cases because all my friends want a few bottles. It had everything I like; fresh fruit on the nose, nice crisp pallet and a good finish. http://shop.wattlecreek.com/product.php?productid=66&cat=53&page=1

Last night was another BB party. This time a friend turned 50, so we all chipped in and splurged with some real nice bottles. One’s worth mentioning……

99 Silverado Merlot. I’ve been hanging on to this one for a while and was concerned it might be too old. It wasn’t. Unfortunately, it just didn’t do much for me. The birth day boy loved it, so that’s all that really counts.

2000 – Marietta Angeli Cuvee. YUK…. I can’t believe I’ve been keeping this one for so long. It sucked. The 99 was an outstanding bottle, but all the other Angeli Cuvee’s have been horrible in comparison.

Selby Zin – I was disappointed with this one. Too jammy, even for a zin. http://www.selbywinery.com/vintages/currentvintages/a06BobcatZin.html

05 Jericho Canyon Cab Sav - I had to redeem myself for the Marietta, so I opened one of two of these I bought a few months ago. It was outstanding. I’d put this one right up there with the Lamborn we drank Thursday. On a point scale, this one would be a 96 with the Lamborn being a 97 (to me anyway). A little pricey (Napa, go figure), but I don’t feel ripped off. http://www.brix26.com/products/Jericho_C...alley-25-0.html

05 Papillon Cab Sav – I’ve mentioned this one before in this thread, and it’s still just as good. http://www.brix26.com/products/Orin_Swift_2005_Papillon_Cabernet_Sauvignon_Napa_Valley-335-0.html

05 Nickel and Nickel Merlot. We were a little disappointed with this bottle. After the Jericho and Papillion though, it would have to be a heck of a bottle to be noticed, which it wasn’t.

03 Fleury Red. At a $140 I was not impressed. Pretty bottle with a wax seal, but not worth the money.

99 Ridge Monte Bello – We finished the night with this bottle. The Monte Bello is the Napa Cab that dethroned France back in ’71. Year after year, the Monte Bello continues to score in the mid to high 90’. I’m not sure if my pallet was saturated at this point of the night, or if this bottle just all that great because it just didn’t “wow” me like I thought it would. It was a damn nice bottle, but just not on pare with the Lamborn or Jericho. http://www.wine.com/V6/Ridge-Monte-Bello-Cabernet-Sauvignon-1999/wine/55568/detail.aspx
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: Paso Robles - 05/18/08 05:55 PM

Mike, Paso is a great place to go if you enjoy wine and don't want to spend a fortune, we go at least 3 to 4 times a year.
There are stretches of the highway where you can literally drive next door and hit 20 different wineries, or you can travel some of the back roads and find ton's of little boutique vintners.
This is a great resource for Paso itself pasowines
We always stay at the beach with my Brother In-law when we visit, but there is a place that I've always wanted to stay right in the middle of everything. Villa Toscana

The most I have ever paid for a bottle in Paso was $85.00 for a 2004 Turley Sirah, that we drank Tue. on my wifes birthday, and it was excellent.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 05/18/08 09:58 PM

Someone please remind me why i shouldn't move to Alaska again?
They seem to get more wines than our local stores.
They have money to buy it.
They drink many bottles of it.
So what were the cons?
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 05/19/08 12:47 AM

Many months of no daylight and extreme cold. ;\)
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: the wine thread - 05/19/08 10:23 AM

He already lives in Canadia.
Posted by: medic8r

Re: the wine thread - 05/19/08 10:24 AM

That Sam the Eagle sig still makes me smile!

\:\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 05/19/08 06:07 PM

Thanks Michael. That B&B looks very nice. I was all fired up to book the “cottage”, but at $2000 a night I think I’ll pass. The main house rooms look great though. I’ll see if the wino crew wants to go here instead of Napa this fall. They are also talking about going to the Walla-Walla area. While we all enjoy Napa, it’s time to venture out some more.

Chess, there’s plenty of drawbacks to living here. So many in fact, I’m looking at property in the lower 48 to move to in four years. I’m tired of two seasons and living in a remote area. The pay is a bit higher here than the national average, but so is the cost of living. It off-sets itself. My employer pays well, but they are global and the pay is the same everywhere. I just don’t have as many other hobbies as most other folks who live closer to civilization, so I have more to spend on the few hobbies I do have. And after drinking a damn fine bottle of wine that costs about a hundred bucks, one becomes a bit numb to the price, as long as the bottle is worth it. It’s those bottles that cost a lot that are crap that piss me off. And I doubt I can get much more than you can locally. I belong to several clubs that ship the stuff to me.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 05/19/08 06:14 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
And I doubt I can get much more than you can locally. I belong to several clubs that ship the stuff to me.


You don't know the power of our provincial liquor boards.
The key word is 'stranglehold'.

I would love to be able to buy wines from a place like wine.com but such Canadian outlets do not exist. Wineries in different provinces technically cannot sell to individuals in other provinces. You either travel to buy it or buy what the local stores are allowed to stock.
If i were to buy bottles from the US, there's that border and shipping issue.

If some Canadian national wine club were to organize, buy local wines and ship them to their 'members', i have no doubt it would be considered as breaking numerous liquor laws in some way.
I still don't have a very good handle on how all our liquor laws works.
Compared to the US, our booze is far more pricey and less plentiful as surprising as that may sound.

So does your company have an office in Winnipeg by chance? ;\)
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 05/19/08 10:16 PM

 Quote:
but at $2000 a night I think I’ll pass.


Ouch! I never realized the place was that pricey, I've walked around the grounds and had wine there, but I guess I won't ever be staying there either.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 05/20/08 01:11 AM

I always make a point of stopping by the Selby tasting room when I'm in Healdsburg -- which is sadly now a very rare occasion. Another winery I will always hit in that area (Russian River, actually) is Porter Creek, on Westside Road. Their syrahs and pinots are always quite good. They also do a mean viognier.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 05/20/08 12:46 PM

Sorry to hear that Chess. That really sucks…..

You go to Healdsburg often Peter? You must have eaten at Cyrus then? That’s currently my favorite restaurant in the world. If you haven’t hit the Jordon winery, you might want to put it on your list. I love their wines and are in Healdsburg. Another fun winery in that area is Hook and Ladder. Great inexpensive wines and they like to pour……
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 05/20/08 01:00 PM

I used to go at least once a year, but that's when I lived in Northern California. Never been to Cyrus, though.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 05/20/08 11:35 PM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
They also do a mean viognier.

Viogniers CAN be mean!

 Quote:
Sorry to hear that Chess. That really sucks…..

Maybe we should start up our own cross border wine club. I can pass along some hard to find Ontario and BC wines...then there's that damn border again!
There's a rumour that even wines need passports now. \:\/
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 07/03/08 10:42 AM

For my belated birth day get together, a couple friends of mine conspired with my girlfriend and decided to have an all day wine drinking event with an early evening dinner. They dropped by early in the afternoon with several bottles while the little lady whipped up a great dinner. The dinner was a cold tomato soup made with fresh tomatoes, a whole bunch of other stuff that I noticed in the pot and in the middle was king crab and other stuff in it. I’m not sure about the cold part, but it taste pretty darn good. After the soup was a smoked prime rib with a great red wine reduction sauce.

We played a few hands of poker while trying the different wines. I think I lost enough to pay for all the wine……

From left to right:

98 Mudbrick from New Zealand. This was a bottle my Kiwi friend smuggled over in his luggage a few years ago. It’s a cab sav and malbec blend. Very nice bottle of wine…..
92 Dunn Petite Sirah. This one has some serious cellaring tannins going on. Once you get by them, it was very good.
98 Opus One. Always a good bottle of wine. I doubt this one can get much better if anyone’s sitting on a 98. Drink it now…..
01 Cain Five 1.5 ltr. We had this with dinner. Outstanding bottle of wine. It’s a blend of five berries – 52% cab sav, 20% petite verdot, 14% cab franc, 9% merlot, 5% malbec
02 Lamborn Platinum Vintage Zinfandel. This was by “gift” and I just couldn’t bring myself to open it. This is my all time favorite bottle of wine and they are down right impossible to find any more. I love Lamborn zins, but this has to be the best one they’ve ever produced. I put this one in the zin cooler for another day.
04 Lamborn cab. This is their second vintage of cab sav. It is a wonderful bottle of wine. Slightly less powerful nose than their first vintage, but a bit more of a finish.
98 Jordan cab. I like Jordan and the 98 ready to be drank. Very mellow for a cab with a nice crisp, clean fruity nose. Great bottle.


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 07/03/08 04:30 PM

Uncle Mike, when can I come over?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 07/03/08 04:51 PM

I have a spare room. Whenever it's good for you. Fishing season is getting in full swing now. Payment can be in the form of some good bottles I haven't tried yet and tune up my PC's.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 07/03/08 07:58 PM

Since I was sick most of the week of my bday, I treated myself to a trip up to wine country on Monday. Went up to the Russian River Valley and came back with the following:

1st stop, Porter Creek Vineyards:
'05 Fiona Hill Pinot Noir - very fruity and floral, a bit on the simple side but well balanced
'05 Reserve Pinot Noir - Very 'earthy' and green (I'm trying to incorporate words that Gary Vainerchuk uses on his wine show), with a kind of mineraly finish that is quite different to most Pinots I've tasted
'06 Old Vine Zin - I don't actually remember any particulars on this one other than that it was good enough to buy. \:D

2nd stop: Balletto & Dutton Goldfield (2 different wineries sharing tasting rooms):
06 Balletto Chardonnay - very nice, nothing spectacular but the price was right ($15)
06 Dutton Goldfield Pinot Noir (Dutton Ranch) - really nice. More full bodied than either Porter Creek Pinot, almost Zin-like but more floral

3rd stop: Iron Horse Vineyards
04 BDX-3 - Blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. Very tasty! Nice depth and quite smooth

4th stop - Hartford Family Winery (jackpot!):
05 Land's Edge Pinot Noir - wow. Incredible depth and complexity, all wrapped up in a silky mouthfeel and great overall balance. Makes me wish I hadn't bought a couple of the other pinots so I could've gotten some of the other Hartfords
06 Highwire Zin - Another knockout. Huge fruit but well balanced at the same time, strong structure with good tannins.

Out of the wineries I visited, Hartford was by far my favorite. All of their wines were oustanding, I tried 2 other Zins that were both of the same caliber as the highwire, and 2 other Pinots that were also both incredible. Looking back, I probably should've skipped Porter Creek (even though it's a sentimental favorite) and come back with a few more from Hartford.

I also stopped by Martinellli but they were already sold out of their fantastic Guissepe and Luisa Zin, and none of their other offerings really moved me.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 07/04/08 12:37 PM

The Dutton is one of my favorite Pinots.

The Harford Family Winery looks like they make some pretty good juice. Did you find them to be over extracted / over oaked, typical to many Napa wines, or just about right?? I've become sensitive to that lately. I might just have to sign up for their club as I do enjoy good pinot and zin. They're not exactly 'cheap' though are they? Looks like they start at $40 and go on up from there.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 07/04/08 03:15 PM

They definitely are on the more expensive side of things, but judging from my tasting the price is justified - the quality was a clear step up from any of the other wineries I visited that day.

I found the wines to be just right. I tend to like a little oakiness, but didn't think these wines were over-oaked at all. Great body, great structure and great balance from start to finish.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 07/25/08 11:43 PM

Hey Adam,

I've been emailing back and forth with Hartford. I'm going to have them send me a mixed case. Based on my preferences, Ariel recomended I try the following.

2006 Russian River Valley Zinfandel $30.00 per bottle or

2006 Hartford Vineyard, Russian River Valley Zinfandel $50.00 per bottle ( single vineyard designate -low production)

2006 Fog Dance, Green Valley, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $45.00 per bottle

2006 Land's Edge Pinot Noir $45.00 per bottle

2005 Jennifer's Pinot Noir $65.00 per bottle ( single vineyard designate- low production)

Having tasted their wines, which ones do you think I should get?? I need to fill a full 12 bottle case.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 07/26/08 12:12 AM

Mike,

I bought a 2005 Land's Edge Pinot in my last big order from wine.com and found it to be excellent.

Although not from Hartford, this weekend some friends brought over a couple bottles Of Sea Smoke Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara (one for drinking and one as a late B-day present for me) Another great Pinot, and I'm pretty finicky about Pinot Noirs, I either love them or can't stand them.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 07/26/08 04:24 PM

Looks like a great selection, Mike. I tasted the Fog Dance when I was there and really liked it - I preferred the Land's Edge a little, but would've been happy with either. I did not taste the Jennifer's, so I can't say if it's worth the extra $20. I think I also tasted both Zins on your list and out of those two preferred the Hartford Vineyard, it had a little more structure and better balance. In fact it was pretty much a tossup between that and the Highwire I ended up bringing home.

I'd probably just split the case equally between the middle 3. Maybe throw in a bottle of the Jennifer's to see if it is worth it. \:\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 07/28/08 01:53 PM

Thanks Adam.

I'm putting together a wine.com order now Michael. I'll see if they have those.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 08/01/08 11:24 PM

Wow.
I've really fallen behind on my reading.

So many great recommendations for wines. So many i cannot get here. I've looked for a few names, but nothing has come available at our wine store up the road which is one of the larger ones in town.
I may have to browse elsewhere just to see what possible availability is like.

In the meantime, i found a hard to get wine outside of southern Ontario. A winery named Lailey.
They have a CANADIAN oaked chardonnay (and some reds). They also make a standard American oaked chardonnay and i plan on having a taste test comparison, same vineyard, same year of grapes, the only difference is the oak used for barrels (same species, different growing region).

http://www.canadianoak.com/index.html
Make sure you check you the link on the science!

http://www.laileyvineyard.com/laileycellar.htm


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 08/05/08 11:46 PM

Update to old updates.
Found a new house wine (the kind we buy as a case). Long ago we retired the Lindemans Bin65 as the "mother in law is in town" brand of wine. That's not to say our relatives don't appreciate a good bottle of wine, but more often than not those who visit our home are not as keen on the palate and tend to think "all wines taste the same".
As such, i figure they wouldn't care if we served a $10 vs. a $50 bottle of chardonnay but my pocketbook is better off keeping the grander priced grapes for ourselves.

Now, with that in mind, we still would like to have a wine in the cellar that is an enjoyable one. The Bin65 is one of the world's most sold chardonnays for a reason. It is simple. It is cheap. And most importantly, it doesn't make you gag.

Sometime ago we just got tired of having it around and wanted to find a second chardonnay to stock in the cellar as a house wine (we have 6 house wines at the moment, cab sav, shiraz, zin, riesling, 2 chards and are thinking of adding 2 more). Earlier this year while attending the wine festival we tried several. One that i recall was quite nice given the time in the evening where my taste buds were shot, my eyes a bit blurry and i could still remember it was very very decent.
We cracked a bottle, more sober, this week and i was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was.

The candidate? (Amie take note)

Little Black Dress chardonnay.
Tasting notes

A Californian offering that was simple, subtle, certainly not overdone and relatively cheap. About $2 a bottle more than the Bin65 but well worth the extra price.

It was quite nice with our smoked dill salmon in bearnaise sauce and very refreshing after the Hickory bbq pork ribs and Peter Lehmann's Clancy the following night.
I was impressed twice in two days and rather astonished the bottle lasted after day one.
[color:#CC0000][/color]
Posted by: CV

Re: the wine thread - 08/06/08 12:46 AM

Electronic Tongue
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 08/06/08 07:33 PM

I'm just a wee bit skeptical.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 08/06/08 07:45 PM

 Originally Posted By: CV

These devices are already in use in airports, though for the detection of explosive or toxic compounds. I'm not surprised someone developed a unit for measuring specific compounds in wine.
Sugar, pH, alcohol concentration, all those are easy.
Trying to detect the more complex substances is the tough part. I imagine they have built the detector with a very limited set of character compounds in mind.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 08/07/08 11:42 AM

Can you get Jordan wines where you’re at Chess? If so, I just had their Chardonnay and it was very good. Probably the second best chardonnay I’ve ever had with first place going to Peter Michael, which is very hard to find.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 08/07/08 06:33 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Can you get Jordan wines where you’re at Chess? If so, I just had their Chardonnay and it was very good. Probably the second best chardonnay I’ve ever had with first place going to Peter Michael, which is very hard to find.

I'm not sure if the Jordan brand is carried here or not. We typically get the 'big' widely sold brands and the occasional harder to find wines at the local private stores. The selection is good, but rarely would one ever fine a bottle of a 1000 case limited selection XYY from anywhere outside of the province let alone the country. There are some 'rare' BC wines that used to sell here in Manitoba quite well but because of the western country demand, i haven't seen them in ages.
I have to travel to BC to buy them now.

I will ask around for the Jordan brand.
If i don't find one, perhaps we can setup a chardonnay exchange. There is a bottle you can only buy in Ontario that i think you would love.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 08/11/08 01:11 PM

My case of Hartford wines arrived two weeks ago and I tried the 2006 Russian River Valley Zinfandel last night. Very nice Zin and seeing how I signed up as a wine club member, I get 15% off, which puts this bottle around $25. At $25, it’s the best zin at that price that I’ve had in quite some time. It’s not over the top and even with 15.5% alcohol, it wasn’t too heavy. It has a pleasant nose without being too fruity and a great finish. Depending on how my week goes, we plan on doing a Pinot horizontal with the 2006 Fog Dance, 2006 Land's Edge and 2005 Jennifer's Pinot. I also had them send me one of their Chardonnays.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 09/20/08 06:48 PM

We’re making our annual pilgrimage to Napa next month. Oct 10th – 12th. Anyone going to be in the area that might want to meet with us for some Rutherford Grill cornbread?

This time we are targeting some of the smaller, private wineries that require appointments. Some I’ve tried, some not….

White Rock
Orin Swift – (St. Helena)
Flora Springs
Jericho Canyon Winery (Calistoga)
Madrigal Winery (Calistoga)
T-Vine Cellars
Barnett Spring Mountain Winery (St Helena, Spring Mountain Road)
Jordan Winery (Healdsburg)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 09/20/08 06:58 PM

I’ve made it through most of the Hartford wines I received a while back.

Tried the single vineyard Zin last night. It was a very fruit forward tasty zin. There’s no way to confuse this one with anything but a Cali Zin. At $50 a btl though….I’ve had better.

I still haven’t opened the Jennifer’s Pinot.
The Fog Dance Pinot was excellent. A unique pinot to say the least. Everyone who had some (five of us) all enjoyed it. I’ll be buying more of these.
The Land’s Edge Pinot was just too hot for my tastes. Way too much alcohol. I won’t be buying that one again.

All in all I this Hartford makes some very good wines. I can’t help be think they’ve been “Parkerized”. Parker’s ratings have enabled them to raise prices to a point where one has to wonder if they are paying too much or not. I’ll try a few more before I make up my mind whether or not to continue on with the wine club membership.

…….so many bottles, so little time and not enough money.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 09/20/08 08:28 PM

Annual pillage of Napa already, has a year already gone bye. Looks like you have some good ones lined up. Wish I could get up there to join you for a taste, but these kids and their darn schooling now. \:\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 09/20/08 10:21 PM

Sissy!!!

Just kiddin...well not really...OK maybe a little. Too bad you can't join us. I'm looking foward to meeting your bride...er, I mean you!

Just opened and drank the Hartford Sote Chard. Dammmmm....this is one heck of a bottle. I'd rank this one right up there with the Peter Michael. And if anyone doesn't already know, Peter Michael wines are extreemly hard to find, and for good reason. to put this one on the same shelf is really saying something.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 09/20/08 10:56 PM

Believe me I would love to come up, we're talking about doing Thanksgiving up there and doing the wine train Thanksgiving Family deal.

This summer I started doing some white wines again after not really touching whites for several years, I've been trying to do a better job of pairing the wines with our Dinner and the whites really go better with much of the fare we've been eating.

I'll have to grab a couple bottles of the Hartford Sote Chard. I still have a bottle of Cakebread Chard. somewhere around that I haven't tried \:\)
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: OT - What's your favorite Reds? - 09/24/08 03:07 AM

Charles Shaw Shiraz (2 buck Chuck). Let it stand in a goblet for an hour and just slosh it down.

If you have to spend more money on your wine, then a 1985 Chateau Margaux will also work.
Posted by: DL30

Re: the wine thread - 09/24/08 10:45 AM

Mike,

Sounds like a fun trip. We did our annual pilgrage in May. This year we also did a few appointment only vineyards, be aware that many of the appointment only are appointment AND tour in one. We ran into this problem with Caymus and Frog's Leap. This will considerably cut the number of wineries you will be able to visit in a day. Make sure you ask whether it is a tasting only when you set up your appointment. Then you'll be able to decide which wineries you really want to visit.

That being said, the attention to detail and small group settings of the appointment only wineries is quite refreshing.

That's quite a nice list of wineries to visit, I won't throw any extra suggestions out to muddle your choices.

However, I will suggest another couple lunch places (I love Rutherford grill too):

Taylor's Refresher - St. Helena and Napa - Upscale roadside burger joint. I challenge you to find better garlic fries - nice little wine selection too.

Market St. Helena - Great food - American grill-ish, laid back and relaxing. They give you a little hibachi to toast your own marshmallows if you order the s'more desert.

Dinner:
Mustard's Grill (always part of the annual trek) or Terra - if you have not been to either yet, do so.

Have a great time - I am soooooo jealous.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 09/24/08 12:05 PM

Ya, those are good points DL. Some are tours and the others just tasting. The Spring Mountain is one I’m really looking forward to. I have been told that that winery’s location has no competition. Plus, they make really, really good wine. The White Rock is actually in caves. That should be cool.

I had a turkey burger at Tailor’s last year. Probably the best burger I’ve ever had. I had some sort of pumpkin milkshake with it that was amazing. I ordered it by mistake (RE: hung over)

We plan to drop by Cyrus again. Brix restaurant for their unbelievably good tomato soup. Then there’s an outdoor grill in Calistoga we kept driving by…..smelling the Bar-B-Q. We’re getting a go box from there and taking it to Spring Mountain this time.

If anyone does happen to be in the area, just shoot me a PM and I’ll give you my cell number.

…….

I had another pretty good white wine the other day. Actually, I though it was excellent. It’s from the Camus Vineyard and called Conundrum. It is a white blend of undisclosed varietals. One of us thought it was a Pinot Gri, another thought it was a Sav Blanc, another thought it was a Riesling. I was the only one who knew it was a blend. Everyone liked it though. If you’re a white wine purest, you might not like it. I would say it’s like a full bodied Chard with the nose of an Australian Sav Blanc, taste of a Riesling, finish of a Pinot Gri.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 09/24/08 01:42 PM

I hope my brother can join you for that trip -- so I can live vicariously through him. PM adamp88. He'll bring a great opinionated palate along with him. \:\)
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 09/24/08 07:57 PM

I went to BevMo the other day and they had a $6 off 6 bottles of wine deal (I know, nothing that extravagant), but hey, I hadn't tried any new wine in a while, so I decided to branch out and try some varietals and regions I'm not too familiar with. All of these are under $20 (half of them closer to $10) and had good ratings - I know those don't guarantee a good wine, but seeing as how it'd be impossible to decide on a wine I don't know well, I thought I'd let the ratings guide me a little.

Here are the 6:
Infinitus '06 Tempranillo (Spain)
Pocas '04 Coroa d'Ouro (Portugal)
Altocedro '06 Malbec Reserve (Argentina)
Joseph Drouhin '05 Brouilly (Burgundy)
d'Arenberg '05 Grenache "The Custodian" (Australia)
d'Arenberg '04 Shiraz Grenache "d'Arry's Original" (Australia)

I'll give reports on the others as I try them. I opened up the d'Arry's Original yesterday. It's absolutely delicious! Definitely a "fruitbomb" as Gary Vaynerchuk would say, but oh so tasty. I could actually pick out specific blackberry, cherry and plum flavors, and I'm usually terrible at picking out individual flavor components in wines. The finish is excellent too - the tannins are present but not overpowering, and the finish is loooong - really coats the palate well. It's not a huge wine by any means - and not really all that complex, but it's extremely satisfying.

I like it so much I'm strongly considering going out and getting a few more bottles today. And I never do that.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 09/24/08 09:26 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew


I had another pretty good white wine the other day. Actually, I though it was excellent. It’s from the Camus Vineyard and called Conundrum. It is a white blend of undisclosed varietals. One of us thought it was a Pinot Gri, another thought it was a Sav Blanc, another thought it was a Riesling. I was the only one who knew it was a blend. Everyone liked it though. If you’re a white wine purest, you might not like it. I would say it’s like a full bodied Chard with the nose of an Australian Sav Blanc, taste of a Riesling, finish of a Pinot Gri.

Now THAT is a wine to enjoy indeed!
I have two in the cellar.

Vintage 2006

The “puzzle” of Conundrum lies partly in guessing the range of grape varieties we use, because we never reveal its exact composition.

To create the layered flavors that go into the Conundrum blend, we brought in Sauvignon Blanc grapes from the Napa Valley, Muscat Canelli from Tulare County on the Central Coast, and Chardonnay and Viognier from our vineyards in Monterey County.

About one-quarter of the wine lots were fermented in stainless steel in order to preserve their individual fruit characteristics. The remaining lots were fermented in a combination of new and seasoned oak barrels for up to ten months.

We continue to have success in the twist-top closure. As a winemaker and someone who insists on wines without faults, I believe this closure is the right tool to protect the aromas and flavors that developed in the vineyards and were preserved in the bottle.

Tasting notes:
Soft tropical notes of guava and cherimoya, also peach and honeysuckle. The rich perfume is supported by concentrated and focused layers of peach and apricot nectar, pear and green melon with spicy vanilla notes. The creamy texture and balanced acidity carries through the palate for a long finish.

Jon Bolta
Winemaker/Production Director
Released October 2007
Suggested serving temperature: Lightly chilled


Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 09/24/08 09:30 PM

 Originally Posted By: AdamP88

d'Arenberg '05 Grenache "The Custodian" (Australia)
d'Arenberg '04 Shiraz Grenache "d'Arry's Original" (Australia)

I'll give reports on the others as I try them. I opened up the d'Arry's Original yesterday. It's absolutely delicious! Definitely a "fruitbomb" as Gary Vaynerchuk would say, but oh so tasty. I could actually pick out specific blackberry, cherry and plum flavors, and I'm usually terrible at picking out individual flavor components in wines. The finish is excellent too - the tannins are present but not overpowering, and the finish is loooong - really coats the palate well. It's not a huge wine by any means - and not really all that complex, but it's extremely satisfying.

I like it so much I'm strongly considering going out and getting a few more bottles today. And I never do that.


These d'Arenburgs are fabtastic, i agree 120%!
The grenache tempers the shiraz and adds a soft texture (velvety tannins) with undertones of blueberries.
I have a few of these in the cellar. Great price point for these Aussie reds (about $18/btl here).
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: the wine thread - 09/26/08 08:32 PM

I opened up the Infinitus Tempranillo today. The best $7.99 bottle of wine I've ever had. \:\) Soft bouquet with red berries on the nose. Mouthfeel is pretty similar - fairly soft, but not hollow, good strawberry and raspberry flavors, especially on the mid and finish (almost a gush of fruit at the end, actually). Nice, easy drinker - straightforward but not boring - reminds me of the Cline Zin in that way. Definitely a repeat buy at $8.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 10/15/08 07:51 PM

Four days in Napa and several grand in wine purchases later………

For this trip, we set up several visits at some smaller wineries that require appointments. The wineries we picked are all owner operated with very small productions of 5000 cases or less. I have had some bottles from each and enjoyed them enough to make me want to visit them and spend time with the owners and winemakers. This is a real treat, as when you visit larger wineries, you rarely, if ever get to meat the folks who work the winery. We hit a few other wineries and tasting rooms in between appointments.

Day one….

Our first appointment was at White Rock. This is a very small winery on the Silverado Trail off the beaten path. The whole operation is in caves dug in, as the name implies, the white rock of the hillside. All their vines are on a steep hillside. They make an excellent Claret and Cab Sav. http://www.whiterockvineyards.com/



Prior to White Rock we visited another smallish winery just down the road from White Rock called Reynolds Family. Reynolds had some pretty good juice too. They had an unusual Merlot that is aged in Hungarian Oak that I found particularly good. http://www.reynoldsfamilywinery.com/

After White Rock we visited Orin Swift Cellars. Orin Swift has become quite popular in the cult winery club with their Zinfandel, called Prisoner. Prisoner is one of my favorite zins. In addition to their Prisoner, they make an outstanding Sav Blanc and two Cab Savs; Papillion and Mercury Head. The Papillion is very good and the Mercury head is outstanding. All their wines have a great fruit forward nose, somewhat earthy / spicy pallet and a finish that just won’t quit. Their tasting room is in St Helena, in an office on the second floor of an office building. Nothing fancy. You won’t find it without directions. http://www.orinswift.com/


After Orin Swift we had a special club member tasting at Flora Spring’s new tasting room on Highway 29. The new building is well…..ugly in my opinion. But the interior is pretty cool. We all buy a lot of their wine, so we got an invitation where they poured just about everything they make. We had to walk a while before moving on from this tasting…… As always, their wines are all good and their staff is very friendly. http://www.florasprings.com/


After Flora Springs we shot back over to the Silverado Trail and went to a very small and new winery; James Cole. This was definitely the funnest winery we went to. I had heard about this winery from a friend and he suggested we visit the place. James Cole is the owner, winemaker and he works the vines and with his very small staff getting the wine from stem to the bottle. He’s an average guy who I think was given a great opportunity to buy a small chunk of land and build his dream. We got there after five and were greeted by his staff that was all relaxing with a couple beers. I found this funny, seeing how it was a winery, but after speaking with them, I can understand why they prefer to chill out with a cold beer instead of wine at the end of the day after making wine all day long. James spent some time BS’ing with us and giving us a quick tour after our tasting…. And all of us were carrying a beer during the tour. All of his wine was quite good. He makes a very unusual Zinfandel Ice wine that really enjoyed. His Cab Sav is also very good. http://www.jamescolewinery.com/



After a few hours of sobering up, we had a wonderful dinner at 25 Brix.

Day two…..

Our first appointment as at 2:00 on the north side of Calistoga, so we wandered up the Silverado Trail and made a few stops along the way to North end of the Trail.

Our fist stop was Black Stallion. I didn’t care enough for their wines to buy any, or recommend any either. The building is pretty cool though…….. http://www.blackstallionwinery.com/

The next stop was Darioush. This winery is owned by a wealthy Persian Fella. The winery was over the top and I really wanted to hate their wine. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. They make very good wine. They have a viongier that was outstanding. Very fruity and refreshing. http://www.darioush.com/index.html



After Darioush we hit Signorello. We all enjoyed these wines quite a bit. They tend to be the best of both worlds of France and Napa. They all tend to have that typical fruit forward nose of Napa wines, but without all the alcohol. I enjoyed these wines so much I joined their wine club. They are all reasonably priced below their peers in the Stag’s Leap District. Not real sure why, but I couldn’t pronounce Signorello, so we refer to this winery as Cinderella now… http://www.signorellovineyards.com/

After Signorello and a few phone calls to Marla Bleecher (owner of Jericho Canyon), we found their winery. This winery is found situated in the basin of Jericho Canyon. Marla greeted us with a glass of their new Sav Blanc and took us for a walk up one of the slopes to see the rest of their vines. Marla was nothing short of terrific. She spent no less than an hour with us just taking us through the entire process of growing and harvesting grapes, to fermentation all the way to bottling. What I found particularly different with this winery is that they don’t use a PH meter or perform batch harvesting. They inspect all their vines daily and hand pick only grapes ready to be picked. She told us that some rows could take up to six weeks to pick. All their vines are on steep hillsides and I was pretty amazed at the amount of labor and time it takes for them to harvest their grapes. After some barrel tasting and also tasting of the juice in different stages of fermentation, Marla took us to their caves and opened up a bottle of their cab sav. Her husband, Dale met us there as well and spent some time just BS’ing with us. Marla and Dale are terrific people. I look forward to spending more time with them in the future. http://www.jerichocanyonvineyard.com/



After Jericho our next appointment was supposed to be T-vine, but we were unable to find it and they were not answering their phone. A fire hit a residential area of Napa the night before and we were told that the tasting room manager lived in this area…… I hope they are all OK. When we were at dinner the night before, we could see the flames miles away. We heard later that over 200 acres were burnt.

Our next stop was Madrigal. Madrigal makes an outstanding Petite Syrah, which is why I wanted to visit them. This was another great visit as we had a great host. I ended up buying another case here, as well as signing up for their mailing list. Great wine here. Their wines have a slightly lighter body, but are packed with great smell and taste. http://www.madrigalvineyards.com/

For dinner, we ate at Terra in St Helena. I had fresh Main lobster in a coconut milk curry sauce that was amazing. The others had great dishes too, but I was too impressed with mine to remember what they had…. We also had a great Turley Zin with dinner.

Day three…..

Our first appointment was at Barrett Vineyards on Spring Mountain. It’s quite a trip to get to this winery as they are literally at the top of Spring Mountain. This is another very small winery. Everything they poured was outstanding. Great Sav Blanc, Pinots, Merlot and cabs. Besides having great wines, the location is beautiful. They have a tasting deck that overlooks the vineyard and Napa valley. If you ever go here (highly recommended), bring a picnic. They set aside a couple hours for their tasting and make you feel like they actually want you there. It was a great visit. Yah, I bought a couple cases here and joined another club….. For you Canadians, Miss Barnett is Canadian and they fly the Canadian Flag over their home with the US flag.



After sadly leaving Barnett, our next stop was Jordan winery in the Alexander Valley. On the way there, we stopped by and visited the folks at Fieldstone who we have all become very acquainted with. They hooked us up with a vintage port tasting. We had a 94, 96, 2000 and their lates 2006 port (along with a few of their wines). Fieldstone is probably one the better bargains out there. They make great wine and sell it at a price to their wine club members that almost makes me feel guilty buying it (almost)…. http://www.fieldstonewinery.com/

At Jordan they poured their current release cab sav, chardonnay, a vintage 83 cab sav and their desert wine. Jordan is one of the most consistent wineries I know of. Every year they put out a great bottle, and you can store them for decades. While there we picked up a 78 cab sav in a 1.5 ltr for a friend of ours. He’s turning 30 in a few weeks and we thought this would be a pretty cool gift.

After Jordan we stopped by a new tasting room in Calistoga at the junction of highway 29 and the Silverado Trail. The tasting room was for Lava Vine wines. Lava Vine is a new wine that one of the other wineries suggested we visit. The owner popped in and BS’d with us for a while here. The name comes from the vineyards picked for their wines. They are all on volcanic rock and are all organic. The winemaker and owners also wanted to make wines that were different, which they succeeded. All their wines had a big fruity nose, but not overpowering or jammy. They were all very good. Their Syrah was particularly good. http://www.lavavine.com/

Dinner this night was at Brannans Grill. Another excellent meal.

Day four……….

We had to catch a plane at 4:00, so we were only able to hit a couple wineries this day.

Our first stop was at Vincent Arroyo. We were told by one of the other wineries that if we liked Petite Syrah, we should visit this winery. Being a big P/S fan, I put this one the list and I wasn’t disappointed. If you like P/S, this is a definite place to visit. My all time favorite wine is the Turley Rattlesnake P/S vintage that they made a few years back. I found out that Arroyo leased his rattlesnake vineyard out to Turley, which is the fruit they used for my favorite bottle. Unfortunately, they were sold out of their Rattlesnake vintage and I didn’t get to try it. But if their other P/S is any indication of what the Rattlesnake tastes like, I’m going to be pretty happy for their next release. Vincent Arroyo has a reputation of making wine his way and doesn’t get caught up with Napa trends. He's been making it his way for thirty years, which I find admirable. There’s no fancy label or a fancy tasting room. You get the real deal here. Nothing pretentious about Arroyo. All his wines are heavy body, but without the alcohol. I think 13.5% was the highest and his port was only 17%. http://www.vincentarroyo.com/

Our last winery was Regusci in the Stags Leap District. Again, another hit. All their wines were great. They had what I felt was the best Merlot I’ve ever had. They also had the best wine we had the entire trip, which was there flagship wine, their Hillside Select Cab Sav. It was also the most expensive wine we tried (go figure) at $125 a bottle. Considering how much money I had spent on wine by this time, I just couldn’t whip out the credit card again. I’ve been regretting that ever since…… http://www.regusciwinery.com/home.html
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: the wine thread - 10/15/08 09:28 PM

Sounded like a great trip Mike, thanks for the pictures and review, I'll have to try a couple of your stops on our next trip.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: the wine thread - 10/15/08 09:58 PM

Wow, Mike. What a great journal. I am envious of your experience, and very grateful to you for taking the time to share it with us.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 10/16/08 12:11 AM

Where the dropped-jaw smiley when you need it.... \:o Wow! Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: DaveG

Re: the wine thread - 10/16/08 11:18 AM

Cool trip, thanks for sharing.
Posted by: DL30

Re: the wine thread - 10/16/08 11:32 AM

Mike - wow!!! That was an amazing trip - thanks for sharing.

BTW - Regusci also makes a Cabernet for under $20 under the name Twenty Bench. I forget the whole story, but I think they developed Twenty Bench to make a good, inexpensive Napa cab. It is readily available in the U.S., and maybe, just maybe to our Canadian brethren.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 10/17/08 04:33 PM

I did invite you guys to come along.....

I think my next Napa trip will have to follow a trip to Paso Robles, Washington and Oregon. While I do have a fondness for Napa wines, I’m always on the lookout for some lower priced wines. Napa just doesn’t offer much in the sub $30 range. Out of 100 different wines we tasted, I can’t remember one being under $30. Most were in the $40-$80 range.

But when I do get back to Napa, the trip will be a bit different. Because traffic sucks and the tasting rooms are only open from 10:00 – 4:30, I’d rather stick to a particular area for a day, and then move to the next. I’d really like to spend a full day on Spring Mountain. I had no idea there were as many wineries on that mountain as there are. Another one would be Howell Mountain. Then there’s the Alexander Valley, Sonoma Coast…… I’ll have to check into that Twenty Bench. Are you sure it’s Twenty Bench and not Twenty Rows? The Regusci wines were very good. If I had stopped there earlier in the trip, I’d have most likely bought a couple cases.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 10/17/08 04:39 PM

You gotta do Russian River next time. That way I can be even more jealous.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 10/17/08 04:52 PM

Oh ya!! Great Pinots come from there...... You should just suck it up, go into debt, get away from your computors and come up for a visit.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: the wine thread - 10/17/08 04:59 PM

Do I have to pass through Wassila to get there?
Posted by: samandnoah

Re: the wine thread - 10/18/08 07:39 PM

I'm with Peter on this one. I find always find myself drawn to those Russian River wines. Mike, thanks for posting this. Sounds like some awesome wineries that my wife and I will have to check out.

Rich
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: the wine thread - 10/18/08 07:42 PM

I've never developed a taste for wine, but I would love to go on a tour of wineries. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the pics Mike.

There used to be quite a few vineyards down here in Southern California, but they have mostly disappeared. I've had the pleasure of driving through Central California and seeing some of the vineyards and loved it. I need to plan a trip.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: the wine thread - 10/19/08 11:21 AM

Visiting the wineries definitely makes one appreciate the work and skill required to make a good bottle of wine. These people don’t try and BS you crap that sounds good on a label.

For anyone thinking they would like to do this, I would highly recommend that you pick one of the smaller wineries where you get to meet the owners, or at least the general manager. Ask them about the tour and if it’s a private tour or a scheduled tour with a group. The smaller wineries will take the time to walk you through the entire process and give you that personal experience you don’t get with a crowd. Some of the larger wineries offer tours, but it just isn’t the same. What you have is someone who has some knowledge of the process, but it’s highly unlikely that they’ve ever had their hands dirty. If you visit Arroyo and shake his hand, you’ll notice that his hands are blue from working with grapes the past thirty years. Each time I visit a winery I learn more and become more appreciative of the stuff that’s in the bottle. At one of the wineries we visited, they had two barrels of the same grape, same harvest, same times in fermentation…but they tasted vastly different. The only difference between the two was that one was from a row of vines with a southern exposure and the other was from vines with a northern exposure. They both have the same amount of sun, but one gets morning sun and other gets afternoon sun. I wouldn’t have believed this if I hadn’t have tasted it. Another thing I learned is that grapes from hillside vines have a unique taste, smell and body than valley floor vines. Hillside vine wines tend to be a bit more robust with a heavier body and more nose to them. The reason being; is that the grapes tend to be smaller with thicker skins, but their growing time is the same as valley wines. This gives the pulp more flavor. It’s also why the cost of these bottles is more expensive; they don’t produce as much wine.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 10/19/08 12:48 PM

 Quote:
Four days in Napa and several grand in wine purchases later………

well that just says it all right there
a great start
I think every year that I pine to go to the Napa Valley I'm also waiting MDREW's new Napa Valley reviews.

excellent photos, you can see just how tough it is trying to get pictures in a wine cellar, believe me I know.

 Quote:
Not real sure why, but I couldn’t pronounce Signorello, so we refer to this winery as Cinderella now

perhaps it could have been the numerous glasses of wine?
just a hypothesis.
:-)

 Quote:
What I found particularly different with this winery is that they don’t use a PH meter or perform batch harvesting. They inspect all their vines daily and hand pick only grapes ready to be picked

this is interesting because the best way to tell if the grapes are all similar in quality would be to use a more objective measurement [especially pH and briX] as opposed to the subjective thoughts of the person inspecting the grapes every day.
I imagine that this approach would probably add more inter-year and inter-batch variation to their wines, less consistency. However that does not necessarily a negative thing, just a different way of approaching the wine making process.

 Quote:
Zinfandel Ice wine

I have yet to try any " red ice wine " that was any good. The few Canadian oneS I've had have been rather uninspiring, too heavy, and not nearly as nicely refined as the whites. a ruby port is more what I believe a refined red ice wine should taste like. IMO

 Quote:
For you Canadians, Miss Barnett is Canadian and they fly the Canadian Flag over their home with the US flag.

yes but do they ship their wine to Canada?
Because that really is what is more important here.
;\)

 Quote:
We had to catch a plane at 4:00, so we were only able to hit a couple wineries this day.

two funny
you sound like we did when we went Niagara- on -the-lake. it was about 6:30 p.m. and the tasting rooms were closing at 7 p.m. so we were cruising at high speeds to try and make three wineries in 30 minutes to get into the tasting rooms and try six wines at each place plus make purchases before their doors closed and all this after previous day visiting local wineries; we just had to hit those last few more.

 Quote:
Considering how much money I had spent on wine by this time, I just couldn’t whip out the credit card again. I’ve been regretting that ever since……

oh I absolutely know the feeling!


it sounds like once again had an absolutely fantastic trip.
I am really quite envious. if the markets ever decide to improve sometime in the next year no more than two, I will definitely plan a trip to Napa Valley. I think I can manage that for four-day trip. is just too bad that our friend who lived north of San Francisco recently moved back to Ottawa otherwise I would have had a free place to stay as well.

the next time we had to Niagara,I will be sure to take more pictures and post a more lengthy review.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: the wine thread - 10/19/08 01:04 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew

For anyone thinking they would like to do this, I would highly recommend that you pick one of the smaller wineries where you get to meet the owners, or at least the general manager. Ask them about the tour and if it’s a private tour or a scheduled tour with a group. The smaller wineries will take the time to walk you through the entire process and give you that personal experience you don’t get with a crowd. Some of the larger wineries offer tours, but it just isn’t the same. What you have is someone who has some knowledge of the process, but it’s highly unlikely that they’ve ever had their hands dirty. If you visit Arroyo and shake his hand, you’ll notice that his hands are blue from working with grapes the past thirty years.


I agree 100%.
The small wineries are much more fun to attend and talk to people. The larger wineries tend to have contracts or agreements with local wine tour agencies that drop-off 200 people at a time for a tour. most of the people that attend these tours in Niagara are tourists just there to try the ice wines. I had this conversation with two of the pourers at two of the major vineyards about this very subject, and I had this talk with a wine pourer at two of the smaller vineyards as well. they would get a bus load of people from overseas, Germans, Asians, and all they want to try are the Canadian ice wines. others are there to see the massive winery that they've been drinking wines from all these years, for example Jackson and Triggs. most of them have never heard of any of the smaller wineries because they don't sell wines outside of the province or outside of their local region. of course that is understandable.
As you talk about all the smaller local wineries around Napa, I wouldn't know about them either before I went there. I may as well just go and take a wine tour at Fetzer or at Mondavi because that's all I'm familiar with as it is mostly what we see here in our area for sale.
only those who read more or participate in wine clubs or wine forms, for example even reading this thread, may find out more about what is in the area and try harder to find those particular brand names.

 Quote:

Each time I visit a winery I learn more and become more appreciative of the stuff that’s in the bottle. At one of the wineries we visited, they had two barrels of the same grape, same harvest, same times in fermentation…but they tasted vastly different. The only difference between the two was that one was from a row of vines with a southern exposure and the other was from vines with a northern exposure. They both have the same amount of sun, but one gets morning sun and other gets afternoon sun. I wouldn’t have believed this if I hadn’t have tasted it. Another thing I learned is that grapes from hillside vines have a unique taste, smell and body than valley floor vines. Hillside vine wines tend to be a bit more robust with a heavier body and more nose to them. The reason being; is that the grapes tend to be smaller with thicker skins, but their growing time is the same as valley wines. This gives the pulp more flavor. It’s also why the cost of these bottles is more expensive; they don’t produce as much wine.

ah so that's why those bottles cost under $125
thin skins
very sensitive
need very expensive skin lotion moisturizers

Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/13/08 08:35 AM

One of the scientists where I work is hosting a wine tasting this evening. The following are the offerings (with notes he supplied), but I'm not sure I can go. \:\(

2003 Chateau Longueville du Baron de Pichon-Longueville (usually call Pichon Baron, a “second growth” in the 1855 classification)

This is a brilliantly run property year in and year out, and especially since the mid- to late 1980s has produced one of the top four or five wines made in Pauillac in virtually every vintage. With 13.4% alcohol, the 2003 is one of the most powerful efforts this chateau has ever made. Its dense purple color is accompanied by sweet, jammy creme de cassis notes intermixed with roasted herbs, smoked meats, and chocolate. Although ripe, dense, full-bodied, and moderately tannic, it is silky (because of its low acidity and high glycerin) as well as accessible. It should firm up in the bottle, and be at its peak between 2008-2025. 94+ pts (WA)

Wow. This shows so much ripe fruit and berry character with just the right hint of lead pencil and spice. Full-bodied and very chewy. Big and powerful. Beautiful wine. Superb. Best after 2012. 14,000 cases made. 95 pts (WS)


2003 Ch. Lagrange

Dense purple in color and surprisingly open-knit and velvety textured, the full-bodied, fleshy, succulently styled 2003 Lagrange is more accessible than most Northern Medocs. With low acidity, silky tannin, and loads of chocolatey black currant and cherry fruit as well as nicely integrated, toasty oak, this sensual wine should drink beautifully in 2-3 years (in 2006) and last for 15-18. 91 pts (WA)


2003 Ch. Pipeau

A good value from St.-Emilion, this well-run estate has turned out a dense, muscular, masculine-styled 2003 with a dark ruby/purple color, and up-front, ripe black cherry fruit intermixed with hints of black currants, earth, and incense. Plush, fleshy, long, and low in acidity, it should be consumed over the next 7-10 years. As always, this is a very sexy wine. 88 pts


2003 Vrai Canon Bouche

This noble effort, displaying terrific purity, power, and richness, provides further evidence that Canon-Fronsac’s cool terroirs were beneficial in the torridly hot, dry summer of 2003. An inky/ruby/purple color accompanies aromas of violets, blueberries, and crushed stones. Powerful, rich, and generous, this sleeper of the vintage should be at its finest between 2006-2014. 88-90 pts (Barrel Sample)


2003 Ch. Mont-Perat

A delicious offering from the Despagne firm, which clearly knows how to produce budget-priced (~$20) Bordeaux that can compete with some of the region’s more hallowed names, the 2003 Mont Perat exhibits abundant quantities of cedar, barbecue smoke, spicy herbs, and black cherry and currant fruit. Like all the Despagne wines, it possesses loads of character and soul. Enjoy it during its first 2-4 years of life. 87 pts (WA)


2003 Ch. D’Aiguilhe

This large (120+ acres) vineyard planted on limestone and clay soils is composed of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, the 2003 was produced from yields of 28 hectoliters per hectare. It exhibits a dense purple color as well as a big, sweet nose of scorched earth, blackberries, underbrush, cherries, and smoke. Layered, opulent, powerful, and rich, with its tannin character well-hidden by abundant fruit, it should drink well for 10-12 years. It is another example of this backwater appellation producing a wine that transcends its pedigree. 90 pts (WA)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 11/13/08 04:40 PM

Can't go????? Whatinthehelliswrongwithyou!!!!!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/13/08 04:52 PM

I know, I know. \:\( I'm trying not to think about it.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/13/08 04:56 PM

I'm going! \:\) \:\) \:\) \:D
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/13/08 10:50 PM

My overall impression:

Bordeaux wines are a different ballpark than I'm used to when it comes to wines, and it was wonderful to step outside my zone of experience. In general, the wines were a bit more focused. I was tempted to say thinner, but that's not entirely accurate. Not coincidentally my favorite wine (other than the really expensive one which was marvelous but waaay out of my budget -- it cost more than the rest put together) was the jammiest one of the bunch and cost just under $30.

Specific notes:
0. 2007 Ch. Coucheroy
This was the only white wine of the bunch. It's a dry white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Was quite tasty with mineral overtones and a pleasant nose.

1. 2003 Ch. Mont-Perat
This was the thinnest of the reds, IMHO. Good flavor, but the finish was lacking oomph.

2. 2003 Vrai Canon Bouche
This was a definite step up from the previous red. Fuller mouthfeel, more berry fruit, and moderate dustiness in the nose.

3. 2003 Ch. D’Aiguilhe
My second favorite wine. This one most reminded me of the California wines I love. The nose grabs you right away and the flavor is reminiscent of a zin. A bit spicy and sweet with just enough tannins to tingle the sides of your tongue without drying it out. If I were to buy any of the wines I tasted, this would be the one.

4. 2003 Ch. Pipeau
This was my least favorite. The tannins were a bit too much, and there just wasn't enough "there" there. It needs at least 5 more years in the cellar. The aroma reminded me of smoked meats, which I'd never really smelled in a wine before.

5. 2003 Ch. Lagrange
My third favorite wine. Floral aromas with bright, fruity flavors. Thoroughly quaffable.

6. 2003 Chateau Longueville du Baron de Pichon-Longueville
This was the big name blockbuster wine. Wow! Made from mostly cab grapes, it stood apart from the others in its flavor profile. (The other wines were mostly merlot, I believe.) A bit of the tobacco I'm used to from California cabs, and a wonderful spicy nose and chewy feel in the mouth. The most refined wine of the bunch, for sure.

All in all, a very pleasant evening with fine company and I'm so glad I was able to attend. Thanks, wife! \:\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 11/14/08 10:59 AM

Glad you got to go Peter. It’s nice to step away from Cali every now and then. I have a couple friends that have been into French wines for years and they continue to pester me to do the same. Whenever we can, we will do a blind tasting with wines from all over the world. The last two times I preferred red Bordeaux over all the other wines, which included Napa reds. The problem I have with French wines, is I have no idea what to buy. They totally baffle me…….
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/14/08 11:35 AM

You can start with the 2003 Ch. D’Aiguilhe. \:\)
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 12/03/08 11:23 PM

Looking for a Vinturi aerator for this year's wine gift to a fellow oenophile.
If i find it, New Year's will have the blind taste testing!!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 01/18/09 05:20 PM

We celebrated a friend’s birthday party yesterday. Some of the bottles were just too darn good to not mention on this thread.




From left to right:

06 Paloma Merlot (Napa Spring Mountain)
02 Quintessa 1.5 ltr (we did not drink this one, as it was his gift)
01 Dominus 1.5 ltr
04 Chateau Lafite Rothschild
05 Palazzo
06 Wallace
07 Charles Krug Chardonnay
Not shown that we also drank:
06 Jericho Canyon Sav Blanc
06 Charles Krug Cab Sav Rose
05 Chateau Reignac


We started out with the Jericho Canyon Sav Blanc. This is a fantastic bottle. Very crisp nose with lots of flavor. A must get if you like Sav Blanc. It’s not too expensive either…

Next was the Krug Rose. This is the first rose I’ve ever had that uses Cab Sav fruit. Very good. Very unique. Another must buy if you like rose.

The Paloma was next. This is the only bottle this vineyard makes that I’m aware of. It’s hard to get. I was fortunate enough to score six of these. If you like Merlot, this has got to be the best Merlot I’ve ever had. If you get an opportunity to buy one, do it.

Next up was the Lafite. This is the first time I’ve ever had a first growth. I must say, it was fantastic. I’ve never had a Cab Sav that had tannins that felt like velvet. Incredible earthy nose, amazing pallet and a finish that just lingered on and on……

We changed things up a bit with the Wallace. It’s a very nice Shiraz from Australia.

The Palazzo was next. Holy crap what a great bottle! This is the only bottle they make. It’s a blend with 70% Merlot, 22% Cab Franc and 8% Cab Sav. Another must buy.

The Dominus was next. We had that with dinner, which was pot roast that I cooked in a crock pot all day. Dominus is one of my favorites. It’s always good.

We capped the night off with the Reignac. Another blend. It’s 75% Merlot and 25% cab sav. This one we probably shouldn’t have opened. All of our pallets were a bit saturated by this point. However, I have to say that this bottle is one heck of a bargain. It had the nose of a good Napa cab with some earthy tones and the pallet you'd expect from a French wine, but plenty of fruity berries as well.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 01/18/09 05:41 PM

Only after NINE bottles was the palate saturated?
Nice list of wines.

We had a Turkey Flat (Aus shiraz 2001) and a Luzon Monastrell (Spa) last night with a pork tenderloin and a sirloin tip roast.

The Turkey Flat, complex, smooth, somewhat atypical Aussie shiraz but stunning.

The Luzon, two words, "black pepper".
VERY differnt but excellent with the beef.


Yowza.

Well we did it finally.
Got the Vinturi, did the blind tasting at New Year's.

I'll type more later. I'm working on putting together an 'over the john' unit.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 02/22/09 02:26 PM

After a year and half of being on their “wait list”, I finally got on the “mailing list” for Turley!

I also got on the mailing list for Peter Michael wines. Unfortunately, I now get to see how much they cost. I won’t be buying any wines from Peter Michael…. Their Chardonnay’s start at $75 and their reds start at $175. Yikes!

So Chess… where’s that summery on the venturi?
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 02/22/09 08:04 PM

Still waiting on the list for Turley. We will probably head to the tasting room during the kids spring break, then back again on May 16th for the annual Paso wine festival.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 02/23/09 08:55 AM

Paso wine festival? I know nothing of this event. Please provide details.

I'm going to V2V this April. Not real sure if I'll make another Napa trip or not. Most likely not.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 02/23/09 11:01 AM

Paso Wine Festival The Wine Festival is a lot of fun, we don't do the park event but roam from winery to winery, most have special entertainment, food, tours with barrel tasting and many other events happening. Normally about a month before the festival each winery will have a schedule of its events posted on this site. Plus it costs about 10% of what our usual trip to Napa runs.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 02/23/09 11:15 AM

Damn that looks fun.... The V2V is April 25th. I've already committed to going to that. I reckon I'll have to go to the festival next year.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/23/09 10:14 PM

All these festivals.
You guys are making me jealous, and thirsty.

Had a Rosenblum last weekend, petit syrah.
Very balanced.
I could get into these petit syrahs.

 Originally Posted By: mdrew


So Chess… where’s that summery on the venturi?

Yes i forgot to post my thoughts.
Haven't sat down much at the home comp lately. Too much evening activity (bbqs, hockey, family).

Long story short (rare for me), the results are inconclusive and more testing is required.

Three testers.
Two red wines (tasted in separate tests, same evening).
Wine 1
Lindemans Pyrus 1997
Wine 2
A Californian zin whose brand i don't quite recall but i can find out. A quality wine though.


The challenge:
3 glasses (2 fresh wine, 1 venturi'd immediately after uncorking the bottle).

The Results:
Wine 1
Tester A and B guessed that the first glass was the different of the three. Tester C guessed the third glass was different.
Tester C was correct.

Wine 2
Tester A guessed that the first glass was the different of the three. Tester B and C guessed the third glass was different.
Tester A was correct.

Our final test was done with a white wine, not blind and only 2 glasses (we were well on our way out the coherent door by this point), tested in A/B fashion, quick and tasty.
All three agreed that the bouquet was significantly different with the vinturi'd offering and that the finish was more smooth.
Coincidentally, during the red wine testing, the same or similar comment was made regarding the testers notes on the correctly guessed wines.
On the incorrectly guessed wines, the tasters had trouble distinguishing a different taste but found that at least one of the wines was definitely more 'robust' or open in its bouquet.

One of the main problems, trying to ABX red wines saturates the pallette. By the time you get to glass #3, flavors from glass 1 and 2 (even with bread in between) was hard to recall quickly.
After our guessing round, we all grabbed the three glass and tested them with a quick sip from each but unless someone messed up the first round of glass placement, the taste was still hard to distinguish though testers A and B were positive and in agreement that the first glass was significantly different from the other two. We contemplated if by pouring the first glasses from the bottle after uncorking could have been aerated enough on the way out to be different.
Not sure, but unlikely.

So, like i said, inconclusive really BUT i think there is merit to the vinturi, the science behind it, and worth another round of testing.
I do believe, from our observations and the white wine round of testing that rushing air through the wine so quickly and vigorously could be changing the chemistry.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 02/27/09 02:12 PM

Interesting results Chess. So far, every single person that has tried wine ran through the device has noticed something different. I don’t use three glasses though. I just keep it simple. Two glasses, one using the Venturi and one right out of the bottle. They have no idea which is which. I have not tried to use it with white wine though. I think I will this weekend.

I signed up with another winery last year. So far I’ve had all their wines and find them to be very good and reasonably priced.

T-Vine Cellars. All their wines have a strong fruity pallet, but not overly extracted or jammy. http://www.tvinecellars.com/
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/27/09 06:41 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Interesting results Chess. So far, every single person that has tried wine ran through the device has noticed something different. I don’t use three glasses though. I just keep it simple. Two glasses, one using the Venturi and one right out of the bottle. They have no idea which is which. I have not tried to use it with white wine though. I think I will this weekend.

The idea was to eliminate bias in knowing there 'has' to be a difference between the two glasses. I wanted to answer the first question: Does the vinturi do anything? (one must consistently pick out the glass that is different from the other two).
If yes, then i could move to the two glasses to answer the question: Which do i like better? (not knowing which had been run through the vinturi)

I'm looking through my cellar for something to crack this evening but lately i've realized that many of my holdings are up in the $18+ per bottle range. If i don't start refreshing some cases of lower cost wines, i'm going to go broke.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 03/31/09 11:46 PM

OK, I'm lazy, I admit it.

Bevmo's got a great wine sale going on right now, but my wife and I have no idea what to buy. Any quick recommendations that fit these parameters? (I'll do the looking at bevmo to see what's available, of course!)

a) no reds (she's allergic/intolerant to sulfites)
b) no chardonnay
c) tending towards the sweeter for her, I could go dry or sweet.

Hit me!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 04/01/09 12:10 AM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
OK, I'm lazy, I admit it.

Bevmo's got a great wine sale going on right now, but my wife and I have no idea what to buy. Any quick recommendations that fit these parameters? (I'll do the looking at bevmo to see what's available, of course!)

a) no reds (she's allergic/intolerant to sulfites)
b) no chardonnay
c) tending towards the sweeter for her, I could go dry or sweet.

Hit me!


A) What the hell is a Bevmo?
B) All wine bottles may contain sulfites. It is typically used for sanitizing before bottling.
C) no chardonnay? eee oucch, that blows hardcore
D) dry or sweet whites? try a German riesling, typically lighter, often sweeter, interesting and different and often not very expensive
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 04/01/09 12:13 AM

Beverages and More. Huge liquor supermarket, basically.

Reds give her headaches, so there we are.

Me? Can't stand chardonnay. I tend to prefer Pinot Grigios or Sauvignon Blancs. She likes the rieslings and gewurztraminers.

I was hoping for years/brands, actually.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 04/01/09 12:21 AM

 Quote:
Reds give her headaches, so there we are.

Tannins. They killed me for years. I am still getting used to the world of reds now that I no longer get headaches.

If its Rieslings from Germany, anything with a Kabinett rating will be good.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 04/01/09 12:22 AM

Years?
Brands?
Holy specifics Batman.


Posted by: Zimm

Re: wine thread - 04/01/09 12:00 PM

Trimbach is generally a safe bet for Alsatian whites - Rieslings and Gewurztraminer being my favorite whites. Their regular bottles run under $20 and their reserves run under $100. I prefer under $20. Trimbach

Also, Wine Spectator had a good list of bargain whites from around the world. Might be worth buying the magazine to avoid the random choice shopping so often part of wine buying.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 04/01/09 09:29 PM

Gewurztraminers are usually light body and sweet.
New Zealand Sav Blancs are usually good. Not quite as sweet at the Gewrtz.
Napa Roussane’s are somewhere between Sav Blanc and Viognier.
Muscat’s can be sweet to very sweet. It’s hard to know how sweet they are by looking at the bottle.
Semillon’s are another good choice for sweet wine that’s not too sweet.
Rieussec, Grand Cru Bordeaux Sauternes is an ausum bottle. On the spendy side though… about $80. Costco has them now.

Some Chards are very nice. I don’t in general like them myself, but I have a couple that I can garentee you’d like. They’re just that good. Any that Peter Michael makes and Hartford Court. The H/C start at $40 and the P/M start at $80.

With the exception of Chards and Sauternes, buy 06 or newer.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 04/01/09 10:31 PM

Good to know. Thanks!
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 04/01/09 11:38 PM

I need to start paying attention to this thread now! My parents gave me their old wine rack (my dad repainted it and they gave it to me for my birthday) and I need to fill the thing up! I've got 14 spots and only 4 bottles so far.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: wine thread - 04/02/09 11:10 AM

Yesterday I tried to buy a case of my current favorite affordable solid red - Montoya Cab - only to find the vintage had changed. So my dealer gave me a bottle of 2005 Ten Lakes Cab from Sonoma, to try, same price range of $175 a case. It was very good, I recommend it. If the 2006 Montoya is a solid as the 2005 I'll recommend it as well. If you can find the 2005 it is a great buy.

Happy sipping.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 04/02/09 07:39 PM

Gewurztraminers are about the only whites I drimk so I'm not much help, normally I don't even taste the whites when we are out wine tasting, but since we will be spending Easter vacation on the Central coast and plan on doing a couple days of tasting in Paso, I think I'm going to add them into my tastings again.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 04/02/09 09:33 PM

Try Rose while you're at it Michael. I find them very refreshing on a nice sunny evening.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 04/03/09 02:33 AM

Ken, if your wife likes Rieslings, she might also like a good Tokaji / Tokay. Its an Eastern European variety.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: wine thread - 04/03/09 06:06 PM

I love Royal Tokaji Desert wines. Fine stuff. Stick with 4 Puttonyos or higher to make it a decent value.
Royal
 Quote:
Generally speaking, when people talk about Tokaji, they’re talking about botritized dessert wines, made from the native grapes Furmint and Harslevelu as well as Muscat. These days there are some dry whites and late harvest sweet wines as well; for the richer style, look for the words “Aszú” or “Puttonyos” on the label. “Aszú” means botrytis, the noble rot that plays a part in concentrating the sugars, flavor, and acidity of the grapes. “Puttonyos” reveals how sweet and rich the wine is, and hints at the special process used in making the wine.
Hungarian Wine
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 04/23/09 04:06 PM

The newest gadget for white wine drinkers. http://www.vinturi.com/products/vinturi_for_red.html
The white wine aerator.
Posted by: Spoiler

Re: wine thread - 04/23/09 08:16 PM


Is this stuff snake oil? I've got a friend with a red wine aerator. While admittedly I'm decidedly not a wine 'enthusiast', I really could tell much difference.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 04/23/09 11:53 PM

I have the Vinturi for Red wine and find it does a great job of aerating the wine straight to the glass. My friends and I that have used it found there there is a noticeable difference on freshly opened bottles of wine when using the Vinturi vs pouring straight from the bottle.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 04/24/09 12:17 AM

AFAIK, Chess and Mike have done double blind tests, and they've reported definite differences.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 04/24/09 11:26 AM

Don't you mean IIRC? ;\)
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 04/24/09 11:29 AM

I can never remember what that means.
Posted by: CV

Re: wine thread - 04/24/09 11:36 AM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I can never remember what that means.


That's because it has too many meanings:

IIRC on acronymfinder.com
Posted by: medic8r

Re: wine thread - 04/24/09 05:17 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I can never remember what that means.

You can't recall it correctly?

Nicely played, sir.

CV, good reference website that I was unaware of. I'm not sure how much I can really trust them, though, because they list my interpretation of "WTF" as the 13th most likely choice. WTF?!
Posted by: CV

Re: wine thread - 04/24/09 10:17 PM

 Originally Posted By: medic8r
CV, good reference website that I was unaware of. I'm not sure how much I can really trust them, though, because they list my interpretation of "WTF" as the 13th most likely choice. WTF?!


\:\) I was thinking after I posted about how I would never go directly to a website like that to look up acronyms. Of course, the first thing I did was a Google search, and that site happened to come up.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 04/25/09 02:03 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
AFAIK, Chess and Mike have done double blind tests, and they've reported definite differences.

Well to be precise, i concluded the results of the Vinturi blind tastings were "inconclusive really BUT i think there is merit to the vinturi, the science behind it, and worth another round of testing."

Only our subjective tests brought forth a more confident conclusion which of course brings with it the bias. We did not correctly guess the different glass (3 people, 3 trials) with signficant confidence when tested blind.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 04/25/09 03:47 PM

Ah, my mistake. I obviously did not RC.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 04/26/09 11:27 AM

RC?
where's that acronym site again

right click?
run command?
roman candle?
http://www.acronymfinder.com/Information-Technology/RC.html
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 04/26/09 12:10 PM

The last bit of IIRC.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 04/26/09 12:26 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
The last bit of IIRC.

Review code?
http://www.acronymfinder.com/Military-and-Government/IIRC.html

Really cared?
http://www.acronymfinder.com/If-I-Really-Cared-(IIRC).html


Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 04/28/09 11:29 PM

I love my Venturi. I use it without even thinking about it any more. I just pour through it into a decanter. I’ve done enough tasting with / without to know for certain that it opens up red wine and any other testing or comments to the contrary mean little to nothing to me. I don’t use it for white wine though. I suppose it couldn’t hurt, but I’ve never felt any desire to need it, as I often do with some of my more powerful mountain fruit reds. The only time I do not use it, is when I open an aged red where I need to be real delicate – 20 year plus stuff. For those bottles, I’ll just use the decanter, but I use that mostly for sediment.

I just got back from a great long weekend in Napa. We took the redeye to Sacramento, drove to Howell Mountain and starting tasting some killer wines. The next day was Spring Mountain and next was the V2V event where I think I drank three bottles of Shafer Hillside Select all on my own (at $225 a bottle, but for the taking at the event, I just couldn’t resist getting my fill). I’m pretty much pickled. When I get some time I’ll put up some pics and tell stories.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 04/29/09 10:20 AM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
I love my Venturi. I use it without even thinking about it any more. I just pour through it into a decanter. I’ve done enough tasting with / without to know for certain that it opens up red wine and any other testing or comments to the contrary mean little to nothing to me. I don’t use it for white wine though. I suppose it couldn’t hurt, but I’ve never felt any desire to need it, as I often do with some of my more powerful mountain fruit reds. The only time I do not use it, is when I open an aged red where I need to be real delicate – 20 year plus stuff. For those bottles, I’ll just use the decanter, but I use that mostly for sediment.


And this brings up another variation on the topic. IF it does do something to the wine, how do you know when you want to use it?
Why not with an older red?
Only with harsh reds?
Or full bodied wines?

One would almost have to taste a glass w/o using the Vinturi, and one with, then decide how they want to treat the rest of the bottle.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 05/02/09 11:28 PM

Well……. It may just be superstition, but when I have a very elegant wine that’s been aged for decades, I want to be as gentle with it as possible and give it time to open up on its own. The venture is sort of barbaric in a sense and I just can’t bring myself to use it on the old gems. When we do open an older bottle, we tend to sip it and taste every half hour or so and compare our impressions. It’s all part of the experience I reckon.

For whites, honestly, I’ve just gotten to the point where I enjoy them (still not as much as a red though). It’s been a long road……. I suspect as my pallet matures more, I’ll probably do some more experiments with the venture and white wines.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 05/03/09 09:34 AM

Usually its the other way around. I still don't appreciate reds as much as I could. In my case I used to get headaches from the tanins so I had to stick to whites.

I have never tasted a red that is more than 10 years old. It would be an interesting experience with the right wine.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 05/03/09 06:29 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Well……. It may just be superstition, but when I have a very elegant wine that’s been aged for decades, I want to be as gentle with it as possible and give it time to open up on its own. The venture is sort of barbaric in a sense and I just can’t bring myself to use it on the old gems. When we do open an older bottle, we tend to sip it and taste every half hour or so and compare our impressions. It’s all part of the experience I reckon.

Well one does prefer to err on the side of caution rather than potentially butchering a very old, very expensive bottle.

 Quote:
For whites, honestly, I’ve just gotten to the point where I enjoy them (still not as much as a red though). It’s been a long road……. I suspect as my pallet matures more, I’ll probably do some more experiments with the venture and white wines.

I had a lovely Russian River Valley chardonnay last night.
Frei Brothers Reserve
Many wine 'experts' i've come across tend to thumb their noses at these US chards, calling them fat, bastardization of the grape, overdone, etc.
But, i'm keen on a smooth textured chardonnay with that buttery flavor, some mild yellow fruits, toasted oak, not too nutty, and the California wines have just that.
This Frei Brothers was in a good price point so i'm headed back to the store to nab the last two bottles on the racks.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 05/03/09 06:37 PM

And just to note, the Winnipeg Wine Festival is on this weekend.
I shall indeed be in attendance.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 05/03/09 07:32 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
The venture is sort of barbaric in a sense and I just can’t bring myself to use it on the old gems.

Indeed. The Vinturi makes a sound that is decidedly unrefined and crude. \:\)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 05/04/09 10:26 PM

Chess,

For a little more money, the Hartford Court Chard's are fantastic. The Stone Cote is my favorite. I think it runs about $45 a bottle and worth every penny. http://www.hartfordwines.com/wines/chardonnay/stonecote.html

I'm glad Adam turned my onto this winery. Their Zin's, Pinot's and Chards are all very good....
Posted by: Murph

Re: wine thread - 05/05/09 12:15 PM

Wine question for you experts.
Normally, we never have half empty bottles as we are not big wine drinkers and only ever open a bottle if we intend to finish it. However, after a surprise party on Saturday, we have been left with four or five bottles of wine stoppered up in our refrigerator.

I have always succumbed to, what may just be an illusion, believing that wine seems to stale (for lack of a better word) very quickly no matter how well it is resealed. Even overnight seems to ruin it for me. However, maybe that's just in my head.

Do any of you save opened wine and for how long?
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 05/05/09 12:57 PM

Sure. As a rule, I try to finish leftovers as quickly as possible, but whites will easily last a few days to a week or more in the fridge with no noticeable flavor degradation. Reds, which I keep at room temp after opened, can last a few days. Depends on the wine.

The golden rule for opened wines is sooner is always better.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 05/05/09 06:51 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Chess,

For a little more money, the Hartford Court Chard's are fantastic. The Stone Cote is my favorite. I think it runs about $45 a bottle and worth every penny. http://www.hartfordwines.com/wines/chardonnay/stonecote.html

I'm glad Adam turned my onto this winery. Their Zin's, Pinot's and Chards are all very good....

A little money?
I would hate to see what you consider to be alot of money.

I have very few wines in the cellar beyond the $30 price point. Probably about 7-10 cellaring wines with the most expensive being a port.
My favorite chardonnay to date is actually Canadian and about $28/ bottle. I'm always open to finding new favorites though so i'll call around and see if i can find that winery offerings locally or not.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 05/05/09 06:58 PM

 Originally Posted By: Murph
Wine question for you experts.
Normally, we never have half empty bottles as we are not big wine drinkers and only ever open a bottle if we intend to finish it. However, after a surprise party on Saturday, we have been left with four or five bottles of wine stoppered up in our refrigerator.

I have always succumbed to, what may just be an illusion, believing that wine seems to stale (for lack of a better word) very quickly no matter how well it is resealed. Even overnight seems to ruin it for me. However, maybe that's just in my head.

Do any of you save opened wine and for how long?

So many answers to this question. How to answer it in brief is tough.
Wine, like any other liquid, will go through chemical changes depending on what makes up the substance. In the case of wine, we are talking about thousands of compounds, any one of which will react to temperature changes (e.g., volatility, reaction rates with other chemicals increase with temperature), exposure to sun (again, energy input to the system), oxygen, etc.

I've talked with some certified sommeliers about this and they all believe something a bit different regarding the element of 'time', but they also all do believe oxygen is the biggest contributer to ageing a wine prematurely.
In part this is true. Once a bottle is opened to the air, the introduction of more oxygen will start to change the chemistry, BUT, how fast depends on the factors noted previously.
Both red and white wines can be stored, after opening, in a cool area to reduce the temperature exposure, reduce reaction rates and keep the bottles out of the light.
Secondly, many recommend reducing the exposure to oxygen by using bottles of compressed nitrogen gas. You 'spray' the nitrogen into the bottle then quickly cap it again. This may help to some extent but really only if you are keeping the open bottle for a more extensive time before opening it again.
Third, reduce the available head space in the open bottle by putting it under a vacuum. Many bottle neck vacuum seal widgets exist and will change the air pressure within the bottle headspace, reducing the amount of volatilization you may get from the alcohol, for one example.

Personally i've left some not so tasty harsh reds 'open' for a day on the counter and have found they mellowed (or the alcohol dissipated) to the point where it was actually more drinkable.

In short, once you let the genie out of the bottle...there's no stopping the genie. Quicker drinking is better, unless you have a reason to let the wine sit and 'change'.
Posted by: JaimeG

Re: wine thread - 05/05/09 07:45 PM

I've been buying the 2006 & 2007 Tres Ojos from Wegmans the last couple of weeks. Pretty good, AND cheap @10.00 or so a bottle.
Posted by: Murph

Re: wine thread - 05/06/09 08:03 AM

Wow, Good and interesting answers. Thanks.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 05/06/09 09:51 AM

 Originally Posted By: chesseroo

A little money?
I would hate to see what you consider to be alot of money.

I have very few wines in the cellar beyond the $30 price point. Probably about 7-10 cellaring wines with the most expensive being a port.
My favorite chardonnay to date is actually Canadian and about $28/ bottle. I'm always open to finding new favorites though so i'll call around and see if i can find that winery offerings locally or not.


My Peter Michael Chards start at $75 and go up to $160, which makes the Hartford Court seam pretty reasonable. I keep a seperate 50 bottle cooler for guilt-free drinkers that are $25 and under. All other bottles go to the celler with the exception of sav blancs and rose's that I keep in another 50 bottle cooler that I like to keep a bit colder.
Posted by: JaimeG

Re: wine thread - 05/07/09 12:53 AM

 Quote:
Wine question for you experts.
Normally, we never have half empty bottles as we are not big wine drinkers and only ever open a bottle if we intend to finish it. However, after a surprise party on Saturday, we have been left with four or five bottles of wine stoppered up in our refrigerator.

In the unusual event there's some wine left over at home, my wife uses an empty plastic water bottle to store the wine and then carefully squash the bottle until all air is out. works pretty well.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 05/07/09 09:08 AM

Sure. If you live in the ghetto. ;\)
Posted by: JaimeG

Re: wine thread - 05/07/09 11:39 AM

 Quote:
Sure. If you live in the ghetto.


That's how we roll ...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 05/24/09 03:53 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew


My Peter Michael Chards start at $75 and go up to $160, which makes the Hartford Court seam pretty reasonable. I keep a seperate 50 bottle cooler for guilt-free drinkers that are $25 and under. All other bottles go to the celler with the exception of sav blancs and rose's that I keep in another 50 bottle cooler that I like to keep a bit colder.

Guilt free at $25 and under?
My price point is definitely lower. I think the guilt factor kicks in around $18+ in our house.

I house all my bottles in the cellar and just chill the whites a bit more with a wine chiller (Vinchilla) before use. It only takes about 5 minutes out of the cellar and in the ice water before it hits that perfect temperature.
Off the shelf from a store wines take about 12-15 minutes of chilling to reach the same.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 06/01/09 10:59 PM

Chess – you must have access to some pretty killer deals then. Either that or you just don’t dabble in Napa wines much. Napa has caught up with France, and exceeded it in price point. And unfortunately for me, I tend to favor wines from Napa or Bordeaux.

I figured I’d pass on a good place to buy wine. Either by phone, or now on-line. The crowd I hang out with has been buying wine from these guys for years. They always hook us up with killer wine at great prices. Don’t let the bibs and banjo fool you….Rick knows wine. They have a few Utube videos and Facebook videos. These guys are the real deal. I spent a few hours with them my last trip to Napa and found them to be way cool and just flat out fun to hang with. If a $100 bottle of wine is swill, they’ll say it. If a $20 bottle of wine is good, you’ll hear that too. They currently have some wines on sale that I have, or have bought before and can’t believe how cheap they are selling them for.

http://groezingers.com/
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 06/01/09 11:10 PM

\:D Holy crap, I nearly busted a gut watching this video of theirs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjbwz65Zxgc
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 06/01/09 11:18 PM

That WAS funny!! Oh my, I wasn't. . .well, I was expecting that after I heard the menu.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/06/09 12:07 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Chess – you must have access to some pretty killer deals then.


Funny thing about Manitobans (not that i'm a native but starting to pick it up), they are chintzy, deal searching, buck saving people that will haggle even at the Dollar Store (where everything costs only a buck or less).
I actually have one friend who haggles with the big box stores. No i'm not talking about Future Shop kids who always have something extra to toss in, but places like Sears, Walmart, etc. where the prices are usually fixed except when something is on sale. He actually asks to see managers and haggles them about price.
As you can imagine then, when it comes to wine, and he is a fan, he shops in NOTHING but the sales bins at the liquor stores and wine shops.
Now, he's obviously found some decent wines doing this. As bin ends get down to the last bottle or two, the shops have a clearance of the last few bottles to make room on the shelves for new full cases of wines. If they did not reorder that particular wine, then you can always pick up the last few bottles for 10-15% off the usual price. Sometimes even cheaper.
This friend bought a $75 French chardonnay for $45 in the bin box. [there is a further story to this wine and a chardonnay tasting we did, but i may have already told that one some time back]
It certainly goes to show that the markup on prices in the stores can be huge although the prices are set here in Manitoba by the liquor commission so Store A cannot sell a wine cheaper than Store B down the road.


 Originally Posted By: mdrew
Either that or you just don’t dabble in Napa wines much.
 Quote:

Actually it is more about availability than anything. The choices we have here for 'premium' Napa wines is rather limited IMO. They either sell the usual brand names for up to $30/bottle (e.g. Mondavi), or you get the odd, still large name like Cakebread, for $80+ per bottle.
There is nothing in between.

[quote=mdrew]Napa has caught up with France, and exceeded it in price point. And unfortunately for me, I tend to favor wines from Napa or Bordeaux.

I know it.
Anyone holding vintage Napa wines from 10 years ago could sell them for 300% or more on their original value. But like any market, once the prices get to high, sales drop, the system falls back to earlier days of cheaper wines.
Less volume sales at the 'high' end means smaller margin of profit.
Thankfully for me i have little interest in French wines. I've found very few that i like.

[quote=mdrew]I figured I’d pass on a good place to buy wine. Either by phone, or now on-line. The crowd I hang out with has been buying wine from these guys for years. They always hook us up with killer wine at great prices.


Again the problem here is borders. Unless they somehow ship to Canada, which i doubt, i'm stuck with local fair. Wineries, much like in the States, cannot just ship across provincial/state borders. Liquor must be 'imported' by the provincial liquor commissions or you fly it back yourself on a plane as luggage, which i've done in the past. Some wineries have in the past shipped us wines anyway through the mail which was nice of them to do. Small quantities so really, what's the big deal?
We're not sales vendors. Just consumers.

 Originally Posted By: mdrew
I spent a few hours with them my last trip to Napa and found them to be way cool and just flat out fun to hang with. If a $100 bottle of wine is swill, they’ll say it. If a $20 bottle of wine is good, you’ll hear that too. They currently have some wines on sale that I have, or have bought before and can’t believe how cheap they are selling them for.
http://groezingers.com/

I've been thinking more about this Napa trip thing. I'm starting to think that maybe i should be planning a trip when you're heading down there. A guide would be a useful thing for someone who would be overwhelmed by all the options to try in a trip.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/06/09 12:08 PM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
:D Holy crap, I nearly busted a gut watching this video of theirs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjbwz65Zxgc

That was rather humorous.
I can't believe he vomited.
Though the whole brains eating thing, they actually can that stuff?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 10:37 AM

The best chardonnay in the world is Canadian?
It was on CNN so the story can't be wrong, right?
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 10:51 AM

I like that story! Thanks for the link, Chess.

I just recently started getting into wine. I mean JUST. Still trying to develop a palette and discover the differences and what I like in wine. I have pretty much stuck with wines under ten bucks. Stories like the one above gives me hope that I can have good wine experiences without breaking the bank.

And you know what? So far I haven't been disappointed. With the exception of a merlot, everything I've tried so far has been tasty.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 11:05 AM

 Originally Posted By: chesseroo

I've been thinking more about this Napa trip thing. I'm starting to think that maybe i should be planning a trip when you're heading down there. A guide would be a useful thing for someone who would be overwhelmed by all the options to try in a trip.


It’s a lot of fun Chess. You’d enjoy it I’m sure. I don’t know when my next Napa trip will be. I’m planning a trip to Washington wine country now. Sometime in October after crush and hunting season. I don’t know Washington wine very well, so this should be pretty fun. I plan to fly into Seattle and drive west. I’ll spend a couple days in Yakima, then continue over to Walla Walla.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 12:44 PM

 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
The best chardonnay in the world is Canadian?
It was on CNN so the story can't be wrong, right?


True indeed! I have had their Pinot before and it was superb. I am only about a 35 minute drive to their vinyards. I saw that on the news a while back and was not surprised at all. Their wines are top notch.

Canada also makes excellent riesling, gewurztraminer IMO and of course the only place to get true ice wine.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 01:03 PM

 Originally Posted By: Dr.House
Canada also makes excellent riesling, gewurztraminer IMO and of course the only place to get true ice wine.


I'll have to keep that in mind as rieslings have been my favorite so far.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 01:05 PM

I love riesling as well.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 01:26 PM

 Quote:
I plan to fly into Seattle and drive west


Mike, keep me in mind.

And, buy a map and a compass.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 08:42 PM

 Originally Posted By: St_PatGuy
I like that story! Thanks for the link, Chess.

I just recently started getting into wine. I mean JUST. Still trying to develop a palette and discover the differences and what I like in wine. I have pretty much stuck with wines under ten bucks. Stories like the one above gives me hope that I can have good wine experiences without breaking the bank.

I think everyone starts the same way. How often do you meet someone who first got interested in wine by having their first glass which happened to be from a $300 bottle?
Not often.
It more often starts with the "baby duck" or Hochtaler stuff and progresses into big brand name testing, then eventually into boutique names carrying higher price tags, followed by the search for local mom and pop wineries that can't be found anywhere else, but cost a heck of a doodle to travel to find.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 08:44 PM

 Originally Posted By: mdrew

It’s a lot of fun Chess. You’d enjoy it I’m sure. I don’t know when my next Napa trip will be. I’m planning a trip to Washington wine country now. Sometime in October after crush and hunting season. I don’t know Washington wine very well, so this should be pretty fun. I plan to fly into Seattle and drive west. I’ll spend a couple days in Yakima, then continue over to Walla Walla.

Unfortunately timing has not worked well for us in the past three years for never ending personal reasons and some tragedies (one of which was delivered news to my ears even this week).
However, we have discussed how we haven't been on a real true us vacation now for years and are more serious about planning something for next year.
The question is, California or the UK first?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 08:46 PM

 Originally Posted By: Dr.House
 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
The best chardonnay in the world is Canadian?
It was on CNN so the story can't be wrong, right?


True indeed! I have had their Pinot before and it was superb. I am only about a 35 minute drive to their vinyards. I saw that on the news a while back and was not surprised at all. Their wines are top notch.

Canada also makes excellent riesling, gewurztraminer IMO and of course the only place to get true ice wine.

I will be down in the London/Niagara area again this summer. I plan on trying to find this vineyard.
I will also be stopping at Lailey and Marynissen.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 06/14/09 11:40 PM

Hey Chess. Another winery to put on your list is Crown Bench Estates in the Beamsville area. They have a number of awarded wines including a Chardonay that took 6th and 2nd in the world at some prestigous European competitions a few years ago.

They have some really unique and highly regarded ice wines as well, including one with a little hot chilli in it.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/15/09 08:57 PM

 Originally Posted By: fredk

They have some really unique and highly regarded ice wines as well, including one with a little hot chilli in it.

They should be kicked for that one.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 06/15/09 10:22 PM

?
It was quite tasty served up with a nice 5 year old cheddar. Hey, sometimes you have to experiment a little.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/15/09 11:01 PM

sorry fred but hot sauce in an ice wine is just over the line in my books
someone trying to invent the latest greatest thing that flops
like carbonating a shiraz to make it 'sparkling'
eeech, just awful
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/20/09 10:13 PM

We have this John Cleese 'documentary' dvd about wine regions and such. It runs 91 minutes. Haven't watched it yet. I'll be curious to see if it really is a documentary or slapstick attempt at understanding wine.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 06/20/09 10:57 PM

 Quote:
sorry fred but hot sauce in an ice wine is just over the line in my books

Missed the reply. All I can say is don't knock it until you try it.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/21/09 02:26 AM

I should've mentioned i'm not a fan of hot sauce to begin with.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 06/21/09 02:49 AM

They didn't add hotsauce, just some bite from a hot pepper.

Hot sauce. Sheesh, I draw the line at tomatos in wine. ;\)

Here's the challenge. If you are in the Niagra area, check out Crown Bench and give this icewine a try. Then you can tell me what a wanker I am for liking it.

Besides, while you're there you can try out the chocolate icewine.
::ducks and runs::
Posted by: a401classic

Re: wine thread - 06/21/09 07:26 PM

 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
We have this John Cleese 'documentary' dvd about wine regions and such. It runs 91 minutes. Haven't watched it yet. I'll be curious to see if it really is a documentary or slapstick attempt at understanding wine.


If it's the John Cleese wine tasting video, it's more of an attempt to get one to judge wine by it's taste and not it's price. He hosts a wine tasting party and brown bags a variety of $10 thru $100 bottles of wine and has his guests vote. True to John Cleese, however, is the humorous presentation. It's not at all slapstick, but a few good jabs at wine snobs.

Scott
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 06/22/09 12:51 PM

I just wanted to thank you guys for bringing the Vinturi to my attention.

I bought one for my father-in-law for Fathers Day, and it was an instant hit. It made an immediate, positive and discernible difference in the bouquet. Everyone was surprised and pleased.

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 06/22/09 05:45 PM

Tom, as we all know around here, anything that makes a positive discernible difference is to be questioned.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 06/22/09 09:33 PM

Okay, I'm just getting started with this wine thing and am still developing a pallet, but I'm figuring out I prefer lighter "fruitier" wines. (don't laugh) Rieslings and gewurztraminers seem to be my favorites so far. I find myself still struggling with reds, although I did try one over the weekend that I REALLY enjoyed, and, no, not just because of the suggestive name. . .

We opened a bottle of Menage a Trois Red and had a nice afternoon of movie watching with wine and cheese. The Menage a Trois is a mix of three reds (zinfandel, merlot, and cabernet) and I expected it to be on the heavy side, but was surprised to find that it was very flavorful and light.

Okay, I just realized I don't have the vocabulary to describe wine. . .

In any case, I'll definitely be putting this on my list of wines I'll buy again.
Posted by: AdamP88

Re: wine thread - 06/22/09 09:40 PM

Ain't nothin' wrong with Rieslings and Gewurtzraminers. \:\) I've been trying out more Rieslings lately. Either I've been incredibly lucky or I just really like Rieslings - haven't had a bad one yet. There is some awesome & affordable stuff coming out of Germany, too.

Wednesday is my birthday, which my girlfriend will miss as she's out of town. She gets back into town Thursday morning, and we go straight from the airport to the Russian River Valley, where she's booked us a room at some "not too fancy" place. I'm fairly excited. \:\) I need to discover some new wineries up there though. Got any recommendations, Mike?
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 06/22/09 09:55 PM

No doubt, Adam, the Rieslings and Gewurzts seem to be "safe" choices. Hard to have a really bad one.

Happy early birthday and enjoy your trip to the Russian River Valley!

Oh, and pics, we expect pics!!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 06/22/09 09:56 PM

<dad>Separate beds, I hope?</dad>
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 06/23/09 01:41 AM

Oh, there are definitely worse and better Rieslings and Gewürztraminer.

Look for a Riesling with the word Kabinett on the label. There are different 'grades' depending on the sugar acid ratio in the wine and Kabinett is the highest rating. The flavors in a good Riesling are quite subtle. A good Riesling must be consumed the day it is opened. Even 8 hours later it has lost a lot of its subtlety.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 06/23/09 08:23 AM

Good to know, Fred, thanks. I'll make a note to look for Kabinett.

Oh, and so far, haven't had a problem not consuming the wine right away!
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 06/23/09 02:01 PM

\:D
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 06/24/09 12:02 PM

Adam – Russian River is one place I have not spent much time at. That one is on our list for the next Napa area trip. Russian river and Alexander Valley probably have the best bargains in the valley. You already know about Hartford. One of my favorite (cheap and fun) wineries is Fieldstone. They are in the Alexander Valley area next to Jordan. Definitely swing by this one. Make sure you have a DD or spit though. They pour a lot and are not bashful with the pours. Please give us a report of what you find in the Russian River area. Make sure you eat at Cyrus, if you can get reservations. Fantastic place to eat.

I just got back from a property hunting trip in northern Idaho and North West Washington. I was very surprised to find some great wineries in Idaho. They were cheap too. Then I spent a day in Walla-Walla. I’m looking forward to spending more time in Washington this fall. – I’ll be sure to let you know when I’m in your area Tom.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 06/24/09 12:53 PM

Excellent, Mike. I will look forward to it.
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 06/24/09 02:02 PM

Last week as a birthday treat we ate at the Napa Rose in the Grand Californian, we had the Vinters Table which was 4 courses with appropriate Napa wines.

Probably the best meal I have ever eaten, I wish I could remember all the pours, but the one that really stood out for me was a Faust 2005 Cab.

Tonight we are going to our local wine cellar for a Wine Makers Dinner from the Langtry/Guenoc Winery, they are somewhere north of Napa.

It will be interesting to compare the meals since the Napa Rose meal ran $350 for two, and this meal is costing $60 for my wife and I.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/24/09 11:42 PM

Tom, what's with the new avatar?
I see big jugs...of beer, and in the wine thread no less.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 06/24/09 11:45 PM

 Originally Posted By: HomeDad

Probably the best meal I have ever eaten, I wish I could remember all the pours, but the one that really stood out for me was a Faust 2005 Cab.



I have a Faust cab in the cellar, uh, cellaring. Waiting to nip into that one, once the 5 year old graduates from high school.

I also got a 30 year German riesling in the racks and for the life of me i don't know why i bought it. I preferred the 5 year bottle.
Oh, now i recall, wine festival, closing minutes, staggering through the crowd grabbing festival special bottles, friend puts it in my cart telling me i need it...
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 06/24/09 11:45 PM

Chess, just squint and pretend they are big jugs of wine. . .
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 06/25/09 01:33 AM

 Quote:
I also got a 30 year German riesling in the racks

I didn't think a riesling would hold that long. I had a 10 year old riesling once: very sweet. It was like an icewine. Very tasty, but only in small amounts.
Posted by: Shaun

Re: wine thread - 07/05/09 10:33 PM

Looks like a lot of good info on here. I tend to be a red wine person, cabs, shiraz, and merlots in that order. I will say, one of the best wines I have ever had was a Penfold Grande - incredible (and even better that I did not have to pay for it!!) I am decidedly a Nappa Cab person (big, earthy, oaky, lots of tannins), but I did pick up some bordeaux's today to try...I am looking forward to learning about some different wines on here (all the while on what seems to be a great audio community board!)
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 07/06/09 12:20 AM

Welcome to the fold, Shaun. Next you'll be drinking all your wine only after it has gone through a Vinturi. \:\)
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/10/09 11:49 AM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Welcome to the fold, Shaun. Next you'll be drinking all your wine only after it has gone through a Vinturi. \:\)

Oh Peter, statements of bastardization!
I want to start hearing about how the beer quaffers are using the Vinturi to open up their brews!

On a thread related note, another trip to Niagara is on for the week after next, one day side venture.
I should have time to visit 4 maybe 5 wineries.
On the list for sure:
Marynissen (Niagara on the Lake)-few tastings here, some must purchases
Lailey (Niagara on the Lake)-few tastings here, some must purchases
Peller (Niagara on the Lake)-no tasting here, just a must purchase

Need one or two more to slot in.
Anyone have some opinions?
http://www.niagarawineries.ca/

fredk weighed in on going to Crown Bench, but i can get some of their wines locally. Still open for tastings depending on where they are located.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 07/10/09 12:14 PM

I can't imagine that swirling beer around is a good idea...
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/10/09 12:44 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
I can't imagine that swirling beer around is a good idea...

I thought swirling is ok, shaking the unopened vesicle is the no no.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 07/10/09 12:57 PM

Would still remove the CO2, though, right?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 07/10/09 06:51 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Would still remove the CO2, though, right?

Well once Tom buys a Vinturi and brings it to his next beer judging event perhaps we'll find out. \:\)
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 07/13/09 02:56 PM

I would think that Ken is correct; using a vinturi on beer would remove carbonation.

Maybe for fairly 'still' beers like vintage barleywines, though.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 08/31/09 02:20 PM

Saw a movie called Bottle Shock the other night. I had heard about this story in CBC archives awhile back and thought that this was a Hollywood version of it.
As it turns out, the story is based very much on true events.
Though i can't say the movie was an award winner, as an oenophile (a word mentioned and ill regarded by Spurrier in the movie) i will probably add it to my collection.

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0914797/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Spurrier_(wine)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_of_Paris_(wine)
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 08/31/09 04:30 PM

It’s actually pretty far from accurate, from what I’ve been hearing. I have a couple friends who know the story’s history very well, watched the movie and have been bitching about for weeks. Barrett, for one thing was stinking rich at the time. And Grgich was the winemaker who made the winning chard, something that usually gets overlooked. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I’m just being a parrot right now.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 08/31/09 05:04 PM

I imagine the details are slightly different from everyone's perspective.
Maybe someone thought Barrett was rich but maybe he did actually squander alot of his wealth during that period.
Who knows except the actual individuals.

I'm sure the part about the intern lifting up her top to hitchhike a ride may not be all that accurate either.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/06/09 10:40 PM

Simple berry, clean, pinot noir.
Chile.
Aliwen
12.5%
Inexpensive.
End of simple story.

The weird part is they don't list the wine on their website.
http://www.aliwenwines.com/Site/home2.html
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/07/09 04:54 PM

I haven’t posted much on the wines I’ve had that I’ve liked, as think I’ve migrated away from the majority of folk’s price point. I’m starting to search harder for good bargain wines (under $30 US) again. I’m also starting to tire of California wines. I love them, but they’re just getting to be too damn expensive, and they all tend to be over oaked.

I’m now concentrating on France, Italy and Spain. These three countries are very difficult for me, as they have an entirely different classification method than North American wines.

One thing I find quite amazing, is how French wines can taste so different with food, then when drinking them without food. I have had a couple bottles that I though were swill drinking them on their own, but when having them with food, they literally come to life. The same goes for Italian wine. Wines from Spain tend to stand on their own a bit better.

I had an Italian wine I thought was excellent. Great on its own, and even better with red meat. You can get it from Wine.com for $20.

Argiano NC
Rosso Toscano

It’s a mix of 40% cab sav, 20% merlot, 20% syrah, 20% sangiovese

Earth tones, but with a fruity pallet. Well balanced, med-heavy body. Nice lingering finish.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/07/09 04:57 PM

I'm into my 2nd day of primary fermentation of making 6 gallons of Exotic Fruit White Zinfandel.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/07/09 09:47 PM

Let us know how it turns out.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/07/09 09:51 PM

Looking forward to it, Wine Expert products are second to none, kinda like Axiom. \:\)
Posted by: Shaun

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/07/09 10:05 PM

Had some neighbors over this evening for grilled ribeyes, grilled zuchinni and twice baked taters, and I opened a 2005 Sequel Syrah (made by the same guy that developed the Penfold Grange). It did not disappoint and was very, very good. I would say the taste, aroma, experience was about 80% of the Grande, but at about 20% of the price (the 2001 Penfold Grange is likely best bottle I have ever had..simply incredible...), so this Sequel was certainly nice
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/07/09 10:07 PM

That sounds like a fun project. I like drinking wine.

I'll check it out!
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/07/09 10:33 PM

I had a 2005 vineland estates vidal icewine today. Very nice!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/08/09 12:34 PM

 Originally Posted By: Shaun
Had some neighbors over this evening for grilled ribeyes, grilled zuchinni and twice baked taters, and I opened a 2005 Sequel Syrah (made by the same guy that developed the Penfold Grange). It did not disappoint and was very, very good. I would say the taste, aroma, experience was about 80% of the Grande, but at about 20% of the price (the 2001 Penfold Grange is likely best bottle I have ever had..simply incredible...), so this Sequel was certainly nice


Good to know! I will be at the Long Shadow's winery this Oct and will be able to taste all their different lables, including the Sequel.

I like Grange too. Their RWT is right up there with it, for slightly less money. The 707 is another great Penfolds.
Posted by: Shaun

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/08/09 10:17 PM

 Originally Posted By: michael_d
 Originally Posted By: Shaun
Had some neighbors over this evening for grilled ribeyes, grilled zuchinni and twice baked taters, and I opened a 2005 Sequel Syrah (made by the same guy that developed the Penfold Grange). It did not disappoint and was very, very good. I would say the taste, aroma, experience was about 80% of the Grande, but at about 20% of the price (the 2001 Penfold Grange is likely best bottle I have ever had..simply incredible...), so this Sequel was certainly nice


Good to know! I will be at the Long Shadow's winery this Oct and will be able to taste all their different lables, including the Sequel.

I like Grange too. Their RWT is right up there with it, for slightly less money. The 707 is another great Penfolds.


Wow, that would be a great visit to their winery..I am jealous! Out here on the right coast, there are several wineries, although the varieties out here are decidedly fruitier and lighter then those on the left coast. I have never had a RWT...I will have to give one a try. Also, since I assume you are in the Pac NW, are you familiar with Apogee wine? I have one sitting in the wine cooler and have never tried one (although I have heard good things about them)

Oh and yep, you can count me as one that uses one of those diffuser thingies...tried it for the first time last night..nice!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 09/09/09 11:24 AM

Apogee? You mean from L'Ecole winery? If so, I have not had it, but we will be at that winery right after Long Shadows and Spring Valley, and then we hit Col Solare to finish that day off. All four of these wineries are within a few miles from each other, west of Walla Walla.

The Apogee looks pretty good……..

L'Ecole No 41 Apogee Pepperbridge Vineyard received 93 points from Wine Advocate (Parker) 7/08. They said: "The 2005 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 7% Malbec, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Saturated purple colored, it has a slightly brooding nose of pain grille, pencil lead, spice box, and assorted black fruits. It is the most structured of the L'Ecole reds with darker fruit and greater aging potential. Drink this superb effort between 2015 and 2030."
The pinnacle, or apogee, of L'Ecole's red wines. Produced from Walla Walla's Pepper Bridge vineyard, the 2005 is a classic wine. Made for cellaring, yet ripe and open enough to decant and enjoy.


So I take it you have had a few NY wines? I have not ever tried them. There are none to be found here.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 10/17/09 01:18 AM

Quiet in here these days.

Just giving a two thumbs up to the Rosemount Old Benson port.
Loving these Aussie style ports the past few years. I think someone once told me the Aussies call them "stickies" as in sticky sweet wines.

http://www.internetwines.com/rws26196.html
Posted by: Murph

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 10/19/09 01:26 PM

Maybe because I'm not Australian but "Sticky Sweet Wine" sure doesn't make me want to go try any Ozzy port.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 10/19/09 09:12 PM

I tried a Rosemount Traminer Riesling which I liked.

Over the summer, we went to Disneyland and they actually have wine tasting in the California Adventure side of the park. That was a first foray into ports. I don't remember what we tried, but I was amazed at how the taste of the port changed paired with strong cheese.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 10/20/09 09:05 AM


Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 10/20/09 09:17 AM

LOL! I want that on a t-shirt.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 10/20/09 09:39 AM

(probably some on the "forum's undies"!!)
Posted by: Zimm

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 10/20/09 02:30 PM

If you like a Cote de Rhone style, I found this steal of a great wine for $7. We went through 3 cases of it and it stood up to many $15 and $20 bottles in the interim. Great table wine. Also, the Saintsbury Garnet Pinot Noir 2007 for $17 was very nice. And general FYI, Wine Spectator says the 2006 Cali Cabs are very strong, and 2007 should be even better - if you enjoy Cabs.
Posted by: Zimm

Re: wine thread (another movie) - 10/20/09 05:30 PM

 Originally Posted By: Zimm
If you like a Cote de Rhone style, I found this steal of a great wine for $7. We went through 3 cases of it and it stood up to many $15 and $20 bottles in the interim.

The name could help, perhaps...Vieux Papes Rouge.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 12/19/09 12:52 AM

Reviving a dusty thread.

Anyone taste a good Beaujolais nouveau this season?

Posted by: Argon

Re: wine thread - 12/19/09 08:28 AM

Over the past 10-15 years we have had an emergence of wine makers here in North Carolina. The Yadkin River Valley assocn has gotten their marketing campaign in gear and we now have multiple wineries and vineyards in 2 hour radius. A lot of these are farmers who have turned their tobacco farms into vineyards. I have been sampling a lot of their offerings lately. My brother and sister-in-law will be in for Christmas and I think we will go to Rafaldini vineyards for a wine tasting.......Rob
Posted by: fredk

Champaign? - 12/19/09 12:00 PM

Don't know why I did not think of this before.

I want to pick up a couple of bottles of champaign (or wine made in the champaign method) for a family get together on Sunday. I have a decent selection at the local lcbo, but never know what to pick up. There is always a good selection of French, California and Canadian stuff available.

I'm not averse to spending a little coin, but if its moderately priced, I can afford a couple of bottles. Any recommendations?
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Champagne? - 12/19/09 12:10 PM

Moet White Star is pretty tasty and reasonably priced.

I like Blanc de Noir champagnes/sparkling wines, too. Gloria Ferrer makes a good one that is very reasonably priced.

I'm trying to find the little piece of paper that has the type we had at our wedding on it, but having no luck. I'm pretty sure it was a dry or a sec, not a brut. I tend to prefer the sweeter ones.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Champaign? - 12/19/09 09:00 PM

 Originally Posted By: fredk
Don't know why I did not think of this before.

I want to pick up a couple of bottles of champaign (or wine made in the champaign method) for a family get together on Sunday. I have a decent selection at the local lcbo, but never know what to pick up. There is always a good selection of French, California and Canadian stuff available.

I'm not averse to spending a little coin, but if its moderately priced, I can afford a couple of bottles. Any recommendations?

Unfortunately this is one area of wine that i know little about. Part of the reason is that i don't care for champagne. Actually anything with bubbles and fizzy i am not a fan. Even really young white wines can be effervescent and i don't usually like them.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: Champaign? - 12/19/09 11:22 PM

I don't know anything about champagne either, but I know chicks like pink bubbly.

Could go Rosa Regale or Lindemann's Framboise as an alternative.
Posted by: fredk

Re: Champaign? - 12/25/09 12:22 PM

I couldn't find any of the wines you suggested Ken, so I made one last try to get hold of the manager of the specialty section of the local liqueur store and got lucky.

She suggested a South African rose: Krone rose cuvee brut by Twee Jong Gezellen.

I'll be popping it at my fathers later today and will post my impressions.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/29/09 03:35 PM

Back to a topic for a new year, New Year's Eve wine list.

This year's primary for dinner will be the Marynissen Merlot 1998 (ON).
Tasting notes can be found here (select wine type from pull down list).

When i was at the winery last summer, Mr. Marynissen said the 1998 merlot was drinking well last year but they had one bottle left and it needed to go before it was past prime so he baited me and i bought it. However, he threw in a free sediment filter top noting that this wine "WILL need it".

Other strong mentionables that are on the opening list include:
Ganton and Larsen Ogopogo's Lair Pinot Grigio (BC)
Gray Monk Pinot blanc (BC)

and a yet to be determined port.

Incidentally the planned dinner is as follows:
Cheese fondue
Prosciutto wrapped baby spinach, cheese (the type escapes me) and fresh basil.
Lobster cakes with a mild chipotle and chili mayo.
Arugula salad with pears, walnuts, goat's cheese and sherry mustard dressing.
Prime rib roast (3 bone) infused with garlic slivers and with a black pepper, coarse sea salt and onion powder rub.
Heart attack double roasted buttered potatoes with cheese (i don't recall his recipe for the cheese type) and bacon.
Dessert will be a vanilla bean creme caramel and we are contemplating a chocolate fondue as well.

Serving 6 at table #3.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/29/09 03:49 PM

How much do I have to slip the maitre d' to be included in that feast? Sounds amazing, Chess. Here's hoping you and your companions savor the joyful moments. Cheers!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/29/09 03:56 PM

Well let's see Tom.
If you slipped the waiter about $800, you could then have him purchase a return ticket for you to Winnipeg return...and the rest would be covered except for the cost of cheap tshirts for the kids that say "My dad went to Winnipeg and all i got was this lousy tshirt".
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/29/09 10:47 PM

You're in Winnipeg?! Wow, that sounds cold. I think folks down here use Winnipeg as a colloquialism for "coldest place on earth".

Y'all must be looking forward to the big thaw, huh?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/29/09 11:11 PM

The 2003 Taylor Fladgate vintage port is incredible. I wish I would have bought more when I had the chance…….

Sounds like a heck of a meal Chess.

I opened my 97 Haut Brion a couple weeks ago. I was devastated; it sucked. Nothing but green pepper and dirt on the nose (although it was a ‘good’ green pepper smell). The pallet had a hole in the middle and the finish fiddled to nothing way too quick.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/29/09 11:17 PM

 Originally Posted By: bigwill2
You're in Winnipeg?! Wow, that sounds cold. I think folks down here use Winnipeg as a colloquialism for "coldest place on earth".

Y'all must be looking forward to the big thaw, huh?

Well the wind was a bit nippy today, but temperatures are seasonal. I'm sure BrenR has an appreciation for it.

I was out in the field a few weeks back in -32C working on a lake. That was rather unpleasant, but at least it was sunny.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/29/09 11:28 PM

 Originally Posted By: michael_d
The 2003 Taylor Fladgate vintage port is incredible. I wish I would have bought more when I had the chance…….

You know, i've never gotten into a bottle of Taylor Fladgate that i've enjoyed.
There have been very few Portugese ruby ports that i found at all appealing and all but one were not the major brand labels (Warre's, Taylor Fladgate, Grahams, etc.). I think the one that we found quite luscious was a Quinta do Noval LBV (late bottled vintage) 2002 or 2003. I never did buy one though my fellow sippers bought one each.
They haven't opened theirs yet the cheap bastards.

 Quote:
Sounds like a heck of a meal Chess.

Every New Year's we usually do a dinner and a blind wine tasting somewhere. The number of attenders is down this year but i plan on doing another tasting with the Vinturi, if a fellow oenophile remembers to bring his.
We do try to of course pair the food selections with the wine as best as we figure will work.
Since the appetizers feature a cheese fondue, we'll probably go with a chardonnay for that portion. The first round may be a viognier or the pinot blanc or pinot grigio with crackers and other cheeses.
Main course red meat with the merlot (and whatever other reds are brought to the table).
Dessert with the creme caramel to be served alongside a late harvest vidal and finish with a port.
After the port is complete, we may have a chocolate fondue. Never serve a dessert or meal that is sweeter than the paired wine otherwise the wine will only taste bitter, and you won't want to go back to sipping it.

 Quote:
I opened my 97 Haut Brion a couple weeks ago. I was devastated; it sucked. Nothing but green pepper and dirt on the nose (although it was a ‘good’ green pepper smell). The pallet had a hole in the middle and the finish fiddled to nothing way too quick.

I hear things like this and though i don't cringe, i do await the day i'm seriously disappointed with a cellared wine. It is a gamble in the cellaring process that it gets better over age and that the proper year/time is chosen to uncork the bottle.
I've had this Marynissen merlot in the past though not one of this old vintage. It is normally a good bottle from year to year with variation, always has been great with a red meat dinner so i'm going with history on this one.
If this bottle fails, i have a few 2002 reds, one Chilean, one Aussie, that we could dip into.

The next oldest bottle in our cellar is a 1999 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cab unfiltered. Last i checked it was drinking now and worth about $90 resale, originally bought for $30 Cdn. It is unlikely we will open that one this year but probably next season.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/30/09 06:39 PM

RE: the weather link to Winnipeg... W-O-W!!! 9* F is the high for the week?

RE: cellaring wine... I drink the best ones first in case either they, or myself, expire. \:\)
Posted by: fredk

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 12/30/09 07:51 PM

 Originally Posted By: bigwill2
RE: the weather link to Winnipeg... W-O-W!!! 9* F is the high for the week?

I know, pretty amazing. Spring weather already!
Posted by: Adrian

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 01/01/10 11:06 PM

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine....and to those who don't:

As Ben Franklin said:

In wine there is wisdom,
In beer there is freedom,
In water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 litre of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli,(E. coli)- bacteria found in feces.

In other words, WE ARE COSUMING 1 KILO OF POO.

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer(or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

*****REMEMBER*****

Water= POO

Wine = Health

Therefore, it is better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of SH*T!!!

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information, I'm doing it as a public service.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/06/10 12:05 PM

Whooophhh fooooophh. Just dusting off the thread.

Brief update, our trip to the Olympics in Vancouver begins a week from today. The latter half of the trip, Thursday to Saturday (two weeks from today for those not following closely here) will be spent in Oliver and Kelowna, British Columbia, heart of the BC Okanagan wine country!!

The winery tour planning begins today thanks to a great publication, Canadian Wine Annual mag by Wine Access.

Tentative wineries for touring include:

  • Tinhorn
  • Gray Monk
  • Burrowing Owl
  • Oliver Twist
  • Golden Beaver (no i'm not kidding)
  • Hester Creek
  • Desert Hills
  • Jackson Triggs
  • Inniskillin

More from Kelowna will be added today.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/06/10 05:57 PM

I've enjoyed all the Golden Beavers I've sampled.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/10/10 09:16 PM

Talking to myself again here but that's ok.
It's a sign of something i'm sure.

Senility? or Giddyness?
There's probably a common genetic and biochemical link.

Countdown to the British Columbia wine tour is on!!

Less than 72 hours and counting until the flight.
Unfortunately about 7 days until the wine region comes onto the itinerary though.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/10/10 09:52 PM

Chess, are you going to the Olympics?!?!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/10/10 09:58 PM

Well as a spectator of course.
Didn't get your hopes up there did i?

My sport will be "elbow tipping" most likely.
I have a ticket to one men's hockey game, hence the side trip to the wine region. We have some time to spare.

I promise lots of photos, though i can't say i'll beat the great photos or experience of Napa a la michael_d and Co.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/10/10 09:59 PM

He is competing in the wine-athlon.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/10/10 10:23 PM

I thought it was the decanter-lon.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/10/10 11:20 PM

I'm looking forward to checking out the pics, Chess.
Posted by: BrenR

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/11/10 05:32 AM

 Originally Posted By: chesseroo
My sport will be "elbow tipping" most likely.
I completely misread that as elbow ti... never mind.

Bren R.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 02/28/10 02:38 PM

We are back.
Not as many photos as i thought mostly b/c i had a glass in one hand most of the time.

I'll put something together soon including some shots of the great BC mountains.

14 wineries in 2.5 days, 50 bottles shipped back, over $1300 for wine alone...not bad i think
Posted by: fredk

Re: The Serious! Wine Thread - 03/01/10 02:45 AM

Looking forward to your pictures and comments. Grey Monk is the only one on that list I have visited. Most probably didn't exist the last time I was out there.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/11/10 11:08 PM

WARNING NEXT POST IS FULL OF PHOTOS
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/11/10 11:08 PM

Doesn't look like it.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/11/10 11:13 PM

Images of the wineries and wine country from the British Columbia Fraser Valley (first group up to Vista D'Oro) and then the Okanagan Valley (Oliver and then Kelowna; second post).

I can provide some description after, i do have a complete list of all the wines we tasted, but really, just check out the winery websites and pretty much everything each winery had...we tasted!
The fellow in the photos is a buddy who attended the Olympics as well and houses some of his wines in our cellar.




















Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/11/10 11:19 PM

The second set starting with a few views of the vines in the Okanagan valley.






























Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/11/10 11:21 PM

Just one quick piece of description, that last photo of a Hanle Vineyards riesling icewine 1983 goes for about $1100 on the open market.

If i recall, the winery only had one or two bottles of it left in their own 'library'. This one is housed at a restaurant in Oliver.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/11/10 11:33 PM

And the last set for Kelowna






























Posted by: Anonymous

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/12/10 12:17 AM

All these photos keep crashing my dial up connection.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/12/10 11:41 AM

Looks like an awesome trip! One question, though. Who's the dork in the red hoodie?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/12/10 12:52 PM

That must be his kid. Chess is like sixty or so.

All the snow in the background of winery shots just seams odd to me...... What fruit do they grow that far north?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/12/10 09:20 PM

 Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Looks like an awesome trip! One question, though. Who's the dork in the red hoodie?

Hey now, no dissing the official Hudson Bay Company $150 Canadian Olympic wear!!
You can diss the geek all you want though.
Damn guy kept getting in my pictures.
Drunken b@stard.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/12/10 09:22 PM

 Originally Posted By: michael_d
That must be his kid. Chess is like sixty or so.

Ouch.
That's a random gunshot.
Wound to the chest.
If this guy is two years older than me than i'm a monkey's uncle.

 Quote:
All the snow in the background of winery shots just seams odd to me...... What fruit do they grow that far north?

Just altitude.
Snow at altitude.
Keep in mind it is winter in BC so there's no fruit on the vines.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/13/10 06:50 PM

How do they pick all them grapes without any Mexicans?
Posted by: fredk

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/13/10 07:21 PM

Newfies.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/13/10 07:26 PM

 Originally Posted By: bigwill2
How do they pick all them grapes without any Mexicans?

Not to be anything but p.c. but there is a large immigrant population in the Vancouver and Okanagan area.

There was a news story awhile back about a van that was overloaded with immigrants headed to the wine country (grape pickers) which got into a vehicular accident. Not enough seatbelts, van too weighted down, etc.
Driving overloaded crappy vehicles without seatbelts is something some immigrants are used to in their countries of origin but in Canada, it's unacceptable.
There was alot of fuss made about having the employer companies be held accountable for the workers safety if they bring from the cities.
I don't recall if this van was owned by the company or not though.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/13/10 10:22 PM

Same stories abound down here. They haven't gotten to the point of holding employers legally accountable, but it is only a matter of time.

The pics were very cool, chess. For which varietals is BC known? It looked like lots of clear skies in the pics. Dodge Avenger? One guy ferments in tupperware?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/14/10 12:05 AM

 Originally Posted By: bigwill2

The pics were very cool, chess. For which varietals is BC known? It looked like lots of clear skies in the pics. Dodge Avenger? One guy ferments in tupperware?

I wish i had time to list all the wines we tasted with notes, but i just don't. There were too many.
I applaud michael_d for his efforts on the Napa post.

BC grows everything.
That's the simplest way to put it.
I did find more 'rare' grapes than usual. For example you see alot of chardonnay on the store shelves, cab sav, merlot, etc. but how often to you see a Zweigelt for sale?
Alot of people in BC were mixing with cab franc, zweigelt, chancellor, bacchus...

This port style wine i tried uses macerated green walnut in the brandy making process which gives the port an amazing different flavour.
Bought two bottles of those at $50 each. I would tell you the winery but this is a best kept secret for me. ;\)

As for the tupperware, well, that's the port style wine. If you look closely you can see the floating green (unripened/unhardened) walnuts. He had just finished mixing the blend and i believe it either goes to short oak from there or bottling. I don't recall.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/14/10 11:55 AM

Just wanted to say thank you to chess, Mike, Mark and everyone else who continues to compile this information here. I appreciate you taking the time and enjoy learning from you.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/14/10 02:22 PM

Hey Chess, seeing how you were in the ice wine country taking notes and having intelligent conversations like a good disciplined wine taster….., do you know how long they keep? During one of my drunken tasting days, I bought two horribly overpriced 2002 Pinot ice wines in .375 bottles. I just haven’t had the occasion or reason to open them. What do you think?

And yeah, it’s tough keeping track of all the wines tasted when in wine country. I tend to get way too caught up in the moment. One of my friends who I usually wander about with takes great notes. He's a machine with that journal. He takes it everywhere and has his scoring down very well. When we are tasting wines, I have him just take a quick note for me; "Mike likes this one" or Mike said it's swill". I can later refer to the notes. Although his notes tend to get harder to read after a few wineries....

I’ve since learned to resist the temptation to buy several bottles when at the winery. Now I take a couple 12 bottle shipping boxes with me. If I find a wine I really like at the tasting room, I’ll buy it and take it home. I have had mixed results with this. Sometimes I’ll open it a few weeks later and think its swill, and other times I end up ordering a case I like it so much.

I still need to get around to putting up picks from my last two trips before I head to Sonoma this May.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/14/10 04:10 PM

 Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Just wanted to say thank you to chess, Mike, Mark and everyone else who continues to compile this information here. I appreciate you taking the time and enjoy learning from you.

You know, we've posted TONS of photos on wine tours but i have yet to see a single shot of someone at a brewery tour.

What's up with you hopheads anyway?
No one goes on tours anywhere?


Come on tom, gimme some shots of one you lads near drowning after falling into a 500 gallon keg somewhere.
It's either you or the mice, someone has to get into those beer tubs.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/14/10 07:43 PM

 Originally Posted By: michael_d
Hey Chess, seeing how you were in the ice wine country taking notes and having intelligent conversations like a good disciplined wine taster….., do you know how long they keep? During one of my drunken tasting days, I bought two horribly overpriced 2002 Pinot ice wines in .375 bottles. I just haven’t had the occasion or reason to open them. What do you think?

To my knowledge, ice wines can age for sometime. I actually have a German riesling in my posession that will age for up to 30 years according to Dr. Zen Zen (the wine maker).
Usually it comes down to the sugar content for white wines. The more sugar content the longer it can age.
Although i haven't asked anyone specifically, i would guess that the icewines will hold for quite some time, certainly longer than 10 years.
The question is, do you want them to?
You may not know what time will do to the icewine and much like any other wine, the little chemical changes that do occur may be beneficial, or not
But i wouldn't worry about it turning to vinegar that's for sure.

 Quote:
And yeah, it’s tough keeping track of all the wines tasted when in wine country. I tend to get way too caught up in the moment. One of my friends who I usually wander about with takes great notes. He's a machine with that journal. He takes it everywhere and has his scoring down very well. When we are tasting wines, I have him just take a quick note for me; "Mike likes this one" or Mike said it's swill". I can later refer to the notes. Although his notes tend to get harder to read after a few wineries....

Oh geez.
If you friend and I ever got together, no one would leave a winery. We'd be too busy making two copies of each other's notes.
I kept my binder with me religiously through every place. I was doing fine for tasting actually and after the day was over i wasn't nearly as intoxicated as i thought i might be prior to the start of the trip. My notes were fairly good and i think it was easier for me to actually pick out the wines i wanted to buy than i thought it was going to be.

It was kind of funny that our first stop in the Okanagan was an unexpected one. We hit another winery which said they were open and actually they were closed. We had seen a sign up the road earlier for another winery that said they were open though our winery guide had no info on their winter/off season hours. So we shrugged our shoulders and thought what the hell and we went there (Oliver Twist). Right after i walked in the door, this nice older gentleman looks at me and says,
"good morning, what are you selling?".
I looked at him odd and as my buddy entered the room he quipped to the fellow
"well, i'm hoping YOU will sell ME some wine".
The fellow explained that usually when he sees people come in with binders and such, they are salesmen.
I said "nope, its my wine notes" and the fellow brightened right up. I guess it's rare that people walk in with such a serious approach to wine tasting. Several times over the week we had people asking us if we were in the industry and we would just tell them no, just private collectors. At one point someone thought we might be from the provincial health inspection.

Anyway, this guy at Oliver Twist gave us a blind tasting off the bat to see if we could guess what grape it was (bottle was in a bag, the wine was a white).
I guessed correctly that it was a chardonnay, my friend guessed a pinot gris. It was an unoaked chardonnay.
They seem to be all the rage now. Seems the trend is away from big, buttery oaky chards but personally i'm a fan.

 Quote:
I’ve since learned to resist the temptation to buy several bottles when at the winery. Now I take a couple 12 bottle shipping boxes with me. If I find a wine I really like at the tasting room, I’ll buy it and take it home. I have had mixed results with this. Sometimes I’ll open it a few weeks later and think its swill, and other times I end up ordering a case I like it so much.

Ya sometimes the day itself biases your thoughts on a wine. We had some beautiful weather so we were in great spirits before starting the day and i'm sure i was happier to buy wine than if the morning was foggy like it was the next day.
We shipped our wines home via Purolator in 3 boxes of 12 and took a Coleman cooler back on the plane as carry on (since the shipping charge for that was free) which held about 14 bottles (to stay under the 50 lb limit).

 Quote:
I still need to get around to putting up picks from my last two trips before I head to Sonoma this May.

My cellar has grown in the Canada section to the point where it is almost full. I can either open up another section for Canadian wines or begin to fill out some other countries/continents.
Considering how many Cdn wines i now have, i think i will concentrate on Australia and USA next rather than rearrange any cellar sections.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 03/14/10 11:27 PM

My collection has been thinned greatly. \:\)

I like the buttery chards, too. But, I don't drink much white anymore, and I certainly don't splurge on whites. A great red seems more special to my tastes than a great white.

Went to BigLots! today and couldn't resist picking up a 2002 Russian River Zin for $4. Didn't expect much - wouldn't have been surprised with a cooked, oxidized, or otherwise fatally flawed wine - it was OK. Drank the whole bottle.

Lemme see if I can find it on the web.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 04/22/10 08:41 PM

For those familiar with Trader Joe's, Two Buck Chuck can be hit or miss. In January I picked up a case of Merlot and a case of Cab. It was actually good enough to drink on a semi-regular basis in addition to be use in cooking. I picked up a couple more cased in early April, and not so good... In order to get rid of it in some reasonable time frame (short of pouring it out), we have designated Tuesdays as Two Buck Tuesday, preferably to use as much in the meal as is consumed directly (Julia Child reference).

Be careful when buying untested waters by the case.

Scott
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 04/23/10 04:28 PM

Time for a triple batch of coq au vin!
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 07/06/10 12:16 AM

I've got a lovely 2005 Rosenblum Cellars Appeleation Series Zinfandel open right now. Not particularly complex, perhaps, but very tasty, with a nicely fruity taste to it.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 08/12/11 01:15 AM

Enjoying some Sangiovese from Noceto Vineyards. The 2006 Reserva (if you can still find it) is HIGHLY recommended. The 2007 that we have open right now (non-Reserva) is still quite good.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 08/12/11 11:18 AM

Hmm, seems the seriously big wine thread has become the seriously small, quiet and infrequently used wine thread.
Way to keep it running Ken!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 08/12/11 11:47 AM

Ya, this thread's been dead a while.

Anyone else have a noteworthy bottle recently, other than Ken?

I had a Pinot the other day that was unusually good. It has some of the typical cherry notes you find in pinot, but it also came with a very crisp, clean and well rounded berry notes. Great pallet, long finish.

09 Failla Pinot Noir, Keefer Ranch Vineyard.

I liked it so much I got on their mailing list and ordered a mixed case. Come to find out, the owner and winemaker is the wine maker for Turley. No wonder I liked it so much.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 08/12/11 11:51 AM

For various reasons our wine drinking has been down lately, barely going through a bottle a month.
Of that, we haven't had anything new, mostly 'had befores' good bottles (the wines we keep as 'house' stock).

I have been thinking about taking some certification courses though.
https://www.internationalsommelier.com/
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 08/12/11 01:06 PM

I've just been sipping on some sweet cherry wine that I buy from the local grocery store. Hic...
Posted by: michael_d

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 08/12/11 05:57 PM

That sounds interesting Chess... I think you should do it and report back. smile

In a couple weeks we'll be spending about ten days in Wa and Or. I like Pinot's (predominant Or varietal) but not enough to drink them for several days, so we are going to include a few breweries and a couple rounds of golf to mix it up a bit.

I need to get of list of micro breweries from Tom - In the BEER thread though!
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 08/12/11 06:16 PM

Here are some wines we recently enjoyed with friends:

Storr's Santa Cruz Mountains Petit Syrah (CA - 2005). Really interesting tobacco notes. Very complex. Delicious.

Northstar Stella Maris red blend (WA - 2007). I don't usually like blends very much, but this was exquisite. Small winery. Do buy.

Trapiche Broquel Malbec (Argentina - 2008). I like good Malbecs, and this one was REALLY good.

See ya in the beer thread, Mike. Let me know locations. PM me with dates - would love it if we could get together.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: The Seriously BIG Wine Thread - 11/07/11 11:01 AM

Adding to the list of recently opened, must-get-through-these- before-they-pass-their-prime, wines:

Last weekend we cracked a 1999 Robert Mondavi Cabernet sauvignon, Napa Valley (unfiltered). This wine and 2 others (a 2000 and a 2001) have been cellared for about 7 years since we bought them.

I wasn't sure this one was going to be past prime but actually, it has matured nicely and is ready to drink, hold no more than a few months if you own one IMO.

http://store.robertmondavi.com/assets/client/File/RMW_1999_Reserve_Cabernet_Sauvignon.pdf
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/20/12 07:28 PM

Merciful heaven there's no way this gorgeous thread can die!

Tonight's tasting:

Beringer Knight's Valley Cabernet sauvignon 2001 .

Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 10/21/12 10:13 AM

I have to say the LCBO continues to do a great job with their vintages section. They have taken to identifying more wines that have been highly rated by various tasters\magazines.

So far I have not gone wrong choosing based on the rating.

I plan to head down to Niagara for some tasting over Christmas. I'll have to remember to post my thoughts.
Posted by: Gary Vose Sr

Re: wine thread - 10/21/12 11:11 AM

Originally Posted By: fredk
I have to say the LCBO continues to do a great job with their vintages section. They have taken to identifying more wines that have been highly rated by various tasters\magazines.

So far I have not gone wrong choosing based on the rating.

I plan to head down to Niagara for some tasting over Christmas. I'll have to remember to post my thoughts.


HICCUP... please do so Fred, that will be worth waiting for I'm sure. crazy
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/22/12 04:06 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
I have to say the LCBO continues to do a great job with their vintages section. They have taken to identifying more wines that have been highly rated by various tasters\magazines.

The MLCC here in Manitoba will vary vintage selections by store as each store has their own vintage section manager. The store closest to us was fantastic for years then i noticed a change in the offerings and shortly after noticed a guy instead of a woman who was always around that section.
I think they changed managers and the new bottles are not so exciting.
For example, i would not consider a wine found commonly in other provinces a vintage product because it is now in Manitoba, such as Mission Hill Riesling ($15; 50,000 cases per year produced). Now if they ordered the Mission Hill Reserve Riesling ($22; 8000 cases per year produced) which can only be found in BC and some select areas of AB, then that is a bottle which one should find in the vintage section.

NOTE: the Mission Hill example are not real bottles but just a stand in label since i cannot remember the ones i was looking at a few weeks back

Originally Posted By: fredk
I plan to head down to Niagara for some tasting over Christmas. I'll have to remember to post my thoughts.

There are so many lovely wines out of Ontario. It is a shame most US wine mags never review anything but Cdn icewines.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 10/22/12 04:33 PM

If your non-icewines start beating CA/US and/or French wines in international competitions, I'm sure you'd get more press. That's what put CA on the map, anyway. laugh
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/22/12 04:46 PM

I actually liked the movie. Not hugely deep but a good story.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0914797/
Posted by: medic8r

Re: wine thread - 10/22/12 08:00 PM

Hey, thanks, guys - I'd never heard of the Judgment of Paris before. Sounds like a good story indeed.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/22/12 09:12 PM

It's not like i have a ton of movies based on wine that are good stories, but aside from the obvious Sideways, the movie Bottleshock is my 2nd favorite.
Posted by: a401classic

Re: wine thread - 10/24/12 02:02 PM

Sort of loosly based on wine is A Good Year I found it interesting that the kid received such a good education in wine.

And for a less serious look at wine, we found John Cleese's take on wine refreshing.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/24/12 02:27 PM

I was expecting more from the John Cleese production.

I haven't seen all of the Russell Crowe movie.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 10/26/12 01:08 PM


In case anyone happens to be around Napa the 14 th - 19th of November, there will be numerous food and wine events going on. I'll be there with a few friends. We have tickets for several of the events. A couple cooking demonstrations with Iron Chefs, a couple classes, wine tasting with pro's... Should be fun. You can see the events and buy tickets at the Flavor Napa web sight. A lot are sold out, but some are still open.

http://flavornapavalley.com/
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/26/12 01:46 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d

In case anyone happens to be around Napa the 14 th - 19th of November, there will be numerous food and wine events going on. I'll be there with a few friends. We have tickets for several of the events. A couple cooking demonstrations with Iron Chefs, a couple classes, wine tasting with pro's... Should be fun. You can see the events and buy tickets at the Flavor Napa web sight. A lot are sold out, but some are still open.

http://flavornapavalley.com/

Damn, i'm jealous.
Wish i could go.

Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 10/26/12 02:57 PM

Yeah, me, too. Have fun, Mike.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 10/26/12 05:04 PM

Sounds like you have an awesome time in store for you. chesseroo is crying enough for all of us, so I'll just leave it at that. smile
Posted by: HomeDad

Re: wine thread - 10/27/12 02:17 AM

Sounds like fun Mike, we are heading to Paso that week then the following week we will be up in the Napa area for Thanksgiving.
Posted by: spiffnme

Re: wine thread - 11/20/12 04:43 PM

ah...Paso Robles. Dover Canyon is my favorite in the area. I also really enjoyed the wine at Turley the last time I was up there. It was rather pricey though.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 11/20/12 10:21 PM

I've heard about Turley but sadly haven't found anything here in the far corners of Manitoba.
I think michaeld had mentioned something about Turley a few forum pages back.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 11/20/12 10:38 PM

Well, I finally found a winery in Virginia that produces bottles I don't regret purchasing. smile It's called Otium Cellars and it's about 10 minutes away from my house. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is quite tasty, but their standout is their Dornfelder, a German varietal.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 02/18/13 07:11 PM

I finally opened a couple of the wines I picked up over Christmas.

The first was a Rosewood Estates Gewurztraminer. It had an unusually delicate/subtle flavour for a Gewuz. It was a little sweeter than the usual (good for my sister in law) and had what I can only describe as flowery overtones.

The second was a Hidden Bench '09 Pinot Noir, Felseck vinyard. Yum!!! Don't really know how to describe it, but I loved the nose and it had a smooth lingering finish that left you longing for another sip and another and another...

I don't usually have more than one glass of red, but I could have kept drinking this one all night long.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/19/13 07:26 PM

Sadly i have to report i have not had any interesting wines lately as we plowed through many of our house brands lately.
That being said, we have an increasing number of older bottles that were never meant for long term storage, most in the price range of $25+.

I guess this year is going to become a rather expensive one for imbibing.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: wine thread - 02/19/13 07:28 PM

You could have an Axiomoe gathering after the thaw. wink
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 02/20/13 10:14 PM

I'm in.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 02/21/13 12:45 PM


I had a very reasonably priced French Bordeaux the other night. So it should be available for anyone. Chateau Moya, 2009

I bought it at wine.com for $20 on a whim (normally $35). I will be ordering a case of it. It has your typical fruit and dirt smells that some of the better French bordeaux have. I have not found many wines that share this blend of fruitiness and earthiness other than a few very expensive bottles. It was well balanced with just enough acid, medium to heavy body, good pallet and surprisingly long finish. I happen to like this type of wine more than any other, so for me, this bottle is a definite SCORE!
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 02/21/13 04:17 PM

I'm a big fan of fruitiness in wines. That is one of the things I liked about the Hidden Bench Pinot Noir.

In the 80's that preference earned me a lot of scorn from cellar masters everywhere, as at that time the classical French uber dry "this doesn't taste like it came from grapes" taste was de rigueur.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 02/22/13 11:41 AM

I like fruity wines as well, as long as they are not over the top jam bombs that have been over extracted / over oaked.

It sounds like you would like Turley zins / petite syrahs. Turley is the only wine that has a lot of fruit notes and high alcohol that can pull it off, IMHO. The wine maker for Turley has his own label, which is primarily pinot - Faila. The Faila Keefer Ranch Pinot is one of my favorites. I suspect that you would also like it.

Patz and Hall is another fruity Pinot. If you are into 'clubs', the P/H club is one of the best I'm in as they don't screw you with shipping. They make a pretty good chard too..
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 02/22/13 06:17 PM

Living on my own, I don't drink enough wine to make a club worth while. Also, living an hour away from a major wine producing area, its just waaay to easy to hop in the car and go taste testing for new wines (and more fun!!).
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/23/13 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d

I had a very reasonably priced French Bordeaux the other night. So it should be available for anyone. Chateau Moya, 2009
... It has your typical fruit and dirt smells that some of the better French bordeaux have. I have not found many wines that share this blend of fruitiness and earthiness other than a few very expensive bottles. It was well balanced with just enough acid, medium to heavy body, good pallet and surprisingly long finish. I happen to like this type of wine more than any other, .

Funny thing, i've had very few successes at enjoying French wines. I've found somewhat the same for Italian wine. There is something about the 'old world' style that just doesn't appeal to me.
I much prefer more fruit forward, more textured wines which is more common from N. America, Australia and N. Zealand as well as some S. American countries.
I've had some decent success with Spanish wines but they typically use different grapes that are far less common than those found on French soils.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/23/13 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
I'm a big fan of fruitiness in wines. That is one of the things I liked about the Hidden Bench Pinot Noir.

In the 80's that preference earned me a lot of scorn from cellar masters everywhere, as at that time the classical French uber dry "this doesn't taste like it came from grapes" taste was de rigueur.

Ya screw them and the snotty opinions Fred.
I'm not a fan of dry and tannic wines that suck the moisture off my tongue.
I agree with MD as well. Try some USA petite syrahs and zinfandels for big bouncy fruits.
The Cdn pinot noirs are younger fruit forward styles most often, but to get something a bit more refined and a broader range of styles, you have to look at a larger market (the Cdn pinot market is very small).
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/23/13 01:43 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
They make a pretty good chard too..

I thought you didn't like whites?
They all tasted the same no?
A change in opinion? Through extensive tasting trials?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 02/23/13 04:48 PM

Definately. I no longer descriminate against any wine.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/23/13 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d
Definately. I no longer descriminate against any wine.

Not even a $8 bubbly rose?
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/23/13 05:51 PM

And while we're on the topic, up tonight is a 2009 Trivento Malbec from Argentina with some t-bone steaks, baby spinach salad and chicken broth polenta with cranberries.

Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 02/23/13 09:54 PM

Originally Posted By: chesseroo
...
Ya screw them and the snotty opinions Fred.
I'm not a fan of dry and tannic wines that suck the moisture off my tongue...

You have such a way with words. smile

The Canadian Pinot market may be small, but its right next door, so I'll keep exploring there. At 4 to 5 wineries per visit, it will take me some time to work through all the Niagara vineyards.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 02/23/13 10:01 PM

Originally Posted By: chesseroo
...and chicken broth polenta with cranberries.

Sounds intriguing. substitute chicken broth for the water and add cranberries? Fresh cranberries?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: wine thread - 02/24/13 11:34 AM

Originally Posted By: chesseroo
Originally Posted By: michael_d
Definately. I no longer discriminate against any wine.

Not even a $8 bubbly rose?


Good with popcorn.

How was that Malbec? A buddy of mine just spent a week in Argentina, wine tasting. I'm looking forward to hearing his story.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 02/24/13 01:10 PM

Originally Posted By: michael_d

How was that Malbec? A buddy of mine just spent a week in Argentina, wine tasting. I'm looking forward to hearing his story.

I'm very much enjoying most of the Argentinian wines i've tried lately. Compared to Chile, i find the wines are more refined and not as heavy in character flavors such as tobacco and tar.
If you get the chance, taste some Argentina torrentes (the grape).
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: wine thread - 02/24/13 01:17 PM

Yum. Tobacco and tar. Mi favrito!
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 02/24/13 03:25 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken.C
Yum. Tobacco and tar. Mi favrito!

Indeed. Having worked in tobacco fields and having done some roofing I don't see how either flavour would or should enhance the overall flavour of a wine. Some things about wine tasting I will never get.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 05/16/13 11:26 PM

Wine tour part deux.

My daughter was in town again the last week of April, so we decided to check out a few more wineries. We could not have picked a better day. It was sunny and 24 C with a light breeze coming off the lake. The cherry trees were in full blossom.

Since my father and step mother joined us this time, we revisited several of the wineries from the last trip. The wines at Hidden Bench, Malviore and Rosewood Estates were just as tasty as last time. I picked up a very nice, just released, red at Rosewood that had a wonderful nose and very smooth finish.

Calamus estates wins for the best building: a renovated barn. From the road it looks like you are pulling into farmer Joe's barn yard. I picked up a very nice Pinot Noir.

There's a nice picture on their homepage: http://www.calamuswines.com/

We stopped for lunch at the Lake House restaurant. It sits right on Lake Ontario. Though the patio was not open, we still had a table with a good view of the lake.

When a woman in a black evening gown opens the door to the winery for you, you know it's going to be 'spensive. How to describe Straus: big building, big nose, big prices! The entrance is a 16' tall black double door. The sales/display area is two stories tall with wine shelves that go up 15'. My dad took one look at the prices and walked out.

It seems that blended wines are in. Straus has a number of blended reds and whites. I tried three and they were all very good. I picked up the Straus white, a blend of 38% Chardonnay, 29% Semillon, 22% Sauvignon Blanc, 6% Gewurztraminer and 5% Viognier. This wine has a HUGE nose (Habsburg huge if you are wondering Mark): floral and very fruity. I could have spend the rest of the day inhaling its aroma.

Just down the road, Lailey is just the opposite with a small unassuming sales/tasting area, but equally good, if not better, wines. I tried a couple of very good Chardonnays, but the outstanding wine here was a very unusual Riesling. It had a very floral nose that reminded me of lilacs. That nose carried through to the taste. It was also quite dry for a Riesling. Normally I find dry Rieslings to be too acidic, but this one was not. I'm really looking forward to this bottle.

The last stop of the day was Coyotes Run. These guys have two different soils on their property and grow several varieties on both soils effectively producing two different wines from one grape. You can read about the soils and their effect on flavour here.

I tried the Pinot Noir from both vineyards. One was more fruit forward and bright. The other was what I would consider a more traditional French red: full bodied and dry with a hint of earthiness (cassis and mushrooms intheir description). Both were very good.

The exceptional wine here was a bubbly I can't remember the flavour notes, but it was dry, but not extremely so. I remember it having a long smooth finish.

Many thanks bluJays1 for the excellent list of wineries to visit!
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: wine thread - 05/17/13 12:06 AM

That Lailey Riesling sounds very interesting.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 05/17/13 02:31 PM

Very.

I have to say, I really like the direction wines are taking. I love a wine with a big nose. There is something to be said for a wine that you can start enjoying before you take the first sip.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: wine thread - 05/17/13 02:38 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
I love a wine with a big nose.


Ahhhh. Chateau Klinger.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 05/17/13 10:47 PM

Exactly!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 05/22/13 11:42 PM

Very nice Fred.
I enjoy hearing more about the wineries i haven't yet had a chance to visit in the Niagara and Bench area.
Lailey sells one of my favorite chardonnays. The Canadian oak version is subtle in difference but i quite like it.

Fielding Estate sells a fantastic pinot gris (they're in Grimsby).

My short thoughts on Coyote's Run, too expensive for the quality. Anything sold around here starts at $22-26 but i would more price it at $18 maybe. A low price to quality ratio IMO.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 05/23/13 12:05 AM

Glad you liked the writeup Chess. I think Lailey offered the best value for money by a good margin that day. I tried the Chardonnays and really liked them: oaked and unoaked. My dad picked up an unoaked Chardonney, so I picked up the Riesling.

I stopped at Fielding Estate on the last trip. I can't remember what I picked up, but I did like their wines.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 05/25/13 12:05 AM

Originally Posted By: fredk
Glad you liked the writeup Chess. I think Lailey offered the best value for money by a good margin that day. I tried the Chardonnays and really liked them: oaked and unoaked. My dad picked up an unoaked Chardonney, so I picked up the Riesling.

I stopped at Fielding Estate on the last trip. I can't remember what I picked up, but I did like their wines.


You keep writing up those wine reviews Fred so i can live vicariously through you.
We have about two wineries in Manitoba and i'm not a fan of "other" fruit wines.
http://www.winesofcanada.com/manitoba.html
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 08/05/13 11:05 AM

Had a Koyote's Run Sparkling Pinot Noir rose last night. It was served with a Stuffed roast chicken and was a very good pairing, particularly since the bread stuffing had blueberries and cranberries in it. The fruity notes in the wine matched very well with the stuffing and the meal overall.

The previous evening I opened a Rosewood Estates Gewurztraminer that I found very good and quite unique. It is dry, has quite a bite and an unusual floural finish. This is now my favourite wine of this variety.

I'm quite impressed with Rosewood Estates in that they offer unique wines that make them stand out in the region.

Its funny how things work out some times. The Rose, my father brought from my stash without knowing what the menu was, and the Gewurztraminer is the only white I kept in my apartment. Both meal pairings were quite by accident and both were exceptional in their 'choice'.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 08/05/13 11:37 AM

Very nice Fred.

We have some company coming into town this week so i plan on opening some wines i've held for a few years now (some very old like a 2000 Mondavi Reserve unfiltered Cab), some just really darn nice (e.g. 2005 Wolf Blass Black Label) and some of the special B.C. wines i brought back after attending the Olympics in 2010.

I think the tour photos of that trip are somewhere earlier in this thread.

The intended dinner on Saturday is brisket. I expect to have a 12+ hour cook time. I'll add some photos of the new Big Green Egg and my second run at doing brisket (the first run was quite stellar but i forgot to take any pics).
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 09/01/13 06:30 PM

I missed your post Chess. How did the dinner work out?

And now for something completely different... cola wine.
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 09/01/13 09:58 PM

Well i did take pictures, but not of brisket #1. Instead we did it again when a brother of mine came up from Virginia (yes i have an American brother).
I"m looking for those photos now and for some reason i can't find them. I have tons of pics of the new Big Green Egg (whole diff story but an AMAZING cooking experience).

I'll post the brisket pics once i find them.
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: wine thread - 09/02/13 12:34 AM

Originally Posted By: chesseroo
(yes i have an American brother).

You American brother is probably going to think you don't love him as much as he loves you if you don't get yourself down to Virginia and visit him.


And while you were here, I totally wouldn't guilt you into visiting me, too.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: wine thread - 09/02/13 07:47 AM

An electrical storm came through last night and I think it fried my modem and a switch. I'm going through the chain methodically, but that's what it's looking like.

Now I might have to buy a new modem and switch and re-do my network. And I'm already behind on everything because we had a huge yard sale this past weekend and I lost several days beforehand setting up old computers to be sold and hauling stuff down from the attic. And we didn't make all that much money in the yard sale.

The weather is sucky today and I don't have ANY idea when I'm going to be able to cut the grass with all this rain we're getting!

We didn't have any bananas left this morning, so I had to have TWO yogurts instead and they weren't even yogurts that I like! They were vanilla, on their last day for the expiration date, that Joyce left because she didn't like Greek vanilla yogurt.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: wine thread - 09/02/13 11:59 AM

Cheers!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 09/02/13 12:35 PM

Originally Posted By: pmbuko
Originally Posted By: chesseroo
(yes i have an American brother).

You American brother is probably going to think you don't love him as much as he loves you if you don't get yourself down to Virginia and visit him.


And while you were here, I totally wouldn't guilt you into visiting me, too.

Have you two been collaborating down there or what?
All i heard the whole time he was here was "we're not coming back here again until someone comes down to visit us".
Although our mother goes down to visit several times a year so...apparently that doesn't count.
Posted by: BlueJays1

Re: wine thread - 09/02/13 08:16 PM

Recently had

Cave Spring Chardonnay Musque. Excellent!

Calamus Estate Pinot Gris and 2011 Sparkling.

Also did a quick tasting at a distiller in Prince Edward County not too long ago. The pine vodka was quite interesting. Would make for an excellent vodka tonic. I tried some spirit called Shochu?? which was very, very tasty. To finish off I tried their gin which was very different that I didn't like all that much. In fact I haven't liked any of the "craft" distiller gins I have tried.
Posted by: Murph

Re: wine thread - 09/03/13 07:40 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
An electrical storm came through.....because she didn't like Greek vanilla yogurt.


Sorry to hear you had such a bad long weekend Mark. I hope things pick up soon. Go give Buddy a scritch for me. Dog scritchin is like feeling better voodoo.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: wine thread - 09/03/13 09:28 AM

It wasn't really bad....(though all the things I posted were true). For whatever reason, I just thought it would be funny to hijack the wine thread into the whine thread.

I was very tired! smile
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 09/05/13 11:19 PM

Haven't done much on the wine front lately. In a re-building stage as the cellar stock is rather low.
This however, is a stellar bottle. Sadly $40 in MB but only $30 in ON.

A great buy and great cellaring.
http://www.grantburgewines.com.au/wine/w...iraz-mourvedre/

http://lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/lcbo/product/details.do?itemNumber=236257

Posted by: Ray3

Re: wine thread - 09/05/13 11:55 PM

Hmmm, let me know if the double guilt trip yields results. I'm always looking for a reason to visit my grandchildren in DC. I'm guessing Ken and JP could rally for an evening. Oh yeah - this could work.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 10/16/13 10:07 PM

Off for another trip to the Niagara area tomorrow. Woot!!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: wine thread - 10/16/13 10:34 PM

Every time I'm there, I just feel the urge to pee constantly.
Posted by: Ajax

Re: wine thread - 10/16/13 11:10 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Every time I'm there, I just feel the urge to pee constantly.

Yeah, well, when you get to be my age, a drinking fountain can do that. (Just thought you'd like to have something to look forward to grin)
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/16/13 11:59 PM

Originally Posted By: fredk
Off for another trip to the Niagara area tomorrow. Woot!!

If you like big and refined chardonnays, i highly recommend:
http://www.peller.com/peller-estates/sig...e-vqa-2009.html

Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 10/17/13 08:32 PM

Missed your post Chess. I haven't gone to Peller for a few years now. I'll have to give it a try next trip.

The weather was exceptional for this time of year: 18C and mostly sunny.

Went back to Calamus estates again as my dad really liked some of their wines. Last trip I thought they were good. This time I'm upgrading them to really good! Picked up a rose that is a blend of Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc. It has an awesome nose. I think what I like about a good Rose as that it has body and flavour approaching a red without any of the tanin pucker. Also picked up a 2010 Cab Sovignon that is really good. The nose has strong hints of resberry jam.

The deal of the day was a $9 '09 Merlot from Peninsula Ridge. It had a very full fruity nose and a very long smooth finish. An above average red at an incredible price!

We had an excellent lunch on the patio at Strewn. Their home made bread was amazing: 12 grain flavoured with fennel. I had a thin crust pizza with a tapanade base instead of tomato sauce, topped with goat cheese, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and red pepper. I'm not a big fan of olives but this tapanade made for a really tasty base.

Unfortunately the wines there were not so good. Not really bad, but nothing exceptional either. With so many other wineries in the area (130+ now I'm told) OK is not good enough. I'll give them a pass in the future.

We went back to Lailey again where I picked up a very nice Riesling and an exceptional Chardonay. It was quite full bodied (for a white) with a very long and smooth finish.

We finished the tour at Reif Estate, apparently one of the oldest wineries in the Niagara region. I tried a 2012 Gewurztraminer that did not taste at all like a Gewurz at all. None of that spicy bite. It had a hint of a nutmeg in the finish. Quite unusual, but not something I would buy.

They did, however have an exceptional botrytis Riesling. The nose is the most unusual I have come across. I don't know how to describe it other than that there was no hint of the sweetness of the wine in it and the nose was completely different from the taste of the wine. It will be a hit at the family Christmas get together.

All in all it was a great day. smile
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: wine thread - 10/17/13 10:08 PM

That sounds like a great run Fred.
Frankly if you go into Peller, there isn't much to try out IMO. Their wines have been somewhat generic tasting for some time, again, IMO, but this Signature Series chardonnay is a stand out and still lists in my top 3, right next to ...yep, that Lailey chardonnay to which you referred.
Sadly i cannot get it in Manitoba. They sold it here for a few months then it went onto the bin end shelves indicating a final clearance and no more purchases (although the LC keeps saying they can order special for people but i think there is extra cost).

Reif?
I tried a bunch of their offerings when i was last there. My impression was "unrefined wines".
They are known for the icewine but in S.Ont. who isn't?

So many more wineries yet to try on my travels.
I'll be in West Palm Beach in November but the best i can hope for with that trip is to find a nice pub. I'd rather be headed to Napa.
Posted by: fredk

Re: wine thread - 10/18/13 08:33 PM

It was indeed a great day. I had the same impression as you of Peller. It shows how much the region has developed. 10 years ago I considered their offerings very good for Ontario.

Your observation of Reif is interesting. I was not impressed by either the regular Riesling or the Gewurz I tried there. Their Vidal ice wine was quite good though.