Monday, March 18, 2013

Selected Samples From The World Of Wine


Here are some of the wines I've been tasting lately, in no particular order. I don't usually do ratings, so instead of grades, you'll simply see a "recommended" or "not recommended" at the end of each tasting note. I try to link each wine title to the producer, importer, or distributor to make it easy to find locally, but if you have any trouble please don't hesitate to contact me. Enjoy!

NV Carnaval Moscato Brasil: A nose that's all muscat, with accompanying aromas of stale light beer. Peach blossom and tropical fruit dominate. It's plenty fizzy on the palate, as we would expect from the Charmat Method of sparkling. Flavors of Sweet Tart candy and citrus are all there is. 7.5% abv. $13 srp.

NV Carnaval Moscato Red: I wrote "smells like fizzy yellow soda..mountain dew and sprite mixed?". It tastes soapy, also with some flavors of red candy and a lot of sweetness. I bet this would sell like crazy. $13 srp. 7.5% abv.

2010 Tabali Pinot Noir Reserva Especial Limari Valley: Funky, but in a good way. Vigorious swirling helps the funk recede and allows aromas of red licorice, menthol, and earth to come out. It's a bit funky on the palate but I didn't mind because it adds a nice dimension to the otherwise straightforward flavors of red fruit and baking spices. The finish was appealing, medium length with a gentle taper. Firm tannin shows that this wine can stand up to some heartier fare. 13.5 abv. $20 srp. Recommended.

2009 Napa Cellars Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon: Aromas of wood, spices, ripe black berry fruit, and wood smoke are immediately apparent. This wine needs some time in a decanter or several more years in the cellar. On the palate there is plenty of acidity and tannin, framing flavors of cassis, plum, spices, and saddle leather. A very straightforward, delicious Napa Valley Cabernet. 13.8% abv. $48 srp.

2009 Bayo Oscuro Syrah Casablanca Valley: Opens with a reductive nose that blows off to show smoked meat, red fruit, damp soil, and mushroom aromas. After settling down in my glass, this syrah reveals red fruit and dusty soil mingling with peppery spice. The tannins are outstanding, integrated yet firm. I thoroughly enjoyed the mouthfeel and feel that this is just now starting to ascend to its peak. 14.5% abv. Highly Recommended. $29 srp.

2009 Chamisal Grenache Edna Valley: A bit odd on the nose, subtle hints of red wine vinegar, strawberries, red soil, and a somewhat jarring medicinal note. This grenache was much better tasting though, with plenty of bright, ripe fruit - think cherries and cranberries, bound up in a mix of white pepper and oak. Lots of firm tannin held the wine together while a vein of acidity lent freshness and lift. Needs air, I suggest decanting for an hour or two. $38 srp. 14.8% abv.

2010 Concannon "Crimson & Clover" Livermore Valley: Tons of ripe red fruit rush out of the glass, followed by aromas of American oak, mint, and campfire. What it may lack in complexity, this Concannon makes up for in juicy drinkability. It's soft and smooth on the palate, with  flavors of strawberry, licorice, and red cherry. Clean, and simple, and very reasonably priced. 50% Petite Sirah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 10% Zinfandel. 13.7% abv. $18 srp.

2008 Somerston Wine Company Highflyer "Centerline" California: Another red blend from California, consisting of 81% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, 3% Zinfandel, and 4% Tempranillio. Baking chocolate, jammy black fruit, oak, and roasted meat aromas manifest quickly. There is a bit of heat from the 14.8% abv too. This is a big, hedonistic fruit bomb on the palate; jammy black fruit, tobacco, and peppery spice all show up in large quantities. Open a few hours before serving. $20 srp.

2010 Concannon Petite Sirah California: A straightforward nose of jammy cherries and blueberries, earth, and black pepper don't promise much beyond a fun, simple, barbecue red. This is big and soft, with more of that ripe, jammy fruit on the palate. Simple and easy drinking, I suggest opening this when you're all hanging out by a barbecue or fire pit. 13.8% abv. $11 srp. Recommended.

Stay tuned for the next samples list, (hopefully) coming soon!

These wines were received as samples for review purposes.

Beau Carufel

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