Monday, January 4, 2016

Parallus White Wine Blend

Grape Varietal: White wine blend
Vintage: 2014
Country: United States
Region: California
Price and Place of Purchase: part of Tasting Room case received

Appearance: just the palest yellow; nearly clear
Bouquet: strong hint of the (steel?) barrels and the fruitiness

Cathy's Overall Thoughts:This was okay for a white wine. It didn't seem to taste like much, which meant it was very drinkable (perhaps too drinkable...). But I liked it and it gave a clear finish, with perhaps a bit of sharpness on the aftertaste. The sharpness kind of reminded me of chardonnay, but not in the negative way.

Overall, I give this a 7/10 on my scale.

We paired with: sausage, boursin cheese, and crackers
We recommend this with: a pleasant evening and relaxing...not much to do.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cannonau Di Sardegna

Grape Varietal:  Cannonau, which is the Sardinian name for Grenache
Vintage: 2012
Country: Sardinia
Region: Denominazione Di Origine Controllata
Producer: Antonio Sanguineti
Price and Place of Purchase: part of Tasting Room case received

Appearance: Gorgeous purple-burgandy
Bouquet: Clean, crisp grapes; has a hint of the seaside and adventure within the bouquet

Cathy's Overall Thoughts: This was a fantastic wine. Soft, smooth, supple on the tongue. Worked well with many different foods, but Adam especially adored it with chocolate. It was just a lovely sipping wine, and I would highly recommend it!

Overall, I give this a 9.9/10 on my scale.

We paired with:a variety of foods
We recommend this with: anything  :)


Friday, January 1, 2016

Durigutti Reserva Malbec

We're going to try to keep better tabs on our wines in I thought I'd start by noting down our Wine of the Night tonight.  :)

Grape Varietal: Malbec
Vintage: 2011
Country: Argentina
Region: Mendoza
Producer: Durigutti (Reserva)
Price and Place of Purchase: gift from a friend

Appearance:Deep ruby-red that mellows to a bright burgundy color toward the edges of a glass
Bouquet:A muted hint of a vinegary fruitiness. It wasn't hugely pleasant at first, but it isn't bad. It just didn't make me want to revel in the bouquet.

Cathy's Overall Thoughts: I wasn't a big fan, but I enjoyed it. At first, without any food, it felt a bit overwhelmingly sour. It did change, though, with some food. I think the spiciness of some queso balanced out the sourness and allowed me to enjoy the bold fruitiness. In general, I love Malbecs, but I wasn't a huge fan of this Malbec. It tasted more like a Merlot, which isn't meant to be cruel about that vintage, but just different than I was used to. It was enjoyable to drink and I appreciated the gift.

Overall, I give this a 7.5/10 on my scale.

We paired with: "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" (i.e. we drank it by itself) until we added in some chips and queso.
We recommend this with: food--something bold and with a strength to balance the body of this wine.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

English wines

Here's an interesting article about English wines. I'm not sure how to try English wine, except if you go there, but it's some neat information.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Il Solissimo Toscana 2001

Wine Facts for Il Solissimo Toscana

Grape Varietal: This Super Tuscan is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Classification of Super Tuscan: IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica)
Vintage: 2001
Country: Italy
Region: Gaiole in Chianti
Producer: Castello di Lucignano
Price: We forget! (probably high $20 to low $30)
Place of Purchase: Vintage Wines, Harrisonburg, VA

Additional facts: We "found" this wine as we were reorganizing our wine collection after a move. We don't have that many bottles, but I think we bought this one and just forgot about it for a little bit. However, we looked up the wine online because we were surprised that we have a 2001 vintage lying around. Imagine our surprise when it turned out to be a highly regarded wine that some people were saying had just reached peak flavor. What luck! A D.C. restaurant was featuring this as a "Wine of the Week" and we were happy to go ahead and open this to enjoy it at the probable peak.
The maturation listed on this bottle is that it was left in French barriques for 15 months. According to my research, French barriques are made of highly regarded French oak and seems to be much more desired as opposed to American oak. So, this matured in the highest quality oak barrels before being bottled.
This is a Super Tuscan, which means that it is an Italian wine with a significant Sangiovese component that is combined with grapes not traditionally associated with Italy like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. This separates it from "Sangiovese blend" which is used for wines which are predominantly Sangiovese and combined with traditional Italian varieties. There is often confusion as many wines most famous associated with the term "Super Tuscan" like Sassicaia, Masseto and Ornellaia have no Sangiovese and are properly linked to 'Red Bordeaux Blend.' In fact, Super Tuscan was a term coined to refer specifically to wines such as Sassicaia and Tignanello. These were wines that "fell out" of the official DOCG classification of Italian wines because they either contained grapes not permitted (international varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot) were aged differently (i.e. in barrique) or were 100% Sangiovese - which was not permitted at the time for Chianti (e.g. Fontodi Flaccianello.) Forced to be classified as simply "Vina di Tavola" these wines nontheless quickly found favour in international markets and comanded prices above the highest quality DOCG Chianti Classico & Brunello di Montalcino wines at the time. The wine industry and press began to refer to these wines as SuperTuscans because of their popularity and quality, but also because of the prices they commanded. Subsequently, the Italian authorities, under the Goria Law 1992, redrew the classifications, and included the category IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) to classify the SuperTuscans. This wine is an IGT.
Characteristics of Il Solissimo Toscana
Appearance: A rather thin, watery-looking wine with a brownish-red tinge; I had heard that some red wines look more brownish than anthing else but I had nver really seen such a wine. So very interesting to see!

Bouquet: A very rich port-like scent assails the nostrils when you first let this wine out of the bottle. As it aerates, the bouquet lightens and seems to become more sweet and juicy.

Adam's Overall Thoughts: The nose of this wine deceives the tongue a bit, not nearly as sweet and fruity as hinted at in the first whiff. The taste is full and robust, filling the mouth pretty quickly. As it settles, a bit of a bite traces from side to side and front to back. The tannins hang around for less of a time than expected, enough to leave me wondering how much I was enjoying the wine. It could be that I've been spoiled by the smoothness of recent Malbecs, but this Super Tuscan left me with mixed feelings towards it. For example, while it paired well with spaghetti, it did not work well with the brownie afterwards, which was surprised me.

Cathy's Overall Thoughts: The wine initially seems very plain during the first few drops on the tongue. However, as you keep the wine in your mouth, the tongue starts to tingle a bit and a tartness starts to slowly build toward the back of the mouth. The build is so very pleasurable because the wine seems so plain and almost sour at the beginning but has this great burst. It almost seems like a young, childish wine that grows to an adult in the blink of an eye. Yes, the "grown-up" quality might seem a bit boring to some, but it made me happy to see structure melding with surprise in the body of this wine. The tart bite though, at the end, can feel a bit overwhelming and the wine didn't seem to linger in my mouth as some other wines have. Those are small drawbacks for such a fine wine.
Overall, I give this a 9.32/10 on my scale.

We paired with: spaghetti one night and a medley of cheeses, fruit, and pizza rolls the next
We recommend this with: I think anything that has structure (Italian food, steaks, cheeses, etc) would really work well for this wine.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

La Posta Malbec 2009

Wine Facts for La Posta Malbec
Grape Varietal: Malbec
Vintage: 2009
Country: Argentina
Region: Mendoza
Producer: Angel Paulucci Vineyard
Price: $30
Place of Purchase: The Local Chop & Grill House, Harrisonburg, VA

Additional facts: Here's the description from the Wine Menu:
"Brooding aromas and flavors of plum and dark raspberry, with a whiff of pepper. Silky and seamless in texture, but with good energy and clarity giving the wine some inner-mouth complexity. Finishes with suave tannins and very good sneaky length."

Characteristics of La Posta Malbec
Appearance: deep purple, thin around the edges
Bouquet: sharp and tart twinges with a present scent of the alcohol

Adam's Overall Thoughts:
This Malbec  drifts from front to back with a long, stemmed smoothness. As it finishes, it curls upwards with a slight peppery burn, which made it a prized match for the cheeses we sampled as well as our steaks. There is just enough juice to the wine to leave a lingering note that beckons another sip. In a wine shop, this bottle would probably go for around $15 or so -- only the special occasion of our first night out since Latham came along afforded us the opportunity to splurge.

Cathy's Overall Thoughts:
The sour thinness of this wine is especially surprising, mainly because I usually don't enjoy sour or thin wines. However, the sourness only serves to perk up the juiciness of the Malbec. And, although most Malbecs seem to have more structure and are a bit thicker in composition, the thinness of this Malbec made it very drinkable and unique. Although not my favorite Malbec, it serves its vintage well and made for a very pleasing pair to our appetizer and dinner. 
On my scale, it's an 8.16.

We paired with: cheese plate, steak, mushroom risotto, asparagus, mac and cheese
We recommend this with: cheeses and steak


Friday, July 29, 2011

Traveling for wine? Go to Vienna!

An interesting article about wineries in Vienna! I'm jotting this down as a major place to visit, even though they seem to specialize in white wines. That's okay!   :)