Showing posts with label licorice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label licorice. Show all posts

Monday, April 19, 2010

Edna Valley Vineyard Islay Peak Petite Sirah 2006

I have had both a Petite Sirah and an Edna Valley wine recently.  I thought I'd combine the two and jog down memory lane to a past visit to one of my favorite wine areas, and one of my favorite wineries there.  Here are my notes on that bottle:

"This is from Edna Valley Vineyard's tasting-room-only series of wines. A $20 purchase in their lovely and busy tasting room, this Petite Sirah from the San Luis Obispo area of California's Central Coast claims 14.5% abv.  There's a beautiful artistic rendering of a vineyard against the hills on the label, but no artist information.  It does look just like Edna Valley, though.

"The aromas here are very pungent, and quite nice.  I get lots of big cherry, leathery notes, licorice, and a dark vibe from the aromas.  A bit of alcohol on the nose burns off after a resting time.  It's a very jammy smell, one that I find very inviting.

"The taste comes on a little hot at first - give it some time after pouring or decanting.  The flavor profile is a powerful followup of what was present on the nose.  The fruit is very forward, and it's a big blueberry fest.  It doesn't appear as dark and forbidding as suggested by the nose.  In fact, it's  very welcoming.  The tannins are a bit strong, but the structure is good and the finish is medium long.  I had this with some
Pinches Al Pastor tacos we brought home from the restaurant on Sunset Boulevard.  It fit quite well."

Variety:  Petite Sirah
Appellation: California > Central Coast
Vineyard:  Islay Peak
Vintage:  2006
Alcohol Level:  14.5% abv
Price:  $18
Acquisition disclaimer:  Purchased by the author at the winery tasting room

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Talus Collection Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

I will nearly always part with a few dollars for the opportunity to try a Lodi wine.  I found the Talus Collection Lodi Cab at BevMo's five cent sale.  Two bottles of this nice juice for less than $10 is a pretty good deal, since I like the wine.

The nose consists of dark fruit - blackberries and plums - with licorice and some pencil shavings meeting a trace of barnyard notes.

Very soft tannins are a surprise at the price point. It's really smooth, even just after opening and pouring. A little more grip might be nice for heavy beef, but I think Talus would do nicely paired with pasta or pork.  The mild approach certainly served well for sipping.  Graphite rides herd over the juicy fruit.  Blackberrries and plums are the palate, too, with herbal notes throughout the four-day span of the bottle.

Appellation:  California > San Joaquin Valley > Lodi
Vintage:  2008
Alcohol Level:  13% abv
Price:  $9
Acquisition disclaimer:   Purchased by the author at a store sale

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kalyra Black Muscat 2005

There are certain places in the wine world to which I seem drawn back over and over.  The Santa Ynez Valley is one of those places.  Its rolling terrain, sprawling vineyards and bounteous farm land beckon me each time good fortune takes me there.  Denise and I have stopped so many times at fruit stands there for unbelievably delicious strawberries and blueberries.  We've even stopped at a winery or two.  Insert smiling emoticon here.

Kalyra Winery is one of those places in the Santa Ynez Valley from which I can't seem to stay away.  They offer a full line of wines, but I am very partial to their dessert wines. Kalyra's 375ml bottle is adorned by label art which I think of as Australian Surfer Hieroglyphics. The surf motif is in full effect at their winery tasting room in the Santa Ynez Valley as well as at their more recently opened tasting room on Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail.

The Kalyra Black Muscat looks rather like a rosé when in the glass. The nose is aromatic and rich. There are notes of licorice candy and candied fruit flavors in there too. The wine tastes somewhat like a port, maybe a young one. It's a very nice and sweet berry flavor that makes a fine dessert on its own, or drizzled over ice cream. It could accompany an aged cheese fairly well, too. It's not as strong as a "real" port, but at 15% abv, it's not weak, either.

Winemaker:  Mike Brown
Variety:  Muscat
Appellation:  California > Central Coast > Santa Ynez Valley
Vintage:  2005 
Alcohol Level:  15%
Price: $15
Acquisition disclaimer:  Purchased by the author at the winery

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserve Carmenere

Chile has been in my thoughts.  First, there is the massive earthquake on February 26, 2010.  Here's wishing the best for those affected by the disaster.  Second, a dear friend of ours, David Stanley, has been traveling in South America.  As soon as we heard about the quake, Denise and I thought of him.  We had just read his journal accounts of the great time he has been having  while living in Santiago for a couple of months, and of an ice-walking trip to Patagonia.  His travel blog makes for a wonderful read, by the way.

Anyway, a quick call to his mother confirmed that he was already safely in Buenos Aires.  Whew.  Relief turned to more consternation, though, as we thought about all the wonderful friends he had made in Chile.  We hope they are alright.  Also, as I tried to link up the Concha y Toro website, I was informed that the link appeared to be broken, or that the server was down.  I understand from a post on the Dr. Vino blog that a lot of damage has been incurred in the Rapel area.  Our thoughts are with the people of Chile.

Inspired, I dug around a bit and found some notes I had made about a bottle of Chilean Carmenere by Concha y Toro.  This is probably from about a year or so ago.

"From the "Cellar of the Devil", eh?  Well, the Casillero del Diablo is supposedly where Don Melchor de Concha y Toro kept his best wines stashed 100 years ago.  This wine is from the Rapel Valley, south of Santiago, and on the label the winemaker promises "chocolate, coffee and spice combined with raspberries and blackberries."  It sports a 13.5% abv number and it pours up dark and inky in the glass.

"The nose features Very dark fruit, and a promise of some intense minerals.  It's a powerful aroma of blackberries and maybe some licorice. Very nice.

"Let it sit about 10 minutes after pouring.  This is a very intense wine, full of spices - clove, a little cinnamon, pepper - and a strong sense of the earth.  Not a meek or mild wine, this Carmenere is brash and sinister.  Good tannins and ripe fruit are prominent with the cholcolately flavors underneath.  I don't really get the coffee that was promised, but that's okay.  There's enough here to prevent me from complaining.  It does go great with a piece of chocolate and it complemented a dish of blackened bar-b-q beans very nicely.  I would imagine it goes well with any sort of meat, particularly game."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Doce Robles Barbera 2007

I tried this wine a while back, and these are my notes on it.

The Bottle:

The pleasant vineyard drawing on the label is probably a view from Highway 46 outside of Paso Robles. I'm just guessing about that, but it's a nice picture anyway. Pardon the "borrowed" 2006 vintage label here, but I liked the way the picture showed in this shot much better than in the one I took. Estate grown, 100% Barbera grapes are aged 24 months in American oak. The alcohol runs 13.9% abv.

The Nose:
Big licorice aromas right away reminded me of smelling a wine at a winery tasting - the nose always seems so much more powerful to me in a tasting room. Lots of berry fruit came through. They say on the label you should expect some raspberry, but I don't get that. Maybe a raspberry/chocolate blend.

The Taste:
There was a very full mouthfeel, with a vibrant and oaky texture. This wine sat quite well in my mouth and fairly screamed for food. I tried a few gorgonzola crackers with it -
thank you, Trader Joe's - but that didn't hit the mark. I would love to try it with an Italian dish, maybe a mushroom risotto. If memory serves - and that's always hit and miss - bought this wine for about $10 at Trader Joe's. I think it's well worth the money. Hopefully they won't run out before I get more.