Showing posts with label red. Show all posts
Showing posts with label red. Show all posts

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mosby Roc Michel

The Bottle: The tall-shouldered Bordeaux bottle features a front label with several hints. "Rhone Varietal Blend," "Monterey County Red Table Wine," "Fremir Vineyards." It's a Mosby, without the usual art show, though. Too bad. The Mosby label is generally as beautiful as the wine behind it. This wine clocks in with an abv of 13.5%. The back label promises flavors of black cherry, cola and cinnamon. It does not say so on the label, but my tasting room notes mentioned a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre. It goes for $22 at the winery.

The Nose: It's lush in here. A bit of alcohol and the faint trace of the oak, but what really comes forward is the cherry that back label told us about. I don't get the cinnamon, but there is some sort of sweetness creeping through, like a candy I can't quite name. Faint traces of, oddly enough, Super Bubble bubble gum.

The Taste: That cinnamon is there on the palate, right up front. A good deal of heat, too, upon opening. But it's a fruit explosion in my mouth, tons of cherry cola. This wine really finishes pretty well, too. The nice ruby color is see-through, but not too light. The mouthfeel is full and yummy. This will be nice with a pepper steak or a pork chop. This makes me want to schedule a trip to Buellton. I'm going to want some more of this.

The second night it was open, the wine began to show some interesting aspects that were not apparent to me upon opening the bottle. It began to display a more vegetal side on the nose and palate, something akin to a bell pepper. This occurrence sort of dialed the sweetness back a notch and replaced it with a darker, more insidious character. It's still a very good wine. It seems to get more complex the longer it is open.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tasting Event: A Taste of Tuscany

I really should have written about this event already. It's two weeks after the fact, and I want to go to it again. My friend Nicolas Soufflet - pictured at right - staged this little taster in Hollywood, and did a fine job with it. When he does another one - and I know he will - you should attend.

A Taste of Tuscany was held at Victors Square Restaurant, on Bronson north of Franklin in Hollywood. It was a
very nice setup, with the restaurant pretty much devoted to our crowd. Three tables were arranged like a square with a side missing. This gave Nicolas a stage of sorts from which to work. A stand-up map of Tuscany loomed large, so we could all have a visual reference of where the wines were produced. Much of the space was filled with cases of the wines we were to taste. Nicolas stood in front of the map and explained in detail the specifics of the wines we were tasting. His knowledge and personality provided at least as much enjoyment as the wines. And that's saying a lot.

Big props should go to
Bill Gotti, the owner of Victors Square. He not only provided the space for the event, he also provided a few stories for our pleasure, as well as a menu of some mighty delicious pasta dishes.

On to the wines! Here's what I tasted:

Vernaccia di San Gimignano - Tuscan white, 100% Vernaccia. A pale golden color, very light nose. Dry and refreshing with minerals, citrus, good acidity. Hint of wet rocks, strong minerality.

Trebbiano Toscano Bianco
- Another white, from the Barco Reale region of Tuscany. Trebbiano is the white counterpart to Sangiovese. 85% Trebbiano, 15% Malvasia. Pale color and pungent nose, very clean taste with a good finish. Smokey flavor, very smooth. Great with Parmesan cheese.

Morellino di Scansano
- 100% Sangiovese. Medium purple, dark fruit nose, great flavor of blackberry, plum, black cherry. A nice finish, very clean with a kiss of oak.

Morello Toscano Rosso
- 75% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Darker ruby color, oakier nose. Aromas of black cherry. Medium mouthfeel, dark fruit, currant, some vanilla. Good acidity; needs a steak! A bit lightweight for me, but a nice taste saves the day.

Chianti Riserva
- 100% Sangiovese. Quite dark ruby color. Oak very predominant on nose. Medium mouthfeel. A little oaky, showing a bit of spice, plums, some raspberry. Again a lightweight feel.

Rosso di Montalcino - 100% Sangiovese. Deep red with a nose full of roses and oak. Tannic & fruity - plums. Very good for food, with great acidity. This wine is very easy to drink.

Vin Santo del Chianti
- 70% Trebbiano, 30% Malvasia. Very good dessert wine, salmon in color with some tawny looking shades. Could be the light. A sweet nose and a sweet, nutty palate. VERY good with biscotti. My wife is a big fan of barley candy, and she said this wine had very strong notes of that treat from her childhood.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tasting Notes: Il Poggiale Morello

The Bottle: Morello's label is a wine-red plate upon which a golden image of a Tuscan winery is laid. It's plain, but beautiful. The wine is from Toscana, a 75/25 blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. An abv of 13.5% holds no real surprise. The fact that it's non-vintage does, a bit. In Barco Reale, where the wine is produced, the farmers call the Sangiovese grape "Morello," hence the name. Morello also is said to be the chestnut color of a certain horse.

The Nose: I get an almost sweet-smelling black cherry note that dominates the nose. it's a powerful aroma, and one that I like quite a bit. Nine months in oak leaves its mark, but it doesn't overshadow the fruit. It doesn't strike me as a very complex nose, but it's a pleasure to smell.

The Taste:
It's a fruity wine, with currants and cherries in the forefront. The medium body is complemented by a nice lengthy finish. A lack of complexity probably goes hand-in-hand with the NV designation, but I'm not complaining about it. It's a good drink.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tasting Notes: Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Merlot 2005

The Bottle: This Washington state Merlot is sourced from Columbia Valley vineyards in the eastern part of the state. It's an 83% Merlot blend, with 14% Syrah and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. The abv is 13.5%. The wine gets 15 months aging in American and French oak.

The Nose: The oak is there on the nose, as well as quite a bit of alcohol on first pour. The second night I had this, I let it sit for an hour in the glass before drinking it. It helped settle down the tannins quite a bit. The nose bears a strong black cherry cola aroma, very pleasing. There are some vanilla notes, too.

The Taste: As I mentioned, the alcohol was quite dominant on first pour, so a bit of breathing time is advised. Once it's had some time, it's a very tasty wine. That candy cola profile is there, and there's a nice strain of black tea as well. Blackberry comes to the front. The oak isn't too overdone and the finish is pretty good. I pick up a spiciness that's like nutmeg.

I remember someone a long time ago telling me that, "Chateau Ste Michelle is a pretty reliable wine to bring to a party. It's not expensive, everybody likes it and you won't miss having it around." I don't know that I would agree with that last part, but the other two parts of the equation certainly ring true. This wine is enjoyable and easy to match with food. I can see this being a good pair with meats from beef to fish and all sorts of pasta.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tasting Room Notes: Vendome Wine & Spirits

Southern California drinkers know Vendome as a great place to find what you are looking for. If you're not looking for anything in particular, you can browse until you find something that strikes your fancy. Their many locations make for a convenient stop, but I do not believe that all Vendome locations schedule wine tastings.

Vendome of Studio City, 11555 Ventura Boulevard, does have regular tastings, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The tasting I'll write about here was on Saturday, July 25th, 2009. For $15 I tasted 6 wines of the Loire Valley.

Let me apologize for the lack of an image to accompany the piece. I ran a bit short on time (always a negative in the tasting experience) and forgot to get a picture before leaving. I'll try to grab a shot the next time I'm in there. It's doubly unfortunate that I have no image, because their tasting bar is actually a small shack-like structure in the west end of the store. Unique and interesting, the bar seats a half-dozen or so with a couple of tables nearby.

Yves Breussin Vouvray 2006 - Only one grape is used for making wine in the Vouvray appellation. That's the Pineau de la Loire, which we call Chenin Blanc. This wine is a pale yellow in the glass, with a strong and somewhat funky scent. Minerals and a nutty quality are present on the nose and palate. Good acidity, and it finishes well.

Domaine de Chatenoy Menetou-Salon 2007 - The vineyards of Menetou-Salon are sloping, mineral-laden fields which border those of Sancerre. This wine is a Sauvignon Blanc with another funky nose. Nice aromas of citrus and wet rocks dominate. The taste is quite smooth, a little lacking in acidity but a pleasure to drink nonetheless.

Jean Tatin Quincy 2006 - Funky noses were the order of the day. This wine had the strongest yet, the kind referred to as "cat pee." It's a Sauvignon Blanc with a ton of minerals on the nose and palate. Well balanced with a good finish.

Joseph Mellot Sancerre 2007 - This Sauvignon Blanc had the strongest nose of the day. It also had the most character. The minerals were right up front, the balance was great and the finish terrific.

Domaine Taille aux Loups Montlouis 2007 - A dry Chenin Blanc, this wine was full of minerals and an unusual quality I couldn't put my finger on. Maybe I was beginning to feel the pressure of my time limitations. Anyway, it was my favorite wine of the day.

Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre 2007 - A red wine from an appellation known for its whites, this Pinot Noir is very full of flavor. Medium-red in color, it features very strong strawberry notes with some clove and cinnamon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

RH Wines Rowdy Red

The Bottle: The art of a bare-shouldered vixen spray-painting a heart on a brick wall adorns the front label. So it's not Monet. It is eye-catching. And the lettering - which appears to have been spray-painted on the brick wall earlier - proclaims that "Sonoma County Red Wine Rocks!" On the back, we learn that this wine pays "no attention to vintage or variety." I'll be honest. If I had only the label to go by, I would have gone by without as much as a second glance. But I tasted it before seeing the bottle, at Locals Tasting Room in Geyserville. I liked it and bought it sight unseen. It's produced by RH Wines of Windsor, CA.

The Nose: Blackberry, toast and vanilla are what strike me. There's also quite a bit of alcohol on the nose early on, something I did not notice in the tasting room . The aromas are rather strong and quite enjoyable.

The Taste: There's a very strong taste of alcohol at first on the palate, too. It's a good idea to let this young wine breathe - a lot. I let it sit in the glass for a half hour and it was still hot. After an hour, it started to settle down nicely. Once it's behaving, there's a nice spicy taste, like clove, amid all that blackberry and licorice. It's a big, bold red, very lively and full in the mouth.