Friday, April 15, 2011

Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2009

Ah Malbec, that grape that is mistakenly thought of as native to Argentina when it really is French. Easy to see why though with so many wonderful wines coming from our neighbor in the south. The wine I review here is considered the "entry level" wine from Achaval Ferrer, but what an entry it is. Deeply purple in the glass, one's nose is greeted by lovely aromas of cherry, raspberry, spice and a touch of violets. Medium bodied, this charmer has pretty smooth tannins for a wine so young. That, combined with red and black fruit, nice acid and touch of minerality produce a medium/(+) length finish that went wonderfully with the steak I selected. If you enjoy Malbec and have $20 you can spare for wine definitely pick up a bottle. Very good now, should hold up well through 2015.

Number of wines reviewed in 2011: 24

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stolpman Sangiovese "La Coppa" 2009

OK, I admit it, I didn't know Stolpman, maker of fantastic Syrah and Grenache wines for years, produced Sangiovese. Their care to quality that I have come to expect from their Rhone varieties carried over to this Italian offering. Not the most complex offering, this is a lovely, everyday kinda wine. Dark cherry red in the glass the nose was loaded with red fruits (cherries and raspberries) and just a hint of violets and earthiness. Medium bodied the wine delivers wonderful bright red fruit backed with smooth tannins and good acid creating a medium length finish that really begs for another drink. This is a very food friendly wine that would go great with tomato based pastas, pizzas, and grilled and braised meats. Meant to drink young you should enjoy it over the next couple of years.

Number of wines reviewed in 2011: 23

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Foley Chardonnay 2008 "Rancho Santa Rosa"

I still remember the first time I tried a Foley wine, it was on a trip with my love and our friends Tio Ely and Cory to the Santa Ynez area for wine tasting. I enjoyed it so much I became a wine club member and the enjoyment has continued to this day. Unlike the previously reviewed "Steel", this is one of Foley's oaked Chardonnays but unlike some I've had they used good judgment. Not overly spicy or toasty and not buttery (a quarter of the wine was prevented from completing malolactic fermentation), this give you the best of both worlds. On the nose you get lovely honeysuckle, apples, a touch of ripe citrus and a little bit of toastiness. Once in the mouth you notice that this medium/(+) bodied wine has a nice bit of acid, nothing overpowering but not at all flabby, good fruit with a touch of nuttiness, and a medium length finish with a hint of spice in it. Thoroughly enjoyable, this wine should hold up well at least through 2013.

Number of wines reviewed in 2011: 22

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chateau Coutet Sauternes Barsac 2005

My friend Sarah and I celebrated her birthday at Disneyland's acclaimed Napa Rose restaurant. I chose their "Vintner's Table" option which is a four course meal that is paired with wines. For dessert I was served this lovely Bordeaux dessert wine, Chateau Coutet. Now generally I am not a fan of sweet wines (I save that for the husband) but I have to say this was a total delight. Being from the Graves area of Bordeaux this wine is a blend of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc that has been affected by Botrytis cinerea or "noble rot". It's amazing how anything with the word "rot" in it can produce something so delicious is quite humorous. Golden hued in the glass I was met with aromas of honey, apricot, and a touch of dried pineapple and oaky spice. Full-bodied, fat honeyed fruit and a touch of brown sugar with a surprising amount of acid all swirling together in the mouth delivered a long, tasty finish that was fantastic. I think this wine is still a little young and look forward to tasting it in another year or two.

Number of wines reviewed in 2011: 21