Monday, January 18, 2010

Concha y Toro Trio Chardonnay blend 2007

Here’s a good value white from a well-known producer – a bit surprising that it’s no longer available at ANBL.  Perhaps they’re simply out of stock, since 2007 seems to be the current release.  In that case we can look forward to the 2008 next summer.

— Peanutman’s review —

I'm not too much into white wines. I like Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, but other whites are not very appealing to me, especially when too dry. I'll have to expand on my tastes when summer roles around. I remember buying the Trio with the Sauvignon Blanc and another that had Chardonnay for my birthday bash last year. I was really surprised with the Chardonnay version and found it better than the Sauvignon Trio. I guess I bought another bottle of the Chardonnay trio as I found one in my little cellar this past weekend. Really good wine for the price. The colour is pale yellow with some greenish tints. The aromas are of fresh fruit, a little bit of lemon and lime, but what I noticed mostly was honey. The taste is fruity and fresh, a little acidic (especially with salted pretzels)but with good structure. I forgot it in the fridge for a couple of days and it was still good on day three. Good value for money in my book but not available at NBLC anymore. 

Price:$15.79 (no longer listed)
Value: 5 / 5
Grape: Chardonnay (70%), Pinot Grigio (15%), Pinot Blanc (15%)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Penfolds Kalimna Shiraz Bin 28 1998

It’s not so long ago that I started building a cellar, so it’s only now that I’m starting to drink some wines that have been cellared for a few years.  This Bin 28 illustrates that older is not necessarily better. This is from the middle of the Penfolds range – the current release is almost $40 in NB – and as I recall, 1998 was supposed to be a very good year, yet this wine didn’t show particularly well.  It was well balance and well made, but the fruit had faded and it there wasn’t a lot of complexity to replace it.  Still enjoyable, but at least a couple of years past its peak.  A solid 88 nonetheless.  It’s not fair to give it a value score.  If you have any of these in your cellar, drink up.

South Australia, Shiraz
Price: $38.29 (current release)
UPC: 012354071834

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Casillero del Diablo Gewurtztraminer 2008

I love Gewurz – along with Riesling, it turned me on to white wine.  A decent Gewurz for $14 sounds like a good find.

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Nose - wet Stones, Tropical Fruit- lychees, Passion Fruit and Mango. Lime Leaves.
Taste- Mango+ Passion Fruit gelato. Minerally acidy. But some soapy mouth feel that disappeared with Stacy's Jerk Chicken.
Overall- Better than the rest of the New World Gewurtz that are in ANBL, but falls short of the more expensive ones from Alsace like the Pierre Sparr or Ribeauville, but I haven't tried the Sumac Ridge yet.

Chile- Maule Valley, 13.5%
95% Gewurtztraminer, 5% Riesling
Value: 4/5
Score: 87
Price: $13.79
UPC: 7804320127217

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bonterra Chardonnay 2007

For immediate purposes, this is the most useful of Iron Chef’s New Year’s wines; a good chardonnay at a reasonable price that (unlike the other New Year’s wines) is still widely available.

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Nose: Butter, Oak, Pear, Nutmeg and Cinnamon
Taste: Pear and Melon with a nice spicy edge of Nutmeg/Cinnamon and Cumin. The finish was very creamy and full.
Overall: A very dependable Lobster wine

California- Mendocino
Price: $21.99
Value: 4/5
Score: 89
UPC: 082896780419

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chateau Giscours 1981

Here is the highlight of Iron Chef’s New Year’s wines – “the finest wine I have ever tasted.” Originally purchased in NB, about 25 years ago.

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Colour: Brick coloured core to a yellow rim with lots of browns in between.
Nose: Dried spices like cloves and bay leaves. Dried leather. Dried Flowers. Dried Tobacco.  Surprising Red Licorice fruit for a older wine. Someone from the tasting said it smelled like Saddle soap- not sure what that smells like.
Taste- Very smooth - tannins still present. More dried favours of Leather, Tobacco, spices and Cherries. Interesting notes of a Truffle Olive oil. Had a creamy butterscotch finish.
Overall- We have tasted a number of late '70s, early '80s Bordeaux and this was the best yet, the wine was still very favourful and had surprising Tannins and fruit - probably the finest wine I have tasted. Decanted 45 minutes.

Bordeaux- Margaux
Score: Tough to quantify with a number

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2006

I see the word “vanilla” appears many times in this review.  Doesn’t sound like my kind of wine, which is good to know - the mediocre reviews are as useful as the raves.

— Peanutman’s Review —

Smell - At the start, it was wonderful. Very blackberry(ish) with a hint of vanilla. Four hours later, very vanilla(ish) with a hint of blackberry. It was nicer at the start.

Taste - Very much a Chilean fruit bomb Cab at the start with a hint of vanilla. Decent tannins with a medium length finish. After four hours, same as the smell as it became very vanilla(ish), but it had a longer finish. It seemed smoother, a little less fruit bombish and a little better. For a wine that spent 8 months in American Oak, I found it a little surprising that it was so vanilla(ish). I'm wondering how this wine would taste in a year or two as it evolved a lot over four hrs.

I have a hard time rating this wine as I was not expecting that much fluctuation in smell and taste. Therefore, I'm not giving a rating. Having said that, it would be somewhere in the 80's for a Chilean Cab, but I don't know where in the 80's. I might make up my mind if I try it again; doubtful.

I was expecting more, but at the same time I wasn't upset with the wine. I just wished it would have had something to talk about (and no not a song). I believe the 2005 was a value red at a previous wine festival, but the 06 leaves me puzzled.

Valle Del Maipo, Chile
UPC 089419007152

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pio Cesare Barolo 1998

This is the second of Iron Chef’s New Year’s wines.  I have a particular interest in this one, as I have a number of bottles of the 2001 Ornato in my cellar – it’s reassuring to know the normale is aging so well.

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Colour- very lightly coloured pale red to orange-ish rim.
Nose: Very Earthy, newer leather, warm oak notes. Stewed Cranberries. Fresh anise and dried flowers. Some hot alcohol aromas.
Taste: A tannic attack to the back of the jaw. Still tasted young. Fresh herbs of Mint, Rosemary and green peppercorns. Very earthy on the palate- like a forest floor- not a barnyard. Dried Cranberry fruit. Very Long finish. Decanted 90 mins.

14%, Alba Italy, Nebbiolo

Newfoundland LC Clearance Oct 2009 $49.95
Value 5/5
Score 96

Monday, January 4, 2010

Moet et Chardon Cuvee Dom Perignon 1992

It looks like Iron Chef had some interesting wines for New Year's.  He gave me four reviews, and I'll start with a teaser - the traditional champagne, which didn't live up to the star billing.

Anyone else have some good / bad / indifferent New Year's  bottles to tell us about?

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Nose: Warm Bread-like yeasty notes. Salted Cashews and Staley minerals
Taste: Brioche with nuts- mostly cashews. Dry mineral notes and grapefruit. Finish was surprisingly short.
Overall: this was the third time that I had tasted this vintage and I was the most disappointed with this bottle. It just tasted dried out and abrupt in its finish.
Not scored.

Alcohol 12.8%
Purchased at ANBL- 6yrs ago about $225
UPC #3185370362174

Friday, January 1, 2010

Primitivo del Salento Classica IGT, Cantele

Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope the new year's festivities haven't turned you off wine, because we have a review of a good value red from peanutman to start off the year.

— Peanutman’s Review —

I've discovered in 2009 two different types of grapes that I really like, one being the Petit Verdot and the other the Primitivo. I'd rate this one the same as the Farnese (which is no longer available), but I would say this one was a little better. It had a spicy, flowery and cherry smell. It was an easy drinking wine, with a little spiciness to it and just enough tannins not to be overpowering. Nice wine to drink by itself.

Price $15.49
Value: 4.5/5
Score: 88
UPC: 8009015033425