Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Schwarzböck Grüner Veltliner 2002

Price: $7 @ Blanchard's
Recommended by:
We liked the Grüner Veltliner we tried at a restaurant.

We didn't know much about this wine, but after reading a few sites online, it sounds like this wine is up and coming. Grüner Veltliner is the most produced wine in Austria, and it's a really versatile wine (apparently it can be paired with artichoke and asparagus). We found it to have some characteristics of Sauvignon Blancs and especially Gewurztraminers, with its fruit and spice. This particular Grüner Veltliner is very smooth and dominated by flavors of apple, almost giving it a "cidery" taste. For the price, it's definitely worth trying, and we look forward to trying other Grüner Veltliners.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Craftsman Neszmely Gewurztraminer 2005

Price: $8.99 @ Wine Galley
Recommended by:
never had a Hungarian wine before

Comments: This wine is a nice, dry Gewurztraminer. It has subtle floral aromas and honey flavors with a hint of citrus (maybe pineapple?) and a soft acidity. This is a wine to have with food, namely spicy dishes. We enjoyed it with our spicy Indian food, and it was a great pairing. I don't know if we will be in a hurry to get this wine again, however, since we enjoy some other comparably priced Gewurzes more (especially Chateau Ste. Michelle).

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Cortijo II Crianza 2000

Price: $11.99 @ Gary's Liquors
Recommended by: We liked the Cortijo III, so we wanted to give this a try.
Comments: This Spanish blend (
70% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, and 10% Mazuelo) is a fabulous wine for the money. When I first tasted it, I thought it was at least a $20 bottle. It's really smooth and complex, with a mixture of fruity, spicy, and tobacco flavors. The fact that it's aged 7 years can't hurt! We will definitely be enjoying this again.
Rating: 7.25/10

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cortijo III Tempranillo 2005

Price: $5.98 @ Gary's Liquors (W. Roxbury)
Recommended by:
enjoyed at a friend's party

We first tasted this wine at our neighbors' New Year's party. I thought maybe we had just had so much alcohol that everything was good. But, upon the second tasting, this wine
is good, especially for the low price. It's nothing to rave about, but it's a great everyday Spanish wine (100% Tempranillo). The flavor is a straightforward cherry and raspberry, with a short but smooth, dry finish.

Las Brisas 2005 Rueda

Price: $13.00 @ Solera
Recommended by:
Atlantic Fish Co. (wine flight)
Dios Mio! Me gusta los vinos de Espana! Here's another Spanish wine we really dig, but this one is white. Without knowing it was from Spain, we would have guessed it was another great Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. However, this one is only 50% Sauvignon Blanc with the other half consisting of Verdejo. The result is a wine that demonstrates all of the characteristics of a great Sauvignon Blanc: crisp, complex, citrusy, grassy. It has flavors of lemon, grapefruit,
peach, and green apple. Yummy! The smell also carries a bit of kiwi. It goes great with seafood and we look forward to having it again soon. Viva la Espana!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Moulin De Gassac Le Mazet Red 2005

Price: $9.00 @ Solera (Roslindale)
Recommended by:
Boston Globe
We enjoyed this wine, but it is very different from the New World wines we typically drink. It is an organic red blend (35% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 10% Cinsault, 5% Alicante, and 70% of the fruit is hand picked) with a nice fruit flavor (mostly strawberry) but it's not overpowering. Its earthy flavor, spicy opening, and dry finish are what make this wine distinct from other fruity reds we've tried. We suspect this wine would be wonderful with a few years' aging.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Paringa Sparkling Shiraz 2004

Price: $10.99 @ Wine Gallery
Recommended by:
Wine merchant at Blanchard's (JP)

Comments: So it's just like you'd hope it would be. A rich, flavorful, Australian Shiraz, but with bubbles. Lots of little, happy bubbles. And these bubbles accentuate the fruity Shiraz flavor (raspberry and blueberry), which is anything but subtle to begin with. It rocks. And what could make it better? It's a wicked pairing with dark chocolate. This may not be an everyday wine, but when we're in the mood for this distinctive wine, it is fantastic.
Rating: 7.25/10

Thursday, January 11, 2007

McManis Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Price: $10 @ Gary's Liquors; this is a very popular wine, so it shouldn't be difficult to find.
Recommended by:
Description at the wine store enticed us

Comments: It's finally cold in Boston! And alas, we've broken out a new Cabernet to keep us warm. This one was a really nice surprise, as it does not taste like a $10 bottle of wine. It has a bold cherry, vanilla, and coffee flavor, and for a young Cab wine the tannins are not harsh at all. We should note that it has a very smooth, relatively long finish. Karie did not like it quite as much as the Casa Lapostolle Cabernet, but Rob liked it a bit more. For the price, it really can't be beat.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Night Wine Flights

Tonight, to celebrate Rob's birthday, we ate at the Atlantic Fish Co. on Boylston St. (close to the Boston Public Library), and with our very excellent meal, we had an opportunity to try six different white wines. (No, we didn't get full glasses of everything, they were part of wine flights, with three wines in each group -- a great idea. We wish more restaurants offered these.) We tried the Aromatic, Spicy Whites and the Dry & Flinty Whites.

Aromatic, Spicy
  • Gruner Veltliner, "Lois" Loimer, Austria -- fresh apple scents and spiciness lead to exotic fruit and crisp acidity (this wine was great -- really dry and paired nicely with the seafood dishes we had)
  • Riesling, Eroica, Chateau Ste. Michelle/Dr. Loosen, Columbia Valley -- graceful and subtle, with stony green apple and delicate apricot flavor, finishing dry but with a caramel note (this was good, but nothing special -- Rob thought it was too sweet; I reminded him that it was a riesling)
  • Viognier/Marsanne, "Hermit Crab," d'Arenberg, Australia -- exhibits fresh flower and tropical fruit aromas, palate is immediately fruity, with strong tropical and stone fruit flavors (this had a really nice spice to it -- it was tied with the Austrian wine for our favorite in this flight)
Dry & Flinty
  • Sauvignon Blanc, Redcliffe, Marlborough -- aromas of citrus, gooseberry and melon with intense flavors of passion fruit and mango followed by racy acidity (this was a good, classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but not as good as Drylands, Matua, or Villa Maria)
  • Sauvignon/Verdejo, Las Brisas, Rueda (Spain) -- fruity and grassy aromas with mineral notes and dry flavors of white peach, apricot, lemon, and lime (this wine was surprisingly good; it had pronounced Sauvignon Blanc flavors but with some additional complexity and dryness)
  • Sancerre, Guy Saget, Loire -- flowery aromas with mineral characters followed by fruit flavors of citrus, golden aple, pear, and a clean, crisp finish (this French wine was different from the Sauvignon Blancs of New Zealand and Napa, but it was steely and flavorful and worth having again)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Red Diamond Merlot 2003

Price: $8.99 @ Gary's Liquors
Recommended by:
great price, and we wanted to try another Washington State merlot.

For the price, this is a great wine. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised. However, after we found out that this wine is produced by our friends from the Ste Michelle winery, it made perfect sense. We've enjoyed all of their wines that we've tasted. This is not a hugely complex wine, but it has a nice cherry flavor and a smooth, pleasing finish. If you don't usually drink red wine, this might be a good one to start with. Order some pizza and enjoy.