Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bodegas Tomas Cusine El Vilosell 2005

Price: $15.99 @ Vinnin Square Liquors (Swampscott, MA)
Recommended by:
salesman at store

This is a really good Spanish blend. It is 50% Tempranillo, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Garnacha, and 5% Syrah aged for 9 months in new French oak. It has a nice taste of pepper, cherry, and some blueberry. The flavor is long-lasting and the wine is quite smooth. The only drawback is the price. The wine is good, but we've had a lot of good Spanish wines in the $10 range. Spanish wines are a great bargain in general. Perhaps we would get this wine again for a special occasion, but we wouldn't have it again with pizza!


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Longball SauvignYoouuk Blanc 2006

Price: $15.99
Recommended by: Red Sox fans everywhere
Comments: Perhaps Youk should have tried this wine before slapping his name on the label! (At least the $$ goes to charity.)
Rating: N/A

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mahi Twin Valleys Gewurztraminer 2006

Price: $22.49 @ Blanchards
Recommended by:
Our love of the Gewurztraminer grape

This is the first Gewurztraminer we have tried from New Zealand. We love the Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlborough region and were eager to give this wine a chance. Like the other wines we have tried from this region, Mahi is bold. Not much subtle here. However, it wasn't so much citrusy as it was flowery. It had a really strong rose flavor. I almost didn't believe Rob when he took his first sip and said, "rose petal." I thought he pulled that out his rear end. But it is indeed very rosy. If you're not into flowery wines, we would skip this one. You can taste the spicy side of this wine when pairing it with spicy food (it went well with the ethnic spices we rubbed on the swordfish). Otherwise, it's mainly rosy with a bit of citrus. We probably won't buy this one again, especially given the price. We'll take our Chateau Ste Michelle over this any day.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Stephen Vincent Crimson 2005

Price: $11.99 @ Blanchard's (J.P.)
Recommended by: store advertisement
We're generally fans of domestic red blends, and this wine's blend of Syrah (75%) and Cabernet (25%) was too enticing to pass up . . . especially after drinking two orders of sake with dinner. :) It was a good call. This wine started out very fruity (mostly cherry and plum) and peppery with a strong alcohol flavor (it IS 14.5% alcohol after all). It closed with a smooth cinnamon and licorice finish. Nice. It's worth noting that this wine got better as we drank it. Next time we might decant it for a bit before partaking. However, having finished the bottle, we have no regrets and feel no pain. Cheers.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dona Paula Shiraz-Malbec 2006

Price: $12.99
Recommended by: gift from Mike
We were delighted when our friend Mike brought this wine over, but we chose poorly when we ordered Chinese food to accompany it. The Chinese food was great, the wine was great, but the pairing didn't quite work. This wine, with 60% Shiraz and 40% Malbec, will go better with other foods, particularly grilled meats. It has a nice, earthy, cherry flavor with hints of cocoa and tobacco, and it exhibits a long smooth, happy finish. For the price, this is a great wine, and we look forward to trying it again soon!

: 7.5/10

Saturday, August 02, 2008

MÄHLER-BESSE Jumilla Taja Reserva 2003

Price: $10.99 @ Gary's Liquors, W. Roxbury, MA
Recommended by: 90 points by Wine Spectator
Comments: We have been drinking mostly whites this summer, but decided to switch to red tonight. We normally enjoy Spanish red blends, and this one is no exception. It was very good! It is a blend of 50% Monastrell (Mourvèdre), 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Tempranillo, and 10% Merlot. It is a dry wine but has a nice, bold fruity flavor; the variety of grapes integrate with the tannins quite nicely. We would really enjoy this with pizza!


Monday, June 30, 2008

Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Price: $10.99
Recommended by:
manager's selection at Macy's Liquors (W. Roxbury, MA)

We usually drink Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand (and some from Napa) and love them, but this wine will force us to think about other regions. Petit Bourgeois is a bright, tangy wine that has no shortage of flavor, yet finishes very smooth. Flavors of pineapple loom large along with a pleasant, forward grassiness. It was a great complement to our yummy veggie sandwiches on a hot summer day. Not our favorite, but we would buy this again.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Stellenbosch 2007

Price: $9.99 @ Gary's Liquors (W. Roxbury, MA)
Recommended by:
Boston Globe
Comments: This wine was listed in the Boston Globe as one of the best wines you can find for under $10. We agree! It is similar to Gruner Veltliner on the nose but exhibits flavors of both Gewurztraminer (spice) and Sauvignon Blanc (fruit) on the palate. Flavors of lime are most present, tempered with a buttery smoothness and a nice spicy finish. We had it with sushi (surprise!) and it was a fantastic pairing. It went particularly well with the sweetness of the unagi (eel). We'll be looking forward to this one again soon.
Rating: 7.5/10

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chateau Bianca Gewurztraminer 2006

Price: $13.99 @ liquor store in Porter Square
Recommended by: just a domestic Gewurz we have not tried
Comments: We were not impressed by this. It doesn't even really taste like a Gewurz. There is no real exotic spice flavor that you would expect; instead it's a bouquet of flowers. A strong bouquet. There are also subtle flavors of pineapple, lime, and honey, but it's mostly a bouquet. Not terrible, but not our favorite, and we won't likely be picking this one up again soon.
Rating: 5.5/10

Friday, May 02, 2008

Hogue Genesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Price: ~$15.00
Recommended by:
This was a gift, but we've had this on our wish list for a while. We think it was recommended by Sunset Magazine.

Yum. It was yum from the first sniff. Very flowery on the nose and the palate. We also smelled Fruit Loops (honest!) and tasted plum, cherry, and oak. The flavor lasted a long time, and the finish was very smooth. Lots of flavors going on in this wine. It's rather different from the California (in-yer-face-with-fruit) Cabs, but this was excellent. We're becoming huge fans of Washington State wines.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

La Uve Toro 2006

Price: $12.99 @ Blanchard's (W. Roxbury, MA)
Recommended by:
wine tasting

At a wine tasting event that included many good wines, this inexpensive Spanish red stood out as a super value. It has bold flavors of bright red berries as well as blueberries (particularly in the finish). The wine consists of a "tempranillo clone" called "Tinta de Toro," and it would be a good wine at nearly twice the price. The smooth, long finish on this happy wine guarantees that we'll be getting another bottle soon! Viva la Espana!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Chateau Jean de Pey Bordeaux 2005

Price: $11.99 @ Blanchard's (Jamaica Plain, MA)
Recommended by: sucked in by store advertising
Comments: We totally shouldn't have opened a second bottle of wine tonight. And yet, we're so glad we did! We so rarely drink old world wine, and yet this one is really good, and a fantastic deal for the money. We found strong flavors of plum along with chocolate and black cherry, and perhaps a hint of black licorice at the end. The wine consists of 70% Merlot and the rest is Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The finish is quite long and smooth. We've never been happier to succumb to good advertising!
Rating: 7.75/10

Hess Lake County Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Price: $12.99 @ Luke's Liquors (Rockland, MA)
Recommended by: we love Hess wines
Comments: Given that we're huge fans of Hess's reds, we wanted to try their Sauvignon Blanc. What a perfect evening to try it ... with sushi! It has a wonderful pineapple, peach flavor with a bit of a grassy finish. It had a bold citrus flavor but in a different way than our beloved Marlboroughs (New Zealand). And it might not be as smooth as the NZ wines, but we enjoyed it (and it got better the more we drank it). I don't think you can go wrong with Sauvignon Blancs with sushi -- it's really a perfect match. And it does have 14.5% alcohol, so it will add to your happiness, especially on a Friday evening ... with sushi.
Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Chateau Ste Michelle Orphelin 2004

Price: $15.00 @ Luke's Liquors (Rockland, MA)
Recommended by: we love CSM wines!
Comments: After visiting their winery last fall and enjoying just about every Chateau Ste Michelle wine we've tried, we were excited to find one that we have not tried. This red blend has 9, yes 9, varietals -- Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Sangiovese,
Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Souzão, and Touriga -- and was tasty to the last drop. It got better as we drank it (not with food but just as a "hard-day-at-work-and-now-chilling-out" wine). It has flavors of cherry, chocolate, and spicy pepper with hints of raspberry and vanilla and a smooth, long finish. It still is not as tasty as our favorite domestic red blend (Artesa Elements), but we'd definitely get this one again.
Rating: 7.5/10

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Spanish Quarter Cabernet Sauvignon-Tempranillo 2006

Price: $8.99 @ Gary's Liquors
Recommended by: We like Spanish wines!
Comments: This inexpensive red is a tasty mix of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%) and Tempranillo (45%). Flavors of berries (mainly cherry) and chocolate dominate the palate with a bit of spiciness, and the wine has a longer finish than you typically find at this price range. We enjoyed it tonight with pizza with mushrooms and spinach and it was tasty. Not too fancy but very good.
Rating: 6.75/10

Friday, January 18, 2008

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne 2006

Price: $15.99 @ Gary's Liquors (West Roxbury, MA)
Recommended by: Wine Spectator (90 points)
Comments: Frickin' Almond Husks. That's right. Almond husks. Who the hell knows what almond husks taste like??? I'll tell you who. A pretentious idiot whose opinion about wine you definately do not want to trust. And yet, it's the winemaker that lists among this wine's flavors . . . almond husks. Also (and not surprisingly), the winemaker finds an array of tropical fruits with quince, ginger, and lees. Speaking of which, what the hell does a lee taste like? Denim? But nevermind, we're here to review a wine. And it's a good one, although we're not sure it deserves its place in the top 100 wines of 2007 by Wine Spectator. Although we didn't note almond husk, we did enjoy its pear and grapefruit flavors. The smell is "minerally" apparently, although Rob isn't sure it doesn't have a faint scent of cat pee (but in a good way!). The finish is fairly long and buttery, and a tad bitter, but also in a good way. We would get this one again but we're not sure it's worth the price when some really fantastic Sauvignon Blancs cost less and would pair equally well with similar food (seafood, particularly shellfish).
Rating: 6.75/10