Monday, June 20, 2016

VT - 2011; Bodegas y Viñedos Valtravieso; Valladolid, Spain

Yes!  An absolutely wonderful Tinta Fina from Espana!  It pours with such beautiful cherry red color against the light. Swirl and enjoy the cocoa and balsamic aromas.  The mouth feel is not harsh or overwhelming. This has a good balance between the tannins and the acidity. You'll love the nice long mellow finish on each sip. This is a beautiful wine to enjoy on its own or pair with food. Strawberries really bring out some of the beauty in the tasting notes on this one.  Cheers!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Round Mountain Estate Blend - 2011; Lewis Wines; Johnson City, Texas

Meticulous detail to vineyard care and the great Texas drought of 2011 has produced some of the best quality Texas grapes which can be found in this wine. This blend of Tempranillo (82%) and Touriga Nacional (18%) is a testament to that and more.  Aging for 24 months just enabled the richness of the developed flavors that the Texas Hill Country has to offer. You’ll pick up notes of cherries and a bit of cocoa in this savory blend as well as some great earthiness.  The acids are still strong in this wine, so it will likely evolve more over time.  The tannins are moderate and provide a nice long and lingering finish.  Not that we’re in the points rating business, but we’ll go out on a limb on this one and give it 95 points! We suggest obtaining multiple bottles as this one is definitely able to lay down for a while. Maybe we’ll open the next bottle in 2020, so stay tuned our wine fans! Double Cheers!!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Nero d'Avola – 2013; Abbazia Santa Anastasia; Sicily, Italy

Let’s talk strong wine. Never had Nero d'Avola?  Then, you’re in for a treat.  This red wine from Sicily has everything “S” about it.  Strong tart acids, strong fruit aromas, strong and bright ruby red color, and strong gripping tannins on the sides. You’ll also pick up ripe berry and some black pepper notes.  As anticipated, there is also a bit of earthiness as well!   If you’re red wine palate feels up to the challenge, then you should do your wine senses a favor and try this varietal out as deep earthy red wine drinkers should enjoy this one. Get a couple of nice fatty dishes for pairing and you’ll be one happy wine lover.  Cheers!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Truckee River Winery – Truckee, California

Don’t be discouraged by the red barn and small tasting room.  It can be a sign of great wines to be tasted!  Such is the case with this fine winery in Truckee.  Owner Russ Jones knows his wines, especially Pinot Noir. As a graduate of UC Davis, he has spent much time studying and learning in Oregon, Washington, and the Pasa Robles area.  Winemaking started for Russ and his wife back in 1989.  Over the years, they have grown and now have a cozy, comfortable  tasting room with very friendly staff to try their great wines.  Most of the grapes are sourced from the Lodi and Monterey regions.  All the wine making process from crushing, to fermenting, to aging, to bottling is done locally.  You’ll likely be greeted at the front door by their wine canine connoisseurs, Max and Hamond. At the wine bar, you’ll have two fine wine flights to select from; traditional and reserve. As a couple, we tried both and didn’t waste a drop.  The 2014 Pinot Gris is sourced from Lodi. It is moderately acidic with good apple notes.   The other white Lodi sourced wine is a 2014 Chardonnay. That wine is a very nice crisp, citrus, and floral treat.  The Red Barn Red is a local favorite and by far the most popular. It’s a red blend of Merlot, Zinfandel and Tempranillo. It has some smokiness and tastiness that adds to the full body tasting experience and it is an easy every day red wine.  The 2013 Zinfandel from Lodi is sourced from a vineyard that has been around since the 1930’s, so it is a true old vine wine.  Ahhh….real Zin!  Toasty and earthy…what’s not to like?  The 2014 Merlot is another Lodi sourced red. It’s a good easy drinking smooth Merlot that would pair well with many dishes.  Next, the menu transitions into Russ's favorite varietals, the Pinots. Two Pinot Noirs showcase the quality of the winemaker's skills and love for this varietal. The 2014 Pinot Noir is sourced out of Monterey County. Aged for a good two years, you’ll savor the taste of cherries and medium tannins. Bring on that pork chop for pairing!  Next is the 2012 “Best Man” Pinot Noir.  Another wine made from grapes sourced from Monterey County, these grapes came from Gary’s Vineyard.  Yes!  Everything that is great comes from that place and coupled with a very passionate winemaker, you get something no less than super awesome!  Aged for a nice long three years in new French Oak, you get all the rich deep flavors and notes that you were expecting.  These two Pinot Noir wines will entice even a non Pinot lover. They will also tempt you to want to purchase more than just a couple of bottles because they are truly just that great! The 2013 Malbec is sourced from the Chalk Hill AVA in Sonoma.  It’s tannic and chocolate flavors linger nicely. Rounding up the lineup is the Apres Dessert Wine.  It’s a traditional fortified port style wine made with Tinta Madera, Tinta Cao, Touriga and Sauzao. Have your best chocolate ready for that one!  Not on the list is a Rose’ that was released for Valentine’s Day. It’s a blend a Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Merlot.  A very nice treat when it’s in the 70’s in Lake Tahoe during the skiing season!  This a great quality winery close to Lake Tahoe and a great compliment to the town of Truckee.  Make sure to add this into your list of places to visit when on your next trip to the area and chat and sip with the tourists, locals, and staff. There is even Bocce available outside if you're interested in getting in a little game while you relax and enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2016

XO Tawny Port – NV; Stone House Vineyard; Spicewood, Texas

Yes!  For anyone that’s familiar with the traditional port making process, this port can be considered 50 years old.  The flavors of Eden are quite prevalent in this burnt amber jewel.  Tilt the glass on its side, and you’ll see a slight golden twinkle on the edges of this precious little gem.  The nose up front is loaded with toffee and oak.  Quite enticing!  The sights and smells help prime your taste buds for a wonderfully soft, silky, toasted pecan flavor that is classic and satisfying with this tawny port. Mellow caramel notes embrace your taste buds to put that happy sweet smile on your lips. Lovely, isn’t it? This treat will make any night better and best of all this port will last a while in the bottle.  You’ll definitely have many more sweet dreams ahead with this one. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

3V – 2014; Casa Madero; Valle de Parras, Mexico

Let’s talk about a great tasting smooth red from Mexico.  Yes, it’s delicious, aromatic and you’ll wish you had an extra bottle to enjoy again later. Don’t let the vintage fool you, with a good hour of natural aeration you’ll be good to go with this wine.  It is a Cabernet Sauvignon 34%, Merlot 33%, Tempranillo 13% blend from the Valle de Parras region. The wine presents itself initially with some great color in soft light. Take a few sips, and you’ll be pleased with the subtle flavors of strawberries, cherries, plums and red ripe fruit that melds into a nice mellowness. Yes, it is quite fruit forward at first, but the soft tannins help tame that initial “sweet” sense.  It’s medium bodied with a nice middle feel.  This wine has a smooth finish toward the end to cap off a great wine tasting experience.  Yes, proof that there are great wines to be found in an unexpected places and quite possibly a wine region you're not very familiar with in the Americas.  Next, you may want to actually visit Casa Madero, which is one of the oldest wineries in the Americas and in Mexico.  Definitely enjoy this wine well! Cheers!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon – 2004; Light Cather Winery; Fort Worth, Texas

Whether you’ve waited 12 years to try this wine or you just forgot and rediscovered it makes no difference.  You’re in for one of those magnificent wine experiences.  The grapes for this wine started on their journey from Newsom Vineyards.  That alone tells you that quality fruit was used and this wine is off to a great start.  Add some good wine making and patience, and you have a great cabernet wine just waiting to be admired in the glass with aromas to be inhaled and finally sipped to be savored!   The aromas and flavors you get are still holding up well.  With big black cherries, berries, and plums, enticing you for more, you know you’ve opened the right bottle today. Surprisingly, the tannins are still holding up nicely,  so you might be able to keep this bottle around in a good cellar for a couple of more years.  Bring on that thick, fatty, and juicy steak to compliment the wine experience.  You deserved it for waiting this long!  Cheers!