Friday, August 19, 2016
Barranca, Barranca…turn to the left….turn to the right or straight up the vineyard valley. Either way, you are steering in the direction of everlasting wine paradise. First, that “popping” sound after just opening the bottle entices your senses for something new and exciting. Like a child just discovering some fantastic candy, you can’t help but immediately smell the bottom of the cork to get a hint of what is to come. Your wine Jedi training has disciplined you to let it breathe a bit before tasting because you know this will lead to some fantastic wine to taste! Better yet, you probably will use a decanter. This six blend red of 41% Petite Sirah, 36% Malbec, 14% Grenache, 5% Carignan, 2% Cinsault and 2% Mourvedre will definitely seduce you with some intense aromas. Yes, the warm red color is seducing as you make that first pour. Make note of sweet berries and licorice which initially greet you. Nice, isn’t it? Now take another sip to ensure your palate gets to catalogue all the wonderful flavors in the wine. Though mostly a middle mouth feel, it is full bodied with some dirty and leathery characters. The structure is quite nice and not too tannic. Yes, the finish is long and very nice! Pour another glass and linger over the dusty, mellow elegantness that is Barranca. Yes, a bottle you will cherish and love for eternity. Enjoy well!
Sunday, August 14, 2016
This small boutique winery has been around since the 1970’s. In 2009, Linda and Mike McWilliams became the new owners and have since established three tasting room locations in the San Diego area. They focus on small batch hand crafted wines which concentrate a lot of love and hard work into some quality wine. Grapes are sourced from area vineyards as well as California viticulture areas. We visited the Seaport Village location which is a great downtown place along the bay to hang out, visit and enjoy sipping wine. They have many great wines to choose from for your tasting. For this visit, we tried a couple of the whites and reds, along with a fruit wine. Their 2015 Chardonnay comes across as very clean and quite crisp. A very good afternoon choice for a long hot summer day. The 2015 Rose’ is made from Cabernet Franc. It’s not too dry or sweet and has some lovely candy apples notes toward the finish. The 2013 Malbec is quite opaque with strong tannins and a rich, earthy mouth puckering feel. The 2013 Zinfandel has a little spice to complement the berry flavors with just a touch of cedar aroma. Now the Passion Fruit Blanc is to die for! Locally sourced, it’s very, very clear and light colored but packs a very luscious tropical flavor that’s quite addictive. Bring a wine suitcase, because you’ll be dreaming of throwing a Hawaiian party when you bring many of these Passion Fruit bottles back with you. This is a really great quality wine bar addition to the San Diego community. It fits right in with the lifestyle and the people. When in the area, stop by and get acquainted with their wines, you won’t be disappointed! Enjoy!
Saturday, August 6, 2016
This particular location wine in the series is a blend of fruits from all over Washington State. It’s primarily a Syrah blend with Merlot and Petite Syrah. It’s best to let this wine breath for at least a good hour to bring out the best it has to offer. It opens up nicely and the flavor profile reveals good dark fruit and ripe berries that are quite pronounced. The wine is medium bodied and smooth, with a nice tannic structure that is not too heavy. The varietal blend seems well balanced and has a nice long lasting finish that is not too dry and has a little smokiness and hint of spice. It’s a nice wine to compliment a variety of dishes and can easily be enjoyed by most earthy, drier red wine drinkers. We found this one to be one of our favorite location wines thus far. Drink well and enjoy!
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
You’re in for a treat when you pour a glass of this great wine from the Baja region of Mexico. This lovely red wine is a blend of Tempranillo 33%, Mision 34%, and Carignane 33%. Ruby in color, it may tease you into thinking it will be a light tasting red at first. Inhale the bouquet and take a few lingering sips and swirls to unleash notes of strawberry and plums to their fullest. There is a medium finish and balanced texture making this wine a very pleasant one to the senses. Definitely, a smooth red wine to be enjoyed either with a meal or alone. After your initial glass, pour another and let it sit for a couple of hours. It really begins to open up to show its full potential to the palate. A fine example of good wine from one of Mexico’s largest wine producing regions! Easy to drink...we hope you enjoy well, wine friends!
Sunday, July 17, 2016
When the summer heat comes early, there’s no better treat than a nice chilled dry white wine. This Trebbiano from Duchman hits the spot. The grapes were sourced from Bingham Family Vineyards located in the Texas High Plains AVA. The wine has nice banana flavors with a touch of citrus The acids seem to have tapered off over the years, which may make it more palatable for some white wine lovers. It is a crisp, dry white that definitely has a refreshing overall tropical mouth feel that will help transport you to that island relaxation mode. In the right cellar, it’s just as good years later. So, pop the cork and enjoy!
Sunday, July 10, 2016
You’ll love this nice vineyard tucked in the countryside just outside of Columbia. In a very relaxing and beautiful setting, the vineyard and peacefulness of the surrounding trees with help set the mood for a memorable wine tasting experience. Richard and Laura LaBarre planted their vineyard roots here about 10 years ago. The vineyard estate has about eight acres of Carlos and Noble Muscadine. Since then, they’ve added Lenoir vines (aka Black Spanish) as well as Herbemont. The vineyard has a bit of a Texas connection as they told us that they had originally gotten their Black Spanish cuttings from Texas' oldest vineyard at the Val Verde Winery. We knew that there was something that instinctively led us here! The winery has been operational for about eight years and serves wines made from locally sourced fruit as well as from grapes sourced out of state. Your tasting will include a good selection of whites and reds. They actually have a nice chardonnay to start off with that is clean, crisp, and unoaked with a bit of a lavender taste! The Amber-Daze is a great summer time sweet blend to sip and enjoy on the porch. The Carlos Muscadine has notes of peaches and vanilla. The Naked Noble Muscadine is a red wine made without the skins, offering a nice sweet and pleasant sipping treat. Do check out their Strawberry wine! It's quite delicious with all the natural flavors you would expect in fresh strawberry fruit. This place is well worth the country drive so stop by and enjoy the gracious company, the views and the wines.
Monday, June 20, 2016
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!