Kilikanoon Wine Tasting

2009 Kilikanoon Mort’s Block Riesling

Acidic and minerally nose, very cirtusy. Powerful lemon and lime scent and citrus/acid on midpalate as well. Kind of like drinking the juice of a fresh squeezed lemon. Lingering citric acid taste makes “pucker” sensation continue after finish. Very clean and crisp.



2006 Kilikanoon Prodigal Grenache

Dark fruit and licorice on the nose, fruit bomb alert! Smells like raspberry jello – when its still liquid before you put it in the refrigerator. Juicy, pretty awesome midpalate. A bit of heat there as well. Tangy, spicy finish that really lingers. This is not tannic, but the alcohol definitely packs some heat. I’d serve this one slightly chilled to take the edge off.



2007 Kilikanoon Killerman’s Run Shiraz Grenache

Pepper, blueberries, strawberries, exotic spices (think Chinese five-spice) – complex scent on this one! Also kind of smells like that chili-infused chocolate on second sniff. Interesting! Not much oak and not much earth present on the nose, just pretty fruit and spiciness. Very interesting finish – spicy and very ripe. Heat is present but alcohol is not overpowering. This would be delicious with a juicy rare steak :-)



2008 Murphy Goode North Coast Savignon Blanc

I must admit right now (before you all read this review) that I am partial to the grassy, melony, grapefruity goodness of a Marlborough NZ Sauvignon Blanc. I recommend for everyone to pour a NZ sauv blanc and a French sauv blanc side by side and just compare the differences-and see which you prefer.

Citrusy smell on the first whiff, attack was loaded with citric acid as well. No oak, no rockyness/minerality, just a pure citrus fruit bomb. I can see how many would enjoy the crisp acidity on the back end but I just found it a bit too sour. That being said, this is a well made Sauvignon Blanc that will appeal to many palates.


Single for me/triple for those who love a very crisp, clean, acidic wine.

From The Tank Vin Rouge Cotes du rhone

I’m really liking wine in a box these days. It’s more environmentally friendly, keeps well and since a box can hold 3-4 liters of wine you usually get a lot for your money. Bring on the Vin Rouge :-) great nose-dark, fleshy fruit, dried leaves… Then I was disappointed with the midpalate and finish. Since most Cotes du Rhone wines are food wines, I tried the wine with Swiss cheese-what a difference! The wine and cheese compliment each other very well.

$34 for a 3 liter box


2007 Code Noir Merlot Rattlesnake Hills, Washington

Anyone who snubs Merlot because of the movie Sideways is seriously missing out!   Some of the Merlots I have tried are as complex as a Cabernet.   I’m definitely a fan of Washington wines, and Merlot from Washington is almost always good.

I tried the Code Noir at a tasting at California Wine Merchants in downtown Manhattan ( – great shop with a friendly, wine savvy staff!

This wine smells like a forest!   It also reminded me of being a barrel room at a winery, which I love of course  :-) I also got dark berries and chocolate on the nose.   Amazing sweet oaky bite on the finish.   Definitely a campfire wine.   I wonder how it would pair with S’mores?

$16.99/bottle @

Home run

2009 Two Hands Brilliant Disguise Moscato

I love Muscat grapes.   Its too bad that you can only get them a few months out of the year.   Muscat, muscato, moscato, etc. wines are always sweet yet not thick like ice wine or Sauternes.  Perfect very well chilled on a warm summer day, or with spicy food!   Scent – pure honeysuckle and peach.   And its a sparkling wine, which surprised me because it didn’t indicate on the label that the wine was sparkling.   Mouthfeel is ripe and sweet but not artificial, just pleasant fruit popping out.   Awesome honey aftertaste!   This wine is low in alcohol (8%) with beautiful fruit popping out – very approachable.


Home run

An Italian Wine Tasting at OTTO in Manhattan

Otto Ecoteca Pizzaria right near Washington Square Park in NYC has more than just amazing pizza, they have wine classes every Saturday.   5 wines along with meats and cheeses to pair for $45, a great deal considering that most places in Manhattan charge upwards of $10 for just one glass of wine.   I decided to do this class/tasting with Elena – blogger for :-) The instructor was very knowledgeable… not only were the wines delicious but since my Italian wine knowledge is limited I was happy to learn more about the great wines from Italy!

2008 Di Giovanna Grillo – Sicily

This is a very high acid wine with a finish that I’d compare with sucking on a lemon.   Not a surprise considering the cirtusy nose.   We were told that the grapes were picked for this wine before they were fully ripe which makes sense since as grapes age the acid level goes down and sugar goes up.   No sugar present here… this wine was crisp, and bone dry.   A bit too acidic for my taste.



2007 Pigato ‘Le Russeghine’ Bruna Liguria

Big nose on this wine – ripe apples and pears, and a minerally scent as well.   Those minerals really come out on the mouthfeel and the finish was citrusy and acidic.   Also a white pepper bite on that finish and the minerals really linger.   These grapes were grown in limestone soil and it really comes out.   Pretty neat that the fruit was definitely present, yet the terroir showed through…   and I did enjoy that white pepperiness.



2008 Icardi Barbera D’Asti (Piedmonte)

Ruby red color, looks like a pinot.  Smells like a pinot too, cranberries, raspberries, dirt and mushrooms.   Ripe fruity mouthfeel, tons of black pepper on the finish.   Some tart cherries on that finish as well… excellent fruit in the glass and this was acidic, no tannins present here.   So it was dry, but definitely not big.   As a pinot drinker, I liked the body and fruit on this wine.



2008 Piazzo Barbera – Piedmonte

Same grapes as the last wine, but what a difference!   Darker, more tart fruit on the nose and a much dryer finish.   Lots of tannins are present here and there’s more acid on the finish than the Acardi.  I prefer the smoother finish of the Acardi, but have to say this is a complex, well made bottle.



2007 Querciabella Chianti Classico

Ever wondered what the difference is between Chianti and Chianti Classico?   Mostly the region.   Chianti comes from the hills of Florence, and Classico is from the heart of Tuscany.   I usually prefer Classico, so I was excited about this bottle!   Dark fruit (think currant), pepper and dirt on the nose.   Love, love, love the mouthfeel on this wine…   delicious fruit that lingers on the dry finish.   Excellent with the cured meat we were served at the tasting  :-)   I loved that this wine did not have the bone dry finish many Chianti’s have, and just loved the fruitiness.


Home run

2003 Feotto Dello Jato Sirae (Syrah)

Dirty, dirty nose!   Smells like blackberry jam smothered in dirt!   Some prunes on that nose as well.  A definite fruit bomb with dark fruit really popping out and a licorice aftertaste.   Definitely a different style than the smoky syrahs you’d get in California.   But I liked the dirtiness!

Price not available  :-(


A Chilean winery to keep an eye on – De Martino

I was invited to a De Martino tasting by the awesome people over at (thank you!) and got to try 5 of their fabulous wines.   I gave every wine over 90 points, all were very well made.   The best part?   The average bottle was $14.99!   :-)

Some key notes…

  • Chile had a great 2007 vintage so if you see any Chilean wines (especially Cabernet) from ’07, pick up a bottle and give it a try!
  • 2010 is supposed to be even better.   Can’t wait for them to be released…
  • These wines are delicious – in my opinion, of course.   They are bold, fruit forward and peppery with softer tannins on the finish.   If you are scared of peppery, spicy wines, you may not love them as much as I did.   They are just fine on their own, no food necessary.
  • This winery is eco-friendly!

2006 De Martino Las Cruces Old Bush Vines - Smells like licorice, cheese rind, blackberry brandy… this just smells like a big, bold bottle of vino. Huge fruit hit on the midpalate – super ripe blueberries coming out on the finish. Mouthfeel of a California zin but a much nicer finish. I want to drink this in Vermont on a summer night, watching shooting stars :-)  $29.99/bottle  Triple

2007 De Martino Legado Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon – Did Chile have a great growing season like California did in 2007? Nose=BAM – hit with that very ripe fruit. Some peppery goodness on the nose as well. I smell this and I want a steak, right now. Fruit for miles on the midpalate and a peppery bite on the finish. Finish makes your mouth water but not in a bad way. Still want a steak :-) This wine is absolutely delicious…   $14.99/bottle  HOME RUN

2008 De Martino Legado Reserva Syrah – Currant, berry jam, pepper, dried leaves and even a bit of passion fruit on the nose. Very, very interesting nose. Thinner on the mouthfeel than expected, and a nice, smooth finish. This finish just goes on and on and its a great thing. Love that the tannins aren’t overpowering the fruit. Well balanced. I feel like I am drinking a pinot on steriods… which is a good thing!  $14.99/bottle  Triple

2008 De Martino Organico Cabernet Sauvignon – Malbec – Extremely interesting and bold nose. Bell pepper, smoke, dark fruit, dirt, cranberry… fruit really comes out on the midpalate and I absolutely loved that it lingered at the end and the tannins didn’t dry out my mouth. But it didn’t just taste like fruit juice either, the tannins are there but the fruit is still coming out. This is a very well made wine that is drinking beautifully right now! I wouldn’t age it much longer…  $14.99/bottle Triple, possibly stealing home!

2008 De Martino Legado Reserva Chardonnay - The first thing I smelled when I took a whiff of this one is oak and butter- big time! Apple is coming through as well. Super creamy, ripe midpalate, and a surprisingly acidic finish. But the acid isn’t harsh – some of that fruit still pops through. This is the first Chilean chardonnay I’ve ever enjoyed – definitely digging this one! This wine is begging for dungeness crab or lobster thermador.  $14.99/bottle  Triple

2008 Twisted Old Vine Zinfandel

You can find this wine in the “cheap” section of your local wine store, right near the big bottles of Barefoot and Cavit.   The scent was a bit subdued until it was open for a while – then I got a pretty complex nose of raspberries, blackberries, currant, pepper and a little cedar.   Jammy midpalate, very juicy finish and lingerii88iuuuu;;;;;looo8888887;lkvjklhjkl;’nm,.km,,k5r – yeah, that was me cleaning my keyboard.   As I was typing this blog, my dad knocked over my wine glass, it shattered and a few drops got on my keyboard – ah, clean now!  Fruit, pepper and a bit of oak still lingering on the finish.  Very, very well made zin – especially at its price point.   Another great wine to buy to serve to guests at a party, or bring to a party!

$10/magnum.  Yup.


2008 Johnson Family Pinot Noir

I love, love a nice Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.   Blame Hartford Family Winery for getting me hooked, I haven’t been the same since trying their Land’s Edge Pinot Noir about 4 years ago.   So, back to Johnson.   Swirl, sniff…  smells like cherry cola, cranberries, vanilla.   I’m surprised at how much vanilla I get on this nose – think vanilla extract.  A bit thin on the mouthfeel but nice, tart fruit on the finish.   Nice, lingering aftertaste with some sour bite there.   I think it can use another year or two in the bottle, but very well made and definitely a great deal for the price.   Its tough to find a nice Pinot Noir under $20!