2007 DeLoach Russian River Chardonnay

DeLoach makes a great Pinot Noir so I was very excited to try this Chardonnay.  Smells toasty!   I am pretty sure this wine was aged in a barrel that was well toasted on the inside.   Burnt wood, bacon, pear, apple, pineapple, butter and caramel on the nose.   Definitely quite nice!   Oaky bite on the finish, with some tart apple lingering as well.  Not a chardonnay for those afraid of oak and toast, but not overoaked either.   I love the complex nose, and the balanced acid on the finish.


Home run

2008 Castlebank Old Vine Zinfandel Guilia’s Vineyard

Big, spicy smell on this zin!   Blackberry, prune, clove, pepper and smoke.   I definitely smell something burnt in this wine, but in a good way.   Berries on the midpalate and a peppery bite on the back end.   The oak and smoke definitely linger on this one.   I do taste the alcohol (15.7% – wow!) but the juicy fruit on this definitely comes through.   This would pair well with bacon wrapped dates – the smokiness and sweetness would compliment the wine well!



Ribera del Duero. Translation – really amazing wine!

OK, so the translation really is Bank of Duero, which would be referring to the Duero River.   Now lets get to the wine!   I was able to attend a Ribera del Duero tasting thanks to my friends at www.corkd.com  :-)    The wines have lots of character and many were spicy!   I love a wine with good spice as long as the alcohol content isn’t too high.

2009 Pradorey Rosado

Beautiful color! Not quite pink, more like a light transparent red. This wine smells like it will be acidic and refreshing – strawberry and blackbery scent is definitely coming through. Some vanilla as well, which is not typical of a rose. Really good fruit coming out on the midpalate – and not as much acid as I expected. Strawberry vanilla finish. This wine is much more approachable than other rose’s I’ve tasted. Great balance on the finish. This is a Pinot drinker’s rose for sure! Pairing = Peking duck


Home run – even if you don’t love Rose wines, be sure to try this one!

2006 Protos Roble Tempranillo

Dark fruit, clove and smoke on the nose. Spicy! Finish is very interesting and definitly lingers… some big spices. I wasn’t crazy about this wine until the finish and now I’m a fan! I’m liking the spice :-)



2003 Tinto Figuero 15 Reserva

Tobacco, mocha, blackberry… what a nose! This smells big and complex. Dry finish with big tannins. Its kind of unfair to try this solo… it needs food – like a manchengo cheese.



2006 Condado de Haza Crianza

Whoa. Super dark fruit, dark chocolate, tobacco and all sorts of goodness on this nose. Very complex! Aftertaste reminds me of dark, bitter chocolate and I am liking it :-)



2006 Aalto Tempranillo

Blackberry jam, licorice, black pepper, and toast on the nose, yum. Spicy finish with some vanilla coming out as well. I keep going back and smelling this one, just love the nose on it! After tasting again, getting some cranberry on the finish. Definitely dry on the finish which would make it a food wine – paella!


Home run

2009 Wallace Barossa Valley Shiraz/Grenache

My friend was very excited for me to try this wine and described it as a “fruit bomb”.   The color was definitely purple, meaning its a young wine.   Here’s a guide to guessing the age of a red wine based on color alone:

0-3 years – purple

3-5 years – red

5+ years – starts to turn a brick color, than brownish

Done with the wine lesson, lets get to tasting!   Huge fruit coming out on the nose, gobs and gobs of it.  Ever have Gushers?   That’s what the smell reminded me of.   On the midpalate, the alcohol overpowered the fruit a bit.   Definitely got pepper on the finish, but more heat!   Definitely serve this one a bit chilled to cool it down a bit.  Despite the alcohol level (15% – yikes!), there is nice fruit on this wine and I’d describe it as very fun  :-)



2007 Nepenthe Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills Australia

I mostly drink Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand so in honor of my friend Jess who was just in town from Sydney… I decided to give an Aussie Sauvignon Blanc a try  :-)  I expected it to be closer to the style of the New Zealand Sauv Blancs – grassy, exotic tropical fruit notes – but it was definitely different.   Minerals and lemon-lime on the nose, balanced acid on the midpalate and a crisp, clean finish.   Very bright and acidic with a lime aftertaste, definitely refreshing…. this is a well made food friendly wine that would pair very well with seafood.



2007 Four Vines Old Vine Cuvee Zinfandel

Zinfandel is the perfect BBQ wine…  its jammy fruit and pepper flavors really pair well with anything that comes off the grill.   The Four Vines zin is a great example…   smells like raspberries, a touch of oak and white pepper.   Big blackberry jam flavors and pepper on the finish.   This is a pretty awesome peppery fruit bomb.   Bring a bottle to a BBQ.   Your friends will love it!

$12.99/bottle @ California Wine Merchants