2010 Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau

On the third Thursday of every November, there’s an actual wine holiday – the release of Beaujolais Nouveau!   One of my favorite days of the year   :-)    Beaujolias is a fruit forward, light wine that is best when consumed young.   It is easy to drink, and pairs well with – yup, you guessed it – Thanksgiving turkey.   I had the privelege of trying this year’s release at one of my favorite local wine bars – Residual Sugar (love, love the name!) – http://www.residualsugarwine.com/

The Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais is no exception…   light cherry and berries and a bit of rose petal on the nose.   The nose is very pretty!   The midpalate is quite juicy, balanced acidity on the finish with more bite than I expected.   Delicious paired with spicy cured meat.



Concannon 2007 Petite Sirah Conservancy Livermore Valley

Fact – Petite Sirah is not a baby Syrah grape  :-)   It is an entirely different wine grape!   Hence, the reason Syrah and Petite Sirah do not taste alike.   I like my Petite Sirah rustic and rich in flavor, so I was a bit disappointed with this one.   A bit of berries and mocha on the nose, but I thought the bouquet was subdued.   The mouthfeel was rather thin, but there was some nice fruit there.   The finish was smooth, with some blackberry lingering.  



2008 Babcock Under the Radar Syrah – Santa Barbara CA

All hail the Bevmo nickel sale!   :-)  This Syrah has big blackberry and blueberry on the nose, not much else but mountains of tart fruit!  There’s a teensy bit of oak as well.   It definitely doesn’t smell as big and bold as other Syrah’s I’ve tried.   The fruit on the midpalate is rich and juicy – big on the dark berries.  Nice acidity on the finish – and a minute later I am still tasting blackberries.   I prefer more complexity and more bold flavors, but this is nicely made.



2008 Monthaven Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast

Maybe I shouldn’t have been BBQing while writing the tasting notes on this wine  :-)   OK, closed my balcony door and brought the glass into the hallway!   I get black cherry as the primary fruit in the wine, with some darker fruit (currant) notes as well.   I also smell a faint hint of smoky bell pepper and pine.   Very juicy midpalate and finish.   There’s nice fruit on this that really pops out – mostly cherry, with some cranberry as well.   This is a cabernet that can definitely be consumed on its own, unlike most cabs that need to be paired with food.   This cabernet is soft, and smooth on the finish.   Perfect to serve at a holiday party!   :-)

$19.99/3 Liter Box



2000 Charles Shaw Cabernet. Oh, no I didn’t!

Charles Shaw, aka Two Buck Chuck.   People buy this wine by the case at Trader Joe’s and its wildly popular, mostly due to the price.   When my friend Louise called me and told me that she found a 2000 vintage Two Buck Chuck Cabernet in a collection of dusty wine bottles her friend had given to her, I was flattered that she wanted to share the bottle with me  :-)

I opened it verrrrry carefully, almost convinced the cork would disintegrate.   But it stayed intact, a good sign!   Then, I poured a glass.   Brick red-brownish color – this baby is OLD.   Swirl… and another good sign – no funky odors.   What I did get was lots of prune, a teeny bit of bell pepper and a bit of leather.   Its definitely oxidized and has that prune/raisiny quality.   Finish was pretty much nonexistent.  But then again… is there ever a big finish on a cabernet that costs $2.99?  ;-)

I’m not scoring this one, because drinking it was more of a novelty.   No one buys Two Buck Chuck to put away for a special occasion… the wines aren’t meant to age.   But I’m glad I got to try it!