Yesterday in a tasting room I saw these adorable flip flop coasters and that made me want to drink some flipflop wine. So tonight, I popped open (or rather, twisted open) the flipflop cabernet. This is a summer cabernet, if there is such a thing! Usually, cabernet is heavy with lots of dark fruit and tannin. Well, this one has all the fruit but not the darkness. Smells like berry flesh and a bit of black pepper. The midpalate is bright and happy. And some nice, juicy berries & cherries on the finish. I’m enjoying this with some chocolate but it would also be delicious with a burger! Each of the flipflop wines I have tried are fruit driven and very approachable and this one is no different :-)
Turnbull’s tasting room is right on 29, the main road in Napa – amongst the likes of Mondavi and Beringer. It is definitely more intimate, and their wines are fabulous! I tried the Old Bull blend a few years ago and remembered the price point so I stopped in with friends to try their Viognier and the 2009 Old Bull. The Old Bull is a blend of Cabernet Sauv, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. And it smells BIG. This wine is big, bold and out there. Berries dominate, but I also smell some cocoa and mocha. The big bold berry theme continues on the midpalate and the finish. I opened this bottle with my friend Erin and she was also a huge fan… we both agreed it is perfect with BBQ! And it is not just because there is a bull on the label :-)
Trying a Riesling from Monterey made me want to take a drive down to Monterey… especially on a beautiful day like today. The coastline is stunning and Cannery Row is lots of fun! The Maddalena Riesling has a perfume-like floral nose, also some awesome peach, pineapple and lime. The mouthfeel is citrusy and a bit sugary, and the finish is… well, pretty darn awesome. There’s just enough acidity for it not to finish too sweet. I love the fruit in this wine, and appreciate that it is soft and subtle. This is a delicious off-dry Riesling and this would be an amazing match for spicy food.
In order of the TAPAS tasting this coming weekend, I decided to blog a tempranillo. http://www.tapasociety.org/ Tempranillo is a popular grape in Spain but more and more grape growers in the US are starting to plant tempranillo. Well, the one I decided to blog is from Spain. The Finca Del Viso smells like sweet raspberries with notes of spice. The mouthfeel is definitely light – like berry juice mixed with water, and the finish is lightweight for sure. I’ve had some great tempranillo but this wine wasn’t very exciting. I liked the nose but the finish died quickly and I was also looking for a bit more oomph on the midpalate.
Merlot gets a bad reputation (thanks, Sideways!) and I’ve heard plenty of people turn down the merlot in tasting rooms. But don’t pass on the merlot, there are some delicious ones out there!
The Hamilton Estates Merlot has a great nose, nice and complex. It smells herbal with spices and berries. The nose is complex but the wine is definitely lighter bodied… like cherry juice. The finish was a bit tart for my liking, lots of acidic fruit and a touch of vanilla. I get the feeling this merlot would have been better a year ago, for some reason. I just didn’t get as much tannin/body as I would have liked, but maybe I am just expecting too much!