Wednesday, December 23, 2009

San Benito county has some high octane stuff

Out near Hollister in San Benito county there are some wineries out in them thar hills . These wineries are not well known for the most part and the style of winemaking there is unique to the climate, very very hot in the summer. The wines are intense,flavorful and alcoholic....maybe a taste to much for the European pallet but folks here are usually pretty knocked out with how good the wines are, particularly the Zin and Syrah.Pietra Santa makes both and the Zin pictured here is consistanly powerful both in flavor and complexity. At over 15% alcohol it is also not far from and apertif but it really is a wine that you can have with certain foods. As far as Zin goes, it is tough to find one more intense and expressive in the Sierra Foothills style-even if it is made many miles from there. I give it 8 1/2 swiggs....definitely a weekend quality wine for $ 15.95.

I say, that's a fine claret, old chum.

Guenoc has created a red blend along the lines of a Bordeaux red called " Victorian Claret". This is a marketing name that is supposed to conjure up in the customers mind images of ye olde Englishe clubbe house with stuffed leather chairs, cigar smoke and crystal decanters. At first I was a little put off by this as I would rather have some sort of meaningful name on the bottle such as "Merlot" or even "Meritage" indicating what the hell is inside the bottle. Guenoc figures that you do not need to know, just put on your best fake Oxford accent and sip this stuff and pretend that you are in Castle Howard tying one on with the Flytes . I will say, though that this wine really does have a Bordeaux dry taste, quite authentic for a new world wine. If dry is what you like, you will not have a problem with this one. The nose is probably more interesting than the taste but the taste is actually good enough for 6 1/2 swiggs. At $ 9.95 that is a pretty good score.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hope you like jammin' too.

A lot of Australian wines are gigantic jammy fruit weapons of mass destruction. This Mclaren Vale Grenache/shiraz is no exception...over the top fruitiness of the first order but there is a difference: This one is really good ! Valletta is one I had never heard of but I'll be looking for it in the future. It has a very similar style to Yangarra , my current favorite non-Barrossa red. A look at the glass shows a good amount of sediment, not a bad thing in my opinion as it shows that the wine has not been filtered to death. I'll give this one 8 1/2 might be a bit much for some folks but nobody can deny the quality and abundant and delicious flavors contained in this wine. Put some marinara on the barbie and douse yourself with this one.