Monday, May 31, 2010

Sierra foothills cab. franc

I like a lot of Sierra foothills zins and syrahs-they are often ultra-ripe and flavorful. With this thought I picked this wine, the Raven Oaks cabernet franc 2003 thinking that it might be a nice dark earthy wine to have with a mushroom pasta I was maikng that night. While the wine may have been pretty good, it wasn't earthy at all but fruity and almost like a petit sirah. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't what I thought I was getting but I still have to say that for $ 9.95 it is a good wine. The Raven Oaks is barrel aged for 22 months in new oak so it really should cost quite a bit more. Available at Shoppers corner. 6 1/2 swiggs.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No photo of the bottle ! For shame.....

Well, it isn't a perfect world and I took this excellent bottle to a restaurant and didn't get a photo of it. I'll just have to tell you that the Raymond Generations 2004 red wine is one to seek out. This is a real testimony to what quality Napa can produce .This Bordeaux style blend is good to drink right now and excellent with food. We really took our time with this bottle and it was improving as the dinner went on. I'll give it 10 swiggs without hesitation. This is a fairly widely distributed brand and can be found at better wine shops across the country.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Look out, it's a blockbuster !

Maybe its just hometown pride but I have to say, this is one heck of an impressive bottle from Storrs. The Lion Oaks Zinfandel is their flagship of that grape, which is saying a lot as Zins are what Storrs are all about. One of several bottlings , this 2005 Lion Oaks is a huge wine, almost like a vintage prt except for the fact that you can enjoy it with dinner, provided that the fare is up to the robust character of this wine. While it isn't cheap at $ 32.99 , it will rival many wines costing 2-3 times as much. We probably only get to drink this wine 3-4 times a year but it is very consistant from year to year. I doubt you'll find a more impressive Zin than this one . 10 swiggs.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lodi zin isn't bad.....

Two regions in Calif. that are noted for old vine Zinfandel that are not household names across the country are Lodi and Livermore. Long ago, there were vines planted-Zin vines that have been producing powerful, flavorful grapes for nearly a century. This offering 2007 " Old vine Zin" from Oak Ridge winery is not spectacular and at $ 10.99 , it isn't cheap enough to be a weekday swiller. That said, it lies somehwere between a bargain and a weekend wine-a gray area for sure. We found it to be pretty good but it didn't really impress us as something we would buy more of. Nevertheless, if you find it and want a tast of raisiny-Lodi style Zin, here's your wine. I'll give it 6 swiggs, although at the price it should be a little less. At Shopper's corner.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Special occasion dry Napa red

Sometimes high-end low production wineries offer lower cost " Cuvees", essentially blends of Bordeaux grapes that might be excess crop or maybe not quite good enough for a flagship $ 60.00 plus bottle. I believe that the Don Raffaele 2006 Melange de Vin is just that-maybe not the top end but still good Napa fruit and decent winemaking. It's a rich wine and pretty tanninc as well, maybe not good for folks who like a fruitier style. For fans of dry reds in the older California style this is a good example, kind of like Mondavi about 15 years ago. While it might not be the tip-top cult wine, it is still really good if you can deal with the tannins. I'll give it 8 swiggs and a good chioce for the weekend. $ 24.99 at Trader Joes.

Almost as good as it gets

Every once in awhile I'll review a wine such as this one. At $ 36.00 , it's something I will only have once or twice a year as my low income requires that I keep my wine purchases under $ 20.00 for the most part. This wine, however is probably the best one I have reviewed so far. The Paoletti 2002 Napa cabernet is really what a great Napa red wine should be : Rich, concentrated, flavorful -something that you'll take your time drinking.......a wine that gets your attention without making you forget about the rest of your meal. We were still drinking it with desert and it went equally well with the sweets. The wine is available from the winery online and they have quite a selection. It is a near-perfect statement of Napa cabernet and something that one should try. I had to hold back from giving it a perfect score but it wasn't easy, trust me. 9 1/2 swiggs.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Near perfection

The local favorite comes through again with a 2005 Petit Sirah that really shines. Tons of flavor, not very subtle but the flavors are soo good its really hard not to really like this wine. It's a weekend wine, of course being it the $ 20 plus range. Go to the winery or check your local wine store-this one isn't to be missed. 9 swiggs.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weekday Bordeaux on the cheap

A perennial at Trader Joes, the Tour Bigorre 2005 Cotes de Castillion is a real surprise. Though not from the Medoc or St. Emelion or any other noted appelations of Bordeaux, the Bigorre delivers on taste for a mere $ 5.99 . You'll have a tough time finding a wine this tasty for under $ 10 from any country. 7 swiggs.