Saturday, June 12, 2010

Zin dosen't get any better than this.

Look for this wine if you are a Zin fanatic.The Gia Domella 2005 Russian River Zin- It has it all.....richness, complexity and depth. There's a place where all great California Zins all converge. This place is the pinnicle of what intense expression lies in this wonderful grape and it is somewhere special in the world of good wine. The grapes are from the Passalaqua family, a line of folks that started growing grapes beore prohibition. I am not sure what this wine costs but I'll bet that this limited production ( 356 cases only! ) isn't cheap. I'll give it 9 1/2 swiggs, about the top for a Zin. It's Russian river fruit-same general location as the Geyserville and Lytton springs grapes that Ridge masterfully crafts into some of the great wines of the world.

Sometimes the critics are right.

I have walked past the Layer Cake wines thinking that they were probably generic supermarket-style characterless and boring. Lat week I read that the critics were lauding this particular bottle so I became interested....not interested enough to pay the $ 15.95 , though. As luck would have it, a friend dropped by a couple bottles as a gift and upon drinking it, my wife and I were inpressed. I'll give this 2009 Shiraz 8 swiggs and reccmend it highly. It is available at Trader Joes among other places.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A taste of the Ventoux , without the pain

The Mont Ventoux has been long known as a supreme challenge for cyclists pretty much since the beginning of the last century.This giant mountian rises high above the northern border of Provence and can be seen from many miles away. While it might be known as a meeca for masochistic bike riders, it is also blessed with many acres of grapevines , mostly Grenache, Syrah and the other popular varietels that make up the Rhone blends. This VMV cotes du Ventoux is a wonderful taste of the south of France and it's dry, spicy tastes suit food better than most harder-hitting domestic products. Also, there's more going on tastewise in a wine such as this compared to similarly priced editions from the local market. If you can find it, it is only $ 8.99 and authentically French. 7 1/2 swiggs , from Shopper's Corner.

Beyond catagory

Just when I thought that I had found the ceiling...the absolute best of what I could put on the table , along comes a wine with class beyond the rest. I am without adaquate words to describe the completeness and beauty of the Ridge '04 Santa Cruz mtns. blend. All I can say is that for as long as I have been drinking wine, Ridge has always stood out as a benchmark , something to compare not only domestic wines to, but all wines from all over the world. This blend of the classic Bordeaux varietels goes beyond anything that I have tasted from Cailfornia. This is not to say that it is better, just mor complete, more sophisticated and timeless. Ridge does not appear to follow trends or pay attention to what cult winemakers are doing elswhere in the state. Ridge wines seldom cost more than $ 40, except for thier Monte Bello estate Cabernet, a very rare and coveted wine. I bought this bottle a few years ago at the winery and saved it until last weekend. My reward was a perfectly aged wine experience that I'll not forget.Seek this one is probably the best red wine you'll ever have.

Zin from the Sierra foothills

It's not difficult to find a nice rich flavorful Zin from Amador county in the Sierra foothills but it is tough to find an affordable one that really has the intensity and full body that charcterizes the best from this region. The Karly 2008 Pokerville Zin is seldom available here in Santa Cruz but it is here now at New Leaf market for the price of $ 11.95. I believe this wine compares well with pricier versions in the $ 20-30 range and beats out most of the wines under $ 15 for flavor. I'll give it a solid 8 swiggs, good enough for the weekend, inexpensive enough to stock up on.