Jan 15 2015

Pardon the Interruption

Published by under Wine Reviews

Moving Van

So I’m taking a brief (very brief) hiatus from the blog. Why you ask? Because my wife and I are in the middle of relocating from Richmond, Virginia to Greenville, North Carolina and, to be honest, I just don’t have the time to keep up with selling one house, buying another, and moving. Also, most of my wine supplies are all packed up (not all…just most).

I’ll be back around the start of February so don’t worry that I’ve decided to walk away from the site.

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Dec 30 2014

2012 McIntyre Vineyards Estate Chardonnay

2012 McIntyre Vineyards Estate Chardonnay

Varietal:  100% Chardonnay
Region:  Santa Lucia Highlands, California – USA
Cost:  $28 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes:  Pale gold in the glass, like warm autumn sunshine, this wine embodies the essence of the Santa Lucia Highlands with its aromas of baked golden apples, ripe pears, butterscotch, and lemon cream pie. In the mouth, it has ample minerality, persistently pleasant acidity, and delightful flavors of lemon bars, pear creme brulee, pineapple-carrot cake, and lemon meringue pie. Finishes with lively intensity, leaving a pleasant hazelnuttiness in its wake.

My Review:  If you’ve read more than a handful of my reviews, you know that Chardonnay is a hot topic in my house. Not because I don’t enjoy it, quite the opposite in fact, but because of my wife’s preferences in the grape. For years she thought she just flat out didn’t like – an acceptale response as I don’t expect every person to like every type of wine. It turns out, however, that it’s not that she doesn’t like Chardonnay, only that she doesn’t like Oaked Chardonnay – which of course the 2012 McIntyre Vineyards Estate Chardonnay is; aged in new Siruge French oak barrels for 8 months.

With that fact in front of me, I picked a time when my wife wouldn’t be in a position to have to sip on the wine – the weekend we returned home from the Christmas holiday and got back into the swing of packing up our house for our impending move. Wine was definitely necessary.

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Dec 18 2014

2012 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

Varietal:  80% Cabernet Sauvignon; 16% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Franc; 2% Petit Verdot
Region:  Napa Valley, CA – USA
Cost:  $50 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Note:  Lush and smooth with a deep ruby red color and aromas of black cherry, red plum, and sandalwood that lift out of the glass. The wine has an inviting rich entry with a velvety texture and captivating notes of cassis, cocoa, and ripe wild berries. The complex flavors continue to unfold into a long rewarding finish. The 2012 is ready to drink upon release but will continue to develop and age gracefully over six to eight years.

My Review:  Back in April I got a chance to try the 2011 Faust. Now we’re on the the 2012, and I have to say, they are continuing with the excellence in wine, even with a slight change to the formula in what was already a really good wine.

In the glass the wine was deep red and on the nose I picked up dark cherry and sandalwood that were only enhanced the more time the wine spent in the decanter and the glass. In the mouth the wine was smooth and full-bodied, with great notes of ripe berries and cocoa that lingered just the right amount. Continue Reading

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Dec 17 2014

December 2014 Virginia Wine Chat – Trump Winery

VA Wine Chat Trump Winery

It’s that time again, time for another Virginia Wine Chat! This month our friend Frank Morgan visited Trump Winery and sat down with their winemaker, Jonathan Wheeler, to taste some wines, talk about their approach, and to get his thoughts on the Virginia wine industry as a whole. As usual, I’ve embedded the video below so you can check it out for yourself and we can get to my thoughts on the wines. This month we tasted 4 different wines – 3 whites and a red.

2009 Sparkling Blanc de Blanc – $24

The Sparkling Blanc de Blanc is always a favorite at my house, in no small part because it’s a great value at $24. Made with 100% Chardonnay grapes in the Methode Champenoise, the wine featured green apple and brioche both on the nose and in the mouth, with just a touch of minerality on the finish. I like the Blanc de Blanc thanks to the small to medium-sized bubbles, making it easy to sip with a meal (scallops), with a cheese plate, or just by itself – because you never need a reason for bubbles.

2008 Sparkling Reserve – $45

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Dec 12 2014

2014 Holiday Wine Gifts

Published by under Wine Gifts

It’s that time of year again, the time when you’re scrambling to think about what to get that person in your life, be it a mother, father, husband, wife, or co-worker, and you realize you don’t know what to get them, but that you know they’re always open for something related to wine. So, with that in mind, here’s my recommendations on a variety of items that the wine-lover in your life would be more than happy to find under the tree or in a stocking.

 Stocking Stuffers

Ok, these items don’t have to go in a stocking, but they can, for the most part, get tucked into most standard sized stockings.

Wine Shop Gift Cards – If your friends and family are anything like me, they like to try new wines, and a gift card to their local/favorite wine shop is a free ticket to go buy that wine they’ve been wanting to try without having to feel guilty about it.

Wine Tools – You can never have enough bottle openers. Also, wine preservation items like vacuum sealers and cleaning supplies (I’m partial to these two brushes for cleaning my glasses and my decanters) will always find a welcome home with any wine lover.

Wine Travel Vouchers - Visiting wine country is always great, but there is the part of having to balance the fun of visiting wineries and tasting with the responsibility of driving. Vouchers for travel services are a great gift, and a lot of them have special wine tours that you can sign up for.

Wine of the Month Club – Getting new wine delivered to your house is literally the gift that keeps on giving. The good folks over at Wine of the Month Club have a great selection of gift packs and monthly subscriptions that give you the ability to tailor your gift to their tastes, and your budget, all with great packaging that will look great during the Holidays and all through the year. Sign your friends and family up for a club membership and slip the news into their stocking to see a smile during the Holidays.

Wine of the Month Club

Wine of the Month Club

Home Gifts

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Dec 09 2014

2012 Juxtapoz

2012 Juxtapoz

Varietal:  55% Syrah; 23% Zinfandel; 9% Petite Sirah; 6% Malbec; 4% Cabernet Sauvignon; 3% Other
Region:  North Coast, California – USA
Cost:  $25 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes:  Aromas of blueberry pie, caramel, and mocha, with flavors of ripe blueberry, juicy plum, and dark chocolate. Full bodied with mouth-filling tannins and good mid-palate weight. Soft, round, long, and full on the finish.

My Review:  I was impressed when this wine showed up – it was housed in an impressive package that included tasting notes, a kaleidascope, and, of course, the wine. But that’s not what you’re really here for – you’re want to know what I think of the wine.

Juxtapoz Packaging

Juxtapoz Packaging

First off, in the glass, the wine was a deep purple, and on the nose I picked up caramel at first blush, which opened up to mocha over time (more on that later). In the mouth the wine started out very fruit-forward, with juicy plum jumping out before mellowing into some dark chocolate notes to complement the mocha on the nose.

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