May 18 2015

2013 Fontana Candida Terre Dei Grifi Frascati DOC

2013 Fontana Candida Terre de Grifi Frascati

Varietal:  50% Malvasia Bianca di Candia; 30% Trebbiano Toscano; 10% Greco; 10% Malvasia del Lazio
Region: Lazio, Italy
Cost:  $13 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes: Color: Clear and brilliant yellow with soft green shades. Bouquet: Delicate fragrance of exotic fruits and citrus. Taste: Dry and soft, with exotic fruit and a touch of ripe pear and almonds on the finish. Ideal as an aperitif or with Caesar salads, avocado based starters, fish, veal and chicken as well as Thai and Indian food.

My Review:  I’ll admit that most of my early experience with Italian whites was focused around Pinot Grigio – as I’m sure most of ours was. That’s why I was interested to try an Italian white that features exactly zero Pinot Grigio.

In the glass the wine was quite light with hints of green when held up to the light. On the nose I picked up soft notes of citrus and white flowers, but nothing terribly overwhelming. In the mouth the wine was dry, crisp, and refreshing, with flavors of pear and apple, with a nuttiness that came out in the finish that I enjoyed.

Continue Reading

No responses yet

May 14 2015

2013 Banfi Rosso di Montalcino DOC

2013 Banfi Rosso di Montalcino DOC

Varietal:  100% Sangiovese
Region:  Montalcino, Italy
Cost:  $25 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes:  Intense ruby red with violet reflections. On the nose, intense, fresh, and fruity with typical varietal characteristics of violet, cherry, and plum. Flavors are gentle, full and soft, with surprising length. Pairs ideally with aged cheese and wild game.

My Review:  A trio of Italian wines is a great way to celebrate the start of spring – at least that’s how I’m happy to celebrate it. We’ll start off with the 2013 Banfi Rosso di Montalcino DOC.

Continue Reading

No responses yet

Apr 28 2015

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc Digital Tasting

Brancott Estate Digital Tasting

So, in case you missed it, last Friday was International Sauvignon Blanc Day. In time with that, I had the opportunity to participate in a digital tasting of five Sauvignon Blanc wines the Thursday before, hosted by the good folks at Brancott Estate, and featuring their winemaker, Patrick Materman. You, like me, have likely seen Brancott Estate wines on the shelves at your local store, but I can promise you that you’ve been missing out on some of these if you’ve been passing them by.

2013 Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc – $15 (SRP)

My wife and I referred to this wine as Diet Sauvignon Blanc. Why you ask? Because it features 20% fewer calories  and only 9% alcohol/volume. On the nose the wine showed lemongrass, and in the mouth there were flavors of grapefruit and an herbaceousness that I immediately associated with tomato plants. The wine was light and crisp, definitely a good porch sipper as we move into the summer, and was easily a great way to start our tasting.

2014 Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc – $14 (SRP) Continue Reading

No responses yet

Apr 20 2015

Salton Intenso Sparkling Brut

Salton Intenso Sparkling Brut

Varietal:  70% Chardonnay; 30% Riesling
Region:  Brazil
Cost:  ~$15-17 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes:  Made in the charmat method, the Salton Intenso Brut is a blend of Chardonnay and Riesling. On the nose: citrus fruits and green apple. On the palate: a fresh creamy flavor with tropical fruit, melon, pineapple and wet stone.

My Review:  So, cards on the table – we like sparkling wine (or “bubbles” if you prefer) in my house. We don’t reserve them for special occasions, often opening them as an evening sipper and pairing them with our meals the way we would any other bottle of wine.

I say these things because I want you to understand why the review of this wine doesn’t focus on some special event in my wife and my lives, or why we didn’t pair the wine with some spectacular meal that truly deserved a special wine. Sparkling wine is wine just like any other bottle, and deserves the same treatment – regular openings and enjoyment with friends and family.

Ok…on to my thoughts on this bottle.

Continue Reading

No responses yet

Apr 14 2015

Two Lands Digital Tasting

Two Lands Digital Tasting

All of the online tastings that I’m privileged to participate in have reminded me of one thing – technology has opened up the doors for sharing and enjoying wine. Thanks technology.

Most recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a Digital Tasting of the new Two Lands line of wines from Jacob’s Creek, their new line of wines that’s bringing a California Expression to Australia. This tasting included four wines (Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz), as well as interactions with the wine maker and other wine writers via web cam and microphone (I stuck to typing as I wasn’t alone in the tasting and didn’t want to overwhelm the feed).

I have to admit that the webcam/microphone interaction among those of us doing the tasting was a new experience, and while I think it could be easy to get overwhelmed by it, I really liked the attempt to make us more than just text on a screen.

But, as with all things on this blog, it really comes down to the wines. A few quick notes so I don’t have to mention it over and over again. All of the wines are from South Australia, and all of them are priced at $14 SRP.

So, what did I think?

2014 Two Lands Pinot Grigio Continue Reading

No responses yet

Apr 10 2015

Salton Classic Tannat 2013 Reserva Especial

2012 Salton Intenso Tannat

Varietal:  100% Tannat
Region:  Brazil
Cost:  $13-15 (SRP)

Winemaker’s Notes:  On the nose, this wine has ripe black fruit, spices, mint and earthy notes. On the palate: strawberry, mint and dark cherry.

My Review:  I’ve had relatively few wines from Brazil, not because I haven’t enjoyed the ones that I’ve tried, but because I just haven’t – not everything has to have a deeper meaning or reason. I have, however, had plenty of wines from South America, so when offered the chance to try something new from Brazil, I jumped at it.

While I like Tannat, I’ll admit it’s not a grape that I drink a lot of. This mostly has to do with most producers in Virginia, where until recently I lived, using it mostly as a blending grape, and not as a single varietal bottling.

The 2012 Salton Intenso Tannat was dark in the glass, and on the nose I didn’t get much in the way of aromas. Even after letting the bottle open for a while I mostly got dark fruit and some earth notes. In the mouth the wine was light and bright, showing flavors of strawberry and cherry, both of which lead to a nice smooth finish.

Continue Reading

No responses yet

Next »