Saturday, May 13, 2017

Review: *** $ Mendoza Vineyards 1907 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, 2014 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Mendoza Vineyards 1907 Malbec.

Original tasting and review : This is Mendoza Vineyards 1907 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, 2014, finished at 14% alcohol and first sampled three years from vintage date, in May, 2017.  This malbec was created with fermentation in some new French oak, and is made from grapes harvested from a vinted planted over 100 years ago.


Inspired by this wine: Hiking out to the campfire at dusk, hearing a fife and drum parade in the distance.

In the glass: Dark magenta, opaque from a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bright, bold, fiery-streaked violet notes.    From the aroma, seems like this may be bold and almost bombastic.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact more sleek, mineral and restrained than anticipated.  Bold dark fruit touches the center of your mouth, but it spreads with taut tannins across your palate, yielding some charred oak in passing.  The finish brings some dried mushrooms into your cheeks.  Quite svelte.  Not big. Not bombastic.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, being a best value at an attractively acquired price.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Mendoza Vineyards 1907 Malbec.

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Whisky versus (vs) Whiskey - how to spell? (Secret tip!)

"Whisky" and "Whiskey" are pretty much the same substance, but why the difference in spelling?  Well, I can't provide full etymology here, but I'll clue you in to my little secret in remembering which is which...  If the country from which the distillation comes  has an "e" in its name (eg, America, Ireland), use the "e", as in "whiskey".   If the country name doesn't have an "e", skip the "e"' and use "whisky" (eg, Scotland, Canada, Japan).  I'm quite confident this is not a hard-and-fast rule, but it helps me keep things generally straight!


(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: *** ***+ $$ Talo San Marzano wines from Puglia, Italy - Negroamano and Malvasia Nera

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Talo San Marzano wines.

By way of background : These are two wines from the San Marzano line, both created in Puglia (also known as Apulia) in southern Italy.  San Marzano is a cooperative that incorporates some 1,200 separate growers working across over 3,500 acres in the southernmost sub-region of Puglia, Salento.   Both of the wines we will sample today are finished six months in French oak, and are representative of traditional grapes from the region - namely, negroamaro and malvasia nera.  Both sample wines were provided by the winemakers' representatives, Teuwen Communications.


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Original tasting and review: Talo San Marzano Salice Salentino, Puglia, Italy, 2013, finished at 13% alcohol and originally tasted four years from vintage date in April, 2017.  This is a blend of 85% negroamaro and 15% malvasia nera.

Inspired by this wine: A lively game of checkers by the parlor fireplace - family gathering round to watch!

In the glass: Deep mahogany, just opaque in the center of the glass.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows sturdy, oaked character streaming around robust dark red fruit.   From the aroma, seems like this may be bold and perhaps contemplative.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact robust, round, bold fruit with sturdy surround-sound of tannins and touches of oak.  Classic, round dark fruit holds in your mouth and cheeks for a lengthy stay.  The sip fades into just a touch of acids at the finish.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a big plus on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a good value at its modest price point.

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Original tasting and review: Talo San Marzano Malvasia Nera, Puglia, Italy, 2014, finished at 13.5% alcohol and originally tasted three years from vintage date in April, 2017.

Inspired by this wine: Piecing together a fresh, healthy salad lunch.  

In the glass: Deep mahogany and magenta.  Almost opaque in the center.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows soft, shy but bright red fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this may be deep and hidden.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much more vibrant and expressive than expected.  Red fruit curls tightly into your cheeks, holding a lively sparky character aloft for a long time. Sip final allows the red fruit acidity to settle, leaving a fresh, clean finish tinged with some light, lingering tannins.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Talo San Marzano wines.

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Review: ***+ **** $$ Locations Wine selections: F, I, E Versions "4" France, Italy, Spain - all great values!

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Locations Wine selections.


Original tasting and review : These are wines from the Locations Wine line, made from an amalgam of grapes from various regions in a specific country, and named for the country of origin.   They are big wines all, ranging in the 14.5 to 15% alcohol range.  All were the responsibility of Dave Phinney, winemaker.  The 2014 vintages are being sampled three years from vintage date, in April, 2017.  Review wines were provided by the winery through their representatives at Balzac Communications & Marketing and were part of a live online tasting with the winemaker.  

The winemaker explained that the European-based wines are made in the country of origin, then assembled and bottled in Barcelona, Spain.  The version numbers - in these cases the number "4" - relates to the annual series number of the wine.  It's not QUITE a vintage, but version "1" was in 2001, so you can probably work out the math fairly easily.

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Locations "E" wine, version "4", from Spain:
Includes grapes from almost two dozen lots around Spain.  Phinney explained his hopes of making a world class wine from among a wide range of vineyard style and grapes.  

Inspired by this wineSeated in the country courtyard, heating up the outdoor brick hearth.

In the glass: Light mahogany with deeper dusty tone.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bright notes with definite charcoal tones amidst the red fruit.   From the aroma, seems like this will be bright, perhaps acidic, with some layers of fruit

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact quite sweet and luscious in feel, with ripe red fruits, layered with solid, substantial tannins.  Finish fades slowly and remains remarkably clean.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Best value at its price point.

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Locations "F" wine, version "4", from France:

Inspired by this wineA chat in the quiet parlor, friendly talk about family, friends and the future.

In the glass: Medium burgundy, not opaque in the center of the glass.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows gentle nose with elements of wool blankets and pomegranates.   From the aroma, seems like this will be bright and cheery.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact gentle, layered, bright red fruit.  Full mid fruit and clean, relatively quick, finish.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a plus on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Good value at the price point.

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Locations "I" wine, version "4", from Italy:

Inspired by this wineComing in from a dusty hike, kicking off the boots and ready to relax.

In the glass: Deep brick, not opaque in the center of the glass.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows a touch of smoke with deep black/red fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be classic and, perhaps, closed.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much more generous than anticipated, with dusty, ripe red fruit coming across the palate.   The sip moves to a few darker tones in the mid-palate and glides to a clean finish of ripe red fruit.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a big plus on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a good value at its price point.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Locations Wine selections.

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review: **** $$$ Michael David Inkblot Cabernet Franc, Lodi, California, 2014

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Original tasting and review : This is Michael David Inkblot Cabernet Franc, Lodi, California, 2014, finished at 15.4% alcohol and first sampled three years from vintage date, in April, 2017.  It was part of a regional tasting of Lodi Wines hosted by The Wines of Lodi California (LoCA) and sponsored by Calhoun Wine.

Inspired by this wine: Campfire cuts the cool fall air, sharing s'mores with friends.

In the glass: Deep magenta and mahogany.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows steely but deep violet florals.   From the aroma, seems like this will be mineral and deep.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a full, round, sweet wash across your entire palate, the marshmallow-fleshy fingers reaching around your cheeks.  The full sweetness washes into a more balanced, but still big and bold blend.

In summary: Overall, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.


(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: ***+ $$ Bokisch Vineyards Albarino, Terra Alta Vineyard, Clements Hills, Lodi, Californa, 2015 = GOOD VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Bokisch Vineyards Albarino.

Original tasting and review : This is Bokisch Vineyards Albarino, Terra Alta Vineyard, Clements Hills, Lodi, Californa, 2015, finished at 12.5% alcohol and first sampled three years from vintage date, in April, 2017.  It was part of a regional tasting of Lodi Wines hosted by The Wines of Lodi California (LoCA) and sponsored by Calhoun Wine.

Inspired by this wine: Slicing lemons and oranges, the kids are squeezing them for a sweet summertime seltzer.

In the glass: Clear, hints of yellow.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bold lemon with light squeezes of orange.  From the aroma, seems like this will be slicing, biting and brisk with light hints of fruit and sugar.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sleek but rounded, sweet mineral citrus. A clean start is finished by a lingering, fresh tangy wash.  Bright wisp of acid at the very end - a goodbye wave!

In summary: Overall, rates three plus stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a good value at its price point.

(c) Copyright 2017 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.