Posts Tagged ‘wine


2008 Fog Crest Laguna West Pinot Noir

2008 Fog Crest, Laguna West, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Spicy red berries, blackberries and cherry cola (ala Dr. Pepper) on the nose with hints of vanilla oak and baking spices. Lovely medium bodied palate full of darker fruit cola flavors balanced by a silky smooth tannic structure, warm oaky notes and ribbons of white chocolate that lead into a long and satisfying finish of chocolate covered strawberries. There’s a nice level of acidity that keeps the overall character of this pinot on the lighter more elegant side to pair well with lighter dishes while still remaining bold and confident enough to hold up to more robust dishes.*

We had the first bottle with pasta shells with spinach, homegrown sun-dried tomatoes, roastrd whole clove garlic and peas in an arrabiata sauce and the match was made in heaven.

*Just a sidenote on these tasting notes for the second bottle, which was poured through our Vinturi aerator into the decanter while the first bottle was decanted without the use of the Vinturi. The first glass of the first bottle was still a bit tight but did open up nicely after a half hour or so…just in time for dinner! The first glass from the second bottle was amazingly smooth, like the last glass from the first bottle, and only got better as it sat in the decanter.


Four Graces…for sure

2008 – Four Graces Pinot Noir, Willamette ValleyJust a wonderfully supple and rich Pinot, with a nose full of spiced red berries and warm hints of leather and earth. The palate brought darker fruits like black cherry, a hint of plum and soothing nuances of baking spices (it reminded me a little of the Martinelli Moonshine Ranch…described as Holidays in a Glass). Mid-palate brought in some brighter notes of strawberries and a cranberry laced acidity. The structure was lovely with really smooth and gentle tannins that tied into a very satisfying finish. This one really went great with left overs and nice fire in the fireplace!


La Crema the crop

When I got home last night the GF surprised me with a nice bottle of this:

2008 – La Crema, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
This is a very well-balanced PN with bright red berry and spice notes on the nose followed by a rich and smooth palate of raspberries and red cherry with perfect elements of spice and soft tannins. The finish was equally smooth and I even detected notes of light chocolate. Out of all the bottlings from La Crema, the Sonoma Coast is by far better than the Monterey offering, which to me was too leathery, bordering on black rubber on the nose. We feel in love with this bottle while in San Fran last April. And for $19.99 at Trader Joe’s it’s not too bad a buy either.


it’s nice to zin once in a while

Had this lovely zin last night with grilled tacos, Italian Sausage, spinach, goat cheese and mushroom empanadas, sided with homemade pico de gallo and c=Chili Morita sauce.

2005-Stonehedge, Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel.
Another $9.99 Trader Joe’s gem. I let it open up for about an hour and the nose was deep and rich with dark fruits and spice. The palate was treated to wonderful dried fruit flavours nicely balanced by spice notes and silky tannins. Nice lingering finish as well.


This is why I love Spanish Wine!

Ok so, it’s been a while…ages to be more precise…since I posted. To be honest I’ve been drinking a lot more beer this hot summer than wine. However, Sunday I decided, just for the hell of it, to crack open this bottle.

2003, Terreus, Paraje de Cueva Baja, Tempranillo, Castillo y Leon
Let’s just start by saying WOW!!! Big and lush without being overbearing of flabby. The age on this has allowed the oak and tannins to integrate quite nicely to creat a very well balance, beautifully structured and complex wine. The nose was rich and warm with subtle hints of spiced dark fruits. The palate was mouth coating and full of rich black berry flavours. A silky ribbon of dark chocolate accented by finely textured tannins ran down the middle and just wouldn’t quit…all the way through what seemed to be an eternal finish. I only wish that I had the kind of cash it takes to buy some more of this!

Well, that’s about it for now. Will be heading to Disney over the holiday weekend so if I have a nice bottle during one of our dinners I will certainly try to snap a pic and post when I return.!



an evening with chris ringland

Ok, I apologize in advance as this is a somewhat image heavy post. But, it was, after all, Chris Ringland!

First the line-up:

L to R:
2009, Diddley Bow Riesling, Western Australia

2008, Darby and Joan Chardonnay, South Australia

2007 Chris Ringland “CR” Shiraz, Barossa Valley

2007 First Class Shiraz, McLaren Vale

2007 Chateau Chateau Triumphal Arch Grenache, Mader Vineyard, Light Pass, Barossa Valley

Sorry I drank this one before I thought to get a shot of its colour but it’s very similar in hue and colour to the Chateau Chateau Chateau Grenache below but despite the colour the nose was big and bold and spicy, robust even with spicy rose and floral notes. The palate was sherry-esque with rich dried fruits flavours and a strong finish.

2007 Chateau Chateau Chateau Grenache, Barossa Valley

The beautiful strawberry/ruby colour really foretold of what was to come: a fleshy palate filled with red currant, anise and dried berry flavours.

2007 Chateau Chateau Leaf Turner Mataro (65%) Grenache (35%), Barossa Valley

This one was by far my favourite of the Grenaches. It was rich, smooth and supple with lovely spice and oak notes with silky tannins that still managed to have good grip.

2007 Chateau Chateau Island Ebeneezer Grenache, Hoffman Vineyard, Barossa Valley

This was a big boy; weighing in at 18.6% and you could tell as it had a bit of a bourbon bite to it that wasn’t all together unpleasant. The nose carried notes of Creme Brule with hints of Indian Spices. It has an intense finish that reveals the alcohol levels but balanced with ripe fruit flavours.

As for the event,it was a nice intimate turnout of 18 people and Chris talked about his background and his philosophy on winemaking and was really quite entertaining.

And the parting shot…a pic with a rock star:

It certainly was a great night and Chris was a great guy, who just happens to make some awesome wines.


rias baixas…muchas gracias

Had this lovely little Albarino the other night with Chicken in a Soyaki Sauce and home-made Hawaiian Coconut and Pineapple bread.

2008, Paco Y Lola, Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain

This one has a lovely light golden colour and a fruity nose with peach and yellow apple notes and a hint of seaside minerality. It was light and crisp on the palate with a nice round mouthfeel without being oily. The finish and a refreshing acidity mixed again with that seaside minerality. This one seemed to achieve a nice balance between the fruit flavours and minerality that I found off kilter in other albarinos I’ve tried and when paired with the sweet bread it was magic!!!