Posts tagged Malbec
Wine Recommendations An Unexpected "Upshot" of a Weekend at Hamilton College

I was with my husband's college friends and their spouses last weekend. While letting our husbands relive their days at Hamilton College - yes, named after the US Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton - all of the other women agreed (unprovoked by me) that they buy wine based on their favorite grape variety then on the wine label appearance. I encouraged a few to look into blends to expand their palate "horizons", and these Rodney Strong Vineyards Upshot wines are ones that I would absolutely recommend to them all!

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Rodney Strong Over-Delivers on This Quintet

This array of Rodney Strong wines over-delivers for its price points. Per my previous post, this isn’t surprising. They have a smartly balanced oak influence, meaning that any new oak flavors present are well-integrated and don’t over take the fresh fruit nuances. They also do a terrific job of showing regional and varietal typicity. I’ll gladly endorse these, especially the Chardonnay Chalk Hill and the Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley.

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The Gamble of Generations: Investing in a Napa Valley Vineyard & Winery

The French have a saying that it takes three generations to see the cycle of a family business: one to build it, one to grow it then one to destroy it. I don’t know what the rest of the Gamble family farming business looks like today, but I can say that the “Gamble” of generations has paid off on the wine front. It seems Tom has started a new cycle, without finishing the first one!

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An Intro to Intrinsic Wine Company

Washington winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca takes wine craftsmanship to a zany new place with these two wines under the premise that the environment affects winemaking like it does street art. As it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is also in the glass of the imbiber.

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BenMarco 2016: Yes, Please!

I am loving the lower alcohols coming out of all peaks and crevices of Mendoza today. The wines were always delicious to taste, and now they are becoming more and more drinkable. This trio from Dominio del Plata’s BenMarco line provides a good set of examples. No wine exceeds 13.5% abv, and their freshness levels are exhilarating.

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Susana Balbo’s Latest, Classy Releases from Dominio del Plata

Signature Brioso White Blend Valle de Uco 2017: This dazzlingly fragrant white from Susana Balbo is a new release from Valle de Uco’s Altamira. This is a dynamic and unusual white from Argentina. It is super fun to sip and very easy on the wallet, too.

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Joel Gott: 20 Years Under $20

This was Joel Gott’s 20th vintage, after having started his business when he saw the demand for wines under $20 back in 1996. This is a blend not only of grapes (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc), but also of regions (Lake County, Monterey and Lodi) with the aim of making a wine of harmony.

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Harmony, Grace & Thoughtfulness - Man & Bottle

I often think can find the winemaker in the wine, and yet again, that is the case with David Ramey’s 2016 Claret. On paper this bottling looks like a precise, acrobatic exercise in blending…. Yet from the first to the last drop, this fusion radiates harmony, grace and thoughtfulness, just like the man behind the juice. 

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Hit & Miss: Susana Balbo 2018 Rosé Signature with Baked Coconut & Panko Shrimp & Dill-Infused Salmon Tartare with Sea Salted Potato Chips

Susana Balbo 2018 Rosé Signature: Gleaming in appearance with a pale salmon color, this wine has a teasing, almost evasive nose. Light and airy, it tastes of peach fuzz and watermelon rinds. A fun, phenolic pithiness nicely balances the brisk acidity that surges on the minerally but quick finish. It’s a fun, uncomplicated aperitivo.

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Troon Vineyard 2016s & 2017s

My latest series of sturdy young white and red bottlings from Troon needed aeration like never before. If you can spare the time, two or more hours would be ideal. Where I kept the bottle overnight, the wines always were more forthcoming the second day. They are usually worth the wait.

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An Update on Troon Vineyard from Applegate Valley, Oregon

Since I last tasted Troon wines, in Southern Oregon in July 2013, the winemaker and winemaking approach have changed. They were pleasant before, so I was curious to see what I would fine in the wines post-makeover. I'm happy to report that this Southern Oregon pioneer continues to push boundaries in the right direction.

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An Overview of Crown Range Cellar from New Zealand

Grant P Taylor 2015 Pinot Noir Central Otago: This is brilliant Kiwi Pinot Noir. Stuffed with ripe boysenberries and tart cranberries, it runs through the full range of red and black fruits from the time you crack the capsule until you pour the last dribble.

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New Prestige Releases from Trinchero

Trinchero 2012 Forte Napa Valley: This estate-grown wine boasts exceptional concentration. In fact, it’s a bit of a monster! It is inky black in color, bold in its full body and strident in grainy tannins. Alas, this is a classic case of a high-end wine seeing a retail shelf or restaurant wine list far before its time, even if it is now four years post-vintage.

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Thoughts & Scores from 2015 Bordeaux En Primeur

Another year, another en primeur campaign. How long this system can sustain itself? It seems every year the fuse gets shorter. What 2015 offers is a highly mixed bag. There’s something for everyone, but without careful research, everyone may not love what he or she purchases.

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Mullan Road Cellars 2013 Red Blend Columbia Valley

Winemakers often feel the need to stretch their boundaries. While I’ve heard of a number of Sonoma Pinot Noir makers heading to Oregon for fruit, I’ve not heard similar stories about Napa-ites reaching north. Until now. It turns out that in 2012, Dennis Cakebread ushured in a new era for his wildly successful family business.

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The Birthplace & Re-Birthplace of Malbec: Cahors & Mendoza

It’s Malbec, yet, it’s not. According to Wine Grapes, it should be called Cot. Very well.

But, what is this variety anyway? Flavor-wise and structure-wise, I often describe it as “the new Merlot” to both trade and consumer folk. Indeed, it turns out that it almost is. Rather, it is a half-sibling of Merlot as they share the same mother, Magdeleine Noire des Charentes.

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My Affection for Napa Mountain Wines Continues

I love the wines from the mountains that parallel – and hence form – Napa Valley. They bear a saline, earthy, dark-berried quality that fascinates me to no end. I now have been following Mount Vedeer Winery’s wines for at least 12 years, and not yet has one disappointed me, whatever the style of the vintage.

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