Posts tagged Petit Verdot
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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What Happened? Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia 2015

Those who follow wine closely know that it is a living drink. Like people, wine has good and bad days. 

I deeply hoped this 2015 Le Serre Nuove was having a bad day when I first tasted it professionally then drank it over several hours with dinner. It was astonishingly disappointing. A second bottle was modestly more satisfying but effectively identical. It certainly did not live up to my standard for Le Serre Nuove, a wine that I have tasted in its various phases – different winemakers, blends, vintages and so forth – for almost two decades.

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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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Faust 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon: Worth a Pact with Mephistopheles

Faust 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley: This is quintessential Napa Cabernet – in taste and in sourcing. It has a tantalizing succulence corralled by vivacious structure. The tannins are hedonistically velvety and the refreshment is almost electric – perfect for harnessing the richness of the densely textured and generously full-bodied palate.

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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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A Tour of Bulgaria in a Glass

Having visited Bulgaria twice for the Balkans International Wine Competition and having visited several wineries, I was thrilled when I was contacted to taste through a large number of Bulgarian wines coming into the US market.

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Bordeaux’s 2016 Vintage – An En Primeur That At Last Is (Mostly) A Pleasure To Taste

Bordeaux En Primeur 2016 was my first, verging-on-excellence En Primeur campaign. The top end turned out wines that were easy to be choosy about. So much the better when you’re forking over big digits two years before you receive the wines. The vintage also allowed for plenty of charming wines that will be pleasant to drink as well as ones that are overly ambitious. Regardless the appellation, it was exciting to see who teased out just a bit more of everything in their expressions of the vintage through their terroir.

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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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Bordeaux on the Table or Under the Tree for $65 or Less

There’s a sad misperception that Bordeaux is either utterly unaffordable or really, really bad. It’s true that most of us don’t buy much of super fancy stuff these days as their prices are, indeed, dizzyingly high. However, even in difficult vintages, Bordeaux – like the rest of the world – generally makes darn good wine today.

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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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Two Affordable 2009 Bordeaux Reds

The 2009 vintage was a killer year in Bordeaux, appealing particularly to those palates that love blockbuster wine styles. Declared the vintage of the (still-very-new) century before the grapes were even off the vine, the prices rocketed into the stratosphere. Yet, relative bargains from well-known appellations can be found. Here are two I recently came across.

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Château Tanesse 2012 Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux

Château Tanesse 2012 Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux: Nuanced, if hardly subtle, the wine smells of blackberries, loganberries, blueberries, briar patch and smoked beef. This wine is one of many that proves that the various “Côtes” appellations of Bordeaux make for excellent drinking while sparing the wallet.

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