Tag Archives: red wine

It’s not corked!!!

21 Mar


Oh heck I was nervous to taste my second. Because the first was wonk so I wrote the winery and they sent me a non-corked specimen. But what if I was wrong?

I’m a member of this winery. Did I hate one of their top wines? Was this a sign my taste blew? Blows? Blow-ed? Did a blow thing in the past?

I was questioning existence itself as a thing which is probably too much thought for a wine that was obviously corked.

All the same the winery kindly sent me a replacement bottle and I was SO SCARED that I’d open it and it would be the same and the wine was supposed to taste like that and maybe I just had terrible taste buds.

It was not corked. My tasters work. This wine is marvelous and kudos Dragonette for quickly remedying my corked situation.

2014 Dragonette Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard

Only 380 cases produced. It’s too bad one was corked but gosh dang the real deal is the bees knees.

Bees have real sexy knees.

Fuck dude it’s cherry syrup on butter pecan ice cream. That’s it.

Okay I will say more.

You sip and boom there is some acid. Also if you get to the end of the bottle there is some sediment. This shit is unfiltered like a goddamned boss.

Shit this is…GOOD Cali Pinot?! I Lurve This Pinot. Right now. I’m not normally into Cali Pinot but Dragonette as I mentioned is a goddamned boss.

Okay to sum up it is highly Acidic. Highly cherries that have hung out in vanilla and oak and sunshine. 

This is one of those confusing thangs. There is so much up body up in this Noir you are like “is this a cab Blend?” And then you are like I’m an idiot.

But you are not. Because this lovely is full and nuanced and mellow yet complicated like me when I am not yet fully awake but already trying to decipher my dreams.

It’s like…the cherries. But they are complicated. Did I mention them? The cherries? Like every color and roasted and boiled and maybe even pickled. All the cherries.

I mentioned them right?

And there is mayhaps some oak. 

Double checked: 20 months in French oak barrels–13% new.

This is cherry Coke vacationing on the shore near the forest in…in wherever there is earth n dirt and an enchantress stewing cherries. 

Yah.

Happy spring y’all.

This is your unicorn Pinot.

Cheers!

17 Mar


I apologize in advance if this entry is more maudlin and less haha funny. Because I want to toast to family. Which matters.

Family is the…BEST thing. If it weren’t for my parents I…well I need not go on. 

So. Accelerating to the drink because I can tell you more of my not-haha-funny past my family saved me from later. History will always be there where we left it.

How many of us can create wines in honor of our papas? If I ever make a wine I would. That’s what Joseph Carr of Josh Cellars did when he made

Josh Cellars Legacy Red Blend

And the winery was kind enough to send some to me. If my family were in town I certainly would have shared the wealth. But it was Tuesday night in LA and I needed to write another wine blog and there was nary a soul to share with. So I am cheers-ing with the camera. With you.

My blog family.

I love you dear readers. Not as much I love my family but like, a whole bunch.

But because I love you I’ll stop being sappy and talk of this vino I would share with you.

Were you here. 

My lovelies.

Okay wine.

The grape varietal combo is luscious:

45% Merlot for the juicy alcoholic tastiness. 45% Zinfandel for those of us who like our rough and also slightly spicy stewed fruit. Then 5% Cabernet Sauvignon (everyone will drink it!) and 5% Petite Sirah (why not?).

This drink is indeed good for family because it is medium in almost every category. So no one will argue. It’s a balanced bottle.

To the eye: deep cherry-plum red, medium tears

Nose: clean, medium intensity, cherries, plum, tobacco and raisins, youthful (2014)

Tongue: dry, medium acid, medium tannins, medium alcohol (13.5% abv), medium body, medium flavor intensity, plums, raspberries, currants (red and black), stewed dried fruit (raisins, prunes, cranberries), vanilla, cigar box, cloves, allspice, medium finish

All over: good quality. Quite do-able. If I was at a party and someone handed this to me I’d be at home.

I’d take this wine home. Cheers!

Lovely

7 Feb


Oh hey chatty wine! This wine has a lot to say and I was up for listening. And reading. The winery sent me oodles of info on this lil’ sample from Columbia Valley:

Mullan Road Cellars 2013 Red Wine Blend

It’s a Bordeaux blend: 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec 

Oh okay okay let us talk about the taste. That’s what y’all are here for no?

Oh okay okay okay I am going to go WSET with the tasting notes but I’ll attempt to spice them up. If you want to skip all that I’ll just say this is a sexy blackberry jam of a wine with some delightful vanilla from its 16 months in oak (some new French, some American).

Here we go!

On ze Eye: Easy. Easy on the eyes. Ahem. Technically it is clear, medium ruby with slow thick tears.

In yer Nose: clean, medium, blackberry, vanilla, and allspice to put it simply. Youthful.

On ye olde Tongue: dry, medium plus acid and alcohol, so a thoroughly serious wine. But like fun serious. Like…I’m not sure things in the world have been unfun serious recently so… 

Body and flavor intensity: medium plus, both of them. Tannins are the medium. But all the acid and alcohol (14.3% abv) make me think this could be aged for some time. 6 years, say?

Flavours (with a u bc why not British): blackberries!!!!!! And as the French and cool people like you and I say: cassis. As in currants: mostly red. Boatloads of vanilla. And allspice! That’s the stuff! And probably some more spices like cloves and nutmeg but they are elegantly woven in so you don’t get the impression you’re eating a Christmas cookie although that sounds good right now…

Oh no now I want another bottle so I can pair it with gingerbread. Not that I have gingerbread right now. Or another bottle so all this will remain a fantasy. For now…

Big. Ass. Mine Yours Which What-evs

30 Aug


So Milano Family Wines is up to putting out some hot ass. So what. The. Hey. Okay.

I wanted to be opposed to this based on name but for some everyday drinking in, I could be into this shiz-nit.

Ass! Mine…yours..whoevers…I would never in a mil and yon years have purchased this but this is what online contests are for, to expose more people to wine they might not select otherwise.

Psssssst! I got this from a giveaway on the venerable Bri’s Glass of Wine site. Bri knows some good stuff so… I figured if I won the results would be dandy. 

I am confused that Milano Family Winery is, oh say, family? I mean, my fam is open. Mom explained sex, at least the mechanics as they apply to baby-making when I was maybe 7 and my father advised me in family therapy as an adult that I should consider pre-marital sex (I took that up it was a good idea) and yes I’m writing a memoir of my fuck-uped-ness but Big Ass family wine? Okay sure. But really.

How. Does. It. Taste.

That is what matters.

Wait, first! A PSA:

TEMPERATURE IS IMPORTANT! WHEN PEOPLE SAY SERVE RED WINE AT ROOM TEMP THAT SHOULD BE BETWEEN 55 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit!!!! NOT THE USA “72 is perfect” ROOM TEMP! THAT IS TOO FUCKING WARM!

If only I could go to every bar in the USA and help them with wine temperature. EVERYONE would appreciate wine more.

This Big Ass red ain’t bad. I shall endeavor to assess with a bit of the WSET 3 criteria. But first the tech info:

This is a Merlot/Zinfandel/Cabernet/Carignan blend aged in 20% French Oak. I am assuming the Cab is Sauvignon, not Cabernet Franc because most people, if they say Cab. mean the Sauv.  

But let us not dwell on tech, let us dwell on experience.

Okay now the WSET drill:

Appearance: Clear, deep purple.

Nose: Clean, medium (+), dark red cherries and currants, white pepper and cinnamon, fully developed.

Palate: Dry, medium acid, medium (+) alcohol (apparently it is 14.5 abv), medium (-) body, blackcurrant and red currant jam (what the what?! red and black true!) cinnamon, white pepper, black pepper, allspice and cinnamon and some sage. A whiff of tobacco and vanilla but I do not think aging would accentuate it therefore ergo—-

Drink now, little reason to age. Flavor intensity was medium (+) and

Finish: medium (-) it does not totally drop off but then it does not evolve and move me. Which is fine anything over low is helpful to making me wanna have some more.

Quality? According to the WSET probably somewhere around good. Maybe between acceptable and good (closer to good but good for WSET is better than most people’s “good”)which for this price is super. Like, I would sip this freely and happily. And be like, “Hey dudes, check this BIG ASS WINE!”. It is big. And look at my ass. Hint I do have a sweet ass.

I mean in general this is good, but there is not a thing I would call special or idiosyncratic to a grape, or region but..this delight would pair up with a snack or  a dessert or even it would just pair well with a…drinking vessel?  Wine is really good when you pair it with a wine glass.

There ya go.

Wisdom for the ages.

Kiss your ‘lot in life

22 Jun


I will give my musings but ALSO! My WSET analysis because my level two test is this Saturday so…

Okay, so peeps turn their noses up at that innocent lamb, the Merlot grape. But they forget that part of the esteemed Bordeaux is made of Merlot. So here I present to you a French Merlot, not from Bordeaux sure, but zee Fraunch have damn good tastes.

Vintage 2014 Le Concierge Merlot

from Pays D’Oc IGP

This très lovely vino will make you realize not all Merlot is evil. Okay, truth: so far I’ve yet to find a California Merlot to my exacting taste. However, this French example is terrifically likable. Terrific as in inspires terror? Only in a good way my lambs.

Is it something to swirl in your hands, mouth, and mind? To contemplate?

Fuck no.

However!

It is something to sip. Something to think on for a moment………dot dot dot……..and then!

You can say oh, yes, a perfectly fine example. It is just enough but not enough to derail the conversation with my non-wine-nerd chums about just how dirty downtown LA is compared with Other Large Metropolitan Areas aka NYC. Conclusion on that:

Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges but both are dirty in their own special ways.

But if you are a wine asshole like me you can take a minute to think about this vin.

What did I, the resident sipper/thinker/muse-at-large(sothisactresslikestoimagine) wino think? In WSET 2 terms?

the Color: Medium-deep ruby with a whiff of purple

zee Nose: Medium strength strawberries, red plums and raspberries

thar (not a typo) Palate: relatively dry, somewhere between low and medium heavy body, LOW acid, LOWER tannins, low to medium low (somewhere between?) finish…like, this wine lasts a wee bit on the palate but not with nuance.

And the flavors: pretty dang similar to zee Nose: strawberries (roasted), raspberries (fresh) and just a hint of woodiness. But like A Wee hint. It takes someone thinking too hard to think that.

All in all: DAMN good please everyone summer wine.

Just DO NOT fucking mention that is Merlot.

ImPorterant

11 Nov

  
Any brand days that is oh-so-bespoke seems to be a “This & That”. Sugar & Spice. Rag & Bone. Noise & Silence.

Yin & Yang?

Oh wait that goes back a bit further.

So I got this truly handsome bottle of 2012 Porter & Plot Pinot Noir. A vino from Club W. And ps if you want a free bottle from them use this link: http://clubw.com/eclifford
and happiness, etc. will prevail. On both your and my ends.

Back to Porter & Plot. It is a Pinot noir I would not think of as so noir-ish. By which I mean this really a saucy bitch! If it were Pinot noir as I think of it, it would seductively sit in the shadows and wait for you to be lured to it.

Instead this brash hussy jumps in your face and is like “HEY! I’M WINE! I HAVE EARTH AND SPICE AND WHATEVER YOU WANT I WILL DO–for the lowlow price of 25 dollars”.

Then once you’ve taken it home for the night it whispers in your ear “ya know that uptight bitch Burgundy or whatshernamenow? Bourgogne? She is an uptight pain, but I will watch football and I don’t care if you are drunk–I may even be happier if you are!”

Now don’t get me wrong. It is not a total whore. It does have the elegant soupçon of earth I associate with an excellent Pinot noir. The berry notes are there. But then there is this spice. I mean, it is RULL good. The brashness of these spices–green pepper, black pepper, pepper-of-all-types-pepper slaps you and you say…this is pinot?

More like pin-OH!

Sorry. Cannot help myself.

It is strongly boozy at 15.4% ABV and as Club Dub-Yuh says would be great for date night. As I mentioned, it is spicy, y’all. For a pinot. Which is what you want on an elegant date, no? Spicy fun under the guise of elegance? Unless you want to get raunchy with your tinder-bad self in which case why the fuck are you drinking wine? Get to the gin/vodka/whisky/shots and get it on.

But as for this pinot. It hides demurely under the smooth labeling & naming:

  
The Understated & Sexy. It walks the tightrope between spicy, acidic, and smooth (Oxford comma forevs y’all). But I still somehow do not feel that it is balanced. So I’d say I REALLY like this wine. And some people may LOVE LOVEY LURVE this wine. But I only like it. But that is my palate.

Yours may be all the gladder to taste this.

The last of the octopod wine

7 Oct

  
And yes octopuses is the proper plural but this wine is actually called The Octopod.

The Octopod Furlong Estates Vineyard Syrah 2010

Aged in both american and french barrels it tastes appropriately international.
Which is to say it is both subtle and pungent in the same sip.
I dunno. I never do.
There are notes of cherry and pecans that have been roasted with some chili powder (specific enough?) and smoke.

Medium body.

Like, zero tannins, dudes. You could swill it if you are capable of swilling a dense-ish iced mocha.

Now granted I was in fact into swilling this the night I opened it but stopped mid-bottle, it still took a couple nights for me to get through it. Lightweight.

But you. You Hard Core Sipper you.

You’ll sip. And want to swill. And probably will and it’ll be great. Because it is wine and it is not like swilling say, a martini. Which if you are me you should REALLY just sip, not swill. Or you will be sorry or asleep or doing things you regret. Ok more likely saying things you regret. Ya know. And then there were those Instagram photos.

Oh right the wine. As I said, medium in body. Also medium in soul but this still has more soul than anything you will find at your supermarket.

There is a vine-y ness underlying all which is okay when thou art in the mood. I am not the biggest fan of vine. Or the Vine platform in general because fuck soundbites. Ugh never use Vine. It makes me ALMOST as annoyed as GIFs (death of good writing/art/life).

Of all the wines I have sampled from Eight Arms I still like The Tentacle the best. But if you are a lover of the vine-y taste this may be your bag, baby.
I liked it a lot. Like I’d totally drink it so let us not discount it because of the sucking-on-a-vine nature. That CAN be a plus.

All in all I give this wine a “doable” rating. As in I like some wines better but this one fills the bill in it’s own delicious way. I’m not sorry. It is the Hershey kiss to my gourmet European chocolate bar.

ps I TOTES always have Hershey kisses on hand to fill my bill.