Tag Archives: syrah

Wine-timidation

18 Apr

Oh no so there is that friend. She has her shit together. She is smarter, cooler, more–I dunno everything-er–than you, and you love her but worry about saying the wrong thing around her until the night gets going and you realize really her presence is actually calming.

She looks super deep, and also somehow pulls off the paisley/plaid/denim look like a boss. Like this wine pulls off combining varietals from Spain (the Tempranillo), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Northern Rhone (Syrah). And then this wine sports the one wacky grape like she rocks the random nonsensical jacket patches and it works! The grape in this oh-so-super metaphor is the Petit Verdot. Who the F grows that? It is a finicky and needs extra-special heat and is hardcore and normally used in tiny amounts except here where it is a full 25% of the beverage but hey! This wine has it! And makes it wicked awesome! Why does she have a wombat patch? That’s so odd! And cool now you wanna get to know some wombats even though she probably forgot she ever got that patch.

Oh right and before I forget there is hip minimalist intervention in the making of this vineyard to boot. So cool.

Also a friend of mine in the wine community sent this to me because he rocks and I do my best to give him educated wine feedback…

Here is the thing. This girl (wine) is good. And quality. And worth keeping in your wheelhouse. I might eat it with migas but don’t tell.

So this intimidating friend/wine…although at first glance too hip n cool for school, once you get to chatting (sipping) she is relatable. Do-able. Maybe even basic. Simpler than you surmised but still…upscale shall we say. Delectable.

And now I shall like a WSET advanced certified person I’ll judge for you this wine:

2012 Booker Vineyard “Remnant” 

35% Tempranillo, 25 % Petite Verdot, 23 % Syrah, 17 % Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged 24 months in French oak barrels. From Paso Robles (so near yet so far!).

Lemme give those of you who want a soundbite tasting note my thoughts: This is plush but has a bite. Fruity in a way some peeps will call sweet but really just fruity. With some spice. Balanced perfectly. If you want to know what to pair it with I would say walnuts. That’s my gut feeling. But you are not ordering that for dinner so I’d say anything with nuts. Oooooh a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich would be flippin’ wicked with this. Now I need a sandwich. Oh my.

All of which to say this is an approachable wine with an attitude. Like that girl who is so cool you hope she likes you too. She probably will.

Details, WSET-style:

To the eye: DARK!!! Which I love. Dark ruby/purple. Opaque even poured in small amounts. Medium thick slow tears gliding down the wineglass sides.

Nose: All sorts of blackberries, plums, allspice, red pears,and ginger.

Tongue: Dry but so fruit-forward you almost wanna call it sweet. Acid is medium. Tannins medium and may be from the petit verdot but clearly there is some influence from the oak. Sorta plush yet textured like that. Alcohol is medium (13.8% abv which technically is .3 over medium but what the heck evs). Body is for a red medium…almost plus> Strawberries blackberries cherries all the -ies, allspice as heck, a hint of that sorta sweet baby spinach…rightttt? Right. Flavor intensity is medium, Finish is medium plus. There is a moment you think “this is short-ish or maybe medium” then something spicy kicks you. In a Pleasant Kicking Way. Someone is into that right??

Okay. Thank you Paul for sending this my way. It is truly a delight.

Oh heck realized I have some peanut butter cup ice cream and a cherry ice cream and that may be the ideal pairing for this wine. Test it and tell me?

It’s everywhere for good enough reasons

18 Oct


Okay so I felt shabby when I purchased this at 7-11. So I went home and drew stars on my face. It was pretty chill. I felt less shame.

Truth is, sometimes a girl needs to make an Oreo and wine run, and I live 1/2 a block from a 7-11. 7-11 will surprise you in the relative decentness of their collection. They even have Columbia-Crest.

Don’t you judge. I stand behind my life choices.

This is the choice:

2015 Charles and Charles Columbia Valley Syrah Rosé 


61% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 7% Cinsault, 3% Counoise

Then, after that purchase, I saw this wine at a bar that–well–it had decent wine. More of a beer place but the wine selection was unobjectionable.

And then I saw this wine available at Wine House. Between this and the bar I decided there must be something behind it. It made me feel just super about my 7-11 purchase. 

This wine is that movie made by the comedian you expect to not offer much, that ends up touching you in your heart more deeper than you thought the comedian could. This wine is The Truman Show. It is more than you expect.

But the thing is you look at it and think dang! This will be a complex rosé but dang! Dang again. In a good way. It is…oh I dunno, delightfully fluorescent enough to merit a grlzz night. Because goddamit I’m a girl and my most feminist friends AND feminine (often one and the same) friends fucking LOVE PINK!

GIVE ME PINK or… well if they are roses on Valentine’s Day make ’em red but whatevs. I’m kinda traditional.

Okay what to expect when you buy this wine friggin’ everywhere:

The nose: peaches, grapefruit and fucking wet stones in a stream. I used to laugh when I saw this in a wine desciption but I defy you to take this wine to a stream with some stones and not smell the likehood.

On the tongue:

Bright and dry, medium plus acid, Medium alcohol, medium body, medium intensity of flavor with all the same stuff you smell, plus an essence of mmmm happy?

But it’s more than medium happy. It’s happy plus.

Oh the life!

2 Aug


The joy of this bottle.

2015 VieVite Rosé Côtes de Provence

It was not expected that random Wednesday afternoon and provided a needed spark in the midst of my week. I’d forgotten a publicist had promised me a bottle. Which is a back-handed way of me saying that yah I got this wine for free. But my opinions are my own and blah blah blah etc.

Beyond the thrill of random free food…Look at the shape of this guy. What a bottle.


And finally (before opening) the joy of saying “oh yes well, this is a Provençal vin from grapes grown in Domaine Sainte Marie which is near Saint Tropez.” Sounds so chic. Oooh lala indeed.

This wine is as close as I am getting this summer to the Riviera.

So let me not waste any time and get into cracking open this delight.

The grapes: 30% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Carignan

The color: Medium peachy pink, the color of…oh crud i do not have a good metaphor for it.

The nose: Lightly lemon, sweet grapefruit and perhaps mango and mace.

The Palate: Oh hell let us get colon happy and break palate down further:

Sweet: NO

Acidity: Low plus? It exists but dissipates in two blinks.

Body: Not a mesomorph, not an ectomorph. Perhaps a person who is of lighter weight but has no muscle tone so has some curve. Which is to say medium bodied with a certain silkiness and bite.

Flavor: There is pineapple and peach and red cherry. There is white pepper. There is what you would get if you took generic clover honey and took away the sweetness–a pleasant grass to it. A hint of a flower. Maybe honey blossom to go back to the not-sweet-honey comparison. There is some minerality the nose does not belie, but I am glad is there on the tongue.

Finish: medium short. There is a burn that is pleasant in this 13% abv darling.

Not a WSET category but I am adding it–Spritz Factor: There is a hint of spritz to this like–are those bubbles or just pleasant minerality? I am guessing it is the delicious white quartz soil of the Domaine Saint Marie at work.

Cheers, my sweets.

 

 

UNTI-L I get to Dry Creek Valley

6 Jan

What happens when I’m too lazy to get my tripod out:

  
I hold the bottle with my knees.

Oh my. Thank god for friends on wine apps like good ol’ Delectable. I mean, you guysssss, what did we do before wine apps? Ugh.

My chum from high school made a delightful metaphor about how he just had to keep workin’ his way through this bottle. Such a delightful metaphor I went out and got some. You’d have to see the metaphor i.e. I just want more buddies on the app.

But This Wine. I’ll tell you about it on the off-chance you aren’t gonna download and actively use a wine app.

2012 Unti Dry Creek Valley Grenache
15.1 ABV. 85 percent Grenache with un peux Syrah. Wait is it une peu? These days I only know ballet French.

Like ballet, wine exults in balance and this is balanced in the perfect way, as in it is balanced but not bland. It is distinguished. Fresh on the nose, almost pears? A dark and ruby Grenache with your daily recommended value of tannins.

Smooth strawberries followed by love.

And yet there is something a bit quirky about it. Fruit glides smoothly over your tongue then surprises you with mouthwatering acidity that somehow is plush at the same time. It’s like someone who can pull off a sensible pantsuit with a pair of epic stilettos. Or someone with a hat. Anyone with an unnecessary hat has to be a little bit off-center. But in a delightful way.

Just as you are reveling in the berries and forest nymphs dancing over your tongue you swallow and the tannins glue your tongue to the top of your mouth, but only for one brief nanosecond and then the bristles fade into raspberry velvet. 

So picture that this wine is a sophisticated brunette in a natty suit who is sporting a fuchsia fascinator and making it work for her.

I hear that Dry Creek Valley is rife with gems like this. I am excited to see what characters I encounter next.

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.

Book. Wine. Octopus.

19 Aug

   
This week you get it ALL. Wine, reading material and aquatic life.I present to you…The Tentacle.

  And! The Soul of an Octopus.  

And! Octopus:
  
Because that is how my book club rolls. I have a book club of 4. That is about the right number. So here is the story: one of the members picked The Soul of an Octopus for our next book. Before we met to discuss it he and I spotted the fine work of Eight Arms Cellars at Covell aka my second home.
The bottle could not be argued with, we needed to taste it. Being generous as they are at Covell we were poured a sample. Then we bought a bottle. Investigating the website I saw some other intriguing potions. I will write about The Argonaut on a later post but for now…The Tentacle.
At 48% Syrah, 42% Zinfandel and the rest percent (ten, I can do math) Petite Sirah, this is like my biggest wine loves with a touch of surprise. The surprise being Petite Sirah, which I normally am meh on, and have downright disliked but I think of it like this wine’s adorable tooth gap. Or cute mole. Wait, let’s not compare wine to moles.

So, tasting notes: this is berry-rich but not really sweet. In other words it is one hell of a glass of juice. Soft, soft tannins. Pleasant acid. I don’t know what else I can say besides two cheers for that malolactic fermentation? At least for this wine.

The book is likewise charming Octopuses are fascinating creatures. Did you know they taste with their skin? And they are very clever. And reading about them forced us to seek out a nearby aquarium so we could see one, the little purple guy you saw above. Now I want to meet one, seeing as this one was not particularly interactive. Time to learn to scuba. That is all.