Tag Archives: wine review

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!

omGODello i.e. A Whole New Wine!

10 Mar


WHOOAAS dudes have I EVER reviewed a white wine? 

Maybe…once? Oh wait twice if you don’t count a few bubblies. Bubbly Une. Bubbly Deux. Bubbly Trois.

And I don’t count bubblies in the same category as flat whites because they are made completely differently. And two of them came in cans for heaven’s sakes. And speaking of heaven, let me get punny and bring up GODello.

Godello. Not just a new thing to be writing on white wine but this is a whole new grape! From Spain! Omigosh.

Cool down kids, we will get through this. Stronger together.

Breath. In, out. 

Okay. Drink.

2014 Adras “Godello” Ribeira Sacra (13.91 from Garagiste)

Is this heavenly? Does it make me think of church?

Yes and yes for different reasons.

The church bit: Ya know the wet stone feel of an old church? If you don’t, hie thee to Europe. Or an old church or the St. Louis Art Museum–the old wing. But not to the church I grew up going to because we had grape juice at communion. And it was red. Although now that I think of it if I ran a church I would be forced to be punny and serve Godello. Because the more wretched the pun the better.

It runs in my family. Or should I say it puns in the…okay I’ll stop.

Oh right so there are a lot of wet stone notes in this wine hence the church remembrance. Yummm wet stone smell. And then in your mouth a bit of that chalky taste reminiscent of all the limestone that…okay probably wasn’t in your actual youth so much as my wine-addled mind’s imagination.

Heavenly? Well it is all full of lemons and meyer lemons (totes diff taste y’alls) and honeydew melon tastes. But then there is just a whiff of a finish of grass.

So imagine you are at, say, a church potluck. That for some reason is being held in the stone-smelling sanctuary. And someone brought a nice bright fruit salad with melon in it and it must have some lemon juice and maybe an orange slice or so in it. And while munching on the salad, breathing in the stony air you step out of doors for some reason. Maybe you’ve heard the lemonade-monger, that crazy kid! And it is a sunny grassy spring day. And there is a kid selling lemonade and you say yes and while chewing that salad you gulp some lemonade and breath in the church lawn. Got it?

That’s the combo of stone/fruit/herbaciousness you will get. In Godello.

No one said religion was simple.

No? Not working for the imagination? Well then find a bottle. Okay? Just say a little prayer of thanks for tasty wine.

And trying new things!

Novelty. Is sometimes the ticket to temporary brilliance.

Get ye some godello. Go with Godello!

I love you as much as she does,

 

Pussy drinks Barolo. Kitty likes the tar and roses

21 Jan


I’d saved this bottle. I mean, 2011 Barolo…I could have hung on. But given the state of the union I cracked it open. As I write this I’m getting ready to go to the Los Angeles women’s march tomorrow morn. 

Hence pussy ears. 

Wuss wine can back the hell off.

This is a modern Barolo. Ready to sip now. Or…at least ready to sip six years post-vintage. I dare say earlier may have been too early.

2011 Damilano Lecinquevigne Barolo

You know how you make and new friend, and once you have both shared the stories of your messed up lives, think “I’m glad I met you now because we would have HATED each other but now we are gonna be besties”? 

I mean maybe you never thought that but with Nebbiolo you are generally glad you met it once it had gone through it’s rough stage. 

And modern Barolo, rife with the vanilla oak of the modern makers, went through its “rough stage” more quickly than classic Barolo.

This one is friendly. It says:

Roses! Berries! Tar! Tannins so mellow and lilting you take them in and decide to give them a hug!

As a wine person I embrace tannins fyi if you are not necessarily a wine person you may wait another few years to drink this.

But then. Oh then. 

We have flowers and I swoon. Roses.

And we have tar.

And hell if nothing else moves me it is prehistoric gook that bubbles out of the ground in our own La Brea tar pits, it is VIOLETS in a glass. 

Dang, drink this modern shit. Classic Barolo is brilliant and I love it for what it is but Damilano is On Point. 

Now that I’m fortified I’m getting some zzz’s then am off to grab back.

WINTER comes Rosé

9 Jan


My main fear is that my multitude of smart, educated, impassioned musings on rosé still cannot get people to give pink wine a fair shot.

That’s not actually my main fear. My main fears are not fare for blogging here. ANYWAY.

Rosé is NOT JUST FOR SUMMER!!!!

HOPEFULLY ALL CAPS CONVINCE YOU!!!!

Rosé is a wine for all seasons. Don’t you give me lip. This is what you want. I promise. It will warm you up, cool your tongue and light up your soul. 

Before we get to today’s pick let us revisit rosés of the past. This Rosé is still my fave American pink. This One is still my SECOND fave french. 

But right now this is truly my latest hardcore Give Me pink vino love:
2015 Chateau de Trinquevedel Rosé

A full deep wine that offers as much on the tongue as it does to the eye.

ME-fucking-OW.

You are thirsty. You want something pretty badass and PRETTY to look at too. You want something that makes the woman in you roar. Or maybe the secure male in you knows that true men drink pink…you want that part to make some noise.

So this. It is full and vibrant pink that verges on salmon but is HOT DAMN deep pink.

45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 10% Mourvedre, 6% Syrah

It smells of pink grapefruit, limes, cranberries, and holy fuck fabric? Like crisp ironed fabric. Linens.

And some white roses. Picture a bouquet of white roses on Ophelia’s chest floating away from the shore. It is romantic and delicious.

It is those holiday napkins you starch and iron for special occasions. But you folded them into cornucopias holding strawberries and limes and maybe a pretty smooth river stone.

Like the stiffness of a starched napkin it is robust–a plate full of cranberry sauce and bread hearty stuff. But it is elegant. The starched napkin, unfolded into the lap of a woman in silk changes that dynamic.

It is good. Dang.

So that OUGHT to be enough but if you are a wine nerd here are my WSET 3 notes:

EYES: Clear, medium plus, salmon pink 

NOSE: clean, medium intensity grapefruit, wet stones, nectarines and starch. Youthful.

TONGUE: dry, medium plus acid, medium alcohol+ (thank you Grenache for that 13.5%abv), medium plus body for a rosé, flavor intensity medium, then the grapefruits, cranberries, linens, white peach, white flower and honey perhaps? And just fucking delicious. Finish is medium. Not complex but mellow and stony. Picture the feeling you get turning a cool stone over and over in your palm and that is this. Delish.

Quality: GREAT. That’s not WSET just me. I’d think at least twenty but holy duckbills it is like 18. Drink now don’t age. Get next year’s when it is there. Andddddd YES. THIS IS A YES WINE JUST DRINK IT EVEN IN WINTER ESPECIALLY IN WINTER

Because funk noveau

6 Dec


Let’s shut our eyes, close our ears and sew our mouths shut and pretend Beaujolais Noveau were not such a THING because it leads to people overlook the rest of this righteous region. Then unstitch our lips, open eyes, and take the cotton out of our ear holes and take in Régnié.

This is Beaujolais CRU ma sweet babees.

From Regnié. 

I promise I’ll do a ten-part series on the 10 Beaujolais cru vineyards. They exist up north where the soil is granitic and the living is…well it involves a lot of time with the vines but then the living is party. From what I hear.

Let’s get down with this lovely specimen, purchased for a mere 25 from Domaine LA where the living is delicious.

2015 Julien Sunier Régnié Gamay

Lemme see, if I was at a bar and this wine was some cute lady who engaged me in convo because hey, we are two ladeees minding our own business (sorta) at a wine bar…well this is that lady:

Conventionally attractive, and decidedly feminine, wearing some almost arty but mostly Refinery 29-approved wardrobe, this woman drops some pop-culture references that make you want to dismiss her but then a random lesser known Joy Division song comes on and she knows it and still is perky on the surface but she has an open mind. She’s deeper than you gave her credit at first sip. I mean taste. I mean swallow I mean… 

She is green too. Like fresh. Not jaded. Fuck it this girl sorta gets me but like when I’m in a light-hearted mood.

Okay fine, but technically how is she? And her legs? Hahahahhaa. Bad joke I know moving on this WINE is medium ruby purply brew. 

On the nose it is rocks, cherries and dark grape Bubblicious NOT a joke I love that shit. 

On the tongue: dry as can be if grape Bubblicious could be unsweetened. Then comes cherries, raspberry cream soda maybe even…Dr. Pepper? Yes Dr. Pepper. And rocky darkness but barely. Just a hint of the dark side. 

The tannins are medium. They suck at your gums one moment then are like “hey kidding” we are silky fun! Slightly cedar-y fun. Christmas tree delight. 

The alcohol is decidedly not too high (just checked it is 12.5) so you are like hey there is a friendly bite to this! Just a nip of alcohol heat. 

Body I want to say is light from the effervescent nature of what I’m guessing is semi-carbonic maceration. That may be at play but as I did sense some tannins and alcohol it does not keep this from having some body. 

Normally the “medium” nature of many of this wine’s characteristics mighttttt make it far to normal, but like that gal at the bar it is not. It is light enough to banter with but deep enough to carry on with. And if the two of you keep talking well…that friendship may deepen.

As NOIR as my lipstick: dark Halloween wine

25 Oct


Sometimes I match my lipstick to my wines. In this case Pinot NOIR. Goth-y like my soul. Funny thing is Pinot is often more a cherry red than a dark dark black-red. We’ll get to that. 

These wines, like unexpected presents you get and did not know you needed, showed up at my door.

Okay Mark West, whaddaya wanna do?

Mark West. The gentleman sending me wine. That’s a lie. A very nice publicist named Lucy sent me these. On behalf of Mark West. The winemaker that specializes in ye olde Pinot Noir.

I got two renditions. I got the 2014 California Pinot and I got the 2014 Mark West “Black” Pinot. 

Guess which one I liked best. Hint, it matches my lipstick. And eyeliner. And toe nails.

So briefly I’ll tell you the regular ol’ Cali version is nice. I feel like one more year might have smoothed the tannins and cedar and vanilla and cloves n nutmeg into the ripe red cherry tastes but… I feel like there is a tad of astringency that people who are not like me might like. If you are into Cabernet Franc buy this one. Even if you are not into Cab Franc it is totally a fuckable wine. 

Upon reviewing the tech sheets I saw that the California Pinot was 95% Pinot Noir, 3% Syrah, and 2% Petite Syrah, which maybe explains the not entirely unpleasant rough angles in this one.

As for the Mark West Black. My heart’s desire. At least my heart’s preference. It is darker-and therefore more appealing to me both aesthetically and temperamentally. The fact that it is 81% Pinot Noir and 19% Syrah perhaps helps explain its moody hues. Syrah can a deep dark wine. Ergo methinks it is a natural to blend with Pinot NOIR. It has perhaps riper and darker berries on the nose. Along with vanilla and a hint of cinnamon.

On the tongue it is slightly fuller yet silkier than the Mark West California. The tannins are there but they are dancing with the velvet fruit. They know their place. They sing vanilla notes of new French oak. In a Pinot their place is to be silky.  The berries are of black cherry and blackberry and maybe some blueberry. And a hint of spice n violet. Can we all get INTO eating violets?

The finish is not so lengthy yet the taste lingers. In a mellow way. A understated aftertaste redolent of yet more vanilla.

I would not call it overly expressive of the Pinot Noir grape. Nor is it overly complex. But fuck this is THE wine to sip by itself, by YOURSELF when you want a sip and aren’t hungry so much as craving the taste of a blackberry pie without the filling factor.