Tag Archives: wine review

Return of That Rosé (you almost forgot you sampled)

14 Sep


The…EVERYTHING of an amazing rosé. I am gonna say it is this. WTF why not.

Oh heck so two years ago I was at a special event ( I was guest mixologist ooh ahh) and I tasted this and I went home and bookmarked the winery and…neglected that bookmark until now. And now. Just now! I ordered a couple bottles and doubted the amazingness I was about to taste because when I first tried it, it wasn’t on a blank palette–it was on a drinking-my-own-bourbon-cocktail palate. But tarnished or blank palate this wine will MOVE you. At least the rosé. I also ordered a red and cannot wait to try. 

But. Let’s talk the rosé.

Holy heck. Their wine. So good then and so good two years later when I ordered a bottle and started writing this entry.
Ok now sure. Let’s go with metaphors.

The Fantasie. That is this vino’s name.

2016  Seebass Rosé of Grenache

So you meet someone. It is big like at first meet. And I’m not talking romance–Just the ohhhh this person could be a lifelong friend! 

You get their info. Or jot down the name of the wine somewhere. Ya know.

Then you get distracted. For like two years. And you think…can I contact them? Will it be as magical as the first time we met?

So it was here. I was resident mixologist at a farm-to-table dinner. This wasn’t even the sponsor wine. This lovely winery was. But one of the benefactors of the dinner brought the Seebass Rosé for kicks and it…made an impression.

So it took two years for me to say hey…I should get a bottle and soberly evaluate. 

But nah this shit is legit.

You will regret not having followed up sooner. Oh no this friend is better than memory. Y’all will make up for lost time.

This rosé is filled, when you smell, with grapefruit. And perhaps unripe raspberry but then you taste and it…well people who don’t know better mightttttt say sweet and I would correct them: it is just the fruit. But then the stones kick in.

The big story? Just taste strawberries soaked in white balsamic vinegar and there ya go. But I will give a more…in depth description. All the same you SHOULD taste strawberries with the white balsamic treatment. Preferably with a twist of black pepper.

And then this is grenache has a wicked high alcohol level (14.5abv) and yet the acid is cutting enough you slurp this stuff up not realizing. What you are getting into.

Oh heck okay I am sipping with sober palate so let me do the boring WSET analysis but before that let me just say…METAPHORICALLY this is the person you meet and are SO impressed with and worry when you meet again you won’t like and then they are even better. Okay.

Eye: clear, medium salmon pink, medium quick tears.

Nose: clean, medium intensity, lemon, grapefruit, peach, youthful as fuuuuuuu

Tongue: Dry, acid is medium, tannins nahhhhh, alcohol I THOUGHT was medium but that sneaky sneaky grenache…this is medium plus alcohol. Medium body. Flavor intensity medium, and the flavors? This is a pinkkkkkkk grapefruit. With maybe a whiff of juice from a white one. And maybe a wet rock. And then a strawberry but an unripe one that was soaked in white balsamic vinegar. Come to think of it there is a LOT of white balsamic but you have to have spent way oodles of money on vinegar and berries to confirm this. Instead just drink this wine. You will get the flavor profile and tipsy too.

Okay the all important finish? Ohhhhhhit is somewhere between medium and medium plus. It is gentle yet nuanced. More nuanced than the loudmouth you THOUGHT you were following up with. This one is a keeper.

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Wake up to this sunshine (funky but still, sunshine) in a glass

29 Aug


Oh shit I don’t even care too much what the grapes are (they are Mantonico, Guernaccia Bianca, Pecorelllo, Greco Bianco). Or where this is from (Calabria the arch and toe of the good ol’ boot of Italia). Or even year (2014).

What matters is you have some FUNK and GOLD dancing in your glass.

When you sip this your head should explode into the chorus from Groove is in the heart and you should start dancing. Deeeeeeee, deeelite! Anyone else?

Got this at originally at Covell.

2014 Chora Bianco IGP Calabria

It may not be for all. It is almost an orange wine. In terms of color.

Please excuse any grammar issues in this WSET style summation. I’m just gonna let it flow….

The eye: Deep clear gold. Medium slow tears.

Nose: Clean (yet oh so dirty meow), medium intensity, marmalade, meyer lemon, orange peel, developing.

Tongue: Dry, medium acid, medium alcohol ( crap it isn’t on the label?), medium body, medium plus intensity, flavors–fucking meyer lemon orange marmalade, funky (what is the tech term like soil)yeast (it is aged sur lies aka on the dead yeast), and a wee hint o lanolin

finish: medium plus it doesn’t evolve so much as you get a shadow of a taste that swells like a beautiful symphony. YAS

 

Okay alllllmost there

4 Aug


Hey now, I know. You are still waiting for the end of the Beaujolais run but let us pause for ye olde cabernet sauvignon. Partly because I am twiddling my thumbs on editing my Brouilly entry and partly because Gallo sent me this delicious cab which I opened because A) I’m tired of gamay for two seconds and B) I made an ice cream calling for cabernet so I had to open it so here ya go:

2014 Louis M Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

YAY okay metaphor: This is the older wiser friend you have supes ridic convo with but also although any other person their age would think you an idiot for saying “supes ridic convo” , this one did not and you had enough funtime that you could (half jokingly) say “supes ridic convo” and both of you are like whooaaaa we are such fun loving ironic idiots! Yet deep. Yet idiotic. But this wine is all that MINUS the idiotic part.

 

Also this wine makes amazing ice cream. Ice cream is for all ages. I’ll leave the recipe.

Okay stats, WSETs style:

Appearance: Clear (not that it was not opaque but it was not cloudy!) deep purple red, with medium slow tears.

Nose: clean, medium, youthful, with cedar, vanilla, blackberries and a whiff of tobacco smoke.

Onnnnn zee tongue!: dry, medium, acid I’d call medium if it were white but it is acidic as heck (pleasantly so) for a red, tannins are ever so slightly fresh and medium plus. Like the tannins could be better integrated or riper but they are not overly astringent. The alcohol, my guess is medium plus. My guess is 14.5…feeeeel my anxiety as I check to see if I am accurate…14.4% on the tech sheet they gave me yet 14.9% on the bottle so…I was right there!!! Score. This is a boozy bitch.

Body is medium plus. Like it feels like but the texture and strength of booze make it feel like more. Flavor intensity is medium. The medium flavors? They are blackberries, Black currant jam, red cherry, cedar, vanilla, nutmeg, yet more vanilla, and a whiff of tobacco smoke in the name of what comes from a clove cigarette winkwinkformergothlol.  The finish is…well hot. That is the high alcohol. It does not evolve but it does not fall off so I would say it lasts medium and it evolves over the lat medium minus. Which is still better than 90% of wines out there probably.

Okay if you see this wine don’t waste is on ice cream ORRRRR do! the ice cream was insanely great. Here is the recipe:

Ch0colate-Cabernet Ice Cream adapted from Vegan à la Mode by Hannah Kaminsky

  • 1 3/4 almond milk
  • 3/4 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp Arrowroot
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • 3 oz. chopped dark chocolate ( I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips)
  • 3/4 cup cabernet sauvignon (she says “or any other fruity red wine” but I’d never say cab was generally fruity–I’d recommend a pinot noir, blaufrankisch or beaujolais instead)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine first six ingredients in medium saucepan. Whisk to combine then heat over medium, whisking frequently until it boils, then reduce heat to low, add chocolate until it dissolves. Take off heat and whisk in wine and vanilla. Cool completely before  processing in your ice cream maker per their directions.

The edge: Côte de Brouilly and rose to raspberry to bloody pastilles

9 Jul


Oh shit what is Brouilly? What is the Côte thereof? How doth it stack up? Most that I’ve had from Brouilly proper has bordered on FONNNKY. Funky. Like natural. And now here we are on the border of Brouilly. The Côte.

If you want recaps of all the crus I’ve traversed through thus far here they be:

Régnié

Morgon

Chiroubles 

Fleurie

Moulin-A-Vent

Chénas

Juliénas
And!
Saint-Amour

And now we are on the next to the last of the crus, Côtes de Brouilly!

The example:

2015 Pavillon de Chavannes Cote de Brouilly “Cuvee des Ambassades”

The further south I’ve gone in my tastings the more pastille I get. Pastilles being the candies you see me holding up in the picture to prove I know what I am talking of. The taste being violet, some rose and anise. Lest you doubt my expertise I BOUGHT THESE DANG PASTILLES. FOR YOU DEAR READER. Just to double check.

This one my be the pastille-est of the bunch yet! On the nose you get more rose and raspberry. On the tongue it has the not sweet-sweetness of a pastilles PLUS berries. Oof. And duper super high acid. The alcohol? My WSET trained body said was medium-ish. I am gonna say medium so 13.5% abv maybe? Going to check….OH SHIT! Just 12.5% abv. Heck well it felt like more.

 

I’m just going to be a terrible person and say that I give this wine the major descriptor of NOM. No one uses that term anymore and I don’t believe in it. “Nom” is a stupid term but what the heck. I will be stupid today. I’ll be smart talking about the last of the crus next week. But when I sipped this wine I thought “hell this feels like nummy, funking nummy booze. Nom”.

There you go

Am I sure it is only 12.5 abv? I don’t sound like it, do I? Maybe there’s something else in these pastilles…

Regnié and a Red Hat

3 Jul


The name of this wine inspired me to put on a red cap of my own.

Apologies to Mets, Cubs and Giants fans in particular, but I’m a Cardinals girl. Okay now that that’s out of the way–

On this Beaujolais journey we have swilled on down:

Morgon

Chiroubles

Fleurie

Moulin-A-Vent

Chénas

Juliénas
And!
Saint-Amour

Okey dokey yea now we are on to Regnié. I talked about it once before.

But this one oh yes.

2012 Bonnet Rouge Regnié

Holy hell no sulfur! Normally I worry about that ending up stanky in a bad way but this is a natural phenomen. 

Thank god or I would think it unseemly… that this is…okay there is no polite way to say but cloudy.

Okay so also it is not penultimate in complexity. But it is more interesting than wines I’ve tasted three times the 10-ish dollar expense of this one.

If you hate: licorice, anise, or tarragon ye best run.

I LOVE this wine and probably would pay three times the amount it was (which would still be medium in price) because it is friggin’ RIFE with licorice-y taste deeeelite..but more than that anise? It makes me think of springerles–cookies my family makes around Christmas.

Which are the magic.

THE magic. This is an alcoholic springerle in a glass.

With just a bit more than a hint of the pastille I get in the Morgon. 

The Morgon has about as much pastille as I got in Chiroubles. This is a tiny region and hell now I want to open all three crus and do an anise-off between them. And I might chase that with some absinthe. Just so I can compare to the hardcore but jeez just all the anise/licorice/pastille etc ness. Y’all.

How does this compare? Oddly the further south I get the fresher the flavor I get. A phenomenon you see in say, Napa Velley but I don’t know it the type of wine (i.e. natural or not) has something to do with it. Still learning.

Anywho this has the delightful Gamay classic flavor of ALL sorts of cherries. Violets. And then that licorice and anise. The licorice and anise overwhelm my tastebuds but I FUCKING LOVE THEM. If you don’t this will undoubtedly be not good to you.

But fuck yah if I would not believe this bottle was 25-30. Not just under ten.

Bargain royalty.

And go Redbirds!! We need to win some more games so I can toast them with this red hat wine. 

Gimme some fleurs 

11 Jun


Real quick: this week we had actress Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures, anyone?) on the podcast. And get into how to talk about cat pee notes in New Zealand wine so…listen to it here!

And now.

Fleuries! Oh yes my dahhhhhlings having gotten through Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, AND those devilish windmills aka Moulin-A-Vent we are  moving on to our darling flowers: Fleurie.

2014 Chateau de Grand Pre Fleurie

The gorgeous thing about French wines is they SOUND like they taste.

Moulins tilt. Saint-Amour is complex as true love. Brouilly brews up trouble and Chénas? Well it chains you to Beaujolais😁. 

Fleurie stays true to its name in that it tends to be more aromatic of flowers like violets. And it can be light and delicate like a lovely rose blossom. Makes you wonder what influences what more–the name or the wine?

I am doing this series probably more for my own education than anyone else’s. 

Ugh okay for all the following add “plus flowers and a whiff bubble gum” to the description and you’ll get the more typical Fleurie I like. Not as flowery and jammy as Beaujolais noveau but Fleurie does have some of those delightful things from time to time. Because carbonic maceration.

This Fleurie appeals to hipsters who like raw and natural. Let’s get WSET-y:

Look: medium and muddy grape-purple colored and the tears are slow but medium.

Nose: Oh funk a hit of oils! But otherwise raw green pepper and cherries and mulberries. Hint of allspice.

On yer tongue: Dry as f and acid as almost f and alcohol also medium (oh let me check label says 13% abv yup medium) tannins medium minus, body medium minus (for red), intensity of flavor is perhaps medium maybe even medium plus.

I’d like some more Fleuries and I’d take some flowers too. But if forced to decide between I’d likely take the wine first. Just sayin’.

Cheers darlings. Pick a flower for me. 

Et tu, Beaujolais? Yup this Juliénas will kill

21 May


Firstly pretty please check out The Whine Situation, my new comedy n wine podcast on iTunes and  we just got added to Stitcher too yeaaaaaaaa. If you like it n wanna give us an iTunes subscribe or rating all the better. 

One more distraction before the next cru! I was a guest on The Delightful Table, a fantastic blog by my friend Scheherezade features sustainable cooking and seasonal veggies. We experimented pairing “difficult to pair” veggies with wines. Check out the artichoke madness here


And now. We are moving on down through the Beaujolais crus! From flippant Saint-Amour to rather stern Juliénas! A jerk face who is sinister and will beat your mouth up. In a good way, of course!

Named for Caesar. Shall we salad with this wine? Would a Caesar salad pair well? Huh, I feel like maybe not but it’s worth investigating. The wine in question:

2015 David-Beaupere Juliénas “Vayolette”

I got it for about 20 bucks from Garagiste, my favorite source for interesting wines at jolly prices.
Juliénas has a variety of terroirs but the unifying factor tends to be that they are bigger and rougher wines.

This wicked wine was grown in yards of volcanic blue stone, and was made organically. It is a unique devil.

Holy moly it’s high alcohol! 15 % abv. Holy heck it bashes your tongue with little blue pebbles and bramble cranberries! I don’t care if bramble cranberries are not a thing in case you were concerned. I taste violets are blooming in the pebbles to boot. What is this specimen? How is it conquering me with so many different sensations that don’t match yet go together?

And holy holy hell is this wine dark.

Purple as sin. Presuming sin’s true color when showing true colors is purple. The darkness is in flavor too: black pepper, a bit of…I dunno. This is a total snobby “I imagine” tasting note but I bet if those dark purple irises–ya know the flower I’m speaking of?–had a flavor it would be in this wine.

The biggest difference between this and our friend St. Love is the power and the depth. The similarity? The lack of tannins! Many times I taste a tannic wine and describe it as beating my mouth up but this tongue-beater does so without tannins.

Tricky tricky sly sly Caesar.

Now to make that salad (but sans anchovies in the dressing seeing as I’m a vegetarian).

Cheers and tongue-lashings!