Sunday, April 25, 2010
The Villa Pillo estate is located in the heart of the Chianti area, equidistant from the cities of Pisa, Florence and Sienna near the town of San Gimignano. The 2007 Borgoforte is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot that is aged for one year in French oak. The color is a a very dark ruby with purple highlights. This is a medium bodied wine with rich, ripe black fruit components surrounded by earthiness and crisp acidity that screams out “Tuscany“. There are abundant grainy tannins the add a rustic touch. This is a value “Super Tuscan” that over delivers at the $12 price point. Try this wine with some Grilled Sausage and Peppers or Pasta Bolognese, you will not be disappointed.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Marselan is a wine grape from France the is relatively unknown throughout the USA and the world. This grape was bred in 1961 as a hybrid of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. The Marselan grape is named after Marseillan, a small town on France's Mediterranean coast where it was first grown. This past weekend we were celebrating my birthday at the Metro Brasserie, at Southbridge, in Scottsdale Arizona. It was a lovely evening for alfresco dinning and we took advantage of their classy patio setting. I was excited to find this Marselan on the wine list and enjoy it with the Cassoulet of duck confit, braised lamb, saucisson, tomato confit and white beans. The wine has deep purple/ruby color and is nearly opaque. The nose is full of fresh blackberries, cherries, raspberries and black pepper with no evidence of oak or earth. In the mouth the wine is full bodied, inky, soft and succulent. Sweet cherry, ripe blueberry and juicy plum sing out on a back drop of caramel and white pepper. There are moderate well integrated tannins and a hint of minerality that highlights the fruit driven style. This Domaine de Couron Marselan was quite luscious and delicious and was a great companion to a great dinner. Only a small quantity of this wine is imported to the USA, however, if you find it, try it!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Matchbook wines are made by the Crew Wine Company in Zamora California (north of Sacramento). Crew Wine Company was started by John and Karl Giguiere who were the original owners of R.H.Phillips Winery. This Dunnigan Hills Syrah is made from 90% Syrah, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petite Syrah. This wine has a dark ruby color and a pretty nose of blackberry and butterscotch with a hint of citrus peel. This is a medium bodied wine that is very fruit forward with ripe red raspberry, blueberry, cardamom, toast and white pepper. This is a zesty, fresh wine with crisp acidity and gentle tannins. The finish is pleasant and lingering. This wine is a nice choice for any “new-world” junky looking for a good value from a solid California producer. We purchased the Matchbook Syrah at Pete’s Wine Shop, in Bellevue for about $11.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Alexandria Nicole Cellars produces small lots of hand-crafted wine from their Destiny Ridge Estate Vineyard. The 260 acre estate vineyard is located high above the bluffs on the Columbia River, near the town of Paterson, Washington, part of the Horse Heaven Hills geographic designation. We have been members of their wine club for the past few years and really enjoy their well-crafted, quality wines. The 2006 Rock star Red is a blend of mostly Syrah, co-fermented with Viognier and Grenache. This wine a a deep ruby/purple color with rich aromas of dark fruit, cedar, floral notes and cracked pepper. On the palate is ripe black fruit, dark cherry, espresso, cedar and black pepper. This is a full bodied wine that is bold, fruit-forward and smooth. There are well integrated tannins and gentle acidity below a layer of toasty oak. The finish is long, inky and chewy. This is an excellent expression of Syrah from the Horse Heaven Hills region of the Columbia Valley. This wine was sold directly to wine club members for about $30.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Domaine Bila-Haut is owned by the famed M. Chapoutier. They own more than 400 acres of prime vineyards in the Rhone Valley area. This estate is located in the Cotes du Roussillon of Languedoc, which borders the Rhone Valley. Bila-Haut is an old vine estate that Chapoutier has planted with Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. This location is blessed with cool winters, hot summers, low rainfall and the local 'Mistral' (which is a drying breeze) to make a perfect climate for these varietals. All of the grapes for the Bila-Haut are hand picked in the vineyards. Michael Chapoutier takes pride in producing wines that have great character even at a value price-point. This lovely red wine has a deep, dark ruby color that is nearly opaque. On the nose is fresh blackberry and cherry with some earth. This is a big, rich wine with abundant black fruit, plum, currant, mocha and licorice. The mouth-feel is smooth and expansive with the bold fruit, creamy tannins, gentle acidity and subtle minerality. The finish is elegant and lingering. We really enjoyed this wine! This wine will pair well with roasted or grilled meats or any flavorful cheese. We purchase this 2008 Bila-Haut at Pete’s Wine Shop, in Bellevue, for about $14.00.