Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Concha y Toro, Casillero del Diablo Carmenere'04, Rapel Valley, Chile

A wonderful Carmenere from chile, very fruity with delicious soft tannins.

Technical Data:85% Carménère, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah. The grapes are hand and mechanically harvested. 70% of the wine is aged in American oak for 8 months, 30% is aged in stainless steel for 8 months.

Description:Dark and deep crimson red color. Luscious fruit aromas such as, plums and blueberry, also a touch of chocolate with hints of coffee and toasty oak. On the palate, notes of dark plums and spice, generously framed by toasty oak with a soft and well structured mouthfilling texture, it's almost velvety on the tongue with very supple tannins.

Food Pairing & Service:Excellent with fresh light dishes based in meats, vegetables and fresh herbs. Also a good accompaniment to ripe cheeses such as Gouda, Gruyere or a dry goat cheese.

Score:8/10 Great Value

Suggested Retail Price:$9.49

Awards:87 pts Wine & Spirit Magazine, Winter'05 issue

Concha y Toro, Casillero del Diablo Merlot'04, Central Valley, Chile

Technical Data:90% Merlot, 10% Carménère. After fermentation and maceration, 70% of the wine is aged in small American oak barriques for six to eight months, 30% is aged in stainless steel. It is then followed by an additional month in the bottle.

Description:Dark and deep red. Attractive aromas of black plum, smoke, herbs and mocha. Smooth palate with great structure. Fruity taste and full body. Chocolate and herb accents add palate interest.

Food Pairing & Service:Great with bistro food and risotto, pastas or mild cheeses.


Suggested Retail Price:$9.49

Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha Merlot'03, D.O Peumo, Chile

A quite dry and spicy Merlot with a lot of earthyness, somehow it taste a little bit like dusty.

Technical Data:100% Merlot. The grapes are manually harvested during April. The wine is aged for 15 months in new and used French oak barriques, then aged a further 2 months after bottling.

Description:Dark and deep red color. Nose and palate are the same with aromas and flavors and including black ripe cherries, dark berries and a lasting smoky, yet rich, black tar.A complex Merlot velvety in texture with ripe tannins imparting smoothness and balance.

Food Pairing & Service:Goes well with a variety of steaks, roasts, pastas with medium to hearty sauces, and cheeses.

Score:8/10 Great Value

Suggested Retail Price:$15.99

Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon'03, D.O Puente Alto, Chile

A very dry straight Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.

Technical Data:100% Cabernet Sauvignon The grapes are manually harvested during April. The wine is aged for 18 months in new (35%) and used (65%) French oak barriques, then aged a further 2 months after bottling.

Description:Bright, deep red color. Aromas and flavors of cherry, chocolate, black tar and smoke. A smooth palate with a silky texture and a long finish. A full bodied, concentrated and round Cabernet, well balanced and tasteful.

Food Pairing & Service:Goes well with steaks, roasts, pasta dishes with robust sauces, and strong cheeses. Could benefit to lay down for a while.


Suggested Retail Price:$15.99

Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay'03, D.O Pirque, Chile

A complex straight chardonnay loaded with fruits, not overoaked and creamy.

Technical Data:100% Chardonnay. The grapes are manually harvested in March. The wine is fermented in new and used, medium-toasted French Burgundian barriques sur lie for 11 months, then aged for a further 4 months after bottling.

Description:Light, golden yellow color. Tropical aromas of white peach, papaya, mango and hazelnut. Medium-bodied and creamy this chardonnay shows on the palate, a core of peach-papaya accented flavors supported by apple and pears but also refined oak. A long finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Excellent with seafood, poultry, medium-sauced pastas, as well as most cheeses. Serve chilled.


Suggested Retail Price:15.99

Concha y Toro, Casillero del Diablo, Cabernet'04, Central Valley, Chile

A smooth blended Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile.

Technical Data:90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Carménère. After fermentation in stainless steel tanks, 70% of the wine is aged in small American oak for six to eight months, 30% is aged in stainless steel for 8 months.

Description:Bright, dark red color. Ripe cherries, black currant and dark plums aromas with a touch of toasted oak. Medium-bodied wine with smooth tannins. Plums and cherries flavors followed by lots of oaky flavors some spice and a lingering finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Goes well with the heartiest cuisine, including roasts, game, stews, spicy pasta dishes and robust cheeses. Served at room temperature.


Suggested Retail Price:$9.49

Monday, September 26, 2005

Montecillo Gran Reserva'96, Rioja DOC, Spain

Technical Data:100% Tempranillo from the Rioja DOCa (Rioja Alta to be precise) of Spain. French oak casks used. Spanish Gran Reserva must be aged a minimum of two years in oak barrels and three years in the bottle. Most producers from DO's like Rioja or Priorat only make a G.R. in excellent vintages. So, generally speaking, Spanish Gran Reservas are well-made, mature wines at relatively low prices.

Description:Deep ruby color with a wide salmon/copper rim. Earthy scents coupled to dried cherries, black plums, and figs. Medium body in the mouth very well-balanced.This wine is rich, spicy, intense, flavourful and concentrated, very complex, and extraordinarily lively. Warm and powerful, with notes of pepper and cloves. Thanks to its excellent structure and great tannic strength, it has a very long and persistent finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Food with this wine is a must. Try it with strong and/or funky cheeses, roasted meat, or a slow cooked stew.


Suggested Retail Price:$17.98

Montecillo Reserva'98, Rioja DOC, Spain

Technical Data:100% Tempranillo from the Rioja DOCa (Rioja Alta to be precise) of Spain. French oak casks used. Spanish Reserva must be aged a minimum of one year in oak barrels and two years in the bottle.

Description:Deep garnet color.Full fruity nose for this wine.Powerful and full-bodied wine although soft, round and velvety, it fills the mouth with ripe blackberries, red currant ,plum and tobacco, supported by firm structure, acidity and tannins. Very well structured, with a long, elegant finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Consume preferably at a temperature of 17-18 °C/63-64 °F. Excellent with all kinds of meat, it particularly highlights finer dishes made with big game, such as venison. It also pairs exquisitely with any dish made with strong cheeses or with very aromatic sauces.


Suggested Retail Price:$16.99

Osoyoos Larose Red'01, British Columbia, Canada

Technical Data:66% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc,. Aged 16 months in 60/40 split of old and one-year French oak barrels. 12 months additional bottle aging prior to release. Appellation: Okanagan Valley VQA, British Columbia, Canada.

Description:Intense dark crimson red color . Aromas of medium intensity with plums, liquorice, cedar and smokey tobacco. Quite complex but requires plenty of aeration.A dry wine with a medium bodied bit dense. In the palate this wine is comparable to any young Bordeaux, it has lots of chocolate, mocha, tobacco flavours integrated with cherry and plums. Lots of fruit and long aftertaste but needs minimum 1-2 hours aeration. The wine shows a medium to high tannin level. Needs a few years to settle down. Those who wait will be rewarded.

Food Pairing & Service:Cellaring up to 5 years


Suggested Retail Price:$46.99

Veramonte Primus'03, Chile

A very dry and spicy Chilean wine.

Technical Data:21% Carmenère, 43% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon from Casablanca Valley, aged 12 months in French and American oak, 25% new

Description:Deep, dark, opaque garnet color. Toasty aromas, with hints of tobacco and leather. Well structured with mature, ripe fruit that exhibits an evolved complexity with a seamless blending of the three varietals. Velvety, with a medium body and smooth, yet powerful tannins.

Food Pairing & Service:Primus pairs beautifully with duck, beef tenderloin, wild game (venison, elk, squab, rabbit), bitter greens (arugula, endive, radicchio), bell peppers, olives, black pepper and vegetables in general.


Suggested Retail Price:$14.49

Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay'02, Napa Valley

Not overoaked chardonnay, underwent malolactic fermentation.

Technical Data:100% Chardonnay. Extensive use of barrel fermentation and lees stirring. 85% of the lots completed malolactic fermentation, 20% native yeast fermentation. Aged an average of seven months in French oak barrels (18% new).

Description:Straw yellow color for a full-bodied creamy chardonnay. Aromas and flavors reminiscent of apple, peach and pear with a touch of spice and a slight hint of oak. Round and silky this is an elegant chardonnay, full of flavors and rich in complexity with a long lasting finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Goes well with seafood, fish, lemony chicken and roasted vegetables.


Suggested Retail Price:$14.68

Merryvale Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon'02, Napa Valley

Technical Data:76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot,1% Cabernet Franc. Barrel aged up to 16 months in French oak barrels (32% new).

Description:Dark red color. Concentrated Cabernet full of aromas and flavors. Lots of dark fruits on both nose and palate. Full-bodied but yet very silky and supple with smooth tannins.

Food Pairing & Service:Enjoyable now but will gain complexity with 5-10 years aging.


Suggested Retail Price:$18.98

Legacy Muscat Ottonel, Romania

A syrupy and very enjoyable sweet wine.

Technical Data:The Murfatlar vineyards in Romania have long been producing wines that surpass the expectations of even the most demanding wine enthusiasts. This white Muscat grape variety is left to ripen for longer periods of time, leaving more residual sugar and making this a great table wine.

Description:Straw yellow color. Very aromatic, nicely fruity and sweet, with appealing candied apricot, peach and grape flavors and a soft, smooth texture.

Food Pairing & Service:Deliciously sweet try it with light desserts, chocolate or fruits, could be also nice with Foie gras.


Suggested Retail Price:$6.99

Chateau Larmevaille'04, Entre-Deux-Mers AOC, Bordeaux

Technical Data:40% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillon, 30% Muscadelle. Aged in stainless steel only.

Description:Very nice white Bordeaux from Entre-deux-mers region showing a pale yellow color. The nose exhales citrus fruits. Quit fresh and crisp on the palate it has a dry citrussy entry and a slight sweet tropical fruit finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Will accompanies well seafood and fish. Could also be drunk on it’s own. Serve chilled.


Suggested Retail Price:$11.99

Chateau Le Sartre'04, Grand vin de Graves, Pessac-Leognan AOC, Bordeaux

A dry crisp white from Bordeaux.

Technical Data:: 70% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillon. Aged 10 months in oak barrels.

Description:Straw yellow color. Dry wines from Pessac-Leognan with a fruity nose. The palate shows equally fruity and floral flavors with citrus fruits on the beginning of the mouth and finishing by honeysuckle and hawthorn with a touch of oak. Also a slight spiciness in the mid-palate.

Food Pairing & Service:Fish, seafood, Lemony chicken, salads, soups and vegetables.


Suggested Retail Price:$15.99

Chateau Fage'00, Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Graves de Vayres AOC, Bordeaux

A quite affordable and nice Bordeaux from the exceptionnal 2000 vintage!

Tchnical Data:Mainly made from Cabernet Sauvignon, the blend includes also a small portion of Merlot. Aged in Oak.

Description:Dark inky red color. On the nose, dark fruit aromas with a hint of earthy characters, The dry palate shows roasted fruit flavors, earthy characters with some cedar and tobacco smoke. A little rustic in a way, but in a charming way! Quite enjoyable one, ready to drink now.

Food Pairing & Service:Pairs well with red meat, No need to decant hours before serving it’s pleasant straight from the bottle.


Suggested Retail Price:$12.99

Chateau Malmaison'01, Moulis en Medoc, Cru Bourgeois, Bordeaux

Mellow Bordeaux from Moulis en Medoc, Left Bank. Kosher Wine!

Technical Data:2/3 Merlot, 1/3 Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 14 to 18 months in Oak.

Description:Dark ruby red color. Pleasant cherry nose followed by a touch of spice and oak. The palate is dry, full yet mellow and silky. This elegant Bordeaux wine is loaded with black currant, ripe black cherries, smoke, some liquorice spiciness, smooth tannins with a lingering finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Go well with meat such as lamb, game and bird, also a good accompaniment for mild cheeses and Mediterranean cuisine. No need to decant hours before serving it’s pleasant straight from the bottle.


Suggested Retail Price:$15.99

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Veramonte Merlot'02, Casablanca Valley, Chile

A very spicy Merlot with lots of characters.

Technical Data:95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Casablanca Valley, aged 8 months in French and American, 25% new.

Description:Dark, inky red color. Rich blackberry and cherry aromas spiced with black pepper and tobacco, hints of chocolate, eucalyptus and mint, and a subtle underlay of oak. Rich and full of generous berry flavors with velvety smooth tannins that cool the palate and counterbalance the spiciness of the wine. A hint of earthiness at the end of the palate with a very smoky finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Will pair a wide range of dishes, particularly tomato based dishes, mild cheeses, and red meat.


Suggested Retail Price:$8.99

Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc'04, Casablanca Valley, Chile

A refreshing and crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, not grapefruity at all.

Technical Data:100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Casablanca Valley aged in stainless steel tanks only. No ageing in oak.

Description:Good clarity with a light straw yellow color. Fresh fruit aromas such as citrus also definitely green pepper and cat's pee aromas, and herbs mingle with floral accents. Zesty flavors that linger gently on the palate, such as green pepper, fresh citrus fruits and a hint of white pepper spiciness for a medium bodied wine . Quite enjoyable.

Food Pairing & Service:Salads, soups,grilled vegetables, fish, seafood, Asian dishes, spicy dishes.


Suggested Retail Price:$8.99

Veramonte Chardonnay'03, Casablanca Valley, Chile

A creamy style Chardonnay from Chile, very fruity and not overoaked.

Technical Data:100% Chardonnay from the Casablanca Valley, aged 8 months in American and French Oak, 33% new.

Description:Golden yellow color. Elegant floral and tropical aromas framed by honey and toasty oak. Vibrant tropical fruit flavors, followed by pear and apple and refreshingly crisp acidity. Subtle oak and warm spice round out the middle.

Food Pairing & Service:Seafood, grilled lemony fish and chicken, Asian dishes, Mediterranean dishes. Served chilled


Suggested Retail Price:$8.99

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

2K5 June's Pick


Cape Mentelle Shiraz ’02, Western Australia:

Deep dark in color. It is an opulent wine with complex and lush ripe plum-prunes flavors, laced with spice and pepper characteristics, underlaid by chewy tannins; A very luscious palate, with a supple and harmonious structure and a complex flavor range from sweet to savory.

Bottega Vinaia Lagrein, Trentino, Italy:

Intense ruby red color. Complex bouquet, with strong scents of vanilla, violets and wild berries, tending to musk and burnt wood with aging. Well-structured and balanced, with a harmony between tannins and acidity that renders it soft and velvety with a persistent finish.

Not finished yet...

2K5 April's Pick


Marlborough Pinot Noir, Kim Crawford, New Zealand ‘03:

A moderate depth of colour for this flavourful Pinot Noir. Lots of berries on the nose such as raspberries, strawberries and fresh cherries, a hints of rhubarb and a touch of undergrowth aromas are beginning to appear also. On the palate this medium bodied wine shows ripe berries followed by very soft tannins and a silky texture. Touch of oak, good weight and persistence are completed its characteristics. Drink now up to 3 years. Enjoy it with pasta, lighter red meat or fish. 87 Points Wine Spectator.

Franciscan Oakville Estate Zinfandel, California ‘01:

Nice ruby red color for this blended Zinfandel ( 85 % Zin. & 15% Petite Syrah) which spent 12 month in oak.
Mixed aromas of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries followed by black liquorice aromas for the spiciness and a light toasty oak. Medium bodied Zin. Showing good length in the palate with concentrated flavors of ripe cherries, touch of cinnamon, soft tannins and a smoky long finish. Drink now up to 5 years. Perfect match barbequed red meat or spicy pasta dishes.

Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon‘00, Columbia Winery, Washington State:

A deep dark 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 16 month in oak. The result is a wine breathing out spices, herbs and berries. The palate is overwhelmed by ripe blueberries, plums and raspberries with a nice black pepper touch and smooth tannins. A very round and well balanced wine with a good length of flavors. Drink now up to 2 years. Pair it with pasta dishes, lighter red meat or even on its own.


Columbia Valley Cellarmaster’s Riesling’04, Columbia Winery, Washington State:

A bright and quite refreshing Riesling with a low alcohol content. This wine shows equally a flowery and fruity nose with lots of acacia, honey but also apricot and pear. A rich palate repealing its nose, full of sweet fruits followed by a hint of honey and allspice in the mid-palate, and well balanced by crisp and clean acidity. Drink now up to 4 years. A good sipping wine to enjoy on its own as an aperitive, to match with rich seafood dishes or spicy Asian dishes or with dessert.

Drylands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’04, New Zealand:

This Sauvignon Blanc shows a silvery yellow color with light green hues. Nicely crisp it displays the typical Marlborough characters of rich concentrated tropical fruits and herbal aromas and flavors. Powerful but well balanced and not fat, it shows a luscious palate with ripe passion fruits, grapefruits and lime, followed in the mid – palate by grassy and flinty characters and a creamy banana aftertaste. Intense dry lingering finish focused on herbal flavors. Drink now up to 4 years. This is a food friendly wine, perfect match with seafood, fat fish or spicy dishes.

Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc’04, South Africa:

This unoaked full bodied Sauvignon Blanc shows a yellow gold color. It displays opulent, tropical fruits and ripe pear aromas on the nose. The palate is full of richness and complexity, with ripe guava, pear, citrus and a unique herbaceous undertones resulting from growth in vineyards high on mountain slopes. Drink now up to 4 years. An excellent accompaniment to chicken, fish, and veal dishes.

2K5 May's Pick


Estancia Pinot Noir, Pinacles Ranches ’02,Monterey, USA:

A 100% Monterey Pinot Noir aged 7 month in oak. This effusively fruity wine shows on the nose ripe cherry and strawberry layered with sweet oak and aromas of dried flowers, leaf and spice. The palate is rich in berry flavors with hints of leather and briar notes. Silky mouthfeel with soft, round tannins and a long finish. (NDC)

Sebastiani Cabernet ’01, Sonoma, USA:

Jammy wine, focused on blackberry aromas with vanilla and toasty oak nuances. The flavor is richly textured with opulent blackberry fruit and a touch of dried herbs. This wine is amazingly soft as a result of blending in low tannin Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as well as the extended barrel aging. 89 points Wine Spectator.

Montecillo Gran Reserva ’96, Rioja, Spain:

A 100% Tempranillo from Rioja, the main spanish wine region. Gran Reserva must be aged a minimum of two years in oak barrels and three years in the bottle prior release. This wine shows earthy aromas coupled to dried cherries, black plums, and figs. Medium bodied, warm, spicy, intense, and flavourful, this amazing wine is very concentrated in plumy flavors laced with notes of pepper and cloves. Thanks to its excellent structure and great tannic strength, it has a very long and persistent finish.

Bertani Secco Valpolicella DOC, Veneto, Italy:

Wonderfully rich and mellow red blend (Corvina Veronese 70%, Rondinella 25%, Molinara 5%.) with a spicy, nutty aroma and taste. An outstanding red wine that highlights the virtues of the ripasso winemaking technique. Very deep garnet color, delicate typical bouquet, with hints of spices and walnut. Berry fruit flavors, dry, full, slightly bitterish and persistent.

Osoyoos Larose Red, British Columbia, Canada:

Intense dark crimson red color . Aromas of medium intensity with plums, liquorice, cedar and smokey tobacco.
A dry wine with a medium bodied bit dense. In the palate this wine is comparable to any young Bordeaux (66% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc), it has lots of chocolate, mocha, tobacco flavours integrated with cherry and plums.

Salmon Arbor Merlot ’02, Columbia Valley, WA:

Quite surprising and refreshing blend (87% Merlot, 4% Lemberger, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Sangiovese). Aromas and flavors of black cherry, cinnamon, anise, chocolate and smoke. This wine is showing moderate weight with a touch of oak and easy-going tannins.


Bertani Soave Classico DOC ’02, Veneto, Italy:

The wine opens distinctly to the nose with a floral bouquet emanating the typical fragrances of Garganega, with traces of elderberry in particular. It then offers the sweeter aromas of fleshy and yellowish-pulp fruit such as peach. In the mouth it is round, and there is a repetition of the taste of the previously-smelt fruity aromas. It develops with a full round taste and finishes on more savoury notes.

Goundrey Offspring Chardonnay ’03, Western Australia:

Light straw yellow in colour with brilliant clarity. Aromas of peach, grapefruit and cashew nuts are complemented by fragrant oak characters adding subtle complexity. In the palate, rich and creamy textures, vibrant vanillin oak flavours and hints of sweet Chardonnay fruit also a touch of grapefruit and peach, completed by a firm, lingering acid finish.

Bertani Due Uve ’02, Veneto, Italy:

Strongly aromatic with characteristic notes of ripened peach against a background of elder flowers typical of Sauvignon. The strongly textured, velvety taste of Pinot harmonizes with the aromatic component of Sauvignon.

Sebastiani Chardonnay ’03, Sonoma, USA:

Light gold in color, this wine has apple, papaya and malt aromas. This wine is medium in body with generous yellow apple and tropical fruit on the mid-palate with shades of vanilla from the oak regime.

Toasted Head Chardonnay’03, Dunnigan Hills, USA:

Bright tangerine and pear fruit aromas are highlighted by clove and nutmeg. This medium-bodied wine has a crisp acidity and long finish, with pear and toasty butterscotch oak flavors, and a creamy texture.


Welcome all on my Wine Page. As many of you have requested it, here is finally my "new baby" dedicated to help you find, discover and taste new wines!

Every month I will publish in this categorie a list of wines I have found interesting both for their taste and great value. Many of these wines happened to be tasted during my weekly tasting at work and I thought it might interest many of you to share my discoveries, wheter you like reds, whites, rose or sparkling, I tried to cover every kind of wines! In the Wine pick categorie, each wines will be only succintely describe, for more info about the wine cited in the wine pick, feel free to look in the wine's categorie they are from.

So have fun and remember to drink responsibly!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Bilancia Red'01, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Smooth "meritage" blend form Hawke's Bay. A new-comer on the US wine-market.

Technical Data:80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, grapes handpicked, aged 12 months in French oak.

Description:Dark garnet color. Very concentrated wine, lots of black cherry on both nose and palate. Some spiciness too, hint of toasty characters from the oak aging. Smooth tannins.

Food Pairing & Service:Ready to drink now, but will continue to improve with several more years of cellaring.


Suggested Retail Price:$23.99

Puriri Hills'01, Clevedon, New Zealand

From a small estate, a new brand on the us market, made from us citizens lately emigrated in New Zealand. We wish you luck, keep up the good work!

Puriri Hills

Technical Data:65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, grapes handpicked, aged 18 months in 80% new French oak. Grapes are handpicked.in 2001, 5000 cases only.

Description:Lively red color. Loaded with fruits on both nose and palate, the plum is followed by a slight earthiness with herbal characters and a hint of spiciness for a long lasting soft finish. Smooth tannins.

Food Pairing & Service:Ready to drink now, but will continue to improve with several more years of cellaring.


Suggested Retail Price:$19.99

Luis Felipe Edwards, Dona Bernarda, Colchagua Valley, Chile

A chilean blend, with lots of structure and characters!

Luis Felipe Edwards Dona Bernarda

Technical Data:65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Petite Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc. Aged 16 months in French new oak barrels.

Description:Deep dark red color, This wine shows pleasant aromas and flavors of dried plum, blackberry and violets, followed by chocolate and mocha notes from its aging in oak barrels. A full-bodied wine yet a very soft mouth, with a great length.

Food Pairing & Service:Serve with grilled beef. Supple enough to be drunk now and over the next decade.


Suggested Retail Price:$19.99

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bonterra Cabernet'01, Mendocino County, USA

Organic Wines. Full-bodied but smooth Cabernet Sauvignon.

Bonterra Cabernet

Technical Data:80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% remaining divided between Syrah and Merlot. Aged on oak 16 months.

Description:Dark garnet color. Black currant, plum and violet aromas for the nose followed by blackberry flavors, spice, ripe tannins, a hint of chocolate and a lingering finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Perfectly set for your favorite cut of meat, from the filet mignon, slathered in mushrooms, to the clove-infused ham shank. Save a little for dessert, whether you lean toward dark chocolate or the sharp cheddar and a cigar.


Suggested Retail Price:$14.99

Bonterra Chardonnay'03, Mendocino County, USA

Organic wines from organic vineyards and grapes! Still contains some sulfites but less than the usual wines. Really creamy chardonnay not overoaked!

Bonterra Chardonnay

Technical Data:A delicious 100% Chardonnay barrel-fermented and organic from Mendocino County in California.

Description:Pale straw yellow color. Green apple, lemon-citrus and crème brûlée like aromas followed by ripe pear and toasty-oak vanilla. Creamy texture and finely balanced acidity add weight and lingering freshness to the palate. The key to this wine is its great balance … not overoaked, but enough to just enjoy it.

Food Pairing & Service:Try with sautéed seafood, shellfish or chicken dishes. This wine is also perfect with mushroom pastas or the richness of fettuccine Alfredo.


Suggested Retail Price:$11.99

Tiziano'01 Chianti Riserva DOCG, Tuscany, Italy

Nice and smooth!

Tiziano Chianti Riserva

Technical Data:100% Sangiovese, aged for 12 months in big casks then few additional months in bottle refinement.

Description:Intense ruby-red color. The aroma is sweet, full and fruity with an elegant light notes of spice. The flavor is smooth and lingering with a fruit finish.

Food Pairing & Service:It best accompanies pasta and red sauce, or any grilled meats.


Suggested Retail Price:$11.99

Tiziano Gold'01 Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany, Italy

Medium-bodied Chianti Classico.

Tiziano Gold Chianti Classico

Technical Data:95% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine is aged in small French barriques for 12 months with an additional period in bottle refinement.

Description:Intense ruby-red color. Medium- bodied wine with a spicy bouquet and classic hints of violets. The flavor is full of ripe fruits, leathery notes with a velvety texture.

Food Pairing & Service:It best accompanies game, roasted or grilled red meat such as beef and lamb as well as strong cheeses.


Suggested Retail Price:$15.99

Brancaia Tre'03, Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy

A medium-bodied juicy italian wine.

Tre Brancaia

Technical Data:Blend of 80% Sangiovese, 20% divided between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 12 months in Oak barrels (1/2 in new, 1/2 in used barrels) plus 2 months in the bottle.

Description:Deep ruby color. Juicy black fruits and violet nose. Deep, rich texture, spicy a little bit with well enticed flavors such as blackberry and plum, coffee and roasted nut and an elegant long finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Varied pastas, white roast or sautéed meat, white poultry, fried or grilled fish. TRE is a wine full of character giving you drinking enjoyment already at young age.


Suggested Retail Price:$24.99

Spadina Una Rosa'02, Sicily IGT, Sicily, Italy

Lots of characters.

Spadina Una Rosa Nero d\'Avola

Technical Data:100% Nero d’Avola, the red main grape from Sicily. Matured in small French oak barrels for six months.

Description:Deep Dark color. This wine offers leathery notes, red and black fruit aromas followed by dark, rich, fully ripened velvety fruits with a cedary spiciness, quite smooth tannins and long lasting finish. Quite enjoyable.

Food Pairing & Service:Good with spicy Italian pasta and hearty, savory dishes like game, lamb or beef. Also a specially good pairings with dark chocolate desserts! Served at room temperature.


Suggested Retail Price:$16.99

Poliziano Le Stanze'02, Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy

Smooth tannins, long finish, velvety dry red.

Poliziano Le Stanze

Technical Data:70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, aged 18 months in new barriques followed by 8 months of bottle aging.

Description:Deep purple color. On the nose black cherry and blueberry notes emerge first, before notes of violet and hay and rounded balsamic echoes. In the mouth, it is immensely well-structured, striking a perfect balance between sweet tannins and freshness. The persistent finish is laden with fruity undertones.

Food Pairing & Services:A wine of considerable depth - thanks to the complexity of its aromas and flavours - it works wonderfully with substantial main courses and seasoned cheeses.


Suggested Retail Price:$29.54

Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano'02 DOCG, Tuscany, Italy

Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Technical Data:Prugnolo gentile 85% (synonym of Sangiovese), 15% remaining is a blend between merlot, canaiolo nero and colorino . Depending of the vintage aged 14-16 months in oak. 80% French oak-barrel. Additional bottle fining for few months prior release.

Description:The garnet colour with orange hues. The fragant bouquet recalls rose's petale, violets scents and berries. On the palate a rich texture for a full-bodied wine focused on ripe berries laced with violet, spice and subtle oaky flavors backboned by solid tannins.

Food Pairing & Service:Particularly well suited for hearty main dishes and well ripened cheeses.

Ageing Potential: 10 - 12 years.


Suggested Retail Price:$25.99 - $21.99

Corvo Rosso'00, Sicily IGT, Sicily, Italy

Soft tannins but really spicy.

Corvo Rosso

Technical data:70% Nero d’Avola, the main red grape from Sicily, 30% mixed black ( Pignatello & Nerello Mascalese). Aged 10 months in Slavonian Oak plus additional aging in bottle prior release.

Description:A ruby red color with an intense, complex, and ethereal bouquet. Full-bodied, rich and ripe, with currant and plum aromas and long flavors. Soft tannins and a lingering, harmonious finish display finesse.

Food Pairing & Service:Excellent with grilled meat, roasts, pizzas and pasta. and medium-seasoned cheeses.


Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

Corvo Bianco'01, Sicily IGT, Sicily, Italy

Dry, crisp and fruity white from Central Sicily. Spicy a little bit whith a good acidity.

Corvo Bianco

Technical Data:Corvo Bianco is made from 70% Inzolia, 30% mixed between Cataratto and Grecanico grapes.

Description:Straw yellow color with brilliant greenish effects throughout. Dry, crisp and refreshing, with a slightly fruity flavors mostly citrus and a fresh, grassy note. A classic Italian white.

Food Pairing & Service:Recommended with soups, vegetables, and fish dishes in general. Corvo Bianco is also excellent with starters.


Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

King Estate Pinot Noir'02, Oregon, USA

A very elegant wine, full-bodied but not heavy, with a rich texture and fine tannins.

King Estate Pinot Noir

Technical Data:100% King Estate Grown Pinot Noir Grapes. Aged 10-12 months in French oak barrels.

Description:Bright garnet color with ruby tint clarity and brilliance. Aromas of black-cherry, cassis, dried rose petal, strawberry, raspberry with cinnamon & cedar spice. Round, rich, and silky in the mouth, it shows blueberry notes co-mingle with raspberry-strawberry fruit and hints of dark plum. A hint of cocoa-vanilla is complemented with cedar and oak spice. The mid-palate offers round tannins that fade away into the long finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Pairs well with a variety of cuisine.


Suggested Retail Price:$24.99

King Estate Pinot Gris'03, Oregon, USA

A full-bodied & dry enjoyable one, crisp and refreshing. A touch of sweetness at the end of the palate.

King Estate Pinot Gris

Technical Data:100% Pinot Gris. Aged 6 months on oak, 100% sur lie.

Description:Pale Straw yellow color with brilliant luminosity. Aromas of lime, grapefruit and orange-citrus accented with nutmeg spice and honey. Explosive fruit entrance with flavors of melon, tropical fruit and honey, with a citrus zest finish. Rich and balanced, this wine has rounded texture and body.

Food Pairing & Service:Pairs well with a variety of cuisine, served chilled.


Suggested Retail Price:$11.98

Bodegas Campillo White'02, Rioja, Spain

Light-bodied barrel fermented white, quite refreshing.

Bodegas Campillo White

Technical Data:50% Viura, 50% Malvasia grapes. Barrel Fermented.

Description:Lemon yellow color with green hues. Clean and bright. Intense, complex aromas that blend floral notes and ripe fruit against a background of well-integrated, noble wood. Smooth, fresh attack with well-integrated acidity. Ample and tasty, with honey and hawthorn added to the fruity flavors, leaving a pleasant aftertaste.

Food Pairing & Service:Seafood and grilled white fish.


Suggested Retail Price:$12.99

Faustino VII, Rioja, Spain

Soft Rioja's Wine, a little spicy, very nice!

Faustino VII

Technical Data:Grapes are harvested exclusively from Faustino estate vineyards in Spain’s Rioja region. 50% Tempranillo, 50% Garnacha ( = Grenache). it is aged 10 months in oak casks and in bottle for 6 months prior to its release.

Description:Lively red, shading to ochre. Hint of vanilla and ripe red berry fruit. Well-balanced, velvety, elegant with a touch of bitterness and spiciness at the end of the palate.

Food Pairing & Service:Good accompaniment to a wide range of dishes, from the Mediterranean cuisine of course and spicy dishes to red meat, roasts and matured cheeses. Ready to enjoy right away.


Suggested Retail Price:$11.49

Fortius Cabernet Sauvignon'99, Navarra, Spain

Soft medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.

Fortius Cabernet Sauvignon

Technical Data:100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes undergo traditional vinification, including fermentation at a controlled temperature of 28ºC and a 21-day maceration. The wine is aged for 12 to 16 months in new American and French oak barrels.

Description:Deep ruby color. Aromas of plums and black cherries highlighted by spicy notes. Well-structured and complex, with notes of ripe raspberry and plum and toast leading to an elegant smooth finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Delicious with red meat entrées, game and hearty stews.


Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

Fortius Tempranillo'00, Navarra, Spain

Lots of Characters and spicy Blend mainly from Tempranillo grape

Fortius Tempranillo

Technical Data:75% Tempranillo, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes are gently pressed; the juice undergoes fermentation at a controlled temperature of 28ºC and an 18-day maceration period. The wine is aged for 12 months in new American oak barrels.

Description:Deep garnet red color. Intense aromas of ripe fruit with nuances of vanilla. Concentrated flavors of plum, black pepper and woody notes. Elegant, full-bodied and concentrated, with velvety tannins.

Food Pairing & Service:Delicious with red meat entrées, game and hearty stews.


Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

Stonestreet Sonoma County Merlot'01

A luscious smooth Merlot blend.

Stonestreet Sonoma County Merlot

Technical Data:81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc. 14 months in French oak barrels (52% new).

Description:Dark ruby-purple color. Ripe cherries, vanilla and cedar aromas. A well-balanced, lush mid-palate showing a blend of cherry and blackberries flavors with subtle hints of smoky toastiness, coffee and chocolate. Spicy black fruit flavors linger on the long finish.

Cellaring Potential:Up to 4 – 5 years.


Suggested Retail Price:$21.99

Stonestreet Sonoma County Chardonnay'01

Nice Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California, not overoaked dry one with a touch of sweetness.

Technical Data:100% Chardonnay. 100% Malolactic fermentation. Aged 8 months in 100% French oak barrel ( 38% new).

Description:Pale straw yellow color, Pears, apples and subtle hazelnut on the nose with high fruit intensity and a slight mineral component on the palate exemplify Stonestreet’s Sonoma County Chardonnay. nutty aromas and flavors with a supple texture and lasting finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Goes well with pork loin in a piquant cream sauce as well as seafood and fish, serve chilled.


Suggested Retail Price:$16.99

Quinta do Noval, Special Reserve Port, Portugal

A nice Port to enjoy, a little less sweet than the Non-Vintage LB Port from the same Quinta.

Quinta do Noval Special Reserve

Technical Data:Made from 3 Portuguese Grapes, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz ( = Tempranillo) and Touriga Francesca. Grapes trodden by foot and aged in traditional large oak vats called "Lagares", aged 4 years.

Description:Deep purple color, with a wild spicy nose and ripe fruits well married with woody notes. The full and silky tannins express the essence of its terroir. A rich and full-bodied wine with great charm and finesse. Intense fruity bouquet with a rich, elegant, well-balanced palate, a smooth velvety tannic structure and a powerful, intense finish.

Food Pairing & Service:It is delicious with a variety of cheeses & desserts, particularly chocolate. Ready to be enjoyed immediately, this port does not need to be decanted.


Suggested Retail Price:?

Quinta do Noval, Non-Vintage LB Port, Portugal

A very fine Port you will enjoy anytime, that's my latest favorite wine!

Quinta do Noval, Non-Vintage LB Port

Technical Data:Port made traditionnaly from 3 Portuguese grapes called Tinta Roriz ( that's one of the synonym for Tempranillo grape), Touriga Francesca and Tinta Barroca. The grapes after been harvested have been trodden by foot then aged in traditional large oak vats called "Lagares". It is blended from a number of vintages to add complexity.The aging is from 4 - 5 years, this kind of Port is bottled according to demand.

Description:Intense dark purple color with some red shades. A complex nose showing mostly red fruits such as raspberry, cherry and berry. This Non-Vintage Late Bottled or LB ( vintage character) Port is an impressive one, it possesses fabulous cherry and berry fruity flavors, a smooth texture with a nice touch of spice and smoky chocolate character just by the end of the palate. Dense, rich, concentrated, this is an excellent value in high quality port. A full-bodied one yet round and well-structured with a long lasting elegant finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Accompanies well chocolate desserts and red fruits one. Could also be enjoyed on its own. Ready to be enjoyed immediately, this port does not need to be decanted.


Suggested Retail Price:$14.99

How does it work?

Really simple, for each wine I will give a complete description (sight, smell and taste) of what I know and also what I thought about it, as well as a score on a 10 scale and the usual observed price found in retail shop! When possible, technical data, food pairing and aging potential will be added. I just hope that will help you find new wines you never tried and have a good time sharing them with friends!

Hello world!

Welcome to Virginie's Wineblog.

Here you will find a lot of interesting notes about wines, as you are a beginner or a connoisseur these notes will allow you to share my experiences and discoveries among the wide world of wine. Wine is a vast subject of course, some will say a lifelong work to know everything, as there is so much thing changing everytime everywhere. But I have no pretention to know everything, perhaps just to be a little bit more enlighten than some other people because I'm a professional wine taster, so I thought I could share with you all what my job has made me discover.

I have to say that I do not consider my notes as the only truth. As wine is a matter of taste and most important of your own taste and since everybody as a different one some people might be not agreed with what I wrote.

More likely, I'm considering my notes as a "traveling journal" recalling what I have tasted and what I have thought of these particular wines at this precise moment!