Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Marquis de la Tour Sparkling Brut NV, Loire Valley, France

Marquis de la Tour


Dry NV Sparkling Wine of extraordinary quality at a very attractive price from France.

Technical Data: 50% Chenin Blanc, 25 % Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Chardonnay. This sparkling wine is made from 100% Loire grapes. Because of its northern location, the grapes maintain an excellent balance of high acidity. Consistency and quality are carefully monitored to create very fine bubbles. The dosage has been perfected to make a clean, fruity but, dry sparkling wine

Description: Pale gold color. Delicate floral aromas. Medium-bodied wine. Crisp and clean with fine bubbles and ripe melon flavors. Good acidity and good balance.

Food Pairing & Service: Served chilled. This sparkling wine can accompany an entire meal or be served as an aperitif.

Score: 8/10

Suggested Retail Price: $8.99

Laboure-Roi Pouilly-Fuisse Vallon D'Or '03, Burgundy, France

laboure Roi


An elegant Pouilly-Fuisse from Burgundy.

Technical Data:100% Chardonnay. Following the malolactic fermentation, the wine spends 8 to 10 months in tank before bottling.

Description:Golden color. Floral and fruity aromas on the nose with hints of honey and hazelnuts. On the palate, medium-bodied wine yet rich and dry. This Chardonnay shows lots of white fruits flavors but also a nice minerality and some lively floral undertones all together in a very well balanced exemple of what could be a Pouilly-Fuisse when well crafted. Long lasting creamy and rounded finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Serve chilled but not iced, at 55 Fahrenheit. Drink with all smoked fish, fish grilled or in a sauce, poultry and white meats, including turkey and pork, creamy cheeses.

Score:9/10

$16.99

Jean Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone "Les Abeilles" '03, Cotes du Rhone, France

Jean Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles


Classic South Cotes du Rhone Red.

Technical Data:50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre from 25 year-old vines. The wine is aged 20% in new oak for nine months before bottling.

Description:Deep garnet color. Aromas of black berries, a hint of old leather and some spices too. A full-bodied and complex red wine focused on ripe black berry laced with liquorice spiciness well balanced by silky tannins. This red wine is a classic expression of the Cotes du Rhone appellation.

Food Pairing & Service:A food friendly wine which will be an ideal accompaniment to hearty dishes and Mediterranean Cuisine in general. Will also pair well lamb, pork, roasted beef and assorted cheeses. Serve at room temperature.

Score:8/10

Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

Gavala Santorini White'03, Santorini, Greece

Gavala Santorini White


Crisp and fragant white blend from the Santorini Island, Greece. Something new worth to try!

Technical Data:Two Grapes blend, Assyrtico and Aidani grapes.

Description:Bright golden color, light fruits on the nose with undertones of citrus. In the palate, citrus, lemon and melon like overtones are its main flavors with a crisp acidity and a quite refreshing finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Food friendly wine. Idealy paired with fish, seafood, white meats and mild cheeses. Also a perfect sipping wine. Serve chilled.

Score:8/10

Suggested Retail Price:$11.99

Fragou Cabernet Sauvignon'01, Trifilia, Greece

Fragou Cabernet Sauvignon


A flavorful Cabernet Sauvignon from Greece, not so far away from Athens.

Technical Data:100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months in French oak barrel.

Description:Purple red color. Plum on the nose. A very fruity dry wine, on the palate loaded with plum & vanillin oak, no spiciness, supple tannins, smooth finish. Full bodied wine a bit robust and food friendly.

Food Pairing & Service:Paired with red meats & cheese. Serve at room temperature.

Score:7/10

Suggested Retail Price:$13.49

Ey Grenache'03 "Vigne Las Collas", Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Ey Grenache


A full-bodied and flavorful Grenache blend from the foothills of the Pyrenees in southern France’s Roussillon district.

Technical Data:90% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre from a single vineyard of 60 years old on the side of Pyrenean Mountain. Aged few month in Oak-barrels.

Description:Deep dark color almost black. Slightly smoky in the nose with reminiscent aromas of dried cherries & spices. Supple flavors of ripe fruits nicely balanced by an underlying acidity.

Food Pairing & Service:This is a versatile wine that will accompany well assorted tapas, grilled meats, sausages & hard cheeses. Best enjoyed at room temperature.

Score:9/10

Suggested Retail Price:$11.99

Domaine du Chalet Pouilly Pouilly-Fuisse '03, Burgundy, France

Domaine du Chalet Pouilly Pouilly-Fuisse


An excellent Pouilly-Fuisse.

Technical Data:Dry wine. 100 % Chardonnay. Aged in Oak. From one of the Southern white appellation from Burgundy.

Description:Clear golden color with green hues. Mineral bouquet with nice floral undertones. Nice intensity in the mouth reinforced by fullness, power and coolness, which harmonize perfectly together. Floral flavors of hawthorn with a hint of fresh hazelnuts. Long lasting pleasing finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Serve cool (12°C), this wine can be enjoyed as an appetizer. It can be served with seafood best paired with grilled lobster, fish like salmon, , sole, also a good accompaniment with white meats like poultry , roasted pork and some cheese such as Saint-Nectaire or Comté. Its preservation differs depending on the vintage, but it can easily age 5 or 10 years.

Score:9/10

Suggested Retail Price:$22.99

Domaine du Chalet Pouilly Saint Veran "Les Cornillauds" '03, Burgundy, France

Domaine du Chalet Pouilly Saint Veran


A medium-bodied Chardonnay from Burgundy.

Technical Data:100% Chardonnay grapes. Aged in Oak.

Description:Pale, bright yellow color. Clear, elegant, medium-bodied and fruity wine. On the nose, citrus fruits and floral aromas. On the palate, fresh buttered bread flavors laced with vegetal fragrances and sweet ripe tropical fruits completed by a hint of oak .

Food Pairing & Service:Serve between 8 and 10°C. It can be served pleasantly during all beginnings of meals. Depending on the vintage, this wine can age 3 or 5 years or even more.

Score:9/10

Suggested Retail Price:$14.99

Erben Kabinett'03, Rheinhessen, Germany

Erben Kabinett


Semi-dry blended white from Germany.

Technical Data:Made from a meritage of Riesling, Silvaner and Rivaner, creating a fragrant finish.

Description:Erben Kabinett is a medium dry refreshingly white from the Rheinhessen region. Apricot on the nose, the palate is surprisingly even more fruity with orange peel taste, pear and green apple followed by floral flavors with honeysuckle and acacia. Hint of spice on the finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Could be drunk as an aperitif as well as paired with a wide range of dishes, particularly with poultry and Asian dishes spicy or not, sushi salads, white fish and oriental cuisine. Serve chilled.

Score:7/10

Suggested Retail Price:$6.99

Erben Spatlese'04, Rheinhessen, Germany

Erben Spatlese


Rich and sweet white from Germany.

Technical Data:This wine is made from a blend (mainly Riesling and Silvaner) of late-ripened grapes carefully selected from Langguth's estates or from individual from Rheinhessen that were picked at least one week after the start of the harvest. Hence the name "Spatlese" which means "late harvest."

Description:Erben Spatlese is a full bodied wine with a distinctive bouquet and fruity, luscious palate, with a fresh acidity. Focused on apricot and peach flavors with a slight touch of spiciness. Very rich and sweet wine.

Food Pairing & Service:Delicious when drunk on its own, or pair well dessert, fruit or cheeses. Serve chilled.

Score:9/10

Suggested Retail Price:$6.99

Domaine Ste Michelle Luxe 1999, WA, USA

Domaine Ste Michelle Luxe 1999


A Vintage Sparkler called Luxe from WA made from the Methode Champenoise.

Technical Data:100% Chardonnay vintage 1999 made from the Methode Champenoise.

Description:Pale yellow color with tiny bubbles. Crisp Sparkler showing grapefruit aromas and flavors followed in the palate by fruits like lemon, pear and a hint of tropical fruits with some pineapple and melon. A touch of spice and a soft creamy finish complete its description.

Food Pairing & Service:Will pair well with a wide range of dishes, nice with a trout, or same kind of fish. Also an ideal accompaniment to chocolate and blue cheeses. Serve chilled.

Score:7/10

Suggested Retail Price:$17.99

Domaine Ste Michelle Blanc de Noirs NV, WA, USA

Domaine Ste Michelle Blanc de Noirs


An excellent Rose Sparkling Wine NV from WA made from the Methode Champenoise.

Technical Data:90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay, the opposite of a Blanc de Blanc. Made from the Methode Champenoise. Non-Vintage.

Description:Light salmon-pink color with small bubbles. Dry and medium-bodied Sparkler. Strawberry and Raspberry aromas and flavors, with light spice undertones. Dry at the entrance this Sparkler as a soft and fruity long lasting finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Because of its soft finish, it will be a good accompaniment with soft cheeses, dessert and specially chocolate or berry. Also nice to be drunk on its own. Serve chilled.

Score:9/10

Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

Domaine Ste Michelle Blanc de Blanc NV, WA, USA

Domaine Ste Michelle Blanc de Blanc


A soft and refreshing Blanc de Blanc Non-Vintage (NV) from WA, made from the Methode Champenoise.

Technical Data:

Description:Light golden color with small bubbles. Medium-bodied Sparkling Wine. Equally floral & fruity on both nose and palate. This wine shows a nice floral entrance with honeysuckle and honey followed closely by fruity flavors such as green apple and a hint of tropical fruits. Long lasting finish. Easy going wine!

Food Pairing & Service:This Blanc de Blanc is softer than the Brut from the same Estate, will accompany well soft cheeses, desserts and aperitif. Serve chilled.

Score:8/10

Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

Domaine Ste Michelle Cuvee Brut NV, WA, USA

Domaine Ste Michelle Cuvee Brut


A nice Brut Non-Vintaged (NV) from WA, made with the Methode Champenoise, to enjoy with a meal or by itself.

Technical Data:50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir. 100% Méthode Champenoise. Non-vintage. It is the most representative of a producer’s style. Usually it is a blend of different grapes from different vintages and growing areas.

Description:Light golden yellow color with nice small bubbles. A Brut dominated by its floral aromas and flavors followed by a touch of fruits. Mainly white flowers flavors laced with soft fruits like apple and citrus. Crisp and quite refreshing, with a long lasting finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Because that’s a dry sparkling you will be able to pair it with a wide range of food as well as enjoy it by itself as an aperitif or afterdiner wine. Personally I usually go on spicy food with that kind of Sparkling wine. Serve chilled.

Score:7/10

Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

Raymond Napa Valley Reserve Merlot'02, Napa, USA

Raymond Napa Valley Reserve Merlot


Full-bodied and spicy Merlot, the Cabernet's lover will like this Merlot!

Technical Data:88% Merlot, 12 % Cabernet Sauvignon aged 14 months in oak barrels.

Description:Deep garnet color. Blackberry nose followed by spice and oaky aromas. Full-bodied spicy Merlot, showing Blackberry and plumy flavors laced with cedary spiciness, firm tannins and oak undertones. A roasted coffee bean aftertaste and a long lasting finish complement its description.

Food Pairing & Service:This Merlot is full bodied so personally I will pair it with steak without a doubt. Might be also a good idea to pair with hearty pasta dishes. Drinkable at an early age, but has the potential to be cellared for at least 6 years past the vintage date.

Score:7/10

Suggested Retail Price:$14.99

Raymond "R" Collection Chardonnay'04, Monterey, USA

Raymond R collection Chardonnay


A flavorful and creamy Chardonnay from Monterey, softly oaked.

Technical Data:100% Monterey Chardonnay aged for 3 months only on French oak.

Description:Straw yellow color. Very aromatic bouquet. Zesty and crisp this wine exhales citrus fruits aromas with very subtle oak undertones. On the palate, this flavourful Chardonnay is loaded with lemon peel, candied apricot and orange blossom flavors. A bit creamy on the finish with oaky nuances and soft nectarine aftertaste. Well balance medium bodied wine quite easy to drink!

Food Pairing & Service:This wine will be equally nice as a sipping wine as well as aired with food. Try it with crab cakes and cocktails shrimp, also a ideal accompaniment with roasted chicken, sausages, summer salads or soups. Serve chilled.

Score:8/10

Suggested Retail Price:$10.99

Yellow Tail Shiraz - Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, South Eastern Australia

Yellow Tail Shiraz Cab Blend


Intense and cedary Shiraz - Cab blend from Australia.

Technical Data:60% Shiraz, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in oak prior bottling

Description:Deep purple color. Intense nose loaded with plumy aromas, spice and oak. On the palate, ripe dark fruits flavors with plum, blueberry and cassis laced with cedary spiciness, smooth tannins and a toasty dark chocolate aftertaste.

Food Pairing & Service:Best paired with Lamb and Beef, or all red kind meat, might be a nice pairing with game too. Drink now up to 2-3 years

Score:6/10 Too spicy for my taste that's why it has only that score.

Suggested Retail Price:$6.99

Yellow Tail Merlot, South Eastern Australia

Yellow Tail Merlot


A spicy Merlot from Australia.

Technical Data:The grapes for this Merlot were sourced from selected vineyards based on specific quality parameters and machine harvested at optimum ripeness then quickly transported to the winery for processing.

Description:Deep Garnet Color. Ripe and rich berry aromas. On the palate lots of berry and plum laced with black pepper, soft tannins, a touch of tobacco and a toasty chocolate finish. Very smooth finish. Quite a peppery Merlot!

Food Pairing & Service:Food Friendly wine. Try it with lamb, char-grilled salmon/tuna, roast poultry, Italian cuisine, especially pasta with meat sauces or even with soft cheeses. An easy drinking wine designed for immediate consumption.

Score:7/10

Suggested Retail Price:$6.99

Yellow Tail Reserve Chardonnay'04, South Eastern Australia

Yellow Tail Reserve Chardonnay


Creamy style Chardonnay from Australia not too oaky.

Technical Data:100% Chardonnay gently aged with French oak for 6 months prior to bottling.

Description:Pale straw yellow color. Fragrant nose for a creamy style Chardonnay, showing pear and apple aromas at first followed closely by tropical fruits and a hint of oak. On the palate, the wine exudes abundant fruity flavors like pear and apple but also melon and guava, a nice touch of vanilla, spice and oak with buttery undertones. Quite smooth and lingering on the finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Its fresh and fruity palate make it the perfect match for spicy Asian foods or Spicy Indian food. Will be a good compliment also with Seafood. Drink now up to 3 years.

Score:8/10

Suggested Retail Price:$9.99

Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio'05, South Eastern Australia

Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio


A crisp and grapefruity Pinot Grigio from Australia and the well know Yellow Tail.

Technical Data:100% Pinot Grigio aged in stainless steel only.

Description:Pale golden color. Grapefruity at first on the nose, this wine exhales also green apples aromas with a touch of pear. On the palate, zesty and crisp wine showing grapefruit aromas as well as citrus fruits and pear. A bit of grassiness and lime flavors on the lingering finish.

Food Pairing & Service:Enjoy this Pinot Grigio served chilled as an aperitif or with seafood, white meats and any pasta sauce of your choice. A good sipping wine for party. An easy drinking wine designed for immediate consumption. Serve chilled.

Score:7/10

Suggested Retail Price:$6.99

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Smoking Loon Syrah'03, CA, USA

Smoking Loon Syrah


Fat and fruity Syrah from CA.

Technical Data:100% Syrah aged in oak barrel.

Description:Purple color. On the nose lots of fruits going on, mainly plum and cassis aromas. On the palate nice fruit intensity, full bodied wine almost fat in the right way of the word, very smooth texture. This Syrah shows cedary spiciness and toasty oak flavors well integrated to its plumy fruits and blueberry. A bittersweet chocolate aftertaste, smooth tannins and a toastiness are completing its description.

Food Pairing & Service:Enjoy with all kind of roasts paired with mashed potatoes and green beans, or with a classic Lasagna dish.

Score:8/10

Suggested Retail Price:$8.49

Smoking Loon Merlot'03, CA, USA

Smoking Loon Merlot


A medium-bodied, fruity and smooth Merlot.

Technical Data:100% Merlot aged in oak barrel.

Description:Light plumy color. This medium-bodied wine exhales raspberry’s candy aromas with a touch of caramel on the nose. Fruit forward style Merlot, very smooth and quite enjoyable it shows on the palate a medium entrance full of ripe red fruits such as raspberry enticed with light oaky flavors and a touch of spice. Very soft tannins and a velvety texture followed by a cranberry aftertaste.

Food Pairing & Service:Quite fruity wine as good to sip by itself as it is to pair with pasta Bolognese, barbequed chicken or Thai dishes. Pairs well with a wide range of dishes.

Score:7/10

Suggested Retail Price:$8.49

Smoking Loon Viognier'04, CA, USA

Smoking Loon Viognier

Smoking Loon ViognierAn Appealing Viognier from CA.

Technical Data: 100% Viognier aged in oak barrel.

Description: Straw yellow color. Light to medium bodied wine very aromatic. Intense nose of lime mingle with jasmine and narcissus. On the palate, Citrussy flavors enticed with a bit of honey, some spice and tropical fruits like apricot, peach and guava. Toasty oak finish, quite refreshing wine.

Food Pairing & Service: Great sipping wine to drink as an aperitif although it is also an excellent food friendly one to pair with all Asian and Indian food or more classically with sushi, risotto, butternut squash or flavourful fishes. Serve chilled.

Score: 7/10

Suggested Retail Price: $8.49

Smoking Loon Chardonnay'04, CA, USA


Smoking Loon Chardonnay

Very easy to drink creamy Chardonnay not too oaky for a Californian one.

Technical Data: 90% Chardonnay, 10% Chenin Blanc aged in oak barrel.


Description: Light straw yellow color. Medium bodied wine. Seductive nose of honey and ripe melon mingle with spring flowers aromas and grass. On the palate this wine shows delightful tropical flavors with apricot, papaya, guava and pineapple, laced with some spiciness and minerality. A bit buttery and toasty on the finish with green apple aftertaste.

Food Pairing & Service: An excellent pairing with scallops and Seafood in general. Try this one also with all kind of appetizer, you will love it.

Score: 8/10

Suggested Retail Price: $8.49