Well, it has indeed been a while, ahem, since I last published a post. My very, very bad. No excuses, so no long stories. However, today in a sweat of activity I am writing about a bunch of wines, because I always take a photo and some notes and we can now roll ’em.
Okay , Let’ start with the most expensive one. The 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella. It was recommended to me by one of the staff at Trader Joe’s as being much in the style of Paso Robles, California wines; in other words, a robust, fruit forward wine. It does have these qualities, but it also has that Italian quality of the vines being quite ancient, with a more mature complexity without the heavy alcohol content. It has a lovely nose and of course the dark fruit flavors of dried raisins and black currants, along with a good balance of herb and earth flavors, a strong tannin structure helps the wine sit up straight. This is wonderful with BBQ, meat stews, sausage and also hearty vegetarian dishes. $ 19.99
The 2012 Marchigüe Carménère Reserva from Chile was a nice surprise for a soft red from the Cochagua Valley. If you are unfamiliar with the Carménère grape this is a nice introduction to it. It is similar to Pinot Noir, in that it is lighter but with those good red ripe fruits, red berries and good balance of acidity. I though this one was a great deal at $7.99.
Next there is the family of Green Fin wines which are made form organic grapes, always a plus in my book. My favorite is the Merlot, because it tastes delicious and has some complexity, along with good tannins that are not overpowering. The Red Table Wine is pretty straightforward, kind of like Le Juice de la Grape. Not at all complex. I would cook with this one, something like a Coq au Vin dish. Same goes for the Chardonnay (not pictured) from this brand. They each sell for a mere $3.99.
A good red blend is definitely something to savor and embrace and this 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend fits the bill. It’s just delicious. Really flavorful, full bodied and rich with dark fruits. I really loved this one and have had it twice with much appreciation. It’s smooth yet rich and really well balanced. For $8.99 it is a fantastic deal.
Now for a lovely and affordable Sangiovese, by Grifone. This is a terrific wine, with the mouth watering flavors of ripe pomegranate, cherries and raspberries and violets, alongside a respectable backbone of tannic structure. An unbelievable deal for $3.99.
That’s a quote from WineFolly.com. I highly recommend this website for educating yourself on everything wine. Madeline Puckette is a darling and witty to boot. Love her and the site. Sign up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out.
Petit Verdot hails from Bordeaux, where it is most often used in the region’s famous red blends to add dark violet color, stouter tannins and impart concentrated fruit flavor on the palate. However, because Petit Verdot tends to ripen later in the season it can be hit or miss, depending on the vintage, as to whether or not the fruit will actually make it to harvest and be a viable addition to a Bordeaux blend. With this in mind, New World growers have given Petit Verdot a second start in regions with consistent, extended growing conditions with solid results. By growing Petit Verdot in warmer climates the odds of maturing the grape on the vine increases significantly and has resulted in Petit Verdot being utilized not only in blends, but also as a front and center grape – being bottled as a single varietal.
Which is where we begin with this happy find. Grown in Paso Robles these grapes really got a lot of that radiant heat, bringing up the sugars. This was surprisingly dark violet, delicious, rich, and fruit forward. Wonderfully jammy and grapey, but it is not overly sweet or cloying. Just wonderful and powerful. Great backbone, well balanced tannins and a full mouth feel. An absolute steal at $9.99
Viognier wines are well known for their floral aromas, due to terpenes, which are also found in Muscat and Riesling wines. There are also many other powerful flower and fruit aromas which can be perceived in these wines depending on where they were grown, the weather conditions and how old the vines were. Although some of these wines, especially those from old vines and the late-harvest wines, are suitable for aging, most are intended to be consumed young.
Smoking Loon is a subsidiary of Sebastiani wines and they are having fun with their fruit forward wines. This is a substantial wine form an old and flavorful grape. Lovely pear and honey tastes. Very good. $6.99