Saturday, September 28, 2013

2011 Juslyn Vineyards Bella Rose Napa Valley

Spring Mountain District located in the northwest portion of Napa Valley above and behind St Helena is where today's wine originates from. Perry and Carolyn Butler who sold there computer business to jump head first in the wine business is another success story of the Napa Valley. 1998 was their first vintage with purchased grapes but fast forward to the year 2000 and they were able to harvest enough grapes off their own estate to produce 80 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. Awards have followed and this team of wine aficionados from Salvadore and Oscar Renteria in the vineyards to winemaker Craig Maclean and  general manager Stephanie DeMasi, Perry and Carolyn must be beaming with pride!

You will notice on the label a pink bow symbolizing Juslyn Vineyards commitment to breast cancer research. 100% of the profits of these 150 cases will be donated to the Emma Jacobs Breast Cancer Foundation. These bottles are dedicated to the fighters and survivors of breast cancer. Many of you may know that I am a spouse of a survivor and people like CELLAR ANGELS and JUSLYN VINEYARDS hold a special place in my cellar and heart. With support and donations made by fine folks like these, may you or anyone you know never have to suffer as many women do. It's their determination and will to beat this terrible disease that I admire and applaud. Lend a helping hand and help them beat this horrible disease.

I absolutely  love the nose with its fresh strawberry, cherry, raspberry and cranberry notes. The fresh red berries are so pleasing. Hints of cloves and creamy vanilla with fresh rolled dough as the wine really opens up. I'll call this a sophisticated rose`!

The red berry aromas carry right through to the tasting of the wine. Strawberry, cherry a tad tart cranberry and red raspberry treat the palate. The flavors flow nicely and the finish is quite long and juicy. The wine is soft and elegant. A delicious rose` which I feel falls in the 90 point range.

Perry and Carolyn I am so glad this wine was featured on Cellar Angels and thank you for supporting Breast Cancer Research. Martin Cody another awesome wine showcased by Cellar Angels. Juslyn Vineyards has a new fan. I'll be making another purchase.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Loire Valley Wines Touraine: Setting The International Standard for Sauvignon Blanc on Tastelive

Kicking off my tasting week was the wines of Loire Valley on Tastelive with several of my fellow bloggers. Co-Hosts Ziggy The Wine gal and Tim Gaiser took us through 5 very different affordable wines showcasing Touraine the Centre Loire and its soil which sets the standard for Sauvignon Blanc.

Touraine is known as the Garden of France and one of the most popular tourist areas. It is here where you will find the standard set for Sauvignon Blanc, the grape is perfect for the ever changing climate. Fruity, tart and lively acidic are just some of the characteristics of these wines.

First wine of the night 2011 Jean Francois Merieau Hexagonals Sauvignon Blanc priced at $13.99. Nice floral nose with hints of sweet pear and pink grapefruit. Minerality in the mouth with some tropical fruit, citrus zest (lime/lemon). More fruit forward with loads of acidity. Great starter.

Up next the 2011 La Garreliere Le Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Touraine priced at $16.99. On the nose Dried herbal notes with allspice, pear and carmel, earthy tones, grapefruit and apple. The mouth is full of stone fruit, citrus, dried herbs, pear and grapefruit with lime notes. The herbs really give this wine an earthy character and I thought this would pair well with a mushroom dish.

Wine 3 is the 2011 Xavier Weisskopf Sauvignon du Touraine priced at $13.99. Here on the nose again the earthy forest floor with apricot, lemon/lime zest, pear and hints of grapefruit. Loads of lime and grapefruit with again a nice mineral finish. I believe my comment "limeade" was spot on.

Wine 4 the 2011 Domaine de la Charmoise Henry Marionnet Sauvignon Blanc Touraine priced at $13.99. Sweet pair, apricot, lime on the nose and a wonderful creamy soft start to the taste. Lemon citrus, grapefruit, stone fruit and mineral note. Zesty is a great description of this wine.

The final wine of the evening the 2011 Ricard Les Trois Chenes Touraine Blanc priced at $14.99. This wine was the fooler of the evening and the farthest from Sauv Blanc one could imagine. Ripe peach, apricot, tangerine, pineapple with a hint of vanilla. In the mouth I really had more pineapple and peach with a lemon citrus finish. If tasting blind I would have never guessed this to be a Sauv Blanc.

Ziggy, Tim, Cailyn and Joel thanks for treating my palate to some lively delicious wines. Affordable quality wines from the Loire Valley I highly recommend. So honored to be a part of tonight's great event.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2010 Dutcher Crossing Costello Vineyard Alexander Valley Chardonnay

Opening tonight's wine takes me back to owner Deb Mathy and winemaker Kerry Damskey visiting Cedar Rapids and my favorite wine store First Avenue Wine House Its always a great time when these 2 visit from the beautiful views of Geyserville and Dutcher Crossing Winery

Deb treats you like family regardless if she is at an event pouring or greeting you at the winery with the help of Dutchess her Golden Lab. She and Kerry will take the time to discuss aromas, flavor and texture regardless of your wine knowledge. You love wine and they love to talk about it. Simple some of the best tasting juice should be enjoyed.

On the nose loads of fresh pear with warm apple pie notes. Lemon zest with creme brulee and soft oak aromas. Allowing the wine to open releases a wonderful baking spice and vanilla bean. Beautiful nose then and now. So glad I stuck this in the cellar for a year.

The mouth has tart green apple followed by the lemon citrus. Hints of pear with a definite oak influence but not overpowering. Carmel and vanilla cream round out this very balanced wine. Rich, elegant juice.

I spent a considerable amount of time chatting with Deb and Kerry and asked them each to sign a bottle I purchased. Deb the Chard and Kerry the Maple River Vineyard Zin which will be uncorked soon. You know Deb you're one of my favorites too. I enjoyed the wine a year ago and it might just be even better today!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Casillero del Diablo Reserva wines of Chile

Tonight's wines were media samples and categorized as value wines under $10. I have had multiple requests as to why I drink wines in the $25 plus range but never value wines. I would rate this evenings wines as decent if your looking to spend $8.00 on a bottle and looking for a Chilean experience.

First up was the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc  originated from the Casablanca, Limari and Rapel Valleys. I found a huge citrus nose and mouth. Lime and grapefruit with hints of tart green apple and pineapple. A little coastal feeling to it.

Up next the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon  from the Central Valley. Raspberry, blackberry with spice and cherry. Vanilla, plum and smoke notes. More berry on the mouth and I was a little disappointed with the absence of spice and oak which I am expecting in a Cab.

Final wine was the 2011 Merlot also from the Central Valley. Tons of plum, dark cherry hints of cocoa and vanilla. On the mouth cherry, raspberry and plum combine to make the wine very juicy with an oak spice finish.

I do like Chilean Wines and suggest you try these if your new to wine and Chile.