Monday, December 9, 2013

Modest Monday - Wines Under $10: Charles Shaw Nouveau

Charles Shaw Nouveau 2013

A few weeks ago we celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day, marking the bounty of the fall harvest. Well, fall has fallen and winter has arrived. In fact, DC is expecting 3-6 inches of snow tomorrow!

Here is the last vestige of fall -- Trader Joe's Charles Shaw "Nouveau". It's the two-buck-Chuck version of a Beaujolais Nouveau. However, it's clearly not from France, and, at least in my neck of the woods, is $3.79-Chuck. This wine is classified as a California Red Table Wine. There's no telling what's in it, but I expect there's a bit Gamay and then a bunch of something else (very specific, I know). The Charles Shaw method is to source grapes from multiple places within California, based on what is readily available and priced to move. That's why their wines can have a great deal of vintage (and within vintage) variation.

Review: The nose on the Nouveau is a bit bland, not giving off many aromas. On the palate the wine is a bit off dry with some sweet red raspberry and mandarin orange notes. Light and simple -- there's not much to say.

Food Pairing: Fruit -- as in cut up some fruit and add it to the wine, along with a bit of Brandy. This would be a decent base for a fun party sangria.

Bottom Line:  This wine is exactly what it is supposed to be -- light, easy, and unoffensive. It doesn't stand up to the real deal Beaujolais Nouveau, but at less than half the price it's not a bad substitute. Did I love it? No. But did I hate it? No. 

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2013
  • PLACE: California
  • GRAPES: Red Blend -- I assume some Gamay, but definitely some other things, too
  • BOOZE: 12.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink now

Where did I get it?  Trader Joe's

What's the damage?   Low Price

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ty Caton TyTanium

Ty Caton TyTanium 2009
Sonoma, California

This is my 100'th blog post! Cheers to you all! I wanted to pop open something special to mark the occasion and chose the Ty Caton TyTanium. This is one of the best nontraditional New World blends I've had the privilege to drink. It's down right yummy. 

Review: This wine is a rich,dark ruby color. It shows aromas of highly ripe black raspberries and some spicy fennel. On the palate the first thing I noticed was the amazing texture -- it's soft and supple with a medium weight. The flavors of black cherries, cocoa, licorice, and baking spices just explode. The fruit and chocolate flavors linger for a long finish. 

I had this wine for the first time a few years ago at the Ty Caton tasting room in Sonoma. A while later I saw a three-pack of the 2009 TyTanium pop up on Wine Woot for a steal and just had to have it. I'm so glad I did because this vintage is now selling at $110 a bottle! I've only got one left of my three pack and will have to save it for a few years to see how the wine continues to develop. 

Food Pairing: Honestly, I just want to drink this by itself. It's beautiful and wonderful and I wouldn't want anything to compete with it. That being said, if I had to have some food, I would love a nice beef pot roast! 

Bottom Line:  I adore this wine. The texture, the flavors. Adore.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2009
  • PLACE: Sonoma Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area)
  • GRAPES: 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 18% Petite Sirah, 12% Merlot, 9% Malbec
  • BOOZE: 14.6%
  • FARMING PRACTICES: Certified Sustainable
  • PRODUCTION: 827 Cases
  • BOTTLED: December 15, 2010
  • CELLAR: Drink now through 2020

Where did I get it?
What's the damage? Super Premium