Friday, January 24, 2014

Willm Reserve Pinot Gris
Willm Reserve Pinot Gris 2012
Alsace, France

Are you looking for a white wine to help keep you warm this blistery January night? This medium bodied beauty just might be for you.

Review: This Pinot Gris has a lovely bouquet of lemon pulp, ripe pears, and honeysuckle flowers. On the palate the pear is accompanied by white peaches. This wine is a bit off dry with medium acidity and medium alcohol -- these attributes combined with lees ageing make for a wine with a round body and silky soft texture. The fruit flavors linger for a nice finish.

Food Pairing: Pretty much anything. I actually had this with a BBQ chicken pizza. Don't judge...

Bottom Line: So very tasty! I adore the balance of this wine -- the slight sweetness with the acidity, the fruit with the body. I dig it (and it's under $15, too...)

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2012
  • PLACE: Alsace AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)
  • GRAPES: 100% Pinot Gris
  • BOOZE: 13%
  • CELLAR: Drink now 

Where did I get it? Crystal City Wine Shop
What's the damage? Mid Priced 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Adelaida Viking Estate Reserve Cabernet Franc

Adelaida Viking Estate Reserve Cabernet Franc 2009
Paso Robles, California

Work -- and everything -- was cancelled today on account of the doom falling from the sky, masquerading as 4 inches of snow. Since I had the whole day at home, of course I had to make a big batch of beef stew. What wine, I asked myself, would be the perfect base for my hearty pot-o-goodness? A Cabernet Franc, of course! I popped open a 2009 Paso Robles Cab Franc. Admittedly, it's still a little early for this wine to be at its best, but it was perfect splash in my stew -- and showed its character quite well after decanting the rest for about an hour.
Review: This wine has a rich dark ruby color. It has pronounced aromas of elder flower, black currants, bramble, and just a touch of leafiness. On the palate the fruit remains prominent and is accompanied by black licorice, spicy pepper, and a bit of earthiness. The tannins are a touch coarse, but have mellowed the longer the wine has been decanted. The medium acidity and medium high alcohol round out the rich mouth feel. The flavors and spice linger for a good while -- so tasty!

Food Pairing: Clearly I'm drinking this with my beef stew. The ripe fruit perfectly compliments the sweetness of the veggies, and the earthy notes make the mushrooms pop. Yum.

Bottom Line: This is a beautiful Cab Franc. It's ripe, complex, and highly satisfying on a cold cold night.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2009
  • PLACE: Paso Robles AVA (American Viticultural Area)
  • GRAPE: Cabernet Franc
  • BOOZE: 14.5% 
  • PRODUCTION: 100 cases
  • CELLAR: Hold for a few more years

Where did I get it? Adelaida Wine Club
What's the damage? Premium

Monday, January 13, 2014

Modest Monday - Wines Under $10: Jacob's Creek Shiraz

Jacob's Creek Shiraz 2010
South Eastern Australia

Happy New Year! Welcome to the return of Bottle Babble and Modest Monday. After some extravagant holiday wining and dining it's time for some belt tightening at home. This Australian Shiraz comes in at $5.99 -- certainly modest! And -- the best part -- it's not half bad!

Review: This Shiraz shows notes of black plums, anise, and toast on the nose, followed by more black fruits and an herbal hint on the palate. It definitely smells better than it tastes. I find some bitterness on the finish, and that nice toasty aroma is transformed into a tough woodiness. BUT, considering the cost, it's a decent little wine. 

The Shiraz is a part of the Jacob's Creek "Classic" line up, aka - the low end of their portfolio. Perhaps once the purse strings loosen up I can see how their Reserve and Premium wine drink. If this little bitty cheap wine is any indication, I expect the others are terrific

Food Pairing: The bright acidity of this wine means that it would go nicely with a salty plate of antipasti! 

Bottom Line:  Ripe fruit. A little bit harsh on the finish, but if you keep drinking (don't allow it to finish...) you won't notice. A good value.

Wine Geekery:

  • VINTAGE: 2010
  • PLACE: South Eastern Austrailia
  • GRAPE: Shriaz/Syrah
  • BOOZE: 13.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink now

Where did I get it?  Wegmans

What's the damage?   Low Price