Wine writer on NowAndZin. News writer, Cheese lover. L.A. voice actor. Reformed sports handicapper. Trying to taste wine from all 50 states.
The 2013 Bodega Classica Lopez de Haro Reserva is medium dark in the glass. The nose is aromatic with violets, cigars, ripe plums and earth. On the palate, we find big, dark fruit, oak spice and a meaty black olive note. Tannins are firm and the acidity is lively, so it's great to sip as well as have it with some steak. — 4 days ago
This wine looks medium dark in the glass and smells that way, too. The nose boasts black tea and coffee notes, but that elegant Burgundian stuff. It's the blackest tea and espresso that comes through beside black plum and berry. The palate shows big, dark fruit, too, and a bold cola note that's tinged by black cherry. Acidity is zippy and the tannins are firm, but it’s Pinot all the way. I paired it with my wife’s delicious sautéed mushrooms, and it was perfect. — 15 days ago
The 2015 Winnings Riesling shows a golden tint in the glass and a nose worth inhaling for. It's austere, with huge slate notes backed by hints of petrol that are starting to show and a whiff of citrus zest to finish off the scent. The palate is smart and savory, with a sedate acidity softened by the almost creamy mouthfeel. The finish stays long and leaves tangerine notes to remind the sipper of the pleasure. — 21 days ago
A bubbly Sauvignon Blanc, with small bubbles that vanish quickly, but make the glass festive while they’re there. The nose hits like a freshly mowed lawn, seeming even more pungent than a NZ SauvBlanc usually does, while the palate displays all the citrus zest and minerals one would expect from the varietal. Acidity is right at the top, as expected. — 10 days ago
Tinto Bom red Vinho Verde from Portugal is young, but unlike the white Vinho Verdes, it is actually aged several years. It’s a perfect complement for an Indian meal. There’s complexity and a great subliminal flavor that works with the food, but doesn’t fight it. The tannins are very low and it’s served chilled to maximize that effect. Look to pay just under $20 a bottle. Tinto Bom is made from Tinta Nacional grapes. It offers a grapey, earthy nose and a slightly fizzy appearance, much like Lambrusco. This wine has a complex palate of somewhat muted flavors, allowing the food to step forward and be the star of the show.
— 17 days ago
The nose shows cherries and currants surrounded by cedar, cinnamon and white pepper. Flavor is plentiful, with those cherries again, bolstered by ripe cranberries. There's a leathery, sagebrush note that screams about the old west. The rusticity plays well with the overriding elegance of the sip, and it all melts into a long, savory finish. — 21 days ago
This wine is nearly neon, the salmon pink-orange is so deep and rich. Its nose smells of strawberries and an overlay of herbal notes. It's not quite like Provence, but it's close. The dry palate is gorgeous, full of that bushel basket of strawberries and an earthy quality on top. The acidity is rather gentle so sipping it is recommended. However, it will pair nicely with salads and snacks. — 15 days ago
Milla Cala - the man - offers a floral nose, too, but lighter and with a bit more oak than La Piu Belle. More berries here, with a slightly herbal backbeat on the finish that I found irresistible. The tannins aren’t as forceful, so this is the one if you just want a wine to sip. It has a retail sticker of $39. — 20 days ago
The medium-dark wine has a concentrated nose of cranberry, cola and black tea. A note of tar also pokes its head into the scene. The palate is lovely, a bit on the weighty side as California Pinot is wont to be, but dark, delicious and a dandy match for a grilled pork chop or lamb. The expected cranberry flavor is riper, more like cherry, and the full mouthfeel is satisfying. Its acidity is perfectly refreshing while the tannins are purposeful yet manageable. — a month ago