Wine writer on NowAndZin. News writer, Cheese lover. L.A. voice actor. Reformed sports handicapper. Trying to taste wine from all 50 states.
This 100% Albariño has a nice golden hue, a little richer that is usual for the varietal. On the nose, there is the expected spray of flowers, but an earthy note comes on strong, much to my liking. It's a nutty aroma that mixes in with the citrus zest. The palate also brings it, with a savory herbal aspect that honors the lemon beautifully. The finish is medium long and loaded with lemon.
— 6 days ago
This wine is medium-dark ruby in color, fairly opaque with some light getting through. Its nose and palate are both perfumed with jammy, dark fruit and peppery spices. After sitting in the glass for a few minutes, a gorgeous aroma of smoke appears and more savory note comes to the tongue. Cedar and vanilla play a role, but the oak aging is overdone in such a dramatic way, it's hard to complain. This is still a great Zinfandel, so expressive despite the heavy-hand in the cellar. — 16 days ago
This Arroyo Seco, single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Musqué clone) has a green-gold tint and a nose showing fresh-cut grass, a hint of flowers and generous grapefruit and lime notes. The palate is lush and juicy. Acidity is notable but somewhat gentle. It may be the wine or that I recently returned from Baltimore, but I want a crab cake or oysters with it. — 23 days ago
This Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel is extremely dark with a deep, rich nose. Aromas of blueberry, black cherry and currant come forcefully, with delightful black pepper, vanilla and smoke on top. The palate has a distinctly savory side - sage, rosemary, white pepper - and the fruit is all dark and smoky. Tannins hit a sweet spot and will prove useful without getting in the way. The sip is smooth and delicious, as the best Zinfandels usually are. — 6 days ago
The Red: A can of 79% Grenache and 21% Syrah, all Central Coast grapes, fizzed up to just below the legal limit for the sparkling wine tax. Alcohol hits only 13% abv and it’s dry. Get it while it’s cold. It should age well for a couple of years.
The Bulle-Moose Rousse pours up fun - you aren't drinking from the can, are you? - with pretty pink bubbles on top of the purple wine. The color is actually more like medium ruby. A nice frizzante stays after the bubbles dissipate. The nose is deep and lean, with more earth than fruit there, and on the palate. The savory notes for which Randall Grahm is known as present, even in an offering that’s made just for fun.
This fizzy California Vermentino tastes almost like one from the Italian islands. It smells like one, too, with savory, salty aromas meeting the California citrus. Think of it as the midpoint between Italian Vermentino and California Sauvignon Blanc. The palate shows off a beautiful salinity - from Randall Grahm, no surprise - and zesty lemon and orange peel. It's a refreshing wine that begs to be taken outdoors. — 20 days ago
This Maryland wine is a deep, rich purple in the glass. The nose is earthy and brawny, full of black and blue berries. It is somewhat reminiscent, when chilled, of a good Lambrusco. The flavors are as dark as the aromas. Oak is not overly pronounced and the finish leans more toward blackberry than blue. — 24 days ago
This dark, dark wine smells of tobacco and tar, with a blackberry backbeat. On the palate, you've got some strong tannins - to be expected from an 80% Tannat wine - and flavors of plum made savory, as if the plum skin is included. If you want a wine to pair with a big, fatty steak, here ya go. Decant first. — 11 days ago
This sherry has a golden-yellow tint and a forceful nose. That wonderful resinous sherry smell is there in spades, along with walnuts and anise. The sip offers similar wonders, with a completely savory approach. It's as dry as a bone, provided the bone was lying in the desert sun for a while. There's not a lick of sweetness, so it's not Grandma’s sherry. The chalky vineyard soil seems to speak through what these Palomino Fino grapes have wrought. There are notes of hazelnut, lemon and the all-important yeast layer - flor - that sits atop the wine in the barrel for five years. The acidity is decent, but not too forceful, and afterward, the finish lingers with anise lasting the longest. Wow, is all. — 16 days ago
Extremely dark in color, this wine looks like motor oil and allows about as much light to come through it. The fruit is dark and pure on the nose, but as savory as the D.O. Toro is dry. Concrete tank aging leaves no oak impression, but the complexity does not suffer. Savory notes grace the palate as well, with blackberry and prune coming forward on a dry-as-a-bone wave. The tannins are firm and young still, and I would love to match this wine with roasted potatoes, or a juicy steak. — 23 days ago