I cannot get enough word play. Especially as it pertains to wine, French Stuff, and outer space. Although I’d like Uranus jokes over UFO ones. That joke wrote itself only because I also adore alliteration. Ahem. Anyway this homage to Chateauneuf de Pape’s refusal to allow UFOs in its terroir (I don’t let them in mine either, honestly) is ever so transparent in what is in it, ever so zing pow wow, but shhhhhh chillout sweet babygirl that I am now a Bonny Doon convert. I wish I could say I was more than a half glass in writing this but you can blame to wordplay/slight tawdry-ness/silliness on...me. And the following tasting notes don’t do anything to actually explain this wine. Less than the prior paragraph anyway. But know it is more than the sum of its parts. But! If you want tech:
Appearance: pale pink. Nose of red fruits of all types, Whole Foods bulk section and a new fountain perhaps in a cheeky avant- garde art garden. Tongue: dry, medium acid, medium alcohol (whoops it’s 13.5!) body is silky and neatly suede-y. You’ll taste bright underripe strawberries, overripe raspberries, maybe an iris or so and something mineral and also green let’s call it pussywillows just to keep me thematically on track. Finish is medium plus with a hint of candied fruit punch. — 6 days ago
Deep purplish red. Tight nose with red bramble berries, aniseed, dark chocolate, black fruit, savory spices and white pepper. Medium tannins (6.5/10) and medium to medium plus bodied. A bit peppery on the palate with some bright red berries and flowers. Medium plus finish. Would love to try this next time with a few hours in the decanter. Drink till 2025. — 3 days ago
Color of different shades of purple with a bit ruby color. Nose of cherry jam, a bit oak and spice, a bit vanilla, and strength of alcohol. Taste of dark fruits like dark skin grapes, cherry, even some berries, quite sweet with a bit spice and just enough tannins. Aftertaste of some more spicy sweetness. A bit too sweet and light for me. Right on the average. People are harsh toward her. — 5 days ago
This Lodi Pinot Grigio is actually 80% that grape, with 5% splashes of Viognier, Chardonnay, Symphony and Chenin Blanc. The pale straw color leads to a floral and tropical nose, with citrus, green apples and pineapple on the palate. Acidity is nice, but not ripping. On the finish are red apples and lemons.
— 5 days ago
Dark ruby in color with a purplish rim.
Fruity nose with black currants, blackberries, plums, oak, licorice, light vanilla, tobacco, chocolates, coffee, spices, earth and black pepper.
Medium plus in body with medium acidity and long legs.
Dry and fruity on the palate with plums, black currants, coffee, oak, vanilla, licorice, chocolates, tobacco, earth, mocha, caramel and peppercorn.
Medium finish with soft tannins and cherries.
This red blend from California is drinking nicely now, although still young. Spicy and fruit forward. Tasty and easy drinking.
Made by the former winemaker for Screaming Eagle.
Robert Parker 94 points.
Good right out of the bottle and better as it opens up.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Aged in French oak barrels.
I paired it with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.
14.8% alcohol by volume.
$40. — 2 days ago
2016 Sine Qua Non "Rätsel 16" Syrah, originally “Cypher 16,” renamed because of potential legal problems with the rock band? Not sure of the backstory on that one, but it’s pretty clear that Rätsel (enigma, mystery, puzzle, riddle) is simply the German word for Cypher (a secret or disguised way of writing; a code). The wine however, not the band, is a monster. Gargantuan really. Typical SQN nose, and black as a moon-free, starless night sky in the stem. Tonight’s photo should not to be confused with Katie Bouman’s Black Hole masterpiece, although no light can escape from either. Very tight upon opening, singing an aria 36 hours later. SUPER concentrated with unlimited upside potential. More detailed tasting note to come. Yet another stunner! — 10 days ago
This wine comes on strong, with a nose of blackberry and anise, joined by lesser touches of smoke and leather. On the palate, watch out for those tannins. They bite. Oak is noticeable, to be sure, but it's a sweet effect rather than a savory one. The wine is medium-dark ruby in color at the edges, blackening nearer the core. — 2 days ago
The 16 vintage is a stunner. Presents butterscotch, hay, figs and hazelnuts on the nose. Palate is dominated with overripe lychees. The oak is in the foreground, and with cellaring, should fall back. Acids are soft and combine with the oak to give a lush, rounded texture. This goes toe-to-toe with Aubert, and holds it own.
Powder room update - With the plumber dispatched, I worked with my tiling guy to bring this home. It’s an unusual sink, so wanted to show you how it works. The water needs to hit perpendicular to the stone, then, it works like a charm.
Happy Easter to those who adhere to the Christian faith 🐣🐇 — 3 days ago
2016 Sine Qua Non "Dirt Vernacular" California Grenache. The blend is 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvedre, 7% Touriga Nacional and 3.5% Petite Sirah, dominated by estate fruit, but some 9% came from the Krankl's blocks at Bien Nacido Vineyard that are farmed to their specifications. 16% alcohol. So for me, it all started with “Incognito.” Greatest Grenache I’d ever tasted. Simply stunning and still one of my favorites. How do you top that one? Well then “The Inaugural” showed up. Phenomenal!Then it’s “Ode To E.” Y’all know I absolutely LOVE that wine! Oh but wait, here comes “Trouver L'Arène.” Exquisite! And just in case you missed them all, now there’s tonight’s selection. And I’m pleased to report that the streak continues. As I’ve mentioned previously several times, Grenache is quite possibly the most difficult and finicky grape. But what really sets SQN apart is the final blend. Simply stated, Manfred is a genius when it comes to blending. If you have one, feel free to pull the cork as this wine is absolutely open for business. About a 3 hour decant at cellar temperature, the nose is, as usual with SQN, mind blowing. Cherries, plums, pepper, teriyaki, kirsch and a bouquet of roses. Full-bodied, ultra-rich, multi-layered palate-staining ripe black fruit smorgasbord. Tremendous depth and purity. What a finish! The parade of excellence marches on! — 11 days ago
Deep ruby in color with a short purple rim.
Strong nose of cooked blackberries, sweet plums, cherry pie, dried figs, tobacco, spices, cedar, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, mocha, tobacco, earth, peppercorn and leather.
Full bodied, rich, extracted and bold, with medium acidity and nice legs.
Dry and extremely fruity on the palate with blackberries, cooked cherries, figs, raisins, vanilla, oak, licorice, spices, chocolates, smoke, mocha, light vegetables, dark coffee, pencil lead, earth, leather, coke, tobacco leaf and peppercorn.
Long finish with medium tannins and tangy raspberries.
This is a great Petite Sirah blend from the house of Orin Swift. Rich and fruit forward with great complexity and mouthfeel. Still shows some alcohol on the palate.
This 7 year old is good right out of the bottle and better as it opens up (90 minutes).
Spicy with a beautiful nose. Delicious and yummy.
Thank you Scott for sharing this with me.
A blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Aged for 10 months in French oak barrels.
15.7% alcohol by volume.
94 points. — 14 days ago