A total wine pick up, looking for an alternative white varietal to stand up to some lightly spicy peanut noodles and struck upon this Grüner Veltliner. This white grape is typically a cooler climate Eastern European varietal. As of 2008, Austria was the primarily producer of this grape in vineyards typically mixed with Riesling. It also is used in sparkling wines as the mineralty and acidity lend themselves well to that preparation. To be perfectly honest, I bought this bottle based on label design alone - the Gruber label has adopted these "micro-organism monsters" as the mascots of the winery which has been producing wine since 1814. ~$17 | #grünerveltliner
On the eyes: Clear, pale yellow, star bright, med stain, med legs, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Sweet bundled hay, caramel, unripe apple, hint of lemon and white flowers, med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ acid, med tannin, med alcohol, med body, juicy round mouthfeel. Immediate floral mineralty followed by apple and pear. A bit flat on the finish. Drink cold! — 4 years ago
Riesling, either you love or hate it. The wine is typically high acid and sweet - but notable in that it's highly expressive of the "terroir" it's grown in. Cooler climates impart apple and tree fruit flavors while warmer climates produce more citrus notes. German Rieslings are typically sweeter, on average, and have a great capacity for aging, due in part to the acidity and chemical makeup of the wine compounds. Low alcohol sweeter Rieslings, (like this one at 9.5%), pair well with spicy or richer foods. This one is young and could stand a year or two in the bottle. ~$17 | #riesling #pfalz #totalwine
On the eyes: Deep bright yellow, clear, light stain, light tears. No gas/floc.
On the nose: Green apple, honeysuckle, meyer lemon zest, hint of vanilla, and paraffin.
On the mouth: Med+ acid, med tannin, low alcohol, a lot of residual sugars gives the wine a pleasant sweetness and med+ body. Stewed brown sugared apples, honey, vanilla, and white flowers. Crisp light finish. Drink it cold!
— 4 years ago
Bought this one for a friend and we all thought we'd give it a shot tonight. The Vouvray appellation, from the Loire valley, is primarily known for growing Chenin Blanc. Chenin Blanc is known for its high acid character which makes it a popular grape for sparkling wine. ~$18 | #totalwine #vouvray #cheninblanc
On the eyes: Straw yellow, star bright, no stain, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: White peach, unripe pear, and soft mineralty. Med- alcohol.
On the tongue: med tannin, med alcohol, med+ acid, round mouthfeel, med body. White peaches, apple, and a touch of lemon. Smooth mineralty on the way down with a slightly cloying finish when warm. — 4 years ago
Novelty Hill and Januik share wineries out of Woodinville, WA. Both wineries are managed by Mike Januik and specialize in premium varietal clones. The Columbia Valley AVA is the largest AVA in Washington State. Even though Washington is much further north than California, the peak ripening in most grapes occurs slightly later than CA. This one is a kitchen sink wine, that is predominately Merlot (59%) but also contains Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Sangiovese, and Mourvèdre. Someone must have thought this one was past its prime, but I feel like the drinkability continues - picked up at Total Wine. ~$17 | #noveltyhill #columbiavalley #totalwine
On the eyes: Deep rusty red, bright and clear, med+ stain, med+ tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Funky stewed blueberry, black cherry, raspberry, with a hint of hay, and earthy mustiness. Med+ alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ acid, med tannin, med+ alcohol, med+ body. Stewed black cherry and raspberry, raisin, white pepper, hint of spice, licorice, and woodsy finish. Tart on the way down, nice long finish. — 4 years ago
The Loire valley is a region in France that grows Chenin Blanc, as both an off-dry still and sparkling wine. These days though, South Africa has eclipsed France as the primary producer of this old vine. Cultivated since at least the 9th century, Chenin Blanc tends to age well though sometimes unpredictably - the wine may go through periods where it closes up, losing aroma and varietal character. This one appears to be "closed" at the moment. ~$14 | #loirevalley #cheninblanc #totalwine
On the eyes: Clear, star bright, deep gold color, light stain, light tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: A bit of apple and pear, a bit of hay, a bit of mineral. Not much there. Med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med acid, med tannin, med alcohol, med round body, off-dry. White flowers, hint of citron, pear, and mineralty. To be honest, there's not much there. Med finish. Tastes like cheap flat champagne. — 4 years ago
Last of the holiday wine trip, procured from Total Wine. This is a Portuguese red wine blend from the Douro wine region. The region is known mainly for ports, however, it does produce unfortified red wine. This bottle is a Bordeaux style medium body wine composed of 60-20-20 of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz. The Nacional provides the structure and body, the Franca provides the bouquet, and the Tinta (or more commonly Tempranillo) allows the wine to bring in the smoke and oak from barrel aging. This wine drinks easily with a nice nose and attractive price point. ~$14 | #totalwine #douro #portugueseredblend
On the eyes: Deep dull violet, magenta rim, med stain, med legs, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Smoke, bitter citrus, oak, cocoa nibs, violet, black fruit. Med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med acid, med+ alcohol, med+ tannin, med body. Prunes and black currant, floral notes, earth, and smoke. Med finish. Not too complex. Decant this one! — 4 years ago
This bottle hails from the El Pomar corridor, Paso Robles. The McClean vineyards specialize in Syrah and much of their grape is sourced to the Wild Horse Winery. The Syrah, or Shiraz, grape typically produces a high tannin, high acid wine that, in warmer climates, produces jammy, earthy wines with a great potential for aging. Not yet cracking the top 5 in terms of worldwide plantings, Syrah has proven it's merits as a featured varietal or as a master blending grape. This 2005 was a bit cheap, maybe due to someone thinking that it was past its prime. Again - depends on your palette! ~$19 | #pasorobles #syrah #totalwine
On the eyes: Deep rusty red that flattens to orange in the rim, opaque and dull, med+ stain, med+ legs, no gas, floc present.
On the nose: Overripe cherry, chocolate, mushroom, and spice, med+ alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ acid, med+ tannin, med+ alcohol, full body. Black cherry, plum, cocoa nibs, cloves and some petrol undertones. Tannins are mellowing out nicely, but slightly too much alcohol for my taste. Decant this one for an hour at minimum! — 4 years ago
A total wine pick up. Vacqueyras is a French AOC in the southern Rhône region, established in 1990. Often receiving the unfortunate moniker of "a poor man's Châteauneuf-du-Pape", the wines are typically GSMs and can age nicely if produced correctly. This one is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, (the AOC requires a minimum of 50% Grenache in the wine). While you can drink the wines young, they truly begin to shine after 3-4 years. This wine seems to be peaking now. ~$17 | #totalwine #vacqueyras #GSM
On the eyes: Dull deep brick brown, slightly cloudy, peaking to slightly orange at the rim. Med stain, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Black cherry, mulberry, vinous, nice oak character, hint of petrol and pepper.
On the tongue: med+ acid, med tannin, med alcohol, med body, a bit chewy in the mouth. Bright red cherry, stewed blackberry, a hint of mulling spices, touch of oak and tar. Nice finish. — 4 years ago
Bottle 2 from tonight. This is a 100% Tempranillo from Bodegas Montecillo which is one of the Rioja region's oldest wineries, dating back to 1874. Tempranillo is an excellent grape for aging as it easily takes on the character of the barrel it's aged in. This 2003 vintage spent 18 months in untoasted French barrels and an additional 18 months in the bottle prior to commercialization. Native to Spain, the grape offers high acid, spice, and red fruit, typically. ~$18 | #totalwine #tempranillo #rioja
On the eyes: Brick-brown, bright and clear, med+ stain, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Sour cherry, petrol, olive, cedar and tobacco. Med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ acid, med tannin, med alcohol, med body, round in the mouth. Sour cherry, overripe plum, and orange rind yielding to oak and pencil shavings. Long finish that is a bit acidic. At this geezers age, you'd do well to decant it! — 4 years ago