Posts Tagged ‘rhone blend’

What I Drank Last Month (Nov 2013) Part 2

By Nikki Lincoln

Here is the second part of my post on November wines. Part one can be found here.

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Cline 2012 Ancient Vines Zinfandel

This wine was a sample sent over a few months ago. I had wanted to hold onto it for a little while but I had been craving a good Zinfandel and decided to open the Cline Ancient Vines sample. I’m glad I opened it when I did as it was light for a Zin and had nice pepper and smokiness to it. It was also very acidic which I particularly enjoyed. I definitely thought this was a great value for all of the complexity in the wine. I would love to pick up a few more bottles of this to have around when I don’t feel like opening something too pricey but still want a good quality wine.

Price: $18

 

Vinum Cellars 2010 White Elephant White Table Wine20131109_120207

I am a huge football fan, but after giving up beer several months ago, finding an alternative beverage for tailgates and other beer heavy events has been a bit of a challenge. Obviously wine has been a big go-to for me, but a lot of wines that I have I would rather save for an occasion when I can really sit and taste it and appreciate it. I decided to grab the Vinum White Elephant Table Wine because I had gotten it rather cheap from a wine club. The wine ended up really surprising me. It was an extremely well balanced blend of 59% Chenin Blanc, 26% Roussanne, and 15% Viognier. It was light and refreshing and perfect for a warm, outdoor setting such as a tailgate. I normally don’t take notes on the things I drink in a party/tailgate setting but I knew I had to tell you all about this one.

Price: $20 (but can be found for closer to $10)

 

20131112_204616Sheldon 2007 Deviant Velocity

I won the Deviant Velocity at an open house for Sheldon WinesKrutz Family Vineyards, and Two Shepherds. I had been feeling under the weather and wasn’t up for doing any wine tasting which had made me pretty sad. I decided to throw a few dollars in to buy some raffle tickets to win a case of wine. I actually ended up winning and was able to take home a box of the wines that I hadn’t been able to try, including Sheldon’s Deviant Velocity 100% Petite Sirah. The wine was full of plum and blackberry flavors with some pepper as well. It was another wine that felt perfect for fall. When I went through my pictures, I also found it funny that my devious cat snuck into the background to give me one of her judgmental glares.

Price: $28

 

Imagery 2008 High Valley Tempranillo20131114_183821

I always lose track of the different wine days. I really need to find a wine calendar or something because I always end up finding out about them at the last minute and I get really sad if I don’t have that particular variety. When I got an email from the TAPAS society that the next day was Tempranillo Day, I was really happy that I had a bottle of the Imagery High Valley Tempranillo. The wine had high acidity and a taste of tart blackberries and spice. I loved how light and complex it was for a Tempranillo. I saw a few older reviews from last year that said it needed more time. I think the extra year really helped this wine develop properly because it was tasting great when I had it last month. On another note, I ended up finding a few more bottles of Tempranillo after the fact…

Price: Unavailable directly

 

What I Drank Last Month (Nov 2013) Part 1

by Nikki Lincoln

I had a very crazy November and although I didn’t have time to write, I definitely made sure to taste lots of amazing wines. I hadn’t realized just how many of the wines I had last month were truly spectacular until I had to back up all of my pictures on the eve of getting a new cell phone. I had to make sure all of my tasting notes were saved somewhere in case they didn’t transfer to the new phone and in the process I realized that I better get writing so I can share all of these things with you!

Once I got everything down, I realized it would be better for me to split this post into two so you can look forward to the second half next week!

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Kivelstadt 2011 Father’s Watch Red Blend

I tried my first Kivelstadt wine a few months ago at Hotel Biron. It was an amazing Rose of Mouvedre and I was excited to see that the winery made several other Rhone varietals. I was able to get some samples and was very excited to start trying them. The first of the bunch was the Father’s Watch Red Blend, a blend of Syrah, Carignan, Mouvedre, and Grenache. The wine had lovely pomegranate, earth, and leather flavors. It had a great balance of all of the varietals (which are some of my favorites on their own as well). The wine was quite light for a predominantly Syrah blend and was very enjoyable both on its own and with food. The Kivelstadt wines continue to impress me and I’m excited to crack into more of the samples.

Price: $26

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Alamos 2012 Torrontes

 
The Alamos Torrontes is another wine I received as a sample. I had been very impressed with the Malbec when I had tried it a few months ago and was looking forward to trying more of their Argentinian style wines. When I decided to have a creamy soup for dinner one night, I knew I wanted to grab a bright, acidic wine to help cut the heaviness of the dish. The pear and green apple of this wine really had the crisp flavor that I was looking for and it paired wonderfully with what would have otherwise been a very heavy dinner.

Price: $13

 

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Fenestra 2012 Alvarelhão

I came across Fenestra at the TAPAS Tempranillo tasting and was happy to see that their wines included many Portuguese varietals in addition to Tempranillo. I had never heard of Alvarelhão and fell in love with it as soon as I tasted it. I bought a few bottles and after looking up their wines for this post, am really happy that I did. It seems as though they do not always sell the wine. If you happen across it, I would strongly suggest buying some.

The wine has a beautiful ruby color with tastes of blueberry, raspberry, plum, and cherry. The flavor intensifies with each taste, and truly is an amazing wine. I would really like to get out to Livermore and track down a few more bottles of this interesting varietal.

Price: $19.50

William Hill 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

20131105_210948I’m a sucker for traditions, no matter how small they might be. The rule is, if you’ve done it twice, it’s a tradition. One of my most persistent traditions is watching V for Vendetta every November 5th. Sometimes the date sneaks up on me and I have to push the movie back a day or two but luckily there are usually plenty of Facebook reminders to make sure I don’t miss it all together.

I decided to pair this bold movie with an equally robust wine and went with a sample of the William Hill Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine had a bright red fruit flavor with dark cherry and blackberry as well. I also picked up a lot of the oak flavor from the barrel which added a nice spice touch. The wine felt very appropriate for fall and was perfect for my movie watching.

Price: $40

Tasting Notes: Sheldon 2010 Vinolocity Blanc – Sonoma Coast Rhone Blend

It’s a only matter of days and hours until I spend 2 days in the Rhone mecca of Hospice du Rhone, so as I work tonight, I am sipping and paying homage with a white Rhone blend from small local producer, Sheldon. I had originally intended to review their Grenache based Vinolocity cheapest viagra online a few weeks ago, but it was one of those nights where I just enjoyed the wine too much to put thoughts

to

keyboard. Should make Eric Asimov proud after his comments at the last Bloggers conference.

 

I recommend Sheldon winery regularly to Sonoma visitors, although I have only reviewed one of their wines, officially, to date. (It was, however, one of my highest ever scoring red wines.) Tobe and Dylan have a true passion for making wines that are unique, expressive, and truly artisanal.

 

2010 "Vinolocity Blanc"

 

Review: Sheldon 2010 Vinolocity Blanc – Sonoma Coast Rhone Blend

 

I fell in love with this wine during Wine Road Barrel tasting weekend in 2011 and bought futures, something I do rarely for whites.

Like all Sheldon wines, this is unfined, unfiltered. Only 13% alc. A blend of 50% Viognier (with skin contact), 25% Grenache Blanc, and 25% Roussanne.

 

To The Eye: Light yellow straw color, quite clear and bright. (Who says unfiltered means cloudy.)

On The Nose : Tangerine, white peach, white grapefruit, spice.

In the Mouth: Nice mouth feel from combination of acidity and Malolactic. Citrus at front palate, viscous slightly tropical mid palate, and an interesting pleasing finish of acidity and slight nuttiness.

Recommendation: Only 100 cases made, suspect not much left, grab a bottle before extinct. $28 online or at the winery in Santa Rosa. 90 points.

 

Related Articles:

 

Countdown To The 20th Anniversary of Hospice du Rhone #HdR2012

 

Wine of the Week – Sheldon 2009 Graciano Ripkin Vineyard, Lodi

 

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Tasting Notes: 2010 Maison Richard Côtes du Rhône La Petite Fontaine

It’s now less than a week until the International Hospice du Rhone. To celebrate, I am diving into a few imported French Rhones.

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This wine is imported into the US by Pasternak, a high quality importer whose media shipments are always a pleasure to receive. This wine is no exception.

Wine Review: 2010 Maison Richard Côtes du Rhône La Petite Fontaine

A blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Cinsault and 5% Carignan.
To The Eye: Dark red, to purple color.

On The Nose: Raspberry, graphite, smoked meat

In The Mouth: Mostly red price on viagra fruit, blackberry, with a nice note of

minerality.

Recommendation: A keeper wine for the price, and a wonderful example of what red wine can be without oak. Grab a few bottles if you see them around.

89 Points. Media Sample

Related Articles

Countdown To The 20th Anniversary of Hospice du Rhône #HdR2012

A Rhone Event Like No Other – Hospice du Rhone April 29-30 Paso Robles (OR – The French are Coming!)

Tasting Notes: Wesley Ashley Wines 2009 Intelligent Design Cuvée – And Why Rhone Blends Rock

Last week I kicked off the Rhone Countdown, as we almost one month away to the March 24-25 Rhone Rangers “viagra cheap

and_tasting.php” target=”_blank”>Weekend Celebration of American Rhones” and the April 26-28th 20th anniversary of Hospice du Rhone, “the World’s Largest International Celebration of Rhone Variety Wines” in Paso Robles.

I am frequently asked “why Rhone wines.” I love, drink, taste, and buy wines of many varieties and categories, but I REALLY love Rhones. Why? I will write a more in depth article soon, but highlights were captured in an article a year ago in: Why Rhone Wines & Wine Review: Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design Cuvee.

I’d recommend reading the full post, but if I can capture one meaningful paragraph:

Rhone wines have more diversity across the varietals and give winemakers a huge flavor portfolio to work with, and thus consumers a myriad of combinations and flavor profiles. In Rhone wines, often the Sum of the Whole, is greater than the sum of the parts.”

Palate Evolution – Blends Are Good!

This is an important turning of enlightenment for the American wine consumer, who is lead to believe over the last three decades that single varietal wines are best. When one visits and tastes the Old World wines of Spain, France etc you learn quickly how untrue that is, and how uncommon. (There are of course some exceptions, like in Burgundy for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.)

That isn’t to say that 100% varietal wines are bad – I think the French are missing out by not making 100% Grenache Blanc. I can also readily admit often White Rhone blends with Grenache Blanc, are better, and easier to make, than many of the mediocre 100% Grenache Blancs. Blending gives a winemaker aroma and flavor profile tools you otherwise don’t have with a single varietal.

Anyway, I digress. Tonight’s review is about a Red

Rhone blend, from a brand that pays homage to Rhone blends: Wesley Ashley Wines. The above principles are sound, and the same.

Red Rhone blends, because of the great diversity of their components, offer the exploring wine drinker an infinite number of flavor profiles, far more than a Bordeaux blend. The variance between Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec etc, especially (sadly) when made in a New World style provides a far less range of differentiation than the red fruit of Grenache or Cinsault or Counoise, meatiness of Mourvedre, smokey complexity, white pepper of Syrah, and the raspberry of Carignane. Red Rhone blends are a never ending series of new discoveries as they vary by their composition and region.

 

Wine Review: 2009 Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design – Cuvee – Santa Barbara2009 Intelligent Design Cuvee

Even before tasting, I knew I was going to likely love this wine when I saw that it had changed from the previous release, and Grenache was now the primary vintage. I also knew they had a hit on their hands when I was a guest at a wine club event last summer, and a few bottles sneaked out, and crowds went loco, even though owner Jim Sloate thought it wasn’t ready and didn’t want it released yet.

This red Rhone blend is comprised of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 5% Petite Sirah, a big change from the online pharmacy viagra uk previous Carignane dominant release.

To The Eye: Translucent, nearing opaque dark red. (As it should be, Grenache is by its nature not a deep purple color producing wine.)

On The Nose: This nose knows its Grenache. That classic undertone of cherry hard candy, strawberry, hint of spice. Fortunately the Grenache was kept in neutral oak, allowing its essence to shine through.

In The Mouth: Red fruit at the front, the syrah’s meatiness comes through mid palatte, with hints of coffee & mocha at the finish.

Recommendation: Buy. A Great Rhone red blend. I like it solo, but would love to pair it with lamb, grilled pork or chicken. $38 online or taste by appointment in Santa Rosa. (As well as the upcoming Rhone Ranger event.) Media Sanple.

 

 

Why Rhone Wines & Wine Review: Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design Cuvee – #WBW71

Wine Blogger Wednesday (#WBW71) snuck up on me, and a slammed day.  I had hoped to write several articles, given the topic is one near and dear to my heart:  Rhones Not From The Rhône aka France. As a passionate Rhone Ranger I HAD to write, even if if its one of the last blogs of the day for WBW.

Rhone Wines Popularity Surging in The US

Rhone wines are suddenly getting a huge amount of attention. Paso Robles, the mecca of US Rhones, made the cover of Wine Spectator last month. Wine writers have been pumping out pieces like Jon Bonne’s “.. make way for Grenache”.  Grenache Blanc (thats a white grape Sonoma peeps) crushed tonnage doubled in 2009 (I need to see 2010 stats.) Articles on Mourvedre, Syrah and more are more abundant that ever before.

The Rhone movement is everywhere and its easy to understand. There are 22 Rhone varietals, though in the U.S. we commonly see about 2/3 of them. Tablas Creek a leading producer of Rhone wines, and who paved the Rhone viticulture movement, has more under quarantine. We also much to Rhone icon Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard for his tireless pursuit in advancing Rhone wines in the US.

Rhone Wines & Blends

Why do people go Rhone loco once they discover them? Its a huge category of wines, with endless permutations of white and red blends. And for those tired of big over oaked tannic Reds, or white flabby oak bombs. Rhone wines are often more subtle, nuanced. Wine consumers often consume ‘big’ with complex – and if anything its the opposite.

Don’t get me wrong, New World Winemakers can and do screw up Rhone wines. Nothing makes me want to beat a wine maker or owner with a punchdown tool than a lovely Grenache thats been subjected to new oak, over extracted, and the fruit entirely masked. Fortunately the revolution against big wines has been growing as well as more new Rhone winemakers realizing that Carignane and Mourvedre aren’t Cabernet Sauvignon and shouldn’t be made in the same method.

Tablas Creek Vineyard

Rhone wines have more diversity across the varietals and give winemakers a huge flavor portfolio to work with, and thus consumers a myriad of combinations and flavor profiles. In Rhone wines, often the Sum of the Whole, is greater than the sum of the parts.

Those of you in the Bay Area interested in Rhones should not miss the Rhone Ranger event in San Francisco this month. Most think of it as just the Grand Tasting, but its two full days of Seminars with wine, a wine makers dinner and auction, and a tasting.

Thus tonight, I present a Rhone blend, from a new producer I recently met. It’s an ever increasingly small place here in the wine world.

 

Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design Cuvee

‘Intelligent Design: Wine With a Soul’ is the mantra for the brain/love child of Jim Sloate. The name Wesley-Ashley come from the combination his middle name, “Wesley,” which is an old family nae and “Ashley,” his little girl’s middle name.)

The Genesis of Intelligent Design & ‘Wine with A Soul’

Jim was thinking about the label for his new wine, and one night, perusing photographs from various trips came across the picture of the bike, shot during a trip to Cuba. The bike looked like it belonged in a junkyard. But, it was also very functional, and it had obviously been kept working by a very resourceful person. Then, it hit him that the blends he wanted to make were very much like that bike—multiple components coming together cialis price in canada to create something very functional, and even beautiful.

Jim thought – “That’s my label. Now what about the name?” Sitting there at the table sipping my glass, wine in my hand, my mind wandering randomly, it came to me: “Intelligent Design.”
Playing off of the debate between “Intelligent Design” and the theory of evolution, Wesley Ashley Wines asks you to ponder:

is a fine wine is simply the sum of its parts, or is there something else, something indefinable, that makes it truly special? Is a great wine a matter of science … or is it something more?

Jim feels ‘A working knowledge of enology is all you really need to make a good wine, but it takes a bit of the divine to make a great wine. A great wine has a soul.’

I for one, tend to agree…

Review: Wesley Ashley Wines – Intelligent Design Cuvee, Red Rhone Blend

Color: Medium-Dark Purple. Mostly clear

On the Nose: Rhubarb. Spice. Black Cherry. Earth.

In the Mouth: The primary varietal is Carignane (52%) and it’s presence, while not overpowering, is a wonderful base 6 varietals total). Good red fruit, dark berry, earth, detectable all front, mid palate and a nice finish with excellent acidity and food friendly nature. Modest tannins, and 13.8% alcohol. A wine that is great by itself,  shines brightly with food.

Where to BuyOrder online, or look for it in these stores and restaurants. $38

Rating: Outstanding. 90 points.

Varietals: 52% Carignane, 15% Grenache, 14% Cinsault, 11% Petite Sirah, 5% Mourvedre

 

Cheers and thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog !

Related Articles:

Rhone Rangers San Francisco Grand Tasting – A Complete Rhone Weekend, not just a Tasting

‘Sonoma William’ Joins Forces With the Rhone Rangers; Some History & New Directions

A New Beginning & Old World Renaissance? Robert Parker to Cease Reviewing California Wine

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Wine of the Week: Hahn Winery 2009 GSM Central Coast Red Wine Blend

As I look at the wine label to scribe this review, the irony strikes me, and is a good segue for my excuse for the recent decreased Simple Hedonisms posts. The Hahn label is a rooster.  The reason I have been too busy to write, is that in a whirlwind transaction over the holidays, I purchased a house with 1.5 acre farm, soon to be partial vineyard, in Russian River Valley. It’s a 3 year project, and labor of love (and $$.)  (For those not friends, the full story is forthcoming, I promise.)

Anyway, the house, a foreclosure, came with a rooster, left behind, who is now affectionately named Krav. As one who lived for a stint in a fishing village in Mexico and cursed roosters every weekend morning,  I am pleasantly surprised how much personality a rooster can have, and others have commented similarly.

Anyway, my big move , and start of farm life,is this Saturday, after some rapid renovations, to include, of course, a wine cellar! (Details on that to follow as well.)

Wine of the Week

As promised, wine of the week returns, after inaugural Wine of the Week: Cartograph 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Gewürztraminer then, Wine of the Week – Bonny Doon Vineyard 2009 “Clos de Gilroy” Grenache . Wine of the Week reflects personal favorite picks, that I believe are worth sharing. I will strive to also pick wines affordable, available, interesting.

What Is A GSM?

SO glad you asked! For those who aren’t Rhone lovers (yet) a GSM simply stands for a Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. A blend of the three most common of the Rhone red varietals, and the dominant grapes of the southern Rhone valley of France and  the most common in  Chateauneuf du Pape,  GSM is also  apparently a Australian acronym in origin from late 90′s.

Hahn Winery GSM Red Wine Blend Central Coast 2009

This blend is 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre

To the Eye: Medium purple, the Syrah coming through

On the Nose: Gorgeous – The grenache delivers with its spice, black fruit. The tiniest hint of bacon fat (Syrah or Mourvedre) and sniff of the Grenache hard candy scent.

In The Mouth: Lush, full.  Layers of fruit across the tongue. Black fruit, fig, white pepper. Delivers with good texture, mid palate, and then lingers a bit at finish with acidity and soft tannins. Modest 14% alcohol. An easy to enjoy wine that doesn’t require a thesis.

Where to Buy: Online from Hahn. Various distributors: San Diego Wine CompanyMainstreet Wine in Chicago, or use the Hahn Wine Searcher. $12 (media sample.)

Food Pairing: Grilled meats come to mind. A steak, grilled lamb, or a burger even. 

Recommendation: This wine is $10-12 a bottle on average. It can be a quest  to find good domestic Red Rhone blends at under the$20 price point, that I’d drink regularly, but this is one I could. It reminds me of the Ortman Red Rhone blend I reviewed last month; it’s enjoyable and easy to drink, at a great price. Some nights I love complex, deeper brooding wines, some nights I want an comfy sweater.

Wine Geek Info:

  • Vintage: 2009
  • GSM Varietal Composition: 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre
  • Appellation: Central Coast
  • Acid: .62 g/100ml P
  • pH: 3.67
  • Alcohol %: 14%


Vintage: 2009
Wine Style: Red Wine
Varietal: GSM
Varietal Composition:
60% Grenache
37% Syrah
3% Mourvedre
Appellation: Central Coast
Acid: .62 g/100ml
PH: 3.67
Alcohol %: 14%

Part 10 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” – Wine! Holiday Gift Pack Specials, Shipping

Tick Tock, time is running out on the Wine Clock, although in my opinion and experience its acceptable to ship wine presents right through the New Year. Technically the 12 days of Christmas goes until January 6th!

Its not too late to order online and ship two day to get wine to your special someone, parent, boss, or (of age) child.

On a quick road tip yesterday to Paso Robles for barrel tasting with Rhone giant Tablas Creek, I was in awe as the UPS guy picked up two pallets of wine gift boxes, and realized was inspired to share two of my personal favorite small producers, who’s wines are sure to please everyone, and are literally flying off the shelves.

“Shipping included” specials abound around now. I am going to highlight offers of two of my personal favorites, because I know they are open, staffed and equipped to handle the influx and distribution. Small wineries may be closed, but best to check (suggest a live call) with your favorite winery or wine store.

Tablas Creek – 2 Pack Esprit de Beaucastel, Order Today, Arrives by Christmas, Shipping included

If you aren’t familiar with Tablas Creek, this Paso Robles producer is a leader in the US evolution of Rhone varietals, and has helped further the cause both through the extensive viticulture program as well as their incredible wines, and played a major role in making Paso Robles the dominant force in Rhone wines.

Their holiday gift web page has a number of great ideas, but the one flying out the door is the 2010 Holiday Wine Gift Pack, of their two flagship blends the 2008 Esprit de Beaucastel and the 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc in a special decorative gift box. They are including shipping at no extra charge on the gift packs to any address in any of the 32 states can ship to.

Only $90 per pack, and just $72 per pack for VINsider Wine Club members, (shipping included). Orders to California will still make it today. For others, best to call live at 805 237 1231 and check.

The gift page also features gift cards, wine club memberships, and great non wine local artisan gifts.

Bonny Doon Shipping Included $99 and Special Gift Packs

Another personal favorite, both for their wines, and the huge respect for a lifetime of contribution to bringing Rhone varietals focus and quality to the US, has a number of incredible holiday offers.

  • Free ground shipping for any order over $99. The $99 shipping included is ground. Orders placed today will make California, and a few surrounding states. If urgent, best to call live, the Bonny Doon team will work with you. 888.819.6789
  • It’s easy to make a case order and not break the bank with Bonny Doon. Some of my personal faves that are my every day drinking wines include the Clos du Gilroy, Grenache base blend only $15, the Contra, Carignane based blend only $14, but there many more.
  • Check out the special Mixed Six for $99, which includes; 2007 Syrah “Le Pousseur”, 2007 Angel Paille, 2008 Le Cigare Blanc, 2007 Le Cigare Volant – normale, 2009 Ca’ del Solo Muscat, certified biodynamic, 2009 Contra Carignane
  • Holiday 6-pack Box ~2007 Le Cigare Volant
    • Le Cigare Volant red Rhone blend is the wine that put Randall Grahm and Bonny Doon on the map, and there are great holiday bundles under the Holiday Specials on their storefront include:
      • 2007 Le Cigare Volant – Holiday 6-pack in limited edition Cigar Box: $210
      • Cigare Family 5-pack ~ 4 table wines, 1 dessert: $129;
      • Cigare Family 3-pack ~ 2 table wines and 1 dessert: $79
      • and others, check them out.
  • Wine Club Membership gift special: Give the gift of wine all year long. Bonny Doon is offering a year long membership for $425, which includes shipping, and a 25% off coupon. There are quite a few other benefits and options, while these can be gifted online, it may be best to call.

Cheers!

The 12 Days of Wine Christmas

Part 1 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas”: Wine Road Winter Wineland, Redwood Foodbank Raffle.

Part 2: “12 Days of Wine Christmas” – Gadget Review of the VinniBag

Part 3 of “The 12 Wine Days of Christmas” – The Wine Check (no, its not money!)

Part 4 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” Wine Clubs – A Review of Different Types and Benefits

Part 5 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” The Wine Soirée aerator & Limited Edition L/S

Part 6 of “The 12 Wine Days of Christmas” Lookout Ridge Winery & Wines for Wheelchairs

Part 7 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas”: Book Review/Recommendation: The New Connoisseurs’ Guidebook to California Wine and Wineries

Part 8 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Membership

Part 9 of the “12 Days of Wine Christmas” Make the Rhone Head in Your Life do a Backflip with Hospice du Rhone tickets

Wine Review – Ortman Cuvee Eddy, 02 Series, San Luis Obispo County (Rhone blend)

My apologies to the Ortman Family for this long overdue wine review.  As many know, I am a big fan of Paso Robles, and had the opportunity to visit Lisa and Matt at the tasting room earlier this year. I encourage you to stop in if ever in Downtown Paso Robles. They make great wines, and the tasting room is fun, lively, and hospitable. Wine isn’t just a beverage, its an experience.or

The O2 Line Up

The 02 label is a series of affordable wines ($18-20) that are well made, interesting,  easy to drink, good quality. Current release includes a 2009 Central Coast Chardonnay, a 2008 Paso Robles Sangiovese, and the 2007 SLO County Cuvee Eddy, a red Rhone blend.

I will be reviewing all three, starting tonight with the Cuvee Eddy Rhone blend. (Shocking I’d pick that one I know!)

Wine Review

2007 SLO County Cuvée Eddy

A red Rhone blend consisting of 42% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 19% Mourvèdre,  9% Petite Sirah. (The latter always debated if a Rhone, but let that slide. ) This wine seems clearly intended to be pleasant,  fruit expressive and easy to drink. I am usually good at pulling out Rhone individual varietal components, but these are quite integrated.

Color: Dark Red/Purple. Clear

On the Nose: Blueberry, Black fruit,  a touch of smoke, meat.

On the Palate: Berries and bright red fruit. This release is straightforward, and incredibly easy to drink, well balanced, and enjoyable. There are times when I want something layered, complex, to pull apart an mull over. Other time I just want a wine I can open, quaff and enjoy. I like the easy finish, lack of oak chip and tannin extract to crush your palate. Consumers need to experience wines that don’t have to hit you in the back of a head with a oak tannin bat  – bigger doesn’t always mean better.

This fun, enjoyable red blend that goes down quite nicely alone, sitting on the couch with a book or a movie. Its versatility would pair it well with most meats, many pastas, or even a burger or BBQ.

Hard to beat for $20 retail.  This review was from a media sample provided, but I did gladly buy and consume my own bottle when I visited. (And will again.)

89 Points, Recommended.

Enjoy, and Cheers!

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