Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wine is an experience.


"Wine is an experience, not a quick judgment." - Joey Casco CSW/CSS

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wine Review: James Charles 2015 Petit Verdot

James Charles 2015 Petit Verdot

Last year I reviewed three wines by the Bogady family, and now they're back with two more! I just reviewed Bogadi Bodega & Vineyard 2015 Viognier the other day and now I'm on to James Charles 2015 Petit Verdot. In February of 2016 I reviewed Bogadi Bodega & Vineyard 2014 Seyval BlancJames Charles 2014 Viognier and Veramar Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Franc.

James Charles Bogady's parents came over to America from the Italian Alps, and his family in the old country still runs a small vineyard. So James thought he'd carry out his family tradition in Virginia. He bought his first vineyard in 1995, and in 2000 he and his wife Della founded Veramar Vineyards. Their son Justin became the winemaker in 2001.

NOTE: In advance of moving to a new house and the arrival of a new baby, the reviews for March, April and May were all written in February and may be much quicker and to the point than you expect from this blog. Foolishness will return this summer.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wine Review: Bogadi Bodega & Vineyard 2015 Viognier

Bogadi Bodega & Vineyard 2015 Viognier

Last year I reviewed three wines by the Bogady family, and now they're back with two more! Today I'm reviewing Bogadi Bodega & Vineyard 2015 Viognier and in a few days I'll publish a review of their James Charles 2015 Petit Verdot. In February of 2016 I reviewed Bogadi Bodega & Vineyard 2014 Seyval BlancJames Charles 2014 Viognier and Veramar Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Franc.

Viognier originated in France's Rhone Valley. Even though it's seeing great success in California, it's become the pride and joy of Virginia viticulture and winemaking. Virginia has the longest history of winemaking in the United States of America (Texas and California made wine much earlier but weren't a part of the USA until much later). Wine from the native species' of grapevines had been made there since the early days of English colonization. Many attempted to grow vitis vinifera (the European species for making wine) but the vines just kept dying. Thomas Jefferson (drinker, collector and "America's first wine expert") planted vinifera at Monticello in Charlottesville. He failed. Since it was discovered that the culprit was the phylloxera aphid, Virginia has blossomed into a gorgeous vinifera wine country.

NOTE: In advance of moving to a new house and the arrival of a new baby, the reviews for March, April and May were all written in February and may be much quicker and to the point than you expect from this blog. Foolishness will return this summer.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Wine Reviews: Best of Winter 2016/17

It's the first day of Spring so it's time to share the top wines that I reviewed during the Winter! So here it is... the best of December 21st 2016 to March 19th 2017!

#5. Alpasión Malbec 2013

Alpasión Malbec 2013Region: Mendoza, Argentina
Review Release: January 5th, 2017

In the mouth it's a little lighter than medium bodied but with a rich and round mouthfeel and silky tannin. The flavors are fruit forward with plum, cranberry and spoiled cabbage. Just kidding! There's no spoiled cabbage. I just wanted to make sure you were actually paying attention. The flavors are fruit forward with plum, cranberry and blackberries. A great mix of red and black fruit. The swallow is fantastic as it sees a brief visit into mocha-land. It finishes with those fruits on the palate, the addition of cola, and a silky coating that keeps those flavors going for quite awhile.

READ THE FULL REVIEW / WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $25
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)


Left Coast Cellars The Orchards Pinot Gris 2015
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Review Release: March 5th, 2017

The color of the wine is a a very pale yellow. The nose is expressive with apples, orange blossom, honeydew melon and just a blade of lemon grass. It's medium to full bodied with a silky mouthfeel, but it's still zingy and lively as all hell. An explosion of tart apples and lemon lollipop command the palate, with mineral and fresh garden herb subtleties. It finishes tart but with a heavy coating that lets the flavors linger.


QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $18
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)



Matchbook Dunnigan Hills 2015 Old Head ChardonnayRegion: Dunnigan Hills, California
Review Release: December 29th, 2016

The color of the wine is a light straw color. The nose has a little smokiness to it that I don't recall on the 2012. There's also aromas of pineapple, butterscotch and vanilla wafers. It's such a lovely nose. Goddamn, I love Chardonnay so much. It's hard to imagine that I didn't like it when I began my career as a wine professional. I was a fool.


QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $15
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)



Psagot M-series Cabernet Sauvignon 2013Region: Jerusalem Hills, Israel
Review Release: February 12th, 2017

The color of the wine is a dark red heading in the direction of turning brick, with a blackish dense center. I got lots of wood on the nose at first, but after some airing out that receded and made way for the other characteristics. There's aromas of blackberries, black licorice, mocha, mint and vanilla. It really does have a dark, seductive nose.

In the mouth it's medium to full bodied, lush and smooth in mouthfeel, with soft tannin and low acidity. On the palate it brightens up away from the darkness with some red currant, cranberry and red licorice. Then there's that mocha, mint and vanilla again. It finishes so smoothly and elegantly, with cranberry and cedar.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $63
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)



Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Review Release: January 29th, 2017

The color of the wine is a light straw yellow with silvery edges. There's almost a toasty feel to the nose and aromas of lime, gooseberry, guava, chives and cilantra. It's medium bodied with a slick mouthfeel. Flavors of lemon-lime soda, lemon grass, melon, guava and celery are on the midpalate. It finishes with lemon-lime soda, guava, and a tingly dry mouthfeel.

I'm actually going to give this wine a perfect score for the price and I'll tell you why. The highly potent grapefruit-and-acid to the face that is most New Zealand Savignon Blancs (available in the USA for this price) is an all-well-and-fine profile. But it's everywhere. And at no point did I get any of that. This is more mellow in its fruit, more versatile with food, and the quality is absolutely there.


QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $13
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wine & Wine Product Review: El Nil Napa Valley Red Wine 2012 & The Wine Mermaid


This is the second of two reviews for Napa juice by Ankh Wines. The first was Ankh Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 so to learn more about them check that review out. This review is for their El Nil Napa Valley Red Wine 2012, keeping with the Egyptian theme (El Nil = The Nile).

The 2012 El Nil is 69% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. The fruit comes from the Napa regions of Rutherford, Coombsville and Atlas Peak. It spent 24 months in French Oak and 12 months bottle aging. Only 75 cases were produced and it has an ABV of 14.7%. I love the label.

With this wine I'll also be trying out Taste of Purple's new wine glass called "The Wine Mermaid". I bust out their Vino 2 glass whenever I come across a wine that needs some major breathing that I don't have time for. The thing works like a charm so I'm looking forward to trying out this new one.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wine Review: Ankh Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Ankh Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet was a fierce and violent warrior goddess. The sun god Ra had become angry because mankind was not following his laws, so he sent Sekhmet to destroy the people. The fields ran with blood, but the sight of the carnage caused Ra to repent. He ordered Sekhmet to stop, but she was in a blood lust and would not listen. So Ra tricked her by pouring jugs of wine in her path. She gorged on what she thought was blood and became so drunk that she slept for days. When she awoke, Sekhmet had transformed into the benevolent goddess Hathor; her blood lust had disappeared, and humanity was saved. 

Every year in what is now the month of August, Egyptians held a great festival to celebrate the Drunkenness of Hathor. This massive event was the largest of its day, and coincided with the start of Akhet season - when the Nile River would begin to rise. Tens of thousands of people from all across Egypt traveled to this great event. Today, we honor the saving of mankind by releasing a new vintage of Ankh during the Akhet season, and by placing an icon representing Hathor on every bottle.

That was lifted right off of Ankh Wine's website. How freaking cool is that? I love it when a wine speaks to my inner history geek like that. Ankh was founded in 2007 by Mark El-Tawil and Scott Ptacek. I'll be reviewing two of their wines. Today is the Ankh Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and in a few days it will be their El Nil Napa Valley Red Wine 2012.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Year Off: Trading in Wine Studies for Science and Comics

Batman reading
A little over a year ago I decided that I was going to take a year off from wine and alcohol studies so I can do other things that I enjoy. I had gone hardcore at alcohol education for years, earning the Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits certifications in the process, and writing so much for this blog that I had become detached from everything that other people in my age group were talking about while socializing.

When my peers were excited about the second Captain America movie, I wasn't even aware there was a first one. "Did you watch Breaking Bad?" Pffft, ain't nobody got time for that! Oh wait... they do. I'm just a weirdo.

That year is a few months more than over and it's time to get back into wine education, which means you'll be seeing much more of the monthly articles you expect from this blog that have been coming out less frequently lately. And since I'll be thinking about wine nonstop, more original memes and stuff from elsewhere shared on social media.

At the end of this post I'll give a little glimpse into the future of the blog. But first, this is how I mostly spent my time off: reading SCIENCE BOOKS and COMIC BOOKS.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wine Review: Left Coast Cellars Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir 2014

Left Coast Cellars Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir 2014

Left Coast Cellars of Willamette Valley, Oregon was founded in 2003. With 350 acres of land and 130 acres of vineyards, they use sustainable viticulture to produce only estate-grown wine. They're LIVE Certified Sustainable, Salmon Safe Certified, and are one of fourteen wineries to complete the Oregon Environmental Council's Carbon Reduction Challenge. All of the power for the guest cottages, the front gate, and the vineyard irrigation is run by solar power, and use a big chunk of their land for their Oak Savanna Restoration Project. They are very environmentally conscious. 

A few days ago I reviewed their 2015 The Orchards Pinot Gris and now I'm doing their 2014 Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir.

NOTE: In advance of moving to a new house and the arrival of a new baby, the reviews for March, April and May were all written in February and may be much quicker and to the point than you expect from this blog. Foolishness will return this summer.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Wine Review: Left Coast Cellars The Orchards Pinot Gris 2015

Left Coast Cellars The Orchards Pinot Gris 2015

Left Coast Cellars of Willamette Valley, Oregon was founded in 2003. With 350 acres of land and 130 acres of vineyards, they use sustainable viticulture to produce only estate-grown wine. They're LIVE Certified Sustainable, Salmon Safe Certified, and are one of fourteen wineries to complete the Oregon Environmental Council's Carbon Reduction Challenge. All of the power for the guest cottages, the front gate, and the vineyard irrigation is run by solar power, and use a big chunk of their land for their Oak Savanna Restoration Project. They are very environmentally conscious. 

Today I'm reviewing their 2015 The Orchards Pinot Gris and then I'm reviewing their 2014 Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir.

NOTE: In advance of moving to a new house and the arrival of a new baby, the reviews for March, April and May were all written in February and may be much quicker and to the point than you expect from this blog. Foolishness will return this summer.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Wine Pick: Domaine Laroque Cité de Carcassonne 2015

This WINE PICK of the month was written for the Luke's of Cape Cod website.


Domaine Laroque Cité de Carcassonne 2015

My complete adoration of Cabernet Franc is no secret, and I've got a 100% Cab Franc right here that's both delicious and extremely affordable. It's from Domaine Laroque, located in the Cité de Carcassonne subregion of Languedoc-Roussillon in southern France.

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