Thursday, December 12, 2019

Secastilla Viñedos Viejos de Altura Garnacha 2014

This is 100% Garnacha from the Guardia Miranda and Botiquero vineyards in Somontano, Spain. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted three days, and it went through a slow fermentation at 68°F. Then it saw ten months of aging in new French oak.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Night Shift Bennington Oatmeal Stout

Ah yes! More Night Shift! I love these guys and they're considered local to me as I live on Cape Cod and they're out of Everett, MA. Remember to support local, guys! The beer that they call Bennington is an oatmeal stout brewed with Dutch-processed cocoa and maple syrup and if that doesn't make you start drooling then I don't know what the fuck is wrong with you. And yeah, it's pretty goddamn awesome. It's black in color with a mocha brown head. I love all of the roasted malt that this beer has. For flavors the cocoa is really in the drivers seat while the coffee flavor from it being an oatmeal stout is its co-pilot, and the maple syrup is more of a side note that kicks up a bit on the finish and adds a nice thick coating of deliciousness that goes on forever. This is killer beer, my friends.

The can used was purchased by myself with my own money for purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine or beer or liquor reviewed follow this link.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Metz Road Riverview Vineyard Chardonnay

I've been really looking forward to opening this bottle since I got it! Metz Road specilizes in small-lot, single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from their estate Riverview Vineyard in the Salinas Valley of Monterey. To preserve the character of the Riverview Vineyard, they use sustainable farming practices and innovative winemaking techniques including on-site fermentations with wild yeast.

The 2017 Chardonnay is from clones Clone 4, Dijon 96, and Dijon 78. The fruit was hand-picked in the early morning, hand lugged, and gently pressed. Then the juice was placed into new French oak barrels within in a refrigeration unit, making for a long and cool barrel fermentation. After fermentation is complete, the wine is kept on its lees and aged in 100% French oak barrels (92% new) for 14 months and stirred regularly. The final blend comes from the best barrels, and the final ABV is 14.5%

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Mighty Squirrel Brewery Co. Velvet Moon Mocha Stout

My #1 weakness for beer is this: if it's got a space theme then I need to buy it because I'm a science nerd. But when it's a stout? BONUS! A coffee stout or a mocha stout? FUUUUUUUCK YEEEEESSSSS. Another great thing about this beer is that Mighty Squirrel is out of Waltham, Massachusetts, so this is a local beer for me and supporting your local businesses is always important. So it's a good thing that this mocha stout is fucking awesome, right? It's pretty much pitch black in color with a fluffy brown teddy bear colored head. It's malty (just how I like 'em) with aromas and flavors of coffee beans, chocolate milk, vanilla bean, and almonds. Full bodied but with an airy mouthfeel and an acidity that doesn't let those flavors feel too dark. For $12 you get four 16oz cans with a 7% ABV and it's everything that you want out of a mocha stout. This is a killer deal for an awesome beer.

The can used was purchased by myself with my own money for purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine or beer or liquor reviewed follow this link.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Lion Tamer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

We all know that Hess has had that lion on their labels forever, and that's because it's been the family emblem forever. Expanding on that theme, they've started a line called The Lions Head, which is made up of the Panthera Chardonnay (my wine pick of the month), this Lion Tamer Cabernet, and a Lion Tamer Red Blend (which I'm not reviewing).

The 2017 Lion Tamer Cabernet Sauvigon is 81% Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petite Sirah, and 8% Malbec. It's actually called "Lion Tamer" because of that 8% Malbec. The grape has earned the nickname of "Lion Tamer" at Hess because of its ability to tame powerful tannin as a blender. Anyways, it was aged in 33% new French and American oak for 20 months, and it has a 14.6% ABV.

As Hess has found, Malbec has proven to work very well with California Cabernet when you add a splash or two... but Petite Sirah? I loooooove Petite Sirah but generally those Cabs with PS aren't all that varietally correct and just crowd pleasing fruit bombs taking advantage of the Cabernet Sauvignon name (same as when it's added to Pinot Noir). This one? Yeah, the PS is clearly there but I'm not even mad. This is outstanding.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Nomad Outland Whisky

This beautiful bottle is a blend of over 30 Scotch whiskies aged between 5 and 8 years old, which were blended and matured in Sherry butts in Scotland for three years. Then the whisky was shipped to Jerez,  Spain, where it spent one year in Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks before being bottled. And oh man, it is FRIGGIN' AWESOME! There's raisins and honey and pears, a wonderful sweetness from the PX casks, and it's so goddamn smooth going down. This has just become one of my favorite whiskies, and for $32 it's an absolute steal! When this bottle is gone I'm going to have to find a way to get another one.

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine  or beer or liquor reviewed follow this link.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Panthera Russian River Chardonnay 2017, December Wine Pick

In case you missed my announcement in "Winding Things Down", the blog will be changing in 2020. I'll still be here and I'll still be posting, but I cannot continue to treat it like a second job. I'd like to spontaneously watch a movie with my wife at night without rushing to catch up to my own schedule here, ya know? I need some freedom and my nights back.

So reviews will all be more like the "quickies" I've been writing (which people seem to like more than my full reviews anyways) and I'm not going to try and keep it to certain days of the week that they're released. I'll post when I can, but I'm not going to worry about keeping a pace. Wine Pick of the Month will definitely still be a thing on the first of the month, though.

But this all doesn't start until next year (and maybe not until February, pending discussions on something special). So what's up with December? There's Scotch aged in Sherry casks, two stouts, a Port, another Californian Chardonnay other than this one, two wines from Riax Biax, cocktails with Oso de Doro, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Cream Sherry, and two Cavas for New Year's. Also, we gotta round up the best of the Fall!

My wine pick for the month is the 2017 vintage of Panthera Chardonnay, which is produced by Hess Family Wine Estates. The first vintage of Panthera was the 2016 vintage and I fell in love with it, and it remains the same with the 2017. It's 100% Chardonnay from R.R. and aged in 35% new French oak barrels for 18 months, and it has an ABV of 14.8% (!!!).

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Wine Quickie: The Federalist Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zinfandel 2016

This is the conclusion of five wine quickies that I've done for The Federalist this month, and in the first four I surprised myself by liking them all except one. The final wine is their Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zin from Mendocino County aaaaand.... well.... let's just say I'm really not into Bouron Barrel-Aged wine. Most of it is just garbage thrown in Bourbon casks for a few days so they can slap the Bourbon name on there. That said, I'm not crazy about this one here but I also don't mind it. The Bourbon flavor is there but not overpowering, and six months in those casks have mellowed out the Zinny characteristics. It's medium bodied with a lush mouthfeel, sweet tannins, and an acidity with a bit of a pop. There's aromas and flavors of raspberries, strawberries, tea, and lots of vanilla and caramel. So yeah, it's okay for a Bourbon wine. But I suggest their other Zins much more, though.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Beacon Meadery Raspberry Mead

Raspberry Mead just sounds like something that would go great with Thanksgiving, right? Well, it turns out that it does! And guys, it's pretty damn good.

This Raspberry Mead is by Beacon Meadery out of Setauket, New York. Chris Parles is the meadmaker and head of operations, Justin Feldstein is the marketer and hi-tech digital guy, and they established Beacon together in 2018. Their philosophy is to use the best quality ingredients with the least amount of intervention as possible to allow the fruit and honey to truly express themselves.

And holy smokes these guys do some AWESOME stuff! The Raspberry Mead is full bodied, tart, sweet, and medicinal (don't let that word turn you off). I'm not sure how else to describe the aroma and flavor other than what it actually is, because it literally smells and tastes like raspberries and honey and it's absolutely wonderful. A great pairing with cheese or dessert, or as dessert itself.

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Wine Quickie: The Federalist Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2016

This is the fourth wine out of five by the Federalist that I'm writing quickies for this month and we've got another winner! The Dry Creek Zin is earthier and spicier than the Lodi. An anise bomb blows up on the nose with other aromas of blackberry, plum, black pepper, and toasty oak. It's medium bodied with a silky smooth mouthfeel, sweet tannins, and moderate acidity. There's flavors of blackberry, plum, blue raspberry, vanilla, black tea, black pepper, and a little bit of dirt. It finishes hot and spicy and juicy. This is a Zinfandel I could hang with all night and, as you probably already know, there's not many of those. FYI: This Zin pairs extremely well with Brie.

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