Today's #FlashbackFebruary Feature:

Soil and Wine - Part 1: Starstuff and Seashells

Earth was born with our Solar System 4.5 billion years ago by the gravitational collapse of a molecular cloud, which was created by the d...

Saturday, February 1, 2020

It's Flashback February again!

As I do every year in February, I'll be taking the month off from writing and step on the Cosmic Treadmill to pay respect to the past. Every day on my social media accounts I'll be sharing my greatest hits of original memes in the morning or afternoons (whenever I get to it), and then at night my best wine nerd articles. On the top of every page of the blog I'll also have a link to that featured article of the day. Now that I've taken a step back from writing as much as I used to, it's been really nice to see what I did for so many years. I hope you guys enjoy looking back as much as I did. Cheers!

Penfold's Club Tawny, February Wine Pick of the Month

Penfold's Club Tawny

It's February again so it's time to pull out a fortified wine and keep yourselves warm! This year I've picked a staple of mine for when things get cold: Penfold's Club Tawny. It's made with Mataro (AKA Mourvédre), Shiraz (AKA Syrah), and Grenache (AKA Garnacha) from South Australia, and then produced in the Tawny style of Port. They've been making this stuff for almost 60 years and it's always one of the best deals out there for fortified wine, and it's got an 18% ABV so be careful!

The color of the wine is cherry red turning into brick, and on the nose there'e aromas stewed plums, cherry sauce, dried apricots, caramel, and mint. It's got a full body with a wonderful lipsmacking sweetness that doesn't get out of hand and a nice acidity to compliment it. There's flavors of stewed plums, raisins, cherry sauce, dark chocolate, walnuts, and brown sugar. I just love everything about this.

The snow is coming, and sipping some Club Tawny in between shovelings will keep you warm and happy. Cheers, guys!

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

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

Friday, January 31, 2020

Terrunyo Block 27 Peumo Vineyard Carmenere 2017

This is the third of three Carmeneres made by Concha y Toro that I'm reviewing this month! Terrunyo is from Block 27 of the Peumo Vineyard in Chachapoal Valley, Chile. It's 100% Carmenere that was aged in French oak for 9 months, and it has an ABV of 14.4%.

I apologize because I need to make this one quick, and I'm pretty sure you prefer me to shut up and give it to you straight anyway. The color of the wine is legit purple. On the palate it's medium bodied with a lush mouthfeel, sweet tannin, and balanced acidity. For aromas and flavors there's black cherry, strawberry, black pepper, green pepper, caramel, and vanilla extract. It finishes with a smooth coating of black cherry and caramel and a smile.

I've learned that with the multiple vintages of this Carmenere that I've had you just can't go wrong. It's always fantastic, and that remains true here. So the next time you see a ribeye on sale at your local grocery market, pick this bad boy up to drink with it and treat yourself.

Price: $40
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

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

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere 2017

This is the second Carmenere from Concha y Toro that I'm reviewing this month! Marques de Casa Concha's 2017 Carmenere is 90% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit is from Peumo Vineyard in Cachapoal Valley, Chile, and the vines were planted from 1994 through 1996 on alluvial silty-clay soil. The wine spent 14 months in French oak barrels and has an ABV of 14.3%.

The color of the wine is a deep cherry red and on the nose there's aromas of plums, red cherries, black pepper, and mint chocolate. It's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel, grainy tannin, and mellow acidity. For flavors the red cherries on the nose turn to black cherries, and the plums, black pepper, and mint chocolate return with a new friend of belly-warming Ancho chile. Then it finishes with black cherries and caramel.

$25 and worth every cent. This is a fruit-forward, juicy Carmenere that I continue to recommend to my customers vintage after vintage.

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

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

Friday, January 24, 2020

Speyburn 10 Year Old Scotch Whisky

Tomorrow is the 25th of January and Speyburn Scotch is raising their glass to the Scottish poet Robert Burns. He's the guy that wrote "Auld Lang Syne", the song you pretend to know the lyrics to on New Year's Eve. So why am I posting this today? Because I hate it when I see stuff like this and it's too late to run out and buy whatever you need. "Oh. It's 10pm and I just learned it's National Hot Dog Day. Awesome." So, my friends, you'll need a bottle of Speyburn for tomorrow night!

Speyburn Scotch was first distilled on December 15, 1897 by John Hopkins. The 10 year old Single Malt is aged in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry American oak. It's medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel with notes of orange peel, lemon, honey, and just a little bit of peat. It's a mellow, easy drinking Scotch that makes for a very good everyday whiskey at $30 a bottle. I'm enjoying the heck out of it! Cheers, everybody! And cheers to Robert Burns!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Quickie: San Silvestro Ottone I Barbera 2018

Barbera is an extremely versatile red wine that you can pair with virtually any food or just drink by itself. So it’s a common suggestion of mine for when you don’t know what’s being served or you want one bottle to pair with multiple courses. San Silvestro’s Ottone I Barbera is only $10 and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s medium bodied with soft tannin and bright acidity, and there’s notes of cherries, blackberries, and a little leather and tobacco. Next time you need a middle of the week wine for tacos or pizza, give this guy a try!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere 2017

I’ve got three Carmeneres by Concha y Toro to review this month, and this is the first! Gran Reserva’s 2017 Carmenere is 93.2% Carmenere, 6.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.6% Merlot, and it has an ABV of 13.7%. It spent 10 months in oak barrels (80% French and 20% American) and 5,000 liter casks.

It’s a garnet leaning more towards purple in color. On the nose there’s aromas of blackberries, strawberry candy, dusty cement, vanilla and chocolate. On the palate it’s medium bodied with super smooth mouthfeel and soft but chalky tannin. There’s flavors of blackberries, plums, green peppers, black table pepper, and caramel. Then it finishes with smooth blackberries, tart cranberries, and a bit too much sweet caramel.

This is some big juicy fruit, which I was not expecting, and quite enjoyable. And for $17 it’s just the right price.

Price: $17
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)

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

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Beacon Meadery Blueberry Mead and Black Currant Mead

I posted about Beacon Meadery's Raspberry Mead on Thanksgiving, and today I've got their Blueberry Mead and Black Currant Mead! Beacon Meadery is 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.

The Blueberry is garnet in color while the Black Currant is a vibrant cherry red. And while the Blueberry is light and mellow, the Black Currant is a juice bomb with more tartness (but not as tart as the Raspberry). And although they both obviously smell and taste like the respective fruits that they're made from, the Blueberry has an earthiness to it and a little vanilla while the Black Currant also shows some cranberry and caramel. Both of these guys are awesome in their own way. Like I said, the Blueberry is lighter and less fruity while the Black Currant practically punches you in the face.

While I do like all three of the meads made by Beacon, I think the Black Currant is my favorite of them all. It has been such a pleasure to taste these meads, and if you see them you should not pass up the opportunity to try them yourself.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017

It's one of my favorite moments to be alive: Chardonnay time! Hess Collection's 2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay from their Su'skol Estate Vineyard. 70% of the wine was fermented in stainless steel while the other 30% was barrel fermented and allowed malolactic fermentation. Then it spent 9 months on the lees in French oak, 19% of it new, and it has a 14.4% ABV. 

The color of the wine is light gold. On the nose there's aromas of apples, lemon, butter, caramel, and vanilla. On the palate it's full bodied with a smooth, buttery mouthfeel and a low acidity that's just present enough to brighten things up a bit on the finish. There's flavors of apples, pineapples, pears, vanilla, and oak. Then the finish leaves a long lasting thick, buttery coating of tropical fruit and oak. This is a solid, reliable, enjoyable Chard for $22!

Price: $22
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)

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

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Hess Allomi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Hess's Allomi wines out of Napa Valley are named after Rancho Locoallomia, the original Spanish land grant which the native Patwin people lent their name. The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Sirah, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, and 2% Merlot. 27% spent 18 months in new American barrels and it has a 14.5% ABV.

Alright, enough of those percentages! The wine is cherry red in color with aromas of medicinal cherry, blackberry, vanilla, and lavender. On the palate it's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel, a bit of a tart acidity, and chewy tannin. There's flavors of juicy cherry and plum, chocolate, and graphite, and it finishes lush but with that slightly tart acidity. For a $32 purchase, it's a solid Napa Cabernet at its price point.

Price: $32
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)

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