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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wine Reviews: The Best of Summer 2016!

It's the first day of fall and the first time I'll be wrapping up a season with a "Best Of"! A family member presented me with the idea and I love it. Thanks, Ryan!

So here are top five wines that I reviewed this summer, from June 20th to September 21st. Enjoy!

#5. Amity Vineyards Willamette Valley 2015 White Pinot Noir

Amity Vineyards Willamette Valley 2015 White Pinot NoirRegion: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Review Release: July 1st, 2016 (Wine Pick of the Month)

The color of the 2015 White Pinot Noir is a light copper yellow. The nose and palate are bright and lively with fresh lemon juice, cantaloupe, tart red berries, cooked pineapple and white flowers. It's full bodied with an absurdly high level of acidity that leaves your mouth salivating on the finish, begging for food.

The word amity means friendship. This wine is too cool to keep to yourself, so explore it with friends. Pair with fried fish, stuffed quahogs, or nachos.


Price: $25
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

#4. Lieb Cellars Reserve 2011 Blanc de Blancs

Lieb Cellars Reserve 2011 Blanc de BlancsRegion: North Fork, Long Island, New York
Review Release: July 10th, 2016

When I really love a wine you'll often see me talk about character. That's because I feel like character is a big part of what makes a delicious wine so good. Character separates a wine from its competition. It makes that wine live forever in your memories. It makes you seek a certain wine out; not settle for one from the same grape or region.

This sparkling Pinot Blanc from Long Island has a character all of its own. I would drop $30 on this bottle in a heartbeat and I think you should too. If only to experience its character just once.


Price: $30
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

#3. Bessa Valley Winery 2006 Enira Reserva

Bessa Valley Winery 2006 EniraRegion: Thracian Valley, Bulgaria
Review Release: August 25, 2016

The most aggressive characteristics of this wine, in aroma and flavor, at this point in its life is raisinated fruits, licorice and menthol. There's also juicy tomato, the inside of an acoustic guitar, and fine black table pepper. It has sweet tannins and a creamy full body, but it's so silky smooth that it can feel light as a feather. I kept taking sips just to feel it. On the finish there's menthol, it gains a tart cherry flavor and the tannins turn up the heat drastically.

Sweet on the nose, elegant on the palate, strong on the finish. Seriously, yo. This is some goddamn impressive vino. Hands down the best I've had from Bulgaria yet.


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

#2. Garage Winery A.R. Hammond Rheingau Trocken Riesling 2013

Hammond Rheingau Riesling 2013Region: Rheingau, Germany
Review Release: September 18th, 2016

That petrol. That petrol on that nose. Doesn't that make you wanna smack yo momma? That's exactly what it does for me. I freakin' love it. There's also a slatey minerality and fruit aromas of apricots and white peaches.

In the mouth it's light and zesty and super dry. Super dry at 11.5% ABV? Yes. And here's the most important thing... it still tastes like a Riesling. Listen, I love Rieslings from dry to sweet. An enormous pet peeve of mine is when an incredibly dry Riesling is too stoney with barely any fruit so it doesn't taste like a Riesling. That happens a lot when you get up to 13% ABV and it greatly upsets me. But this baby is dry as a bone and it's still obviously a Riesling. The aromas of apricots and white peach carry over to the palate with petrol as an undertone, and it finishes with tart apples.


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

#1. Lieb Cellars Reserve 2014 Merlot

Region: North Fork, Long Island, New York
Review Release: July 17th, 2016

The flavors are black. Black cherry, blackberry, black olive and black tea. It finishes with tongue and teeth void of saliva from the tannin, the corners of your mouth gushing with saliva from the acidity, and flavors of black cherry and black tea.

Remember "my dad could beat up your dad" from when you were a kid? My $24 Merlot will beat up your $24 Merlot. You have got to be kidding me with that price. This is one of the best deals in Merlot that I have come across yet. Lieb Cellars just curbstomped your dad with this wine.


Price: $24
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)
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