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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Wine Review: Hacienda López de Haro Rioja Blanco 2016

Hacienda López de Haro Rioja Blanco 2016

How about a quickie for this lovely Thirsty Thursday? From Bodega Classica is Hacienda Lopez de Haro, producing seven different classic style Rioja wines. Rioja isn't a type of wine; it's a region in Spain. So they don't just make red Riojas, which many consumers are most familiar with, but they also do rosé (rosato) and white (blanco). 

Just like the reds are usually mostly Tempranillo but could also be other Spanish grapes allowed by the region (such as Garnacha), the same goes for the whites with Viura. This varietal makes 90% of the white wine in Rioja. And Viura is actually the local name for the varietal mostly known as Macabeo. Macabeo is planted all over northern Spain and is even one of the grapes used in Cava, Spain's famous sparkling wine, along with its pals Parellada and Xarel-lo.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Wine Review: Maetierra Atlantis Albariño 2016

Maetierra Atlantis Albariño 2016

Maetierra only produces white wines and they have a quick but interesting story. It actually began as an experiment by the School of Oenology of La Rioja in 2001, in 2002 got its own winery in Logroño, and in 2005 got a bodega in Castillo de Maetierra.

Their Atlantis label represents the Spanish regions along the coast of the Atlantic. For example, Rías Baixas (Reeyas Bishus), where this wine is from. North of Portugal and known for its Albariño, Rías Baixas was once a Celtic outpost and, from what I hear, has more of a Celtic culture and architecture than Spanish. Their cuisine is seafood heavy so naturally their famous Albariño pairs well with seafood. As a wine guy on (the also seafood heavy) Cape Cod, Rías Baixas Albariño is a top suggestion from me for somebody looking to pair wine with Cape Cod cuisine.

Yeah, so it's called Atlantis. You didn't think that I'd review a wine called Atlantis and not talk about Aquaman, did you? 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wine Reviews: Best of Summer 2017

Today is the last day of summer and tomorrow brings the autumn! So here are the top five wines that I reviewed between June 20th and September 21st!

August being the third annual Bulgarian Wine Month (thanks to, Bulgarian wine dominates the list.

#5. Lieb Cellars Reserve Pinot Blanc 2015

Lieb Cellars Reserve Pinot Blanc 2015Region: North Fork, Long Island, New York, USA
Review Release: June 25th, 2017

I'm not getting as much pear on the nose as I did with the 2014, although it's still one of the major aromas. With it there's also tangerine, lemon peel, rose pedals and beach sand. This vintage has a lot more going on with its nose. In the mouth it's medium to full bodied with a slightly oily mouthfeel and a tart acidity. On the palate there's flavors of green apple, pear juice and steel. It has a lengthy finish of green apple and chalk.


Price: $22
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Ferrari-Carano Napa Valley Carneros Reserve Chardonnay 2012
Region: Carneros, Napa Valley, California, USA
Review Release: September 3rd, 2017

It's a gorgeous golden yellow in color with a tilt towards green. Graham cracker and burnt caramel are all over this mother on the nose. Yeeeeeeessssss. There's also aromas of bruised apple, pineapple, cinnamon and butter. Dude, so far this is exactly what I desire out of a Chard at this price. Exactly.

It's full bodied and just gosh-dang beautiful in the mouth. Perfectly balanced in oak and acidity. There's flavors of bruised apple, cinnamon, yellow pear, pineapple, and bay leaf. It's like a fall cider and it's so good! It finishes with bruised apple, cinnamon and a need to have more. This is some awesome Chardonnay, and for your money it'll wet your noodle. Inside joke. Don't ask.

Price: $24
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Gorchivka Merlot 2014Region: Danube River Plains, Bulgaria
Review Release: August 10th, 2017

The color of the wine is cherry red. The nose has this earthiness and funk that reminds me of Right Bank Bordeaux, but beyond that it's definitely not Bordeaux in style. There's a cooked dark fruit profile for the fruit in the aromas, like stewed plum and blueberry sauce. There's also vanilla extract and cinnamon powder. It essentially smells like fruit pastry. It takes a step back with the sauciness on the palate as it's not as thick as I was expecting. There's a medium body, soft tannin and balanced acidity. There's flavors of juicy black cherries, blueberries and plums, as well as vanilla and cola. On the finish you can taste the alcohol, almost like you just took a sip of vodka, even though it's only 13.5% in ABV.

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

Region: Danubian Plain, Bulgaria
Review Release: August 24th, 2017

This bottle just looks BADASS with a legionnaire in the background of the label. And it's also a blend of my two favorite red varietals! Its 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc out of the Danubian Plain, with an ABV of 13.5%. This guy is a blackish ruby red, if that's even a thing. And oooooooooh lordy lordy LORDY what a nose it has! It's one of those noses that makes your eyeballs roll into the back of your head in an olfactory orgasm. Black pepper, spearmint, black cherries, plums, vanilla, black tea, and toasted oak ride strong ethanol vapors up into your nostrils. It's full bodied and lush with a bit of a perky acidity. There's flavors of cranberries, plums, seasoned tomatoes, wet autumn earth and cocoa powder. It finishes silky smooth with flavors of cranberries, plums and earth. Nomnomnomnomnom! This is SPECTACULAR! I'm in love with this wine, and I think you should get on and buy it!

Price: $16
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Version Plaisir divin Mavrud 2013Region: Thracian Valley, Bulgaria
Review Release: August 30th, 2017

This wine received a gold medal at the 2016 Concours Mondial Bruxelles. It has a 14.5% ABV and is from Mavrud's favorite place on the planet: the tiny area of Assenovgrad, north of the Rhodope Mountains in Thracian Valley. The color of the wine is ruby red with vibrant highlights. The head aroma in charge is toasty oak, followed by black cherries, blackberries, black olives and mint. The tasting notes on say there's juniper berries but I'm not getting that. Maybe you will. The midpalate is just lovely. Medium bodied, lush and silky smooth with soft tannin and flavors of black cherries, cranberries, vanilla, and chocolate covered raisins. It finishes super long with all of those flavors and a silky, sensual mouthfeel.

Wow! WOW! This. Is. Outstanding. Here's the link to buy it now because you need to try it for yourself:

Price: $17
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wine Review: Ventisquero Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Ventisquero Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

I'm reviewing two wine by Ventisquero this week. The first was the 2016 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc and the second is this 2015 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon.In the past I've reviewed their 2013 "Grey" Glacier Carménère and their 2013 "Grey" Glacier Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2015 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah out of Maipo Valley, from granatic and stony soil. It saw a low-temperature maceration before fermentation, and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. After that, 70% was aged for ten months in French oak and then bottle aged for four months. It has a final ABV of 13% and can be shelved for up to seven years.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wine Review: Ventisquero Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Wine Review: Ventisquero Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016
I'll be reviewing two wine by Ventisquero this week. The first is this 2016 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc and the second is the 2015 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon. In the past I've reviewed their 2013 "Grey" Glacier Carménère and their 2013 "Grey" Glacier Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2016 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc out of Casablanca Valley, from sandy-clay soil. It saw twelve to fourteen hours of cold maceration and a slow fermentation. Then it was aged for four months on the lees and gently moved with battonage. The final ABV is 12% and it can be shelved for up to four years.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wine Review: Valdivieso Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Valdivieso Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2015

This is the second of two wines that I'm reviewing by Valdivieso of Chile. The other day it was their Brut Rosé and today it's their be their 2015 Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc.

Valle de Leyda is a subregion of the San Antonio Valley region of Chile. With the coast visable from the vineyards, the cooling breeze from the ocean and poor soil (offering minerality), its terroir makes it mostly a white wine producing region and is particularly regarded for Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Valdivieso's Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc is from Valle de Leyda and is 100% SB. It was hand harvested, steel tank fermented with temperature control, saw no malolactic fermentation, and sat on some of its lees for three months. It has an ABV of 12%.

Our baby dragon Miss Daisy has had quite the day and is having quite the night of breathing fire with her colic and teething and overall difficultiness, so this is going to be a quick one. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wine Review: Valdivieso Brut Rosé

Wine Review: Valdivieso Brut Rosé

This is the first of two wines that I'll be reviewing by Valdivieso of Chile. Today it's their Brut Rosé and in a few days it'll be their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc.

Valdivieso was the first winery to make sparkling wine in Chile right when it was founded in 1879. It was even originally called Champagne Valdivieso. Their Brut Rosé is made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay from the foothills of the Los Andes mountain range in Curicó, where the cool climate provides the grapes with the acidity needed to make great sparkling wine. The carbonation is produced using the Charmat method, and there isn't much time spent on the lees before it's dosed, filtered, and bottled. It has an ABV of 12% with 10 grs/lt of residual sugar.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Wine Review: Ferrari-Carano Napa Valley Carneros Reserve Chardonnay 2012

I know that Lori from Dracaena Wines is in love with Ferrari-Carano, and Lori is one of my favorite wine bloggers. So whenever I get to taste or review some FC I think of her. Hi, Lori!

Ferrari-Carano has been around since 1985 and is based out of Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma. This Chardonnay, however, is from the Carneros portion of Napa Valley. It's from four different clones of Chardonnay, sees eight months of oak aging in French oak on the lees (stirred weekly), then sees another five months of aging in neutral French oak.  

I've been reeeeeeeally looking forward to this since the day I got this bottle. Are those butterflies in my stomach? I think I'm nervous! I mean, it's only a $24 bottle of Chardonnay! Stay cool! You see, it's definitely not gonna be the greatest Chardonnay ever but it has every indication that it's my type. As a metaphor, it's like seeing your dream girl from across the room and then she comes over and talks to you. But then you get to crack open their neck and drink their blood. Damn, that's romantic. I should write poetry.

Friday, September 1, 2017

September Wine Pick: Ferrari-Carano Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2014

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

September Wine Pick: Ferrari Carano Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2014

Ferrari-Carano is one of those wineries that is always producing excellent wine, and I have yet to find a wine produced by them that I didn’t enjoy. Most of them I even admire. The Ferrari Carano winery is located in Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma but their 2014 Pinot Noir is from up north a bit in Anderson Valley, within Mendocino. It was fermented in small-macro bins and cold soaked for three days, with malolactic fermentation completed in 100% French oak and further aged for 10 months.

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