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.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Wine Review: Bogle Phantom Red 2015


Bogle Vineyards gave me two bottles from their Phantom line to share with friends, family, or followers on social media. So I said "forget the friends and family, I'm reviewing them!" First itw was the 2017 Chardonnay on Thursday and now it's the 2015 Red Blend!

Though the Bogle family has been farming in the Clarksburg region for six generations, their involvement in the wine business spans back 50 years. In addition to passing down a strong work ethic and dedication to quality, the success of Bogle over the years is rooted in the day-to-day involvement of the Bogle family. Read more about the history of Bogle

2016 was the first vintage for the Phantom Chardonnay, but the red blend was created in 1999 around Patty Bogle’s dining room table as the family blended some of their finest vineyard offerings. The name "Phantom" seemed fitting as "Bogle" is the Scottish word for "ghost".

The 2015 Phantom Red Blend holds the California appellation and is a blend of 44% Petite Sirah, 44% Zinfandel, 10% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. It saw 24 months in 1 and 2 year old American and French oak, and has a 14.5% ABV.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Wine Quickie: The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2016

The Federalist Lodi Zinfandel 2016

This is the third of five wines that I'm doing quickies for by The Federalist this month, and as an admitted Zinfandel hater I'm really liking this one. It's purple in color with aromas of plums, strawberry jam, lobster shell, and cinnamon. On the palate it's medium bodied with a fluffy mouthfeel and sweet tannins. There's flavors of plums, raspberries, dark chocolate, and black table pepper. Then it finishes hot with plums and black table pepper. American mythos tells us that George Washington could not tell a lie, and I'm not lying when I say that this is a Zinfandel that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Wine Review: Bogle Phantom Chardonnay 2017


Bogle Vineyards gave me two bottles from their Phantom line to share with friends, family, or followers on social media. So I said "forget the friends and family, I'm reviewing them!" First it's the 2017 Chardonnay and then on Sunday it's the 2015 Red Blend!

Though the Bogle family has been farming in the Clarksburg region for six generations, their involvement in the wine business spans back 50 years. In addition to passing down a strong work ethic and dedication to quality, the success of Bogle over the years is rooted in the day-to-day involvement of the Bogle family. - Read more about the history of Bogle

2016 was the first vintage for the Phantom Chardonnay, but the red blend was created in 1999 around Patty Bogle’s dining room table as the family blended some of their finest vineyard offerings. The name "Phantom" seemed fitting as "Bogle" is the Scottish word for "ghost".

The 2017 Phantom Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay from Clarksburg, California. It was aged sur lee for 10 months in 100% French Oak with lees stirring twice a month, and it has a 14.5% ABV.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Wine Quickie: The Federalist North Coast "Honest" Red Blend 2017


This is the second of five wines by The Federalist that I'm writing quickies about this month. The "Honest" Red Blend is from the North Coast appellation of California and it's 46.4% Merlot, 24% Zinfandel, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7.6% Malbec. It saw 15% in 35% new oak. Hey, and I'm liking it! It's dark purple in color with black cherries, blueberries, licorice, and hot cinnamon. Medium bodied with soft dusty tannin and an acidity that brightens the fruit on the finish into strawberries and raspberries. I'm being honest here (see what I did there?), this is a great deal for a $20 red blend!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Wine Review: Terlato Pinot Grigio 2018


From a retail store in Chicago in 1938, the Terlato family has built a storied place in the wine world through a unique vision of quality. They bring the same passion to Terlato Vineyards, where the winemaking philosophy is based upon a commitment to world-class viticulture and brilliant winemakers, and a belief in the beauty and power of great wine. When Tony and his sons, Bill and John, became winery owners and vintners in 1996, they started with one goal in mind: excellence. The concept was to produce quality wines that were as important as those the Terlato family imported and marketed during the last half century.

These guys have produced one of my favorite Pinot Grigios for years now, so there's no surprise on how this review ends. It's always good.

Along with the samples for this review I received two tall-ass tulip shaped Riedel glasses branded on the base with the Terlato logo. I can't express how much I appreciate this. Years ago I bought a nice little set of standard red wine Riedel glasses and, well, crap happens. You clank the rim on the sink faucet or the dog jumps down from the couch and whacks his tail on your glass knocking it over. Long story short, I was down to my last Riedel glass. These ones are obviously their design for Pinot Grigio but whatever; they're gorgeous. So thank you, Terlato. It won't give you extra points in this review because you won't need it, but I still have to praise the product because it deserves it.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Wine Quickie: The Federalist Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon 2016


I've got five bottles of Federalist for quickies this second half of the month! FIVE! One Cabernet, one Red Blend, and three Zinfandels. The Lodi Cabernet is 93% Cabernet, 5% Zinfandel (oh no), and the remaining 2% is Petite Sirah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. It's garnet in color with a medium body, sweet tannins, and a bright acidity. There's aromas and flavors of black cherries, plums, cedar, cinnamon, and it has this syrupy molasses thing going on that I'm really not a fan of. This is not the Cabernet I'm looking for.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Winding Things Down

After almost six years of relentless blogging, it's time to wind things down. I've spent a lot of time writing articles and reviews, redesigning, scheduling and planning, and have toiled away who knows how many entire nights focused solely on this website.

And, simply, I want to take my nights back. Movies and tv shows with my lady, playing video games in the dark, reading comics and science books, and most importantly: taking care of actual responsibilities. You can't fold laundry or clean the house while you're reviewing wine or writing an article or programming almost every single night.

After December or January I will not be rushing to meet a deadline that I set myself, there will be no more meticulous planning of each month for consistent published content, no more YouTube videos (I hate shooting those and I'm stopping those now), no more long-reads (unless I randomly get inspired), no more spending like 20 minutes a post scheduling on Hootsuite, no more doing all sorts of ridiculous things to keep it all rolling.

I will still be accepting samples for wines to review, but not nearly as many as I have, and they'll be more like the “quickies” I've been writing lately (which people really seem to enjoy more than my full reviews). And Wine Pick of the Month? Sure! Let's keep that up!

I will still be very much active on the social media accounts posting memes, talking about wine and news, and (as I said) still doing quick wine reviews, so TheWineStalker will still be around. But I will not be making the actual website a priority in my life anymore. I cannot continue to treat it like another job.

I thank you for following me through these six years that have allowed me to learn so much and taste so many great wines, and I hope you continue to pop in and see what's going on even if it won't be as often.

Cheers, guys!


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Wine Review: Castello di Albola Chianti Classico Riserva 2014


The Castello di Albola Estate is situated in Radda at the heart of the Chianti Classico DOCG appellation, where the legacy of grape cultivation dates back to the time of the Etruscans. The Acciaiuoli family commissioned the estate to plant its lofty vineyard in Chianti Classico in the 15th century as a symbol of their high status. Over the centuries, many noble Tuscan families have owned the property, and the estate has earned various accolades for its wines. In 1979, the Zonin family acquired Castello di Albola promising to uphold the estate’s excellence for future generations. The wines produced in Castello di Albola have earned the iconic “Gallo Nero” symbol from the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium, which guarantees the highest standards in winemaking.

The 2014 Chianti Classico Riserva is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo. The grapes are hand harvested, and the must is placed in horizontal vinification tanks for three weeks until malolactic fermentation is complete. It spends 15 months in oak. 10% is aged in Allier oak barriques, and 90% is aged in traditional Slavonian oak barrels. Then it spends another year in stainless steel tanks before seeing three months of bottle aging. It has a 13.5% ABV.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Wine Quickie: Alois Lageder Terra Alpina Pinot Bianco 2018


Last week I really liked the Terra Alpina Pinot Grigio and it turns out that their Pinot Bianco is another winner! It's yellow in color with pears, cantaloupe, lemon, graham cracker, and white flowers. On the midpalate it's weighty with a little tiny bit of oiliness to its mouthfeel and a tart acidity. Yum! This right here is a damn good Pinot Bianco for $16.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Wine Review: Two Hands Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon 2018


The idea for Two Hands was born in September 1999 when founders Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz sat at a friend’s engagement party and decided it was time to make their own wine and market it on the world stage. The original aim was, and still is, to make the best possible Shiraz-based wines from prized growing regions throughout Australia.  With so much Australian wine being sold around the globe under multi-region labels in a formulaic style, the intention was to break the mould and showcase the diversity of Australian Shiraz by highlighting regional and vineyard characteristics by allowing the fruit to be the primary feature of the wines.

I've got three reviews for Two Hands this week and it all started with Angels' Share Shiraz 2018, then I reviewed Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2018, and now I'm finishing with Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Saké Quickie: Tozai Living Jewel Junmai


This was the last bottle of this saké on the shelf of a liquor store I was shopping in a few months ago, and I had to get it because it was bottled in November of 2017. Normally you want your saké to be younger than that because they're better fresh, but I had to know how it was holding up. $10 out of my bank account later and I was bringing it home. So now it's November of 2019. This saké has been sitting around for two years and who knows how long it was on that shelf. But you know what? It's not bad. The fruits of melon and pears are present but pulled back for more of a rice flavor to take over but I'm not complaining. And the savory finish is still going strong. Also, it's pairing pretty damn good with these crackers and spreadable cranberry rolled cheese. I'm happy with the purchase, and that's all that you can ask for.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Wine Review: Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2018


The idea for Two Hands was born in September 1999 when founders Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz sat at a friend’s engagement party and decided it was time to make their own wine and market it on the world stage. The original aim was, and still is, to make the best possible Shiraz-based wines from prized growing regions throughout Australia.  With so much Australian wine being sold around the globe under multi-region labels in a formulaic style, the intention was to break the mould and showcase the diversity of Australian Shiraz by highlighting regional and vineyard characteristics by allowing the fruit to be the primary feature of the wines.

I've got three reviews for Two Hands this week and it all started with Angels' Share Shiraz 2018, now I'm reviewing Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2018, and then I'll be finishing with Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Wine Quickie: Alois Lageder Terra Alpina Pinot Grigio 2018

Terra Alpina Pinot Grigio 2018

Well, this was a pleasant surprise! I was expecting a bottle of lemon water but I ended up really enjoying this Pinot Grigio, and the bride liked it even more than I did. It's straw yellow in color with white flowers, green apples, pears, and ginger. Medium bodied with a silky mouthfeel for a Pinot Grigio and a nicely balanced acidity. I'm adding this one to my favorite Pinot Grigios under $20 (it'll cost you $16) and that list is not very long!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Wine Review: Two Hands Angels' Share Shiraz 2018

Two Hands Angels' Share Shiraz 2018

The idea for Two Hands was born in September 1999 when founders Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz sat at a friend’s engagement party and decided it was time to make their own wine and market it on the world stage. The original aim was, and still is, to make the best possible Shiraz-based wines from prized growing regions throughout Australia.  With so much Australian wine being sold around the globe under multi-region labels in a formulaic style, the intention was to break the mould and showcase the diversity of Australian Shiraz by highlighting regional and vineyard characteristics by allowing the fruit to be the primary feature of the wines.

I've got three reviews for Two Hands this week and it all starts here with Angels' Share Shiraz 2018, then I'll be reviewing Gnarly Dudes Shiraz 2018, and finishing with Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon 2018.

Friday, November 1, 2019

November Wine Pick: Yalumba "The Y Series" Viognier 2018


November is looking like another busy month! For full reviews I've got three wines by Two Hands out of Australia, a Chianti Classico, and two wines by Bogle's Phantom line. Scheduled for quickies are two white wines by Italy's Terra Alpina and five reds by California's Federalist. Oh, and I've got a raspberry mead for Thanksgiving! RASPBERRY MEAD! Pretty cool!

With a lot going on last month, including the passing of a friend and a stretch where I was not feeling well at all, I was unable to write an article or pull off Wine Bloggers Off-Topic for October but I'm going to try my damndest to get that out this month.

Yalumba is a winery in South Australia that is constantly winning awards for a wide variety of its wines, and my Wine Pick of the Month is the next vintage of their Viognier coming off of an impressive Wine Spectator Top 100 performance. What is Viognier? Well, it's a white varietal believed to have originated in Greece (although it's not there anymore) and barely hung on to survival in Rhone Valley, France, for most of its existence. Recently it's found a surge of success in Australia and California, and I swear it's absolutely the best wine with lobster.

Newer Posts Older Posts Home

Labels

*SPONSORED* ABriefHistoryOf Abruzzo Agiorgitiko Aglianico Airen Albarino Aleatico Alsace Apothic Argentina Armagnac Australia Austria Baco Barbera Barrossa Valley Beaujolais beer Best Of biodynamic blend blog Bogati Bonarda book Bordeaux bourbon Brachetto brandy Bulgaria Burgundy Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Cahors Caino Blanco California Campania Canada Canaiolo. cans Cape Cod Carignan Cariñena Carmenere Cava Central Coast certification Chablis Chalk Hill Champagne Chardonnay cheese Chenin Blanc Chianti Chile China Cinsault Clarksburg cocktails Cognac Colombard Columbia Valley Cotes-du-Rhone Counoise Croatia CSW Dane Cellars dessert wine Distill Wars Dona Blanco Douro Dry Creek Dunnigan Hills Falanghina February Fer Servadou Fiano Folle Blanche formulas France Franciacorta Frankovka Furmint Galicia Galilee Gamay Garganega Gascony Germany gin Glera Godello Graciano Greece Grenache Grenache Blanc Gros Manseng Gruner Veltliner GSM guest blog Heroes history how to Hungary Israel Italy Japan Jerez Kansas kosher Lambrusco Languedoc-Roussillon Left Coast Leyda Valley Lisboa Livermore Lodi Loire Loureira love letter Macon Madeira Madiran Malbec Malvasia Marcillac Marsanne Marselan Massachusetts Matchbook Mavrud Mazuelo McLaren Vale mead Melnik Mencia Mendocino Mendoza Meritage Merlot Mexico Michigan mixology Monbazillac Monstant Montecucco Montepulciano Monterey Moscato Mosel Mourvédre Muscadelle Muscat mythology Napa Navarra Nebbiolo Nero d'Avola New York New Zealand news Norello Mascalese North Coast Oregon organic original meme pairings Palestine Pecorino Pedro Ximenez Petit Verdot Petite Sirah Petite Verdot photo gallery phylloxera Picpoul Piedmont Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris/Grigio Pinot Meunier Pinot Noir Pinotage Pliny Port Portugal Press Release Primitivo product Prosecco Provence quickie quote rakia recipe retail problems Retsina review Rheingau Rhone Rias Baixas Ribera del Duero Riesling Rioja Rondinella rose Roussanne Rueda rum Russian River Sagrantino Sake Sangiovese Sangria Santa Lucia Higlands Sauvignon Blanc science scotch Sekt Semillon Seyval Blanc Sherry Somontano Sonoma South Africa South Australia Spain spark Sparkling spirits storage study sulfites sustainable SWE Syrah Tannat Tempranillo Tequila Texas Tinta Amarela Torrontes Touriga Nacional Traminer Trebbiano Turkey Tuscany Ugni Blanc Umbria USA Valdiguié Valpolicella Veneto Verdejo Verdicchio Vermentino Vermouth Vernacca Vidal Blanc video Vinho Verde Viognier Virginia Viura vodka Walla Walla Washington State whiskey White zinfandel Willamette wine Wine Bloggers Off-Topic wine club Wine Pick Zinfandel Zweigelt