Saturday, October 17, 2020

Grapes & Capes Episode #4: Beer with Brad


Joey is joined with Brad as we crack open beers and talk about Magic: The Gathering, video games, and comic book movies.



TOPICS: Our tastes in beer, Cape Cod Beer, Breweries on Cape Cod, Allagash, Austrian wine scandal, Magic: The Gathering, the Walking Dead infecting Magic, stolen heartbreak, Suicide Squad kill the Justice League, Gotham Knights, who is Red Hood / Jason Todd, the legend of Robin, Three Jokers, the G&C Logo, Spider-Man movies, Marvel on Disney Plus, Marvel Studio phase 4, DC multiverses, a DC fan kisses a Marvel's ass and a Marvel fan kisses DC's ass, WCW and WWF, Royal Rumble at the Fleet Center, Falcon & Winter Soldier, more on Marvel shows on Disney Plus, the future of Thor, Marvel vs DC in printed comics, publishing content, the best Joker, 80's classics, high school hindsight, The Suicide Squad, Ostrander's Suicide Squad & Deadshot: Beginnings, HBO Max, Raised by Wolves, Disney Plus yet again, Cosmos, 9/11 Tribute Comic, The Boys TV show, maaaaaybe a Potcast???

Please support Parents/People Advocating Cape Kids Safety by following them on social media and visit https://packsma.wordpress.com/blog/

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Chelsea Goldschmidt Guidestone Rise Merlot 2018



October is #MerlotMe Month and I've got this fantastic Merlot for you! I am a huge Merlot fan so this month is usually one of my favorite wine times of the year. Unfortunately I wasn't able to participate in the whole parade of Merlot's for the month, but hey, I've got this Goldschmidt! And man, is it delicious. Medium bodied with a lush mouthfeel and notes of blueberries, black cherries, graphite, and vanilla. This is a textbook quality Merlot, and I recommend it to anybody who wants some #MerlotMe in their October. Yummmaaaaay!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Banshee Rosé 2019


Oh I love Banshee's wine so much, and this Rosé in no exception! The 2019 vintage is salmon in color and made with 48% Sangiovese, 25% Grenache, 16% Syrah, 8% Barbera, and 3% Zinfandel. Cantaloupe is all over it, with honeydew melon, lemon, and toast. I could smell it all night! This is not a quaffing rosé. This is one that you want to cradle and savor.

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about it on Grapes & Capes Episode #3!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018


La Crema Sonoma Chard is always a good, solid, never-let-you down standby that you can find anywhere. The 2018 vintage was aged for seven months in 75% French oak and 25% American (17% new). There's notes of vanilla, honey dew melon, pineapple, and balanced oak. For $15 it's a damn good deal.

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about it on 
Grapes & Capes Episode #3!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Oak Farm Vineyards Fiano 2018


This wine is out of Lodi, California, which has a similar climate to Fiano's native homeland of Avellino in Campania, Italy. It shows melons, buttered pecans, and earthy herbs. As it cools off and opens up, lemon shows up on the scene. On the finish it has a snappy and tangy acidity with nice minerality on the finish. It is just beautiful!

Listen to Mike and Joey talk about it on Grapes & Capes Episode #3!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Grapes & Capes Episode #3: Robots don't eat cookies


Michael and Joey read The Ultimates #1 and Vision #1 while tasting Oak Farm Vineyards Fiano, La Crema Sonoma Chardonny, and Banshee Rosé. Wines provided by Colangelo & Partners.



Wine #1: Oak Farm Vineyards 2018/2019, sitting on the leese
Comics #1: The Ultimates #1 (2002)

Wine #2: La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2018, New World wine vs Old World wine, effects of oak, what is Zinfandel

Comics #2: Vision #1 (2015), Tom King's Batman, War of Jokes and Riddles, Tom King's comicsgate controversy, Scarlet Witch

Wine #3: Banshee Rosé 2019, how they make pink wine, orange wine, dry rosé vs sweet rosé

Comics #3: the death of Deadshot, DC Universe Infinite, HBO Max, call Tony Stark at 212-970-4133, Marvel getting cosmic

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Mosketto Delicate Sweet White, Rosé, & Red


I may not like sweet frosty pastries like cake (ew, gross) but I do like sweet wines. Sorry, not sorry. Mosketto Delicate Sweet White has white flowers and orange zest on the nose with apples and peaches. The palate is also appley and peachy and the thick finish turns to sweet succulent clementines. With the Delicate Sweet Rosé there's rose pedals on the nose with juicy cherries and strawberry candy that follows onto the palate. Those cherries pop on the finish, and this is my favorite of the bunch. With the Delicate Sweet Red there's raspberry sauce on the mid palate and strawberry jam on the finish. With that red I gotta ask: anybody got some cheesecake? That is a cake I'm all about.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Rosé All Day Spritz Rosé + Grapefruit with Bubbles


Okay, I'm going to be blunt: Rosé All Day are not kidding when they say "+ grapefruit" because there's A LOT of grapefruit here. And that wouldn't be a big deal in the middle of July or August when it's hot as hell and if this thing was chilled ice cold, because it would be completely crushable and I would just abuse that 4 pack of cans so easily it's ridiculous. But it's September and starting to get chilly here so you know what I did? I took an inexpensive Cava, that I knew I could trust to provide some wonderful bready yeastiness, and mixed them together. It was pretty damn enjoyable. I'm not even joking. Improvisation!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Grapes & Capes Episode #2: Two Hands & Two-Face


Joey and Michael spend Episode Two tasting wines by Australia's Two Hands winery and talking about Two Face and DC Fandome Part Two.



Prologue: Thank you to Brad, more about Comically Speaking

Wine #1: Two Hands Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, thank you to Donna White Communications, McClaren Vale vs Barossa Valley, Shiraz vs Syrah

Comics #1: Two-Face
Harvey's comic debut, Batman Forever, The Dark Knight, (Infinity War, Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther), Batman vs Two-Face animated movie, Batman: The Animated Series, Eye of the Beholder, The Long Halloween, Hush, Tomasi's Detective Comics

Wine #2: Two Hands Angel's Share Shiraz 2018, Australian wine laws, misleading wine lables, wine ratings

Comics #2: DC Fandome 2, part 1
Black Adam, Man of Steel, Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn Q&A, Magic Wheelchair, Immortal Vigilante: Hooded Justice, CW'S Batwoman & The Flash

Wine #3: Two Hands Gnarly Dudes 2018

Comics #3: DC Fandome 2, part 2
Three Jokers, Geoff Johns controversy, Joker War, confusing Tomasi with Tynion, (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man), DCeased, Good Day to Die, Unkillables, Hope at World's End, DCeased: Dead Planet, Superman panel, Brian Michael Bendis, Death of Superman, Reign of Superman, Death and Reign animated movies, The Killing Joke

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Grapes & Capes Episode #1: DC Fandome & Bogaty Family Winery


It's the first episode of the Grapes & Capes Podcast! Mike and Joey taste three wines from Virginia's Bogaty Family Winery. We also discuss our "origin stories" for becoming comic book readers and wine drinkers. Then of course we need to talk about the huge DC Fandome online event!



Wine #1: "The Founder" White Blend (non-vintage) , wine in Virginia, what is Bordeaux

Comics #1: Our Origin Stories
How we became comic readers and wine drinkers

Wine#2: "The Founder" Red Blend (non-vintage), the history of vitis vinifera and phylloxera

Comics #2: DC Fandome
Wonder Woman 1984, (Bloodshot, Game of Thrones), The Suicide Squad (The Harley Quinn Show, Swamp Thing, Justice League Apocalypse), Flashpoint, (Batman '89), Zack Snyder's Justice League, Black Adam, (wrestling), The Batman

Wine #3: Justin Bogaty Winemaker Series Cabernet Franc 2019, grapes making babies, old wine, Truro Vineyards

Comics #4: What we're reading & misc discussion
The Spectacular Spider-Man, Superman: Blackout, Immortal Hulk, Secret Six, Undiscovered Country, Once & Future, Comically Speaking, comic book shops during the COVID Crisis, Newbury Comics, the return of Milestone

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Justin Bogaty Winemaker Series ~ Chardonnay 2019, Rosé 2019, Merlot 2019

Justin Bogaty Winemaker Series ~ Chardonnay 2019, Rosé 2019, Merlot 2019

In the four years that I've been reviewing wines by the Justin Bogaty / Bogati Family Winery out of Virginia, I've had some of their Chardonnays but never their Justin Bogaty Winemaker Series Chardonnay. The 2019 vintage is medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and tamed acidity. It's got a tropical classic aroma and flavor profile of pineapple and banana, and then of course vanilla. It's a good solid Chardonnay and I like it, but that Veramar Chardonnay (also made by Bogaty) is still on my mind. The 2019 Rosé continues to be juicy and fun with a melting pot of Jolly Ranchers. Sour apple, watermelon, and strawberry. Full bodied and, yeah, it's a little sweet but everybody needs to calm down with their fear of that word. I said it's fun. Have fun. The 2019 Merlot is just so amazing on the nose. Super spicy with black pepper and cinnamon, then plums and cherries. It's lighter on the midpalate than I was expecting, with also brighter acidity. Perky with tart unripe blueberries and almost like an apple skin thing going on. There's also plums, a nice minerality, and black tea. It's got such a great nose and it's so different and interesting on the palate. I'm thinking it would actually be pretty damn good with a grilled cheese.

Look for three more wines by the Bogaty Famiy Winery in the premier episode of the upcoming Grapes & Capes Podcast!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Veramar Vineyard ~ Chardonnay 2019 & Cabernet Franc 2019


I have a long standing relationship with the Bogaty Family Wine Group out of Virginia, going back to 2014. I've done so many reviews of their wine that they even have their own label on the blog. As I do a rebrand from blogging as my main focus to a podcast (don't worry, I'll still blog) it makes me happy that I'll blog about 5 of their wines before I premier the podcast with 3 of their wines. These guys are so good. I love their wine, I love their appreciation of the online wine community, and I hope to continue working with them for years to come. Veramar Vineyard is one of Bogaty's labels. The 2019 Chardonnay is literally like drinking the juice on the bottom of the fruit salad bowl. Pear juice, pineapple juice, melon juice. It's so flavorful and... juicy! Barrel fermentation gives it a nice oakiness, too. And its bright and tart acidity gives it a lot of spunk. I loved it! Spunky Chardonnay! Moving on, you all know how much I  love Cabernet Franc and how much I've realized how good it can be in Virginia. This stuff... yo... this is AWESOME. It's medium bodied and it feels like it would have a silky mouthfeel if the tight grainy tannins and ethanol weren't so strong. (This is a nudge-nudge that you can let it sit to open up or age it). There's notes of plums, cranberry, tomato leaf, black pepper, and beach sand and/or ice melt. Wonderful. Just wonderful. Veramar does it again and makes me so damn happy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Morgan Winery ~ Highland Chardonnay 2018, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Rosé of Grenache 2019


Wasn't Morgan just on this blog? Well, they're back! And delivering that same great quality as they always do. The 2018 Highland Chardonnay is like a buttered biscuit with a side of pineapples. It's pretty oaky and you know that's my jam with Chardonnay. However, the bright and tart finish makes it more versatile with food than most oaky buttery Chards. Speaking of bright and tart, the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc out of Monterey is all about the zip! There is Semillon in here so it's got a medium body and a round mouthfeel, but I hope you like Sour Patch Kids because the tartness will make your mouth pucker. And not in a bad way, because it's pretty yummy and very refreshing. It's very grassy with grapefruit and lemon. I'm drooling thinking about this with Oysters Rockefeller. Finally, it's the 2019 Rosé of Grenache. With a weighty mouthfeel and tamed acidity, this is a rosé that's meant to savor instead of porch pound. Of course there's watermelon and strawberry, but there's also vanilla and orange skin. The best part of this wine is the finish. It's super juicy and, in a big surprise, spicy.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Tinto Rey Verdejo 2018 & Matchbook Petit Verdot 2017


Ooooooooh! It's Matchbook time again! I can't say enough about these guys, and these are probably the two wines by them that I talk to people about the most. The 2018 vintage of the Tinto Rey Verdejo is... just imagine me pinching my fingers, kissing them, and then flicking my wrist out while saying "MWAH!". Italian kissy fingers. It's got this medium to full body with a creamy mouthfeel and the perfect amount of acidity to play along with those. There's much more citrus than previous vintages but the notes of pear and honeysuckle are still there. It's just so good. Their best vintage yet. And since the first time I tasted Matchbook Petite Verdot I have not stopped raving about it. This stuff is absolutely killer and I have not met a person who hasn't tried it and not been taken back by surprise. The 2017 vintage is no exception. Big and juicy with blackberries, raisins, and violets. Full bodied, high in ethanol fumes, bright in acidity, and tight tannins. This PS is a rock star.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Goldschmidt Vineyards ~ Singing Tree Chardonnay 2018, Katherine Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Hilary Cabernet Sauvignon 2016


I first became aware of Goldschmidt when a customer requested a special order of them about a year or so ago. I looked them up online and they seemed pretty interesting, so it's pretty cool that I actually get to taste them now. The 2018 "Singing Tree" Chardonnay is a classic lightly oaked Chardonnay. Pears, pineapple, banana. It still has a big body but only a little bit of butteriness on the midpalate and crisp on the finish. As a Chard fan, I enjoyed it. The 2018 Katherine Goldschmidt "Stonemason Hill" Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a very nice example of an Alexander Cabernet. Softer and more elegant than a Napa Cabernet but similar in profile (and my opinion better overall). Medium bodied, beautifully smooth on the mouthfeel, with notes of cassis, plums, and pepper. Delicious! To me the 2016 Hilary Goldschmidt "Charming Creek" Cabernet Sauvignon out of Oakville is juicier and has sweeter tannins. There's A LOT of vanilla going on here with notes cherries and blackberries. It may be a fruit bomb, but fruit bombs can more than others be "stress relief wines". 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio & Art of Earth Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio & Art of Earth Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

It's so hot and humid out that even the red wine bottle is perspiring just from coming outside of the air conditioning in my house! I opened these two while cooking burgers on my new grill and they were both perfect for performing such a heroic feat of dad-dom. Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio 2019 is 100% Pinot Grigio from Sicily and it's cost you $12 retail. Bright and tart with a little bit of sweetness and very refreshing. It's loaded with lemons, pears and green apple. It's a serviceable Pinot Grigio for the price and definitely a porch pounder. Art of the Earth is a certified organic Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and it'll also cost you $12 retail. Once the burgers were done, this guy went pretty damn well with them. Medium bodied with very dusty tannin, and a bursting acidity that fits right in with the wine and doesn't make you think "damn, that's bursting acidity". There's notes of plums, tomato, licorice, and sweet tobacco. Again, for the price it's a solid bottle of wine. Maybe let it open up so that tannin calms down a bit.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Ron Rubin Winery ~ Pinot Noir 2017, Chardonnay 2018, Pam's Unoaked Charonnay 2018


It's been a rough time for everybody this year, and I haven't had a more fun time throughout it all so far than opening up these bottles of Ron Rubin on the porch on this beautiful night on Cape Cod. Pam's Unoaked Chardonnay is like drinking the pear juice out of a can. Do not even think that is a bad thing right now or we'll have words, mister. Yeah, it has some sweetness, but damn is it crushable. The Russian River Chardonnay is much more sophisticated but can also be summed up simply: it's literally like drinking apple crisp. Baked apple, crumbly crust, and baking spices. Holy crap it's awesome and everything I want out of a Chardonnay. Then there's the Pinot Noir. It's got this alluring metallic thing going on, much more silver than the copper that I usually get on Pinot Noirs. There's also a full trading post of spices, licorice, and the fruit takes the background with plums and blackberries. The tart acidity is just begging me for something to eat. I can't let it down. Time to see what we have for snacks...

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Bonterra Boxed Wine ~ Sauvignon Blanc & Rosé


Box wine again??? Don't worry, this is the last one of those for awhile. As much as I love Bonterra, the drop off is pretty noticeable when coming from a bag-in-the-box. Overall yeah, they're better than Peter Vella and Franzia, but still there's not much going on. The Sauvignon Blanc is simply lemon and grapefruit while the Rosé is simply watermelon and strawberry. Their very basic profile is not helped out like it should be by the acidity because that is rather flat. That said, if it's chilled up nice and good I wouldn't say no to drinking it and it's fine for a porch party with a bunch of friends where nobody is going to analyze the crap out of it like I have to.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Natural Origins Boxed Wine ~ Malbec & Cabernet Sauvignon


I know what you're thinking: BOX WINE??? Has Joey lost his mind??? First of all, if you've been a long time follower then you know I'm missing a few screws. Secondly, this is boxed wine made by Domain Bousquet! This winery makes some pretty damn good affordable organic wine from Argentina, and both of these selections are from Mendoza. Not only are they organic but they're also vegan. The Cabernet is a pretty good one for what you expect from boxed Cabernet! It's got some great Cabernet qualities such as cherries, cassis, and chocolate but it's also rich while having soft tannin. Much like Bousquet's regular bottled Malbecs are impressive, so is this boxed one. It's got a great pluminess, juicy blackcurrants, minerality, and a lighter body but stronger tannin than the Cabernet. Both of these are a great deal, but that Malbec is a steal.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Vilarnau Brut Reserva Cava


Vilarnau is located near the city of Barcelona. They've been making Cava since 1982 but their current vineyards were acquired in 1990. On the nose their Brut Reserva Cava has a pleasant yeasty breadiness with green apples, lemon, vanilla and flowers. It's zippy on the palate with a sharp acidity and flavors of apples, lemon, and yellow pears. Then it finishes with an increase in floralness and a slight touch of sugar. It's very refreshing and lip smackingly yummy, but you're not going to sit and savor it with every sip. This was made for some fun downing of thirst quenching and affordable bubbly.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $15
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, June 4, 2020

Wine Review: Beronia Rioja Reserva 2015


Beronia is a frequent guest on the blog and here they're back for more! Their 2015 Rioja Reserva is 95% Tempranillo, 4% Graciano, and 1% Mazuelo. It's dark cherry in color, with aromas of black cherries, blackberries, cocoa powder, sweet tobacco, and vanilla extract. Like the 2013, I spent a lot of time just enjoying the nose. It's wonderful! On the palate it's medium bodied with perky tart acidity and a chalky mouthfeel from the thickly chalky and sweet tannin. There's flavors of cranberries, plum, cocoa powder, vanilla, and mint. Then it finishes with that tart acidity and flavors of cranberries, cocoa, and mint. This is a delicious fruit forward wine that still has a rustic aspect, and for $20 it's an excellent Rioja Reserva.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (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.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Eden Vermont Heirloom Blend Ice Cider


It may not seem to everybody like a good time of year to pop open a dessert wine style cider, but I gotta tell ya it's totally appropriate year round. Especially when you need something to sip on while you're hanging out on the patio at night reading and listening to music. This bottle was a gift from a friend and colleague. Thanks, Chelsey! 

The Eden Heirloom Blend Ice Cider is made from 15 different heirloom apple varieties. Just like ice wine does with its grapes, the apples have been concentrated well into the winter months. However, the fruit is picked when the apples are ripe, put into cold storage until winter, and then put back outside for another six to eight weeks. The result, when pressed and fermented, is a sweet dessert wine style cider. It took 8 pounds of apples to make this one 375ml bottle.

Oh man, this is just gorgeous. Not just that beautiful caramel color, but everything about it. I mean, I can't get too much into detail on the aroma and flavor other than "apple cider and caramel" because that stuff is pretty straight forward, but it's all about the rest of the experience. The weighty body, the silky smooth mouthfeel, the way the sweetness plays with the acidity. It's so good! And, in my opinion, an excellent choice for slow summer sipping.

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

The bottle used was a gift from a friend that I decided to also use for this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Morgan G17 Syrah 2018

Morgan Syrah 2018

It's wine number 3 of 3 in this round of Morgan reviews, and we're ending it with the 2018 G17 Syrah. This wine is 94% Syrah, 3% Grenache, and 3% Tempranillo. Enough of it is from California's Santa Lucia Highands to be legally labeled as such, it was fermented in open top tanks, and it saw 10 months in French oak (20% new). The ABV is 14.5%.

The color of the wine is garnet. The nose is just loaded with fine black table pepper enough to make you sneeze, followed by blackberries, strawberry candy, lavender, graphite, tar, and ethanol fumes. Ooooof! That nose is serious business! On the palate it's medium to full bodied with a rich mouthfeel, balanced acidity, and bitter, bitter tannin. The flavors are lead by those bitter tannins with cedar, dark chocolate, and tar. The blackberries are still there, as well as a ton of fine black table pepper, with the addition of vanilla and licorice. And they all continue on forever on the finish with burning ethanol heat.

Who is in the mood to barbecue or grill some meat? I ask because I've got the right wine for you right here. This is a Syrah that comes with the requirement that you light up that goddamn grill.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
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.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Morgan Tempranillo 2018


It's wine number 2 or 3 on this run of Morgan reviews, and this time it's their 2018 Tempranillo out of the Riverbank vineyard in Arroyo Seco. Whole berries were fermented in small open-top tanks while being gently punched down, and then it saw 11 months in 100% French oak; 10% new. It has an ABV of 13.8%.

The color of the wine is a dark garnet. On the nose here's aromas of raspberries, blackberries, aquarium gravel, crushed red pepper, and brambles. On the palate it's medium bodied with a bit of a sharp mouthfeel that smooths out on the finish, bright acidity, and light but sweet tannin. The aromas are repeated in the flavor, keeping it fruit forward with some good spice, with the addition of a scoop of cocoa powder. The finish is just wonderful, with the fruit and cocoa going on for days, and that acidity making your mouth salivate.

Morgan, again, killin' it. This is an awesome Cali Tempranillo for the price.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $24
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, May 17, 2020

Morgan Cotes du Crow's 2018


I've got three wines by Morgan Winery to review and I'm starting off with what they call "Cotes du Crow's", which is their Rhone-style blend. Normally it's just Grenache and Syrah, but this year they threw in a bit of Tempranillo to spice things up a bit. So it's 66% Grenahce, 31% Syrah, and 3% Tempranillo. It spent 10 months in 100% French oak; 7% new. 

It's ruby red in color with aromas of raspberries, blackberries, anise, and sweet spices. On the palate it's medium bodied with a soft tannin and a tart acidity. There's flavors of raspberries, plum, vanilla, and oak. It's boozy on the finish, and the plum goes on forever. This is just an outstanding Rhone-style wine from Cali at $20, and a no-brainer to pick up when you spot it at the wine shop.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
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.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Talley Vineyards Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2018 & Rincon Chardonnay 2018


Talley Vineyards is having a big celebration of Chardonnay, so here's reviews 3 and 4 of the Chardonnays that I have from them!

Talley Estate Bottled Chardonnay is their flagship wine, and apparently it was the first Chardonnay made in Arroyo Grande Valley after the region became an AVA in 1986. It was sustainably farmed I don't have any more information other than that, such as how long it was aged in oak or whatever. It's definitely worth the price of $34, though. When I first opened it up it was overchilled and smelled a bit oxidized, but as the wine warmed up that was remedied. On the nose it's got a cloud of minerality over aromas of peach, pineapple, banana and ginger. On the palate it's medium to full bodied with a bright acidity that plays nice with its round mouthfeel. There's flavors of pineapple, apple, melon, and ginger. Then it finishes with a thick coating of pineapple and banana. Very nice!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $34
Rating: 3.5/5 = Satisfying / Recommended (what does that mean?)


The Rincon Vineyard in Arroyo Grande Valley was planted in 1983 by Don Talley. Not only is it the location of the Talley Vineyards tasting room, but also what the family calls their "home vineyard". Aaaaaan hooooo boy, it's godamn delicious! There's aromas of bruised apple, lemon meringue pie,  and buttered cornbread. *SQUEEL*! It's full bodied on the palate with a rich, weighty mouthfeel and moderate acidity. For flavors, minerality comes out of nowhere to all of a sudden be everywhere. There's pineapple, pear juice, orange peel, and vanilla. Then this Chardonnay finishes off STRONG with impressively powerful and long lasting tropical fruit. I freakin' loved this stuff. $50? MORE THAN WORTH IT.

Talley is one hell of a Chardonnay producer. What a cool experience this was! :)

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $50
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Both bottles used were supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Talley Vineyards Rosemary's Chardonnay 2018 & Oliver's Chardonnay 2018

Talley Vineyards Rosemary's Chardonnay 2018 & Oliver's Chardonnay 2018

Talley Vineyards is having a big celebration of Chardonnay, and I've got FOUR CHARDONNAYS made by them here to taste. So today I'm reviewing two of them, and in a few days I'll review the other two. Three of them are single vineyard Chards ranging from $50 to $60, and one of them is an Estate Chard for $34. I should have done a little research before I took pictures and opened the wine for today's review, so I could start with the $34 one, but it's too late for that now. Oh well! C'est la vie!

Rosemary's Vineyard surrounds Rosemary Talley's home in the Arroyo Grande Valley. It's the coolest of the Talley vineyards and has chalky shale soil that produces Chardonnay with refreshing acidity. That acidity is pretty prominent on the 2018 vintage, but I also got a lot of chalky minerality and salinity all over this wine. On the palate it's a lot lighter and crisper than I was expecting. There's aromas and flavors of green apple, white peach, lemon, nuts, and ice melt. It's super delicious, and even though I peronally like the next wine more mono e mono, this one is clearly the more of a versatile food wine.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $60
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)


PICTURED: A BIG DORK
This is the one that I was the most excited about and, honestly, it's because of the name. My dog's name is Oliver (we call him Ollie) and he's named after DC Comics' Green Arrow, AKA Oliver Queen (because we're a bunch of nerds here). So I got excited seeing a wine with my buddy's name on it. He's a good boy. An enormous goofy blockhead, but still a good boy.

Oliver's Vineyard is located in Edna Valley, and no it's not named after Green Arrow. It's named after Oliver Talley; the founder of Talley Vineyards. The 2018 Oliver's Chardonnay has a bigger body than Rosemary's, although I still wouldn't call it full bodied on the Chardonnay scale, but is also more buttery and oaky, while I wouldn't say it's super buttery or oaky. It's all about the tropical fruits like pineapple, banana, and mango. And of course, vanilla and caramel. It's not like you're sucking on a Werther's or like you're going to get splinters on your tongue, but it's just enough of that kind of profile without going all-in and making the ABC people run away screaming in absolute horror. Dude, this is the kind of Cali Chardonnay that sends dopamine straight to my brain. Oak and butter while still being elegant and not over extracted. Perfection for $50.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $50
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Both bottles used were supplied free of charge
 for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Enate Somontano Tempranillo 2018


Later in the summer I'll be reviewing some more wines by Enate but for now, while I wait for those to arrive, I've got their 2018 Tempranillo out of Somontano. Somontano is in the Aragon region of Spain, way up in northeast of the country. This Tempranillo does have a splash or two of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and that's all I really know about. You can definitely tell that it spent some time in oak but I'm not sure how much time.

Enate suggests that you serve this Tempranillo chilled at 55°F to bring out its youthful fruits, so that's just what I did. And man, they are right. The nose has some vanilla and tea leaves, but it's bursting with fruit aromas of black cherries, plum, and strawberry flavored hard candy. It's medium bodied on the palate with a very smooth mouthfeel and moderate acidity. There's flavors of juicy black cherries, plums, cola, vanilla, and a little tiny bit of licorice. Then it finishes with a thick coating of plums, vanilla, and chalky tannin.

This is a tasty bottle of Tempranillo for $10! Juicy and fruit forward but still with some of that rusticness in the background that you want from the varietal. And that slight chill is going to make it a very fun and inexpensive summer red.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $10
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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Fetzer Shaly Loam Gewürztraminer 2018


Fetzer is all about sustainable farming, and their 2018 Gewürztraminer out of Monterey is made with just a little bit of Muscat added to it. Why's it called "Shaly Loam"? Well, that's the soil type that the vines are planted on. On the nose it's got aromas of lychee, oranges, honeysuckle, ginger, and pastry glaze. It's full bodied with a nicely rounded mouthfeel and a crisp, bright acidity, and a slight touch of sweetness. All of those flavors return back as flavors, but it gets green apple-y on the finish while lychee lingers long.

Fetzer's Gewürz is always solid quality year after year for the $11 price. It's fun, lip-smacking, and it won't ever let you down! And there's a reason why it's so sought after during Thanksgiving time because it goes perfectly with your traditional turkey dinner. But this and Thai food? What a good pairing that is. Grab a bottle and pick up some Thai! 

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $11
Rating: 3.5/5 = Satisfying / 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, April 30, 2020

The Arsonist Red Blend 2017


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Dracarys! The Arsonist is their label for wines a price point or two higher than their flagship Matchbook label, and their 2017 Red Blend is 53% Petit Verdot from Dunnigan Hils, 24% Malbec from Dunnigan Hills, and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon from Chalk Hill.  It was blended before being aged in French, American, and European/American hybrid oak barrels for 24 months, 30% of which are new. The final ABV is 13.9%.

As always the color is a beautiful garnet. On the nose there's aromas of black cherries, blackberries, orange blossoms, anise, and... yes... as I say every vintage: root beer. Why is that? Am I just crazy? The palate has a much brighter fruit to it this year though, with flavors of red cherries, cranberries, mocha, and root beer, on a full body with a rich mouthfeel and grippy tannin. It finishes with cranberries, mocha, and a spike in mouthwatering acidity.

This is one of those wines that everybody loves once they've tried it, and 2017 is probably the best vintage that I've had of it. Dude, it's AWESOME. A fruit forward stress relief wine by itself, but also making me really want a Porterhouse right now. Arsonist finishes Matchbook Month with two Highly Recommended ratings!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 5/5 = 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, April 26, 2020

The Arsonist Chardonnay 2018

The Arsonist Chardonnay 2018

April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

The Arsonist is their label for wines a price point or two higher than their flagship Matchbook label. Their 2018 Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay from the Matchbook Vineyard in Dunnigan Hills, California. It was barrel fermented and frequently stirred, and 100% when through malolactic fermentation. 10% of the best lots from the Chardonnay in the vineyard were aged an additional five months longer in oak, and only half of those were selected to become the final blend for the 2018 Arsonist Chardonnay.

Year after year this is one of my favorite Chardonnays. There's aromas of pears, melon, buttered grilled corn muffin, and vanilla ice cream topped with butterscotch. On the palate it's full bodied with a rich and smooth mouthfeel, and an acidity that pops on the finish. There's flavors of melon, canned pears, banana, and vanilla. Then it finishes looooooong with melon and banana. The Arsonist does it again. This is an incredible Chardonnay for the price!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 5/5 = 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.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Mossback Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2017


April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Mossback is the Sonoma label for Matchbook, and their 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon from Chalk Hil, 15% Merlot from Chalk Hill, and 9% Petit Verdot from Chalk Hill. 6% of the wine was fermented in French oak barrels and aged in those same barrels, while the larger tank fermented portion would be aged for 22 months in French, hyrbrid, and American oak. The final ABV is 13.9%.

On the nose there's aromas of cassis, blackberries, black tea, dried tobacco, and mint. On the palate it's medium bodied with little spike of acidity perfect for food. The Merlot and Petite Verdot provide lushness and smoothness on the mouthfeel, making this a softer / sweeter tannined, more mellow and easy drinking Cabernet. There's flavors of cassis, pomegranate, dark chocolate, oak, and a little bit of licorice. This is a very enjoyable Cabernet for the $25 that it will cost you. And it’s pairing pretty darn good with these Rice Crispy Treats.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $25
Rating: 3.5/5 = Satisfying / 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, April 19, 2020

Mossback Chalk Hill Merlot 2017

Mossback Chalk Hill Merlot 2017

April is Matchbook Wine Company Month, with reviews focusing on their wine all month! To see all of my reviews by this winery for the last five years, check out my Matchbook label. To learn about their history, read my article "A Brief History of Matchbook Wine Company".

Mossback is the Sonoma label for Matchbook, and their 2017 Merlot is 85% Merlot from Chalk Hill and 15% Petit Verdot from Dunnigan Hills. It was aged for 22 months in in American oak, 27% new, and it has an ABV of 13.9%. The nose is just amazing with anise, cherries, cranberries, dark chocolate, olives, and a big ol' chunk of dirt. On the palate it's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel, a balanced acidity, and soft chalky tannin. All of those aromas return as flavors, and it finishes with long lasting cranberries and dark chocolate.

You know I'm a big fan of Merlot and this one is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! As Matchbook says themselves, it combines Old-World earthiness with New-World fruit, and I gotta say it's just enjoyable as all hell and a fantastic Merlot for the price.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $25
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.
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