Sunday, March 29, 2020

McIntyre Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2018

McIntyre Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2018

Holy Moly, this is my kind of Chardonnay! The 2018 McIntyre Chardonnay is out of Santa Lucia Highlands, which is in Monterey, which is in the Central Coast of California. The strongest aromas on the nose are ginger and banana and vanilla, followed by pineapple, cooked apple, and buttered biscuit. Uuuuuungh!!! When was the last time that I expressed my love for Chardonnay to you all? It's been too long. So, DAMN I LOVE CHARDONNAY! On the palate it's full bodied with a buttery mouthfeel and moderate acidity. There's flavors of pear juice, banana, vanilla, baking spices, and ginger. It finishes smooth and lush and eloquent, without a bit of tartness from the acidity and a bit of ginger heat. And, call me crazy, I even get a little white chocolate on the finish.

For $28 this is one hell of a Chard. It gives you everything that you expect in an oaked Chardonnay while not getting carried away with malo or oak, while both are still present. This should be a consistent case buy for Chardonnay fans who can drop the bucks, and I don't think I've ever said that about any other wine on this blog. I loved this wine. It's got solid Chardonnay expression with a great price for its excellent quality. 

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $28
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.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Ferllen Gran Reserva Malbec 2014


The color of the 2014 Ferllen Gran Reserva from Mendoza, Argentina is a dark cherry red. The nose is just amazing! There's aromas of plums, cranberries, roses, vanilla, dark chocolate, sea salt, and sweet tobacco. This is another one of those wines that you could smell all night without drinking and be happy. On the palate it's medium bodied with a silky smooth mouthfeel and moderate tannin. There's flavors of plums, cranberries, table grapes, dark chocolate, black table pepper, and mustard seed. Then it finishes with plums and leather and tobacco.

Oh hell yeah! From my first sniff to my last sip I loved every aspect of this wine. Seriously, I fell in love. It's just sooooo gooooood! I expected it to be double the price that it is when I took a look at what it would cost your wallet, and for $30 this is A GODDAMN STEAL. Dude... amazing.

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

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

Monday, March 23, 2020

Joey Casco is on The Sommeliers Choice Awards "Top Wine Influencers In 2020 You Need to Pay Attention To"

Once again I've been included in the Sommeliers Choice Awards "Top Wine Influencers You Need to Pay Attention To". WOOHOO!!! :)

As you've seen, I've only been posting a few times a week this year instead of almost every day like last year. My reviews are shorter and more to the point, and I've been putting far less effort in obtaining website traffic. But it's so nice to know that TheWineStalker hasn't lost relevance, and in the eyes of the SCA still deserves to be followed and paid attention to.

Thanks, guys! I am honored to be recognized among all these other great influencers! I'm mentioned on the same list as Jancis Robinson... AGAIN. Wow!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Ferllen Reserve Malbec 2017


The 2017 Reserve Malbec from Ferllen is from a Single Vineyard located in Los Chacayes, Uco Valley, Mendoza. Fermentation took place with 100% indigenous yeasts, then 100% of it spends 18 months in used French barrels. The color of the wine is a beautiful cherry red. There's granite minerality over aromas of blackberries, plums, vanilla, a bit of sour milk (in not a bad way), and sweet spices. On the palate it's got a smooth mouthfeel with low moderate acidity and sweet but tightly grained tannin. There's flavors of blackberries, plums, dark chocolate, green peppers, and vanilla. Then it finishes hot with ethanol heat and tannin, with flavors of blackberries and vanilla.

This is darn good Malbec for the price! And it paired excellently well with Filet Mignon!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $19
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, March 19, 2020

Dominio Fournier Reserva Ribera del Duero 2014

Dominio Fournier Reserva Ribero del Duero 2014

Ah yes! Ribera del Duero, Spain! One of my favorite red wine regions in the whole world! And I've got two wine from there by Dominio Fournier lined up! First it was their 2016 Crianza and then now I'm on to their 2014 Reserva.

The 2014 Reserva is also from the Finca El Pinar vineyard like the 2016 Crianza, which sits on the fluvial soil of the Duero River. Also like the 2016 Crianza, t's 100% Tinta del Pais, which you may know better as Tempranillo. Pre-fermentation maceration was carried out cold, with dry ice, so as to extract high levels of color and sweet tannins prior to alcoholic fermentation. That alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks, and it spent 25 days on skin contact before being pressed. After that, it went through malolactic fermentation and saw 18 months in French oak barrels.

The color of the wine is a cherry red. On the nose there's wonderful earth, leather, chocolate and vanilla with dark fruit aromas like blackberries and black cherries. On the palate it's medium bodied with low acidity, and a LOT of minerality from tight tannin that gives it a chalky mouthfeel. All of the aromas return as flavors, and then it finishes tight and chalky with blackberries and vanilla.

Even at six years old this wine could use some more aging in the bottle to mellow the tannin out, but even if you open it right now it's worth the $50 you'll spend. It's fantastic, and I could a big ol' ribeye right about now to go with it.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $50
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.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dominio Fournier Ribero del Duero Crianza 2016


Ah yes! Ribera del Duero, Spain! One of my favorite red wine regions in the whole world! And I've got two wine from there by Dominio Fournier lined up for today and this coming Thursday! First it's their 2016 Crianza and then it will be their 2014 Reserva.

The 2016 Crianza is from the Finca El Pinar vineyard, which sits on the fluvial soil of the Duero River. It's 100% Tinta del Pais, which you may know better as Tempranillo. That grape goes my so many different names in its native country of Spain that it will make your head spin. The wine was fermented in both stainless steel and wooden vats, although I don't know what percentage of the wine was fermented in each one. It went through malolactic fermentation in oak barrels, and saw 12 months total aging in 80% French and 20% American oak barrels. It has an ABV of 14.5%.

The color of the wine is cherry red. On the nose there's black cherries, blackberries, black olives, licorice, vanilla, a big old plank of wood, and ethanol fumes. This nose is just awesome! On the palate it's medium bodied with tight chalky tannins and a bit of a tart acidity. There's flavors of black cherries, blackberries, green pepper, herbs, and clay. Then it finishes astringent with black cherries, black tea, and even a little bit of Smarties candy.

Damn, that's good. Structured and strong but still complex with intricacies. I'm going to let the rest of the bottle sit, and I can't wait to see how it turns out tomorrow.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $30
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.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Hess Select Rosé 2019


This is the third and final wine on this round of Hess reviews, and we're going pink!

The 2019 Hess Select Rosé is 100% Pinot Noir from several California appellations, fermented in stainless steel, and has a 13.5% ABV. It's got a beautiful and vibrant pink color, a medium body, and a balanced acidity that keeps things fruity without getting tart. There's a cloud of floralness hovering over aromas and flavors of strawberries, cherries, and peaches. Then it finishes just as juicy as the midpalate. 

This is a lipsmacking, juice-forward Rosé that you can cradle and enjoy all night and not be tempted by crisp acidity to toss down your gullet too quick. I really liked it, and for the price I have got to give it a Recommendation.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $12
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.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Hess Select Pinot Gris 2019


This is the second wine of three by Hess that I'm in the midst of reviewing right now, and I've saved the best for a Sunday. Ever since I first had their Pinot Gris I've been ranting and raving about it. I mean, it's just awesome. And this is the latest vintage.

The 2019 Pinot Gris was fermented in stainless steel to make it all about lively fresh fruit, and it underwent lees stirring to kick some stone fruit up in there. On the nose there's pears and nectarines and citrus. See? All about that lively fresh fruit. One the palate it's medium bodied with an acidity that is present but doesn't get carried away. Lemon zest climbs into the action on the flavors while pears, nectarines, and citrus remain involved. Then it finishes crisp with lemon zest and nectarines.

This is anything but your boring mid-priced PG. It's got the character to sit there and slowly savor all night, but it's also got the spunk to use as a crisp refresher that you toss down your gullet. I love this stuff.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $12
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.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Hess Select Central Coast Pinot Noir 2018

Hess Select Central Coast Pinot Noir 2018

It was just in January that Hess had a few reviews on the blog and they're back again for three more, and this time they're all from their Select selection.

I'm starting off with their 2018 Central Coast Pinot Noir. It's 100% Pinot Noir from the 667 and Pommard clones. The Sarmento Vineyard in Santa Lucia Highlands is "featured" in this vintage, although I'm not entirely sure what that means exactly. Is it actually single vineyard or just mostly from that vineyard? The color of the wine is a luminous garnet. The aroma shows raspberries, plums, vanilla, clove, and a little touch of mint. On the palate it's light to medium bodied with a present but tamed acidity, soft tannin, and a gritty earthiness among the aroma descriptors. Then it finishes silky and lip-smacking.

It's a solid Pinot Noir and I enjoyed drinking it, but for a $20 Pinot Noir you can definitely do much better. That said, I don't think you would be disappointed in the purchase.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (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, March 1, 2020

Viña Zorzal Graciano 2016, March Wine Pick


Graciano is pretty much the Spanish alternative to Pinot Noir and it's become one of my favorite underrated varietals. Viña Zorzal's Graciano is not only an affordable one but it also offers crazy quality for the price. I mean, this stuff is poured by the glass at Michelin star restaurants, for crying out loud. It's medium bodied with tightly grained tannins that soften up beautifully upon airing out, and it's got a bit of a tart acidity that makes for an excellent food wine. There's aromas and flavors of juicy black cherries, blueberries, bitter dark chocolate, cedar, and a concrete minerality. It's just one of the best bang-for-your-buck bottles out there, and you should not pass up the opportunity to snatch this up if you can.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $12
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

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