2009 Dos Minas Malbec

2009 Dos Minas MalbecPrice: $11.99 @ K&L Wines imported by Michael Skurnik Wines

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “Plain and simple, this is delicious, organic malbec, perhaps the best $12 and under version we’ve tasted all year. It is produced from 15 year-old vines in sandy, rocky clay in the high (5,500 feet plus) elevations of Cafayate, Argentina. A brief four month elevage in used French oak helps to add some texture without taking away from the wonderful fruit. Rich dark fruit aromas lead to a seriously structured palate, full of dark plum fruit and a refreshingly dry, serious quality.”

What I Think:

(14%) Ok, I’ll admit it! When I first bought this one I thought I was trying a wine from El Calafate near Patagonia rather than Cafayate in Salta. Nonetheless still interesting as this one is grown at 5,500+ feet in altitude. Nice mouthfeel here with rough, rocky acidity around the edges protecting a core of plush dark fruits that emerges to coat the mid-palate before velvety, tangy tannins kick in (along with a touch of heat) on a lasting, pepper streaked finish. Delicious! Best Malbec I’ve had in ages. I really like the rocky, earthy balance added to the as expected lush, rich Malbec fruit. This one also gives me the sense it can age. An almost unbelievable value at $12. I’ve already bought more!

Rating: Wow!

2007 Core White

2007 Core WhitePrice: $18.00 @ Core Wine

What They Said:

Per Core Wine “70% Grenache Blanc, 29% Roussanne and 1% Marsanne. 11 months in a combination of stainless steel and older barrels. Beautiful balance of white flowers, stone fruit, apples and pears. This wine has developed excellent complexity with added bottle age. You’ll love this amazing wine at an amazing price.”

What I Think:

(14.5%) 70% Grenache Blanc, 29% Roussanne, 1% Marsanne – Honeyed gold in the glass with a nice, rich floral spiced nose. Like liquid nectar on the palate. Great, lush, creamy mouthfeel here. I absolutely love the texture of this wine. Loaded with white nectarines and tart apricot notes. From there a nice acidity emerges leading to a dry, refreshing finish that lingers nicely. A beautiful blend that makes me want to buy more; especially at the $12 I paid…

Wine Geek Notes: Unfiltered (sediment on finish), aged in stainless steel and older barrels, 300 cases made

Rating: Wow!

And as a bonus round…The Core Red Blend is a winner as well. My brief notes read “spiced cherry pie flavors that lead to meaty mid-palate with nice acidity. Finish is brambly and bit earthy (while showing some heat). An easy going, food friendly, enjoyable wine.”

2010 Quady North Pistoleta

Price: $19.00 @ Quady North

What They Said:

2010 Quady North PistoletaPer Wine Enthusiast “This intense, concentrated blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne combines vivid floral aromas with almost candied citrus fruit. It’s seductive and lengthy, with a gamut of scents and flavors from perfume to pastry.” P.G. (10/1/2011) — 92

What I Think:

(12.5%) 33% Roussanne, 33% Marsane, 33% Viognier – I picked this up this white Rhone blend while swinging through the Applegate Valley late this summer. In talking with the winemaker Herb Quady this one is made for the Dutch markets so relatively hard to come by stateside which sure is a shame.

Great nose, Great mouthfeel. Rich with lush (forward) tropical fruits and banana with floral overtones and a soft acidity. Loads of tertiary action (citrus, melon, mineral and more) keep you intrigued before a soft, spiced finish that lingers on nicely. Nothing subdued here. It is a white that keeps the palate rocking and you are thankful for it. I enjoyed this one far more than the words above are letting on…

Rating: Wow!

2005 Sandler Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

In my ode to 2012 I paid tribute to my greatest (yes there are many) shortcoming as a writer. That being clamming up when it comes to sharing something I really enjoy; like this wine. I fear I can’t convey my sense of excitement. Or sometimes convince myself that I want to provide more context for the overall story (like a bio on winemaker Ed Kurtzman) which I never have time to put together (and it has usually already been done). But not this year, for better or worse I’m just going to get these stories out there and build from there. So let’s get this started…

2005 Sandler Sonoma Coast Pinot NoirPrice: $30.00 direct from Sandler Wine Company

What They Said:

Per Weimax “We like his 2005 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. You can’t mistake this for anything other than Pinot Noir. The wine is medium garnet in color and has classic strawberry and cherry-like fruit notes. There’s a touch of a vanillin note in the back. It’s light and aromatic, flavorful and smooth. We suggest cooling it to cellar temperature. It’s not a wine intended for cellaring, so drinking it this year or next is ideal.”

What I Think:

(14.5%) A Pinot made in a bigger style but while retaining its elegance. Nice dark cherry fruit with a touch of cranberry and a “singing” acidity that brings it all together. While the fruit remains this one turns earthy and spicy on a long finish. Intense but not overpowering; a wine that speaks to me. My only regret is that this is my last bottle. Wish I had a few more around. Let that serve as a note for me to start ordering regularly…

Rating: Wow!

2006 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs

2006 Schramsberg Blanc de Noir Sparkling WinePrice: $29.99 @ Friend/Gift

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines: 90 points and 1 Puff from the Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine: “90% Pinot Noir; 10% Chardonnay. A full dose of creamy yeast backed up by light, directly cherryish notes and by hints of burnt paper and baked brioche brands this wine as the real thing. It is explosively bubbled and is bristling with acidity and becomes a trifle hard and austere, yet it counters that minor bother with a minerally streak and a long finish.” (Volume 34 Issue 1: November 2009) And, according to Wine Spectator: “Enticing aromas of lemon tart and raspberry lead to creamy, decadent baked pear, toasty spice and crème brulee flavors. Drink now through 2013.”

What I Think:

(13.8%) 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay – A long time favorite this one did not disappoint. Yeasty nose with crisp peach notes. A nice, creamy mousse greets you on a dry palate with green apple and lime flavors. Hints of white raspberry add a tad of sweetness to the acidity on a crisp, toasty, bubbly finish that lasts nicely. Load up on this one if you can!

Rating: Wow!

2009 Hermann Wiemer Dry Riesling

2009 Hermann Wiemer Dry RieslingPrice: $14.99 @ Hermann Wiemer

What They Said:

Per Hermann Wiemer (pdf) “The dry style Riesling is the signature of Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard. Exceptional grapes from each of our three vineyard locations come together to create this mouth-watering wine. This wine is fermented in small lots to ensure quality and then blended to perfection to create an elegant and balanced wine. With each vintage, we seek to match the appropriate level of fruit flavor with refreshing crispness that lets the true qualities of the Riesling grape shine through. Hints of lime and orange blossom on the nose set the stage for a succulent palate of apricot and grapefruit. Our trademark minerality creates a beautiful texture that carries into a long, lingering finish.

What I Think:

(11.5%) Apple, floral blossoms with lemon and lime on the nose. The palate starts with bright tangerine, lemon flavors followed by crisp green apple notes on a backbone of crushed rock. A firm mineral, citrusy acidity lasts through to the finish which is long and lingering. A beauty, so refreshing and just the slightest hint sweet (0.9% RS) to add a pleasant richness to the palate. Mouthwatering to the last drop which you are sad to see go. This one is worthy of a case buy if I can find it. Thanks to @wineingwoman for sending this one my way!

Rating: Wow!

How about you? Had a wine from New York? If so what did you think?

2009 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon

2009 Domaine de la Noblaie ChinonPrice: $14.99 @ K&L Wines imported by David Headrick Selections

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “My new house red! This is produced all in stainless and solely from Cabernet Franc which is grown on a limestone slope. It has a rich ruby color and excellent structure. A nice fruity style of Chinon, this value-priced wine has a subtle peppery spice, ripe dark berries, soft chalky mineral character that really makes the fruit core come to life and express the fantastic character of Cabernet Franc. There are rich tannins on the finish and a juicy freshness throughout. I swear to you that you can actually taste the fresh glow of the summertime sun right in this bottle. Absolutely stellar while enjoying a burger right off the grill or even with a simple thin crust pizza. Just a pure, unadulterated wine meant to be enjoyed while moving along the game board of life.”

What I Think:

(13%) 100% Cabernet Franc – Bright red berries with juicy dark currant flavors. Nice acidity, nice crushed stone mineral with a smoky, spicy finish that lingers on warmly. Nice green, herbal streak throughout. Delicious! Chinon is definitely an under looked star in the (QPR) value world! Time to pop my 2004 to make sure it delivers. Once confirmed I’ll load a case of this one into the cellar…

Wine Geek Notes: Produced in all stainless. Grown on a limestone slope

Rating: Wow!

2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant

2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare VolantPrice: $35.00 @ Bonny Doon Vineyard*

What They Said:

Per Bonny Doon Vineyard “Bright ruby red with a pale purplish rim. Bright cherry aromas with a bit of spice, menthol, and black pepper. On the palate, fresh cherry, currant, and red bramble fruit. Peppery and lively with good acidity around an earthy, savory core.”

What I Think:

(14.4%) 60% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre, 4% Cinsault – Beautiful, layered nose of earthy, berry fruit, herbs and spice. Dark and lush with ripe blueberry flavors and a lot of them on the palate. That said this one isn’t jammy as it has a nice acidity to keep it honest. Slightly tart (yet barrelly sweet and creamy) with dry herbs and soft, lingering tannins on a warm, comforting finish. Nice character and layers of flavor throughout with meaty, herbal, mineral and spice components making appearances. Easily drinkable now and appears ready to age effortlessly. Pair it with steak or the hearty meal of your choice. Perhaps Randall said it best: “the wine is powerful, yet still retains a fair elegance and grace”. A wine I look forward to drinking more of!

Wine Geek Notes: 2,732 cases produced.

Rating: Wow!

*While I did receive a bottle of this wine as a sample I’ve purchased previous versions of this with my very own money and plan on doing so again…

2006 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant

Price: $35.00 @ Bonny Doon Vineyard

What They Said:

2006 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare VolantPer Bonny Doon Vineyard (pdf) “This cuvée, the 22nd edition of Le Cigare Volant a blend of syrah, grenache, cinsault with just a soupçon of mourvèdre and carignane, make for a bright and wonderfully gamey wine. Very youthful with toasty notes of cherry, birch, sassafras and pomegranate. Pair this racey red with a bloomsdale spinach salad with sherry vinaigrette garnished with carpaccio of tuna or beef. Speaking of beef, a rare steak in any number of variations (tri-tip, hanger, New York, filet) would be quite delish. But more exotic fare such as chicken tikka masala or Tandoori lamb chops will also work wonderfully well. While the zesty ’06 is excellent right now, decanting or aging it for 2-3 more years would be all to the good.”

What I Think:

(13.3%) 43.6% Syrah, 43.5% Grenache, 11.7% Cinsault, 1.1% Mourvedre and 0.1% Carignane – The blend percentage as only Randall and crew would tell it this is my first go round with the Le Cigare Volant. Dark red in color with earthy red fruits, spice and almost a hint sweet on a savory nose. Starts rich and lively on a meaty, chewy palate that shows brambly berry fruit. From there it turns tart, earthy and mineral driven before drying out on a peppery finish where the fruit reemerges before giving way to lingering, lip smacking tannins. Nice tannins and structure this is a wine drinks well now but definitely has a brighter future ahead of it. Thankfully I already have one more on hand… (3,300 cases made)

Rating: Wow!

2008 Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon Margarita Vineyard

In honor of today being #CabernetDay (if you are interested in participating you can find details here) I thought I might share a few of my favorites starting with this stunner that “Jon Bonne turned me onto late last year. Broadside is a partnership of Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars and Brian Terrizzi of Giornata that focuses on making artisanal wines with a natural approach that are priced for people to drink, not collect. And based on my experience I must say they are doing a fine job of it (perhaps except that I want to drink and collect this one…)

Price: $18.99 @ Cheese Plus

What They Said:

2008 Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon Margarita VineyardPer Jon Bonne “The new release of Chris Brockway’s naturally fermented Cabernet from this high-elevation Paso site continues a stellar run. Pretty cassis and cured tobacco, with juicy bramble fruit. Try finding similar quality California Cab for the price.”

What I Think:

(14.1%) 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Verdot – Made with a super non-intervention philosophy you know you are on to something different as soon as this hits your tongue. Lively and pure this one starts with an aggressive flavor profile from the get go showing bright cherries and juicy brambly berries on a firm mineral backbone. These dry out to show tea leave flavors on a mid-palate that features a cola (along with a bit of caramel) tinged acidity leading to grippy, chewy tannins on a smooth, lingering finish. What can I say? I’m smitten. I will certainly be buying again.

Rating: Wow! (that said not your typical California Cabernet, though I wish it were, with only 2% new oak so approach with an open mind)

How about you? What are you drinking for #CabernetDay?