Thursday, January 21, 2021

WIYG – A Cavalcade Of Wine Reviews

WIYG? That’s a question we are often asked. Here’s a look at what's in our glass.

What the heck is a cavalcade and what’s it doing in my wine blog? Well, if you must know, it is defined as a formal procession of people walking, on horseback, or riding in vehicles. Many years ago there was a variety TV show called Jackie Gleason’s Cavalcade of Stars. I never saw the show and my introduction is veering into the weeds quickly, so I’ll simply say that I’m proud to present a cavalcade of wine so that I can catch up on wines that we’ve tasted but haven’t yet been reviewed. So, ta da, here is the cavalcade…

Nadia 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Nadia 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard

Although we carefully cellar our wine, when you dip back 10 or more years, the quality can be hit or miss. With Nadia, it was a big hit. We love Napa Valley, but it is nice to explore Cabernet Sauvignon from other regions.

Keep up with the latest. Follow us on Instagram!

We were rewarded with a rich, rich, body. The wine has lovely notes of caramel and plum. This is a single vineyard Cab from Santa Barbera County, a wonderful – and less explored – part of California wine country.

2007 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel, Columbia Valley

Cavalcade of Wine Jan. 2021This is a wine from one of the coolest wineries around: Long Shadows. Long Shadows pairs international winemakers with the fantastic vineyards of Washington State. The winemaker of Sequel Syrah is John Duval, the former winemaker for Penfolds Grange in Australia.

We purchased two bottles, drinking one in 2013 and the last seven years later. Alas, the wine didn’t hold up. The wine is still broodingly dark, but the fruit has all but disappeared with some olive notes and faint blueberry left. Time to get a new vintage.

Winemaker Selection 2018 Pinot Noir, Hawkes Bay

This wine goes into the “why not” category. I picked this up for less than $8 at the Lidl grocery store. Hawkes Bay is perhaps New Zealand’s best known region for red wine. We weren’t expecting much based on the price, but were pleasantly surprised.

Never Miss A Beat – Follow Vino-Sphere On Facebook

The Winemaker Selection isn’t complex, but is varietally correct and quite satisfying. Notes of smoke and raspberry carry this medium-light bodied wine. Low price but super high QPR (quality price ratio).

Gran Corte 2015 Red Blend, Valle de Colchagua

This wine comes from the southern reach of Chile and sounded like a winner with a promising blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, and Syrah. Gran Corte, in Spanish, designates an assemblage of high quality wines. This wine weighs in at 15% ABV and the bottle has a bit of heft too.

This is another wine from Lidl and I thought I’d opt for quality by spending a few dollars more. This cost about $13. However, it was a bust. The wine was grapey, which is a funny thing to say about a product that is entirely made of grapes. It had no refined flavors – strictly one dimensional with weak bleary flavors.

Beaux Frères 2014 The Upper Terrace 2014 Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge

The Upper Terrace rocked it from first drop to last. The wine comes from the uber-cool Ribbon Ridge AVA, which is part of the beloved Willamette Valley AVA in Oregon. The wine is unfiltered, unfined and unparalleled. On the nose there are sour cherries. On the tongue there are earthy plum notes and black tea leaves. It has a divine, lush texture and finished with a touch of spice.

Beaux Frères was one of the earliest wineries in Oregon, founded in 1986 by Michael G. Etzel, and brother-in-law (Beaux Frères in French) wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr.

Cavalcade of Wines Part 2

El Viejo del Valle 2019 Chardonnay, Central Valley

El Viejo del Valle means Old Man of the Valley. This Chilean Chardonnay, with 1950s-style Chilean street graffiti on the label, was a sub -$10 buy on sale at Great Grapes in Cary. The wine, imported by the French company Boutinot, is unoaked with pure notes of apple and pear. It is lively with a crisp finish. Fruit for this 2019 vintage comes from the Central Valley and an old vines vineyard beneath a volcano.

Chilean wines represent great value. Many of the white grapes take on different flavor expressions in the unique Chilean climate.

Tenet 2014 The Pundit Syrah, Columbia Valley

With all the political fireworks, we’ve just about had our fill of pundits – except when it comes to The Pundit, a Syrah from Washington’s Columbia Valley. It’s a blend of 88% Syrah, 6% Grenache, 4% Mourvedre,  and 2% Viognier.

We paired it with Beef Bourguignon and the red cherry, blackberry and earth undertones of the wine melded beautifully with the dish. The label art is captivating, so much so you’ll feel you’re being watched. It explodes with flavor and is refined by aging in French oak and concrete. A true beauty.

Cavalcade out!

No comments: