2009 Villa Puccini Toscana

2009 Villa Puccini Toscana

2009 Villa Puccini Toscana$10 Sangiovese that’s actually good – yes, it’s possible. Medium-bodied Italian wine with a great plum nose. Fruit-forward, rich flavors. Super table wine.

Pairings: Pasta with red sauce, macaroni and cheese, roasts

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Price: $10

2000 Seavey Vineyard Caravina Cabernet Sauvignon

2000 Seavey Vineyard Caravina Cabernet Sauvignon

2000 Caravina Napa ValleyI uncorked this wine that had been in my cellar the other and simply loved it. This Bordeaux-style wine offers earthy and stone-fruit aromas and a well-balanced, plummy-in-the-mouth Cabernet Sauvignon with all the finesse and elegance a California Cab should have.

Pairings: Grilled meats, pasta with Bolognese sauce, mild blue cheese

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Napa Valley, CA, USA

Price: $65

2008 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin

2008 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin

2008 Osoyoos Larose Le Grand VinMom brought this Canadian wine down with her when she came to visit. She served it with an Easter dinner of lamb and it was a nice pairing.

This Bordeaux-style blend is an intense, deep purple/red in the glass and offers aromas of ripe berries, mocha and chocolate. I expected big, bold flavors to come through based on the sheer color and aromas of this British Columbia wine but got a medium-bodied, roundish Merlot palate with a nice level of acidity and good fruit. Well-balanced with a pleasant, slightly spiced finish. One of the better Canadian reds I’ve had.

Pairings: Grilled meats, cheese course

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): 60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 3% Petit Verdot

Region: Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada

Price: $40

The Williams Selyem Evening

2007 Williams Selyem Pinot NoirEvery month, eight of us wine-minded friends visit a New Jersey BYOB restaurant for a wine-filled evening. It’s gotten to a point where each couple tries to outdo the others with not only top-notch wines, but also somewhat difficult-to-find bottles.

For last month’s dinner, I bought a bottle of 2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Central Coast from a reputable online wine seller. The wine came about 4 weeks prior to the scheduled dinner and it sat on my wine bar that whole time, staring at me, urging me to uncork it.

Well, I behaved and waited for the dinner party to uncork it, but was excited to show it off as Williams Selyem wines are top-rated, somewhat hard-to-buy wines that come close to perfection, in my opinion. After everyone sat at the table, my Twitter food and wine pal, Marty, and I unpacked our bottles at the same time and Marty had a 2011 Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel. What a coincidence, a very pleasant coincidence! We both laughed at our good fortune and truly enjoyed each bottle.

Here are my tasting notes for both bottles:

If you have an opportunity to sample any Williams Selyem wines, jump at the chance. Winemaker Bob Cabral is a genus.

Cheers,

Veronique

2011 Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel

2011 Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel

2011 Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard ZinfandelWas fortunate enough to have a friend bring this bottle of the 2011 Williams Selyem Papera Vineyard Zinfandel to a dinner party where I was able to sample it. What a big, bold, beautiful Zin.

The inky black color of the wine as it hit the glass was just gorgeous. The aromas of jammy dark berries with chocolaty notes were intoxicating. Who could pull away from this nose for a sip? Me, of course, but with difficulty. Ripe raspberry and blackberry flavors abound in the mouth along with fig jam and mocha undertones. Simply a big, concentrated and delicious mouthful.

Thanks Marty and Joan for sharing!

Pairings: Lamb, grilled beef or game, blue cheese

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Zinfandel

Region: Sonoma, CA, USA

Price: $70

2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Central Coast

2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Central Coast

2007 Williams Selyem Pinot NoirAs a huge Pinot Noir fan (and who isn’t?), I thought this 2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Central Coast was pretty outstanding. It’s not easy to find, and after buying through a reputable online seller, I was eager to sip it.

In the glass, it’s a beautiful, vibrant red color. The aromas are of dark raspberries and pumpkin pie spices with some floral notes. The palate offers big, ripe cherry flavors and that silky, velvety mouthfeel other Pinots wish they could attain. The finish is long and earthy.

Pairings: Duck, turkey, grilled chicken, any mushroom-centered dish

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Central Coast, CA, USA

Price: $75

2011 Zuani Vigne Collio Bianco

2011 Zuani Vigne Collio Bianco

2011 Zuani Vigne Collio BiancoI prepared a light vegetarian risotto and it was such a great match to this bright and fruity wine.

In the glass, this Italian white wine is vibrant yellow. A quick sniff offers fragrant fruity and wet stone aromas. The fruitiness continues on the palate with rich flavors of peach followed by a slightly honey-laced finish.

Pairings: Chicken, pork, light risotto

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Friulano, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio

Region: Fiuli, Italy

Price: $24

This wine was provided to me for sampling and I am adding to my repertoire as it is truly enjoyable.

2011 Castello di Amorosa Dolcino Gewurztraminer

2011 Castello di Amorosa Dolcino Gewurztraminer

2011 Castello di Amorosa DolcinoI just love Gewurztraminer. It’s right up there with Riesling as one of my favorite white varietals. The 2011 Castello di Amorosa Dolcino Gewurztraminer offers attractive nutty, spiced aromas with light floral notes. As soon as I took in the first sip, I knew I was going to be a fan. Big unctuous mouthfeel, rich, lightly honey-kissed sweetness, nice level of acidity make this an ideal wine for spicy foods or grilled fish.

Pairings: Thai or Vietnamese food, grilled fish

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Gewurztraminer

Region: Mendocino County, CA, USA

Price: $23

This wine was provided to me for sampling and I am adding to my repertoire as it is truly enjoyable.

2011 Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Pinot Bianco Weissburgunder

2011 Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Pinot Bianco Weissburgunder

2011 Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Pinot Bianco WeissburgunderMedium yellow in the glass, this Alto Adige Pinot Blanc offers a big noseful of Asian pear. The bright, fresh fruity flavors are of apples, pears and Meyer lemons. Nice level of acidity on the finish.

Perfect to serve summer party guests as they munch on light appetizers.

Pairings: Fish or served as an aperitif

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Blanc

Region: Alto Adige, Italy

Price: $16.99

This wine was provided to me for sampling and I am adding to my repertoire as it is truly enjoyable.

2010 Lucien Albrecht Riesling Réserve

2010 Lucien Albrecht Riesling Réserve

2010 Lucien Albrecht Riesling RéserveI love Riesling. Sweet, semi-dry, dry – it doesn’t matter, I enjoy it all. While I’m partial to German and Finger Lakes Riesling, there’s no denying that the Alsatians do it very well also.

Pale yellow in the glass, this Alsatian Riesling offers aromas of apple and pear. In the mouth, it’s not sweet at all and has Asian pear and floral flavors. Enjoyable dry finish.

Pairings: Shellfish, especially lobster

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Riesling

Region: Alsace, France

Price: $20

This wine was provided to me for sampling and I am adding to my repertoire as it is truly enjoyable.