2010 Quintodecimo Giallo d’Arles

2010 Quintodecimo Giallo d’Arles

2010 Quintodecimo Giallo d'ArlesGolden straw color in the glass, this Italian white wine offers intense floral aromas and freshly-baked bread notes. This full-bodied Greco Bianco benefits from seeing some French oak and tastes of ripe peach and apricot. Long finish with nice balance and acidity.

The Sommelier at Marea suggested this wine to our party having both fish and meat and it was a great choice.

Pairings: Fish, seafood, poached chicken.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Greco Bianco

Region: Campania, Italy

Price: $40

1984 Chateau Gruaud Larose

1984 Chateau Gruaud Larose

1984 Chateau Gruaud LaroseMy dad poured this wine at Christmas to pair with rare prime rib au jus and it was superb.

In the glass, this Bordeaux blend is brick red. On the nose, it has barnyard and earthy aromas that I sniffed for quite a while before moving on to a sip. In the mouth, the 1984 Chateau Gruaud Larose has stone fruit, leathery, mushroomy and mossy flavors. The tannins are still present, but after a bit of time in the glass, the wine became rounder, softer but still pretty great albeit perhaps a bit past its prime.

Pairings: Beef, French onion soup.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Bordeaux blend – Cabernet Sauvignon: 57% / Merlot: 31% / Cabernet Franc: 8% / Petit Verdot: 2% / Malbec: 2%.

Region: Bordeaux, France

Price: $120

2008 Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre

2008 Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre

In the glass, this affordable Italian wine is inky red. On the nose, it is bold with ripe cherries and dried cranberry aromas. Just hard to stop sniffing in order to take a sip.

In the mouth, it has blackberry and dried fig flavors with licorice and leathery notes. The 2008 Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre has great balance and nice level of acidity. Finish is long and spicy.

90 points Wine Spectator.

Pairings: Pasta with red sauce, deeply-roasted meats, cheese course.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Sangiovese

Region: Valpolicella, Italy

Price: $17

10 Thanksgiving Wines Under $25

More wine is purchased by Americans for Thanksgiving dinner than for any other holiday. White? Red? There is no simple answer when it comes to what one should serve with the big, bold flavors of Thanksgiving. Following are some affordable American wine recommendations for Turkey Day.

  • 2011 Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling (Finger Lakes, New York): $12 – Pear and pineapple flavors with a trace of sweetness and a nice level of acidity.
  • 2010 Hahn Winery Pinot Noir Monterey (Monterey, California): $14 – Aromas of ripe raspberries and cherries, rich with raspberry preserves with notes of pumpkin pie spice flavors.
  • 2008 Thomas Fogarty Gewürtztraminer (Monterey County, California): $14 – Tropical fruit aromas and flavors of clementine, papaya and lychee.
  • Chateau Frank Celebre (Finger Lakes, New York): $20 – Cremant-style sparkling wine with an Asian pear flavor and long, dry finish.
  • 2010 Garnet Carneros Pinot Noir (Carneros, California): $20 – Vibrant floral and strawberry aromas with earthy notes. Bright cherry flavors with slightly woodsy undertones.
  • 2010 Heart and Hands Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes, New York): $21 – Aromas of red berries, flavors of ripe cherries on a beautifully-balanced wine.
  • Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut (Anderson Valley, California): $22 – Rich and a little oaky sparkling wine with aromas of Asian apple and flavors of ripe, juicy pear and nutty notes.
  • 2007 Paumanok Merlot (North Fork, New York): $24 – Ripe crushed strawberry aroma, dark red fruit flavors and a long finish.
  • 2011 Chateau Montelena Potter Valley Riesling (Potter Valley, California): $25 – Juicy pear, honey notes, long and spicy finish.
  • Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé (Napa Valley, California): $25 – Pale pink with a light strawberry aroma and juicy fruit flavors.

Whatever you chose to pour for Thanksgiving, enjoy it with family and friends.

Veronique

2007 Weingut von Hovel Oberemmeler Hutte Riesling Spatlese

2007 Weingut von Hovel Oberemmeler Hutte Riesling Spatlese

Had the pleasure of sampling this outstanding wine paired with butternut squash risotto recently. In the glass, it is honey yellow and leggy.

On the nose, it is bold and offers peach, clementine and tropical fruit flavors.

In the mouth, it has a chewy texture and Asian pear and Meyer lemon flavors with a superb balance and nice level of acidity. Finish is long and honeyed.

91 points Wine Spectator.

Pairings: Spicy dishes, pork.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Riesling

Region: Saar, Germany

Price: $18

Top 10 Spooky Halloween Wines

Top 10 Spooky Halloween Wines

Photo by Michael David Winery

Know all of you will need a Halloween-appropriate wine after the trick-or-treating is over!

Here are ten spooky Halloween wines to uncork on October 31st:

  1. 2010 Charles Smith The Velvet Devil Merlot ($12) – Columbia Valley, Washington.
  2. 2009 Bogle Phantom ($14) – Yolo County, California.
  3. 2008 7 Deadly Zins ($15) – Central Valley, California.
  4. 2005 Dracula Syrah ($16) – Paso Robles, California.
  5. 2010 Ghost Hill Cellars “The Spirit of Pinot Noir” Dry Rosé ($18) – Willamette Valley, Oregon.
  6. Ash Hollow Legends 2009 Headless Red ($18) – Walla Walla Valley, Washington.
  7. 2009 Owen Roe Sinister Hand ($28) – Columbia Valley, Washington.
  8. 2009 Twisted Oaks River of Skulls ($35) – Calaveras County, California.
  9. 2007 Slaughterhouse Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon ($50) – Napa Valley, California.
  10. 2009 Black Cat Cabernet Sauvignon ($55) – Napa Valley, California.

Have a ghoolishly great day!

Bollinger Special Cuvee

Bollinger Special Cuvee

Bought two bottles of this Champagne last weekend and loved the first one. I popped the second one last night’s for #champagneday, a virtual tasting of all things Champagne.

This Champagne is golden in the glass with tons of tiny bubbles. On the nose, the Bollinger Special Cuvee offers Asian apple and buttered toast notes. In the mouth, it is creamy, rich, well-balanced with a great level of acidity. There are notes of Meyer lemon, ripe pear and toasted almonds. Very nice Champagne showing better than many at twice that price.

93 points Wine Spectator.

Pairings:  Smoked salmon, caviar, poached chicken, lobster, risotto.

Style: Champagne / Sparkling Wine

Grape Type(s): 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier.

Region: Champagne, France

Price: $55

2008 Jeff Gordon Cellars Napa Valley Joie De Vivre

2008 Jeff Gordon Cellars Napa Valley Joie De Vivre

I participated in a virtual tasting last night hosted by Jeff Gordon Cellars featuring its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah blend named Joie De Vivre. For those of you who have not taken part in a social media wine tasting, this is what it entails:

  1. Buy a bottle of the themed wine, in this case, 2008 Jeff Gordon Cellars Joie De Vivre.
  2. Gather with friends to share the experience or just put your JPs on and get in front of the computer.
  3. Sip and share your thoughts about the wine with other tasters from around the world. Cool no?

Back to the wine. The Cabernet is from Corbett Vineyards Spring Mountain, the Merlot from Solari Vineyard Calistoga and the Syrah from Page Nord Vineyard Yountville. Only 254 cases were produced, so get your thirsty hands on a bottle if you want to try it.

In the glass, it is dark purple and has me decanting half the bottle for later comparison. The nose is intense with aromas of ripe raspberry and juicy cherry exploding out of the glass. Ripe cherry, juicy stone fruit and dark berries flavors with a spice and smokey finish. The decanted wine has a lovely earthy flavor and the young tannins round up for a smooth mouthful.

Pairings:  Grilled beef, cured meats and cheese platter, pasta with red sauce.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah blend

Region: Napa Valley, California, USA

Price: $61

I am grateful to have been invited to sample this celebrity wine that, as seldom happens, turns out to be quite great.

For additional information about Jeff Gordon Cellars and its wines, visit: www.jeffgordonwine.com.

Cheers, Veronique

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

2008 Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Pinot Noir

2008 Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Pinot Noir

Brilliant cherry color in the glass. Big bright nose of ripe red berries. This medium-bodied Carneros Pinot Noir is classic California Pinot. Cherry and red berries explode out of the glass. Earthy, mushroom notes that linger on the finish. Velvety in the mouth. Just a really nice 100% organic Pinot, especially at this price point.

Pairings:  Duck, beef, lamb, roast chicken.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Carneros, California, USA

Price: $40

2009 Poggio alle Sughere Morellino di Scansano

2009 Poggio alle Sughere Morellino di Scansano

This Italian wine is dark purple in the glass. It offers aromas of dark, ripe cherries and Chinese five spice and flavors of stone fruit and dark berries with hints of leather. Soft tannins with a nice level of acidity.

Lovers of Chianti will enjoy this affordable Sangiovese.

Pairings:  Grilled beef, cured meats and cheese platter, pasta with red sauce.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Sangiovese (90%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%)

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Price: $20