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

Vinedo de los Vientos Alcyone Tannat NV

Vinedo de los Vientos Alcyone Tannat NV

I enjoyed this red dessert wine from Uruguay at a local restaurant where the owner described it as ‘liquid raisinettes’. That quirky description might not fit in most wine reviews, but it was very much on par, and I opted to share it.

In the glass, this wine from Uruguay is deep purplish red with a bit of a syrupy consistency. On the nose, there are aromas of dark berries laced with pumpkin pie spices. In the mouth, the flavors are of dark raspberry and blackberries, chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla.

Style: Red Dessert Wine

Grape Type(s): Tannat

Region: Atlantida, Canelones, Uruguay

Price: $23 (500ml)

2008 7 Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard 7 & 8

2008 7 Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard 7 & 8

Viscous inky purple in the glass – just really pretty. Big, bold dark berry aromas jumping out of the glass. In the mouth, this Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is jammy with intense blackberry / grape flavors and black licorice and mocha notes. Pleasant dry, tannic finish. Dinner in a glass.

94 Points – Robert Parker.

Pairings:  Beef. Cheese fondue.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Napa Valley, CA, USA

Price: $70

2009 Ravines Wine Cellars Pinot Noir

2009 Ravines Wine Cellars Pinot Noir

The 2009 Ravines Wine Cellars Pinot Noir is a beautiful ruby in the glass. The nose is of red berries and cherries. In the mouth, the ripe cherries continue with some earthy, smoky notes with underlying oak from the French oak barrels the wine sees.  Soft tannins and pleasant velvety texture. Very Burgundian in style.

Not sure there are American Pinot Noirs, outside of some Russian River wines, that are better than this little gem.

Pairings:  Salmon, pork, roast chicken or duck. Very food-friendly wine.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Finger Lakes, NY, USA

Price: $23

1994 Chateau Troplong Mondot Saint Emilion Grand Cru

1994 Chateau Troplong Mondot Saint Emilion Grand Cru

A friend shared this special bottle at a recent dinner and it was just gorgeous.

In the glass, it is deep red with amazing legs. On the nose, this French Bordeaux is earthy with spiced notes. In the mouth, it is silky with rich plummy fruit. It is perfectly-balanced with fine tannins and stone fruit sweetness that is velvety and lasts forever.

Pairings:  Duck, beef, lamb.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Bordeaux Blend – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Region: Bordeaux, France

Price: $69

2009 Albert Bichot Pinot Noir Vielles Vignes

2009 Albert Bichot Pinot Noir Vielles Vignes

I had this wine in Quebec at an outdoor party where it was paired with Dad’s Quebec Smoked Meat Sandwiches.

In the glass, this nicely-balanced wine is a medium red. The ripe cherry nose is fruity and bright. In the mouth, there is a nice level of acidity and cherries mix with strawberries on this light-medium bodied French Pinot Noir.

Pairings:  Salmon, pork, roast chicken or duck. Pairs well with most food.

Style: Red

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Burgundy, France

Price: $15

2011 Carrelot des Amants Côtes du Brulhois Rosé

2011 Carrelot des Amants Côtes du Brulhois Rosé

I had this wine in Quebec at an outdoor party and it was an ideal setting for it. Great as an aperitif on a warm summer day.

In the glass, it is a deep salmon color. The strawberry nose is light and mildly floral. In the mouth, the strawberry carries through with some raspberry and a nice level of acidity. Crisp and refreshing.

Pairings:  Salad, poached salmon, seafood pasta with a light sauce. Served as an aperitif.

Style: Rosé

Grape Type(s): Merlot 40%, Cabernet Franc 30%, Malbec 30%

Region: South-West Region, France

Price: $12