2007 August Briggs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 August Briggs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 August Briggs Cabernet SauvignonOpaque and deep red in the glass, this big-bodied California Cabernet Sauvignon offers dark Bing cherry and mocha aromas and a big, rich mouthful of ripe dark berries with toasty, oaky notes. The finish goes on forever with a bit of cracked pepper that lingers on the tongue.

Just a delicious wine.

Pairings: Short ribs, grilled beef or lamb.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Napa Valley, California, USA

Price: $50

2010 DEADBOLT Winemakers Blend

2010 DEADBOLT Winemakers Blend

DeadBoltI had the pleasure to sip this really interesting wine alongside a grilled rib eye steak and absolutely loved it. The combination of lightly oaky, tannic Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the big bold flavors of Zin and the dark, ripe fruity, round flavors of Syrah and Petite Syrah produce a wine that satisfied my love for a big, beefy wine while showing finesse and elegance.

Chief Winemaker, Philip Laffer, says in a statement that “With DEADBOLT, we have created a richly flavored and approachable red wine which is quintessentially Californian. We are delighted with the final outcome”. Indeed he should be.

The wine is available is a limited number of states (California, Nevada, Illinois, Massachusetts and Colorado).

Pairings: Grilled beef or lamb, white cheddar macaroni and cheese.

Style: Red Wine.

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

Region: California, USA.

Price: $15.99.

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

2007 Rosenblum Cellars Gallagher Reserve Black Muscat

2007 Rosenblum Cellars Gallagher Reserve Black Muscat

2007 Rosenblum Cellars Gallagher Reserve Black MuscatWhat a fun wine. Sampled it as a dessert pairing at The Ryland Inn with chocolate cake and really enjoyed the true ‘grapy’ flavors. Unctuous yet not syrupy, this 100% Muscat dessert wine isn’t overly-sweet, offers nice chocolaty and exotic spices notes and has a nice level of acidity.

Pairings: Chocolate anything.

Style: Dessert Wine

Grape Type(s): Muscat

Region: Napa, California, USA

Price: $25

2007 Tolaini Al Passo Toscana

2007 Tolaini Al Passo Toscana

2007 Tolaini Al Passo ToscanaBrick red in the glass, this Italian red wine offers intense aromas of cherries, fresh dirt, leather and mocha. This full-bodied Super Tuscan tastes of ripe dark berries, anise and chocolate and offers a silky mouth feel. Long, spiced finish with light tannins.

Pairings: Grilled beef or lamb, sautéed mushrooms.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Super Tuscan Blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Price: $25

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!