WSR Wine Blog

Wine tasting reviews, trips and stuff

WSR – February – Melbec’s – Brinkerhoffs

A very good and interesting tasting of highend Melbec’s from Argintina.  List to come.


February 7, 2012 Posted by | Red Wines | Leave a comment

WSR – January – Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso – David

1. Az Agr. Baccinetti “La Saporoia” K&L Wine Merchants, Hollywood $34.98

 92 points – James Suckling: “A beautiful perfume and sweetness to this wine with plum, dark cherry and flowers. Full and very silky tannins with berry and blackberry tart flavors. Enticing and friendly. Try it in 2013.”

 K&L: “Baccinetti is on Montalcino’s south fact, not far from Castel Sant’Angelo and next to Lisini.  The nose is wild, full of gamey aromatics coupled with intense Marasca cherries and cranberries – it just gushes from the glass.  On the palate the wine has a dense sweetness to it; it lush, but shows focus and balance while still giving the feel of weight and size in the mouth.  The finish is very spicy, full of Middle Eastern intrigue, exotic and enticing.  It is incredibly rich.  Its dense testier, together with the spicy fruit, make for a long and complexity-filled finish.

 2.  Baccinetti “La Saporoia 2009 Rosso de Montalcino K&L Wine Merchants, Hollywood $16.99

 K&L:  Affectionately named “Cat-zilla” by our staff because of its Cat adorned unique label this is the newest addition to our direct imports from Montalcino. From vineyards adjacent to Lisini on the south face of Montalcino this wine is a thrilla! Lush, rich texture balanced with spice, complexity and a long finish. This tiny winery was brought to our attention by a couple of loyal K&L customers (Mark & Lori thank you) and is just an awesome drink right now at an unbelievable price. You’ll love the richness, be cativated by the complexity and be back buying more!

 3.  Canalicchio Di Sopra  Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $54.98 “In 1962 Primo Pacenti, a lover of the land with a knowledge of its products, founded Azienda Agricola Canalicchio di Sopra. Situated in the northern side of theMunicipality ofMontalcino and in the middle of the tourist itinerary of Val d’Orcia, the farm extends for about 60 ha, 15 of which are cultivated with vines and 2 with olive groves.

Three generations live here side by side with the common aim of producing quality wines: the generation of the grandfather, Primo Pacenti, who founded the farm and managed it until the 1990’s, as well as participating actively in the social life of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino; that of the father, Pier Luigi Ripaccioli, who with the grandfather has undertaken to increase the quality by proposing careful and meticulous work; that of the grandchildren, Simonetta, Marco and Francesco who joined the management in 2001, bringing with them new ideas and new technologies always in respect of ancient methods and customs.

The vines grow in two of the zones with the highest vine growing and wine making vocations in Montalcino: Canalicchio di Sopra and Le Gode di Montosoli. The different exposure and the geological differences of the soils produce different Sangiovese grapes where balance and power compensate one another in the wine cellar through the patient work which always seeks the best blend of tradition and innovation.

The Wine Advocate:  “The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino comes across as tightly wound and inward at this stage. With time in the glass the wine’s inner perfume gradually comes to life, even if this remains a reticent Brunello within the context of the vintage. Still, it is impossible not to admire the inner sweetness of the fruit and the impeccable polish of the tannins. All this needs is time, maybe a little more than usual in this vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. ” 94 Points

4.  Mastro Janni  14.5% Hi-Time Cellars,Costa Mesa $46.98

From Jim Suckling: Fascinating aromas of strawberry tart, dried fruits and tobacco box. Full body, with tobacco and berry character. Flavorful finish. I like the sweet, silky texture. This is racy and very refined. Traditional in style. Needs three to four years of bottle age.

Antonio Galloni writes: The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is a wonderfully plush, warm Brunello loaded with radiant fruit. Flowers, licorice and leather develop in the glass, adding dimension to this opulent, expressive wine. The sheer depth of the fruit and the open, sweet bouquet completely cover the tannins, making this one of the most approachable wines of the vintage. This remains a rich, full-bodied Brunello capable of delivering plenty of enjoyment now and over the next handful of years at a minimum.

5.  Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona “Pianrosso”  Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $53.98

 K&L: “Ciacci’s location in southern Montalcino gives it lots of ripeness to work with, and in Paolo Bianchini’s hands it shines. This vintage’s Pianrosso is the best I can remember in years: the fruit is classically Ciacci-flashy and ebullient, however very complex this year.  There’s lots of plum and cherry, but this vintage has more spice, earth and verve.  The wine has focus, length and, while it shows real palate plushness, it has the structure to age as well.  The wine finishes with a balanced and bold replay of the fabulous fruit character it displays in the nose.” 93 pts.

6.  La Fortuna 2009 Rosso de Montalcino  K&L Wine Merchants, Hollywood $19.99

90 points Wine Spectator: “Juicy and appealing for its black cherry, raspberry, licorice and sweet spice flavors, this red is buoyed by its bright acidity. Long, rich finish. Drink now through 2013. 1,100 cases made.” (09/11)

 7.  La Poderina  Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $45.98

 95 points James Suckling: “Blueberries, flowers and raspberries. Love the nose, like so many others. Full body, with fine tannins and a silky textured finish. So much going on here. Class. Best after 2013.”

 92 points Wine Enthusiast:  “La Poderina’s Brunello shows impressive balance between its bright fruit and sassy spice components. On the close, the wine exhibits a tight, firm and penetrating feel that is carried forth by acidity and the natural firmness of the tannins.” (04/11)

 90 points Stephen Tanzer: “Good full red. Withdrawn but pure aromas of cherry and iron. Juicy red fruit and mineral flavors are a bit sullen today but show good depth. Began serious and savory but time in the glass brought more texture and sweetness. Finishes with ripe tannins and very good length.” (Jul/Aug 11)

 8.  Lisini 2009 Rosso de Montalcino Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $26.98

 Lisini’s 2009 Rosso di Montalcino is all class and elegance. A floral, open bouquet leads to layers of bright, high-toned fruit in this understated, feminine Rosso. This is a terrific showing from one of Montalcino’s historic names. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019.

 9.  Poggio Antico 13.5% Alc Hi-Time Cellars, Costa Mesa $63.98

 95 points James Suckling: “Fascinating aromas of blackberries, flowers, dark chocolate and nuts follow through to a full body, with chewy tannins and a long, intense aftertaste. Bright acidity. This is structured and held back. Massive wine. Most structured ever from here. Give it four to five years of bottle age before opening. Impressive power. (1/15/11)”

95 points Stephen Tanzer (International Wine Cellar): “Bright, dark red. Knockout perfume of black cherry, black raspberry, minerals, violet, rose petal and a whiff of dark chocolate. Silky on entry, then almost painfully intense in the middle, with terrific backbone and acidity to the classy fruit, mineral and dark chocolate flavors. This boasts fruit of steel, and great clarity. Finishes with a compelling savory quality, a spine of noble tannins and outstanding subtle persistence. (Jul/Aug 2011)”

93 points Antonio Galloni (Wine Advocate): “[$80 list] The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino is a very pretty, elegant wine. Fine, silky tannins frame a core of crushed berries, flowers, licorice and new leather in this mid-weight, gracious Brunello. The wine’s inner sweetness emerges over time, adding harmony and class. This is a super-elegant, refined Brunello from Poggio Antico. The estate gave the Brunello three years in Slavonian oak, yet the wine remains fresh and vibrant. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026. (May 2011)”

93 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): in big, Slavonian oak botti ranging from one to twelve years of age. The first class bouquet jumps from the glass in a beautiful mélange of cherries, woodsmoke, orange peel, a touch of gamebird, lovely soil tones and a topnote of Tuscan herbs. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and precise, with a lovely dollop of old school Brunello elegance, fine mid-palate depth, ripe tannins and excellent focus and grip on the very long, refined and chewy finish. A classic in the making and one of the best 2006 Brunellos I have had the pleasure to taste. 2016-2050. (May/Jun 2011)”

93 points Wine Enthusiast: ” Poggio Antico consistently delivers standout Brunello, and this expression from the 2006 vintage is no exception. The wine is plush and rich with deliciously soft succulence. In the background, it delivers loads of vanilla, sweet spice, clove and black cherry. (Apr 2011)”

 “Poggio Antico has the good fortune, along with Gianfranco Soldera, to have their vineayrds at the highest elevations in Brunello di Montalcino, and this has certainly benefitted them in the hot 2006 vintage. The ’06 Poggio Antico is an absolute classic in the making, coming in at 13.5 percent alcohol and having been raised entirely.”

10.  Uccelliera (A Mark deGrazia Import) 15% Hi-Time Cellars,Costa Mesa $63.98

 94 points Wine Enthusiast: “A stellar performer year after year, Uccelliera’s confident delivery is characterized by intensity, purity and personality. This Montalcino favorite also delivers plush softness with thick texture and a focused point of bright acidity.” (4/1/2011)

 93 points Wine Spectator: “Starts out supple, with licorice, dried cherry and plum flavors, picking up a touch of herbs as this glides to a lingering conclusion. Elegant and almost racy, with grip and character. Best from 2013 through 2025.” (06/11)

 91 points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, Jul/Aug 11: “Good deep red. Black fruits, licorice, black pepper, spices, underbrush and minerals on the nose. Dense and sweet but also nicely structured, offering good energy for such a creamy wine. A bit unwieldy today owing to its high alcohol, but the wine’s powerful tannins are nicely supported by ripe, deep fruit. Give this at least four or five years to come into harmony.”

January 13, 2012 Posted by | Group Tasting Notes, Italian, Red Wines | 1 Comment

WSR – September 2011 – Charlene’s Surprises

Every Septemeber the wine group meets after the summer break to start the year off on Charlene’s patio to see what adventure she was on for the summer, this year was no exception, she went to Rhode Island!   The tasting did not include all wines from that region as she actually included wines from other areas as well, France, Italy, Argentina and California.  Food dishes were made to go with the wines and they were very tasty indeed.  I will look forward to next year to see what region she ventures too!

Here was the lineup:

O – Jaffelin Cremant de Bourgogne – Blanc de Blanc Brut  %100 Chard               $12.99

O – Blason de Bourgogne Cremant de Bourgonge – Brut Rose, 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Gamany  $10.99

1. Sigalas Asirtiko Athiri 2010 – Santorini Greece – 75% Assyrtiko, 25% Athiri      $13.99

2. Colli di Luni  2010 – Vermentino – Lynae, Italy                                      $12.99

3.  Bodega Norton 2009 –  Torrontes – Mendoza River Valley, Argentina                 $7.99

4. Colli di Luni 2010 – Vermentino – Terenzuola Estate, Italy          $17.99

5. Newport Vineyards 2010- Gewurztraminer, Rhode Island           $18.99

6. Newport Vineyards 2009 – Cab Franc & Cabernet , Rhode Island        $16.99

7. Newport Vineyards 2009 – Landot Noir, Rhode Island                         $19.99

8. Newport Vineyards 2009 – Cabernet Franc, Rhode Island                   $19.99

9. Ridge 2008 – 72%zin, 20% Carignane, 6% pet. Sirah, 2% Mataro – Geyserville, Ca   $31.00

10. Ridge 2008 – 74% zin, 21% Pet Sirah, 5% Carignane – Lytton Springs – Dry Creek Valley  $27.99

11. Titan Hills Vineyards 2008  – Fiasco – Zin, Pet. Syrah, Barbara – Paso Robles         $6.99

12.  Ridge 2009 – Pono Zinfandel – 98% Zin, 2% Petite Sirah – Russian River             $24.99

13.  Ridge 2008 – Pagani Ranch –  85% Zin, 10% Alicante Bonschet, 3% Pet. syrah, 2% Carignane – Sonoma- $29.99

October 18, 2011 Posted by | California, France, Group Tasting Notes, Red Wines | Leave a comment

WSR February 2011 California Oldies

February tasting was a late unexpected gathering since our original intent was to taste melbecs at the Brinkerhoffs,  David stood in to cover this months tasting so we thank him for that!

Wow, as David has been doing over the past year, he has been sharing some his cellar holdings to show us how the old stuff is holding up or not, and to really demonstrate that California Vineyards can produce some incredible wines that will last for decades.  Fortunately for all of us on this night we were able to see what “35 year old” wines tasted like and for the most part some incredibly well!!

 Below is the line up of which we tasted, so enjoy the list as the rest of us enjoyed the wines.  We do wish a speedy recovery to those that could not be with us on this night.

A. NV Laurent-Perrier Brut L.P. Champagne  (about 10 years old)
1. 1998 Byington Santa Cruz County Viognier (only 12 yr. old)
2. 1989 Caymus Napa Zinfandel ( only 21 yr. old)
3. 2003 Schrader Napa Old Vine Charbono, (head pruned Tofanelli Vineyard) (a mere baby of 7)
4. 1989 Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel, 85% Dry Creek & 15% Russian River (another young adult of 21)
5. 1978 Montclair Winery Sonoma Zinfandel, Limerick Lane Vineyards, (the winery was in Oakland, CA. (this 32 year old Zin was one of the favorites of the evening, even though the wine press generally says that Zin. does not age)
6. 1976 Hop Kiln Winery, Russian River Zinfandel (a mere 34 years old)
7. 2004 Schrader Old Vine Napa Zinfandel (Ira Carter Vineyard) (the 6 year old baby of the evening)
8. 1976 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon (another 34 year old from this family owned winery that moved to St. Helena in 1934, although, not listed on the label the grapes were from Sonoma’s Monte Rossa Vineyard) (the group favorite of the evening)
9 . 1978 Villa Mt. Eden Napa, (Oakville) cabernet Sauvignon (another 32 year old)
10. 1994 Robert Keenan Napa (Spring Mountain) Cabernet Sauvignon (a 16 year old teenager)
11. 1981 Robert Keenan Napa (Spring Mountain) Cabernet Sauvignon (a 29 year older brother to the teen)
12. 1985 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvgnon, Napa (Diamond Mountain) (25 year old)
13 . 1977 Montevina Estate Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (a 33 year old Shenandoah Valley, Amador County Cab.)

*1988 Vichon Napa Merlot (this 22 year old was BAD (not just one that had not aged gracefully) which reminds us that not all bottles age well)

February 10, 2011 Posted by | California, Group Tasting Notes, Red Wines | Leave a comment

Sonoma and Williams Seylem Weekend

A few weeks ago for a long weekend in Northern California wine country, a small group (11) of our Pinot group were able to enjoy the country side and fine wine, walk through the forest of vineyards on hilltops and valleys to enjoy a few of the producers of Pinot Noir and a few others along the Russian River Valley and Sonoma coast. 

This trip headed by our leader John Slater had a purpose, to visit a long time friend and wine maker Burt Williams (formally of Williams Seylem), coordinate dinners and gather wines that Bert and partner created in the early to late 90s made from a variety of vineyards. Through many Pinot group members and including Bert, a slew of wines were obtained and served at two dinner sittings at Dry Creek  Kitchen and Santi Restaurant.  (I have listed the wines below from the two sittings)

Over the course of the weekend we had tours at Williams Seylem new wine facility, Olivet Lane, Hirsch Vineyard, Brogan Cellars and a tasting at Selby winery.

Hirsch Vineyard

We really enjoyed the private tours at the mentioned facilities and tasting the new release of wines but one that stood out the most and was so appreciated was David Hirsch vineyards in the mountains up the coast line north of the Russian River Outlet.  He was very personable and really gave the group a real feeling as to what the process and history of his vineyard had gone through and continues to progress into making great wine, and it showed.

On Sunday through the numberous calls from Bert’s wife Jan, to her daughter, she scheduled a meeting for those still in the area to visit Margi and taste a few of her wines and hear about her story since Bert had been out of the business for nearly 10 years.  Margi is producing great wines and seems to have the touch in making great Pinot noir like that of her father. 

Margi of Brogan Cellars

I could go on and on over this weekend but I will just post the wines we drank for this special weekend and hope those who read this can and will enjoy wines from any of these producers as you will be experiencing quality at it’s finest.  I did not take notes on the Hirsh (I did buy wine) and Olivit Lane so anyone who can provide some additional details would be most helpful.

Selby wines were wonderful and we took her by surprise in her tasting room.  We tasted through all of here wines and ones that came to mind for me were the Sauvignon blanc and a non released sweet Simillon (get some) that was like liquid gold Saturn’s!    Her Pinot’s were great and she so graciously went back to her cellar and brought in some barrel samples of her upcoming releases.  She really has brought forth quality wines and look forward to drinking them again.

Thursday night we went to a Willi’s Wine Bar in Healdsburg which is a tapas style restaurant and had the following Wines:

Blanc Fume’ de Pouilly by Didier Dugueneoue
Cote- Rotie – E. Guigal
Jessie’s Grove – Carignane (02)
LeRoy Montagny (02)
chateau Certan, Pomerol (79)
Justin Justification (96)
Friday night – Dry Creek Kitchen 
Vueve Cliquot  1996 
Williams Seylem Sonoma County 1996
Williams Seylem Sonoma Coast 1996
Williams Seylem Sonoma Coast 1997
Williams Seylem Summa  1995
Williams Selyem Prescious Mtn 1996  
Williams Selyem Prescious Mtn 1997
Williams Selyem Coastlands 1996
Williams Selyem Coastlands 1997

Williams Selyem Olivet Lane 1993
Williams Selyem Olivet Lane 1996
Williams Selyem Olivet Lane 1997
Williams Seylem Allen 1992
Williams Seylem Allen 1994
Williams Seylem Allen 1996
Williams Selyem Allen  1997
Saturday – Santi Restaurant  
Paul Bara Brut NV 
Brogan Morning Dew Ranch  2006
Wooden Head Morning Dew Ranch  2007
Whitcraft Morning Dew Ranch 2008
Morning Dew Ranch  2008

Willams Selyem Russian River 1993
Willams Selyem Russian River 1994
Williams Selyem Riverblock 1997

Williams Selyem Cohn  1993
Williams Selyem Rochioli 1992
Williams Selyem Rochioli 1995
Williams Selyem Rochioli 1996

Willams Selyem Hirsch  1996
Williams Selyem Hirsch  1997
Williams Selyem Ferrington 1996
Williams Selyem Ferrington 1997

Brogan Cellars:


We tasted everything on her list below except the Chard and Zinfandel. 

2007 Lingenfelder Vineyard, RRV Pinot Noir
2006 Pinot Noir 10th Anniversary Cuvee, North Coast Pinot Noir
2006 Merlot Rosetti Brothers Ranch, Old River Road, Mendocino County Pinot Noir
2007 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
2007 Morning Dew Ranch, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
2007 Buena Tierra Helio Doro block Pinot Noir ($90)

2007 My Father’s Vineyard “Margi’s Block” Pinot Noir
2006 My Father’s Vineyard “Shula’s Pond” Pinot Noir

2008 Hanson Vineyard Pinot Noir
2008 Morning Dew Ranch

2009 Anderson Valley (not released yet) Pinot Noir 

2008 My Father’s Vineyard “Jans Block” Pinot Noir 

 The highlights were the Helio Doro, My Fathers Vineyard (we bought the last few bottles).  Her 09 Anderson Valley was very good as well and you can buy futures. Then the Morning Dew was a good wine, the Merlot was a hit but was port like and 17%  alc. But lots of fruit!!

Just a great weekend and I look forward to returning and enjoying that Wine Country again!

Sonoma Trip Photos:

January 28, 2011 Posted by | California, Other Tasting Notes, Red Wines, Road Trip, Wineries | 1 Comment

WSR January 2011 Beaujolais Tasting

What a great way to start off the New Year if I do say so myself!  Beaujolais and Coca au Vin at Scott’s, what a great combination.   I was really impressed that these wines showed so well and unique to themselves.  Wonderful fruit, tourier and in the Fleurie,  Chenas and Moulin-a-Vent showed good structure and long finishes.  I would never have given these a second look when purchasing wines but at the price they are at and the quality of the wines, I will absolutely put a few on my shelf for drinking. 

I want to thank everyone for their kind notes and hope you all enjoyed or will enjoy Beaujolais from here on out.  Here is the list of wine poured:

O- Maison Ambroise – Cremant de Bourgogne                        $18 (WE)

Flight 1:

1) Terres Dorees Jean- Paul Brun – Beaujolas Blanc (char) 2009   $15 (HT)

2)  Hubert Lapierre – Chenas 2009                                $18(K&L)

3) Pierre-Marie Chermette Beaujolais Vielles Vignes 2008         $ 16 (HT)

4) Louis Jadot – Beaujolais – Villages 2009                      $9 (HT)

Flight 2:

5) Chateau Thivin – Cote de Brouilly 2008                        $20 (HT)

6) Domaine Des Braves – Regnie – Grand Vine du Beaujolais 2009   $16 (HT)

7) Domaine Calot – Morgon 2009                                   $22 (HT)

Flight 3:

8)  Domaine Cheveau – Saint-Amour 2008                            $20 (HT)

9) Domain Cheysson – Chiroubles                                  $16 (HT)

10) Terres Dorees – Fleurie 2009                                 $24 (WE)

Flight 4:

11) Chateau des Capitans – Julienas  2009                        $16 (HT)

12) Pascal Granger Earl – Julienas Grand Reserve  2005           $22 (HT)

13) Thibault Liger Belair – Moulin a Vent 2009                   $25 (WE)

January 11, 2011 Posted by | France, Group Tasting Notes, Red Wines | 1 Comment

WSR Thanksgiving 2010

It’s that time of the year again where we attempt to find the ultimate wine that goes with Turkey and all the fixings!  The question is… did we succeed or did we find ones that really don’t favor the main holiday feast? 

I think in some respects we are finding that some veriatals are becoming standouts such as Rieslings and Pinot Noir, other which we think will work  just don’t hold up such as the Syrahs and Sangiovese, to the dishes being served.  Not that they are bad wines, they are in fact good wines, but they just don’t mesh with turkey and the fixings!   

Below is a list of what wines were served with notes to follow.  A few out of this list that were hits was the Falanghina, Willams Selyem and other Pinot’s.  I hope you find the list useful?

O#1 – Campogrande – Orveto  07

O#2 – Tablas Creek – Roussane 07 – Paso Robles

#1 Frase, Stanza Gewerztraminer 08 – Monterey  $19.99

#2 Holly, William Fevee Chablis 05 – Chablis France

#3 Charleen, Ancien Pinot Noir 07 – Russian River $48

#4 Frase, Sarahs Vineyard Grenache 09 – Central Coast

#5 Tim, Ravens Wood Chardonnay 06 – Sonoma $15

#6 Mary, Navaroo Riesling 09 – Anderson Valley, Mendocino

#7 Gerry- Williams Selyem Pinot Noir 08 – Westside Road Neighbors Russian River $45

#8 Richard R2 – Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir 07 – Leros Family Vineyard, R. River $45

#9 Salt – Terradora DiPaolo Falanghina – Compangia 08 $12

#10 Linda – Mount Aukum winery Syrah 06 – Fairplay,  $26

#11 Scott – Podigal Pinot Noir – Santa Rita Hills, $45

#12 Derickson – Preston of Dry Creek Syrah 06

#13 Richard W. – Amador Foothill Winer Sangiovese 04, Shendoah Valley, CA $25

#14 Ries – Domain Jean Luc Dubois Beaune Bressandes Premier Cru 06, Burgundy Fr.

#15 Ries – Nuit St. George Les Cailles 1st Cru – Alain Michelot 88,  Burgundy Fr.

#16 Filippi Creme Sherry Reserve – Rancho Cucomonga

#17 Bodega Dios Baco Creme Sherry

#18 Fess Parker  Traditions Port, Santa Barbara

November 19, 2010 Posted by | California, France, Group Tasting Notes, Red Wines, White Wines | Leave a comment

WSR October 2010 – Something Old, Something New!

This months tasting done by David certainly was an enjoyable one in that we were able to taste some new vineyard wines that were very good and reasonably priced and ones that I would not have thought about purchasing, and then ones that are no longer available that were a real treat to try.  Also, to have a member and friend share his thoughts on his post 89th Birthday and still going strong, Happy Birthday Derickson!!!!

Being part of this group allows us the opportunity to try a 36-year-old wine and understand why wine is meant to cellar… because it puts a smile on your face when you see that the fruit and the balance all held up all these years and you can recall the time you purchased it but not knowing that you were going to allow 12 others enjoy in the moment.  Thanks to David for going into his cellar to allow the group an impressive set of wines for this months tasting. 

Here is the lineup for this tasting with his notes.

1. Henri Able non-vintage  Brut champagne  (probably 25+ years old, but with the nutty character of a much more expensive late disgorged champagne)

2. Francois Montand non-vintage French methode traditionalle sparkling wine  $9.99

3. 2009 Bandol Lepont rose $16.99  (lightest colour)

4. 2009 Bougrier rose D’Anjou Loire valley rose $7.99

5. 2008 Chateau Grande Cassagne Los Rameaux Costieres de nimes rose $9.99

6. 2007 River Rroad Boschetti vineyard russian river valley pinot noir $15.99

7. 1998 Bridlewood Paso Robles syrah (in with the pinots as a syrah by dan geher with significant french and russian oak)

8. 2007 Flying Goat Cellars Santa Maria Dieberg vineyard pinot noir $35.99

9. 2007 Delhinger Russian River Estate pinot noir

10. 1909 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley pinot noir

11. 1980 Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard Napa Valley cabernet

12. 2005 Chateau de Sales Pomerol $39.99 (did not show very well that night, but does have aging potential)

13. 1997 Zaca Mesa Misty Ridge old block merlot (santa barbara)

14. 1977 Trefethen Napa Estate cabernet sauvignon

15. 1974 Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Estate cabernet

16.  2000 Arvay 6 Puttonyos Hungarian Tokaji Aszu

Although we did not do a strict tabulation by any means the roses seemed mixed with the Loire being the least favorite.  The Flying Goat had the most votes for the Pinot flight.  Over all almost all hands were raised for the 74 BV Estate regular cab. making it the over all favorite of the evening as well as my personal favorite.  The 6 basket Tokaji Aszu also received many favorable comments.

October 14, 2010 Posted by | California, France, Red Wines, Rose Wines | Leave a comment

WSR – September 2010 – Coombsville Appellation (almost)

Running a little behind in posting but September on Charlene’s patio posed to be very interesting and enjoyable.  We started the evening with a Rose from Tahiti which was quite enjoyable and anyone traveling there should search this out.  We then went in to the flights tasting wines from is what to be a new California Appellation in the Napa Vally called “Coombsville”.  Currently there appears to be 12 vineyards in this general area.

This new wine making area has been in production for quite some time and the wines that were presented to us were quality wines, showing good style and flavors but not at the prices that Napa Valley is asking.  I found the Cabernet flight to be the best of the evening, followed on by the Blends.  They all went well with the food that was served.

If you are ever in the area and want to search out something new I would recommend taking a side trip from the Napa and Sonoma area and check them out.  Thanks to Charlene for introducing us to what will certainly become a wonderful wine making area.  What we tasted is listed below:

A. Porter Sandpiper Rose (2007) $20.00

B. Tahiti Rose (Rangiroa, French Polnesia (2009) $25

1.  2007 Ancien Pinot Noir $40
 (Doesn’t grow grapes, only makes Pinot Noir.  Ancien served at the White House multiple times)

2.  2007 Tulocay Syrah.  Haynes Vineyard $20
 (Bill Cadman, winemaker. Doesn’t grow grapes)

3.  2007 Black Cat vineyard Syrah $29
 (Bottle 63 of 1,900.  Tracey Reichow, owner and winemaker)

4.  2006 Farella Park vineyards. Merlot. Coombsville Divide $19
 (Founded in 1985. tom Farella leads the initiatve for the applelation)

5.  2005 Farella Park vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon $33

6.  2006 Frazier Cabernet Sauvignon $38

7.  2006 Porter Cabernet Sauvignon $60

8.  2006 Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon $80
 (Historic vineyards since the 1880’s.  Argentine family operations, Cave-aged 22mo. in French oak. Gravity run)

9. 2004 Tournesol Proprietors blend $36
 (78% cab, 8% merlot, 6% CF, 5% melbec, 3% PV, Ann & bob Arns – Organic, Doesn not make wine, all made at Ancien Winery)

10. 2005 Farella Park Vineyards – Alta Bordeaux Blend $52
 (70% cab, 30% Merlot.  Gold medal SF international Wine Competition)

11. 2005 Sodaro Private Reserve Estate Blend
 (50% cab, 25% CF, 20% PV, 5% Malbec)

12. 2006 Frazier – Memento $66
 (Free run wines, new french oak)

September 8, 2010 Posted by | California, Red Wines, Road Trip, Rose Wines | Leave a comment

Dave & Diane’s Cellar Wines #1

A few days ago I and a small group were invited to a special tasting of the Ries wine collection at Caprice Cafe in Redlands,  and what a line-up this would be!  Not that any of us could have predicted the reasoning behind this tasting (flood) but for all who attended, we were able to taste some 40 year old wines that were still holding up exceptionally well. 

As David would note, he was glad to share these and also came across some wines during the move that he had forgotten about, but able to share stories of memorable moments as he opened each bottle.   Good food, good friends and good wine, what more can you ask for? 

The line-up was as follows with notes to follow.



3- 1999 MOSCATO d’ ASTI












Thanks Dave and Diane!

May 27, 2010 Posted by | California, Other Tasting Notes, Red Wines | 1 Comment