Monday, January 12, 2009

2006 Pine & Post Merlot

Gargoyles love some Pine & Post Merlot
In your face!

Alrighty then! I found this wine at the grocery store and will run out and buy another bottle next time it goes on sale under $10. I will admit that I am so pleased that my nose is developing because a lot of the major scents I got in my nose are mentioned on the wine description on that website. I got some amazing cordial cherry scents on this nose (you know, those Queen Anne chocolate covered cherries you can get on the cheap during the holidays?), and I was loving it! I also got a hint of blueberry and a weird caramel/butterscotch scent that really reminded me of the smell of some of the ports at Maison de Padgett.

The color was a deep rich black but when I tilted it, it faded at the edges. I tried to get a picture of this but I couldn't quite master the technique. I had also just drank a rather large glass and was on my second. Don't pay attention to the water spots, its from a night of imbibing!

Careful not to slosh it out!

The taste... ah yes. Quite lovely, it was a wee bit watery with a higher alcohol content than I would expect to taste (13.5% alcohol by volume) but again, lovely.

The major flavors that I got in my mouth were chocolate and black pepper. In my tasting notes I kept on writing and scratching out red peppers and roasted tomatoes, but I couldn't tell if I was just imagining it or not.

This would make a great table wine enjoyed with a light soup/salad/sandwich night and would also make a nice gift for someone who enjoys wine but isn't hot and heavy into wine.

A very enthusiastic 4 stars on this one. Share a bottle with someone you love tonight.

Here is the website for this wine, it was a bit tricky to find so I thought I'd share:

2006 Hogue Pinot Grigio

This is the second Hogue wine I have tried and I must give it another sloppy "pbbbht" of disapproval. This makes me sad because its a Washington wine, the price is good, a lot of other people like it, and I like the label design.

Aesthetically, it is a very pleasing wine. The color is a very nice pale yellow, but something I noticed was a super weird foamy sheen thing- and yes I made sure my glass was clean thankyouverymuch:

So not quite sure what was up with that. It had a very low viscosity which was alright with me because I don't much care for thick dessert style wines.
The nose was almost non-existent. Again, that makes me sad.
The taste wasn't a taste as much as heartburn on the tongue. The acid was out of this world, drinking this was like drinking a fruity juicy burp, and the sensation lasted forever.
Cruelly enough, the best thing about this wine was pouring it down the drain.
A big fat 1 star of this one. Sorry folks.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Andre Spumante Sparkling Wine

Key doke. As I mentioned in my last post last night's NYE Bash went bust so we started off 2009 with a champagne (er, sparkling wine) breakfast. I know, I know. Andre Spumante isn't from Washington and that's what sorority girls drink when they want to take a step up from Cosmo's and Sex on the Beach. Well, it was cheap and I hate dry champagne so there.

The bubbles make my tongue tickle!

Attempt at a foam shot. FAIL.
Instead of starting off with the color I'll talk about the bubbles because that's what everyone thinks of when dreaming about sparkling wine. There was a good amount of bubbles going into this wine and the flavor balanced it out enough so that I didn't get the feeling I was drinking seltzer water. I couldn't get a good shot of all the foam but it got quite foamy. Brad said I needed to pour it in the glass at a 45 degree angle, but I've misplaced my protractor.

The color was extremely pale, even less than flax. This was the color of castor oil, have you ever seen castor oil before? It stinks to high heaven but this was the color. Look at the ridiculous amount of snow out my kitchen window too. Ugh.
The nose was weak and sweet. Maybe it was too cold but it smelled like cheap apple juice and flowery air freshener spray. Not like gas station bathroom but more like if you got an air freshener for your car named apple blossom, and you were smelling it after it was all dried out. Some people get off on that, but it was a wee bit artificial for my liking.
The taste was SWEET! I'm talking Karo syrup sweet not righteous sweet. I will admit that I enjoyed the lightness and crispness of it, like biting into an apple then chasing it with an unripe pear. Then imagine what those would taste like if next door was an apricot orchard so all the fruit took on a hit of apricot or maybe even peach. That's what it tasted like.
This really reminded me of a Gewürztraminer or Riesling in some aspects because the taste reminded me of the fragrant nose, tons of floral aspects to it as well. I give this 2.5 stars because I hate dry champagne more than cheap champagne and this was definitely not dry. And the best thing to do with cheap sweet sparkling wine is to add some cheap orange juice and make mimosas.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year New Wine

I am such a looser. Its a hair past 11pm and I am in bed because I am pooped! I was up before 5am for work this morning and sleep is overcoming me. We had some friends over for a get together but they were tired too so we ended up NOT playing board games and drinking wine which makes my heart hurt just a little bit, but nothing unbearable.

I have some Spumanti chilling in the fridge right now so to ring in the new year tomorrow we shall make Mimosas and I will blog about that.

Until then, my FEEDJIT visitor tracker says that I am getting a lot of love from High Point, NC. It only shows where you are geographically from (I live in Wenatchee but it says Im from West Richland which is like 2 hours south of here...). So if you live in North Carolina you should totally leave me a comment letting me know about a great local wine that I should try out.

Dooooooo it.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maison de Padget wines (Bavarian Cellars Tasting Room in Leavenworth)

I am in no way hurting for wine. As we see here, on my the first 3 bottles from the left are empty. I still have 9 bottles to finish. Yet here I am about to write about more wine. In my defense, I am trying desperately to make this all about local wines because I'm surrounded with great local wineries and I have totally bought every Washington wine the grocery store has to offer and for that matter, it is better to buy from the source than from the local food-mart, you know?

With this being a short week due to the holidays, I decided we should go to this huge antique mall in Cashmere right up the road. I am on a mission for a palmistry hand and a phrenology head, just in case you are feeling generous and have these lying around and would like to send them to me, here is what I'm looking for:

Pretty cool and slightly creepy, eh? Back to the story, since we were in Cashmere we decided to grab a bite to eat at Country Boys BBQ but they were closed for the holidays so we went ahead and drove into Leavenworth to get something light at the Gypsy Cafe. Very cool place indeed. While trekking back to the car stuffed to the brim with sandwiches and cobb salads we hit up the Bavarian Cellars Tasting Room on 9th street. Its a little hidden but a very neat place. The people who own the winery are based out of Yakima so this is only the tasting room. They have two brands (from what I can tell) Maison de Padgett and Horizon's Edge. Here is the website for Horizon's Edge but it comes up as Maison de Padgett by design and the text is all funky so either they are doing construction or the site has been hacked. I didn't get any red flags from my virus software and spy ware deal so I guess you should ask yourself, are you feeling lucky?

Alrighty, so two things I want to get clear right from the get go. First of all its $2 per person to taste. I'm completely okay with this because I've never understood how tasting rooms can get away with free tastings, it makes no sense to me. Then again I always end up buying a bottle of something so who am I to say. With that $2 I sampled 12 wines and we were both walking a little rosy cheeked down the road when we left. Don't worry though, we walked the warmth off before we drove home.

Second off, these wines are kitchy. There were some good wines, I even bought a bottle of the Gewürztraminer because it was good, the Chardonnay was also very nice. But the wines were overall unique. The labels are all very fantasy oriented (see pic below stolen from unarata's flicker account) and would make a fantastic gift for your geeky brother. As a slight disclaimer, I was president of my high school's Science Fiction club for my Junior and Senior year and I am obsessed with any book by Laurell K. Hamilton, Piers Anthony, and similar genre. I love that and wine, so it was an hour well spent in my book.

The guy who tended the counter was named Jim and was very friendly, a little on the quiet side but I was trying to make notes on the wines I was tasting so I think he was just giving me the opportunity to write. The tasting room was very small and would be crowded if you had more than half a dozen friends in with you. It looked like there was a little loft area where you could share a bottle with some friends in a more private setting but we were happy at the bar and didn't venture up. It was clean and not pretentious in the least, two qualitys that I must have to taste wines somewhere. Overall, the wines were quite reasonably priced and while most were outside my palate, I was pleased with a few as well. We tasted:

05 Chardonnay
05 Gewürztraminer
06 Succulent Sangovise
06 Funky Monkey Pinot Noir Ice Wine
07 Singing Toad Late Harvest White Wine
Lip Service Rose Wine (90/10 Muscat/Cab)
Fat Sow Table Wine (50/50 Cab/Pinot)
Raging Bull White Port
McHargue Malbec Port
Pillow Talk Vanilla Port
No Regrets Chocolate Port
Smoking Gun Coffee Port

Here is a picture of the Gewürztraminer that we bought, it was on sale for just under $10!

Notice the cool wax sealed cork?

I feel like I should pillage a quiet village somewhere...

The Chardonnay was wonderful! It had a really nice tingle, great acid, a very solid nose, a nice golden flax color, and a bitter aftertaste. I still haven't found a distinct classic "chard" wine yet that I have enjoyed enough to set the bar off of, but this was close.
The reason we got the Gewürztraminer instead of the Chardonnay is because it was so smooth and silky going down, it was like drinking lingerie. For a long time I was confused because Gewürztraminer translates into English as "spicy" wine but it never tastes spicy to me, but I think of spicy like Mexican or Thai food, not cloves/cinnamon/orange peel. So after doing a bit more research on this grape variety, its actually supposed to mean perfumed or aromatic wine which this totally was. The nose was so smooth, even though this is thought of as an autumn wine it made me think of spring and new growth and a warm wind and all sorts of nice things.

Some notes on the other wines:
*The Lip Service Rose Wine was SO SWEET! It was 8.4% S/E and I think that could be a dessert wine, they said no but I say yes.
*The Sangovise had a great color to it but it tasted a bit watered down and sour dishragy which I have tasted in a few other wines in this family, so maybe that is a good thing to some people but it is so not in my palate.
*The Fat Sow table wine was also a bit watered down tasting and the color faded when you tilted the cup, but I think it would make an alright table wine if you hit a sale on it. I like a strong wine that is almost a side dish with your meal, but if you want something to cut the palate then this would be alright.
*The McHargue Malbec Port was the quintessential taste and texture of a port to me and warmed my cockles quite nicely, which is saying a lot since the high today was 22F.

The wines with the most interesting flavors in them were by far the Pillow Talk Vanilla Port which was straight up bourbon balls and wedding cake and then the Funky Monkey Pinot Ice Wine that was faintly cough syrup-esque. The Smoking Gun Coffee Port had an amazing nose that was like walking into a coffee shop but it was completely lost on the nose. All of the ports and dessert wines were appropriately viscous and very sweet, even for a desert wine.

All in all I reccomend checking out this tasting room because it is unique and you get to taste a huge ammount of wines that have really unusual flavors. If you like sweet wines come in with a blank check, if you are into the dry tannens, you should still check it out. And buy the Gewürztraminer or Chardonnay.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2007 Tunnel Hill Riesling

'ello 'ello! How are things with you and yours? Tonight marks the 4th night of Chanukah and to celebrate here is a picture of yours truly frying up some latkes:

"Let me tell you about ze old country" *hack* Now run along and get your bubbeh her medicine- oy with the prices these days!

This wine was just shy of spectacular. Don't know what made it shy so actually I'd say it was a solid 5 stars worth of wonderful. For a little background on this wine, earlier in November Brad and I drove up to Chelan to visit some of the wineries and to check out the area. This one called out to use and badda bing here we are. I will say, the 06' of the wineries Riesling was extremely dry and not what I look for in a Riesling, but this one could hold its grapes up with the best Rhine River Riesling. I will very likely go back to this winery and grab a few more bottles but I'm starting to think I have a wee bit of a stock problem. I will take a picture of my stash and post it a bit later on.

Color! Ah yes, the color of this was a very lovely pale gold flax color that is so nice in a Riesling. It had great clarity and it had a very nice viscosity. I've really started noticing the viscosity of wines in a glass lately and I've noticed that some slosh around like water and others like corn syrup. I've also started looking at how the color thins out when you tilt the glass and this one held it's color very well. Lets take a look under the hood shall we?

I think the last picture of the trio has the most accurate color, but just in case someone likes seeing the difference between flash and no flash.

The aroma on this wine was fantastically complex. Of course, the apples and pears came through and even a tiny hint of apricot. But the most interesting thing that came across the nose for me was an almost almond blossom. I have no clue what an almond blossom smells like or if almond trees even have fragrant flowers but I smelled almonds and a hint of floral. Not a nice green grass and moss or forest, but straight up flower shop. Brad said he smelt citrus dishwasher soap and after he said that I noticed it, especially as the wine opened up it almost dominated the nose.

I will pay big bucks (okay, like $20 but the economy sucks) for a Riesling that delivers like this one does. Imagine what silver christmas tree tinsel tastes like and that is what I like. I love a white wine that is almost shifting to a sparkling wine but that retains its sweetness. So far, Riesling is the only wine that can deliver it and this one was electric. I hear its due to the high acid content, but all I can say is bring it on! This wine was most definitely on the sweet side and I tasted the flowers in the mid palate. Something that struck me as quite lovely about this wine is how evenly it coated the tongue. It seriously was smooth like drinking silk, not creamy, but silky. And there is a difference. The end palate had that citrus taste and the aftertaste was lingering but not overpowering.

We shared this wine with our friends Maya and Tera and one likes tannin heavy red wine and the other likes syrup thick dessert wine and both really enjoyed this wine, and thats saying something.

A humungo 5 stars. Check out the winery as well, the tasting room was very cozy and if I remember correctly, they have a decent share of estate wine to offer. They had a great pinot as well but I didn't buy it because this Riesling was simply smashing. It looked like the winery could also be rented out for events which would be pretty cool for a nice intimate gathering.

38 HWY 97A - Chelan WA 98816 - (509)682-5695

Friday, December 19, 2008

2007 Glen Ellen Chardonnay

Busy! In the past 2 weeks I have turned in a corrected version of my thesis, graduated with my masters in Occupational Safety and Health, flew to Nashville to visit family, and tonight we even put an offer on a house. Not to mention my daily stuff like working, eating, and spending time with the hubby and dog.

Unfortunately I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and enjoy a nice glass of wine but Sunday night starts Chanukah and this week I was able to pull the cork on a bottle of 2007 Glen Ellen Chardonnay. I didn't take any pictures but there we go.

The color was very decieving. The bottle was a chartruse yellow so I was expecting a truly golden glass but instead it was a pale flax color. The nose was also incredibaly tight, I only smelt the grape. While on one hand it was nice to just smell the grape but I love the nose.

The taste was very light and bland. Maybe not bland but it just didn't have any strong flavors. It was a truly un-notable wine in the front, middle, and end palate. The aftertaste was a very nice linger. Brad and I both said this would be a great wine to bring to a party because it was close to $10 and for the really light flavor it would be good for people who aren't big into wine. I'd say 2.5 stars.

I know this was a short blog with really no huge direction but I am simply pooped. The house is a wreck and right now I'm envisioning colors to paint all the new rooms!