Posts Tagged ‘Grenache’

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 164: It’s Rose Season

May 15, 2015

In this episode, Jeff takes on this one liter sample of rose.

Wine Tasted:

Cote Mas 2014 Rose Aurore

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your go-to rose this Spring?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Golly Gee (S.M.)!

July 12, 2013

At this point, we know each other pretty well, right?

So…

What would you say if I told you that I just tasted one of my favorite wines of the year (so far)… and it was only SEVEN DOLLARS?!?!?!?!

First, let me show you what I made for dinner…

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Rosemary Chicken, Mushroom & Bell Pepper Skewers, and Grilled Cabbage Slaw

Now…

After Kara and I picked up most of our ingredients from our local farm stand, we swung by Trader Joe’s to get some organic, free-range chicken breasts.  While browsing the wine aisle to find the perfect pairing, I came across this bad boy…

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Pontificis 2011 Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre

Now…

You know that I am a big fan of Rhone-style wines.

You also know that I’ve been loving the value and quality of wines coming from the Languedoc-Roussillon in Southern France.

So…

When I see a seven dollar Languedoc composed of the popular GSM Rhone blend of Grenache (50%), Syrah (30%), and Mourvedre (20%), you know I’m going to be all over it.

But…

Does it deliver?

Hells to the yeahs, it does!

Note: I opened, and poured, this wine a good 45 minutes before tasting it.

Color: A dense, and inky, deep ruby red.

Nose: Beautiful notes of dusty chocolate with fresh strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry fruits.

Taste: Though young, this wine has a medium body of very soft, and approachable tannins.  The front palate starts off strong with dense and brambly fruits of blackberry and dark cherry, which transition nicely to a mid-palate of cranberries and orange zest.  On the finish, these fruits begin to raisinate, and show off a wonderfully long, acidic finish.

Score: Wow!  This wine is a strong 91+… And I almost feel bad scoring it that low.  My only reservation is that this wine appears to lack the ageability of a truly fine wine… But… C’mon guys… This wine is what it is.  This is a fantastic wine that is ready to be consumed right, the F, now… And the great part is that you can find this at your local Trader Joe’s… Right.  The F.  Now.  Of course, if you shop at my local TJ’s, you’re gonna have some trouble finding it.  I’m buying them all up.  Right.  The.  F.  Now.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s the best seven dollar wine you’ve ever had?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Where do YOU find value?

April 23, 2013

Well…

The Languedoc has done it again.

I’ve long been a fan of this Southern region of France for its fresh, food-friendly, and inexpensive wines.

The other day, I picked up this bad boy from Bev Mo for 14 bucks…

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Chateau Millegrand 2008 Minervois Red Wine

Millegrand is an estate found in the Minervois appellation of the Languedoc.  This red wine is a blend of 35% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 25% Carignan, and 10% Mourvedre.  It was aged for 12 months in French Oak barrels.

Color: Dark ruby red with a few rusty notes near the edges.

Nose: Nice and chalky (You know I love chalk!).  There are some nice sweet tobacco notes, and just a touch of ripe plum and blackberry fruit.

Taste: This is an earthy wine.  Forest floor, mushroom, and tobacco for days.  There are, of course, these lovely red fruits… but this wine is mad earthy.

Score: This was the perfect wine for a Tuesday night (which it is).  Pair this one with barbecue, pizza, or burgers, and you will be one happy customer.  Pick it up.  89

If the review doesn’t sell you, peep this photo, foo…

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Thumbs up, brah!

You know I love the Languedoc, but where do you find value?

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Find wine and wine-related products on Amazon.

Organized Chaos: A wonderfully mad tasting at Rhone Rangers San Francisco

March 25, 2013

More and more, I find myself gravitating toward Rhone wines (made of grapes typically grown in the Rhone Valley of France). California gets a lot of love for it’s Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and Burgundy (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) grapes, but it’s the Rhones (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Petite Sirah) that I really think are bringing it these days.

Power.

Balance.

Structure.

Elegance.

Value.

I’m loving me some Rhones!

This past Saturday, Kara and I took a quick trip to the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco to attend the Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting as members of the media. Needless to say, we were hella stoked.

You may recall from my ZinFest post, that when you come to these events, you’ve got to have a plan.  We thought about going alphabetical.  We thought about just focusing on Petite Sirah.  We thought about doing a Syrah vs. Grenache showdown.

But…

After entering the  Festival Pavilion, and seeing all the wonderful wines to taste, we decided to bounce around to as many tables as possible…

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Inside the Pavilion

I know that this may seem like a chaotic approach to wine, but the goal is to get a good overall picture of what these Rhone varietals (Take that 1 Wine Dude.  You just got Frogged.) have to offer.

So…

Let’s grab our glasses and go.

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Take your pick.

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Zenaida Cellars 2010 Syrah from Paso Robles brings some bright red fruit, leather, and herbs.

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I love me some Wrath! The 2010 San Saba Vineyard Syrah brings some of that big tobacco that I love. Let me say love a few more times. Love. Wrath.

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VINTUS Wines brought a bunch of French Rhones from E. Guigal to compare against the American wines. I’ve gotta say that they were all killer. The 2009 Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde was clean and elegant. It had nice cherry and tobacco notes.

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I was lovin’ all of the wines from Villa Creek Cellars. I really liked the 2010 La Boda, a 50/50 blend of Syrah and Mourvedre with delicious dark plum notes, spice, and rubber. Mad tasty.

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Terre Rouge brought plenty of delicious single-vineyard Syrahs from Amador County. The 2008 DTR Ranch Syrah was big and lovely. By the way, their white Rhones are killer too.

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When I think of American Rhones, I think of Tablas Creek Vineyard. The 2010 Espirit de Beaucastel, with its reserved, yet powerful, cherry fruit and tobacco flavors was fantastic, as always.

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Skylark Wine Company is an urban winery in San Francisco that does some great single-vineyard Syrahs. You know I love Stagecoach Vineyard fruit, so I jumped at the 2009 Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah. 32 months on oak gave the wine a nice, vanilla flavor matched up nicely with the tobacco notes on this Syrah.

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Rosenblum Cellars showed up to the party with the 2008 England-Shaw Syrah. The wine was super clean with bright plum fruit.

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Yeah… I write about Ridge Vineyards a lot. That’s because they f-ing rule. Take the 2008 Lytton Estate Syrah… Actually… Give it back. Those blueberry and blackberry fruit notes are just great.

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Eric Kent Wine Cellars offered up two vintages of Kalen’s Big Boy Blend Syrah. The 2010 vintage was loaded with red fruit, tobacco, and jerky. The 2011 barrel sample had a gamey flavor with touches of blueberries. Just thinking about this wine makes me want to give them a visit real soon.

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Not only was the Folin Cellars bringing some tasty 2009 Estate Syrah from Oregon, but look at their glass closures! This wine has some super legit red fruit.

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I was a big fan of the Hug Cellars 2008 El Grande Syrah. It’s a bit of a fruit bomb, but so tasty.

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JC Cellars was my favorite winery at ZinFest, so I had to see what was up with their Rhones. The 2010 Rockpile Vineyard Syrah was loaded with big, bright, red fruit, tires, and chalk. You know I love chalk.

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This is the 2009 Peasant (MGS Blend) from Cypher Winery. It’s a big, ripe, dark, fruit bomb. Not bad.

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The 2010 Stepping Stone Syrah by Cornerstone Cellars has some good cranberry fruit.

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Here’s a couple of big, inky Petite Sirahs from Clayhouse Wines of Paso Robles. Both were quite tannic and concentrated.

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This is the 2008 Cigare Volant from Bonny Doon Vineyard. You know I love Bonny Doon. This Rhone Blend has the perfect balance of fruit, tobacco, herbs, and acid. I love this wine.

After tasting through 50+ wines from 17 wineries, our palates were getting a bit burned out, so I put the notebook away, and we strolled around the Pavilion and tried whatever wines looked appealing.

What follows are my pictures from what Martin Redmond of Enofylz Wine Blog would call the “freestyle portion of the program.”

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Prospect 772 Wine Company 2010 “The Instigator” Syrah

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Landmark Vineyards 2011 Steel Plow MGS

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Chateau Ste. Michelle 2010 Wahluke Slope Grenache

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Miraflores Winery 2009 Estate Syrah

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Two Shepherds 2011 Saralee’s Vineyard Syrah and 2011 Saralee’s Vineyard Grenache

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Martian Ranch 2011 “Red Shift” Syrah

Yup…

I dig Rhones.

How ’bout you?

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 62: A Strapping Wine

August 25, 2012

In this episode, Jeff is looking for redemption from this Australian GSM…

Wine Tasted:

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Yalumba 2010 The Strapper GSM

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Burgers, Beer, the Bachelorette, and Wine: L’Authentique Barbecue

June 14, 2011

Inspiration abounds when ground beef and Tecate Light are in the mix.

KaraIsRad, my wife, was to be back from the gym in about 15 minutes.  The clock inside my brain told me it was time to start prepping.

80/20 ground beef?  Check!

Veggie Patties (For her, dude!)?  Check!

Grill on?  Fa’ sho!

Tecate Light?  No doubt!

Let it be said that I do love hoppy craft beers.  Love ’em!  Make them so hoppy it tastes like I just bit a rose bud off of a 5 year old bush.  Flowers for days.  Love me some micro-brew!

But…

When a grill is involved, you have to bring out the canned lager.  The macro-brew, if you will.  Something cold with a tinny (aluminum) kick.

I’m a Coors Lite fan.  Not that I think it is any better than Bud or Pabst or Modelo.  It’s not even different.  I like the Coors Lite because of the can.  There’s only one can that can tell you it’s cold using blue mountains.  One!  That’s the Silver Bullet, baby.

I had some Tecate Light on hand, because I’ve been on a taco kick lately.  Again… there is no (okay… a little) difference in taste here.  If you’re making tacos on the grill, however, your canned lager MUST be Mexican.  I don’t make the rules, holmes.  I just stick to ’em.

Now…

I was deep in it.  Getting my mise en place for the ultimate Blue Cheese Burger w/ Garlic Dijon Aioli, when I thought to myself,

“You know what would go great with this burger?  WINE!”

I dropped my Tecate Light like it was cold, and grabbed me this sucker…

The L'Authentique la Caumette NV and my dope ass Nokia (Phone Book) leaning against a turtle lamp.

When I picked up this $4.99 bottle of L’Authentique la Caumette NV Red Table Wine at Trader Joe’s, I swear the elderly stock clerk gave me the same look that Bastian got from that dude at the book store in Never Ending Story.  His eyes said to me, “You can’t handle this!”  I started to shake just before he ripped the bottle out of my hands…

I was shocked to hear him speak in such a calming tone  “Nice.  This is an EXCELLENT bottle of wine,” he told me in a gentle French accent.  “This wine has good fruit, nice acidity, and for the price… it cannot be beat.”

This Non-Vintage French table wine does not list the grape varietals being used, but the word on the street is that it’s a blend of syrah, grenache, mourvedre and carignan.  The back label, showing a map of France with a little dot near the Southern Rhone, leads me to believe that the aforementioned blend is entirely possible.

I poured two glasses.  One for me and one for KaraIsRad.  Then, it was back to the barbecue…

Pre-Heat to Hell Fire... ALWAYS!

80/20 ground beef w/ egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and dill. Shape like a deformed heart, and lay it down!

Always oil up the grates to get sear marks. Only flip it once. Man Code!

Time to eat… I mean… taste the wine.

Blue Cheese Burger w/ Garlic Dijon Aioli, Arugula Salad w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta (by KaraIsRad), and L'Authentique in a big glass. Not L'Fake!

Color:  This wine is as red as red can get without being black.  I’m talking BLACK!  It’s what I would envision the back alley of Fangtasia from True Blood to look like.

Nose:  My fist thought is of orange zest.  Very ripe, but acidic in nature.  There is a chalky feel to this nose.  I love chalk.  Throughout it all, there is a red raspberry fruit that balances everything out.

Hey…

The Bachelorette is on!

Told you!

Look… I’m not a huge fan of the show, but it is a great conversation starter:

“Who names their kid Constantine?  Or West?  Or Ames?”

“What’s up with that guy’s face?”

“Why does she wear so many belly shirts?”

“How come that dude is always squinting?”

“Is that dude missing his lower set of teeth?”

“That dude runs like a girl.  What’s his problem?”

Oh yeah…

Back to the wine!

Taste:  On the initial attack, there are these extremely dry, mouth-filling tannins.  They are lasting 30+ seconds, easily.  Dee-lish!

There is that same orange zest component that I smelled earlier, but it is rounded out with hints of lemon and lime.  There is this not-so-ripe strawberry flavor that is really nice.  Great acidity!

I just took my first bite of the burger…

"These burgers are crazy!" - The Moldy Peaches

It is F-ing Amazing!

The beefiness of the burger, paired with the lactic notes of the blue cheese and tanginess of the aioli bring out some chocolaty tones from the wine.  It gives my entire mouth a rich milky feel.

KaraIsRad made a fresh arugula salad with sun-dried tomatoes, feta, and a red wine vinaigrette.  This highlights the flavors of orange blossoms and chalk.

You have to respect this wine for what it is.  A red table wine.  What do we put on our tables?

Food.

By itself, the wine is a solid 88.  With food?  Give it a 90.  This is the perfect wine for a weeknight meal with the wife.  And a steal at 5 bucks.

Pair it with Pizza, Pasta, Burgers, the Bachelorette, and possibly the Bad Girls Club.  This wine is THAT versatile!

Have you ever seen a wine bottle this full?

Stay Rad,
Jeff

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