Posts Tagged ‘Malbec’

Oregon… But Not Forgotten 

February 12, 2017

Wow!

Really?!?!?!

July 16th!

That’s the last time I posted on this blog.

That’s almost seven months!

Geez!!!!!

You should know that I’ve been drinking good wine and eating great food the whole time… But, sometimes, life gets in the way (I’ve got all these kids, now!).

Now…

Even though I don’t post here as often as I used to, Stay Rad Wine Blog will be here forever.

If that’s not enough Jeff for you (I mean… Who doesn’t need more Jeff in their life?), you can always join me on the We Like Drinking Podcast (available here, or download on iTunes) every Friday.

Check out the wine I was drinking on our latest episode…

Troon Vineyard 2013 Black Label M*T Reserve

The Troon Vineyard 2013 Black Label M*T Reserve was sent to me as a sample for review a few months back.  It’s a wonderfully odd field blend of 57.67% Malbec and 44.33% Tannat.  It’s a big, dark, and juicy wine from Southern Oregon that would give many a Napa Cab a run for their money.

It also goes great with Taquitos!

A few days later, I jumped into another Oregon wine while I was making dinner…

A Blooming Hill Vineyard 2014 “Trouble” Pinot Noir

The 2014 Pinot Noir from A Blooming Hill Vineyard was another sample sent for review.  The husband and wife team of Holly and Jim Witte named their two Pinot Noir blocks after their dogs (Gemini and Trouble).  This “Trouble” has a super fun nose of mushrooms, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, and wet rocks.  The palate is surprisingly sharp and fresh on the first approach.  Loads of tart cranberries, red currant, and (would you believe it?) lime zest.  If the high acid up front scares you, don’t trip… It becomes much more approachable with time in the glass.

Food helps too…

Sicilian Cauliflower Pizza

That Pinot Noir is a great pizza wine.  The combination was a beautifully juicy and round meal… Perfect for a Friday night at home with the one you love.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Be sure to listen to Jeff each and every week on the We Like Drinking Podcast (available now on iTunes).

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 157: Jeff and a Brown Bag

February 28, 2015

In this episode, Jeff sits down with a brown bag of wine…

Brown Baggin' It

Brown Baggin’ It

After the Fact: My apologies for calling it “Cantena”.  The name is “Catena”.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What color is #TheDress?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 152: Everybody Wants Mo’ Scotto

January 12, 2015

In this episode, Jeff tries two samples from Scotto Family Cellars while making dinner…

Wine Tasted:

Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with Roasted Asparagus and Pan Seared New York Strip with Chimichuri

Scotto Family Cellars 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon with Roasted Asparagus and Pan Seared New York Strip with Chimichuri

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s your favorite non-Zinfandel based wine from Lodi?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 126: Goin’ South

January 3, 2014

In this episode, Jeff does a blind tasting of two new world, South American, Bordeaux wines.

Wines Tasted…

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Come on, guys! This is a blind tasting! But… If you really want to see what they are, scroll down.

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Lamadrid 2011 Single Vineyard Reserva Malbec

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Aresti 2010 Reserva Carmenere

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Leave a comment, and tell us about your experience with Argentine Malbec, Chilean Carmenere, and South American wines in general.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 105: Renegade

June 20, 2013

In this episode, Jeff pairs a different kind of red blend with a steak…

Wine Tasted:

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Ancient Peaks 2010 Margarita Vineyard Renegade

Stay Rad,

Jeff

What’s the worst food and wine pairing you’ve ever had?  Leave a comment, and let us know.

Stay Rad Wine Blog TV Episode 79: In Cot We Trust

January 3, 2013

In this episode, Jeff takes a break from writing up this year’s Rad List to taste some Cot…

Wine Tasted:

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Thierry Puzelat 2008 KO: In Cot We Trust

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Here’s What We Had: Thanksgiving Edition

November 23, 2012

It’s Thanksgiving!

Okay…

Thanksgiving was yesterday, but I don’t have to go back to work ’til Monday.

So…

I’m pretty much okay with still calling this Thanksgiving.

Anyway…

Since I am currently visiting my folks in Reno, Nevada, I was planning on doing a video with my Dad… Or even my sister, who is visiting from Atlanta, Georgia.

But…

I’m sick right now.

I’ve been sneezing like crazy.

My nose is hella raw.

My eyes are bloodshot.

My throat is killing me.

I look about as bad as the New York Jets right now.

So…

Instead of posting a video, I’ve decided to share with you the wines that we had with our Thanksgiving dinner last night.

Here they are…

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Domaine Laurent Barth 2010 Racines Metisses Alsatian White Blend

I’m a big fan of white wines from Alsace, France.  This is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Muscat.  It’s got a light straw yellow color with a little frizzante action in it.  The nose gives good fruit of green apples and pears with a good touch of minerality.  On the palate, fruits of lime and pear skin are balanced out with a nice acidity, flinty minerality, and just a touch of residual sugar.  I give it an 89.

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We had the white wine with some crab cocktail, which brought out a buttery apple flavor in the wine.

Up next…

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Domaine des Maisons Brulees 2009 L’Erebe

The L’Erebe is a natural wine from the Loire Valley of France.

It is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cot.

Cot is Malbec.

I really enjoyed popping the bottle cap off of this one.

This wine is a dark ruby-red.

This wine has a funky nose of Earth and dark berries.

On the palate, this wine brings the funk hard.

Tires for days.

Ripe red fruit.  Strawberries.  Raspberries.  Cherries.

Black pepper.

Lime zest.

90!

For the final wine of the night we broke out this bad boy…

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Cascina Tavijn 2009 Barbera d’Asti

This Barbera is a nice, light, ruby-colored wine.  It’s got an oaky, almost buttery, nose with a bit of cranberry and black pepper.  The taste of this wine is rich and earthy, with blackberries and cherries.  89.

This is a great wine to have with turkey.

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Here’s my dad and his turkey.

Here’s hoping you had a happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Mine was sick.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

Wine on Tap

September 15, 2012

Look…

I love San Jose.

I love it.

It’s where I went to college.

It’s where I work.

It’s where I lived for my entire 20’s.

In late 2009, Kara and I moved to the neighboring city of Morgan Hill.

As much as I love MH, it’s a world away from SJ.

Unlike other bordering cities like Los Gatos, Campbell, and Santa Clara, Morgan Hill has a good stretch of country between it and San Jose.

Consequently, outside of going to work, I don’t spend as much time in San Ho as I used to.

Luckily, there are plenty of places that keep calling me back to my favorite city.

About a year ago, my buddy Dave introduced us to The San Pedro Square Market.  It’s a collection of shops and eateries in downtown San Jose where you can meet up with friends to get a bite to eat, some dope drinks, and just hang out.

Last night, Kara and I decided to hit up a wine bar inside the Market called Vino Vino.

The slogan of this place is “Wine Without Attitude”.  The idea is that they focus on serving good wine and food in a laid back “neighborhood bar”-type of environment.

While they do offer wines by the bottle, most folks tent to gravitate towards the local wines that they offer on tap for eight dollars a glass.

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Wines on Tap

Before I get to the wine, I wanted to show you the dope Panini I had for dinner…

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Italian Meat and Cheese Panini and Seasonal Mixed Greens in Lemon Vinaigrette

A textural and flavorful sensation…

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But that wine looks good too…

I was very familiar with the majority of the local wines that they had on tap, so I was stoked to see that they carried a few wines from Nottingham Cellars of Livermore… A winery that I’d never heard of.

My first glass was the Nottingham Cellars 2010 Awakening GSM.  This Rhone style blend is made of 57% Syrah, 28% Mourvedre, and 15% Grenache.  I was very happy with its balance of juicy red fruit and racing acidity.  It’s a perfect wine to pair with (you guessed it) an Italian Meat & Cheese Panini.

Next up, I tried the Nottingham Cellars 2009 Aguirre Vineyard Malbec.  This one showed much more restraint in its red fruit… While present, the juice gave way to a nice, earthy herbaciousness.  This is not an Argentinian fruit bomb.  It’s much better.

I recommend trying either of these wines on tap.  For eight bucks a glass, you really can’t go wrong.

In fact…

I kind of wish I had one right now.

Yet another reason to take a quick trip to San Jose.

Good thing I know the way.

Stay Rad,

Jeff

I’ll Bordeaux when the Sauternes

November 7, 2011

This past Saturday, Kara and I headed over to Cin-Cin Wine Bar for another tasting event…

This time... Bordeaux!

Bordeaux France is one of the premier wine appellations in the world.  Although there are 57 regions within Bordeaux, there are really only four that you would need to become familiar with in order to sound like a wine geek:

Graves (including Pessac-Leognan, and Sauternes): Found on the “Left Bank” of the Garonne River, Graves is known for reds, dry whites, and some of the best dessert wine in the world (Sauternes).

Medoc: This is a wide-spread region found along the “Left Bank” of the Gironde River.  There are seven major sub-appellations of the Medoc (Haut Medoc, St-Estephe, Paullac, St-Julien, Margaux, Moulis, and Listrac), all producing reds.  In 1855, sixty-one of the chateaux were classified under the Grand Cru Classe (5 of which were of such high quality to be called Premiers Cru).

St-Emilion: Found on the “Right Bank” of the Dordogne River, the wines of St-Emilion are always red.  Piggy-backing off of the Medoc, St-Emilion also has a Grand Cru Classe ranking for their chateaux.

Pomerol: This is the smallest of the top red wine regions in Bordeaux.  Pomerol, also on the “Right Bank” of the Dordogne, makes about 15% as much wine as St-Emilion.  Though Pomerol does not have a ranking system, one can almost be assured (since they are so scarce) that most Pomerols are the bomb.

As far as grape varietals go, you will rarely see the breakdown of grapes listed on the bottle.  Bordeaux does, however, follow rules in terms of which grapes are allowed in their wines.  The whites of Graves (including the dessert wine of Sauternes) is primarily made of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.  As far as reds go, Bordeaux can be made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.  To figure out what is the predominant grape, just look at the rivers.  Wines from the “Left Bank” are Cabernet Sauvignon based, while those from the “Right Bank” are mostly Merlot.

On the real, though… I’m tired of getting my nerd on.  Let’s get some drink!

There were three distributors at the event; James, Luke, and Jon.  Each had their own table with hella different styles of Bordeaux to choose from.  To make sure we started with whites, moved to reds, and finished with Sauternes, Kara and I had to bounce around a bit from one table to the next.

First… The Whites!

Chateau Ducasse 2010 Bordeaux Blanc ($18): We started at Luke’s table with this white wine made of 60% Semillon.  It had a crisp, flowery finish.  A great way to start the day.  86

Chateau Hout Rian 2010 Bordeaux Blanc ($11): Over at Jon’s table, we picked up this white made of primarily Semillon.  Again, this one had flowery notes, but with a hint of honeysuckle.  It was crisp and dry.  85

Once we got our palates primed, we headed moved into the reds at James’ table.

James

Chateau Petit Manou 2007 Medoc ($21): So, here I am telling you the Left Vs Right Bank rules, and the first red I show you just shatters them.  This is a Left Bank wine that is made like a Right-Banker.  The Petit Manou is 70% Merlot.  The fruit is bright cherry and cranberry with a soft, buttery finish.  Good stuff.  87

Chateau Picque Caillou 2007 Pessac-Leognan ($26): A Left-Banker with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc, the Picque Caillou had a dusty nose with a green palate.  87+

Chateau Mongravey 2008 Margaux ($33): A true Left Bank Bordeaux made of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, the Chateau Mongravey falls under the Cru Bourgeois (just under Grand Cru) classification.  This one brought lots of dusty cranberry and Earth notes.  89

Chateau Pipeau 2007 St-Emilion ($34): A Grand Cru from the Right Bank, the Pipeau is 90% Merlot.  Now, don’t get it twisted.  This is a Merlot with balls.  There is a BIG barnyard funk on the nose.  The palate brings BIG leather and minerality.  It is both juicy and Earthy.  Nice!  90

To the next table…

Jon

Lafleur Gazin 2007 Pomerol ($45): 80% Merlot.  This Right Bank wine brings bright cranberry and cherry fruit.  A smooth wine.  89+

Chateau Hout Beausejour 2007 St-Estephe ($25): Barnyard.  Raspberry.  Dry palate.  Good acid.  There is a growing note of mushroom the longer the wine stays in the glass.  88+

Chateau Paveil de Luze 2008 Margaux ($30): This is a Left Bank red made of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon  The Paveil de Luze has some nice cranberry fruit, but it is more texture driven than anything else.  There is a nice acidity on this.  89-

Chateau Gloria 2008 St-Julien($63): 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot from the Left Bank.  This wine is silky smooth with leathery tannins and raspberry fruit.  Lovely!  91+  G-L-O-R-I-A!

Croix du Trale 2009 Haut-Medoc ($16): We were just about to move on to the last table, when I realized that we missed one of the wines.  Considering that the Gloria was so dope, it’s hard to go back to the Croix.  Dusty raspberry with butter.  Nice, but no Gloria.  88+

With that, we moved on to the last table…

Luke

Chateau Belles Graves 2007 Lalande-de-Pomerol ($28): Though not from the actual Pomerol appellation (Lalande-de-Pomerol is on the other side of the train tracks), Belles Graves is well-known for a different reason.  This is the wine that Jacques-Yves Cousteau would take on all of his adventures.  A Right Bank wine primarilly made from Merlot, this wine was hella tart and dry with fruit of cherries.  Not my cup of tea.  86

To make up for the Belles Graves, Luke provided the only vertical of the day with two (real) Pomerols…

Chateau Gombaude Guillot 2005 Pomerol ($67): Now this is why I love these tastings!  I’ve heard plenty of folks rave about the 2005 vintage of Bordeaux, but until now I’ve never had the opportunity to taste any 2005 that would be considered more than just a table wine.  This Pomerol is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.  On the palate, this right-banker was one smooth criminal.  Beautiful cranberry fruit, and a good hit of oak.  This wine has the body to last another 15 – 20 years, but is elegant enough to enjoy right now.  92.

Chateau Gombaude Guillot 1996 Pomerol ($60): Oh my!  The nose this wine is just dope!  Loads of juicy blackberry get smoothed out with tannins of delicious cigar tobacco leaf.  Wow!  Sometimes I wish you could taste these things with me.  Wow!  93

We finished off the tasting with two Sauternes dessert wines…

L’Alliance 2009 Sauternes ($27 Half-Bottle): Luke served us this Sauternes made of 90% Semillon.  There is a BIG nose of apricot and gapefruit.  On the palate the SWEET dride apricot overpowers the typical yeasty finish.  Good, but not what I think of when it comes to Sauternes.  90

Chateau Haut-Peyraguey 2005 Sauternes ($56): Jon capped off our tasting with this Permier Cru chateau from the epic 2005 vintage.  In comparison to the L’Alliance, the Haut-Peyraguey is much more reserved with its fruit.  This is a yeast-driven Sauternes (the way I think it should be).  This dessert wine has a good sweetness, but it is not obnoxious.  91

And there you have it…

16 wines…

One good time.

Stay Rad,

Jeff


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