Tasting Notes for WineSplash

(50 notes on 50 wines)

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White
1/29/2014 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
89 points
Ok, ok.... I actually bought a few bottles of this wine because of.... forgive me for saying this .... "the label". I know, I know.... this is taboo in my book and every bottle of wine I have ever had with a "cutesy" label has turned out to be quite unimpressive. But the vibrant colors caught my eye and it just had a fun "confetti" look to it! And I was fresh out of Albarino at home so this filled that lonely space in my cellar. Well, in my opinion, this venture paid off and I feel I got more than my moneys worth with this wine.

In my glass, day bright yellow and a clear rim. The nose had an essence of tangerine, lime, and was even a bit grassy. Flavors of bright citrus, lemon, and stone fruit slapped up my palate and showed me who's boss! The mouth feel was medium bodied with a nice balance of acid and fruit. This was a full fledged Citrus Tsunami! Lively, expressive, with hints of summer and an ocean breeze blowing through my hair. On the second sip, the citrus stayed pronounced but also found some mango, honeydew, and
some light minerality on the finish. Fun and exciting and I want to book my trip to Rias Baixas, Spain today!

This is a flavorful, no pressure, put your sandals on type of Albarino that begs for a warm sunny day. Its not sunny or warm where I am today but it does give me those memories. I would pair this wine with a Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, seafood, pasta with alfredo sauce, medium cheeses, or a fresh salad. I am very pleased with the 2011 Rias Baixas Vanidade Albarino and give it an 89 Point rating. It is fun, vibrant, balanced, with a bit of finesse. If you have a 2011 vintage of this wine, I feel it will last well into 2015. WineSplashing!!
Red
1/15/2014 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
87 points
I have never had a bottle from this Chateau so thought I would give it a try. It received a medal from the Concours Des Grands Vins De France and I usually enjoy many of the wines that compete there. This red is a blend of 35% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 25% Carignan, & 10% Mourvedre. Sounds interesting enough. A nice ruby red color in my glass and notes of plum, black raspberry, graphite, and spice on the nose. The mouth feel is medium bodied and fairly lush. Flavors of plum, dark forest floor berries, spice box, and earth. On my second tasting, I found some mushroom, tobacco, and a light oakiness on the finish. A good wine but it finished rather short. Complex enough with all the different flavors but it still seemed to be missing something that would have made it exciting in my glass! This is not a bad wine, rather tasty, but I felt it was holding back. This is a 2010 and it was opened an hour or more before tasting. This would pair well with medium cheeses, pork, pizza, burgers, or even a mushroom burger. If there is a nice sale on this wine, I may try it again on a different vintage. If you have a 2010 vintage of this wine, I would drink it before the end of 2014. Winesplashing!!
White
6/6/2013 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
89 points
One of the best places to travel in the midwest to taste wines is Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. Beautiful lakes, rivers, rolling hills, and valleys await you as well as some fantastic wines! Dozens of wineries and vineyards look forward to lavishing your taste buds with wines they have lovingly prepared for you. One of those wineries is Silver Leaf Winery located in Suttons Bay on the majestic Leelanau Peninsula! We have recently opened up a bottle of 2010 Silver Leaf Chardonnay and were very impressed. In our glass, this wine was straw colored with a clear, golden tint. On the nose, enticing aroma’s of fresh pear, apple, mandarin orange, and vanilla oak. Over the palate, the chardonnay was medium bodied, velvety, with a bit of oiliness. Flavors of fresh citrus, Bosc pear, Mandarin orange, and oak teased my taste buds! As the wine opened up more, noticeable flavors of ripe apricot, vanilla, and a hint of honey led to a crisp, yet lingering finish. A great tasting wine for all occasions and would pair well with summer salads, roasted chicken, pork, or a creamy alfredo pasta. Also a Grilled Fish with Citrus would be a nice pairing if you use a less delicate fish like salmon, tuna, or swordfish.

We really enjoyed the 2010 Silver Leaf Chardonnay and give it an 89 point rating. Great flavors, good balance between fruit and oak, and the long finish appealed to us. We hear the 2011 Sur Lie Chardonnay is another winner from Silver Leaf that we are on the lookout for! We love heading to northern Michigan and wines like this are just a great bonus for us! If you have a 2010 vintage of this wine, we would drink it by the end of 2014. WineSplashing!!
White
5/16/2013 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
What a delicious and savory white from Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada! The color was daybright yellow in my glass. Aroma’s of citrus, pineapple, and melon tantalized my senses! Mouth feel was medium in weight with a good acidity level. Flavors of young white peach, melon, and pineapple abound! On my second sip, more tropical fruit, mineral, and flinty notes came through. Clean and refreshing with a crisp, lingering finish. Great tasting wine that would pair well with summer salads, seafood, pasta’s with a white sauce, and vegetarian dishes.

What a great, refreshing wine that is so close to home! We give the 2010 Pelee Island Winery Chenin Blanc Vidal white wine 88 points! Fresh fruity flavors, mineral, and a refreshing crisp finish really appealed to us. If you have a 2010 vintage, we recommend that you drink it before the end of 2013. WineSplashing!!
Red
N.V. Ventosa Vineyards Saggio Seneca Lake Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
4/17/2013 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
89 points
When you can't make it to Napa or Bordeaux, then the next best thing is to visit your local wineries! The New York Finger Lakes is a 7 hour drive away from us but worth the time in its beautiful landscape and great tasting wines! Last spring, we went to the Finger Lakes and stocked up on wine from many different wineries. This is one wine that we wanted to let age for a year and is one of the last bottles from our 2012 Finger Lake Wine Adventure. The Ventosa Vineyards Red Blend Saggio IX (non-vintage) was worth the wait! In our glass, this wine was clear with a deep garnet color. On the nose, aroma's of dark berry, plum, pencil shavings, and spice! On the palate, medium bodied, soft, with a nice tannin structure. Flavors of ripe blackberry, plum, clove, and spices greeted my taste buds! On the second taste, hints of mint, black raspberry, and a slight dustiness followed through to a long finish. We used a Vinturi to areate the wine which smoothed out some of the stronger tannins. But the finish still had a nice bite, which we like! This is a wine that would pair well with a grilled ribeye, spicy lamb, pasta with a tomato based sauce, eggplant dishes, and medium to strong cheeses. This wine was very nice and had a wonderful finesse about it! We give the Ventosa Vineyards Saggio IX Red Blend an 89 point rating. We liked the balance of flavors between fruit, spices, and herbs. If you purchased a non-vintage bottle of the Saggio IX, we think you can drink it now or let it age until the end of 2014. WineSplashing!!
White
3/28/2013 - WineSplash wrote:
89 points
Sorry to say this is the last bottle from the case I purchased a year ago. Hoping I like the newer vintage. This is a delicious and refreshing Pinot Grigio from the northern Italian region of Trentino. Daybright yellow in color and clear. Wonderful aromas of citrus, lemon peel, melon, and floral. Medium weight in body, soft, with a slight oiliness. Bright flavors of lemon, fresh melon, pineapple, and a hint of honeysuckle. A second sip showed more tropical fruit, ripe peach, and mineral notes. A nice acidity leads to a long, mouthwatering finish! This Pinot Grigio would pair perfectly with roasted chicken, fresh green salad, pasta with a white cream sauce, fish, and medium cheeses. I really enjoyed this Pinot Grigio and if you have a 2009 vintage, I recommend to drink it before 2014. It is excellent right now! WineSplashing!!
Red
2/12/2013 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
Inky purple with deep ruby tones. On the nose, black plum, dark fruits, anise, and menthol. Medium to full bodied mouth feel, robust, with some big tannins across the palate. Flavors of ripe plums, tart black cherry, leather, and tobacco spice. A few sips later brought out notes of black currant and a hint of smoke. Lots of heat detected from the tannins on the long finish. Or maybe from the present alcohol which is 13.9%. Pair this wine with a grilled steak, stewed beef, braised lamb, sausage, or medium to sharp aged cheeses.

This is a big, bold Malbec with lots of complexity and concentrated flavors. If you like a big, robust wine, this could be your new favorite! We truly enjoyed this wine and give the 2007 Filus Malbec Reserve an 88 point rating. It has aged nicely and still has lots of fruit and structure. The bottle says that the wine should be drank by 2012 but we feel that it will easily last another year or two. WineSplashing!!
Red
2/6/2013 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
91 points
This is one serious wine! One that can compete with the Cabernets, Merlots, and Cabernet Francs of the world. And you rarely (if ever) hear about it unless you visit Missouri, Virginia, or the Carolina’s. This is the Norton grape variety and it is one that you need to put on your Wine Bucket List. Now we haven’t tasted all Norton wines from around the country but this one from Robller Vineyards in Missouri is a great choice! In our glass, deep garnet color with ruby highlights along the edge. Wonderful aroma’s of briar berries, spice, petrol, and vanilla oak burst from our glass! The mouth feel was full bodied, velvety, with a medium tannin structure. Flavors of spicy blackberries, ripe plums, oak, and herbs danced on our palates! As the wine opened up a bit more, subtle notes of tart cherry and vanilla oak led into a long, elegant finish. Wow, what a ride! This wine would pair well with most grilled red meats, sausage, ham, or a spicy vegetarian meal.

We love our Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, and Cabernet Francs but it is nice that there is something else out there that is different and can be just as enjoyable! We have been to many wineries in Missouri and found some wonderful Norton wines and some that are just so-so. The 2008 Robller Vineyards Norton is superb and we give it a 91 point rating! Wonderfully complex, rich, with a good balance between fruit and non-fruit flavors. Check them out at http://www.robllerwines.com. If you have a 2008 vintage of this wine, we would drink it by 2014. WineSplashing!!
Red
2/3/2013 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
92 points
Anticipation is one word we would use to describe our thoughts about this wine. We had this wine in the cellar for over 4 years and felt it was time to release the genie from the bottle! The wine was deep garnet in color with a ruby rim. Aroma's of fresh blackberries, black cherries, cocoa, & a hint of violets aroused my senses! The mouth feel was full bodied, velvety, with a soft tannin structure. Vibrant flavors of blackberry, ripe black plum, mocha, and cedar. As the wine opened up a bit more, flavors of vanilla and a hint of herb became more pronounced. Lush and complex with a long finish. Pair this wine most red meat dishes, pasta with a tomato meat sauce, medium to strong cheeses, or a portobello mushroom burger.

Well, this is one genie that is not going back into the bottle. We really enjoyed this wine and we give the 2004 Chimney Rock Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon a 92 point rating! We felt it had all the right flavors with excellent structure and balance. If this genie had given me 3 wishes, I would have wished for more! And World Peace too, of course. If you have a 2004 vintage, it should age well into 2015 but it is tasting wonderful right now! WineSplashing!!
Red
1/23/2013 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
88 points
We have always found the Stephen Vincent wines to be easy going and have good flavor and value. This wine follows suit with a provocative blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet. In our glass, the Crimson has, well, a deep red crimson color. On the nose, enchanting aromas of dark berry, cassis, and even a hint of cinnamon spice! The mouthfeel is lush, full bodied, with warming tannins. Flavors of blackberry, plum, and spice arouses my palate! As the wine opened up a bit more, other flavors of ripe raspberry and toasty oak became more pronounced. The complex fruit and spices continues through to a clean finish. Pair this wine with medium to sharp cheeses, grilled red meats, a spicy pasta with tomato sauce, or a greek salad (with or without lamb).

This is a wine that we would buy again and feel it does pair well with good foods. We did enjoy it and give the 2010 Stephen Vincent Crimson blend an 88 point rating! It has a good structure and nice balance between fruit and spices. If you have a 2010 vintage, we recommend to drink it within the next 18 months. WineSplashing!!
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Red
1/16/2013 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
91 points
We have been looking forward to opening this wine and have only had good reviews from friends and from wine critics! This wine scored 92 points with Wine Enthusiast and 90 points with the Wine Advocate. We have always been fans of Souverain wines anyway so this one brings us back to its classic wine making style! We bought this bottle for $32 and worth every penny. In our glass, deep burgundy, even opaque in color. On the nose, hints of dark berry, black currant, anise, and herbs. On the palate, medium to full bodied, velvety, with a soft tannin structure. Flavors of blackberry, dried currant, spices, and toasty oak dance on our palate! Complex but with a long smooth finish that whispers leather, coffee, and more sweet oak! A wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley!
We had this wine with spicy steak wraps and it was a nice combination. Would also pair well with medium to sharp cheeses, grilled red meat, barbecued chicken, pasta with a tomato based sauce, and a spicy mushroom burger.

Yes, this is a perfect example of what Sonoma can really do with a Cabernet Sauvignon. We loved the complex layers and the menagerie of flavors! As we sipped this luscious wine, we had Mozart playing in the background which made tonight an elegant experience. We rate the 2005 Souverain Winemaker's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley 91 points! A wine worth waiting for and patience paid off. If you have a 2005 vintage, we recommend you drink it now through 2014. WineSplashing!!
Red
1/10/2013 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
We are never sure what to expect when we bring home a Malbec from the store. Many times we are very impressed with the flavors of the wine and other times a bit disappointed. But we are finding more quality Malbecs as time goes on. Winemakers are becoming more experienced and vines are getting more mature and producing much richer fruit. A friend of ours suggested we try “The Show” Malbec and we are glad we did! We love the bucking bronco and bright colors on the label! But we are much more swayed by whats IN the bottle than a bright, showy label. In our glass, the wine was a deep garnet color, almost purple! Aromas of dark fruit, ripe blueberry, vanilla, and smoke. The mouthfeel was full bodied, yet velvety over the palate. It has some nice tannins but not overly tight in the mouth. Flavors of ripe blackberry, cherry, white pepper, and toasty vanilla oak. As the wine opened up a bit more, we detected more spice, earth, and soft floral notes with a nice lingering finish. This is a great food wine and we enjoyed it with baked pork tenderloin. It would also pair well with most barbecued red meats, ribs, pasta with a tomato based sauce, or medium to strong cheeses.

We truly enjoyed the 2009 Three Thieves “The Show” Malbec and give it an 88 point rating. This is not a complex wine but there are a lot of flavor profiles going on here. A fairly balanced wine that displays more fruit upfront and lighter tannins on the finish. Overall a very good wine and under $15 a bottle. If you have a 2009 vintage, we would drink it by 2014 since the wine is just now starting to tame. But it is one that we feel you will enjoy. WineSplashing!!
Red - Fortified
12/25/2012 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
93 points
We love most styles of wine and port is one those styles that we drink in celebration or on a cold night. Well, just our luck, we got both last night when we celebrated a cold Christmas night with a very nice red port from Sandhill Crane Vineyards! One of the only wineries in our local area. We purchased this wine from the winery itself last summer and knew we would save it for the holidays. It is a 500ml bottle and was around $49 in price.... but worth every penny. When we opened the bottle and discovered fragrances of dried plum, tobacco, and sweet caramel. It had a very deep, garnet color in the glass. The mouthfeel was full bodied, soft, with velvety oils. Beautifully sculpted edges that rounded out any harsh tannins over the palate. Sweet flavors of vanilla, ripe plums, figs, and herbs. A long, smooth finish that pronounced even more vanilla and a hint of tobacco. Very smooth, sweet, and balanced with a warming sensation from the higher alcohol level. This is definitely a fortified wine that is made to replace a sweet dessert and would satisfy any vanilla or caramel lovers fantasy! Full, lush, and polished.

As you can tell, we truly loved this port wine and it truly lit up our holiday celebration. We give this Sandhill Crane 840 Red Port NV a deserving 93 point score! Soft, velvety, fruity, herbal, warming, and balanced. Terms like 'Nectar of the Gods' come to mind. If you are a port fan, this is a sweet port wine to experience and proud that it was produced in Michigan. If you can find this port in town or online, treat yourself to a bottle because we all deserve to be spoiled once in awhile. WineSplashing!!
White
12/20/2012 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
90 points
Some wines you sip and taste and others you "experience". This Stellucha Riesling Riserva is one to experience and enjoy. We call the wines we bring home from our wine journeys "Postcards" and this is a wonderful postcard from our past trip to the Niagara region in Canada last summer. We enjoy the wine and relive our trip through our Liquid Postcard and laugh about our experiences!

The Colaneri Estate Vineyard is a winery marvel with a beautiful Italian facade and even more amazing wines being produced inside! We brought home the 2009 Stellucha Riesling Riserva and had been looking forward to opening it. We finally opened our bottle last night and found we brought home the right choice. In the glass, daybright with light golden hues. On the nose, lemons, oranges, and apricots filled our senses with delight! The mouthfeel was full bodied, oily, with softer acids. Flavors of ripe peaches, apricots, citrus, spice, and a hint of floral on the palate. A long finish which includes orange zest, more peach, mineral, and a crisp but not edgy finish. A great wine to pair with medium to sharp cheeses, shrimp, seafood, pasta with cream sauces, salads, and baked/broasted chicken.

We feel this is one of the better North American Rieslings that are out there. We give the 2009 Colaneri Stellucha Riesling Riserva a well deserved 90 Points. Great balance of fruit, mineral, and spice with a long finish. A wonderful performance, applause, take a bow, and hopefully an encore. Our encore can only be one bottle at this time but we will make our trip back in 2013 for more Colaneri Riesling. It will probably be the next vintage but that is ok with us. When you can experience your wine trip again with these "Liquid Postcards", it makes life even more worth living! Next year, we will have a case of Colaneri Winery "postcards" making its way back with us. WineSplashing!!
Red
2005 Château Cantenac Climat St. Émilion Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/12/2012 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
91 points
This is a wonderful wine to experience from the Saint-Emilion region of France. It is 80% Merlot and it really shows it on the palate. We decanted the wine for 30 minutes prior to tasting and also used a wine aerator on the pour. Deep garnet color with ruby edges. On the nose, pomegranate, smoke, and wild spices! The mouthfeel was full bodied, silky, with a firm tannin structure. Flavors of red plum, blueberry, earth, and smoke on the first taste. As the flavors lingered, notes of mushroom, cranberry, and more smoke became pronounced on the long finish. Very nice and a good balance between fruit, smoke, and earth. A great wine to drink with food and we paired this wine with a seared chicken breast with a spicy tomato sauce base. We also think it would pair well with strong cheeses, grilled red meats, spicy tomato based pastas, or eggplant.

We really enjoyed the 2005 Chateau Cantenac Climat from Saint-Emilion. We bought this wine almost 4 years ago and were patient by keeping it in the cellar. We rate this wine 91 points and feel it is a great representation of a Merlot from Saint-Emilion. If you have a 2005 vintage, we feel it will be at its best from now through 2014. WineSplashing!!
Red
11/29/2012 - WineSplash Likes this wine:
89 points
Concannon wines are always a family favorite and the quality is always there. Received the Captain Joe's Petite Sirah as a gift and have been looking forward to popping it open.... which was tonight! On the nose, scents of mint, dark berry, and petrol. Medium to full bodied, soft on the palate, with a nice velvety consistency. Flavors of blackberry, ripe blueberry, and herbs. Long, juicy finish that shows even more dark berry and brambly tones. We had this great wine with a pork roast cooked in a crock pot with a barbeque rub and it paired perfectly! It would also pair well with medium to strong cheeses, roast beef, pasta with tomato meat sauce, or lamb.

This is a serious, flavorful wine that is great with food or on its own. We give this 2006 Concannon Vineyard Captain Joe's Petite Sirah 89pts and love its generous fruit and complex layers. Excite your palate and leave the mundane and give this wine a try! WineSplashing!!
White - Sparkling
N.V. Tabor Hill Grand Mark Lake Michigan Shore Chardonnay Blend, Chardonnay (view label images)
11/11/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
We fell in love with the Tabor Hill Grand Mark sparkling wine years ago and consistently purchase a few bottles a year for our family celebrations. This sparkling is done in Brut style and is made from hand picked Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Grapes. It was voted Michigan Best Sparkling Wine in 2007 and has won Best in Class! We picked up a few bottles last July and opened one this weekend for a family birthday party! On sight, daybright yellow with lots of lively bubbles. The nose had aromas of fresh apples, citrus, and toast. Over the palate, the wine was medium bodied, effervescent, with a good acid structure. Flavors of Macintosh Apples, citrus, and a bit of toast on the finish. Nice mouthwatering finish that is refreshing and lively! A great sparkler for appetizers like medium cheeses, shrimp cocktail, raw vegetables and dip, or fruit. Would also pair well with a fresh salad, chicken, seafood, or roasted turkey!

This is a Michigan sparkling wine with character and class. The tastes tell you it was made with loving care by a winemaker passionate about wine. We give the Tabor Hill Grand Mark Sparkling Wine 88 Points and feel it still is one of the best coming out of Michigan! This is a Non Vintage (NV) sparkling wine so there is no vintage date. They are usually released when the winemaker feels they are ready to be opened. So if you have a Grand Mark in your cellar, we suggest you drink it within a year of when you purchased it. Its fun to go to Tabor Hill Winery and restock anyway! WineSplashing!!
Red
11/4/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
Many people we know have been raving about this wine and we finally gave in and bought a bottle. We bought it on sale for $14 so it definitely is a good value for a 2007 Sonoma County Cabernet. On sight, this wine is a very nice garnet color with ruby hues on the edges. On the nose, there were aroma's of dark berry, plum, and vanilla spice. We seemed to get a sense of high alcohol and saw that it was at 13.9% which is just right for a big cabernet. Over the palate, the wine was full bodied, smooth, with a firm tannin structure. Flavors of ripe blackberry, loganberry, and toasty oak excited our palate! It was very fruit forward but had a nice balance of herb and spice on the long finish. As the wine opened up further, hints of olive oil and tobacco came through on the finish as well. We had this wine with a nice grilled steak and it was a wonderful combo! We would also pair it with most red meats, pasta with a tomato sauce, medium to sharp cheeses, or a Grilled Eggplant Parmesan.

We guess our friends were right and we did enjoy the 2007 Louis Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. We give this wine an 88 point rating and felt it is a wine that compliments good food. It is a very tasty and straight forward cabernet that doesn't try to be different. All the correct flavors are here for you to enjoy. If you have a 2007 vintage, we would drink it before 2014. WineSplashing!!
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Bogle Vineyards Phantom California Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
10/20/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
90 points
We have been saving this wine for a cool, blustery, Autumn night like tonight. The sun has been setting in the late afternoon and the smell of fallen leaves is in the air. And with Halloween only 10 days away, we felt it was time to release the Phantom! This mystical presence is a blend of Petite Sirah, Old Vine Red Zinfandel, and Old Vine Mourvedre. A whimsical, playful wine that is deep, dark, fun, and zesty! No 'tricks' here since this wine was a real 'treat'. On sight, the Phantom had a reflection that was a deep, dark, and garnet in color. In our glass, magical aromas of dark berry, black currant, cedar, and spices cast a spell on my sense of smell. On the palate, the Phantom was full bodied, rich, and eerily velvety. Enchanting flavors of fresh blueberry, ripe blackberry, cedar, and vanilla spice. Hints of cinnamon and earth led into a lush, eternal finish that made you thirsty for more! The Phantom was more than good, it was supernatural! We would pair this hauntingly tasty wine with most hearty dishes, red meats, barbeque, and medium to strong cheeses.

We really loved the Bogle Phantom and hope another 2007 vintage will materialize for us. But we feel that tasting a newer vintage will also be just as magical. We give this 2007 Bogle Phantom a 90 point rating which we feel is well deserved. Lots of lush dark fruits, exotic spices, and a long, full finish. If you have a 2007 vintage, we would drink this wine before 2014 to experience the best flavors. For you thrill seeking red wine lovers, we might also suggest that you go to your favorite cemetery at the next full moon and open your bottle at midnight to discover what the Phantom has in store for you! Aahhh...HaHaHaHaaaaaa! WineSplashing!!
Red
10/17/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
84 points
We LOVE the wine label! Eye catching paw prints in shiny neon red! We LOVE that this wine was blended by Eric Solomon at a Martin Codax property in Spain! We LOVE that the wine was aged in French & American Oak (2 months) and that Robert Parkers Wine Advocate gave it 90pts! All in all, this should be a wonderful wine and at $11 a bottle, you can't go wrong. This wine wasn't wrong, but it just wasn't right. It's not corked so I am assuming that this is what it is. On sight, it is a nice garnet color and very deep. On the nose, red berry, black cherry, red licorice, and spices jump from the glass! We really felt we found another winner! On the palate, this wine was medium to full bodied with soft, round tannins. Flavors of red berries upfront with red licorice, and some pencil lead. Lots of earthiness, alcohol, and quite of a short finish. We had this wine with grilled pork chops with cherry barbeque sauce. Probably a very good pairing for this wine. Other good choices may be medium to strong cheeses, grilled barbeque chicken, pasta with tomato based sauces, pizza, grilled portofino mushroom, or a good burger.

This wine was a decent wine for the price. Better and more interesting than Barefoot or Fetzer. It just didn't seem like all these flavor profiles gelled together. I honestly think the alcohol level was too high for the softer flavor profile and the alcohol took over. Also, we also think we expected too much from the famous winemaker, region, and grape variety and it fell a bit short. We have only had a few other Mencia wines but those were a bit nicer, brighter, and not as muddy as this one. We give this 2009 Bierzo Cuatro Pasos Mencia wine an 84 point score. We like earthy wines but this was not our style. If you have a 2009 vintage, I would drink this before 2014. WineSplashing!!
Red
10/13/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
There is a belief out there that wines that you buy from wineries while on vacation seem to taste better than what they really are. We have experienced this personally many times. You are having a great time, trying a lot of wines through the day, and the fun and atmosphere makes everything taste just a little bit better. Then you get home and open that same bottle of wine and wondered why you bought it. Well, we are glad to say that this is NOT the case with the 2009 Augusta Winery Norton (Cynthiana). We visit friends in the Augusta area every October and never miss the chance to stop by the local wineries. Augusta Winery is always a stop we look forward to on our wine weekend adventure! The bad news for us is that we just drank our last bottle of Augusta Winery Norton last night. The good news is that we go back to Augusta to visit our friends in 2 weeks! We are hoping it comes soon because we are already craving another bottle of Augusta Winery Norton now!

On sight, this wine is so dark and rich, it was purple in color in the glass. We knew then it was a 'Purple Teeth' night for sure! On the nose, intense aroma's of ripe black cherry, plum, and cigar box enticed our senses! On the palate, the mouthfeel was full bodied, juicy, with a medium tannin structure. Wonderful flavors of black cherry, ripe plum, and soft herbal spices. The finish was long and elegant with flavors of dried raspberry, cassis, and vanilla spice. We actually got a perception of an Amarone from the lush, jammy style finish! We bought this wine a year ago and it seems much more rich than it did back in 2011. We had this wine with a grilled steak with a Bourbon and Brown Sugar Marinade and it paired wonderfully! We suggest that you can also pair it with other red meat dishes, pasta with a tomato meat sauce, medium cheddar cheeses, and roast turkey or pheasant.

This was a "WoW" wine moment for us and we can't wait to restock this wine soon! It is a great food wine but can stand on its own very well, thank you. We give the 2009 Augusta Winery Norton an 88 point rating which was well deserved. It is aging nicely and it is at full flavor right now. If you have a 2009 vintage, we would drink it by the end of 2013 at the latest. WineSplashing!
White
10/9/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
85 points
There are many names that stand out in the world of wine. One of them is the Beringer name. When you hear that name, you can always be assured that you will be sipping a decent glass of wine. And after a long day at work, this wine really hit the spot today! On sight, this chardonnay was daybright with a yellow hue. On the nose, aroma's of tropical fruits, apples, and a hint of oak. On the palate, this chardonnay was medium in weight with a definitive round mouthfeel. Bright flavors of pear, citrus, and pineapple burst forward like an ocean wave! A clean, crisp finish with a touch of light oak. Pair this chardonnay with most any chicken dish, medium cheeses, grilled fish and seafood, pasta's with a cream sauce, and fresh salads.

This is a nice, refreshing, everyday type of wine that you wouldn't mind having everyday! We give this 2009 Beringer Founders Estate Chardonnay 85 points. Our Wine Dox Daisy loved this wine too! Great flavors, fresh, and pairs well with many foods. If you have a 2009 vintage, I would drink this sometime in 2013 at the latest. Life is too short to drink bad wines so drink this one instead and enjoy! Winesplashing!!
Red
10/3/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
85 points
Life is a bowl of cherries and so is this wine! If you enjoy a Pinot Noir with a cherry explosion, you have found your golden calf. We tend to buy wines and keep them for a few months (or longer) until we drink the wines that are currently on our "On Deck" wine rack. When those are depleted, we race into the cellar and choose another 12 wines to go "On Deck". We didn't keep this one in the cellar long but felt it should go nicely with tonight's meal. In our glass, this wine was a bright, ruby color. On the nose was ripe cherry, raspberry, and cinnamon spice. This pinot noir was beckoning to be baked in a Cherry Pie! The mouthfeel was medium body, soft, and silky. Even though this is a dry wine, flavors of sweet ripe cherry burst over my palate! Hints of plum, dried cranberry, and light spices followed into a nice, silky finish. Not a long finish, but left you with the feeling of wanting more! We paired this pinot noir with bbq pork chops with a sweet bbq sauce. It went together perfectly! We feel it would also pair well with any pork dish, medium cheeses, roast turkey, salmon, or a healthy salad.

This style wine is the type you could drink everyday. Soft tannins, fruity, and easy to drink. We give the 2009 BV Vineyard Coastal Estates Pinot Noir an 85 pt rating! This is one we would pick up again since it was a great value at $11 a bottle. (when we purchased it on sale). If you have a 2009 vintage, we suggest you drink it by 2013 at the latest. WineSplashing!!
Red
9/29/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
As the Michigan nights get progressively cooler, bigger, bolder red wines are in order to keep the heart pumping and to stay warm. We were glad with our decision to open up a good Rioja like this one. As they said in The Christmas Carol, "A Cheery warmly goodly wine that will race through your veins with little torches". Which could be a slight exaggeration, but warm enough to tap out a quick review on this wine. On sight, this wine was deep ruby in color. On the nose, ripe raspberry, cherry, and a hint of vanilla flirting with my senses. The spicy and exhilarating fragrance has teased us enough! The mouthfeel was full bodied, rich, and a sensation of some tight tannins. Flavors of black cherry, ripe raspberry, toast, and vanilla spice! Complex layers which lead into a good lengthy finish. Pair with medium to strong cheeses, spicy bbq ribs, grilled steak, and tomato based pastas.

The flavors work well together and it gives this wine some nice character and elegance. I am hoping the 2008 vintage is still available since I did buy this wine about a year ago. We really enjoyed the 2008 Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza and give it a rating of 88 points. If you have a 2008 vintage, drink it now through 2014. WineSplashing!!
Red
9/24/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
85 points
We are big fans of wines that offer different flavors than your usual red or white wine. The Carmenere grape is definitely one of those grapes of difference! On sight, this carmenere had a nice deep ruby hue and was clear. On the nose, intoxicating aroma's of dark fruits, vanilla, tobacco, and green pepper abound! Medium to full bodied on the palate with some edgy tannins over the tongue. Flavors of ripe black cherry, plum, and black pepper tease the senses. The finish showed more cherry, vanilla spice, and was still fairly tight. The finish was a bit short but still had some good flavors and nicely structured. I would pair this wine with medium to sharp cheeses, bbq or spicy red meats, or a tomato based pasta.

This was a nice, leisurely wine for a monday evening. It is lighter in style, easy to drink, and only $11 a bottle! Some Carmenere's are bigger, bolder, and richer but we still enjoyed it and we were glad we tried it. We give this 2009 Chilensis Carmenere Reserva 85 pts. It is nice to find a tasty, quality wine at a good low price. Our Wine Dox Daisy approves this wine and gives it 2 Paws out of 4. If you have a 2009 vintage, I would drink this before the end of 2013. There are 52 mondays in a year so I am sure we will try this Carmenere again! WineSplashing!!
Red
9/21/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
89 points
Lingering in South Africa last evening as we were sipping The Wolftrap red wine. This is a blend that is mostly Syrah, followed by Mourvedre and Viognier. I will be honest and say I became hooked on the Wolftrap 2008 vintage but felt the 2009 was a bit lackluster. The 2009 changed to an American Palate wine which was overly fruity, soft, & a bit flabby. It made me wonder what would be in this 2011 bottle. I must say the great flavors are back and this is an impressive wine again! This wine has a very vivid red color and purplish on the edges. The nose had a nice aroma of dark berry, violets, smoke, and a bit of funk.... which is usually a good thing. (for us anyway). On the palate, it was full bodied, silky, and a feeling of some nice tannins. Flavors of black currants, dried plums, tobacco, & spice teased my taste buds! As the wine opened up more, more hints of smoke, vanilla, and a long smooth finish. Pair this with medium to strong cheeses, grilled steak, pasta with (or without) meat sauce, and mushroom burgers. Or for the vegetarian - Portobello Mushroom Burgers! The smoke and funk will be like a symphony!

We are so glad that the 2011 Boekenhoutskloof Wolftrap is back and tastes like our favorite 2008 vintage. So now we have 2 favorite vintages! Intense dark fruit flavors, spice, smoke, & a bit of funk! Perfect for us! We do think an 89 point rating is deserving. If you have a 2011, this should keep well through 2014. WineSplashing!!
Red
9/17/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
85 points
We picked up this wine travelling through the Finger Lakes, NY with friends. We stopped at White Springs Winery on beautiful Seneca Lake and we enjoyed many of their wines. This one was a very flavorful red and at an extremely good value being under $12 a bottle. This is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. In our glass, this wine was a nice, deep garnet color. On the nose, lots of dark berry, black cherry, and spice. Over the palate, this wine is very soft, smooth, and is full bodied. Flavors of blackberry, plum, spices, and a hint of green pepper. It was very mellow with a smooth finish. A nice easy drinking wine for everyday sipping and to pair with food. We had this wine with barbequed pork chops and it paired very nicely. It would also pair with pork tenderloin, pasta with tomato sauce, or a greek salad.

This was a nice everyday wine and would give it 85 points. Our Wine Dox Daisy gives it 3 1/2 paws out of 5! Lots of great berry flavors, ripe fruit, and a smooth finish! This is a non vintage wine and it should be best if you drink it within 6 months of when you purchased it. WineSplashing!!
Red
9/15/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
93 points
WoW, we are glad we waited on this wine because its been calling our name for over a year now to drink it! This bottle came in a clean white tissue paper so it just screams Elegance! and Drink Me! But patience pervailed and we found a very pleasing, flavorful wine. On sight, garnet color with bright ruby edges. On the nose came violets, cherry, mocha, and spice! (especially by the time the wine opened up at the 2nd glass). The mouthfeel was very rich, oily, and full bodied. On the palate, an abundance of rich dark berry, mocha, cinnamon spice, and oak. The tannins have kept up their strength over the years because there was still a nice grip over the palate and a long, lush finish. This wine and red meat are a marriage made in Heaven. Pair with a grilled steak, rich tomato meat pasta's, strong cheeses, or a beef prepared with light spices.

We love this wine! Rich, full bodied, zesty, excellent fruit, and a long, robust finish. We give this 2006 Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec a 93 point rating. On our SiNoTas scale, a strong A rating for sure! Its one of those situations where you knew you should have bought more of this wine years ago and now that you love it, it will be difficult to find more. But such as life. We enjoyed this wine experience and the patience was well worth it. If you have a 2006 vintage, I would drink it now or within the next 6 months. Its at the peak of perfection now. WineSplashing!!
Red
9/5/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
87 points
We visited Mastronardi Winery in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada. This is in the southwestern part of Ontario just north of Lake Erie. Because of its proximity to Lake Erie, the climate here stays more temperate and becomes a perfect place to grow grapes! On sight, this Cabernet Franc had a nice bright, ruby color. On the nose, aroma's of ripe cranberry, pepper, with a hint of smokiness. On the palate, this wine was medium to full bodied in weight with a slight tannic feel. Flavors of raspberry, red currants, bell peppers, and spice. The finish was long with an essence of cranberry and oak. We served this wine with barbecued pork chops and it matched perfectly! It would also pair well with medium to strong cheeses, barbecue chicken or ribs, a tomato based pasta, or greek salad with gyro meat (lamb).

We did enjoy this wine and it is very food friendly. We give this 2008 Mastronardi Estate Cabernet Franc an A- on our SiNoTas scale. We liked the ripe red berry, bell pepper, and smokiness on the mid palate. It was a softer style Cabernet Franc and we feel it gives it more options to pair with good foods. If you have a 2008 vintage of this wine, we feel it will hold well into 2014. But why wait? It tastes great right now! WineSplashing!!
White - Off-dry
8/23/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
90 points
In the summertime, there is nothing like a chilled white wine that tastes bright, fresh, and fruity. And that is exactly what you get with the 2011 Flying Otter "Sunshine"! This is a wonderful white wine blend with all the grapes being grown in Southeastern Michigan. It is off-dry so it has a hint of sweetness and a long, fresh, fruity finish. As I poured some into my glass, the wine was clear and starbright in color. On the nose, aroma's of tropical fruit, citrus, and pear was filling my senses with anticipation! On the palate, exotic flavors of pineapple, young stone fruit, pear, and more citrus! It was medium to full body with a soft, creamy mouthfeel. The finish was very long with mineral notes and just the slight essence of honey on the back palate. This wine was reminiscent of a pinot grigio but with more fruit and softer edges. Pair with medium cheeses, baked ham, sweet and sour chicken (or ham), a greek or summer salad, and pasta primavera.

We really enjoyed this wine and found it exciting, yet laid back at the same time. It is a wine I would like to revisit in the near future. On our SiNoTas Scale, we give the 2011 Flying Otter Sunshine White Wine an A rating. It had nice acid which made it bright, flavorful, and gave it a long finish. Even our Wine Dox Daisy gave it 4 Paws out of 5 so it has to be good! And even if you didn't trust us, this wine did win a Gold Medal recently at the 2012 Michigan Wine and Spirits Competition! Check out www.FlyingOtter.com for more information about this wine and other wonderful wines from Flying Otter Winery! So find some "Sunshine" soon and keep it nearby because in Michigan, the next weather change is always right around the corner. WineSplashing!
Red
8/21/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
91 points
This is not your normal California fruity Pinot Noir. This wine actually has a little more character and a lot less fruit. It honestly seems to taste closer to an Oregon Pinot Noir and has more flavors and layers. On sight, garnet in the center and more ruby colored along the edges. The nose has aromas of ripe cherry, herb, cinnamon, mushroom, and oak. All the characteristics that normally lead to a more earthy style wine. On the palate, lush black cherry, raspberry notes, earth, and clove. Medium to full bodied with a soft, elegant mouthfeel. A nice long finish that brings out more sweet cherry, cinnamon, plum pit, and a toasty vanilla oak finish. Lots of layers and good balance of fruit and rustic flavors. Pair this medium smoked cheeses, wild game, smoked duck, pork, and tomato based pasta's.

On our SiNoTas scale, we give the 2009 Michael Pozzan Annabella Carneros Pinot Noir an A-. This wine came under the radar for us since it was not your normal fruit bomb California Pinot Noir. It had more character and style. More layers and more earthiness. If you have a 2009, it should hold well through 2014. WineSplashing!
White - Sparkling
8/15/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
81 points
I have enjoyed many of the Coppola products and had an earlier vintage of Sofia Blanc de Blanc before and liked it. The 2009 seems to be lacking in some fruit flavors and leaning more towards minerality and herb. On Sight, it is straw yellow in color so that is good. On the nose, some peach, citrus, and a hint of floral. On the palate, lots of effervescence with a medium weight mouth feel. Light flavors of stone fruit. herb, minerality, and almost a "wheat" like finish that you would get from a wheat beer. Not a beer taste, just this essence of wheat. It was very refreshing and light and would be great on a hot summer day. Hopefully we have a few of those left! But it was nice and would be interested in trying a new vintage soon. This would pair well with shrimp and seafood, baked chicken with lemon, light to medium cheeses, or a light salad.

On our SiNoTas scale, I would give the 2009 Francis Ford Coppola 'Sofia' Blanc de Blanc a B rating. Light and effervescent and refreshing on a hot day! If you have a 2009, I would drink it by the end of this year because I don't feel it will improve anymore with age. Unless you prefer a sparkling wine with less fruit and more herb. WineSplashing!
Red
2008 Orin Swift The Prisoner Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend, Zinfandel (view label images)
8/13/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
91 points
Was preparing baby back ribs with a spicy rub and figured it was time to let the Prisoner escape from my cellar! I have had a few Orin Swift wines in the past and have always found them to be great tasting wines. This one followed suit and was a perfect match for my ribs. The Prisoner is a red meritage that is mostly red zinfandel but also has cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and about 4 other red grapes blended in. On sight, this wine was garnet, very inky in color. No light was shining through this wine! On the nose, ripe black currants, smoke, herbs, and pepper filled my senses. On the palate, this wine was full bodied, rich, and heavier mouthfeel. Lush blackberry, blueberry, peppercorn, cedar, and a hint of cherry and smoke. It had a nice long, robust finish. I did not decant this wine but kept the cork off for about 30 minutes. On my 2nd glass, it opened up further to show more ripe cherry, dried fruit, oak and an even longer, silkier finish. Other foods this would pair with would be a sharp or pepper style cheese, grilled steak, barbecue pork ribs (with a spicy dry rub!), pasta with a spicy tomato meat sauce, or an Eggplant and Peppers Rigatoni.

This is a wonderful tasting wine and will pair with heavier, spicier foods. Great structure and tannins with a long finish. Robust but with some nice lush fruit to balance. We did enjoy the Orin Swift "The Prisoner" Red Blend and give it an A on the SiNoTas scale. Lots of layers, lots of great flavors, and a big, robust finish! This wine is tasting perfect right now. I honestly don't think it will get any better with age. If you have a 2008, I would drink it within the next 12 months at the most. WineSplashing!!
4 people found this helpful Comment
White
8/10/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
89 points
We truly enjoyed this wine and it is a perfect summer wine! Paired well with our grilled chicken tonight! In the glass, clear yellow daybright. On the nose, lots of tropical fruit, especially pineapple and some floral notes. On the palate, lots of lively acidity, medium weight mouthfeel. Exploding with flavors of ripe peach, pineapple, and citrus! Good acidity takes it to a long, mouthwatering finish. Crisp finish when chilled but as it reached room temperature, it became very soft and easy going.......which was nice for our meal. Great tasting wine to pair with food or just hang out on the patio on a hot day! Pair this wine with chicken, seafood, medium cheeses, or fresh summer salads. Versatile with many white meat foods, vegetarian, or cream based pasta's.

On our SiNoTas scale, we rate this 2010 Augusta Winery Seyval Blanc and A-. Great flavors, fresh, fruity, and refreshing! Our wine dog Daisy gives this wine 4 Paws out of 5. If you have a 2010 vintage, I would drink this wine by the summer of 2013. Its very drinkable right now! Winesplashing!
Red
8/9/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
We tasted this bottle while on vacation in Niagara-on-the-Lake and truly enjoyed it. We just opened it again tonight and was impressed with how it is evolving. The color is a deep ruby color in the core and ruby on the edges. The nose is just wonderful with exuberant black cherry, strawberry, and vanilla teasing at my senses! On the palate, medium to full bodied with rich and creamy mouthfeel. Lush dark berry, spice, and a hint of mocha on the finish. The length of the finish was good with decent tannin structure. We had this with barbecue pork spare ribs and it was perfect! Would also pair it with a flat iron steak, pasta with tomato meat sauce, or a good angus burger.

On our SiNoTas scale, I would give the 2009 Lailey Vineyard Zweigelt a B+. Good nose and nice balance of fruit and spice. A good food wine which is very easygoing and won't overwhelm the flavors of most types of food. I definitely look forward to going back to Niagara-on-the-Lake and buying this again! If you have a 2009 vintage, I would drink this by the end of 2013. WineSplashing!
Red
8/7/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
86 points
We had barbecued pork chops tonight and figured this would be a nice pairing and it was! The wine was a bright ruby color in the glass. On the nose, lots of dark berry, cherry, petrol, and oaky notes. On the palate, the wine was between medium and full bodied and a soft mouthfeel. Flavors of ripe plum, black cherry, earth, & a light oak. Not a long finish but pleasing and just enough tannins to give good structure. This wine would pair well with barbecue chicken or pork chops, medium cheeses, pasta with a tomato sauce base, and even pizza! If you have a 2008 St Hallett GST, I think this wine would have enough Ooomph to get you til the end of 2013 but would drink it by then before any flavors fade.

On my SiNoTas scale, I give this wine a B+. Good color, easy to drink, and lots of satisfying flavors. Won't blow your socks off but a nice wine for dinner or sipping on the patio. I look forward to trying a newer vintage soon! WineSplashing!
White - Sparkling
8/2/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
We opened this bottle to celebrate my girlfriends new job! L Mawby is one of the names I always look for when I am in the mood for a sparkling wine! All his bubbly's are great and you can tell he uses local grapes and the quality is always there. I am proud to say it is a Michigan sparkling! When we poured the Cremant into the glass, it was a light golden color with lots of festive bubbles. On the nose, lots of ripe apple, citrus, and yeasty notes. Perfect for a hot summer evening! On the palate, more fresh apple, pear, almonds, and a toasty finish. Full bodied with a full, creamy (yet bubbly) mouthfeel. Nice long finish that arouses your senses and makes you want more! Pair with shrimp cocktail, medium cheeses, or a fresh salad. Many champagnes and sparkling wines are made with chardonnay or pinot noir, but Larry Mawby used 100% estate grown Vignoles from the Leelanau Peninsula AVA. Very interesting and very flavorful!

This is a sparkling you can celebrate with, have with appetizers, or enjoy relaxing on the patio. It is fun, festive, and it really is a "Party in your Mouth"! I am always impressed with the Mawby sparklers and always have a couple bottles in my cellar. You really can't go wrong! On our SiNoTas scale we give the 2007 L Mawby Cremant Classic Brut a B+. Wine Dox Daisy gives it 4 Paws out of 5! The flavor profile was correct but I wish we had opened this wine earlier in the year. If you have a 2007, I would drink it by the end of 2012 to get the best flavors. Maybe it will be your New Years Eve Sparkling this year! WineSplashing!
Red
7/29/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
We at WineSplash love going to the Niagara Peninsula in Canada to taste wines! And Chateau Des Charmes is definitely one of our favorite places! The Mansion-like chateau, surrounding vineyards, and elegance of the interior is just magnificent! Last night, we drank the 2009 Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc and truly enjoyed it. A lovely ruby color and just light enough to see through. On the nose, lots of ripe red berry, currant, smoke, and spice. On the palate, it was medium bodied with a soft mouthfeel. The flavors were just perfect with lots of briarberry, young blackberries, white pepper, and spice! Good long finish that evolved into flavors of bell pepper, cassis, and smoky oak. A great wine that paired well with our barbeque ribs last night! Would also pair well with stuffed peppers, pasta with tomato meat sauce, sausage, or chicken with barbeque sauce.

So a very nice Cabernet Franc that pairs well with food. On our SiNoTas scale, we give this 2009 Chateau Des Charmes Cabernet Franc a B+. This was a little bit lighter style than we normally like but still flavorful. If you have the 2009, I think it has enough tannins to do well through 2014. WineSplashing!
White
7/28/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
92 points
Who says only good Chardonnay comes from California?! Out of Fairport, New York in the Finger Lakes region, we found a wonderful Chardonnay that is fresh and full of flavor! (and only $12.99 a bottle!). We were wine touring with friends in the Finger Lakes & it was recommended that we stop at Casa Larga Winery. This chardonnay is straw yellow in color with nice long legs in the glass. Fantastic nose bursting with tropical fruit, ripe citrus, orange blossom, ginger, & butter. Yes, we were enticed! On the palate, it was a menagerie of flavors! Young pineapple, citrus, and other tropical fruits upfront. Medium bodied with a soft mouthfeel. A nice long finish with flavors of vanilla, buttery toffee, spice, and oak! A perfect balance of fresh fruit, spices, and oak. Every sip brought you another new exotic flavor! This would pair well with a broasted chicken, chicken alfredo, pork roast, a summer salad, or medium to sharp cheeses.

We found out later that this chardonnay was aged in stainless steel and then blended with 4 types of oak aged chardonnays - Hungarian, Yugoslavian, American, & French. We truly enjoyed this Casa Larga Chardonnay CLV and for price and flavor, it is a definite Best Buy! On our SiNoTas scale, we give this chardonnay an A. We do not live in NY but we are calling the winery this week to have them ship us a couple more bottles. This is a great food wine, cheese wine, or on its own just relaxing on the patio!

The puppy in the wine photo is our new WineSplash dog mascot, Daisy! She will be helping us review wines and giving her own opinions. She has a great nose and a long finish herself! :) We love our new Wine Dox and she rates this wine 4 Paws out of 5. WineSplashing!
Red
7/21/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
92 points
This is such a deep, complex, and layered wine! Loved all the different dimensions that this wine brought to the table as it decanted between glasses. This is not a wine for the novice so if you still love Apothic Red, hold out a few more years. Trust me, you will enjoy the Tintara Shiraz more then. LoL! On sight, this wine is a very deep violet, almost black in color. It lets no light through except at the edges. It is very fragrant on the nose with aroma's of dark ripe blackberries, currants, dark chocolate, and cigar box spice. All the favorite things you would love to find in a red wine! The mouthfeel is very dense, full bodied, and lush. Softer tannins but nice structure. Flavors of dark forest berries, dried plums, cocoa, and more spices! The finish had some sweet vanilla oak and was very smooth and soft on the finish. As the wine decanted further, I tasted some blueberry, tobacco, chocolate, and ginger spice. It kept the silky finish right up til the end of the bottle. This wine would pair wonderfully with a beef roast, pasta with tomato meat sauces, or a grilled steak, or grilled mushroom burger (for the vegetarian).

I received this wine as a gift about a year ago and wished I would have opened it then. I think the extra year of storage really softened the wine a bit. So if you have a 2006, I would drink it before the end of 2012. So on my SiNoTas scale, I give this wine an A-. Wonderful flavors and dimensions. Lots of lush upfront fruit, cigar box, spices, and a smooth finish. I would give this wine an A but I would have loved a more edgier finish. I am sure newer vintages would have that so my next project is to buy a newer vintage and see what happens. Winesplashing!
Red
7/11/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
90 points
I have always felt that a blended wine was the signature of the winemaker. He or she blended and adjusted the varieties and amounts until they felt it tasted the best for us to enjoy. Winemaker Stephen Black did a great job at putting his red wine ‘Concoction’ together which is a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, & Mourvedre. On sight, it’s a wonderful garnet color with a tinge of red brown maturity. The nose is very unique and interesting. It has distinct saddle leather, dark berry, spicebox, and tobacco aromas. But the flavor is where it is most interesting. Brambly dark fruits, blackberry, herbs, and a zesty spice on the palate. Very full bodied and a warm smoky finish that does not quit! Maybe because it is almost 16% alcohol is why it’s so warm and spicy! This wine would pair well with any food that is spicy and has a little bit of heat. Especially if those dishes have red meat or pork. So think barbeque, zesty chili, pasta with red meat tomato sauce, or spicy Mongolian Beef.

So on my SiNoTas scale, I give Mr. Blacks Concoction an A- rating. All the right flavors and a robust finish I love! I feel I would like it even better if there was more of a balance between the fruit, smoke, and spice. And maybe there is a lack of fruit since this is a 2005 vintage and it is fully matured. But it is a fun wine and worth the try! If you have a 2005 in your cellar, I would drink it in the next 12 months. Winesplashing!
White
7/3/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
89 points
Happy Independence Day! Celebrating our country's freedom with a good chardonnay. On sight, this wine is a golden straw color. The nose is a plethora of wonderful aroma's. Baked pear, ripe apples, vanilla, oak, honey, and pineapple abound! On the palate, the mouthfeel is very full, creamy, and soft. A good balance of tropical fruit, citrus, pear, cinnamon, and vanilla oak. A good deal of acidity which leads to a long, oaky finish. This chardonnay is very lively and bursting with flavor and would pair well with medium to sharp cheeses, pork, herb chicken, and hearty summer salads. We had this with baked pork chops with herbs and it went wonderful! We had the 2008 chardonnay and it is at the perfect point to drink now, but I do think it will age nicely up til 2014.

So on the SiNoTas scale, I give the Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay an A-. It has all the right flavors, it has lively fruit and a long oak finish. Full bodied, great with food, and the flavors keep on coming. Celebrating the 4th of July with the sound of booming fireworks and a great chardonnay. Winesplashing!
White
6/30/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
87 points
Sometimes you just turn off the beaten path and try to find something different. Touring with friends who live in Augusta, Missouri, we come across a nice little winery called Noboleis (noble eyes) Vineyards. We tried many good wines here but left with Baril De Blanc which is a Vidal Blanc. This Vidal Blanc is barrel fermented and sur-lie aged so it could definitely pack a punch! On sight, the wine is day bright and is clear with a straw color. On the nose, aroma's of citrus, pear, toasted oak, and butterscotch. Very interesting and appealing at the same time! But on the palate, it has a full mouthfeel with about the same consistency as a chardonnay. Crisp in the beginning with lots of citrus fruit and oak. Flavors of pear come through with a hint of nuttiness. The finish is long with lots of buttery oak that goes on forever! This would be a wonderful wine to go with most any type of chicken dish, smoked salmon, or a hearty salad. If you have a vintage 2010 Baril De Blanc, I would drink this no later than 2013. The flavors are correct right now and its nicely balanced.

So for the Noboleis Baril De Blanc (Vidal Blanc), I would score this wine as a B+ on the SiNoTas scale. Vidal Blanc can sometimes have some odd flavors but this one was done right! Good balance between fruit and oak, nice legs, long finish. A good wine at the right price. So if you are in the beautiful hills around Augusta, Missouri visiting the wineries, make a stop at Noboleis Vineyards and pick up a Baril De Blanc or two. If you like the chardonnay style, then you are sure to enjoy this wine. Winesplashing!
Red
6/26/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
85 points
Perfect wine to pair with our pork chops with a spicy warm rub. Wine Spectator gave this wine 90 Points! I think it was a very good wine and I always taste the wine before I start drinking them with food. Beautiful cherry, ginger, apricots, & violets on the nose. Very lively on the palate and bursting with ripe red berries, bing cherries, spice, and tea. Silky smooth with a medium weighted mouthfeel. The finish was soft and clean, but it seemed a little short on the finish. I definitely enjoyed it and would try it again....probably the 2010 next. I would drink this before 2014 if you have any in your cellar. Especially if the fruit is fading on the short finish. Pairs well with barbeque chicken, salmon, barbeque or spicy pork chops or a hearty summer salad (with fruit).

I give this A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir an 85 on the SiNoTas scale. Wonderful nose brings in high points. Good, balanced taste on the palate, but a short finish brought my score down or I would have scored this an 89. WineSplashing!
White - Sparkling
6/3/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
84 points
So its sunday afternoon and I already missed brunch but in the mood for something tasty and exciting. What better answer is there but a nice dry style prosecco! Its been awhile since I had the Mionetto IL Prosecco but I do keep a couple extra bottles in my basement for those relaxing afternoons. Put the corkscrew aside since this prosecco has a "Crown" and you will need a bottle opener instead. Straw colored and a fun, festive party going on in my glass! On the nose, notes of fresh cut pears, melon, and apples. On the palate, flavors of ripe, juicy apples, citrus, and stone fruit. A good balance of fruit with a soft, lightly effervescent finish. It is a very easy going wine..... simple, yet appealing. After drinking a glass or two, I added some blueberries and muddled them up in my glass. It was perfect! A beautiful sunny day, a cold sparkling blueberry prosecco, and Dave Matthews on the radio. Couldnt be much better.

So on my SiNoTas scale, I give this easy going prosecco an 84. Good tasting, very fresh, lots of fruit, and a fun, festive finish. Drink this wine soon after purchase because it is not meant to age. Drink this prosecco fresh! And I love having the ability to add more fruit if I wanted to change up the flavor. Next time I am going to use raspberries or blackberries! Winesplashing!
White
2009 King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris (view label images)
5/28/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
91 points
Finding some fantastic white wines in my cellar and came across the King Estate Pinot Gris 2009 (Oregon Signiture). With the 2009 date, thought it would be a good time to give it a whirl. Daybright and very clear in the glass. On the nose, lots of tangerine, ripe pear, and even a hint of floral and herb. Tantalizing to say the least! On the palate, pure bliss! Bursting with bright citrus, ripe pear, and soft green apple flavors! Even a teasing of white peach and almond emerging on the finish. The mouthfeel was full with a perfect balance of fruit, herb, and acidity. Lingering finish which begs you to taste more! I drank this on its own but it would be a perfect wine with fresh summer salads, seafood, light pasta's, and light to medium cheeses. I would drink this now if you have a 2009 in your cellar! Or at least before the end of summer.

So I do give this wine a 91 on my SiNoTas scale. (Sight, Nose, Taste). It really was the Trifecta for me in all senses and about as close to perfect as I have found. Going to seek out another 2009 this week and also the current vintage since King Estate always seems to be dependable in quality. WineSplashing!
Red
5/7/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
90 points
Very Impressive! Bordeaux blend that is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (with some Malbec & Petit Verdot). I bought this bottle for $9.99 and it tasted better than most $25 Bordeaux's! I have had some very decent wines from Sterling Vineyards and most of them I would rate somewhere between 82-86 points.... very respectable. But honestly, this 2009 Meritage really blew me away! A very nice garnet color with good legs. Whimsical on the nose with notes of cherry, dark berry, and a hint of spice. On the palate, this wine has a full, rich mouthfeel. It is bursting with flavors of blackberry, ripe plum, cedar, and cinnamon spice. Great balance of fruit and spice which leads to a long, vanilla oak finish! Wonderful tannin structure which is warm, firm, and youthful. I definitely recommend this wine as one to try and would pair perfectly with red meat with a spicy barbeque sauce, spicy marinade, or tomato pasta sauce. I give the Sterling Vineyards VC 2009 Meritage an 'A' on the SiNoTas scale. All the right flavors, all balanced, and an edgy, provacative finish. Drink now - 2014.... but I cant help but to drink more Right Now! WineSplashing.....
White
5/3/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
86 points
A hot thursday in Michigan and my mood has changed to white wines tonight. So I opened up the Martin Ray Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2008 to quench my proverbial thirst! No cork in this bottle since it is a twist off cap. I guess even the more elite, upscale wineries have to follow the trends sometimes. So corkscrew aside, I opened up my bottle and poured. Nice and clear with a good straw color. On the nose, lots of citrus, orange peel, ripe apricot, rustic oak, and a hint of vanilla. Ok, I have teased my palate enough so I go in for the kill...... the consistancy is very rich, even oily, and it is definitely creamy. Flavors of tropical fruit, apricot, and a little hint of floral. Lots of oak and vanilla from the french oak barrels it was aged in. This wine is very pleasing and I do enjoy it. The balance of flavors is very nice and the structure is good. The acid level is low but that could be because it is a 4 year old chardonnay. The finish is long, but not too lingering so the acid level must be low. A good wine for someone wanting to get into a good, heavy chardonnay without the big bite on the finish. The flavors are all good, they are all there, but this chardonnay is not as bright as I like them. I like my wines and chardonnays a bit edgier with a much longer, lingering finish. If you have a 2008, I would drink this before the end of 2012. So on my SiNoTas scale, I would give this chardonnay a B+. This is a very good, pleasing chardonnay and I would like to try a newer vintage from Martin Ray soon!
Red
5/2/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
88 points
I dont think it is possible to dislike a wine from Concannon Vineyards when the predominant grape is Petite Sirah. I mean, the father of America's first Petite Sirah is Jim Concannon and his experience with growing excellent Petite Sirah is second to none! So it should hold true that the Crimson & Clover will be fantastic since it is a blend of 50% Petite Sirah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, & 10% Zinfandel. Well, I always give credit when credit is due, but the honest truth always lies in the pudding... or the wine I should say.

I opened up this bottle last night for a leisurely glass of wine and a bit of Dubliner cheese. In the glass, it was a bright, clear, garnet color. Long burgundy color legs. On the nose, dark fruit, nutmeg, and even a bit floral. Very pleasing on the palate. Very rich with lots of blackberry, black cherry, and some brambly spiciness in the back palate. It even had a mid palate chocolate but a hint of vanilla on the finish. The mouthfeel was soft and creamy, but bursting with fruit and spice! I really enjoyed this wine and I think it is a perfect wine for the new American palate. Lots of fruit, soft spices, and a soft finish. I like my wines a bit edgier and provocative but this is a wine I would buy again and you cant beat the price at $9.99 a bottle! So I give this an A- SiNoTas. (SIght, NOse, TASte). Its the Trifecta on the softer side of my palate! WineSplashing!!!
Red
4/29/2012 - WineSplash wrote:
87 points
Very nice presentation with a deep garnet color and legs that go forever! Ripe strawberry nose with a hint of oak and chocolate. On the palate, lush dark berry, blackberry, and a hint of dark chocolate. Quite a mouthful with a good lively acidity. The finish was a bit short but very smooth and lush. I was expecting more of a zesty finish as most red zinfandels seem to have and that is something that I personally enjoy. I think this is a very good wine, more elegant than most red zinfandels, but lacks some of the zestiness I like. Looking forward to the next vintage! WineSplashing......
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