Antiquum Farm, Pinot Noir – 2016

  • Basic info: Antiquum Farm “Juel” Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley, Oregon – 2016
  • Type: Red
  • Price estimate: $40
  • Look: Inky. Dark Purple/plum in color.
  • Smell: fresh tobacco, red berries, grape jam and leather.
  • Taste: Cherry, blackberry and a little tart. Notes of pepper, spice and jam with a velvety texture. Coco and pepper on the finish.
  • Conclusions: Amazing. Completely blown away by this one.
  • Other notes: We opened this bottle one night when I didn’t care that it was mid-90s in October as I just really wanted a red wine. I figured Pinot Noir is a lighter red wine and would be fine. We had this bottle for a little while and we just decided to open it. I was a little worried when I smelled the wine, but holy cow the taste! I added this one to my (very short) list of wines that were completely exceptional and just about perfect – the 95 plus wines if I was into giving numbers. This one was complex, fruity without being sweet, and was one of the best wines I think I’ve had. Yes, it is on the expensive side, but I have to say – worth every penny.
  • From the bottle: “Antiquum Farm’s high elevation, thin soil site is a place of anomaly. Perhaps an oddity. This site is capable of consistently producing a balance of extremes between luxuriously ripe fruit and high-toned rippling acidity. Our farming preserves the unique attributes of this site. No off-farm fertilizers are used. native cover crops are encouraged and graze year round with a menagerie of livestock. Exhaustive measures of meticulous hand labor embody our love of farming. These old world methods create one of the region’s most unique and intensely personal wines. This is more than a way of growing wine. This is a way of life.”  14.3% alcohol by volume.

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Gruber Roschitz, Gruner Veltliner – 2017

  • Basic info: Gruber Roschitz, Gruner Veltliner, Weinviertel, Germany – 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $15 (Total Wine)
  • Look: very pale yellow.
  • Smell: Lemon and apples
  • Taste: Green apple and lemon dominate the first sip. Slate, some saline and white peach in the middle with a great lemon zest finish.
  • Conclusions: This wine was better than expected. It was really enjoyable to sip in the evening and went pretty well with dinner. It sounds super acidic and while there is a good amount of acid in the glass, it is balanced and just a nice sipping wine.
  • Other notes: I picked up this bottle almost entirely for the label. It was a varietal I like and a really cute label, so sure – I’ll try it. I was very pleasantly surprised by it and will definitely pick up another or bottle or two when I want a crisp white wine.
  • From the bottle: “The Weinveirtel is famous for its spicy-fruit Gruner Veltliner. The soil around Roschitz consists largely of loess and granite bedrock and provides a distinctive Gruner Veltliner. It smells like fresh pear, yellow fruit and herbal spice with a peppery feel.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Barbanera, White Blend – 2015

  • Basic info: Collezione Famiglla Barbanera, “Pian Oro” White blend – Tuscany, Italy, 2015
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $15 (local wine store)
  • Look: pale yellow straw
  • Smell: lemon, honey, pear, cut grass, peach
  • Taste: Soft lemon – not sweet but round and not really tart – apricot, white grape, honey. Lemon candy and peach on the finish.
  • Conclusions: Nice wine. Easy to drink.
  • Other notes: I picked up this bottle because I wanted to try something different and it looked pretty good. It didn’t knock my socks off, but it was a nice wine to have for a few days. It wasn’t my favorite with dinner, but by itself it was good. Given that it is October, I was really hoping for some cooler weather and a good red right about now, but summer is hanging on an 90 plus degree days with high humidity kind of call for white wine.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes.

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Panther Rock Wine Cellars, Rose of Pino Noir – 2016

  • Basic info: Panther Rock Wine Cellars “Six Degrees” Rose of Pinot Noir, California – 2016
  • Type: Rose
  • Price estimate: $13 (local wine store)
  • Look: Orange/pink. Darker than expected for a rose.
  • Smell: iced tea, raspberry syrup
  • Taste: Powdered ice tea mix, artificial lemon flavor, raspberry. Not as sweet as it sounds and it has a tart finish.
  • Conclusions: Very weird, but not un-enjoyable. Easy enough to drink, but it didn’t really remind me of wine.
  • Other notes: When we were kids my parents use to buy these very large containers of powdered iced tea mix. I think dad liked the lemon flavored tea, but we made a gallon at a time with the powdered mix. This tasted exactly as I remembered that powdered iced tea tasting. Seriously, I looked at the bottle twice to make sure it was actually wine and not tea. It has that slightly artificial taste, but it isn’t unpleasant, maybe because it reminds me of childhood, but there it is. It could also be the 11 hour day at work that preceded this glass of wine.
  • From the bottle: “Raspberry with notes of peach and melon; a crisp finish. Gently pressed and cold fermented to attain peak flavor and balance.” 12% alcohol by volume.

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Phebus, Torrontes – 2017

  • Basic info: Phebus Torrontes, Mendoza Argentina – 2017
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $11 (Total Wine)
  • Look: Very pale yellow; dried straw
  • Smell: lemon flower, honeysuckle
  • Taste: Floral. Lemon, honey, herbs and nectarine. Not sweet, but with a sweet note. Descent finish with a touch of peach on the end.
  • Conclusions: Good wine, nice to drink with dinner or on the couch. Not fussy or very complex, but fine for drinking. Might be a little too floral for me.
  • Other notes: I picked up this bottle so I could check off Torrontes on my list of wine varietals to try. I had no idea what it was like or if I would even like it, but it wasn’t bad. It’s not my favorite and not something I’m going to go back to again and again, but I’d give it another shot. I think this was one of the last wines I took notes on when I started back to work this year. Most of the last few weeks were wines we drank in June and July. The nice thing about doing the blog posts just for fun and for myself is that I can skip taking notes if I want to and just enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. I needed the break from dissecting wine for a while so I took it. I should have some more interesting wines coming up and those I’ll take notes on and post – especially now that we are back to fall and I’m getting in the mood for red wine again.
  • From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from the Total Wine site, “From Argentina’s northern region of Mendoza comes this crisp and refreshing, oak-free wine made from 100% Torrontes. A nose of fresh cut lemons with a hint of lime is followed by layers of citrus on the dry and refreshing palate.” 14% alcohol by volume.

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Wagner Vineyards, Rielsing – 2016

  • Basic info:Wagner Vineyards estate bottled Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, NY – 2016
  • Type: White
  • Price estimate: $12.50 (Total Wine)
  • Look: Translucent pale straw
  • Smell: apple and petrol (I know, it sounds awful and I have definitely smelled better wine)
  • Taste: Good acid, apple, pear and some mineral notes. Not too harsh with a nice petrol finish. (I know, that sounds weird, but it was a nice finish.)
  • Conclusions: This was a really nice wine and one that won’t break the bank.
  • Other notes: When I looked through the whites we had on hand one day I noticed that they were all “better” bottles. Bottles that I want to open when we have company or can bring with us somewhere to enjoy with friends. I needed something I could just sit and enjoy and so a trip to Total Wine was made. (It was a Sunday, or I would have suggested our local wine store, but was what it was.)  I picked up a few sub $15 bottles and so far have not been disappointed in a single one. Most of them were nothing spectacular, but they paired well with food and were perfectly enjoyable, which to me is the mark of a good wine. This one was particularly interesting to me because it is from the Finger Lakes area of NY and I’ve been hearing about the whites in this region for a while. As a girl who grew up in Jersey and know there is good wine outside the west coast, I really wanted to try it.
  • From the bottle: From the winery notes, “A beautiful pairing wine that will compliment whatever is on your table with a fresh finish and a silky mouthfeel. This wine will continue to unwind beautifully with time in the bottle. This dry Riesling is an outstanding food wine, with nectarine and lime aromas, flavors of citrus and mineral and a crisp clean finish. The opulent fruit is restrained and there is just the right amount of lively acidity to pair beautifully with myriad foods without being bitey.”  12.9% alcohol by volume.

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Machin Breaker, Pinot Noir – 2012

  • Basic info: Machine Breaker “The Innocents” Pinot Noir, Eloa-Amity Hills, Oregon – 2012
  • Type: Red
  • Price estimate: $45
  • Look: Opaque ruby in color turning to rose at the edges
  • Smell: Tiny bit of cherry, some mineralogy and a touch of blackberry
  • Taste: Soft. Slightly sour cherry, some bramble and stone fruit. Medium finish with peach pit and a nice tart taste.
  • Conclusions: This was okay. Both Bob and I liked it, but it didn’t live up to the description or the reviews. I liked the wine just fine, but it wasn’t phenomenal.
  • Other notes: We opened this bottle to celebrate me new job and I kind of wish I had picked a different bottle. It is definitely a well structured wine, but it wasn’t really to my taste. A little too sour and maybe a touch too much wood to be truly enjoyable.
  • From the bottle: I completely forgot to look at the back of the bottle on this one. 13.5% alcohol by volume.

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