Basic info: Chateau Feret-Lambert, Bordeaux blend (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon), Bordeaux, France – 2014
Price estimate: $25 (Total Wine)
Look: Dark garnet in color with significant legs. Opaque.
Smell: woody, jam and blackberry
Taste: blackberry with slight smoke and a hint of vanilla. very smooth on the second day.
Conclusions: Much better than most Bordeaux I’ve had in the past. It wasn’t a perfect wine, but it was very drinkable after it breathed a bit.
Other notes: I picked this up because I have a goal to try all the major varietals/blends at least once and I’m only including wines that I drank since I started keeping notes. I’ve had Bordeaux blends in the past and just haven’t liked them – too earthy, too woody, too much like drinking tree bark – so I kept putting off the Bordeaux. When I saw this one was 90% Merlot, I decided to give it a try since I tend to like Merlot more than Cabernets. It was good. I’m not sure I would seek it out again, but it was very drinkable. No bottle notes. 14% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Fossil & Fawn, Oregon Pinot Noir Black Label, Willamette Valley, Oregon – 2015
Price estimate: $35 (from winery)
Look: Very light red, almost translucent in color with a slight tinge of orange.
Smell: Cherry and some leaves
Taste: Cherry candy, raspberry. light, clean. Bob got bing cherry and smooth with mild tannins. Medium long finish.
Conclusions: This was not my favorite Pinot Noir. I was so excited when I read the description in the wine club notes, but alas … it was just ok. It was good, but not one that we will seek out.
Other notes: This was one of our Oregon wine club wines and I was really excited about it because it was a natural wine that was organically farmed with native yeasts and no fining or filtering and no chemical adjustments to the wine. I wanted to love it, but it was just missing something for me. We have found that we generally love five of the six bottles in the shipment, and one is good, but not great. This, unfortunately, was the good but not great one. 12.1% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Tesoro Della Regina, Prosecco, Italy, No Vintage
Type: White bubbly – Prosecco
Price estimate: $5 – split bottle from Total Wine
Look: Very pale yellow, almost clear in color with fine bubbles
Smell: yeast, apple and a little candied pineapple
Taste: Crisp, bubbly, tart. green apple and pear with a little sweet note on the back end.
Conclusions: I really liked this one. It had just a touch of sweetness to offset the tartness, but it wasn’t a sweet wine at all. It was lovely to drink by itself, but it would also make a great mimosa.
Other notes: I picked this up on a whim at Total wine. I’ve had wine from this producer before and I’ve generally liked them, so when I saw the small bottle, I decided to go for it. I intended to hold off on any sparkling wines until I could do a full comparison – Champaign, American sparkling, Cava, Prosecco and Lambrusco – but am having a hard time finding the Lambrusco. Now that the weather is cooler, I might try the old internet order for this, but for now, I’ll go with this bottle. It was the perfect size to celebrate something (passing my state exam in this case) on a weekday.
Basic info: Domaine Guy Mousset “Cotes du Rhone” Red Blend, France, 2015.
Price estimate: $13 (Total Wine)
Look: Very dark red, almost black plum. Minimal legs
Smell: Grape jelly and a little wood on the nose.
Taste: Bob and I disagreed on what this one tasted like. He got minerality, plum, black cherry and current with a dark, almost earthy end. I got the black cherry, but I had blackberry with only a tiny bit of mineral and cranberry.
Conclusions: We both really liked this wine even though it tasted totally different to each of us. It was a little on the thin side, but that made for a nice sipping wine. It was super smooth and very enjoyable.
Other notes: I wanted to get the rose from this producer, but Total Wine was out of it. I never remember the name so I was that annoying person who just kept saying I will know it when I see the label. Somehow the guy at Total Wine took this as a challenge, found this bottle and asked if I was looking for the rose version. I was. He found me a substitute (since they were out) and said the red is just as good, if you like red wine. I do like red wine, so I decided to try it and I am very glad I did. It isn’t a special wine, but a great every day red.
From the bottle: No bottle notes. 13% alcohol by volume.
Look: Very pale yellow, almost clear. Some legs, but not when cold.
Smell: Herbs and citrus
Taste: Slight effervescence with lemon the predominate flavor. Some other citrus is present, but not overpowering. Slight sour note on the short finish.
Conclusions: Not bad. Not as good as the PFAFFL.
Other notes: I was super excited about this wine, but the bottle disappointed just a little. The sour note and short finish made the wine less enjoyable than I had anticipated and part of that is simply because the first bottle of this varietal I had was so outstanding.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Total Wine, Savory notes of crushed chervil and yeast join lively, almost fizzing notes of lemon zest. This is ultrafresh, light-footed and very toned. Juicy, ripe acidity animates you to drink this almost as a thirst-quencher. This will work on a hot, sunny evening.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.
Look: Very pale yellow, almost clear and colorless.
Smell: herbs, citrus
Taste: Tart. Citrus, lemon with a slight sour note. Little bit of effervescence with a short finish.
Conclusions: It was not bad, better than some whites, but not fantastic.
Other notes: After having the PFAFFL gruner veltliner a few weeks before, I was super excited to try a different wine of the same grape. This one was nice, but it just lacked that something special the other bottle had. The finish was shorter and there was a slight sour taste that was not in the PFAFFL. I wanted to love this wine, but I just didn’t. It also had a 90 point rating from Wine Enthusiast which I know, logically, mean very little, but I was hoping it would give some direction when picking a new bottle. Sadly, it did not.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Total Wine, “Savory notes of crushed chervil and yeast join lively, almost fizzing notes of lemon zest. This is ultrafresh, light-footed and very toned. Juicy, ripe acidity animates you to drink this almost as a thirst-quencher.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.
Look: Medium yellow with some legs. Nice appearance in the glass.
Smell: apple and citrus
Taste: apple, stone fruit (like white peach and nectarine). Crisp, but not tart with a medium, round finish.
Conclusions: Pretty good. I liked this wine a lot, but it wasn’t super memorable a week or so later (when I got around to writing it up). It was very drinkable, and it kept well over the week that I had it.
Other notes: This was the wine I opened when Bob was away for business. I had a glass most nights when he was gone, usually while giving some attention to the furry creatures, new and old, after a long day at work. It was a great wine for just enjoying, and it didn’t require a lot of thought to enjoy it.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Weekly Tasting, “This wine is medium-straw in color, with aromas and flavors of apricot, stone fruit, peach, grilled pineapple, and hazelnut, with a textured and decadent finish that you can describe as ‘custard’ or the feeling of creme brûlée.” 13% alcohol by volume.