Basic info: White Rose Estate, “The Neo-Classical Objective” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR – 2011
Price estimate: (I honestly forget)
Look: Prune colored, medium dark red with a tinge of brown at the edges
Smell: oak, ash, bramble
Taste:Raspberry, wine, oak. Medium finish with some dark berry.
Conclusions: This wine was definitely past it’s prime and it may have been a little spoiled or oxidized. The color gave us some clues that it wasn’t going to be great, but the taste was just off.
Other notes: When we went to the winery in 2016 we brought home two of these and the first was fantastic. Over the last two years, this one just did not hold up. I think it went “off” just enough to make it not pleasant to drink. It was ok with food, but really, the bottle was not good.
From the bottle: No bottle notes and I forgot to check the abv numbers so …
Basic info: 1692 Spier Discover Collection, Pilotage & Shiraz blend, South Africa – 2017
Price estimate: $8
Look: Opaque, dark ruby color with good legs that stain the glass a little
Smell: oak, smoke, hot. Smells like wine.
Taste: Dark berries and earth. Short finish. Berries are not discernible. Acid level is ok.
Conclusions: Easy to drink and I don’t feel guilty for opening this one on a just because day. With a higher alcohol content, I can only have one glass, but it is fine for a wine with dinner as food does bring out some of the flavors. It is perfectly acceptable and pretty good for an everyday drinking wine, especially since it was under ten dollars.
Other notes: I looked at my spreadsheet of wine (don’t judge) and realized that we have a number of bottles that are super good, but a little more expensive than I really want for an everyday wine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to drink them, but I thought sprinkling in a few less expensive wines would be appropriate. We plan to open the better bottles too, but I like having something under $20 so I don’t feel guilty. Pinotage is one of the varietals I really love and the blend with this one is good. It isn’t memorable or a wine I would break out if I was trying to impress someone, but it’s not bad for something a little different. I also don’t want my taste buds to get super use to the really good stuff.
From the bottle: No bottle notes. 14.5% alcohol by volume.
Basic info:Bedrock Wine Company, Weill a Way Vineyard, mixed red blend, Sonoma, CA – 2016
Price estimate: $36 (from winery)
Look: opaque, dark purple
Smell: Wine. Not much on the nose on this.
Taste: Blackberry, black cherry, raspberry with a little licorice and a bit of granite. Long finish with lots of dark fruit and some ripe plum flavors.
Conclusions: I am so very happy that I have several bottles of this wine. Lots of flavor, super enjoyable and the wine changes a bit over the course of drinking it. It is a fantastic wine and hits all the rights notes for me.
Other notes: I know I’ve gushed about wines from Bedrock over and over, but really there is a lot to gush about. Bob and I have not had a bad, or even mediocre bottle yet and we are now on shipment two from them. They have a range of prices for wine and I really like that since my wine budget can’t take over thirty dollar bottles every day. With this wine, however, it is worth every penny and it lasts multiple days because at almost 15% alcohol one glass (and a light pour at that) is all I can handle. The first day we had this is was a little tight, but after about 20 minutes in the glass, it opened beautifully. The next day – holy cow it was just about life changing. Super smooth and tons of flavor. I was pretty happy that Bob loved it about as much as I did. This one is one to share and to savor.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but I did find this on the Bedrock site after drinking it and taking all of my notes: “The 2016 Weill a Way Mixed Blacks emerges from younger vines in a relatively cool site for Zinfandel-based wines. There is lovely density to the inky blue/purplish fruit. Soft, plush fruit and silky tannins give the wine its considerable near term appeal and allure. This is one of the more approachable wines in the range. Zinfandel, Grenache, Mataro, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet and Tempranillo are all feature in this distinctive, alluring wine from Bedrock. 92 points -Antonio Galloni” 14.8% alcohol by volume.
Look: Ruby red and slightly translucent at the edges
Smell: Fresh berries especially strawberry and raspberry
Taste: (I’m going with Bob’s description here because I had a hard time discerning anything.) Plum, hint of minerality with a lot of fruit. Good finish with a taste reminiscent of a Tootsie Roll.
Conclusions: Incredibly good wine. Super smooth and fairly light without being thin. This isn’t a big, heavy wine, its subtle and clean. I thought it was very good, Bob was pretty gaga over it.
Other notes: I think this is one of the first wines where Bob and I have greatly departed on our impression of it. (The Georgian rose was the only other one I can think of.) He really, really loved this wine and I thought it was good. It isn’t one I would seek out and try to order half a case of, but I think if I asked Bob, he would. (I’m not asking because I already have a bunch of wine that I need to work through in the house – there just isn’t a great place to store wine here outside of our two small wine fridges.) Don’t get me wrong, I liked this one a lot, just not as much as Bob did.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Backcountry Wine notes, “100 Suns is a brand new label from Grant and Renee Coulter. … It drinks plush and flawlessly balanced with chocolate and savory notes that lead to a rich plummy finish complete with powdery tannins.” 14.4% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Setteanime Merlot, Marca Trevigiana IGT, Italy – No vintage
Price estimate: $21 (local wine store)
Look: Dark red and opaque
Smell: Wine. (Honestly, I could not distinguish a specific aroma here)
Taste: Little effervescence on the first sip. Lots of dark fruit – some grape and plum notes. Light minerality, especially on the finish. Medium finish.
Conclusions: This is a good drinking wine. It isn’t one that is super memorable, but the wine is smooth, clean and balanced. It doesn’t take a lot of thought to enjoy, which is pretty much a great weeknight wine.
Other notes: When we talked with the rep for this winery at our local wine store, he mentioned that they don’t do specific vintages because the wine is crafted to drink young – within the year it is released. I’m still not certain why that would negate having a vintage on the bottle, but I’m sure it has to do with flexibility for blending or something like that. We’ve had the sparkling wines from this producer before and I love those.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from the wine store notes, “Ruby red with hints of garnet this wine has a wonderful bouquet of blackberry and black current. It is elegant yet velvety smooth with notes of natural softness. On the palate it has a youthful taste of fruit in bloom.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.
Look: Dark ruby, almost purple in the glass. Opaque with significant legs.
Smell: Fresh raspberry.
Taste: Clean. Dark berries with some stone. A little thin texture, but not unpleasant. Bob called black cherry and granite. Medium finish with a nice, fresh berry flavor.
Conclusions: Very nice wine. Easy to drink and probably the best Beaujolais I’ve had. (Full disclosure, I generally don’t like Beaujolais and often find them too earthy and “forest floor” for my taste.
Other notes: I got super excited when my “build a case” of wine came in so there might be a few selections from Somm Select in the next few posts until my other wine comes in. Between our local wine store, a few wineries and now a few online places to buy wine, I’ve got a nice range of wines to try. Each place offers something a little different, which I think is just fantastic. Both Bob and I really liked this wine. It had a good flavor and was very soft and pleasant to drink. It didn’t blow us away, but it was better than expected.
From the bottle: No bottle notes, but from Somm Select, “Deep, nearly opaque ruby with slight hints of pink and purple at the rim. Aromatically, it’s a highly perfumed mix of wild red and black berries, cherry, cranberry, along with woodsy notes of underbrush, rose petals and crushed granite.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.
Basic info: Hauts de Maynac, Bordeaux Blend, Bordeaux, France – 2015
Price estimate: unknown (this was a gift)
Look: Dark. Opaque red with a touch of dark purple
Smell: Wine (seriously) with a tiny bit of cherry
Taste: Earth, oak, sour cherry. More acid than I thought it would have given the color. Medium finish with a lot of oak.
Conclusions: With food, this was fine. Without food, Bob had to finish my glass. It was ok and I can tell my tastes are changing because two years ago I would not have been able to get past the first sip. This is what I *think* Bordeaux is supposed to taste like, but it isn’t my preferred style.
Other notes: I know Bordeaux wines are some of the best wines in the world, but I just can’t get past the earth and tree bark taste that so many of them have. I started drinking red wine years ago, but stopped because almost everything I found was huge, earthy, oaky wines. To me, dirt and tree bark are not flavors I want in my wine. A touch of them, sure, a lot – not so much. This probably makes me unsophisticated in the world of wine, and I’m perfectly fine with that. Give me a good Pinot Noir or Zinfandel any day.
From the bottle: “The vintage has a garnet, clear and brilliant robe, with a fresh fruit nose accompanied by black fruit aromas and a subtle round mouth.” 13% alcohol by volume.