Category Archives: Wine

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and that means we’ve got a lot more to get through in the realm of smoking and drinking!  Yes, the FDA’s bullshit ruling on new cigars will make it very difficult for innovation in flavor but there are plenty of cigars on the market that we will be trying, many of whom slipped in just before the FDA deadline.

As to drinking?  What would you like to see in the new year?   Seeing as how I’m in bourbon country, that may be the way I take this for a little while.

Also, there’s a class I’m in the process of developing that’s aimed at writers on drinking, sex, and booze.  I’ll probably throw in my two cents about cigars too LOL!

The folks at Highland Cigar Company are still doing tastings on Tuesdays so you’ll get more updates from me on those.  Those blog posts will probably be shorter though, due to the amount of notes I can take on a one-ounce pour of any given spirit.

I know I want more wine in my life, and I want more wine education, seeing as how I’ve forgotten much of what I used to know on viticulture and being an oenophile.  Maybe I’ll pick random regions from France of Spain and find wines to suit and taste.  We will see.  All I know is that 2017 promises to be even better for the White Wolf Indulgence lifestyle.

Happy New Year!

Wine Review: Saint Hilaire 2014 Blanquette De Limoux

Over the holidays I had a chance to get around to drinking without working, and smoking cigars without working, but one of the things I did make sure to take notes on was the bottle of Saint Hilaire 2014 Blanquette De Limoux.

The pertinent details:

Region/Appellation
Blanquette de Limoux
Country Hierarchy
Languedoc-Roussillon,France
Vintage 2014
Grape Blend:  Mauzac, chardonnay and chenin blanc – an unusual combination for my palate but I’ll leave my impressions in a moment.

Of course, the Methode Traditionale technique was used and the wine was fermented in the bottle.

Tasting notes had this wine as very crisp, with  refreshing tiny bubbles and that slight terroir taste I enjoy about French wine so much.  The finish was medium with not really any buttery or creamy notes, though I tasted slight hints of oak.   That may have been the cigar, though.  Citrus and apple really complimented things as the wine opened up.

Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux 2014 Estate Bottle
Saint Hilaire Blanquette De Limoux 2014 Estate Bottle

A BRIEF HISTORY

Blanquette de Limoux is probably the oldest sparkling wine in the world. We know that in 1531, the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire were already producing Blanquette de Limoux which certainly makes it France’s Oldest Sparkling Wine preceding Champagne by more than a century.

By 1794 Blanquette de Limoux was well known and appreciated throughout France. About that time, it was discovered by a famous American, Thomas Jefferson.

Among his other talents, the third American President was an expert on French Wines and Blanquette de Limoux, one of his favorites, was an integral part of his wine cellar. In fact, President Jefferson was probably the first person to bring the wine to America.

Today, Blanquette de Limoux has won the acclaim of knowledgeable wine enthusiasts throughout the world.

Wine Review – Bonny Doon 2015 Pinot Meunier

As a gift to myself, I decided to join the D.E.W.N. club from Bonny Doon Vineyards.  As a member of the Distinctive, Esoteric Wine Network, I’m paying for shipments of four bottles quarterly.

img_3909This shipment arrived and last night’s meal was lamb burgers.  The recipe I used was a variation I have to rework a touch, too much spice and not enough savory, but the lamb flavor came through in spades so that’s good.

The newsletter goes on to talk about having planted Pinot Meunier and giving it a go after revisiting the idea and memories of tasting a wine from Domaine Chandon (who know a thing or two about wine) made of 100% Pinot Meunier.

Point is, the wine itself has the following statistics:

Bonny Doon 2015 Pinot Meunier
Bonny Doon 2015 Pinot Meunier

Varietal: 100% Pinot Meunier
Vineyard: Yont Mill
Appellation: Yontville
ABV: 14%

Now the juice.

A quick swirl in the glass gave me bright cherry flavors.  The taste itself was more or less like sour cherry, with some candied fruit on the palate.  Light tobacco and a hint of charred oak made me fairly happy.  The finish was medium, more light-medium than anything.

According to their newsletter, the wine is drinkable now, but could benefit from 6-8 years of ageing.

Wine Review: Chateau Vircoulon 2011 Bordeaux

 Chateau Vircoulon 2011 Bordeaux
Chateau Vircoulon 2011 Bordeaux

Trying something a little different.  Now that this isn’t WP hosted, I can upload audio.  I apologize for the quality and the shitty short notes.  I’ll buy another bottle (oh damn) and do a more formal review.

 

Wine Review: Au Bon Climat 2009 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

Au-Bon-Climat-Pinot-Noir-sb-500x500I’ve been drinking more wine lately, thanks to a relocation where California wine isn’t the only game in town.  Today, I present to you, the folks at Underground Cellar – Curated, Limited Edition Wines with a Twist.  

I think I discovered them via Facebook, maybe?  Anyway, the deal with them is that they put out an email with standard great wines,  only they have a spin on it where you may purchase the wines they offer, but if you buy two or more bottles,  oftentimes at least one of those bottles will be upgraded to either a better wine, a more expensive wine or something even greater than that.

How awesome is that?

Being skeptical, because other online alcohol programs I’ve looked at say they feature deals, but the reality is, they feature deals for booze if you live in a town like Morristown, TN.  Four package stores and it’s hard to get good juice in general.  Surprisingly enough, they had this unique wine from Moldova in the local store I shopped at.

So, how does the first wine stack up?

First thing is that the color is vibrant, almost maraschino cherry. It has a great nose, typical of Pinot Noir, hints of vanilla and tart berry.

Taste Profile:  Right up front, hints of tobacco.  Slight herbaceous notes with light cherry.  Nice medium bodied mouthfeel to it.  It’s not typical of a lot of California Pinots in that those wines are lighter in body than Au Bon Climat.  I was right on the vanilla, the berry and oak tastes.

I hope to put this up in an audio format too, once I figure out how with the file off my iPhone.

Wine review: Inspiration Vineyards 2012 Dry Creek Zinfandel

Located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, operated by John and Barbara Philips.  Grapes come from an eastern facing Hillside Vineyard just outside Healdsburg, CA.

My retarded ass got audio, but I didn’t get any video or photos, so you’re going to have to resort to stock photos for now.  The pairing for this meal was actually buffalo steak with Cajun spice.

My preferences in Zins tend toward big, fruity powerhouse styles with meat laced pizza (no cheese!)

But right from the start, the nose is nice spice and pepper.  Berry notes, along with an unidentifiable green substance, not sure what that is.  But it’s present in the old world wines I tend to enjoy.

Taste – a really relaxed Zinfandel.  Sweet cherry on the palate followed by a medium dry finish coating the mouth deliciously.  Hints of terroir, with more balance than expected out of California wines as of late.

This was a stellar wine pick that I grabbed at Underground Cellar.  You should check them out.  I don’t get paid to endorse them, though hopefully that’s going to be a thing some day.  Oh, I can dream…

Wine Review: Kagor Late Harvest Carbernet Sauvignon

This non vintage wine from Moldova, of all countries, (it’s next to Romania) was found in one of the package stores in Morristown, TN. When I saw the bottle and where it was from, my heart did a little flutter over a fond memory of a lover, a lake and magic…but you’re interested in the juice.

From the Nisporeni region of Moldova has berry purple and deep red hues. Port jamminess with hints of honey tickles the nose. This wine drinks very much like a medium bodied port with a mild finish and notes of honey, creamy spice and finishes up with slight pepper.

I think I paid about $24 or so for it and would have a few bottles on hand just to break out for difference. It made for a very nice dessert wine, honestly. Over time it opened up, but still drank very much like a port.

Wine Review: Noble Vines 181 2012 Merlot

Lodi California
$11.00181 Noble

Color: Deep Red
Nose: Classical merlot nose of spice and berry.
Taste: Immediate earthiness from chalky soil. Intense tart cherry followed by subtle spices and soft tannins.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this went well with braised lambs, hard cheeses or certain Italian sausages.  Overall, it’d a good starter merlot because the tannins don’t punch your palate to hell!

Medium finish. Paired with a Liga Undercrown Toro by Drew Estate for a soft, cigar/wine combination.  In fact, the the sweetness of the Undercrown paired beautifully with the softness, cutting through some of the tannin structure of the merlot.  This was a wine made for drinking with deep, well made maduros.

Oxidation opens the wine slightly.

We’re BACK!

After a failed attempt to really rock things over at Radio Dentata, your humble wine and cigar expert had to cut back on projects including this one due to time spent in my career as an author.

But I’ve missed this blog and missed this part of my life too.  So we’re going to get back to what matters after a hard day’s work.  Relaxing with a good bottle of wine, a complex, enjoyable cigar and letting our day end.

We’re going to revisit some of the cigar blends we’ve mentioned, (Yes, Don Cervantes is a staple in my humidor when I can get them) and talk more about some of the great wines we’ve been drinking over the last few months, plus mention upcoming stuff too.

I’m not sure how often we’ll update just yet, but I’ve got a ton of new cigars and wines to put up here, plus some bourbons, scotches, and other whiskies.  Should be fun!