Category Archives: Wine

Wine Review: Aussie Vineyards Twelve Apostles South Eastern 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

From South Eastern Austrailia, this wine boasts balanced tannins and chocolate on the palate with a creamy oak feel in the mouth. A medium bodied Cab from Aussie Vineyards. A ripe berry nose that opens up after time. Paired well with steak covered in african spice mixture and fried potato slices.

This wine is priced at just under $20 but I picked it up for less at Grocery Outlet.

Wine Review: Bodegas Señorio del Júcar Vina Bel 2008 Tempranillo

I’m not overly familiar with wines from the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain but this one delivered. I had to hunt a little for information.

This dark colored wine with firm tannins and fruit drinks well. It’s not too young or overpowering yet it holds just enough terroir and dirt for my palate to make it a pleasurable drinking wine. Notes of violet and dark fruit lead with a medium finish.

We had it with chinese food and the two don’t really pair well but I just grabbed it not thinking LOL!

For just under $20 this wine meets the blog’s rules AND my wallet remains just as pleased as my palate. Even better, we picked this up as an overstock at Grocery Outlet so we paid $4 for it instead of close to $20.

I’d like to see what laying down a bottle would do for a year or three.

Wine Info: Franklin Square in Oakland, CA had it’s last day on Valentine’s day

Due to a staggering economy and low foot traffic plus the fact that Oakland is a struggling city both financially and with intellect (Yeah I said it!) Franklin Square, the smaller wine bar opened and operated by the folks who brought us Lukas Taproom and Lounge (just across the street) has closed.

They had a nice selection of wines, reasonable prices on very good food and a friendly atmosphere. Tastings were held on Thursdays at a reasonable price.

Hell I probably could have lit up a cigar on the patio with a glass of wine.

But this is what happens when people don’t spend money and downtown looks like hell.

Downtown Oakland looks like a ghost town on weekends now.

Sadly I hear the champagne lounge on 24th and Telegraph is also empty much of the time.

Wine Review: Bighorn Cellars 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon

I was extremely surprised when I first popped the cork from this wine. Pleasant flavors and typical aromas hit the nose before I’d poured into the glass. The cork crumble was expected since the wine was a few years old but 1996 was a good year for solid production in wine.

My reservation was with the fact that I paid $5 for this wine and it retails for like, $17 or so. The Grocery Outlet store here in Oakland has a less than stellar selection of wines and most of what we pick up I’d consider drinkable. Nothing more.

But this wine had structure though it was starting to fade. Deep red in color with tints of brown from age, this wine swirls with nice long legs. Aromas of cherry and fruit come to the nose with a welcome bit of terroir. Soft tannins and mellow undertones of berry fruit are evident with a nice medium finish.

After half an hour, the wine softened more and opened up with more sweetness on the palate and some light acidity that paired with spaghetti.

I’ll be going back to pick up a few more bottles of this cab at this procie for sure!

The winery’s website is: Bighorn Cellars. They like to specialize in small production of exemplary wines from the regions they grow best in. Also, they’re out of Oregon. Remind me to go back and read the label as I just saw they have a higher end wine for $45 and I’d be curious to know if I picked that up.

Cheers!

Wine Review news and more

Hi Folks,

I think I’ll be updating this blog on Thursdays. It makes sense to me since I do a WriteSEX update then and traffic seems to show that I get higher views on those days.

Did you enjoy my review of the Diamond Crown Robusto? If you missed it you can find it here.

After a little thought, I’ve decided to lower my price points for reviews.The purpose of any blog is to grow, but until I have more product coming in from vendors, (and more time to dedicate to obtaining samples!) I think I can provide a valuable service by hitting the mid range prices on wines/liquors/cigars. I spoke with Thomas at Grants when asking abou a higher end stick than my normal Tatuaje or Padron and he told me that slightly above $17 per cigar, you start getting into the higher end products like the Padron 80th anniversary or Fuente OpusX.

Plus, I need to expand exposure of the blog. On a brighter note, Chehalem Vineyards is sending sample bottles of wine to me. I emailed heather at the vineyard last week and she responded with a positive note and what sounded like incredible wines from Oregon. So look for that in the coming weeks!

As always, Enjoy the Good Life!

Wine Review: Silver Creek 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Picked up this wine for what seemed like a steal at Grocery Outlet. I think we paid less than $5.

Anyway, really light red color, strong berry nose with an extremely light body and short finish. This is NOT a typical cabernet but wasn’t overpowered by the rosemary salt hamburgers I served with it.

As far as wine reviews go, this is on the lighter side simply because the wine wasn’t so massively impressive, but again, it was a Grocery Outlet buy. Those tend to be hit or miss.

PORT Review – Belo Cotta Vineyard 1998

ort can’t be made in California, but I was amazed when I found this bottle of port for $4 at Grocery Outlet a few months back.  I picked up a few bottles just for kicks, figuring that it’s probably past it’s vintage and would just be dumped but I secretly had hoped for a zinger.

While I didn’t get a HUGE win, I did get a port that’s deep purple in color, has a nice, velvety structure, probably from the zinfandel blend (also added is touriga, tinto cao and Sousao) that create a nice ruby port-style with character.  The port is a syrupy dose of heaven for not too much money if you can find it.

Information on Belo Vineyards can be obtained by emailing them at belowwine@msn.com

A little info:  Belo Wine Company is owned and operated by winemaker Terence Dewane. He has been making wine commercially in Napa since his first vintage in 1992 which was merely a barrel. It is always an extremely rare treat for us to try dessert wines from Napa because there are so few producers here who specialize in the “sweet stuff”. Belo’s main specialty is premium Port wine.

Again, this was a very pleasant surprise from a California producer of port – not because good port can’t be produced in California (see Westover Cellars in Castro Valley) but because it’s not a typical style that we see in wine.

Wine Review: RDLR Mendecino Syrah 2002

While sitting at Occidental in San Francisco, I fired up an Ambos Mundos (made by the same people who make Tatuaje) and had asked Jack for a robust wine to defend against the cold wind.  The wine he and another guy suggested was the RDLR 2002 Syrah.

First off, to get a bottle this old and have it still be drinkable AND at a reasonable price is amazing.  (Buy from WineBuys.com) 750 ml for $16.50 from Wine Buys.com site.

Second, the notes were solid.  Dark Purple in color.  Flowing berry flavors with a light mouthfeel  that suggested softening of the typical California Syrah elements to help create a wine with a medium finish.

The wine might not hold up another few years, but it’s certainly one worth drinking.

Hell, it even help up as a nice followup for the Hoyo De Tradicion and Elmer T Lee bourbon I had just beforehand.