11/26/2013

Quick Sip: Murrieta’s Well 2011 Los Tesoros Zarzuela


Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the Murrieta’s Well 2011 Los Tesoros Zarzuela red blend. Murrieta's Well is located in the heart of California’s Livermore Valley. I had an opportunity to visit the region last year and enjoyed winery hopping and checking out some of the wine bars and restaurants in the charming downtown district. The historic property where Murrieta’s Well resides was originally founded in 1883 by Louis Mel, who imported vine cuttings from Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Margaux and planted them on the estate. The property was ultimately purchased by the Wente family and resurrected in 1990 by Phillip Wente. Today, Murrieta's Well specializes in sustainably farmed, small-lot wines and estate blends that I have found pleasing over the past few years. See my tasting notes accompanied by a picture I snapped of the bottle and a link to the wine below.

 Murrieta’s Well 2011 Los Tesoros Zarzuela


Review: Murrieta’s Well 2011 Los Tesoros Zarzuela (SRP $45): This is an intriguing red blend from California’s Livermore Valley composed of  32% Souzão, 22% Petite Sirah, 21% Tempranillo, 13% Barbera, 11% Graciano, and 1% Touriga Francesa. Deep garnet in color, the blend exhibits an inviting chorus of crushed black and blue fruit, spiced plum, black olive, and dried herb with warm earth undertones. The palate is medium-bodied with good acid-fruit balance, a supple texture, and soft tannins and completes with a pleasant lingering finish. This wine has an appealing savory aspect to it and drinks nicely on its own; yet, would be a nice match for pork loin, venison or lamb chops – even a warm bowl of chili considering the season. Hint, hint! Approximately 450 cases of this wine were produced. (Other info: ABV 13.2%, aged 20 months in new and neutral French, Eastern European, and American oak barrels.) 90 Points. Click here to find this wine.  

Great Blue Heron and Fall Reflections


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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11/18/2013

Recent Sips: A Quartet of Finger Lakes 2012 Riesling Wines


Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who thoroughly appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as a sea of friendly "wine peeps" to meet in real life or via those wonderful and time-consuming social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Corks Out!


The four wines reviewed below, ranging from dry to liquid-dessert, are all Rieslings from the Finger Lakes, New York. The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, who hosted this event, calls the region, “North America’s premier cool-climate wine-growing region.” The Riesling grape, with its high natural acidity, expresses itself very well in cool-climate conditions. Conversely, it reveals little of its delightful character, vibrant personality, and complex charms when grown in warm or hot areas -- especially those with very little diurnal variation. Riesling is the Finger Lakes’ preeminent grape variety and is responsible for putting the region, its growers, and winemakers on the world wine map.

 Ready To Sip!


This tasting featured four Rieslings from the 2012 vintage, which Fulkerson Winery said was one of the region’s warmest in recent history. While the growing season favored the region’s red wines, the 2012 Rieslings I had an opportunity to taste were still pleasant with good acidity. From dry to off-dry, Riesling is one of the most versatile and food-friendly wines available. And many of the dessert wines made from Riesling have enough acidity to balance the sugars and are excellent after-dinner sippers to have with or without dessert. With the holidays on the horizon, I suggest inviting any one of these bottles over to enjoy with the ham, turkey, and fixings. Of course, the sweet and rich treat from Fulkerson is best suited for dessert. Please see my tasting notes accompanied by a picture I snapped of the bottle and a link to the wines below.

Knapp Winery Dry Riesling


Review: Knapp Winery and Vineyard 2012 Dry Riesling (SRP $14.99): This wine is light-bodied yet nicely defined with a vibrant core of (delicate) white pitted fruit aromas and flavors alongside demure citrus-tinged notes. It remains fresh and lively through to the crisp and clean finish. The winery, as I understand it, has an on-site restaurant off of Cayuga Lake. Just a guess, but this budget-friendly Riesling must be a very popular selection there. It’s a wonderful food wine! Approximately 401 cases were produced. (Other info: ABV 12%, synthetic cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine. 

Lakewood 2012 Dry Riesling 


Review: Lakewood Vineyards 2012 Dry Riesling (SRP $12.99): This Riesling is made from 100% estate-grown fruit sourced from Lakewood Farm (Finger Lakes AVA). Light straw in color, this Riesling shows fresh lime juice, lemon zest, and green apple on the nose and palate against a lean frame with crisp, citrusy acidity leading to a nice, short-to-medium length finish. Overall, this is a refreshing and delightful wine to enjoy with friends that won’t break the piggy bank and can match a wide variety of dishes. Approximately 810 cases of this wine were produced. (Other info: ABV 11.7%, cork enclosure). Click here to find this wine. 

Lucas 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling 


Review: Lucas Vineyards 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling (SRP $14): Vibrant citrus fruit aromas and flavors lead the way followed by soft stone fruit and underlying notes suggestive of ripe apples. While classified as semi-dry, the sweetness is nicely balanced by the wine’s high level of acidity that carries into the crisp and clean finish. Overall, this is a pleasant and crowd-pleasing Riesling at an everyday price that will match a myriad of dishes. (Other info: ABV 11.4%, cork enclosure.) Click here to find this wine. 

Fulkerson Winery Riesling Iced Wine 2012 


Review: Fulkerson Winery Riesling Iced Wine 2012 (SRP $29.99 / 375 mL): This is a nice after-dinner sipper that shows good richness (texture) and overall depth with aromas and flavors suggestive of dried peaches, apricot preserve, orange marmalade, muted baking spice, and raw honey. A perfect substitution for dessert, although, if you are greedy like me, then I suggest pairing it with pound cake or crème brûlée. Approximately 127 cases of this lip-smacking wine were produced.  (Other info: ABV 11%, aged in new oak barrels for 6 months, cork enclosure.) Click here to find this wine. 

Mother Nature's Fall Artwork in Virginia


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: These wines were provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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11/12/2013

Quick Sip: Bokisch Vineyards Terra Alta Vineyard 2012 Albariño

Hello Friends,

Today’s Quick Sip is the Bokisch Vineyards Terra Alta Vineyard 2012 Albariño. I was initially introduced to this producer by way of a tasting event put on by Lodi Wine (aka LoCA). Shortly thereafter, I sought out some more of this Albariño. The Lodi appellation (Central Valley of California) is largely known for red wine production with Zinfandel topping the charts. Outside of Zinfandel, the diversity of the area supports the production of over 75 grape varieties. Some areas in Lodi benefit from fairly wide diurnal temperature swings. The warm and sun-filled days in these areas allow the grapes to develop ripe and full flavors, while the cooler nights provide balance and permit the berries to retain their natural acidity. Thus, in addition to the diversity of wine grapes, there’s also diversity of wine styles. And this brings me to the Bokisch Vineyards’ Terra Alta Vineyard Albariño.

Having a Splash of Bokisch '12 Albariño


Bokisch Vineyards is owned by Markus and Liz Bokisch and specializes in the production of Spanish varietal wines including, but not limited to, Graciano, Monastrell, Garnacha and Tempranillo. The winery’s focus is largely influenced by Markus Bokisch’s love of Spanish wines and family heritage -- his mother is from Spain. Please see my tasting note on the Albariño accompanied by a picture I snapped of the bottle below.

Bokisch Vineyards 2012 Albariño


Review: Bokisch Vineyards’ Terra Alta Vineyard 2012 Albariño (SRP $18): This is a fresh and lively wine notable for its bright apricot, white peach, and citrus blossom aromas and flavors coupled with bracing acidity and a medium-length, clean and pleasing finish. Slender in body, vibrant in character, this racy wine is a perfect companion to seafood -- particularly shellfish and lean white fish. The producer hit the nail on the head suggesting that a bottle be paired with “Your 5 o’clock kick start to the evening.” Approximately 685 cases of this wine were produced. (Other info: 95% Albariño and 5% Verdelho, 100% stainless, certified organic, ABV 12.5%, cork enclosure.) 88 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Try a Bottle with Oysters!


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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11/04/2013

A Duo of Wines from Trefethen Family Vineyards


Hello Friends,

Today’s Recent Sips segment features the Trefethen Family Vineyards' 2010 Merlot and 2010 Harmony Chardonnay. I had an opportunity to review these wines for a recent episode of CellarPass TV. The following day, I enjoyed the remainder of the Merlot for #MerlotMe -- a global celebration of the Merlot grape variety via social media portals. Trefethen Family Vineyards is one of the early pioneering families of Napa Valley. Established in 1886 but left to ruin, the modern wine era for the winery began when the Trefethen family purchased the run-down and abandoned property in 1968. At the time, there were fewer than 25 wineries in Napa Valley and wine grapes were not the region’s top crop. According to John Trefethen, “Plums, prunes and walnuts were the dominant crops.”

Pouring the Trefethen 2010 Merlot


Today, Trefethen remains family-owned and specializes in estate-grown wines sourced from their two vineyards in the Oak Knoll District. In addition to Chardonnay and Merlot, the winery produces (dry) Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and estate blends. Below you’ll find my tasting notes accompanied by a picture I snapped of the bottle and a link to the wine. Remember: variety, so they say, is the spice of life; so, keep an open mind and an open palate and enjoy the experience. Drink well my friends!

Trefethen Family Vineyards 2010 Harmony Chardonnay


Review: Trefethen Family Vineyards' 2010 Harmony Chardonnay (SRP $50): This is 100% estate-grown Chardonnay from the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. This vintage, the producer notes, was their coolest since 1978.  The wine is a bit tight initially, but a series of swirls reveal an enticing combination of pear, citrus blossom, and white peach aromas next to fragrant floral perfume accented by a dash of spice. The palate reflects the nose with seamless integration of fruit and oak, a supple texture, and well-balanced (tangy) acidity with a hint of tartness on the pleasant, medium-length finish. Overall, this is a wonderful food wine that is fresh and pure with an appealing understated elegance. (Other info: 26% malolactic fermentation, 10 months (38% new) French oak, ABV 14.1%, cork enclosure.) 90 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Trefethen Family Vineyards 2010 Merlot


Review: Trefethen Family Vineyards' 2010 Merlot (SRP $38): An appealing single-vineyard, estate-grown Merlot blended with 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Malbec. Welcoming scents of purple stone fruit and black cherry tones over dark, bittersweet chocolate notes lead the way followed by hints of cedar and baking spice. Medium to full-bodied and harmonious, this wine feels good in the mouth with a luscious mid-palate and (slightly) drier tannins on the medium-length, agreeable finish. In my opinion, this is one even old Miles would enjoy. Recommendation: Allow this wine to breathe for 25 to 30 minutes. (Other info: Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley appellation, 17 months in 69% French oak, 24% American and 7% Hungarian oak barrels, ABV 14.1%, cork enclosure.) 89 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Great Blue Heron


Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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Live, Love, Laugh, Tweet, Sip, Enjoy!

My Vine Spot

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