Saturday, January 31, 2009

2004 Vigna Vecchia Chianti Classico

Tasted today at CoolVines Princeton Saturday tasting, and this is a great chianti for the money. 90% sangiovese with 10% merlot, this great QPR is drinking very nice right now, and still have several years ahead of it. I'm assuming that these were open for a little while, because this wine was still not the least bit on the tight side, however, you could still tell that this was a young wine, thinning towards the rim. Lots of plum and dark druits on the nose, with slight hints of unidentifiable spice and a hint of anise and clove. On the palate, more black fruits shine through with a nice old world feel. The finish is a little short and thin, but still a pleasure to drink. Lots of wood on the palate as well, but not overwhelming. It was actually rather enjoyable. You can also really taste the merlot standing out, which is rather surprising based on the fact that it only has a 10% share in this wine. This is a great every day wine for the money, and one to make me drink more Chianti. Drink now or hold as this should develope at least another 5 years. 87 points.

2007 Donna Laura Ali Toscana IGT

The first of two wines at the CoolVines Princeton tasting today, and a very young '07 to say the least. I am not and have never been a big fan of 100% sangiovese wines, but this wine was a bit surprising based on its price. Nice QPR to say the least! Nice ruby color in the glass, thinning towards the rim and showing it's young age. Very fragrant on the nose with floral notes, plum, and dark or black fruits. On the palate, this wine again shows very young, but will develop with some more time in the bottle. Lots of strawberry and cherry on the palate, with some hints of plum. This wine really reminded me of a wine we have tried called Canalico, but with a lot more fruit, and a much better structure. This wine really reminds me of a grape sucker without the sweetness. Short, non-complex finish, but this wine is still a joy to drink. This would be a killer every day wine with pizza. 83 points now, with 2-4 points in the future with more time in the bottle.

Friday, January 30, 2009

2006 Tobin James Lagrein Silver Reserve

Brought over to Jim and Stacy's tonight in Chesterfield to enjoy with them and Johnny D and Liz. Enjoyed this after a nice Stag's Leap viogner with sushi. Definitely not the best pairing with the sushi, or after the viogner for that matter, but still a nice wine. Old Tobin James and Lance have done it again with another great, albeit over the top wine. One of only 3 wineries making a straight Lagrein in the states, but who knows, that could change in time. No blend needed on this wine, and it is a joy to drink, but what "Toby's" aren't? Very dark color in the glass...almost black like tar. Speaking of tar, lots of tar on the nose, with some jammy raspberry and other black fruits, and hints of spice. On the palate, this wine opened up nicely into another Tobin James fruit bomb. Sure, might not be a classic Lagrein from Italy, but how can you not love these over the top, new world, fruit forward wines. What a joy! Tons of dark fruit on the palate, and almost a bit zinfandel/syrah esque. Lots of jammy fruit once this wine opened up, with raspberry and black cherry. Sublte spices, a smooth finish, with well integrated tannins make this wine yet another Tobin James winner. Great job Toby and Lance! 86 points. Cheers!

2005 Stags' Leap Winery Viognier

Great '05 Viogner, but how can you not like Stag's Leap? Jim popped this out at their house tonight to enjoy with sushi. What a great pairing to go along with his seared ahi tuna on garlic toast with a killer wasabi mayo. YUM, but what do you expect for a CIA grad?
Awesome nose of honeysuckle, mellon, cantelope, and peach nectar. This has the nose of a great summer wine, and would indeed be a great summer wine. On the palate, a little more of the same, with some hints of passion fruit. Not overly sweet, and just a joy to drink. Short finish, with next to no acidity, and just a hint of minerality. Very nice wine, and yet another winner from Stags' Leap. This one is even better than the Fess Parker that seems to be our "go to" Viogner. 90 points. Cheers!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2006 Tobin James Malbec

Popped and poured at Delorenzo's in Robbinsville, NJ tonight. You would never in a million years guess taht this is a Malbec if tasting it blind in the first 15 minutes this wine was in the glass. Nice color in the glass, but wasn't as dark as your typical Malbec. On the nose, nice hints of dark fruits, cinammon, and nutmeg. Great feel on the palate with nice hints of spice and clove, along with some nice dark fruits once again. Nice finish, and a great wine. This is a lot different from South American Malbec in my opinion, but leave it to Tobin James to take it over the top. What a joyous wine to drink! Only wish we had more. More notes to come when I get a chance. 88 points. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2006 Iris Vineyards Pinot Noir

Enjoyed another great bottle of this Oregon pinot noir tonight, and let me tell you, it was every bit as good as the first bottle. This really is a great Oregon for the money, and for what you would spend on Argyle or Benton Lane, I highly recommend this one over them both. Back up the truck, and buy this great wine by the case. 90 points, with notes identical to previous bottles. Cheers!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

2004 Lieu-dit les Poyeux Saumur-Champigny

After a long weekend working on annual United States Air Force requirements, it was nice to come home and relax with Zelda with some good warm chili, and a bottle of wine after working out on the cold McGuire flightline all day! I can't say that I have ever been big fan of cabernet franc, but at a friends suggestion, we have tried a few in the last year. I definitely didn' expect a whole lot from this wine, but after seeing it in CellarTracker last night, I figured I'd go on a hunt to find this one in the basement and managed to succeed in locating it.
This is a very subdued wine, that is not really showing a whole lot of fruit, but this has been a common trend we have found with Saumur-Champigny. This was a very dark color in the glass, with a nose of black cherry, tobacco, tar, and oak on the nose. On the palate, this is definitely not a fruit forward wine, but we weren't expecting it to be a fruit forward wine. The finish wasn't isn't really on the tannic side, but there is definitely a bit of a sour bite and acidity to it. You would think that it would be integrated in 5 years, but I am not all that familiar on the "life expectancy" of this wine. It definitely is not over the hill, I just think that this is typical for this varietal.
All in all, a nice wine to drink, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find this wine. If we did see other vintages in a store of this wine, I would purchase it again for comparison sake. All in all, very drinkable, just not my style. 83 points.

Friday, January 23, 2009

2006 Belle Vallée Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Enjoyed at Thai Village in Princeton tonight after a quick trip to CoolVines for their "End of Bin Sale." Popped and poured, this is a very nice pinot after being open for 30 minutes, but even the first glass was enjoyable. The nose revealed somce nice notes of raspberry, cherry, and plum, with that distinctive Oregon earthy smell and a subtle hint of spice. The palate is surprisingly fruit forward for an Oregon, and this '06 is showing nicely now, but will develope some more with time. More cherry and raspberry on the palate, with a very smooth, albeit short finish. This is definitely one of the '06's that is showing it's stuff nicely right now, and is a pleasure to drink. Look forward to enjoying some of the Reserve offerings from Bellee Vallee in the future. 90 points! Cheers!

CoolVines - END OF BIN SALE THIS WEEKEND! Princeton and Westfield, NJ Locations

This is definitely worth checking out! Be sure to check out their website at: This is an awesome store that we are thankful to have discovered with a great selection of wines that you won't find at many other stores if any, and the staff there is great! Drop in and tell them that we sent you! I'll write up a full review on these guys soon!
Friday January 23 at 3:00PM - 8:00PM Monday January 26th, 2009 4 DAY SALE!!!!!!! Get them while they last!!!!!!!
CoolVines Princeton
344 Nassau St
Princeton, NJ Phone: (609) 924-0039
CoolVines Westfield
23 Elm St
Westfield, NJ Phone: (908) 232-5050
It's CoolVines "Gotta Make Room Sale"- with end of bin clearance prices of 10-25% off! Today's tasting will feature some great bin-end wines that are on sale to make room for new Arrivals! Samples open all day - try before you buy!! 10% off individual bottles 15% of 6-11 bottles 20% mixed cases 25% of specially marked cases...and 25% off any wine if you buy the remaining bottles Sale runs from 3 pm Fri Jan 23 til 8 pm Mon Jan 26

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2005 Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery Secolo

This was a recommendation on one of our friends at Canal's in Lawrenceville. Toni has never given us a bad recommendation, and we always look forward to what she has to offer. When popped an poured, had I been blind folded, I would have sworn that from the nose and by taste that this was a Zinfandel. But as the wine opened up, it became more and more obvious that the blend had some cabernet and merlot. Once you know it's in there, the malbec is also a stand out.
The nose was overwhelmed by black cherry and plum, with a cedar-y hint of cigar box and some plum. Upon getting the bottle home to finish it, I could also smell some gingerbread and maybe a hint of cinnamon/anise. The palate had some blackberry and black cherry, but that is all that really stood out to me, however, I could taste some plum on the short, but pleasant finish.
All in all, a very solid wine, however, I do think tha if I were going for a wine of this style, that I would opt for a Stefania Haut Tubee or a Bogle Phanton. Sure, neither of these wines would be considered identical to this wine, but I think either would be a welcome substitution. Regardless, this paired nice with a tomato pie from Delorenzo's Robbinsville, and is worthy of 86 points. Cheers!

Delorenzo's Tomato Pies - Hudson Street Trenton (01/18) -vs- Robbinsville (01/22)

So within the course of a week, we did and old school comparison of the two best Delorenzo's Tomato Pies. Yes, I prposely did not include Hamilton Avenue Trenton on there. Why? Because it just isn't the same. So what is the different between the two other than one being in Trenton and one being in Robbinsville you ask? I think that Gary said it best Saturday night when we were in Trenton: "Two salads and two bathrooms!" Pretty funny, and it is always great to visit Hudson Street, although they have kind of been snubbed on us since the new store opened.

Gary's son Sam is running the new Robbinsville location, and he is doing a great job over there, If I had to say who had a better pie, it would be a toss up. They are both the best in the world, and always delicious at both locations. Some might take offense to that, but kudos to Sammy and his staff for making as good of a pie as the original. It just doesn't get any better than either location!

But when it comes to ambiance, Robbinsville definitely has the upper hand. Yes, they have a few salads on the menu, they have 2 bathrooms, new plates, and even have wine glasses. The store is gorgeous, it's bigger, and has a great vibe...and Anthony is the second best server in NJ behind Bruce-y Boy at Oliver-A Bistro!

Hudson Street on the other hand is nostalgic, and it is always a pleasure to see Gary. Sure, they have no bathroom, no fancy salads, no wine glasses, etc. But Gary is a staple, the location is staple, and it's a great place to go, and a pleasure to visit.

So in short, you can't go wrong at either, and no matter which you visit, you are going to enjoy the best pie you have ever had, and the best you ever will. Kudos to the gang, and keep up the great work! It's always a pleasure, and great to see the new store thriving! Thanks!


Here's another release for ya that I don't have the bank to buy, so if you're interested, let me know and my allocation is yours at whatever my cost is and I'll have it direct shipped to you. Cheers!

2006 Clos de Betz - 750ml $44.00 During the months of its barrel aging and evolution we began referring to the 2006 Clos de Betz as the “black hole” wine, somewhat for its color, but more for the character of its fruit: black, blue and a little red. Black cherry, kirsch, blueberry, plum, espresso and bitter chocolate. It developed a dense, rich mouthfeel, yet it retains a vibrant, intense personality. The Merlot fraction (47%) is the star: by focusing on low yields, careful fermentation and maturation techniques and not over-oaking, Merlot can achieve a deep pure fruit expression. Blending with selected barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec created a complex, complete wine, with a depth and power beyond previous vintages. 47% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec. Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate reviewed the Clos de Betz about three months after bottling: “…Purple/black in color, it reveals a fragrant nose of pain grille, pencil lead, scorched earth, black cherry, blackberry, and plum. This leads to a smooth-textured, intense, layered wine with superb depth and concentration…” 93 points

2006 Pére de Famille - 750ml $58.00 The final blend for the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Père de Famille is almost identical to the 2005: 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. It's a wine of serious proportion, lush and silky structure, and a comlex tangle of fruit, spice and wood notes. There’s a deep core of black currant, with plum and black cherry beneath, then the sweet pipe tobacco, black olive and sandalwood set in. It’s full bodied, with a fundamental grip of tannin for longevity (79% of the fruit comes from Red Mountain), but a lifted and plush texture (composed of equal parts from the Horse Heaven Hills and Yakima Valley). Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate reviewed the 2006 about 3 months after bottling and had this to say: “…Opaque purple, the wine has a brooding nose of wood smoke, earth notes, mineral, spice box, black cherry, and blackberry. This is followed by a layered, opulent wine with superb depth and concentration…” 95 points


Here's another one that I don't have the funding for, so if you're interested, you are welcome to my allocation at my cost, and will have it shipped directly to you. Cheers!
2005 Kamen Estate Kashmir Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml 3-packPrice: $375.00 Limit: 12 2005 Kamen Estate Kashmir Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml 6-packPrice: $750.00 Limit: 6 2005 Kamen Estate Kashmir Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml 12-packPrice: $1,500.00 Limit: 3 2005 Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml 3packPrice: $225.00 Limit: 4 2005 Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml 6packPrice: $450.00 Limit: 4 2005 Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 12packPrice: $900.00 Limit: 4


For anyone who loves Freeman Wineries pinot noir and chard, you are more than welcome to my allocation as I don't have the funds to purchase this year. Feel free to check it out below, and e-mail me if you are interested in my allocation at cost, and I will have it shipped directly to you. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2006 Chateau Corbin

Great Bordeaux, but I have no idea what it cost since Zelda bought it on the way to the airport in Paris. Gifted to her parents, and they brought it to dinner tonight at Ted's on Main. Great berry nose, with some hints of oak. This wine smells absolutely delicious. On the palate, you can tell this wine is still young, but nice raspberry, with hints of strawberry and plum maybe? Some minerality to this wine in my opinion, with a nice medium body, but a rather short finish. Regardless, this would make an outstanding house wine or daily drinker. Definitely needs some time in the bottle to improve, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with this now, and we just popped and poured with no decant. Wish we had more, or knew where we could find more stateside. We need more Bordeaux like this one...tasty, and affordable! 87 points! Cheers!

Ted's on Main - Medford, NJ

What a great night to celebrate a special birthday at Ted's on Main. No, it wasn't one of our birthdays! We haven't been to Ted's on Main since our rehearsal dinner, and there really is no good explanation to as of why. The different times we have eaten there, the food and service have been excellent, so it was very exciting to be heading back there again tonight.
We walked in tonight and there were a few other tables dining, so it was great to see that their business is still doing well in this unstable economy. Just like the last time we were in, the place looked gorgeous, with dim lighting, and great color. Our hostess/waitress greeted us, and brought us right to our table.
First thing I saw was the $30 tasting menu. We see them popping up more and more, and I think that it is such a great idea. Hopefully this continues to catch on, and spreads like wildfire, although, $30 is a little much for a weeknight least in our household.
The appetizer choices ranged anywhere from the "Main Street Salad," to "Cape May Clam Chowder," to "LBI" Clams, to Chicken and Andouille sausage. I opted for the short braised rib with melted cheese on crostini. This was absolutely fabulous. The rib was nice and tender, and there were very healthy portion of meet. The bread was toasted perfectly, and the cheese that topped the dish was absolutely delightful. Zelda opted for the chowder, and it looked gorgeous. The dinner courses ranged from "Sautéed Barnegat Scallops" with a butternut squash risotto and caramelized lemon butter, to "Skillet Roasted Chicken Breast" with apple wood bacon, fall squash gratin and dried cherry jus, to Blackened Mahi Mahi with smoked tomato orzo and a creole mustard sauce. I opted for the "Jerk Grilled Flat Iron Steak" with garlic spinach, yucca fries, and island steak sauce. The steak was cooked as medium as medium could be, and was gorgeous. When I cut into the steak, there was a nice pink center, oozing with juices as the knife floated right though. There was zero fat on this steak, and was 100% edible. The meat was seasoned perfectly, and the sauce, although delicious, was actually overkill and not needed. I would have been happy with the steak plain as can be, but the sauce had a nice, tangy taste to it, with hints of apple chutney. The spinach was delicious and served in a small cast iron skillet that made for nice presentation, and this coming from someone who is not a big fan at spinach. The garlic definitely made this enjoyable for me, and gave it great flavor. I think I would actually eat spinach again if it were cooked like this. The yucca fries were there more for garnish that anything as there were only 4, but they had a nice meatiness to them, and were nice and hot.
Zelda's Mom opted for the scallops, and they looked great as well. I thought about ordering them, but wasn't in the mood for something sweet, as this was served with a mango risotto. Zelda opted for the herb crusted salmon over lentils, and said it was delicious. Unfortunately, I never got around to trying it as I was saving room for dessert. Her father also opted for the flat iron steak.
Dessert brought me to Banana's Foster, as this has been a favorite of mine since I worked at the old Prairie Rock Brewing Company. Unfortunately, due to the fire codes, they cannot flambe tableside, but our server assured me that the chef does indeed flambe it in the back. It was delicious, with great flavor in the caramelized sauce and vanilla ice cream. Zelda opted for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Meltdown, which had a great doughy texture, and was to die for. I could not get enough of this, and probably ate 1/2 of it myself. It too was served with vanilla ice cream, and a chocolate and caramel sauce. Divine! Other desserts at the table included and apple cobbler, served in a small cast iron pan that was a nice touch. Although I didn't try this, it looked awesome, and something I would definitely try in the future.
In summary, another great meal, and I am sorry that it has taken us so long to revisit Ted's on Main. It is good to see them thriving, and great to see that the food is only getting better! It was a true joy, and a great evening celebrating a birthday with family! Keep up the good work Ted, and we look forward to revisiting soon! Cheers!
BYOB Friendly!
20 South Main Street Medford NJ 08055 609-654-7011

RELEASE ALERT - Loring Wine Company

Here's a release alert that I received this morning. Kudos to Brian for the success he has gained making some great juice! These are their highest scores yet! If you're interested in picking up my entire allocation, drop me an e-mail as I don't have the funds to do so. Nobody said the military paid us all that well! =) Maybe next year!
2007 Aubaine Vineyard Pinot Noir, San Luis Obispo Co 350 Cases - 14.1 % Alcohol Wine Spectator Score: 93. Bright, vivid, intense and concentrated blackberry and wild berry fruit has floral and spicy edges, with a tight structured focus, firming up nicely on the finish where the tannins are full-bodied. Drink now through 2014. James LaubePrice: $46.00 Limit: 6 2007 Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills 275 Cases - 14.0 % Alcohol Wine Spectator Score: 91Intense, vibrant and full-bodied, with spicy, minerally wild berry, sage and cedar notes that are pure and delicate, ending with firm tannins. Drink now through 2014. -James Laube. Price: $46.00 Limit: 6 2007 Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills 800 Cases - 14.9 % Alcohol Wine Spectator Score: 94. Offers wonderful purity of fruit. Ripe, rich, intense and focused, with tiers of currant, black cherry and blueberry fruit that are simply delicious. Supple, layered and complex. Long and lingering on the finish. Drink now through 2014. -James Laube. Price: $46.00 Limit: 12 2007 Russell Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, Paso Robles 725 Cases - 14.4 % Alcohol Wine Spectator Score: 93. Tight and concentrated on full-bodied blackberry and wild berry fruit that shows a hint of mocha and spice, with floral notes and firm tannins that beg for short-term cellaring. There's a wonderful finish of pure dark fruit. Drink now through 2014. -James Laube Price: $46.00Limit: 6 2007 Rancho La Vina Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills 175 Cases - 14.5 % Alcohol Wine Spectator Score: 93 Rich and spicy, tight and full-bodied, with a sleek mix of mineral, black cherry, wild berry, floral, nutmeg and savory scents that are well-balanced, pure and long on the finish. Drink now through 2014. -James LaubePrice: $46.00 Limit: 2 2007 Pinot Noir Preset Mixed Case Wine Spectator Scores: 94, 93, 93, 93, & 91 The case consists of 4 bottles of Clos Pepe, 2 bottles of Rancho La Vina, 2 bottles of Russell Family, 2 bottles of Aubaine, and 2 bottles of Cargasacchi. (Substitutions not allowed) Price: $480.00 Limit: 3

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2005 Jean-Michel Guillon Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes

This is a very young wine, but we really enjoyed it at a tasting at CoolVines in Princeton this past weekend. This wine was decanted for an hour or two before we got there, and could have sat in the decanter the rest of the day in my opinion before it really starts to show it's stuff. Although I would hold most of the '05's from this region for a long time, I think that this wine might actually start drinking well earlier, but I will still cellar ours for another 5 years or so before revisiting. Gorgeous but dark color in the glass makes me wonder if they picked this fruit a little late, but I could be wrong. The nose is very fragrant with some cherry and subdued berry. Some cherry on the palate, with a hint of clove and spice. This is a big, juicy, and intense wine, and I think it will be incredible in another 5 years. Is this the cream of the crop for '05 Burg's? No, but it is a pleasure to drink! 92 points for a great Burg after a long decant, heading to 94-95 with some years in the bottle. Enjoy 2014+! Kudos to CoolVines for having such a great wine on their weekly tasting! Cheers!

2005 Jean Michel Guillon Bourgogne Rouge

Had this wine first today at a tasting at CoolVines Princeton, and it just didn't stand a chance in comparison to the other Burgundy they were tasting. This was wine number one, and it seemed very closed down on the nose. Some classic hints of Burgundy, but now WOW FACTOR, but this could also be a very young wine, and might still need time to settle down. Regardless, if you are going to pop one now, I would suggest a 3-4 hour decant, at cellar temp is possible, then allow it to warm up in the glass. I don't remember much about the nose other than some strawberry and cigar box, but I do remember some strawberry on the palate. The finish was smooth, but nothing to write home about, and had nicely integrated tannin. In my opinion, this wine might be in a weird closed phase, and could benefit from a few years in the bottle. Drink 2012 plus, or decant for a few hours. 85 points. Cheers!

Friday, January 16, 2009

2002 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard

Brought by Dee, and consumed at Oliver - A Bistro after an Auteur pinot. I didn't have the same impressions of this wine as others have, and I wonder if storage may have been an issue with this wine. Regardless, it still was a great wine, just not a 93-95 point wine as others have listed. Nice ruby color in the glass, with hints of raspberry, black cherry, mocha, and spice on the nose. On the palate, definitely not the fruit forward style of the Auteur, and maybe that is what affected what I thought of this wine. Still, nicely subdued fruit, with hints of black cherry and strawberry, with very nice acidity, and next to no tannin, and no heat at all. Lingering finish makes this wine damn tasty, but what do you expect from Williams Selyem? Great wine worthy of 90 points!

2007 Auteur Pinot Noir "Ophelia"

For a young wine, all I can say about this is WOW! If this is this good right now, I can only imagine what it is going to be like in 3-5 years. Thankfully, we have more, so I figured this would be a great wine to bring and share with Dee tonight at Oliver - A Bistro. This is a great blend of California (15%), with the classic styles of Burgundy coming from the fruit from Oregon(85%). Nice tones of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry on the nose, along with some soily/earthy undertones, and the slightest hint of lavendar. On the palate, tons of dark fruit and dark cherry coming through, with the slightest bit of mineral. Nice acidity, and very balanced, I really look forward to trying this wine once it has a few years in the bottle. Kudos to Laura and Ken and Auteur for the great customer service, and for creating such incredible wines! Keep up the great work guys! I look forward to your orders every January! 92 points, and this will be at least 2 points better with time in the bottle! Cheers!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2005 Domaine Alfred DA Red

Taste more of the syrah that the pinot. Pairs nicely with a pie from Leonardi's in Hamilton, but nothing really special about this 3 after re-capping and putting in the cellar has really mellowed this wine out. This definitely as some syrah in it, and the pinot is very subdued. Very peppery, yet very smooth finish. Decent daily drinker, but not quite my style...would like more of a pinot influence in this wine than syrah...83 points.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2002 Calera Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard

Nice wine worthy of 91 points. Formal notes to come.

2007 Schmitges Rivaner Qualitätswein

Tasted this today at CoolVines Princeton. Very nice, crisp, riesling blend. This will be an awesome summer wine. All the things that I love about riesling with a toned down sweetness!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2006 Iris Vineyards Pinot Noir

This nicely priced, very young Oregon pinot was not of the norm! Most of the '06 Oregon's we have we are sitting on as the fruit is not showing well at the moment, but will come out in time. This was the exact opposite, and reminded me more of the fruit forward California styled pinot than that of Oregon. Very nice cherry tones on the nose that hit you from a foot away. WOW, what a great nose. Hints of earth as well, but an abundance of fruit. The palate hits you like a hammer, with gushing fruit. Tons of dark cherry and other dark fruits make it hard for me to believe that this is Oregon. This is definitely not your typical $20 Oregon pinot! A hint of spice and pepper on the finish, that seems to linger for just a few seconds, but it is a delightful finish. This paired surprisingly well with noodles at Tsukasa. Nice Oregon pinot for the money, and in my opinion, better than the normal bottlings from Argyle and Benton Lane, and has a ton more fruit. This is a wine worth purchasing by the case. Kudos to CoolVines!