A knockout of a red wine from the somewhat obscure Jumilla region of Spain. Made from Monastrell, known in France as Mourvèdre, it is high in alcohol (15%) and presents a heady mix of lush and brawny characteristics. Lovely nose of crushed blackberries with tones of vanilla and Indian spice, primarily turmeric. It situates well on the palate with a solid tannic structure to hold it up. Finishes a bit hard, but that will likely soften with time. I really like this wine, and the price is right. Try it with classic Spanish tapas, like a nutty manchego with Serrano ham.
For my 40th birthday I took a much-needed get away to Napa. We visited my friend Jeff Miller and his wife Beryl. Jeff lives in Napa and grows and makes wines in the Suisun Valley AVA under several labels: Seven Artisans, Sly Dog Cellars, and Red Côte.
Great flavor profile on this wine with lots of black fruit, earth, and spice notes. This is a big wine, but not in an aggressive sense. It still has enough elegance to win most people over—at least everyone at our table. Doyenne may be one of my new go-to Washington wines. Read more on RJ's Wine Blog.
I will confess I am partial to Bonny Doon’s wines, but the 2008 Vin Gris de Cigare is one of the finest rosés I’ve tasted. I keep several bottles well chilled at all times. A blend of grenache, cinsault, roussanne, mourvèdre, syrah and grenache blanc, it is perhaps untypical of a Southern Rhône rosé since two white grapes (roussane and grenache blanc) have found their way into the blend, but to me the 2008 Vin Gris de Cigare is a quintessential rosé. Crisp and light yet round in the mouth, the strawberry and summer fruit notes harmonize with the sweetness of the tomatoes, while the citrus notes and crispness of the wine cut through the richness of the olive oil. You’ll keep sipping this one long after you’ve licked your plate clean.
Ahhh rose: A wonderful wine driven to exile in many domestic markets due to its striking visual similarity to the much sweeter White Zinfandel wines. That being said, it’s probably true that even if white zin were actually white, Rose would still have a tough time breaking into the young male demographic. I mean, let’s face it… the only reason white cranberry juice even exists is so that men will order “camouflage cosmopolitans”. Plus, I’ve sat in quite a few power dinners. When you’re a young professional surrounded by the would-be cast of Mad Men with their two fingers of small batch bourbon and 48 gauge churchills, you don’t want to be the guy who orders 6oz of pink grape juice. I’m just sayin’…
A great medium bodied red. A nose of light rose petal and red fruit with a surprising butterscotch finish. The finish of the wine is what intrigued me most, it isn't sweet by any means, and the flavor of butterscotch is undetectable on the nose but bursts on the palate at the finish. I immediately fell in love with this wine after trying it and took home a bottle to Ohio from California. For Emma’s full review visit her blog, Dances with Wines.