Sunday, February 26, 2006

2001 Chateau Loudenne Cru Bourgeois

I have not had the opportunity to try a whole lot of French Wine's, so when I saw this for under 25 dollars at my local wine shop, I decided to give it a try. Located in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, its a grand Chateau, and one of the only in the region with its own harbour, sitting as it does in the Gironde Estaury. This is only the second release since the Chateau was purchased by the Lafragette family. The is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon 55% Merlot 4% Cabernet Franc 1% Malbec, a pretty classic Bordeaux blend. Aged 16 months in the cask. 12.5% alcohol which is a lot lower than the alcohol bombs of California Cab-Merlot Blends.
Very intense even coloring of Dark ruby or garnett. In the mouth there are hits of Tobacco, currants, leather, granite, a little bit of black fruit with hints of cocoa and toasted oak (vanillan flavor almost). There are somewhat uneven tannins that could use some mellowing with more age. A very nice wine. B+.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Creative Closures

There have been many articles recently about the traditional wine "stopper" cork and the new screw cap. In fact there is a intense fight going on in Europe between some traditionalists and their backers the Portuguese Cork Tree Farmers, and those that want to see a better closure, in this case the Screw cap. There is even a winery in California called Screw Kappa Nappa that encloses all of its wine in Screw caps. There are multiple advantages to using screw caps, not the least of which is no more "corked" wines (aka TCA). However not all wineries think that screw caps are the best alternative. Now some French wineries and even a few in the US are trying out something new. Glass.
Marketed as Vino-Lok it was first used in Germany in 2003 and it works similarly to a decanter top with a much tighter fit. Not sure if it will stop over-oxidation of wine, but it is definitely a unique solution and maybe a new combatant in what some have termed the Cork Wars.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Torres Coronas 2002

The Torres family has been making wine in the Catalan region of Spain for over 200 years. Generation upon generation has made wine in this region, recently they have spread into California where they make Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Russia River valley. This is the epitome of a famiy run business that has made it big. They make wines on all different levels, from Expensive to cheap quaffable wines.
The 2002 Coronas is a blend of 86% Tempernillo and 14% Cabernet Savignon, aged 9 months in a fifty-fifty split of new American and French oak. Very cherry in color, smells of licorice and black fruits. Slightly acidic with small tannic tones (from the Cab), with a tad sweet after taste. I thought this was a pretty food friendly wine. The best thing about this wine is that it was somwhere around 7 dollars. This wine is a great example of good cheap wine that is a different variety than most are used to. I'd grade this a B.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Good in Corporate Wines

Its a popular complaint these days to disparage the corporate wines, for pushing bulk wines that lack character and variety. Corporate California Cab (how's that for alliteration!) all taste the same. And while that can be true, there are good things that Conglomerates can do. For instance they can take small producers and give them a bigger audience. Sometimes they can do this on a global level and open up the world's eyes to something new. Cognac giant Camus will start distributing made in china Wines into duty free stores in airports around the world. There have been multiple articles (see Wine Spectator among others) discussing the coming flood of wines from China. For the first time many people will be able to taste wines from China. While I can't speak to the quality of the juice, I think this is an exciting time. This can open up a whole new taste, a whole new experience in the world of wine, regardless of the taste, you know that chances are it's going to be unique, something that most of us have not had the capability to have before and now due to a Conglomerate more of us will have the experience.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

2003 Rosenblum Carla's Vineyard Zinfandel

I love Rosenblum Winery as a whole. They have multiple single vineyard, and multiple vineyard Zin's. I like when wineries choose a varietal and try to create some of the best wines they can with it. Rosenblum is a great example of this. I am not sure they make a bad zin. I have the opportunity to try some of their other zin's but I had this one with a few friends of mine recently. The grapes come from a Vineyard run by Tony Cutino near San Francisco Bay. The vineyard is named after Tony's daughter I believe.
The wine when poured is a deep dark purple, the smell reminds me of Zin on Steroids, deep dark cherries, vanilla, cocoa. In the mouth you get that same essence with chewy tannins that aren't over bearing with a little bit of acidity coming in over the top to help balance things out, somewhat. A very good example of what a winery can do with they specialize like this. I'd grade it an A.

Friday, February 17, 2006


The amount of states that allow direct shipping in some for or another is growing, DAILY it seems. Massachusetts has now passed a direct shipping law. This does nothing but help us the consumers, and the wineries, especially the smaller mom and pop (yes they do still exist). The corporate wineries, and that number continues to grow daily as well unfortunately, get country wide distribution through their distributors, something the smaller wineries can't always afford or don't have the volume. I don't know if anyone was happier than I when Texas pass a similar law, being able to order my favorite wines from California or Washington is very nice. And for those that say it hurts the retailers I completely disagree. My ordering of wines, has not stopped me from visiting the local shops, in fact, I may go by more now as my wine senses continue to be opened up to new things.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My First Post

Greetings all. I am not sure exactly what all I plan to do with this. Some of the things I plan to do is of course taste wine, share the experiences, and if I feel necessary recommend them. I also want to talk about news in the Wine Industry, there seems to be some breaking news every day. You will see some links on the right to yahoo news, wine spectator online, some Blogs that I feel are great for the Wino in all of us, and I also will be putting some links to some local Wine shops here in the Space City area. Again if you have any suggestions or want to be added to the list of blogs, just drop me a line. Thanks and I hope that there are many glasses of wine to share.