STAN’S PICK FOR APRIL 2016.

Spring has definitely sprung here in the beautiful San Juan Islands, and while we may be thinking more about drinking some whites and rose`, I couldn’t help but pick a cab for this month. The reason? It is absolutely stellar for ten bucks and I want as many as possible to get their hands on this juice. What are we talking about?

2014 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon


2014 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown (Colchagua, Chile)… $10.

This winery is owned by a very famous French producer whom you may recognize…Domaines Baron De Rothschild (Lafite). These folks have been making wine in Bordeaux for what seems like forever and have reaped much praise and recognition from both critics and consumers. In 1988 after extensive research and touring of many areas in Chile, they purchased Los Vascos which means The Basques in honor of its Basque origins. The rich soils, extensive daylight and proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes this site ideal for grape growing. Many of the Cabernet vines were planted in 1990 and now are benefiting from the maturity of the vines. I have given mixed reviews on the wines from this producer over the years, but most recently I have noticed a dramatic change in the quality of these wines on a more consistent basis. This 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic example of the efforts the Rothschild family have been putting into this Chilean property.

Aromas of currants, black plums, licorice and worn leather. Silky, yet structured tannins support notes of currants, black plums and licorice front to back. There is good acidity that is well-integrated with the fruit, making it a nice companion for grilled meats and stews. The balance is amazing for the price and it definitely falls heavily into the delicious category. Notes of leather and chocolate sneak in on the medium to long finish. This wine has enough going on to keep you interested and the price is stupid for what you get. I would consume it now and over the next 3-4 years. A crazy good cab for only ten bones just cannot be ignored. (B+)

Distributed by Unique Wines (Renton, WA)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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FRIDAY’S THIRTEEN….

A boatload of wine

A boatload of wine

In a weeks time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). I lot of my friends think that I’m lucky. Well, they’re right, and I wouldn’t give this job up for the world. The only thing that makes my job hard, is my feeling of responsibility to taste the samples given to me as quickly as possible and to put my reviews either in my Moleskine, on my Youtube channel (Stan The Wine Man TV), or right here on Stanthewineman.com. Here for your reading pleasure, are thirteen wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week.

2013 25th Anniversary Conundrum Red (California)…. $29.

The aromas of fairly intense with interesting notes of chocolate, mint chip, eucalyptus, black licorice and currants. Deep, rich chocolate and currant notes on the palate with licorice notes brooding underneath leading into a fresh finish. Chocolate and licorice notes hang on the finish. This baby wants to go into the goopy category but stays in check with good acidity that is well-integrated with the fruit. (B/B+)

2013 Root:1 Pinot Noir (Casablanca Valley, Chile)… $9.

Bark, cherries, Root Beer and tobacco on the nose. Good cherry fruit front to back on the palate with some Root Beer notes coming into the picture on the mid-palate into the finish. This Pinot is mostly about cherries. Somewhat one-dimensional but a “10” in the delicious category. (C+)

2013 Renacer Ena More (Mendoza, Argentina)… $27.

This wine is produced just like an Amarone, with the grapes being dried for months before press. An expensive way to make wine since they don’t get nearly as much juice. The idea is to give it more concentrated flavors. So it’s not surprising to get raisins, dried currants and cherries on the nose with an interesting peanut butter component coming through and hits of Filberts. Jammy on the palate with good structure. Notes of raisins, cherries and ripe plums front to back. A little tight on the finish with the acidity rearing its head. Loads of fruit attack the palate with slight minerality underneath. This wine is a little young and very interesting. A blend of Malbec, Cab, Bonarda & Cab Franc. (B/B+)

2013 Woodinville Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley, WA)… $16.

Aromas of melon, apple, wet stones and a hint of lemon. Loads of honey and melon on the palate, balanced by notes of crushed rock underneath. Cut grass notes join the party on the finish. I’m picky about Sauvignon Blanc, and I thought this one has some interesting things going on. (B-/B)

2013 Airfield Estates “Runway” Cabernet Sauvignon (Yakima Valley, WA)… $15.

Interesting nose of violets, tobacco and currants with a little vegetation lingering underneath joined by hints of cinnamon. Grainy tannins and good structure support notes of currants, violets and tobacco front to back. There is an interesting cinnamon-nutmeg element that lies underneath and on the long finish. For the money, this is a steal. One of the best I’ve tasted in this price range from Washington State. (B+)

Non-vintage Dew Chanceny Cremant de Loire Brut (Loire Valley, France)… $15.

White peaches and apples on the nose with a hint of pears. Bone dry on the palate. Notes of green apple and lemon front to back with just a touch of sweet fruit on the mid-palate. Lemon and almond notes linger on the finish. You have to love these great values in sparkling wine from regions other than the big guns from Champagne. A blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. (B)

Non-Vintage De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Rose` Brut (Loire Valley, France)… $15.

Aromas of strawberries and earth with a touch of mushroom, rose petal and cherries. Nice strawberry and cherry fruit on the palate with a backbone of citrus. Nice balance, on the dry side but just a touch light on the finish. 100% Cabernet Franc (C+/B-)

2014 Elk Cove Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley, Oregon)… $19.

Smells like stainless steel joined by notes of banana skin, Meyers lemon and hits of cut grass. Flat and uninteresting. This baby has no verve on the palate. Notes of Asian pear, and red apple comes through. Hollow on the mid-palate with trace notes of grass and gravel coming through into a short finish with just a touch of banana skin and fig coming through. This might open up a bit with some decanting, but I wouldn’t count on it. (D+/C-)

2013 Moutard-Diligent Chardonnay (Burgundy, France)… $15.

Aromas of vinyl counter top, white flowers, nuts, mushrooms and melon. Polished stone, chalk, melon and citrus on the front of the palate. Starts off a little flat, then it fires off on the mid-palate leading into a citrus and stone driven finish. Chalk notes lie underneath front to finish. (B-/B)

2013 Moutard-Diligent Pinot Noir (Bourgogne, France)… $15.

Strawberries all day on the nose with a dose of black tea, orange peel and a hit of dirt. Citrus notes dominate the palate joined by notes of cranberries and orange peel. Very earthy front to back and somewhat astringent due to the acidity. This is very mouth-puckering but has enough interesting things going on to keep you interested. Some will love it, others not so much. (C)

2014 Les Pouches Saumur (Loire Valley, France)… $10.

Raspberry and bark on the nose with notes of wilted violets and a touch of licorice thrown in. Very tight and tart on the palate with notes of violets, dusty rocks, under-ripe raspberries and cherry pit leading into a very green finish. This is what you might expect from a Cabernet Franc out of the Loire Valley at this price. Once again this is for a particular palate, some will love it and some won’t. (C/C+)

2011 Grgich Hills Estate Zinfandel (Napa Valley, CA)… $41.

A little restrained on the nose with notes of dusty currants and ripe cherries. Sweet tannins support notes of bark, cherries and currants with a subtle hit of white pepper and wilted rose petal. This is a very tight, tannic, structured wine which is typical Grgich style. tuck this one away for a few years and watch it blossom. (B/B+)

2013 Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio (Collio, Italy)… $28.

Aromas of pear, white flowers and wet stone. Pears with a backdrop of apples and crushed rock on the palate. A melon element comes through on the mineral driven finish. Great balance and nice and clean. It’s serious money for Pinot Grigio, but I think it kicks Santa Margharitas’ ass. (B+/A-)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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FRIDAY’S THIRTEEN…

A boatload of wine

A boatload of wine

In a weeks time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). I lot of my friends think that I’m lucky. Well, they’re right, and I wouldn’t give this job up for the world. The only thing that makes my job hard, is my feeling of responsibility to taste the samples given to me as quickly as possible and to put my reviews either in my Moleskine, on my Youtube channel (Stan The Wine Man TV), or right here on Stanthewineman.com. Here for your reading pleasure, are thirteen wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week.

2013 Rio Madre Graciano (Rioja, Spain)…$9.

Raspberries and currants on the nose with wet stone and rose petals joining in. This is a crunchy red for sure with a s*^t-ton of acidity. Notes of crushed rock, asparagus, cranberries and under-ripe blueberries. This is old world, bright and not for everyone. (C+)

2012 Sierra Cantabria Rioja (Spain)… $10.

It’s kind of weird, but I get riverbed on the nose with this one along with notes of dill, currants and old wood (very interesting).
Quite seamless on the palate with good balance of acidity and fruit. Notes of currants boysenberries, rose petal and violets come through with a little coffee bean action. A touch of tomato stem hits on the mid-palate with underlying mineral notes. Finishes with just a hint of white pepper joining the party. (B+)

2013 Wrongo Dongo Monastrell (Jumilla, Spain)… $8.

Aromas of iron, plums and currants with a backdrop of wilted rose petals and a trace of cinnamon. Red and black plum notes hit on the front of the palate with a little dark cherry and black olive action. There is an interesting twig element in the background with chocolate notes coming through. White and black pepper notes join up on the finish with a touch of cinnamon and tar. Nice complexity and balance. (B+)

2013 Joseph Drouhin Saint Veran White Burgundy (Beaune, France)… $20.

Notes of slate on the nose joined by aromas of banana, melon and white flowers with a hint of lemon, honey and cut grass. Gravel all day on the palate with notes of melon and herbs in the background. The honey element hits on the mid-palate leading into a steely lemony finish. This Chardonnay is perfect for shellfish or a pasta dish with cream sauce. It represents the region very nicely at a great price. (B+)

2012 Camaraderie Cellars Madrona Red (Columbia Valley, WA)… $20.

Black raspberries, licorice and dark cherries on the nose with a little candy element coming through. There is a meaty element to this wine on the palate with notes of dark cherries, white pepper, bark and tobacco with a backbone of red flowers front to finish. This wine has solid structure with sturdy tannins and excellent acidity that is well-integrated with the fruit. A blend of Syrah, Merlot, Dolcetto and Malbec. (B+/A-)

2013 Punta Aquila “Tenuta Rubino” Primitivo (Salento, Italy)… $15.

A little stinky on the nose with notes of wet stone, tobacco and currant with a hint of cinnamon and blackberries. Solid core of fruit on the palate…Notes of ripe cherries and currants with a load of gravel underneath. Notes of rose petal linger in the background joined by tobacco and hits of pepper with licorice lingering on the finish. Seamless on the palate with good structure and a bright core. A great wine for those who love both old and new world wines. (B+/A-)

2012 Torres Coronas Tempranillo (Catalunya, Spain)… $12.

Cherries and rose petals on the nose with just a hint of stink action. A little wood comes through along with crushed rock and a touch of leather. A ton of tobacco on the palate with a little white pepper action with currant, cherry and leather notes rounding it out. Sweet tannins with a little grip action on the somewhat thin finish. (B-)

2013 Torres Sangre de Toro Garnacha (Catalunya, Spain)… $9.

Aromas of tobacco, rose petal and raspberries with a touch of blueberry and dried spices. There is a honey element underneath front to back. Not the sweetness of honey, but the flavor. Currant notes on top with a compliment of blueberries, red flowers and worn leather. Sweet structured tannins with a nice freshness that makes it a touch crunchy. This baby is delicious and interesting at the same time, and that’s hard to do at this stupid price point. (B)

2011 Torres Gran Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Penedes, Spain)… $17.

Aromas of tobacco, currants, dill and hints of clams. It has a nutty element on the palate with sweet tannins supporting notes of currants, tobacco and leather. It rounds out on the mid-palate with a little green element coming through and white pepper. Tobacco notes linger on the finish that has just a slight grip action. (B)

2012 Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee (Sonoma County, CA)… $18.

Aromas of licorice and plum with a backdrop of currants and a touch of tobacco…It wants to go raisin, but stays in check. Smooth polished tannins support notes of plums and prunes with a hint of tobacco. This red is very one-dimensional a little boring and a touch light on the finish. (C)

2012 Camaraderie Cellars Cabernet Franc (Washington State)…$20.

A little branch and stem action on the nose (it is Cab Franc), joined by notes of black tea, cherries and tobacco with a little tomato leaf action. Nice intensity of cherry fruit on the palate with a little veggie stem action in the background. Oak notes come through on the mid-palate, but they are not over-powering. Tobacco, tar and white pepper notes sneak in on the finish. I love Cabernet Franc and this one is definitely on my radar now. (B+/A-)

2010 Camaraderie Cellars Merlot (Washington State)… $20.

Aromas of currants and violets with a touch of meat marinade and tobacco. Ripe currants on the palate, joined by notes of tobacco and white pepper. Wilted rose petal notes sneak in on the finish with a good dose of tobacco. Solid structure with grippy tannins make me think that this baby would do well with a little more age on it. (B+)

2013 25th Anniversary Conundrum Red (California)… $29.

Chocolate, mint chip, eucalyptus, licorice and currants on the nose. Deep, rich currant and chocolate notes on the palate with licorice and hints of white pepper underneath. Wants to go goopy, but stays in check and actually gets fresh on the finish with chocolate and licorice notes lingering. I know a lot of folks out there that will love this wine. (B/B+)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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STAN’S PICK FOR FEBRUARY 2016…

O.K. it’s more than half way through the month and I am just now revealing my pick. For those of you that don’t know, I am going through a divorce and it is taking a toll on my professional life. I’m not saying I don’t want what is happening, I’m just saying that it has seriously messed with my head and schedule. That being said, I felt it necessary to get busy blogging and what better place to start than my pick for February.

FEBRUARY'S PICK... 2013 Torres Sangre de Toro Garnacha

FEBRUARY’S PICK…
2013 Torres Sangre de Toro Garnacha


2013 Torres Sangre de Toro Garnacha (Catalunya, Spain)… $9.

It’s no wonder that a lot of my picks come from Spain…The prices are so stupid for what you get, they can’t be ignored. This is a shining example of a varietal that comes from this great wine-producing country.

Aromas of tobacco, rose petal and raspberry, with a touch of blueberry and dried spices. Honey notes come through immediately on the palate backed by notes of currants and blueberries. Red flowers are the backbone of this wine which is very fresh in the mouth. Hits of pepper and leather join up on the mid-palate with a little violet action coming through. The honey element is there front to back. Sweet structured tannins support the fruit notes front to back. This is a wine that is both delicious and interesting, which is hard to accomplish. For nine bones, it’s a steal, and that is always what I am on the hunt for. (B)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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