2014 Sean Minor Pinot Noir (Central Coast, CA)… $13.
Aromas of earth, cola and cherries with a hit of licorice, Root Beer and slight tobacco. Solid fruit on the palate with notes of currants and dark cherries surrounded by notes of Root Beer, dried bark and a hit of cola. There is a red flower hit on the mid-palate with a pinch of licorice. Nicely integrated with good balance of acidity and fruit front to finish. A solid California Pinot Noir that is not trying to go north or to Burgundy. (B/B+)
2013 Cantele Salice Salentino 100% Negroamaro (Salice Salentino, Italy)… $12.
BBQ spices on the nose, joined by notes of black currants, licorice, rose petal, wet stone and forest floor. This baby smacks your mouth with high acid making you take a quick look around for Mr. Hendricks. Notes of tart red cherries, citrus and tobacco that carry on brightly front to back with citrus and tobacco notes lingering. Don’t get me wrong, this wine is well made, but begs for some food. Hook it up with some fatty steaks, ribs or a pasta dish with red sauce and you will find its full potential. (B-)
2014 Whidbey Island Winery Pinot Noir Coltus Bay Vineyard (Puget Sound, WA)… $25.
Aromas of leather, cherries, cola and an undertow of black pepper and licorice. Bark, licorice and black tea notes with cherries underneath front to finish. Very earthy and savory on the palate but also quite thin. Light acidity does not give this wine any punch and leaves you wondering why you paid twenty-five bones. I am a huge fan of this winery as a lot of you know, but not huge fan of this Puget Sound Pinot. (C-)
2016 Domaine Le Clos des Lumieres Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc (Rhone Valley, France)… $9.
Very expressive on the nose with notes of white flowers, peaches and apricots with underlying apple, melon and grass notes. Melon and peach notes all day on the palate with an underscore of minerals and cut grass. Citrus notes come through on the mid-palate into a mineral driven, grassy finish. Good balance and very clean on the palate. Shellfish anyone? 40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Viognier, 20% Bourboulenc (C+/B-)
2016 Domaine Le Close de Lumieres Cotes-du-Rhone Rose`(Rhone Valley, France)… $9.
Aromas of cherries, strawberries, minerals and hits of watermelon. Fairly intense cherry and strawberry notes on the palate with a nice beam of acidity front to finish. Hits of watermelon rind show up on the mid-palate into the finish with crushed rock joining the party on a fresh, dry finish. Solid, balanced, dry Rose`. 40% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. (B)
2015 Chateau Moulin de Ferrand Blanc (Entre-Deux-Mers, France)… $9.
Petrol and wet stone on the nose with a burnt grass and melon component coming through. Apricot, melon and white flower notes hit on the palate on a bed of wet stone. A pinch of citrus joins up on the mid-palate into a very dry, delicious, lingering finish. Nicely balanced and a great value from an area of Bordeaux that is oft ignored. 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon (B-/B)
2014 Michael Pozzan Annabella Pinot Noir (Carneros, CA)… $16.
Cherries and Root Beer all day on the nose with underlying licorice, spice and black tea notes. Notes of dark cherries dominate on the palate with underlying Root Beer and black tea notes. Solid acidity keeps the fruit in balance. Bark notes hit on the mid-palate into the finish where white pepper joins that palate party on the back-end. (B/B+)
2014 Michael Pozzan Annabella Red (California)… $15.
Loads of blackberry notes on the nose with a little red currant and red plum coming through with a kiss of licorice. Blackberry notes all day front to finish with a little veggie action on the mid-palate. Slight licorice and spice notes come through on the end of the finish. This is close to a one-dimensional wine (very simple) with strong delicious factor. (C)
2015 Domaine Le Clos de Lumieres Cote-du-Rhone (Rhone Valley, France)… $9.
Meaty on the nose with notes of violets, boysenberries, hits of char, plum and tobacco. Nicely integrated notes of roasted meats, crushed rock, violets, strawberries and plums with a nice tobacco hit on the fresh, mineral driven finish where violet notes linger. Excellent food wine at a stupid price. (B/B+)
2016 Weoh Carignan (Maule Valley, Chile)… $14.
Big time smoke on the nose joined by notes of plums, cherries, tobacco and raspberry. Tart raspberry and cranberry notes driven by high-tone acidity. Beet notes join up on the mid-palate with tobacco notes joining up on the finish. Tannins are there but very approachable. Interesting wine for a limited amount of palates. (C+)
2015 Frey Vineyards Field Blend (Mendocino, CA)… $15.
A little Vics Vapo-Rub on the nose, joined by notes of blackberries, licorice and a hit of oatmeal. Blackberry and red berry notes dance together on the palate mingled with fresh acidity and blackberry notes trying to cut in. Polished, structured tannins support the dance showing just a little attitude. Ball bearing notes lie underneath front to finish giving the wine a nice vibrancy with tobacco notes showing up on the back-end. Biodynamic and Organically grown fruit. 40% Merlot, 40% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (B/B+)
2014 Frey Vineyards Agriculturist Red (Mendocino, CA)… $12.
Blackberry cola with a splash of tobacco on the nose. Blackberry notes dominate the palate with a hint of currants underneath. Light, but the fruit notes are laser sharp resting on sweet tannins. This red has a zing to it that will keep you interested. Organically grown fruit (B-)
2014 Frey Vineyards Zinfandel (Mendocino, CA)… $15.
Aromas of raspberry and strawberry jam with a pinch of cherries. Nice jammy edge on the palate with a fresh backbone. Hits of white pepper join ripe cherry notes front to back. Good balance and intensity of fruit. Blackberry and currant notes sneak into the party on the mid-palate into the finish. This one surprised me, as sometimes the organic designation can prejudice the mind. This is a zin lovers zin at a killer price. (B/B+)
Stan The Wine Man