2012 Chateau Camarsan Bordeaux (Bordeaux, France)… $10.
Cranberries, currants and worn leather show up on the nose with a touch of forest floor. Almost a SweetTart element coming through. Bright, tight acidity on the palate (pucker up baby), with notes of cranberries, worn leather and tobacco up front. The acid component stays strong front to back finishing with leather, cranberries and tobacco with a dash of violets. This baby has good structure, and may calm down on the acid side in a couple of years as the fruit integrates. (C+)
2010 Jason Stephens Estate Merlot (Santa Clara Valley, CA)… $17.
Just a touch of funk on the nose joined by notes of perfumed cherries, ripe currants and a hint of tobacco. Ripe dark currants on the palate with loads of spice and tobacco. Nice balance of acidity and fruit with good structure. The finish is cinnamon driven joined by notes of leather, licorice and tobacco with just a touch of veggie. (B-)
2011 Ventisquero “Grey” Carmenere Trinidad Vineyards (Maipo Valley, Chile)… $20.
Licorice, cherries bark and green bell pepper on the nose with just a hint of menthol. Solid core of currants and cherries on the palate with a back-drop of white pepper and baking spices and a touch of blueberry. A hint of green bell pepper and asparagus join the party on the mid-palate leading into a long-ass finish. Excellent structure to this wine with a nice spine of acidity. Very drinkable now, but will age nicely over the next 5-8 years. (A)
2013 Milbrandt Vineyards “The Estates” Viognier (Wahluke Slope, WA)… $18.
Pears, pears, pears on the nose…Some Asian, some Bartlett. There is almost an oily quality on the front of the palate with notes of tangerine up front, joined by lemon in the middle leading into a long, citrus driven finish. This is like a tale of two wines. Viscosity up front with a leaner style finish. This baby would be very versatile with food. Try fish, try shellfish, try fowl try some Asian noodles. I think it will work with them all, besides the fact that it’s delicious. (A-)
2013 Ventana Chardonnay (Arroyo Seco, Monterey, CA)… $13.
Very tropical on the nose with notes of pineapple and apple coming through. Good weight on the palate with notes of butterscotch, pineapple and a backdrop of crisp apples. Apple notes are prominent on the mid-palate with butterscotch notes lingering on the finish. Fresh acidity keeps everything lively on the palate driving the flavors into the finish with just a touch of toast. This is one of those chards that will fit a lot of people’s preferences. (B+)
2012 Moss Roxx Ancient Vines Zinfandel (Lodi, CA)… $20.
Ripe currants and licorice all day on the nose with a touch of brown sugar and rubber boot. Smooth and delicious notes of ripe currants and brown sugar backed by a nice core of acidity. Although it has a lot of ripe fruit notes, the acidity keeps it in check with notes of red flowers and a little tar action. The finish is clean with a little menthol and white pepper showing up on the scene. (B-/B)
2011 Maggio Family Vineyards Merlot (Lodi, CA)… $10.
Aromas of ripe black currants, dark cherries, candied licorice and black raspberries. Polished currant notes hit the front of the palate with an edge of black licorice. Violets join up on the mid-palate with a little black raspberry showing up on the grippy finish. Structured tannins support the fruit with a backbone of solid acidity. (B-)
2011 Vidal-Fleury Cotes-du-Rhone (Rhone Valley, France)… $14.
Interesting aromas of roasted meats, leather, currants, coffee and plums (try to get at least 3 of those for practice). Currants and blackberries on the palate with fresh acidity backing it up. Violets hit the mid-palate on smooth tannins with crushed rocks showing up on the bright, fresh finish. 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 5% Carignan (C+/B-)
2012 Maison Des Chartrons Barons Des Chartrons Bordeaux (France)… $9.
Aromas of cherries and currants with a touch of worn leather and a little dirt. Bright cranberries and tart cherries hit the palate with a little worn leather and baked earth. This is a high acid Bordeaux making it a little mouth puckering. Crushed violets linger on the back-end. This has all the elements of a good Bordeaux, just a little too much acidity for me. (C-)
2013 Groth Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley, CA)… $21.
Steely on the nose with notes of grape seeds, grape skins and apples. Apple and wood notes on the front of the palate with hits of grass and melon. Apple notes continue on the mid-palate leading into a kind of funky burnt wood sort of finish. Medium acidity keeps it from being even close to laser sharp. I’m not a huge fan of oak aged Sauvignon Blanc, and this one doesn’t help the cause. (C+)
2011 Chateau La Barron “Coste Lise” Corbieres (Corbieres, France)… $15.
Very old world on the nose with notes of bark, tobacco, currants and hints of rust and red flowers. Solid fruit notes on the palate with an old world attitude. Notes of currants and blueberries come through backed by notes of crushed rocks, leather and a touch of rust and old wood. Structured, approachable tannins with solid acidity that is well-integrated. This will age nicely over the next five years. (B+)
2011 Iuli Rossore Barbera del Monferrato Superiore (Piedmont, Italy)… $24.
Another old world nose with notes of black olives, red currants, cherries, rust and rose petal with a touch of violets and bark. Solid core of acidity that is integrated nicely with notes of cranberries, blueberries, rust and violets. Very tight, but still in the delicious category. Bright, bright, bright, rusty finish with some baked earth components coming through. This is a baby, and has great potential…Give it five years. Love the true to northern Italy style. 100% Barbera (B/B+)
2013 Cantine del Indie Langhe Rosso “Vin Rosso di Popolo” (Piedmont, Italy)… $15.
Aromas of sweet cranberries and cherries, joined by notes of violets, rose petal and a touch of Cinnamon Imperials. Rusty, acidic baked earth notes on the front of the palate joined by red flowers and cranberries. Very, very old world. Notes of green olives show on the surprisingly pleasing, red flower driven finish. (B-/B)
Stan The Wine Man