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 Novelty Hill Roussanne Stillwater Creek Vineyard (Columbia Valley, WA)… $20.

Aromas of melon, banana, Meyers Lemons and orange blossoms. Creamy mouth-feel with notes of melon, cut grass and orange blossoms front to back. Very fresh on the palate but somewhat closed, not showing off what it has and certainly making it a little boring on the palate. (C)

2013 Novelty Hill Sauvignon Blanc Stillwater Creek Vineyard (Columbia Valley, WA)… $15. ‘

Steely on the nose with notes of white flowers apples and melon rind. Soft mouth-feel with notes of apples, melon, cut grass and wet stone coming through. Green apple and banana skin notes finish it off. I always like a little more acidity in my Suav. Blancs, but this one shows some interesting complexity. (C+)

2013 Colle Stefano Verdicchio (Verdicchio Di Matelica, Italy)… $15.

Interesting aromas of walnuts and apples with a little slate, white flowers and honeysuckle thrown in. Walnuts and honeysuckle served up on a plate of slate and steel. Crushed rock notes show up on the mid-palate leading into a clean, slate driven finish joined by notes of white flowers and a hit of lemon. (B-)

Rochiolo Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley, CA)… $40.

A little stink action on the nose with notes of grapefruit pith, diesel, white flowers and hits of apples. Solid fruit on the front of the palate with notes of apples, white flowers and diesel coming through (very interesting). Good structure and balance with a very clean and tight finish (age this one, I dare you), showing notes of white flowers, crushed rock, grass and slight hits of grapefruit. I know it’s hard to spend forty bucks on a Sauvignon blanc unless it has Sancerre on the label, but this one may well be worth the price tag. (A-)

2013 Montebruno Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, OR)… $27.

Very elegant on the nose with notes of rose petal, cherries and wet stone with a little perfumed soap action. Bright raspberry and cherry notes on the palate backed by notes of black tea and Root beer. The fruit notes are sweet as they dance on notes of wet stone. The acidity and fruit are well-integrated, with the Root beer and cherry notes lingering. This Pinot shows really well for under thirty bucks. (B+)

2012 Rojac Refosk (Istra, Slovenia) … $18.

Brooding aromas of perfumed blackberries and dark cherries with underlying crushed rock, wilted rose petal and violet notes. Crushed rock and violets all day on the palate with a backbone of cranberries and cherries. The acidity lifts the fruit notes into a crushed rock, violets and sweet cranberry finish. This baby screams for grilled meats. (B-/B)

Austin Hope Wine Co. Troublemaker Red Blend 8 (Central Coast, CA)… $20.

Very jammy om the nose with notes of raspberries and cherries with hits of marshmallow and licorice. Cherries big-time on the palate backed by notes of licorice and tobacco. The ripe fruit expands on the mid-palate, but then the wine thins out on the finish with an edge of brown sugar coming through. There are some that will love this wine, and some that will hate it. 46% Syrah, 25% Zinfandel, 14% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre (C+)

2013 Pierre Chanier 1749 Sauvignon Blanc (Vin de France) … $10.

Lemon drop candy, wet stone and cut grass on the nose. Notes of Granny Smithy apples, lemongrass, kumquat and kiwi on the palate with a strong backbone of bright acidity. Very steely in the mouth front to back with a clean, dry finish. This would be awesome with oysters or clams. (B/B+)

2013 Chateau De La Roches Sauvignon Blanc Touraine (Loire Valley, France)… $16.

Aromas of sweaty armpits (not stinky), wet stone, grapefruit pith and white flowers. Notes of grapefruit pith, rocks, slate, cut grass, kiwi and kumquat come through on the palate with a solid core of acid. There is good balance in this wine and a mouth-watering finish featuring notes of lemon and slate. Another great wine for shellfish. (B)

2013 Gravel Bar Chardonnay (Columbia Valley, WA)… $16.

Slight butter element on the nose, joined by pineapple and apple notes. Nice buttery apple notes front to back on the palate with a fresh edge to it. The finish is clean, but a little light. (C+/B-)

2012 Robert Hall Cuvee De Robles Red (Paso Robles, CA)… $18.

Aromas of perfumed blackberries and plums with an edge of smoke and red flowers. Smooth and seamless across the palate with notes of charcoal, plums, boysenberries and a touch of smoke. Minerals and a hint of smoke join the party on the mid-palate with a hint of mocha. The finish is plum driven joined by notes of smoked meat and a hit of black olive. A nice complex red that should get better over the next five years. 37% Grenache, 24% Syrah, 17% Petite sirah, 13% Cinsault and 9% Cinsault. (B+)

2012 Big Guy Red (California)… $16.

Violets and red currants on the nose, joined by blueberries and raspberries with a touch of baked earth, vanilla and black tea. Silky tannins support notes of violets, black olives, currants and mocha with a hint of powdered chocolate. Seamless flow across the palate leading into a violets and chocolate finish with a hint of tobacco and minerals. (B/B+)

2013 Gravel Bar Alluvial Red (Columbia Valley, WA)… $18.

A little challenged on the nose with hints of candied cherries and rose petal coming through. Sweet tannins support notes of ripe cherries and chocolate notes front to back. Just a touch of tobacco shows up on the finish. Fresh on the palate with good balance, but slightly thin. (B-)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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WORD OF THE DAY… LAYERED.

I rarely if ever use this word to describe wine, but according to Matt Kramer of Wine Spectator fame, it should be one of seven essential words to describe wine. To be fair, Matt has been published and I haven’t. Matt also has a pretty good gig at the Spectator, I work in the wine department at a grocery store. So, from most people’s viewpoint, he has better creds than myself. Good for him. I have wine street smarts, he has wine book smarts.

In the streets, layered is a fancy version of complex, and complex is much easier to wrap your mind around. A wine that is layered, would be a wine that has more to than alcohol and moisture. The opposite of layered would be simple, and I think any of us who have drunk enough know what a simple wine is.

A layered (complex) wine has more to it. It may have an initial attack of cherries and acidity on the front of the palate, evolving in the mouth with an expanded mid-palate featuring perhaps notes of chocolate, flowers and another fruit profile. Tannins would be involved in the picture and would be present underneath the flavors and more prominent on the finish. A layered wine would stop and make you think while you drink it, if that is what you like to do. Simple wines can be good, and enjoyable at the dinner table to wash down the meal. So can a layered wine. However, if you are into collecting wine and you have a small or large cellar (or just a place to store wine), you may want to search out layered (complex) wines. They will in most cases get better with a little more age on them.

It’s entirely up to you which words you want to use to describe a wine, whether it be layered or complex. I would be o.k. with interesting, because in the streets that is what a layered wine would be…Simply interesting. There really are no essential words for wine. Use whatever speaks to you, and never let anyone tell you differently. I for one, never used the words “fun” or “pretty” when it comes to wine. I do have acquaintances who love to use those very words, and I have asked them to educate me on what they mean. I now understand those descriptors and have been caught using them from time to time. That’s the way I roll.

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 For A Song Riesling Caliche Lake Vineyard (Ancient Lakes Vineyard, WA)… $10.

Bright pear, apple and lemon notes on the nose. Very mouth-watering on the palate with notes of lemon, apple and Asian pear coming through. There is a slight sugar element on the mid-palate, but it finishes clean and bracing. The acidity “pops” the fruit in the mouth making the wine dance on the palate. Pretty good Riesling for ten bucks. (B+)

2012 For A Song Chardonnay Caliche Lake Vineyard (Ancient Lakes, WA)… $11.

Interesting aromas of pears, smoke, fish (yes I said fish), toast and hints of butterscotch. Round pear notes up front on the palate with apple skin notes sneaking in continuing through to the finish. There is just a slight kiss of butterscotch front to back. (C+/B-)

2012 For A Song Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)… $18.

Aromas of black tea, sarsaparilla and cherries with a kiss of earth. Good acid and fruit balance on the palate. Dark cherries notes rest on a bed of acidity, joined by notes of black tea and sarsaparilla. There is a Cola element sneaking in on the mid-palate joined by notes of violets and a hint of licorice on the finish. A very nice effort for this price showing true Pinot noir elements. (B+)

2012 For A Song “The Score” Red (Columbia Valley, WA)… $10.

Smoked ham all day on the nose, backed by currants and violets with just a hint of chocolate. Smooth and polished on the palate with just a little attitude. Notes of smoked ham, currants and cherries with an underscore of licorice. There is a big hit of violets on the mid-palate finishing a touch thin with hits of powdered chocolate. 95% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon & 2% Syrah. (C+/B-)

2012 For A Song Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA)… $12.

Just a touch of stink on the nose with aromas of burnt match, currants and hits of violets. Ripe currants, rose petal and violet notes on polished tannins that carry the fruit into a spicy, long finish. Good intensity on the palate, but finishes fresh. (B-/B)

2013 For A Song Syrah (Columbia Valley, WA)… $14.

Aromas of maple bar, currants and a backdrop of boysenberries and a hint of old bark. Smooth tannins support intense notes of boysenberries and currants. There is a slight splash of white pepper on the mid-palate, finishing with notes of violets and blueberries lingering. True Washington State Syrah personality for a great price. (B+)

2012 For A Song Petit Verdot (Washington)… $17.

Aromas of coffee bean, currants and baked earth, with hits of violets and blueberries. Smooth, polished notes of blueberries, currants and coffee beans. Nice balance and flow across the palate with a little tobacco and white pepper action on the mid-palate. The finish is medium to long with violet notes lingering. (B+/A-)

2014 Bergevin Lane “Linen” Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley, WA)… $12.

White flowers and white grapefruit notes on the nose, joined by lemon, honey and a hit of orange blossom. Fruity on the front of the palate with notes of ripe melon, coconut and white flowers. Apple notes hit on the mid-palate joined by pink grapefruit and a touch of grass on the finish. From fruity to fresh with a touch of grip on the finish. (B-)

2013 Raeburn Chardonnay (Russian River Valley, CA)… $20
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Aromas of toasted walnuts, butter and Asian pear. Sweet pears and butter on the front of the palate with a hit of ripe pineapple on the mid-palate, finishing with a kiss of butter. Good balance and nice flow across the palate. Simple, but delicious, and finishes very clean. (C+/B-)

2012 Hermanos Torrontes Valle De Cafayate (Salta, Argentina)… $13.

Aromas of banana peel, orange peel, Meyers lemon and almond skin. Immediately round on the front of the palate, but then goes fresh. Notes of orange peel, lemon peel, melon and white flowers. Excellent balance of acid and fruit. Clean, long ass finish with notes of orange and lemon lingering. (B+)

2013 Novelty Hill Roussanne Still Water Creek (Columbia Valley, WA)… $20.

Melon, banana, lemon and orange blossom on the nose. Creamy mouth-feel, but very closed up on the palate. Notes of melon, grass and orange blossom come through with a clean, fresh finish. I think this has some potential, but it is not showing off in the least. (C)

2013 Novelty Hill Sauvignon Blanc Still Water Creek Vineyard (Columbia Valley, WA)… $15.

Steely on the nose with notes of white flowers, apples and melon rind. Very soft in the mouth with notes of apples, melon, white flowers and a touch of grass and rocks. Green apple skins and banana skin notes come through on the finish. A Sauvignon blanc in search of an identity. (C+)

2013 Colle Stefano Verdicchio (Verdicchio di Matelica, Italy)… $15.
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Aromas of slate, walnuts and apples with hits of white flowers and honeysuckle. Walnuts on the palate, joined by notes of honeysuckle, stainless steel and slate. Crushed rock notes come through into the middle palate finishing clean with notes of slate, white flowers and a slight lemon edge. (B-)

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.

2009 Two Angels High Valley Petite Sirah (Lake County, CA)… $26.

Blueberries all day on the nose with notes of black raspberries and red flowers underneath. Nice intensity on the palate showing blueberries, black raspberries and currants. A solid core of acidity gives the fruit notes a “punch” on the palate. Tobacco and red flower notes join the party on the mid-palate with licorice notes hitting on the long finish. A classic example of what Petite sirah can achieve. (B+/A-)

2014 Chateau De Costis “Blanc De Costis” Bordeaux Blanc (Bordeaux, France)… $8.

Aromas of white flowers, melon rind, wet stone and hits of lemon. Lemon-lime zest on the palate with crazy acidity that makes it dance in the mouth. A little grass and herbs sneak into the picture mid to finish. This little white has a load of attitude for the money. 60% Sauvignon blanc, 30% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle (A-)

2013 Domaine Notre Dame Des Pallieres Rose De Gigondas (Rhone, France)… $13.

A touch of rose petal on the nose joined by notes of strawberries and cherries. Ripe cherries all day on the palate with a kiss of strawberries and huckleberries. Some herbal notes sneak in leading to a bone dry finish. Even though its last year’s vintage, it is still fresh and vibrant. (B-)

2012 Mascerelli Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (Abruzzo, Italy)… $9.

Aromas of bark, cherries, crushed rock, rose petals and coffee bean. Rose petals soaked in cherry juice on the palate with a splash of gravel. Finishes slightly thin. Good balance of acidity and delicious fruit notes. (C+/B-)

2013 Chateau La Vernede Tradition Red (Coteaux Du Languedoc)… $10.

Very perfumed on the nose with notes of cherries, blackberries and a pinch of lavender. Round blackberry and cherry notes on solid, approachable tannins. A trace of tobacco comes through, with a spicy black pepper finish. Red flower notes underneath front to back with a minerality that lingers. (B)

2013 Gaudou & Co. Cahors “Cuvee Tradition” (Cahors, France)… $9.

Rose petal, tobacco, cassis and cherries on the nose with a soapy edge to it. A touch thin up front with notes of currants, violets and rose petal well-integrated with the acidity. The fruit expands on the mid-palate and then a big dose of gravel hits on the finish as it thins out a bit again with hits of licorice coming through. It definitely gets better, as the air gets to it. Would love to decant this and see how it holds up. 80% Malbec, 15% Merlot, 5% Tannat (C+/B-)

2013 Vino De Euzaguirre Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley, Chile)… $10.

Very challenged on the nose, but that changes immediately on the palate. Massive notes of ripe currants and tobacco with a touch of cassis. Good acidity backs the fruit with mocha, cassis and mineral notes showing on the finish. This Cab isn’t for everyone, but I know there are a lot of folks who will love it. (B)

Non-Vintage Pithon-Paille Brut De Chenin Cremant De Loire (France)… $29.

Aromas of almonds, walnuts, lemon, pears and wet stone. Bone dry on the palate…It almost tastes like a fine apple cider with a hit of lemon and wet stone. Almond skin comes through on the mid-palate joined by notes of kumquat and lichee notes on the finish. A very interesting bottle of bubbles from the Loire Valley. (B/B+)

2013 Andorfer Vorgeschmack White (Niederosterreich, Austria)… $17.

Aromas of buttery figs, peach pit, wet stone and lemon oil. Bright acidity on the palate, yet there is good balance. Notes of wet stone, lemon and cut grass start to finish. Almost steely on the palate, showing a little creamy element on the front of the palate and a nice long finish. 80% Gruner Veltliner, 20% Riesling (B)

2012 Vino di Anna “Palmento” Vino Rosso (Mount Edna, Italy)… $25.

Toasty violets, apples and cherry Jolly Ranchers, with a touch of watermelon. Round cherry and red plum notes up front on soft tannins. Crushed rock notes show up on the mid-palate, leading into a thin, acidic finish. This baby is a tale of two wines. Open up front, and tightly wound on the finish. 100% Nerello Mascalese (C-)

2012 Monte Bruno “Kathken Vineyard” Pinot Noir (Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon)… $40.

A little stink on the nose with notes of cherries and black tea and hits of cranberries and violets. Cranberries and tart cherries all day on the palate, blended with notes of baked earth. High acid, with a Sweet-Tart element coming through. This is a baby, and needs time in the bottle. If you drink it now, make sure you decant it. (B)

2007 San Fereolo Red (Dogliani, Italy)… $31.

Aromas of raspberries and dark cherries with a little wilted rose petal, rocks and violets coming through…Very s interesting. Deep and layered on the palate with notes of currants and cherries. Structured, approachable tannins support the fruit notes and it gets a little spicy on the mid-palate. This is a very mineral driven red which you expect from the old world. Notes of wet stone and dusty rocks underneath joined by notes of black olives front to back. With the fruit comes the old world attitude. This winery is certified organic and Bio-dynamic. 100% Dolcetto (B=/A-)

2013 St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley, CA)… $24.

Aromas of grass, melon, grapefruit and orange blossoms. Good acidity and balance with notes of sweet orange blossoms with grapefruit pith as the backbone. A touch of grass sneaks in on the medium to long finish. Not bad for a Cali Sauvignon blanc. (B)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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