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.
2014 Duck Pond Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon)… $10.
Pears and apples on the nose with a kiss of melon and white flowers. Nice creamy mouth-feel, but remains dry. Apple notes are prominent on the palate backed by creamy pear notes with a little hit of lemon grass on the finish. (B/B+)
2014 J Winery Pinot Gris (California)… $17.
Aromas of perfumed herbs, apple and melon with a touch of pear skin coming through. Good balance and weight in the mouth with notes of melon, apple and pear that blend nicely front to back into a clean, decently long finish. (B/B+)
2014 Cougar Crest Viognier (Walla Walla, WA)… $15.
One of my favorite wines to smell is Viognier… In most cases it is very fruity and floral. This one from Cougar Crest did not let me down. Aromas of banana, peach and melon with hits of coconut meat and a little celery action. Fairly rich on the palate with notes of banana, papaya and mango. The fruit is rich, but the wine remains clean in the mouth, avoiding any heaviness. Good balance front to back with peach and coconut meat notes joining the action on the finish. A very good example of what Washington State can do with this varietal. (A-)
2013 Davis Bynum Chardonnay River West Vineyard (Russian River Valley, CA)… $23.
A load of oak on the nose with notes of smokey pears and hits of butterscotch. The oak is overwhelming on the palate…You can almost chew this wine. Pear notes come through, but it’s almost like someone smeared pear butter on a board and served it up wood and all. The fruit tries to come through with some pineapple notes on the finish, but the oak is too dominate. (D+/C-)
2014 Altesino Rosso (Toscana, Italy)… $19.
Aromas of rose petal, soft older leather, tobacco and cherries with a tiny hit of cranberry coming through. Nice cherry fruit on the palate with a tobacco edge. Plum notes are the backbone of this wine with a nice balance of acidity. A mineral component sneaks in on the back of the mid-palate leading into a cherry, chalky finish. This is a well made wine for twenty bucks with a good balance of fruit, acidity and tannins. (B/B+)
2011 Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico (C. Berardenga, Italy)… $20.
Very savory on the nose with a little saline action, joined by notes of dark cherries a hint of tobacco and forest dirt. Sweet tannins support cherry and mineral notes front to back with a little worn leather underneath. Licorice notes hit on the finish with a touch of grip to the tannins. This wine shows old world rusticity with enough fruit to keep new world wine drinkers interested. (B/B+)
2013 Campos De Risca Monastrell-Syrah (Jumilla, Spain)… $12.
The name of the winery means the field of rocks which I thought was very cool, and the wine is made from organically grown fruit. It’s real grapey on the nose with a backdrop of red flowers. Plum and strawberry notes come through big time on the palate front to finish. Nice acidity backs the fruit along with a good hit of minerals. Rose petal notes sneak in on the mid-palate leading into a plum jam element on the finish joined by notes of white pepper and crushed rock. It never ceases to amaze me how these wines from Spain deliver so much at ridiculous prices. (B/B+)
2013 Baron Des Chartrons Bordeaux (Bordeaux, France)… $9.
This Bordeaux is very challenged on the nose with slight cherry, tobacco and crushed rock notes. This baby is very tart on the palate, showing notes of under-ripe cherries with some minerality and worn leather notes backing it up. This puppy is bright and simple. If you like this style and the price, knock yourself out. (C-)
2013 Davis Bynum “Janes Vineyard” Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, CA)… $30.
Aromas of cinnamon, Asian spices, cherries, cola and black tea. You want to get me excited about a Pinot, throw these aromatics in the mix. Dark, ripe cherry notes are prominent on the palate without getting heavy. Notes of Root Beer and Asian spices join the cherry party with hits of black tea sneaking in. Long pleasing finish. This Pinot has nice balance with enough acidity to keep everything in check. (B+/A-)
2011 Camaraderie Cellars Cabernet Franc (Washington)… $20.
Intense aromas of currants, chocolate and violets. Smooth tannins support notes of currants and chocolate front to back, with hits of pencil lead sneaking in. This is really a chocolate party in the mouth with cherry and violet notes making an appearance. Seamless flow across the palate into a long, delicious finish. This is not a Cab Franc for fans of Chinon (which I like a lot). That being said, there are a ton of you out there that are going to love this baby. (A-)
2012 Benson Vineyards Merlot (Lake Chelan, WA)… $26.
Blackberries and cherries on the nose with just a hint of licorice. Nice intensity of fruit on the palate with good balance. Notes of currants and dark cherries on smooth, polished tannins. Hints of tobacco come through on the mid-palate, with just a touch of chocolate showing up on the clean, fresh finish. This winery out of Lake Chelan continues to impress me with their wines. (B+/A-)
2012 Browne Family Vineyards Tribute Red (Columbia Valley, WA)… $29.
Deep and sultry on the nose with notes of cherries and black plums, joined by notes of violets and an interesting sugar element. Structured tannins that have a little grip action support notes of dark cherries and currants. Tobacco notes lie underneath with hits of milk chocolate sneaking in on the long finish. Yes, this wine has fruit, but it also has good balance of acidity and tannins telling me it will age for 5 to 8 years and only get better. (B+/A-)
2013 Double Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills, WA)… $25.
Ripe cherries and wilted rose petals on the nose with just a touch of tobacco. Very fruit-forward on the palate with notes of currants and ripe dark cherries coming through. Very polished in the mouth but surprisingly not hot alcohol wise. Red fruit notes sneak in on the back-end with a little licorice joining the party. To have so much fruit and show the balance it does is impressive. This is a new world cab and proud of it…Not for those yearning for the old world. (B+)
Stan The Wine Man