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.
2011 Bodegas Triton “Tridente” Tempranillo (Castilla y Leon, Spain)… $15.
Tempranillo is sometimes referred to as the Pinot Noir of Spain. If that is the case, than this is the Santa Barbara version of Pinot Noir in Castilla y Leon. This is a big boy for a Tempranillo with some serious fruit and a lot of old world attitude.
Very perfumed on the nose with a punch in the nasal cavities of some serious alcohol. Joining the nose party are notes of licorice, minerals, baking spices, currants and boysenberries. Powerful, solid dark fruit notes hit the palate on the front side with notes of black currants and dark cherries. There is an interesting perfumed soap element on the mid-palate and then the old world shows its head. Beauty bark and tar notes come through with trace minerals. Earth notes are the backbone of this big a^@ wine giving it a lot of appeal and helping you forget the heady alcohol. Also, the label is kicka@*! (B+)
2011 Barahonda Sin-Madera Monastrell (Murcia, Spain)… $15.
Monastrell, also referred to as Mourvedre is one of my favorite varietals. In Spain it takes on a whole new personality compared to its sibling in let’s say…The Rhone Valley. I always find that it has a real grapey characteristic when it hails from Spain…This one is no exception.
Aromas of grape juice (Welches comes to mind), dusty rocks, currants, cherries, black licorice and blackberries. Currants, blueberry and blackberry notes surround the crushed rock, tar and tobacco on the palate. This baby has very polished (smooth) fruit notes that are roughed up a bit by a heavy dose of minerality. Add a little grilled meat to the mix and “Viola”, you have a match made in heaven (so true with so many old world wines). (B)
2009 Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas Red (Douro Valley, Portugal)… $13.
Aromas of blackberries, minerals, leather and a touch of currants (old world baby!). Minerality rears it’s head all over the palate, backed by notes of tar, currants and blackberries. Good balance and intensity with a bright edge. Very fresh on the finish with a tar driven edge. This is a great example of the table reds coming from the land of Port. (B+)
2011 Heredade das Barras “Unique” Tinto (Alenteljano, Portugal)… $14.
Tarry black cherries and blackberries come through on the nose with a hit of worn leather, crushed rock and dusty cinnamon. Very tar driven on the palate (which I like), with a bright core of cherries and blackberries. Alcohol makes its presence on the front of the mid-palate with mineral notes sneaking in. The finish is bright and long with notes of tar, cherries, tobacco and a touch of blackberry. (B+)
2013 Marques de Caceres Verdejo (Rueda, Spain)… $8.
Marques de Caceres decided to go with a straight up Verdejo instead of the blend that they have been offering under this same label. The results are pretty nice. Aromas of grass, lemon, melon, crushed rock, honey and hints of orange blossoms. Very gravelly on the palate with notes of lemon pith, fresh-cut grass, melon and orange blossoms. Clean and fresh with a touch of roundness on the mid-palate. Mineral driven on the finish backed by citrus and grass notes. For eight bucks, this is a steal. (B)
2011 Renwood BBQ Zinfandel (California)… $12.
Old wood notes come through on the nose soaked in cherry and currant juice with a touch of raspberries and black licorice. There is a blast of black cherries and currants on the palate (what zin lovers look for), with a chocolate cherry back-end. Good integration of alcohol and fruit and very smooth with an edge of wood tannins. This wine is a “10″ in the delicious category. (B/B+)
2012 Elk Cove Vineyards “La Boheme” Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)… $50.
Rose petals, cranberries, red cherries come through on the nose with hints of Root Beer and bark. Nice acidity on the palate drives notes of dark cherries, cranberries and hints of Root Beer. Bark and Root Beer notes join hands on the cherry driven finish with a touch of violets coming through. Fifty bones may seem like a lot, but put this next to a red Burgundy of the same quality and think thirty to fifty dollars more…. Just saying. (A-)
2013 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley, Oregon)… $19.
Pinot Blanc is one of those varietals that flies under the radar. So many folks are attached to Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. This Pinot Blanc gives a compelling argument as to why you should give it a shot. Very nutty on the nose with notes of almonds and walnuts coming through (sound interesting?). Peach notes back the nuttiness with hits of lemon, lime and lychee nuts. Lemon-Lime meets orange Creamsicle on the front of the palate flowing into a laser sharp lime sorbet finish joined by notes of cut-grass. The finish is bone-dry with a chalky edge. If you haven’t tried a Pinot Blanc yet, this may be a good place to start. (A-)
2011 Jean Perrier Chignin Bergeron Cuvee’ Gastronomie 100% Roussanne (Savoie, France)… $9.
Aromas of roasted nuts, melon, honey, white flowers and wet stone. Honey, papaya and banana notes hit the front of the palate with a little wet stone sneaking in on the mid-palate. Banana peel notes hit on the back of the mid-palate leading into a very dry mineral driven finish. This white has a new world feel up front, but definitely finishes with old world attitude. (B-)
2011 Jean Perrier Apremont Cuvee Gastronomic 100% Jacquere (Savoie, France)… $9.
A little funky and smokey on the nose, joined by notes of crushed rock, lemon drop and melon. There is a bright backbone to this white on the palate with notes of honey, melon, white flowers, cut grass and a healthy dose of crushed rock. There is a nice fullness on the front of the palate leading into a dry, crushed rock and slate driven finish. If you want a little palate change and try something new, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with this white from the old world side. (A-)
2012 Copos Nature Tinto (Terra Alta, Spain)… $10.
As the name indicates, this is an organic red made from 40% Tempranillo, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Carignan. Aromas of crushed red bricks, earth, red licorice, bread dough and currants. Earthy brick notes on the palate (some bricks and dirt whipped up together), backed by cranberries, violets and a bright acidity. Mineral notes are subdued but there, with some licorice notes coming through on the mid-palate. This is a red for those who like mouth-watering, earthy, acidic wines with a lot of old world attitude. (B-)
2012 Tre Fili Pinot Grigio (Veneto, Italy)… $10.
Aromas of garden hose, wet stone, lemon and honeysuckle. Simple and refreshing (it’s Pinot Grigio you know) on the palate with notes of honey, white flowers and slight crushed rock coming through. Apple skin on the mid-palate and finish joined by some honeydew melon. A great back porch on a warm summer day white. (C)
2012 Husch Gewurztraminer (Anderson Valley, CA)… $15.
Aromas of lychee nuts, honey, peaches and apricots. Honey and almond notes hit on the palate backed by notes of peaches and apricots with lychee notes on the back-end. This is a very dry style Gew with a finish of almond and walnut skins blended with citrus and apricot notes. If you don’t like a super sweet white that is delicious, this should do. (B)
Stan The Wine Man