FRIDAY’S FIVE

In a week’s time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). A lot of my friends think 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 five wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week.

2012 Bussola Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico (Italy)… $50.

Aromas of raisin, coffee, tobacco and red flowers. Ripe currants all day on the palate with a raisin edge underneath. Tobacco notes hit on the mid-palate, joined by notes of red flowers and coffee. This finish is all about over-ripe currants and raisins. This baby has probably seen better days, but if you have a sweet tooth you will love this one. Almost Port-like. (C+/B-)

2017 Portlandia Pinot Noir (Oregon)… $18.

Cherries and Root Beer on the nose, with a splash of wood and red flowers. Bright, balanced acidity supports notes of cherries with a kiss of Root Beer and a spine of red flowers. The acidity is nicely integrated and drives through the finish, lifting the fruit and flower notes where a touch of white pepper joins in the long finish. Great price on a food-friendly Pinot Noir. (B+)

2018 Jules Taylor Gruner Veltliner (Marlborough, New Zealand)… $17.

Banana and filbert on the nose with a pinch of lemon, melon, apple and slight cut grass notes. Banana, melon and a kiss of lemon front to finish on the palate with a spine of fresh acidity. Apple notes sneak in on the mid-palate into the steely finish where filbert and banana notes linger on the back-end. (B+/A-)

2018 Domaine Blain Soeur et Frere Brouilly (Beaujolais, France)… $27.

Aromas of charred marshmallow, red flowers, cherries and a kiss of perfume. Crushed rock and red flowers on the palate, supported by a solid bed of acidity. Tart cherry notes flow in the middle, front to finish where leather and tobacco notes sneak in on the back-end. This baby is true to the region and all about the old world and food is required. (B-/B)

2018 Domaine De Colette Beaujolais-Villages (Beaujolais, France)… $16.

Perfumed red flowers on the nose, joined by notes of cherries and plums with hints of black licorice. Dark fruit notes rest on nicely integrated acidity with a touch of blackberry stem coming through on the palate. Fresh and brooding at the same time with almost crunchy tannins. Leather notes sneak in on the long finish. Seriously tasty Gamay that could be drunk all by itself, but will complement food nicely. (A-)

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Main | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BITS & BOBS

I love writing this piece, but for some reason, I missed last week. It’s funny how you start something like this on your own (nobody pays me to write, at least not yet), and I feel guilty when I miss a week. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It might have something to do with the book I’ve been meaning to write that sits unfinished on my computer. I will finish it, but every time I skip a self-imposed writing assignment, it makes me doubt that I will ever get it done. My wife Susie wants me to make a chapter (or book) out of Bits & Bobs. I think it’s a great idea, but in order to do that, I need to keep at my writing. The more you write, the easier it becomes (supposedly). I will finish the book, I can feel it.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and the task of buying wine for the meal looms over our heads. A lot of us will go to our old favorites. Some of us will seek advice from the local wine shop or from articles written about it online or in magazines (yes, people still read them). I personally like to experiment with wines for this occasion. A couple of years ago, I opened a bottle of Grenache for the meal and everyone loved it, so I’ve included this varietal in the mix of wines I open on Turkey Day. I always do a little research to see what others are suggesting. Recently, I ran across an article that suggested Sauvignon Blanc. That caught my attention because this is a varietal I’ve never considered for Thanksgiving. I shot a YouTube episode featuring Sauvignon Blanc which will go up tomorrow. I’m going to give it a try this year to see how it works. If you are like the thousands who go to Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Pinot Gris or Zinfandel as your choice of wine for Thanksgiving, have some fun and throw something new in the mix to see how it works. You may be surprised at the results.

I am in the process of selecting my winery of the year for 2019. I think I have it locked down, but I am leaving my options open in case something is put in front of me that will change my mind. I don’t think that will happen, but I still remember last year when Ashley brought the Longship Cellar wines by my office late in 2018. I had a couple of wineries in mind at that point, but when I tasted the Longship Cellars line-up, I had no doubt in my mind who would be my choice for that year. Kyle and Cassie Welch are awesome people and Kyle continues to produce fantastic, high-quality wines at fair prices. If you haven’t tried Longship Cellars wine you are missing out. Who will I choose for 2019? I’m pretty sure of my choice, you will have to find out in December.

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Main | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

FRIDAY’S FIVE

In a week’s time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). A lot of my friends think 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 five wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week.

2018 Daterra Viticultures Casas De Enriba Red (Galicia, Spain)… $30.

Morphing aromas of wet hay, pomegranate and cinnamon with some other crazy aromas that sneak in and out. Baking spices and pomegranate on the palate backed by fresh acidity and smooth tannins. Hay notes sneak in on the mid-palate with a kiss of almond. Good integration with a long finish of pomegranate, hay and baking spices. This was like a living wine in the mouth with a ton of personality. 100% bio-dynamic practices. 80% Mencia, 20% Godello (B+)

2015 Felline Allerlo Salento Rosso (Puglia, Italy)… $12.

Tobacco and wood on the nose with a solid splash of dark currants and blackberries. Currant and blackberry notes come through on the palate, underscored by bright acidity and a ton of red flower notes with a kiss of dusty stones. Dry, currant driven finish with a little crushed rock thrown in. Bring on the food with this old world baby. 50% Negroamaro, 50% Primitivo (B)

2015 Chateau D’Arvigny Bordeaux Rouge (Haut-Medoc, France)… $16.

Aromas of currants, tobacco, leather and dirt with hits of red flowers. Solid acidity supports notes of red flowers, orange peel, earth and currants. Sweet structured tannins that are nicely integrated with the acidity. Finishes with just a slightly bitter edge and dirt notes lingering underneath. (B)

2016 Elizabeth Rose Pinot Noir (Yountville, CA)… $20.

Burnt strawberries on the nose with char notes coming through big-time and a hit of cherries. Fleshy cherry notes on the palate with a hit of Root Beer into a spicy somewhat thin finish where char and tobacco notes linger on the back-end. Interesting Pinot with new world start and an old-world finish. (B+)

2016 Casa Ferreirinha Planalto Vinho Blanco (Douro, Portugal)… $13.

Melon and wet stone on the nose with a kiss of lemon and orange. Diesel and wet stone all day on the palate with a backdrop of orange and lemon citrus. Good balance front to finish where a little veggie component sneaks in along with minerality and a bit of a zing. This is like a wannabe Riesling! (B/B+)

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Main | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

BITS & BOBS

Halloween is this Thursday, and I always wonder what to do with wine and this celebration. Really, no one gives a rats ass about wine on Halloween. Of course, I put a couple of wines in the ad that might pique someone’s interest. Bogle Phantom is one of the reds, and Dibon cava the white. The Phantom has a cool name for Halloween and the label is definitely appropriate. Bogle releases this wine once a year, and it used to be a big deal. Not so much anymore. It is a red blend that is in most vintages a couple of notches above their Essential Red. However, there is a ton of competition in the blend category and its lost it’s thunder, at least in my area. Dibon cava has an orange label and is one of my favorite sparklers from Spain. If you’re going to sit by your door in the evening handing out candy to those cute little trick-or-treaters, you might as well have some good bubbles to sip on. The orange label is a bit of a stretch, but I hope someone gets it.

A sales rep said one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a while and it wasn’t Ben. This rep was tasting me on a wine and he said, “Wouldn’t that make a great Tuesday evening wine?” I looked at him laughing and asked what was so special about Tuesday? Why couldn’t it be a great Friday night wine? Of all the days to pick, he randomly chose Tuesday. I asked him if he did anything special on that day (of course I wasn’t going to let this one go). He was nonplussed and really couldn’t answer as to why he chose Tuesday evening as the time to drink the wine. If you step into the drink tank (this is what we call my office), you best be prepared to get some razzing if you say something like, it would make a good Tuesday evening wine. Fortunately for him, my assistant wasn’t there, because when you get Scott and me together we can be relentless with the bantering. I’m still chuckling about the Tuesday thing and the next time he shows up I will make it a point to get down to the bottom of why he chose Tuesday. Hopefully Scott is there to help me out.

There are a lot of terms that are unique to the wine world. One of them is referring to wine as fruit-forward. What this means is that the wine shows a lot of ripe fruit on the palate. We used terms in the past like hedonistic, because that was a term that sold wine. Not so much anymore. Hedonistic became popular when everyone was drinking the goopy Shiraz from Australia and loving it. Today, we have found a way to describe a wine that is somewhat of a fruit bomb to the customer without turning them away. In a lot of my tasting notes, I will use the term fruit-forward instead of hedonistic. Sometimes they will ask me what I mean by fruit-forward. Once asked, I will throw in the word hedonistic if it fits because if they take the time to ask me, I will expound on the descriptor so they know exactly what they are in for. Sometimes they buy it, sometimes they don’t. I think as wine people, we should expand on fruit-forward and extend it to acid-forward or oak-forward if appropriate. I’m going to experiment with that a bit on my wine descriptors and see if it generates some animated conversations. How many descriptors have you seen that describe a Chardonnay as oak-forward? I’ve never seen it, but I see fruit-forward all the time. Why not refer to a high acid white wine as acid-forward? It makes sense to me, we will find out if it makes sense to my customers and readers.

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Main | Tagged , | Leave a comment