STAN’S PICK FOR JULY 2017…

I almost gave up on posting this pick, but it is such a good little bottle of white that I need to put it out there. I know it’s the thirteenth of the month, but thankfully, July has thirty-one days and there is plenty of it left. The weather has been fantastic this month and there is nothing better on a warm summer evening than a delicious glass of white wine. This pick rolls in at a crazy price and delivers some amazing juice. Not only that, it is a white from Italy that may not necessarily be a go-to for most of you.

2016 La Cappuccina Soave

2016 La Cappuccina Soave

2016 La Cappuccina Soave (100% Garganega) Soave, Italy… $10.

Perfumed aromas of Meyers Lemon joined by notes of crushed rock and peaches. It’s a citrus potpourri in the mouth. Papaya and mango notes join the crisp citrus notes on the mid-palate giving it a little weight, but stays light on its feet. Casaba melon notes join up on the back of the mid leading into a deliciously crisp, long finish with all the components coming together with a splash of minerality. This is a complex wine for a prayer. Forget what Bolla has done to this varietal and see what Soave is really all about. It’s a beauty for ten bucks. (A-)

Check out my review of it on “>You Tube.

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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STAN’S PICK FOR JUNE 2017…

I believe that if it wasn’t for New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc would have fallen off the map of the wine world. As it is, it is 4th in white wine sales in the United States, surpassed a few years ago by of all things, Moscato. The problem is very similar to what happened to Merlot. When Merlot was hot in the seventies and eighties, many wineries especially from the central coast of California pumped out a ton of insipid versions of this wine. So when the movie Sideways came out and dissed Merlot, that’s all it took and Merlot sales tanked. Today, Merlot sales are slowly coming back as wine drinkers realize that there are many out there that are well made and age-worthy. You can still get those watered down versions, but they do not dominate the market.

When it comes down to watered down Sauvignon Blanc, there are a ton of examples out there. However, New Zealand jumped into the national scene and folks started discovering Sauvignon Blanc with zest and flavor that they may have never experienced before. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc caught on fire, and remains some of the top-selling wines in the Sauv. Blanc category.

If you are a fan of rain, than you no doubt have been enjoying this spring in the Pacific NW. Recently, we have finally been seeing some sun and it feels fantastic. I like all kinds of weather, but come on, it’s time for some consistent sun. To encourage warmth and sun, I’ve decided to pick a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for June.

2016 Spy Valley Wines Satellite Sauvignon Blanc

2016 Spy Valley Wines Satellite Sauvignon Blanc


2016 Spy Valley Wines Satellite Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand)… $12.

White and pink grapefruit notes on the nose with a dash of pine and gooseberry. Solid acidity on the palate that is well-integrated with notes of grapefruit, grapefruit pith and pine needles that give it a nice complexity and interesting flavor profile. Line notes join up on the long, bracing finish. I like the pine and pith element that keeps this from going all grapefruit like so many of them do. This is a porch pounder and a perfect complement to shellfish. (B+)

Come on sun and come on NZ SB.

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 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 Sean Minor Pinot Noir (Central Coast, CA)… $13.

Aromas of earth, cola and cherries with a hit of licorice, Root Beer and slight tobacco. Solid fruit on the palate with notes of currants and dark cherries surrounded by notes of Root Beer, dried bark and a hit of cola. There is a red flower hit on the mid-palate with a pinch of licorice. Nicely integrated with good balance of acidity and fruit front to finish. A solid California Pinot Noir that is not trying to go north or to Burgundy. (B/B+)

2013 Cantele Salice Salentino 100% Negroamaro (Salice Salentino, Italy)… $12.

BBQ spices on the nose, joined by notes of black currants, licorice, rose petal, wet stone and forest floor. This baby smacks your mouth with high acid making you take a quick look around for Mr. Hendricks. Notes of tart red cherries, citrus and tobacco that carry on brightly front to back with citrus and tobacco notes lingering. Don’t get me wrong, this wine is well made, but begs for some food. Hook it up with some fatty steaks, ribs or a pasta dish with red sauce and you will find its full potential. (B-)

2014 Whidbey Island Winery Pinot Noir Coltus Bay Vineyard (Puget Sound, WA)… $25.

Aromas of leather, cherries, cola and an undertow of black pepper and licorice. Bark, licorice and black tea notes with cherries underneath front to finish. Very earthy and savory on the palate but also quite thin. Light acidity does not give this wine any punch and leaves you wondering why you paid twenty-five bones. I am a huge fan of this winery as a lot of you know, but not huge fan of this Puget Sound Pinot. (C-)

2016 Domaine Le Clos des Lumieres Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc (Rhone Valley, France)… $9.

Very expressive on the nose with notes of white flowers, peaches and apricots with underlying apple, melon and grass notes. Melon and peach notes all day on the palate with an underscore of minerals and cut grass. Citrus notes come through on the mid-palate into a mineral driven, grassy finish. Good balance and very clean on the palate. Shellfish anyone? 40% Grenache Blanc, 40% Viognier, 20% Bourboulenc (C+/B-)

2016 Domaine Le Close de Lumieres Cotes-du-Rhone Rose`(Rhone Valley, France)… $9.

Aromas of cherries, strawberries, minerals and hits of watermelon. Fairly intense cherry and strawberry notes on the palate with a nice beam of acidity front to finish. Hits of watermelon rind show up on the mid-palate into the finish with crushed rock joining the party on a fresh, dry finish. Solid, balanced, dry Rose`. 40% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. (B)

2015 Chateau Moulin de Ferrand Blanc (Entre-Deux-Mers, France)… $9.

Petrol and wet stone on the nose with a burnt grass and melon component coming through. Apricot, melon and white flower notes hit on the palate on a bed of wet stone. A pinch of citrus joins up on the mid-palate into a very dry, delicious, lingering finish. Nicely balanced and a great value from an area of Bordeaux that is oft ignored. 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon (B-/B)

2014 Michael Pozzan Annabella Pinot Noir (Carneros, CA)… $16.

Cherries and Root Beer all day on the nose with underlying licorice, spice and black tea notes. Notes of dark cherries dominate on the palate with underlying Root Beer and black tea notes. Solid acidity keeps the fruit in balance. Bark notes hit on the mid-palate into the finish where white pepper joins that palate party on the back-end. (B/B+)

2014 Michael Pozzan Annabella Red (California)… $15.

Loads of blackberry notes on the nose with a little red currant and red plum coming through with a kiss of licorice. Blackberry notes all day front to finish with a little veggie action on the mid-palate. Slight licorice and spice notes come through on the end of the finish. This is close to a one-dimensional wine (very simple) with strong delicious factor. (C)

2015 Domaine Le Clos de Lumieres Cote-du-Rhone (Rhone Valley, France)… $9.

Meaty on the nose with notes of violets, boysenberries, hits of char, plum and tobacco. Nicely integrated notes of roasted meats, crushed rock, violets, strawberries and plums with a nice tobacco hit on the fresh, mineral driven finish where violet notes linger. Excellent food wine at a stupid price. (B/B+)

2016 Weoh Carignan (Maule Valley, Chile)… $14.

Big time smoke on the nose joined by notes of plums, cherries, tobacco and raspberry. Tart raspberry and cranberry notes driven by high-tone acidity. Beet notes join up on the mid-palate with tobacco notes joining up on the finish. Tannins are there but very approachable. Interesting wine for a limited amount of palates. (C+)

2015 Frey Vineyards Field Blend (Mendocino, CA)… $15.

A little Vics Vapo-Rub on the nose, joined by notes of blackberries, licorice and a hit of oatmeal. Blackberry and red berry notes dance together on the palate mingled with fresh acidity and blackberry notes trying to cut in. Polished, structured tannins support the dance showing just a little attitude. Ball bearing notes lie underneath front to finish giving the wine a nice vibrancy with tobacco notes showing up on the back-end. Biodynamic and Organically grown fruit. 40% Merlot, 40% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (B/B+)

2014 Frey Vineyards Agriculturist Red (Mendocino, CA)… $12.

Blackberry cola with a splash of tobacco on the nose. Blackberry notes dominate the palate with a hint of currants underneath. Light, but the fruit notes are laser sharp resting on sweet tannins. This red has a zing to it that will keep you interested. Organically grown fruit (B-)

2014 Frey Vineyards Zinfandel (Mendocino, CA)… $15.

Aromas of raspberry and strawberry jam with a pinch of cherries. Nice jammy edge on the palate with a fresh backbone. Hits of white pepper join ripe cherry notes front to back. Good balance and intensity of fruit. Blackberry and currant notes sneak into the party on the mid-palate into the finish. This one surprised me, as sometimes the organic designation can prejudice the mind. This is a zin lovers zin at a killer price. (B/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 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.

2016 Vaulted Wines Sauvignon Blanc (Oregon)… $25.

Aromas of grape seed (go figure), grapefruit, melon and white flowers. Nice balance of acidity and fruit on the palate. Both white and pink grapefruit notes come through front to finish with grapefruit pith notes lingering for some time. Clean, crisp and delicious, especially if you like grapefruit. (B)

2015 Vaulted Wines Chardonnay (Oregon)… $26.

Butterscotch and pears on the nose with a nice hit of baking spices. Baking spices and butterscotch on the palate complimented by notes of apples and pears with a nice intensity and good balance beginning to end. There is a touch of sweetness on the mid-palate into the finish, but it stays in check. (B/B+)

2015 Vaulted Wines Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, OR)… $35.

Tart cranberries and cherries on the nose, joined by notes of black tea, earth and red flowers. This baby starts off on the tart side with notes of under-ripe cherries and cranberries. On the mid-palate it goes to the dark side with notes of dark cherries, earth, black tea and cola notes that linger on the finish. A tale of two pinots with the dark side winning out. Light bodied with good intensity on the finish. (B+/A-)

2013 Vaulted Wines “Elevage” Red (Oregon)… $29.

Aromas of sweet raspberries and dark cherries backed by tobacco and bark notes. Fresh on the palate with ripe currant notes dominating, joined by notes of bark, tobacco and hits of forest floor. Nice core of acidity that backs the fruit front to finish with tobacco notes lingering. This baby is drinking good now and has aging potential. A blend of Tempranillo, Grenache and Trincadiero (B/B+)

2014 Vaulted Wines Syrah (Rogue Valley, OR)… $37.

Classic Syrah aromas of blueberries and boysenberries with a touch of bacon fat and violets. Nice core of acidity melds nicely on the palate with notes of tar, currants, bacon fat and blueberries with a little smoked meat thrown in. Good balance with a tar, smoked meat and tobacco finish that lingers. Excellent structure tells me this will improve over the next 8-10 years. (B+/A-)

2014 Argiano NC Rosso Toscano (Tuscany, Italy)… $17.

Leather, earth and cherries on the nose with a slight hit of mushrooms. Balanced acidity underscores notes of leather, cherries, chocolate and forest floor. Nice intensity up front with a good flow across the palate. Earth notes lie underneath front to finish. Tannins are approachable but have an edginess to them. An old world wine that I believe new world fans will appreciate. (B+)

2015 Bieler Pere & Fils “Sabine” Rose` Coteaux d’ Aix-En-Povence (France)… $12.

Strawberries and cherries on the nose with hits of watermelon. Loads of cherries on the palate, layered on a bed of watermelon and apples with a little bubblegum action. Finishes with a nice mineral edge and a kiss of citrus. (C+/B-)

2015 Poggio La Noce Pinko Pallino Rose` (Tuscany, Italy) $23.

Watermelon and strawberries on the nose with a touch of peach and wet stone. Excellent minerality and mouth-watering acidity back notes of peach, watermelon and strawberries. There is a nice citrus zing underneath front to a mineral driven finish. I’m thinking shellfish here my friends. (B+/A-)

2015 Poggio La Noce “Baja” Falanghina (Falanghina, Italy)… $22.

A little saline action on the nose along with notes of melon, cut grass, wet stone and a touch of nuttiness. Bright on the palate with an interesting oily element that sneaks in. Citrus and mineral notes linger together with an underbelly of stainless steel and apples. Finishes earthy, bright and pithy with notes of grass, wet stone, mushroom and a touch of smoke. A bad-ass, interesting white. (B+/A-)-)

2013 Poggio La Noce “Gigino” Sangiovese (Tuscany, Italy)… $30.

Aromas of meat marinade, tobacco and strawberries with a splash of herbs and cherries. Good intensity on the palate but light on its feet. Tobacco and red cherry notes come through with a little blackberry and earth thrown in. The tannins are serious yet approachable. Bright underneath finishing with notes of leather, minerals and blackberry lingering. Nice balance of acidity, fruit and savory, of course leaning towards the savory side. A pasta with red sauce buddy. (B+/A-)

2012 Poggio La Noce “Gigio” Sangiovese-Colorino Del Valdarno (Tuscany, Italy)… $50.

Candied licorice and dark cherries on the nose with hits of BBQ spices, violets and tobacco. Solid acidity and complex structure support bright berry notes on the palate, joined by notes of red flowers, tobacco and citrus with a pinch of leather. Citrus notes linger on the finish. This is quite tight right now, but has great potential. Give it 5-10 years and watch out. (B+/A-)

2015 Sean Minor 4 Bears Sauvignon Blanc (California)… $12.

Melon, apple and citrus on the nose with hits of grapefruit. Grapefruit and melon notes combine on the palate to give it a fuller mouth-feel with good acidity keeping everything from going flabby. A touch sugary underneath but enough citrus to balance it out. Citrus notes dominate on the finish. Nice, simple porch pounder. (B-)

2015 Sean Minor 4 Bears Chardonnay (Central Coast, CA)… $12.

Oak comes through on the nose joined by notes of pears and banana. Buttery pear notes on the palate with an underscore of butterscotch and apples. Oak notes hit a little harder on the back of the mid-palate into the finish where they linger with a little butter action. There is a little make-up on this Chardonnay, but it scores in the delicious category. (C+/B-)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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