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.
2011 Triton Tridente Mencia Vino De La Tierra (Castilla Y Leon, Spain)… $12.
Mencia is a grape I have become greatly interested in. In Rioja, they blend it with Tempranillo, but a few wineries have boldly put it out there as a single varietal. It shows rusticity and fruit, which makes it a nice cross-over wine for those breaking into the old world side of the wine world.
Notes of black currants, tobacco, rose petal, black plum and a touch of black olive come through on the nose. Currants, crushed rock, wet stone, tobacco and wilted rose petals hit on the front of the palate into the mid-palate finishing off with notes of forest floor, BBQ spices and new leather. Good structure and balance with a lot of old world attitude. (B/B+)
2012 O.S. Winery Cabernet Sauvignon (Yakima Valley, WA)… $20.
Aromas of asparagus, cherries, tobacco, and loads of black licorice. Smooth, polished tannins support notes of black currants with hits of white pepper. Tobacco notes sneak into the middle. Finishes with just a hint of green on the back-end. The tannins have a sweet edge to them. This cab has excellent structure and balance. (B+/A-)
2011 Ramos Pintos Duas Quintas Douro Red (Douro, Portugal)… $13.
Dark cherries and crushed red bricks hit the nose joined by notes of wet stone, earth, lilacs and rose petal. Intense dark fruit notes in the mouth meets wet stone and a solid backbone of acidity. The finish is clean and mineral driven. If you are looking to expand your palate, look to the Douro, where some excellent values are hitting the market. 45% Touriga Nacional, 35% Touriga Franca, 5% Tinta Da Barca, 5% Tinto Roriz and 4% Tinta Barroca. (B+)
2014 Leopard’s Leap Chenin Blanc (Western Cape, South Africa)… $9.
This varietal got a bum rap when big producers out of California put out jug whites made from Thompson Seedless grapes and tagged them Chenin Blanc. My friends, don’t give up on this very interesting white that has a done of character and is actually made from the grape, Chenin Blanc or Steen as they often call it in South Africa.
This white exhibits aromas of lemon and grape seeds with a splash of grapefruit, grass and apple. Solid acidity on the palate backs notes of grapefruit and grapefruit pith. Wet stone and grass notes join up on the mid-palate leading into a finish of white grapefruit, lemon and melon. A perfect white for shellfish or a warm summer day. The only element this Chenin is missing is that wonderful wet wool component that so many have. (B/B+)
2013 Burja Zelen (Slovenia)… $21.
This is made from 100% Zelen, which is a grape I am not very familiar with. Very challenged on the nose with just slight hits of dirt and wet stone. Hits of fresh-cut grass, Steel and wet stone with a little apple core thrown in leading into a stoney finish. I found this white to be very boring for the price. (C-)
2013 Pazo Blanco Nunez “Pazo de Marinan” (Monterrei, Spain)… $10.
A little candy-like on the nose with notes of tangerine, banana, melon and spice coming through. A touch creamy on the front of the palate with notes of mandarin and tangerine. It finishes dry and citrus driven with notes of lemon and tangerine lingering. I’m thinking roasted chicken, shellfish or sushi. 85% Godello, 10% Albarino and 5% Treixadura. (B+)
2012 La Motte Chardonnay (Franschhoek, South Africa)… $19.
Butter and toast, with a touch of pears on the nose. This chard is very fresh and clean on the palate with just a touch of butter in the background. Pineapple and apple notes come through with citrus notes (tangerine) on the finish. Nice balance of fruit and acidity…This is very much a food Chardonnay. (B+)
Non-Vintage Pithon-Paile “Grololo” (Loire Valley, France)… $21.
This blend of Grolleau and Gamay displays aromas of rusty red plums and cherries with a little baked earth, leather and red flowers. There is just a touch of old world stink underneath. This is a very earth driven red with notes of forest floor, gravel and a touch of funk. The earth notes are joined by red flowers, crushed red brick cherries and cranberries. Sweet, smooth tannins with a clean fresh finish. (B-)
2013 Vega de Tera Tempranillo (Vino De La Tierra De Castilla Y Leon, Spain)…. $14.
Stinky currants on the nose, joined by hits of red flowers, bittersweet cocoa powder and cinnamon. Earthy currant notes on the palate with a touch of chocolate and crushed rock with black olive notes on the back-end. Violets and cherries come through on the finish with a little cranberry and grip action. This red is defined by a strong backbone of acidity and earth notes. (B-)
2013 “Mon P’Tit” Rouge Cotes de Catalanes (Roussillon, France)… $18.
Aromas of plums and iron, with a backdrop of rose petal, black olive and currants. Sweet tannins back notes of plums and ripe strawberries with a touch licorice and mandarin orange coming through on the medium length finish. This wine has good balance and shows off it’s old world side with a good kiss of fruit. 66% Grenache & 34% Syrah. (B)
2012 Mas De Mas Saint Chinian (Languedoc, France)… $10.
A little stinky on the nose with hits of currants, bark, wilted rose petal and licorice. Very smooth on the palate with just a little gravel on the edges. Deep currant and forest floor notes come through with a touch of funk and some chocolate action. The finish is fresh and clean with notes of rose petal, chocolate, bark and tobacco making an appearance and lingering. 60% Syrah, 30% Carignan & 10% Grenache. (B+/A-)
2008 Bodegas Lan Rioja (Spain)… $18.
Classic Rioja aromas of wet stone, rose petal, tobacco and cherries with a touch of cinnamon and clove. Solid wine with excellent structure and balance. Mineral notes come through on the palate with currants, tobacco and a backdrop of worn leather. White pepper notes sneak in with a little violets and licorice. The finish is mouth-watering with notes of gravel, currants and red flowers. This is what Rioja is all about baby…Bring on the grilled meat! 80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo & 10% Garnacha. (B+/A-)
2011 Leaf And Vine Cabernet Sauvignon “Snowslake” (Lake County, CA)… $22.
Red and black currants, roasted meats, red flowers and tobacco on the nose with a hit of veggies and mint. Nice intensity on the palate with notes of currants and red flowers coming through. Excellent balance of fruit, tannins and acidity. Fruit expands on the mid-palate with a little spice joining the party. There are some underlying leaf and lettuce notes that add to the complexity of this cab. The finish is long and delicious. (B+/A-)
Stan The Wine Man