Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: *** $$ Weingut Kurt Hain Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany, 2006

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Original tasting and review : This is Weingut Kurt Hain Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany, 2006, finished at 81% alcohol and first sampled 9 years from vintage date, in May, 2015.  Recall that "kabinett" is the lighter level of the riesling scale, typically off-dry or dry and light in alcohol.

In the glass:  Medium yellow and crystal clear.

On the nose: Poured at cellar temperature and swirled vigorously, shows soft hay, light green grass and hints of stainless steel and sugar.  From the aroma, seems like this will be layered and light.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact sweeter than anticipated, showing perky pear muddled with clean hay.  Big acids keep the sweet sip aloft in your cheeks and the finish is impeccably clean.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale,

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Kurt Hain Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling .

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: *** $$ Ojai Vineyard Ojai Red, California, NV but 2012/2013 estimated

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By way of background, opening thoughts: Ojai Vineyards is home to a range of attractive red and white wines from this Central Coast, California, region.  The Ojai Red is a mutt - blended from surplus wine in the bottling tanks after other, more purebred, bottles are filled.  So each vintage is an adventure.


Original tasting and review, June, 2014:  This is Ojai Vineyard Ojai Red, California, NV but 2012/2013 estimated, finished at 14.5% alcohol.  (The 2012/2013 vintage is presumed from the May, 2014, bottling date.) The wine is a blend of 1/3 syrah, 1/3 sangiovese and 1/3 pinot noir - a real dog's lunch from a varietal perspective, but hopefully it will show up much better on the nose and palate!

In the glass: Deep magenta, with hints of bright purple and almost opaque in the center.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows a bright aromatic purple, almost generically merlot-like.    From the aroma, seems like this will be bright for sure, but maybe surprising with layers of flavor.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact more nuanced and layered than the nose suggests, bringing soft red currants together with bright plum and a little hint of softening creaminess.  Seems a bit hot and big at the moment, but with opportunity to knit together over time.  Finish ends up in your cheeks, bringing the acids you'd expect from a red currant-tinged wine, but with a slightly darker feel.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, luring one back for another sip at another time.
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Updated review, a year later, now two or three years from vintage date, May, 2015:  Still a nice deep magenta color.  Fruit driven nose for sure, with touches of oak coming through now.  Sip is better laced-together too, with the acidic red currants also displaying the richer layers from the syrah. Almost picks up a plus for the added plushness.  It will pick that plus up over time, I predict.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Ojai Red.

(c) Copyright 2014, 2015, Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.

Notes from the vineyard:  Ojai Red is made from the same terrific vineyards that we make our more expensive single vineyard wines. Those wines are carefully decanted (racked) from barrel to the bottling tank, but a substantial amount of wine (5-10%) is left behind and we collect and settle it in fine French oak barrels. The clear wine from this second settling is blended with some of our small experimental lots that we don’t have a home for, and voila—this becomes OjaiRed. This current bottling (laser etched on the bottle 05/2014) worked out particularly well—I hate to say it but it’s one of our best ones ever! A blend of 1/3 syrah, 1/3 pinot noir and 1/3 sangiovese, it possesses the freshness of sangio, the richness of syrah and the elegance of pinot. It is delicious today and will age gracefully for the next ten years if you can keep your hands off it. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The 10th Edition of LAWineFest is coming soon!

New LAWF logo-TENTH

By way of background, opening thoughts:  The 10th annual edition of LAWineFest, is planned for May 30 and 31st at the historic Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood CA 90038.  At the festival, you will encounter hundreds of wines, brews and spirits from both well-known and boutique wineries, breweries and distillers.  Between sips, sample food and merchandise from some of LA's most popular food trucks and specialty retailers.  Enjoy the afternoons with several thousand guests who share your appetite for wine and fun.


Where?: The event is being held at the oldest independent movie studio site in continuous operation, Raleigh Studios, which was founded in 1912.


Beyond drinking wine, can I learn anything?:  A number of programs and seminars round out the event.

Who's involved?: The Sunshine Kids, a non-profit organization dedicated to children with cancer, is the charitable beneficiary of this years event.  Sponsors include Los Angeles Magazine, Southern California Acura Dealers, Icelandic Glacial Water and Tasting Panel Magazine.

What do I do next?!: For tickets, make your way to the ordering page soon - see you there!

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: *** $ Trader Joe's Reserve Zinfandel, Rhodes Vineyard, Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California, 2013 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Redwood Valley zinfandels.

Original tasting and review : This is Trader Joe's Reserve Zinfandel, Rhodes Vineyard, Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California, 2013, finished at 14.6% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in May, 2015.

In the glass: Deep red with tiny hints of violet.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows clean and fragrant fresh fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be friendly and young in spirit.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact showing a deep, raisin inkiness, but layered on top of a red fruit base.  Thus, it represents a tasty blend of depth and freshness.  A few perky acidic perks bring the sip into your cheeks.  Then a clean - though fairly brief - finish follows.  So, "fresh young raisins" summarizes the sip.  Fun and tasty wine.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Best value!

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Redwood Valley zinfandels.

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: **** $ Trader Joe's Reserve Syrah lot 127, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, 2013 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Russian River Syrah.

Original tasting and review : This is Trader Joe's Reserve Syrah lot 127, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, 2013, finished at 13.9% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in May, 2015.


In the glass: Deep magenta, opaque from a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bold, beefy tones of beets and violets  From the aroma, seems like this will be vigorous, layered and tasty.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact full of layered, purple fruits, grainy (in the best way), with elements of cocoa powder, violet flowers and blueberry jam.  Rules your taste buds with it savory flavors, then sits for a clean, lengthy finish.  Awesome now - and age-worthy!

In summary: Overall, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale and is a screaming best value.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Russian River Syrah.

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: *** $ Trader Joe's Reserve Sangiovese Lot 128, Sonoma County, California, 2013 = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Sonoma Sangiovese.

Original tasting and review : This is Trader Joe's Reserve Sangiovese Lot 128, Sonoma County, California, 2013, finished at 13.5% alcohol and first sampled two years from vintage date, in May, 2015.


In the glass: Brick red and opaque in the center.

On the nose: Poured at room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows shy clean laundry with hint of red berries.  From the aroma, there really is no hint about what flavors will follow.  Let's see...

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact fresh, bright and lightly sweet red fruit.  Dry tannins and acids leave hints of dry autumn leaves and allow for a lengthier finish.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale and is a best value at the Trader Joe price point.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Sonoma Sangiovese.

(c) Copyright 2015 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.