Monday, June 20, 2005


Paringa, Shiraz "Individual Vineyard" 2003 ($11) -- South Australia; produced by David and Dena Hickinbotham from the ARH Australian Wine Company; 100% Shiraz from the Paringa Vineyards near the River Murray. This is a well-known value wine from Australia that consistently gets high marks from the critics. Ruby red color; mild berry aroma; soft fruit flavors with a touch of sweetness and a hint of pepper, and a medium finish; medium weight with mild tannins present. Overall, a very good wine for $11. It is not as big as the chewy, over extracted Spanish wines I have enjoyed lately, but is softer and more subdued. At times, it is in short supply, so it would be wise to stock up.

I will be on vacation without Internet access until the 29th, so TTYL. Be safe out there!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day Wine

Cuvaison, Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1999 ($36) -- California; by the former winemaker John Thatcher. Dark fruit aromas and very smooth finish. Served with tonight's Father's Day dinner of grilled steaks from Wild Oats (it's OK, they're organic!) with grilled corn-on-the-cob. The snap peas got left in the 'fridge. Usually it's the bread in the oven that is overlooked during the rush of food prep! The wine was elegant with a good acid backbone and complemented the meal.

Another great Father's Day of golf (first tee time at Fox Run at 6:45am with no waiting on any shots), five hours of US Open Golf on the widescreen TV interspersed with cat naps, presents from kids, surrounded by friends and family, grilled steaks, and good red wine. I think Father's Day should be celebrated every Sunday! Let's hear from the women out there on this one!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Ashanti Pinotage

Ashanti Pinotage 1999 ($10 post off) -- Paarl, South Africa. Fragrant nose with integrated flavors and smooth tannins due to the bottle age. Reasonable at $20, but definitely worth trying at $10 on sale! Drink now. The leftover bottle the next day was showing a little tired.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Lillet, White French Aperitif Wine NV ($19) - Podensac-Gironde France; 17% alcohol. Not sure what to call this fortified wine made from wine and fruit liqueurs made from various oranges with a touch of cinchona bark from Peru (quinine). It is then aged in Oak for 6 to 12 months. I guess you order it by name. I was told the wine component is mostly Sauvignon Blanc with some Semillon. Serve well chilled either as a specialty cocktail (see the website for recipes), with soda and ice and a twist of orange, on the rocks, or neat in a wine glass. This is a great summer quencher and change of pace. I guess it's a little like very good Vermouth, but more flavor components and not just almonds and nuts. Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Little G is Back!

Dehesa Gago 2003 ($13) - Toro, Spain from Telmo Rodriguez. I tried the 2002 last year and loved the big chewy flavors that stayed with me for a day after consuming a whole bottle. This vintage has the same big flavors, but not quite as over-the-top chewy, and is almost refined in the finish. Be sure to let it breathe for 20 minutes after opening. Another great value from Spain! If you can find it, load up. This wine usually disappears around the fall.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Lucky Country

The Lucky Country, 2003 Barossa Valley 55% Shiraz 45% Cabernet ($17) -- Australia. This is a "second label" from Two Hands although the bottle says that they are selected barrel samples. This wine has a big fruit nose and smooth flavors and a good finish. It is a touch raw and should smooth out with age, but is a good value from a very good producer. From the back label:

"We always awake to a beautiful day in Australia. We have a fun filled culture of natural beauty, color and space backed by a lovely clean environment. Enjoy this red wine, a true expression of the lucky country."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Wine Blog Wednesday #10 - White Pinot

Strewn, Pinot Blanc 2001 ($10) -- VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada, Dry White Wine, Niagara-on-the-Lake. The notes on the back label are: "A gentle oak aroma with a buttery note leads to a smooth, round palate and a mineral, crisp, clean finish." That pretty much nails it.

I was going to review the JK Carriere "Glass" Willamette Valley White Pinot Noir, as it had the White Pinot in the label, but it is a Rose and that was last month's WBW wine du jour. By the way, that wine finished first in last month's Erie Blind Tasting of Rose's. Then I thought I would look at some Pinot Grigio's or Pinot Gris', but nothing jumped out at me, until I read the fine print and was allowed to review a Pinot Blanc. I have liked this wine for several months after I found a bottle in the 'fridge at work and it has been popular with customers after they taste it. I think some of the popularity is the surprising flavor profile of oak and butter when they expect some steely, riesling-like flavor. Plus, there is the novelty (at least here in Ohio) of a Canadian wine that is not an Ice Wine.

This is a good food wine and a good chilled wine for summer when you want to try ABC (anything but chardonnay), but still need your oak and butter fix!

The website for Strewn gives little details on the wine production, but does offer an intriguing invitation to visit the winery and restaurant next time I'm driving by Buffalo on the way to Maine this summer.