#8 | B Cellars Vineyards & Winery - Blend 24, 2016

Overview: B Cellars Vineyards and Winery - Blend 24, 2016. Drank during the summer of 2018, with my co-worker Russ, who stayed at B Cellars winery during his Napa Valley trip this past spring.

 

Producer: B Cellars Vineyards and Winery
Country: USA
Region: Napa Valley, CA
Varietal Composition: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Sangiovese, 14% Petite Syrah
Vintage: 2016
Avg. Cost: $67.00

Overall Rating: 3.6 of 5

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Look: Murky and dull-bright. Deep purple in color. TMedium viscosity.

 

Smell: Sound wine. Medium intense youthful and floral aromas on the nose of black fruit and alcohol. Very dark, inky, and plumy on nose.

 

Taste: Off dry, medium+ body. Jammy and tart. Some grip from tannins, medium+ acidity. Fruity. Fairly complex with a decently long finish and length.

 

Conclusion: Not perfectly harmonious. Not perfectly out of balance, but not completely within it, either. Perfect table top red wine for dinner parties and guest.


Occasion: Drank this wine on July3rd with a co-worker who stayed at B Cellars in Napa Valley prior this year. The bottle was his treat. Enjoyed while musing over life. brought back some special memories. This bottle was produced in the same region I proposed to my fiancee in, and was bottled in the same city we stayed in at our Air BnB. The grapes were harvested a few months before we started dating, so this wine mirrors the length of our relationship pretty well.

#7 | Baker Lane Vineyards - Sonoma Coast Estate Vineyard Syrah, 2011

Overview: Baker Lane Vineyards - Sonoma Coast Estate Vineyard Syrah, 2011. Drank during the summer of 2018 with my fiancee. Paired with steak kabobs. Got this bottle for a steal on auction, saved over 66% on price.

 

Producer: Baker Lane Vineyards
Country: USA
Region: Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Valley, CA
Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
Vintage: 2011
Avg. Cost: $64.00

Overall Rating: 3.9 of 5

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Look: Very murky and dull. The age on this bottle gave the wine a lovely medium Garnet color, meaning the young, red color had been tainted with an orange hue, overall making it look a bit brown. Loads of meniscus around the edges, the brown rim fade to a ruby and finally deep purple in middle. Medium viscosity.

 

Smell: Sound wine. The age on this bottle gave it some nice aged tertiary aromas -  medium bouquet on the nose. Different from the youthful and super aromatic/floral  wines I've been enjoying this summer Blackberry jam and peppercorn immediate on the nose, and after opening up for a bit, tobacco leaf. 

 

Taste: Dry, Powerful and complex medium+ body. Edgy acidity - well balanced here. Super jammy alcohol. Grippy and leathery tannins. Fairly layered and complex, with a smokey, long finish in mouth. Balanced. Spicy with lots of black fruits on palette.

 

Conclusion: It's always fun to drink some wine with some age on it. Older wines whisper more secrets and have more stories to tell. I drink more young wines, so this was a great switch up. I loved the mature smoke and spicy flavors of this aged Syrah.


Occasion: This wine brought back some special memories. This bottle was produced in the same region I proposed to my fiancee in, and was bottled in the same city we stayed in at our Air BnB. The grapes were harvested a few months before we started dating, so this wine mirrors the length of our relationship pretty well.

#6 | Chateau Cornet - Costières de Nîmes Rosé, 2016

Overview: Chateau Cornet - Costières de Nîmes Rosé, 2016. Drank during the summer of 2018, for no particular reason over than it was Friday and I had a spare $10.

 

Producer: Chateau Cornet
Country: France
Region: Costières de Nîmes, Rhône Valley
Varietal Composition: 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Vintage: 2016
Avg. Cost: $12.95

Overall Rating: 3.1 of 5

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Look: Clear, day-bright medium copper color, with white straw and pale pink secondary colors. Little to no viscosity.

 

Smell: I won't lie, it smelled a little funky at first...almost like pee. I believe the wine suffered from reduction, and smelled at first of boiled garlic and cabbage. I ran it through an aerator and it helped, some. I got notes of celery, pink grapefruit, and faint traces of strawberry. Not overly floral or alcoholic on the nose.

 

Taste: Perfect balance between off-dry and semi sweet. Light bodied. Acidity is in check, with the right amounts to off set any overwhelming red fruit sweetness. Still has medium- amounts alcohol, enough to get loose outside in the summer without melting away.  Medium- grip on the tongue, which means you can put a few down before you need any water 😉 Just enough structure and complexity to make it a perfect summer everyday wine. Doesn't overstay it's welcome, and is balanced light and delicately.

 

Conclusion: Another really fun Rosé from France. A lighter drink than the other French Rosé from #2 review. France has their rosé game on lock. If you want lighter drink, grab this one. Bad ass rosé for the price point! Super fun. 


Occasion: Drank on Friday night, no particular occasion.

#5 | Bodini - Rosé of Malbec, 2017

Overview: Bodini - Rosé of Malbec, 2017. Drank during the summer of 2018, while celebrating a promotion for my fiancée.

 

Producer: Bodini
Country: Argentina
Region: Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza
Varietal Composition: 100% Malbec
Vintage: 2017
Avg. Cost: $12.49

Overall Rating: 2.5 of 5

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Look: Densely colored, very hazy and dull. Deep salmon color with secondary, copper edges. Very little viscosity.

 

Smell: Clean, medium+ intense flowery smell, very young Rosé. Smells of red fruit, mainly strawberry and blackcherry, with clay pot earthy tones. But almost more than anything, I smell lots of alcohol. It almost overtakes the floral smells, and definitely weighs heavier than the red fruits.

 

Taste: Off dry sweetness, which is really nice.  Medium body, which again is nice. Higher acidity, and lots of alcohol, and I think where that is where this wine loses me...the complexity seems to be all acidic flowers and straight nail polish remover alcohol, which leads to it not being the most complex Rosé. Slightly off balance.

 

Conclusion: An average quality Malbec Rosé. Comes from the dryer and cooler parts of Mendoza. If you are are new to Rosé and coming from the heavier alcoholic side of wine like Cabernet Sauvignon this is a great starting point, or if you are fans of spirits like vodka.


Occasion: Drank on summer solstice to celebrate a promotion of my fiancee! <3

 

 

 

 

 

#4 - Moët & Chandon - Grand Vintage Brut (Champage), 2006

Overview: Moët & Chandon - Grand Vintage Brut Champagne, 2006. Drank in 2018 on Father's Day with two close friends, courtesy of my friend Kyle. Give him a follow here: KyleThe1Percent

 

Producer: Moët & Chandon
Country: France
Region: Champagne
Varietal Composition: 42% Chardonnay // 39% Pinot Noir // 19% Meunier
Vintage: 2006
Avg. Cost: $89.99

Overall Rating: 4.0 of 5

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Look: Was hard for me to get a pinpoint on color for this champagne. Enjoyed at a friends place. We were short on champagne flutes, and had to substitute for white wine glasses that were tinted.

 

Smell: Clean champagne. Still smelled more of fresh fruit than toasty maturity. Zesty, like the citrus from lemon, as well as flowers and something like a peach or apricot.

 

Taste: Off-dry brut. The age on the bottle gives it a medium+ body. Rather intense and powerful, yet delicate in balance, structure, and complexity. Airy. Light. Refined. Classy.  Elegant.

 

Conclusion: Was a well rounded and clean champagne. Easy to drink. Delicately balanced. Still relatively young in the world of champagne, but was already coming in nicely into itself after 12 years. Super curious as to how deep it would taste if it had aged another 4+ years or so. It is always truly a treat tasting vintage champagnes versus non vintage - greatly appreciated Kyle for allowing me to get in on this special tasting!


Occasion: Drank on Father's Day in 2018. The bottle was courtesy of my good friend Kyle Kolander, who was kind enough to share it with myself and Hollywood, the DJ from Dollhouse.

#3 | Zaca Mesa Winery - Santa Ynez Valley Syrah, 2014.

Overview: Zaca Mesa - Santa Ynez Valley Syrah, 2014. Drank during the summer of 2018, Paired with dinner, enjoyed with my fiancée.

 

Producer: Zaca Mesa Winery
Country: USA
Region: Santa Ynez Valley, CA
Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
Vintage: 2014
Avg. Cost: $19.99

 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Look: Upon inspection, the wine had a very dark purple hue, with softer maroon tones on the edges. Opaque. Medium viscosity.

 

Smell: Heavy scents of peppercorn and black fruits on the nose.  Slightly musky smell at first, which disappeared after running it through an aerator.

 

Taste: Peppery taste at first, followed by subtle notes of blackberry and jammy/plum tastes. Medium-light grip on tongue. Acidity balanced well, not too dry, not sweet. Well structured. 

 

Conclusion: Pretty kickin' Cali Syrah for $20. California isn't known for its Syrahs...yet. Still would have reached for the Australian Syrah had I not been cash-strapped...but all in all, not a bad way to spend $20. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either.

 

Occasion: Drank on a summer night in June while having dinner with my fiancée, paired with kimchi and grilled skirt steak and jalapenos. 

#2 | Mas de Daumas Gassac- Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé, 2017.

Overview: Mas de Daumas Gassac - Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rosé, 2017. Drank in 2018 in the backyard on a Friday evening while Bri drank Gose beer.

Producer: Mas de Daumas Gassac
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Varietal: 50% Syrah, 50% Carignan
Vintage: 2017
Avg. Cost: $9.99

Rating: 3.3 out of 5

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Look: Upon inspection, the wine was light salmon color, very translucent hue. The wine has more peach/pink tones on the edges, and shifted into a a light golden color, similar to what you'd see in a classic white wine in the middle. Ultra low viscosity.

 

Smell: Heavy scents of peach and apricot on the nose. Cherry scents on the back end after the bottle had been opened for 30+ minutes.

 

Taste: All in all, not a bad little budget rosé. Packs a decent punch for the price point. I'd be probably only roll the dice on this low of a priced Rosé from the Languedoc-Roussillon or Provence regions of France. Super fruity, dry, and acidic. Not many layers. Had a decent grip on the palette after the second glass, mediums tannins on tongue. First prominent taste was blackberry, subtle strawberry and grapefruit, followed later in the tasting by light cherry flavor. 

 

Conclusion: N/A

 

Occasion: Drank on a perfect summer night in June while having drinks outside on a Friday night with my fiancée, after receiving a small raise at my job.

#1 | Domaine Specht - Vin D’ Alsace Pinot Gris, 2015

Overview: Domaine Specht - Vin D’ Alsace Pinot Gris, 2015. Drank in 2018 w/ Bri, paired with dinner.

Producer: Domaine Specht
Country: France
Region: Alsace
Varietal: Pinot Gris
Vintage: 2015
Avg. Cost: $16.99

Rating: 3.7 out of 5

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Look: Upon inspection, the wine was close to being clear in color, with a soft, light yellow tone that faded to an even more subtle soft green undertone, similar to the color of a pear. Very little visible viscosity (tears).

 

Smell: My sense of smell was plagued while drinking this wine. This wine was to pair with our dinner, specifically Gochujang chicken wings and sweet potato fries. The grease from the chicken baking in the oven caused the whole house to get overwhelmingly smokey. I even spent 30 minutes outside prior to drinking to attempt and reset my sense of smell but to no avail. However, upon uncorking, the cork had a heavy first scent of peach. We finished the bottle around the campfire, so again, more overpowering smokey scents. 

 

Taste: When it came to taste, this wine really delivered and paired perfectly with the dinner. Light, fun, sweet, refreshing, crisp. I tasted fruity notes of peach, and what I believe to be either pear or apple, with light citrus notes, most likely citrus zest - or perhaps faint lemon. Almond like finish, I assume from aging in the oak barrel. 

 

Occasion: Drank on a perfect summer night in June while having dinner outside with my fiancé, in remembrance of Anthony Bourdain, who passed away in Strasbourg, France, 45-minutes from where this wine was produced. Paired with baked Gochujang chicken wings and sweet potato fries.