Monthly Archives: August 2009

Wow – A million smackers for a wine book!


This article came across one of my wine news feeds yesterday, and when I saw the title I thought it was a joke or some contest. It is in fact the truth, $1.12 million dollars will get you a 66 pound book and oh yeah 600 bottles of wine. The wine book from from British publisher Kraken Opus will feature what they deem the 100 best wineries in the world, and with the purchase of the book you will get 6 bottles of wine from each of those wineries. That is about an average bottle price of $1866 dollars. I can imagine that some Bordeaux 1st growths and some Grand Cru Burgundy wines will be in the mix, as well as some “cult” wineries from California. Still not sure it is worth the price tag, but it will be interesting to see the list of wineries. Only 100 copies will be released and 25 are already pre-ordered, so act fast if you got a million bucks burning a hole in your pocket.


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Tuesday Quick Sip – 2006 Papapietro Perry Peter’s Vineyard Pinot Noir

2006 Papapietro Perry Peter’s Vineyard Pinot Noir

Wine Information –

Appellation: Russian River Valley

Grape: 100% Pinot Noir

Oak program: 11 months in 50% new French oak and 50% 1st and 2nd use

Alcohol: 14.25%

Price: $49

Production: 1200 cases

2006PinotNoirPetersVineyardMy Tasting Notes –

Nose: yam, violet, cedar, blackberry

Taste: plum, currant, cedar, violet, peppercorn, rose, eggplant

Mouthfeel: full body, nice acidity – velvety and silky smooth

Finish: long

I wish I had gotten more than one bottle of this when we were at the winery last November. It was one of those wines that you get upset as you drink it, because you know you can’t get another one.


Categories: $40+, Pinot Noir, sonoma, wine review | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Drinking extremely well – 1999 B.R. Cohn Olive Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Once again my job as store manager of a wine shop has provided me the opportunity to taste some fabulous wine. About a week ago, we opened up the 1999 B.R. Cohn Olive Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($96) to see how it was drinking. Well, I am here to say that it is drinking extremely well right now, as it should I guess for almost 100 bones!

B.R. Cohn was founded by Bruce Cohn, who was road manager for the Doobie Brothers and is located in Glen Ellen, California in the heart of Sonoma County. The Olive Hill Estate Cab is their premium released wine and thus their most expensive.

Soils warmed by underground natural hot springs combined with warm days and nights cooled by gentle coastal breezes, work together to create a unique microclimate resulting in ideal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.

For more detailed information on the Olive Hill Estate Vineyard check out this excellent PDF –

Also B.R. Cohn has a great PR video on their website and YouTube, check it out below.

Not a whole lot of production information on the wine other than that it spent 18 months in French Oak barrels and that it is 13% alcohol.

1999bRCohnOliveHillMy Tasting Notes –

Nose: mocha, smoke, brown sugar, blackberry and black cherry

Taste: cedar, hints of menthol, cassis, black currant, tobacco and oak

Mouthfeel: full and leathery mid-palate, leathery yet fine grained tannins

Finish: long and long, with hints of dark fruit and leather notes

This wine was killing it, and kept getting better and better revealing more and more flavor notes. I feel it is at it’s prime, but with the structure and fruit that the wine exhibited it will still be going for another few years. Of course I always have a hard time paying $100 for a wine, but this wine is extremely well balanced, structured, elegant yet powerful and already aged for ya. If you can find a bottle and want a great wine for a special occasion, pick it up.


Categories: $40+, cabernet, sonoma, wine review | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The perfect beach wine – Vinho Verde!


The past few days I have been down in Duck, North Carolina enjoying some perfect beach weather at my in-laws timeshare. Normally when it comes to imbibing on the beach I am a Corona and lime fan but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up and do something a little different. Vinho Verde is the perfect beach wine, delightfully refreshing with bright acidity and just a hint sparkle. Vinho Verde comes from Portugal and literally means “green wine”, referencing it’s youthful freshness rather than it’s color. The N.V. Broadbent Vinho Verde ($10.95) is made from 3 of the typical varieties used in the wine, 50% Loureiro, 40% Trajadura and 10% Pedernã. Fairly low alcohol around 9-10%, it is a very easy drinking and perfect for a hot day in the sand, the only thing that would make it better would be a screw top.

broadbentvinhoverdeMy Tasting Notes:

Nose: lime, lemon zest, slightly grassy

Taste: citrus, mineral

Mouthfeel: crisp acidity with a bit of sparkle

Finish: clean and not long lived

My notes don’t offer much variety in descriptors but where this wines shines is in it’s freshness. Imagine taking the sweetness out of Sprite and adding some acidity and alcohol and you have a Vinho Verde. On the beach I didn’t pair it with a foods but it would go well with a variety of salad combinations or a nice summer gazpacho. The next time you need something different, or if you have non beer drinker in your beach crowd, go for a Vinho Verde.


Categories: $10-$20, wine review | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Wine Blogging Wednesday #60 – “I have Zinned”

This month, Wine Blogging Wednesday created by Lenn Thompson of LENNDEVOURS, is in it’s 60th edition and hosted by Megan at Wannabe Wino. Her theme this month is anything Zin, and pairing it with BBQ and or grilled meat. Well since I’m a vegetarian I couldn’t comply with the second part but I did the first and served it with a great pizza from my favorite local pizzeria Angelos. I thought it would be funny to choose a “white zin” but I didn’t and chose the 2006 Seghesio San Lorenzo Block 8 Zinfandel. I got this as one of my wine club shipments from Segehesio about a year ago.

From Seghesio on the history of the San Lorenzo Vineyard:

Rachel Ann Passalacqua met Eugene “Pete” Seghesio when purchased her father’s Zinfandel grapes from the San Lorenzo vineyard in southernmost Alexander Valley. In 1956 the couple was married. Seghesio Farms now manages that same vineyard, purchased in 1896 by Rachel Ann’s grandfather for the sum of ten gold coins. At that time, the vineyard was already planted to and producing Zinfandel. Today, it represents our oldest plantings of Zinfandel.”

The information on the wine –

Appellation: Alexander Valley, Sonoma

Grapes: 100% Zinfandel

Fermentation: 11 day punchdown in 6 Ton open top fermenters

Oak program: 12 months in French oak, 25% was new

Alcohol: 15.4%

Price: $35

2006seghesiosanlorenzoMy Tasting Notes –

Nose: brown sugar, coffee grounds, fig, raisin and molasses

Taste: plum, fig, blackberry, baking spices, thyme

Mouthfeel: full body, round, dry and spicy

Finish: long and fruity with hints of cocoa

Two words to describe this would be BIG and RICH, not to be confused with the country music band of the same name. Although as big as it was and with the 15.4% ABV it was not out of balance in any way and wasn’t over the top but brimming at the edges. The nose was as if I had walked into a coffee shop that was baking coffee cake while eating some dried figs. Amazing! Each sip, completely wrapped my tongue in layers of dark fruit, and hints of thyme. And I know there aren’t any taste receptors on the bottom of my tongue but it seemed as though I could really taste it from the bottom up. Maybe it was dripping all the way through my tongue. Gross thought, but this was killer! Definitely could have gone with some smoked baby back ribs, but it rode nicely with my pizza!!

Cheers to another WBW!

Categories: $30-$40, seghesio, Wine Blogging Wednesday, wine review, Zinfandel | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Tuesday Quick Sip – 1998 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

1998 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Information:

Appellation: Napa Valley, California (Calistoga)

Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Oak program: 18 – 20 months

Price: $30/ 375ml bottle

1998MontelenaMy Tasting Notes:

Color: dark brick red, slightly brown at the edges

Nose: slightly oxidized and “portish”, fresh corn tamale, tobacco

Taste: raisin, blackberry, suede, red clay, and tart cranberry at the back of the palate

Mouthfeel: full body but on the lighter side, still velvety rich tannins and “spicy” acidity

Finish: long with dark fruit and leathery notes

This is my first time tasting a Chateau Montelena wine as well as my first time tasting a ’98 Napa wine. Although slightly oxidized on the nose, it blew off after while and gave way to interesting corn tamale and tobacco notes. I was impressed with the structure, still alive and well but on the down side for sure. I have another bottle of this that I’ll probably drink very shortly, and will be excited to see if it will show as well.


Categories: $30-$40, napa, wine review | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Tuesday Quick Sip – 2006 Bersano Gavi

Tuesday Quick Sip – 2006 Bersano Gavi

2006 Bersano Gavi

Wine Information –

Region: Piedmont, Italy

DOCG: Gavi

Grape: Cortese

Price: $10 – $15

bersanogaviMy Tasting Notes –

Nose: apple, wet hay, honeycomb

Taste: apple, honeydew, mineral/slate

Mouthfeel: full body, not overly acidic

Finish: lots of apple and minerality, slightly tart

Although tart at the finish, not as crisp as I was expecting across the palate. An enjoyable sip but too much apple on the nose and palate and not a whole lot of the other flavor components mentioned, but the mineral and slate notes were nice towards the finish. This could have been an off bottle but there are better Gavi examples out there.


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Don’t need a Reason to enjoy Riesling

Over the past couple of years I have really come to enjoy Riesling, slightly sweet and rich, bone dry and mineral driven and somewhere in between, Rieslings are a truly fabulous wine. I have had a couple of Rieslings in the past two weeks that are on pretty opposite ends of the spectrum, although not as far apart as the could be. One, is the 2003 Pewsey Vale “The Contours” and the other was the 2007 S.A. Prum Blue Slate Kabinett. The first from the Eden Valley in Australia and second from the Mosel in Germany, far away in latitude as well as taste.

pewseyvale2003 Pewsey Vale “The Contours”

Region: Eden Valley Australia

Price: $25

Nose: Mineral, lime, citrus, touch of honey

Taste: hints of peach with lime and slate

Mouthfeel: crisp and razor sharp, bone dry

Finish: loads of minerality, lasting for a while

saprum2007 S.A. Prum “Blue Slate” Kabinett

Region: Mosel, Germany

Price: $21

Nose: petrol, smoke, peach pits, tangerine

Taste: honey, violets, peach, mineral, petrol

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied, good acid and slightly spicy, but round and lush in the mid palette

Finish: layers of residual sweetness and floral fruitiness

Both from great vintages of their respective regions, both of these wines are still young but are drinking great now. The first is bone dry and can be summed up as drinking a limeade out of a stone cup. The second, a classic German Riesling complete with rich fruitiness, just the right amount of sweetness and petrol to round out the aromatic and flavor profile.

The S.A. Prum is pretty widely available but the Pewsey Vale is harder to find, grab either one if you are in the mood for a good Rielsing.


Categories: $20-$30, riesling, wine review | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment