Friday, December 7, 2007

Wine Whirlwind

Our local wine shop has free wine tastings about once a month. There are usually 50-70 bottles of wine open for tasting setup around the store. It's a nice event and really draws a big crowd. They offer wines at all different price ranges for tasting so you can have the opportunity to taste some things that you might not go and plunk down the money for without knowing it. Last night featured a lot of very reasonably priced wines from all over the world. I tasted quite a few and here's a whirlwind of impressions that I got from many of them.

How about we start with some white wines. Prices are the sale prices for the evening.

2005 PKNT Chardonnay $6.97 - vodka nose, light, pleasant, clean.
2005 Napa Ridge Sauvignon Blanc $10.97 - Grapefruit strong on the nose. Smack you in the face grapefruit flavor then it just disappears.
2005 Napa Ridge Chardonnay $10.97 - Pears, alspice and nutmeg on the nose and the flavor. Hints of oreo cookie creme filling on the back end hitting the roof of my mouth.
2005 Konu Baru Sauvignon Blank $9.97 - simple nose with clean simple taste. Not very distinctive. A little light. Did I say clean?
2003 Marcelina Chardonnay $17.97 - Classic chardonnay nose with oak and buttery apricots. Hints of green apple and peaches on the flavor. A nicely structured chardonnay.

I certainly tried many more reds than I did whites. And I forgot to write down the vintage on some of them.

Penfold's Rawsons Merlot $5.97 - Hings of tequila on the nose. Not bad, good balance with some cassis flavor. A bit on the light side.
Penfold's Rawsons Shiraz/Cabernet $5.97 - musty nose with black fruits. Good tannin structure and blackberry flavors. Pretty well balanced. A great buy at 6 bucks.
Penfold's Rawsons Cabernet $5.97 - Musty herbal nose. Light body and a little blah. 
2006 Layer Cake 100% Shiraz - big wine, needs to open up some but has nice flavors of chocolate, blackberries and raspberries. A little bit short on the finish, but it was quite tight when I tasted it.
Black Box Paso Robles Cabernet $18.97 (3L) - Definite sour cherries with a jolly rancher smell. Light finish but pretty good fruit. Not bad for a box.
2005 Wolf Blass Merlot $8.97 - Light musty dusty nose with similar flavor profiles. Ok but not great.
2004 Wolf Blass Shiraz $8.97 - Diesel fuel nose. Not very balanced. Harsh on the back of the throat.
2005 Wolf Blass Shiraz/Cabernet $8.97 - Big fruit nose, sharp alcohol on the back of the throat. Flavors of cassis and red berries. Much better than the Shiraz.
2005 Wolf Blass Cabernet $8.97 - musty sweat socks meets basil on the nose. Big fruit on the tongue with slight herbal oregano notes. Black cherry comes through.
Kono Baru Shiraz $9.97 - light color. Alcoholic on the palate with a light finish. Nice flavors of chocolate and raspberries on the fron tend.
Kono Baru Cabernet $9.97 - Penzoil service station smell. Some fruit, nice taste, light on the end.
2005 Mia's Playground Cabernet $8.97 - Big red jammy fruit nose. Red raspberries and blackberries on the palate. A slightly strange aftertaste but not really unpleasant. Hard to describe. A good solid wine but not a serious cab.
2005 Geyser Peak Cabernet $12.97 - Nose filled with cranberry aromas. Soft fruit on the palate. Mid palate and finish is very disappointing. Nothing there but dry wood. 
Redwood Creek Pinot Noir $5.97 - light color and light in flavor. But some resonating red fruits with toasty oak. The oak almost covers it up though.
Redwood Creek Cabernet $5.97 - very blackberry.
2004 Marcelina Cabernet $23.97 - Vanilla, oak, cherries and cassis on the nose. Very nicely balanced with red fruits and hints of vegetables and mushrooms.
Beringer Napa Pinot Noir $20.97 - Definitely toasted oak on the nose. Light but complex fruit. Hard to describe. A pretty good pinot.
2005 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet $21.97 - Chocolate and cherries on the nose but you can't taste this on the palate. Hardly any fruit. Earthy and tannic.
2005 Chateau Souverain Merlot $16.97 - Sour cherries, blackberry jam. Balanced and very nicely structured. Still good tannins that will let this one age. Maybe give it a few years.
2004 Chateau Souverain Cabernet $17.97 - Nose is very interesting with cherries and something that reminds me of the dentist - fluoride? tooth polish? Nice fruit and strong tannins. Another one to age for a while.

I also tasted a couple of sweeter ones.

Luccio Moscato d'Asti $10.97 - nose full of tangerines and apricots. Definitely a stone fruit taste. Sweet and balanced.  A nice effort for 11 bucks.
Nachtgold Eiswein $16.97 (375 mL) - Apricots with a bit of petroleum on the nose. Very apricot on the flavor. Not too complex. Sweet but not cloying. Good acid.

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