2001 Mount Horrocks Riesling Cordon Cut
















2001 Mount Horrocks Riesling Cordon Cut
Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley

Wine Rating:  92

Uncorked: 2008.04.18 – Joyce Davis 80th Birthday Dinner

Nice dessert wine experience. Beautiful bright gold color, almost orange. In the nose there is lots of honey, melon, citrus, and slight minerality. The flavors wash over the mouth with luscious peach, sweet pear, and deep honey flavors. Nice acidic finish to balance the sweetness.

$18.99 375ml  Mustard Seed Market, Solon, Ohio

2005 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Villages Les Becs Fins

2005 Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Villages Les Becs Fins
France, Rhone, Southern Rhone, Cotes du Rhone Villages

Wine Rating:  90

Uncorked: 2008.01.08 – CTS DMin NYC Wine Ministry

This bottle was a pleasant surprise! Fresh cherry and tart raspberry in the nose along with plenty of cedar and earthiness. Subtle oakiness. In the mouth it is what a Cote du Rhone ought to be… a nice balance of dark, ripe fruit followed by spice, oak, and rich earthiness. Beautifully round tannins make for a long, balanced finish. This is an excellent wine at a bargain price.

Excellent value.

$14.99  Winfield-Flynn Wines NYC

2005 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punto Final Reserva

2005 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punto Final Reserva
Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco, La Consulta

Wine Rating:  92

Uncorked: 2008.01.15 – CTS DMin NYC Wine Ministry

A subtle and sophisticated improvement over its non-reserva sibling. This wine is seductive in every way. The color is gem-like with inky depth. Generous in the nose with dark cherry, blackberry, chocolate, a hint of smokiness, and pepper. This bad boy was wrapped tight in the mouth — definitely would benefit from bottle aging and/or decanting. It was an explosion of flavors — dark currant, black cherry, ripe plum, and dark jammy strawberries. The fruit flavors continue as the wine washes over the mouth with velvety cedar and rich tobacco. The enduring finish of earthy, chewy, tannic flavors completes this excellent wine’s seduction. Definitely recommend this mouthful of flavor!

$17.99  Sussex Wines, NYC

2006 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punto Final

2006 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punto Final
Argentina, Mendoza

Wine Rating:  91

Uncorked: 2008.01.15 – CTS DMin NYC Wine Ministry

Malbec is a grape that was traditionally used in Bordeaux blends in France, but has come to its own fame as Argentina’s most important varietal.  It’s a fairly “big” wine that stands up well to a variety of foods.  It has become one of my favorite wines to serve with anything from grilled steaks to burgers and even tacos.

This is a mouthful of wine, slightly more rustic and playful than its Reserva sibling.  Beautiful dark garnet color.  Dark cherry, blackberry, mocha, and toasted oak in the nose.  Multiple layers of concentrated flavors in the mouth.  Big, jammy fruit in the front (cherry, plum with the skin on) followed by spice, mocha, and leather in the mid-palate.  The finish was round and flavorful with a slight tannic punch.  A luscious experience in the mouth.  This is an outstanding value.

$10.79  Sussex Wines, NYC

2006 La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti Bricco Quaglia


2006 La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti Bricco Quagloa
Italy, Piedmont, Asti

Wine Rating:  91

Uncorked: 2008.01.10 – CTS DMin NYC Wine Ministry

Group consensus:  This is a party for your mouth!

Moscato d’Asti is a sparkling wine made from the Moscato Bianco grape in Italy’s Piedmont region.  It is fruity and semi-sweet with pleasant effervescence.

This Moscato d’Asti is a pale yellow with medium bubbles.  White peaches, honey, and wildflowers in the nose.  Smooth and light in the mouth with crisp white peach and pear flavors, hints of lemon, and a bit of minerality.  Surprisingly well balanced for a semi-sweet wine.

Tasters loved the addition of a fresh strawberry slice to their glass!

$19.99  Winnfield-Flynn Wines, NYC

2002 Gainey Cabernet Franc Limited Selection

Gainey 2002 Cab Franc

2002 Gainey Cabernet Franc Limited Selection
USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley

Wine Rating:  92

Uncorked: 2007.08.22  Jeff’s Birthday Dinner – served with grilled steak
It wasn’t until I started drinking Gainey’s Cab Franc that I thought this grape could stand up on its own.  Usually used as a blending grape to make big Cabernet Sauvignons, there are only a handful of wineries making excellent wines with the Franc as the star.  Gainey is one of those wineries that has done something nearly spectacular with this grape.

Deep ruby in color, the wine simply looks inviting.  The nose is rich and complex with fresh blackberries, herbs, and smoke.  As it opened up more in the glass, the nose became lucious.  This is a seductive wine.  While I could easily linger at the nose, as I taste the wine it envelopes my mouth.  I don’t know how better to describe it than the flavors wash over my whole mouth.  It is smooth and silky.  The berries and juicy fruit flavors are balanced by a subtle spiciness and herbal flavors.  The wine is dark in almost every way, but it isn’t fierce — it is subtle, rich, balanced.  The finish is long and soft.

I’m sorry that there are only three bottles left in the cellar.  While they could probably last another 3 or 4 years, I think the 2002 is at its prime now.  It was a great value back in 2004 when it was $25 per bottle.  Unfortunately the 2002 is no longer available, but certainly check the winery for the current release.

$25.00  Gainey Cellar Club

Gainey Vineyard Website

2002 Peter Lehmann Clancy’s Red

Clancy’s Red

2002 Peter Lehmann Clancy’s Red
Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley

Wine Rating:  90

Uncorked: 2007.08.22  Jeff’s Birthday Dinner – served with cheese course
I like this blend — 54% Shiraz, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. It’s nose is less than expected for this big blend — aromas of dark berries and cedar. But in the mouth it explodes with fruit and texture. The dark berries continue in the taste along with ripe cherries, cranberry, plum, and spice. There is definitely deep wood in the flavor along with a slight earthiness — a bit surprising in a more new world style wine. Very soft in the mouth and a medium finish. Many levels in the taste of this wine. Good value for this level of complexity.

$14.99  Costco

2002 Gainey Merlot Limited Selection

Gainey Merlot LS

2002 Gainey Merlot Limited Selection – California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley

Wine Rating: 90

Uncorked: 2007.08.19 – The Special Occasion of “Today”

See the note below about why I’m drinking this wine today. It’s a non-occasion special occasion!

I have to admit, Merlot is not my favorite varietal. Too often it is unexceptional and has become the “new pinot noir” for the masses. Gainey’s Merlot and Merlot Limited Selection defy that definition. This tastes like a wine that is “crafted” rather than “produced.” The color is stunning — ruby, almost garnet. The nose is interesting with intense dark berries, charred oak, and worn leather. In the mouth it is velvety with dark berries, licorace, and a slight minerality. It has a long, balanced finish with soft tanins and supple fruit. A very nice “special occasion” wine!

$35.00 Gainey Cellar Club

2005 Riverview Cellars Baco Noir

Riverview Baco Noir

2005 Riverview Baco Noir – Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara-on-the-Lake VQA

Wine Rating:  90

Uncorked: 2007.08.12 – Back deck with Neil & Heather
What a pleasant surprise when I discovered Niagara, Ontario wines. There is something special going on in this region with varietal wines. And this Baco Noir is no exception. Deep red color. Sweet berry aromas and flavors — cherry, red raspberry and even blueberry — mixed with spice and subtle earthiness. Soft tannins and a rich texture make a nice mouthfeel and a lingering finish. Multi-layered and interesting. Nice drinker.

$15.95  Riverview Cellars Estate Winery, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

2004 Gainey Triada

Gainey Triada

2004 Gainey TriadaCalifornia, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley

Wine Rating:  92 points

Uncorked: 2007.01.01

I don’t know if it was the fact that I was sipping this wine while I cooked and had it with the main course, or whether it’s just a really good wine this time, but this is exactly what Triada ought to be! Nicely balanced with ample blackberry and pomegranite flavors. Medium-bodied with a soft finish. Was perfect compliment to the apple-cranberry-walnut stuffed pork tenderloin that I cooked…

$26.00  Gainey Wine Club

2004 Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Les Terrasses


2004 Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Les Terrasses – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Ventoux

Wine Rating:  91     wine advocate 90     wine spectator 87

2007.06.24 – CTS DMin Happy Hour
Nice surprise! Deep ruby color. Had to open up a bit, but soon the nose exploded with cherries, plum, cedar and leather. Ripe cherry, strawberry, and blackberry flavors with a nice mouthfeel. The tannins are smooth. There were hints of some stems and earth on the finish, but in a quizical new-world style. Nicely balanced and very interesting. A terrific wine from southern Rhone.

$11.99  Dekalb Farmers Market, Decatur, GA

2005 Kilikanoon Shiraz The Lackey

The Lackey

2005 Kilikanoon Shiraz The Lackey – Australia, South Australia

Wine Rating:  90     wine advocate 90

2007.06.19 – CTS DMin Happy Hour

Richly colored with huge nose. Berry fruit on the nose with hints of leather and cedar. In the mouth very big and chewy. Classic South Australian Shiraz with cherries, blackberries, chocolate and smokey wood in the mouth. Very nicely done.

$12.49  DeKalb Farmers Market, Decatur, GA

2003 Chateau Pesquie Cotes du Ventoux Quintessence

2003 Quintessence

2003 Château Pesquié Côtes du Ventoux Quintessence – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Ventoux 

Wine Rating:  92     wine advocate 92     wine spectator 90

2007.06.26 – CTS DMin Happy Hour
Yummy! Benefitted from some breathing room. Big Rhone aromas and flavors. Layered scents of dried cherries, herbs, leather, and cigar box. Very round in the mouth with big fruit — blackberries, plum with skins, and currants. A bit spicy in the middle, with mushrooms and soil flavors at the end. Very broad texture with a big, earthy finish. Tannins are firm and round. This is a keeper.

$19.99  Sherlocks Wine Merchant, Atlanta, GA

2004 Domaine la Garrigue Côtes du Rhône

la Garrigue 2004 cdr

2004 Domaine La Garrigue Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Romaine – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône

Wine Rating:  91     wine advocate 90

2007.06.30 – Dinner at home with friends
Decanted for 30 minutes. Really helped. First sips were wonderful. The nose was even more intense with berries and spiciness. Cherry, dark berries, plum, and spicy herbal flavors made for lots of layers in the mouth. Balance throughout was very nice. Loved the finish with earth, mushroom, and vines. Went very well with the grilled Kenai salmon’s bold flavors.

2007.06.20 – CTS DMin Happy Hour
A little tight right out of the bottle, opened well after 30 minutes or so. Generous nose with dark berries, bell pepper and leather. Definitely an old-world style CDR with initial fruit and licorace in the mouth, followed by a long taste of the earth and vines. Plenty to chew on in this mouthful of flavors. Very round and supple. Definitely one of my favorite CDRs.

 $14.99  Sherlocks Wine Merchant, Atlanta, GA