Trader Joe’s Wine Pick – Cline 2011 Zinfandel

As I was browsing the Trader Joe’s wine aisle last week, I noticed that a new vintage of Cline Zinfandel had hit the shelves.  Cline Zinfandel is pretty much my favorite wine for under $15 at Trader Joe’s so I was anxious to try the 2011 in hopes it would be a delicious as the 2010.

Tasting Notes – This Zinfandel pours a plum color in the glass and has aromas of sweet, dark fruit with a hint of oak.  There are tastes of black cherries, blackberries, and vanilla followed with a peppery finish.  Smooth, spicy, and loaded with rich fruit flavors.  Another excellent value from Cline! (retails for $7.99 at Trader Joe’s in CA)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with with casual fare such as burgers, pizza, or ribs.

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The Seeker 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

I am wrapping up my tasting series of the The Seeker wines with their 2011 Cabernet.  This wine comes from the Central Valley of Chile, which is known to produce some great values.  It is 100% Cabernet and has 13.5% alcohol.  The smooth, balanced palate makes it my top pick from The Seeker line. 

Tasting Notes

Aromas of plums, blueberries, and spice draw you into this rich Cabernet.  There are tastes of blackberries, black currants, and anise with hints of sweet caramel.  Silky tannins and a juicy finish round out this delicious Cabernet.  ($14)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with sirloin, veal chops, or dark chocolate.

*Media Sample

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Mini-Review – The Seeker 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

The second wine I tasted from The Seeker line was their 2011 Sauvignon Blanc.  This 100% Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Marlborough region of New Zealand.  It was aged in both stainless steel and lees and retails for around $15.

The wine pours a pale gold in the glass and has interesting aromas of pineapple, tangerine, and mint.  The palate is refreshing and vibrant.  There are tastes of lime and orange with notes of grassiness.  Nice acidity and a tangy finish make this a great wine to enjoy with shellfish or grilled chicken with mango salsa! (B, 12.7% alcohol)

*Media Sample

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The Seeker 2011 Pinot Noir

The Seeker is a line of wines that are selected from wine regions across the world. I had the chance to taste through their lineup over the weekend and will start the week off with my notes on the 2011 Pinot Noir.  The grapes, which are 100% Pinot Noir, come from the Auvergne region of France and produce a simple, easy drinking wine.

Tasting Notes

The Seeker 2011 Pinot Noir has bright aromas of cherries and spice and a palate of red cherries, tobacco, and a bit of earth.  While this wine isn’t multidimensional, it is balanced, smooth, and pretty easy to sip.  And with it relative easy to find for under $12, it is definitely a good buy!

My Wine Rating – B-

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with cheese pizza, burgers, or pasta with red sauce.

*Media Sample

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Mini-Review – Columbia Crest H3 2010 Chardonnay

Last week, I participated in a live Twitter tasting with Thirsty Girl and Columbia Crest Winery.  In the lineup for the night was their 2010 H3 Cabernet (which I have previously reviewed http://wp.me/p1vdhr-RZ), 2010 H3 Les Chevaux red blend, and 2010 H3 Chardonnay.  I have already been won over by Columbia Crest’s wines in the past because of their great quality price ratio.  The H3 Chardonnay was no exception!

This Washington Chardonnay has aromas of citrus and tropical fruit with tastes of green apples, spice, vanilla, and sweet oak.  The palate is a bit rich (I am more of a fan of unoaked Chardonnay) but the spiciness adds a nice dimension.  For the price ($12), if you are a fan of a rich, oaked style of Chardonnay, Columbia Crest H3 is hard to beat! (B+, 13.5% alcohol)

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Mini-Review – David Hill Winery 2010 Estate Gewürztraminer

I have been trying a lot of white wine from Oregon lately and, overall, they have been pretty fantastic.  David Hill Winery 2010 Estate Gewürztraminer is no exception.  I enjoyed their Pinot Gris and the Gewürztraminer offers a beautiful, elegant palate that really won me over. 

The nose has lovely, floral aromas with a hint of spice.  This Gewürztraminer is dry and succulent with tastes of honey, peaches, and citrus.  There are also notes of ginger that add depth to the palate.  A terrific wine that pairs perfectly with sushi, Indian dishes, or teriyaki chicken. ($16, 11.5% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – B+

*Media Sample

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David Hill Winery 2011 Estate Pinot Gris

Sadly, I am wrapping up my Oregon Pinot Gris tasting adventure.  The good news is that I saved the best for last!  David Hill Winery is home to some of the region’s oldest Pinot Noir vines and their tasting room was built in 1883.  Their 2011 estate grown Pinot Gris easily won me over!

Tasting Notes

David Hill Winery 2011 Estate Pinot Gris pours a white gold color in the glass.  The nose is fragrant with aromas of pear, melon, and lemon.  The palate is packed with flavors of tangy, tart grapefruit and lime with hints of green apple.  With refreshing flavors and vibrant acidity, this wine really excited my taste buds! ($18, 12.5% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair with oysters, a shrimp po’ boy, or smoked cheddar cheese.

*Media Sample

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Oak Knoll 2009 Pinot Gris

In continuing my Oregon Pinot Gris tasting journey (which I am really enjoying by the way!), I uncorked a bottle of Oak Knoll 2009 Pinot Gris.  Oak Knoll Winery was founded in 1970 by Ronald and Marjorie Vuylsteke.  The winery is the oldest in Washington County and now the second generation of the Vuylesteke family has stepped in to help take the reins.  Their 2009 Pinot Gris was aged in stainless steel barrels and with no malolactic fermentation. 

Tasting Notes

Oak Knoll 2009 Pinot Gris pours a pale gold in the glass.  The nose has pleasant aromas of citrus and melon and the palate is refreshing with sweet flavors of lime, lemon, grapefruit, and honeydew.  With a tangy, crisp finish and plentiful acidity, this harmonious medley of bright flavors is certain to be enjoyed! ($14, 13.5% alcohol)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions -Pair this Pinot Gris with chicken kebobs, halibut, or veggie burgers.

*Media Sample

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Airlie Winery 2009 Pinot Gris

Last weekend, I had the chance to try a bottle of Airlie Winery 2009 Pinot Gris.  Airlie Winery was founded in 1986 and then purchased by Mary Olsen in 1997.  Their vineyard is certified sustainable and they produce eight varieties of grapes.  Their 2009 Pinot Gris is a refreshing and complex wine for well under $20!

Tasting Notes

Airlie Winery 2009 Pinot Gris has floral aromas with hints of grapefruit and melon.  The palate is packed with citrus flavors.  There are mouth-coating flavors of lime, lemon, and pineapple, along with notes of pear.  The finish is lifted with a healthy dose of acidity.  ($15, 13.3% alcohol)

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair this Pinot Gris with halibut, turkey burgers, or pasta with herbs and olive oil. 

www.airliewinery.com

*Media Sample

 

 

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Terrapin Cellars 2011 Pinot Gris

I am starting the my Oregon Pinot Gris tasting journey with a refreshing wine from Terrapin Cellars.  Terrapin Cellars is a family run winery located in the Willamette Valley.  They practice sustainable farming methods and produce 2600 cases of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Tempranillo.  Even though their 2011 Pinot Gris was the product of a difficult, cold growing season, the wine proved to be delicious!

Tasting Notes

Terrapin Pinot Gris pours a pale gold color in the glass.  The nose has aromas of citrus and pear.  The palate is vibrant with tastes of grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and melon.  With a nice balance of alcohol (12%) and acidity, this Pinot Gris is an incredible value! (SRP $13)

My Wine Rating – B+

Food Pairing Suggestions – Pair this wine with grilled chicken, seafood kebabs, or shrimp risotto. 

*Media Sample

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