A Great Everyday Bordeaux – 2011 Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Rouge

It is inevitable that I will have a glass of wine or two with dinner during the week.  It’s really nice when my mid-week wine is delicious, food-friendly, and priced under $15.  This is exactly the case with 2011 Chateau La Rame Bordeaux.  Chateau La Rame is among the oldest and most renowned properties in the Sainte Croix du Mont appellation of Bordeaux.  The vineyards for this bottle are at the base of the hillside vineyards and are composed of sand, limestone, and clay.

2011 Chateau La Rame Bordeaux
2011 Chateau La Rame Bordeaux

Technical Stuff

A blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet from Bordeaux.  13% alcohol and retailing for around $13.  For more info, visit the importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant.

Tasting Notes

Pouring a dark ruby color in the glass, this Bordeaux begins with earthy aromas of red cherries, tobacco, and spice.  The palate is medium-bodied, smooth, and offers straight-forward tastes of red fruit and spice.  An easy drinking, mid-week wine that will definitely help you make it to Friday!

Continue Reading

Charles Krug Winery BrandLive Virtual Tasting!

A couple of weeks ago, I joined in on a BrandLive virtual tasting hosted by Charles Krug Winery.  The tasting featured 4 new releases from the winery – the 2013 Limited Release Estate Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Napa Valley Merlot, 2011 Family Reserve ‘Generations’, and 2011 Family Reserve ‘Howell Mountain’ Cabernet Sauvignon.

Charles Krug Wine

The red releases mark a pretty cool milestone for the winery,  as 2011 is Charles Krug’s 150th vintage as well as the inaugural vintage of their Family Reserve ‘Howell Mountain’ Cabernet.   We were also lucky enough to be joined by Peter Mondavi Jr.  and had the opportunity to ask him questions through the interactive BrandLive platform.

The tasting was a great experience and the wines were really well-made.  Here are my tasting notes from the event:

Charles Krug 2013 Limited Release Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Beautifully aromatic with notes of tropical fruit and peach.  The palate offers a creamy texture with tastes of citrus and peach.  Noticeable acidity helps keep this wine alive and refreshing…a great wine for warm weather! (13.6% alcohol, $35)

Charles Krug 2011 Napa Valley Merlot

Pleasant aromas of dark fruit with herbal undertones.  The palate features dark berries, tobacco, and dark chocolate entwined with hints of oak.  There is also a bit of a lift from the acid that takes the flavors in the wine to another level.  California Merlot is generally not my thing but this bottle was pretty easy to sip! (14% alcohol, $25)

Charles Krug 2011 Family Reserve ‘Generations’ 

Opening with layered aromas of earth, dark fruit, cocoa, and minerals.  The palate is nicely structured yet not overbearing with tastes of cassis and blackberry.  There are also hints of bell pepper, minerals, and oak. Complex and balanced…a really nice wine! (13.9% alcohol, $50)

Charles Krug 2011 Family Reserve ‘Howell Mountain’ Cabernet Sauvignon

This Cabernet begins with enticing aromas of dark fruit, oak, and spice.  Soft flavors of dark cherry and blackberry meet your palate along with dark chocolate, herbs, and spice  Surprisingly balanced and graceful for a Napa Cabernet.  Would love to be able to taste how this evolves over time! (13.7% alcohol, $75)

*Media Samples

Continue Reading

Monday’s Pick- Napa Cellars 2010 Merlot

This week I am going to be exploring a few wines from Napa Cellars.  I wanted to start the week off with their 2010 Merlot.  Honestly, I don’t drink Merlot much (if ever) but I was pleasantly surprised with this bottle. 

About the Wine- From the Winery

Napa Cellars 2010 Merlot is 100% Merlot from Napa Valley.  It has 14.5% alcohol and retails for $18.  For more information visit www.NapaCellars.com.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Napa Cellars 2010 Merlot pours a blackish-purple in the glass with aromas of smoke, cedar, and plums.  This Merlot features spice on the palate more than fruit.  There are spicy flavors of cinnamon, coffee. and plums with hints of oak and dark berries.  Rich, full of flavor, and worth uncorking!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions-Pair Napa Cellars Merlot with sirloin kebabs, lamb shanks, or grilled vegetable pasta with cumin.

*Media Sample

Continue Reading

Earthy Elegance from Ravenswood- 2007 Pickberry Red Wine

I have said this before and I can’t say it enough…if all you are drinking is Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel, you are cheating yourself.  While it is a decent grocery store wine for the price, Ravenswood has so much more to offer.  I fell in love with their Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel last month (link to the review here http://wp.me/p1vdhr-qX) and I had a similar experience tasting their Pickberry Red Wine this past week. 

About the Wine- From the Winery

Ravenswood 2007 Pickberry Red Wine is a blend of 58% Merlot and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Mountain.  It has 14.5% alcohol and retails for $50.  For more information see www.RavenswoodWinery.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Pickberry Red Wine pours a deep ruby in the glass.  The musky nose has a bouquet of blackberries, strawberries, cedar, and tobacco.  The palate is full of earthy elegance with tastes of plum, red currant, cedar, and sweet tobacco.  The wine has lively acidity and a long spicy finish with lingering notes of vanilla.  After an hour or so in the decanter, it was very enjoyable but I really recommend that you cellar it for several years.  I think that Pickberry will age gracefully and really develop into something beautiful.  So grab a bottle now and enjoy it in a few years…it’s worth the wait!

My Wine Rating- A-

Food Pairing Suggestions-This wine pairs nicely with hearty meats including a grilled filet, rack of lamb, or venison.

*This wine was sent to me as a sample for review

Continue Reading

Columbia Crest 2008 Horse Heaven Hills Merlot

I have a friend who religiously drinks Horse Heaven Hills Merlot from Columbia Crest as her mid-week wine so I thought I would take her advice and have a glass or two.  Columbia Crest is one of Washington’s most popular wineries and they have a reputation for making great wines at affordable prices. 

About the Wine- From the Winery

Columbia Crest 2008 Horse Heaven Hills Merlot is a blend of 96% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Malbec.   The wine comes from Washington and has 14.5% alcohol.  It retails for around $14 and for more information see www.ColumbiaCrest.com

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Columbia Crest pours a deep reddish-purple in the glass.  It has a nose filled with ripe blueberries, black cherry, cocoa, and a hint of tobacco.   The fruit forward Merlot is bursting with flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and spices.   A silky and incredibly easy to drink Merlot for under $15.  This is an impressive casual wine that is perfect for a summer BBQ.  Grab a bottle and enjoy…cheers!

My Wine Rating- B+

Continue Reading