A Balanced Beaujolais Blanc- Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc 2010

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to participate in a live tasting event hosted by Discover Beaujolais on Twitter.  Four very different bottles of Beaujolais arrived at my door last week and yesterday we had the chance to taste them and tweet about them.  Beaujolais has long been the underdog of French wines, looked down upon by many wine snobs, and viewed as a “less serious” wine.  After tasting all 4 wines, I can honestly say that while I love a great, expensive Burgundy, I really enjoyed the Beaujolais.  For under $20, each bottle delivered a wonderful wine that was easy to sip and perfect for summer BBQ’s.

The first wine we sipped was a Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun.  This Beaujolais Blanc is made from the Chardonnay grape and was a great way to start the tasting. (reviews of the other 3 bottles to follow next week)

About the Wine- From the Winery

Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc is 100% Chardonnay from France.  It has 12% alcohol and retails for $15.97.  For more information see www.LouisDressner.com

Now The Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Beaujolais Blanc has a crisp, fruity nose.  This light-bodied wine has tastes of pear, apple, and citrus that combine with nice mineral notes.  It’s not complex but it is so easy to sip and perfect for a warm summer afternoon.   Definitely give this wonderfully balanced Beaujolais Blanc from Jean-Paul Brun a try and let me know what you think!  Cheers and enjoy the weekend!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine would go perfectly with grilled seafood including tuna and sea bass.

*This wine was provided to me as a sample for the purpose of participating in a live tasting event

Vina Robles 2008 Petite Sirah

I received a bottle of Vina Robles 2008 Petite Sirah as a sample from the winery and something about the bottle made me want to open it…almost as if it signified that good wine was ahead.  I hope I am right as I sit down after an abnormally stressful day of work to enjoy it.   Vina Robles is a family owned winery founded in 1996 in Paso Robles.  For more info see www.vinarobles.com

About the Wine- From the Winery

The Vina Robles 2008 Jardine Petite Sirah is from their Creston Valley Vineyards in Paso Robles.  The wine was aged for 16 months in French oak barrels and has a 15% alcohol content.  It has a suggested retail of $26.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

Vina Robles 2008 Petite Sirah pours a dark garnet.  It has an intoxicating nose filled with blackberries, blueberries, and vanilla with a hint of spice.  It has a taste full of big, dark fruit.  Ripe blackberries, plum, and dark cherry are surrounded with smooth, silky tannins.  It finishes with black pepper and a hint of nutmeg .  This Petite Sirah is very balanced, even with the 15% alcohol.  This wine is a great effort by Vina Robles.  It is ready to drink now but should age gracefully over the next few years as well. 

My Wine Rating- B+

A Tasty Tempranillo from Rioja- Montecillo Crianza 2007

Last week I received a couple bottles of Montecillo Tempranillo from Rioja.  I am a huge fan of wines from this region for many reasons, including the fact that not only are the wines easy on the palate, but they also are generally incredible values.  The first bottle of the night was Montecillo Crianza 2007.  Montecillo Winery is the 3rd oldest producer in the Rioja region and their Tempranillos have received much critical acclaim.  My husband and I paired the Crianza with our cheese course (which included Manchego and Smoked Cheddar) and hoped we were in for a great start to our meal.

About the Wine- From the Winery

Montecillo Crianza 2007 is 100% Tempranillo from the Rioja region of Spain.  It has 13.5% alcohol and retails for $12.

Now the Fun Part- Tasting the Wine

The Crianza pours a bright ruby in the glass.  It has a musty nose that reels you in with notes of cedar, spice, and sour cherry.  The sour cherry continues on the palate and is surrounded with tobacco, cedar, and dusty tannins. This wine has plenty of acidity and the finish is smokey with a little bit of lingering spice.  Although this Tempranillo could be a little more balanced, it is a tasty, rustic wine that is made for food.  Definitely a nice way to start our evening and an incredible buy for $12!

My Wine Rating- B

Food Pairing Suggestions- This wine pairs well with Manchego or Smoked Cheddar cheese, steaks, burgers, or paella

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

A California “Earthquake” You Don’t Want to Miss- Michael David Winery 2008 Earthquake Petite Sirah

I usually write a small introduction as to what I am doing before/while I am tasting a wine.  I must start this review off differently by saying Earthquake 2008 Petite Sirah is a darn good wine so please keep reading.  You won’t be disappointed…

About the Wine- From the Winery

The 2008 Earthquake comes from a Lodi Vineyard planted in 1906.  It is 100% Petite Sirah  that was aged for 22 months in French Oak.  It has a 15.5% alcohol content and retails for $26.  For more info see www.MichaelDavidWinery.com

The Earthquake 2008

The Earthquake Petite Sirah has a smokey nose of dark cherry and ripe blueberries.  It tastes of olive tapenade with notes of tobacco, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.  This is a big Petite Sirah with smooth tannins and a long finish integrating the olive, black currants, pepper, and a hint of dark chocolate.  Such a complex wine and the myriad of flavors is brilliant. 

If you are looking for a fruity, delicate, wimpy wine then skip the Earthquake Petite Sirah.  But if you are a fan of big, complex, red wines that leave a lasting impression on your taste buds, please do yourself a favor and buy a bottle…it’s a steal for $26. 

My Wine Rating- A-

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

Guglielmo 2007 Petite Sirah

It’s Top Chef Masters time again and you really can’t enjoy an episode without a glass of wine or two.  Tonight I am opening up a bottle of Guglielmo 2007 Petite Sirah.  This will be the 13th bottle of Petite Sirah that I have indulged in the last 2 weeks (I have had a little help with that) and I keep thinking I will eventually drink one that really disappoints.  I am hoping that tonight is not going to be that night…

About the Wine- From the Winery

Guglielmo 2007 Petite Sirah Private Reserve is 100% Petite Sirah from the Santa Clara Valley.  789 cases were released in April 2010.  The wine has 13.9% alcohol content and retails for $19.  For more information see www.Guglielmowinery.com

Now the Fun Part- Drinking the Wine

The Guglielmo pours a deep garnet.  It has an enchanting nose with ripe blueberries, plum, clove and a hint of pepper.  This is a Petite Sirah with refined character.  It is a medium-bodied wine with tastes of plum, ripe blackberry, and clove .  There are notes of oak and cedar with controlled tannins and a peppery finish.  The Guglielmo is such a smooth wine and is easy to drink.  It should only get better with a few more years.  Yet another night I am impressed with a beautiful bottle of Petite Sirah.

My Wine Rating- B+

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