Saturday, January 13, 2018

Halos de Jupiter Costieres de Nimes 2015

The second wine from my recent trip to Total Wines is Halos de Jupiter Costieres de Nimes 2015.   Costieres de Nimes is the southernmost wine growing region in the Rhone valley of France.  The region has a Mediterranean climate with sea breezes due to its proximity to the coast.  The region predominately produces red wines with lesser amounts of white and Rose.

As with most Rhone red wines, this blend is predominately Grenache.  However, there is no Syrah or Mouvedre and the blend is actually 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan.  North Americans may not know Carignan but it is one of the most grown grapes in France where it is usually blended with other grapes.  If Carignan is grown in the US., it is usually is a component of a low priced box wine.

This wine has a medium dark red color and the aroma tells you it is a Rhone blend before the first sip.  It is medium bodied and has the usual rhone flavors of cherry, dark cherry, dark berries and a little cola.  However, this wine also has flavors of spicy herbs and cedar.  All of these flavors really complement each other and I really like the result.  I thought the finish was long lasting.

The wine has 15% alcohol.  Total Wines usual price is $13.49 and I paid $10.79 with my coupon.

SC Wine Joe rating = 90 points

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Figli d'Italia Leone d'Oro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011

Lately, I have been enjoying wines from Rhone France and from Italy but have not found anything interesting at Costco.  Total Wines and More currently has a coupon offer for 20% off wines from France, Italy and Spain, so I stopped by to try something new.   The first wine from my haul is Figli d'Italia Leone d'Oro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  Leone d'Oro literally means Golden Lion which is the symbol for the Sons of Italy organization.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine is primarily Sangiovese from the vineyards surrounding the town of Montepulciano in southern Tuscany and is considered among Italy's best wines.  If you have read my past blogs, you already understand that this wine should not be confused with wine made with the Montepulciano grape.

This full bodied wine begins with red and black berry flavors but as the wine lingers in the mouth it finishes with leathery, smoky, earthen flavors.  It is a dry wine which would pair nicely with hearty red pasta.  This wine expresses the uniqueness of its region and is not intended to be a mass market happy hour wine and that is a good thing.  The regular price of this wine at Total Wines is $19.99 and I paid $15.99 with the coupon.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Kirkland Signature Bordeaux Superieur 2015

I first reviewed the Kirkland Signature Bordeaux Superieur in November 2014.  The 2015 wine now costs one dollar more ($7.99) and the blend is slightly different than the 2012 vintage.

The 2015 Kirkland Bordeaux Superieur is blended from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot and was aged 12 months in oak barrels.  The alcohol content is 13.5%.

I found the initial sip of the wine to be quite enjoyable with Cabernet Sauvignon flavors of plum and dark berries.  As the wine lingers in the mouth, the fruit flavors give way to a less desirable, slightly sour finish.  I always appreciate a wine that shows more than one flavor but in this case, the start was better than the finish.  All in all, the wine is quite drinkable for a small price.

SC Wine Joe rating = 88 points

Friday, January 5, 2018

J Pinot Gris California 2016

It is a cold January day in South Carolina, but as you can see in the photo below, the sun is shining brightly thru my window.  There are no clouds in the sky and I can almost imagine that Spring is on the way.  J Pinot Gris California is the perfect match for my imagination.

This Pinot Gris has bright crisp flavors of lemon, peach, apple and pear.  I note some minerality from start to finish and I think it is a little more tangy than the Oregon Pinot Gris wines that I have been drinking.  This is just the right beverage for my late afternoon musings.

The grapes for this wine are from Lodi (62%), Clarksburg (17%) and the Russian River Valley (21%) and the wine has 13.5% alcohol.  I have been buying it at Costco for several months at $11.99.

In general, I cannot say this Pinot Gris is as good as the Willamette Valley Pinot Gris I regularly buy, but it sure is great today.

SC Wine Joe does not give a numerical rating to white wines.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2015

My supply of the Kirkland Cotes du Rhone Villages is nearly depleted, so I needed to find a replacement.  The Costco wine folks wisely waited until now to sell Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2015 for $9.49 at my local warehouse.  Had they been selling it a few weeks ago, I would have passed it up for the Kirkland Cotes du Rhone Villages selling for $6.99.  I have no objection to the price of Famille Perrin, but I just love the Kirkland.

I last reviewed the 2013 vintage of Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve and I do not believe there is much difference.  I found the 2015 wine to be medium bodied and fruity with licorice and mineral tones.  The wine is a little tart and acidic and possibly has more tannins than 2 years ago.  This is still a nice everyday wine that will pair with barbecue or other casual foods.

SC Wine Joe rating = 88 points

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bocelli Toscana Sangiovese 2015

Our local Costco has had Bocelli Sangiovese for several weeks and actually included it in their pre-Thanksgiving wine sale.  There are just a few bottles left that they are selling for $11.79 and since I have enjoyed this in the past, I grabbed a couple of bottles before it is gone.

The last vintage of this wine that I reviewed was the 2012.  That wine was medium bodied with flavors of ripe cherry and a long, dry finish.  I believe that description still holds but with a little more dark cherry and oak than I described in March 2015.  I really like Sangiovese and I really enjoy this wine.

SC Wine Joe rating = 89 points

                                              Even the nutcrackers like wine at our house!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Kirkland Signature Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2016

I previously reviewed Kirkland Signature Russian River Valley Pinot Noir from both 2013 and 2014 and I believe this 2016 vintage warrants a new taste.  The producer (DC Flynt), the winemaker (Anthony Austen) and the price ($12.99) are the same but the wine is not the same.

The wine is again a darker than average color for Pinot Noir.  I taste cherry, dark cherry and some rasperry but what is improved this year is a softer, less intrusive oak flavor.  This is now a wine that can be enjoyed with a wider selection of foods and  I even enjoyed it prior to dinner without food.   We all taste wine differently, but this is a wine that I really enjoyed.

SC Wine Joe rating = 90 points