Thursday, May 26, 2016

Armador Cabernet Sauvignon Valle del Maipo Chile 2013

This wine from Chile is made with organic grapes by Odfjell Vineyards.  The wine is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Syrah from the Maipo Valley.  The unique feature of this wine is that 80% was aged in stainless steel and 20% in older oak barrels and it was only aged four to six months.  I have lately been seeing a few Cabernet Sauvignon wines aged in stainless steel, resulting in medium bodied wines with emphasis on the fruit and little or no oak flavors.  There are still tanins
from the grape skins but the wine is much lighter, especially suited for summer sipping.

I have really enjoyed Armador.  As expected it is a lighter, fruit forward wine with rich dark fruit flavors and a small amount of licorice.  The finish is long and refreshing.  While you might not want to pair this with a ribeye steak, you would definitely enjoy this with pork chops or pasta.

I am on my fourth bottle of this wine and it is hard to rate it against bigger, bolder Cabs.  This is evidenced by the wide range of ratings that others have put on this wine.  I can only say that if I compare it to the wide category of red wines, this is an excellent, flavorful red wine and I really like it.  The wine was $9.99 at Costco.

SC Wine Joe rating = 90 points

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Vicentin Blend de Malbecs 2011

I found this Malbec at Costco for $14.99.  Vicentin combines Malbec from 4 distinct regions in Mendozza Argentina to create a superior wine.    The wine is aged 9 months in French oak and has 14.9% alcohol. 

Immediately you notice the dark cherry and violet color.  There is a bouquet of floral and dark fruit notes.  Flavors of blackberry, blueberry and oak lead to a long, smooth finish.  The wine is full bodied but the fruit is in harmony with the oak.  The wine is unfiltered, so you need to either filter it or be careful as you finish the bottle.  This is the best Malbec I have had in the past year and I definitely recommend it.

SC Wine Joe rating = 91 points

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Manifesto 2013 Zinfandel Lodi

Lodi California is one of the major growing regions for Zinfandel grapes.  In fact, almost one third of the Zinfandel from California is grown in Lodi, which is south of Sacramento and east of the San Francisco Bay region.  The hot, summer Mediterranean climate is well suited to growing Zinfandel.

Manifesto is a newer wine producer, having only been around since 2012, but Manifesto Zinfandel  has caught the attention of wine magazines such as Wine Enthusiast which praised the wine as a best buy.  I found the wine recently at Costco for $10.99 which is about $3 less than the normal price found elsewhere.

Zinfandel is made in many styles, from light and sweet to very dry and alcoholic.  I found this wine to be in the middle of that range.  It is very dark cherry in color with aromas of ripe dark cherry and blackberry.  The wine is medium to full bodied with rich flavors that match the dark fruit aroma.  The tanins and the alcohol are well balanced with the rich flavors.  This is an excellent Zinfandel and I hope to buy more.

SC Wine Joe rating = 90 points

Monday, May 9, 2016

Gerard Bertrand Cap Insula Languedoc 2013

Languedoc is the wine growing area of southern France along the Mediterranean Sea from the border with Spain north to the Rhone.  While this area has historically been one of the largest producers of wine grapes, it has not always been known for quality wine.  Today, that is changing and great values in wine can be found.  Languedoc produces some bordeaux varietal grapes but is best known for Rhone varietals such as Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.  Gerard Bertrand is a winemaker who is leading the way in making great wine in Languedoc.      

Gerard Bertrand Cap Insula has achieved high ratings from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.  It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre with 13.5% alcohol.  It has lush black fruit flavors, medium tanins and a mineral finish.  This is a very balanced wine that is easy to drink with interesting flavors.  I really enjoyed it and it was a great value at Costco for only $9.99.   I plan to buy much more. 

SC Wine Joe rating = 90 points

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kirkland Signature Series Chablis Premier Cru

Chablis is a wine district within the Burgundy region in northern France.  Chablis wine is made from Chardonnay grapes grown in the vicinity of the town of Chablis where the cool climate and the soils result in grapes with high acidity and low fruitiness.  The wine is made under strict regulation to achieve a quality dry wine, usually aged entirely in stainless steel.

Chablis wine is classed in four levels based on the quality of the vineyards.  Grand Cru Chablis is the highest classification and it represents grapes grown in only seven vineyards.  Premier Cru comes from vineyards second only to the Grand Cru vineyards.

Kirkland Premier Cru is made from grapes grown in Montmains and Bouregard Vineyards.  The wine is 100% Chardonnay aged in stainless steel for 12 months, achieving 13% alcohol.  As you would expect, it is a light, acidic, crisp wine with lemon flavors and some minerality.  We drank the wine shortly after bringing it home and it had not chilled to optimum temperature.  We enjoyed the wine but I certainly recommend that you drink it at approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Costco is selling this wine for $14.99 which is a very good price for a Chablis Premier Cru  and this is worth trying.