Sunday, June 25, 2017

VINTJS Russian River Valley Arneis 2016

Tucked into the corner at Trader Joe's is the VINTJS Russian River Valley Arneis 2016.  The chances are great that you have never heard of Arneis but it is a white grape from the Piedmont of Italy and it is only found in a few places in North America such as the Willamette Valley Oregon and the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County California.

VINTJS Arneis begins with flavors of crisp apple and pears but evolves into acidic flavors of melon, minerality and lemon,  It is really a complex white wine which I think I might pair with scallops or shrimp. 

Seghesio sells their Russian River Arneis for $22 but it is not available at any stores in my area.  I would like to know if any readers have tried that wine and how it compares with this $8,99 wine from Trader Joe's.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A to Z 2015 Oregon Pinot Gris

The local Costco is having their summer wine sale which includes the A to Z Oregon Pinot Gris 2015 reduced to $9.99.  The wine includes at least some grapes from outside the Willamette Valley since Oregon is the designated AVA.

I liked that the wine was a little spritzy when it was first opened.  I tasted grapefruit, peach, acidity  and minerality.  It is an enjoyable food wine to accompany your favorite seafood.

Recently, I wrote about Acrobat Pinot Gris.  Both are 2015 Oregon Pinot Gris with 13.5% alcohol selling at about the same price.  I enjoyed both very much but would give a slight edge to the Acrobat.  I would like your opinion if you have tasted both wines.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kirkland Signature Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015

I just wanted to stop at Costco for gasoline, some paper product and 2 or 3 bottles of wine to fill my wine refrigerator, but as I entered the store I was handed a flyer for a wine sale.  And then, as I was looking for the wines on the sale flyer, I noticed several new renditions of Kirkland Signature wines.  The new KS wines have new labels that are easily distinguishable from the old labels.  Needless to say, I left with more wine than I expected to buy.  My wine refrigerator is full and the overflow is on the floor next to the refrigerator.  Maybe I need a larger wine refrigerator to deal with this overflow problem.

One of the wines I brought home was the Kirkland Signature 2015 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot.  This wine is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, aged 16 months in American and French oak, with an alcohol content of 14.9%.  The winemakers Jeremy Santo and Emily Haines are winemakers with Milbrant Family Wines.

This is a bold wine with flavors of blackberry, hints of cola and a lot of oak.  This wine is not a summer refreshment but is a decent pairing for a grilled steak.  At $8.99, it is a good buy for a dinner wine.

SC Wine Joe rating = 88 points.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Hills 2016

Trader Joe's June 2017 Fearless Flyer is featuring the Trader Joe's Petit Reserve Sauvignon Blanc from Horse Heaven Hills Washington, selling for $6.99.  Since I usually enjoy California Sauvignon Blanc but  do not remember drinking one from Washington, I decided to give this a try. 

Horse Heaven Hills is part of the Columbia Valley in southeast Washington.   25% of all the vineyards in the state are in this region and while it is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from wineries such as Columbia Crest, Canoe Ridge and Mercer, a wide variety of red and white grapes are grown.

I found the wine to be quite acidic with lime and grapefruit flavors dominating and the promised melon flavors playing only a minor role.  We had no problem finishing our bottle but it was not our favorite style of Sauvignon Blanc.  At $6.99, this was ok but I probably will not buy it again.

SC Wine Joe does not assign a numerical rating to white wine.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Vitiano Rosso 2014

My local Costco just received a large supply of Vitiano Rosso 2014 from Umbria Italy.  It is priced at $7.49 and prominently sports a rating of 91 points by James Suckling on the front of the bottle. 

The wine is 34% Sangiovese, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot.  In the glass, the wine emits a rich jammy aroma.  I taste flavors of Black cherry, ripe cherry and earthiness.  The wine is somewhat acidic with smooth tannins and the Sangiovese blend is like a Chianti which hits some additional light flavors. 

This is a very versatile wine that you could enjoy with red pasta, but it can also be enjoyed alone as you are preparing your meal.  I like this wine better than the Chianti I have been drinking and I hope to buy more while I can get it at $7.49.  If not, I can buy it at Total Wines for $9.99 reduced by whatever coupon is available.

SC Wine Joe rating = 90 points