Colterris “Coral” 2014 — Made with a Purpose

Colterris “Coral” from the Grand Valley AVA, Colorado

Colterris "Coral" 2014

Colterris “Coral” 2014

A wine has to be made with a purpose or it’s just another wine.  What purpose do we find in this wine from Colterris in the Grand Valley AVA?  First, it sports a very attractive coral color with an appealing, light effervescence (first indication of the purpose the winemaker had in mind).  Floral notes dominate on the nose and many of the fruits border on white wine fruits:  pear, guava, apple, as well as light strawberry notes; some tasters get peach and a light touch of honey that coats the mouth and does not want to let go in the finish.

The effervescence on the palate, the richness of its mouthfeel (which provides a weight that is not expected), the floral notes on the nose, and the smoothness and balance of the alcohol, acids, and flavors make it a very exciting wine to sip and enjoy in a meditative moment or with a pleasant conversation with friends.  I would recommend this rosé as a must for your cellar.  A touch of sweetness (residual sugar at 6.1 g/l) is not too much and would make it a pleasant match with a light curry dish, something spicy.  It may pair well with tilapia, tuna salad, ahi tuna, shrimp with cocktail sauce, parmesan cheese, and I loved it with a simple garden salad.

Rating: 89

Emotional rating:  Stimulates the happy neurotransmitters — a pleasure — with a little complexity that all good rosés should offer.

Available:  Distributed by Classic Wines.  You can contact them to find a retailer near you.

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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This Shiraz Powerfully Stimulates the Emotions!

IMG_1525Henry’s Drive Padthaway Shiraz, 2009

A Winery to Follow

From Australia this wine arrives loaded with chocolate and complimented with leather, raspberry, red currant, licorice, and black pepper in a soft, luxuriant package.  It is full of pleasant pepper on the palate with fine, disciplined tannins on a balanced finish that lasts and lasts — a wine that is rich, round, and full for all those who love fullness that isn’t sickly heavy with fruit .  Acids that excite and stimulate salivation and a very smooth mouthfeel add to the taste-value of this wine.  At around $33 USD, it is worth every penny.  It’s not extravagant for that special occasion, such as when the snow falls in Colorado, the fire is burning, and you snuggle up with nothing better to do!

Read the interesting story on the label of memorable days gone by and follow this winery in days ahead if you are a fan or want to be a fan of excellent Australian Shiraz.

Padthaway wine region is located in the southern tip of South Australia, which is known as the Limestone Coast, near the famous red Coonawarra vineyards.  In the new Australian wine laws, the wine must contain at least 85% of the variety (in this case, Shiraz) and if named, the vintage (2009) and region (Padthaway) hold to the same requirements.  Major wineries, like Lindemans, source some of their wines from this distinguished area that was established in the 1960’s.  You should begin to look for Padthaway wines and note their distinctiveness.  Padthaway Shiraz has been recognized as very good to great.  It is a vast area and the smaller wineries, like Henry’s Drive, are bringing the best out of this newer wine goldmine.

Rating: 93

Emotional rating:  100

Available from wine.com when it is not sold out!  Search for it.

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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Comparing Wines Provides Valuable Information

Compare to Learn!red wine

Comparing wines is a wonderful way to learn.  Compare wines from different wineries, from the same place, same grape, same vintage, and discover differences that may teach you something about the wine.

Two expressions of Sangiovese will give us the opportunity to compare this famous grape’s versatility.

 

 

Querceto Chianti Classico Reserva 2009, DOCG, 13% ABV

Querceto Chianti ClassicoRustic and punchy, this Sangiovese traditional blend is begging for a cream sauce.  It stands with masculine power and an “outdoorsmanship” that matches well the aromas and atmosphere of the woods and the ranch.

A medium garnet color belies its power.  The wood flavors are reminiscent of a barn’s timbers blended with the earthiness of a forest floor .  The fruit is restrained, but the acids are cleansing.  Leather, licorice, black cherry, and spice settle harmoniously on a smooth palate.  The aftertaste is balanced and long, but punchy and tannic.  This is a wine for the bold palate and the rich dishes that will tame its tannic burst.  At just 13% ABV, the alcohol does not deliver the power; the flavors and tannins do.

Rating:  88

Emotional rating:  It is a food wine and rates high with a pasta doused in cream sauce.

Available:  Try winesearcher.com

 

Tenute Silvionardi, Brunello de Montalcino, 2009, DOCG 14.5% ABVTenute Brunello di Montalcino

This is a Sangiovese with an elegance and refinement that offers itself to us wrapped in silky tannins.  It dances with grace, and yet some drama, on the palate.  Medium ruby, with a slight orange tint typical of Sangiovese seems a better description of its color to suggest this wine’s refinement than the “medium garnet” suggests for the Querceto.  The tannins are softer than the Chianti, perhaps even silky, though strong with cherry and redcurrant, on an earthy and dusty base.  The acids are in balance and the stronger alcohol lends force to its softer structure.

Both wines call for food but this one could be enjoyed on the porch with great pleasure.

Rating: 89

Emotional rating:  For the Sangiovese lover — smooth, soft pleasure.

Available:  Try winesearcher.com

This comparison tells me that I would prefer the Brunello on the porch as a sipping wine, since the power of the Chianti would be drying and need some relief.  The richer and stronger the dish, the more I would tend to the Chianti.  Both wines remind me of the aroma of a high-class English Breakfast tea.  Sangiovese means “The blood of Jove” (a Roman deity).

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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Cabernet Franc and Appalachian Oak — A Great Partnership

Creekside Cellars Cabernet Franc, 2012 (Appalachian Oak Barrels)Creekside Cellars Franc 2012

Cabernet Franc is known for its elegant juicy, fruity aromas:  blackberry, raspberry, red cherry, some black currant, mintyness, and sometimes grass and herbs in its impression.  At times, it can taste and smell like underripe Cabernet Sauvignon, but there are no minty or grassy aromas in this 2012 Cabernet Franc from Creekside Cellars in Evergreen, Colorado!  Juicy aromas are everywhere, leaping on the palate and, yes, with the signature reminder of pencil shavings.  It’s a beautiful marriage of leather, smoke, clove, and caramel with mouthwatering fruit.  The nose is very appealing.

This example was aged for 24 months in Appalachian Oak.  Appalachian Oak Barrels are widely used and offer on the nose some pepper and spice, of which you will get a hint in this wine.  Some oaks impart sweetness to the wine, but the Appalachian Oak does not, leaving the acids to shine.  It can give a creamy, and some say lemony, finish to the wine.  Elegance can be offered when Franc is nurtured in this oak barrel and I especially like the wine for its elegance and grip, if the two can go together in your imagination.

Creekside’s Franc is varietal in character with a medium concentration.  It is well-framed with great balance, sporting fine tannins that are not without the grip I mentioned.  Food is what it calls for with that pleasing, arresting texture, and it goes well with many cheeses, sauces that are rich in character, meats (white and red) and those earthy flavors of mushroom and truffle.

The 2012 vintage was a good year for Colorado and this wine proves it.  Well made and clean (always at this winery), this Creekside offering is more proof that Colorado grapes can stand proudly with other regions.  A slight gravely minerality in this wine and a leaning to Old World style exemplifies the character of the vineyard’s soils.

Rating: 90

Emotional rating?  Lovers of elegance in a red wine with a will to stand bold with food will rate this one very high.

Availability:  at the winery in downtown Evergreen, Colorado or from their website.  Call for information on shipping to your state.

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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Eponymous — Great Example of Balance in Wine

Eponymous, MacCallister Vineyard, Sonoma, 2010

Eponymous 2010

Eponymous 2010

Beautifully balanced, Eponymous is deep ruby, clear, and entices us to taste.  There is not much complementary you cannot say about this wine.  It is rich and bursts with aromas — blackcurrant, cherry, dark chocolate, leather. vanilla, cedar, and a slight but pleasant herb note on a light unobtrusive background of minerality.   Remember that a reminder of where these grapes came from, a green plant, is not out of character in wine, either red or white.   The herbaceous note (which is not only from the vibrancy of an acid, but also the faint touch of its origin) brings this refreshing edge to the finish. Noteworthy is the very long finish that seems not willing to fade.  Perfectly integrated tannins frame the sumptuous flavors of this wine.  Character is written all over it and the fruit is there as a solid base while silky tannins remind you of a promise of age.

Balance is a mystery to some wine drinkers.  Is it everything in a state of equality so that you can’t tell one element from another?  Is it a wine blended into nothingness?  No!  It is harmony, with all the elements of the wine still showing their stuff while not stealing the show from the others.

Balance starts in the vineyard with a leaf-to-fruit ratio that produces the ultimate in grape flavors and potentiality for a great wine.  The vine can’t be too vigorous or the grapes are robbed of concentration and depth of character (a problem in New Zealand’s early vineyard management that was rectified by severe canopy reduction).  The vine also needs to be stressed (water retention by the grower) to further direct needed elements to the production of good fruit.

Balance is also essential in a good quality wine.  This means none of the elements of balance in a wine — alcohol, tannins, residual sugar, fruit, and acids — should predominate, while all should be able to be evaluated and none lost.  But there are accepted exceptions to this rule.  Young wines that are made for aging may have more dominant tannins and acids.  But as long as they have a depth of fruit that promises to last when the other elements integrate, it can be very acceptable.  Balance has nothing to do with flavor and a wine can be balanced while not exhibiting intense flavors.  We want both:  distinctive and worthy flavors and a nice, harmonious balance.

Rating:  92

Emotional Rating:  High with rich foods.

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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Another Beautiful Pinot Noir from New Zealand!

Matua Pinot Noir Marlborough, New Zealand, 2013

Matua Pinot Noir 2013

Matua Pinot Noir 2013

Travel west from Blenheim, Marlborough’s main city, on the south side of the Wairau valley and turn into the unimpressive parking lot of Matua’s tasting room.  You’re faced with a foot bridge across a dry ditch to an unusual tasting room that sits on the edge of the vineyard. Just to relax among the grapes and taste Pinot’s of this remarkable valley makes you want to come back.  The service and the experience is exceptional!

Pinot Noir, the second grape for which New Zealand is well known and the one some say will overtake the popularity of Sauvignon Blanc, creates wines of considerable variation in styles.  The grape’s place in the world of wine appreciation is well known, but we are still finding out what it can do in the far flung regions of the world where it is being seriously exploited and its potential understood.  It takes a long time (many years) to find out what a grape needs in vineyard care and skilled vinification.  The vagaries of the vintage add to the yearly accumulation of knowledge and we will see Pinot Noirs from New Zealand make ever significant strides in quality and style.  Many are available and are worthy of your interest.

A brilliant, light ruby, this 2013 Matua Pinot Noir with a fresh and lively acid base will leave you salivating.  It balances fresh cherry fruit with waves of vanilla and hints of roasted nuts on the nose.  Leather notes mingled with fine tannins play all the way to a smooth but not long finish.  Some New Zealand Pinot Noirs can be simple in style, yet so fulfilling.  This is not a very complex wine, but it is delightful in its harmonious presentation of flavors.  It’s a wine of finesse with a nice 13% alcohol.

Rating: 88

Emotional rating: With pork and salmon, it will make for an emotional delight.

Search for a vendor near you on www.wine-searcher.com.  You can probably find it near the very reasonable price of $14 USD.

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! 

EXPERIENCING COLORADO WINE, Volume 2: The Whites and Rosés! 

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You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

GET YOUR COPIES  at SQUARE MARKET!  Get 25% OFF when you buy BOTH!  

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Good On Ya, New Zealand! Beauty of a Pinot Noir!

Te Kairanga Martinborough Estate, Pinot Noir 2009

Sunset over the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

Sunset over the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

From the southern reaches of the North Island of New Zealand comes this impressive Pinot Noir.  Light ruby in color, brilliant, and still showing its youth, it bursts with lush Pinot fruit and the soft notes of deftly applied oak.  Juicy and mouth watering, it lingers long with tender tannins in a well-defined framework.

Autumns that are cool allow for the development of intense flavors.  Strawberry, cherry, and hints of plum are filled out with cedar tones, welcoming you to a wine that will not disappoint.  Te Kairanga is Maori for “the abundance of food.”  Wine and food are the essence of Martinborough.  Twenty-six hectares of stoney river terraces produce wines of great distinction at Te Kairanga.

Notice how this wine, which finishes dry, almost tastes sweet on the palate as its layers unfold.  The sweetness is a sure giveaway of sweet, rich fruit that form the base of this wine.  The tip of the tongue test (the tip of the tongue is where you will tell if the wine is dry or sweet and what degree of sweetness it has) says dry and the aftertaste is a strong confirmation of dryness.  The fruit, together with the tannins, linger on the side of the mouth to not let you forget you are tasting sweet fruit from a rich Pinot Noir.

Wind is the curse of this area as it is beaten with southerlies roaring off Cook Strait and northwesterly gales funneling down the valley.  Excessive wind can close the pores of the leaves, halting the vines ripening and growth. However, despite the wind, sufficient sun and friendly soils make this one of New Zealand’s best wine growing areas.

Rating:  91

Emotional rating:  That sweet fruit lifts it to the upper 90’s for my emotions.

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! 

EXPERIENCING COLORADO WINE, Volume 2: The Whites and Rosés! 

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You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

GET YOUR COPIES  at SQUARE MARKET!  Get 25% OFF when you buy BOTH!  

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Cali’s Cuvee Pinot Noir from Left Coast Cellars

Left Coast Cellars Pinot NoirPinot Noir can come in light ruby to deep burgundy.  The color is not going to be a reliable guide to the intensity of flavors with this grape.  What you should be able to rely on more and what indicates a good Pinot Noir is the intensity and complexity of the aroma in this aromatic grape.  This thin-skinned grape can deliver an aroma that leaps out of the glass.

Left Coast Cellars 2012 Cali’s Cuvee is medium intense with a typical Pinot aroma of strawberries, blended with wood tones of vanilla and spice.  Imagine juicy fresh acidic strawberries, married with the broader flavors of vanilla, cedar, and wine lees if you can.  And if you can’t, taste this wine!  There is also a brininess that gives the wine character.

On the palate, the flavors mingle and refresh the mouth, crying out for some counterpoint in food, such as a nice roast (the wine will dominate) or lightly grilled red meat (both will counter play each other) as well as a creamy cheese (the tannins will almost disappear).  The 2012 vintage will go down as a very good one for Oregon.

Rating: 91+ and worth the price

Emotional Rating:  pleasing with depth, but not as rich as some more expensive Pinot’s can be.  A solid 90+

ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! 

EXPERIENCING COLORADO WINE, Volume 2: The Whites and Rosés! 

AT SQUARE MARKET! 

FACEBOOK    TWITTER

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

GET YOUR COPIES  at SQUARE MARKET!  Get 25% OFF when you buy BOTH!  

These books entertain, educate, and entice readers to experience Colorado wine!Experiencing Colorado Red Print ReadyExperiencing-Colorado-White-Cover-Web