Cellar Notes

Cellar Notes
8:36 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Cru Beaujolais - 12/10/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Chateau De Jacques Moulin a Vent '11 **1/2 $$
(Brilliant wine from Beaujolais's most distinguished village.)

Chateau de Jacques Morgon '09 **  $$
(Beaujolais's biggest cru wine, a very fruity, mature wine.)

Domaine Franck Besson "Note Blanche" '11 ** $$
(Very rare white Beaujolais, closely related to the standard red version.)

Les Freres Perraud Brouilly, "Vielle Vignes" **1/2 $$
(Tons of bright fruit, cherry and strawberry, great balance and depth.)

Domaine de la Bonne Tonne, Morgon '11  **1/2  $$
(As close to strawberry wine as you can come, informal and delicious.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
5:30 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Merlot - 12/3/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Matanzas Creek Merlot, Bennett Valley 2007  * $$
(Well-made, but underwhelming; fails to impress.)

Cline Estate Merlot, Sonoma Coast 2012 **  $
(Well-made, and captivating, a very good entry level merlot with aspirations.)

Sterling Vineyards Merlot, Napa Valley 2011 **1/2  $$
(Allow one hour for breathing;  intriguing, tasty, likeable.)

Cameron Hughes Lot 356 Merlot, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County 2010 ***  $$
(A superb merlot, bursting with exotic aromas and flavors.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
8:40 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Trimbach of Alsace - 11/26/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Trimbach Riesling (yellow label) 2011 *** $$
(Just a superb Alsatian riesling at a very good price.)

Trimbach Pinot Gris "Vendage Tardive" 2000 *** $$$
(Current release of this great dessert wine, amazingly concentrated.)

Trimbach Pinot Gris "Reserve" 2011 ** $
(Very good price for a reserve quality pinot gris; try with lobster.)

Trimbach Pinot Blanc (yellow label) 2011  ** $
(Light, delicate but complex pinot blanc with real character.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
9:26 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Wines - 11/19/14

Here's a shopping list for very good Thanksgiving dinner wine choices:

Best sellers:  Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling and Gewurtztraminer  less than $10.

Same idea, only classic:  Trimbach Gewurtztraminer, 2011

Schloss Vollrads Riesling Spatlese, 2012

Two Pinot Noirs:  Meiomi Pinot Noir, North Coast 2013

La Crema Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2012

Al's Favorite, Zinfandel:  Kenwood Jack London Zinfandel, Sonoma Mountain 2011

Ravenswood County Designated Zinfandels (Lodi, Napa, Sonoma)

Fritz Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2012

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
9:17 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Franciscan Revisited - 11/12/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Franciscan"Equilibrium" White Blend, Napa, 2013 * 1/2 $$
(An interesting blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and muscat.)

Franciscan Chardonnay, Napa, 2012 ** $
(Super value in classic Napa Valley chard.)

Franciscan Chardonnay "Cuvée Sauvage" Napa/Carneros 2012 **1/2 $$
(Pricey but worth it, made with wild yeast fermentation.)

Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa 2012 **1/2  $$
(A very consistent winner, everything you could ask for in a good cab.)

Franciscan "Magnificat" Meritage, Napa 2011 *** $$$
(A true reserve quality cab blend with great complexity, texture.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
2:16 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Taltarni of Australia - 11/5/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Taltarni Taché Sparkling Wine, Victoria  *1/2  $
(Bone dry rosé sparkler with good flavor.)

Taltarni Three Monks, Victoria 2011 ** $
(Very nice cab/merlot blend for near-term drinking.)

Taltarni Three Monks Fumé Blanc, Victoria 2011 ** $
(Good value in a very meaty, full throated sauvignon blanc.)

Taltarni "T Series" Shiraz, Victoria 2006  **1/2  $
(Super value in a very nice shiraz that is fully mature.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
5:30 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Viognier - 10/29/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Bonterra Viognier, Mendocino 2011 * $
(Simple, lightweight vigonier.)

McManis Viognier, California 2012 ** $
(Very good entry level viognier, true to form and affordable at $12.)

The White Knight Viognier, Clarksburg 2013 **1/2  $
(Very well made viognier at a very reasonable price.)

Desert Wind Viognier, Columbia Valley, Washington 2011 *** $$
(Very classy, very refined, very well made.  An excellent wine.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
9:25 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Italian Reds - 10/22/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Rigo Nebbiolo d'Alba '10  $$  *1/2 - **
(A lighter nebbiolo, but  decant and let it breathe for two hours.)

Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva '10 $$  **
(A good if not spectacular Chianti, full of traditional character.)

Villa Puccini Vino Nobile de Montepulciano '09 $$   ** 1/2  
(Medium bodied, graceful, very flavorful, very classy.)

Zonin Valpolicello Classico Ripasso '11 $ **1/2
(Wine of the week!  A fabulous wine, buy by the case!)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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Cellar Notes
9:21 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Cambria Update - 10/15/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Cambria Benchbreak Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, 2012 $$ **
(Very nice large-scale California style chard.)

Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay $ **1/2
(Hugh loves this big French influenced chard, at a great price...bargain!)

Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley 2012  $$ **
(Blend of vineyards, good well-structured pinot noir.)

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Cellar Notes
12:00 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Beers for Autumn - 10/8/14

Quality key:  * = good decent beer  ** = very good beer   *** = superb beer

Fuller's London Porter  ** 1/2
(A very complete porter, correct in all aspects and satisfying.)

Innis & Gunn Scottish Porter, oak aged  **
(Very tasty, but maybe too much of everything.)

McEwan's Scotch Ale **1/2
(Big, rich, complex thirst quenching, a classic.)

Samuel Smith Taddy Porter *
(A trifle thin, but a good effort, serve on the warm side.)

Darwin's Original Flag Porter **
(Very good porter, medium weight, complex and smooth.)

Many of these fine beers can be purchased at Wine World.

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