Posts Tagged ‘Sauvignon’

In the countryside northeast of Adelaide South Australia lies the Barossa Valley and the Peter Lehmann winery. This Barossa Blonde is part of the Art Series whose labels are created by local artists to represent the character of the wine within.

This Australian regional blend is a mix of Riesling, Chemin Blanc, Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc – most of which are grown in the Barossa Valley; the Sauv Blanc is from the Adelaide Hills.

Floral on the nose, this pale gold wine seems a little too zippy at first glance. The palate is juicy and tart with lime and granny smith apple. The refreshing finish is pleasing and clean, the initial zippiness actually helps the vino along.

I chose this vino to accompany a dinner of olive oil&sun-dried tomato marinated chicken breast pan-roasted with aromatics served with scented Basmati rice. YUM!

May still be in the new release section of the LCBO ~$13-14/btl.

Cheers!

~tvb

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**images credit – The Winery.  Thevinoboy.com makes no claim to ownership and republishes under fair use provisions for review and critique.

I have no idea what possessed me to buy another South American wine; and one from the most mass-production oriented sections of the most abused appellation in all Argentina.  Unless any of you can convince me to taste another South American vino, I’m off them for good.

I’m having a difficult time writing this review as I can’t think of anything really nice to say about this vino.  Its alcohol-forward on the nose, powerful scents of cherry and shale, a gravelly mouth-feel, flavors of mealy dampness and a lingering tarry finish of smoke and creosote.

So I guess this vinoblog entry is as much a washout as this gloppy stuff is.

At ~$13/bottle, its not even a value purchase.

No more South American wine for me unless YOU can convince me otherwise.

~tvb

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image credit – reposted with source credit going to WineAlign.  thevinoboy .com makes no claim to ownership and reposts under fair use provisions for review and critique.

So with the impression of the direct translation of the winery’s name (Grand Gaillard = Fine/Strapping Young Lad) an indicator of the tipple thereof, I chose this bottle to renew my faith in the grape known as Sauvignon Blanc.

“Why don’t you like Sauv Blanc?!”  I’m frequently asked.

“More often than not,” I reply. “It smells too much like cat’s pee!!!  Most of the Sauv Blancs I’ve tasted of late have all been overly uric on the nose, twangy mineral on the palate and the pervasive uric essence carrying thru to an off-putting finish.  THATs why I dislike Sauv blanc

“Can’t you try to taste beyond the scent of urea and get a better understanding of the essences within?  As “the vinoboy”, we’re counting on you to guide our palates and such…”

“Ok,” I acquiesce. “I’ll try just this once more. Sauv Bl. is a quintessential and classic white wine after all…”

I am so glad I did – I have nothing but thanks to my adoring fans for this re-review:

Indeed on the nose, the urea is prevalent though with this one, there’s some floral note to it that is kinda nice.  The palate is very citrus-forward, yes, but no definite true flavor to work with.  Finish is moderate reminding the taster there was a floral note at the beginning.  Not unpleasant but certainly not a showstopper.  LCBO ~$12/blt

~tvb

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Image credit – Google image search results.  No ownership is expressed or implied and is reproduced under fair use provisions for review and critique.

On a recent hunting expedition with a fellow vino enthusiast at my favorite LCBO, shopping list in hand; this new release from the Marlborough region of New Zealand was totally in my sights!  You all know I adore New Zealand wine, I was very eager to uncor…er…un-screw the cap.

Of the viticultural regions of New Zealand, Marlborough is probably the most well-known.  Some areas are mass-production whereas most are still using basic yet modern production techniques to best capture the terroir and varietal characteristics.

A nose of pure passion fruit that carries through the palate to a juicy finish, a hint of mineral and a bounce of spritzy excitement, not at all what I was expecting from a NZ Sauv Blanc.

At first, I felt the ker-pow of sweetness was a definite drawback, but the balance of acidity and slightly herbal note made for a gorgeous sipper to finish and cool our palates after a savory dinner of Indian Chicken Tikka Masala.

This will be the best Summer patio wine for 2011 – I guarantee!  Drink now through 2013 for ~$16/blt

Cheers!

~tvb

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**images credit – the winery – republished under fair use provision for review and critique.

Ok, so I’m on a South African binge.  Last review was not too bad from the Stellenboch region of the Western Cape. (The only other viticultural region is the Northern Cape).  Only my third bottle of South African wine, I’m actually sort of liking its unique characteristics. This Nederburg Cab is from the adjacent appellation of “Paarl”.

In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

Very forward with the alcohol, it took a number of whiffs to finally detect a few essences of black fruits, a faint touch of licorice and some cedar. Concluding I was tasting a Cab was easy.  Dense and full-bodied on the palate, the flavors are earthy and spicy through the nose.  The finish is somewhat powdery; a woodiness that tastes of sappiness.  I’m thinking this hasn’t seen any oak at all even as sources say it has seen twelve months “in wood”.  Taking off the blindfold, it was interesting to note the deep purple hue – not at all like a ruby I’m accustomed to see in a Cab.

Though only marginally recommended, this vino could do with some proper oaking to better heighten the varietal characteristics most of us appreciate in a good Cabernet.  (LCBO ~$11/btl)  In this price range, there are other South African Cabs on the shelf I’d be more excited to try.

~tvb

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**image credit – Snooth.  Image re-posted from this source to coordinate with my excerpt review.

I’m not a huge consumer of South African wine.  I’ve only had one bottle, Two Oceans Chardonnay 2009,  in the last couple years and it was tasty enough to actually recommend.

Considered a ‘cool climate’ region, most of the Western Cape of South Africa has some form of viticulture.  The history behind this wine dates back to the late 1600s when, like in South America, French vineyard workers fled the country with rootstock that had been unaffected by The Blight to prevent hybridization with North American vines.  The Malan family has been refining their wine-making skills since then.

In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

At first, I thought this was a Pinot Grigio, the herbaceous scents of green grass and dandelion.  On sipping, I knew I had a Sauv Blanc by its crisp acidity, medium-light mouth-feel and flavors of tangy lime.  The finish turned slightly sour but not entirely unpleasant.

“Where’s this from?” I think to myself.  Aha! “New Zealand!” I proclaim.  “Nope! Try again.” the vino-friend laughs.   I taste carefully, rolling the wine over and around my tongue…  “Can’t be Australia, so I’ll say South Africa.”

Ok, so all things considered, I got the hemisphere correct, the variety correct after the second guess, so methinks I still need some practice blind-tasting.  Between the two of us over a game of Scrabble, we polished off this ~$13/btl bottle.

Not too bad at all.

Cheers!

~tvb

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**image credit – the winery.  published under Fair Use Provisions for review and critique

Not too long ago, a friend emailed me a list of bottles he had in his cellar and the two questions I hear a lot: “How long can I cellar this?” and “Is this still drinkable?”  One such bottle on that list was the J. Lohr Seven Oaks Estates Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.

This is a standard Cab Sauv that most people have in their cellar as its reasonable inexpensive, cellarable for 7-10 years after bottling and has, over the years; been extensively reviewed and tasted by both novice and expert alike.  At LCBO/Vintages outlets for ~$22/btl, it may be a bit of a higher-ended moderately-priced splurge for some.

Both bright and lustrous, the aromas of this deep red vino leap from the glass to fill the nose with black fruits and berries. Essences of  vanilla and other deep toasty notes linger before the sipping.  The mouth-filling body is silky smooth with the same flavors carrying through to a slightly oily finish of tar and violets.

Yes, the feeling in the mouth is nice to start, but there just seems to be something over-worked and stressed.  The softness of the tannin feels clammy on the tongue.  This leads to a flabby and fatty smooth feeling like a big lick of margarine just coated the palate with oil.

Drawing on my tasting memories of various other California Cabs, I’m left feeling very blah about this wine.  After writing this review, I searched for others’ tastings to see if I’m not the only one to feel disappointed.  The sentiment is about 70/30 pro/con.

Sorry J. Lohr.  I can’t in good vinoconscience recommend this to my readers.  You guys talk a big game full of hype and popularity, but this wine doesn’t follow though.

~tvb

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**image credit: The Winery.  Republished under Fair Use Provisions for Review and Critique.

A new release in the Vintages Section of my local LCBO came up with this impulse purchase.  Before you rang on me for going Chilean even when I’ve said before I’m off Chile for a while, this is a Reserva AND its a new release.

Unsolicited and greatly appreciated, a friend and avid reader of this meager vinoblog sent me a gift card to the LCBO.  I will not disclose its amount but suffice to say, the next few reviews may definitely be on the higher side of the “Moderate” category.

A pale yellow in color, there are decent scents of lime, green apple and a little fresh-cut grass.  The immediate flavor is light, lively & tangy with pear, honeysuckle and limestone.  The finish is heightened by the under-layer of minerality, leaving the palate clean and ready for another sip.

Affordable at ~$13/btl at the moment, this Maule Valley offering is not a bad wine at all for a Chilean vino.  I had this with garlic-steamed Rock Cod and a mushroom rice.  Would be good with wine-steamed mussels or possibly buttery shrimp scampi.

Cheers!

~tvb

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**images credit – Google Images search results and grabbed the first decent bottle portrait i could find.  Republished under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

I will be having guests over in a couple days so I have test-cooked the meal I’ll be serving and I can honestly say they will be impressed.  We’ve chatted about wine for a long time and both they and I abhor ‘White Zinfandel’. Its cloying and sickly with not much true flavor and not even worthy to cook with – we’re all shocked its such a good seller. I wanted a rose that would bridge the flavors of the h’ors d’oeuvres and the entrée.   This vino was on sale, so I bought three bottles (testing, serving, and an extra just in case one wasn’t enough with dinner…)

H’ors d’oeuvres: “Hummus on Pita Chips garnished w/ Pomegranate seeds” & “Chicken Satay skewers w/ Chipotle drizzle”
Entrée: “Roasted Pecan-crusted Salmon w/ a pepper relish”, baked Acorn squash, and a basic Arborio rice pilaf.

Deep salmon pink in colour, this Cab rosé shows fresh and savory aromas of wild strawberries, currants, ripe red pepper and a faint hint of citrus. It’s dry, medium-body carries a decent and pleasing amount of acidity. The medium-length finish features some darker notes of dried plum and a slight minerality.

I think it’ll be a hit with the dinner – each dish requires a little refinement; I have a couple days to perfect them. Wish me luck.  LCBO/Vintages ~$12/btl

~tvb

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EDIT: Dinner was a huge success!!  My guests were practically licking their plates! It was a good thing I’d picked up that third bottle; the vino was an extraordinary match.

From Austria, Rabl Cab Sauv. Rose 2008.  Wonderful!!

Cheers!

~tvb

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**image credit: Ganked from another reviewer who fails to credit his sources. I totally disagree with this other reviewer’s assessment of the vino, btw. (I’ve visited the winery’s website and there aren’t many images on there.)

Recently, I had attended a wine party with a horizontal/vertical Sauvignon Blanc theme. (Horizontal? Vertical? What does that mean?! Find out in the next installment of my series entitled “Grape Gatherings”!!)  Our assignment was to find Sauvignon Blancs from strange places around the world bearing strange name; regardless of the vintage.  While the name of my vino may be little distasteful for some and roflmao to others, it is hardly an accurate description of this New Zealand offering…

Orange blossom and lemon candy present themselves nicely on the nose followed by a faint hint of diesel. Don’t be put off by the whiff of petrol though, it gives a remarkable structure to the body and carries through to the finish of this off-dry vino. The mouth-feel is light with a fine twinge of spritzich to play with the dry, crisp flavors of lemonade and freshly scythed straw.

On the more-than-ample buffet table, our host had prepared a Linguine with Grilled Shrimp. This turned out to be a perfect pairing to my Cat’s Pee.  The al dente pasta was tossed in melted butter, rosemary-infused olive oil and grilled shrimp. The zing of the rosemary heightened the herbaceous quality of the vino.  My favorite dish at the party and I got to take home the leftovers!

Cooper’s Creek Vineyard’s “Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush” Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from New Zealand!  $13.00/btl @ LCBO

Cheers!

~tvb

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**image credit – Me! I took the picture with my own HP R818. You can see the flash on the shoulder of the bottle. Image was edited to remove background and resize for web posting.  Likeness and product © the winery, naturally. ~tvb

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