Archive for the ‘wbw’ Category

The North, vs. The South – a WBW Adventure

March 18, 2009

Wine Blogging Wednesday is upon us again!  This month, Remy Charest (@remycharest) of WineCase has challenged us to restage the Civil War, in his version of North vs. South – Wine Wars.  Since Remy is based in Quebec, it’s a great theme to think about what is a classically northern varietal, or something he would find locally in Quebec, and what we find here in the Lower 48.

As I have been exploring different regions of the US as well as the world, I thought I’d use Walla Walla, WA, Napa Valley, CA, and the wines of Chile to do a North vs. South with a central tag point of Napa.

My first wine is the Forgeron Cellars – 2003 Cab Sauvignon from Columbia Valley.  The Columbia Valley AVA takes up a good chunk of eastern & central Washington and a touch of northern Oregon thrown in for good measure.  This AVA lies between the 46th & 47th parallels, which is in the same vein as Bordeaux and Burgundy.  Because of this, the wines of Columbia Valley tend to be the classic grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

This Cabernet Sauvignon has a lovely floral nose, with a touch of licorice.  It’s very fruity, and reminds me of a ripe blackberry bramble.  When I sip it, it is plush and smooth, with plum flavors a strong component.  It is a velvety wine, with a long lingering finish that has bright berry fruit.  I am REALLY enjoying this wine, because while it is a Cab, it’s not heavy.  It’s rich without being over done.  At $30, it’s an affordable luxury, and I thank Catie (@walla2winewoman) at the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman for the great recommendation!

The 2nd wine hails from Napa Valley, one of the world’s best known wine regions for Cabernet Sauvignon.  The 2005 Levendi Sweetwater Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon was a party favor that I received after last year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference, at a party hosted by The Wine Spies to introduce us to this producer. The Sweetwater Ranch is located in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, adjacent to the Stags Leap District. Since Stags Leap has been producing some of the best known cabs for years, I would expect that this would also be a delicious example.

The first thing you notice is that this wine comes in half bottles.  This is great for us single folk, since we can crack it open without worrying about how to store the wine until we finish it.  It had rich aromas of leather and tobacco, with dark fruit.  This is what I would expect from a Napa cab.  It was darker and richer than the Washington Cab, and much chewier with a lot of black fruit , fig, plums and black cherries followed by a finish of black licorice.  I really liked this wine, and it retails for $52 in the 750ml bottle.

Finally, I worked my way to Chile, to taste some of the new world wines that are coming out of these.  The interesting about Chile, is that a lot of Old World producers, as well as some from California, are looking to this up and coming growing regions for a change and a challenge.  To that end, I received two samples from an agency representing the wines of Chile.

The first was produced by Domaines Barons de Rothchild Lafite, and I expected it to be a New World representation of an old, and Old World, producer.  The 2007 Los Vascos comes from Colchagua Valley. The Colchagua Valley lies about 80 miles southwest of Santiago.  It’s a wide valley, and has a Mediterranean climate.  It has often been compared to Napa, so I expected that the wine would taste like Napa cab.

Sadly, I was dissapointed.  The Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon was thin and bitter, with no real depth.  While it’s possible that this bottle was off, I did have it with food and it just had no substance.  At $10, I think I could do better.

So I went on to open my 2nd Chilean Cabernet, 2007 Marques Casa Concha, fromthe Maipo Valley region.  The Maipo is one of Chile’s warmest growing regions, with temperatures regularly getting above 90 in the summer.  While this might seem like Napa at first glace, their winters are much milder.  Cabernet Sauvignon is the largest planting in Maipo.

The Casa Marques Casa Concha exhibited the ripe fruitiness in a similar way to the Forgeron Cellars, with bright cherry fruit and a large firm body.  I tasted tons of cherry fruit, chocolate, blackberry, and bit of wood smoke.  This wine got better and better as the night went on, and at $15, I would highly recommend this is a value Cabernet.  Even though I don’t eat steak, I can see how this would be great with a hamburger or a portabello burger!  It had an exceptionally smooth finish, that lingered and made my taste buds happy.

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In Celebration of no more Shrubbery!

September 16, 2008

Yes yes I’m a day late, and a dollar short. That said, this month, we have a special theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday #49.

In light on the current political climate and the impending election, David Honig of 2 Days Per Bottle has asked us to toast to the end of this madness we call the Bush era.

What will I drink to toast this momentous occasion? It certainly will not be something to honor the President, although I will be celebrating his demise.

If Obama wins the election, as I hope he does, I will be toasting with a lovely bottle of Champagne. The current candidate is Perrier-Jouët NV Brut, which my friend Liza the Brix Chick brought over to my house before an event on Sunday. In this tasty sparkler, I found creamy toast, hazelnuts, and a lemony backnote. Ahhh refreshign!

IF however, my worst nightmare comes true and McLame & Caribou Barbie win this freak show, I will be drowning my sorrows in some good single malt scotch as I drive up to the border to escape. My favorite single malt thse days is Glenmorangie Sherry Cask, but that, is another blog post me thinks!

Happy drinking!

Wine Blogging Wednesday Anniversary Edition!

July 18, 2008

You know the drill. Once a month, your fellow wineaux and bloggers are handed a theme from the heavens above, and we drink. Then we write.

This month, it is the 4 year anniversary of Wine Blogging Wednesday, started by our Fearless Leader Lenn Thompson of Lenndevours.

For this anniversary edition, Lenn is asking us to go back to our drinking roots, and find that wine that got us to fall in love with Bacchus, or something you used to drink a lot of when you were young and impressionable. Please try to avoid the Boone’s Farm or Sutter Home however!


Come over, do it alone, find a Meetup, but do it!
Post your replies on the WBW site, email Lenn or Twitter it by August 13th, and you can share your notes with the other bloggerati out there.

Wine Blogging Wednesday #46, Rhone Whites

June 16, 2008

Be sure to stop by Vinquire and take a look at our Wine Blogging Wednesday efforst.

For those of you who don’t know, once a month we get togheter a group, and taste in a particular theme.

This month, that theme was Rhone varital white wines. We were a little madcap, and tasting 6, from both France and abroad.

You can see the results here:

http://www.vinquire.com/blog/2008/jun/10/wbw-46-rhone-whites/