On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Drinking with my B-I-L (Italy / California / Argentina / South Africa)

15 Aug 2018


(December 23, 2016) ... Suddenly my brother-in-law fancies himself a wine drinker - I am happy to oblige and especially if it can help empty the Christmas case from Virgin Wine Club - it means I don't have to claim as much (and get dinged with duty) at the border ... so I gave him a glass and we drank and talked a little wine ... I'm proud of you Chuck:

AsadoFontana Della Giovinezza 2012 Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva (Italy) ... an 18 month in oak Cannonau (aka Granache) that smelled of plum, boysenberry, and spice with flavours of cigar box, spice, baked black fruit; it ended with a drying note of coffee and leather

SpierAsado 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina) ... a simplistic wine that doled out some very nice aromas and flavours: blackberry, cassis and smoke plus blueberry, mocha, pepper, and black cherry.

Spier 2015 North Bank Malbec (South Africa) ... it was typically South African with a tarry, truck tire finish and smell but there was also a mocha mid and silky entry that saved this one Raymondfrom being a "down the sink" wine.

Raymond 2015 'The Inaugural' Cabernet Sauvignon (California) ... talk about typical this one had California markings in spades with plenty of raspberry, blackberry and cassis; all fruit, very gulpable.


Loving Those Dinners with Dave

15 Aug 2018

Tenshan(December 21, 2016) ... My friend Dave pulled out bottles for our annual festive dinner ... And I always appreciate what he pulls out, finishing with his patented Dav-itage (a mixed glass of wines opened that night). It was here that I also learned about the game Cards Against Humanity

Tenshan 2015 White - California ... It's Roussanne, Viognier, Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc blend that brings pineapple, apple, vanilla, melon rind, rich, lanolin, vanilla, star fruit, and candied papaya to the table - Judd's Hillreally neat and a great starter.

Judd's Hill 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel - California ... This plastic cork weilding zin is 15.5% alcohol and would run you about $43 USD ... its pretty standard fare: sweet cherry, plum, vanilla, subtle spice but far from exciting - there is a burnt cherry mid palate and it is a touch over extracted; and with time in glass it just seems to go all sweet fruit-ish on the finish ... By the end of our tasting we both thought it unbalance. That $43 feels like a rip off and way too expensive for a lackluster zin under plastic cork, so I certainly wouldn't age it either.

PrecedentPrecedent 2014 Zinfandel, Evangelho Vineyard - California ... On the other hand, this Precedent is simply too gorgeous for words: fruit forward with sweet red cherry and raspberry, it's supple, smooth and silky showing notes of vanilla, cinnamon and black raspberry on the finish ... And there is 14.5% alcohol which is not apparent so look out - but man it was hard not to have a third glass.

VengeVenge Vineyards 2013 Scout's Honor - California ... Sticking with the Zin theme Dave pulled out this Zinfandel (71%) with Petit Sirah (15%), Charbono (10%) and good old regular Syrah (4%) ... Another beauty: chocolate, black cherry and spice lead things off ... with layer upon layer of enjoyment to follow. Vanilla, plum, sweetness without being over the top and too extracted. This is what the Judd was hoping to be but never made it.

MithiasMithas 1997 Amarone Della Valpolicella (Corte Sant'Alda) - Italy ... Needed time, but once it got what it needed (air) it developed a spiced-raspberry-prune note with a soft leathery suppleness and smoothness.


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