Posts Tagged ‘Merlot

11
Feb
12

In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 109 – Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009

Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009Tonight’s wine is Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Supérieur 2009, which is $14 at Mahan’s Liquor in Brockport. This is an affordable Bordeaux, which is like an oxymoron, but it’s “Supérieur,” which means it has attitude. Therefore, I assume this wine is going to try really hard to prove its worth to me. You know, it’s going to try and impress me with some sleight of hand tricks. Or maybe its just confident and knows what its all about. Its like, “I’m know I’m good, damn it!” and then it snaps its fingers. I hoping for the latter . . . I think. Either way, there’s going to be attitude.

This Bordeaux is 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10 % Cabernet Franc. Usually, I think, Bordeauxs are more Cabernet Sauvignon than anything else. So odd.

The color of the wine is deep claret. Well, that’s what the back of the bottle says. I don’t think I’ll disagree.

Here’s what the whole back of the bottle says:

Variety :

60 % Merlot, 30 % Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10 % Cabernet Franc.

Color :

Deep Claret

Nose :

A gently perfumed nose of blackberry, cherry, and cassis fruit and chocolate layers with some spices and cedary notes.

Palate :

This stylish wine shows elegance and concentration with brooding fruits, delicate tannins, and cedary, integrated oak.

Complex and inviting, the structure is fine, the fruit intense, and the finish persistently long.

Assessment :

Great wines produce by Alain AUBERT (6th generation of Aubert producing wine in the region) and his daughters.

They are also producers of the famous Château La Couspaude and Château Haut-Gravet in St. Emilion.

(“St. Emilion” means they are from east Bordeaux, or the right bank.)

When I poured this into the decanter, I picked up lots of berries on the nose. The odors just wafted up. I picked up a bouquet of flowers, too. I have a feeling it has decanted enough. French wines tend to need time to breathe to open up, but we’ll see.

(I’m did my tasting notes before I read the back label, except for the color part and the blend infromation.)

So the nose. The nose has dark berries and a deep, dark forest. I also get dark chocolate. A salty, dark chocolate.

The taste is mild, but this may be because I’ve been drinking Cabernet Sauvignon almost exclusively for the past week or so. Actually, there’s not much happening on the palate. This maybe why I lean to new world wines instead. They are bigger and more pronounced. This old world wines are more subtle. So subtle they don’t even pronounce the “b” in subtle.

The more I swirl it, though, the more it opens. I’m getting dark cherries and dry raspberries and dry blueberries. Oh, and earthy, too.

The finish is chalky, which may mean it needs a little more time to open up.

I’m barely picking up the chocolate that is mentioned on the back-label tasting notes.

This wine is ok. It stands up. It’s not great, and it’s not bad. It’s ok, and it has no attitude.

It does get juicier the longer it’s open. The cherries come out more, and the dry raspberries and blueberries are no longer dry but are juicy.

I’ll say 88 points.//

19
Dec
11

In Pursuit of Juiciest Wine: Day 105 – Columbia-Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about the Columbia-Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. I’m been saying so much good about it. I’ve been comparing it to other cabs that cost twice as much or more, and saying the Columbia-Crest is just as good or better. I’ve been saying this is the best cab under $10. However, I’ve never really sat down with it and explored. It’s just an everyday wine to open, pour, and drink. But tonight the wine and I will have a conversation, and we will see, or taste, I’ve been speaking the truth.

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 on stand

The picture above shows the bottle in the craziest wine rack I’ve ever seen. My brother gave it to me for Christmas, which the family celebrated early this year. Isn’t it crazy?! It’s just a piece of wood with a hole and keeps its balance and holds the wine without tipping over. I’m really in awe of this rack. It’s amazing. When my brother gave it to me, I thought it might be a wine rack. The slanted cut of the whole indicated that, but I couldn’t figure out how it would work. I struggled to figure it out, but I could not. Then he showed me. I couldn’t believe it, and I still don’t.

But to the wine.

This cab is a blend. It’s 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remaining 5% is Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. I found that out from their notes, which you can download and read by clicking: Columbia-Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 notes.

The color is a dark purple, but it has hints of spry brightness, especially in the meniscus. It looks lively like it’s saying, “Hey man, don’t despair on this dark winter night with no snow to be seen for miles, even though there should be a foot or more of the lovely white. I come with the vigors of spring and the hooves of Pan.”

Pan with iPod

Adam Reeder's “Pan With His iPod”

The nose is simple, straight-forward, and not big or deep as you may expect from a cab, but it does have some darkness. I also get some vanilla and some other sweet smell, maybe chocolate. Oh, and some cassis.

I pick up tastes of chocolate and cherries and on the dry finish are some spices and maybe some clove. It’s kinda fruity, but I’m not sure what fruits, maybe a hint of melon and/or mango.

It’s really not complicated, but it’s quite good. Plus, it’s not very big, so it can pair well with many more foods. OH! and as mentioned before, it’s awesome with thai peanut curry sauce: https://thelinebreak.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/perfect-thai-peanut-curry-sauce-cabernet-sauvignon-combo-compliment/.

I love this wine mainly because it’s so good for under $10. It’s not a 90 good, but it’s an 89. Go get.//

16
Dec
11

In Pursuit of Juiciest Wine: Day 104 – Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008Well, I could be reading submissions for Redactions or I could be drinking this Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, which someone gave 94 points. Man, I’ve got to try that, especially for only $17.

I went looking for images of this wine, and I noticed that some places were noting that this is a blend, but the percentages were different with each place. So I went to the Franciscan website and found the correct information. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon 86%
  • Merlot 12%
  • Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, and Malbect 2%

(I’m not sure why they spelled “Malbec” with a “t” at the end, but they did.) To download some more information, click Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 PDF to read their PDF about the wine. While you are reading that, I’ll do the tasting.

The PDF says the color of this cab is Ruby red. I’ll agree. I’ll also point out how the meniscus is purple, like the purple you see on the horizon at sunset.

On the nose I first get plum, dark cherry, and vanilla. Then I get some mushrooms and toast. I can barely smell the cab franc, which always stands out to me.

Hm. All those grapes in the two percent are undermining this wine. The Merlot, however, is saving it. It’s like a battle between the juicy Merlot and the dark two percent, and the Cab is on the sidelines not sure which side to join.

As for tasting notes, I get pepper and mushrooms. It finishes with cassis, like the PDF says. It’s also dry on the finish. The more I sip, the drier it gets, but, also, the more some cherries come out. Juicy cherries. I think the Merlot is winning the battle. You know there is also some cola in there somewhere, too. Again, the more I sip the more chewy it gets, and the dryness sticks to the roof of the mouth.

This is such an interesting wine. It doesn’t know what it wants to do. It’s erratic except that it gets better with each sip. This would be good with some Chinese food. Something with pork. Like a pork in a plum sauce. Mmmmmmm. And fried rice. Or pork in a barbeque sauce.

I like this but not for the price. There are so many good cabs out there for less. I don’t know how anyone gave this 94 points, let alone over 90. I’d say like 89 or 88. I’d rather drink the Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 for $8. Half the price and better. Don’t underestimate that Columbia Crest. I think I might be having an affair with that wine. You wouldn’t want to be seen with it in “good” company, but, man, it can show you a good time.

American Prayer is The Doors best album. It’s a great album. Can we still like The Doors? Yes, just like I enjoy Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.//

12
May
11

How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine?

I know some of you wine drinkers are counting calories or watching your weight, and you are probably wondering how many calories are in a glass of wine. As a result, I have been doing some research to determine how many calories are in a glass of wine. The calories vary by varietal, but they all have a similar number of calories. Below is a chart I made for the most common varietals, or the ones I drink most.

Three notes.

One: I broke this down by ounces, glass, and bottle. A bottle is 750 milliliters or 25.36 ounces, and a bottle is supposed to hold four glasses of wine plus a little more. (There are 1.36 ounces more, which, I have been told, have absolutely no calories!) So that is why there is a 6 oz column, because that’s a glass of wine. If you pour smaller or larger amounts in your glass, then you can multiply the 1 oz column by how many ounces you poured.

Two: Calories will also vary by vineyard. So the Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 may have a more or fewer calories than the Columbia Crest Cabernet Grand Estates Sauvignon 2007.

Three: Yes, I made that image above. Pretty good, hunh?! (Click it to see it large. Then click it again. I’m quite impressed with this image. I made the glass see through.)

Here’s the chart. It doesn’t include Tempranillo, but I assume they will be like a Granacha. If you want a printable version, click How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine?

Calories in Wine

//

27
Nov
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty-nine (Chateau Hyot Castillion Cotes de Bordeaux 2008)

I’m in the red Roof Inn in Rutland, VT, again. This time I’m heading home from Thanksgiving with my girlfriend’s family in Maine. On our drive back we stopped at a rest stop on route 93 about one hundred yards into New Hampshire. It had a big ass liquor store, so I of course went in to see if they had any wines that I hadn’t had. They did, and they also had Two Hands Shiraz, a good wine I had recently  with guest editor Sarah Freligh at Flight Wine Bar as we went over our Pushcart nominations. However, it was $64, so I got a Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Chateau Hyot Castillion Cotes de Bordeaux 2008. The back label of the Hyot said it had “huge fruit,” so I was sold.

Here’s what the whole back label said:

Variety: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Color: Dense ruby/purple

Nose: Delicious blackberry, cherry, and cassis fruit interwoven with notions of solid and subtle oak.

Palate: Concentrated, medium body, with huge fruit, minerals, and supple tannins.

Assessment: Produced near the famous vineyards of Saint-Emilion, Chateau HYOT epitomizes the power and complexity of which Bordeaux blends are capable.

While most wines in this area are typical Merlot, both Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon play important roles in adding layers of complexity to the finished wines.

Anyway, to the tasting. Allons-y.

Oh yeah, I’m drinking out a plastic cup again, so you are warned.

The nose is dense and earthy and cheap smelling.(My girlfriend gets vegetables. She, of course, is correct.)

This nose suggests the wine is going to be oily.

It tastes cheap, too, and it’s not the plastic cup.

It’s a bit tart, too.

I’m not finding the huge fruits or subtle tannins. In addition, I’m not finding any images of this bottle on the internet, and, coincidently, I’m not finding anything about it on the internet. Am I the first reviewer of this wine?!

I don’t have much to say about this. It’s about 86 or 87 points. It’s 87, I suppose. I wouldn’t get this again. I wish I had a pizza instead of sushi, now. It will go better with pizza or hamburger. This would be really good with a big, fat, juicy hamburger with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and bleu cheese.

Big fat juicy hamburger with onions tomatoes lettuce and bleu cheese

A Perfect Match

By the way, you should go to Flight Wine Bar. It’s awesome and at ease. And the staff is great. Go. Go now. Tell them I sent you. It won’t get you a discount or anything, and they might wonder who I am unless you mention Redactions, and still . . . but go anyway. It will be fun.//

25
Nov
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty-eight (Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Merlot 2007)

I’m in the Red Roof Inn in Rutland, VT. A very relaxing hotel where I can come to feel at full ease. I’m here with my girlfriend and dog. For dinner I had sushi and some Red Diamond Merlot. Along the way I discover an amazing jazz pianist Mike Taylor. (Here’s a good story about Mike Taylor: http://www.trunkrecords.com/turntable/mike_taylor.shtml.) If you can find The Mike Taylor Trio Trio, oh, do get it so wonderful. Mmmm.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Merlot 2007So I’ve only heard wonderful things about Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Merlot 2007. Well, maybe not about the specific year, but the wine. And here I found it at Hannaford Farms, a grocery store chain in the northeast. It definitely rivals Wegmans. I think I like Hannaford Farms better. (I’m going to upstate-New York hell for that.)

Anyway, I’m now downloading Mike Taylor Remembered from Amazon. I love Amazon album downloads. This album is only $7. Wheeee.

(Seems these are more cover tunes than Mike Taylor. Oh well.)

To the wine!

To the wine out of a plastic hotel cup.

The color is dark. Well, what else can I say when using a plastic hotel cup. Despite the cup, I get a jammy nose. Raspberry jam. My girlfriend gets grape cough syrup. I can find that too in a corner of the wine.

On the taste it’s grapes and raspberries. Tart raspberries. It’s pretty big for a Merlot, too.

It seems awkward to me. Not balanced, yet. It has a Zinfandel jamminess and Cabernet Sauvignon body and texture. It doesn’t seem Merlovian to me. (I made up the adjectival “Merlovian.” I think I’ll trademark it like Zuckerberg is trying to trademark “Face.” What an ass. Ass face.)

With time, though, it’s loosening up. This cream filled strawberry roll is helping the juiciness come out. Still, I wouldn’t guess the Merlot came from Washington, let alone Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Wine & Spirits gave this 92 points, which is very generous. However, it’s not a 90-point wine. I’m going to say 88 points.//

16
Nov
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty-six (Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007I accidentally had a sip of the Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Columbia Valley, Washington. I had the sip before the ritual. The ritual of waiting. The ritual of letting the wine breathe. The ritual of smelling the nose and letting my imagination wander into some other realm or story making and fantasizing of tastes and emotions and feelings and anticipations. Before the ritual of holding the glass to a white wall to observe the color, and before looking down into the glass for opacity and any wine monsters. Before studying the meniscus.

Before all of that I sipped the wine, and it was lovely. I immediately tasted joy. I tasted the juiciness of the Columbia Valley. I smiled. I was happy. I was prompted to write about it.

The taste has since left my mouth, so I have to go at this ritual backward.

The nose is fruity and of berries, definitely cherries. And there is vanilla and a hint of caramel. It almost smells like a Merlot, and if given to me blind, I’d probably guess Washington Merlot. I guess the Washington terroir that I always taste in its Merlots extends to its Cabernet Sauvignons.

The color is dark purple, but it’s about 80% opaque, which is too thin for a Cab. But that doesn’t matter if it tastes good. It does, however, have the long lingering legs of Cabernet Sauvignon. The meniscus is pretty tall, so it might not be ready for drinking.

To the tasting again.

The first sip was better. This time it’s more sour. I pick up some green apples, too. I like the finish of spicy cherries. I like this wine. I wonder if I like this Cab better than Columbia Crest’s Cab, which is also from Washington? (Not the Columbia Crest that topped the Wine Spectator Top 100. I’m sure that was better. Much better. I wish it hadn’t sold out before they announced it winning. But I’m talking about the other Columbia Crest Cabs.) Anyway. This is a good wine for $12. It’s fickle, but it comes through in the end.

I bet it would go good with plum tomatoes or a dish that included plum tomatoes.

The Wine Spectator gave it 89. Hmm. I don’t know. It’s not quite there for me. It’s a bulging and oozing 88. I’d say 88.9.//




The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

The Cave

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

Negative Time

After Malagueña

After Malagueña

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