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Wine Reviews

  1. Wine Review: 2007 Juan Gil Jumilla Red at Costa Brava Restaurant

    Wine Review: 2007 Juan Gil Jumilla Red at Costa Brava Restaurant

    If you live in San Diego and love good wine, you probably steer clear of Pacific Beach.  And I don't blame you.  Garnet Avenue, with its tattoo spots, smoke shops, and hordes of unruly college kids, isn't the most obvious location for a great wine spot.  But lucky for those of us who live in PB for the affordable housing...
  2. Wine Review: 2006 De Canal Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

    Wine Review: 2006 De Canal Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

    Recently, a wine bar opened up in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego.  It's called Enoteca Adriano, and I've been eating there a lot because of the great pasta, intimate atmosphere, and of course, the great wine list.  One of my favorite wines they offer also happens to be the least expensive on the list--the 2006 De Canal Montepulciano...
  3. Wine Review: 2007 Atteca Old Vines

    Wine Review: 2007 Atteca Old Vines

    I'm a big sucker for Spanish wines, and when I'm perusing a restaurant wine list, I often find myself flipping past the Pinot Noirs and Merlots in the hopes of finding a nice Tempranillo or Rioja.  Last night at JRDN Restaurant I tried a great Spanish red wine that I couldn't wait to share with you: the 2007 Atteca Old...
  4. Wine Review: 2008 Les Jamelles Pinot Noir

    Wine Review: 2008 Les Jamelles Pinot Noir

    If you're looking for a great red wine at a reasonable price, try the 2008 Les Jamelles Pinot Noir.  This is a wine perfect with a light summer meal or to drink on its own--preferably outside with your toes in the grass, watching the setting sun. The first word that comes to mind when drinking this wine would have to...
  5. Wine Review: Ravenswood 2007 Zinfandel, Belloni Vineyard (Russian River Valley)

    Wine Review: Ravenswood 2007 Zinfandel, Belloni Vineyard (Russian River Valley)

    If you've ever searched for the perfect pairing for a porterhouse, we have the wine for you.  The Ravenswood 2007 Zinfandel just cries out to be imbibed with the buttery tenderness of a great porterhouse steak. This wine is dark ruby in color and has a nose of black cherry, violets and baking spices.  The taste is characterized by lots of concentrated...
  6. Wine Review: 2005 Chateau Valcombe

    Wine Review: 2005 Chateau Valcombe

    Looking for a great French red wine?  Look no further.  The 2005 Chateau Valcombe from Côtes du Ventoux is one of those full-flavored but smooth wines that comes around all too infrequently.  It's very adaptable, great with a meal but complex enough to stand up on its own. I tried the 2005 Chateau Valcome at a great Alsatian restaurant in...
  7. Wine Review: 2004 Marques de Riscal Reserva Rioja

    Wine Review: 2004 Marques de Riscal Reserva Rioja

    I never can resist a good Rioja. My favorite red wines are dry and smooth but bold, with lots of complex flavors. Riojas nearly always hit the mark for me. Red Rioja is a classic, bold red wine, made mostly from Tempranillo grapes, which lend flavors of plum, dark berries, leather, dry herbs, and a very noticeable (but pleasant) dusty...
  8. Wine Review: Sheldrake Point's 2008 Late Harvest Riesling

    Wine Review: Sheldrake Point's 2008 Late Harvest Riesling

    This weekend, I had a change to visit Sheldrake Point Winery in New York's beautiful Finger Lakes area.  Sheldrake Point is one of the most picturesque wineries I've ever visited, with rows of grape vines sloping gently down towards deep blue Cayuga Lake, the fall foliage resplendent in the background. I was lucky enough to get to sit down with...
  9. Wine Review: 2007 Arrogant Frog Croak-Rotie

    Wine Review: 2007 Arrogant Frog Croak-Rotie

    Ever since our post on weird wine names, I've been on the hunt for wines with quirky names.  Finally I got the chance to try one--the 2007 Arrogant Frog "Croak-Rotie."  And surprise!  A funky wine name does not a funky wine make.  In fact, I deemed this one good enough to share with you. Ok, I'll admit it--it's the label...
  10. Wine Review: 2010 Mulderbosch Rosé

    Wine Review: 2010 Mulderbosch Rosé

    Who says Rosés are just for summertime?  They're actually also great for those winter nights when you'd like to sip on something a little lighter.  Rosés are especially great with those spicy foods we crave to warm us up when the thermometer drops, so think about cracking one open next time you order Chinese or make a spicy cold-weather soup...
  11. Wine Review: 2008 Saddlebred Cellars Chardonnay

    Wine Review: 2008 Saddlebred Cellars Chardonnay

    I'm always on the hunt for a great Chardonnay.  And I have to admit that I'm especially drawn to creamy, buttery Chards.  You can't drink Cabernet Sauvignon all winter, and sometimes the smooth decadence of a good Chardonnay hits the spot perfectly.  And as always, when I drink a nice wine, the first thing I want to do is share...
  12. Wine Review: 2006 Domaine Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Wine Review: 2006 Domaine Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    If you're looking for a great French red to fall madly in love with this winter, look no further.  The Domaine Paul Autard Châteauneuf-du-Pape has got it all. Châteauneuf-du-Pape has an almost mystical reputation among wine lovers.  It's a commune in the southeastern region of France.  Like many areas in the Rhone region, Châteauneuf-du-Pape has an AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) designation.  But...
  13. Wine Review: 2008 La Cocina Tempranillo

    Wine Review: 2008 La Cocina Tempranillo

    To me, there's nothing like a good Tempranillo.  Tempranillo is often referred to as Spain's "noble grape," and it is used to make bold wines with lots of character. Tempranillo is one of a combination of wines that makes Rioja, the famous red wine of Spain.  But Tempranillo is wonderful by itself as well.  It's a full-bodied red wine that...
  14. A Versatile South American Red: Domaine Monte de Luz 2008

    A Versatile South American Red: Domaine Monte de Luz 2008

    Domaine Monte De Luz 2008 The Tannat grape is believed to have its origins in the Basque region; however, its use in winemaking is associated with the Madrian region in southwestern France.  One of the easiest varietals to grow, Tannat does quite well in South America, Uruguay in particular. The  Tannat Domaine Monte de Luz 2008 is a very rustic...
  15. Pass the Butter, and the 2545 Cellars Chardonnay!

    Pass the Butter, and the 2545 Cellars Chardonnay!

    2545 Cellars Chardonnay 2009 Although I don’t usually keep Chardonnay on hand in my home, I decided to try a bottle of 2545 Cellars Chardonnay 2009 this weekend.  Though not a frequent Chardonnay drinker, I was pleasantly surprised by this delightful wine.  In fact, this is one of the better Chards I’ve had in the past few years.  The nose is...
  16. Simple Label, Complex Wine: the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red

    Simple Label, Complex Wine: the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red

    Never judge a book by its cover, or a wine by its label.  The somewhat plain, non-memorable label on the Cahuin Winemaker’s 2008 Select Red gives credence to this old adage.  This delightful, earthy and rich red consists of a fine blend of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Malbec.  (The Malbec provides exceptional body, with earthy flavors including blackberries and plums.)  In...
  17. A Springtime Rose: the 2010 Triennes Rosé

    A Springtime Rose: the 2010 Triennes Rosé

    The first rosé of the year has arrived just in time for spring, and spring-like it its!  For a longtime fan of rosés, this beauty certainly does not disappoint!  Made from an exquisite blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Merlot, and Grenache grapes, the proportions of grapes in the 2010 Triennes Rosé were expertly chosen.  The merlot flavor, in particular, is more...
  18. Wine Review: Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009

    Wine Review: Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009

    Since my introduction to the Altos Las Hormigas Malbec 2009, it has become a staple in my home.  I’m always prepared with a few extra bottles in the event of unexpected guests. This Argentinean wine has a beautiful nose of berries, dark fruit, spices, and a trace of violet.  It is nicely balanced and smooth, with an exquisite finish that...
  19. Ravenswood Zinfandel Vintner’s Blend 2008

    Ravenswood Zinfandel Vintner’s Blend 2008

    This incredibly affordable California red zinfandel is bursting with dark berry flavor!  The Ravenswood Winery motto, “No Wimpy Wines”, certainly applies to this well-structured, rich blend.  With a nose that includes cherry, dark berry, and black pepper aromas, this wine is perfect for pairing with red meats, pasta, and well-spiced poultry.  Moderately complex, its flavors include black cherries, mint, and...
  20. Wine Review: Atalaya Almansa 2007

    Wine Review: Atalaya Almansa 2007

    The Atalaya Almansa 2007 will surprise you not only with its ridiculously low price tag, but also with its richness in flavor. The Atalaya Almansa is a distinguished blend of Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera, and other grapes.  Brought to you from Spain, and aged eight months in French and American oak, its impressive nose consists of violet, blueberry, black cherry...

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