Marqués de Cáceres Rioja 2001 Crianza

December 4th, 2008

To my undeveloped appreciation for wine, I consider Rioja to be a less-peppery version of Shiraz. It has some of the big flavor without the spice, which works well for me. And it is smooth like a Pinot Noir, which makes for easy drinking, but it has a little more body. I have really taken a shine to Rioja, and I've had some great bottles from 2001 specifically.

For lack of a better description, a Crianza is the least complex of Riojas, so be wary. This bottle, however, was quite good. I have had a few Crianzas, 2001 even, and this was the best. And even 7 years later it is very drinkable. I think you'll have a hard time finding the 2001 in stores, but if you do I hope you enjoy it like I did.

Wine of the Month - December, 2008

November 25th, 2008
2006 Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel
2006 Bogle Old Vines Zinfandel

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Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel 2006

October 23rd, 2008

I have been drinking a lot more Zinfandel lately and I tried this one based on absolutely nothing other than it's the one I grabbed when I was at the store looking for a Zin. I had never heard of it. No one recommended it.

I paid $16 for this (at Papa Joe's in Rochester) and found out a day later that I got pretty-well ripped off. In Michigan, I am told that Meijer stores will carry this at $6/bottle on special. At $6 this is a steal, at $16 I will probably never buy it ever again.

I liked it, but I felt it was unremarkable. It is very drinkable, but this is a wine that I would buy a few bottles at $6/per and keep on hand for one of those evenings where 1...or 2 bottles just aren't enough. So I grab the Rancho Zabaco and I know I'm in capable hands, but it isn't about good wine at that point.

Wine of the Month - September, 2008

September 10th, 2008
2006 Red Truck Merlot
2006 Red Truck Merlot

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Ruffino 2006 Orvieto Classico

August 11th, 2008

Typically the summer heat lures people into the light body and crisp flavors of white wines, though you can enjoy white wine all year. I do not drink much white wine. I normally find white wine to be too sour. I know they are typically described as too sweet for many palates, but it is the sourness like that of a green apple that I taste in many white wines. And that is the sourness I tasted in this wine specifically. This was my first Orvieto - coming on a recommendation from a friend - and I liked that it seems to be more dry than some other white wine varietals. I would consider Orvieto more on par with a Pinot Gris in that respect. I have had white wines that I liked more than this one, but I've certainly had worse. At around $10, this is a good value if you like green apple.

Wine of the Month - August, 2008

July 31st, 2008
2006 Emiliana Natura Carmenère
2006 Emiliana Natura Carmenère

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Wine of the Month - July, 2008

June 20th, 2008
2006 Ruffino Orvieto Classico
2006 Ruffino Orvieto Classico

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Wine of the Month - June, 2008

May 23rd, 2008
2006 Terrazas de los Andes Malbec
2006 Terrazas de los Andes Malbec

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Red Wagon Wine Shoppe Spring Wine Tasting - 2008

May 2nd, 2008

The flyer advertising the event promised over 100 wines from around the world for this two-hour event. The actual offering in close, though under 100 wines, but it was more than enough. We were greeted with a Champagne toast and set free on the food and wine. The food was good, but not great. They had fruit, some cheeses (which came in handy later in the night) and three different pasta dishes.

The wine was placed on nine tables. I would have loved to see them organized by region or light-to-heavy around the room, but that would have been too difficult. They were, instead, arranged by nine different wine distributors who sell to Red Wagon, and each brought basically whatever they wanted. Each wine at the event was wine that Red Wagon sells. For the night of the event only, each bottle was offered at a discount.

When we checked in before it started, we were given a complete list of the wines available at each table. We had time to go over the list and note which ones we didn't want to miss, but we had enough time to really try every wine they had.

The distributors' participation extended beyond supplying their wine. Each remained stationed at its table and was available to pour and discuss the wines. They were all personable, helpful and very knowledgeable.

The ticket price was $50, which is expensive. But it was a great value when you consider that there were so many wines available to taste, food was included, each person received a Riedel wine glass to keep, and a portion of each ticket was donated to charity.

The crowd seemed to be enthusiasts, professionals, casual drinkers and first timers. Dress code was advertised as casual, but business casual was more appropriate.

I look forward to the next event.

Wine of the Month - May, 2008

April 24th, 2008
2006 Chateau Bianca Pinot Noir
2006 Chateau Bianca Pinot Noir

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