Tag Archives: 2009

Tormaresca NePriCa

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2009
Puglia, Italy

The funny name for this wine comes from a blend of three grapes–Negroamaro (40%), Primitivo (30%), and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%). Negroamaro (“bitter black”) is a varietal unfamiliar to me until now–grown primarily in Puglia, Italy’s heel, and characterized by a particular bitterness. I definitely got that in the finish; not overpowering, but very distinctive. The Cab no doubt balances that out.

Dry and dusty in the nose, NePriCa is a beautiful, velvety scarlet with substantial legs. There’s definitely a lot of licorice up front (hello, Primitivo), a peppery center and a redolent perfume of cherries, cassis, and flowers. Very earthy and mineral-y. Then there’s that bitter finish, with just a tinge of sweetness at the very end. It’s interesting to taste a blend where each grape’s personality stands out so clearly, like instruments in a symphony. Drinks far beyond its very reasonable $10 price.

Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat Cabernet Sauvignon

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2009
Australia

Dusky and earthy with great depth of character. Dried cherries and cedar and a bit of smoke give it a heady aroma. Loads of flavor: tart raspberries tickle the tip of the tongue while the rest of it is coated in luscious licorice and leather. Rich and oh, so yummy. A wonderful choice if you like them big but not jammy.

Nistri Campi Salti Sangiovese-Syrah 2009

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CampiSalti Sangiovese Syrah2009
Tuscany, Italy

What a gem! Jewel-like garnet red, wonderfully rich from the 40% Syrah, bubbling with spirit from the 60% Sangiovese, and 100% yummers. Fruit-forward with blackberries, plums and dried cherries in the nose; plums, dark cherries, oak and cranberry in the mouth with a vague herbal note. The finish is soft and silky with firm but well structured tannins. I do recommend breathing to open it up–it was twice the wine after a few hours.

Cocobon Red Table Wine

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Cocobon 2009

2009
California

Livermore??? Yes. And it’s good, too! “Blended to take you to Nirvana!” claims winemaker Georgetta Dane, and I’m with her. I love a complex wine, and this one is seriously layered: starts out kind of light and minerally, then gives you some boysenberry and pomegranate, pepper at the end and mocha in the finish. A friend was picking up aromas of Dr. Pepper and prunes. An odd little wine that is just delicious and just $8 at Trader Joe’s, bless ’em. Stock up!

Mark West Pinot Noir

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Mark West Pinot Noir

2009
California; Sonoma County

Light, translucent and wonderfully perfumed–this soulful wine is full of oak and floral notes. Fresh cherries and pipe tobacco in the nose, with a woodsy tang. Tannins are firm and a little chewy, but smooth, and the finish is very earthy; gamey, even. This wine isn’t especially complex and there’s not a lot of fruit, but the flavors it does offer go deep.

We found this bottle at Beverages and More for $10.

Panilonco Reserve Carmenere

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Panilonco Reserve Carmenere

2009
Colchagua Valley, Chile

OK, folks — this is one of the best values I’ve had in ages! $4 a bottle at Trader Joe’s. FOUR. BUCKS. And it’s one tasty glassful, brimming with berries and oak and a surprising hit of mint. Smells like blackberries and plums and spice. The finish lingers, and it’s just a wee bit tart (this mellows out with some breathing). Mildly tannic, big but not bold: a gentle giant.

Lucky Star Pinot Noir

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Lucky Star Pinot Noir2009
California (Graton)

Luck seems to be a lady for this Pinot. She’s a pretty garnet m’amselle with some nice legs and a delicate perfume of cherries, leather and oak. Light and lively with cranberries on the tip of the tongue and a dry but tannic finish — a nice touch that keeps this lighter red from being a lightweight. A real lucky find, too, for a mere $10.

We found this wine at Beverages and More.

Canard Sauvage Petite Syrah, 2009

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Canard Sauvage Petite Syrah2009
Sonoma County, California
Dry Creek Valley

So big, so firm, yet smooth, too…a noble savage is this. Inky black-red with some solid legs and a definite spice character. Cardamon, clove and blueberries in the nose, and jammy berries with a hint of smoky oak on the tongue. I liked that touch of tannin in the finish; it hasn’t been tamed into submission. I love me some wild duck.

Penfolds Rawson’s Retreat Shiraz-Cabernet, 2009

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Penfolds Rawson's Retreat Shiraz Cabernet2009
Australia

KO! The deep, inky red color is the first thing that you’ll notice with this heavyweight contendah. It’s got some stout legs, too. Plums and raspberries in the nose with a tickle of nutmeg. A great spicy-sweet beginning gives way to a berry-licious center and a long, lingering cocoa finish. Gives a one-two punch with Shiraz (60%) boldness and Cab (40%) jamminess. If you like ’em big, this is your champion!

Cave Cellars Syrah

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Cave Cellars Syrah2009
Happy Canyon
Santa Barbara County

You’d know this was a Syrah at the first sip. Very classic: rich, full, smooth and meaty. And so pretty! Garnet-hued with a gemlike clarity and nice, strong legs. Heady scent of allspice and cherries. Faint raspberry and plum flavors give way to leather and a lingering cardamon finish.

Delicious from the get go, but really improved over time: a few hours of breathing (yes, somehow I managed to control myself…and kept Hubbs’s greedy palate at bay, too) mellowed out that spicy/peppery edge and transformed the brashness to a smooth elegance.