Friday, January 15, 2010

Red Wines Reviewed in 2009

Hopefully you have had a chance to take a look, and try, some of the great whites that I reviewed last year. My own personal bias has always been towards reds, but since starting this blog and tasting some great local whites – primarily Virginia Voigner and New York Riesling – white is growing on me.

Still, reds are my preferred wines, and it shows. I reviewed twice as many reds than whites in 2009. Below is the list of reds that I reviewed. Check back soon, as I am now done with lists and can get onto new reviews and content!
  • Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin 2007: The 2007 zin is medium-bodied with a spiciness that worked well to accentuate the tastes of the traditional Thanksgiving foods. I especially enjoyed this wine with the mashed sweet potatoes, where the wine’s kick was nicely balanced by the sweetness and butteriness of the dish, and with the stuffing and gravy - because who doesn’t like stuffing and gravy?
  • Mirassou Pinot Noir: Is another of the recommendations from the Wine Trials. I found that the silkiness and fruitiness of the Mirassou did not go as well with the heavy [Thanksgiving] food, though it is still a fine-drinking red in its own right.
  • Rappahannock Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon: Like chardonnay, Virginia is not known for its cabernet sauvignon. Rappahannock makes a drinkable one, however. It is not, by any means the thick, full-bodied wine that California has become famous for producing, but it serves as a good table wine that is more than suitable to accompany red meats, cheeses and even pasta dishes.
  • Rappahannock Cellars 2007 Cabernet Franc: Perhaps cabernet franc just grows better in Virginia, or maybe I just know what to expect with Virginia cabernet franc, but I enjoyed it more [than the Rappahannock Cab Sav]; likely because the cab franc had the subtle taste of peanut butter and jelly in the finish.
  • Rappahannock Cellars 2007 Red Dessert Wine: The best way I could describe their 2007 Red Dessert Wine is like diluting a jar of jam with water and letting it ferment.
  • Tarara Cabernet Franc: It was a bit darker than most cab francs, and had a nice, full body to it. The nose was lighter than the color, though there was a nice hint of plumbs and a little whiff of chocolate to both the taste and the smell.
  • Dry Mill 2007 Syrah: A little on the thin side, but with much more of a body than many Virginia reds that I have tried. It also had the spicy kick that Syrahs are known for, without being overpowering.
  • Swedish Hill 2006 Cabernet Franc-Lemberger: Smelled like a cabernet sauvignon with a bit of a peppery aftertaste, but was a light and thin wine that could have been greatly improved if it had any more of a body and a deeper complexion.
  • Swedish Hill Meritage: Dry, without almost any nose and too thin for my taste.
  • Summers Estate 2006 Charbono: The 2006 has a full body, and has hints of plumbs, currants and pepper in both smell and taste. A well proportioned wine and, at least in my experience, with the chameleon-like ability to accompany whatever we were eating along with it.
  • Ropiteau Dupuis 1848 Vin de Pays D’Oc 2008 Pinot Noir: A decent, reasonably priced and enjoyable pinot.
  • Rosenblum Cellars Vintner's CuvĂ©e XXXI Zinfandel: It was not an overly-powerful zinfandel, but was rather medium-bodied that balanced fruit and berry flavors with the characteristic spice of a zinfandel well.
  • Wolftrap Syrah Mourvedre Viognier 2008: Syrah is the dominant grape of the blend, and the traditional syrah characteristics dominate the taste of the wineit is mostly syrah characteristics that you taste. The Viognier balanced some of the spicier and heavier flavors to make for a more well-rounded wine.
  • 2005 Beringer Napa Valley Vineyards Merlot: Medium body, some fruitiness, hints of cherry and little in the way of the tannins that distinguish merlot from the heavier reds.

There you have the reds. Not a bad haul for the first six or seven months of this blog’s existence. Keep checking back in 2010. I will be reviewing more wine, wine events and goings-ons.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for the mention - great reviews. By the way, the Mirassou Pinot wasn't actually a Wine Trials winner (although in the future, who knows). Let us know if you hear of any other great wines under 15 that should be included.