2005 chateau ste. michelle indian wells cabernet sauvignon columbia valley: disappointing. wouldn't get it again.

april 28, 2009: greg and i tried this with grilled pork loins, red potatoes and carrots. at first, greg said he liked it. he said it's a mild cab and the nose has a hint of cherry. when it's poured it has a scent of caramel corn. the more it airs out, he said it seems like the flavor becomes less expressive. victoria thinks this wine is deceptive; with a dark color and a vibrant, cherry nose, it has great initial promise. but the peppery flavor is overwhelmingly acidic and tannic, leaving an impression of more texture than anything else. the overall result leans toward bland and uninteresting, making this a disappointing purchase. the finish is strangled. i wouldn't put this even near the same category as the ben marco and the knights valley beringer, both of which are more substantial cabs worth the effort of constant, continuous sips. on the upside, i'm beginning to understand that, when it comes to cabs, i'm all about the punch. from columbia valley, washington state. 14.2 percent alcohol. roughly $18.


2004 two angels petite sirah: great with seasoned steak

april 26, 2009: this paired very well with a chicago-style steak. it seemed to really enhance the personality of the meat, so that its richness was infused with more flavor while the sirah just seemed a strong and sturdy dance partner. i had initially hoped that the babcock pinot noir would work with the steak, too, but i was wrong. in fact, the pinot's acidity increased with its exposure to the steak, making it an unattractive combination. victoria thought the sirah was definitely heavier than the pinot (as is to be expected). greg thought it was most excellent. the nose has a very caramel odor and is very complex. he said it has the flavor of cherry, very smooth after being opened for an hour. victoria adds that the nose has a strong scent of blackberry jam. 14.8 percent alcohol. bottled and cellared at oakville, calif. unknown, but probably around $30.

2003 babcock pinot noir grand cuvee: pretty good!

april 26, 2009: phil gave us this 2003 babcock pinot noir grand cuvee, and in honor of his brave donation of a kidney to his sister on friday, we decided to finally uncork it. victoria likes it; on the face of it (we're just at the start of this one), it's definitely light and slightly peppery, with a fruity nose. it's also slightly acidic. greg thinks the nose has a grapefruit/pineapple/caramel scent. he says it has a good flavor, untannic, no acidity. we opened this up before a rare steak dinner that will be paired with a two angels petite sirah. (note: this label is for the wrong year. it's the best i could do for this particular post.) 13.5 percent alcohol. central coast.


1990 domaine de la bongran, macon clesse, quintaine: delicious. wonderful. there are too many words.

feb. 14, 2009: this label is the closest i could find to what we had on valentine's day this year. we had the 1990, though, and it was absolutely fantastic. it was a gift from my dad to go with the fresh boiled lobster greg prepared. greg thought it had a caramel flavor. victoria thought it began sweet and then leveled off, very complex, went very well with the lobster. it was darker yellow in color. photo is of the wrong vintage.

2006 frei brothers reserve chardonnay: eh.

feb. 14, 2009: we had the 2006 russian river valley frei brothers reserve chardonnay as part of our valentine's day celebration with fresh boiled lobster. victoria thought it was very buttery and rich. she couldn't finish her glass. greg thought it was rich, and it made his stomach feel very acidic.
feb. 15, 2009: we finished the bottle the next night. victoria served it with a pork dish with a mushroom, potato and sour cream sauce. she thought the chardonnay worked much better this time. the wine wasn't as rich and it had lost most of its buttery flavor. that might have been because it was chilled. it started more acidic and then moved on to being light. victoria thinks it's cherry and lemony. as it warmed up from being in the refrigerator, it became more buttery. about $18.

2003 guenoc petite sirah: very good.

march 6, 2009: we had the 2003 guenoc petite sirah at madeline's restaurant. victoria loved it. it was very un-tannic, light with lots of cherry flavor. greg thought it was mild, smooth, mellow, fruity with no tannin. we're thinking about getting a case of this from winetree. about $18.

2006 bogle petite sirah: just okay.

march 6, 2009: we had the 2006 bogle petite sirah after we got home from dinner at madeline's. when compared to the 2003 guenoc petite sirah, it has more tannin. victoria tasted the black cherry. greg thought it was very fruity and very cherry-ish. he thinks it needs to sit a while to get rid of some of the tannin and that it's too acidic. victoria thinks it's light, with an edge of sweetness. but after an hour or two, the tannic texture was still there. about $10.

2008 maipe bonarda: likable.

march 20, 2009: we had the 2008 maipe bonarda from mendoza, argentina. victoria thought it was much less tannic, fruitier and lighter than the durigutti malbec. she liked it better than the durigutti malbec. greg said the maipe had a candy corn flavor. about $9.

2007 durigutti malbec: just okay

march 20, 2009: we had the 2007 durigutti malbec from mendoza, argentina. victoria thought it became more tannic as it warmed up in the glass. greg said it had a caramel flavor. about $13.

2007 tres ojos old vines garnacha: good

march 22, 2009: we had a 2007 tres ojos old vines garnacha calatayud. greg thinks it's slightly tannic, grapefruity on its nose, it's very appealing. victoria thinks it has a nice cherry color to it, but the flavor is too even to pick out any particular fruit. it's slightly tannic, but not overwhelming. it's well balanced with flavor and tannin. victoria thinks it's slightly peppery, but not so much that that's a bad thing. it also has a slight sweetness to it, which may be because it has a 14.5 percent alcohol content. about $8.

2006 el ganador mablec: decent

march 23, 2009: we had a 2006 el ganador malbec from mendoza, argentina. greg thinks it has a little bit of a grapefruit nose and to its flavor. he said it's okay, but it's supposed to be the grand one, and he doesn't really see anything grand about it. humor aside, he thinks it's a little more tannic than the other malbecs (maipe, for instance) we tried alongside it. victoria thinks it's mild, with a slight blackberry flavor. it's not too light and not too heavy, not too tannic either. it has a good, mellow flavor.
we paired it with a soy sauce/red cooking wine marinated goose, so that affected the flavor, too. about five minutes later, when victoria had less of the salty flavor of the soy sauce from the meal, she could see it was a little more acidic and tannic than she had originally thought. about $10.

2005 la yunta tinto cab malbec bonarda: needs another try

march 29, 2009: we had the 2005 la yunta tinto cabernet malbec bonarda from mendoza, argentina. greg thought it was mellow but acidic. victoria thought it had a blackberry nose. it was light, but too acidic and needs to mellow a bit more from her perspective. it's not overly tannic, though. we had it with an indian butter chicken dish which had a slightly spicy flavor, and the combination was not ideal. i think this would be good with a lamb dish. it becomes less acidic the more it warms up in the bottle/glass. it is 13.5 percent alcohol. about $9.

2006 beringer knights valley cabernet: very good.

april 3, 2009: we also had the 2007 beringer knights valley cabernet sauvignon on the night of greg's birthday dinner. we both loved this at the big red wine tasting, and victoria saw it on sale at schnucks. it's a great find. victoria thinks it's meatier compared to the pinot, has a little tannic finish, but it's also slightly sweet. it's definitely heavier and darker in color than the pinot (as is to be expected). victoria thinks it has a slight tannic feel. it's a 14.3 percent alcohol. on sale for about $19.

2007 palo alto reserve: wouldn't get it again

april 12, 2009: we had a 2007 palo alto reserve from d.o. maule valley, chile, that we bought in st. louis when we visited emilie and darin. we had it with a rachel ray sirloin hamburger recipe with balsamic vinegar, sage and gorgonzola. victoria thought the wine was light, with a slight acidity. it needed to be decanted, and was, and it improved once it aired and warmed up. greg thought it had a caramel odor, a sweetness to it, a cherry nose, a 2.5 on a 1-5 acidity scale. victoria thinks it's decent but she wouldn't get it again. victoria gets the flavor of cherries. it's a 13.5 percent alcohol. on sale in st. louis for about $9.

2007 ben marco cab: very good

april 13, 2009: we had the 2007 ben marco cabernet sauvignon from mendoza, argentina, with pasta, ricotta, basil, sweet italian sausage, parmesan, butter and onions. victoria tried the wine by itself after it had been opened for a while, and it was complex, with a slight buttery-ness. she thinks it's not as buttery with the meal but it's heavy enough to hold its own against the heavy italian food. greg thinks it has a mild tannic sensation, not much on the nose, but it is slightly fruity. the flavor is a cherry, with low acidity. victoria really likes it and would get it again. so would greg. this is a 14 percent alcohol. 85 percent cabernet sauvignon, 10 percent merlot, and 5 percent cabernet franc. about $19.

2007 louis jadot pouilly-fuisse: good with cheese

april 17, 2009: we had a 2007 louis jadot pouilly-fuisse white burgundy with flounder greg baked with shallots, garlic and a butter sauce. the wine without the fish was a bit acidic, but with the fish it became slightly sweet and it cut the acidity of the wine. greg said the wine definitely had a grapefruit flavor to it. the nose reminds us of a riesling. victoria thinks that whether it's the aeration or the fact that it might be warming up in the bottle or the glass, it improved and became less acidic and more buttery. victoria thinks this wine is good with fatty foods like cheese. we had it with the rest of our comte. about $21.

louis jadot beaujolais-villages: decent

april 24, 2009: greg bought this louis jadot beaujolais-villages for about $9 at schnucks. he thought it was mild and that it smelled like cotton candy or a jolly rancher. he said he would get it again. victoria liked it and would get it again, too. it's light, slightly acidic, and with a good nose. no surprise there. we had it with grilled marinated chicken and it fit relatively well since the entree wasn't too heavy. i think we need to serve this really chilled next time. about $10.

2007 montes malbec: good for the price

march 4, 2009: we had a 2007 montes malbec from d.o. colchagua valley, chile. my parents later bought greg a case of it for his birthday. the first time victoria had it, it had a little bit of a cork flavor, but it got better. it had a slight berry finish with a tannic feel that got less intense as it warmed up in the glass. greg really likes it. price unknown.

2005 durigutti bonarda: good.

april 22,2009: we had the 2005 durigutti bonarda from mendoza, argentina. we both really liked it. victoria thought it had a slight cherry finish and slight acidity. but it had a great dark color. greg thought it was very good, very mellow, and a little bit of grapefruit flavor to it. he said it's a good general all-purpose wine because he had pasta with tuna tonight. victoria thinks it would go well with a steak. alcohol level is 13.5 percent. about $9.

2008 colores del sol reserve malbec: eh

april 23, 2009: we had a 2008 colores del sol reserve malbec from mendoza, argentina that victoria bought at newt's liquor in henderson. victoria thought it was slightly acidic and sweet. greg thought it's the sweetest malbec that he's had. he thinks it's got a blackberry flavor and reminds him of a blackberry or blueberry wine. victoria thinks it's not worth getting again. it's at 13.5 percent alcohol. about $11.

2007 a to z pinot noir: very good.

april 3, 2009: this was greg's birthday dinner, and i decided to try this pinot with a red river salmon that i marinated in soy sauce and brown sugar. the combination worked out very well. victoria thought it was light but not unsubstantial, and it rounded out the heavy seasoning as an even, balanced and almost creamy match. there was no acidity. greg thought it was light with a little tannin, mellow, a little sour aftertaste. a lot of it he couldn't identify. victoria thought it was not peppery like a lot of pinot noirs she's had. greg said it's good enough to buy again, and victoria said that's definitely true. this was a 13.5 percent alcohol. about $19.