Monday, May 07, 2007

Show and Tell

Every now and again, I like to just chat about wines I’ve enjoyed recently. On their own, these wines aren’t worth a whole post. But, I enjoy reading about what my fellow wine writers are drinking, so I hope you’re interested in what’s been in my glass.

2005 Viñedos y Bodegas Pablo Menguante Garnacha Cariñena ($9)

I just commented to Joe of Joe's Wine that I think Spanish wines in general are the most interesting, delicious and affordable wines around at the moment. This is a stunning example of garnacha from 80-100 year-old vines. Garnacha can be light and quaffable, but it also can be rich and complex. This is the latter.

2002 Preston Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley ($12)

If cabernet franc needs an agent, I’ll take the job. The “other” cab is fantastic when it’s done well. This is done well: silky, lush and spicy with abundant red and black fruit. Preston makes some seriously good wines. If you’re not familiar with them, I highly recommend seeking out their wines.

2001 Preston Merlot Columbia Valley ($12)

I’m not kidding about Preston. This is a merlot that could well restore merlot’s good name. A little time in the bottle has revealed a subtle, elegant wine with sweet notes of dried cherries, herbs, cedar and leather. Merlot can age quite gracefully, and given its lack of popularity, post-Sideways, there’s never been a better time to hunt for hidden gems like this one.

2001 Hope Merlot Hunter Valley ($9)

Speaking of merlot from older’s another. I normally wouldn’t think of Australia for merlot, but Hope makes some really unique, hand-crafted and well-priced wines. This was a random pick at a restaurant wine sale—and what a great find it was. A little more fruit focused than the Preston, but still showing its age very well: velvet-smooth with lovely black cherry, plum and cedar.

2004 Trentadue Old Patch Red Sonoma Valley ($13)

I’m hooked on field-blend style Cailfornia reds at the moment. This is a mix of 76% zinfandel, 16% petite sirah and 8% carignane. I wish more CA wineries would make wines in this style. Sonodora at Wannabe Wino has an excellent write up about Trentadue along with tasting notes for most of their wines, including the Old Patch Red. Check it out.

NV Dover Canyon Winery Renegade Red Central Coast ($11)

A cool wine from a cool winery. Another field-blend style red wine from the fine folks at Dover Canyon made from zin, sangiovese, barbera and syrah. It’s lively, fresh and intoxicatingly good. This is the wine that Bacchus wants us to drink. Get a bottle and dance with Pan. I’ve added the Dover Canyon Winery blog to my links, so now you have no excuse not to visit. Mary Baker, co-owner of Dover Canyon, is also editor of the Women Wine Critics Board blog, which is full of some great writing.

That’s all for my show and tell. What wines have made you happy lately?


Kyle said...

2003 Ferrari-Carano Winery Siena Sonoma County

This is one of those wines that gets my personal high rating - fresh dirt, soft tobacco leaf, broken down leather saddle, warm blanket. The label says raspberries but it's all velvet in the mouth.

Like John's $30 1997 Chateau Souverain, this $20+ bottle of Sangiovese-Cabernet blend could hold its own in a crowd of much pricier bottles.

Sonadora said...

Good call on the Old Patch Red, it's a great value and a pretty delicious red blend.

John said...

Thanks for sharing, Kyle. I'm with you on the Sienna. It's a great bottle of wine.

Thanks for saving me the trouble of writing a review, Sonadora. And sorry for spelling your name wrong. I'll fix it.

Dr. Debs said...

Love the Trentadue, love the Renegade Red. I had a glass of Ridge Zinfandel at a friend's house the other night and it made me very, very happy. I don't know the vintage, the specific designation--but it was one of those easy drinking reds that just puts a smile on your face!

John said...

It seems everything I drink from Ridge makes me happy. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...


Have you had any experience with Oakley Five Reds? I recently purchased a bottle becouse I wanted to try something different and it was on sale ($8 or $9) I don't recall having a heavily blended wine before, but WOW, this wine really took me off guard. Its such an easy drinking wine, and it leaves one of the most intersting taste at the finish. It doesn't lend much to the nose although I find myself craving it and have bought several more bottles (when on sale of course). I don't recall the vintage, I'm sure it was a fairly young wine, but I wonder what they put in there, becouse its making me a varietal wine junkie. Is there others like this?


John said...


I have had the Oakley Five Reds, and I agree that it kicks ass. It's a cool blend (syrah, zin, petite sirah and a couple other grapes in small amounts), and very California (in a good way). Blends are some of my favorites wines. Check out this post:

Cline makes the Oakley and they are one of my favorite CA wineries. They make a variety of really good wines in the $8-$12 range.

The Five Reds and a big, fat cheeseburger-that's heaven.

Anonymous said...

Good post on B-for blended and the Bonny Doon is a very interesting website. I'll have to see what I can get my hand on locally. I can't say I recall seeing that selection.

A fat cheeseburger and red wine makes me think of the Movie Sideways, not a blissful moment in the movie, but perhaps cheeseburgers and Cline's Five Reds can make any bad situation good.. or at least I plan to find out.

Besides any bottle of wine with a screw off cap just means I can consume it as easy as a take out burger.