Folie a Deux Zinfandel

Folie a Deux

Zinfandel

2010

(Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California)

On Bottle/Website:

* Intense, juicy and jammy

* Bright raspberry and blackberry fruit with black pepper spice

* Lightly blended with of Petite Sirah to enhance color and mid-palate flavors

* 14.3% alcohol

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, bright, ruby/garnet, high concentration, rim variation, ruby on the edges, medium plus viscosity

Nose: clean, medium, medium minus intensity, younger dried fruit, black cherry, blackberries, cinnamon

Palate: dry, medium bodied, spicy, fruit confirms nose, medium alcohol, low acidity, medium tannins, short finish, low complexity

Chandon Brut Classic Sparkling Wine

Chandon

Brut Classic Sparkling Wine

(California)

On Bottle/Website:

* Made using méthode traditionnelle, this wine goes through second fermentation in the bottle

* Made from the traditional Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier

* Displays apple and pear flavors and aromas with a hint of spice that leads to a soft, dry finish

* Recommended to refresh the palate when eating salty, creamy, or nutty foods such as Caesar salad, fried calamari, oysters, or fresh sashimi and sushi

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, day bright, clear/light straw, low concentration

Nose: clean, medium intensity, pear, apple

Palate: Off dry, medium bodied, fruit confirms the nose, medium alcohol, medium minus acidity, medium plus finish, medium complexity

This sparkling wine tasted divine with the creamy, decadent crème brulee and strawberries that I paired it with for dessert.

Toasted Head Chardonnay

Toasted Head

Chardonnay

2011

(Dunnighan Hills, California)

On Bottle/Website:

*Brilliant, gold straw color

* Pears, citrus, apple blossoms, lemon, toasty coconut, peach, pineapple and cinnamon

* Barrel fermentation and aging on the lees contribute a creamy mouth feel and toasty finish

* Tastes great with poultry, seafood in a lemon-butter sauce and creamy pasta

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, bright, gold, low concentration, no rim variation, low viscosity

Nose: clean, medium intensity, youthful, oak, white flowers, peach, nuts, honey, spices, mushroom

Palate: dry, medium bodied, peach, red apple, banana, honey, spices, mushroom, medium alcohol, medium acidity, medium plus finish, medium plus complexity

This is a solid wine that was smooth, mild and enjoyable.  It did not pair well with seared rare ahi tuna (which I assumed would be the case!), but I perceived a hint of honey and sweetness in the wine after eating.

Wine Cube Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Cube (Target Brand)

Sauvignon Blanc

2011

(St. Helena, Napa County, California)

On Box/Website:

* dazzlingly sophisticated, but completely down to earth

* tropical aromas, bright citrus and melon flavors

* crisp, refreshing finish

* vented and bottled by Trinchero Family Estates

* offers delicious, high quality wine with color, aromas and flavors providing fresh, full-bodied tastes

* guarantee the last glass will be as fresh as the first

* one cube equals two bottles

* fresh for up to four weeks

*13% alcohol

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, bright, low concentration, no rim variation, low viscosity

Nose: clean, low intensity, youthful, lemon, citrus, asparagus, grass

Palate: light, medium bodied, confirms nose, mild flavor, medium alcohol, medium minus acidity, short finish, low complexity

For a boxed wine, this Sauvignon Blanc delivered to my decidedly low expectations.  The wine established a very light, mellow flavor.  Non-aggressive and simple on the palate, this would be a decent wine to pack for a picnic or day on the beach.  Ease of transport and no glass are the selling features for this wine.  Although, in all honesty, this wine was more pleasing than many bottled wines I have tasted.

Layer Cake Chardonnay

Layer Cake

Chardonnay

2011

(Central Coast, California)

On Bottle/Website:

* Described wine as a layer cake, if properly made with fruit, mocha and chocolate, hits of spice and rich

* 14.1% alcohol

* http://www.layercakewines.com

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, straw, bright, low concentration, no rim variation, medium plus viscosity

Nose: clean, lemon, grapefruit, grass, cinnamon, autumn spices, almonds

Palate: dry, medium bodied, fruit confirms nose, medium plus alcohol, medium plus acidity, medium plus finish, medium plus complexity

This wine was an exceptional value, ringing in under $20.  It was soft and pleasing on the palate with complex flavors and a nice finish.  I would definitely purchase this wine again for a nice chicken dinner.

Terra d’Oro Zinfandel Port

Terra d’Oro

Zinfandel Port

(Amador County, California)

On Bottle/Website:

* Aromas of raisined berry fruit, sugared dates, chocolate, caramel and orange peel

* The wine’s rich, lush grapy flavors also evoke raisin, cocoa, coffee and toffee

* 19% alcohol

* 93 points from Wine Enthusiast

My Notes:

Appearance:  clear, garnet/brown, rim variation, high viscosity

Nose: sound/clean, medium plus intensity, jammy and dried fruits

Palate: sweet, medium/full bodied, confirms nose, low tannins, high alcohol, low acidity, medium plus complexity, medium plus length

This port style wine was a fabulous after dinner drink.  The thickness coated my throat as I enjoyed it with a nice piece of dark chocolate.

Pinot Evil Pinot Grigio

Pinot Evil

Pinot Grigio

No Year Given on Label

(Livermore & Ripon, California)

On Bottle/Website:

* Fresh with crisp acidity

* Soft, friendly palate

* Perfect on hot afternoon

* Pairs with salads, chicken and grilled fish

* 12.5% alcohol

My Notes:

* Appearance: clear, bright, straw, low concentration, no rim variation, medium viscosity

* Nose:  clean, medium minus intensity, green apple, white flowers, sawdust

* Palate: dry, light bodied, confirms nose with tart citrus, lemon, grapefruit, medium alcohol, high acidity, medium minus finish, low complexity

My friend purchased this wine in part because of the playful monkeys depicted on the bottle.  The cutesy play on “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” fails miserably.  There is no possibly way to speak no evil of this wine.  I suppose the fact that no year was indicated on the bottle should have been an immediate sign that the quality level was minuscule.  The assertive acidity in this wine was more aggressive than my palate could handle.  My friend tasted the wine before me and the pucker on her face as she took the first sip was an immediate indication that this was going to be a challenging wine to enjoy.  We both whole-heartedly agreed to pour the wine down the drain, which could be seen as alcohol abuse if there were any redeeming qualities in the glass. I can say with certainty that I will never purchase this wine.

Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc

Pomelo

Sauvignon Blanc

2011

(Oakville, California)

images-1

On Bottle/Website:

* 13% Alcohol

* Definition of Pomelo: giant citrus fruit native to Malaysia and thought to be an ancestor to the grapefruit

* Reminiscent of coral pink tangy juice from a pomelo

My Notes:

Appearance: clear, bright, light straw, low concentration, no rim variation, medium viscosity

Nose: clean, medium intensity, young, pineapple, peach, lemon, grapefruit, white flowers

Palate: dry, medium body, lemon and grapefruit prevalent flavors, medium alcohol, medium acidity, medium plus finish, medium plus complexity

I had read about this wine being a great California Sauvignon Blanc value, so I picked up a bottle.  One of the first nights the weather started being nice enough to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine after work, I opened this bottle up to try.  My friend had made mango salsa that we were savoring and then topping our fish tacos with later.

I loved how the flavors of this wine danced with the acidity and flavors of the salsa.  My friend, on the other hand, did not care for the pairing.  The flavor of the wine turned lime-centric and sour while drinking with the salsa and fish tacos.  To me, it almost made it taste similar to a margarita.  The sourness also reminded me of a crisp green apple.  A few sips after we were finished eating, the wine seemed to mellow again since it did not have the flavors of the food to accompany it. I rather enjoyed the drastic change in flavor, as I found it both interesting and delicious.

Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay

Chateau St. Jean

Chardonnay

2011

(Sonoma County)

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On Bottle:

* http://www.chateaustjean.com

* Pear, lemon cream and hazelnut

* 13.4% ABV

My notes:

Appearance: clear, bright, yellow, medium concentration, medium viscosity

Nose: clean, medium intensity, aroma/youthful, citrus, lemon, golden apple, pear, cream, butter, almond, subtle oak

Palate: dry, light to medium bodied, confirmed fruit and non-fruit, medium alcohol, medium minus acidity, medium finish, medium complexity

Groth Cabernet Sauvignon

Groth

Cabernet Sauvignon

2008

(Oakville, Napa Valley, California)

108913l

On Bottle/Website

* Big and lush with huge gobs of fruit in the aroma and flavor

* Soft and supple texture

* Menu suggestions: “A slab and a Cab”, Dennis Groth recommends you drink his Cabernet Sauvignon with steak

* 14.9% alcohol

My Notes:

* Appearance:  clear, bright, ruby

* Nose: sound/clean, aroma/youthful, medium plus intensity, black currant, black raspberry, black cherry

* Palate: dry, full bodied, plum, blackberry, medium high tannin, medium plus alcohol, medium plus acidity, medium plus complexity, medium plus length