Il Basso Zinfandel 2005

Il Basso Zinfandel 2005This Il Basso Zinfandel 2005 is a most interesting zinfandel from Italy. It has a lush, tannic, dark-fruit taste. Far different than light, sweet ‘pink zinfandel,’ this is rich and dark. Softer tasting than a cabernet, but stronger tasting than a merlot, rich in fruit but not fruit bomby, this zinfandel tastes like a great, rich red table wine.

Lyndoch Valley Shiraz (2005)

Lyndoch Valley Shiraz 2005This lovely Lyndoch Valley Shiraz comes from the Southeastern region of Australia. I wonder if this is a relatively hot climate — perhaps Peter (a reader from Sydney) will be able to answer this for me. This is full-bodied, tannic and very fruity without the typical black pepper character that I am used to in a shiraz. The finish is rich and chocolaty. Delicious and definitely a wine I would purchase again and again.

Tom: This Lyndon Valley is a very interesting shiraz: peppery, but softer and milder tasting than some Australian shirazes. It’s fruity but not as fruit forward as some. Quite nice.

Chateau Andrea Cabernet Sauvignon (2005)

Chateau Andrea Cabernet Sauvignon 2005I am tasting this Chateau Andrea Cabernet for the first time and I am in wine-tasting heaven, you might say! This California beauty is full-bodied and ripe with plumminess. The color is deep and dark. The nose is of black currants and black cherries. The tannins are powerful and the finish is lingering and satisifying. I am glad we have three bottles on hand! This is simply delectable!

Tom: This is an interesting cabernet and seems a bit unusual. It has a plummy taste with a hint of vanilla and is not as tannic as some cabernet. All in all, very pleasant.

Villa Puccini Toscana (2001)

Villa Puccini Toscana 2001We have had this lovely Tuscan wine before and enjoyed it very much. This Villa Puccini Toscana is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot. In the glass it is ruby colored with good legs. On the nose, I note a whiff of tobacco and coffee. The taste is dry and acidic, not very fruity, with earth overtones. This is a real Italian, rustic-tasting — almost grainy textured, red. The body is somewhat light and actually a good summer wine to sip on the patio — although I can picture having this in the dead of winter in front of the fireplace, too. A good find!

Nick Faldo Selection Shiraz (2003)

Nick Faldo Shiraz 2003This Faldo Selection Shiraz is from the Coonawarra region of South Australia. This deep-violet colored shiraz has pleasant hints of pepper and licorice on the palate. An oak and blackberry taste contribute to the complexity of this ‘gets-my-attention ‘wine. The finish is especially noteworthy — lengthy with black pepper as well as modest tannins. We paid $17 for this wine at A & L wine castle in Ann Arbor. The owner suggested this because it is a big red, which he knows we like. I think it is quite delicious — and, as the wine breathes, I note big, big fruit — plums, I think. It’s lovely and it tastes good after a long day working the back yard!

Black Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (2003)

Black Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2003We purchased this Black Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 for $5.99 at Trader Joe’s in Ann Arbor. This is a rather simple wine — not a great deal of complexity. However, after decanting a bit, it becomes rather mellow and fruity. It should pair well with light, summer dinners. This is an adequate, every-day quaff. There is nothing unpleasant, whatsoever, about this wine.

Hogue Shiraz 2005 & Ironstone Petit Syrah 2004

Sights and Sounds of ChelseaTonight Tom and I went into town to the “Sights and Sounds of Chelsea.” Every Thursday evening in the summer our little city hosts a variety of musicians, jugglers,and other entertainers along the sidewalks. We just stroll down the sidewalks, taking in the sights and sounds! After awhile, we stopped into the Common Grill and sat at the bar, which is a fun place to be. Tom ordered the Hogue Shiraz and I had the Ironstone Petit Syrah. After a couple sips of each wine, Tom let me trade because I liked his Shiraz better than this particular Petit Syrah. The shiraz is from Washington state. A dry, medium-bodied quaff with pleasant spice and rasberries. I enjoyed it very much with my grilled ahi tuna salad. (Mmmmm, delicious!)

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (2002)

Jacob’s Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002The owner of my favorite wine shop (A&L Wine Castle) recommended this Jacob’s Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. When I said, “I already have Jacob’s Creek,” he corrected me and told me this was their reserve varietal. He said I would love it. As usual, he was right. It is a delicious, big red wine.

I note cloves and spices in the nose. The color is a deep burgundy. On the palate, I taste berries, oak and a touch of vanilla. But, the important thing is that all these tastes and aromas come together as a complex and full-bodied tasting experience . The finish is velvety smooth and long lasting. Jacob’s Creek Reserve is worth looking for; it tastes like a more expensive wine than its price.

Gaetano D’Aquino Chianti Riserva (2004)

Gaetano D’Aquino Chianti Riserva 2004This Gaetano D’Aquino Chianti Riserva 2004 is a brilliant garnet red with cedar and cranberry aromas. It is medium-bodied with a cherry taste along with subtle oak. The finish is earthy and slightly bitter; very dry. I like it very much! It will go well with our spicy pasta dinner tonight.

Burley Fox Limestone Coast Shiraz (2005)

Burley Fox Limestone Coast Shiraz 2005We needed to finish off a few swallows of leftover wine tonight. I just finished the Burley Fox Limestone Coast Shiraz (so delicious) and Tom is polishing off the rest of the Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon (2003) Maipo Valley. We are having pork medallions in mushroom sauce tonight and I think both of these wines will complement the dinner. Tom says that the Carmen is holding up very well on the second day. Same with my Burley Fox. Except that mine is gone. . .