Barrio La Boca Cabernet Sauvignon (2005)

Barrio La Boca Cabernet Sauvignon 2005Tom purchased this Barrio La Boca Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 from the Mendoza region of Argentina from Trader Joe’s in Ann Arbor. We had tried Barrio La Boca Malbec several times but this is our first Cabernet Sauvignon from this winery.

My word of advice: Let it breathe. My first taste was okay, but I found the finish a bit on the musty side. However, after breathing for about 15 minutes, the mustiness went away and I find the wine to be quite delicious now. It is fruity with tastes of plums; it is medium-bodied with a tasty and rather long finish. We will drink this tonight with grilled steaks, a green salad and creamy mashed potatoes. I think it will hold up well with this hearty meal. (This was a real bargain; I think Tom said he purchased the bottle for $3.79!)

Tom: I love this wine! It’s a strong, fruit-forward, New World wine, but dry and tannic enough not to be fruit-bomby. I taste blackberries and cherries. It will stand up to grilled steak very well. And it’s a wonderful value.

Abrazo del Toro Cariñena 2006

Abrazo del Toro Carinena 2006This Abrazo del Toro Cariñena 2006 from Spain is a very nice, soft, dry, medium-weight, fruity table red, tasting of cherry. It’s from the Cariñena region of Spain, made from 80% Garnacha (Grenache) grapes and 20% Tempranillo grapes. It was excellent with hamburgers tonight. Another great value from Trader Joe’s, at way under $10. (Abrazo del Toro means hug of the bull.)

Il Valore Sangiovese (2006)

Il Valore Sangiovese 2006This Il Valore Sangiovese 2006 from Italy is a delightful, light-bodied quaff. Not a big red, it paired well with our roasted chicken dinner last night. Tom purchased this bottle from Trader Joe’s while I was in Austin last week. He is such a good shopper!

Tom: This Il Valore Sangiovese 2006 is a very nice, dry, light table red. Very easy drinking. It is from the Puglia region of the Italy (the heel of the boot). The Sangiovese grape is the main component of Chianti. A wonderful value at way, way under $10.

Osborne Dominio de Malpica (2001) Cabernet Sauvignon

Osborne Dominio de Malpica Cabernet Sauvignon 2001Osborne bullWe purchased this Osborne Dominio de Malpica Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 from Spain for $16.99 at A&L Wine Castle in Ann Arbor. Initially, the bouquet is quite startling in that it is strong and overpowering. But, now that it has been swirled and allowed to breathe, the nose is more subtle and sophisticated. The full and rich feel in the mouth is fruity with tastes of oak and wet grass. The longer I sip and swirl, the more refined it becomes. This is a wine you definitely want to decant and allow to breathe. For dinner, I have a pot of garlicky bean soup (with ham bone) simmering, a loaf of sour dough bread, (and some sharp cheddar) and I think this wine will be the perfect complement. I wanted to take advantage of the cooler weather today and make some soup. It’s a gorgeous day in Michigan!

Tom: This Osborne Dominio de Malpico Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 has a strong, slightly astringent, attention-getting initial aroma that mellowed with breathing. It is an interesting, unusual cabernet, with a dry but fruity taste that also has a slight vegetal quality. It’s different and interesting and will stand up well to our bean soup. (We understand that the black Osborne bull is iconic in Spain.)

Amaicha Bonarda (2005)

Amaicha Bonarda 2005While I was attending a conference in Austin, Texas, Tom found a need to stop at Trader Joe’s to peruse the wine selection. He bought a dozen bottles, and this Amaicha Bonarda 2005 was one of them.

This is the first time I have tasted a wine from the Bonarda grape. It is bursting with fruit while, at the same time, dry and full of body. Very smooth on the palate with a pleasant, spicy aroma. We’ll have this with a stir-fry chicken and broccoli tonight. One might think this is too strong a wine for chicken, but because the chicken is marinating in spicy szechuan sauce, I think it will be just fine. This is a drinkable and pleasant big wine at a great price ($4.99). Nice shopping, love of my life!

Tom: This Amaicha Bonarda 2005 is quite interesting. The Bonarda grape is from the northeastern Piedmont region of Italy and is widely grown in Argentina. This wine is tannic, has a strong berry-fruit flavor, and has a strong, slightly astringent quality (as though it has strong alcohol, although it’s a normal 13%.). We always love tasting wines from South America but particularly while Tony and George are traveling there. They are in Brazil now, in Rio de Janeiro.

McManis Syrah 2004

McManis Syrah 2004Melody is still out of town and I finished some McManis Syrah 2004, which is very good. It has a big, rich fruit taste, a noticeably aromatic bouquet, a definite pepperiness, with hints of cherries and vanilla. An interesting, tasty, and complex wine.

Barrio La Boca Malbec (2005)

Barrio La Boca 2005Melody’s out of town and, with thoughts of our son Tony and his friend George who are backpacking in South America and are currently in Brazil, I’m having this La Barrio La Boca Malbec 2005 from Argentina.

Tony and George have actually left Buenos Aires, Argentina and are now in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but Argentine wine is as close as I can get. (Do they make wine in Brazil?)

This La Barrio La Boca Malbec 2005 is a fun, dry, fruit-forward (cherries) wine at way, way under $10. Very pleasant, very drinkable, went great with hamburgers tonight.

Tony and George did some wine-tasting of some high-end Malbec in Argentina and raved about it. If this La Barrio La Boca Malbec 2005 is any indication, I’m sure their experience was excellent.