Il Valore Sangiovese 2006

Il Valore Sangiovese 2006We opened this Il Valore Sangiovese 2006 last night to have with pizza. (It even says, “Serve at room temperature with red meats, pastas, and pizza,” on the label!)

It’s a very pleasant Italian red table wine. We’ve reviewed it before. It’s medium bodied, medium dry, and medium fruit (blackberries), with some tobacco flavor.

It complemented the pizza nicely last evening (as the label promised!) and is a pleasant cocktail-hour quaff this evening; a wonderful value at way, way under $10 from Trader Joe’s.

Sainte-Croix Syrah-Merlot (2006)

Sainte-Croix Syrah-Merlot 2006I am finishing the bottle of Sainte-Croix Syrah-Merlot 2006 tonight. Tom is finishing a bottle of Il Valore Sangiovese 2006. I have a pot of long-grain brown rice simmering in chicken broth and I have chicken breasts marinating in vermouth, orange juice, and szechuan sauce. I’ll also make a salad and steam some broccoli for dinner.

Ahh, it is Friday night after a very demanding week. We are reading the paper and enjoying this relaxing end to the week. I really do like this wine very much. It is dry and tannic and light-to-medium bodied. There is just nothing off-putting about this wine. It is good from start to finish and I am definitely purchasing this one again. This is a great wine for Labor Day picnics! Pick up a bottle. . .

Sainte-Croix Syrah-Merlot (2006)

Sainte-Croix Syrah-Merlot 2006This Sainte-Croix Syrah-Merlot 2006 is another wine from Trader Joe’s that I purchased during a recent quick-shop stop. I can’t remember what I paid, but it was very reasonable — definitely under $10.

I am quite pleased with the quality of this wine. The color is a dusty purple – lighter than many wines I have had recently. The nose is pleasant and fresh. It smells like grass and cloves. The taste is intriguing. It is one of those interesting wines that taste light at the front of the palate, but explodes into a long and tasty finish of berries and oak and green peppers. It’s a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Shiraz. It is absolutely delightful. An excellent value. It will go well with our kielbasa, potato, and sauerkraut dinner tonight.

By the way, I picked up our two sons from the airport last night. They had been on a cross-country trip to Utah. Now they are back in Michigan and back to their normal lives. It was so wonderful to see them.I had to pick them up after a presentation I had done at a school east of Detroit, so they had to wait for over an hour for me. (They played frisbee.) But, when we finally got home (9:30 p.m.).

I had a pot roast ready that I had put in the crockpot that morning. So, we had time for a glass of wine. We opened a Burley Fox Shiraz. Tony said, “Oh, just like Tommy!” That made us laugh because Tony was basically saying that his brother was not only a “fox” but also “burly.” We love our sons! They bring us such joy!

René Barbier Mediterranean Red

Rene Barbier Mediterranean RedThis René Barbier Mediterranean Red is a red wine from Spain. It’s a combination of Tempranillo and Merlot. This is a full-bodied, medium dry wine that will go well with our grilled, marinated pork chops tonight. The color is a beautiful purple-violet. On the nose is ripe cherries and green peppers. On the palate is a hint of oak and vanilla. The tannins are soft and the finish is long with a definite taste of licorice.

I purchased this wine on my way home from work tonight at Trader Joe’s. I am very pleased with this selection. This one is certainly going to be on my “buy again” list. Driving to Trader Joe’s on my way home from work means I skip the expressway and take the stop-and-go slow route through Ann Arbor. This was worth it!


Three different red wines

threeTonight was a night to finish off the last of three bottles. We started with the Sleeping Bear Winery Merlot, then finished the rest of the Valréas Côtes Du Rhône Villages, and then, finally, the Reserve De L’Estey Médoc. We just decided, since we had a little bit in three bottles, to finish them. It’s a beautiful evening in Michigan and we are sitting on our patio.

For dinner tonight, I have a fresh-baked loaf of whole wheat bread, and a pot of turkey/garlic/potato/asparagus soup. (This is my own invention and it is fabulous. If you want the recipe, let me know.) Although it is a summer night, I was in the mood for a cozy meal tonight.

Sleeping Bear Winery Merlot

Sleeping Bear Winery MerlotThis Sleeping Bear Winery Merlot is a wine that we have previously reviewed. We purchased a case of red wine from this winery (Cherry Creek Cellars) and included 2-3 bottles of the Merlot. This is a lovely merlot. I do not consider myself a huge merlot fan because I prefer the bigger, bolder complexity of a Cabernet Sauvignon; however, this merlot is simply delicious. Sometimes I find merlots almost syrupy. This merlot is not that. It has a mellow taste but it is dry and crisp.

I picked this to go with our pizza tonight. It’s pizza and movie night at the Werner household!

Seagull Winemaker’s Blend (2004)

Seagull Winemaker’s Blend 2004We have reviewed this Seagull Winemaker’s Blend 2004 before but, as always, I do not go back and read my previous post because I know that each time I taste a wine it can be different. This wine is from South Africa and is a delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This is a superb wine and would be completely appropriate for a special occasion. In the glass, it is deep plum and purple. The aroma is vanilla and cherries. I taste dark chocolate, pepper, cherries, and cedar. The flavor lasts a long time — a delightful finish.

We chose this wine because it is a Friday night – woo hoo! It was storming when we opened the wine but now the sky is clearing and we’ll be able to go outside and start the grill for dinner. It is 8:30 so I suppose I should get out there. (We have a habit of extending cocktail hour on Friday nights.) To sum up, this wine is special.

Reserve de L’Estey Médoc (2004)

Reserve de L’Estey Medoc 2004This Reserve de L’Estey Médoc 2004 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec. Now, I appreciate many different wines but it is fun to find a wine that I like immediately — that is not just interesting to me, but delicious. This is one of them. This is my kind of wine. The nose is fresh and pleasant. The color is a deep ruby. On the palate, it is spicy and earthy — with a woody, tobacco-y taste. The finish is very long and satisfying.

If you like a big red, I believe you should try this one. It’s a great value at $7 and an excellent choice for beef, pizza, or soup.

Valréas “Cuvée Prestige” Côtes du Rhône Villages

Valreas “Cuvee Prestige” Cotes du Rhone 2005This Valréas “Cuvée Prestige” Côtes du Rhône Villages, a French red Rhône, is a blend of grenache and syrah. Robert Parker, in Wines of the Rhone Valley and Provence, states that the village from which this wine is made is “the top private domaine of Valréas, among the most elegant of the Côtes du Rhône Villages wines.” Only 16 villages of this appellation are allowed to feature the village name on the label.

We chose this wine tonight to accompany grilled steak and salad for our dinner tonight. It will turn out to be a good choice because I believe it will hold its own and complement the steak nicely. It isn’t the least bit fruity, but rather it is spicy and dry. The nose is delicate, but the taste is rather audacious and a bit astringent. This is a wine for those that want a change from new-world, fruit-forward style wines. Drink this wine when you are relaxing and have time to sip and savor. I would suggest letting this one breathe for 15 minutes or so before serving.

Château Michel de Vert Lussac Saint-Emilion (2005)

Chateau Michel de Vert Lussac Saint-Emilion 2005This Château Michel de Vert Lussac Saint-Emilion 2005, a French blend of merlot and cabernet franc, is a lovely, mellow, and satisfying red wine. We purchased this wine at Trader Joe’s in Ann Arbor for $8.49. This will go well with out dinner tonight. Because it is a dark, rainy, and chilly night in Michigan, and because I have an abundance of ripe tomatoes in my little garden, I have made a cast-iron skillet chili with nothing but fresh ingredients! A little ground beef, garlic, onions, thyme, oregano, tumeric, black beans, cannelli (white) beans, kidney beans, and about six freshly-chopped tomatoes picked right from the vine! It is simmering now while we read the paper, talk, and enjoy our cocktail hour.

This Château Michel de Vert Lussac Saint-Emilion 2005 has a very pleasant nose and a mild taste on the palate. The finish is short but delicious. I think it is fresh — just like the tomatoes. I would purchase this again!

Tom: This Château Michel de Vert Lussac Saint-Emilion 2005 is tannic and tasty. It’s on the soft side compared to some Bordeaux, which makes sense given that it’s 80% merlot and 20% cabernet franc (no cabernet sauvignon). An interesting and delicious wine.