Tres Valles Curico Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

Tres Valles Curico Valley 2006We got this Tres Valles Curico Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 today from one of our wine clubs. We decided to give it a try tonight because it is Friday – woo hoo! This Chilean red is full bodied with a nose of tobacco and mint. On the palate is red and black fruit with a hint of eucalyptus.

This is a very fine wine and will go great with our dinner of chicken/broccoli/pasta casserole and salad. Happy Friday!

Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage (2006)

Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage 2006This delicious Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage 2006 from South Africa is a fruit forward wine with notes of blackberry and herbs accompanied by black earth, smoke and acidic undertones. This dark red wine is medium bodied with grippy tannins. Tom purchased this wine for under $10 and we feel it is an excellent-valued wine.

Tonight, I taught the final class of an eight-week graduate-level course in educational leadership. I will sincerely miss my students because they were intelligent, passionate, and perceptive. I loved every single one of them. They invited me to the bar to celebrate the end of our class, but I did not join them because I have an early-morning meeting tomorrow. However, this “clink” is to them . . . and I’ll tell you each of their names from memory as I picture each and every student tonight.

Here’s to you Emily, Lisa, Paula, Michael, Emma, Melissa, George, Scott, Jennifer, Kathryn, Karen, Matt, Amy, Jason, Brian (yes, I am visualizing you as you sit in the classroom from right to left). Cheers to you and congratulations to you for finishing the Organizational Theory class!

Nine Vines Shiraz Viognier (2006)

Nine Vines Shiraz 2006Okay, everyone. I know that I tend to be a very positive wine reviewer. But that is because I appreciate most red wines. But THIS wine deserves accolades. The Nine Vines Shiraz Viognier 2006 is an unusual combination of 94% Shiraz and 6% Viognier. Viognier is a white wine that tastes much like a red. This combination is shockingly delicious. On the nose I note fruit and flowers. In the mouth the wine is juicy apricots and black pepper. It has a delicate feel with moderately-grippy tannins. This wine makes me swoon, quite frankly.

For dinner, I used the leftover roasted chicken from two nights ago and assembled a chicken casserole with broccoli and pasta. This wine will be perfect for this dinner. I highly recommend this wine.

Veo Grande Cabernet Sauvignon (2005)

Veo Grande Cabernet Sauvignon 2005Tom purchased this Veo Grande Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 for under $10. We opened it tonight (Monday) as we usually do for cocktail hour as we read the newspaper and talk about our day. We’ll have this wine tonight with braised pork chops, chicken broth and mushroom sauce, potatoes, vegetable and a salad.

The wine is a good weekday choice. While not fancy or opulent, it is an adequate and satisfying midweek quaff. The nose is strong on tobacco and cigar box, which is not a favorite nose for me but I have acquired an appreciation for it. The palate is dark chocolate and a bit of mint and herbs. This is a wine that grows more delicious as it breathes. This is the perfect Monday-night red. Cheers!

Hamilton Estates Merlot (2003)

Hamilton Merlot 2003

We decided that today was “Open That Bottle Night.” It was really last night, but we were busy last night and couldn’t indulge in this special occasion. This wine is special to us because it was a gift from Tom’s parents. This is our last bottle. This Hamilton Estates Merlot 2003 is a bright ruby red. The nose is black fruit, cigars, and black tea. On the palate is berries, dark earth, and strawberry jam.

I am roasting an organic chicken with potatoes and carrots tonight. I rubbed olive oil on the chicken, sprinkled it with fresh parsley, and put it in the oven at 450 degrees for an hour. Then I added the vegetables and some chicken broth and turned the oven down to 350. It is smelling quite delicious. I will also make a salad. This is a soft and velvety wine with gentle tannins. This is a delicious wine.

Tom: This Hamilton Estates Merlot 2003 is rich and fruity, medium bodied, soft but still dry. The nose is blackberries and tobacco. A very sophisticated merlot. This will complement beautifully with our roast chicken.

Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2006Tom purchased this Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 at our local grocery store on sale for $7.99. It is a very decent red wine. The color is a dark garnet in the glass. The nose is predominantly black cherries with a touch of cloves. On the palate is an interesting blend of fruit, herbs (perhaps dill?), and pepper. The finish tastes like one of those square caramels wrapped in cellophane.

For dinner I have made a pot of vegetable soup and a loaf of whole wheat bread, which is just cooling out of the oven. This wine will complement the dinner nicely.

Tom: This Smoking Loon Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 is a very nice cab. It has a chocolaty taste with maybe a bit of malt. It’s medium to full bodied. A very pleasant quaff at a nice price.

Bradgate Syrah (2004)

Bradgate Syrah 2004This Bradgate Syrah 2004 from South Africa is quite pungent when first opened and then settles down after decanting. The nose is black licorice while on the palate I taste a variety of juicy plums, bramble, and lilacs. I also detect peppercorns and bay leaves on the finish.

This is a different-tasting Syrah from what I am accustomed. And this is one of the many things I enjoy about wine — new tastes that are challenging to describe — flavors that are complex, yet familiar. The wine mellows beneath the warmth of your hand on the glass and it transforms with the air that it breathes. Cheers!

Lagone Toscana (2005)

Lagone Toscana 2005This Lagone Toscana 2005, an Italian red table wine, is a delicious surprise. We opened it tonight (Tuesday) to accompany a dinner of pizza and . . . wine! It is superb. I definitely want to get more of this wine. We cannot recall where we purchased this wine, but I think Tom bought it for me for Christmas (along with a variety of other wines). I think all of those bottles were in the $10 – $15 range. It is the quintessential Italian red table wine — dry, not sweet, with a finish of coffee and chocolate. It is absolutely lovely!

We are, yet again, experiencing a winter storm. There is a winter-storm warning in our county and I am grateful to be home after a treacherous drive (26 miles) home from work. Cheers!

180 Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon (2006)

180 Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon 2006This 180 Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from California is just wonderful. I chose it for this very cold Monday-in-February night to accompany our dinner of braised brats, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and salad.

The color is deep violet. In the mouth the wine is bursting with blueberries, blackberries, and a touch of vanilla. The finish is long with hints of pencil shavings, coffee, and chocolate. I am glad I purchased six bottles of this delicious wine. Cheers!

Pico Syrah (2005)

Pico Syrah 2005I am finishing this bottle of Pico Syrah 2005, which we opened last night. This is a lovely and delicious red wine. I rated this wine as over $10 but I believe you can purchase it for a bit under $10. I received it as a wine-club shipment, and with the cost of shipping it exceeded $10. This is a rich and tasty syrah, full of blackberries and black dirt. There is the expected pepper in the aftertaste, which is long and spicy.

We are having extreme weather in Michigan today. Blowing and drifting snow, sub-zero temperatures, with a brutal wind chill. We are thankful to be safe in our warm and cozy home. I have a pot of soup on the stove for a light supper tonight.