Atalaya “Laya” (2012)

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Laya 2012Atalaya “Laya”

Red Blend: 

70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell

YEAR: 2012

REGION: SPAIN

AVERAGE RETAIL: $10 

What they say about it:

“Laya is 70% Garnacha Tintorera — Alicante Bouschet — and 30% Monastrell planted around 1000 metres (3280 feet) above sea level and aged for 4 months in French oak. Garnacha Tintorera is known for its deep color and here it coats the glass and imparts aromas of brooding black fruits, licorice, espresso, and pepper. Dense, savory, and rich.”

What I say about it:

This wine is another market find. I haven’t been branching out much beyond my safety zone of wines from the Northwest and CA lately so I decided to pick up the red blend from Spain recently. The 2012 Laya is a very big and bold wine and if you are a fan of bold “old world” wines, I recommend it. 

Out of the bottle and into the glass. This is a big wine and a letting it breath (or aerating) opened it up more. A very deep garnet to purple color with very long legs in the glass. My first impressions were deep and rich tones – earthy (flint), licorice, coffee / espresso, leather and tobacco. Oddly the fruit, mainly cherry, hit me afterwards on the finish rather than up front. Slight touch of oak and smoke also noted. Medium body but a little heavy on the tannins. For it’s price, it does have characteristics of older and more expensive wines. Proving that price isn’t the only indicator for a good wine. Overall I liked it. My only reservation, a little too bold on some notes for me, particularly the licorice and espresso, for my taste, but easily recommended.

Would Bukowski drink it?  I ever tell you about this Spanish broad I met at the track? Gimme that wine. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Bukowski Quotes on Drinking: Entry #3

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bukowski028“I like to change liquor stores frequently because the clerks got to know your habits if you went in night and day and bought huge quantities. I could feel them wondering why I wasn’t dead yet and it made me uncomfortable. They probably weren’t thinking any such thing, but then a man gets paranoid when he has 300 hangovers a year.”
—Charles Bukowski, Women

Zen of Zin “Old Vine Zinfandel” (2011)

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Zen of ZinZen of Zin “Old Vine Zinfandel”

Zinfandel

YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: California

AVERAGE RETAIL: $11 

What they say about it:

“This Zenful Zin has bright, ripe scents of cherry and strawberry jam; spice vanilla and orange peel complete the exotic aura. Very juicy, fresh, ripe and round flavors give the impression of boldness without heaviness. The finish is long, soft and flavorful.”

What I say about it:

I spotted this wine at my local market on sale for $7.99. I am continually on the search for good wines under $10 and Zinfandel wines are among my favorite reds so I had to give it a try. The Zen of Zin brand is actually made by Ravenswood, reknown for their Zins.

Out of the bottle it was very drinkable. It’s a jammy type of Zin with long legs in the glass. It’s on the fruitier side and would agree that my first impression was strawberry followed by plums. It’s a lighter Zin and I quite enjoyed it. Very easy to drink. Flavorful but not overpowering. I think this is best matched with spicy and savory dishes. I had it with some pizza (topped with sausage, onion and sun ripened tomatoes) which it matched really well. Overall a good drinkable and tasty wine. A steal for $7.99, but just not great.

Would Bukowski drink it?  $7 buck is a steal. Put it on my tab. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc “Rutherford” (2012)

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Frog's Leap Sauvignon BlancFrog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc “Rutherford”

Sauvignon Blanc

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: Napa Valley: Rutherford

AVERAGE RETAIL: $20

What they say about it:

“Light-bodied, smooth and juicy, featuring crisp lemon and green apple notes at the core, with aromatic details of fresh thyme and lemon verbena.”

What I say about it:

I had the pleasure of visiting Frog’s Leap Winery and having a special tasting when I was in Napa Valley last Fall for my brother’s wedding. Frog’s Leap is one of my favorite wineries and I really enjoy their whites. The 2012 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent example of why I enjoy them so much. Out of the bottle and into the glass. My first impression is it’s fresh crispness, a burst of fruit with peach, citrus and apple as well as a grassy and herby nose with just a slight hint of floral (orange blossoms and the mentioned lemon verbena). It has a freshness that reminds you of summer and sunnier warmer days. I particularly enjoyed it on a rather typical gloomy late Fall evening in Seattle that was about as far from Summer as possible.

Great wines have the ability to not only satisfy but the pallet but also the soul and the Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc from Frog’s Leap is such a wine. I highly recommend trying it. It will stand up well with lighter fair such as pasta, fish, shellfish, oysters, and poultry. It will also pair perfectly with some pears, a nice blue cheese, olives and some rustic bread.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Sometimes you just have to piss in the sink. Sometimes you have to drink good wine too. Crack open another Dave!

Overall Rating: 5 BUKS

5-BUKS

Northwest Wine Academy “Baywatch Baxter” Rosé Wine (2012)

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20131201_172015Northwest Wine Academy “Baywatch Baxter”

Rosé

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: Washington State: Columbia Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $16

What they say about it:

“Deliciously, mouthwatering and refreshingly dry: bright, with flavors of cherry, rhubarb and cranberry with a hint of white pepper and a bit of creaminess.‘”

What I say about it:

Last night’s lazy Sunday dinner was Thai take out. For me Thai and most Asian cuisine goes best with Rosé wines. This is also a throwback to my earliest wine indulging meals which usually consisted of Chinese food with only the finest white zinfandel (in the largest volume purchasable). Rosé is more readily available in the summer but more and more I am seeing it year round. Luckily my neighborhood market in the Fremont district of Seattle, has a great selection of wines including half a dozen or more Rosé wines year round. The Northwest Wine Academy “Baywatch Baxter” Rosé peaked my interest and I had it once before so I wanted to revisit it.

Like most Rosé wines, the “Baywatch Baxter” is first and foremost a fresh and fruity wine. It is slightly dry but very bright and has a really nice mouthfeel. In addition to the fruits the maker suggests, cherry, rhubarb and cranberry, I also tasted watermelon, particularly watermelon rind. This is actually a flavor / finish I love (not only in wine but also oysters go figure). I felt it paired really well with the spice of the Thai food and would recommend it with similar meals as well as BBQ and grilled meats and fishes. It would also go well with pizza. Very drinkable and quite enjoyable.

Would Bukowski drink it? This sh*t is like candy Dave. 

Overall Rating: 4 BUKS

4-BUKS