Charles & Charles Rosé (2013)


20140227_185638Charles & Charles Rosé

Rosé:  Syrah (86%) Mourvedre (2%), Cinsault (6%) and Grenache (4%).

YEAR: 2013

REGION: US: Washington: Columbia Valley


What they say about it:

“The aromas pop with wild strawberry, rose, cherry, subtle hibiscus and a touch of citrus, with underlying dried herb, crushed gravel and mineral tones (2012). 

What I say about it:

I was surprised to see the 2013 Charles & Charles Rose at my local market. It’s not even listed on the winery website yet. This wine is one of my buddy Matt Rankin’s favorite Rose wines so when I am in the mood for a rose and see it, I usually pick up a bottle to have in my arsenal for when he comes over (or to drink and replace one in my wine fridge). It’s a particularly good rose that is easily recommended. The 2013 is a slight variation of previous vintages but is no less enjoyable.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….the color is a nice clear pink with a rhubarb tone.

The nose is first and foremost big on berries and fruit with strawberries, slight melon, with a touch of spice and earthiness (slate and crushed stone).

The taste echoes the nose with berries and a slight pucker and evervesance with big fruit flavors: peach, pear, asian pear, strawberries and apple with a touch of citrus. The wine is dry to off-dry and not overly sweet. It has a nice lite and delicate finish that is very well-balanced.

Overall a nice Rose with a good balance of fruit, acid and fruit. Easily enjoyable with BBQ, Asian foods (Thai) and similar savory yet sweet meals.

Would Bukowski drink it? If it’s pink, it will sink (in my belly). 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS



Tuck Beckstoffer Wines “Hogwash” Rosé (2012)


20140227_165711Tuck Beckstoffer Wines “Hogwash” Rosé

Rosé: 100% Rose of Grenache

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: California


What they say about it:

“Hogwash is all about fun in the warm summer months. Who could deny that most of our favorite summertime memories involve cold pink rose, toes in the sand, body surfing, and a plate full of pork. The design is as simple as the winemaking itself, basic components, clear expression, and simple satisfaction. 

What I say about it:

I was making a rack of ribs for dinner and a nice rosé was in order. I spotted the Hogwash Rosé in the meger winter selection of Rosé wine at my local QFC supermarket. The pig on the label jumped out at me and sometimes that’s all it takes to take a chance.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….The color is pink to peach with a slight light orange and cranberry hue. Very clean and bright.

The nose is full of berries with strawberries being front and center. A touch of vanilla and lavender with a slight sweet musky note as well.

On tasting, watermelon and strawberries were my first impression with a slight slate (minerally) finish that was a little short but pleasant but a little on the acidic side. The wine is sweet and it’s lower alcohol (12.9%) makes this a very easily drinkable wine to accompany BBQ, picnic meals and other food associated with summertime. Overall it’s a decent Rosé but nothing spectacular. I’d drink it again but not search it out.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Why not? I will drink anything. 

Overall Rating: 2 BUKS


Kunde “Magnolia Lane” Sauvignon Blanc (2012)


Kunde Sauvignon BlancKunde “Magnolia Lane” Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: California: Sonoma Valley


What they say about it:

A crisp yet smooth wine offering lemon zest and orange rind aromatics, grapefruit and yellow nectarine flavors, with lovely length across the palate.

What I say about it:

Every once and a while I stumble upon a wine that is exceptional. The Kunde “Magnolia Lane” Sauvignon Blanc from 2012 is one of those wines. Having randomly picked it from the market made it that much more fun of a discovery. After tasting it I am not surprised to find out it’s won the 2013 Sonoma County Harvest Fair Gold Medal and the 2013 Pacific Coast Oyster Award.

Out of the glass and into the bottle….The color of the “Magnolia Lane” Sauvignon Blanc is a clean yellow with a hint of peach to it. Short legs in the glass as the wine is dry.

The nose of the wine is very crisp with big citrus notes: green apples, lemon, grapefruit, orange blossom with honey and vanilla overtones.

The taste is perfectly balanced. Big, bright and crisp with nice acidity with tons of apple, pear, citrus, most notably grapefruit, with a nice full finish. As it warmed slightly I began to pick up more fruit, especially melon. The finish and mouth feel also made me think of the texture of ripe melon. It had a velvety smooth butteriness. There were some slight mineral notes as well.

The Kunde “Magnolia Lane” Sauvignon Blanc will pair well with poultry, seafood and lite savory dishes excellently. For fruits I would recommend dried apricots, figs, apples, and the like. For cheese it will go nice with delicate soft cheese like Brie but even stand up to the robust flavors of a Blue.

Overall this is a fantastic wine and I highly recommend you pick up a bottle to try for yourself. It’s a steal for under $20 as well.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Hey Dave, get a room but leave the bottle. 

Overall Rating: 5 BUKS


CK Mondavi “Willow Springs” White Zinfandel (2012)


20140211_204959CK Mondavi “Willow Springs” White Zinfandel

Rosé: 88% Zinfandel, 10% Sauvignon Blanc,  2% Other

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: California

AVERAGE RETAIL: $6 (or $10 if you are at a gas station, convenience store or similar retailer where you have limited options)

What they say about it:

Our White Zinfandel has a beautifully bright salmon color and aromas of strawberries and spice. Full of flavors, this wine has a refreshing crisp and clean finish. This wine is an ideal accompaniment to spicy Asian cuisine, chicken and picnic fare. Our family winery, established in 1943, has been committed to creating fine wines for four generations. We harvest grapes at their peak of ripeness from prime California vineyards, creating wines with fully developed flavors.‘”

What I say about it:

OK so I am traveling for work and I am stuck in San Antonio TX on a rather frigid night and did not want to venture very far for anything. It’s 34 out and in the last week I have been to Columbus Oh (where it was -4) and NJ where it was also quite cold. I ventured out to get some Thai, which in itself in downtown San Antonio meant quite a hike and my only option for wine that I came across was a discount liquor store. I walked in and the store’s shelves were more than half empty. The selection was non-existent and it was this or red moscato or pink sparkling wine. I at least have had Mondavi before, yes when I was 16 and took a chance.

Out of the convenient twist off cap and into the hotel glass….The color is pink with a hint of rustiness that may just be a really old bottle, judging from the dust on it.

The nose, amazingly is non-existent. Try as I might, I smell nothing but a slight berry soap smell. Sort of like the soap you’d expect in a teenage girl’s bathroom. Not even as good as something from Bath & Body Works or a Yankee Candle store.

The taste…oh lord. Sugar, sweet and an ever so slight touch of berries. Memories of Bartle and Jaymes , Boones Farm, and again some strange soapy flavor. The wine has no finish. It is very acidic and not very balanced.

Bottom line, if you are feeling nostalgic for the cheap wine you drank in high school, want a bad hangover, or feel like drinking wine that tastes like liquified Jolly Ranchers look no further. 

Would Bukowski drink it? Even I have standards Dave.  

Overall Rating:1 BUK (only because it is actually wine)


Peachy Canyon “Incredible Red” Zinfandel (2011)


20140203_191937Peachy Canyon “Incredible Red”


YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: California: Paso Robles


What they say about it:

“With a rich candied cherry nose this vibrantly-hued red wine bursts with bright strawberry and cherry fruit flavors. Pleasing acidity and structure are balanced by softer fruits and leather nuances on the mid-palate, leaving you with spicy oak, fennel and mocha in a long, lingering finish.”

What I say about it:

Peachy Canyon’s wines are among some of my favorites. They are an excellent maker and their Zinfandel wines are really outstanding. 

Out of the bottle and into the glass….The “Incredible Red” is deep ruby-red, true to the rim, with very long legs. Rich, clean and clear with no impurities.

The nose of the wine is big and bold with tons of berries and spice: black berries, clove, cinnamon, leather, smoke, wet earth, plums and fresh cut green peppers.

Tasting notes includes big jammy fruits notably overripe strawberries, a slight toasted oakiness, and leather. Full bodied with a long lingering finish with mellow but still firm tannins. Good acidity and very well balanced.

Overall an excellent wine and recommended.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Incredible is right. I got a wicked buzz.

Overall Rating: 4 BUKS


Airfield Estates “Bombshell Red” (2011)


20140131_193528Airfield Estates “Bombshell Red”

Red Blend:  57% Syrah, 16% Malbec, 10% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Sangiovese, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc 

YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: Washington State


What they say about it:

“A beloved favorite of many, this approachable signature red blend has dark overlapping aromas of plum, blackberry, and a hint of cocoa, leaving lingering flavors of dark fruit and toasted oak on the palate. With firm tannins and a round, full-bodied mouthfeel, this blend pairs well with a wide range of foods.”

What I say about it:

Having enjoyed another wine from Airfield Estates, I ventured to try another, this time a red blend. Once again they didn’t disappoint and I am quickly becoming a fan of their wines. This blend was quite good. 

Out of the bottle and into the glass….The wine’s color is rich ruby-red with deep purple tones. It has very long legs in the glass.

The nose of the wine is big, bold and spicy. Notes of cassis, plums, cherries, smoke, oak, leather, cocoa, sassafras, pepper, cinnamon and clove. It’s a very big wine with a lot to take in.

Tasting notes include smoke and leather upfront followed by big fruit – plum, tart pie cherries, and berries. The body of the wine to me was more medium to full-bodied, with long soft tannins and a long lingering finish; a little chalky with a nicely balanced acidity.

Overall easily recommended and quite enjoyable. I had this wine on its own but it will easily compliment grilled meats, savory dishes, dry cured meats, cheeses like Asiago, Manchego, Blue and sharp aged Cheddar.

Would Bukowski drink it?  The babe on the bottle sold me. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS