Fir Crest “Second Floor” Pinot Noir (2011)

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20141106_194339[1]Fir Crest “Second Floor” Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: Oregon: Willamette Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $15

What they say about it:

“Bright red fruits and floral notes on the nose, nicely concentrated berry flavors in the mouth, and a juicy, raspberry-tinged finish that trails on and on. Lovely now with grilled salmon or a simple roast chicken.”

What I say about it:

The “Second Floor” Pinot Noir is actually produced by the folks at Oregon’s Twelve Winery under a different label. I stumbled on it at my corner market and decided to give it a try. Always on the lookout for decent Pinot Noirs from Oregon in the $10-$20 range it was a good wine for tasting.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….

The color of the wine is a light purplish red with medium legs in the glass (13.9% alcohol). The nose of the wine is full of red fresh fruits: strawberries and cherries, with a touch of oak, violet, crushed stone, slight spice, tobacco, moss and we earth. The taste again is full of berries and fruit. Less so berries for me. Closer to tart pie cherries with a touch of oak, pepper and smoke. It has a soft lingering finish with soft tannins. A touch acidic and not as well balanced as I’d like to see in a Pinot but still enjoyable.

For me Pinot’s need to be great and not just good. This was just a good Pinot. I wanted a little more complexity and better mouth feel. The Second Floor is drinkable and I’d recommended it if you are looking for a new Pinot to try from Oregon. It will pair well with softer robust cheeses and everything from red meat to turkey to even chicken.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Pinot? Pee yes. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Badia a Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti (2012)

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20141022_175028Badia a Coltibuono “Cetamura” Chianti

Chianti (Sangiovese Blend): 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo

YEAR: 2012

REGION: Tuscany, Italy

AVERAGE PRICE: $14

What they say about it:

“Intense bright ruby red, cherry and blackberry nose with cinnamon and clove nuances. Full and well-balanced, soft but tasty, with good structure. Pleasant acidity, clean and persistent aftertaste.”

What I say about it: 

I am still very much a novice with Italian wines and hope to take a class or attend a region specific tasting to educate myself soon. I seem to be comfortable with Chiantis since they are affordable and the least intimidating. I was having eggplant parmesan for dinner and the Badia a Coltibuono “Cetamura” Chianti jumped off the shelf at my local market.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….

The color of the wine is a bright garnet plum red. Short legs in the glass. The nose of the wine is full of cherries with light oak and smoke as well as tobacco and leather with the above mentioned clove and cinnamon. I also detected a bit of a flinty (pumice) note. The taste of the wine is likewise full of cherries as well as plums with oak, a slight licorice and sassafras flavor with a touch of violets. Full bodied yet still fruity. Dry with a long finish and soft well developed tannins.

Overall quite enjoyable and recommended. Very much an old world style wine which is what you expect from a Chianti. For food pairing, of course, the Badia a Coltibuono “Cetamura” Chianti is a natural match for Italian foods especially those with tomatoes and more rustic flavors. For cheese I would recommend Pecorino, Grana Padano and Aged Asiago. The rich drier sharp flavors of these cheeses and the full bodied Chianti will compliment each other nicely.

Would Bukowski Drink It?  It is snowing, it is Italy, it is cold…and the bread is hard…and there is no butter,
only wine. Drink up!

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Four Vines “Skeptic” Petite Syrah (2012)

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20141020_213642Four Vines “Skeptic” Petite Syrah

Syrah (Petite)

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: California: San Luis Obispo County: Paso Robles

AVERAGE RETAIL: $20

What they say about it:

“The ’12 Four Vines Skeptic Petie Sirah is smooth, showing an inherent fruitiness, with fresh crushed raspberry, cherry and plum flavors, and just a touch of spice and vanilla.”

What I say about it:

I have been forcing myself to try more and more Syrah and Petite Syrah wine lately. Tried this at a tasting at a national chain wine and spirits retailer that will remain nameless (since they don’t need any additional advertising) and picked up a few bottles. Revisited it for another taste.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….

The color of the wine is very deep purple with medium legs in the glass. Very clean to rim and bright. The nose of the wine is full of red fruit: cherries and berries, with a burnt sugar note, cocoa, a slight smoke but no oak. The taste of the wine is full of the same lush red fruit, cherries, raspberries and jammy, but not overly sweet. I picked up a little bit of a minerally finish and also touches of licorice and tobacco. Medium dry finish with soft well developed tannins and well balanced acidity.

Overall a nice drinkable red with a touch of spice but still fruity. I didn’t try this one this occasion with food, but would recommend pairing it with red meats, spicier, zesty fair, even a good burger. For cheese pairings sharp cheddar or gouda, anything robust.

Would Bukowski drink it? 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Bieler Pere et Fils “Sabine” Rosé (2013)

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20141020_190206Bieler Pere et Fils “Sabine”

Rosé:  55% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Grenache

YEAR: 2013

REGION: France

AVERAGE RETAIL: $10

What they say about it:

“The Bieler Pere et Fils Rose displays a light, bright cranberry color in the glass. In addition to the usual raspberry, cherry, and wild strawberry red fruit aromas, there’s a citrusy (grapefruit) and slightly floral note with the important underlying savory structure of lavender, grass and herbs de Provence.

What I say about it:

With the days of summer now gone and the colder, wetter days descending on the city of Seattle, my occasions for drinking Rosé decrease much like the daylight. However on this night Thai was on the menu, which for me, means a Rosé. Always on the lookout for one I haven’t tried, the Bieler Pere et Fils Rose jumped off the shelf.

So out of the bottle and into the glass…. The color of the wine is blush pink with slight peachy tone coming through (amber). It’s clean and clear to the rim. The nose of the wine is full of citrus and floral with peach, apples, strawberries and a touch of cinnamon.

The tasting notes include apples, cranberries, strawberries, peach and watermelon. There is a slight minerally (slate) undertone as well. It’s what you expect in a Rosé but on the Medium to Dry side. It has a crisp finish that is balanced but leaning toward acidic. Enjoyable and easy to drink. It complimented my Thai dinner nicely and would go well with similar spicy Asian and Indian cuisine as well as BBQ. 

Would Bukowski drink it?  Let’s drink to Louis-Ferdinand Céline! Bottoms up. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Brazin’ “(B)Old Vine” Zinfandel (2012)

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20141014_215152Brazin’ “(B)Old Vine”

Zinfandel

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: California: Dry Creek Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $16 

What they say about it:

“The 2012 Brazin Zinfandel is big, bold and offers aromas of rich black fruit and mocha that mingle with hints of spice and soft vanilla. Intense, ripe plum and jammy blackberry rock the palate of this daring Zinfandel. Balanced acidity and lingering tannins add complexity, concentration and depth to the finish.”

What I say about it:

I have been a fan of Brazin’s Zinfandels for years. They are great affordable easy to drink and find reds for anyone that enjoys big, bold and spicy wine. This was my first spotting of the 2012 Dry Creek Valley so I picked up a few bottles.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….

The color of the wine is garnet to purple. Clean to the rim with short legs in the glass. The nose of the wine is full of rich bold features: smoke, leather, spice, pepper, ripe cherries, plums and a slight musk. The taste of the wine is full of cherries, blackberries and red fruit with slight cocoa, leather, oak, vanilla, violet and a touch of lavender. It has a medium finish with soft tannins and was slightly sweet at first but after breathing less sweet and more off dry.

In general it’s another big, bold and spicy Zin from Brazin that is easily recommended. This wine pairs well with any red meat dishes, especially anything grilled, and anything zesty (curry for example). For cheese pairings I would recommend Parmesan, Aged Cheddar, Aged Gouda, Asiago, or Dry Jack.

Would Bukowski drink it?  I am bold and old so hell yeah. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Le Vieille Ferme Recolte (2013)

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20140415_193345Le Vieille Ferme Recolte

Rosé:  Grenache, Syrah nad Cinsault (blend % not listed)

YEAR: 2013

REGION: France: Rhone

AVERAGE RETAIL: $8-10

What they say about it:

“The wine has a beautiful rose color, a flora nose with hnts of aniseed and brown sugar. The mouth is on notes of white flowers, cherries and fruit drops. The finish is fresh and balanced. 

What I say about it:

It was another Thai night in the Kurtiak/Jones household so that meant a search for a Rosé wine for dinner. I have had the Le Vieille Ferme Recolte on many occasions and thought a proper review was in order. It’s a relatively inexpensive wine easily found at wine shops and markets alike. At $10 or less, it’s a very drinkable Rosé wine.

So out of the bottle and into the glass…. The color of the wine is blush pink with the grenache tone coming through the most (more red than amber). It’s clean and clear to the rim. The nose of the wine is sweet with berry notes, sweet blossoms, and a slight touch of watermelon.

The tasting notes include cherries, berries, with slight acid, and lots of caramel brown sugar and tartness. It’s what you expect in a Rosé on the sweeter side. Easily drinkable and it compliments spicier meals and reminds me that it’s Spring with days outside and BBQ around the corner. 

Would Bukowski drink it? Come on Dave, $8 bucks? I am in. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Charles & Charles Rosé (2013)

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20140227_185638Charles & Charles Rosé

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

YEAR: 2013

REGION: US: Washington: Columbia Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $10-12

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

3-BUKS