Airfield Estates “Bombshell Red” (2011)

Standard

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

AVERAGE RETAIL: $16-$18

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

3-BUKS

Advertisements

Airfield Estates “Runway” Syrah (2011)

Standard

Airfield SyrahAirfield Estates “Runway” Syrah

Syrah

YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: Washington state: Yakima Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $16 

What they say about it:

“This dark, concentrated Syrah possesses flavors of dark berry, clove, and white pepper. With silky smooth tannins and a plush round mouthfeel, this well-balanced wine pairs great with lamb, beef, and aged gouda.”

What I say about it:

Tonight we enter the dark side, the dark side of wine. Airfield Estates’s Runway Syrah is a deep dark wine with lots of spice, berries and flavor. I am a novice when it comes to Syrah. Not a fan for the most part, as I tend to like slightly spicier heavier wines like Zinfandel and find Syrah a red headed stepchild of Zins. This said, based on the abuse I receive from friends when I say “I am not into Syrah”, I’ve forced myself to taste them from time to time. I recently tried a Syrah from Jones of Washington that I really enjoyed (but only had a half bottle from the night before in the fridge which was not suitable for a review) so on my stop to my market for the wine fridge, I picked up a bottle the 2011 Airfield Estates’s “Runway” Syrah to sample. 

Out of the bottle and into the glass….the color of this Syrah is striking, very deep purple, true to the rim of the glass. Dark, boding and clear. The nose is full of spice, most notably pepper and clove with a touch of woodsiness and smoke, and a touch musk. I also detected hints of crushed dark fruits, mostly cherries, as well as a slight crushed violet and geranium notes. 

Syrah is most often associated with pepper and blackberries and the Airfield Estates “Runway” Syrah delivers. Berries and pepper were definitely my first impression upon tasting. Subtler tasting notes included a touch of coffee, licorice, cassis and dark fruits, particularly plums.

The body is medium plus with a nice finish; long soft tannins, with a smooth velvety mouth feel. Really enjoyable and highly drinkable.

For pairing the Airfield Estates “Runway” Syrah would match well with grilled meats, full mature cheese like aged gouda or a smoked mozzarella, cured meats as well as similar fruits the wine resembles, dried cherries, apricots and figs for example.

Overall a nice Syrah that is very drinkable, fresh yet complex enough to enjoy on its own. 

Would Bukowski drink it? DId you mean Dark Side of the Moon? What the hell Dave, its wine, just drink it. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Domaine du Petit Bondieu Bourgueil (2010)

Standard

BourgueilDomaine du Petit Bondieu Bourgueil

Cabernet Franc

YEAR: 2010

REGION: FRANCE: Rhone-Alpes

AVERAGE RETAIL: $12

What they say about it:

“Deeply-coloured. Distinctive nose with floral and fruity aromatics. On the palate, tightly-wound, refined stuffing framed by fat yielding a pleasant, supple attack. More structured mid-palate brimming with freshness. A Bourgueil showing wonderful expression that will keep.”

What I say about it:

I try as often as I can to pick up a bottle that is outside of my comfort zone. I am rarely more uncomfortable than with French wine. My two years of French in high school are long-lost (apologies to Mrs. Constanza and Ms. Hennesey). So I decided to not only go French but to go with a French varietal I have never had. The Bourgueil is basically Cab Franc. When I learned this I was much less intimidated. Thank you Google. Now on with the wine. Out of the bottle and into the glass….

Color was bright, scarlet garnet red clear to the rim.

The nose of the wine, aka how it smells, was full of berries, slight floral notes, violets with a little pepper, slight smoke and woody notes.

The taste was slightly bitter at first, but sweet with a pucker. Plums, tart pie cherries, with slight tobacco and oak. Finish was shorter than I would have liked with soft tannins, medium bodied.

Having few points of reference for Cab Franc and none for this French varietal, I liked this but wasn’t blown away. I’d try it again. I had this with and while I was preparing a meal. In this case it was a grilled beef tenderloin and grilled vegetables. It held up well but wasn’t the best match for me.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Hey fancy pants, just drink the shit will you

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Some additional notes on the wine:

Bourgueil is the appellation for red wines from Bourgueil (and six surrounding communes) in the central Loire Valley wine region of France. Although technically a part of the Touraine district (which is defined by the political boundaries of the city of Tours), Bourgueil is markedly different from its neighbors and is often grouped together as a separate unit with Chinon, just the other side of the Loire river.

Cabernet Franc is a black-skinned French grape variety grown in most wine producing nations. The variety is most famously known as the third grape of Bordeaux and can be found in many of the world’s top Bordeaux blend wines. Cabernet Franc most commonly appears in blended red wines, where it adds herbaceous accents of tobacco and dark spice.

As a varietal wine, Cabernet Franc is light to medium-bodied and often shows vegetal characteristics, in particular green bell peppers. This has led many wine drinkers to incorrectly identify Cabernet Franc as unripe Cabernet Sauvignon, or even Carmenere. This has been highlighted in Friuli, Italy, where plantings that were thought to be Cabernet Franc were later classified as Carmenere.

Atalaya “Laya” (2012)

Standard

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

Zen of Zin “Old Vine Zinfandel” (2011)

Standard

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

Francesco Bonfio Chianti Colli Senesi (2012)

Standard

Francesco Bonfio Chianti Colli SenesiFrancesco Bonfio “Chianti Colli Senesi” 

Chianti (Sangiovese Blend)

YEAR: 2012

REGION: Tuscany, Italy

AVERAGE PRICE: $12

What they say about it:

Francesco Bonfio is not a made up Italian name. He is a wine merchant in Sienna and a friend who has been producing reasonably priced, honest Chianti for many years. This is not your big, extracted Brunello wannabe Chianti but rather a gentle, elegant wine with aromas of red fruit and fresh earth, a silky, softly tannic structure and pretty cherry/plum fruit. As with most Italian wines it shines with food and we would recommend simple pastas, roast chicken, pork or something with the aforementioned chanterelles.

What I say about it: 

I am fond of Chianti when having Italian food and on this particular evening it was pasta and meatballs. Like most Chianti wines in this price range, it’s a very drinkable everyday wine and excellent with a meal. My first impression was that it was on the dry side. I got a lot more of a chalky mouth feel and a lot of earthy tones first off. The finish brought out some subtle fruit (cranberry and pie cherries, more tart than sweet). The Francesco Bonfio “Chianti Colli Senesi ” is subtle and not bold like some Chianti wines can be. Overall I enjoyed it. It’s a value at its price and I would recommend it for drinking with a meal. On it’s own it may be a little too subtle.

Would Bukowski Drink It?  Gimme that bottle.

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Colonia Las Liebres “Bonarda Argentina” (2012)

Standard

20131119_201931Colonia Las Liebres “Bonarda Argentina”

Bonarda

YEAR: 2012

REGION: Argentina, Mendoza

What they say about it:

100% Bonarda Argentina grapes come from high-trellised vineyards located in a unique microclimate in the area of Medrano and Carrizal de Abajo, Mendoza. This area sits slightly higher than the neighboring vineyards to the north, which contributes to cooler nights, resulting in acid development and retention. The low fertility soils paired with parral trellising help control the natural vigor of the Bonarda vine, and deep soils with good drainage facilitate root development.

What I say about it: 

Out of the bottle and into the glass, the first thing that struck me was the color. Such a deep purple with a vibrant red hint. Really striking. My first nose of the wine was a little alcohol heavy. Letting it breath helped and I recommend aerating.  The wine opened up nicely. Lots of warm, deep berry flavors with slightly earthy tones.

Would Bukowski Drink It?  Most definitely.

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS