Tuesday, June 27, 2006


This lively Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand's famed Marlborough region is a mix of fruit from three vineyards on the northern bank of the Awatere River. This is the third vintage for The Crossings and the first which has included grapes from the Willow Flat Vineyard.


Vibrant, faded yellow in color with light green highlights reminiscent of unripe fruit. The nose of this wine has a distinct vegetable edge. Lots of zippy acidity with flavors of honeydew, watermelon, lime and a nutmeg-like spice. There are actually two finishes to this wine which is incredibly complex for Sauvignon Blanc. The first one is that of tart apple (almost like Sweet Tarts) that seems to go on and on for a good 30 seconds. It is followed up by soft vanilla notes that emerge out of nowhere.


90 PTS
Complex, fascinating Sauvignon Blanc with highly distinct and unique flavors. Wonderful offering at an outstanding price of around $12 a bottle. Phenomenal effort that outshines some of the better known and regarded SB wines from New Zealand.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Pomerol is a small distinct region of Bordeaux that produces red wine made predominantly from Merlot grapes. It is the only great wine district that does not have an official classification. Chateau Petrus is the most famous wine from this region. La Fleur de Bouard is a solid producer from Pomerol that offers quality wine at mid-level prices.


Heavy aromas of lead pencil and earthy minerals. Wonderful plum, mocha and licorice underscored by classic Bordeaux terroir flavors. Smooth with very dry tannins.


90 PTS
This is an exceptionally polished wine with very good fruit. It is still young, but very drinkable and approachable now. It opened up quickly but the lead pencil aromas had completely disappeared by the second day leaving behind a straightforward fruity, velvety wine. Retails for around $40 and an excellent example of the great 2000 Bordeaux vintage as well as the quality that can be found in Pomerol.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


This Napa California blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc is aged 22 months in oak.


Deep purple in color with cherry and dark fruit flavors, spice and licorice. Young and a bit harsh on the finish, but lots of acidity.


88 PTS
This is a good wine but unless it matures and comes together after cellaring, it is not a good value. At around $22 a bottle, you are much better off with red blends like Bogle's Phantom, Thackrey's Pleiades, and Luce Della Vite Lucente which are far superior.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Eponymous (adj) - a person whose name is or is thought to be the source of the name of something.

Winemaker Bob Pepi is an innovative winemaker of Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese in Napa Valley. He sold the winery that carried his namesake and started this new winery cleverly titled "Eponymous." Pepi produces Cabernet Sauvignon exclusively in Napa at Eponymous.


Clean, ripe blackberry, currant and oak with mouth-drying tannins. Upon tasting again the second day, the wine opened up considerably yielding softer, lusher fruit and a rounder mouthfeel.


91 PTS
Excellent mouth puckering tannins with good acidity. This wine will age for at least another 5 years. Retails for around $40 a bottle which is an excellent value for Napa Cabernet of this caliber.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


The Borra winery is located in Lodi, California. The Borra Fusion is a blend of 54% Syrah, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 5% Zinfandel.


Aromas of cherry-vanilla with creamy blackberry flavors and a hint of licorice. Even at 5%, the Zinfandel clearly shows adding a bit of spice to the wine. Solid structure, yet a weak, water-thin finish that quickly disappears.


88 PTS
I was suprised by the creamy oak and complexity of this wine, however for such a rich blend it finishes incredibly thin. At $16 a bottle, it is hard to complain for the wine exceeds its price point. If it wasn't for the thin finish, this wine would be outstanding.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Father's Day is coming up fast which means a tremendous amount of bad wine will be purchased and bestowed upon men across the country. But don't worry, Winecentric is here to help you avoid any wine blunders this year with a Top 10 list of great, affordable selections that will be sure to please Dad. The list consists of a mix of 10 white and red varietals so there's something for every taste preference. Best of all, each choice should be readily available at your local store for under $20 a bottle.

#10 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc / Viognier 2004 - $10

A crisp, refreshing semi-sweet white blend for the summer that is full of citrus, melon, and peach. Pine Ridge makes great wines at all price levels and this unique blending of lesser known white varietals Chenin Blanc and Viognier is one of my favorites year after year. From California.

#9 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2004 - $16

Seghesio makes some of my favorite red Zinfandels. Their Old Vine Zin is always impressive. If Dad likes zesty reds, this lush cherry flavored wine is your best bet. From California.

#8 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2005 - $12

Apple tanginess and citrus abound in this sweet golden white from New Zealand.

#7 Saintsbury Pinot Noir Garnet 2004 - $15

Pungent cherry aromas echo in the glass. Bing cherry, soft raspberry and spice on the tongue. A terrific wine to pair with BBQ'd salmon. This red has a graceful finish with lingering sweetness. From California.

#6 Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Riesling 2003 - $10

Honey and floral flavors are nicely integrated into this white Riesling with just the right sweetness and fruit. Bonny Doon is a consistent California producer of affordable wines and even Dad will love the cool clear bottle and artsy label.

#5 Columbia Crest Grand Estate Merlot 2002 - $9

Chocolate, blueberry and dark fruit round out this silky red. Lots of nice fruity aromas in the glass. From Washington State.

#4 Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc 2004 - $15

Another Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand makes the list. Summer is only a few weeks away, so Dad will be looking for some sweet, chilled whites. This one won't disappoint. The color is sun-kissed yellow with tangy grapefruit and traditional grassy flavors you get from SB.

#3 Can Blau Montsant 2003 - $13

Lots of minerals, raspberry, blueberry and dark fruit. A blend of Carignan, Syrah and Garnacha from Spain with a delicious finish.

#2 Waterbrook Melange 2004 - $13

Ripe blackberries, plum and cherry with earthy, cedar notes. This lush and easy to drink red will have you wanting to book a flight to Washington State to taste the grapes from this winery right off the vine.

#1 Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre 2001 - $15

Top quality Italian red blend that is like a "mini-Amarone." Purple in the glass with earthy minerals accenting deep blackberry and raisin flavors. A steal at $15 or less!

This post is also featured on Vagablond, your site for best in travel, food and wine.

Friday, June 09, 2006


It is my birthday today so I celebrated it by opening up a terrific bottle of Cabernet. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Fay from Napa Valley is approximately 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot.


Lush and sleek with sharp acidity, the mid-palate tastes just like biting into a fresh plum. There are nice creamy vanilla hints on the finish and waves of currant and smoky oak that linger on the tongue.


91 PTS
I love this wine. It is not as impressive as the 2002 FAY, but still a luxurious Cabernet with finesse, character, and power. The scent of this wine is alluring. A terrific sipping wine that keeps you sniffing the glass even when it's empty.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Perhaps you first heard of Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard when it was satired in the movie Sideways as "Frass Canyon." Or perhaps you know it as "Daniel Boone" wine. Either way, Fess Parker has been making quality wine for years and the Syrahs from this winery are often exceptional.


Ripe strawberries on the nose with strong cherry, spice and oak flavors.


87 PTS
This is a big Santa Barbara Syrah with lots of tannin and structure but the 14.6% alcohol seriously overwhelmed the fruit. There is a lot of heat on the finish which really impairs the enjoyment of this wine right now. I decanted the wine immediately after pulling the cork, but even 24 hrs later it was pretty harsh. It is built to age and may improve significantly with more time in the bottle, but how much it will improve is hard to say.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


From Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo Country this 14.8% alcohol Zinfandel was bottled in November of 2004. Ridge has been making Zinfandel from Dusi Ranch since 1967 and it is their only Central Coast vineyard. The wine spent 13 months in air-dried American oak which adds some spice.


Made from 100% Zinfandel, this wine is so lush that when it first hits your tongue you'll swear it is Cabernet Sauvignon. When the finish reveals itself, it is clearly Zin with pepper and spice. The mid-palate is full of plum, licorice, earth, dried herbs, and creme.


90 PTS
Ridge has always been a master of blending varietals, yet this pure Zinfandel is tremendous. Silky with firm acidity, ripe fruit and a spiced pepper finish it is about as good as Zin gets. Retails at $25 a bottle which amounts to pennies per luxurious sip after sip. Visit Ridge Vineyards.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Magnotta has been producing Icewine in Canada since 1991. Vidal Icewine is made from the Vidal grape which is a cross between white grapes from Europe and North America. The Vidal grape has a very thick skin which allows it to resist extreme cold and still thrive.

Harvesting Icewine is a unique process. Grapes are left on the vine until December or January which causes sugars and acids to concentrate in the grapes. When temperatures fall below 15 degrees F, the water inside the grapes turns to ice and the frozen crystals are separated from the juice. The grapes are often picked at night by hand and crushed while they are still frozen. Like Germany, the cold weather makes Canada an excellent location to grow Icewine.


Thick, luscious, deep golden wine the color of apple cider. Tremendous concentration, with scents and flavors of apricot, peach, pear and honey.


92 PTS
Phenomenal color with a 22 Sugar level it is unctuous and sweet with sharp acidity. Wonderful pairing to desserts and sharp cheeses.