Thursday, April 26, 2007


2005 Siduri Cargasachi Vineyards
Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Shane’s Notes

The palate is jammy and shows dark fruit with smoke and bitter orange. It is very concentrated but not nearly as Syrah-like as many California Pinots. We both enjoyed it, but we both wish the palate were dialed down even more. We still haven’t quite found our favorite California Pinot region.

I say Cafaro, you say Cafarro…

Cafaro 2002 Merlot
Shane’s Notes

I told Jen that I really wanted to try a wine from Caffaro. Jen brought home this Merlot without realizing that there are two Cafaro wineries that are only separated by an “f” - Cafaro in Napa and Caffaro in Sonoma. It’s almost as confusing as the two Stag’s Leap wineries that are only separated by the placement of an apostrophe. Oh well, it was a tasty mistake. The initial palate entry shows sweet fruit, much sweeter than you would expect to find in a Merlot. The sweet fruit is followed by notes of tobacco and cedar. It was very easy drinking, and even our dog enjoyed it as she licked the wine dribbling down the outside of the bottle. However, $35 is a bit pricey for this one.

For the Love of Pete

1999 Pierre Peters, Mesnil-sur-Oger
100% Grand Cru Champagne
Jen’s Notes

Obviously, we had to get this. Had to. We were not disappointed. ThisChampagne was a tropical delight of banana and key lime. It was crisp,with bright acidity and minerality underneath. It boasted a long finish and was pleasantly prickly on the tongue. A deliciously concentrated and elegant Champagne. Enjoy it with your true love, even if that's just yourself.

Friday, April 20, 2007

O, Tanninbomb

2003 Keenan Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
Jen’s Notes

And I mean that in the best possible way. For me, a Cab without firm tannin is like a man without..... uh, nevermind.

Decant this one for at least an hour.

On the nose, the wine was deceptively subtle, with scents of spice, baked fruits and orange peel. In contrast, the palate was big and mouthfilling. The fruit flavors (brambly cherry and blackberry) were wonderfully dense and supported by pronounced tannin. There was a hint of tobacco for a pleasantly woody/spicy accent. The wine finished long, with good astringency. An excellent and unique Napa Cabernet.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tastes Like Victory

Piper Heidiseck
$10 for a spliff
Shane’s Notes

I went to a sports bar last night to watch the final Warriors game of the season. If they won, they would be in the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. They played the lowly Trailblazers and quickly went up by 20 points. However, after 12 years of disappointment, I nervous almost the entire game. Even when they were up by over 20 with five minutes left, I was still worried. They won and I hurried home and celebrated by opening the Piper Heidiseck. I have only one tasting note – it tasted like victory. Congratulations to the Warriors!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tremendous Tre Vigne

2004 Vietti, Barbera d’Asti
“Tre Vigne”
Shane’s Notes

This was a magnificent wine. The palate is very juicy and includes rich flavors of Blackberries, Cherries and candied Orange peel with a touch of spice. The tannins are very firm and the finish is dry which balances the juiciness of the palate. If we had our wine storage unit (which is on the way), I’d buy a case of this one.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stunning Champagne

Fleury Champagne, Rose de Saignee, NV
Jen's Notes

This was a perfect choice for a birthday present, from my brother in law. We are becoming convinced that growers' Champagnes are where it’s at in the world of bubbly, offering up distinctive flavors at amazing prices. At a mere $35.00, this is in the running for the best Champagne we have ever had, beating a number of wines with price points north of $100.

This bubbly is a gorgeous, deep pink color. On the nose, it boasts sweet herbal/floral notes layered over leesy, creamy scents. The palate is stunningly complex, including cranberry, fennel, and more of that rich, leesy, cream character. It is full-bodied and quite distinctive. Interestingly, we found that it was the perfect level of effervescence, which is to say, until we tasted this Champagne, we hadn't realized that sometimes, sparkling wine can just be too bubbly, making your palate prickle, and obscuring other qualities in the wine. The bubbles in the Fleury were persistent, but measured, and created the perfect collier de perles at the meniscus