2019 Heritage de Chateau le Boscq Saint-Estephe

$16 at Costco.

Clear, dark purple in color, nice legs.

Aroma includes leather or cigar box, blackberry, and oak.

Nice, smooth in the mouth, subtle at first and thinking that it will die a quick Merlot-like death, but then it surprises by developing nice leather and dark fruit, with the heat building up in the back of the mouth and it has a strong finish.

A decent, everyday sipping wine for sure.

2019 Kirkland Saint-Julien Bordeaux

$18 at Costco.

Dark cherry color, nice legs.

I smell dark cherries or blackberries, chocolate, tobacco and cigar box.

Sort of week fruit and chocolate flavors at the start due to strong toasted oak of the barrel. Not unpleasant, but I expected more fruit and chocolate.

Nice, long lasting finish with tobacco and pepper.

I would buy this again at this price to go with a good steak.

2021 Trader Joe’s Petite Reserve Paso Robles Barbera

Dark, dense purple color.

Aromas include a chocolate brownie, dark cherries, oak, leather.

Flavors warm, thick, almost sweet dark fruit at the beginning.

Finish the dark fruit is hiding something more vegatative. As the fruit disapears, something bitter or astringent like rhubard starts to come out. It intensifies, then eases off slowly.

It’s quite good, but tastes a lot like a typical Paso Robles Syrah rather than a Barbera. Don’t take my note in the last paragraph as a negative, but rather as a sign that this is a Barbera. I actually wish that I had a Trader Joe’s Paso Robles Syrah to compare it to.

I would buy this again.

Imagery Cabernet Sauvignon

$20 at Costco.

Dark purple color. Nice legs.

Aroma includes typical dark cherry, cigar box, leather.

Flavors are dark fruit, leather, oak, chocolate and pepper.

Finish leather mixing to dark fruit and blueberry to leather, then wonderful pepper growing in intensity before pleasant fade.

I’ll buy this one again.

2019 Barberani Polago

I was glancing through Costco’s wine selection and spotted this one with a sign that said “Sangiovese.” I generally love Sangiovese, so quickly scooped it up at $13.

I’m glad that I didn’t buy two of them. On my first sip, I thought about dumping it down the drain, but instead let it sit open for a couple of hours to open up. I didn’t dump it. I double-checked the cork to look for problems but the cork was pliable with no signs of leakage.

The color is red, not very dense, I can see through it.

Aroma – hints of cherry, rhubarb and tobacco. The fruit is not pronounced.

Flavors – very subdued but tart red fruit, but the tobacco is there.

Finish – tobacco gains in intensity then trails off slowly.

The longer it sits open, the better it gets, but not by a lot.

I have a friend who says there are only two types of wine: good and gooder. If that is true, then I would categorize this one as good.

I was looking for a decent pizza wine, but this isn’t it.

2000 Lokoya Diamond Mountain District Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I had two of these sitting in my cellar since they were released. I think that I paid about $120 for them. I remember at the time that I first tasted this wine that I thought it was about the best wine that I had ever tasted.

I decided to open the first one a couple of weeks ago, and I decanted it. It was wonderful, in fact I didn’t think it could get any better so I’ve now opened the second one.

The wine is dark purple and the aroma is of leather and cigar box and dark fruit.

The taste does not disappoint with nice dark cherry, a bit of coffee, a bit of chocolate and a lot of leather.



1999 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon

Oh my… I forgot that I had this.

I saw this in my wine cooler and noted that the wine level had dropped.

I thought it was gone, but I was pleasantly surprised.

The cork was good shape and pulled out easily.

I decanted the bottle and noted that the color was mostly dark purple, with just a hint of brown from the age.

The aroma was a very intense dark cherry and leather.

It tastes like it smells – very intense dark cherry and leather.

2012 Kuleto Estate Frog Prince

A nice and clear dark ruby-red color with a clear ring around the top showing it to be a young wine. Nice legs.

The aroma has a lot of blueberry, a little blackberry, a little dark cherry, a lot of alcohol and a bit of leather and tobacco.

The taste curve is mellow to begin with, but intensifies in the middle and eases off smoothly at the end.

The flavors are similar to the aroma. Blueberry and other dark fruit with a bit of leather or tobacco.

I’ve been buying this one a lot lately, it is a good pizza or spaghetti wine.

$20 at Trader Joes.

2009 Red Knot Signature Cabernet Sauvignon

A recent find at Total Wine. Quite familiar with the Shiraz, but the first time seeing the Cab, so at $10 it was worth a try. After removing the Zork (a unique closure to say the least), I was immediately met with a rush of black cherry and a hint of clove. Intense black fruits on the palate, medium tannins, and a hint of spice and chocolate on the finish. Kept having to remind myself that it was only $10.

Is it a huge Cab? No, but very impressive for the price point. Went very well with my Capriotti’s cheesesteak yesterday and with chocolate chip cookies today. Would be amazing with a meaty chili (beans optional).

2007 Chappellet Mountain Cuvee

I thought that I had posted my notes on this one, but apparently not.

I sit outside in the 92° F shade munching on my favorite, Capriotti’s cheesesteak and sipping some pretty good wine, the 2007 Chappellet Mountain Cuvee, which I pick up on occasion from Costco.

This wine is very nice for the price.

The wine is clear but deep purple in color, with aromas of dark black cherry and a touch of cedar.

The flavors include… Oh wait, my glass is empty. Hang on… (sorry)

Ah yes, the afore-mentioned black cherry with a touch of cigar box, and a little pepper on a nice, long finish.

I wish I had some chocolate to go with this…

2007 Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon

I picked this one up at Costco based on the price and the shelf tag.

It has a very balanced taste curve. It is very food friendly. I have not paired it with a peppered steak, as it probably will not stand up to that, but it works very well with pizza, tomato bisque, a toasted cheese sandwich and am I allowed to admit this – even with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…

Very nice dark red in color, aromas include tobacco, cedar, black raspberry.

The flavors are not overpowering, but rather nice, and as I said, balanced with a decent finish.

The wine maker touts that it will age well. It might, but why bother as it is quite drinkable now.

New Wine @ Trader Joe’s in Santa Fe NM

Emergence PasoRobles (14.5%; 33% GrenacheBlanc/29% Marsanne, 25% Viognier, 13% Roussanne) CentralCoastWineWarehouse/SantaMaria 2009[/b]: Med.yellow color; attractive fragrant fruity/spicy/floral/honeysuckle slight earthy/smokey/OscarMeyer rather perfumed nose; soft slight tangy/citric attractive floral/honeysuckle spicy/smokey slight earthy flavor; med.long soft slight citric/tangy floral/honeysuckle/spicy/smokey bit earthy finish; could use a bit more acid; lovely aromatics that speak mostly of GrenacheBlanc and Roussanne; a screaming deal at $7.00

If you see this at your local TJ give it a try, not bad for the $$$.

2005 Robert Biale “Zappa” Proprietary Red

Who knows why this is labeled as “Red Wine”; even their website admits that this could technically be labeled as a Zin - 76% Zin, 12% Syrah, and 12% Petite Sirah. As any Zin enthusiast might expect, Biale has another winner with this one.

The color is a deep blackberry and the nose exudes rich black fruits with a hint of licorice. Black cherry and plum dominate on the palate with a hint of spice and pepper. The spice and medium heat linger awhile on the finish; alchohol is 15.6%.

If you can’t find Black Chicken or Monterosso, this one will do just fine…. Votre Sante.

1982 Opus One – so sad

A friend of mine had me open his bottle of 1982 Opus One. He had it sitting in his living room wine rack for years.

Before opening it, I noticed that the wine level was well below the capsule. I suspected leakage, but the color of the top of the cork was good.

When I inserted the corkscrew, it seemed that cork was very soft, in fact, it offered no resistance.

I expected difficulty removing the cork, but it popped right out or should I say about the top-half did. The cork was well saturated with wine up to about one quarter of an inch from the top. So there was no apparent leakage.

After a couple of attempts, the rest of the cork came out.

I poured some in our glasses. The color was good. There was a nice smokey aroma, but there was absolutely no fruit aroma.

I tears were actually welling up in my eyes at this point. OK, not really but I figured that it was gone.

It tasted pretty much like it smelled. The fruit was long gone. There was alcohol and the flavors from the barrel. I could tell that it was once a great wine. I even drank a bit of it before giving up.

I give thanks to my friend for allowing me to share the experience, because even though the wine was well past it’s prime, I know that it cost a lot when it was purchased.

2005 Mathis Sonoma Valley Grenache

An offering from a previous head winemaker for Ravenswood, I picked up a couple bottles at — believe it or not — a small shop on the concourse of the Oakland International Airport. We were returning from a weekend trip to the Bay Area.  and I struck up a nice conversation with the clerk. Always a fan of Rhones, this one is a blend of Grenache (84%), Petite Sirah (11%), Carignane (4%), and Alicante Bouchet (1%).

The color is a deep raspberry and the nose is  black cherry and cranberry. The palate is a nice blend of strawberry and pomegranite with a hint of dark chocolate and black pepper. It paired well with pork loin chops off the “barbie” the first night and burgers the second. I gotta say it got better as time went on. When it comes time to open the second bottle, I will be sure to let it breathe a bit longer than this one.

2002 Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon

Ok, so my first thought was “This thing is a bit over the top.” Now mind you, I’m going to drink it even if it is corked! It wasn’t corked. In fact the cork looked like it could go another 40 years or so.

But the wine is probably just past its peak. Of course, Jim picked this up at a smokin’ $20 at Smith’s, and I’d guess that they messed up. :o) They probably didn’t store it at a proper 55 degrees F. either, so I’m not worried about opening now.

I just picked up a Capriotti’s Cheesesteak with grilled onions and hot peppers. I checked my cellar. I had an Amarone and a Sangiovese. They would have worked, but a Cabernet Sauvignon is probably much better. I had a GSM sitting on the bottom shelf, but this one caught my eye.

It is freaking awesome !!!

I didn’t let it sit after I opened the bottle. The appearance is appropriate for its age. Very dark purple with no clear ring around the glass. Aromas are slightly sweet dark cherry, The flavor has very RIPE black fruit,which is also very ripe. But it is amazing none-the-less. The very worst thing that I can say about this wine is that I just poured my last glass, and once it is gone, there will be no more. It is so sad in a way.

Forgive me while I grieve just a little. OK, enough of that. There are other great wines in this world, and I will fully enjoy the last glass of this one.

2005 Robert Young Red Winery Road

I was looking for something to go with macaroni and cheese, and I’ve pretty much drank all of the stuff in my cellar that cost less than $35. I pulled out this bottle and realized that I never tried it before. As soon as I pulled the cork, I realized that it could sit in the cellar for many years to come as the wine had not edged its way up the cork one bit.

It has a nice dark ruby-red color. Not as dark as their Scion, but intense in color. the aroma, which hit my nose as soon as the cork was removed has lots of red raspberry, cherry, and a light floral aroma. I can also smell just a touch of leather or cedar.

A very interesting taste curve. It starts out very mellow and smooth, but it intensifies towards the middle and finish. It starts with the leather and then the raspberry flavor kicks in, and the finish seems to get hotter and hotter finishing with a nice pepper.

Robert Young Estate Winery produced only 20 barrels of this wine. It may be tough to find, but it’s worth tasting if you can find some.

2004 Groom Barossa Valley Shiraz

Picked this one up at our local Costco for about $20. Color is deep purple and the nose is rich in red fruits (blackberry and plum) with maybe a hint of leather. I got cherry, plum, and vanilla on the palate along with a touch of pepper. Finish was moderate; the cherry still there with the hints of leather and spice.

The tasting notes state this one received a 94 from James Halliday and an 87 from Wine Spectator. I think I tend to go along with WS; it’s decent but not outstanding.

2006 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville – Napa Valley

Charles Krug was my first favorite winery. I was in the area with my sister and her husband. They wanted to go wine tasting. I went along for the ride. My wine experiences up to that point were not so pleasant – mostly drinking Mad Dog 20-20 while in college. Charles Krug got me hooked and it the rest is history.

Saw this Cab at Costco and it brought back good memories so I bought it. Today I was making some beef stew and needed something to cook with. I added half to the pot and half to me!

Very nice dark cherry aroma with just a touch of toasted oak. At first, I thought there was a hint of leather, but I lost that somewhere. The bottle says that there should be current and roasted coffee with clove and licorice, but I don’t get any of those.

Very smooth taste curve, lots of dark fruit, even more toasted oak, and the leather that I couldn’t smell is easy to taste. I still don’t get any coffee, or licorice, but there is just a hint of cloves.

This is a pleasant wine. I’ll pick up some more and I would recommend it for people just moving to red wines.

about $20 at Costco