Leviathan 2005,

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Indicative blend: 55% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Smooth on the palate, velvety finish. Really enjoy this lovely wine. Pairs beautifully with almost anything. Retails $47

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Crognolo 2009

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Familia Di Tommaso Malbec 2007 Ultra Premium

One gorgeous evening we decide to go visit one of our favorite restaurants here in Miami “Catharsis” known for their latin fusion flare and Italian dishes.  Not only is their food incredible but they have a very nice wine list as well.  The owner Hernan knows how much I appreciate wine so he mentioned he had just gotten in this fantastic Malbec.  As soon as he brought over the bottle I knew it was wonderful as I had it before.   This family winery has been around since 1869.  Hernan decanted our bottle of wine and then the incredible evening began.  As we started with some mushroom risotto and savoring each sip of wine, we were enjoying the beautiful rich fruit of dark plums, cream, raspberry, cherry and caramel flavors.       This rich full bodied Malbec has been aged 18 months in French Oak and another 12 months in the bottle.  Every sip was better and better.  It has a long finish without the austereness of sharp tannins. Smooth rich flavor that paired beautifully with our dishes.  I ordered short ribs and this wine was the perfect match.

As we sat there enjoying our wine, we had just finished our appetizer when all of a sudden the two winemakers from this winery walked into the restaurant.  Hernan approached our table to introduce us to them both.  They were very excited to see us drinking their wine and of course I wanted to pick their brain.  Osvaldo Ortiz Baldasso and the lovely Judith, oh I hope I remembered her name properly.

It was so intense speaking with them and their winery, how they hand pick every single grape, bio-dynamic winemaking and how they taste every single day.  The passion between both the oenologist was invaluable.  They were both so friendly and we spoke for about 45 minutes or so as they explained every single wine they make, and how etc….

As your dining with such great food and you have the pleasure of meeting such wonderful people who make such an enjoyable wine it makes a very memorable evening.  They both signed our bottle of wine, thanked us for enjoying and supporting their winery and wines.

Although this winery has been around for a very long time they just recently came into South Florida with only being in a handful of restaurants and boutique wine shops.  They are not massive produced and want to keep their small limited production to keep their excellent quality up.

Their wine prices range from $15-$50.  The wines are very good so if you happen to see it in a store or restaurant I highly suggest checking it out, you will to be disappointed.

My rating *****  Price $40

Posted in Argentina, dry wine, Malbec, Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Love is in the air…….say it with WINE!

15 or so more day’s til Valentine’s Day 2012. What to get your loved one? Chocolate, dinner, flowers, lingerie, oh the list goes on and on.  Many of us have traditions with our loved one’s, like a very special dinner? A picnic? etc…

I prefer wine, OK I know no surprise here.  But why do I prefer wine?  Wine is to be shared with great company.  Have you ever shared a special bottle with that perfect person?  Sharing is caring and wine just oozes sexy, sultry, passion, and LOVE!

Wine & Chocolate, why not just remember, the lighter the chocolate, the lighter the wine and the darker and more bitter chocolate fuller bodied wines usually pair better.  Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate? Oh yes please why not pair it with an elegant Brachetto D’Acqui or a beautiful Rose Champagne.

Or maybe you are having dinner at home or going out.  Here are some suggestions:

Why not a Gewurztraminer paired with an Asian dish.

A Super Tuscan, Barolo, or Brunello di Montalcino paired with a pasta dish with meat or chicken.

Pinot Noir paired with a gorgeous piece of Salmon or Grouper.

How about Duck? Oh yes please a nice Burgundy pairs beautifully, play’s off the gaminess.

Chicken pot pie,  quiche or a shrimp scampi try it with a Chardonnay.

Pork or Mushroom risotto, try a Riesling.

The most versatile wine is Champagne.  You can start with Champagne and finish with it. Starters like oysters, raw shrimp, cheese, and sushi. Dinner have it with Lobster, shrimp, scallops, chicken.  Then finish with a dessert like fruit puddings, tarts, or cake.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Posted in Value Wines | 1 Comment

Long Shadow Pedestal 2007

This blog is for all of those consumer’s who after watching the movie “Sideway’s” decided they did not like the grape varietal Merlot. Guess what, ha ha keep hating because you are missing out on this fabulous varietal. If you are like me and just laughed throughout the ridiculous statements about Merlot in the movie then yes thank you for not letting the media tell you what to like or not like.

It has been some time since I have been this excited about a Merlot. I was specifically looking for a Merlot from Columbia Valley, WA. Why? Well I adore the richness of the fruit from this region and specifically the Merlot Grape varietal. One of my sales reps mentioned this winery to me. The minute he said Michel Rolland is the winemaker, I knew I had to taste it. Michel Rolland is considered by many to be one of the most influential winemaker in the field.

The day came for me to taste this wine. The label is stunning with the beautiful dark purple background and gold encrusted writing. and the bottle is quite impressive, very heavy glass. Ok, yes not that it really matters, but believe it or not some make purchases solely on if the label is pretty. Ladies we all like pretty but with wine who cares how fancy the label is because trust me you as the consumer pay the price for all these gorgeous wine labels.

As my rep poured me a very nice glass of Pedestal it had great color. As with previous vintages, Pedestal is a blend of carefully selected vineyards chosen to create a layered, complex wine. Those who have followed Pedestal since its inception will find similarities between the highly acclaimed debut vintage (2003) and the 2007. Both growing seasons were quite warm, followed by a moderate fall and ideal harvest conditions. Warm days and cool nights contributed excellent acidity in the grapes and a lively freshness to the wine.

This blog is for all of those consumer’s who after watching the movie “Sideway’s” decided they did not like the grape varietal Merlot. Guess what, ha ha keep hating because you are missing out on this fabulous varietal. If you are like me and just laughed throughout the ridiculous statements about Merlot in the movie then yes thank you for not letting the media tell you what to like or not like.

It has been some time since I have been this excited about a Merlot. I was specifically looking for a Merlot from Columbia Valley, WA. Why? Well I adore the richness of the fruit from this region and specifically the Merlot Grape varietal. One of my sales reps mentioned this winery to me. The minute he said Michel Rolland is the winemaker, I knew I had to taste it. Michel Rolland is considered by many to be one of the most influential winemaker in the field.

The day came for me to taste this wine. The label is stunning with the beautiful dark purple background and gold encrusted writing. and the bottle is quite impressive, very heavy glass. Ok, yes not that it really matters, but believe it or not some make purchases solely on if the label is pretty. Ladies we all like pretty but with wine who cares how fancy the label is because trust me you as the consumer pay the price for all these gorgeous wine labels.

As my rep poured me a very nice glass of Pedestal it had great color. As with previous vintages, Pedestal is a blend of carefully selected vineyards chosen to create a layered, complex wine. Those who have followed Pedestal since its inception will find similarities between the highly acclaimed debut vintage (2003) and the 2007. Both growing seasons were quite warm, followed by a moderate fall and ideal harvest conditions. Warm days and cool nights contributed excellent acidity in the grapes and a lively freshness to the wine.

Now if someone was looking for a plummy, jammy, medium bodied Merlot, I would not suggest this bottle. For me it tasted and was so much more complex than your usual Merlot, it reminded me of a great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Yes, I am so in awe over this bottle that I told the rep I want to taste the Cabernet Sauvignon (Feather) as well from this winery.

“Elegant on the palate despite its ample size, it is loaded with succulent fruit set off by enough ripe tannin to support an additional 3-4 years of cellaring.” - 94 POINTS ” Robert Parker

14.75 ABV- 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon 17% Cabernet Franc 3% Petit Verdot

My rating *****                                                                                             Price $ 60-$66

Posted in Columbia Valley, Highly Rated, Merlot, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Alois Lageder Muller Thurgau 2010

Had this bottle for the first time last week, and what an incredible white wine from Italy.  If you are ready to expand your palate and try another very unique white grape varietal, look no further, this is an impressive wine.

Muller Thurgau is the grape varietal. It was actually created in the late 1800s by Dr. Hermann Muller. Originally thought to be a cross between Riesling and Sylvaner, DNA testing now proves it to be a hybrid of Riesling and Chasselas, an ancient varietal popular in Switzerland.

Stainless steel fermentation aged on its lees for 3 months.  The bouquet is delicate and beautiful, the color is straw yellow with hints of green.  The tasting profile has good concentration and depth of flavor with green apple, pear, white peach, hints of spice, and minerals.  It is a medium bodied wine that is crisp and refreshing.

Perfect as an aperitif, pairs beautifully with all kinds of seafood and salads.

Excellent summer wine! Grab the ladies and drink this beautifully elegant wine, such an excellent value for the quality.

My rating ****                                                                                                   Price $20-$25

Posted in dry wine, Italy, Summer Wines, Value Wines | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

National Cabernet Sauvignon Lover’s Day!

What is to LOVE about Cabernet Sauvignon?

Let’s count the way’s:

The three B’s:   BIG, BOLD, & BEAUTIFUL!

With so many wine’s on the market how do you choose?  The first question I usually ask a client is how much would you like to spend?  This will give you a start.  Nothing more confusing when a client would tell me I want a good bottle.  Well, let’s speak the truth here.  A good bottle may mean very different thing’s to many people. Example: some may think a $12 bottle is a great bottle while other’s might prefer to think a $80 bottle would be great!

So, getting to know your client’s budget is key when trying to suggest a bottle of wine.  Price does not matter, you can usually find great bottle’s to suit everyone’s palate and price range.

Napa Valley is known for making some of the very BEST Cabernet Sauvignon’s.  And I must say I do agree!  While there are many other regions that make fabulous Cabernet Sauvignon’s and many that are much more cost-effective.  Yes, Napa Valley pricing has gone as high as their reputation in the biz.

If you like dark bold fruits, blackberries, plums, dark cherries, currants, licorice, smoky oak, rich tannins, vanilla, chocolate, raspberries, tobacco, and dry red wines Cabernet Sauvignon will please you.  Typically they are full-bodied, robust, layers of flavors, complex, and long finish.  

My favorite food with Cabernet Sauvignon is a nice good cut juicy steak.  Oh it is insane how well the two pair.  I feel this varietal was made for meat lover’s.  The meat just taste better and the wine becomes silky succulent sexy and savoring!

What are some choices and various prices from some well reputable winery’s?

Lyeth- Sonoma County $11-$14

Louis M. Martini, Sonoma County  $17-$20

Beringer Knight’s Valley, $27-$30

Hess Collection, Mendocino-Lake Napa $17-$20

Buehler, Napa Valley $35-$38

Bodega Catena Zapata, Mendoza Argentina $22 $25

Trapiche Broquel, Mendoza, Argentina $17-$20

Bodegas y Vinedos O. Fournier, Maule Valley, Chile $11-$14

Falesco Umbria, Italy $42-$46

L’Ecole No. 41, Walla Walla Valley, WA $40-$43

So many to choose from.  I say just start experiencing one bottle at a time and explore different regions!  Salute!

Posted in cabernet sauvignon, California, Chile, dry wine, Highly Rated, Napa Valley, Spain, Value Wines | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment