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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bogle - Old Vine Zinfandel - 2012

  From California

From the bottle: California is blessed with many historic Zinfandel vineyards. These grapes were first planted by European immigrants in the early 1900's and are still producing today. The old head-trained vines are unique because they produce a smaller crop of fruit that is unusually rich and concentrated in selecting grapes from these old vines, we have handcrafted a wine that displays intense blackberry, black cherry, and raspberry flavors, wrapped in a smooth blanket of vanilla and oak.

We've purchased this wine twice now. We enjoyed the first bottle so much that we picked up a second one. The second one was even better than the first. If your looking for a Thanksgiving wine - this is sure to be a hit!
Colin: The first bottle of this wine wasn't as good as the second. The aroma is sweet with a berry scent that I didn't remember from the first bottle. The flavor profile runs the gamut from buttery oak to lush fruit. There's a biting finish reminiscent of a good Cabernet. There's really nothing to complain about. It's a great bottle of wine to be enjoyed with Italian food. Highly recommended.
Rating: 9.8 out of 10 glasses

Rachel: When I opened our second bottle of Bogle Zin, I worried it was corked because of how overly sweet the smell was. But on first taste, which I had immediately after some garlic bread, was incredible. It's full bodied with numerous flavors in each sip. It's sweet, tart, buttery, and light. Highly recommended to accompany your next pasta dish.
Rating: 10 out of 10 glasses

Where can I buy it? We got our bottle at Trader Joe's. Find a distributor in your area.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

La Finca - Malbec - 2013

From Mendoza, Argentina

From the bottle:
The vineyards of Finca La Celia lie in the foothills of the Argentine Andes. Stunning purple color. Its bouquet is intense, rich in blackcurrant, vanilla and spices. On the palate the soft and succulent ripe fruits follow through with a surprising delicacy. The tannins are silky, coming subtly from the forefront and giving a lingering finish. This wine has been ages in oak barrels for 3 months.

Colin: While uncorking this wine, I could already smell the fresh, fruity aroma of this Malbec. It's surprisingly well-balanced for the price. There's a rich flavor with a smooth finish. The bite is easily countered with a great meal, especially spicy food.
Rating: 8 out of 10 glasses

Rachel: This is one of those wines that pairs amazingly well with food. It tastes great on the first glass, but once dinner is done and you continue to sip it, you start to experience more of those sour notes. But with dinner, it's smooth, fruity, and very easy to drink. Definitely one of the better wines we've had for the price.
Rating: 8 out of 10 glasses (with food)

Where can I find it? We got it from Trader Joe's for $4.49.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bogle - Pinot Noir - 2012

From Clarksburg, California

From the bottle:
As grape growers we hold high regard for the mindful tending of the soil and exacting knowledge of the cellar.

Colin: The crisp start might be a little harsh for some, but I enjoy it. The finish is what makes this Pinot Noir stand out, with a dry, smooth lingering taste. Probably a favorite Pinot for me.   
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 glasses

Rachel: There is a harsh, initial bite to this wine, which I thought would a permanent turn off. However, the finish is smooth and long-lasting. It has a bit of a licorice taste to it. I'm a big fan of the finish, and it works great with garlic-heavy food.
Rating: 7 out of 10 glasses

Where can I find it? We got it at Trader Joe's for under $10.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Picton Bay - Sauvignon Blanc - 2013

From Marlborough, New Zealand

From the bottle:
Picton, at the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island, is the gateway Marlborough. This wine is produced from world-famous Marlborough vineyards. Picton bay Sauvignon Blanc is classic Marlborough in style – vibrant, fresh, and fruity.  

Colin: As someone who is not a fan of whites, I actually found this wine be quite pleasant. While the grapefruit notes might turn off some, I find it to be quite refreshing. The bite paired with the smoother finish made this Sauvignon Blanc stand out.
Rating: 8 out of 10 glasses

Rachel: I like this one better paired with food, because it has a much nicer finish. On its own there's a really sour grapefruit taste, which I am not a big fan of in white wines. However, if you enjoy sour whites, this will probably be a great one for you.
Rating: 6 out of 10 glasses

Where can I find it? We got it at Trader Joe's for $7.99.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Anaba - White Blend - 2010

Mendocino White Wine Alder Springs Vineyard

35% Roussanne, 33% Marsanne, 32% Viognier

From Anaba's website:
"It is both exceptionally versatile and truly delicious. Ripe apple and white peach, along with aromas of toasted almond, get a lift from a little bit of spice and a lot of minerality."

Colin: There's a nice balance of buttery oak. The only problem is the bite that makes the wine a bit harsh. That bite continues into the finish, but it's not bad. 
Rating: 7 out of 10 glasses

Rachel: Without food, there is a bite and sour note to this wine. With food, it becomes beautifully balanced. There's a nice oak finish and a taste of apples. Not a sweet white wine, but overall well-rounded flavors. 
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 glasses 

Where can I find it? We purchased this bottle from  If you are a wine lover, we highly recommend Lot18 as a great way to discover new brands and varieties at a lower price.  We purchased this bottle for $12.00.  The sales go fast - so if you see a bottle you want to try, purchase it right away!

You can also purchase the white blend directly from Anaba's website for $28.00.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Babble - Red Blend - 2011

From California

From the bottle:
"We won't bore you with the overwrought descriptions of Babble... We're too busy blending great Mendocino County wines. But if we had to pin down the flavors, we think Babble tastes like plum, bacon fat, and blackberry preserves-kinda creamy on the palate with hints of cocoa and tannins that round out nicely in the finish."

Colin: There's a vinegary, lasting taste that lingers long after the finish. This wine could have been great, but it ends up just being okay. 
Rating: 5 out of 10 glasses 

Rachel: This red blend has an acidic taste to it that really drags it down. I like the smoothness of the finish once the initial taste fades. Definitely can taste the cocoa. 
Rating: 6.5 out of 10 glasses

Where can I find it? We got this bottle at Trader Joe's for under $10.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Semler - Sauvignon Blanc - 2012

From Malibu, California

From the bottle:
"Our vineyards are positions 2,000 feet above sea level where our rocky terrain, soils, and weather create a microclimate of unparalleled complexity and depth."

Colin: I'm quite fond of this, since it is a bold Sauvignon Blanc. There's an apple cider bite with a smooth, oak-y finish. This is a white for someone who doesn't usually enjoy whites. 
Rating: 9 out of 10 glasses

Rachel: This wine was fantastic at the tasting we went to, and even better with food (we had risotto!). It has an apple tartness to it, but a sweet, almost buttery finish that rolls off your tongue. Fantastic wine. 
Rating: 10 out of 10 glasses. 

Where can I find it?  We got it directly at a wine tasting.  You can purchase it on the Malibu Family Wines' site for $24.00.