Sunday, July 31, 2005

Clayton 2001 Zinfandel

Clayton Zin 2001

Back in May I had tried the 2000 Clayton Zinfandel. It was interesting at best. I ended up dumping most of it though, so not a favorite. I also happened to have a 2001 of the Clayton Zin on the rack and gave it a try earlier this week. The results, unfortunately, were again mixed.

Immediately upon opening, I didn't think this one was drinkable. Tasted like wine filtered through saw dust, with some tight tannins. But based on that previous experience, I set it aside for awhile just to see what might become of it. In fact, I set it aside until the next day. On the 2nd day, this one had evened out to the point I actually kind of liked it.There was still a significant oak accent, but it was muted. Likewise it was just smoother.

(To those of you looking closely, the picture to the right is of the 2000 because I'm actually on the road right now and didn't happen to take a picture of the 2001 earlier in the week.)

About $21 (Austin – Grapevine Market)
Big jammy Zin, once it opened up for a day. Not sure I'll be trying it again if I see it, but it always seems to offer and interesing experience.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Gianni Gagliardo Dolcetto d'Alba 2003

2003 Dolcetto d'Alba

There’s more white wine to come based on my recent theme, but in the mean time, I’ve tried a few reds. Here’s one…

There’s a light white that I like with a bit of fizz called the Gianni Gagliardo Fallegro. I noticed this red one by the same winery last week. I haven’t noticed others that brand there wines with a label quite like these wines, so they’re very easy to spot.

Click the image to the right to get the winery’s take, but this wine seemed to be best fresh from the bottle… The bright raspberry fruit was at its best. This was not a wine that improved with a 2nd try the next day.

About $15
 a bowl of raspberries. Thought it was a little over priced.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005


I was at Freda's the other day and they happened to mention they were doing a "wine dinner" on August 18th. Nothing on their web site, but the little flyer at the restaurant says $45/person, call 512-506-8700 for reservation. The flyer was from the earlier July event so I don't know what wines they plan for the August event.

Peirano Estate Viognier 2001, Lodi

2001 Viognier

Continuing with the white theme and specifically the recent Viognier theme, I enjoyed a nice one the other day from Peirano Estate. It was just coincidence that I happened to have another of their wines just a week ago. “The Other” was a red blend from the same winery.

This wine had a classic Viognier floral note with a bit of peach and vanilla. Right out of the fridge, this needs to sit in the glass a bit to warm to the point its flavors emerge. Did well paired with some young gouda cheese.

About $15
floral, peach and a hint of vanilla.

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Hogue Genesis Viognier 2002

2002 Hogue Genesis

Bradley over at Wine & Vine BC was kind enough to email me not too long ago and recommend I try some Washington state Viognier. This was after my recent post on the Jean Michel Gerin I’d had not long ago and that he had apparently also had. And so, I made a mental note to look for some other Viognier – and from Washington if I could find it.

The fact is though, I haven’t really run across much. In general, Viognier doesn’t really get much shelf space around here. At Grapevine market I ran across two from the west coast of the US. This one and one from California that I will post about on another day.

So while I was able to find only two Viognier, there is at least two full aisles of Calif Chardonnay at Grapevine market. Hmm, what do you think is more popular?

I ran across the following article online and it seemed like “Roland” had a good grasp on this varietal. (That web site doesn’t otherwise seem to be kept all that up-to-date.)

I enjoyed this wine, but it did not have quite the same depth and intense taste & aroma as the Jean Michel Gerin. This one was light, with a crisp mineral finish. It definitely had an outdoorsy, almost meadow-like aroma. Not quite earthy though. The winery’s tasting notes for the ‘03 are online here. They seem to have experienced something a lot more interesting than I did with my 2002. So, I will give the Hogue another chance when I see it again.

About $15
 fresh meadow, light crisp mineral finish.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Peirano Estate Vineyards "The Other" 2003

2003 The Other

I’m just not keeping up with the wines lately. Here it’s been days and I haven’t posted about the various wines I’ve had this week. The weekend is shaping up to be pretty busy too so who knows when, not to mention what, I’ll be able to post about.

Anyway, regardless, this wine is called “The Other” and was a really interesting wine. I was wandering through the mountains of wine they have at Central Market here in Austin (off Lamar) and this one caught my eye. It’s an eye catching kind of label just in general, but it was also on the big wall of featured wines. The other thing I noted was the interesting blend of grapes and the the Lodi, California winery location. If you’ve read these notes before, that area is a particular interest of late.

The blend is of 70% Syrah (“This”), 20% Petite Sirah (“That”) and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon (“The Other”). So now you know where the name comes from.

I drank this over two nights and I’ll have to say I enjoyed much better the 2nd night. It was smoother and had a deeper black cherry flavor on the 2nd day. In my initial notes, it was all over the map. There was raspberry, cherry and even strawberry flavors, with a significant note of cedar box. In fact, initially, the taste was maybe just a little odd for me. Made me think that’s how they came up with the name. Otherworldly. In the end, I kind of liked it though. 

About $16 (Austin – Central Market HEB, if memory serves, although it’s $18 on the Peirano web site).
 give it a chance, and it might yield some black cherry and interesting cedar notes.

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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Winery web sites

Although I linked to it, one thing I forgot to mention in the last post on Cambria wine was how much I thought their web site rocked. Seriously, I think I'm going to start adding a rating for the associated winery's web site. If you've read anything I've written here before, you'll recognize that I always attempt to seek out and include a link to the web site of the wine I happen to be profiling. It's simply part of the research I do given I'm doing a blog entry that readily provides for such a link if it exists. Some of the sites are excellent. Some are pretty weak, and some are non-existent. In this case, I thought the layout and available information on the Cambria site was first rate. In fact, more than that, their site is text book for what most wineries should be attempting to host. You can find out all about their wines, the history of the people & place, the maps of the estate, you can order online... really, what's not to like? Three (out of three) stars!

Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2003 - Santa Maria Valley

2002 Wirra Wirra Riesling

Here it is Saturday already! Time flies. I’m having a tough time lately keeping my writing up-to-date with the wine I’m having. Oh, well. No reason to stress about it I guess. I mean, if writing this was stressful, what would be the point? A blog should be a labor of love, right?

I think I mentioned recently that I’m enjoying more white wines recently. With as hot as it is here in central TX, it’s nice to be sipping something cooler. How anyone lived here before the invention of air conditioning, I’ll never know. They were hearty souls indeed.

I’m really enjoying the Chardonnay from Cambria I got. In fact, I got a couple of them – lured by the store’s apparent sale price. The Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay from Cambria is one of three Chardonnays they produce. Both of the other two, at least based on higher list price, are deemed more exclusive offerings. Judging by the fact that I didn’t find either of those other two in the store, their $25 price point (rather than the list price of $16 for this wine) either makes them unattractive for the big grocer I bought this from to stock it, or production is simply limited. The web site does not give those numbers.

The tasting notes at the winery’s web site give lots of interesting information. Personally, I did not really pick up on the “floral” nose mentioned by those notes, although perhaps my recent experience with Viognior doesn’t allow my nose to pick up on the floral notes of this Chardonnay.  I did, however, note the pineapple in the taste – especially once the wine got to an appropriate temperature. Lots of toasty, buttery oak in this one as well. All in all, I’m likin’ it and likely to get another if it’s still on sale.

About $13 (Austin – HEB).
 buttery, toasty California Chardonnay with hints of pineapple fruit.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wine Blogging Wednesday #11 - "Off Dry"

2002 Wirra Wirra Riesling

Time for Wine Blogging Wednesday #11. This month’s theme is “off dry”. When I first read about the theme, my initial thought was a Riesling from New Zealand. In fact, I’d already posted about one back in April. That was the Villa Maria Marlborough Riesling. Its residual sugar is 8 g/l. But then I thought, why not try something slightly different. And so I looked north of New Zealand to Australia and selected the Wirra Wirra Vineyards 2002 ‘Hand Picked’ Riesling.

This Australian Riesling is a very light and refreshing wine – perfect for some summer time sipping. The nose has bit of kerosene on it and the taste is a crisp and light lime citrus. Residual sugar for this wine is 9.7 g/l, so in fact just a little bit sweeter than the New Zealand Riesling mentioned above but overall, not too sweet.

About $17 (from fading memory, Austin – Central Market).
 bit of kerosene on the nose, crisp and light lime citrus taste.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Wine Blogging Wednesday...

Can't believe it's time for another Wine Blogging Wednesday tomorrow already. Time flies. Hopefully I'll have time tonight to have some of the wine I got and take a few notes. Look for a post tomorrow.

Not so 'everyday'... Jean Michel Gerin 2002 La Loye, Condrieu

2002 La Loye

The catchphrase for this blog suggests my observations are about ‘everyday’ wines. True enough. Though occasionally, I do have something a little more interesting & special. This is one such wine, shared with someone special.

Condrieu is an area of Rhone in France known for producing excellent Viognier wines. The aroma of this wine was floral. This is a rich and full bodied white wine with a musky and complex apricot and peach taste. A hint of tea-like spice. You just wanted to linger awhile with this wine. Soft buttery mouth feel.

At $50, it’s a little steep for everyday drinking, but not much more than most people pay at restaurants for bottles of far less interesting wine.

About $50 (Austin – Grapevine Market).
 complex apricot & peach tastes. Full bodied, buttery mouth feel.

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In the last week I've really started to get behind in my note taking and my postings here. In fact, I've got three empty bottles lined up here waiting for me to say something about them. They're getting very impatient. I think it must be this heat. We're topping out at 100 about every day recently, and not a drop of rain for over a month. It would be so nice to get a cloudburst some afternoon.

Consequently, I've sought refuge in mostly white wines recently. Look for postings shortly...

The Wine Warrior

As long as I'm posting pointers to other blogs, I should also make a note of the new Wine Warrior site. Looks to have just gotten started last week. Anyway, I like the posts so far.

'the OenoFile' blog

Got a nice email from Greg, so now have a sidebar link over to 'The OenoFile'. Check it out.

about | ratings images courtey of Jason Lewis