Wine Tasting Event

Friday night was an evening of very good wine tasting.  Most were what I would consider good value wines.  Wines that for the price are hard to beat.  The lineup included a Napa Pinot and Cab, 2 Argentine wines, and 3 Hollister wines.  We had about 12 people and was quite intimate so we sat in the living room and munched appetizers including a stuffed date recipe that begs for red wine.  I will post that recipe also.  Let’s dive into the wines…………..

2007 Row 11 Vinas 3 Pinot Noir – Napa Valley

Cherry, smoke, and nice light aromatics invite you to sip on this $15 pinot noir.  It is a very light weight easy drinking wine that doesn’t offend for the price point.  I never expect much from a Pinot under $20 and this one didn’t disappoint.  Some said it was “watered” down, but I felt this wine was just a light weight easy drinking pinot.  Two hours after being opened it showed a little pepper spice and was pretty good. C+

2007 Ikella Malbec

Light garnet in color, aromatics of red fruit to begin, then I realized it was currant and light cherry notes.  I could smell the wine had great acid and would be great with pasta or beef.  It was a decently tannic wine with some light spice and a nice soft landing.  At $15 retail, this is a nice wine we were able to get for about $10. B+

2007 Ikella Cabernet

I had this wine the night before and was amazed at the price being the same as the Malbec.  In my opinion the cab was a better value wine.  However after also retrying the Malbec I think both are very good value wines.  A little darker garnet in color cherry and anise on the nose  and some cedar notes round out the nose of the wine.  I think the Cab has better mouth feel than the Malbec because I like the way the Cab coats the mouth with velvety silky tannins. Good mid pallet but drops a bit on the back-end. B+

2005 Levendi Cabernet – Sweetwater Ranch

I for the life of me can’t figure out this wine.  The first time I had it I thought it was ok.  Nothing fantastic for a $50 wine.  The second time it showed well so it made me feel better for picking up a 6 pack.  This, the third time totally disappointed me again.  Upon opening it was actually nice.  Cocoa and vanilla on the nose with some baking spices and black fruit to round it out.  Not too tannic and smooth and I was happy.  About 30 minutes later I re-tasted and all of a sudden a green bell pepper appeared and killed the wine.  I dislike GBP in my wines and I for sure would have noticed this the first two times.  Hmmmmm.  C-

2006 Leal Cabernet

I have known Frank Leal for quite some time.  He can be a jerk at times but I do respect him as a business person.  He has been very successful at building companies and I can’t deny his wine is good.  Dan was able to get his wine at about wholesale so we bought a couple of cases. 

Dark garnet in color, raspberry and cocoa came to mine immediately followed by white pepper and oak.  Upon drinking I was amazed at how tame his wine was.  His wines used to punch you in the face and scream check me out.  His latest cab has mellowed into a very respectable Cabernet.  It was very soft and nice.  After about an hour a hint of cinnamon came through and I really enjoyed this wine.  Eat with Lamb! Drink soon! B+

2006 Leal Threesome

GSM, GSM, GSM.  I love Chat du Pape’s so I was looking forward to trying the threesome after I had missed the past 2 vintages.  It did not disappoint.   A little lighter in color than the cab the threesome showed some great earthy qualities.  A very rich earthy nose of mushroom, raspberry, and soil this wine also had a little brett which for a Chat is acceptable.  It was well-balanced and enjoyable through the whole evolution of the wine. B++

2005 Leal Syrah

A darker more extracted wine I enjoyed the plum, vanilla, and currant on the nose.  As time aged this wine it got a little more earthy and showed a little dirt and also some brett.  It’s a nice wine and for the price of under $20 I can easily drink this wine out of the gate and enjoy now. B

Kristi and I also opened a bottle of S Anderson 2000 Dive Sparkling wine.  As I quoted, “This is not a yeasty monster”, Kristi roared in laughter.  🙂

It was a very feminine bottle of bubbles with nice texture and mouth feel.  A hint of citrus but some great toasty characteristics which make this a great bottle of bubbles for any occasion.  It’s a crowd pleaser.

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