2006 Cantine Leonardo Brunello di Montalcino
Medium intense aromas of dried red fruit and leather with a bit of tobacco. Dry, medium body, alcohol, acidity and tannins with a tart cherry flavor and a thin medium- finish. Good but not as great as the high ratings would make you believe. For about $45 a bottle at Kroger's, I had hoped for a bit more. I had opened it while I was making a lasagna and poured a taste. At that point, I thought it needed a bit of breathing time. We tried it again a couple of hours later and I wrote my tasting note then.
2005 Terlato Syrah Dry Creek Valley
Medium intense aromas of dark fruit, smoke and a bit of black pepper. Dry, medium+ body, alcohol and acidity, medium tannins with the same flavors as the aromas but with a short finish. Acceptable to Good.
My husband had purchased this in a mixed case from The Tasting Room-Uptown for about $30 a few months ago, I believe. We had it with a Pot Roast and roasted potatoes and carrots.2008 Luna Vineyards Sangiovese Napa Valley
Medium+ intense aromas of ripe raspberries and black cherries with light floral and herbal notes. Dry, medium+ body, alcohol, acidity and tannins. Flavors mirror the aromas with a bit of chocolate in the very smooth medium+ length finish. I believe this was about $25 in a wine club shipment from a few months ago. The best bargain of the three and it also was very good! I served it with Parmesan crusted chicken breasts, ziti with a garlicky marinara and green beans.
A couple of nice nights that it didn't rain, we were able to use the backyard grill.
2007 Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Napa Valley Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
Medium+ intense aromas of very ripe black fruit, cherries & berries with leather and vanilla. Dry, full body, medium+ alcohol, acidity and extremely smooth tannins with flavors matching the aromas with a long black pepper and vanilla finish. Excellent. This bottle was purchased in a half case at The Tasting Room-Uptown almost a year ago. I don't remember the price. We had it with grilled prime strip steaks, loaded baked potatoes and asparagus.
2010 Catena Malbec High Mountain Vines from Mendoza, Argentina was purchased at Kroger's for under $20. Medium+ intense aromas of blackberry and blueberry, smoke and chocolate. Medium+ body, alcohol, acidity and tannins. More of a black plum/blueberry flavor with vanilla and spice in a medium+ length finish. Very good, smooth and drinkable. I served this with BBQ Brisket and potato salad.
We also had two whites during this time: 2010 Bonterra Sauvignon Blanc California
This brand is available everywhere in Houston it seems. I have enjoyed their Merlot in the past but was less excited about their Zinfandel recently. Their Syrah has been recommended to me by one of my readers but I have been unable to find it anywhere. This is an organic wine with the grapes sourced from Lake County and Mendocino. I thought their descriptors on the back label were right on. Medium+ aromas of grapefruit. Dry, medium body, alcohol and medium+ acidity with ripe honeydew melon, kiwi and grapefruit on the palate. Medium+ finish. We enjoyed it with tortilla crusted baked tilapia and bean and cheese nachos with fresh jalapeno, guacamole and cilantro. A very nice wine at a nice price, about $12 everywhere.
The 2010 Clean Slate Riesling Mosel, Germany was purchased for about $10 at Kroger's. Medium aromas of green apple and lemon. Almost dry with just a hint of sweetness, medium body, high acidity, low alcohol with light lemon/citrus and a bit of a bruised apple flavor. It was a bit spritzy with a medium finish. It was acceptable but we did not finish the bottle. I served it with Cajun spiced seafood at home. I enjoyed it more at a Thai place that we frequent that serves it by the glass. I am not sure if it was the food, the mood or what. It seemed much less flavorful than it has in the past.