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Archive for June, 2009

Wine Review – 2007 Kendall-Jackson “Vintner’s Reserve” Chardonnay

2007-kendall-jackson-vintners-reserve-chardonnay-kingFrom: California
Price: $11.99

I knew that this day would come – the day that I would have to sit down with King KJ and drink his wine.  Kendall-Jackson is the undisputed King of California Chardonnay.  The folks at Kendall-Jackson have a legion of loyal followers that buy this wine by the gallons and keep them coming back for more year after year.  The highbrowed wine writers also seem to think that King KJ’s Chardonnay is pretty great too…

90 Points – “The 2007…is entirely made from estate fruit. This cuvee seems to get better with each vintage as winemaker Randy Ullom is a virtuoso at producing such high quantity/high quality wine…”
Robert M. Parker Jr., Wine Advocate, December 2008

87 Points – “Made in the familiar style that is K-J Vintner’s Reserve, this Chardonnay shows pineapple, lemondrop, mineral and spice flavors balanced with crisp coastal acidity.”
Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, February 2009

Wow these guys sound like they really liked the King’s juice.   With great press like this from such highly regarded wine writers and the millions of loyal subjects that line up to buy this wine, it has to taste good, right?

Unfortunately, King KJ is not a good and noble King in my opinion.  He’s very deceitful.  He drowns his loyal followers in high amounts of sugar and oak and then pretends that his wine is bursting with tropical flavors.  Take a sip.  There’s virtually no fruit to be found inside the bottle.  But the integration of oak and sugar are pretty good.  Honestly, it’s truly remarkable what the lab rats at KJ can do with this stuff.  The poor winemakers at KJ are not given a whole lot of fruit to work with.  But what they lack in fruit, they can sure make up for in the lab.  Kudos to them!  I now understand the KJ phenomenon.   It’s sort of like the success of Mountain Dew:  Just one dose of its sugary content and you’re hooked, and then you tell a friend about it.  In the end, I was only able to get down one glass of this concocted Chardonnay.  I give Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay 2 Stars. 

FYI – I do have a half-full leftover bottle for anyone that’s interested.

WineLife365 Rating: 2-Star

Wine Tip – Removing a Wine Label from a Bottle

We’ve all heard the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but how many times have we had a great bottle of wine, tossed the empty, and then forgot what it was that we had?  Here’s a way to put that expression to work:  Save the wine label from the bottle!


Below are two commonly used methods to remove a label from a bottle:


Method 1: Hot Water

  • Fill kitchen sink with very hot water. 
  • Carefully place empty bottle into hot water.
  • Check on bottle in about 2-3 minutes to see if the label is loose.  If not loose, allow for extra soaking time.  In most cases, label will float off.  Peskier labels will require your fingernail or a knife to lift it from the bottle.
  • Lay label on counter to dry. 
  • Once dry, place it in either a piece of plastic wrap or clear ziplock bag and store in a place that you will not forget.


Method 2: Wine Label Removers

  • There’s no need to soak the bottle.  The only work that you have to do is to simply apply the wine label remover over your wine label and then peel back.  Voila - your label is removed!  


Wine Dictionary – Torrontes

torrontesTorrontes is the most popular and widely grown white grape in Argentina. This native Argentinean white grape is grown mainly in the provinces of Catamarca, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan and Rio Negro.  The Torrontes grape produces wine with a very strong floral scent to it – and I’m not joking when I say a strong floral scent!  It hits you like you’ve just walked into a flower shop.  The Torrontes wine shares many similar attributes to a Viognier wine:  Torrontes wines exhibit a floral scent and generally have a powerful punch of peach and citrus flavors, similar to Viogniers.

Torrontes is a great sipping or “stand-alone” wine.  It’s terrific with salads, cheeses and grilled/smoked meats.  It’s really awesome with spicy dishes as well!

Wine Review – 2005 Ironstone Vineyards Shiraz

2005-ironstone-vineyards-shirazFrom: California

Price: $8.99


I love trying new wines, and the fact that this wine was an American-made Shiraz priced under $10, it really sparked my curiosity.


I was expecting and hoping for a great inexpensive American-style Shiraz that possessed some or all of that great Australian big ripe fruit and spice flavor to which I have become accustomed.  Unfortunately, the 2005 Ironstone Vineyards Shiraz fell short of meeting my expectations.  This Shiraz is rather watery and had little to no spice to it.  A pepperoni and sausage pizza couldn’t even breathe some excitement into this American Shiraz.  It was just ok to me.


I give the 2005 Ironstone Vineyards Shiraz 2 Stars.  At $8.99 a bottle, you’ve got several better choices “Down Under”.


WineLife365 Rating: 2-Star

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