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Archive for the ‘1-Star’ Category

Went Wrong

If you’re a serious food and wine lover, then chances are you’re familiar with both the Food Network and Wente Vineyards

Recently, the world’s premier food and lifestyle network teamed up with one of the most respected wineries in California’s Livermore Valley to create a collection of wines called Entwine.   The central idea behind this interesting name is “the coming together of extraordinary things.”

Sadly, my very first taste of the 2009 Entwine Pinot Grigio (MSRP:  $13 US) was a far cry from extraordinary.  This white wine delivered a mouthful (as well as a nose full) of sawdust and super-tart Granny Smith apples.  Fortunately, the finish was extra short.

1 Star out of 4 for the 2009 Entwine Pinot Grigio.  I was left scratching my head wondering how this wine went so extraordinarily wrong.   

*Note:  I tried this wine over the course of three consecutive days with the same results.

I’m Going to Tell You Something Flaca, and I Want You to Listen Tight…

One of my favorite varietals in the whole world is Riesling.  Originating from the Rhine region of Germany, Rieslings cover a wide spectrum of styles from dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling; and it also blends quite well with other grapes.  It’s an aromatic grape varietal capable of showcasing a wonderful floral bouquet, while delivering just the right amount of an acidic charge – which is what makes this varietal so extra special in my mind.  It can be enjoyed equally as a sipping wine or as an accompaniment to a multi-course meal.  Finally, if you’re not one for oak in your white wine, in most cases, Rieslings are kept pure and oak-free.

If you’re already a fan of this versatile white wine, then you’re probably familiar with offerings from destinations like France, Germany, and from different parts of the US.  However, one place that you may not be aware of that is producing some truly spectacular, bright, lip-puckering and affordable Riesling is the Land of Oz.  As best-selling wine author Mark Oldman of Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine puts it:

 …their splendid Rieslings have been relegated to the shadows when they really deserve a throne of their own.

I’ll second that!!  If you haven’t had the opportunity to try one yet, two of the best Aussie regions to look for when shopping are the Clare and Eden Valleys in South Australia.  So now that I’ve beaten you down with my sermon and finished touting my penchant towards Riesling, I need to share an encounter that I had with an Australian Riesling.

Disclaimer: For some, you may not like this next part, but as Colonel Davy Crockett said, “…that don’t change the truth none.  There’s right and there’s wrong…”

Last night, I endured (not for long thankfully) one of the most devastating losses in quite some time; and sadly, I need to recommend a strong “Beware” on the 2006 Lindemans Bin 75 Riesling.

Lindemans is usually a very reliable Aussie producer, so how can that be?!

Let me start off by saying that Lindemans is one of the largest and premier names in Australian wine; and quite frankly, I’ve never had an awful experience with any of their selections over the years.  However, when I opened up the 2006 Lindemans Bin 75 Riesling, it felt as though I had been turned into a two-stroke engine getting filled with one part gasoline to one part oil.  Sadly, this Aussie Riesling had such an overwhelming and persistent petrol component to it that it was nearly impossible to consume.  To be fair, the rubber meets the road, or petrol factor, is something that can happen to Rieslings as they start to age and mature.  Interestingly enough, this unique profile is actually something that many Riesling collectors pay big bucks to experience.  I’ll pass…

1 star out of 4 for the 2006 Lindemans Bin 75 Riesling (Price:  $8 US).  Caveat emptor!

 

 

Oh Baby…What a Terrible Fall!

In the immortal words of ABC’s Wide World of Sports announcer Jim McKay,

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat…

 

Was I so naïve to think that it was impossible to have a bad Argentinian Torrontes wine?  I know it must have been foolish thinking on my part, but it almost seemed automatic that whether it cost 8, 10, or even 20 dollars – I knew I was going to have a beautifully floral, fresh and electrifyingly acidic bottle of wine.  I believed this because I’ve been batting nearly a thousand with this fantastic type of wine for over a year.  With this in mind, I was really looking forward to opening the 2009 San Telmo Esencia Torrontes. 

As the saying goes, “there’s a first for everything” and inevitably I would have to taste the agony of defeat with my beloved white wine.  The 2009 San Telmo Esencia Torrontes really let me down.  It’s odd, uneven, lacks mile-high acidity and possesses tropical banana and coconut flavors that reminded me more of Tropical Flavored LifeSavers (in a bad way).  Incidentally, it also didn’t possess the signature floral bouquet of Torrontes wine.  Crash!

 

1 Star out of 4.  Shaken by the experience, but not deterred.
(Price: $8.99)

Wine Review – Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red (NV)

rene-barbier-mediterranean-red-nvFrom: Barcelona, Spain
Price: $5.50

If there are two things that I’m a sucker for – it’s a willingness to try any wine regardless of price and red wines hailing from Spain. The Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red (NV) is cheap – Me like. It’s also from Spain – Muy bien, I definitely love the sound of that!

Unfortunately that’s where the story ends for this inexpensive Spanish red that consists of an odd and rather bland tasting combination of Tempranillo and Merlot. I sure wanted to be swept away to that cute little table and chair overlooking the beautiful sunset on a beach.  Instead, I found myself sticking a cork in this fantasy as quickly as I possibly could and snapping back to reality.

I award the Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red (NV) 1 star out of 4.  This is a Mediterranean getaway worth passing up.

WineLife365 Rating: 1-Star

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