Melanie's Wine Reviews

Melanie’s Wednesday Wines ~ June 27, 2007

Melanie Hoffman

2006 Swirling Dervish, Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast ~ … Oh sorry, I was mesmerized by the Psychedelic label art; I forgot that I was tasting the wine for a moment. Aromas of green grass and honeysuckle dominate the nose. Exotic Cattleya orchid fragrance intrigues the senses, rounding out the bouquet with vanilla bean and cream cheese. Extra smooth mouthfeel offers star fruit, honey and more fresh grass. Well balanced bright palate exhibits a touch of ginger in the lingering finish. Enjoy this wine tonight with pan-fried snapper in a passion fruit cream sauce and a side of sautéed zucchini and crooked neck squash. ~ $7.99

2005 Chapters, Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County – The Dream ~ Crisp, clean bouquet of lemon custard, sweet cream and kiwi fruit. Palate opens with Myer lemon and additional notes of tangerine and nectarine. A pleasant finish with hints of fresh grass. This Sauv Blanc would compliment a thick slice of New York Cheesecake. The lemony nature of the wine with the creaminess of the dessert will bring your palate to nirvana. ~ $15.00

2004 Folonari, Pinot Noir, Italy ~ Bright cheery nose of rose hips and cherries. Hints of rich leather with cocoa and mint. Feels like red satin sheets on your palate. The fruit explodes with cherries and red currants. Touches of blood orange on the mid-palate lead way to espresso in the lingering finish. I had this Pinot with a roast pork loin I had been marinating in a ginger, garlic and sesame teriyaki marinade and it was delicious. ~ $7.99

2004 Alhona Vineyards, Merlot, Carmel Valley ~ An earthy Merlot showcasing rich raspberries and caramel in the bouquet, with hints of smoke and sweet oak. Bright acid and jammy fruit dominate the palate with soft oak. This is a wine to impress your dinner guests with. Excellent tannin structure gives this wine superb cellaring potential. But, make sure you buy it now, as this is a small lot production of 275 cases. However if you can’t wait and want to drink this wine tonight, pair it with fettuccini tossed in a creamy pesto sauce. Add crispy pancetta, diced Roma tomatoes and freshly grated parmesan to take it to the next level. ~ $24.95

2003 Donati Family Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Vineyard, Paicines ~ Deep dark nose filled with a basket full of black fruits; blackberry, black cherry and cassis. Licorice and vanilla bean round out the middle of the bouquet with touches of dark chocolate at the end. Rich medium to full body palate, so smooth it dances on your tongue like Ginger and Fred Astaire. An easy wine that is well balanced, with a smooth fruity finish that expresses a little smoke at the end. With such a rich and elegant wine I would have to pair this with a pepper crusted New York strip on a bed of red potato mashers and a side of Blue Lake green beans, yummy. ~ $25.00

2003 Field Stone Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ~ An aromatic nose of black currants, blueberry and nutmeg spice, with toasty oak and a bit of smoke. Medium body mouthfeel with firm tannin structure. Nicely balanced oak and fruit. Jammy blackberry upfront, red licorice mid-palate and an orange zest finish. I’m thinking pair this wine with a prime rib sandwich, topped with balsamic caramelized red onions, gruyere and fresh horseradish. ~ $24.00

2004 Chapters, Petite Sirah, Central Coast – Fearless ~ Nice cork selection for this wine. The kind you spend a little extra on, for a lot more quality. Juicy, fruity nose of blueberry jam that evolves into black cherry with cedar and vanilla. Medium to full body. Very nice, so nice you want to keep sipping. I had a hard time putting my glass down. Big berry, jammy palate that follows the bouquet with additional white pepper and a long smooth blackberry finish. Try with rosemary-honey glazed rack of lamb over couscous and wilted arugula. ~ $18.00

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