Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy - 2012 Hangtime Chardonnay

      Hello everyone and welcome back for another great wine review. Today I will be discussing the 2012 Hangtime Chardonnay. This wine was cellared as well as bottled and owned by the famous Michael Mondavi. So let's begin by telling you that this is certainly what is referred to as a "new world" version of the Chardonnay varietal. This terminology is due to it's lack of dominate crispness and acidity and its fruit forward notes of tropical fruits. Certainly there a hint, perhaps actually a bit more than a hint of a crispness or acidity which appears on the back end of this wine but for the most part and fairly dominantly there is an overwhelming mouth and Palette of fruit forwardness present. This fruit forwardness  of course isn't a problem for those of you who desire that new world freshness in their Chardonnay. A buttery note in the wine was placed nicely and compliments the moderately sweeter notes. Neither note was over the top and the notes finished nicely and evenly across the Palette. As a side note, I actually drank this wine room temperature as I do all my wines and I think that really brought this wines notes out rather nicely. I think if this wine was chilled it would cut the fruit on the front Palette slightly as coldness has a way of doing. This could either be something that is perceived as nice at times and at other times not so nice, it all depends on what you expect from your Chardonnay. This can wine came be drank when at room temperature and at the same time I can envision this wine being drank slightly chilled while sitting on a nice cushioned chair outside while wearing your favorite ski jacket and watching the stars. WOW, what an imagination huh:). Back to the acidity or crispness for a little bit. This wine can please both the old as well as the new world Chardonnay drinkers if the crispness or acidity was integrated better.  Since the sweeter fruit notes of forwardness are stronger perhaps the acidity would have been better up front to fit that bill. There is also the slight note of Grapefruit that is almost hidden. A super nice Pear is also up front as well. There is no flatness on the Palette or a time where the fruit notes falls off and leave dead space on the Palette either. This white finishes strong and in my book has the perfect name (Hangtime) given to it. These were Chardonnay grapes given more "hangtime" to develop a higher Brix or sugar level in the grapes. Before moving on let me say that when I use the term "fruit forward"  I do not mean simply a sugar note. What I mean is that due to the true notes being fruit, there is sugar that naturally comes along with that fruit. Some would say that the fruit forwardness or sugar note might be a bad thing but in a wine that is fruit forward like this is simply natural and to be expected. This is a moderately soft and pleasant wine that can really scream either Summer or Winter in my book. Here s wine that has the ability to go along with your mind set at the time. Adding to these notes is a slight bit of a Limestone type edge that contributes to the slight acidity and crispness. Summing this wine up now I feel that I have to split the ratings that I give it on The Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale. Let's begin with the first part of the two part split.
   The first split is for the new world Chardonnay lovers. Looking at the notes that I feel this wine presents you have to already know that the wine is a must buy for you. To explain a little further I'll repeat the following. Kiwi, Mango, buttery. These are just to name a few.  The word "Hangtime" should also mean something to you due to the extra time for the Brix level to rise. On a scale of 1-10 in reference to the fruit forwardness level I would place this wine at 6 3/4. On The Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale I would place this wine at 92 points for the new world Chardonnay lover. Now, onto the lovers of "Old World" Chardonnay.
   For you lovers of the old world Chardonnay here is the second part. This wine will not fare nearly as well for you. You guys also can read the notes that I detected in this wine and realize that this wine is not for you. They are not notes that you guys would find appropriate in this varietal. For you folks I place this wine at an 85 (Drinkable, ordinary, non-distinctive, does not hold to varietal standards) on The Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale.
   Having said all this you now have my feelings on this wine. This is a double edged sword and one that is targeted towards a specific audience. For that audience it fits the bill perfectly. For the non targeted audience, you can do much better.
   Now, how did I feel about this wine? Well......this is a wine that I cannot take too seriously. To me a Chardonnay should always a dry and crisp varietal of wine. In reference to this I will now tell you something about yours truly, I love the "Old School" or original in almost anything. To me, being a child of the mid 80s the music of "New Wave" is real music. I guess you could say that I am a traditionalist. While that doesn't mean that I can't find a use for the "new world" wines I try my best to stay away from that in this varietal of wine. I would put this wine at the 85 points rating in my book.

                                                                                                                   The Desert Wine Guy   

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy - 2011 Fortuitous Vixen - Sultry Cellars (Cellar 433)

   Once again folks, we are going back to the state of Arizona for this wine review, This time we are in the town of Jerome ( Arizona.  For those of you who don't already know, I believe that Arizona happens to grow some really wonderful wine. My last review of an Arizona wine was the 2011 Sultry Cellars (Cellar 433) "Crop" ( which I rated at 89 points (has character, is well balanced, & distinctive) and I really enjoyed it. The first item of note that I would like to point out is that this wine contains 4 different varietals. The wine is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sémillion, 10% Chenin Blanc, and 10% Grenache Blanc.The one varietal I would like to pay particular attention to for a minute here is the varietal known as the Semillon (pronounced "sem-ih-yon." ) grape. I don't know about you but prior to this wine I had never heard of the Semillon grape and up until experiencing it in this wine I knew nothing about it. Let's go ahead for a few minutes and talk about this varietal a little bit.

   Semillion is the actually the third most poplar grape in France with the first and second most popular being in order of popularity of the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc varietals. The Semillon grape is often used to blend with the varietal Sauvignon Blanc (as it is here) as well as the Muscadelle. The characteristics of the Semillon are Lemon, Pear and green papaya and can be aged in Oak to bring about a rather rich, creamy lemon notes. In this case there is certainly a nice amount of that "creamy note" to be enjoyed by the way. The lemon note seems to be sort of a mixed with an almost over ripe Nectarine, there are certainly no complaints here whatsoever. The Semillon varietal also lends itself to a higher Alcohol content (in this case 14.06%) yet is low in acidity. As a little side note the worlds most exalted dessert wines, Sauternes is made mostly with Semillon grapes. The varietal is an important blending component in White Bordeaux as well. The varietal of Semillion is also very prone to the development of  Botrytis which enables the production of the amazing characteristics that lovers of sweet wine love so much. While being a late budding varietal it is also an early ripening grape. I ended up enjoying this varietal in the wine.
    I could just end this review right here and give you my rating and be done with it but as George Michael says in his Blu-ray of Live in London (yeah I'm watching it now :), "I'm not that kind of guy, I wouldn't do that to you" so I will indeed, not do that to you. The strong note of the Semillon varietal of grape really brought this wine to life and I was rather impressed with it. Notes of Lemon and Nectarine showed themselves off each fighting for notice and in competition with the Semilon certainly winning. A medium bodied Peach presented itself along the way as well as a Papaya note which was present as well to impress you. A sense of Alcohol on the Pallate was noted here as well but was in no way to the point of being offensive which is of course indeed good. The Chenin Blanc varietal which is in here from France as well brought a brilliance to this wine which compounded a slight tartness to the finish that also was not offensive to the Palatte. An did I mention a hint of tartness on the back end? Yes, there is a hint of lemony tartness on the sides of the Tongue as well as the back Palatte. Let's go further and tell you that there is a bonus of a buttery note that is almost behind the scenes here that helped cut and and add a smoothness to what otherwise might have been a possibly slightly harsh wine. This is a wine where the sides of your Tongue are dazzled with the zesty Lemony note. There is a surprise of a Vanilla note as well. Yeah I said a Vanilla note. Are you imagining the wine yet? 
   So here we are folks, the end of a review of what I consider to be a superior wine white. What an incredibly clean, crisp white wine I now have the honor of presenting to you, the reader. Once again I could end this review, be done and go about my business. That however will have to wait a few minutes as I have some more information to enlighten you with. As with most of my reviews I want you to learn something. In this review I want you to learn not only about this particular wine but about Arizona wine. As you know, I don't get paid for any of this. When I "push" a wine or a state or a region it is because I truly believe these things are worth pushing. In this case I of course am reviewing this wine but in the long run I am also happily and confidently pushing Arizona as a wine producer. Who would believe that a Desert could produce such incredible wine grapes? Being that I grow my own wine grapes I of course do, however for most the term "Desert" conjures up visions of sand dunes and no life at all. For those of us who grow vegetables, fruit (and wine grapes) we know this vision of Dessert nothingness is but a myth. I am so happy that I discovered the "Dessert" of Arizona for seriously incredible wines. Now, as for Oak. I did taste a bit of the eighteen months in Oak but nothing that I would say would dominate or alter all the other notes that I did and you as well will enjoy here in this wine.
   In an effort to wrap this up I am going to rate this wine at 92 (Wine just blows you away. Just makes you yearn for more.) points on The Desert Wine Guy rating Scale. Very full bodied white wine that I really enjoyed and highly recommend to you guys. Next time you are up in the neighborhood of the town of Jerome Arizona you simply must stop in at Cellar 433 as well as the other 3 wineries located there. Jerome also happens to be part of the Verde Valley Wine Trail ( as well that incorporates the surrounding cities of Cottonwood, Sedona, Clarkdale and

                                                                                                                   The Desert Wine Guy  


Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy - The Scam Of The Tasting Room

   Today I want to step away from the wine reviews and do a quick article about wine tasting fees. I want to talk about how in my opinion these wine tasting fees have gone completely INSANE. I first want to start off by stating what some winery's charge for you to taste their wines. Let's head on over to the most famous area in America to taste wines and that is the Napa valley. Before I get into the actual fees though, I think that I should break down just how many ounces the average wine bottle (750ml) bottle holds which is slightly over 25 ounces. There are also 5 glasses of wine per 750 ml bottle and the average pour is 1.5 oz. Now, keeping these things in mind and doing a little simple math I believe you will see that there is a major issue in the heart of the wine land.
  To begin with I'll start off with my favorite Napa valley winery and that is Peju. I love a wonderful Peju Cabernet Sauvignon. As a matter of fact, the Peju winery produced the highest rated Cabernet Sauvignon that I have ever reviewed ( and that is the 2011 Peju Cabernet Sauvignon which I rated at 97 points. The fee to taste a wine at the Peju winery is $35. Yes, you read that right, $35. That is the basic fee because depending on the wines you choose to taste the fee goes up. Let's move to another one of my favorite Napa Valley wineries and that is Beaulieu Vineyards or simply BV for short. The basic wine tasting fee there is $25 for four wines. How about the Stags Leap winery where you will spend $65 per person for a 90 minute tour and tasting? Let's see about Black Stallion  (
winery where you will pay $35 for two tastings and a cheese platter? The tastings go up to $60. How about Stags Leap Wine Cellars where the basic tasting (3 tastes) is $45. In order to get the tasting free each taster must buy two bottles each. Let's do one last one. How about going to Caymus Vineyards and paying $50 for a 5 wine tasting? Now, let;s wrap up this short but I think informative article and pit things into perspective a little.
For the sake of easy math, I will put a pour at 2 oz so that would mean that at Peju winery if three different wines were tasted at a total of $35 that would mean (again making it easy) you paid $10 for each tasting so you would be spending around $120 for a bottle of wine. That means that if the winery sells a bottle of wine for $50 at the store, they would be making not only the profit on the charge of $50 but they would be making $70 OVER that for a total of $120 and of which the majority is profit. I don't know about you but I am in the wrong line of work. Keep in mind that the average wine bottle in America costs just slightly more than $10 ( If you use the math and figure the profit a winery would make if they could convince us (NOT) all to simply pay for tastings and not buy the bottle. The reason that I wrote this article is that I believe that anyone has a lot of nerve to charge you to try or taste their product in order for you to buy their product. The entire purpose of a business is to sell something (in this case wine) and  the winery should be inviting you in with free samples in order to sell you a bottle of wine that they are making profit on anyway. I guess are probably going to be some of you out there who will disagree with me but for the life of me I can't understand why you would. The sample is supposed to be an introduction to a product so that you will hopefully like it and buy it. If you guys have strong feelings on this matter I would love to hear from you so don't be shy.  Well I think I have made myself angry now :) so I will end this article having myself learned more than I really wanted to know about how much wineries really make. Remember that The Desert Wine Guy is all about wine for the average wine drinker and I myself have learned a lot today in doing the research for this article.

                                                                                                                 The Desert Wine Guy

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy- IG Winery - Instant Gratification - Allure

Instant Gratification - Allure

  Welcome back everyone to The Desert Wine Guys wine blog. Today we will be looking at my review of a white blend from IG Winery ( which is located in Cedar City, Utah. This particular review wine is of a non vintage, propitiatory blend of white wine varietals as well as grape growing locations. The wine that I am going to review today is the Instant Gratification - Allure. As a side note, the Instant Gratification label is a second label that Winemaker and winery owner, Doug McCombs introduced back in 2014. The red wine of this series is entitled "Seduction" while the White wine is entitled "Allure". For those of you who are interested, I have previously reviewed and rated the 2013 Instant Gratification Chardonnay ( giving it a rating of only an 85 unfortunately, let's hope that this wine fairs much better.
Winemaker / Owner Doug McCombs
  Let's go ahead and start this review from the beginning with a very quick mention of the pour. Upon pouring the wine into my glass the wine appeared only a very slightly Golden in color. There was nothing special to speak of about the wine as far as it's appearance in the glass, it was rather plain in appearance and unimpressive. Now don't start to worry about this as it doesn't necessarily mean anything detrimental concerning the wine, at least not in my book. Prior to starting to panic we have to proceed to and answer the the next question. What is that question?  The question was (which to me is the real issue) would the Palette be impressive or would it fall short as in the appearance in the glass? I am sure that I don't have to tell you guys that if the wine doesn't taste good (Palette) what is the use of the wine looking good in a glass or displaying a nice Bouquet. With these questions being thrown out there, let's try to answer them. On the nose there disappointment because really isn't a Bouquet to speak of. Yeah, there is a slightly lemony nose present and perhaps also an ever so slight hint of the Kiwi as well but for the most part there is nothing that really stands out. So we see at the beginning that starting off here we have a wine with an unimpressive display in the glass as well as an unimpressive (for the most part) Bouquet. Are these two (2) aspects of a wine really that important? My answer would be that it all depends on the price of the wine as well as what else the wine offers or brings to the table. With that being said, let's move to the last aspect of a wine and that is how the wine tastes on the Palette.

 On the Palette this wine comes across as rather dry but with a decent amount of fruit yet it is not what I would consider an overly fruity white wine. Immediately after noticing the dryness to the Palette I did notice a surprising Raspberry note that for me seemed out of place, perhaps I was fooled into simply looking at the color of the wine in my glass and by not seeing any hint of a reddish hue it completely in my mind threw out the possibility of a reddish fruit tasting notes appearing on the Palette, I don't know. Continuing on from there I noticed that there was a slight harshness or Alcohol type acidity that stood out in my mouth.  Although the Alcohol percentage is slightly lower than average it still was noticeable. As a side note, lately it seems that in my reviews of white wines I have been for some reason finding a few of them to be exhibiting that alcohol type acidity and I am not really sure why. At times the alcohol / acidity note I found to actually be welcome and seemed to elevate or enhance this wine, perhaps this was due to the other notes the wine possessed. There are times where this same alcohol acidity note that I found pleasing in this wine would simply ruin another wine but that is not the case here. Perhaps it was because the alcohol / acidity note was on the finish and added that dryish aspect to the wine. Further allowing the wine to sit in my mouth I detected a note of Pear hidden to an extent deep within the wine. Black Pepper as well stands out in here and as with all the other notes, I found it rather nice. Not to be outdone, there is a Lemony note in here as well that is not at the level of being tart and blends rather nicely with all the other notes.
The Lemon note added a drying component to this wine that allowed it to present itself as a more than semi dry wine. Be aware however that the wine does take some getting use to on the Palette before you can actually pick up and enjoy the notes of Pear as well as the slight residual sugar on the Palette. A note of Nectarine that is fairly prominent stands out as well here. If this wine is sounding nice to you that's good because it is nice and I am loving it. A quick note here concerning my comment of "slight residual sugar" that I mentioned. This wine is definitely not a "sugar bomb" as some Secondarily Fermented whites can be. This wine stands on it's own as being refreshing and having some nice complexity to it. The wine is overall fairly light yet still maintains a semi-dry and very flavorful wine on the Palette. I really thought this wine was really impressive to say the least. Add to this a moderate Kiwi note and you have yourself a pretty nice white wine. The Kiwi truly was bold and presented itself on mid Palette without any shyness to it whatsoever. O.k everyone, I hope that I have described a wine to you that you are thinking about buying. I think it is time now to wrap this review up so let's get to it because I have some wine to enjoy.
  A nice, bold, ambitious attempt at a second label to say the least has been created here by Winemaker Doug McCombs . While not really an up in your face wine it is  up front with it's citrus / lemony / Acidic side. A wine perfect for some fresh Rainbow Trout or a non-spicy Sushi or perhaps a chicken dinner that is cooked without Lemon (this wine has enough) would go rather nicely as well. So now that we know what the wine brings to the table I will add the last bit of information that you need to know that will make this a wine to purchase and that last bit of information is that the wine costs $9.99. On The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I am going to give this wine a solid 91 points. While the wine did lose a couple of points for the lack of appearance in my glass it gained one (1) point back for it's price.  
Wine Aging In Wooden Barrels

                                                                                                                 The Desert Wine Guy

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Desert WIne Guy - Sanders Family Winery - Serenity White Wine Blend

Non Vintage - Serenity
   Folks if there was ever a wine made for the Summertime and at the same time made for those of us who don't believe that hot weather equates to a highly sugary White wine, this is it. Jack Sanders who owns the Sanders Family Winery ( came up with this blend of whites and boy did he create a smash hit in my book. Think for a second of a wonderful vacation pool where towels are provided for you and a super hot Waitress (or Waiter for you Ladies) arrives at your pool or ocean side table to take your order, where the only worry is which beach to go to for Dinner or what shorts to wear with those new sandals. Think of the Ocean you are in front of and the Dolphins that are swimming with the tourists just a few steps in front of you. You now have the perfect vision (or memory possibly) in your mind in relation to enjoying this wine. Jack has created the best summer white blend and bottled it up right here for you to enjoy. Let me move on now talk a little bit about what this wine has to offer and what it doesn't have.
Jack Sanders
   The first thing this wine has to offer is a softness that is truly experienced gently and softly on the Palette. While the wine is definitely full of light tropical notes, these tropical notes are subtle yet not not subtle enough where you don't or won't appreciate the level at which they are at. These tropical notes also have a unique way of displaying themselves without any particular one stepping on or exhibiting dominance over the other. Let's discuss now the note of Apple that is on the Palette. I would have to say that the Apple note would be more of the Red Delicious variety rather that of a tart Granny Smith if I had to explain the softness it displays. The light Honeysuckle is just that, light Honeysuckle and adds a sort of softness and subtly to the wine. Little did I know but my whole perception of a white wine blend specifically made for the Summer was about to be turned on it's head. I say so long to the Wine Cooler type Summer White wine that I would in the past have to subject myself to while at the pool if I wanted a really cold White. Moving on with the other notes now, there is a Peach note in here as well which I can only describe as light and tropical, it also feels as if half the sugar was removed from the fruit but yet enough was retained for you to experience the entire flavor of a wonderful peach. In case you are beginning to think that this wine was lacking that Summer punch, please do not worry, it lacks nothing except the overdone sweetness or fruit forwardness that we are all use to in this type of wine. None of the notes presented themselves as flat, dull or bland. None of the notes in this wine present a bitter or off taste in any way. To me folks this is all good as I have truly grown tired of the over the top, slightly carbonated sugary whites that are made for and seem to dominate the hot months. The notes of light tropical peach, light Honeysuckle, Red Apple and Pear (which I will get to in a moment) are more than noticeable and have a way of coming across bright yet not sharp or snappy on your Palette so please don't let the words "subtle" or "light" scare you as you will taste every not at perfect levels here in this wine.  The wine will indeed wake up your Palette without distorting it or overloading it with sweetness. As I have just previously mentioned, there is also a Pear note in this lovely wine that I absolutely believe was half of what helped make this wine great and as in the the other notes in this wine, are nowhere near being over the top. As far as the sugary level of the Pear have no worries, the Pear is right on par (hey, I like that :) with the other notes. As an added bonus there is a note of Jasmine that only adds to the wines gentleness, softness or delicacy on the mouth. So, now that I have told you about what the wine has that makes it great, let me talk about what the wine does NOT have that also makes it great. 
Guest Enjoying Themselves At The Winery
  Starting off here I will tell you that there is no harsh Alcohol presence in your mouth since the wine sits at a very reasonable 12.5%. There was no warming or burning sensation on the Palette. My glass in fact had almost no "legs" to speak of and that was good as "legs" are a sign of a wine that has either  high Alcohol or sugar levels. There is also no  "pucker factor" or anything overly bright concerning the fruit notes, nothing even close to being considered over the top that would ruin the unique softness or that would possibly offend the Palette. If you are looking for these things in a White summer blend than you should move on to another wine. As a surprise (at least to me) there was also no carbonation of fizz / tingle (secondary fermentation) that is usually felt on the tip of the tongue and that other light Summer white blends tend to throw into their wines to possibly cover up faults in the wine. One other item of interest that this wine doesn't have and this could go good or bad but in this case I take it as good since it really isn't needed in this wine is a Bouquet. The Bouquet is exactly on par to what the other wines notes are, yes you definitely smell the Bouquet but it is also certainly the epitome of subtlety. O.K, so the wine that I have described to you hopefully has peaked your interest in purchasing a few bottles, at least I hope it has. This is one of those wines where you owe it to yourself to enjoy. This is an awesome wine that is not meant to be taken seriously. That does not mean that it is lacking in anything because it is not, it does an absolutely wonderful job in doing exactly what Jack designed it to do and that job is to compliment and assist you in enjoying the sun and hot Summer months ahead yet at the same time not making it all about the wine. Now, it is time to wrap things up so let's get to that.
Sanders Family Winery

   So, here we go, let's wrap this up now. Straight out I will tell you that on The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I am placing this wine at 94 points (94–97 Superb a great achievement) for what it is. So, what exactly is it. What it is is a White wine blend made by a Man who knows not only what the books says about growing wine grapes and making wine but also what nature it self says about the vine, grapes they grow and the process of making wine.  This is a wine made by a man who also obviously understands what the word "grace" means. Folks, get online or head on down to the Vineyard and tasting room both located in Pahrump Nevada which is about 45 minutes to an hour North of Las Vegas and grab a bottle (no a few bottles) of this wine that sells for $11.95 than bring it home, relax and enjoy it.
  A previous release of this wine was reviewed by in in September of 2014 ( and I have to say that Jack continues to improve his wine making abilities as time goes on.

                                                                                                                 The Desert Wine Guy

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy - The Realities Of Alcohol

  Great news everyone, Alcohol has now been declared to be healthier than water folks. Drinking Alcohol also helps you live 25 years longer that you would have without it. Drinking five shots of Vodka daily cleans your blood of all impurities as well. Did you know that drinking Alcohol cures all Cancers and eliminates all viruses? O.K folks, lets get real now. While these headlines might be exaggerated slightly there is research(?) concerning Alcohol that might surprise you and as wine drinkers, even thrill us, but is this ....research something that you should trust? While this may be a weird article coming from someone who drinks and writes about Alcohol, I want everyone to understand that there is such a thing as overdoing something as well. The question is how much ingestion of poison (in this case Alcohol) is too much? In my opinion while consuming very small Amounts of Alcohol might be O.K, moderate to large amounts are harmful and in some cases can even be deadly. Damage from Alcohol is cumulative as we probably already know. Years of overdoing it can in fact, lead to death. With this being said today I want to write about a subject that is something we all should be aware of and that subject is Alcohol. I also want to write this article because I am upset at all the junk science that is being spewed out today in the so called "news" media concerning Alcohol. It seems that everywhere you look there is news(?) or articles about how Alcohol is a positive thing and, even healthy for you. Yeah, that's right lately the news has been saying that Alcohol is actually good for you. Oh they may switch the conversation around and talk about 1 negative aspect of what is bad concerning Alcohol itself but for the most part the junk science wants to convince us all that Alcohol is really actually a good thing for us. Well, today I will address the Alcohol debate by simply starting off educating you about Alcohol. Now, please keep in mind that I am not a Doctor and I am not attempting to give you any medical advice. I recommend that if you have any questions you do your own research and investigation into this matter yourself. O.K, now to begin with, what is Alcohol?
  To begin with here the type of Alcohol that I will be discussing in this article is named Ethyl Alcohol which is drinking Alcohol and is produced by the fermentation of grains and fruits. Pure Ethyl Alcohol is colorless and toxic to the Central Nervous System. In the body, Alcohol is converted to Acetaldehyde and than to Carbon Dioxide and water ( Alcohol is metabolized primarily (90 percent) in the liver (Cirrhosis). The initial effects of consumption of Alcohol are being overly giddy or happy, relaxed or experiencing a feeling of tranquillity and can also appear to suppress anxiety, and even inspire feelings of confidence (liquid courage). The reason for these effects is that Alcohol relaxes us and removes our inhibitions is because it effects our brain by starting to slow it down. This alters our thinking process. So now that we have listed some of the seemingly acceptable, or more pleasant effects of Alcohol drinking let's move on to the progressive effects of the consumption of Alcohol. Before I get into that area however, I want you to remember that as always I am going to keep it real so to speak. For most if not all of you guys some of this information will be stuff you already know but I hope I have thrown information in this article that will also educate you as well. Let me kick the next paragraph off by stating that Alcohol is a depressant as well as a poison! Having said that bluntly, let's carry on.
  While Alcohol is indeed a depressant and a poison it can (as already stated above) in very small amounts indeed have some seemingly positive effects on us.While light consumption of Alcohol once and a while may be a good thing and in MY OPINION is better than being put on psyche drugs of any kind, too much Alcohol alters our thinking pattern dangerously and can also convince us that engaging in risky behaviors such as fighting ("liquid courage"), driving, swimming, having unprotected sex, or operating machinery is also O.K. As we continue to drink and the poisoning of our body becomes worse we start to exhibit more serious symptoms such as slurred speech, difficulty in focusing, mental confusion, becoming sad or crying for reasons that do not appear appropriate to those who are not drinking. I am sure we can all relate to some if not all of the lesser or acceptable symptoms and perhaps even the risky behavior as well. As the Alcohol poisoning becomes worse the slurred speech, difficulty in walking become more serious and progress until you not being able to be understood other people or things or you actually are falling down and injuring yourself, the Alcohol poisoning is progressing to the point where you are in now danger and serious consequences of the poisoning begin to occur. Let's briefly discuss that poisoning for a minute..
  The end stages of the Alcohol poisoning are now appearing such as Vomiting which by the way is your bodies way of attempting to rid itself of the poison you put into it and save itself (your life). You may now have lost the ability to walk at all or perhaps are pronouncing words coherently or you can no longer form sentences. In the final stage the Alcohol poisoning will cause seizures, coma and than finally death as the end result.
  For the sake of time I won't even get into the long term effects of Alcohol abuse such as Cirrhosis because I think I have gone on long enough but I will add that according to the World Health Organization, Alcohol is associated with over 200 types of disease and injuries and is linked to over 3.3 million deaths around the world each year (
  Let's now move on to what I call the new "junk science" that says Alcohol is actually healthy for you. Please note that as I have already said, I am in no way attempting to say that occasional small amounts of Alcohol have SOME (not many) short term benefits. My point is simply to give you the information that you need to know so that you can make up your own mind on the consumption of Alcohol. So, now that you know what Alcohol is and what it does let's look into what the new "junk science" is attempting to convince us of.
  According to the Sydney Morning Herald ( ".....moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of initially presenting with several, but not all, cardiovascular diseases,"" The Georgetown Dish ( says that "a recent study published in the Journal, Clinical Nutrition found that only light drinking (1-7 drinks per week) was associated with a reduced risk of heart disease". How about the May 2017 issue of Wine Spectator Magazine ( who posted an article entitled "More Proof That Wine May prevent Dementia". I guess poison is now actually good for you. OK, OK, I know what your going to say, what about Resveratrol, I thought there are studies that show it is great for the heart and doesn't that come from the Red grape skin? Well folks here is the real story about Resveratrol. According to WebMD ( there isn't any specific dosage recommendation". The article goes on to say that to get the dose used in some studies you would need to consume 2,000 milligrams a day".
The average glass of Red wine (5.3 ounces) contains around 1 - 1.5 milligram of  Resveratrol. That means that you would have to drink around 200 glasses of red wine a day.
  According to Palate Press which boast that it is an online wine magazine, "There is good news for diabetics. “Peak blood sugar concentration is 30% lower after a meal that includes a glass of wine,” Dr. D’Agata reports. “That lower blood sugar is at the core of why wine is good for you.” or “We could do something at the school level and get them early and promote a healthy way to drink wine,” concludes D’Agata. Did you read that? "get them early and promote a healthy way to drink wine". Now we see that people believe that we should be teaching our kids to drink wine. According to the Georgetown Dish ( ".... Through the decades, most studies have shown that light to moderate alcohol intake is connected to a reduction in all causes of death...". One last example here is on Cosmopolitan on line ( cardiologist Dr Alexander Jones of UCL “agrees that alcohol raises your risk of a wide range of cancers but believes there is decent evidence that alcohol can be beneficial for the heart." How about in the same article  "In the case of dementia, some research shows that those who are considered ‘light drinkers’ are less likely to develop neurodegenerative conditions, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases." After reading the facts about Alcohol that I have posted in the prior paragraphs and now after reading all these comments by .......doctors(?) that moderate Alcohol consumption is actually good for you, the choice is yours on what to believe. Keep in mind also that originally Doctors once said publicly ( that smoking cigarettes was actually good for you.
  So, what is the point behind this article Desert Wine Guy? Good question guys and here is my answer. It is pretty obvious to everyone that I consume Alcohol so I am not saying that you should stop consuming Alcohol. I think I wrote this article because I am so tired of reading one day that Alcohol is good for you and the next day reading that Alcohol is bad for you. I simply wanted to lay out what I believe are the facts and let you make your decision. I am tired of the so called "news" sending out mixed messages on everything (wine in this case). I am reminded of the literary classic 1984 by George Orwell and what is called in the book, "double speak". Folks, I have laid out the facts as I see them I leave the rest up to you.

                                                                                                                 The Desert Wine Guy

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy - 2011 Chateau Ste Michell - Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon.

   Today I am going to talk about the 2011 Chateau Ste Michell (  Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine sells for $28 and has an Alcohol percentage at 14.5%. You know guys I have to tell you something. I was speaking to a representative from a wine distributor the other day and she almost laughed when I told her my thoughts are on Chateau Ste Michelle wines in general. I found out right then and there that there are a number of people in the wine industry who don't take Chateau Ste Michell seriously and I have no idea why. Well everyone I happen to love a lot of the wine that they put out and today you will be reading a review on a wine that reinforces that belief and perhaps changes or influences yours as well.  So lets go ahead and see what I think of the 2011 Chateau Ste Michell Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. One last thing. Please be aware that there is the Indian Wells vineyard available as well. This is not the wine I reviewed so if you run out and get the wine please ensure it is from the Canoe Ridge Vineyard. This wine was aged for 22 months in 47% new French Oak and 28% new American Oak and is a blend of 95% Canoe Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot. the production amount of this wine is just over 10,000 cases.
Chateau Ste Michell

   I want to start off in a weird place for this wine but it is an place that I feel is important in my even looking at a wine. The  place I want to start off is with the label of this wine. In my opinion the way the bottle looks is whether I will even take it seriously. What I mean is I don't want to see a wine with goofy designs or pictures of painting or skeletons on Horses. If you want me to spend $30 as in this case, on a bottle of wine than at least try to convince me that there is a serious wine inside the bottle and you do that by starting off putting a serious label on the bottle and the second thing is put a cork in it. This wine had both. The label of this wine happened to be very professional and classy and I appreciated it.
   Let's begin here with the Bouquet. Here we have a wine here with actually a rather wonderful, full featured bouquet. A bouquet that I was simply floored by. To say that his is a busy bouquet would be an understatement. We are talking about very serious, Dark Plum here . How about some Anise spice in the Bouquet? The Anise spice adds a hint of sort of Licorice to the bouquet which is amazing combined with the next note which is Dark Cherry.  Sometimes when I am relaxing in my loft and enjoying the bouquet of a wine I find it truly amazing how one can smell different aromas in a wine. Think about it. This Bouquet comes from a grape. You and I can take a wine grape and it would not taste like it would when an experienced wine maker gets done with it. Finishing up on the Bouquet now, no one note dominated over the other as can be in some wines although this is not necessarily a bad thing. I think I know now where the word "Heaven" in the Vineyards name cane from.  Lets move to the tasting section now.
Chateau Ste Michelle Tasting Room

   So there I was sitting in my Loft and sipping on this wine, holding it in my mouth and simply enjoying the flavors that it had to show off. While the wine was in my mouth I was thoroughly entranced.  If not for the fact that I had a whole bottle ahead of me I probably would have just sat longer and contemplated life while keeping the wine in my mouth. I truly can't say enough about how this wine impressed my Palette. No note dominated over another and each note was distinct and able to stand on it's own.  To the palette there were numerous notes and they consisted  of Dark Plum, Anise as well as Dark cherry. WOW!!! To say that my mouth was really busy tasting all these different tastes is an understatement. I remember sitting back in my chair saying "cool".  There were also slight notes of Black cherry, Black Pepper,  Cassis and some fairly nice Tannins. With the exception of the Tannins the notes were all in small amounts but they definitely were enough for one to take note of. There was also the Anise spice in here as well which added a Licorice type note as well. What a wonderful wine I was holding in my hand. I have to say that I believe Chateau Ste Michelle has made some pretty nice wine in the last few years. The wine has some nice complexity to it and is not a typical "pool" red that I have review a few times. This wine is meant for a serious Cabernet Sauvignon drinker and one who is use to spending a lot more that $30 on as quality a wine as this one. Well if you are thinking that I am done with how the wine was expressing itself in my mouth you would be wrong.  You want Oak? You got Oak. The wine is on the Oakey side as well, a nice soft Oak that isn't harsh by any means.  To top things off there was even the note of Bing Cherry. Getting back to the Tannins for just a minute, there are more than enough Tannins to keep this wine going for some time so I wouldn't hesitate in picking up a few bottles and putting them away in a cellar for some time.  If you think NOW that we are done with the various notes in this wine you would still be wrong. There was an amazing Green Pepper note present in here as well.  What an exceptional wine.
   On The Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale I very comfortably place this wine at 92 points.
Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard
In my wrap up of this review I wanted to see just how my rating of 92 points held up to the so called "professionals" ratings. What I saw was interesting. Wine Spectator rated this wine at 92 points as well and Wine Enthusiast rated it 91 points.

***I would like to end this review by releasing the new Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale***

                                                                                                                   The Desert Wine Guy

  • Unbelievable   98-100 - Perfect or just about
  • Excellent         90-97 - Wine just blows you away. Just makes you yearn for more.
  • Very Good      86-89 - Has character, is well balanced, & distinctive.
  • Good               83-85 - Drinkable, ordinary, non-distinctive, does not hold to varietal standards
  • Did not like    78-82 - Not recommended