Friday, October 26, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - 2015 Chateau Bois Redon - Bordeaux


 Today is your lucky day. Pack your bags and let's get ready to travel because today we are going to take a very long trip to the country of France. Today we are going to check out a Bordeaux which consists of 75% Merlot & 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Before I begin this review I wanted to help clear up a possible problem that many of you might have, I also have a somewhat embarrassing confession to make. Okay so, here I go with the rather embarrassing part. Dear readers, it took me a long time to actually discover what was meant by the word or term, "Bordeaux". There, I said it. For a while guys.......I actually thought that "Bordeaux" was a specific varietal of wine. Now, if there are some of you guys out there who fall into the same arena I have good news for you, there is hope :) I would like to also remind you that part of my mission is to educate the average wine lover (me included obviously) on wine and the industry in general. With that being said, please allow me to educate you  a little more about a "Bordeaux". Bordeaux is actually a City in the country of France. Bordeaux is also the world's major wine industry capital. Bordeaux wine is simply a wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. In order for a wine to be called a Bordeaux it must come from the Bordeaux region just as in order for a sparkling wine to be called Champagne it must come from the Champagne region of France. Wow, that was so simple huh? Basically we are talking about a wine that is simply.....a blend. Here is another little something that I learned. Most Bordeaux wines produced in the region are Red and that is what everyone seems to focus on BUT did you know that they do also produce both sweet white wines as well as dry white wines?  Yeah, me neither. Bordeaux is broken down into two different sections, one of which (left bank) uses mostly 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. This is also known as the "Bordeaux Blend". On the right bank of Bordeaux, where the grapes for this wine were grown and the wine was made, the major varietal used in their reds is Merlot. I hope this sheds some light on the subject for you concerning your knowledge of Bordeaux wine. If you would like to know more on the wines here (https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/wine-topics/bordeaux-wine-buying-guide-tasting-notes-ratings/bordeaux-wine-tasting-notes-ratings-reviews-buying-guide/bordeaux-101-complete-beginner-guide-everything-bordeaux-wine/) is a very informative link.
   Folks, we are now going to begin with a short discussion of the actual label on the bottle of this wine. To begin with, I will freely admit to you that I bought this wine mostly based on the Label. Go ahead, make fun all you want but at least do me a favor and look at the label before you pass judgment. In my opinion this wine is using the Label to scream for us to try it, it needs to be tasted. The wine also happened to be in the section of the big box liquor warehouse store that I bought it from that was dedicated to employee picks. Using these two professional criterion's :) I decided this was my review wine for today. The wine also costs a mere $11 which I find more then reasonable. The wine comes in at 13.5% Alcohol and is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon (being Right Bank). I am very excited to see what the wine looks like in my glass right now so let's get to the main part of this review.
   On the Pour I need to tell you what a simply beautiful Crimson Red liquid is sitting in my glass right now. What came to mind was the word "serious'. The color remains consistent throughout the glass from the edges all the way to the middle of the glass. While sitting there appreciating the color of the wine I understood that the wine was trying to tell me that it is the real deal. Speaking of the color yes, if you looked hard you could see the bottom of the glass but the shade of red that is presented is outstandingly beautiful and promises as well some really nice depth to the wine. If the lights were low and the Fireplace were on, this would be all you would need other then the right company and oh yeah, some New Zealand rack of Lamb in order to have the perfect night. But I think I am getting a little ahead of myself as I also wish to mention that as I Observed the sides of my glass there are numerous thin legs (Marangoni Effect) now running down the sides of it. Visually both the bottles Label and the wines appearance in my glass are both inviting and intriguing. 
   So, we are now at the Bouquet section of this review, basically how does this wine smell, to me? What notes are my nose picking up when it comes up from the glass? Well, let's check that out now. A semi-moderate note of high quality Chocolate wanders on up to my nose followed by a note of Pine that seems to hide itself deep on the back end of the Bouquet. A Tannic Cherry type note escapes my glass as well and tops off the rather simple yet pleasent Bouquet.
   Guys, I am so far liking what I am seeing and smelling right now. If anything, this wine is begging to at least be tasted and to give it the chance to impress me (and you). How will the wine present itself once we give into it's demands and actually taste it? Let's find that out right now.
    Buttery. How does that sound when it comes to a description of a red wine? I don't believe that I have ever used that word in my reviews when it comes to a red wine. Now admittedly of course I am not referring to the term "buttery" in a red as I would a white wine. In this red it presents itself as a Mid-Palette bit of soft silkiness that certainly does not go un-noticed and of course positively effects this wine in an outstanding way. Next up is a rather deep & dark Cherry that brings with it a dark, black spiciness that is just as outstanding as the silkiness! While this black spice is indeed a Peppery spice that might be common in a few varietals of red wine, this one presents as if it were actually grown into the Cherry itself, that is how pure and native it seems. Let me deal with something for a minute. Is this a fruit forward wine? It is but it isn't. Yes, the wine is slightly on the rich side but it is also a complete and "all bases covered" wine as well. Adding to this wines presentation on the Palette is a slight (yet once again) effectively presented note of Oak that is present but is in reality barely noticeable on one hand but on the other hand definitely does stand out enough to leave its mark on the overall Palette. Folks, this is a super well balanced wine that simply loves to show itself off and is not shy or afraid of competition, bring it on it screams because it displays itself with confidence that it is ready for the battle ahead. Adding to all this are super nice Tannins and while they not exactly soft they do not dominate either and on the finish they find a way to wrap this wine up into outstandingness. Before you think that I am done describing this wine, hold on because there is certainly more to add. Overall I must tell you that a dark Tobacco note to me is the most dominate note on the Palette here. It's almost like they extracted the juice from the Leaf itself and dropped some in here. Nope, not over powering, nope, not overdone, yes, just right. Let's discuss a pretty awesome Plum note that presents with it a slight sugar note. The Plum certainly dominates over the Sugar as it should in my book and helps add to that sense of smoothness to the wine. Now, before I wrap this wine please understand that after time, this wine does develop a sort of richness to it but it does indeed manage to maintain almost all of what I loved about it. Two bottles of this wine will make it to my Cellar for future enjoyment.
    Let me repeat one thing in this closing Paragraph that I said in the third paragraph and that will have you thanking me forever. Lamb. There, I said it, Lamb. Go to your local Costco and buy the rack of New Zealand Lamb that they have for $15-20. Defrost the Lamb. Open and Decant this wine for about 1 hour. Smoke the Lamb for around 15-20 minutes. If I need to say anymore then you might think about opening a bottle of Soda or something else and making a quick run to Burger King because that might probably best suite your taste buds. This is an outstanding Bordeaux and one that deserves recognition as such. On The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I give this wine an amazing 96 points.
  UPDATE - As of today October 26, 2018 I now have two bottles of this wine sitting in my wine cellar and aging.

                                                                                                                  The Desert Wine Guy

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - 2014 Passion Cellars, Merlot (?)


   Today I am going to be taking a look into a wine from the state of Arizona. Todays wine review is of the 2014 Passion Cellars, Merlot that I purchased from the Winery itself while taking a trip to Jerome Arizona around two years ago. The wine cost me $35 and comes in at 13.6% on the Alcohol scale, it is aged for 15 months in French Oak. Let's go ahead and dig into this wine and see what it is all about and what I thought of it.
   Pouring this wine into my glass I noticed immediately that it was extremely light almost like a watered down Cherry Cough Syrup. Seeing to the bottom of of my glass was not a challenge at all and brought potential issues immediately to my mind. Yeah, watered down Cherry Cough Syrup, that doesn't sound to appetizing does it? There was no Carbonation obvious nor any other weird issues noticeable.
Cherry Cough Syrup Appearance
   Moving to my nose now I will let you know that there is a strong Cherry/Wood type note intertwined with Cocoa. The nose is rather pleasing actually and reminds me of something I would drink on a cold Winter night, almost like a Madeira. I know, weird huh. Now please don't misunderstand what I am saying here, this wine did not turn out to be anything even similar to a sipping Liquor by any means it's just that the Bouquet that reminds me of one. Topping off the Bouquet is a wonderful scent of Caramel. Overall this wine has a welcoming scent almost like a Candle and one that presents the promises to be sweet as well.
   So far if I am a reader of this review I am in a toss up so to speak. I can't figure out where this review is going. Did I like the pour and the Bouquet or not? Well, I guess you are indeed paying attention because in order to understand where I am going you would have to be unless you could read my mind. I get that this review so far is understandably sort of cryptic but I will begin to clear that up soon.
   Let me go ahead and move to the wine on my Palette where it really counts. To begin with I will give confirmation to you that this wine certainly did indeed sit in French Oak for a while. French Oak is known for imparting spice into a wine and folks, there is indeed peppery spice in this wine, it is nicely done and the spice was nicely placed spice on the Palette. For those of you who are familiar with the Tempranillo varietal, the referenced spice is not that prominent nor is it to that level of deliverance. It seems to me that Arizona soil itself imparts a super note of spice in their reds in general, that's actually one of the things that I love about them. This peppery spice is on the front of the Palette and is good enough to grace the wine throughout all the way to the finish. Here is a word of advice, if you don't love spice in your reds, don't buy this wine because you will not like it. So it appears that this wine is sort of a mixed bag of poor visual presentation and a rather simple yet nice Bouquet presentation. As for my final opinion of the palette let's get that answer by digging a little further into the wine.
   This wine presents itself as a bright, thin wine on the Palette. This "bright, thin" presentation is very evident on the sides of the Palette where these notes seem to display themselves for one purpose which is to throw quite a bit (too much in my opinion) of contrast to the spice.Unfortunately neither the "bright, thin" presentation, the French oak nor the Cocoa or caramel are affective or efficient in conveying any sense of darkness or depth to the wine. Another item to report and one that drags this wine down is that this wine is slightly more than moderately Acidic and displays a sort of overall harshness to it. Yes, there is are the nice notes of Cocoa and Caramel but they seem out of place here in the wine due to the way that the wine presents itself and the notes that end up dominating it. On the positive side, there are some mild yet overall enjoyable Tannins that are presented and this is another one of the aspects of the wine that attempt to help it along it's way. One last thing guys and this to me was the final blow to the wine. This is a sweet red that is not what one would consider "fruit Forward" but just......sugary and therefore of course, sweet. I think that I have said enough and that you now get the complete picture of this wine so with that it is time to head to the closing Paragraph so let's head over there and close this review out.
   Well I made it, the end. I have half a bottle left and I simply can't drink any more. There are many issues with this wine and it is a terrible representation of the varietal known as Merlot as I don't think it displays any characteristics of one. If you were to tell me that this was a blend with Merlot in it I could definitely go for that but a single varietal such as a Merlot, no way. So since you have indeed read words such as "harshness", "bright" and "thin" in the body of the review, what does all that mean? Well....it means for one thing that this does not fit the characteristics of any Merlot that I have ever tasted and I doubt that you would recognize it as one either. It means that the Palette (at least mine) is....offended. If the Palette presentation kept in line with the nose (which I liked) I think we would be looking at least a presentable wine, unfortunately this is not the case. Unfortunately this wine has no depth, no darkness, nothing solid to it, no structure. When you taste the wine you can taste that there are a few positive things to it but the harshness or "brightness" is simply too much to overcome along the way. I hate to have to do this but on The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I am giving this wine 84 (and I am being nice) points.

                                                                                                               The Desert Wine Guy

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Monday, September 17, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - 2016 Baus Family Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc - Private Reserve


   Oh how deceptive and effective advertising can be. What's that you say there Desert Wine Guy? Well I have just recently competed writing an article (https://desertwineguy.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-desert-wine-guy-wine-label.html) where I discuss the wine label in general and just how we have to be careful what we assume or are led to believe. I guess I should have read my own article because I myself just got fooled. I was out today at a big box Liquor store today and I was actually thinking about that particular article as I searched through the many different labels of Sauvignon Blanc. I wanted a wine from a real identified Vineyard to write an article about. Now, please don't get me wrong as there is nothing wrong with winemakers buying grapes from specific Vineyards and making wine. I have reviewed countless wines that were made that particular way. My problem comes when I try to get some information about the wine to put in my reviews and can find nothing. That isn't cool for me and it isn't cool for you, the reader either. Yeah I can tell you about what I am tasting but there is so much more that I can't tell you. Okay, anyway. There is no Baus Family Vineyards. The name is owned by Great Domains & Estates LLC. which is located in Windsor, California. According to Buzzfile (http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Beverage-Alcoholic-Consultant-716-568-8096) Great Domains & Estates LLC is "engaged in importing activities at this facility". Well anyway, I was indeed fooled but I still do have a wine to review so let's get to it.
  Today's wine is the 2016 Baus Family Sauvignon Blanc - Private Reserve. The wine cost me about $15 and came in at 13% Alcohol. Let me go ahead and pour the wine into my glass and see what I can find out about this wine. The wine sits almost crystal clear in my glass and there is nothing else to say about it. As I have said before though, that doesn't really mean anything as I have had many wines that were unimpressive in the glass and yet turned out to be very good. While the visual presentation of wine is considered very important to some, to me it is not that high up there in importance. Moving to the nose now I found the wine had a rather nice tropical fruit Bouquet to it. Honeydew defenitly took the lead here by a slim margin followed closely by the rather nice note of Lemon Grass type spiciness. On the back end is a note of White Peach that is in it's rightful place judged by the lack of prominence on the nose. What I found here is that eventually all of the notes of this wine all come together once the wine sat open in the glass for a short time. I have actually come across a lot of wines that whose initial Bouquet is dominated by this note or that note but settle down rather quickly and nicely to where you would be hard pressed to find one particular note that dominates. This wine also has a unique note on the nose of almost like a baked goods or Buttery type note that you must search to find but if you persist and take the time to break down what you are sensing inhaling you will indeed be rewarded with it. Overall however this wine exposes the drinker to enjoy a wine who exhibits slight fruit notes on the nose.
   Now, onto how the wine came across my Palette. This wine presented a dominant Lemongrass note right out of the gate. I don't know about you but to me this is how the varietal should express itself, anyone can make a wine that mimics a Wine Cooler. Now, I know that is harsh but it is how I feel. Moving from the Lemongrass there is a a moderate amount of fruit on the Palette that the wine has to offer. The note of White Peach that was present on the nose translates rather nicely onto the Palette as well. The wine does not come across as sweet at all and I think due to the Lemongrass which is okay with me because I do not want a sweet wine. Following up here I will tell you that the wine is loaded with Green notes, notes that pull this wine in the direction of dryish dominance which again, is just right by me in the varietal. A Green Pepper note appears to be tagging along for the ride here as well here. This is rather a grassy / green sort of wine and tastes almost to an extent like a fruit that isn't ready to eat.  Lets get to the sweetness factor and if there is indeed any. Yes, the wine has a small bit of sweetness that you will taste and hopefully as I did, appreciate. Does it envelope the senses, dominate the Palette or distract from the other notes? The answer is a resounding no, it most definitely does not. Let's remember here that this is a Sauvignon Blanc and not that previously aforementioned Wine Cooler. The Sugar that I tasted is slightly more than enough to ensure that the wine is not harsh or lacking of any tropical fruit at all. Speaking of tropical notes, let's talk about that Honeydew shall we? As on the nose, the Palette will experience some Honeydew melon that is mostly where the sugar note will come from. Let me go back to that White Peach for a minute. Lower in acid and taste sweet whether firm or soft the White peach has a bit of tang to balance the sugar. Add this to the Lemongrass I mentioned and you have a match made in Heaven right here. As you can see, there is a decent enough amount of sugar or sweetness in this wine without it being a fruit forward wine or "sugar bomb". O.K, we getting close to the end of this review. Before we go however I want to get a little something clear. 
   You might ask if I like the more fruit forward side of this varietal. My answer to you would be, I do because that note of Lemongrass as well as other notes are present to cut the sugar on the palette and to help avoid the wine from becoming close to Sugar or sweetness dominated wine. Let me be a little clearer though for those of you in question. I have said this before and I will say this again. If I want a Wine Cooler or a Moscato, I will pick up a bottle. This is a Sauvingnon Blanc and clearly identifies itself as such.
   Wrapping up this review now I will tell you that this is a Sauvignon Blanc that you would expect to find from a wine grown in a climate that is not subjected to great heat. The wine was sort of a mix between a Brazilian or Chilean Sauvignon Blanc a New Zealand-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with it's tropical notes and the Mondavi-influenced Fumé Blanc and a more rounded wine with with melon notes. Where exactly the grapes for this wine are grown is unknown as I can find nothing (including photos) on the Vineyards or anything else for that matter while I searched the Internet. Whomever put this wine together did a nice job however as I have given it 89 points on The Desert Wine Guy rating scale.

                                                                                                                The Desert Wine Guy

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Monday, August 27, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy 2016 Poco a Poco! Tempranillo


   Hello everyone and welcome once again to my wine blog. Before I get into our review wine I would like to say that I hope you enjoy all the articles that I write as much as I enjoy writing them. It takes a lot of work to stay on top of Family, working a full time job as well as all the wine and Social Media outlets that I have chosen to participate in but it truly is worth it, as I really do enjoy sharing my thoughts and knowledge about the wine world with you guys.
  Today's wine that I am reviewing is the 2016 Tempranillo from Poco a Poco!. This wine is 100% Tempranillo, sells for around $10 and is from the Castilla y León region of Spain, (the Bodegas Luis Alegre Winery) but does happily does not carry the price tag of a wine from that region or that winery. I received this wine from Wine Insiders (https://wineinsiders.com/) through a great deal of getting 15 bottles of wine for $65 with free shipping. 
   Let's first start off discussing the label which I think is rather interesting. Written like a Dictionary definition the label explains that the name of the wine which is Poco a Poco and means Bit By Bit/Little By Little. Very unique and I just thought it was worth commenting on. With that being said let me move now to the Bouquet.
   On the nose there are all kinds of things going on here, this is an intense wine. The dark berry fruit is screaming here folks. Blackberry is the first note that I picked up on the nose. Following up the Blackberry is a note of very dark Cocoa and not some simply some light, cheap or sweet artificial note of deep Cocoa. No Sir, I am talking about not just any Cocoa but a quality baking Cocoa that reminds me of a Chocolate factory, very nice and enjoyable. Combining the two notes together provides for a depth in this wine that is truly super remarkable. A really nice note of Prune follows these two up yet remains softer than the previous two notes which is good as it manages to compliment both. The wine has absolutely incredible energy on the nose. If you have ever heard of a "promise" that a wine makes, this wine is making me that "promise" I just hope it can keep it and I am dying to find out so let's get to the Palette so, with that said lets get to it. The wine has impressed me on the nose so far and I am anticipating (or hopeing) that the Palette will do nothing less.
   The first thing you will notice is that a note of Prune comes through on the Palette and immediately is enveloped by the same incredible and amazing Cocoa that I picked up on the nose. How does that sound? As is normal for a Spanish Tempranillo, the Black Pepper spice comes out to show itself off......incredibly. This is the note that sold me on the varietal and elevated it to be my favorite just over the Cabernet Sauvignon varietal. An awesomely deep and dark Black Cherry is combined with that level of Cocoa and actually darkens, or intesifies it's flavor to the point of the Cherry losing any potential tartness that it may have thought to carry with it. At this point I am tasting a wine that is elevating itself above some average wine to a wine that far exceeds it's price tag. My goodness folks, that Black pepper is why Spain is the king of this particular varietal. If you are looking for some Tannins to go along with all of this and add some potential aging characteristics, you are in luck because they are indeed present and contribute greatly to add to and compliment the finish of the wine. The Tannins are not harsh nor do they take away from the other notes as in some wines.
Fans of some Acidity in a Red will be happy and expect it because it comes with the Black Pepper which really shines on the mid palette. The Tempranillo varietal isn't known for overwhelming acidity and this wine continues with that pattern. The typical note of  leather that you get from a great Cab or in this case Tempranillo is present as well and yes, I am loving it and I know you will as well. There is a rather nice level of tobacco that is in here as well and if you stop for a minute and think about what I am presenting in this review as far as the notes so far I hope you can imagine the awesomeness of the wine. As I stated earlier, all the notes present here mesh together as if they knew each other since the Flowering stage on the vine. All the notes are at equal appreciation levels other than the Cocoa which stands out slightly more and none clash or take away from one another, who would have ever thought that were possible in a wine? Another great aspect about this wine is that you wont have to worry about waiting to enjoy it since it is enjoyable from the beginning and does not require any time to allow it to "open up" or "breath" although it is indeed possible that would improve this wine even further. I kind of also like and am partial to the slight but noticeable Cocoa dominance.
   Let's go ahead and wrap up this review as I have a wine magazine to relax with and of course finish the rest of this wine as well. So, what are my final thoughts on the wine. I think by now you probably already know that I loved this wine. The wine held up to all my expectations of a great Spanish Tempranillo. The one drawback that I ran into is that I have not however found a place to buy this wine including the place (Wine Insiders) I just bought it from. They seem to not carry it anymore and I think that is in keeping with their business model of dealing with small Vineyards. I really hope you have better luck and if you do please let me know where you found it available because I want more. Well, it's time folks. Time for my rating of this wine. On The Desert Wine Guy rating scale I give this wine 93 (Excellent Highly recommended, holds to varietal standards) points. I really enjoyed this wine folks and I hope if you do find it that you enjoy it as much as I did.
                                                                                                                   The Desert Wine Guy

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Monday, August 6, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - 2016 Spencer Family Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Reserve


  I would like to start this review with a question. Here is the question. How many of you guys ever feel that you have to like a wine? I mean after all how would you look if you said that a wine from a prestigious winery or vineyard does not taste good? After all, how would you feel if you didn't like a wine that the wine industry "experts" said was fantastic and "at the top of it's class"? Don't all wines from Peju or Stags Leap taste great? I want to just paint a picture for you for a minute. You walk into a party where "fine" wines are being tasted and here comes a wine from a prestigious winery and immediately everyone begins to talk about how they have heard such great things about this particular wine. You hear things like "oh, the 2015 vintage" or "I have heard so much about the wine maker". The pressure is now on for you to nit simply like the wine but love it. Pretty soon you are convinced that you REALLY do love this wine. Well folks if you are like that you might not like this article and this entire wine blog, you might also wonder why I most of the time review small label wines. All of this brings me to the wine I am reviewing today. The  2016 Spencer Family Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Reserve that I received from "Wine Insiders" (https://wineinsiders.com/). Here is a wine that in actuality is made from the region of who knows where, with grapes grown from the region of who knows where. Yes, they will try and fool you by placing on the bottle "Vinted & Bottled" by but that really says nothing about where the grapes were grown or for that matter what winery actually made the wine. What I did find in relation to "Spencer Family Vineyards" is that they are supposedly located in San Martin, CA with an address that comes back to Arroyo Seco Vineyards. So with that knowledge in place, let's get into the review.
   Today I want to begin at the label. No, this is not one of those wines that promises you the world from looking at the label. To me however, the label came across as simple yet perfect for the varietal. The wine was able to be seen nicely because there was a lot of uncovered glass in order to allow it to be seen while the label itself communicated a nice reasonably priced white wine.
   On the nose the wine was on display from a short distance away and I was able to pick up a Peach / Nectarine notes that were indeed calling my name. Nothing overpowering mind you but nice enough for me too sit up and take notice.
   Looking at the wine in my glass displayed nothing special. The wine was pretty clear with a tinge of slight Gold along the edges. While not necessarily a bad thing as I have had many wines of the same varietal with the same display that turned out to be very nice indeed.
   On the Palette now I will tell you here in the beginning that I liked this wine. The first thing that I noted was that there was a slight acidity on the finish that I really enjoyed. Nothing crazy here and nothing that threw me back in the chair or made me take special note of it other than the fact that it was present in just just enough strength to actually make me gently sit back and take note of it. Peach and nectarine were upfront as well on the Bouquet. These notes were "cut" by a note of grass that was present in a fairly decent amount and was very effective at tweaking notes that could otherwise be over done. The wine displayed a good amount of crispness to it as well as a moderate but not overpowering amount of sugar that is to be expected from this varietal depending on the weather the grapes are grown in. By the way I want to comment a little more on that note of grass. A lot of times that particular note can be really overdone but not here. In here the note compliments all the other notes and yet allows the wine to express all it's note nicely. There was also the ever so slightest note (or feel) of Lemon that was only sensed on the sides of the Tongue and was not harsh. Notes of melon such as Honeydew combine with the grass note, the acidity and to a small extent (but clearly enough) the Nectarine to power but not over power this wine forward across the Palette. If you would like more to the wine, I am happy to inform you that there is a light yet (again) perfectly balanced note of Grapefruit that is just prominent enough to remind you what Grapefruit tastes like and make you want one. This note is detected just enough to be effective and causes no overpowering sour note to be exhibited. This is more along the lines of a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc although there is a good amount of typical hot weather climate notes spread throughout the wine. Well guys, time to wrap thing up here. It's time to give my final thought on this wine. So with that being said, let me get too it.
   There is actually a sense of refinement here that I was surprised to find for a wine selling for $15 and boasting an Alcohol percentage of 13%. After drinking a few glasses of this wine I am starting to begin to think of some serious Sushi and I think when you taste this wine you might begin thinking that as well. I wish I could tell you more about the pedigree of this wine but I cannot. I have put in a request to Wine Insiders for more information and if I hear back before I publish this article I will add whatever relevant information that I get on to you. That is about it readers. Oh, I guess there is one more item to add. On The Desert Wine Guy rating scale, I give this nice wine 92 (Excellent Highly recommended, holds to varietal standards) points. A very well done wine.

                                                                                                                  The Desert Wine Guy

UPDATE - It has been a couple of months since my request for more information on this wine has been submitted to Wine Insiders and I have not received any response to that inquiry.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - 2011 I.G Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve



   Well everyone there comes a time when I review a wine that simply fails miserably in its ability to present itself as an even "so so" wine. As you have probably already guessed by now, today is that time. Today I will be giving you my review of the 2011 I.G Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve. While the wine is made at I.G Winery in Cedar City, Utah (http://igwinery.com/)  the grapes themselves are from the Sonoma Valley AVA. Before we enter into this review though I feel that I need to say that I really enjoy the winery itself and Doug the owner, really does make some rather nice wines (https://desertwineguy.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-desert-wine-guy-ig-winery-instant.html). I certainly do recommend that if you are near Cedar City you stop in and emjoy a tasting. Okay, so let's get to it.
  To begin with I gave this wine the opportunity to Decant for slightly more than two (2) hours prior to tasting it. When poured into my glass I must say that this wine initially impressed me by showing itself off with a rather nice Crimson Red on display. A really super nice darkness filled my glass and I could really not wait to taste it. On the nose this wine was simply fantastic and impressive. I remember expressing that very opinion while at the winery itself. A very serious Chocolate is first on the nose and reminds you of a Hershey's bar to an extent. This is followed closely behind by almost as wonderfully a very serious Molasses note that is truly nice as well and led me to believe that the wine would present itself on my Palette probably at least slightly in fruit forward and sweet to an extent, which I don't mind in the least bit as long as these notes are not overdone. I am now really enjoying the opening of this wine a lot. Simply by experiencing the Bouquet, I am and you will be hoping for a wine that will reveal an absolutely wonderful expression of this varietal. Now, I don't know about you but I can't wait to taste this wine so, with anticipation let's move to that part of this review.
   Onto the Palette now. There are pretty serious opening notes of a rather bright, harsh and offensive Cranberry as well as bright, harsh and offensive Cherry, both of which unfortunately displays themselves as the overwhelmingly dominate notes. A nice Chocolate note translates from the Palette fairly decently however unfortunately at an ineffective level and does very little in the way if softening or alter the other two previously listed harsh notes. Both the bright, harsh and offensive Cranberry and bright, harsh and offensive Cherry notes seem to lack any ability to soften to the levels needed to not be very offensive nor do they attempt to convince you that you are indeed drinking the Cabernet Sauvignon varietal. Remember this wine was Decanted for slightly over two hours. Aside from the Cocoa there are some other nice although rather slight, light to medium notes of ever so slightly refined Tannins and, Cassis and Green Pepper that indeed are nice at times however but really are overall no benefit to the wine. Now, why do I say at times?  Well, this is weird but the wine has a rather uncanny and annoying ability (or fault) to sort of fad in and fade out of what little structure it attempted hard to convince you that it had. It's a weird thing but if you are consistent at tasting the wine meaning every not much more than every minute or so, the wine seemed to hold up fairly decently. Don't get me wrong here guys, these notes of the Tannins, Cassis, Cocoa and Green Pepper are present enough to actually taste and also bring along with them a decent Molasses to the Palette but that Palette fading in and out as well as those rather bright, offensive harsh notes combine for an overall nothing short of terrible wine. A rather weird and serious problem this fading in and out is if you ask me and one that I am rather unaccustomed to as I have never experienced it. I found it rather strange. When leaving the glass for extended periods and coming back to it what happens is that the first taste on your Palette is of Cocoa but very quickly switches to that brightness, harshness yes, offensive notes once again. As the wine was opened longer, that fading in and out ceased completely and you were simply left with a terrible wine that finally became without a question, undrinkable in my book.
   O.K, so in wrapping this review up rather quickly now I am indeed sorry that I cannot recommend this wine at all, for any reason. It is not often that I can not find a use for a wine but in this case this is an exception that I am afraid I am going to have to make. On The Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale I am going to put this at a 78  points ( 78-82  - Did not like, Offensive notes, Lacking any redemptive qualities whatsoever, Not recommended.)  What a shame considering the really nice initial appearance in the glass and Bouquet. Sorry folks but I have to heavily recommend that you stay away from this wine.

                                                                                                                  The Desert Wine Guy


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Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Desert Wine Guy - So You Want A Wine Cellar

  
   Today I am going to be taking a break from wine reviews and am going to delve into a subject that might initially come across as a subject of interest to only the very rich. Today I want to talk about the wine cellar. The mere mention of someone having a wine cellar brings up comments such as "must be nice" or "ahh, to be rich". While this can be true just a little bit of research will show that if the purpose for you to have a wine cellar is to simply preserve your wine than anyone can indeed have a cellar. But if the purpose of having a cellar is to display your wine in wonderful and incredible decorated surrounding than yes, it is still indeed mostly for the rich. I think that the question we need to ask ourselves is are you simply looking to preserve your wine or are you looking to display your wine in a beautiful setting. The purpose of this article isn't to say that one is better than the other because it all depends on what you believe the purpose of a wine cellar is. For the purpose of this article we will simply take the view that the whole purpose of a wine cellar is to preserve our wine. If you start off with the basics you can always add to your cellar as your finances allow.
   Now, with that being said I think it's important to understand another important item and that is wine is alive. When we think about it the only way to preserve your wine is to keep it alive, that is what we are preserving, anything else leads to the degradation and therefore ruination of the wine. The conditions of the cellar (or room) in which we place our wine determine how healthy our wine remains and for how long. While we all seem to act as if wine is the finished product it really is not. Think about this for a second. How many of you guys have wines that you know are not ready to drink? Well what does that mean? That means that you feel the wine is not the best it can be. What that also means is that the wine is continuing to evolve or change. The wine might change for the better or the worse but the hope of course is that wine will change for the better. At it's core wine is either developing, improving or declining. At it's base wine is the juice from grapes that have live single celled, living organisms called Yeast(s) added to it to impart flavors and to create Alcohol (Ethanol) and Sugars.
There are also bacteria's that are placed into the grape juice to alter the final outcome and into what will hopefully become what we call wine. These events are caused because the Yeast is alive and causing these things to occur. This process of turning Alcohol into sugar is known as "fermentation". Various problems can occur during the fermentation process because the Yeast is effected by many different things which I won't get into because they are not pertinent to this article. There is also the process of using Bacteria to produce something called "Malolactic Fermentation" which still uses live organisms (bacteria). The wine we drink is constantly doing something and doing it because it is indeed alive. Knowing that wine is alive we have to do our best to keep it alive and productive for as long as possible. That is where proper storage or a wine cellar come into play. So we now know a little bit about wine and that we need to keep the living organisms in the wine alive but just how do we do that? Well, here is one reason why people want a wine cellar. There are things that are under our (the wine buyers) control and that we should strive for in order to either maintain our wines or allow them to grow, develop or improve. The room that we choose for all this to happen while the wine is at out our house is a POTENTIAL wine cellar. I say potential because this room must meet certain conditions in order to fulfill the purpose of a properly functioning wine cellar.
   There are faults that can exist in the room we choose that must be fixed prior to placing wine in that room. It is best to choose a room that initially has as few of these faults as possible before determining it as your cellar. The less faults the room has the less money we have to spend to eliminate the remaining faults. Without going in depth here are the main faults that can ruin your wines and as such should be eliminated in our potential cellar. Avoidance of improper temperature, the elimination or keeping to a minimum the use of UV lights, The maintaining humidity levels around 60-70% and keeping vibration away from our cellared wines are all important.
   I think by now you can see that it would not be too difficult keep your wine away from the above listed faults. You can in reality see that almost any room in your house in my opinion, can be called a potential wine cellar. As long as you can maintain the temperature at the proper levels and avoid the pitfalls mentioned, you have a wine cellar in reality.
   One last item. Please don't confuse a fancy room for the only type of wine cellar that can exist. The topic of designing a wine cellar is another topic for another day and should not be confused with the topic of having a wine cellar. 
                                            The Desert Wine Guy

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