My wine for Day 8 was a Merlot from Chile’s Valle Central region. This is the only international wine region I’ve been to, so I knew I was in for a treat. Chile was where I learned to love wine, and they have so many good ones for affordable prices!
I don’t drink much Merlot, and I thought this one was relatively soft and fruit forward, despite the bottle description saying it was full bodied. I tasted black cherry and ripe raspberry, with medium tannins. It had 13% ABV, and it was delicious!
Immediately upon opening, we were met with bold, rich, berry flavors. We both loved it! Zinfandel is often a robust wine and this one was no different. It is a fairly heavy hitter at 14% ABV, but the balance of the fruit flavors and a light oak made this easy to sip.
It’s been a while since I’ve had down time. Between driving, sightseeing, searching for a place to stay for the night, and trying to keep up on posting photos on Instagram and Facebook, my wine blogging has been neglected… I have visited some wineries on the trip, and collected some bottles that have been tucked in underneath my car bed for many thousands of miles across the U.S.
I visited Wildside Winery in Kentucky about midway through the trip, on August 15, 2018. I was on my way into Lexington, and saw the sign on the side of the highway – sometimes you just have to make an impromptu stop.
While I was there, I bought a bottle of the Chambourcin, a grape we don’t see in the Pacific Northwest. I pulled it out to drink, and was impressed with how well it held up to rattling around in my car for the last month and a half. Yea, yea, all you purists out there who store all your wine in perfect temperature conditions and without shaking them up as they roll along thousands of miles of bumpy roads are probably cringing as you read this…
It’s a medium bodied red with notes of cherry and a bit of earth, slightly bolder than the Oregon Pinot Noirs I enjoy so much. Unlike many mid-western wines, this one is bone-dry with almost no residual sugar. Certainly a great purchase for $15!
It was a long, tiring week with a ton going on both at work and personally, so Friday night when my weekend finally got started after 8 pm, I opened up the 2014 Amancay Reserva Red Blend from the Uco Valley in Argentina. It was a Trader Joe’s pick at $6.99.
It has some terrible reviews on the internet, but I thought it was pretty good. It is a nice, medium body red wine for a very good price. The tannins weren’t too heavy and it has a nice balance with the fruit. Not a lot of oak, and that’s what I like. Plus it has held up well both nights, I feel like it tasted a bit bolder on the second night. There’s still more in the bottle, so I am interested to see how it changes over the next couple of days too. I’m not really sure why the couple of reviews that were there were so bad. I guess it just goes to show that wine is always a personal taste.
I didn’t take any notes, because well, exhaustion, but I would definitely buy this again.
I was craving a Pinot Noir. It has been raining, and somehow a white wine didn’t seem fitting.
According to the winemaker’s notes:
Argyle Pinot Noir is an honest representation of the Willamette Valley. Fermented entirely in small lots, and blended for purity, it toes the line between red and dark cherry, while offering spicy forest floor and hints of black tea. The palate is lively and graceful, building density and focus as the silky tannins build into the long, energetic finish.
All I know is that this is a great wine, I’m tired, and it hit the spot. Happy Father’s Day everybody!
With our cold snap continuing here, I went for a walk with a girlfriend this morning, stopped by the grocery store and then spent the rest of the bright, sunny, below-freezing day doing some early spring cleaning. Rearranging, purging the old, deep cleaning, tossing old paperwork to be recycled or shredded, and hanging artwork that hasn’t seen the light of day in awhile. It felt good to be motivated to get some more meaningful housework done.
I had some crockpot chili that I cooked up the other day, and felt like splurging a bit on a nice bottle of wine tonight. I opened up the Stoller Family Estate 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. It has a nose and flavors of light smoke and earth, with dark cherries and overripe blackberries. With heavier tannins than many Pinot Noirs, it held up to the strong flavors in the chili. I loved this wonderfully robust Willamette Valley Pinot!
Stoller Family Estate 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
I got mine during Safeway’s 30% off all wines over $20 sale, that they run in November (and December?). You get an extra 10% off if you buy 6 wines too (mix and match is fine). Fortunately for me, my brother lives in Oregon, so I stopped by their local Safeway to see what they had before heading out to drive home last time I was there. Unfortunately for me, this is the only bottle I got of this one…
Stoller doesn’t have it on their website, although they do have the 2014 vintage. I assume that means that they already sold out. If you can find it, grab it! It is delicious!
I came home yesterday after a long day at work to find a full glass of this – the Foris Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir. Jon had wanted a Pinot, and this one fit the bill.
Jon and I visited Foris in August, and enjoyed the great wine and laid back atmosphere of the tasting room.
It is a deep strawberry red – a truly beautiful color. On the nose, it is fairly mellow, with scents of ripe sweet cherries and sun-warmed blackberries. On the palate – it was delicious. It is a nice medium-bodied Pinot, with predominantly cherry flavors but enough earth and spice to make it really interesting.
It was aged in a combination of once-used and neutral oak French barrels, which really displays the fruit flavors. It is lovely at 13% alcohol, but if you are like me and find that your husband poured a larger glass than you expected, and you didn’t eat much for dinner, you might find yourself a little tipsy! Not that you would admit it, of course…
If you have tried this wine, I hope you will let me know what you thought! Cheers – it’s almost the weekend!
We have had several days, and several wines that went by pretty quickly. Although I don’t have detailed notes on them, I still wanted to share my impressions.
Atteca Old Vines Garnacha – 2012. This Spanish red is 100% Garnacha, and luckily I got to taste it at the wine shop when I bought the case. It has flavors of red pepper and significant peppery spice. But I only got a few sips because Jon stole most of the bottle – he loved it. This is certainly a wine we will buy again – $14.99
H-Henriques – 2011. This French wine from the Côtes du Roussillon region is 50% Carignan, 35% Grenache, and 15% Syrah. When I first tasted this wine, I wasn’t a huge fan. It tasted highly of alcohol, with very sharp tannins. After letting the wine sit for an hour, it settled down a bit and it was much more pleasant, but it wasn’t one of my favorites so far. Jon liked it quite a bit more than I did though. – $7.99
Scaia Corvina – 2012. This wine comes from the Veneto region of Italy and is 100% Corvina. Corvina was a new varietal for me, so I was excited to cross it off my wine century club list. Sadly, there will be no check mark for me. Jon snuck in while I was working my way through another wine over the course of a couple days, and drank it all! I never even got a sip. Jon loved it though, so we will buy it again – and next time I’ll get some! – $10.99