Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lakeridge Chablis NV

Wine: Lakeridge Chablis NV
Origin: Florida
Blend: 100% Muscadine
Alcohol content: 11.0%
Bottle closure: Natural Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "A semi-dry, white table wine with mellow round fruitiness and delicate subtleties. A blend of white Muscadine, usually Welder and Carlos."

ABC Wines review: This pale yellow wine made from traditional Floridian grapes has an herbal honey aroma with some tropical fruit notes. The palate is semi-dry and rather smooth, similar in flavor and style to a Washington State riesling. The finish is slightly sweet but otherwise unremarkable. Try this wine with chicken or vegetable satays and a peanut sauce. Our score: We didn't know what to expect having never experienced wine from Florida and were pleasantly surprised. Above Average.

Winery website: Lakeridge Winery. The image of the bottle is different than that reviewed here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chateau Montet Bordeaux Sauvignon 2007

Wine: Chateau Montet Bordeaux Sauvignon 2007
Origin: Bordeaux, France
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc (?)
Alcohol content: 12.0%
Bottle closure: Natural Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $9.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found.

ABC Wines review: A pale greenish-yellow in color, this white wine (presumably made entirely from sauvignon blanc grapes but possibly a blend of several grapes from the Bordeaux region) has a fresh citrusy and grassy aroma that is typical of this varietal. The palate brings out these flavors together with a crisp mineral note that adds balance to the light to medium body. The finish is properly acidic and has an interesting depth and complexity. A nice wine to serve at an elegant dinner party. Our score: Priced under $10, this is an Excellent wine.

Winery website: None found. An image of the bottle or label could not be found.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner 2006

Wine: Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner "Ried Sandgrube" 2006
Origin: Donau, Austria
Blend: 100% Gruner Veltliner
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $9.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found.

ABC Wines review: Fresh and fruity, this wine has a fragrance of tree fruit (pear, peach) with floral notes. The flavor profile is similar on the palate, with a medium body but not much depth or complexity. The finish has a mild acidity that allows this wine to pair well with a wide variety of cuisines. Our score: Priced on the high side, this wine is just Average, maybe a bit better.

Winery website: Winzer Krems

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Renwood Viognier 2006

Wine: Renwood Viognier 2006
Origin: California
Blend: 90% Viognier, 6% Semillon, 3% Pinot Grigio, 1% Muscat
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Bottle closure: Natural Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $11.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "Displays aromas of grapefruit, mineral scents and jasmine. On the palate the wine is crisp, with a medium texture and flavors of melon, lemon zest, and apricots. A steely finish makes this wine very food friendly and the lingering tartness helps balance the wine."

ABC Wines review: Gold in color with significant green highlights, this wine is powerfully fragrant with aromas of citrus and mineral. Smooth, almost creamy on the palate, strong citrus and herbal flavors dominate. The long finish is brisk with a nice acidity though doesn't have much depth or character. This wine would pair well (as we did) with pasta and a rich, garlic and onion tomato sauce. Our score: Above Average, Nearly Excellent.

Winery website: Renwood Winery

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

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Anything But Chardonnay ("ABC") Wine Reviews periodically provides our readers with current promotions that offer discounts or other incentives for purchasing wine or wine-related products and services through our partner websites. Below is a list of offers recently received that we're pleased to pass on at this time.

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Antica Corte Garganega / Pinot Grigio 2007

Wine: Antica Corte Garganega / Pinot Grigio 2007
Origin: delle Venezie, Italy
Blend: 80% Garganega, 20% Pinot Grigio
Alcohol content: 12.0%
Bottle closure: Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found.

ABC Wines review: Pale gold in color, this wine has aromas of citrus, notably grapefruit, with some herbal, almost spicy, notes. The palate has a light body with a clean, crisp feel though there is little fruit flavor. A moderate acidity develops into the finish. Not a complex wine, but one that could be paired with a wide variety of cuisines or to take on a picnic. Our score: A good, fresh summer wine. On the high side of Average.

Winery website: None found. No image of the bottle or label could be found.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Wine: Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Origin: Curico Valley, Chile
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Bottle closure: Natural Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $8.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "A fresh, floral wine with fruity body and a silky palate of great elegance. It shows intriguing notes of exotic fruit (passion fruit, grapefruit)."

ABC Wines review: Fresh grass and citrus aromas with citrus blossom notes are exhibited by this wine but there's also butterscotch-like scent that doesn't marry well with the others. The palate has moderate body, is very fruity and balanced by a brisk acidity. The finish develops slowly but has good complexity. Not among the best of this Chilean varietal or maybe just not aging very well. Our score: Try to locate a more recent vintage. On the low side of Average.

Winery website: Miguel Torres Wines.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Brampton Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Wine: Brampton Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Origin: Western Cape, South Africa
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Bottle closure: Screw cap
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $9.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "Typical Sauvignon Blanc characteristics but leaning more to the tropical notes. The palate weight is lovely in conjunction with the acidity."

ABC Wines review: This wine has aromas of tropical fruits and gooseberry, with notes of fresh vegetables like bell pepper. The palate is of medium body and has similar flavors with the addition of some grassiness typical of this varietal. The relatively long finish lacks complexity but is otherwise acceptable. Though priced a bit on the high side, a nice wine to serve with a wide variety of poultry dishes. Our score: Above Average.

Winery website: None found. An image of the bottle could not be found.

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Anything But Chardonnay ("ABC") Wine Reviews periodically provides our readers with current promotions that offer discounts or other incentives for purchasing wine or wine-related products and services through our partner websites. Below is a list of offers recently received that we're pleased to pass on at this time.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Castellana Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2007

Wine: Castellana Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2007
Origin: Italy
Blend: 100% Trebbiano
Alcohol content: 11.0%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $6.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found.

ABC Wines review: An extremely pale yellow in color, this wine has a very nice fragrance of tropical fruit and melon. The palate is equally pleasing, fruit forward, developing a clean mineral, slate-like character. The finish is long and smooth though possibly a bit too astringent. This wine may be served as an aperitif or with light dishes, even sandwiches. Our score: Trebbianos are meant to be consumed young, and this is a terrific value for a delicious wine. Above Average.

Winery website: None found. An image of the bottle could not be found.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Torres Sangre de Toro Vina Sol 2007

Wine: Torres Sangre de Toro Vina Sol 2007
Origin: Catalonia, Spain
Blend: 100% Parellada
Alcohol content:
Bottle closure: Screw cap (with plastic bull)
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "Elegant, fresh, fruity aromas with fine spicy hints. Smooth, rich and crisp on the palate, with plenty of fruity flavours (apples and pineapples) and a touch of spice (fennel)."

ABC Wines review: The color of light straw and presented in a green bottle with a little plastic bull attached, this lightly fragrant wine has aromas of citrus with a bit of tree fruit. Dry and ever so slightly effervescent on the palate, the fruit flavors are nicely balanced with a brisk minerality. The finish is long but surprisingly weak with little character. This wine would make an excellent aperitif or serve with rice dishes. Our score: Our first taste of this wine made from grapes native to Catalonia. A terrific summer wine. Above Average.

Winery website: Torres Family Wines. Note the image of the bottle shown is slightly different than that reviewed here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Guy Saget Touraine Sauvignon 2006

Wine: Guy Saget Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Origin: Loire Valley, France
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found.

ABC Wines review: A pale gold in color, this wine has a pleasing fragrance of tropical fruit with hints of spice. Of medium body, the palate has a nice balance of fruit and acidity that is followed by a mineral briskness. The finish is quite long developing a medley of fruit and sweet spice notes. Serve this wine as an aperitif or with grilled meat dishes. Our score: Very nice and attractively priced. Above Average to Excellent.

Winery website: None found.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spier Chenin Blanc 2007

Name: Spier Chenin Blanc 2007
Origin: Western Cape, South Africa
Blend: 100% Chenin Blanc
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "Pale straw in colour with a green hue, the wine shows aromas of lime and winter melon that follow through to a lingering sweet-and-sour palate. Enjoy now or within 3 years of harvest. Serve with spicy crab cakes and apricot puree on a bed of crispy noodles."

ABC Wines review: This wine exhibits aromas of a blend of citrus fruits with some spice notes, possibly vanilla. The palate is quite smooth, dry, yet very fruity with a nice balance of acidity. The disappointing finish is rather weak. This is a food-friendly wine that can readily be paired with a wide variety of cuisines. Try it with mildly spiced Asian dishes. Our score: Above Average.

Winery website: Spier Wines.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Talia Bianco Sicilia White Wine 2006

Name: Talia Bianco Sicilia White Wine 2006
Origin: Sicilia, Italy
Blend: Insolia and Grecanico (unknown percentages)
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found.

ABC Wines review: A rich gold in color, this wine has aromas of honeyed tropical fruit with some spice notes. The flavors on the palate are similar with a medium body. The finish has a bit of acidity with some smoky, maybe woodsy character (oak cellaring?). Note that an exact composition of this wine could not be determined, but is believed to be a blend of insolia and grecanico grapes. Serve this wine with pasta in a flavorful tomato sauce. Our score: Interesting, but only Average.

Winery website: None found.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Casa Viva Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Name: Casa Viva Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Origin: Casablanca Valley, Chile
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 13.0%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "This is a rich, intensely flavoured wine. On both the nose and the palate the wine displays a blend of grassy and ripe tropical citrus notes with a notable acidity and dry finish."

ABC Wines review: Golden yellow in color, this wine has a strong fragrance of tropical fruit, primarily of pineapple and mango. The fruit flavors on the palate are accompanied by a brisk acidity. The finish is rather hot and overly astringent. A good choice for grilled fish with a fruit chutney. Our score: Possibly past its prime at this point, still, there are better Chilean wines at this price. Average at best.

Winery website: None found.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Five Rivers Pinot Grigio 2007

Name: Five Rivers Pinot Grigio 2007
Origin: Monterey County, California
Blend: 97% Pinot Grigio, 2% Viognier, 1% Symphony
Alcohol content: 13.0%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $9.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "Intriguing aromas of lemon, lime and lichee are joined with unexpected hints of anise and lavender. Medium-bodied, with tangy acidity and fruit-popping crispness, you’ll enjoy lemongrass and mineral flintiness that make this wine one of the most refreshing offered by the Goddesses."

ABC Wines review: Aromas of sweet tree fruit are exhibited by this wine. Crisp on the palate, the flavors are surprisingly weak, overpowered by a minerality that lacks balance. The finish is long, slightly too acidic, and ultimately not memorable. Our score: Disappointing, especially at this price point. On the very low side of Average.

Winery website: Five Rivers Winery.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

La Playa Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Name: La Playa Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Origin: Colchagua Valley, Chile
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 13.0%
Bottle closure: Screw Cap
Purchase Date: August 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "A consistent favorite with the critics, this pale yellow-green wine has an intense and floral nose, with aromas of lime and pineapple. On the palate, it is fresh, well-structured and shows a lively acidity, with a long, pleasant finish."

ABC Wines review: This sauvignon blanc is packaged in an interesting frosted white bottle. The aromas are of citrus, primarily lemon, and tropical fruit, notably pineapple. The palate is refreshingly tart, not unlike a freshly made lemonade. The finish is long and smooth with an added mineral briskness. Extremely versatile, this wine can easily be paired with a wide variety of cuisines but would probably best be served with light lunches. Our score: Attractively priced, this is a fine everyday wine. Above Average, nearly Excellent.

Winery website: La Playa Chilean Wines.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pietro Veneto Pinot Grigio 2007

Name: Pietro Veneto Pinot Grigio 2007
Origin: Veneto, Italy
Blend: 100% Pinot Grigio
Alcohol content: 11.5%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $6.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found.

ABC Wines review: Light straw with highlights of rose in color, this pinot grigio has a nice tropical fruit fragrance with notes of pineapple and banana. The palate is refreshing if not overly complex. The initial fruit flavors don't linger with the finish being mildly acidic but otherwise unremarkable. A good wine to serve with an Asian salad. Our score: A pleasant wine but not special in any way. Average.

Winery website: None found. An image of the bottle or label could not be located.

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Anything But Chardonnay ("ABC") Wine Reviews periodically provides our readers with current promotions that offer discounts or other incentives for purchasing wine or wine-related products and services through our partner websites. Below is a list of offers recently received that we're pleased to pass on at this time.

Pay a penny for shipping on orders $99 or more

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lagaria Pinot Grigio 2006

Name: Lagaria Pinot Grigio 2006
Origin: delle Venezie, Italy
Blend: 100% Pinot Grigio
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Bottle closure: Screw cap
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $8.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "Entirely from the homonymous grape, this is a brilliant, smooth, medium-bodied, fresh and well balanced wine; extremely eclectic with food, ideal for apƩritifs and parties."

ABC Wines review: This wine exhibits aromas of apple and pear with notes of a nice tropical fruit blend. Very fruitful on the palate but lacking good body, the flavors quickly dissipate into a rather bland, somewhat watery finish. A light wine for light cuisines. Our score: Just Average, and a bit high priced for that.

Winery website: None found.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Golden Kaan Sauvignon Blanc 2005

Name: Golden Kaan Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Origin: Western Cape, South Africa
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Bottle closure: Natural Cork
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "A lively wine with fresh tropical fruit flavours. The freshness is further complemented by well balanced and complexed flavours on the palate."

ABC Wines review: Golden yellow in color, this wine exhibits aromas of tropical fruit with notes of tree fruit such as peach. The palate is ever so slightly sweet initially but little of interest follows. The fruit flavors are not particularly pronounced or well-defined. There's a slate-like, maybe chalky texture to the finish that is odd. Our score: Possibly showing its age at this point and overall rather disappointing. Below Average.

Winery website: Golden Kaan: Wine of South Africa.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Neblina Vinho Verde NV

Name: Neblina Vinho Verde NV
Origin: Portugal
Blend: 40% Arinto, 30% Loureiro, 20% Trajadura, 10% Azal
Alcohol content: 10.5%
Bottle closure: Natural Cork
Purchase Date: June 2008
Purchase Price: $8.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "A smooth and fresh wine with delicate and lovely fruity flavors. Slightly spritzy, it is well balanced and very refreshing."

ABC Wines review: A pale greenish gold in color, this non-vintage white wine blend is very lightly fragrant with aromas of tropical fruit. On the palate there is a slight effervesence typical of these "green wines". The fruit flavors are muted by a rather strong mineral taste that is more refreshing than not. The finish is briefly acidic. A fine sipping wine or one to take along on a picnic lunch. Our score: On the high side of Average.

Winery website: Aveleda (in Portuguese and English). There is no mention of this wine on the winery's website. Only an image of the wine's label could be found.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Domaine Guenault Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Name: Domaine Guenault Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Origin: Loire Valley, France
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 12%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: June 2008
Purchase Price: $9.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found. This wine is not listed on the winemaker's website.

ABC Wines review: Pale straw with a tint of gold in color, this wine has soft aromas of tropical fruit and melon. Creamy on the palate, the fruit flavors are accompanied by a dry, crisp minerality. The finish is complex with good acid balance. Serve this wine as an aperitif or with a flavorful risotto. Our score: Very nice. Above Average.

Winery website: Bougrier (in French). No image of the bottle could be found.

La Delizia Pinot Grigio / Pinot Blanc 2007

Wine: La Delizia Pinot Grigio / Pinot Blanc 2007
Origin: delle Venezie, Italy
Blend: 55% Pinot Grigio, 45% Pinot Blanc
Alcohol content: 12%
Bottle closure: Screw cap
Purchase Date: June 2008
Purchase Price: $6.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: None found. This wine is not listed on the winemaker's website.

ABC Wines review: A light straw in color, this white wine blend has aromas of citrus and bell pepper. There is not much fruit flavor on the palate, rather the taste is primarily of stone and minerals, and is almost chalky. The finish is moderately long though has an odd, somewhat bitter aftertaste. Our score: Not a terrible wine but certainly not a terrific one either. On the low, very low, side of Average.

Winery website: Vini La Delizie (in Italian, English, and German). No image of the bottle could be found. The image displayed is similar in style to the wine reviewed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cantavida Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Cantavida Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Origin: Central Valley, Chile
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 13.0%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $6.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "A delicate and crisp pale gold Sauvignon Blanc. This wine shows good aromatic intensity, with notes of white peach and black current bud. At the palate it is elegant, fresh and with a long finish."

ABC Wines review: Very aromatic, this wine has a bright fragrance of citrus and gooseberry with a hints of tree fruit. Crisp and dry on the palate, the flavor doesn't quite match the wine's aroma in depth and intensity and there's some unbalanced acidity. The finish is rather disappointing, weak and watery. Our score: Even at $7 this is not a very good choice. Below Average.

Winery website: None found.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Courtney Benham Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Courtney Benham Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Origin: Lake County, California
Blend: 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Chardonnay
Alcohol content: 13.9%
Bottle closure: Natural Cork
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $10.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "Inviting tropical aromas of honeydew melon and grapefruit with light grassy overtones. Rich flavors of melon, tangy grapefruit and pineapple continue in this wine. This smooth, full wine has an ample palate with lingering bright flavors of refreshing fruit."

ABC Wines review: Virtually colorless, this wine has a very pleasing fragrance of ripe tropical fruit with fresh grassy notes. Very fruitful on the palate, the flavors develop slowly into a finish that evolves with a bright acidity. Serve this wine as an aperitif or at an elegant dinner party. Our Score: Despite the presence of the chardonnay grape in the blend, this is truly a fine wine. Excellent.

Winery website: Martin Ray Winery. An image of the bottle could not be located.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Origin: Marlborough, New Zealand
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Bottle closure: Synthetic Cork
Purchase Date: July 2008
Purchase Price: $7.99

Taste profile from the winemaker: "Colour: Light yellow in colour, with green tints and brilliant clarity. Aroma: A bouquet of ripe grapefruit, kiwifruit and pineapple. Palate: A charming, elegant wine, displaying intense varietal character. Crisp and refreshing, with vibrant flavours of ripe citrus and tropical fruit, the palate has excellent weight and length."

ABC Wines review: Aromas of citrus and green apple with some fresh vegetal notes are exhibited by this wine. There is an initial sensation of fruit-forward sweetness on the palate that is followed by fuller fruit flavors accompanied by a clean mineral dryness. The finish is moderately long with a nice acidity. Our Score: Not one of the better wines from this region, but at $8 a clear choice as an everyday wine for lighter dishes (or, as we did, with barbecue chicken sandwiches). Above Average.

Winery website: Monkey Bay Wines.
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