2012 Coelho Winery Pinot Noir Atracao
2007 Finca Nueva Rioja Reserva
2012 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive
2012 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands
2009 Villa Creek Granadina
2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard
2006 Copain Syrah Garys’ Vineyard
2011 Sextant Wines Zinfandel Wheelhouse
2011 Rocca Felice Nebbiolo d’Alba
2011 Quinta das Carvalhas Touriga Nacional Douro
2012 Coelho Winery Pinot Noir Atracao – $18.99
This wine has 12.94% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. The wine is a lighter ruby red color. The enticing nose has black cherries, dusty minerals, smoke, roasted herbs, white pepper, wildflowers, orange zest and just a hint of dark chocolate. This has medium body with moderate tannins and nice acidity. Tart cherries, minerals and white pepper hit the palate on the front end with roasted hers and a nice floral note coming in later. The finish has nice length with a peppery fruit and a touch of spice carrying the load. A nice, food friendly Oregon Pinot. (89 pts)
2007 Finca Nueva Rioja Reserva – $16.99
This wine is 100% Tempranillo that was aged for 24 months in French oak. The alcohol is 13% and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. The wine is a deep, saturated ruby color. The very inviting nose has black cherries, crushed stones, tobacco, baking spices, dried herbs, dry earth and flowery potpourri. This is barely medium body with very nice acidity and moderate tannins. Fruit, spices and crushed stone minerals explode on the palate immediately with earthiness and a dried floral note coming in on the back end. The finish has nice length with a touch of white pepper entering the picture. This is in a great drinking window. (91 pts)
2012 Truett-Hurst The Fugitive – $29.99
The wine is a deep maroon color. The very open and exuberant nose is full of blackberries, smoky minerals, black pepper, black cherries, violets and dark chocolate. This has medium to full body with soft ripe tannins and decent acidity. This is front loaded with fruit and minerals on the palate with black pepper and flowers coming in late. The finish has good length with some dark chocolate entering the picture. I would have preferred a bit more closing intensity and focus, the low acidity and soft tannins allow the wine to lose some shape and balance on the finish. (87 pts)
2012 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – $29.99
The wine is a deep ruby red color. The appealing nose has cherries, roasted herbs, violets, baking spices, earthy underbrush and raspberries. This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate ripe cherries, spice and violets hit first with nice earthiness and raspberries coming in on the back end. The finish has nice length with roasted herbs entering the picture. I wouldn’t hold this one too long, this is drinking very nicely now. (90 pts)
2009 Villa Creek Granadina – $40.00
This is a blend of 50% Carver Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Denner Vineyard Mourvedre.
Some of our favorite Cabernets from Paso Robles (Adelaida Cabs from the early 90’s, Lone Madrone’s Cabs from ‘96 and ‘97) evolved from the spectacular Carver Vineyard. Carver sits high on York Mountain and is just 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean, due west of Paso Robles. It is surrounded by lush oak forests and looks south and west upon the neighboring hilltops from its steep perch. The fruit off this property actually tastes like Cabernet Sauvignon. It has nice fruit, solid acidity and a spot of that herbal (not vegetal) component that is inherent in the grape. Cab and Mourvèdre are wonderful foils to one another, like chocolate and figs. The wines were fermented separately and aged for 1 year prior to assembly of the final blend. The Cabernet was aged in 100% new French barriques and the Mourvèdre was aged in second fill French Puncheons. The wine went back into barrel for an additional 10 months.
15.0% alcohol natural with a wax coating
The wine is a deep garnet color. The spellbinding nose has cassis, black cherries, tobacco, crushed stone minerals, cedar, roasted herbs, licorice, road tar and a touch of underbrush. This has a fairly full body with moderate tannins and good acidity. This bas bright fruit and minerals on the front end with roasted herbs, tobacco and spicy oak coming in later. The finish has good length with a touch of underbrush entering the picture. This has nice focus and balance right through the delightful finish. This is a keeper that will provide pleasure over the next several years. (93 pts)
2012 Loring Wine Company Grenache Russell Family Vineyard – $19.75
This wine has 14.9% ABV and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure. The wine is a deep red color. The slightly shy nose has cherries, baking spices, crushed stones, raspberries and violets. This has medium to full body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate bright cherries and baking spices immediately take control, slowly allowing minerals a touch of dry earth to slip through. The finish has nice length with a floral note entering the picture. This is very easy to drink. (90 pts)
2006 Copain Syrah Garys’ Vineyard – $50.00
This wine has 14.6% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork. The wine is a deep garnet color. The inviting nose has blackberries, violets, dark chocolate, dead wood embers and scorched earth. This has a full body with moderate tannins and good acidity. Tart berries and spice coat the palate quickly with charred wood and scorched earth coming in on the back end. The finish has great length with dark chocolate coming into the picture. This is drinking very nicely right now and it should hold for a few more years. (92 pts)
2011 Sextant Wines Zinfandel Wheelhouse – $18.99
The wine sports a natural cork and has 14.4% alcohol. The wine is a dark ruby to purple color. The outgoing nose has brambly berries, baking spices, licorice, black pepper, dusty minerals and violets. This has medium to full body with soft to moderate ripe tannins and decent acidity. On the palate brambly berries, baking spices and black pepper dominate the front end with a floral note coming in late. The finish has decent length but does not have much complexity. This is an easy drinking wine to share with friends. (86 pts)
2011 Rocca Felice Nebbiolo d’Alba – $13.99
This has 13.5% alcohol and is sealed with an agglomerated cork. The wine is a light red to ruby color. The enticing nose has cherries, dusty minerals, roses, spice, violets and a hint of road tar. This has a medium body with moderate to solid tannins and very good acidity. On the palate tart cherries, spice and minerals jump out first with a nice floral note coming in on the back end. The finish has nice length with a touch of road tar entering the picture. This is a very nice, week night Italian Nebbiolo, especially for under $15. (89 pts)
2011 Quinta das Carvalhas Touriga Nacional Douro – $16.99
This wine was aged for 12 months in oak barrels, 50% of which were new. The wine is a deep, dark ruby color. The very satisfying nose has cherries, berries, forest floor, smoky embers, minerals and baking spices. This has medium body with moderate tannins and very nice acidity. On the palate forest floor and minerals jump out first with fruit coming into the picture later as well as nice spice. The finish has decent length but could use a bit more depth which could come with a bit of cellar time. For now, this is a very nice, reasonably priced change of pace wine. (89 pts)
Spicy New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp
One of our favorite “special treat” dinners is this delicious shrimp recipe. If you’ve never been to New Orleans or have had barbecue shrimp, this dish is well worth a try. It is quick (other than letting it sit in the refrigerator) and easy.
We’ve tried several different versions of this New Orleans classic dish, but this is the one we now use.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Savory, spicy, shrimp that you can’t quit eating…use crusty, French bread to sop up every last drop!
2 pounds fresh,jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke (hickory)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Peel and devein the shrimp.
Add all of the other ingredients in a saucepan, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let cool.
Arrange the shrimp in an oven- proof casserole dish and pour the sauce over the shrimp.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake shrimp for 15 – 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with crusty French bread, new potatoes and a crisp salad.
The shrimp and sauce ready to go into the refrigerator.
The finished dish straight from the oven.
We like the buttery potatoes and a side dish with the shrimp, but the most important companion for the shrimp is a large supply of crusty bread. You won’t want to miss a drop of that scrumptious sauce.
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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines. I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar. I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com. Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear. There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.
Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase. I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but always check out the sale and close out items when in a store. Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges. None of the prices include the sales tax.
All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.