2007 Bodega Numanthia Termes Toro Termes – $16.14

This is a wine other people generally love a lot more than me.  I generally like it but don’t do cartwheels over it.  Probably a bad analogy since I NEVER do cartwheels, period.  This is usually a Wine Spectator darling, which at times makes it a bit harder to find at a good price.  Luckily, my local store came up with a nice cache and blew through it at an outstanding price.


From a bottle that had been opened but not decanted for about 2 hours.  Deep, dark ruby color.  Cherries, vanilla, licorice, baking spices, blackberries, spicy oak, dark chocolate, earthy underbrush, wild flowers, and leather on the very nice nose.  Medium to full body with solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Cherries, chocolate and spice hit the palate first with an overlay of spicy oak and some earthiness.  A slight herbal note comes in on the finish, which is long and flavorful.  Much improved over the last year, if you don’t like spicy oak, you probably won’t like this wine.  Personally, I like it, and feel it will get even better with another year in the cellar.  (90 pts)




2005 Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese * – $11.39

I bought a couple bottles of this at a close out price at my local wine store (The Wine Cellar of Wisconsin) a while back hoping for a nice Riesling to enjoy on a warm day on the deck.  We opened a bottle that evening and it blew me away.  I immediately shot off an e-mail to the store to stash a case in the back for me.  This was everything I love about a young German Spätlese Riesling, nice rich sweetness along with enough acidity to leave your mouth watering.  This was drinking very nicely young, but I have no doubt this will be fantastic down the road.  Time to check in again.  As an added bonus this wine is closed with a glass stopper, which I love.  This closure ensures a nice, tight seal and no possible cork taint.  I haven’t read any studies about long term cellaring of a wine closed in this manner.


A light golden straw color.  Petrol, honey, apples, pears, peach pits, tangerine, white pepper, pineapple, strong minerality and a floral note on the very nice and intoxicating nose.  Lighter body with loads of sweetness and nice balancing acidity.  Rich and fruity on the palate with mouthwatering citrusy acidity kicking in to keep it from being too sweet.  Long finish with the white pepper note from the nose making a background appearance.  Still very young but hard to resist. Glad I have a almost a case in reserve.   This will age and improve for another decade or more.  Rieslings age incredibly well, I am still drinking some German Rieslings from the mid to late 1980s.  (93 pts)



2007 Jean Edwards Cellars Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County – Winery supplied bottle, Release price $45.00

This is a wine I am looking forward to trying.  Only a miniscule 75 cases were produced.  My Twitter friend, Karen Troisi, along with John Troisi are the owner/vintners of the winery.  Jean Edwards Cellars make predominantly Cabernet based wines but have produced a couple of Syrahs over the last few vintages.  I very much enjoyed a bottle of their 2006 Jean Edwards Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley a few months ago that I had purchased and it was outstanding.


Decanted about 2 hours.  Deep, dark ruby color.  Blackberries, smoked meat, fresh cracked black pepper, roasted herbs, melted licorice, a touch of mint, and wild flowers on the deep and dark nose.  Medium body with fairly solid, ripe tannins and very nice acidity.  Nice melding of the fruit, spice, and smoked meat flavors on the palate with some pepper and the roasted herbs in the background providing nice depth.  Nice length on the finish which is more on the savory side than the fruity side.  Not an in your face style of wine, very food friendly.  This is still on the young side, if you only have a bottle or two, hold off for a couple years or give it a fair amount of air.  Very promising future.  (93 pts)


As a follow up, the winery only has a couple cases of this wine still available.  They will soon be releasing a 2008 Cooper’s Cuvee which is 86% Alder Springs syrah, 11% mouvedre and 3% carignan.  Limited to about 50 cases.



2010 Don Sebastiani & Sons Sauvignon Blanc Project Paso – $7.49

Past bottles showed this to be a nice Summer sipper on the deck or patio.  Crisp acidity and just a touch of lingering sweetness.  Usually something to sip before and during dinner preparation.  For the price, it fits that role very nicely.


A light, pale straw yellow color.  Citrus zest, apples, minerals, pineapple, white pepper, and some cut grass on the light and tropical nose.  Light body with tart acidity and just a touch of sweetness.  Crisp citrus on the palate with some grassy notes and apple.  Decent length on the finish with a bit of white pepper coming in on the back end.  Nothing too special but nice on a hot afternoon.  What more could you want in a $8 wine?  (86 pts)



2007 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Knoll – $47.49

I’m looking forward to trying this wine.  I had a taste at a local wine tasting and thought it was worth grabbing a few bottles.  We’ll have to see how it evolves over a couple hours and with a nice grilled steak.


Decanted about 2 hours.  Deep, dark maroon color.  Blackberries, cassis, dried herbs, vanilla, spicy oak, Asian spices, and a bit of tobacco on the warm and inviting nose.  Medium body with fairly solid tannins and very nice acidity.  A nice mouthful of spicy fruit with some dried herbs and vanilla lurking in the background.  Very nice length on the finish with the spicy fruit leading the charge.  Let this one lay down for another year of two and you’ll be rewarded.  (91 pts)



Dinner was an absolutely awesome 2” thick, over 2 pound T-Bone Steak, a skewer of “large” grilled shrimp, grilled potatoes with butter, fresh chives and parsley, and a piece of tomato bread.  And no, I didn’t eat all of the steak, but it will make a couple of fine steak sandwiches for lunch this week.



Wine News


Is it just me or is everyone experiencing less “corked” bottles of wine?  So far this year I’ve only opened 3 bottles of wine that were corked.

My theory is two fold:

1)  Cork producers are doing a much better job of quality control to help fight off alternative closures.

2)  Since a lot of wine is now closed with something other than cork, there is lower demand so the wineries can be more selective with their sources.


Sine Qua Non – I remember “joining” the SQN mailing list a few years ago.  Well, actually I joined the waiting list.  The wines were supposedly fantastic and at the time, moderately priced.  Zip ahead a few years, I’m still on the waiting list, but my friend finally will be getting an allocation in their next offer.  Unfortunately, the price is now $145 a bottle.  I’ve never had an SQN, and at that price, I probably never will.  My friend is passing on his offer and I can take it if I want…I just don’t know if I want.


Scherrer Winery – I don’t think there is a better deal than the Scherrer Futures Program.  Via their e-mail list you can get six bottles of their Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel and six bottles of their Shale Terrace Zinfandel for $260.  That’s under $22 a bottle for a top notch, age worthy Zin.  Yes, you pay for the wine in July and get it in March, but this is great wine for the price.  If you want, you can buy the wine when it’s released, but then it’s $30 a bottle, if there’s any left.  Oh, and how age worthy?  Had a 2004 Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel a few months ago from a 375ml bottle, and it still improved with some air and had years of life ahead of it.


Winery Shout Outs – Wineries to watch out for

Helioterra is a small up and coming winery out of Oregon.  I tasted through their lineup with owner/winemaker Anne Ebenreiter Hubatch a few weeks ago and she is making some mighty tasty wine.  In addition to Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs, Anne makes a Syrah and a Mourvedre with grapes from Washington.  Anne has a couple other projects, Whoa Nelly and The Guild.  Hopefully her wines will make it onto wine store shelves here in WI in 2013.  Check them out at http://helioterrawines.com/


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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 my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  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.