Creative Juices Wine Blog

Two Cabernet Francs

Posted in Cabernet Franc, California, Chinon, France, Loire, Napa Valley, wine, Wine Reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on February 16, 2010

Yesterday we ended up grabbing two Cabernet Francs and comparing them side by side… on video. Until we post that, here is a quick rundown on our experience.

Wine: Moulin des Sablons, Chinon

Varietal: Cabernet Franc

Vintage: 1999

Alcohol: 12%

Our Score: 86 points

Price: $12

The color was brick-orange, with light color going out to the rim. The cork itself showed a lot of tartrates, and you can definitely see that on the picture to the right.

The palate was well integrated, with notes of vanilla, limestone, red cherry and chalk. It had healthy acidity, and showed a lot of fruit character. Overall, we thought the wine was pleasant, but it has probably peaked a couple years back, and we caught it on the way down. We’d recommend enjoying a wine like that quickly, before its gentle aroma gets lost in the surrounding air. We awarded the wine well deserved 86 points, which is a great score considering its price.

Wine: Beaucanon Estate L Cuvee

Varietal: Cabernet Franc

Vintage: 2003

Alcohol: 14.1%

Our Score: 88 points

Price: $25

This one was deeper in color, had a nose you can detect from feet away, and a palate to die for. It had notes of pepper, currants and cassis on the nose, while the palate also added a generous dash of vanilla and sour cherry. The acidity yet again was tying the wine together. We awarded the wine 88 points and enjoyed it with pizza.

Voilà, we had a blast tasting these wines and we hope to post the video certifying so online shortly.

Cheers!

Zak and Olena

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Who Knew?

Posted in Australia, France, McLauren Vale, South Australia, White Bordeaux, Wine Reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on February 3, 2010

So yesterday was a day for experiments. Every once in a while, we need to try something new. In our case, it’s pretty much every day. No big deal. We went out on a mission to find 2 bottles for under $30. These are the bottles we came home with for $29.21.

First up was a bottle of Chateau Roques Mauriac Classic 2008 White Bordeaux from Vincent Levieux. White Bordeaux is under appreciated in our opinion, but we’re pretty big Sauv Blanc and Semillion fans. This bottle is a blend of the two, and at $13, it was worth picking up. There’s a lot going on with the nose, which was quite pleasant. It pops with a ton of grass and grapefruit that leads into lemony, mineral aromas. On the end, there’s a bit of saw dust and a slight touch of diesel. Great nose! The mouthfeel left us a little disappointed after that nose. It was a little salty, and there was a wet hay or fresh parsley aspect that went directly into lemons, grass and unripe cherry. Overall, the wine was correct, just not that impressive. We scored it 83 points due to its ultimate lack of complexity, and follow-through with all of its components.

With dinner, which was a pork loin served over garlic and herb infused rice, we had a bottle of 2002 School Block Shiraz from Scarpantoni in McLaren Vale, Australia. It’s a blend of 60% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot, and weighs in at 15% ABV. This was an absolute bomb of Currants! Currants! Currants! In addition, there was plenty of plum, dark berry (black and blueberries) some dark chocolate, and pepper on the nose. As if the nose hadn’t sold us on this wine, it had plenty of body, and soul. Everything about it was pleasant, and correct. It finished incredibly well, and all in all was just a very good wine. Much to the chagrin of our White Bordeaux from earlier, this wine earned a whopping 93 points! This is a cellar sleeper, and probably has a few more years left in it with continued improvement. All this comes with a $14 price tag. Not bad.

Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena

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Wine 101: France (Part I)

Posted in Announcements, Classes, France by CreativeJuicesWine on January 18, 2010

Wine 101 returns with France 101 (Part 1)! The event will be held at Rulis’ International Kitchen on Saturday, January 23rd from 6:30-8:30pm.

We will take you on a tour of France’s amazing wine regions, and provide classic French cuisine to match! This is an experience that you cannot miss as a wine lover.

We will be breaking our France lessons into three sections, so make sure you don’t miss any of them! This week we will focus on Alsace and Rhone. This is a real treat that we don’t want you to miss. Class costs $40. Please RSVP early, as we have limited space for this event. See you Saturday! Cheers!

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Thanksgiving Dinner with Wine

Posted in Austria, Beaujolais, Champagne, France, Gamay, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Noir, Red Burgundy, Sonoma County, Wine Reviews, Zinfandel by CreativeJuicesWine on November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving is this Thursday! Time to spend 7 hours making a meal that gets consumed in 20 minutes. Yay! Thanksgiving is the official kickoff of the holiday season, which means that we’re all going to eat and drink too much from now until 2010.  That being said, let’s talk a little about Thursday’s meal.

From a traditional standpoint, families all across the country are going to be preparing a turkey. There are a number of preparations that we could get into, but, we’re not going to. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask. Popular sides for Thanksgiving include potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, etc.

A lot of people have been asking us lately what to pair with their dinner on the 26th. We are happy to give our advice, and are actually really looking forward to doing some pairing experiments of our own. However, to be safe, here is a brief list of wines that we recommend with your Thanksgiving dinner this year. We have shared some amazing bottles of wine this year that we feel would be appropriate on Thursday afternoon.

Classically we would like to recommend Champagne.
This bottle of Chartogne-Talliet was a bottle given to us on our wedding night by a friend that we enjoyed a great deal. ($42)

Secondly, we would recommend drinking a nice Pinot Noir with your dinner this year. This bottle of  2006 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir from Sonoma County is one of our fondest wine drinking memories together, and we would like you to make your own special memories with this bottle. ($68)

Beaujolais Nouveau is a traditional pairing which is released on the third Thursday of every November right before Thanksgiving. We have never paired it, but we will tell you that we will be this year, just to see how it goes. This wine separates wine snobs from wine lovers. It’s about $8 a bottle, and easy to find.

Might we also recommend an Austrian Gruner Veltliner. This is a bottle that was on our by-the-glass list at the wine bar where we met, and eventually worked together in New York. Our decision to pair a Gruner is primarily based on its compatibility, but also in honor of our friends in NY who we miss. ($18)

Finally, we would like to offer up another twist on tradition, and recommend a Zinfandel blend that we were given as a gift from another friend back in March of this year. We are recommending the 2006 vintage (for nostalgic value), though the 2007 vintage is equally as impressive. Ridge 2006 California Geyserville- Zinfandel Blend. ($42)

These are our recommendations this year. Being that this is our first Thanksgiving as a family, we are thankful that we have a lot of wine at our fingertips in case dinner doesn’t turn out like we hope it does. Happy Thanksgiving! Cheers!

Domaine Robert Chevillon Bourgogne 2006

Posted in France, Pinot Noir, Red Burgundy, Wine Reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on November 19, 2009

Sometimes you lose some.

Such was the case with the 2006 vintage of the Domaine Robert Chevillon red Burgundy from Cote d’Or. Let’s just say we’ve had better bottles. Not to say that there was anything technically wrong with this bottle, but it left a lot do be desired.

The nose was barely existent. What it did put off were typical Burgundian smells of the terroir, and light red fruit notes. The same blandness carried over onto the palate, and ultimately the wine finished weakly. Again, we were not impressed.

This wine is to be drunk with food, but there is also a possibility that it could benefit from a little aging. This is certainly not true of all Pinot Noirs, but with Burgundy, there is a definite aging potential. Before you spend the $38 that this bottle costs, look around the store for something else.

We rate this wine 85 points, and do not recommend it unless you have the perfect meal, or cellar lined up for it.  Cheers!

Saint-Esprit Cotes-Du-Rhone 2007 Delas

Posted in Cotes Du Rhone, France, Red Blend, Wine Reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on November 18, 2009

Are you kidding me?

In case you haven’t noticed yet, we like to find value wines. This particular bottle cost us $15. Our best guess is that this bottle was mislabeled during the pricing process, underselling itself by about $30. Not that we’re complaining.

Upon the initial sniff, we knew that we were in for an absolute treat. The nose is reminiscent of raspberry cheesecake, with notes of vanilla, and cocoa.

On the palate this Syrah based treasure (75% Syrah, 25% Grenache) playfully exhibits cherry, vanilla, chocolate and raspberry flavors. Delicious.

There is a crisp acidity that comes through on the finish, which lingers for an impressive 15 seconds.

We are delighted with this bottle, however we must inform you that we entered this tasting with high hopes. The reason for the high expectations, of course, is that it is a 2007 Cotes-Du-Rhone. We’ll definitely be revisiting wines from the Rhone Valley in upcoming weeks, and keeping you posted on our findings.

We award this wine 90 points. If this were Bastille day, we would shoot off fireworks. But, it’s not. Also, we’re not French. Cheers!