Thursday, June 8, 2017

Casillero del Diablo 2014 Reserva Merlot

Casillero del Diablo 2014 Reserva Merlot

One of my favorite Merlots in recent memory, the 2016 Reserva from Casillero del Diablo is a quaffable fruity wine with cedar notes and a pleasing undercurrent of acidity. I immediately thought of making Sangria - this would make an excellent base.

*Wine provided for editorial purposes - all opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Rock River Chocolate Trail

Over the Memorial Day weekend, my youngest and I enjoyed a road trip following the Rock River Trail, a route that follows the Rock River from Waupun, WI down to Rock Island, IL. We had a great couple of days driving down, visiting towns big and small, taking photos and creating memories.

Rock River Chocolate Trail

One aspect that we really enjoyed was trying to find identified candy stores on the Rock River Chocolate Trail. These are shops that the organizers of the Rock River Trail have found in the towns along the route. I counted 21 shops on the official route, and we planned on visiting 9 of them.

Unfortunately, since our trip took place over a holiday weekend, not all of the planned stops were successful. Of the 9 we had hoped for, we found 4 of them open, but we enjoyed each one.


Rock River Chocolate Trail


The Rock River Trail is just over 300 miles officially and could be driven in a day if one were so inclined. We'd suggest a more meandering pace, with stops for chocolate, other food, a few wineries, and the sights along the way.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Michael David 2014 Inkblot Cabernet Franc

Michael David 2014 Inkblot Cabernet Franc

I remember drinking this for breakfast last year, poolside at Bare Ranch for the Snooth-Lodi Wine Media Trip, and thinking that any wine that's good for breakfast is probably a pretty damn good wine. I've had it several times over the years and it remains one of, if not the best, of all Cab Francs. This is like drinking Lodi in a bottle. Aromas of dark earth, blackberries, black pepper and spices; all of the above along with tart red berries on the palate; this is a 3-Dimensional wine, full in the mouth, tannins and acid duking it out in the background, with a full and lingering finish. Outstanding now, I can imagine this rewarding patient years of cellaring as well.

*Wine provided for editorial content - all opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Vivanco: Sharing Wine Culture

Vivanco: Sharing Wine Culture

Located in Briones, La Rioja in northern Spain, the Vivanco organization consists of a winery, museum, and foundation. Third generation Pedro Vivanco was one of Spain’s first certified winemakers and is joined by his sons, Rafael the winemaker and Santiago running the museum and foundation. One of the things I really appreciate is that Vivanco makes wines using only native grapes vinified using traditional techniques, and presented in a bottle inspired in an original eighteenth-century bottle that is on exhibit at the Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine. The original building, a new, state-of-the-art winery, museum, educational center, tasting room, and restaurant sit on top of a naturally temperature-controlled underground cellar that can hold 3,500 barrels. Wow.

Tasting Notes:
Viura-Tempranillo Blanco-Maturana Blanca 2016: handpicked from estate vineyards; 50% Viura/35% Tempranillo Blanco/15% Maturana Blanca; Tempranillo Blanco and Maturana Blanca, an indigenous, minority white grapes that are exclusive to the DOCa Rioja; each grape variety is vinified separately on its lees for 4 months in stainless steel; floral, citrus, and orchard fruit aromas; pear, banana, and citrus fruit flavors; nicely balanced with some forward acidity making for a crisp and refreshing drink; synthetic cork closure.
Reserva 2010 Seleción de Familia: handpicked 90% Tempranillo/10% Graciano; each grape variety is vinified separately; aged 2 years in French and American oak barrels; smoky earth, dark fruit, and red berry aromas; plum, vanilla, sweet red fruit, and spice flavors; good balance between tannins and acidity and should age well for another 5-10 years; cork closure.
The eye-catching bottle and unique labels certainly catch ones attention, but the fantastic wines inside are what will make you a fan.

*Wines provided for editorial purposes - all opinions are my own.

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