Justino’s Rainwater Vinho Madeira
The color of this Madeira is beautiful, a sunset invoking autumn leaves and a fire waiting at home. It smells of brown sugar syrup, dates, and grilled oranges. As with most dessert wine, it has impressive legs, though it’s thin bodied. The alcohol heat is mild, nothing the sweet citrus can’t make you forget. My initial impression of grilled citrus holds up upon tasting; the orange notes taste concentrated in their sweetness and profile, giving it nice depth of flavor. In a way, it reminds me of an orange-scented crème brulee. In another way, it reminds me of a moist spice cake. Both images are pleasant.
I could easily see this affordable little Madeira being a return visitor at our house. Thanks to Doc’s Wine Shop in Hayward for recommending it.
Other Bloggers’ Thoughts:
Zilch, zero, nada. There are reviews out there for ones aged 5 years and older—much older—but not for these 3-year upstarts.
Reviewed 22 Mar 14.
Poetic Cellars 2008 Mourvedre
I found this wine during our recent jaunt through the Santa Cruz Mountains, and I will be forever grateful that I did. The grapes are from Livermore, but the label is Poetic Cellars, which sells their wines with a poem on the back of each bottle. Click on the picture so you can read this one by J. L. Naegle, a partner in the winery. It’s a mood-setter.
Mourvedre is not a grape I’ve come across often, so I once again forgot how much I love it. One sip in that tasting room, and I remembered. One sniff of the cork after opening the bottle I bought, and my eyes rolled back with pleasure. This is good stuff, folks.
The nose is inky, full of pressed flowers: violets and honeysuckle. It smells of dense and rich fruit, raisins and fig tarts, and honey, vanilla, and melted butter. There’s a thin tannic element to the nose, like a linen napkin rather than leather. Shortbread cookies also come to mind.
Drinking it brings a surprising tartness that reminds me of kumquats and would likely lessen with aeration. Cardamom with just a hint of cinnamon for spice. Dark berries needing a few more days to ripen. A layer of smooth nuttiness adds to the depth. Perhaps that’s macadamia, or perhaps that’s my recent familiarity with macadamia liquor talking. Cedar comes up right before the floral presence returns, leaving an aftertaste of roses and honeysuckle to remember it by.
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Bargetto 2011 Chardonnay
Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
This wine is an un-oaked chardonnay that I bought on our recent Santa Cruz Mountains wine-tasting trip. In the winery, it tasted lively and green and caught my attention, though it’s rare for chardonnays to do that with me. At home, it’s no different. The nose is cream with green apples and pineapple. It tastes as pleasant as it does in memory, simple and uncomplicated. The wine is not tart to drink like the nose implies. Rather, I get a blast of lime followed by a buttery wave that ushers in a mealy red delicious apple flavor. I don’t mean mealy as a negative descriptor—it’s just the texture of it in my mouth.
This is a pleasant, vibrant chardonnay worth the affordable $24.
Other Bloggers’ Thoughts:
Couldn’t find any. I’ll note that Google has made finding blogs more difficult, but reviews for small labels are generally hard to find.
Reviewed 19 Mar 14.