Tag Archive for berry

Akiyoshi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Akiyoshi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Clarksburg, CA

David Akiyoshi is one of NakedWines.Com’s go-to winemakers in California. So far, I’ve tried his 2013 Sangiovese Rosé, and it placed firmly in my second-best grouping, the Avocados. That’s a 69/100 on the Quini scale. All that means is I expect a pretty good, though probably not exceptional, wine as I open this cabernet sauvignon.

I stare at a cup holding the blood of many slain burgundy roses. Or grapes. They were probably grapes. The nose is waxy cinnamon, plum, and everything else I will list in the Quini profile that follows. Drinking it takes me on a journey with my mother’s favorite movie star, the young Shirley Temple. I am compelled to write a new verse for “The Good Ship Lollipop,” and I only hope the actress can forgive me from her heavenly vantage point:

“Oh, the good ship Berry-pop, made of cardamom and cinnamon logs, floats off to where violets sway, in the tasty Coconut Roll Bay.”

The finish is simple but lasts forever, unlike that new verse of song, which I’m trying to forget I wrote even as type this next sentence. The wine is certainly complex, but it could use more balance. Perhaps aging would bring it?

Here is my full Quini profile:

Akiyoshi Quini Profile
That 76/100 places it ahead of its rosé sister but not quite into my highest rank. It still earns an rating_avocado1.

I think it’s safe to say I like David Akiyoshi’s wines despite wanting more balance in this one. If you’re intrigued, you can purchase his 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon through NakedWines.Com by clicking this button. It’ll take you right to it:


It’s selling for $18.99 if you aren’t an Angel with NakedWines.Com, which is a fair deal. If you are an Angel, it’s an amazing deal at $10.99! To find out more about the NakedWines.Com Angels program, click here.

Reviewed 10 March 2015.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Poetic Cellars 2008 Mourvedre

Poetic Cellars 2008 Mourvedre
Livermore, CA


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.


Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Trader Joe’s Grande Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2011

Trader Joe’s Grande Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2011
Napa, California

trader joes reserve carneros

I tasted this wine before purchasing it at Trader Joe’s, and I’m glad the sample convinced me to get a bottle. Its rich, medium-bodied boysenberry digs into me and won’t let go. The nose has a fleeting burst of fig newton, but is otherwise lackluster. That’s fine because the wine’s taste more than makes up for it. It’s sweet and tart in complementary proportions. Cocoa gives it depth, though that may be the chocolate-dipped apple I just ate. The texture is velvety smooth. Its tartness reminds me of aloe vera, and it’s just enough to give the wine some verve.

I will call this a gateway wine, one with no dryness so the uninitiated will think only of those bright boysenberries and how delicious it is. Could it be more complex? Of course, but I’m smiling as I drink it.

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather