Tag Archive for tasting notes

Jim Olsen Fair Angel 2012

Jim Olsen Fair Angel 2012

As I wrote last month, I’m advertising NakedWines.Com on my website and testing out how good of a value that $100 off an order is as well as their Angels program. Frankly, I wouldn’t feel comfortable advertising them without trying out the service for myself! So I’m also reviewing their wines as I drink them.

This red wine blend was one of the few red wines included in my first shipment from NakedWines.Com. The blend is 50% zinfandel, 30% syrah, and 20% carignane, which is the first I’ve heard of that last grape! Thought I’d share that tidbit in case you need a reminder that I’m just a consumer, not a wine educator.

The Fair Angel 2012 reminded me of a fair holiday pudding. Rich, stewed fruits and warming spices but more smoky than a dessert should be. I could imagine a chef making it that way because she hates preparing desserts and just has to experiment with the savory side of cuisine. In other words, the balance was not as smooth as it might have been, but it was still an enjoyable wine.

On the Quini scale, I gave it a 67/100. On my scale, that’s just high enough to earn an


Here’s the Quini profile:

jim olsen quini
And Other Bloggers’ Thoughts:

The Wit is Out

Both the aroma and flavor was dominated by black cherry – a real strong black cherry. It was difficult for me to pick out anything else but the black cherry. However, given enough time I was able to detect a bit of blackberry on the nose, nothing more on the palate though. I had this stand alone and the following day it did seem to have a bit more body and flavor but not much….This wine leaned toward the semi-sweet scale rather than a semi-dry red wine.

Reverse Wine Snob

It opens with aromas of black cherry, a little black pepper, a hint of mint and some pleasant earthy notes. Tasting reveals a medium-bodied wine with more black cherry, a good dose of cola, and hints of anise. The wine is a bit rough around the edges (it reminds me of a good Chianti in that way) but is nevertheless quite tasty and will pair nicely with a wide range of foods. It ends dry and surprisingly long with peppery, oaky spice and more sour black cherry flavors. Highly Recommended!

I drank what?

It shows a bit darker red than a Pinot Noir, but had a similar nose. Rich dark stone fruit, a silky texture, extraordinary clarity and a soft finish fooled me. This blend hits some great high notes and would be a terrific red blend for people usually averse to drier Cabs. A great starter wine that should pair well with food.

Want to purchase Jim Olsen’s 2012 Fair Angel? It’s $25 for non-Angels and $11.00 for Angels right here:

Click me!

But if you want at least 6 bottles anyway, make sure you get your hands on that $100 off voucher by clicking through to NakedWines.Com below:

Receive $100 Off a $160 Order of 6 or More 750ml Bottles of Wine. First Time Customers Only.

Reviewed 28 September 2014.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Randall Grahm’s Caviste Volant “The Sisters” 2013

Randall Grahm’s Caviste Volant “The Sisters” 2013
Central Coast, CA


As celebrated winemaker Randall Grahm remarked on the label for the Sisters, it’s a blend of albarino and riesling grapes, two white wine varietals with quite differing profiles. Huffington Post has a great report up on Grahm’s partnership with NakedWines.com, which means this is indeed available for purchase from NakedWines.com here along with a $100 voucher for first-time customer purchases of 6 bottles or more. Best prices go to NakedWines.com’s Angels, which you can sign up to become here, if that’s up your alley—I explained the Angels program and my involvement with it in this previous post.

On to the vino!  The label is endearing, and I readily admit to being a label sucker. So keeping Grahm’s words in mind may have influenced my wine tasting…but it scored a 75/100 from me, regardless. After a buttery ascent, the Sisters dips into grassy New World whites then reaches a riesling plateau. It’s a Small World tour of white wines at the pace of a roller coaster.

My Quini profile:

The Sisters Quini

Worth taking the ride, for sure.


Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Maryhill Mourvedre 2011

Maryhill Mourvedre 2011
Rattlesnake Hills, Columbia Gorge, WA


I bought this bottle of wine on the advice of Maryhill’s employee, Cassie Courtney, who I met at WBC14 and who was awesome enough to meet me for a tasting at Maryhill in the amazingly beautiful Columbia Gorge. Hopefully, I’ll have the pictures from that trip up by the time I review my next Maryhill bottle, because IT WAS GORGEOUS. Seriously, the drive and the winery are a must if you’re going to be anywhere near the WA and OR border.

/end Rave. Cassie thought I’d love this wine after I confided that I’ve been on a mourvedre kick for the last six  months or so. It won a double gold and Best Mourvedre at the most recent San Francisco International Wine Competition and is available only for wine club members—which means most of y’all are going to be so sad you can’t buy it. Sorry? Not really, because I got a bottle! And shared it with my neighbors so I didn’t get to enjoy quite as much of it as I could have…

/end Pity Party. Airing is recommended, but after letting it breath, drinking this mourvedre took me back to days spent collecting roly-polies with my best friend, Nina, when I was no older than seven. Take a sip and imagine your young self daydreaming on a hill with a friend, chewing on the ends of tall, dry stalks of grass. Enjoy. 76/100, a solid avocado.


My Quini Profile:

Maryhill Mourvedre Quini

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather