Monthly Archives: September 2012

Warm and Cozy with Trivento’s Amado Sur – Red Blends Continued..

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Warm and Cozy with Trivento’s

 2010 Amado Sur from Argentina

The luck of the red blends was with us again recently when I finally sat down to experience this delicious wine.  As I’ve asked before; can a wine make you feel warm and cozy? My answer is YES and for me the Amado Sur falls into this category.

I was drawn to this wine in our store because of its varietal blend; 80% Malbec, 10% Bonarda and 10% Syrah. Being a fan of all three led me to believe that I was going to enjoy their coming together and boy did I ever. I seem to not be the only one because it is flying off our shelves. I can take credit for a few bottles myself plus the happy returning customers that I have recommended Amado Sur to, but not the one to two cases we are going through weekly. So much so that we just ordered 10 cases for an end-cap display.  With the added benefit of a sale price and coupons we may just be ordering even more soon.

Trivento information from Banfi Importers: When in the mid-1990s Concha y Toro, Chile’s leading wine producer, announced its successful purchase a collection of vineyards (now accounting for 3,185 acres) in the Mendoza region of neighboring Argentina, there was little doubt on either side of the Andes that change was in the air. Wind is the agent of change, so it was only fitting that the new venture was named “ Trivento” (Three Winds), a whimsical reference to three winds that sweep through Mendoza and are such a distinguishing feature of the region’s climate and environment.

Upon decanting the first thing I noticed was its rich aroma which included; dark fruit, caramel and an undertone of wood.  As it breathed I also noted; black pepper, blackberry, black olive and oak on the nose.  Once poured its bright garnet color, more so along the edges of the glass, brought attention to the lovely slow-moving legs. Both of these I believe a cause of the wines alcohol level.  Additionally noted on the palate were; chocolate, a sweetening of the wine as it opened and what I listed as violet but in actuality may have been anise or licorice.

Winemaker notes: A deep red wine with dark blue tones and aromas of dark fruit combining with notes of black pepper, anise, cinnamon and chocolate. Lush flavors of plums and berries give way to velvety tannins and a persistent and pleasant finish.

We paired the Amado Sur with an aged cheddar cheese to start followed by pepperoni pizza. It worked very well with both, making the cheddar explode with flavor and the pizza even more spicy. I am looking forward to enjoying this wine again and again and even more so sharing it with family, friends and customers. ¡SALUD!

Price range: $12-17.00

Wine Spectator Review:

A floral red, with juicy blackberry, raspberry and plum notes supported by medium tannins, as the grippy finish unfolds with hints of mulled spice and licorice. Smart Buy. 90 Points.

Nathan Wesley – Wine Spectator – October, 2012
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The Luck of the Blends – The Dreaming Tree Crush by Steve Reeder & Dave Matthews

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The Luck of the Blends – Red Wine Blends

The luck of the Blends has been with us as of late. It wasn’t planned as good things usually aren’t and no rhyme or reason was applied when choosing, other than the combinations or producers intrigued me. None came recommended but  my recommendations of these wines have since surprisingly sold quite a few bottles at our store.  I now more than ever realize the power of knowing what you are talking about and the fact that I must continue to taste more wine 🙂

These delicious Wine Blends do not have much if anything in common. They are all reds, they are all wine and they are all blends.  For the most part the known varietals are all different as are the winemakers and the countries of origin which include; Argentina, Australia, California and Chile. I originally planned on doing a combined post on all four recent success stories but have since decided to dedicate more time to each. They deserve the attention.  The first up is from California.

The Dreaming Tree Crush


the-dreaming-tree-crush-red-north-coast-usa-10345285I
have to start by saying that this wine is SMOOTH! It goes down way too easily [in a good way of course] with little tannins to speak of. After taking in the aromas for a few minutes the delicateness of this blend truly surprised me. I would say this is the perfect red for those who think red wine cannot be enjoyed in the summer. Even a South Florida summer.

From the winemakers:

When Steve Reeder and Dave Matthews first met, they realized they had a few things in common, like a passion for making wine at least as strong as their passion for drinking it. For The Dreaming Tree wines, they set out to create an approachable Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Red Blend, finding inspiration in the down-to-earth characters and unforgettable flavors that give California’s wine country its rare charm. At The Dreaming Tree, we think the best vintage is pretty much right now and the best pairing is your favorite people. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with collecting wine, but isn’t it more fun to drink instead?

In my research I found that their wines are sometimes racked to clarify the wine and to help develop the smooth tannin structure. This would explain my smoothness comments above. After approximately 19 months of aging in oak, the individual varietals [see below] were blended to create The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Wine Blend. 

This is one wine I would not aerate or decant. It is perfect straight out of the bottle. On the nose I detected a herbaceousness I noted as crushed leaves and also dry tobacco along with cinnamon and a dark fruit forward aroma that was Zinfandel like.  On the palate I noted the already referenced smoothness, low tanin level along with; violet, cinnamon, dark fruit and a grassiness I would describe as being close to freshly cut grass.

In my opinion and as the Dave Matthews pedigree implies: This Wine ROCKS!  Which I decided to Tweet recently. Soon afterwards The Dreaming Tree contacted me to thank me directly and then shared my feelings with all of their followers. It is always good to see an organization so involved with their product line, specially when the product is worth spreading the word about.  I also appreciate their way of doing business when it comes to sustainability with the use of; lightweight bottles manufactured with clean-burning natural gas, 100% recycled paper labels, black ink printing—no bleaching, reduced toxins and heavy metals and natural corks from sustainable farms.

The Dreaming Tree Crush Red Wine Blend truly provided an enjoyable night of wine drinking. So much so that I would easily buy this wine again and recommend it to customers.  The price range for this wine is in the $15-$18.00 range but I have seen it being sold for as low as $12.00. If I had a local source pricing this wine that affordably I would be buying it by the case! ¡SALUD!

Additional information:

2009 Vintage

Moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer made 2009 a very good growing season. The lack of extreme temperatures resulted in higher acidity and aromatic concentration in the white grapes and higher color and tannin development in the reds.

Varieties:

67% Merlot,

33% Zinfandel

Vintage: 2009

Appellation/AVA: North Coast

Aging: 19 months in oak

Total Acidity: 6.1g/L

pH: 3.53

RS: 7.0g/L

Alcohol: 13.5%

Pinot Noir Smackdown September 6 2012 – Concannon 2010 Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir

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Click for 2011 ResultsYes it’s true! It is time for the 3rd annual Pinot Noir Smackdown. Not only can you follow the days events via social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram etc. you can share your favorite Pinot Noir and vote for the state or country they come from.  The big winner last year was New Zealand.  2010’s winner was Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

For more information, instructions and rules check out: http://www.winetonite.com/2012/07/30/3rd-annual-pinot-noir-smackdown-september-6-2012/ and to register go to:  http://pinotsmackdown2012.eventbrite.com/ Be sure to tag your entries with #PinotNoirSmackdown.  Per the events organizer;

#PinotSmackdown is an all-day global celebration of the world’s most expressive wine grape combined with a knock-down, drag-out cage fight between YOUR FAVORITE Pinot-producing regions!

Wine lovers have had quite the week with #CabernetDay now being followed by #PinotNoirSmackdown. I usually do not need much of a push to enjoy Pinot Noir.  As I wrote about earlier this year I continue to search for an affordable bold Pinot Noir that grabs my attention the way more expensive ones have in the past.  I am a  fan of BIG Pinot Noir’s from Oregon and the ones I have been drawn too are usually in the $40.00+ range. Examples would be Coehlo’s 2006 and Lachini’s 2007.  Unfortunately nothing I have come across in the $20.00 or below range has come close. But I do enjoy the challenge 🙂

Interestingly enough I have not reviewed my favorite Pinot’s on this site. That will have to change soon since I do still have a bottle of Lachini in the cellar waiting for that special occasion. For those interested in my earlier Pinot Noir reviews check out the links below with both just happening to be from Chile;

Gran Valle de Niebla Reserve: https://whineandcheersforwine.com/2012/04/11/chiles-gran-valle-de-niebla-reserve-pinot-noir-2011/

The Show Pinot Noir: https://whineandcheersforwine.com/2012/03/22/the-show-and-tell-2010-pinot-noir-from-leyda-valley-chile/

Today I am writing about a winemaker that I had never heard of before being employed as a Wine Steward.  As it turns out Concannon has quite the pedigree and interesting history dating back to the late 1800’s.

From their website:

Concannon Vineyard has a proud history of “Firsts.” Always an industry leader, Concannon is the first successful winery to be founded by an Irish immigrant. When James Concannon planted white Bordeaux cuttings in the late 1800s, we became one of the first wineries to make Bordeaux-style wines in California. In 1950, we hired the first professional, female winemaker, Katherine Vajda. In 1961, we introduced America’s First Petite Sirah, sparking a love affair with the variety. Our inaugural vintage was so well-received that we have produced it ever since, and it has become our highly regarded flagship wine. Shortly thereafter, Concannon’s role in the California Cabernet Sauvignon industry became truly historic! From the 1970’s onward, the famous “Concannon Clones 7, 8 & 11” provided the backbone of the huge expansion in Cabernet plantings in California’s premium wine regions as well as in many of Napa’s most prestigious vineyards. California Cabernet, the wine that primarily placed California on the world wine map, was built upon our Concannon Clone vines.

A SILVER MEDAL San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition winner for 2012 the Concannon 2010 Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir is their mid-range tiered wine among others more expensive and Glen Ellen on the lower cost range. Concannon is owned by The Wine Group; the  third-largest wine company by volume behind Constellation Brands and the E&J Gallo Winery.  Their products include among many; Fish Eye, Mogen David, Big House, Flip Flop, Corbett Canyon, Paul Masson, Cupcake Vineyards, Almaden, Inglenook…

Vineyard Notes:

Our Selected Vineyards wines are well-loved varieties from select Central Coast vineyards and represent remarkable value. California’s Central Coast offers unmatched blending diversity from its multitude of microclimates. Cool region grapes contribute distinctive fresh fruit nuances and warm region grapes add depth of flavor and complexity. These highly acclaimed wines take no shortcuts and are easily worth twice their modest price.

Winemaker Notes:

The 2010 Pinot Noir, Selected Vineyards is rich in both color and fragrance.  With aromas of raspberry and ripe strawberry, this medium-bodied wine is very food-friendly. Balanced by warm spice accents of cloves and cinnamon, the bright red fruit flavors finish round and smooth.

My Notes: This being a relatively young wine and usually a light varietal I decided not to aerate as I poured directly into the wine glasses. This was a mistake on my part. The aromas were locked in at first and not flattering to the nose. Surprisingly within 10 minutes this started to change and once I decided to use an attachable aerator on the bottle this became a different wine.  Lesson learned.

Once open I would describe this wine as fruit [red] forward on the nose with raspberry, cherry, and strawberry. An earthiness and spice were also noted but not specifically definable to me beyond that.  I would disagree with the wine maker notes above describing this as a medium body wine; this wine is very light bodied.  Wood on the nose and palate added to the fruity finish [cherry] as it opened beyond 30 minutes. And I must add that this wine had beautiful lingering legs on the wine glasses that we were able to appreciate prior to the wine quickly  disappearing 🙂

In my research I learned that the alcohol content is recorded at 13.5% [+/-] and that 24,000 cases were produced.  I would describe this wine as very drinkable every day wine.  The retail price is listed as $10.00 by the manufacturer, I was able to attain it at a price of $7.99 on sale at Winn-Dixie but have seen it priced as high as $12.99.  I would say that at the $10.00 range this is a very good wine, an easy choice, a perfect example of what I refer to as Grocery Store Wine.

We paired this with roasted garlic chicken and a 4-cheese Merlot risotto I concocted. The pairing was a success and worked incredibly well with the garlic.  Would I buy this wine again? Sure. Would I recommend it to a customer looking for a lite and delicate Pinot Noir in this price range? Yes. Does it compare to Pinot’s in the $40 and higher range? No, but I would not really expect it to.  That search will have to continue for another day but for now I can say we had a lovely weekday meal with a reasonably priced wine that was thoroughly enjoyed and disappeared quickly.  ¡SALUD!