FRIDAY’S THIRTEEN…

A boatload of wine

A boatload of wine

In a weeks time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). I lot of my friends think I’m lucky. Well, they’re right, and I wouldn’t give this job up for the world. The only thing that makes my job hard, is my feeling of responsibility to taste the samples given to me as quickly as possible and to put my reviews either in my Moleskine, on my Youtube channel (Stan The Wine Man TV), or right here on Stanthewineman.com. Here for your reading pleasure, are thirteen wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week.

2013 Paxis Red (Lisboa, Portugal)… $8.

Aromas of licorice, tobacco, cherries and black raspberries with a pinch of mint and dirt. Smooth, sturdy tannins support notes of cherries and black raspberries. It intensifies a bit on the mid-palate with a little lift from the acidity, leading into the finish where a kiss of tobacco and minty acidity join up. Nice balance, and a “10” in the delicious category. (B/B+)

2016 Gnarly Head Double Black 1924 Limited Addition (Lodi, CA)… $11.

Currants, cherries and raspberries on the nose with a little brambleberry underneath. Explosive fruit on the front of the palate…Notes of currants, cherries and raspberries on sweet, easy tannins. It has a fresh backbone that keeps the fruit in check. Jammy and fresh at the same time. Another “10” in the delicious category. (B-/B)

2015 Maryhill Semillon Tudor Hills Vineyard (Columbia Valley, WA)… $13.

Aromas of lemon, cut grass, wet stone and perfumed white flowers. Very dry, with solid white pepper notes front to finish, joined by notes of melon and apple with an undertow of fresh-cut grass. (C+/B-)

2017 Thurston Wolfe Albarino Crawford Vineyard (Yakima Valley, WA)… $17.

Apricots, mango and mandarin orange on the nose. A fruit medley in the mouth… Mango, peach, apple and mandarin orange on fresh acidity. There is a nice creaminess in the mouth that doesn’t get heavy. Good balance with a fresh, clean, delicious finish. (A-)

2015 Gravel Bar Dry Riesling (Columbia Valley, WA)… $16.

Rubber boot, banana, mango and oranges on the nose. Dry on the palate with rubber boot notes backed by oranges and mango. Good balance, but thins out on the finish with notes of orange, lemon and apple on the back-end. (C/C+)

2016 Maryhill Riesling (Columbia Valley, WA)… $10.

Almost nothing on the nose. Quite challenged. Tart apple and lemon notes on the palate with slight rubber boot notes underneath. Apple notes linger a bit on the almost dry, light finish. A little boring and one-dimensional. Not bad, just not that good. (D+/C-)

2017 Sodo Cellars “Love Bird” Rose` (Washington State)… $15.

Corn Nuts, Strawberries and watermelon on the nose with a solid kiss of raspberry. Nice acidity backs solid watermelon, cherry and raspberry notes. The fruit notes are solid but the wine remains dry and fresh with a nice tangerine hit on the back-end. (B-/B)

2017 Lafage Mira Flors Rose` (Cotes Catalans, France)… $16.

Slight aromas of perfumed pink flowers with a hit of red plums. Dry on the palate with notes of strawberries and plums, backed by edgy acidity and a kiss of minerals. There is a hit of citrus on the finish. The acidity is bright and cutting on the palate yet balanced. A blend of Mourvedre and Grenache Gris. (B)

2017 Combard Figuiere Rose` Vin de Pays (Le Saint Andre, France)… $14.

Light cherry and wet stone notes on the nose. Apples, cherries and crushed rock notes on the palate with a twist of citrus. Fresh and dry on the palate with lingering dusty rock notes. Very terroir driven. 25% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Grenache, 25% Cinsault (B/B+)

2017 La Rocaliere Rose` (Tavel, France)… $15.

Ripe cherry juice blended with watermelon on the nose. Meaty texture in the mouth with notes of cherry and a kiss of watermelon and red plums. Slight minerals lie underneath leading into a dry, lingering finish. 60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 10% Syrah (B+/A-)

2016 La Louvetrie Muscadet (Loire Valley, France)… $18.

Aromas of slate, melon, peach and lemon with a hit of candied apricots. Bracing acidity backs notes of lemon, apricots and peach. The acidity kicks this baby into over-drive on the mid-palate with a boatload of minerals leading into the finish where apricot skins and veggie notes add to the complexity. (B-/B)

2016 Harper Voit Old Vine Riesling Maresh Vineyard (Dundee Hills, OR)… $30.

Rubber boot, apple and mango on the nose. Mixed nuts, apricot and mango up front on the palate with a kiss of rubber boot action. Solid acidity drives this Riesling on the palate giving it a linear feel in the mouth leading into a bracing, clean finish where citrus and mango lingers. (A)

2014 Idiots Grace Chardonnay White Salmon Vineyard (Columbia Gorge, WA)… $24.

A little challenged on the nose with slight apple and melon notes coming through. Creamy on the palate with a little spice action joined by ripe apple and melon notes. Nice balance of acidity and fruit with a slight butter element coming through on the back-end joined by a kiss of minerals. Good complexity and a decently long finish. (B+)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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STAN’S PICK FOR OCTOBER 2018…

This is for all of you that would like to try something different in the wine world without going out on a limb. When is the last time you tried a wine made from the Susumaniello grape? This rare grape is mostly grown in the Puglia region of Italy and almost exclusively in the Salice Salentino DOC. In fact it is one of the rarest grapes in the world. One of its parents is the white grape Garganega. The name Susumaniello is derived from Somarello meaning donkey. Evidently this is a high-yielding grape that can bear a heavy load of clusters. All very interesting of course, but what about the wine that is produced from this rare grape? My pick for October is a stellar example of what this grape can do.

October Pick

2015 Tenuta Rubino Ol Tre Me` Susumaniello (Salento, Italy)… $14.

Aromas of blackberries, beets, tobacco and licorice along with a hit of tar and vanilla. Blackberries all day on the palate with chocolate notes hiding underneath. Balanced acidity gives it nice structure and a lift in the mouth. Tobacco notes join up on the finish with a solid kiss of blueberries and minerals. Mineral notes linger on the back-end. A solid wine that new world wine lovers can warm up to. This baby will age up to five years easily and at this price you might be able to store a couple away without too much pain. (B/B+)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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BITS & BOBS…

Susie and I are officially husband and wife!

Wedding Day

It was a fantastic day on Friday as all our friends gathered to celebrate this special day. We planned on having a ceremony on the beach near Davidson Head on San Juan Island. We invited family and a few close friends to the ceremony. The day before was beautiful so we had our fingers crossed that the sun would again come out for our day. Obviously you can’t control the weather and it rained all day, so we improvised. Instead of the beach, we cleared our living room and had it there. Susie and I were both nervous, tears flowed and it turned out to be a very special moment in our lives. I would like to thank Bob for officiating and Verne and Wendy for being by our sides as Best Man and Maid of Honor. It was also very nice to have my big sister, little brother, daughter and son-in-law there to share the moment along with Susie’s close friends Tammy and Jim.

From there it was off to the Golf Club where my son Micah was orchestrating the reception. It was touching to have so many there to celebrate our marriage with us at the reception. Micah whipped up some amazing food as he is well-known for doing and my daughter Shyla made an amazing wedding cake for us.

The Cake…Wow!

We ate, drank, talked and danced. I want to thank everyone for their kind words, gifts and presence on our wedding day, especially those who made the trek on the ferry or plane to come up to be with us.

As you can imagine, wine flowed at our reception. Bubbles abounded along with red and white wine. Being the wine guy that I am, I did a quick inventory of what was consumed. Townshend Cellars Purple Table Red was a hands-down favorite as there were zero left-overs. The Isenhower Benjamin’s Button Cab was also well received along with a couple of the Pinot Noir. Graham Beck Brut was our sparkler for the event. I’ve mentioned that Susie and I discovered this on our trip to South Africa. Graham Beck is a winery in South Africa that is dedicated to making bubbles and they do an incredible job. Very “Champagne” like in quality, but not in price. It was also very popular at our event. I am looking forward to a happy future with my lovely bride. She is the love of my life and we were made for each other. The honeymoon will be in March when we take off to London, Paris, the Loire Valley and Italy. We are looking forward to seeing all our friends in the U.K. this time as a married couple.

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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FRIDAY’S THIRTEEN

A boatload of wine

A boatload of wine

In a weeks time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). I lot of my friends think I’m lucky. Well, they’re right, and I wouldn’t give this job up for the world. The only thing that makes my job hard, is my feeling of responsibility to taste the samples given to me as quickly as possible and to put my reviews either in my Moleskine, on my Youtube channel (Stan The Wine Man TV), or right here on Stanthewineman.com. Here for your reading pleasure, are thirteen wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week.

2016 Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand)… $12.

Gooseberry and grapefruit with a touch of pine needles on the nose. A big dose of grapefruit on the palate (surprise!) with a hint of lime and orange underneath. Solid, balanced acidity with grapefruit and orange notes lingering. (B-/B)

2017 Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc (Central Valley, Chile)… $10.

Slight aromas of wet stone, banana and cut grass. Round on the palate, especially the mid-palate. Notes of apples and pears with pears taking over on the fresh finish with a little cut grass sneaking in on the back-end. (B-/B)

2017 Yalumba “Y” Series Viognier (South Australia)… $11.

Just a bit of stink action on the nose with hits of butterscotch and apricots. Lightweight in the mouth but not shy with flavors. Notes of butterscotch, apricots and pears shine through. Fresh, clean and delicious with the acidity in good balance, keeping if from getting too fruity. Butterscotch notes are the backbone but not candied, just the flavor that lingers with the fruit. (B)

2017 Domaine Preignes Le Vieux Paradis Grenache Rose` (Pays d’Oc, France)… $13.

Watermelon Jolly Rancher on the nose. Very light on the palate with notes of watermelon rind and a pinch of white pepper. White peach notes sneak in underneath and on the finish. Dry, but not bone dry. (B/B+)

2015 Turasan “Selda” White (Cappadocian, Turkey)… $8.

Aromas of tangerine, apricot and wet stone, with a touch of banana, walnuts and filberts. Viognier like on the palate with a load of wet stone and a solid core of fresh acidity. Hits of grass, lemon and tangerine join the palate experience. 35% Emir, 30% Narince, 30% Misket, 5% Chardonnay (B+)

2015 Domaine La Croix Belle Caringole Rouge (Cotes De Thongue, France)… $10.

Aromas of black olive, red flowers, toast and plums with a touch of red licorice. Grippy on the palate with notes of plums, crushed rock and black pepper front to finish. Red flower notes lie underneath with a kiss of worn leather. (C/C+)

2016 Andrew Rich “Rich Table” Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA)… $20.

Currants and blackberries on the nose with a touch of candied violets. Some veggie action under notes of currants and tobacco on the palate with a kiss of violets. Tightly wound up with a solid hit of leather on the mid-palate into the finish. Fresh acidity gives it a lift on the palate. Very old school in style. You might want to let this sit in your cellar for five years…I think you will be rewarded. (B+)

2017 Vian Haras De Pirque Chardonnay (Casablanca Valley, Chile)… $11.

Fresh cut grass on the nose joined by apple and hits of pears. Smooth and balanced on the palate with a nice freshness. Apple and pear notes come through, with a little white pepper action. A little awkward at first on the finish with oak notes hitting hard. It comes around nicely with a chalky minerality on the back-end. (C+/B-)

2017 Miguel Torres Las Mulas Sauvignon Blanc (Central Valley, Chile)… $11.

A touch stinky on the nose with notes of grapefruit and lemon. Grapefruit and mineral notes front to finish on the palate with a kiss of lemon. Grass notes sneak in on the back-end. Good balance of acidity, minerals and fruit. (B-)

2015 Merf Chardonnay (Columbia Valley, WA)… $12.

A touch candied on the nose with toasty butter and pear notes. Light on its feet with notes of butter, pears and baking spices. Good balance with the oak coming through but stays in check with a nice, spicy finish. Some make-up comes in but not obvious. (B-/B)

2017 14 Hands Rose` (Washington State)… $12.

Aromas of rhubarb, strawberries, cherries and apples. Strawberry and cherry fruit on the palate with a little watermelon sneaking in. Solid fruit front to mid-palate finishing dry with hits of dried herbs, minerals and a kiss of citrus. A blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cinsault and Grenache (B+)

2014 Seven Falls Cellars Rapids Red (Wahluke Slope, WA)… $17.

Aromas of licorice, currants, chocolate and cinnamon Graham Crackers. This baby is spicy on the palate! Currant notes all day with a kiss of chocolate and licorice. There is a nice freshness underneath, supporting the spice action. Chocolate notes linger with the spice on the finish. Sixteen months in barrel…30% French oak and 70% American oak. (B/B+)

2013 Paxis Red (Lisboa, Portugal)… $8.

Licorice, tobacco, cherries and black raspberry on the nose with a pinch of mint and dirt. Smooth, sturdy tannins support notes of cherries and black raspberries. It intensifies and lifts a bit on the mid-palate leading into the finish where mint and tobacco notes join the party. Nice balance and a “10” in the delicious category. (B/B+)

Cheers!
Stan The Wine Man

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