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Ksara - La Prieure
Drinking like a mature Bordeaux with a touch of spice, this wine is a proprietary blend of Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. A bit of earth on the nose, a smooth, silky and substantial midpalate, and some white pepper on the finish, which was quite long. Paired beautifully with the Mediterranean cuisine for which it was made.
Lafage - Miraflors Rose
Another excellent bottle. Drinks on the fruitier side of dry, but very, very pretty and refreshing. Delightful on a warm summer evening, and can be paired with just about anything. Will continue to buy.
House of Independent Producers - Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley
Fresh and clean, with a lip-smacking finish due mainly to its judicious oak aging. Simple, but eminently quaffable. Good QPR.
Newton - Claret (Unfiltered)
Somewhat one-dimensional (didn't evolve at all during the course of the evening) but certainly enjoyable. Probably would not buy again, but would not turn down a glass if offered one.
Trinitas - Chardonnay Carneros
The obvious use of oak in California Chardonnay is an acquired taste, and in the past two decades has become a phenomenon of sorts - the most noteworthy proponent of the style being Rombauer. Producing wines in that style can be a costly proposition, as new-oak French barrels can cost upwards of $1,000 or more. In recent years, other producers have been following Rombauer's lead and producing wines in a similar style, but at a significantly lower cost to the consumer. This wine is a case in point. It's made from grapes grown in the Carneros region, which straddles the border between Napa Valley and Sonoma ' prime real estate for burgundian varietals (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir). Trinitas solved the cost issue by aging the wine in American oak, which blends aromas of hickory, creme brulee and cotton candy with an intriguing hint of spice. The wine went through secondary fermentation ' which creates a rich, creamy mid-palate with a finish reminiscent of caramel ' and shows lemon curd and charred pineapple on the finish. It's a great pairing with roast chicken or Coquilles St. Jacques and is full-bodied enough to pair with Grilled Swordfish in Lemon-Caper Butter. The oak influence should integrate and become less obvious by 2017-2018.