Category Archives: Syrah/Shiraz

New Branding: Pennywise (and an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon)

I don’t normally pay much attention to labels. (Kind of a contradiction, as I’m an artist and publication designer/editor.) However, the Pennywise redesign caught my attention in a big way. The previous Pennywise label was okay. Reminiscent of a postage … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Merlot, News, Syrah/Shiraz | 2 Comments

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2009 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve “Summation” red blend (43% Zinfandel, 24% Syrah, 21% Merlot, 5% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Other varietals), California. 13.5% ABV. $17 SRP, usually $13, available for as little as $8.99.

Late last year, I reviewed the 2009 K-J “Summation” white blend and highly recommended it (see http://www.thefrugalwinesnob.com/?p=670). We’ve also enjoyed several bottles of the 2008 “Summation” red blend, which was a “special occasion” everyday house wine for us, if that … Continue reading

Posted in California, Grenache/Garnacha, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel | 3 Comments

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Domaine Juliette Avril 2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhone. 14.5% ABV, $30-55.

We don’t normally review wines that cost more than $20, but this one was so remarkable, we HAD to say something. If you can find this wine on sale, pick it up. It’s a marvelous blend of Grenache, Syrah, and … Continue reading

Posted in France, Grenache/Garnacha, Mourvedre, Restaurants, Syrah/Shiraz | 2 Comments

RECOMMENDED: Concannon Conservancy 2009 “Crimson & Clover,” Livermore Valley, CA. Red blend: 50% Petite Sirah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, 10% Zinfandel. 13.7% ABV. $15, available for as little as $9.99.

“Crimson & Clover” is our Valentine’s Day selection, because this wine was based on love. Not romantic love, mind you, but true, lasting, and growing love. Our Samples Policy states, “We love a good back-story” and invites winemakers and publicists … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel | Leave a comment

STRONGLY RECOMMENDED: Dependable 2009 Red Blend (50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon), Coteaux de Bessilles (Languedoc). 13% ABV. Difficult to find; $17.50 at Civilization, a bistro in Gainesville, FL, where it is their house red.

Single-grape varietal wines can be astonishing, even stunning, when weather, harvest, and winemaker are in perfect synch. But it’s no secret we also admire, and often prefer, the skills of those winemakers who successfully blend superior (and dependable) wines, both … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, France, Grenache/Garnacha, Merlot, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz | 2 Comments

RECOMMENDED: Leese-Fitch 2009 Merlot (87% Merlot, 13% Syrah), California. 13.5% ABV. Generally $8.99-10, available for as little as $7.75 (http://vinobazaar.com/red-wine/merlot/leese-fitch-merlot-2009/).

APPEARANCE: Dark ruby red with clarity, cool pink/lavender edges. NOSE: A light layer of red fruits: strawberry, raspberry. Opened to aromas of soft flowers, a kiss of oak, and molasses. TASTE: Chewy, round, mouth-filling, balanced, smooth, and mellow. I couldn’t … Continue reading

Posted in California, Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2008 Brampton Shiraz by Rustenberg Wines. Stellenbosch, South Africa. 14.5% ABV. $11.95.

Cloves, oak, just a delicious big fat boy. LABEL NOTES: Matured in oak for 14 months. Characteristics of cloves, white pepper, black cherries, and hints of dark chocolate will compement game meat, stews and fine cheeses. Enjoy now or within … Continue reading

Posted in South Africa, Syrah/Shiraz | Leave a comment

RECOMMENDED: Project Paso 2010 Red Blend, Don Sebastiani & Sons, Paso Robles. 22% Grenache, 17% Petite Sirah, 16% Syrah, 15% Merlot, 9% Zinfandel, 8% Tempranillo, 7% Malbec, 4% Barbera, 2% Touriga Nacional. 13.8% ABV. $14, available for less than $10.

Y’know how red blends with Cabernet Sauvignon are dominated by the Cab most of the time? That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just the way it is. I mean, if Robin Williams comes to your party, guess who’s going … Continue reading

Posted in Barbera, California, Grenache/Garnacha, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Zinfandel | Leave a comment

WONDERFUL: An evening of wine tasting: Bell Wine Cellars, with Anthony Bell presenting. At Wine & Cheese Gallery, Gainesville, FL.

On November 15, we experienced a wonderful wine tasting featuring six wines from Bell Wine Cellars in Yountville, Napa Valley, presented by the winemaker himself. Anthony Bell presented a fun and informative evening, offering us a “sense of place” indeed … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Oregon, Pinot Grigio (Pinot Gris), Pinot Noir, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz, Tastings | Leave a comment

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Wine Guerrilla: The Art and Soul of Zinfandel. Three wines reviewed.

This week, we sipped our way through a flight of Wine Guerrilla wines: two Zinfandels, and Rebel Cru, a red blend. While most wines are like a good short story, these wines proved to be novellas. They opened with a … Continue reading

Posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California, Carignan, Petite Sirah, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel | 6 Comments