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Boggle the Mind with Bogle

I’ve had this Bogle Merlot for  a while.  A friend brought it over one night for dinner, but we opened a few other wines that I had planned to pair with the meal we had prepared.  So it has sat for a few months in the wine fridge.

One reason I had not opened it earlier is that I am not a huge fan of Merlot – and NO, it has nothing to do with the movie, SideWaysI have never been a fan; although I admit the movie did lead me to Pinot Noir.

Tonight I decided to open the 2010 Bogle Merlot because hubby was warming up leftover pasta and I thought a lighter red wine would pair well with his dinner.  I was having leftover grilled chicken and the wine would do well with both.  (We were eating leftovers from a dinner out a few nights back – a well devised plan by moi as I knew we would be traveling this weekend and wanted something quick and easy when we got back home.)

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I found the wine to have soft cherry notes with herbal undertones and a silky finish.  We were actually very impressed with it.  It paired well with our food, but could stand alone as a sipping wine as well.  A good wine and a good bargain for wines under $10.

Varietal: Merlot          Alcohol:  12.5%          Price:  $9

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Is it a Clairet or a Rose’?

This wine was a media sample from Balzac Communications.

When this shipment of Bordeaux came in, I saw this little “Clairet” in the box but didn’t really think too much about what the label actually said.  It looked like a Rosé so that is what I thought it was.  As I put it in the wine fridge, I remember thinking that I was surprised to get a Rosé from Bordeaux.  But then last night when I pulled it out to open, I realized it was actually a Clairet – a pale red bordeaux called Clairet (with a taste profile very similar to my favorite Rosés).  I was confused and a little research was definitely called for.

So here is what I have found:  Today Claret is actually a nickname or a generic name for Bordeaux wines, but centuries ago it meant clear, pale or light-colored wine, hence my mistake on judging this wine by its color instead of its lineage.  (Centuries ago, the term Claret was also used to refer to a heated wine poured over a bag of spices – today’s version would be a mulled wine.)

Clairet has been described as A Rosé with a Pedigree’ and ‘A Rosé on Steroids‘.

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This beautiful pale red Chateau De Fontenille is a Bordeaux Clairet.  Planet Bordeaux states that it is “Critically acclaimed and highly sought after.” I completely agree!  I for one, will definitely be combing the shelves for this one so that I can once again experience this tart strawberry taste with soft tannins and a soft finish!  (I wonder if I can get it through a distributor for the new wine bar???  Things that make you go, “hmmmmmmm!”)

Varietal: 100% Cabernet Franc          Alcohol:  12.5%

Chateau de Parenchere

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This 2010 Chateau de Parenchere embodies what the Bordeaux wines are all about – intense aromas and concentrated flavors.  I got lots of black cherry on the nose and flavors of both cherry and chocolate.  It was a great sipping wine.  You didn’t have to pair it with food.  The wine was well-balanced with soft tannins making for a smooth finish.  Of all the Bordeaux I have tried with this shipment of media samples, this was my favorite.  Clean, simple, easy to drink.  It is the perfect wine to introduce the novice to Bordeaux wines.

As with all the Bordeaux Superieur wines, the price point of this wine makes it a great house wine as well.  In typical bordeaux fashion, it is a blend.  The percentages of each grape may vary from vintage to vintage, but the basic grapes will always be Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.  This blend was 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec.  Even though this wine was drinking well while still young, you could easily age it 6-7 years and have a real gem.

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Read more about the Bordeaux region of France here.

This wine was a media sample from Balzac Communications.

Wine Lover’s Trio

This wine was a media sample from Chateau Tanunda and Banfi Vintners

I enjoy wine any time rain or shine, hot or cold.  But there is something about the first glimpse of Spring, the warm sun, the smell of fresh-cut grass, a gentle breeze, and pink buds popping out on all the trees and bushes that creates a desire to sip that perfect wine.  So that is what today was, pairing a wine with sunshine and the first day of Spring and of course with the “Wine Lover’s Trio!”

Blooms on a Patio Peach Tree

Blooms on a Patio Peach Tree

I decided on a 2010 Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz for my pairing.  The Wine Lover’s Trio I refer to is a serving of dried cherries, dark chocolate and pecans.  These three items go so perfectly together but when you find that right wine and pair it with this trio, it is a match made in wine lover’s heaven.  I knew as soon as I took the first sip of this wine that it would work with the Trio.

Wine Lover's Trio

Wine Lover’s Trio

The deep red wine had aromas of red berry and spice on the nose with hints of vanilla and pepper on the palate.  The vanilla and the dried cherries were simply mouth-watering, then add the chocolate and pecans – WOW!   We all know that, contrary to popular belief, not all red wines pair with chocolate.  But when you get that pairing right, you know it!  These flavor descriptors (vanilla, red berry, spice) combined will work every time.

Grand Barossa Shiraz

Grand Barossa Shiraz

Varietal:  Shiraz          Alcohol:  14.5%          Price:  $17.99

Bordeaux

This wine was a media sample from Balzac Communications.

A couple of months ago, I received several bottles of Bordeaux as media samples.  I have learned two things from these samples.  I had mistakenly thought that if a wine was from Bordeaux that is was 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.  I was wrong.  Bordeaux wines are actually a blend.  They can be comprised of any combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Petit Verdot and Malbec; however, all the grapes have to be grown in the Bordeaux region of France to have the Bordeaux designation.  The second thing I have learned is that these wines are typically better if decanted.  This is not meant to be negative.  Decanting wine is romantic and sensual.  It creates ambiance and sets the mood for a great evening.

 2013-03-05 18.14.27I found this Bordeaux to be dry with jammy notes and hints of plum, chocolate and oak.  Being 50% Merlot, it had a soft, pleasant finish, not too tannic.  Today’s Bordeaux is reasonably priced between $9 – $35 making it a great house wine or that special wine to serve for that special dinner or occasion.

Varietal:  50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon          Alcohol:  13.5%          Price: $10.99

Cherry Pie

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Truett Hurst 2011 Pinot Noir

Truett Hurst 2011 Pinot Noir

I know it’s only Monday, but one sip of this wine and my mind transported me to Friday.  It was like I was like I was starting my weekend.

This is a fabulous Pinot Noir from Truett Hurst.  Truett Hurst is one of only two wine clubs I belong to.  I so look forward to their quarterly shipments.  I don’t pay any shipping charges, get great wines and a special little gift enclosed with each shipment.  I wait with anticipation to see what my extra gift is with each shipment.  I have gotten things such as olive oil, grape seed oil, a specialty lilac salt, honey – always a special treat from a local Sonoma/Dry Creek artisan or farmer.  And of course, I get the wine!

I used to be very stingy with these wines fearing that I might run out before the next shipment and I can’t buy them anywhere!  I have been stingy enough, that I have actually accumulated a few bottles.  🙂  Truett Hurst wines always impress.  I always know without a doubt that these wines will have depth and character and that there is always one that will pair with dinner!

Tonight we chose the 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.  Have you ever heard of the moonshine called, “Apple Pie?”  (That’s another blog post for another time!)  Well, this wine could easily be called Cherry Pie.  It is a wonderfully tart cherry pie with hints of vanilla and butterscotch on the finish.  On the nose I get an earthy raspberry.

Varietal: Pinot Noir          Alcohol:  14.8%          Price: $40

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