Wine Review: 2015 Bin 55 Rich Red Blend, Dr. Henry John Lindeman’s

2016 Bin 55 rich Red Blend Lindeman's

60% Shiraz, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% alcohol.

On sale for $5.99 at Walgreens ($10 at Albertson’s), this is a very nice red blend from South Eastern Australia.

Bin 55 Rich Red Blend

As always, I’m a fan of the screw cap, especially when the contents are this good. Vanilla, dark fruit, smooth finish with a touch of smoke. A great deal at full price and an even better deal at half price! Pairs great with dry rub BBQ pork chops and steamed vegetables. Also acceptable curled up in a blanket on the couch with a bag of chips. No matter how you pair it, one thing is for certain, Lindeman’s Red Blend turns down the volume on the lingering stress memories from the day.

Stress less, wine more.

 

 

 

Wine Review: 2016 Cab-Zin, St. Clair Vineyard

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After an underwhelming first sample from St. Clair Vinyard, I decided to give them a second chance. St. Clair is in New Mexico after all and I wanted to like their wines.

A Cab-Zin blend is pretty basic, how could they screw it up?

Well…..where there’s a will, there’s a way.

This Cab-Zin is medium-light bodied at best leading with bright notes of cherry that are too bright. Xavier said it tasted sour. Completely devoid of any of the deep dark, chocolatey goodness that one would expect from this type of blend. It doesn’t really even look dark in the glass but on the plus side it did get a little better after being open for about an hour and there was no extra charge for the headache I woke up with this morning.

You know you’ve chosen poorly when the conversation at the dinner table sounds like, “If you hate it, we still have that box of Franzia.” It’s like staying at a hotel and laminating that it’s not as nice as Motel 6.

If you’re looking for a good New Mexico wine this, my friends, is not it.

 

Wine Review: 2016 Pinot Noir, Fisheye

Fisheye Pinot Noir

 

Of all the budget-priced wines in the $5 – $6 range, Fisheye from south eastern Australia is by far my favorite (and I’m cheap, so I’ve tried most of them). Every Fisheye wine that I have sampled is smooth and tasty and this 2016 Pinot Noir is no different.

It truly makes me happy to spend only $5 on a bottle of wine and not regret it in the morning.

This Pinot Noir is just a touch spicy with a hint of cinnamon over a smooth base of medium red fruit and a bit of oak. Check out the beautiful ruby red hue!

Fisheye Pinot Noir

Other pertinent facts: 13.5% alcohol, pairs well with pepper-jack cheese and Club crackers, no headache. Did I mention $5?

 

 

Wine Review: 2016 California Red Blend, Primal Roots

Primal Roots Red Blend

This turned out to be a good experiment.

On sale at Walgreens for about $8.99, Primal Roots California Red Blend is packed full of toasty oak, vanilla, and chocolaty goodness. Although not a “chocolate-flavored” wine, I thought the chocolate-ness was particularly pronounced. Xavier and I paired it garlic-rosemary burgers and steamed vegetables.

Primal Roots Red Blend is comprised of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Merlot and you can’t go wrong there.  While it seems that Primal Roots only makes this one blend (according to their one page website), this would be a perfectly good choice to bring to dinner party or to give as house warming gift, or a birthday present, or a Christmas present, or a Valentine’s Day gift, or for an anniversary, or….well, you get the point.

If you’re on your way to my house, best be stopping off at Walgreen’s on the way.

New Mexico Full Moon
Gratuitous image of this week’s Werewolf Full Moon over the Manzano Mountains.

Wine Review: 2015 Winemaker’s Red Blend, Casillero del Diablo

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I found a new wine from The Devil’s Locker, on sale at Walgreen’s for $8.99.

Casillero del Diablo from Chile is one of my all time favorite winemakers. In fact, every wine I’ve had from Chile has been great but Casillero del Diablo is at the front of the pack.

This bottle was also from Saturday night’s dinner party with Shelly. She brought the Witching Hour Red Blend and I brought the Devil’s Locker.

Casillero del Diablo wines are typically rich and full bodied. Nothing weak or watery here. One glass of anything from The Devil’s Locker and you’ll need to find a nice chair to accommodate the slightly spinning room.

The Winemaker’s Red Blend is rich and velvety. Velvet doesn’t reflect light and neither does this deep red blend. We paired it with baked chicken, potatoes, carrots, and sautéed onions. All dinner guests were glassy-eyed and happy.

Dark fruit, dark chocolate, toasty oak in a rich and smooth concoction of grapes. Appropriate for any gathering of wine drinking friends. Truly, you can’t go wrong with this one.

 

Wine Review: 2015 California Red Blend, Witching Hour

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Shelly and her husband brought this bottle of wine with them to our house last night and the four of us made short work of it. She said she got it on sale from Total Wine for about $5.00.

I say it’s an excellent value for the price. Nice notes of vanilla and chocolate with a touch of oak, very drinkable.  I can’t find much information about Witching Hour wines because their website is defunct but I would guess there is definitely Zinfandel and Syrah in this red blend, it kind of reminds me of Apothic Red Blend.

We paired it with chips and salsa but the poor bottle didn’t make it until dinner. No joke, with four people this bottle disappeared in less than half an hour. I would certainly buy one of my very own if I saw it on the shelf.

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi

Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon

Don’t judge, it was on sale at Albertson’s for $5.99.

I had been wanting to try Woodbridge for a long time but in Maryland I could only find it in the big magnum size bottles. Even though the price was right, I was afraid to end up with a huge bottle of what might be terrible wine so I never bought it.

A couple weeks ago I found this cute 4-pack at Albertson’s in Los Lunas and brought it home.

I’m all about the expectation management but this Cabernet Sauvignon from Woodbridge turned out to be pretty darn good, tasting well above it’s pay grade.

Buttery and chocolatey, pleasant oak base and smooth finish. Nice at any price but especially pleasing for a budget priced wine. Paired great with pork chops, steamed okra and sautéed onions.

Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon delivers the usual 13.5% alcohol. I didn’t get a headache but Xavier said he woke up with one. Then again, it may have been the altitude.