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.

 

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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.

Wine Review: 2012 Bistro Red, St. Clair Winery

St. Clair Bistro Red

St. Clair Winery is located in Deming, New Mexico but they have bistros located around the state including one in Albuquerque. St. Clair wine is also sold at local grocery stores. I bought this bottle of 2012 Bistro Red at Albertson’s in Los Lunas.

Xavier and I had this wine on New Year’s Eve and I had hoped it would be better. I mean, it wasn’t terrible by any means but the flavor just didn’t appeal to me. Similar to 14 Hands Hot To Trot Red Blend, St. Clair Bisto Red has a minerality to it that tastes slightly like way rancid cooking oil smells. It just hits me in the wrong place.

In general, not particularly tasty or smooth. Tastes more like a homemade science experiment than a carefully handcrafted wine.

I have hopes that their other varietals are better but I won’t be buying Bistro Red again.

Wine Review: 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel, Zen Of The Zin

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This bottle was one of the goodies from our trip to Total Wine yesterday.

Now, to be fair, Xavier and I opened the Zen Of The Zin on the heels of the Carnivor Zinfandel, which leaves it staring up at a might high bar. That being said, it was still pretty good. I’d drink it again.

Smokey with undertones of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. Vaguely reminiscent of expensive leather. Pleasant finish. Pairs well with multiple episodes of Supernatural.

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Additionally, it’s the way to Zinlightenment, so there’s that.

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13.5% alcohol, no red wine headache. Overall, a very pleasant Zinfandel!

Wine Review: 2012 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, [yellow tail] Reserve

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[ yellow tail ] Reserve Cabernet Sauvigon.

By “Reserve” they mean it cost $8.99 instead of $7.99 so, you know, high rollers only.

While I’m not convinced that the extra dollar isn’t just spent on the fancy-pants label, this Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t bad. It’s definitely full-bodied with some upper-cut to the upper palate, gets ya with ole one-two if you know what I mean.

[ yellow tail ] reds are typically in your face, lacking volume control and the finesse of an indoor voice. It doesn’t make them bad, it just makes them bold.

Very woody with loud dark fruit. The label reads “… and a hint of mint”.  Apparently someone’s been chewing some super funky gum if they think this wine possesses a hint of mint which, clearly, it does not. But even if it did, “I like this wine because it’s refreshingly minty”, said no one ever.

14% alcohol and a touch of red wine headache.

Certainly not for sissies. Proceed with caution.

Wine Review: 2015 Merlot, Fish Eye

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I thought it would be worse….

Actually, I read some reviews saying that Fish Eye wine was pretty tasty and a good value for the price. Plus I’m a sucker for anything with a cute label.

Nonetheless, $4.99 is a very low price. So, you know, expectation management.

Truth be told, I liked it.

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This 2015 Merlot from Fish Eye was surprisingly nice. It’s a medium bodied, mellow semi-sweet red. Little bit of oak, little bit of plum, pleasantly smooth finish. Convenient screw cap saves a cork tree. 13.5% alcohol. No red wine headache. Xavier didn’t even get a headache from it and he is extra prone to them.

I paired it with a burger and calabacitas and since you probably don’t know what calabacitas is, let me fill you in.

Calabacitas is a southwestern dish featuring sauteed zucchini, onion, corn, GREEN CHILI, and cheese. It’s hella good with Fish Eye Merlot.

calabacitas

 

Wine Review: Limited Release Double Down, Dark Horse

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It’s been one hell of a week. My counterpart at work is on vacation and it is only her presence that brings order to the madness. The minute she leaves, it’s like ordering a late night pizza and a sparkling water for the mogwai. The chaos that descends over everything as she walks out the door is not the result of anything I’m doing wrong, but rather the awakening of gremlins who have been hibernating since her last vacation.

I’m not even kidding. The random shit that goes awry when she’s not there is enough to rattle even the calmest of chains.

By Friday, I was torn between going to work or jumping off my balcony. I opted for work but only because I promised myself a bottle of Dark Horse Double Down as a reward for walking on hot coals all week.

Bring on the wine!

Double Down is a delicious Limited Release from Dark Horse; a red wine blend consisting of Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Tannet, and Teroldego. I don’t even know what the last two are but it’s really beside the point. I mean, you don’t need to be familiar with all the components in the remote control to que up the next episode of Midnight, Texas.

Speaking of which…

Last night Xavier and I killed a bottle of Double Down, paired with Chipotle (the rich man’s Taco Bell) and caught up on the last three episodes of Midnight, Texas. I love Midnight, Texas because, while they try to pretend that the show takes place in Texas, it is obviously shot in New Mexico. I watch it because it reminds me of home and because Charlaine Harris’s supernatural novels are cool.

So, about the Double Down…

Bold and full bodied. Luscious and full of toasty oak. Mellows to a pleasantly smooth finish. All too easy to keep refilling the glass, would be very dangerous if it came in a box. 14.5% alcohol. Pace yourself.