Wine Review: 2014 California Pinot Noir, Prophecy

2014 Prophecy NoirThis bottle was from a trip to Total Wine towards the end of our days in Frederick (circa November 2017)

Life gets hectic when times of transition grow near, especially moves across the country. Days are filled with finding answers to important questions like how to get all of this stuff from point A to point B?, and of course the all important where we will live upon arrival?

There are other important details like what to pack and what not to pack. Deciding what day will be the last day at work and when to say goodbye to all our friends.

As the big day grows closer, the apartment grows more sparse. The U-Box was packed and sent ahead, leaving us to eat on paper plates while sitting on the floor and, after the bed that wasn’t going to make the trip was hauled away, Xavier and I spent the last night in Frederick huddled together on a sleeping bag.

A slumber party with sleeping bags on the floor is fun when you’re eight, sleepless and not as fun when you’re forty-two. In the morning we packed the cars and hit the road to our new life in New Mexico.

So, about the wine…

The picture on the label is the zero card from a Tarot deck, The Fool.

Card 0, The Fool. Radient Rider-Waite Tarot.

Symbolizing new beginnings, freedom, a clean slate, and fearlessness, The Fool sets off on a fresh adventure with all the elements he needs in his pack. Little dogs run along beside him, nipping at his heels as a reminder that a clean slate is only clean momentarily because every decision shapes the road ahead. “Watch your step and choose carefully”, sayeth the dogs.

I have enjoyed every bottle of Prophecy wine that I’ve tried.

They always have cool labels, which is important because, you know, first impressions and all.

This Pinot Noir is medium bodied and has a beautiful ruby red color. It smells and tastes like cherry (but in a good way, not like cough syrup) and oak – gotta love the oak –  with a velvety smooth finish.

13.8% alcohol, pairs well with clearing the way for what lies ahead.

An excellent wine for closing one door and opening another.

 

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Wine Review: 2015 Red Blend, Prophecy

2015 Prophecy Red Blend

Always listen to first impressions.

The picture on the label of Prophecy Red Blend is an artist’s interpretation of Tarot card number VI – The Lovers.

VI - The Lovers. Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot

When The Lovers card appears, it means there are decisions to be made. The Fool has set off on his journey, making progress on the path of his choosing when he comes to an unexpected fork in the road. He (or she, of course) has encountered something or someone that they have fallen in love with. In the most literal sense, it may be a person, or it could also be a brilliant idea or inspiration. In any case, there is a sense that the wheel in the sky has just turned and that this new love must be had.

The question though, is at what cost?

This new love presents a divergence from a previously chosen path. Like re-routing the inertia of any river, the ability to follow this new path does not come for free. There is risk and conflict involved but also the possibility to follow one’s destiny when a once in lifetime opportunity comes along.

The Fool could be paralyzed with loss aversion, too afraid to risk what he has to chase what he wants. Standing at the station while the bus pulls away, walking home to a predictable life but with regret in his heart. Or he could risk it all to pursue his love. It may not work out but at least he wouldn’t spend the rest of his life asking the worst question of all; “what if?”.

In the end, only the Fool knows if it was worth it.

Xavier and I have a love story just like this. If you feel so inclined, you can read about it here, here, here, and here. All stories from the time before this blog was about wine.

And about the wine…

Featuring grapes from Washington and California, Prophecy Red Blend is a rich and full wine, full of dark cherry and chocolatey goodness, a bit of oak and a smooth finish. Delicious on a chilly evening.

13.8% alcohol, pairs nicely with a roll of the dice.

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.

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.