Herdade de Rocim 2017 – Alentejo, Portugal

A mixed berry with moss and leaves on the nose.  Dank and autumnal.  Soft, simple red berries on the front palate with immediate tannin.  The finish is taut, almost too tight, with a vegetal note.  At least at first tasting, at $20 it’s a bit to one-note and light to buy again.

  • Rating: Meh
  • Name: Alicante Bouschet 2017
  • Winery: Herdade de Rocim
  • Region: Alentejo
  • Country: Portugal
  • Varietals: Alicante Bouschet
  • Price: $20
  • Where to Buy: com

Sheridan Vineyard Boss Block – Yakima Valley, Washington

A very American wine – too much oak that obscures the grape and the terroir.  Tastes like cherry vanilla ice cream.  Yes, that’s crazy talk.  Drops off at the end with cola flavors and a dark cocoa, chewy tobacco finish.  Pleasant, but not my cup of tea.  At this price point I probably won’t be buying this again – or anything from this group, but have a hard time waiving people off it.  If you like this style of wine – heavily oaked obsessive single-grape varietal wine, you’ll enjoy this wine.  I bought this for reasons that should be obvious and it reminds me of something Georges dos Santos of Antic Wines said to me the first time I met him regarding Washington wine:  “it’s good that they like it.”  Again, it’s a question of style and this just isn’t mine, regardless of the name.

  • Rating: Meh, for stylistic reasons
  • Name: Boss Block 2014
  • Winery: Sheridan Vineyard
  • Region: Yakima Valley
  • Country: Washington, USA
  • Varietals: Cabernet Franc
  • Price: $35-50
  • Where to Buy: Total Wine

Sinforiano Cigales 2007 – Cigales, Spain

IMG_2807Had this wine with chuleta (steak) at Bar Nestor in San Sebastian, Spain. The second time. This is the reason I now understand the difference in term usage between “powerful” or “strong” in English wine lingo, versus “fuerte” in Spanish wine terminology. I had heard fuerte used to describe several wines in the past and was never completely convinced that the person knew what they were talking about. This wine’s excessive tannin is what they were referring to. It had a nice cherry, dark fruit front end that had a silkiness that made it worth drinking, but it finished with so much tannin as to feel like you had a piece of tree bark in the mouth. Not what I was looking for and does not bode well for future tastings from the Cigales DO.

  • Rating: Meh
  • Name: Cigales 2007
  • Winery: Bodegas Sinforiano
  • Region: D.O. Cigales
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: N/A
  • Price: N/A
  • Where to Buy: N/A

Nero D’Avola Black Label 2010 – Sicily, Italy

I’ve been drinking a lot of Nero from Sicily lately, trying to get a feel for it. Cherry, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and lots of structure hit the nose. Plenty of tannin on the back end, almost too much. The high alcohol content hits the nose a bit hard at over 14% – that’s not always the case in some other boozy wines. It goes down with that nice mossy, rubbery feel of many of the Nero I’ve had. Picked this one up at Schneider’s on the Senate side. I would says it’s pretty good, but does not stand out from many of the other similar wines I’ve had and doesn’t really inspire me at the $20 price point.

  • Rating: Meh
  • Name: Nero D’Avola Black Label 2010
  • Winery: Tola
  • Region: Sicily
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Nero D’Avola
  • Price: $20
  • Where to Buy: Schneider’s of Capital Hill, 300 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC, 20002

Castellucci Miano Nero d’Avola 2010 – Sicily, Italy

Not crazy about this one. Tastes a bit oxidized, with black rubber, eucalyptus, and raisins all sewn up by a light tannin kick, with a hint of smoky chocolate. It isn’t poison, but I believe it’s past its prime and I won’t buy it again.

  • Rating: Meh
  • Name: Nero d’Avola 2010
  • Winery: Castellucci Miano
  • Region: Sicily
  • Country: Italy
  • Varietals: Nero d’Avola
  • Price: N/A
  • Where to Buy: N/A