Laurent-Perrier Brut Rose

The Cuvée Rosé Brut from Laurent-Perrier is one of the most recognized rosé champagne in the world, often considered the benchmark for rosé champagne.  We were lucky to get our hands on this one.  Here’s what we thought:


LABEL

Traditional, elegant, simple, clean.  What you would expect from a classic champagne

COLOR

Clean and light pink gold

AROMA

This one was berryliscious: strawberries, cherries, black currants and raspberries.

TASTE

Fruity flavors, clean and slightly sharp.  The finish is supple and rounded.

PRICE (VALUE)

At around a $79, it’s a splurge, but definitely worth trying next time you’re celebrating something and are looking for a less traditional type of champagne.

PAIRING

Light foods, seafood, chicken, light pastas

THE BOTTOM LINE

Fresh, fruity, sophisticated, enjoyable.  A classic in it’s own right.  Pick one up next time you’re celebrating.  Lot’s of fun.

OVERALL RATING

3stars

 

VERY GOOD

OPI Score = 71  What’s This?


Varietal: Cuvée Rosé
Region: Champagne
Country: France
Winemaker: Laurent-Perrier
Average Price: $70

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Smoking Loon Pinot Noir 2011

Smoking Loon wines are crafted on the premise that good wine shouldn’t have to take themselves so seriously.   Per the winemaker, they get their name from Don Sebastiani’s love of cigars and his father August’s passion for water fowl (I believe loons/ducks fall into this category)


This one happens to be one of my wife’s favorites under $10.  She used to call it Smokin’ Lion (long story)  No wonder I could never find this thing in the aisles.  Screams value buy!

LABEL

Simple, clean looking.  Love the cool looking smoking loon somewhat hidden in the design.

COLOR

Nice Ligh Purple.

AROMA

Brigh fruity aroma of raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries.

TASTE

Light finish, red fruit with a little spice.

PRICE (VALUE)

At around $9, this one screams value.

PAIRING

It’s a casual, light everyday wine.  Pair it with everyday fare like Pizza, Burgers, Pastas, BBQ, Chinese Food (Yea I said it)

THE BOTTOM LINE

At a price point of about $9 per bottle you really can’t go wrong with this medium bodied wine. It’s consistant and goes with almost anything you throw at it!

OVERALL RATING

3stars

 

VERY GOOD

OPI Score = 67  What’s This?


Vintage: 2011
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Region: N/A
State: California
Winemaker: Smoking Loon Wine Co.
Average Price: $9

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Cupcake Red Velvet 2011

Pleasantly surprised by this wine. Lot’s of big aroma and flavor in this quiet, conservative, unassuming bottle.

LABEL

Elegant, understated, clean.

COLOR

Dark Purple.

TASTE

Nice prominent nose of Chocolate, Blackberry and Raspberry.

PRICE

At around $12, this is a great all around value.

PAIRING

Experiment and have fun with this everyday, casual wine. Try it with BBQ, Pizza, Burgers.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Red velvet indeed. Wonderfully smooth, soft, everyday wine and a tremendous value. Pick one up today, you’ll enjoy it!

OVERALL RATING

3stars

OPI Score = 77  What’s This?


Wine: Cupcake Red Velvet
Vintage: 2011
Varietal: Red Blend (Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah)
Region: Central Coast
State: California
Winemaker: Cupcake Vineyards
Average Price: $12

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 2011

 

PICK OF THE WEEK


So what exactly are ancient vines anyways? According to the winemaker Cline Cellars they are vines on their estate that are between 80-100 years old.

92% of this blend is sourced from grapes from these vines. The general belief is that older vines, when properly handled will produce a better wine.


LABEL

Clean, minimalistic. Doesn’t exactly scream “buy me!” There’s also a cool little recipe flip on the back for a PF Chang Ginger Plum Zin sauce.

COLOR

Ruby red.

AROMA

Cherry, vanilla and strawberry on the nose.

TASTE

Full bodied, elegant and smooth with a nice long finish.

PRICE (VALUE)

I’ve seen this wine retail for up to $16. At around $13 here in Miami, you can’t go wrong.

PAIRING

Roasted Meats, light tomato sauced based dishes.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Tremendous value and quality. Pick one up today, you will enjoy it!

OVERALL RATING

3stars

VERY GOOD

OPI Score = 69  What’s This?


Vintage: 2011
Varietal: Zinfandel
Region: Contra Costa County
State: California
Winemaker: Cline Cellars
Average Price: $13

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Secreto Malbec 2009

 

PICK OF THE WEEK


Viu Manent Winery is among Chile’s leading wine producers, with exports to five continents.

Family owned since 1935, Viu Manent has come a long way over the past 75 years, marked by the Viu family’s love of the trade and their ongoing commitment to the quality of its wines.


LABEL

Really loved the eclectic art work on the label.  Certainly make you stop to pick it up.

COLOR

On the palate, more blackberry and cherry with a decent amount of spice. Full bodied, very nice long and smooth finish.

AROMA

Big, prominent nose, some cherry, blackberry, vanilla and oak.

TASTE

On the palate, more blackberry and cherry with a decent amount of spice. Full bodied, very nice long and smooth finish.

PAIRING

Pair with grilled or roasted red meats, pasta.

PRICE (VALUE)

At around $12, this one ranks high on the value scale

THE BOTTOM LINE

At around $12, this wine is a wonderful value. The next time you’re taking down some prime steer make sure you’re armed with one of these bad boys. Pick one up today – you’ll enjoy it. Salud!

OVERALL RATING

3stars

 

VERY GOOD

OPI Score = 64  What’s This?


Vintage: 2009
Varietal: Malbec
Region: Cachapoal Valley
Country: Chile
Winemaker: Viu Manent Winery
Average Price: $12

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Josh Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH AWARD (JUN 2017)  learn more


PICK OF THE WEEK  learn more


An award winning sommelier and successful wine executive, Josh Carr realized after 9/11, that life was too short, and decided to go for his dreams, founding Joseph Carr Winery in 2005.

The winery operates under the negociant model, dedicated to producing hand crafted wines, made from the best grapes sourced from growers in Napa Valley, Carneros, and the North Coast of California.

This particular bottle, Josh, named after his father, is part of Carr Winery’s second label, Josh Cellars. Carr jokingly refer to these wines as “vin de garage.”, however, these wines are all in fact handcrafted and sourced from organic growers.


LABEL

Nice, simple, clean and understated label.

COLOR

Good rich, dark color.

AROMA

A little bit of oak and fruit on the nose.  I let it sit for about 10 mins before trying it.

TASTE

On the palate, blackcurrant, spice, plums. Full bodied. Great long finish.

PAIRING

Pair with grilled red meats, ribs, meat sauced pastas.

PRICE (VALUE)

At around $11 this represents a great value.

THE BOTTOM LINE

At around $11, this is a value cabernet sauvignon and a strong quality second label offering from a talented wine maker. A diamond in the rough. Pick one up today! Salud!

OVERALL RATING

3stars

 

VERY GOOD

OPI Score = 73  What’s This?


Vintage: 2011
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Sonoma
State: California
Winemaker: Josh Cellars/Joseph Carr Winery
Average Price: $11

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