Aquinas Pinot Noir Napa Valley 2007

I really liked this particular Pinot Noir and it was pretty cheap at just $14. I think I got one of their last bottles of the 2007 at Specs, because the rest were 2009s and I do see their advertised price for a 2009 as $14, which is what they charged me. I see the 2007 vintage is sold out most everywhere, but if you get a chance to try it out, I say go for it. I tasted a bold body, red currant, lots of cherry, earthiness and a good acidity that makes this wine very versatile. The tannins are velvety and really make for a great finish. I would recommend drinking this wine with pork, beef, and any kind of meat really.

I really recommend this drink.

I really recommend this drink.

De Loach Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2010

This is a very light Pinot Noir. It hails from Sonoma County, California in the Russian River Valley area. I recommend drinking this win as of 2012, it’s mature enough to enjoy, doesn’t need anything except a meal to drink it with. I would describe this as a grape jelly and dried fruit sort of flavor. It has a light to medium body and just a tiny hint of heat. It’s refreshing for a red wine and newbie friendly.

From the 2010 vintage this wine is now ready to drink.

From the 2010 vintage this wine is now ready to drink.

1805 Columbia Valley Merlot Vinted 2009

This is a reasonably decent merlot, 2009 vintage from the 1805  brand of Washington State. It’s grapes are grown in Columbia Valley and the brand name 1805 refers to the year Lewis and Clark discovered Washington’s Columbia River Valley. The wine itself is pretty decent. I’m not the biggest merlot fan, but I enjoyed sipping away with some food. There were deep flavors, it’s a very concentrated wine. I could taste blueberries and sweet cherry with other fruit flavors and aromas. Coming from the Oasis Vineyard the grapes come from vines that are over 20 years old. The wine was pretty cheap at about $13.

This is a cheap yet fun merlot. If you like merlot and want a cheap one that is enjoyable, try this out.

This is a cheap yet fun merlot. If you like merlot and want a cheap one that is enjoyable, try this out.

Foppiano Estate Petite Sirah 2008

I just finished taste testing this Russian River valley wine. Honestly it was just OK. For $19.49 this wine is a bit overpriced, not because $19.49 is a lot of money, but because I felt like I got about $12 worth of quality. I would steer clear of this wine unless you really want a petite sirah and your choices are limited. It wasn’t bad by any means. You will find hints of spices, flowers, blueberry, sour cherry, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s a smooth wine, but it just didn’t deliver a $19.49 performance in my opinion.

A Russian River valley wine that disappointed me.

A Russian River valley wine that disappointed me.

Joel Gott 2009 Zinfandel

This inexpensive zinfandel will run you about $15. It’s not a bad choice for a dinner involving red meat, or if you just want some table wine. It’s not really remarkable, but I found it enjoyable. There is lots of taste of sweet cherries, plums and berries. I think there may be a hint of vanilla and it’s pretty warm. This wine is very soft on the palate and has a berry finish. It’s pretty dry for your average zin and it’s very drinkable. I don’t think I would buy it again, but it wasn’t bad.

An unremarkable zinfandel from California.

An unremarkable zinfandel from California.

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine comes from Sonoma County and has a nice deep ruby tone. Alexander Valley has half a century of grape vines behind its individual style. The wine has lots of sour cherry, chocolate and earthy flavors. It’s rich yet smooth. Not burning and harsh like a South American Cabernet can be. At about $17 it’s a bargain. While many wouldn’t consider this a daily drinking wine and want something around the $12 range, I would recommend people consider this wine into their rotation if they eat lots of meat. I can see this wine going particularly well with barbeque and would be a treat at a Brazilian steak house!

This is a great wine with red meat.

This is a great wine with red meat.

Francis Ford Cappola Winery – Director’s Cut Zinfandel 2009

This Zinfandel hails from the Dry Creek valley of Sonoma County. I would describe this particular wine as a classic example of a Zinfandel from Sonoma County, and very representative of a quality American red wine. There are lots of rich flavors of blackberries and plums. I’m also detecting a hint of vanilla and espresso with some very light wood flavor. It’s very smooth and not overbearing at all. At $20 per bottle in early 2012, this wine is a pretty decent deal. It’s not as good as my favorite Zinfandel from Talty Estates, but it’s not >$30 either and it’s very very good. If you want to try a good first Zinfandel that is representative of the breed, try this one!

This Zinfandel is representative of the breed!

This Zinfandel is representative of the breed!

Hedges 2009 CMS Columbia Valley

This wine is a good example of a pretty moderate American Red. It’s not an amazing bottle by any means, but it’s plenty good for a drink with a friend over a meal. The taste of cherry and fruit is there and the smoothness is plentiful. This supple wine is 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 16% Syrah. This blend results in a very smooth finish and makes the wine very drinkable with food. It’s not too spicy and not too mild. The wine is made in Washington State by the Hedges Family Estate company in Columbia Valley. At $11.99 it’s a bargain.

A good American red wine from Columbia Valley

A good American red wine from Columbia Valley