Wine Tasting and Reviews of Red Wines

Wine Tasting
Ciccone 2005 Lee La Tage

Winery: Ciccone Vineyards
Brand/Type: Lee La Tage
Vintage: 2005
Country: USA
Region: Leelanau Peninsula
Alcohol content: 12.9%
Closure: Natural cork
Appearance: Ruby
Aroma/Bouquet: Strawberry jam, spice

Estate bottled. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec.
Full bodied, a big wine, black cherry and black pepper finish.
The Leelanau Peninsula is best known for whites but Ciccone does very well with reds!

The Spanish Quarter Cabernet Sauvignon – Tempranilo

Winery: The Spanish Quarter
Brand/Type: Cabernet Sauvignon – Tempranilo
Country: Spain
Alcohol content: 13.6%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance: Dark Garnet
Aroma/Bouquet: Cherry, Blackberry, hint of Oak

A well rounded fruitful off dry Cabernet that is soft shouldered with a clean and smooth finish. A wine suitable for a summer evening’s dinner with friends on the veranda overlooking the Mediterranean or Trenton. Yes this is a versatile wine without apologies or pretension.

This is a nice medium bodied dry wine that has a good balance of fruit and tannins. While we did not decant this, it would be beneficial if you have the time to do so.

Wine Tasting:
Blackstone 2001 California Merlot

Winery: Blackstone
Brand/Type: Merlot
Vintage: 2001
Country: USA
Region: California
Alcohol content: 13%
Closure: Synthetic cork
Appearance: Dark, inky, ruby red
Aroma/Bouquet: Pungent blackberries, noticable alcohol odor

Noticeable wood and spice flavors. Smooth, dry with a crisp spicy finish. Has a slight vinegar aftertaste.

Blackstone is a fairly popular/common brand name. Not sure why they feel it important to note that this is a “California” Merlot. According to the Blackstone website, this is actually a blend.

An average Merlot. As an alternative you could buy three bottles of Charles Shaw, have a better experience, have money left for gas, and do yourself no harm.

Wine Tasting:
2003 Bonny Doon Madiran Heart of Darkness

Winery: Bonny Doon
Brand/Type: Madiran
Vintage: 2003
Country: USA
Region: California
Alcohol content: 13.5
Closure: Synthethic Cork
Appearance: Dark Ruby/Garnet
Aroma/Bouquet: Blackberries, mmm, nice, rich, ripe blackberries!

Complex, heavy on the tongue, sharp finish.

Just in time for Halloween! Don’t let the Ralph Steadman label scare you! This is a robust and complex wine that begs to be savored slowly. If you let it out and allow the spirit to breathe, you’ll be rewarded by a soulful glass that won’t haunt you. Ok, Edgar Allen Poe we aren’t. Enough Halloween euphemisms already!

The longer I savored this, the more it reminded me of a Brunello. Not as dry, but that can be a positive with some Brunellos. Not as expensive either, so that would be a definite treat.

Bonny Doon isn’t afraid of pushing their limits or taking risks. This wine shouldn’t scare you either!

Wine Tasting:
2003 Fetzer Valley Oaks Merlot

Winery: Fetzer
Brand/Type: Valley Oaks Merlot
Vintage: 2003
Country: USA
Region: California
Alcohol content: 13.1%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance: Dark Ruby
Aroma/Bouquet: Deep, rich, blackberries and currants.

This is a very nice Merlot. Ample flavors, complex body, softly smooth and satisfying. Slight cherry and spice, a hint of oak. Not “too” dry.

Of special note; Fetzer grows all of their grapes organically.
Fetzer is one of the largest producers of organic wines in the world. Fetzer is also committed to other environmentally friendly practices. So in case you’re looking for a conscionable wine, Fetzer should be on your shopping list.

Wine Tasting:
2005 Chateau Chantal Pinot Noir

Winery: Chateau Chantal
Brand/Type: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2005
Country: USA
Region: Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance: Purple to ruby red
Aroma/Bouquet: Barely there… “wine-ish”.

Flat, little flavor, vague cherry, plum, smoke.

Rather disappointing. Considering that this was sampled at their tasting room, perhaps this was a bottle that was left open from the night before?