Rick M. Wine Reviews



 

 

2007 - Spinetta (Giuseppe Rivetti), La Moscato Bricco Quaglia Moscato Bianco

Delicious

Oct 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Looking for an absolutely easy drinking, effervescent, enjoyable light and sweet wine?  Look no further than this low alcohol, lightly bubbly treat from Italy.  The Moscato D'Asti wines are always a crowd favorite for their universal appeal and ease in drinking.  A sweet treat, this wine will go with anything light from a shrimp salad to a nice chicken taco.  And even for some excellent Moscatos, you won't need to fret about costs, these usually roll in under $15.  A nice price that won't leave you moaning for aspirins the next morning.  Enjoy!
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2004 - Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

The best in Pinot Noir

Sep 17, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I can't begin to tell anyone who will listen how frustrating it is to me to find a decent Pinot Noir.  There just seems to be so much swill out there.  And then there is Williams Selyem.  Perhaps the quintessential winemakers when it comes to Pinots, this particular wine never disappoints.  From its delightful bright red color right down to the wonderful aromas and taste, this wine proves that pinot noir can be made right and enjoyed mightily.  The flavors are dynamic and bright, the texture smooth and effortless.  A nice tartness behind the smooth wine itself, almost strawberry like.  I know it's an expensive bottle of wine, but I'd trade all of the pinot duds I've bought over the years to have only a few bottles of this quality wine.  A winner.
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1992 - Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Outstanding Beauty

Sep 17, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
I was given this bottle for Christmas and decided to open it some 9 months later, and what a gift it was!  An absolute exquisite experience of a wine.  For one that is now 18 years old, the wine was a thing of beauty...sensuous, smooth, delicious.  Flavors of red fruits from the nose to the palate.  A silky smooth feel that also reminded me of another early 1990's wine I had years ago, that being a 1991 Araujo Eisele Cabernet.  There was almost a cherry nuance to the finish that made this wine so much different from the everyday Cabs we all enjoy.  A truly wonderful wine and an even better gift.
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2002 - Torbreck The Steading Proprietary Blend

Easy drinker from Australia

Sep 09, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

Now here's a pleasing wine from "down under".  Primarily a Grenache (60%) along with Mataro (20%) and Shiraz (20%), this easy drinker of a wine goes down smoothly with just about anything on the table, from tacos to steak, it's hard to miss with this little gem.  The nose emits dark berry aromas, while the palette is hit with definite flavors of those same berries as well as some heat from the peppery and "side of tongue" tanginess that makes this wine so enjoyable.

Torbreck puts out some of the finest wines in Australia, and at just over $30/bottle, this is one of their bargain diamonds in their lineup.

Enjoy.

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2004 - Australian Domaine Wines The Hattrick Proprietary Blend

Flavorful, soft and supple

Jul 20, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
As a fan of Australian wines, this one caught my attention due to its blend.  With 49% Shiraz, 46% Grenache, and 5% Cabernet, this wine delivers a hattrick of its own.  The nose brings nice berry fruit aromas to the fore.  Letting it breathe a bit after opening allows the immediate sense of alcohol dissipate.  And then there's the taste.  Soft and round, the wine coats the palate with concentrated red fruit flavors while making this wine an extremely easy drinker.  If you can find it, give it a try.  It runs around $40 but well worth it if you're into Aussie wines.
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2004 - Kilikanoon Shiraz Testament Syrah

Testimonial for Testament

Apr 30, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
What a tasty, not overly fruity, Down Under Shiraz.  This wine, from the veritable makers at Kilikanoon, brings a deceiving woodsy nose to a beautifully deep purple concoction.  But once you take that first sip you realize the fruit that's hidden beyond the aroma, the seamless texture within the mouth, the intense flavors and lengthy finish that is the hallmark of this excellent wine.  If you like shiraz, and you'd rather taste what the grape truly has to offer, Kilikanoon makes that possible with its lineup of excellent selections.  And for an opening salvo, this wine demonstrates Kilikanoon's ability to make an impressive yet affordable shiraz.  Always loved by Parker and available in the $30's, this wine will not disappoint.  Let it breathe a bit and keep some for the future, this killer will make it for many years.
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2005 - Smith Wooton Cabernet Franc Gallagher's Vineyard Cabernet Franc

Obscure

Apr 29, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I tried this wine at a local tasting, then bought a few bottles so as to try it in a more controlled state.  What I found was that while it has the nose and immediate taste of some lighter red fruits, it also possesses a tanginess combined with a short finish.  I think I understand better why this varietal is used more often as a blend with more powerful reds rather than found on its own.  While I find it interesting, it's not a wine that one is going to run for in the hopes of being awestruck with fantastical flavors and aromas.  I give it 3 stars because of its uniqueness but at the same time find it a bit forgettable.  And at $30/bottle, you probably don't need to load up on it.
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2004 - Marquis Philips Cabernet Sauvignon S2 Cabernet Sauvignon

Typical Jam

Apr 28, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
The Marquis Philips brand, while under Sarah and Sparky Marquis, consistently produced an extremely jammy, approachable, if not over the top wine.  This Cab is no different from their other efforts.  Loaded with a big, bold nose of fruit, the taste lights up the palette with the signature jammy, almost gooey thickness of the wine but with the flavors of heavy, syrupy fruits that grandma might have canned in a bygone era.  While decent to down a steak with, you know intuitively that something isn't "true" here.  But hey, you take it for the light hearted fare that it is and enjoy.  But when you hit over $30/bottle, reconsider buying too much of this one.  Wait for the '06 to know what the grapes actually taste like under the able hands of Chris Ringland. 
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2004 - Vega de Toro Termes Tempranillo

Not a summer sipper

Apr 27, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star
I love my reds just like the next person, and perhaps this one needs more time to calm down, but this is one powerhouse of a wine.  Not necessarily aromatic, it presently has a bite that doesn't let go.  A true Pit Bull of a wine, it works best with hearty dishes.  It seems to go with a red based pasta or a steak.  But you won't be singing its praises if drinking it solo.  I find myself struggling to describe its flavor...almost surmising that it is a woodsy wine, one that gives the back sides of the tongue a tweak once it passes along.  Parker loves this wine and it typically scores c.92-93 points.  Perhaps as far as a Spanish red goes, it's a winner, but I like the aromatics and flavors of fruit in my wine, something this one definitely does not display.  If, on the other hand, you're after something beefy to go along with that winter stew, this certainly might qualify.  And at $25/bottle, you'll get a bargain as well as something that will last plenty of years.
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2005 - Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz Syrah

Power and seduction collide

Apr 26, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Here is a wine that is perenially rated high by the likes of Parker and Spectator.  And is it any surprise?  Ben Glaetzer from Down Under serves up a shiraz that exhibits the power of the varietal along with a smooth seduction that makes you keep coming back for more.  The nose immediately "wows" the willing victim, tempting them to continue onward, as if to confirm the essence that lies within the rich colored liquid below.  And the taste does not fail.  Complimenting the lush fruit berry nose is the sweetness and texture that Glaetzer so admirably creates with his wines.  The smoothness rolling over the tongue like a silk sheet, with the intense flavors triggering each and every tastebud.  And as it sits, the smoother it gets.  This is a winner if you're into Aussie shiraz and whose price has actually come down on this bottle from previous years (unlike our French cousins).  You can find this available on WineCommune as I have.  Open it those two or three times a year when you have the perfect occasion.  It won't let you down.
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2006 - R Winery Boarding Pass Shiraz Syrah

Cheap Shiraz, good value

Apr 08, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Here's a shiraz from Down Under that is new on the scene.  Imported by Dan Philips, it sort of has that flavor and nose of your typical Dan Philips' sponsored wines, rich and fruity with a taste that smacks you right in the face.  Even after being opened, this wine doesn't change at all, but at least it doesn't turn into Dran-O after one day.  I've found this for as little as $14/bottle and at that price it's an easy drinker along with a juicy hamburger.  Parker hit it for a 92.  Enjoy.
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2003 - Rieussec  Sauternes Blend

You like it sweet and smooth?

Apr 07, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star

For around $35/half bottle, here's a little gem that will finally bring that phrase, "nectar of the gods", into clear focus.  The 2001 version was Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year.  This 2003 doesn't come up too far behind in my opinion.  Here's a wine that lets you know something special is about to hit the tongue, and once it does, prepare to be swept up.  This honeysuckle of a wine is the quintessential dessert wine, but not overpowering.  It is just right.  Sweet, but not gooey sugary.  Refined, not syrup.  You will understand why France, and Sauternes in particular, has it all over the world in this area of sweet wines.  The perfect way to end a perfect day.  Well......

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2000 - Monbousquet  Bordeaux Blend

Silky smooth, awesome red

Apr 07, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
Is it possible to know the texture of silk within the liquid state of one of Bordeaux's finest?  This wine, a St. Emilion Grand Cru will indulge you with one of the finer things in life.  A smooth gem that begs you to come closer works as a complement to a hearty steak or simply on its own as it teases you with its seductive qualities.  Certainly, you can spend all the money for a First Growth, but why, when a fraction of the price brings you equal joy and harmony.  Definitely enjoy now but it will hang on way past most of us.
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2004 - Schweiger Vineyards Chardonnay Chardonnay

Not your typical over-oaked California white.

Apr 07, 2008
1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star
We all know how California winemakers can't help but make their chardonnays as buttery as possible.  Almost to where you swear your lips might become glued shut.  This refreshing white, while oaked a touch, at least allows some of the nice fruit to show forward.  A nice nose lets you believe that there is going to be some substance once you dive in.  Give it a try if you can find it.  Schweiger makes better whites than reds.  Stick with their strengths and I don't think you'll be disappointed.  Cheers.
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