Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay
Santa Lucia Highlands
“Movin’ to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches…” And this wine has a lot of them. The taste is fruity with tropical notes, no surprise coming from a bouquet like that. This wine is a walk through the tropical forest with a bit of acidity to keep you from relaxing too much. A trip to Hawaii in your own living room, anyone? $22.
Mer Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
Santa Lucia Highlands
Feelin’ peachy? Still? With an wonderfully aromatic nose, this oaked wine is a pleasant balcony sipper. Pineapple and coconut suggest a waterfront view. Sip it alone or serve with toasted almonds to snack on or if you’re in the mood for a meal, go for a light salad to compliment this calming wine. $32.
Conundrum – California White Wine (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Muscat)
Honeysuckle and rhubarb greet the nose. A bit on the sweeter side, this zesty and very floral wine would pair well with spicy Asian food. Keep this in mind for your next round of Thai takeout. Unless you like off-dry wines on the sweeter side, you won’t be drinking this alone. $22.
Meiomi – Pinot Noir
Strawberry and plumb jam, this Pinot has a very fruity nose. A standard Pinot Noir with suggestions of earthy forest floor, it’s actually a bit on the spicy side (hello clove!) and ever so slightly smoky. This easy and smooth sipper is perfect for a stand-up and mingle wine social. Or, pair it with pizza night. $22.
Belle Glos – Pinot Noir
Santa Maria Valley
Fall is here which means winter is getting closer. A bit jammy (strawberry, cherry), this Pinot has hints of spicy oak and even reminds me of cinnamon boiling on the hearth (oh childhood memories!), Get in the holiday spirit and enjoy this with a rack of lamb or filet mignon. Worth $44? No. It’s what we like to call “overpriced.”
Caymus – Cabernet Sauvignon
So far, the best wine tonight! It’s smooth, not too alcoholic or acidic, and has an overall sense of balance. Toasted oak, white pepper, and creme de cassis – not to mention subtle coffee and vanilla – mmm… a true Cab! Invite the best and only the best to enjoy this vino. At $68 you’ll have to decide whether your potential guests have been naughty or nice.
It’s time for more wine reviews! We recently received these bottles for review courtesy of South Coast Winery Resort & Spa in Temecula, California.
South Coast is also a wine resort offering beautiful villas set among the vineyards, a spa, restaurant, and tasting room. In other words, it’s a wine tourism destination, just our cup of tea glass of wine here at TravelPlusWine! But, more about that later.
In the meantime, here are a few wines you can have shipped to your door:
2006 Wild Horse Peak Mountain Vineyards – Cabernet Sauvignon – 4 Block Blend
If you prefer to stay away from fruity, jammy wines, this Cabernet Sauvignon definitely offers what you’re looking for in a red! This 4 Block Blend isn’t your stereotypical bomb of a California Cabernet. To begin, it doesn’t smell overly fruity and doesn’t overwhelm the senses.
Expect plums and a slightly metallic taste on the mouth. This wine is oaky, but the winemakers don’t go overboard.
The tannins coat your mouth and stick around long after you swallow, leaving you with a delicious yet discreet spicy, vanilla finish. In fact, the earthy elements in this wine reminded us of a Pinot Noir.
This Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect pairing for hearty mushroom ravioli with a marinara and ricotta sauce. In fact, it’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
2006 Cucamonga Valley Zinfandel
Woah baby, hold back those tannins! This wine is big and bold. The tannins will suck your mouth dry and you will quickly guess its alcohol content to be exactly 14.8%. In keeping with typical Zinfandel tradition, this Cucamonga Valley wine possesses that peppery goodness we’ve come to expect. There’s also a pleasant, yet faint licorice taste that lingers on the tongue post-sip.
We’ve never tasted the Old West as bottled poetry, but this wine has a truly Old West feel. Pop a cork, grab a glass, and kick up those cowboy boots! As you sip this wine, you’ll picture leather chaps, dusty streets, and maybe Calamity Jane holding a glass of wine.
Overall, it’s a very nice wine, but let’s just say I wouldn’t get into a gunfight with Billy the Kid over this bottle. The Wild Horse Cab… perhaps if I had that ravioli in front of me again!
Have you ever tried this Zinfandel with barbecue? With the next bottle, Ricardo wants ribs and barbecue sauce!
Looking for excellent, exotic wines from around the world but aren’t able to just jet across the world to taste them for yourself? Welcome to the club!
Actually, it’s more like welcome to the International Wine of the Month Club. Their highly selective tasting panel spits so you can enjoy only the best wines in the comfort of your own home!
There are 3 membership types available ranging from 2 months, 12 months, or open- ended. Prices range from $29.95 – $65.95 per month depending on the wine you wish to receive. Each package gives you the choice of red wine, white wine, or both.
TravelPlusWine was recently sent a sample membership for review and we were very impressed with both the quality of wine and educational aspect of the International Wine of the Month Club. Each wine bottle is packaged with a Cellar Notes newsletter containing tasting notes, information about the grape variety, food accompaniments, and a recipe.
We tasted a 2007 Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon (California) as well as a 2009 Domaine Talmard Mâcon Chardonnay (France). Both wines have the quality and elements in place to sip alone or enjoy with food.
Not sure what food to serve with these wines? Consult your Cellar Notes, it’ll all there!
Don’t forget the holidays are fast approaching. If you’re not sure what to get a wine- loving friend or family member, you won’t disappoint with these wines!
The International Wine of the Month Club offers great value with a wine education making this a definite TravelPlusWine recommendation!
From Doffo Winery in Temecula, California, comes the Tiarella, a rich and intense Cabernet Sauvignon 2005.
One of the best wines from this boutique winery, the Tiarella awakens its fruity elegance and comes to life as soon as you open the bottle.
The nose is sophisticated and aromatic, and you might be tempted to serve immediately. However, I would suggest letting it breathe for at least 40 minutes before serving to reveal its full character.
On the palate, the Tiarella is balanced and very smooth; a masterpiece of an extraordinary winemaker.
Besides the intense flavors of berries that unveil the Tiarella’s refined attributes, I also found modest but distinctive hints of raisins. In my opinion these are very well balanced, preserving its magnificent body.
Out of all the wineries in Temecula, I have to say Doffo Winery is simply the best. They don’t mass produce wines, but their hand-craft technique is very meticulous, ensuring the best quality production.
Besides the Tiarella, another one of my favorites is the Syrah 2005, made with 100% syrah grapes. For a complete list of their wines click here.
If you love traveling and you love wine, make sure Temecula is one of your next travel destinations. Once in Temecula, make Doffo Winery your first stop!