Archive for the ‘Non-Oregon’ Category

GOLD MEDAL – Royal New Zealand Show, International Aromatic Wine Competition 2006

That right there is good enough for me to find this wine appetizing. Then the smells of cut grass..and cat pee. Yes I said cat pee, Gary V uses it and I think it suits it well.

The taste brings to mind tropical fruit as well as some green herb notes. I found it really tasty with my chicken a couple of nights ago. The finish was super clean and fresh and basically gave me the same feeling as sipping on ice cold lemon water on a hot day.

I almost like it more then the mahi…almost.





So the gift from my good friend was well worth it. In fact the bottle was gone before the night was done. What was great was that I enjoyed playing gears of war with my friends while I was tasting it.

For a merlot this had a lot of body and intense fruit flavors. I may be be biased because it was a gift but I have to say that this was one of the better wines I have tasted on my wine journey.

Lots of cherry and a bit of dark fruit. The best part of it was the finish that was very very smooth.

Score: 90+/100


A very good friend of mine, and fellow wine lover, sent me an awesome package yesterday. Here is what was inside.


“The long growing season at 2100 feet in the Sierra Foothills allows for complete ripening of Merlot. The addition of a small amount of Petite Verdot completes the wine. It is dark in color, has a classic Merlot nose and a weighty, rich mouth feel; a perfect wine for roast, fowl, rich pastas and stews. Drink now or hold until 2009.” -Winery

Thanks to the syndicate…inside joke.

Explosive grapefruit with the perfect balance of crisp acidity. I really couldn’t find much wrong with this wine. Although the color could have been better…but seriously, does that matter much?

This screw capped beauty is from New Zealan, you can see the price from my recent purchases post.

Gary V definitely nailed it.



mmm mmm mmm Pillar Box Red 53% Shiraz/37% Cab/10% Merlot of pure goodness.

I had this with a great group of people that I work with and it made it that much better. This wine was very soft on the mouth feel. I have to describe it as “bright” with lush red fruit. The best thing about it was the residual mouth feel, it coated the teeth so much they felt smooth.

Also for 10.99 a bottle…you should be buying this by the truck load!


Look for this at about $5.00 a glass in restaurants.

Score: 90/100

Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir 2004


90 Points – Josh Raynolds – International Wine Cellar

“Deep red with a bright rim. Pungent, spicy and cool on the nose, with fresh raspberry, wild strawberry, mocha and fresh rose scents. Youthful, tangy red berry flavors are elegant and focused, with mineral and floral pastille accents. Nicely silky pinot, finishing on a sweet red berry note, with a hint of fresh bay.

$19.98 at Winelibrary

Mahi Sauvignon Blanc 2006


93 Points – Gary Vaynerchuk

“This wine blew me away, I can honestly say this is my new favorite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The outrageous complexity of grapefruit and kiwi mixed with the acidity of a $50 Riesling makes this the winner it is!!”

 $16.99 at Winelibrary

Bottoms up!

So the first bottle of wine we had at the great Roy’s Club (See post below).

Petit Sirah, which was on the menu as just a normal syrah, is also known as Durif. I think this sounds better as the Petit makes it sound…petite….

Well this actually was a nice experience being my first taste of Petit Sirah, which I really enjoyed.

So enough with the pleasantries.

Nose: Blackberry, Current, herbal notes

First Taste: Very drying and fruity, pretty one dimensional but I really liked it. Seemed like a lot of black pepper, but I may be wrong on that. I just remember it being hot but not alcohol hot.


For a wine out of Humboldt County I have to say they did a pretty good job. For the price $32, I would have to say pass though. However, if you have an expense account…give it a try!

(No picture as I can’t find a website for them…sorry)

So………..another Northern California wine. I know I know (points to title of blog) the Oregon Sipper isn’t living up to his name, BUT I will prevail once I am back in the Holy Land. This business trip to Eureka, California has been good to my pallet so far, and this bottle of wine was no exception.

First of, Roy’s Club, is an amazing restaurant on 2nd and d st in downtown Eureka that if you are in the area you must go to and get the new york steak. The atmosphere was great, I mean you can’t beat old Italian men playing dice games at the bar and old dark wood on the walls. You just can’t!

The company was divine and the wine was great.

I am actually doing the tasting notes for the second wine we had mainly because I liked it better.

So without further blabbering; my tasting notes.

Nose: A ton of fruit on the noise; blackberries, cloves and other dark fruit hints. It was a huge punch to the face of fruit smell. Kind of like fruity pebbles (thanks Gary V)

First taste: This is a fruit bomb that old world fans might stay away from. This has delicious, lush fruit flavors that finishes with some herbal notes. I actually got some tart cherry on the very first taste. Was just about the right amount of dryness.

I loved this wine and it paired extremely well with my steak. I would definitely recommend buying a few bottles if you can.

Score: 90/100

I am finding that Alexander Valley is becoming one of my favorite California Appellations . Here are some notes from the Murphy Goode Website

Gold Medal – 2007 Hilton Head WineFest
Silver Medal – 2006 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
Silver Medal – 2007 San Diego Wine Competition

We produced our 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon from grapes grown in select vineyards throughout the Alexander Valley. The blend includes 10% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine was aged for 15 months in a combination of French and American oak comprised of 37% new barrels.

The vivid dark fruit f lavors and firm structure of this wine make it a versatile complement to spring lamb rubbed with garlic and rosemary, a variety of slow-cooked stews, marinated and grilled wild game, good steaks and aged cheeses. 

Cheers my friends, Cheers!


Sad to say the first wine I am tasting on this Oregon Wine Journal is a Northern California Wine…shame I know. BUT we will save the best for last!

So this little diddy is my first experience of Pinotage (click on the link to find out more about this interesting grape) Here are my tasting notes on this $31.00 restaurant price bottle of goodness.

Location of Grapes/Vineyard: Amador County- Sutter Creek Vineyard

Nose: A lot of black fruit, black current and even a hint of menthal…very  green as well.

First taste:  Boooom! That is what I thought when this full wine hit my mouth. Very dry which made my mouth smack but at the same time this wine attacks your taste buds with no Mercy. A ton of cranberry and cocoa on this flowing into a green mid-palate.

Second Taste: About an hour later on my second glass this wine smoothed out tremendously and became more luscious.  Still the flavor profile was very interesting.

Score: 89+/100

If you can find this wine for $20 or under, buy a case!

Moonstone Crossing Winery