Bacchus & Beery Wine Blog

Jul 182013
2011 Alpha Omega Winery Chardonnay II, Napa Valley, CA, $25 (S) – Rating 91

Originally tasting room only, now in limited distribution. A wonderful Chardonnay priced well below other AO Chards without a step down in flavor. The nose offers enticing notes of red juicy apple and caramel with hints of spice. The same sensations of red juicy apple, caramel and spice are present on the palate with added flavors of ripe pear and just a subtle touch of crème brûlée. The creamy mouth-feel has the right balance of acidity. Buy This Wine

Jul 182013
2012 Meiomi Belle Glos Pinot Noir, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties CA, $22 (S) – Rating 91

This Pinot Noir blends grapes from California’s premier Pinot growing regions, 51% Monterey County, 28% Santa Barbara County & 21% Sonoma County. A very rich and plush mouth-feel with fully ripe berry flavors. This beauty needs at least 15 minutes to open to its full potential. The opening act is an appealing nose of blackberry, blueberry and spice. The palate is then treated to a wine with balanced acidity offering flavors of blueberry, blackberry and dark cherry with notes of spice and cola on the long finish. As it opens, subtle notes reminiscent of blueberry pie entice. Buy This Wine

Jul 182013

“Whether I’m making a $100 bottle of wine or a $12 bottle of wine, I put just as much effort into each wine. All wines have to be balanced to be successful.” Charles Smith, winemaker

Charles Smith Charles Smith has been called everything from the Wildman of Walla Walla to Winemaker of the Year (2009 Food and Wine Magazine & 2010 Seattle Magazine). Looking more like rock star Sammy Hagar of Van Halen fame, than the stereotypical winemaker, Charles is a rock star in the winemaking world.

After years of managing rock bands across Europe, Charles landed in Walla Walla to follow his true passion; winemaking. His first vintage was a mere 330 cases of 1999 K Syrah. A self-taught winemaker, Smith created the House Wine label which he sold in 2006. Today his labels include K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines, Secco Italian Bubbles, Charles and Charles Project and Vino.

We met up with Charles on a beautiful spring morning in Austin, Texas in the courtyard of the trendy Hotel San Jose on South Congress. After the interview, we headed out for post-interview enchiladas at Guero’s Taco Bar, just up South Congress Avenue. While sitting at the bar, one fellow looked to his friend and pointed at Charles saying “look dude, this is cool thing about Austin, we’re sitting at a bar with Sammy Hagar.”

As you will see, Charles Smith is as unique an individual as are the wines he strives to create. He prides himself in creating high-quality value-priced wines that appeal to the consumer who might not reach for a glass of wine as their first beverage of choice as well as the budget conscious wine enthusiast. Continue reading »

Jul 082013
2012 Giordano Gavi Docg, Piedmont, Italy, $12 (S) – Rating 90

Gavi is a crisp  white wine made from the Cortese grape grown in the southeast region of Piedmont. Gavi may be my wine find of the summer. A perfectly refreshing patio sipper or for pairing with lighter summer fare. Similar to CA Sauvignon Blanc (no grapefruit flavor), this beauty opens with a nose of pineapple and citrus balanced with a little pear. The palate is treated to flavors of green apple, pineapple and hint of pear with integrated minerality. Lower alcohol at 12% is a bonus. Buy This Wine

Jun 182013
2012 John Anthony Vineyards Church Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Carneros, CA, $45 (S) – Rating 93

A truly extraordinary Sauvignon Blanc from an intimate Carneros vineyard. A delicious blend of juicy acidity and minerality with a creamy mouth-feel. Opens with bouquet of baked pineapple and tropical aromas with distinct notes of flinty minerality. Balanced on the palate offering flavors of ripe pineapple, citrus and minerality with subtle hints of apricot and honeysuckle. Meyer Lemon is the star of the long finish. Buy This Wine