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Shiba Sommelier

2008 Joseph Drouhin Clos des Mouches Rouge

This guy needed some time to open. Lots of raspberries and strawberries on the nose. Bramble, fallen twigs on the ground, red flowers, and dried leaves as well. Mouthwatering acidity on the palate along with juicy raspberries and cranberries. Pretty long length on this one but I wish it had a bit more complexity. 

3/5 bones

$$$$

Pinot Noir

13% abv

Beaune Premier Cru (Burgundy), FRANCE

2012 Fess Parker Riesling

Pretty stoked to try some Riesling from Santa Barbara! Stone fruit, yellow and white flowers, honeysuckle, and cashews on the nose. Candied lemon rind, thyme, and floral notes on the palate with a tease of sweetness on the finish. 

3/5 bones

$

Riesling

12% abv

Santa Barbara County, California, USA

2012 Georg Breuer GB Rouge Spätburgunder

I’ve been known to enjoy German Pinot Noir from time to time. Today is such a time. This one is a prototypical, clean German Pinot - tart red fruit, underripe raspberry, and clove without much in terms of earth or game. Soft mouthfeel, but clean and crisp. Tart red fruit carries through the wine, although the alcohol seemed a little out of balance at the finish. 

3/5 bones

$

Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir)

12.5% abv

Rheingau, GERMANY

2010 Egomei Rioja Crianza

Baked strawberries and stewed cherries. Balsamic glaze. Incense. Cardamom. Vanilla. Rum raisin. Tasty!

4/5 bones

$$

Tempranillo, Graciano

14.5% abv

Rioja, SPAIN

2011 Domaine La Grange Tiphaine Touraine Amboise Clef de Sol Rouge

Oooh… this has some definite sanguine Cabernet Franc notes. Graphite and iodine notes along with red currants, red cherries, and raspberries on the nose. Hints of bark, twigs, and greenery as well. Red fruit initially on the palate, giving way to sanguine notes and then finishing with tart fruit. Pair it with a burger at a bistro… c’est parfait!

5/5 bones

$$

Cabernet Franc, Malbec

13% abv

Touraine Amboise (Loire), FRANCE

2009 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG

Brunellos make me HAPPY! Yummy combo of tart black fruit and ripe red fruit on the palate with earth, leather saddle, dried charcuterie, and fennel all on the nose! Very well-balanced on the palate with relatively gentle acidity. Red cherries, strawberries, and black cherries with hints of leather and mushrooms.

4/5 bones

$$$$

Sangiovese

14% abv

Tuscany, ITALY

2001 Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux Pommard ”Les Perrières” 

Feeling mighty French! I smell this stuff and know I’m in Burgundy. Barnyard and leather (we’re talking horse and saddle). Crushed raspberries, macerated red berries, and blackberries. Savory clove on the nose. Juicy raspberries and red currants; not as much leather on the palate. Star anise, clove, and rocks in the soil. Tannins are very present. Drinking well now but can certainly age…Classic Burgundy.

4/5 bones

$$$$

Pinot Noir

13% abv

Pommard (Burgundy), FRANCE

2012 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Scintilla Sonoma Vineyard Vin de Terroir Abraxas

This is a quality producer in California producing some really excellent Old World style (in this case, Alsatian) juice! Lemon, pear, Golden Delicious apple skin with white and yellow flowers. Hints of honeysuckle and saffron. Some waxy notes along with green pepper, grass, and cashews. Hints of lychees right before the finish. 

4/5 bones

$$$

Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer

13.5% abv

Los Carneros, California, USA

2009 Bodegas Muga Selección Especial

Ripe red cherries, blackberries, dried cranberries, and raspberries. Savory serrano ham note. Cloves and cardamom. Bourbon vanilla. 

4/5 bones

$$$

Tempranillo (some Garnacha, Mazuelo, Graciano)

14% abv

Rioja, SPAIN

1998 Krug Brut

I’m sittin’ pretty with my favorite champagne! Oh boy, this is such special stuff. It smells like a boulangerie on a sunny day in Paris. Whiffs of brioche French toast and crusty country bread. Apples, mushrooms, lemon dessert tarts, and chalk. Beautiful mousse (bubbles). Lovely, bright acidity. Baked apples on the palate with lots of toast, yeast, and caramel notes. There’s even a tease of red currants and boysenberries, but just a tease. DELICIOUS.

5/5 bones

$$$$$

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier

12% abv

Champagne, FRANCE