Wine Review: 2017 Tajinaste Tradicional (Valle de la Orotava) by Bodega Tajinaste

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Tajinaste Tradicional (Valle de la Orotava) by Bodega Tajinaste, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Deep brooding ruby color. Thick intense earthy nose with a punch of old wet driftwood, alluvial soil and volcanic mineral rock. In the back is a subtle sweet cherry and cranberry. I like this… Body is light, bright, crisp and surprisingly restrained. Mild acid goes hand-in-hand with mild tannins. Some leather carries over. Blackberry and black currants quickly dominate the palate albeit with restraint. Smooth transition to finish adds a slightly creamy tannic grip and hint of spice. The nose is simply amazing and ever present throughout the entire experience.

I went to college in Spain which is where I was first introduced to wine so I am familiar with the typically brash masculine expression in Spanish wines. However this one is certainly an exception. It is very approachable, enjoyable and interesting. I will be adding it to my cellar. It should make a fine example and representative of the Canary Islands. Bien hecho amigos!

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Guest Review: 2017 Pinot Noir by Sanford

Guest Review: 2017 Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills Appellation) by Sanford of the legendary Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara California.

I think I found the Prince of Pinot! Sanford 2017 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Appellation is an elegant and well balanced Pinot.

Bright ruby red colored, light and fruity aromas of cherries, leather, and baking spices. On the palate, flavors of raspberries, red cherries, oak, and light peppercorn. At 13.5% ABV, this Pinot Noir has balanced acid and tannin structures, a delightful wine for any special occasion.

Need pairing ideas? Try pairing Sanford 2017 Pinot Noir with:

      • Roasted Chicken
      • Salmon or other fatty fish
      • Duck
      • Pasta dishes with pesto, a cream base, or mushroom sauce
      • Beef and garlic dishes

About our guest

Jenn is a Native Texan photographer, wine lover. She thoroughly enjoys learning about wine making, the history behind wines, and of course wine tasting. She also has a passion for travel and is on a mission to find amazing wines from around the world.

You can follow Jenn’s journey via his Instagram page @txblondevoyage

Thanks to and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Sanford wines delivered to your doorstep.

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Reserve: 2017 Santa Barbara Pinot Noir by Pali

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Pinot Noir (Huntingdon) by Pali Wine Company.

We’ve seen a few wines from Pali. Alphabets and Riviera most recently. Now the Huntington. All Pinot Noir. All very distinct and quite representative of their various appellations. All medium to light bodied. All on the nuanced side of the spectrum.

The Huntington is a bold departure from the bunch. This is a Big California Pinot. It is unapologetic, jammy, chewy. A full mouthfeel. A dark, spicy, tannic affair. This is a bit of an eyebrow raiser for a Pinot from Santa Barbara County. I suppose even a WineSnob needs a break from the sometimes dreary monotony and strained palate that constant subtlety and nuance can sometimes contrive.

So here we are. I am staring down the second half of this bottle a full day later. It is laughing at me. I folded in confusion last night. I went to bed not sure how I felt about it. I could not fault it either. Not sure what to think. I feel like I lost to this wine. Even now it pretends to be a little more approachable, but then laughs all the way through the finish. This Pinot will eat Napa Cabs for breakfast. I will lay down right next to a Syrah for 15 years and still chuckle at the irony.

Yeah yeah yeah, black currants are more pronounced a day later. Mineral leather too. It’s jammy but not sweet. It’s got big bold tannic structure, a basket-full of berries and an Indian kitchen’s worth of spices. But I feel like I’m still losing. I thought this was going to be another clean crisp “laydown” from Pali. I thought it would be another easy smooth pleaser. But Nooooo! This wine plays dirty. Really dirty.

Pick up a few bottles, lay them down for at least 5-10 more years. Let them mellow out. Taste the magic. You might have better luck taming it that I did last night. I’ll see you again in 2025 Pali Huntington.

Thanks to and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Pali wines delivered to your doorstep.

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Wine Review: 2017 Sonoma Pinot Noir by Pali

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Pinot Noir (Riviera – Sonoma County) by Pali Wine Company.

Shy nose. A little plum and dark berries. There’s a hint of that Sonoma dirt in the back. Body is fruit forward but shows good balance overall with mild acid and moderate tannins. A good overall mouth feel with notes of cocoa and cherries. Smooth finish which quickly dries out with a touch of spice. The wine paired excellent with smoked BBQ ribs.

This is a great EDC (Every Day Consumption) wine. It presents good value at an approachable price point. It’s definitely what I call a pleaser. Wine is all about mood and if you’re in the mood for a good well made wine without necessarily over analyzing the experience or breaking the bank, you should consider this wine. It is still a little on the young side. I think it just might surprise you 2-3 years from now.

Thanks to and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Pali wines delivered to your doorstep.

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Wine Review: 2017 Pinot Noir by Dawn’s Dream

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Pinot Noir (Rachael) by  Dawn’s Dream Winery.

Shy nose out of the bottle. Deep rich ruby color. Once unlocked reveals a crisp bright bouquet of aromas. A hint of mellon, cherry, very subtle mineral terroir. There’s at least one or two other herbal/spice aromas I cannot pinpoint at the moment. It could be a play between the oak and other characteristics.

Body follows suit. Starting with a crisp acidic suggestion on the attack, followed by tart plum. And equal suggestion or tannin brings good balance to the body while transitioning to a slightly creamy finish. A delayed gentle but noticeable spice makes and encore well past the finish.Once opened up, this is accompanied by a hint of caramel. It is overall dry, and restrained. At 12.8% ABV it makes no fuss of the experience. It’s refreshing. I like that.

This is a clean, crisp example of a Pinot from this region. It demonstrates the winemaker’s ability to make a Pinot as such – that is representative, with wider appeal while still preserving the expression through the vine. I can see why this value proposition would be a favorite.

I highly recommend this Pinot. Enjoy it side-by-side with their signature Bel Sogno. That Pinot is a unique, beautiful, imperfectly perfect, all on its own. It provides a great contrast to the Rachael.

Well done Dawn! Thanks for sharing your Dream with us!

Tech Sheet

2017 Rachael Pinot Noir

Vineyard: Escolle, Santa Lucia Highlands
Clones: 777 & 115
Harvest Date: August 29th to September 1st 2017
Harvest Brix: 23.5
pH: 3.57
Titratable Acidity: 6.3
Fermentation: Stainless Steel Open-Top with manual Punch-Down
Oak: 12 months 30% new French Oak
Filtration: cross-flow
Production: 370 cases

Reserve: 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo by Nada Fiorenzo

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo by Nada Fiorenzo.

Nose of leather and berry. Swirl it a little and out comes oak and cherry. Dry, structured and fairly balanced body features tart plum and a hint of vanilla in the back. Big, dry tannic finish leaves you parched and going for another sip.

This is a definitely Nebbiolo. Unapologetic. Unpretentious. Not unnecessarily complex or complicated. It is a well made quality wine. Although surprisingly mature for a nebbiolo this age, it is also very young and will show very nicely, given ample time. This Nebbiolo is very young but presents a unique value proposition. You can pick up a few bottles at @totalwine fairly inexpensively and forget about them for another 5 to 8 years when it should be showing marvelously. Salute! 🍷😁👌🏽

Reserve: 2017 Pinot Noir by Bumgarner

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Pinot Noir (El Dorado) by Bumgarner.

Bright ruby color. Upon opening there’s a noticeable burst of sweet licorice on the nose. Sweet cherry joins in the ensemble. A hint of oak and at least one other floral aroma I cannot pinpoint at the moment. Body is moderately acidic, dry, tart plum, slightly tannic, showing good structure and balance. Once it’s opened up, the transition turns creamy. A slight mineral leather makes an appearance right before transitioning to a subtly floral finish. A gentle, spicy tannic grip caps the whole experience. This is a clean, well executed Pinot Noir.

While very approachable right now, it is nowhere near it’s fullest expression. I would give this Pinot at least another 5-10 years. I have been following this winemaker’s work for the better part of the past two decades. I have never seen him make a Pinot before. As a matter of fact I have never seen a Pinot Noir from the El Dorado region. I couldn’t think of a better craftsman to undertake this task. His style is more traditional old world wines that lend themselves to graceful aging. Pick up a few bottles and forget about them. Thank me later. I’m looking forward to more amazing Pinot Noir Brian!🍷😁👌🏽