Guest Review: 2018 Red Blend by Cruse Wine Company

Guest Review: Cruse Wine Company Monkey Jacket Red Blend, 2018.

The Cruse Wine Company is operated by 2018’s San Francisco Chronicle Winemaker of the Year, Michael Cruse. He’s been called the Tarantino of Sparkling, but has a so much more to offer, and in such an early company. The company is based in Petaluma California,the newest AVA of California created in 2018. When I saw this wine, and its funky combination of grapes I knew it deserved a taste. Cruse Wine Co: Monkey Jacket is composed of 51% ValdiguiΓ©, the remainder coming from Carignan, Syrah, and red field blend from the North Coast of California.

The goal of this wine was to present the amazing and high-quality wines from California. Michael Cruse and his team lived up to this endeavor. I absolutely loved this wine, and plan to check out more from this producer. This wine has a strong yet complex bouquet of cherries and tobacco. It’s a hazy colored ruby, but don’t be deceived! The taste culminates a slight fizz from the sulphites, juicy red fruit, a low tannic profile and a mouthwatering experience.

🌟: 9/10, 2 – Preference, 3 Complexity, 1 Pairability, 1 Convenience, 2 Drinkability
πŸ’²: 28.00 USD
πŸ₯: It drinks closer to a pinot noir, so I would pair this with poultry but its versatility makes it great with a mandarin chicken salad tossed in poppyseed dressing.

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

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About our guest


Ethan Turner is author of today’s Guest Review. All the way from Scottsdale Arizona, Ethan is a certified Level 1 Sommelier actively working in the service industry where he gets to sharpen his palate on a daily basis. In his own words.

“Going to a wine shop is like going to a library. Each wine has its own story, flavor profile, and shelf life. Some wines are popular and become classics, some wines are trendy and go out of style within a few years. That makes it really hard to find the right wine. I love helping find what’s perfect for them.”

You can follow Ethan’s journey via his Instagram page @ineedsommehelp

Wine Review: 2018 Sauvignon Blanc by Lapostolle

Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Sauvignon Blanc by Lapostolle, Valle del Rapel, Chile.

“Not all expensive wine is good and not all good wine is expensive”
~ WineSnob

Beautiful crisp aromatic nose with notes of mellon, hints of white cherry and stone fruit. A brisk swirl reveals a touch of licorice. If you strain, you can pick out a touch of leather in the back.

Body shows good balance front to back with good acid followed almost immediately by creamy smooth tannins. It leans more on the dry side of the spectrum while retaining fruit aromas from the nose. Stone fruit is more pronounced. Transition to finish is seamless, as mild acidity quietly gives way to buttery tannin leaving the palate wet and tingling with a touch of spice.

I reviewed a Carmenere by this winemaker not long ago which was immediately included in my long-term reserve. It presented incredible quality and potential for the price. I decided to take a look at their value offerings including this white and I must say that it is right in line with what I have seen so far. At around $12/btl it is peerless. Just buy a case and move on. Bien hecho Amigos! πŸ·πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

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

Shop Lapostolle wines on Wine.com

Wine Review: 2018 Pinot Noir by Helen & Joey Estate

Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Pinot Noir by Helen & Joey Estate, Yarra Valley, Australia.

Bright, clean, clear, ruby color. Nose is very subtle and delicate with bright notes of sweet cherry and caramel marshmallows. Once opened up a surprising very earthy manure leather emerges along with herbal notes.

Body is clean, crisp, has good balance with mildly acidic attack which quickly transitions to equally mild and creamy tannins. Subtle black currants accompany the seamless transition from attack to finish. Finish is quick and brief. Once opened up, it becomes a long gentle affair with enduring tannic grip and subtle spice. Recommend at least 20-30 minutes decanting. Take your time and follow it through the evening.

If you like subtle nuanced Pinot Noir, this is one I think you should try. It’s a shining example of what a classic Pinot looks like. Keep going back to the California Central Coast Pinot Noir Country. Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County. Beautiful, delicate, nuanced Pinot. I am reminded why I left Australia last year so convinced Pinot Noir is the best Australia has to offer. Helen & Joey nicely done Mates! πŸ·πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

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

Shop Helen & Joey Estate wines on Wine.com

Wine Review: 2018 Brouilly La Croix des Rameaux

Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Brouilly La Croix des Rameaux by Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu, Burdundy, France.

Thick tense nose. A little shy at first. An intense leather. Lots of mushroom, saddle, barnyard, old victorian, damp woods/forest floor. So overwhelming, beyond that it is difficult to pinpoint the other layers. Far beneath it all is plum, black cherry and blackberry. Swirl vigorously and unlock the faintest hint of caramel. There is also a slight slate/mineral undertone.

The color and nose suggest massive tannins await but the body greets with good acidity and medium texture. The leather from the nose dominates the entire experience. It’s amazing. It’s as if this wine was infused with dirt and filterd through the terroir. Once opened up, plum turns into massive tannic grip that completely dominates the transition to a dry mineral finish leaving the palate parched. The leather turns smokey with a hint of tobacco.

This is a remarkable example of terroir expressed through the vine and into the wine. For that reason alone this wine is worth it. I also think it it still very young and will be an even more interesting and amazing wine in about 5 years. I would highly recommend picking one up and forget about it and thank me later.

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu wines delivered to your doorstep.

Shop Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu wines on Wine.com

 

Wine Review: 2018 California Rose by Empathy Wines

Tonight’s occasion: 2018 California Rose by Empathy Wines (of the most notable Gary Vaynerchuck), Napa California.

I was fortunate to receive a case of this Rose at launch. Thank you @myteslaadventure @reallifestarman!

In case you aren’t familiar with Empathy Wines, it is one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s (@garyvee) recent ventures. I cannot remember the last time I indulged in a Rose. I have been waiting for the perfect day to review it. With a protracted winter and rainy spring, today seemed better than any other day.

Nose has very crisp, fresh floral notes, rich in watermelon, berry and cucumber. If you dig deeper you can pick out a very faint hint of the terrior. That gets me every time! The nose may be fruit forward but the body less so. The watermelon and cucumber roll over into the body very nicely. A slight oak and diminished acidity allow these subtle characteristics to shine through. The body ends in buttery smooth transition which dominates the experience through the finish. There’s a very very faint spice note which fades away gracefully leaving you wondering what that was all about as you take another sip.

I have never seen a Rose quite like this. It is subtle, complex, and structured. It is very well built. This is a Rose I am perfectly fine with. Great job @empathywines and @garyvee! πŸ·πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½