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February 2007

February 5, 2007


Jansz Tasmania Premium NV Rosé
Pipers River, Tasmania, Australia

To date, the best-known product from Tasmania is a rather rambunctious, borderline insane Looney Tunes character. However, the Australian island state is also home to the Heemskirk Vineyard and Jansz Tasmania, the maker of fine sparkling wines originally co-developed by Louis Roederer of Champagne, France. The esteemed maker of Cristal joined Heemskirk Winery in 1986, believing that Tasmania’s Pipers River region was ideal for the production of finely structured sparklers made using the méthode champenoise. The Jansz Premium NV Rosé, the winery’s second release in the United States, is based on several vintages of Pinot Noir, which are kept separate during winemaking to maximize blending options and the complexity of the final wines. It undergoes secondary fermentation in bottles and is aged on yeast lees from eighteen months to two years. This Rosé exhibits a delicate pink color with a fine, persistent bead, leading to lifted aromas of Turkish delight, rose petals, fresh cream and nougat. On the palate, the rich creaminess of the mousse is balanced by vibrant strawberry notes from the Pinot Noir. The fruit flavors and natural acid result in a long and refreshing finish. This romantic bottle of bubbly would make a perfect addition to your Valentine's Day plans.

Rating: 13.5/20
Price: $20

Other Sparkling Wines and Rosés we've tasted
See our Great Rosé Champagnes list
Check out our guide to Australia
For more information, visit

February 12, 2007

2003 Marilyn Merlot

2003 Marilyn Merlot
Napa Valley

Don’t be fooled by the punny name which honors the late sex symbol. This is a very drinkable wine, not something just to be collected by her fans, but by people who enjoy what’s inside the artful bottle as well. The name may say Merlot, but this Napa Valley product, made from grapes ranging from the Oak Knoll District to the Rutherford District, is actually a blend of 85% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cab adds greater complexity to the nose and more structure to the mouth. The wine will continue to improve with age, and may appreciate in value, as vintages from the 1980s sell for $2000 and up. But the best way to appreciate this wine is to pair it with a loved one on a romantic occasion.

Rating: 13/20
Price: $50

See other Top 10 Romantic Wines
our Top 10 Valentine's Day Wine list
Check out our guide to Napa Valley
For more information, visit


February 19, 2007

2005 La Tunella Cabernet Franc

2005 La Tunella Cabernet Franc
Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy

Created by a winery nestled between the Julian Pre-Alps and the sea, La Tunella’s Cabernet Franc is both a labor of love and a family affair. Run by matriarch Gabriella and her dynamic sons, Massimo and Marco, the vineyard takes its title from a nearby hamlet, said to be named in honor of a beautiful woman. The Zorzettig family has continued to hold dear the spirit and tradition of fine Italian wine production valued by the boys’ father and grandfather, as evidenced in their extraordinary wines, which are now available for U.S. consumption. Just released on the market, La Tunella’s Cabernet Franc is a racy and earthy ruby red, ideal for pairing with red meat or game. Aged in 500-liter oak barrels, its grassy, fruity notes are complemented by a background of flamed wood. This dry red will gain a broader and more mature character with age, and is a great way to bring a little bit of Italian heritage into your home.

Rating: 13.5/20
Price: $30

Other Cabernet Francs we have tasted

Check out our guide to Italy
For more information, visit

February 26, 2007

Kali Hart

2005 Kali Hart Pinot Noir
Monterey, CA

Fans of Robert Talbott’s vineyards should make themselves familiar with Kali Hart, a stand-alone “winery within a winery” named for Talbott’s youngest daughter. Since Kali Hart’s inaugural Pinot Noir disappeared from shelves in an impressive six months (and newer releases have been snatched up even faster), now is a great time to pick up this youthful, vibrant wine. The grapes, like Kali herself, are the youngest on the Santa Lucia Highlands estate, and are punched down by hand during fermentation. The garnet-colored wine is fruit-driven, showing blueberry, cherry, and cola with a hint of spice and leather, and finishes dry. Pick up a bottle of this versatile wine that pairs well with poultry or fish, but don’t delay, as the Kali Hart is fond of disappearing acts.

Rating: 13.5/20
Price: $20

Other Pinot Noirs we have tasted

Check out our guide to Monterey
For more information, visit Talbott Vineyards

To purchase wines, click here



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