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November 2007

November 27, 2007

Bottle of 2004 Hamacher Chardonnay Cuvée Forêts Diverses Wine

2004 Hamacher Chardonnay Cuvée Forêts Diverses
Willamette Valley, Oregon

For those who aren’t fans of big, oaky California Chardonnays, this 2004 Hamacher Chardonnay from Oregon is a great choice for sipping and our choice for Wine of the Week. The winery’s owner-winemaker, Eric Hamacher, was originally planning to pursue a career in medicine, but after visiting Sonoma for a harvest, decided to leave medicine behind to follow his true calling of wine production. After studying viticulture and enology and working in a number of vineyards, including Robert Mondavi and Chalone, Hamacher opened his own winery in 1995. His handmade Chardonnay displays a seamless finish and a distinct roundness. It was produced with minimal intervention and handling, spending eighteen months aging in French oak barrels. Even though this pale varietal is a 2004 vintage, it is still young and quite pleasant. This refined wine features a delicate texture, and while it does not lend itself to being paired with any foods, its elegant feel and flavors of mineral, spice, pear and honeycomb mean it can surely be enjoyed on its own.

Rating: 15/20
Price: $30

Other Chardonnays we have tasted
Check out our guide to the Willamette Valley
For more information, visit

November 20, 2007

Bottle of 2007 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Wine

2007 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau
Beaujolais, France

Ask any wine lover what their favorite holiday in November is and, most likely, Thanksgiving will be the furthest thing from their mind. Each third Thursday of November, the latest Beaujolais Nouveau is released, and the world celebrates. This year, the 2007 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau marks the 25th year that Americans have joined in the custom. Although the festivities are colorful and exciting, the origin of the Beaujolais Nouveau celebration began with legislation. In the 1950s, the French government declared that certain wines would be available one month before the others. Upon this announcement, the French began commemorating the primeur, or first wine, with a grand-scale event. The Gamay grapes used in the varietal make it a good choice for early consumption and early release, so its integration into the festivities seemed natural. This wine features flavors of raspberry and red currant, with a bit of black currant and strawberry. It pairs well with turkey, ham and other holiday foods, so add to the festivities with a wine rooted in celebration!

Rating: 13/20
Price: $10

Other Reds we have tasted
Check out our guide to France
For more information, visit

November 12, 2007

Bottle of 2004 Chateau de Rieux Wine

2004 Chateau de Rieux
Minervois, France

It's not often that you get the chance to down a glass of wine from the Minervois appellation (Languedoc) of France. This blend of 80 percent Syrah and 20 percent Grenache comes from older vines (15-30 years) in tough soil, with low yields. There is fruit on this dark vino, but moreover, you smell terroir. There is a great earthy character all around. Blackberry, violet, smoke and tobacco greet you. There are rich tannins, and a long finish with spice and wood tones. We would advise some aging for this wine before you decide to pair it with a lamb dish or with pungent cheeses.

Rating: 14/20
Price: $19

Other Syrahs we have tasted
Check out our guide to France
For more information, visit

November 5, 2007

Bottle of 2004 Flying Horse Cabernet Sauvignon Wine

2004 Flying Horse Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California

Our weekly offering comes from the man who created the water amusement parks Raging Waters in California and Splash Town in Texas. The determined Bryant Morris has developed a passion for restoring vintage carousels and for making Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine in Napa. He has assembled a solid winemaking team with Jennifer Rue and consultation from May-Britt and Denis Malbec. Everything is taken very seriously and is meticulously achieved, just like his work on precious horses from the old carousels. These are handcrafted, low production wines. This particular bottling generated a mere 550 cases. This Cab is a dark robust wine with a complex character. Scents and flavors are delivered in layers and you’ll get violets, blackberries, plums, black cherries and vanilla. A glass by itself can give you both satisfaction and amusement. By sipping it slowly, you’ll discover cigar box, licorice and dark chocolate expressions from its structured tannins all the way through the long finish. With food, we might see it with lighter meats and delicate red ones, including duck and ostrich.

Rating: 15.5/20
Price: $39

Other Cabernet Sauvignons we have tasted
Check out our guide to California
For more information, visit



Read about the wine world's most influential critic: Robert Parker, Jr.

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