Bordeaux 2011 – In Photos

6th September 2011

Here are the photos I promised from my trip to Bordeaux, France with the American Wine School. I can truly say that it was a trip of a lifetime. – Brandon

Wine Review – The Riddler Napa Valley Red – Lot One

24th August 2011

This was a fun wine for me to drink because I enjoy a good riddle.  The wine producer, Stratton Lummis, challenges its audience to guess what grape varietals make up this blend.  The only hint they provide is that the wine contains “all the varietals you would expect in a Napa red”.  Here’s are my impressions – the wine is dark and opaque like purple ink.  The smell has lots of violets, spice, and red fruit (not to mention alcohol).  When I taste it I get raspberries, black cherries, and some plums.  The wine’s tannins are medium, so not too strong or overwhelming and the wine’s acid (think lemon sensation) makes the wine feel refreshing.  If I had to venture a guess, I would say the grape varietals are (1) Merlot; (2) Cabernet; and (3) Syrah. – Brandon

Wine Review – 2006 Le Cupole Trinoro (Italy)

4th April 2011

The combination of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon is commonly referred to as a “Bordeaux Blend”.  These grapes (in varying combinations) generally make up the famous French Bordeaux wines that are coveted by the great wine collectors of the world.   Yet, my post said Italy because that is the origin of this particular wine and I was pleasantly surprised by this wine find.

The wine comes from the region of Tuscany in Italy, which is better known for Chianti wines.  Tuscany, however, is no stranger to the French grapes that comprise this wine for it was this region that popularized the combination of indigenous Italian grapes like Sangiovese with traditional French grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon into the “Super Tuscan”.

From the Winery (….for the Wine Geeks):


Cold years like 2006 launch grapes into a prolonged waiting season. The ripeness at which we like to pick them doesn’t happen before many cold nights of a late fall, and then it is usually lost to the rains. Bad weather in the fall of 2006 was just never in the forecasts. We were able to wait the spotted ripening out until we could pick the grapes at perfect maturity. The clay of the ground and the freshness of the late season also lent acidity to the maturity of the fruit making this vintage a superior one.