The wine notes included in this post are from prior to the closing of Creekside Cellars*, the establishment responsible for putting together the list of wines I will discuss. There were two wines we did not order in the tasting: Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Marlborough, New Zealand) and d’Arenberg “Hermet Crab” 68% Viogner and 32% Marsanne from McLaren Vale, Australia. We’d had both of them previously and have them in our cellar. They come highly recommended.
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Graham Beck Brut Sparkling, 53% Chardonnay & 43% Pinot Noir, South Africa – $16 – This wine was good. We gave it a star. The wine had notes of vanilla and almonds, and it was very smooth. This would be a great sparkling for pairing with appetizers.
Concha Y Toro 2011 Chardonnay, Limari Valley, Chile – $20 – We liked this wine a good bit; we gave it a star and an exclamation point. It had a curry like spice to it, like turmeric, ginger, and spice. The wine was very full bodied and creamy. It was heavy on the tongue. It had lime and oak notes, and it paired well with creamy flavors.
Staete Landt 2009 “Paladin” Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand – $27 – We also gave this wine a star and an exclamation point. It was light, similar to the Hickman Family Vineyards Grenache we enjoy, with flavors of spice, cloves, tannins, and plums. In all it was a decent, easy-drinking wine.
Urban Uco 2011 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina – $14 – This wine was a decent value. For under $15 you could have a reasonably good Malbec. It is more understated than Antigal Uno. It had flavors of plums, oil, red pepper flakes, and blackberries. It would pair wonderfully with my tacos or with this stuffed pablanos recipe from Cookie and Kate.
Thorn Clarke 2010 “Shotfire” Shiraz Barossa Valley, Australia – $22 – Out of all the wines we tried, this was our favorite, earning a star and two exclamation points. It had hints of chocolate and paprika, but it also had a caramel and tobacco finish. I can highly recommend this wine to readers who would like something that doesn’t cost too much for their cellar. I strongly suspect it will age well.
Santa Carolina 2009 “Reserva de Familia” Carmenere, Valle del Rapel, Chile – $28 – This wine had a very sweet, like candy, nose and was very fresh smelling. On the tasting, however, it was surprisingly very dry. It was tobacco, spice, oil, and must. It was nice, we gave it a star.
Mulderbosch “Faithful Hound” 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 13% Petite Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc and Malbec, Stellenbosch, South Africa – $25 – This wine was…weird. It could be good so long as it was paired with strong, peppery flavors. However, on its own, it was must, rubber, and tasted like it was sweetened with sugar. We gave it no stars.
Have you tried any of these wines? What thoughts did you have about them? Please post your thoughts in the comments section.