Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wines I'm Drinking: 2008 Vinorum Calle Brandsen Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Today I tasted the 2008 Vinorum Calle Brandsen Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, from Mendoza, in Argentina. I know nothing about Vinorum Winery, but it appears to be situated in Mendoza, at the foot of the Andes. The grapes for this wine are from the Lujan de Cuyo region, which is just south of the city of Mendoza. According to the label, the Calle Brandsen line is the premium line (Calle Brandsen is the name of the street the winery is on). This wine sees 10 months in French oak before bottling. It looked like it might be worth a try. It turned out to be quite solid and likely very good for everyday use in the coming year or two. Brief tasting notes follow.

Medium to deep, plummy red. Distant at first on the nose. Floral hints. Lightly toasted oak. Hints of tobacco. Later, a suggestion of cherries. Oak and the cherries were apparent on the palate as well. Still a bit tight. Delicate but obvious tannins. Silky and smooth, if not very forthcoming at first, but has poise and immediately suggests it will improve with a little time in the glass (and in the bottle, no doubt, even if it never becomes profound). Later develops some cola flavors. Easy, everyday wine, but a cut above the ordinary. This wine normally sells for about $17 a bottle. At $5.99 a bottle at my local Grocery Outlet, it was worth buying half a case.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Birds I'm Watching: Spring Lake, Santa Rosa (September 2, 2012)

A couple of days ago I took a quick walk around Spring Lake, in Santa Rosa, hoping to see warblers, as the migration is now under way. I did see Yellow Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, and a Black-throated Grey Warbler, but nothing exotic (although the Black-throated Grey is one of my favorites). The highlight was a Pileated Woodpecker that rather obligingly landed on an exposed tree trunk with good light after a frustrating few minutes of trying to photograph the bird hanging upside down in dense foliage (the bird, not me). Sometimes you get lucky.

For information about bird watching in Sonoma County, see my Website Sonoma County Bird Watching Spots.
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