Tag Archives: Stirling Fine Wines

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (rosé)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (rosé)
Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (rosé)

12.5% vol.

Purplish pink, very bright color, pale medium rim, no legs.

Nose : green, fruity, strawberry, raspberry, almost Haribo candy.

Mouth : green, acid, less taste than the nose was suggesting. A bit of green strawberry but not much taste, not very fruity actually. The nose was more fruity than the mouth. Not unpleasant but not very tasty. A slight bitterness at the end of mouth.

Refreshing but that’s about it.

Actually I prefer the red one this year (2020).

After tasting I paired it with some green cabbage that I sautéed then cooked further with pepper, nutmeg and beer.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (rosé)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (red)

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (red)

On Thursday, November 19, le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé, in red and rosé again.

First up, the red version (the classic one) : the Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020. 13% vol.

Deep red, very dark with purple pink hues. Wide dark pink rim. Medium regular legs.

Nose : red fruit, fruit powder, banana, strawberry raspberry and blackberry. Yeasts like in a fresh baked brioche. The fruit notes are on the candy « chemical » notes of the respective fruits. A strong banana scent as a finale.

In mouth : the first impression is « actually pleasant ». Intense banana taste (the candy notes of the banana like in the Haribo candy), red fruit also, slightly acid and almost sweet at the same time, with yeast and brioche notes in middle mouth. But all in all the dominent note is « chemical candy banana » on a slightly green side too.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (red)

Unexpectedly pleasant in spite of the heavy banana tonality. I do quite enjoy it this year (this year of all years, but after all if at least the Beaujolais Nouveau is a good news among all these bad news…)

I didn’t cool it as they advised on the label but I had it at room temperature. I might put it in the fridge for a bit for tomorrow when I drink the rest of the bottle or if I buy another bottle to see if it does improve it further.

That being said you have to drink this wine quickly, I wouldn’t advise to keep it after Christmas or even after mid of December. Only in 2018 when it was exceptional and on another level of quality did we drink it from the day it was out, on the 3rd Thursday of November all through December and even up to the beginning of January. The quality was so high that it held up (from all of the several brands I tried that year : you can read my reviews of 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau here) https://wineinamerica.wordpress.com/?s=beaujolais+nouveau+2018 . This year I wouldn’t keep it nor drink it too much into December. I might buy another bottle for the fun to drink these coming days. My son had a glass while he was cooking lunch today and he enjoyed it too.

Next I’ll try the rosé version, before going back to the store and buy another bottle of this red and, if I like it too,  I’ll buy another bottle of each, to drink quickly.

I paired it with fresh black pepper tagliatelle served with tomato and bell pepper sauce.

Beaujolais Nouveau Georges Duboeuf 2020 (red and rosé)

Vinho Regional Lisboa Lab Rosé Portugal 2019

Vinho Regional Lisboa Lab Rosé Portugal 2019

Yet another wine from Portugal, a rosé this time as we take advantage of the last warm days in the season in New Jersey (in October at the time of tasting). This one is IG Lisboa appellation. Screw cap and 12.5% vol. They describe it as a rosé medium dry wine on the label. Price was around $8 at my usual wine joint Stirling Fine Wines in New Jersey.

Pale salmon pink with orange hues which show on the photos even though I tamed down the colors that were too flashy when I post processed the photos. Wide big rim, no legs, fizzy.

Vinho Regional Lisboa Lab Rosé Portugal 2019

Nose : very fruity, strawberry, powdery.

The mouth is medium dry indeed but not sweet (fortunately for me because I don’t fancy that much sweeter wines). Strawberry, a bit on the green side, then raspberry and cherry. A slight bitterness then ripe cherry again (almost jam).

Very simple and very good, enjoyable and pleasant. Lollipop in rather long after mouth.

Vinho Regional Lisboa Lab Rosé Portugal 2019

Côtes de Provence Rosé Fleurs de Prairie 2017

Last year during my summer stay at my parents’s in the French Riviera, for our summer rosé line up I bought this Côtes de Provence Fleurs de Prairie 2017 at the supermarket Intermarché, just because I had bought the very same one and same vintage just before leaving in spring 2019, and not had the time to taste it.

So we tasted it among others during the summer of 2019. I still had my bottle at home in New Jersey and recently I found it again in my wine rack and decided to revisit it. I had the same experience and found the same notes which is reassuring.

Tasting from summer 2019 from the bottle bought at Intermarché in France. I don’t remember the price but it was on the higher end for a rosé, I believe above 10 euros, I would say around 10 to 12 euros.

It’s a Côtes de Provence appellation, 2017 vintage, 13% vol. Regular cork. The bottle is embossed with wild prairie flowers (from the name, fleurs de prairie) and the shape is beautiful as well as the slender neck.

Pale pink, very nice color, pastel pink.

Nose : red fruit, raspberry, strawberry, a bit green. 

In mouth it’s a bit fizzy at first then it disappears. Green notes then mineral, bitter in the end. Not my favorite of all the rosés we tried. I have had better, specially for the price (high end for that type of wine).

Tasting from this September 2020 from the bottle bought last year in New Jersey at my usual favorite wine store, Stirling Fine Wines.

Same vintage 2017, same 13% vol and exactly same embossed beautiful bottle.

Pale salmon with copper hue, small translucent rim, no legs.

Nose is fruity, lemon, green. Fruits are on the green side.

In mouth it’s fizzy (perlant), slightly acid, tangy, not very tasty, on the green side, slightly bitter in the end. Not fruity (anymore ?  though we didn’t really find it fruity last year neither, for that very same vintage).

After warming up a little bit in the glass, a taste of green berries, mainly green strawberries, Bitter and a bit of grapefruit. Refreshing though.

In New Jersey too, it’s on the pricey side, around $16. I have had way better for less expensive, in this very Côtes de Provence appellation, even in the US with import taxes.

After that tasting I paired it with cresto de gallo fresh pasta with pesto sauce and parmesan cheese.

Washington State Rosé Band of Roses 2019

Washington State Rosé Band of Roses 2019

Charles Smith Winemaker. Same winemaker as the Cs wine of substance

12.5% vol. Screw cap. Around $11.

I tasted it in my Le Deux glass.

Washington State Rosé Band of Roses 2019

Very pale orange yellowy salmon color with paler large rim, no legs.

Nose is fruity and fresh. Red fruits, strawberry, citrus, green. Very pleasant smell. The main scent after swirling several times is strawberry, on the green side.

In mouth : crisp and clean, very refreshing, fruity and a bit acid (pleasantly). A tad fizzy in mouth but it doesn’t show in the glass. Fruity, green strawberry, grapefruit and some powder like in a perfume, a face powder for make-up. A slight bitterness at the end.

All in all a very pleasant and refreshing wine. Definitely a wine to have again and to stock as a classic for summer.

After the tasting I paired it with some homemade classic ratatouille made with vegetables from local farms. 

Einstok Icelandic Lime and Juniper Pils

Einstok Icelandic Lime and Juniper Pils

The last of Einstok’s creation for the summer season is a flavored beer. As it is flavored with lime and juniper (juniper as in gin, the spirit) I figured it would be something that my son and I might like, so I decided to buy a pack and taste it. They released it around the 8th of July, so off I went on a quest at my favorite liquor store, Stirling Fine Wines, where I found it ready for me to try it.

This is the last post, as of now, of all the Einstok tasting series that can be found in my blog here. I have tasted their whole range of beers, 6 in total plus this one, and except for the berry one because I am bot a big fan of the red berry flavored type of beers.

Einstok Icelandic Lime and Juniper Pils

It’s very light in alcohol content, 4.8% vol.

Their main goal was to have a classic cocktail inspired flavor, such as a gin fizz or the likes, with lime instead of lemon.

Einstok Icelandic Lime and Juniper Pils

Yellow in glass with medium white foam.

Nose : the main scent is lemon, a little bit like the Leinenkugel’s summer shandy (which is lemon based).

In mouth it’s a bit different from this lemon only scent : we can feel a slight bitterness from the lime peel, some tart lime and lemon, also a taste of beer (a classic blond beer, pilsner taste, thus the name) like a shandy (not the French panaché though). A shandy but not sweet and a bit bitter. Very pleasant.

As a side note : I could not really taste the juniper (it’s actually brewed with juniper berries ) though it could be mixed and melted with the other flavors.

It’s more bitter and more lime than the Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy which itself is more lemon.

All in all very pleasant, a nice summer drink when you seek some tasty refreshment without too much alcohol content.

Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Curious Rosé Wine 2019 – Spain

Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Curious Rosé Wine 2019 – Spain

Rosé season was upon us as they say, so in addition to stocking up on my usual trusty favorites, I decided to try some new ones in order to review them (as the excuse). While shopping at my usual joint, Stirling Fine Wines, I noticed this beautiful bottle so I read the label : a rosé wine from Spain. I decided to give it a try. Price around 10 / 11 dollars.

Upon looking closely at the label it is more precisely a Vino de la Tierra de Castilla IGP. 11% vol. 50% Tempranillo and 50% Garnacha.

I tasted it mid of August 2020 in my Le Deux glasses, a bit overkill for this type of wine but why not ?

Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Curious Rosé Wine 2019 – Spain

Pale salmon color, no rim, looks slightly fizzy in the glass. Very few and very short legs.

The nose is mineral, gun flint, a tad of earthy notes, mushroom. But most of all the wine smells dry and mineral with stones, silex notes and a hint of citrus.

In mouth, it’s a bit fizzy, « perlant » as we would say in French, at the beginning then the fizziness vanishes. A bit bitter, grapefruit, not very fruity, fresh. A bit like a white wine rather than a rosé. Dry with mineral notes and citrus notes rather than the fruit one expects in a rosé.

Definitively bitter in after mouth but not unpleasant. Very refreshing but not very tasty. It feels like a weak white wine.

Bitter and grapefruit essentially, not unpleasant in summer but there are more fruity offerings out there. For the price I don’t regret buying it of course but it’s not a wine I would carry in my summer wine rack nor drink on a regular basis though. Not bad per se but rather ordinary.

After the tasting, I paired it with some homemade taboulé that was our meal for dinner.

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Charles Smith Winemaker. 14.5% vol. Around $15.

I had seen this wine several times at my wine store and I wanted to try it for a while. Then some time ago, one of the wine blogs I follow and read on a regular basis published a review so I took the dive and bought one bottle to try it for myself.

Review from Odedi’s Wine Reviews Blog here : https://winesipping.wordpress.com/2019/11/12/wines-of-substance-cs-cabernet-sauvignon-2016-washington-state/

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Deep red with purple hint. Medium purple rim and super long legs.

I tasted it in my Le Deux glass.

Nose : blackberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant. oak. wood, leather, tannins, vinaigrette and peppercorn. Spices and fur, maybe some dark cocoa (cocoa powder rather than dark chocolate).

After several swirls and a couple of minutes in the glass, some game and coffee notes come up.

Mouth : dry on the palate, fruity, melted tannins. Fruity like in cooked fruits, caramelized and jam. Peppercorn, a bit of red pepper and a slight bitterness (the tannins). Vanilla, several red fruit also in jam and a bit caramelized. Melted tannins, leather, varnish. Long after mouth, extremely pleasant and very good.

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Also some dark cherry in middle mouth as well as some olives (black olives). A little dryness and astringency in after mouth which is really pleasant. 

Definitely a wine to have in the cellar, it is of substance indeed. 

After tasting I paired it with fresh semolina pasta cooked with tomato, parsley and garlic.

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Substance Washington State Cs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky

I already mentioned how I appreciate a lot their Platinum Label (which came out a couple of years ago, it has been renamed since, it’s now called Johnnie Walker 18 Year Old). 

Then last year I stumbled upon their Double Black that I reviewed here and that I liked a lot too.

So I decided this year that I would try the other ones (except the super expensive blue label and special editions ones, except if someone gives them as a present — a girl can dream).

I didn’t taste it in my Impitoyable whisky glass this time but still in a proper whisky glass from La Maison du Whisky in Paris (bought back in the day, to enjoy properly the single malts I was starting to collect). No ice for the tasting, I added the ice after to enjoy my drink once I had finished with tasting and taking notes.

This is a blended whisky and their core, most basic whisky, so to speak. 40% vol.

Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Bright golden in glass, very limpid.

The nose is very smoky, malt, a hint of vanilla and caramel in the back.

In mouth, superbly smoky, vanilla, a bit fruity in the middle mouth (banana ? and almost a bit of pear too), then vanilla again and light caramel in the ending and the after mouth.

I don’t regret having this blended whisky in my collection, it is worth buying and drinking. It would even be nice as an after dinner with good company and a cigar.

Rated 87.5 in the Whiskey Bible 2020 (Jim Murray) as very good to excellent and worth buying, which  I agree totally. This Red Label is more on the fruity side (definitely pear, as I revisited it weeks later just before publishing this post) than the Double Black which is more on the herbal side and bolder of course. The Double Black is rated 94.5 in the Whiskey Bible which means « superstar whisky ».

All in all this Red Label is a well rounded whisky that should please everyone, the fruity side making it rather approachable. 

A classic for a good reason !

Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Johnnie Walker Red Label Blended Scotch Whisky

Douro Casal Garcia Portugal 2014

Douro Casal Garcia Portugal 2014

Douro Casal Garcia Portugal 2014

This is a wine from Portugal — one of those best kept secrets : it costs 5 dollars ! Who can beat that for an imported wine ? Wine in the US tends to be pricey in general — this is more a beer country than a wine country to begin with, even though things have changed a bit over the years, imported wines — specially from Europe — even more pricey.

13% vol. Screw cap. The very same winery makes also a vinho verde which is one of my go to vinho verde (review to come) for a whopping price of… 5 dollars a liter — not a 75 cl bottle but for a one-liter bottle !

On the label they describe it as « smooth and aromatic », which proves to be totally true and accurate.

Douro Casal Garcia Portugal 2014

Douro Casal Garcia Portugal 2014

Very dark red in glass, purple to black red. No rim, no legs.

Nose : red fruits, dark red fruits, redcurrant and blackcurrant and also some prune (pruneau), cooked jam, earth and undergrowth, then leather and prune again, cooked red fruit preserve. The main and obvious scent is really « confiture de fruits rouges » (red fruit preserve). A very pleasant nose for such an unpretentious wine.

In mouth, the same red fruits, very fruity actually, not cooked nor preserved fruits this time but rather very ripe dark red fruits, blackberry, blackcurrant and a bit of raspberry. Some green grass in the middle mouth and a slight bitterness also in middle mouth, that disappears at once.

In after mouth, the tannins, subtle and mellowed. Red fruits again this time with the cooked preserved note and a bit of leather.

Medium length but a longer mouth than one can expect from a wine of this category and price.

A hint of raspberry in finale, short lived though.

The after mouth of leather, caramelized and cooked red/black fruit preserve leaves a nice impression after drinking. 

Not acid and rather soft on the palate with those subtle tannins that are well mellowed (fondus).

This is a solid reliable wine for every day and even more, it can definitely handle more special occasions. Really delicious in that category and price : nothing can beat that.

Extremely enjoyable as always : I have been drinking this wine for 4 or 5 years now and I keep coming back to it. I always have a couple of bottles in stock in my wine rack, I never let that stock go too low. It has never disappointed me, no matter the vintage.

This is one of my go-to wines, furthermore for 5 dollars a bottle, what can go wrong ?

That day, after the tasting, I enjoyed it with some pasta served with red peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes.

I want also to mention for the readers in France and Europe : I have stumbled across the Casal Garcia vinho verde at Leclerc so they might carry also this douro (I didn’t think of checking at that time).

I already talked about all the good I thought of this wine a couple of years ago, in my writer’s blog here [in French] : https://michusa.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/pur-regal/

Douro Casal Garcia Portugal 2014

Douro Casal Garcia Portugal 2014