Chateau La Rose Du Temple Pomerol 2015 Review – Intense Flavor

Although I generally found my WSET Diploma D3 tasting exam to be, in a word, brutal, there were some silver linings to be found. In particular, the 12 wine lineup included some fantastic examples of wines found all over the world.

One such bottle we were fortunate enough to taste blind was an aged Pomerol- a Merlot heavy red blend from the right bank of Bordeaux known for making some of the finest wines in the world.

Not only was that the first Pomerol I had ever tried, it was also exceptional. So much so that the day after the wines were announced, I stopped at a wine store, purchased a bottle of Chateau La Rose du Temple Pomerol, and brought it home to enjoy- hoping it'd be anywhere as delightful as the bottle I enjoyed on my exam.

It absolutely was.

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Celene Amethyste Brut Blanc de Noirs NV Review – A Great Price

In my studies for WSET Diploma, I knew I had to get my hands of a Blanc de Noirs style of wine to try.

This style of sparkling is white wine made from black grapes (hence the term “white of black”) and, in my shopping experience at least, is slightly harder to come by over the more popular (and highly prized) Blanc de Blanc style.

So not only was it a treat finding Celene's Amethyste Brut, it was also a treat to try a Cremant from Bordeaux made from Cabernet Franc and Merlot. But the real kicker was that this bottle was also on sale for about $12, which made it an absolute steal!

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Fidelitas Merlot 2018 Review – A Solid Red from Washington

When attending a conference in eastern Washington, I was fortunate enough to be able to sample many wineries near Tri-Cities at events before, during, and after the convention.

One such winery was Fidelitas, whose high-end Cabs and Merlots (plus other varietals) are shining examples of the quality of what the region produces.

I, sadly, did not pick up any bottles during my visit to this winery, but after the conference had ended one of the hosts snuck me a couple of bottles leftover from one of the evening parties. Not being one to say no to excellent wine for free, and this is how I ended up with a Fidelitas Merlot 2018 in my suitcase for the trip home.

Naturally, I had to open it shortly after returning.

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Colinas de Sao Lourenco Principal Grande Reserva 2011 Review

During our travels in Portugal, we were fortunate enough to taste many high-end wines at wineries and via multi-course tasting experiences at restaurants like Belcanto, DOC, and The Yeatman.

One such wine we were able to try at these dinners was the Principal Grande Reserva 2011 which was one of the most memorable pours we had on the entire trip.

Naturally, when we went wine shopping on our last day at Garrafeira Nacional (perhaps the best wine store in Lisbon), we found a bottle of this one and had to buy it to bring home.

It did not last long in our cellar after that.

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Castel Mimi Rosu de Bulboaca 2015 Review – A Moldovan Red Blend

When exploring one of our favorite local liquor stores by Angie's parents' house, we often head to the “other wines/international” section to find bottles from countries that aren't well represented in the US.

When this particular store started stocking Moldovan wines, we had to grab a few bottles purely for the fact that we never had wine from this country to begin with.

We quickly opened our Castel Mimi Rosu de Bulboaca shortly after buying it, and quickly realized that this one was made in the classic Bordeaux style as a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. While I admit I never actually looked at the grapes until after buying this one (and maybe would've second-guessed it as I am not a huge Bordeaux fan), this bottle ended up being quite enjoyable all the same.

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Bloomer Creek Vin d’Ete 2018 Review – Complex and Bretty

Bloomer Creek is one of our favorite Finger Lakes wineries and part of the reason for this, beyond their wine simply being delicious, is that they do production techniques and blends that you don't normally expect to find in the region.

The Vin d'Ete 2018 was on the more traditional side of things and is 95% Merlot and 5% Gamay. This one produced a wonderful aroma and flavor profile but also came packed with a hit of Brettanomyces that was just a bit much for us.

Still, we're glad we tried this wine all the same.

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Jutta Ambrositsch Rakete 2019 Review – Crisp and Fruity

Rakete from Jutta Ambrositsch has an interesting backstory. First, the grapes are grown inside the city limits of Vienna (we've walked near some vineyards here before- it is very surreal). Second, it is a natural wine. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is that this particular bottle is a field blend!

Whereas being a field blend on its own is maybe not as exciting, the grapes that go into Rakete (Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Blauburger, Merlot, and “some white grapes”) are all grown side by side in just five rows.

Grapes that are grown, picked, and fermented, quite literally, together? Sign us up.

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Clos du Roy Fronsac 2016 Review – Surprisingly Tannic

The Clos du Roy Fronsac is a primarily Merlot-based wine (90%) with just a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blended in for good measure (5%) of each.

We quickly noticed two things after opening this one. On the nose, it was incredibly perfumed and on the palate, it was significantly more tannic than we expected.

You guessed it, we opened this one too soon.

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The Fableist Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Review – Modest Tannin

The Fableist Cabernet Sauvignon is not a pure bottle of Cab, but is in fact comprised of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and balanced with Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Tempranillo.

We opened this one for a steak pairing thinking we'd have a pronounced acid and tannin fruit bomb, but instead found something a bit more nuanced. Good for what we were tasting, but perhaps not the best for the particular pairing.

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Bloomer Creek White Horse 2015 Review – A Powerful Red Blend

Generally when we think of wine from the Finger Lakes, our mind goes to an array of white grapes that we absolutely love from the region. While we've had some delicious reds, including several bottles of Cabernet Franc and Saperavi from various producers, we haven't quite had a red blend like Bloomer Creek's White Horse.

This one contains the regional favorite Cabernet Franc with a mix of Merlot for good measure, making for an especially powerful wine.

At five years old this one still had an impressive tannin level and evolved considerably as we drank it. To be quite honest, we'd even love to age this wine a few more years for good measure!

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