Castello Rametz Sudtiroler Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased from the Rametz winery in Italy

Aaron:  Point number one: this is not for newbies! Point number two, 15-20 minutes of air is absolutely critical.  Point number three: this bottle is awesome.  Toasted oak and jammy black fruits frolic in olive branches.  This was tight at first which made it slightly bitter, but after opening up there was noticeable raspberry and green tart fruits with a stone aftertaste.  I felt like I was in a castle.  Tobacco on the finish reminds you this is not your generic Napa cab.  94 points

Teri: This wine has a leafy earthy nose with flavors of dark current and tobacco on the first sip. The taste is soon followed by heavier earthy flavors with a hint of dark cherry. Strong full dry tannins with a medium lingering finish. Full bodied for a Cabernet with strong flavors that would pair well with hearty meals and meats. Extremely complex. 89 points

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs 2006

Cost Plus World Market, $12.99

Aaron:  I doubt most people (speaking specifically to our readers) will like this wine.  The smell was dry and fruity but the taste was a desert (on a dry-ness scale).  Peach and golden apple flavors were coupled with nice bubbles and the taste overall was decent but I might look for something different.  88 points

Teri: This was a very easy to drink sparkling wine. The lemon/cantaloupe smell gave way to a light tropical and dry taste with nodes of pineapple, more cantaloupe, and citrus flavors. This light and dry sparkling wine would go well with spicy dishes.  90 points

Greg Norman Zinfandel 2006

Total Wine & More, $11.99

Aaron:  This wine is good for bold foods but lacked the juiciness I look for in strong wines.  The smell had mild raspberries and the flavor boasted a combination of nutmeg and fruit.  While dry, there was not much earth or bitterness in the flavor and generally I felt it was a little thin.  89 points

Teri: With grapes grown in the heavy volcanic soil around the Napa region, this zinfandel has a rich raspberry taste with a fruit forward and smooth finish. Full fruit and nice tannins with a slight spice this bottle would be a great gift for those who like big bold reds. A burst of flavor from the start and lingers long after the last swallow. 91 points

Domaine du Moulie Madiran 2006

Purchased from Total Wine & More, $9.99
Average price around $12

Aaron:  I smelled tart cherry and currant on the nose of this wine and felt it was possibly a little overpowering.  There were light flavors with lots of cherries but not much else going on.  While there were only moderate tannins and no bite, I cannot honestly describe this as smooth.  Coupled with earthy tones of bark and leaves my overall impression was: skip it.  85 points

Teri: Classic french wines have a very different taste then those we are use to drinking in California. This bottle is no different. Although, it is not to my personal liking this wine has some good things going for it. The smell conveys blackberry and currant with long slow legs. I was surprised at how short lived the flavors were for how long the legs took to run down the glass. I would classify the overall taste of strawberry and cranberry with continual hints of spice and earth. 84 points