Daniel Gehrs Fireside Port 2007

Purchased from the Daniel Gehrs tasting room in Los Olivos, CA.

Aaron:  Teri loved it, I didn’t – to be fair she likes port more than I do so if you’re into them also be sure to read her thoughts.  I felt this had a light smell for a port featuring more prunes than raisins.  The taste was completely flipped with tons of raisins and a hint of cocoa in the background.  I felt it was a little sharp but this might be due to a colder-than-perfect serving temperature.  84 points

Teri: This was one of the first ports I fell in love with. It carries strong raisin flavors that pair well with the fortified nature of the port. With a smooth warm finish and a hint of coco, this port is a beautiful dark color and is perfect when warmed in your hand through a port sipper. 90 points

Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Zinfandel 2007

Cost Plus World Market, $21.99 (Sale $15.99)

2007 Vintage earned 98 points, Double Gold in the 2012 California State Fair Wine Competition.

Aaron:  Buy this wine!  The nose was tangy with raspberry, plum and pine nuts, but was not predicative of the taste at all.  The flavor was rich and jammy with tons of chocolate.  It sat like silk in the mouth and finished with a velvety swallow and only a slight bite.  The rich and creamy chocolate flavors overpowered the berries but this was really a great bottle.  93 points

Teri:  This is the best wine I have ever tasted from Lodi (which produces some great bottles). Starting with a great mild smell of dark fruits and chocolate, the flavor follows (rich and jammy) with plum raspberry and coco. The entire experience is silky smooth and full of flavor. We decanted this bottle for about 4 hours which added to the creamy like flavors. This wine is bold enough to stand up to strong grilled meats and strong flavored meals but also great enough to be enjoyed alone. 94 points

Hybrid Petite Sirah 2007

Purchased from The Bistro (Royal Hawaiian Coffee & Wine Company) in Prescott, AZ for $9.00

Aaron: Awesome.  Just awesome.  In case you didn’t hear me, THIS WINE IS AWESOME!  I was so happy with the overall package from this wine and recommend it to anyone who’s interested in a little adventure and definitely all those who love big wines.  I admit, when we bought this, I was just looking for any petite sirah and was excited to try a reasonably aged vintage.  What blew my mind was the mix of Viognier with the big reds that make this a true “hybrid”.  I don’t know how they came up with this, but they earned points \in my book. The pepper on the nose was quickly replaced with raspberry and cherry which was very pleasant.  However the real kicker was the smooth flavor, which was literally something to write home about.  Hints of mocha with cherry and black currant weave across the palate creating a powerful taste but are complemented by a perfectly mellow finish.  If you can find this … buy it!  95 points

Teri: This is a great concept made into a fantastic bottle. 75% petite Sirah, 15% Syrah, 10% Viognier makes a well rounded full red with full and super smooth tannins. This bottle carries the great Lodi characteristics of full zins but the 10% of the white Viognier blends nicely to take out any harsh bite associated with the full bodies petite sirah grape. Dark plum on the smell and lots of full flavors of black currant and spice! 93 points

Three Knights Merlot 2007

Trader Joes, $6.99

Aaron:  Definite thumbs up on this wine, especially for chocolate lovers.  The smell was intense, featuring bright, sharp and intense rays of chocolate covered berries.  The short legs were misleading as the flavor was robust and full of chocolate mocha which was most noticeable on the aftertaste.  There were certainly cherries intertwined with the flavor and once the bite from the swallow wore off all attention was redirected to the tongue which was left with rich, mildly tannic memories of chocolate and vanilla.  90 points

Teri: Trader Joe’s has found a wonderful bottle and sells it for an even better price. Containing a bright strong taste that I found to have a slight sweetness, this Merlot contains an exquisite mist of berries, rubarb, and coco. It would pair wonderfully with meats and rich pasta sauces.   91 points