Boom Boom Syrah 2016 (Charles Smith Wines)

IMG_3650.jpgCharles Smith Website 

Total Wine & More, $11.47

Vivino Info

BevMo, $15.99


Aaron: Lots of dark raisins with chocolate and damp tobacco.  Juicy berries with a full, smooth flavor.  Mellow tannins and very rich, vanilla, oak flavor that’s bursting with blackberry.  This is decently complex without losing the fruit forwardness that makes it really tasty.  91 points

Teri: Charles Smith is a “bigger” wine producer out of Washington and does this Syrah justice. It has a smell of dark red fruits, a vanilla aftertaste and a full, but smooth, body that yields flavors of red apple peel, leather, and a hint of spice on the finish. 90 points for the taste and the price point. 

Josh’s Swill 2016

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Purchased from Van Camp Cellars, $49.99


Aaron:  Lots of fruit with some seawater and oak barrels.  There weren’t many “trees” but definitely oak from the barrel.  The flavor is huge, featuring lots of berries and absent most earthy tones.  There were some mild mushrooms at the end but mostly dark, dense fruit.  89 points

Teri: Flavors of blackberry pie and vanilla on the nose and body. The wine is fruit forward with some spice on the back end. I enjoyed tasting the flavors of black cherry, plum, and just a hint of licorice. 90 points 

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016

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La Crema Website, $23

Vivino Info

Total Wine & More, $13.79

BevMo, $14.99


Aaron: I continue to enjoy bottles from La Crema.  For reasonable prices, these are consistently solid.  This bottle had guava, cantaloupe, and pretty much any other tropical fruit you can imagine on the nose.  The flavor was buttery and light in flavor with bananas, orange peel, and a slight nuttiness.  Some vanilla countered a light punch on the finish, but this was not harsh in any way.  90 points

Teri: The smell is filled with honey and cream and the match the flavors on the wine. I tasted buttery, creamy vanilla with some mild oak. Extremely easy drinking. It’s not too complex but full of flavor. Easy to find; Keep this one on hand if you like buttery chardonnay. It would also make a good white sangria too. 91 points 

Phantom Chardonnay 2016

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Phantom Chardonnay Website (Made by Bogle)

Wine Enthusiast Review

Purchased from Cost Plus World Market, $20

Total Wine & More, $17.49

BevMo, $17.99

Vivino Info


Aaron: Mango banana nose with vanilla and chamomile.  This was very complex and the flavor was bursting with fruits, nuts, and honey.  It finished with a pleasant, silky butter.   This was really good in my opinion with tropical fruits but cashew nuts and a bit of floral notes for complexity.  Different flavors on the palate and the nose but overall, really impressed.  92 points

Teri: Bogle knows how to make great wine in mass quantity and their Phantom Chardonnay is no different. According to Vinvino, this is rated in the top 2% of wines and I would have to agree. This bottle is delicious! Buttery nose and flavor mixed with stone fruit, vanilla, and a hint of underripe mango. If you like buttery Chardonnay, then stock up. If you don’t, there is still quite a bit to appreciate about this bottle. Smooth and full mouthfeel with a long lingering finish. I would pair this with creamy sauces, fish, citrus-flavored dishes or any good or bad day you may be having. 92 points