Les Portes de Bordeaux Fronsac 2011

Les Portes de BordeauxPurchased from Trader Joe’s, $6.99

Aaron: This is a great value bottle.  Tons of earthy oak and rock salt on the nose followed by a light and mellow flavor which is extremely smooth.  This isn’t as big as I had hoped but was pleasant.  There’s a good balance of ripe red fruits and pine cones and slate.  The flavor has a bit of mineral but some nice berry complements.  90 points

Teri: This French bourdeaux carries dark red fruits and oaky tobacco on the nose. The bottle itself is easy to drink but nothing special; I tasted flavors of spicy raspberry and juniper berries with noticeable but smooth tannins. The finish is long but smooth. 87 points

Carmine de Monicord 2011 Bordeaux Superieur

Carmine de Monicord 2011Wine of the Month Club, $15.98

Aaron: This has a great nose!  Plum and rich green leaves with a good, barky oak but not too strong.  The tannins are a little strong on the onset – I prefer them more towards the back.  I noticed predominant flavors of saffron and allspice with some muddled berries and dried tobacco leaves.  My primary complaint though is this is too watery on the end.  87 points

Teri: This blend has a spicy earthy nose and what I would call a backwards drinking red: with spice and earthy flavors first followed by a slight sweetness and fruit at the end (red apple and berries). The smell is quite different from the taste, so don’t let it fool you. Just a unique blend with fruit, earthy flavors like clove, and some leather. A few points for its uniqueness but it would take a particular person and an avid wine lover to enjoy this glass. Not for “non wine” drinkers. 88 points


Le Puy Saint Martin – Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2012 French Red

Red Vin de Pays Wine 2012Wine of the Month Pick, $19.99 retail

60% Grenache, 20% Mourvede, 20% Cinsault

Aaron: An oaky nose with some faint olive and tobacco masked what turned out to be a ridiculously smooth flavor.  Medium bodied with a very pleasant mouthfeel, this flavor has a mildly bitter aftertaste following some chocolate and cherry notes.  Smoothness won most of my points; this has a great texture.  88 points

Teri: This french blend didn’t have an impressive nose, but carried all its flavors in the body. I tasted earthy black cherry with a faint hint of nutmeg. A 2012 vintage, it could use a few more years in the bottle to round out some flavors, but the tannins were still surprisingly smooth for only about two years in the bottle. Giving it some breathing time brought out more currant and mineral flavors with some cocoa on the finish. 87 points

Chateau De Terrefort-Quancard Bordeaux 2008

Special thanks to Katie and Kristin for giving us this fantastic bottle!

Average price, $15

Aaron: This one gets two ratings for me.  New drinkers, stay away but veterans: seek this out!  The smell was powerful, full of woody bark and berries.  Mild in the mouth, this was not too thick but didn’t sacrifice body.  A slight sourness on the end reminds the drinker this is not a sweet wine but a more complex vintage.  When I imagine a good, traditional wine (ie. not the fruit filled jam of Napa wines) this is what I want!  92 points – experienced; 86 points – newbies

Teri:  First off, there is fantastic spice throughout the entire flavor with hints of red berries and current. The earthy nose of oak and spice yields way to an extremely smooth flavor. Being bottled for a few years past production, the tannins have mellowed out to yield a smooth flavor and texture. Still bold with a long, velvety, fi<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Times New Roman"; panose-1:0 2 2 6 3 5 4 5 2 3; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:50331648 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-parent:""; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1nish. 91 points