Lauren Ashton Cellars Cuvee Estelle 2011

Lauren Ashton Cellars CuveeLauren Ashton Cellars Website, $50

Wine Enthusiast, $40

Total Wine & More, $27

Aaron: Wow.  This bottle was awesome.  I’m generally of the opinion you don’t need to spend a ton of money to find a good bottle but this one is worth the extra few dollars.  The nose featured lots of strawberry and the palate was full of rich, dark berries followed by a hint of black pepper. The sweetness was appropriate but the berries weren’t overripe.  This was very, very easy to drink but still full bodied.  Great find!  92 points

Teri: If you want to spring a few extra dollars for something to impress, this is a bottle to pick up. The flavors of blackberry, leather, smoke and a hint of jam fill your mouth with a smooth and easy finish. This is a great bottle to enjoy by itself or with food. 92 points 


Palomares Vineyard Pomegranate Cuvee

Palomares Vinyards PomegranateNow Closed, this bottle was purchased from a small winery in the east bay area of California: Westover Vineyards 

Aaron:  Strawberry, sweet nose with a fruity, medicinal taste.  I liked this much much better the second day and wasn’t a fan after it opened.  I felt there was more cherry than pomegranate and this wasn’t my favorite.  83 points

Teri: Basic flavored sparkling wine. The pomegranate flavor gives the wine a smell of cherry with pomegranate and a grenadine style taste. The bottle is heavy on the pomegranate flavor and would be well liked for those who like sweeter wines. Easy to drink if you like sweet but not much else to it. 85 points

La Peche Cuvee Palomares Vineyards (Westover)

Westover Palomares Vineyards La PechePurchased from Westover Vineyards 

Aaron:  A sweet musky smell of honey and white fruits was pretty expected based on the name.  There was surprisingly only a little peach on the flavor with some sweetness  – though not a ‘sugary’ feel.  The flavor was very light with a slight bitterness at the end.  88 points

Teri: Yumm!! This bottle is a mouthful of crisp white peach with a clean finish and not an overabundance of bubbles. Great flavors linger on the mouth, even after the sip leaves your mouth. Great by itself or paired with some juice for a delicious brunch drink. 90 points

Tres Pinos Three Pines Cuvee Red Wine 2010

Trader Joe’s, $4.99

Aaron: I was a little turned off by the smell of this Cuvee, which was dull and bitter with particularly earthy notes of plants.  To say the least, this tasted ten times better than it smelled.  There was still a hint of dull earthiness, but not as potent as the smell.  The swallow had a certain burning bite to it coupled with an intense raspberry flavor.  This definitely needs a strong dish to pair with and in my opinion is a little too harsh.  86 points

Teri: This three times cuvee from the San Luis Obispo contains a slight jammy flavors and with strong organic woody and earthy nodes. A hit of red fruits and dark berries is followed by bold and strong tannins. 87 points