Monthly Archives: January 2013

2007 Marcel Deiss Gruenspiel


This has to be one of the most interesting wines we’ve tasted so far here at Grapestorm. The producer calls this a “white red wine” and it’s an accurate description. This wine is 1/3 each of Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling…it is white though because they do not ferment the Pinot Noir skins with the juice. The result is a fuller-bodied wine with both red and white characteristics. It’s not cheap at $40 (on sale…usually $50) but this is definitely something you could bring to surprise or wow a friend.

Keeping with our spicy/sweet wine pairings we enjoyed this bottle with take out from Meung Thai downtown. If you’ve never been there you should check it out. We got 3 dishes and an appetizer for $30 and they were all good…and the crazy noodles were very spicy.

colonelgrape: 95. To me this wine had a serious honey and mineral nose, almost like a mead. In the glass it is much darker than a Gewurztraminer or Riesling from the Pinot Noir. On the palate it retained it’s mineral flavor but started off dry and spicy then easing into the honey sweetness at the end. This wine actually had some tannins too which I wasn’t expecting but they were very mild and fit right in with the flavor. The nice, sweet finish lingered after the sip and really this is a great wine.  I’d love to bring this to a wine party and see if anyone could figure out what it actually is in a blind wine…my money is on no one figuring it out.

MobyGrape: 90. As much as I want to talk about Hans Gruber and start making Die Hard references, I’ll refrain (for now) and try to stick to the wine.  This reminded me of a reverse Gewurztraminer.  It’s a Renimartzruweg.  Instead of the sweetness getting you up front, this one hits you with the spice first, then settles into a slick sweetness (note to self – I’m totally using that line if I ever quit my day job and start writing erotic novels).  After being out for a while, the spices subsided and this was just thoroughly enjoyable, easily drinkable stuff.  I highly recommend that on any old night of the week, you pour yourself a glass of this and say yippee-ki-yay…I mean Cheers.

2010 Domaine Bechtold Silberberg Gewurztraminer


Hard to read the label in this picture but the title of the post takes care of that. That delicious food you see is the chicken curry and pork fried rice from Saigon, a vietnamese restaurant 40 mins away. We found this gem years ago back when I lived in that area and it truly is a gem. Their chicken curry is out of this world: it’s not super spicy, it almost has a sweetness to it, simple with onions, potatoes, and chicken…and it’s under $10. We also enjoyed the Pho which is a vietnamese broth based soup with rice noodles, bean sprouts, basil, and meat. Both dishes are amazing and worth the drive. I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet…Saigon is BYOB…and no corkage/open bar fee! Moby and I have been in search of BYOB restaurants in MA  for a while now and sadly there aren’t too many. We’ve found two sushi places with $20 and $30 open bar fees to BYOB but that’s it so far. If you have any MA BYOB restaurant recommendations we’d love to hear from you.

The 2010 Silberberg was just as good as the food. Gewurztraminer goes extremely well with  Asian food as it cuts through spice and has a backdoor sweetness to it to match a lot of the sauces used. If you’re ever getting Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, or any other take out and are looking for a wine look no further….Gewurztraminer is your answer.

colonelgrape: 94. Very good Gewurztraminer paired perfectly. On the nose there’s spice, honey, mineral, and melon. Right away on the palate you get mild sweetness but that’s soon taken over by the spice and fruit flavor. This wine is very refreshing and light bodied. This producer uses stainless steel tanks to ferment so that explains the lack of oak/simpleness of the wine. At $20 this is an exceptional value.

MobyGrape: 94.  This is exactly what I expected this wine to taste like.  We opted for incredible Vietnamese food with this wine and it’s like they were made for each other.  The flavors of the food and wine worked so well together that I didn’t want to stop eating or drinking, but I had to, otherwise I would have exploded in the restaurant.  The deep sweetness up front, followed by the spiciness makes for one wild ride.

2009 Larose de Gruaurd Saint-Julien


This is our first venture into the great red wines of Bordeaux. There is so much information that’s needed to be even semi-educated on the region I am going to dedicate a whole post to it sometime in the near future. For now let’s talk about the basics of this bottle so you can understand where it’s from.

This is the second wine of Chateau Gruaurd-Larose in the Saint-Julien appelation which is located in the Medoc region of Bordeaux. What a mouthful right? Chateau Gruaurd-Larose is classified as a second-growth producer in the Official Classification of 1855. Being from the left bank it is Cabernet dominant blended with Merlot and other red grapes.

With all that being said the best value in Bordeaux is second label wines from classified Chateaus. Unless you’re making serious money you aren’t going to want to spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars on classified wines. Bordeaux is a very complex region and I promise we’ll cover it all in an upcoming post!

We enjoyed this wine with ribeye steaks, grilled potatoes, and steamed broccoli.

colonelgrape: 87. This was a very young wine. Bordeaux is some of the finest wine in the world meant to be aged but I couldn’t wait to try this bottle. Being a second wine it was approachable earlier as was the case here. After decanting it was still tight with dark fruit flavors on the nose and on the palate they came through also with leathery earth taste. Being a Cabernet drinker I could tell I was drinking Cabernet but the blend really nullified a lot of the bite and astringency you’d expect. The tannins were still there but they acted more as a structural aide than a pillar of the wine. If I can find another bottle of this I’m definitely going to cellar it and try it again in a few years, I think it will open up nicely. Looking for a Cabernet-like wine that’s not so “cabby”? Try a Bordeaux.

MobyGrape: 83.  This wine is like the Destiny’s Child to Beyonce as a solo artist.  Having now drank enough straight up cab to swim in, I’m fairly confident in knowing what it can taste like.  This wine (so I’m told) is predominantly a cab, but it’s cut with other grapes, and for once, I think I can actually taste the difference!  It’s not big and bold in your face like a solo act (read: Beyonce, All the Single Ladies) but it’s definitely got some attitude and works well with he other group members (read: Destiny’s Child, Jumpin’, Jumpin’).  It doesn’t smell overly anything, we decanted for about an hour before we drank it, and it went down relatively smooth with a little tannin action, but by no means was this an ass-grabbing cabernet.  OK by itself or with a meal, actually it was quite nice if you were in the mood for something a little heavier but didn’t want to commit to something you had to eat with.  Bordeaux, you’re no Aretha Franklin but you’re on your way to being a solid soul sista.

2009 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Anniversary Edition


Back to Burgundy for another Pinot Noir example. You’ll have to excuse the photo, I forgot to take a picture of the bottle before it made it’s way to the recycling center. This bottle is a special anniversary edition of Louis-Jadot’s Beaune premier cru wine celebrating 150 years of wine making. We enjoyed this wine with glazed chicken thighs roasted with green beans and rice. I think chicken thighs are an under-used cut of chicken…especially if you like dark meat. They are cheap, easy to work with, and delicious.

colonelgrape: 94. This wine was a clear garnet-red in the glass, very pretty looking. On the nose there was raspberry, strawberry, hints of acid (yes, you can smell acid). On the palate the smells were affirmed with flavors of tart, young red berries with hints of earth…and a healthy dose of acid. The finish was long and pleasant. This was a very tight pinot noir and one worthy of aging, in fact I’d love to buy a few more bottles and try them in 3-5 years. It really goes well with lighter fair like chicken and pork with vegetables.

MobyGrape: 89.  Smelled like, wait for it…wait for it…red wine.  Maybe a little bit like dirt.  Tasted a little dry, a little acidic, I’d call it crisp.  I distinctly remember another pinot noir tasting like grapefruit, and this one might have a similar tangy citrusy kick to it but it’s not overwhelming.  Overall, this wine went well with a lighter meat meal (chicken, pork chops), or would do well on its own, but don’t expect a velvety hug from this one.  If you’re coming home after a bad day at work this wine’s going to slap you and tell you to snap out of it, quit your bitching and get on with it.  It won’t sympathize, but after you stop crying and realize it was right, it will certainly be delicious.

2007 Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo


This is actually the first Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Moby and I ever had and it was one of the wines that got us started at Vin Bin. This is actually the third time we’ve had this wine but the first time we didn’t have a website yet and the second time we had a bunch of guests over and simply forgot so now it’s time for a proper review.  I decided it would be fun to see if Moby could recognize it since we’ve had it before as a blind wine but I’ll tell you what, blind wines are hard. She got Italy so I’ll say that’s pretty darn good for a first blind wine. Our relatives Superstorm and UncleGrape are the true blind wine masters…we both have lots of work to do. And by work I mean drink wine and have lots of fun.

This is a relatively expensive Montepulciano d’Abruzzo at $33 but I got it on sale for $25 x 4 bottles. You do get what you pay for often times though if you know what you’re buying and this holds true with this wine. Our friend Mitchell and I agree that this is the best Montepulciano we’ve ever had. We had simple leftover baked ziti and garlic bread with this bottle.

colonelgrape: 93. This is a rustic and robust bottle of wine. It’s something I’d recommend decanting as the first few sips of un-decanted wine were definitely a bit too strong. It settled down after about 15 minutes and it’s a beautiful ruby color. On the palate it’s very interesting with tastes of anise and leather to go along with classic dark fruit tastes. Compared to other Montepulciano’s I’ve had this is the cream of the crop. You can tell you’re drinking an Italian wine as Moby did in the blind wine challenge. This is another Italian red you could bring to a California wine drinker’s home/party and wow everyone with. Eat this with classic rustic/hearty Italian food and you’ll be in for a treat.

MobyGrape: 85.  I failed miserably at my first real blind taste test (I’m not sure why we thought it was a good idea in the first place).  Sniffing at it didn’t reveal anything special, I thought it was something maybe on the younger side but that was all I could put together.  The first few sips of this had an incredibly strong astringent feeling, like when you’ve eaten too much Cap’n Crunch and the roof of your mouth is all torn up, it was like that feeling but not painful.  Once this wine settled down though, it smoothed out nicely.  Tasted fruitier, I picked up some anise flavor (it wasn’t overbearing), the astringent/tannin effects all but went away and it had a decent lingering finish to round it out.