Mike Conza's Reviews

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19 reviews were found
  • Rating:
    (9/27/2010)
    Lapostolle Casa Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
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    $18.29
    I would have labeled this "Smooth and Supple", not "Big and Bold". This is a very nice Cab blend, for the price. The nose is clean fruit - not overpowering. On the palate, I found a nice balance of tannins and acidity. If you let it open up for an hour (in a decanter), you'll be rewarded with a long finish with slight earth tones. I only gave it three stars because I personally prefer a bigger Cab, but if you are in the market for a smooth, easy drinking-ready now Cab., all at a very reasonable price - look no further.
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  • Rating:
    (9/27/2010)
    d'Arenberg High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
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    2011 vintage available for $19.99
    This is a good medium bodied Cab - particularly for the price. The nose is a bit forward, but it opens up in the glass fairly quickly, with tart berry flavor on the finish. I'm not getting the capsicum (pepper, for those of us in the US) that the wine maker's notes mention, but overall the balance is good and the tannins are light. Not hearty enough for a strong cheese pairing - but matched well with roasted garlic and olive oil smeared on cracked wheat flatbread :-) If I could give half star ratings, this would be 3.5.
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  • Rating:
    (9/27/2010)
    Peter Lehmann Clancy's 2005
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    2010 vintage available for $15.99
    The nose is light but slightly earthy. Nicely balanced in the mouth - a bit of oak and lots of fruit, with even tanins. Mildly peppery finish. Overall, this blend delivered a medium to full red, much more mellow than a either a Cab or Shiraz, yet retaining some of the best characteristics of both. If you are looking for the softer side of "big and bold", this is it. It matched really well with hearty southern Italian fare. Let it breathe for an hour; crafted to be enjoyed now (2010) - not made for long-term cellaring. Great value for the price.
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  • Rating:
    (9/27/2010)
    Peter Lehmann Shiraz 2006
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    2010 vintage available for $15.99
    Mmmmmm. Excellent Aussie Shiraz, beautifully crafted. This is big and round. Smokey spice, with a wonderfully long finish. I've ordered another case for my cellar - but don't think I'll have the strength to hold off long enough for this to reach its peak.
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  • Rating:
    (9/27/2010)
    Lake Sonoma Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
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    $24.00
    Medium nose. Tart plums; a bit rough on the palate, but ultimately rounds out on the finish. I was disappointed given the WS review. This is nice, but nothing special.
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  • Rating:
    (9/26/2010)
    Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2006
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    $25.00
    Smooth, but with a big finish. Holds up well with aged cheese. Drinks well alone, but not as earthy as I was hoping for. Nonetheless, outstanding for the price.
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  • Rating:
    (9/24/2010)
    Parducci True Grit Petite Sirah 2006
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    2011 vintage available for $19.99
    I really wanted to like this wine -- a Sirah that is earth friendly (I go organic whenever I can) and domestic (support the USA, particularly in the current crisis) - but I just can't get there. Its a bit harsh/tart - and somewhat light (ie not as peppery as I hoped). Its a very nice wine, but there are much better alternatives out there for this price (Peter Lehmann 2006 Shiraz leaps to mind). If I could give half-star ratings, this would be 2.5 - but choosing between 2 and 3 . . . its definitely a 3.
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  • Rating:
    (9/22/2010)
    Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
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    2012 vintage available for $16.99
    The Wine News review of "aromas of blueberry, plum and mint with hints of charred oak and graphite" is poetic license to the extreme. Bottom line -- this is a pleasant, smooth and moderately fruity cabernet - but ultimately I found it somewhat wattery, non-descript and unmemorable. The tannins are light, and it drinks fine right now (Jan 2010). Given the price, its a good cab to break out toword the end of a larger dinner party; but I would not put this out early (ie, while palates are still discerning). I bought two bottles - won't be buying more.
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  • Rating:
    (9/21/2010)
    Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
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    2012 vintage available for $16.99
    Wonderful nose, full fruit and wood tones. This opened up fairly quickly; juicy on the palate, balanced and layered. It drinks like a wine at twice the price until the finish - which unfortunately its a bit tart. Still - for $17 this is a great value. (although I notice wine.com bumped the price to $20 since my first purchse -- still a good value though).
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