2015 Calcu Sauvignon Blanc, Descorchados 91 Points!

At just $14.98 and 91 points from Descorchados, the 2015 Calcu Sauvignon Blanc is our next contestant for the decanting test. Within five minutes of opening, this impressive wine from the foothills of the Andes Mountains in the Colchagua Valley (Chile) exhibited a bounty of the Sauvignon Blanc's traditional flavors with earthy notes of faint smoky flint, light sea breeze, and moist chalk with fruit flavors of lemon zest, pears, green apples, and undertones of pineapple. 

Our first tasting came at 15 minutes. Initially, there's a brief moment on the palate when the wine seems like it may be a little short and linear.  However, the wine promptly expands and coats the palate with a lush delivery of concentrated waves of pear, green apples, and lemons, echoing the initial aromas.

At 30 minutes, additional development reveals attractive aromas of delicate wintergreen deep within the glass. That scent, combined with the bracing flavors of light salinity and lime make the 2015 Calcu Sauvignon Blanc a refreshing companion for your next patio outing.

Overall, we find the Descorchados 91 to be a fair review and the 2015 Calcu Sauvignon Blanc to be a great value at just $14.98.

2011 Edgebaston Chardonnay, Wine Spectator 90, $14.98.

The excellent 2011 Edgebaston Chardonnay from Stellenbosch, South Africa opens with aromas of white flowers, bread-dough yeastiness, fresh lemons, and mineral water. On the palate, crisp green apples, pears, and faint almonds come through with caramel custard and ground cinnamon. The personality of this wine is crisp with refreshing citrus minerality, yet there's warmth from the caramel custard and cinnamon that creates an attractive duality. Many who love unoaked Chardonnays and Chablis will love still love this wine as the caramel custard, and cinnamon nuances are subtle and add interesting complexities. This wine is ideal for those who love Northern Burgundy but do not want to endure the price. I feel that Wine Spectators 90 point review was a little stingy and would rate this wine in the 91-92 range.

- Tasho Katsaboulas

2014 Anne Amie Pinot Blanc, Chehalem Mountains, Oregon


The Pinot Blanc grapes used to make this wine love their home high in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon. After chilling and agitating the wine in a decanter, a beautiful crisp minerality featuring aromas of white stones and mineral water balances generous concentrations of apple, pear, and lemon fruits. Notes of filo dough, honeysuckle nectar (wine is dry), cold butter, vanilla, brown baking spices, and faint whiffs wintergreen add impressive complexity. This refreshing wine is an excellent Spring and Summer patio wine for just $17.98! We love this Pinot Blanc with Redfish at The Mayflower Cafe. I expect that this wine will be scored around 92 points.

- Tasho Katsaboulas

Casa Del Bosque 2013 Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley, Chile - Descorchados 90 Points (Tasho Katsaboulas 92-93)

2013 Casa Del Bosque Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley, Chile. $14.98 & Descorchados 90 Points (Tasho Katsaboulas 92-93)

First, I can only assume that this wine was going through a bit of a quiet period when Descorchados scored it 90 points. I give this sensational wine a much higher score of 92-93. After turning the bottle up 180 degrees to splash the wine into a decanter and agitating (like a washing machine) intermittently for 10 minutes, the wine immediately reveals rock salt, flint, cold wet white stone and pear on the nose. There's a beautiful mineral character within this wine. After twenty minutes, a remarkable depth of pear, apple, cold butter and hints of vanilla are given on the palate. Over the next 10 - 15 minutes, the depth intensifies to a golden richness of the fruits above. A sustained current of crisp acidity and sea-breeze minerality energetically continues the flavors across the palate. On the finish, the core apple and pear flavors become accented by flavors of lemon oil, baking-spice accented vanilla and grapefruit on the 40-second finish. Later, a taste of sweet yellow plums (wine is dry) emerges. The depth and concentration of this wine would be admirable in a bottle at twice the price. The observations above were all experienced within 45 minutes of the bottle being opened. I returned a couple of hours later and found the wine presenting an incredible seamless melding of oceanic salinity, chilled grapefruit liqueur, and brown spices with expanded length. For enthusiasts of mineral driven Chardonnays, this is a show-stopping effort by Casa Del Bosque at an unbelievable price. Chalk this up as my top Chardonnay recommendation up to a budget double the wine's price!

-Tasho Katsaboulas

This article was published on Sep 28, 2015

Finca El Origen 2014 Torrontes $13.98, Guiapenin 91 Points

We are now in the heart of summer in Mississippi and we are all looking for any way possible to cool down. Well, one great way to accomplish this feat is to drink some nice, cold, white wine, and the 2014 Finca El Origen Torrontes is the perfect choice. This wine is only $13.98 and is a Guiapenin 91 point score.  Sitting for this tasting were the usual suspects, Tasho, Jimm, and myself (Kyle). We poured this wine in a decanter cold and then poured up our glasses. Straight out of the bottle, this wine immediately had strong notes of high-end, coconut tanning lotion with a little soapiness. This made us all want to find the nearest pool! Speaking of which, this wine would go perfect by the pool! After about 10 minutes, the wine opened up with notes of white flower nectar, and a very interesting, oily, spiciness on the palate. We also picked up some aromas of lanolin. As the wine progressed, we picked up notes of dried lemon, fruit-stripe gum (almost like a dried Juicy-Fruit), and also freshly sliced lemons! After about 20 minutes, we tasted wonderful hints of lemon glaze. This wine has very intense coconut/white flower characteristics, and is a great new wine to try if you have never tasted the best kept secret of Argentina, Torrontes! (Also, we have it COLD!)

Until we taste again,

2014 Firesteed Pinot Grigio, Oregon, Wine Review 94

When we evaluate our wines, our process boils down to two essential elements: the nose and the palette. In our experience, wines that deliver on one aspect tend to follow through on the other. However, there are exceptions to the rule.  One of those exceptions is the Firesteed 2014 Pinot Grigio.

After the initial pour, this Pinot Grigio exuded aromas of pear and white peaches with faint scents of pineapples over a slightly honeyed chalkiness. With 25 minutes of decanting, light struck-white-flint minerality, pear blossoms, and lanolin join the initial aromas. There's even a curious and subtle whiff of soft rubber like a white eraser or beach ball.

This profoundly complex aromatic profile had us confident that we were about to depart on an equally impressive journey on the palate. Sadly, this Pinot Grigio simply did not deliver on the palate. We found the wine to be linear and dominated by tart, energetic lemon and peach flavors. 

What the wine did offer on the palate, it did so quite well, but it paled in comparison to our aroma influenced expectations.  We at Kats disagree with Wine Review's 94 point score. This wine may certainly be a 94 on the nose, but with its linear palette, we feel that a 90 would be more appropriate.

That in mind, this wine does have a place. For warm days on the patio or for those who truly enjoy dissecting the complexity of a wine's aromas and want an energetic, refreshing palate, the  2014 Firesteed Pinot Grigio may still be a fair shake at $16.98.

- Andrew Dunaway, Jimm Brumley, and Tasho Katsaboulas