October Wines

November 1, 2017 (updated June 2018)

Richard Moore

Wine of the Month

This month had many 5 star wines, that could easily be the wine of the month. I am selecting the first wine we tried this month because it was such a surprise and an amazing wine at a low price.


Domaine de Dionysos 'La Deveze' Cotes du Rhone 2013 (12.99 WTSO)

Wow, what an amazing wine and surprise for a random pick from my French section of the basement cellar. The aroma is wonderful. The white pepper in the mouth is perfect providing a nice level of spiciness. Tasting notes: “The 2013 'La Devèze' offers a lovely mix of red plum and raspberries along with spices, fresh lavender, white pepper and a touch of licorice. The soft, round tannins make for a seamless texture and wonderful silky mouthfeel through the finish” The tasting notes are right on target and this is a wine that I would definitely pick up more bottles of.


Opolo 2015 Mountain Zinfandel (24.65 Opolo wine club)

I received this as part of our wine club shipment last January and I decided to let it sit for a while in our basement wine cellar. Recently, Opolo has been getting good reviews and awards for this vintage so I thought it would be nice to try a bottle. This is a winner! Previous vintages of the Mountain Zinfandel have been very big and bold, very much in your face. My review of the 2014 vintage will give you an idea of how big and bold it was. This vintage is a bit more constrained and it works really well. There is a nice bit of jam combined with spice and a long finish that make this wine one of my favorite Zinfandels. I would rank it with the Vina Robles Estate Zinfandel as my number one Zinfandel. Tasting notes: “an aggressively fruity, dark, rich wine.  Jammy aromas of raspberry and plum are balanced by floral lavender and violet.  A lush, round mouth of plum and cherry flavors lead to a finish that is long and satisfying. ” I would only disagree with the cherry flavor, as the raspberry from the aroma continues nicely into the tasting. As you can tell I really like this wine and will be picking up more bottles. Looks like Total Wine has Mountain Zinfandel for $21.99, but I am not sure what vintage.


The Waxed Bat 2015 (13.99 Wall Street Journal Wine Club)

An unusual mixture of grapes that come together for amazing flavor. The aroma is wonderful and that continues into the mouth with nice jam and fruitiness coupled with a good solid finish. Tasting notes: “Expect a deep, dark glassful, starting with aromas of lush blackberry and notes of violet, smoke, pepper and licorice. On the palate, you’ll find layers of rich black fruit flavor and oaky complexity. Look for that trademark long, smooth finish.” I think the notes are right on target and describe the wine perfectly. I am a big fan of winemaker Opi Sadler, as he seems to create amazing wines out of unusual combinations of grape. I am really disappointed to find out that this was my last bottle of this wine in my cellar and I am looking to correct that problem in a couple of weeks when I return from vacation. At $13.99 this wine is a great buy for how it drinks, sadly this wine is not available on the WSJ wine club website but the 2016 vintage is!


Opolo 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon ($32 Opolo Wine Club)

This month is on a roll! This Cabernet started out a bit disappointingly after a wonderful bottle opening amora, but with time this wine opened up amazingly so give it an hour or so of air time. Tasting notes: “Crafted from our estate vineyards Opolo’s Cabernet Sauvignon begins with rich aromas of red currant, cardamom and mint. Well integrated tannins wrap around a core of cherry, blackberry, toasted almonds and vanilla. Lusciously full bodied with a long lingering finish.” The taste part of the notes are right on target, the aroma is nice but unusual and I had problems picking out the smells. I am not familiar with red currant, cardamom so maybe that is what I am smelling. The finish is big and mouth drying. This is wine I would get more of if I could but Opolo is not offering it and an online search brings up nothing. Guess I will just enjoy the rest of this last bottle.


Ross Andrew Signature Series Red Mountain Reserve Cabernet 2014  (22.99 WTSO)

I have been a big fan of the Ross Andrew’s Cabernets and have ordered many bottles of their 2013 Red Mountain Reserve which I would rate a 5 star if I had any left. This vintage is another fine wine that comes in a bit under the 5 star mark for me. Tasting notes: “Dark red with a solid black core. Intense dark fruit aromatics are bolstered by red currant, fresh cedar and a hint of spice. A beautiful wine with a balanced, rich Red Mountain palate. As it opens, the wine takes on the savory side of Cabernet Sauvignon: earthy black olive, mineral and liquid iron, exuding a long finish and a rich mouthfeel.” Overall a pretty good description of the wine, I am not picking up the black olive which is a good thing for me as I am not a fan of olives. I feel this Cabernet is a bit fruitier and has less oakiness than the 2013 vintage, and that is why I rate it a high four star versus a five star wine. Given that, I would pick up some more bottles if WTSO offers it.

June 2018 update: I seems that some time in the cellar has moved this to a 5 star wine and I will be definitely picking some up next time WTSO offers it in the fall.


Concannon 2014 Mother Vine Cabernet Sauvignon  ($31.50 Concannon wine club)

This is the last bottle of the 3 pack I got in a wine club special for Cabernet month, and it seems I saved the best for last! This is a wonderful Cabernet, from the aroma to the mouth. Tasting notes: “Deep garnet in color with bright reflections. Aromas of ripe berries, cassis, plum and dark cherry, followed by light...” What there is of the tasting notes is right on. Wish there was some way to get the … part. The aroma is incredible and in the mouth it is almost velvety in texture. The aroma continues into the mouth with fruitiness, a bit of spice, and a nice long finish that is not overly oaky. All in all this is a very nice wine that I will pick up some more bottles of from Concannon since you can only order this from them.


Boneshaker 2014 Lodi Zinfandel  ($39 Alexander's Restaurant Hilton Head SC)

Continuing reviews of wines we enjoy at restaurants the Boneshaker Zinfandel is an amazing find. It has some jam up front that quickly is replaced by a wonderful spiciness and decently long finish. We both loved this wine and it held up well over an almost 2 hour dinner. Tasting notes: “Brick red and deep purple in the glass, with enticing aromatics of dried plums, black cherry jam, and a hint of vanilla incense. One sip unveils flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, and licorice. Smooth on the finish with bracing tannins and lingering notes of blueberry and spice.” We did not pick up any licorice and noticed that on the bottle it mentions blackberry, dark chocolate and vanilla. When we read that on the bottle at the restaurant we both said “yeah that is it”. Maybe a topo on the winery website. Also I did not pick up any blueberry but plenty of spice. Looks like you can get this wine for $14 online from many vendors (19.99 from winery). At this price this is quite the buy and I will be buying some when we get home. June 2018 note: I am getting it for $14.99 on wine.com


Finca la Emperatriz Crianza Rioja 2013  (13.99 WTSO)

This is a very good wine, almost 5 stars. Amazingly bright and fruity with a very substantial dry long finish. Tasting notes: “Deep, cherry colour, clear and brilliant. Intense nose of red fruits (strawberries and cherries) and other black berries, with floral hints and fine toasted notes. On the palate, it is deep and complex, with fruity, floral, and mineral notes, refined tannins, and a long spicy finish.” I would agree with the tasting notes except that I would not say “refined” tannins as they are pretty aggressive and in your face. This is a wonderfully complex wine with many facets that work very well together. At $14 it is a definite repeat buy. If you do not like a mouth drying finish, I would suggest not buying this wine.

Until next month, happy tasting and drinking.


      Wow, knock my socks off good. A wine to stock up on.

     A very good wine, also a wine to stock up on.

     A good average wine that is very drinkable, one that I might buy


    An okay wine, one I can drink but would not run out to buy any of.

    Not worth really drinking, most likely poured out.

Copyright 2017-2018, Richard J. Moore

keywords: Wine,Wine Tasting, Wine Reviews

description: New wines tasting notes for October of 2017