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Yi-Wen's Wine List
A record of Yi-Wen Jiang's encounters with fine wines from all over the world.

Yi-Wen's Rating:
10/10
 

TOSATSURU SAKE,Daiginjo-Genshu

Winery Location: YASUDA, KOCHI, JAPAN
Vintage:

This TOSATSURU Daiginjo-Genshu "Tenpyo" has became one of my most treasured Japanese Rice Wine ever since our first Japan tour in 1996. It's simply a piece of art by the Sake Master "Toji". The best Yamada-nishiki rice is the most suitable type for making quality sake, The polished rice is combined with special Ginjo yeast & clean cold spring water. The result of these combination is this magnificent Japanese Sake. I was almost overwhelmed by it's powerful fragrance, it seems the whole room was filled with it's pleasant flowery and fruity scent, and it never fades away. Rich and full in flavor. Clean and dry, with a smooth acidity. Best served cold with fresh Sashimi or simply drunk alone. It should be stored in a cool, dark place and drunk fairly soon after opening. TOSATSURU Daiginjo-Genshu "Tenpyo" has won more than 30 gold medals from all Japan Sake Competitions. Today, it's even served in the world famous restaurant "Fauchon" in Paris.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
8/10
 

Concannon, Selected Vineyards Chardonnay

Winery Location: Livermore, CA
Vintage: 2003

After the discovery of the famous Concannon Central Coast Petite Sirah, I had to explore more of their other wines. So I came back to the same local liquor store got a bottle of 2003 Chardonnay. Not as overwhelmed as the Petite Sirah, but again for $8.99, it's a keeper. The wine has a wonderful aroma of citrus, apricot, and toasty vanilla oak on the nose. Tropical fruit and oak flavors give this versatile, medium-bodied Chardonnay a smooth and crisp finish. Very approachable and elegant, a good match with any seafood. I prefer linguini with little neck clam or steamed blue crab.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
10/10
 

Concannon Central Coast Petite Sirah

Winery Location: Livermore, CA
Vintage: 2002

I couldn't believe what I had discovered when I first poured, the color of this Petite Sirah is dark as ink. It exhibits full soft tannins and primary fruit flavors of cherry, dark berry and blueberry. Secondary flavors of chocolate, black currant and cassis are complex with hints of toast and oak. It's a big full bodied wine, so be sure to open it 3 hours before you consume it. Enjoy it with meat and heavier red sauce. Now, the even better news for all of you love heavy-duties. This incredible Petite Sirah should worth more then $40, but if you act fast it can be yours for under $15. I bought 3 cases at $8.99 per bottle at the local liquor store, and the manager raised the price to $10.99 next day. So hurry up!.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
9/10
 

SIMI Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery Location: Alexander Valley , CA
Vintage: 2002

One of my all time favorite Cabs!! Dense red and almost purple in color. The wine has oak, dried herbs and vanilla in the nose. The Intense flavor of cassis, blackberry with full, ripe tannins provide this wine with great length and power. It's just absolutly outstanding! If you haven't tried it, please do so. Believe me, you will want more after your first sip. 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Syrah, 3% Petite Syrah, 1% Malbec.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
8/10
 

Penfolds, Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre

Winery Location: Barossa Valley, Australia
Vintage: 2001

This wine is delicious! Bright plun color, medium-bodied , intense spice and floral aramas, with softened tannins. Long lingering flavor of ripe fruits (wild berries). Perfect with pasta, pizza or veal. Drink it now.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
10/10
 

Rodney Strong, Alexander's Crown Cab

Winery Location: Alexander Valley, CA
Vintage: 2001

One of my top picks. Dark ruby color, full bodied, with seductive aromas of dark chocolate, licorice and jammy currant. Out standing ripeness and sweetness of Dark fruit. This is a well-balanced, delicious and generously flavored wine. Enjoy now, but not for everyday!

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
9/10
 

CLOUDY BAY CHARDONNAY

Winery Location: Marlborough, New Zealand
Vintage: 2000

My first white wine on the list. This New Zealand Chardonnay has became one of my most loved whites ever since our first Australia and New Zealand tour in 1996,where I had a bottle of this fine wine at the Nelson?s best known waterfront restaurant "Boat Shed caf?" (http:// www.boatshedcafe.co.nz/)with a dozen of Bluff Oyster and Tasman Bay Crab. I love this wine!! Smooth, a clear, bright gold color, fresh on the nose with notes of Apple , melon and grapefruit characteristics. . Dry and full- bodied. Excellent with any shell fish dish.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
8/10
 

Rocca dei mori Copertino

Winery Location: Copertino, Italy
Vintage: 2000

Big, robust and rich ripe fruit from the ancient hillsides of Southern Italy. The 2000 vintage is a full bodied, beautiful deep ruby/purple in color. A bouquet of jammy black fruits, cassis, plum, currant and melted licorice. Big juicy fruit tannins, lush black cherry and dark berry combine with notes of asphalt to create a smooth and well balanced mouth-feel. A beautiful blend of primarily Negroamaro with Malvasia, Montepulciano and Sangiovese. There is no hint of oak in this silky, impressive red. Excellent ageability, get a few cases now!!!

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
9/10
 

Chateau Garraud

Winery Location: Grand Vin De Bordeaux, France
Vintage: 2000

(paum ma rawl) Pomerol, located on the Right Bank of the Gironde, is the smallest of the fine-wine-producing district of Bordeaux. The wines of Pomerol are lush and rich, and generally not as tannic as the Cabernet-based wines of the Left Bank. This elegant young Merlot-based Bordeaux shows a ruby color with rich aromas of black cherries, vanilla, plum flavors, ripe tannins along with spice and a little tobacco wash over the palate. Perfect with filet mignon or sauteed breast of duck. Excellent Value!!!

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
7/10
 

Osborne Solaz

Winery Location: Tierra de Castilla, Spain
Vintage: 2000

A very balanced wine of deep red color, ripe berry fruit flavors, and nose of cherry and spicy wood. Medium to Full-bodied, firm tannin with fresh acidity. 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. An exceptional value at $7.99. It's a great food wine made in the traditional style of Rioja by one of the oldest and most prestigious winemaking familes in Spain.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
8/10
 

Chateau Hauchat Fronsac

Winery Location: Grand Vin De Bordeaux, France
Vintage: 2000

Fronsac(frawn sak). This appellation, centered around the town of Fronsac on the Dordogne River northwest of Saint-Emilion produces only red wines. Cabernet Franc is the dominant grape with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot used for blending purposes. A rich fine full bodied wine. Darkly colored with excellent tannins and a well balanced finish and a superb bouquet. 86% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc. 12.5% vol. Aged in new oak 18 months. I had this wine with arugla salad, duck liver pate, and smoked duck drums. A fantastic combination!

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
7/10
 

Rabbit Ridge Merlot

Winery Location: Paso Robles, CA
Vintage: 2000

A full-bodied wine good pair with all kinds of meat, poultry and pasta dishes. Showing flavors of black cherry and cassis, combined with soft,understated oak. Always a good value, and a unique bottle with a special relationship to the quartet.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
9/10
 

BALLANTRAE Wine Merchants Shiraz

Winery Location: Barrossa Valley, Australia
Vintage: 2000

BALLANTRAE(BAH-Lin-TRAY). This Shiraz is big, robust and Full-bodied. Deep ruby red color, instense aromas of lush blackberry and plum. A velvety texture and fine tannins give this wine excellent balance and a long, delicious finish. Pairs wonderfully with lamb chop and short rib.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
8/10
 

Chateau VAL JOANIS

Winery Location: Cotes du Luberon, France
Vintage: 1999

I love this wine!! Smooth, a deep ruby/purple color, fresh on the nose with notes of blackcurrent and red fruites. Peppery, very ripe and smoky. Match nicely with full-flavored red meats. The value is unblievable, $8.99. Get a few cases while you still can!!!

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
9/10
 

Benotto,

Winery Location: Balau, Italy
Vintage: 1999

Wow!! What a delicious wine! Brilliant ruby red color, and offers rip cherry explosive fruit on the attack, yet develops a complexity with the oak flavors on the finish. Full body, persistent and powerful bouquet, dry and robust taste. 14.5% vol. Balau vineyard positioned on the steep, south-facing slopes in Costigliole d'Asti. This is a wine to savor, to think about and to come back to again and again. Serve with tomato-based dishes, veal, beef and game.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
8/10
 

Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

Winery Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Vintage: 1999

This wine is really wonderful, medium body, and well balanced, with a beautiful ruby color. It is too bad that we had to travel to Santa Barbara to buy a case, but hopefully they will start exporting to the east coast soon.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
10/10
 

Penfolds, Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz Blend

Winery Location: Australia
Vintage: 1998

This robust and generously flavored Shiraz is one of my all time favorites!! It took its name from the famous Kalimna Vineyard, purchased by Penfolds in 1945. The nose displays intense flavors of dark and berry fruits--plum, raspberry and cherry, while the full-bodied palate gives concentrated flavors of berry, dried fig, dates, chocolate and spice nuances leading to a long and savory finish. Bin 28 offering excellent medium to long-term cellaring potential. A superb match for Beef and Lamb.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
8/10
 

Chateau Canevault Fronsac

Winery Location: Grand Vin de Bordeaux, France
Vintage: 1998

The Chateau Canevault has a deep ruby red color, and distinctive scents of ripe fruit and black currants on the nose, come together with fine tannins in this big, full-flavored red. 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Try it with beef tenderloin or hearty cheese.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
10/10
 

Chateau-Giscours

Winery Location: Margaux, France
Vintage: 1998

This wine is seductive, with a good dark color, rich, dense and very smooth. Full of dark fruit and spicy oak flavor, fine tannins with a silky velvet texture. It's simply elegant. Enjoy it now or in the next 10 years.

 

Yi-Wen's Rating:
9/10
 

Monthaven California Syrah

Winery Location: St. Helena, CA
Vintage: 1996

One of the best syrahs I have ever had, especially for the price. For $5.99 per bottle, I should have bought 20 cases. Dying for more...!