Review: 2010 Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz

Chateau Tanunda, “Icon of the Barossa,” doesn’t look like your typical Australian wine. For starters, there are no animals on the label. Rather, there’s a line-art drawing of a chateau. Very French. The wines, however, are pure Australia through and through. While the winery says its inspiration lies in Europe, its fruit is out there…

Read More about Review: 2010 Chateau Tanunda Grand Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz

Review: 2011 Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio and 2010 Banfi Belnero Red Blend

Here are two new affordable, but surprisingly high-quality wines from Banfi. Thoughts follow, as always. 2011 Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio Toscana – An exceedingly drinkable Pinot Grigio. Lightly tropical nose. On the body, modest acidity, then lots of fruit. Peaches, some mango, and interesting nougat and biscuit notes on the finish — like shortbread…

Read More about Review: 2011 Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio and 2010 Banfi Belnero Red Blend

Review: Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum

The budget alternative to Captain Morgan (to which it is 2nd in spiced rum market share), Admiral Nelson’s Rum is also named after a real person. In this case it’s a good guy instead of a pirate, the famous British Admiral Horatio Nelson. Until 2011, Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum was produced by Luxco, a smaller…

Read More about Review: Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum

Review: UV Candy Bar and Salty Watermelon Vodka

The insanity of increasingly unlikely and unnatural vodka flavors continues courtesy of UV, which brings us these new offerings: Candy Bar and Salty Waltermelon. Thoughts follow. Both are 60 proof. UV Candy Bar Vodka – OK, it’s a candy bar, we get it. But which one? A Caramello doesn’t taste anything like a Payday. “Candy…

Read More about Review: UV Candy Bar and Salty Watermelon Vodka

Review: Powers John’s Lane Irish Whiskey 12 Years Old

Powers got its start as a single pot still whiskey, but in more recent years its become a simpler blend of pot still spirit and grain whiskey. It’s understandable: Powers is the most popular whiskey in its homeland of Ireland, so they have to make a lot of it. Now Powers is bringing a pure,…

Read More about Review: Powers John’s Lane Irish Whiskey 12 Years Old

Review: 2010 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon Lodi

Noble Vines uses cryptic numerology to name its wines… but savvy wine drinkers will recognize these three-digit numbers as grape clone varieties, 337 being a French vine stock from Bordeaux. Transplanted to Lodi, Noble Vines puts 337 to good use. It’s a very food-friendly wine, big raspberry and blackberry on the nose, with a dusting…

Read More about Review: 2010 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon Lodi

Review: Butterfly Absinthe

Based in Switzerland, Alan Moss is the kind of guy who lives and breathes absinthe. He writes about absinthe prodigiously on his blog, and he also makes the stuff (well, his partners do): La Clandestine is easily the best blanche absinthe on the market. Moss has other tricks up his sleeve, it seems, and recently…

Read More about Review: Butterfly Absinthe

Tasting Report: Darioush and Beaulieu Vineyard of Napa Valley, 2013

A recent day trip took me to Napa, where I took the opportunity to visit two of the region’s premier winemakers and see how they’re latest releases were coming along. Darioush and BV were both incredibly welcoming to the Drinkhacker crew. Thoughts on the current releases being poured follow. 2011 Darioush Signature Chardonay / $43…

Read More about Tasting Report: Darioush and Beaulieu Vineyard of Napa Valley, 2013