Wine and spirit reviews in Eagle County
Extra Old may not be a desirable quality in a presidential candidate, but when it comes to brandy, age can be very good thing. The California-based distillery, Germain-Robin, knows this little fact very well. Its Select Barrel XO (which stands for Extra Old) is aged 13 years and is all the proof the ready drinker will ever need that sometimes growing old is the only way to go.They just have a beautiful, beautiful brandy, said Mickey Warner, manager of Alpine Wine and Spirits in Vail.What makes him back up this particular brandy with such high praise? You name it, Warner said. Balance, aromas. Its super smooth. Its such a finely made brandy. I just love it.Part of the reason for the Select Barrels smooth taste and fruity textures is the hand-distilling method and premium pinot noir wine used to make the brandy. The oak cognac barrels the brandys aged in adds a smoky quality to the layers of flavor.Nothing in the Select Barrels bottle is overpowering, either, including the aroma, which can be quite pungent in some brandies. Sip it slowly to pick up little hints of caramel and hazelnut flavoring. Because brandy is an after-dinner drink, the Select Barrell XO is best enjoyed after a hearty meal. Warner said the acidic content will help the digestive process, and drinking it at body temperature will help bring out the fullest flavors and aroma.You can find this spirit at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards, Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail and Avon Liquors.Charlie Owen, High Life writer
Heres a big, racy red thats not afraid to name itself appropriately. Hailing from K Vintners at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla, Wash., Boom Boom! is a jammy, highly drinkable syrah with a tangy fruit forward taste and mild acidity for a striking balance. Theres some smoke in here, as well as cherry and blueberry and hints of spice and oak, making this syrah a conversation-starting under-$20 bottle perfect for everyday table use or entertaining.Who says you have to wait for the boat from Australia to get a mouth-filling red like this? What I liked about the Boom Boom! was its forward simplicity thats backed up by a tart complexity underneath. Too often, big syrahs like this are one-note wonders, and youre bored after half a glass. But the Boom Boom! is able to keep it interesting even when paired against a spicy pepperoni pizza or a bold steak.You can find this wine at West Vail Liquor Mart, Avon Liquors and Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits.Alex Miller, Summit Daily editor
A mass market chardonnay for under $8? Ill be honest, I didnt think there was much chance at all that Id like this wine. Turns out this bottle one of Robert Mondavis value brands is a pretty darn good bottle for the price. This bottle is made from 77 percent chardonnay, with semillon, muscat and sauvignon blanc making up the other 23 percent. My advice is to let it warm up a bit. I liked the wine much more after I let my glass sit out for 20 minutes than I did drinking the wine straight out of the fridge. The lush ripe pear and apple flavors were more developed when it was just a few degrees warmer. Jarrett Osborn, the vino expert at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits said he sells very few regular sized bottles of this wine. I sell it by the case, and the large bottles, Osborn said. People love it and as they should. Its very consistent.I drank a glass of this wine alone, but I think it would likely be better with food. Try it with roasted chicken, grilled fish or a creamy cheese like brie. You can find this wine at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards, Avon Liquors, Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits, Village Warehouse Wines in Avon, West Vail Liquor Mart and Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail. Caramie Schnell, High Life editor
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