As I was getting ready to sit down and write this column it occurred to me that, with the Easter Seals Winter Wine Spectacular just behind us, if I were to write about five wines presented at that event each week in the column, I would not even be close to finished by next January's tasting.
This won't be a year-long project, but nonetheless I thought I would continue with more of the wines, all of which were presented for a very good cause.
Banshee 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, Calif., 14.2% alcohol by volume. Yes there is a banshee on the label and at the top of the cork as you get ready to open it. It's dark purple in the glass with a light pink rim, the nose is clean and of medium intensity, slowly developing with aromas of black fruit including blackberry and bramble, as well as some hints of dried fruit. The palate is dry, with medium acidity and tannin. The alcohol as well balanced. Its body is a bit less than medium and the flavor intensity is medium with flavors of blackberry, herbal, bramble fruit, some hints of black currant and some dried fruit, in the fig ballpark. Medium finish. 86 points.
Groth 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley, Calif., 14.5% ABV. Dark purple core, deep intensity, thin legs with fat tears, and a pleasing nose of black fruit. It is slowly developing with some graphite hints in the nose's background. The palate is dry, as a good Cabernet should be, with medium acidity and noticeable tannin coating the inside of your mouth and your teeth, medium alcohol that is well integrated medium body and medium flavor intensity of black fruit and herbal notes. Medium length finish. Good quality, right to drink now, and an excellent wine for pairing with foods including red meat, heavy stews. 87 points
And for all the beer lovers among us, here are a few new selections found recently at Bert's Better Beers in Hooksett:
Baxter Brewing Company Stowaway IPA, 12-ounce can, 6.9% ABV. From the Maine brewery, an IPA with a large head, frothy in character, lasting, over cloudy beer of medium-plus malt intensity with the nose of caramel, cereal and toast, it's a medium hops remarkable for grapefruit, some lemon pine and herbal hints. Dry on the palate with medium-plus bitterness (69 IBUs, a.k.a. international bitterness units), medium-plus acidity, medium tannin and alcohol that is well integrated. Medium body and medium-plus flavor intensity reflecting the nose with flavors of cereal and toast, grapefruit coming to the fore though within the context of a malt overall profile. The bitterness stays right through to the finish, and if you are a fan of that kind of bitter, this is certainly a beer for you.
White Peaks IPA, 603 Brewery, Londonderry. 6.6% ABV. From a local brewery, large head frothy and lasting. Amber-colored beer, with some yeast left in the bottle for some further fermentation. The hops weigh in more heavily than the malt in this beer with a citrus/orange type palate as well as some background green. The palate is off-dry with medium bitterness, acidity and carbonation. The alcohol here also is well-integrated with medium body and texture. The flavor intensity is good with hops, malt and some vegetal background notes. Very good quality with balance, length and intensity.
Founders Brewing Imperial Stout, 10.5% ABV. Dark brown, average-sized frothy head over black beer. Heavy duty malt with some hops hiding behind it. Aromas of bread, molasses, straw and caramel, with medium bitterness, alcohol that's just a little bit on the warm side at 10.5%, medium-plus body that is silky/creamy in texture, very pleasing, and medium-plus flavor intensity where malt again predominates. Long finish, very good quality.
Contact local beer and wine writer Jim Beauregard at email@example.com.