Friday, January 30, 2009


Red Lion, Green Lion. For some oddball reason I want to think about Mission:Impossible, the first movie with Tom Cruise, with the chewing gum that is colored red and green, and when you press the two together - KABOOM! Tom Cruise says, "Red Light! Green Light!"

So with that murky intro, I had the opportunity to finally try the Green Lion Merlot 2006, which has been a heavily requested wine here in KY - Ohio seems to have it in regular supply. Also, I just tried the Red Lion Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. These two high-octane reds are part of the Grateful Palate's foray into California wines. For those of you familiar with the Grateful Palate, you'll recognize them as being huge purveyors of some of the most dynamic Australian wines to hit the market in the past decade or so, and that they are big-time Parker darlings - Marquis Philips, Paringa, etc.

I went ahead and fired up the Green Lion Merlot 2006 first, which carries with it a Napa Valley appellation. The Grade: OUTSTANDING. The Mojo: Showing off classic cassis and black cherry notes in the nose, with hints of raspberry and milk chocolate carrying into the flavors. Good tannic structure with balanced acidity, this wine is pretty nice for the price ($12.99). All in all, a good value for Napa Merlot.

Then I tried the Red Lion Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 from California. The Grade: OUTSTANDING. The Mojo: From Napa and Lake Counties, this blend of 85% Cab, 13% Syrah and 2% Petite Sirah gives you black cherries, spice box and cassis notes gushing forth in both the aromas and flavors. Hints of cedar, black currant, mocha and black coffee notes intermingle within the well-nuanced tannins. The finish is long and satisfying and for the price - $13.49 - this is an impressive effort.

Next, I'll check out 2 new releases from R Wines - the Permutations Pinot Noir 2008 and the Luchador Shiraz 2007.

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