Neethlingshof Estate Chenin Blanc 2013

neethlingshof label

Sorry no picture of wine in a glass. It’s a beautiful golden color! But can you see how humid it was? This bottle was dripping wet after just a few minutes on the counter.

This week I wanted to try some wine from South Africa (S.A.) after tasting some in a wine class. I happened to be at a Total Wine and More store and asked a sales person if they had any Chenin Blanc from S.A. He said he couldn’t believe I was asking, because I was the fourth person in the past two hours who had the same request! Great minds think alike, right?

I read online that I should be getting fruit plus floral notes but I didn’t get that combination. What I noticed was tropical plus citrus aromas. It was medium bodied, pale gold in color, with at taste of honey. Very refreshing in a different way than sauv blanc or chardonnay.

South Africa is well known for “steen” or chenin blanc. It is the most planted varietal in the Stellenbosch wine region there. I would love to have tasted this against a chenin from the Loire Valley in France. Maybe soon though!

If you haven’t been to a Total Wine and More, it is a BIG wine and spirits shop. They have a lot of “winery direct” wines, which means they work out partnerships with wineries to distribute their wine within the Total Wine stores. So you may not find this wine anywhere but the winery or a Total Wine store. This chenin blanc was a good value at $11.99 and would go with lots of lighter dishes of seafood and chicken. Cheers!

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Cirelli 2012 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

Fun label and easy to remember! It gives an obvious clue as to the first flavor of this wine.

Fun label and easy to remember! It gives an obvious clue as to the first flavor of this wine.

What a great picnic wine this would be…light, lemony and low alcohol, plus a screw-cap! I shared this wine with my neighbors by the pool on a warm evening. Between the three of us it disappeared quite quickly, and frankly, I did not get enough!

With pale gold color and very light on the palette, it bursts with crisp lemon acidity, but so NOT tart like sauvignon blanc. So much smoother and refreshing! It’s made from the Trebbiano grape, which is the most grown white varietal in all France and Italy.

You will probably have to find this this in a wine shop. I paid about $15 at The Wine Country in Signal Hill, CA. Hope you like it, cheers!

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Hogwash 2013 California Rosé

Hogwash wine label

Very distinctive label and easy to spot on the shelf! Excellent marketing technique. The wine is paler than it appears in my picture.

Now who can resist picking up this bottle from the shelf?? Not even me, who prides themself against silly labeling. Plus I loved the pale salmon pink color of the wine, which was so much paler than my usual French rosé.

Right off, I must tell you that this is a deliciously bone dry rosé. For me, the nose included hints of lime and herbs, and on tasting, I got some strawberry and minerals. Very light, refreshing and delicious! Perfect for the summer.

This wine was made from 100% grenache, so it’s different from the usual blend of grenaches and mourvedres, and even pinot noir rosés. I purchased mine at Cost Plus World Market, and it was about $14. Hope you can find it before they run out of this yummy wine! Cheers~

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Santa Barbara Winery 2012 Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County


One of the prettiest labels in the grocery store, and easy to spot. I wonder why they picked the bird of paradise flower though?

I hadn’t had this wine for many years so I decided to try it because it was on super sale at the grocery store. I remember thinking I didn’t like their chardonnay style, so I had always been hesitant to try it.

The color was somewhat pale for a chardonnay, the color of yellow straw. This wine was a medium weight with tropical flavors of pineapple. I might even say there was  brightness to this wine, but not an excessive amount of citrus.  It had just a touch of oak which helped balance what citrus was there.

I think this would be a really great pairing with white fish, and light chicken dishes. This wine was a steal at only $11.89 price with a club card. Not sure I understand Von’s price point here though…normally priced at $16.99. Glad I opened my mind up so I could try this great value wine! Cheers!


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Villa des Anges Old Vines Rosé 2013

label for villa des anges rose

This is a beautiful label but I didn’t get close enough to do it justice.

I love the color of this wine…so pale salmon pink! And it was made from 100% Cinsault! Usually you see Rosés that are a blend of cinsault plus other varietals like syrah and grenache. Also, the grapes were from 30-40 year old vines from the Languedoc in Southern France.

Really liked this wine A LOT. Very light, one of the lighter and drier rosés I’ve had in a while. On the nose you get the typical strawberry and herbs. Upon tasting, I got a faint bit of citrus and some spice in this light-bodied wine. So refreshing and perfect for the warm weather we are having!

I purchased this at a wine shop, so that is probably where you will find it too…and only $10! A votre santé!

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Liquid Farm 2013 Rosé Mourvedre, Vogelzang Vineyard

Liquid Farm label

Happy Canyon is part of the Santa Barbara AVA. Have enjoyed many wines from this happy area!

I wrote about the 2012 vintage of this wine last summer…and said “we drank it so fast I hardly wrote any notes”. And it happened again for this vintage from 2013! Gosh it is soooo drinkable! A bit more than a value wine for me at $24 (from a wine shop), but worth every penny!

Right away you get herbs and strawberries on the nose. Taste was crisp and bone dry. Yum! Shared this with neighbors last night and barely have a glass worth left for me tonight, sigh.

This rosé is mostly Mourvedre like last year’s wine. Our California rosés are so different than the French ones. And I think this Liquid Farm elixir also seems lighter than other domestic roses made from pinot noir grapes. I seem to like all of the ones I get from Happy Canyon though! Cheers!

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