Wild, Wild Horses

14HandsWithFunFood

It only took me two years, but I’m back giving all the support to 14 Hands Winery.  Why I forgot to write about them last year as we approach the heart of horse racing season is something I can’t explain.  Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.  But why that is I don’t know.  But here is my post from approximately this time two years ago, raving about two of my favorite wines, that I still drink when I feel like looking at artistic renditions of beautiful horses, and in the mood to sip affordable and pleasing to the palate wine.

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That Kentucky Derby Wine is just as awesome as ever, however, this time I wanted to turn my attention to a wine that I got at a bargain price of around $9 at one of those dollar over cost events a couple of months back.  Yes I said $9.  The 2014 Stampede Red Blend is one of those wines you’re going to want to drink, not just during race season, but it’s the perfect everyday wine to share with friends over some healthy (or unhealthy) appetizers, snacks, finger foods and anything else you want to call it.

I was fortunate enough to share this with friends on a gorgeous spring afternoon, with said yummy appetizers.  First and most important of all is what’s so amazing about this wine?  Well like many, I’m a lover of labels.  Even more paramount is a love for animals. Horses are one of those creatures that evokes feelings of love, caring, bonding, and friendship.  The way I wrote that would usually be reserved for the family dog or cat, but the love stays the same.  Any chance for me to promote how awesome animals are, in this, or any universe, is a welcome opportunity.

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For me the wine on its own was awesome.  It had a slight hint of oak which on this day was needed.  As the weather gets nice too much oak in a red may not fare well for some. This was just right.  And I for sure tasted a little cocoa or something resembling coffee within certain sips.    Their tasting notes mention cherry and cola, so I was kind of on the same wavelength as the experts.  But who knows.

14HandsWithFunFood

This wine paired well with some succulent and inspiring bacon wrapped scallops and good conversation.  My pals and I saw outside for a long while talking about nothing and everything all at once.  Well mostly important things.  Good wine leads to better conversations, especially with ones you care about the most.  And when the sun is shining and the weekend is only just getting going, everything aligned perfectly.

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This is a wine that went down smooth and went down easy.  Maybe too easy. It was gorgeous. I’d love a bottle right now actually.

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The blend of Syrah, Merlot, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mourvèdre is so incredible I almost forgot to write about what an incredible blend of grapes this is.  With a combination such as that you’d expect this to be bolder and heavier. Nothing could be more opposite this fell more on the lighter medium side.  But everyone’s palate and interpretation might be different.

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What I want to note is that every 14 Hands Wine I’ve sampled has meant more to me than just being a table or everyday wine.  They’ve all had a distinct presence and aura that justifies the beauty of the wine, their labels, and most important to many, the price.

I’ve seen their wines listed anywhere from $9-$15 in many a wine store I’ve visited.  And I’ll tell you as wonderful as that bargain is, I would be justified in spending upwards of $20+ on their wines.  I think what they’re charging is incredibly generous.  Their wines taste like a $20 and over to me, and I’m honored that these wines came into my life.  I don’t know remember the first time I had the privilege of sipping their wine but each time it’s created a new memory and a new reason to celebrate this journey of wine drinking.

Maybe two years was too long but this is how this thing works.  All these incredible wine’s from these equally incredible wineries always find their way of coming back into my life, usually when I’m not always looking.   If that’s the case I should relax and let ti come to me.  But however I really want to review a few more of their vintages much sooner than the alternative.  We shall see how it goes.

And for those of you wondering, their wines are easily available in wine shoppes all around my area and in different parts of the country.  To see if their inspiring and off-the-charts wines are in your area, this link should serve you well.  You can also make purchases online.  They make it so easy, here is their contact info.   Their website is so user-friendly.  My love for them continues to grow.

For more about the incredible winery itself, click here.  If I ever find myself in the state of Washington, this is a place that would be a can’t miss and I would want to visit right away.

This is an exciting time.  Races start this weekend and this is the perfect wine to add to this, and any celebration you choose.   Whatever you do, I hope your weekend and month of May and beyond is enjoyable.

14HandsCork

Happy May to you.

Ideen

 

Only The Horses

I have been waiting for over a month to write about this wine.  And the time has arrived.  The time is now. I shouldn’t be so melodramatic.  But I’m having fun here.

Over the course of this blog I’ve really tried to hit home my love for blends.  The triumvirate of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah for both wines I’m going to review are pieced together so well.

The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday, May 2nd, 2015. And on one fateful day in the end of March, I found one of the most beautiful bottles I have ever seen.   I’m sometimes dazzled by the things I attract into my life.

14HandsKentuckyDerbyBlend

The 2012 Kentucky Derby Red Blend from 14 Hands is brilliant.  After I saw the label and built such anticipation for it, I wanted to like this wine badly.  And thank goodness I do.   There is so much good about it, aside from the pretty horses. And they sure are pretty.

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There’s a lot to love about this.  When I opened the bottled and poured my first glass, I detected some chocolate aromas from the nose.  It smelled like a full-bodied wine and the oak was permeating.  I was really looking forward to drinking it. But I let it breathe for a few minutes.

It tasted more like a medium, which was just fine by me.  It was a pleasant surprise. I could taste a little chocolate or cocoa, as the synopsis described.    There is mention of loganberries.  I have no idea what those are.  I attached a link for your edification and mine.  I like a winemaker that gets creative with the flavor hints and aromas.

But I still have no idea what loganberries are!  That’s me being humorous.  But really… I didn’t detect any plums or white pepper.  But once again, it’s all perspective and interpretation.  I’m always sensing berries and cherries in most of the reds I drink.  So that’s always been a starting point for me.  This is a fantastic wine.  I agree that it goes with more easygoing foods like pizza and burgers.

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An hour before, I had a glass of the 2012 Hot To Trot Red Blend.  This is a bottle I have had several times before, and is a seminal favorite of mine.   This is the first bottle of theirs I purchased,  and I’ve been a fan ever since.  For that alone, this will always be my favorite of theirs.   And because there’s hints of cinnamon and spices, it really complements this blend very well.  This is a well put together wine.  It’s not that it’s any better than the Kentucky Derby Blend.  It just has another aura of sentimentality, that the Derby one will also give me, if it hasn’t already.

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I enjoyed both with some grapes and walnuts.  But as the fact sheet suggests, pork, mushrooms, or other heartier dishes can work as well.  I’d say it’s a little more than a party bottle as opposed to the Derby.  So I understand their foodie recommendations.

I’ll tell you something.  These PDF’s I have linked in this post, are so user friendly and approachable.  I’ve learned so much just by reading these details.  This is so well done.

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One final note on the Kentucky Derby Blend.  You may have noticed that they are Out Of Stock though their website.  I bought this back in late March at Cranbrook Liquors of Cockeysville, MD, at their Dollar Days.  They had cases of them at the time.   I’d seen them in many shops all over the Baltimore area as of a week ago.  So you may be able to find them at your local wine store, wherever you may live.

I definitely recommend both bottles for this Saturday’s celebrations.  They may both be Red Blends, there are noticeable differences and are definitely pleasing to many palates.   The Hot To Trot can be drank all year round.   And just because the race ends Saturday, I see no reason why the Derby wine would be rendered obsolete.  It’s a great bottle as well.

I’ve had several more of their Varietals as well.   I look forward to writing about those in a future message.

Enjoy the week, enjoy the weekend, and of course, enjoy the Derby.

Take good care.

Best,

Ideen