I Love Labs

This is simply going to be an homage to my favorite breed of dog, the Labrador Retriever.   Oh yes.  My whole being glows when thinking about them or when one crosses my path.

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Dogs are what life’s all about.  They love you, want to be your companion, and will always stand up for what’s right.  Labs, like the majority of dogs, only want the simple things back; food, water, love, shelter, and a few related things in between.  They don’t ask for much.

At the heart of it most of us human beings don’t want much more than that either.

We like to enjoy a nice meal, good company, vacations and other outings, or maybe a journey to our favorite restaurant or watering hole.   So I found the most appropriate wine that symbolizes all of this.

I adore the happily titled Lab, from Casa Santos Lima Winery out of Portugal. What I am reviewing is the 2013 Label. The 2012 is what the site lists.

Aside from Syrah, the grapes are; Tinta Roriz which for us in the states we would know as Tempranillo.   35% is Castelao, which is a grape mainly found in Portugal.   Last but certainly not least is Touriga  Nacional, which is highly touted.

For such a simple pleasure it seems like a complicated wine and I didn’t meant to write this post as so.  If I drank this blindly I wouldn’t assume this was a bottle that goes  for under $10 just about anywhere.  It drinks like a $20+  bottle and maybe approaching $50.

This is all my opinion but this wine rocks. That’s a scientific term by the way.   I love this wine so much.  I want to cuddle with it like I do my favorite dog.   The label drew me in.  I mean how could it not?

It’s going to taste better simply because of the artwork.  If it doesn’t for you then I can’t help you there.

And the wine was marvelous anyways.  I got some black cherry, some unidentifiable spices, but most of all I got joy.  This is a winner.

Just like last week, I’ve been proclaiming what a softy I am when it comes to animals, and dogs in particular.  So this is only the beginning.

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And I mean that because as you see in this photo, and linked here, labs come in all shapes and sizes.  Did you see how I framed that?  I love ’em.

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We enjoyed our vino with one of those simple things, a good slice of pizza (or two).  And it may not be the ideal pairing for these grapes but we didn’t care.  It worked for us and that’s all that matters. If it works for you then that’s exactly what I’m saying.

For our friends in Baltimore and Maryland, their wines can be found at Cranbrook Liquors and roots market, respectively.   For elsewhere, they can be contacted here.

More Lab wine reviews will be forthcoming.  This is just the beginning of an amazing journey.

On a not-so-final note, I’ve never had a dog of my own.   If there ever was a sign…

I Love Lab(s),

Ideen

Dogs Are The Best

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There’s no other way to put it.  Dogs are one of the greatest entities this universe has ever created. The fact that they’re on this planet and they want to love us for the sake of just wanting to love us is a remarkable gift.

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And when you can combine the love of dogs, create beautiful labels, and place them on wine bottles, well that’s just icing on the top.  Little Ashby of Easton, MD has merged both into one of the most memorable tasting experiences I’ve ever had.

The setting is back at The Maryland Wine Festival and this was one of the wineries I was looking forward to visit the most. I’ve never had the privilege of sampling their bottles until now.  I’ve been to a multitude of festivals and events, and either never got a chance or they were not in attendance. This was well worth the wait.

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Because the visuals of happy dogs are all ubiquitous, I was hoping these wines would taste better than usual. At worst, I was hoping they would at least taste good. They succeeded and then some.

For me, at least, when I’m in a happy place, beverages tend to go down smoother and food tastes that much better.  This was arguably the happiest I was at the festival. So how were the wines?

In short but sweet fashion, I got to taste 4. And with all the commotion of the festival, it’s plausible that was the perfect amount for any of the visiting wineries.

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I’ll go in order of the descriptions.

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The 2013 Chardonnay was so easy to drink. It was very light and deceptively going down to quickly.  I had to be careful as this event was a marathon, not a sprint. It was a beautiful day so drinking this was even that much smoother. And at $15, that’s a more than reasonable price for this bottle.  I wouldn’t actively seek it out, but then again look at that label!

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The 2011 Ashby Red was something special.  I have sung the praises of Cab Franc.  And I’ll continue to do so until the end of the time.  You merge that with Merlot and you have something very special.  The synopsis describes this was earthy.   That actually does apply here.  For me, earthy has usually tasted like pine trees or green grass.  I did get some of that here.

Maybe I let my imagination run wild.  It’s a flavor many don’t care for but I love it.  A fantastic finish to a fantastic wine.

I would pay $22 for this. Licorice?  Didn’t catch that. Oh and how about that adorable looking pup on the front? Yay!

Merlot is becoming more and more apart of my regular wine tastings and at home.  A year or so ago I would avoid this grape like the plague.  Now I appreciate it and it’s grown on me.  This one definitely had the scents and flavors of berries and chocolate.

This will be perfect for the fall and as we approach those holidays that are too soon to talk about.  $20 seems justified for this selection.

This 2011 bottle and the Ashby Red are definitely special occasion wines.  And the label had a labrador retriever on it.  How can you go wrong with that? They’re my favorite breed of dog!

I went crazy and spent an extra $1 for the Super Talbot.   This is a homegrown Maryland special.  This one had some power to it, for a medium-bodied wine.

I tend to overreact when I find a wine I love. I make this cheesy look  and I tend to sway. I may fall forward too. But I also get this grin on my face, feeling my day has been made. I could say that about this wine, along with the Merlot and Ashby Red.

Maybe it’s the sentimentality of seeing mans best bud on the front.  How can you go wrong?

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They’re the first licensed winery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and production began in the year 2000. So they’re relatively new but doing everything right.

The staff was so nice and so attentive.  The only thing left is to make a visit, which is by appointment only.

I was in Easton around December of last year and completely snoozed on visiting them.  This is just extra motivation.

They don’t have a website or any way to be contacted via social media, which is actually adding to the intrigue and mystique.  I like it.

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More from the MD Wine Festival is coming, but this visit along with last weeks post are going to be hard to top.

For more awesome dogs click here.  And for more on Eastern Shore wines, you can check this link out.

More to come!

Best,

Ideen