2017 Orlaida, Gil Family wines

This is a bottle, according to my best source at winestore, that far outperforms its modest price tag. He’s a huge advocate and claims to put away a case of this himself each time the store orders more. I usually select wines for different reasons but that was one of many compelling reasons that the 2017 Orlaida came home with me yesterday.

2017 Orlaida, Gil Family wines, Montsant, Spain.

2017 Orlaida, Gil Family wines, Montsant, Spain.

The 2017 Orlaida comes from the Gil Family winery in the Jumilla region of Spain. The grapes are grown more than 2,000 feet above sea level in the area of Cornudella de Montsant, where the soils are supposed to be reminiscent of pro-Priorate terroir. The wine is a blend of Garnacha and Carinena grapes, dark fruit flavors with just a hint of spice in its underpinnings. I’ve heard others talk of a vanilla note or too in the Orlaida, but here in the 2017 I don’t detect that at all. I’ll tell you that what I like about Syrah wines is what I enjoy about this Orlaida…


Mexican-spiced shrimp tacos with guac and spicy cabbage slaw.

The 2017 Orlaida accompanied Mexican-spiced shrimp tacos, with guacamole and spicy cabbage slaw. Though you’d probably offset the spices of this meal with a clean white, I generally eschew whites in favor of reds—as here. I thought the smoky flavor of the shrimp paired nicely with this Spanish red and would encourage you to do the tacos or the wine when you can. Made for a great Saturday bite and hopefully does the same for your table or family too.

Breaking out of the slump

I know, I know…it’s been quiet. Too quiet. Life has been in the way too often over the last several weeks, and I appreciate anyone who has stayed with Notes over this gap. We’ll be back with a vengeance soon enough in 2017…here’s a glimpse of some of the goodness on tap for the coming year.


California Cab, of course, and several old-world wines lining up for the coming future.

Thank you for your readership and stay tuned!

Participate in Our First Reader Survey – Notes Of Note

Notes Of Note is conducting a brief survey to gather information about your interests in wine and your readership on the topic. We will be collecting data over the following weeks and look forward to sharing the results of the survey on a future post.

Participate in the survey by clicking here – and thank you in advance for your feedback. It will take less than 5 minutes of your time.

2012 Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

The Alexander Valley I’ve “visited” on several previous occasions. Among the 30 or so vineyards of this Sonoma County AVA are Clos du Bois, Francis Ford Coppola, Rodney Strong, and Simi Winery–who produced this bold 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.

2012 Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley

2012 Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA.

Tonight this Cab accompanied black and blue bacon cheeseburgers, tossed beds of greens with mustard, and crispy crowns potatoes. The blackberry flavors, tinged with subtle inferences of spice, were a juicy accent to the burgers. The Simi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon smelled almost tart in the glass, but its actual finish was far gentler and more even than its nose suggested. My wife expressed this idea far more eloquently than I am here but, like this enjoyable bottle of red, her words were fleeting and I have lost them to time and space.

Here’s how the vineyard conveyed: “Balanced flavors of red and black fruits, smooth tannins, and soft spice give way to a velvety finish.” They used fruit from Los Amigos and Red Fan, and other Alexander Valley Vineyards (e.g., Encinos, Big River, Hoot Owl Creek, and Belle Terre) to develop the final flavors in this Cabernet, which is actually a red blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Malbec. (It’s the Malbec and Verdot that convey the spices, if you’re curious…)

Last couple things: the grapes fermented 32 days in stainless steel (on the skins) and ultimately aged 16 months in small oak barrels–releasing in June of 2014. It’s a good value for the price, and the 2012 Simi Cab should be readily available in your local wine store. I’d pick up another and recommend you do the same.