Sure, I said with a bit of trepidation.  I’d love to try your wine … and the bottle hand off occurred …. Twice.  You see I grew up tasting the wines of my Uncle Louie when I was younger.  I knew even then that wine should never, ever taste like that.  Both of these were co-workers and one of them had become a pretty good friend so I was nervous about what I was going to uncover.  It’s different when you review a bottle that you were sent and you haven’t heard personally about the blood, sweat and tears involved.  And I know both of them expected that I’d write something here. 

So, I took the easier way out and decided to involve a few friends in the process giving me a wider net for my review.  Our setting could not have been more majestic with the mountains of Vail serving as a backdrop from our hotel patio.  It turns out both of the wines stood up well. 

The wines were very different – one came from a well-known and regarded Oregon Vineyard that sources fruit for its Sangiovese and Zinfandels out of Lodi.  We tried the 08 Eola Hills Sangiovese.  It had lots of red fruits, but had a smokiness to it and would be great with BBQ.  It was a great expression of the Sangiovese variety.  I was impressed and was glad that Ryan shared the wine.

The second wine was from a group of guys who loved wine, decided to buy some grapes and make wine for fun (in addition to their paying gigs).  I have a good friendship with David Rode, whom I work with at IBS.  I wanted this wine to be good.  The label is straight out of a Greek god scene, which was developed by Rode, who is also an artist, and meant to be tongue in cheek.  The Barren Hills Cellars Burtus L Vinum I, is a super Tuscan blend.  I was pleasantly surprised and this wine got some raves.  It was spicy, yet terrior driven with a smooth finish and juicy berry flavors.   

Based on my experience with both of these wines and the fading memory of my Uncle Louie, I can tell you that next time I’d love to try your house blend.