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Monthly Archive for February, 2010

Layer Cake Wines

layer cake wines

A trio of great wines for a nice price. I usually try to stay within the under $10 range per bottle… more these days given the crappy economic situation we’re in. I decided to splurge a little especially since I found these wines on sale. I’ve tasted each one now and they were definitely worth the few dollars more!  Here’s what Robert Parker had to say about them:

“First and foremost, there are three great value wines I tasted which didn’t make it into the recently released “Parker’s Wine Bargains: The World’s Best Wine Values Under $25.00,” published by Simon and Schuster in November, 2009. They come from the proprietor of Hundred Acre Vineyard in Napa, Jayson Woodbridge. Of course, his Hundred Acres wines sell for well in excess of $200 and get great reviews from me, but the Hundred Acre Cabernets are very limited in its production. Woodbridge’s desire is to produce a $15 wine that tastes like a $50+ wine, and as hard as it might be to believe, he seems to have come very close to succeeding with the following three efforts, all called “Layer Cake.” They are all screw-cap finished, so there will never be a cork issue, and there are about 20,000 cases of each one of them. They all sell at the remarkable price of $15 a bottle. With the glut of high-quality grapes available in California, Woodbridge also produces a Cabernet Sauvignon from the North Coast, and if it is as good as these three wines and priced the same, it will be another fabulous value.” -Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

2007 Layer Cake Primitivo IGT
(Italy, Puglia)

 “The most rustic of these three wines, with lots of pepper, roasted herbs, meat juices, charcoal, and scorched earth, this spicy wine has an inky ruby/purple color and lots of body. It comes across like a rustic Zinfandel, but with loads of character and personality, displaying an almost savage intensity to its flavors. This is a wild, adventuresome wine that should drink nicely for several years. Bring on the pizza! ” -Rated 89/100 Robert Parker 

2008 Layer Cake Shiraz
(South Australia)

“This was not an easy vintage in Australia, but you would never know it from this wine. As one expects from any South Australian Shiraz, it has oodles of fruit, a big, thick, juicy mouthfeel, velvety tannins, and lots of crème de cassis, blackberry, peppery, and tarlike notes in a deep, full-bodied, lush style that should drink nicely for 3-4 years as well.” -Rated 90/100 Robert Parker

2008 Layer Cake Malbec
(Argentina, Mendoza)

“Dense purple-colored with notes of blackberry, earth, roasted meats, and a hint of barbecue spice, this wine exhibits great fruit, delicious, full-bodied texture, silky tannins, and a long finish. It does taste more like a $30-50 bottle of Malbec than one that can be purchased for $15. It should drink nicely for at least 2-3 years.” -Rated 91/100 Robert Parker



A votre sante’!



Basic Sourdough Bread

Wintertime is a great time for baking because it warms up the house and makes it smell oh so good too! I reawakened my sourdough starter not long ago. This got me itching to try a new bread recipe, so I pulled out my favorite bread cookbook, Peter Reinhart’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread” to try his recipe for basic sourdough. This bread takes 2 to 3 days to make (3 days if you don’t already have starter in your fridge), but what great results! I will definitely make this bread again despite how long it takes to get the finished product. The sourdough taste was perfect, the crust was crunchy (just the way I like it) and the crumb was light and airy. It looked so appetizing while I was taking the photos that I rewarded myself w/ a slice when I was done and I’m longing for more already! Take the time to make this recipe, I promise you won’t regret it!!

 I followed the recipe exactly, however I didn’t refrigerate my starter overnight after refreshing it, which is supposed to deepen the flavor (by skipping this I cut 1/2 day from the recipe). I also made one large loaf instead of 2 smaller ones. The recipe is a long one, and since I’m a slow typist I decided to just add a link to the recipe here.

sourdough bread8

sourdough bread7

  Try it, you’ll like it!