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Reviews for 2014

May 2014 - 2014 Midwest Wine Challenge

May 2014 - 2014 Midwest Wine Challenge
This month's Wine feature is 2013 Midwest Wine Challenge
Wines

2014 Midwest Wine Challenge Reviews

Schade Creek 2013 "Creme de la Creme Blanc" Iowa
94 points
$12
Best Buy
Pale platinum straw color. Floral aromas suggest pears in sauce, peaches in cream, and banana blossoms with a silky, fruity light-to-medium body and a tangy lime sorbet finish. Very refreshing and satisfying.
Awards: Best Iowa White Wine
94 points $12 Best Buy
Calico Skies 2012  Frontenac
93 points
$18.95
Best Buy
Garnet violet color. Aromas of raspberry tart and choke cherry jam with a silky, tart medium body and a pure, melon, marinated beet, toffee, and earth accented finish. A flavorful, well-balanced and savory choice for bbq or even roasted beet salads. Very impressive.
Awards: 2014 Best Iowa Red Wine
93 points $18.95 Best Buy
Illinois Sparkling Co. 2011 "Frankens" Brut Illinois
93 points
$32
Brassy golden pink color. Aromas of berries and French toast with a crisp, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a mouthwatering lime, watermelon, nectarine, and mineral accented finish. Great zesty flavors and structure reminiscent of a fine blanc de noir Champagne.
Awards: 2014 Best Illinois Sparkling Wine
Illinois Sparkling Co. 2012 "Dollface Rosè" Illinois
92 points
$32
Scarlet amber color. Aromas of berries and cherries in cream and almond nougat with fruity light-to-medium body and a tangy, ripe blood orange finish. A zesty choice for sipping or spicy foods.
Botham 2012 "Finis" American
91 points
$9
Best Buy
Platinum straw color. Interesting aromas of blooming pine forest, yellow apple, and honeyed papaya with a soft, fruity light-to-medium body and a tangy, orange-lemon sorbet, melon, and nutskin finish with grippy fruit tannins. A deliciously satisfying sipper or try with scallops.
Awards: 2014 Best Wisconsin White Wine
91 points $9 Best Buy
Calico Skies 2012 Cranberry American
91 points
$17
Best Buy
Pale ruby pink color. Dramatic aromas of fresh and baked cranberries, honeycomb, and citrus zest with a tangy, medium body and a zesty, pure, and nicely balanced, spicy, earthy finish. A spot on fruit wine that is not too sweet and would be a good foil for Asian pork and beef dishes. Cocktail options abound too.
Awards: 2014 Best Iowa Dessert Wine
91 points $17 Best Buy
Illinois Sparkling Co. 2011 "Stereo" Sparkling Blend Illinois
91 points
$32
Silvery straw color with a white mousse. Aromas of nectarine, apple crisp, and cream with a crisp, fruity medium body and a tangy vanilla nougat and Meyer lemon accented finish. A mouthwatering, fruity sparkler.
Easley NV "Jubilee" American
90 points
$8.99
Best Buy
Pale ruby color. Aromas of blueberries, mulberries, melon rind, cornichon, and aloe with a fruity sweet medium body and a honeyed raisin, molasses cookie, and mint finish. A nicely layered dessert wine to go with blue cheeses.
Awards: 2014 Best Indiana Dessert Wine
90 points $8.99 Best Buy
Train Wreck Winery 2012 "Orphan Train" Iowa
90 points
$13.95
Best Buy
Copper salmon pink color. Aromas of warm apricot compote and buttery pralines with a silky, fruity medium-to-full body and a tangy sour cherry and blood orange accented finish. A delicious, appetizing rosé that dances to its own beat.
Awards: 2014 Best Iowa Rosé Wine
90 points $13.95 Best Buy
Strother Ridge 2012  Chardonel
90 points
$15
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Aromas of sweet apples, vanilla cream, and praline with a fruity, medium body and a tangy, earthy, pineapple, banana leaf, and lemon gelato finish. Very tasty and great integration of fruit and oak.
Awards: 2014 Best Missouri White Wine
90 points $15 Best Buy
Strother Ridge 2013  Vidal Blanc
89 points
$13
Best Buy
Pale straw color. Attractive aromas of Key lime pie and peach yogurt with a silky, fruity sweet medium body and a tangy tangerine, melon, and earth finish. A nice sipper or serve with spicy grilled shrimp.
89 points $13 Best Buy
Train Wreck Winery 2012 "Caboose" Iowa
89 points
$13.95
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Attractive aromas of banana-nut bread, honeyed dried stone fruits, toasted meringue with a silky, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a tangy white grape juice, apple sauce and pear tart finish. Very tasty and will be great with ice cream.
89 points $13.95 Best Buy
Schade Creek 2013 "Creme de la Creme Rogue" Iowa
89 points
$15
Best Buy
Dull ruby color with a bronze rim. Aromas of stewed tomatoes and cherries, roasted nuts, and mocha with a silky, dryish light-to-medium body and a tangy dried strawberry, blood orange, and earth accented finish. A nicely styled table wine reminiscent of a Valpolicella Ripasso.
89 points $15 Best Buy
Calico Skies 2012  La Crescent
89 points
$16
Best Buy
Pale silver straw color. Aromas of lilac, apricot marmalade, and baklava with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tart, drying Meyer lemon and Macintosh apple skin finish. A nice dry Muscadet like wine that will be great with shellfish.
89 points $16 Best Buy
August Hill Winery NV "Ravat 51" Illinois
89 points
$20
Pale platinum straw color. Aromas of grapes on the vine, orange pith, and almond nougat with a dryish light-to-medium body and a tart lemon ice and earth finish with chewy fruit tannins. A dry, tightly-wound, Germanic-styled wine reminiscent of sylvaner that will excel at the table with seafood.
Awards: 2014 Best Illinois White Wine
Easley NV "Reggae Red" American
88 points
$7.99
Best Buy
Ruby red color. Aromas and flavors of honeyed cherries and grapes with a fruity sweet medium body and a grape soda and angel food cake finish. Simple, but very pleasant, tasty, and well made; try with fried ice cream.
88 points $7.99 Best Buy
Easley  Regal Tej Honey Wine
88 points
$8.99
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Aromas of floral talc, apple tart, and citrus zest with a soft, sweetish light body and a honey yogurt and yeasty pound cake accented finish. A solid, off-dry mead.
Awards: 2014 Best Indiana Mead
88 points $8.99 Best Buy
Easley 2012  Chambourcin
88 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Ruby color. Aromas of maple nut fudge and berry tart with a supple, dryish medium body and a tangy blackberry and creamy mocha accented finish. A rock solid chambourcin with a nice kiss of oak. Serve with a slight chill.
Awards: 2014 Best Indiana Red Wine
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
St. James 2012 "Cynthiana" Ozark Highlands
88 points
$10.99
Best Buy
Garnet purple color. Aromas of dark berries and nuts with a crisp, dryish medium body and a tart blueberry skin finish.
Awards: 2014 Best Missouri Red Wine
88 points $10.99 Best Buy
Botham 2012 "Latitude 43" American
88 points
$12
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Interesting aromas of pecan-almond nougat, honey, apple cider vinaigrette, and cake flour with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a dried pineapple, delicate spice, and herb accented finish. Quite a unique range of flavors. Try with Thai food.
88 points $12 Best Buy
Easley NV "Indiana Champagne" American
88 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of peach custard tart and apple sauce with an effervescent fruity sweet medium body and a crisp, lively finish. A simple but very pleasant off-dry sparkler.
Awards: 2014 Best Indiana Sparkling Wine
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Train Wreck Winery 2012 "Gandy Dancer" Iowa
88 points
$13.95
Best Buy
Interesting aromas of brewer’s yeast, clay, honeydew, and Asian pear are very sake-like with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tangy, sweet tangerine, green apple, and Playdoh accented cider-like finish. Flavorful, fruity, and different.
88 points $13.95 Best Buy
Calico Skies 2012 "Sun Dog" American
88 points
$14.50
Best Buy
Pale ruby color. Aromas of strawberry sauce and sour cherries with a tangy, medium body and a pure craisin and peppery spice accented finish. A nice bright table wine. Try with Thai food.
88 points $14.50 Best Buy
St. James 2013  Vignoles
88 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Floral aromas of dried apricot and peach blossoms with a silky, fruity medium body and a tart, peach-apple tart finish. A very nice sipper with great purity of fruit.
88 points $14.99 Best Buy
Strother Ridge 2013  Vignoles
88 points
$15
Best Buy
Pale golden color. Aromas of musk perfume, cling peaches, circus peanut, and honeycomb with a fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tangy green apple and clementine finish. Very nice.
88 points $15 Best Buy
Calico Skies 2012  Frontenac Gris
88 points
$16
Pale golden color. Attractive toasty aromas of freshly baked peach cobbler and grape custard with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tart clementine and chalk finish. A nicely structured sipper or table wine.
Calico Skies 2012  Traminette
88 points
$16
Golden yellow color. Aromas of yellow roses, limes, lychee and green apples with a crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a tangy finish. A nice shellfish wine.
August Hill Winery NV "Heart & Soul" Illinois
88 points
$17
Bright silvery fuchsia color. Fragrant aromas of honeyed cherries and raspberries with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a crisp, apple and lemon accented finish. A very pleasant sipper, culpable of being gulpable.
Awards: 2014 Best Illinois Rosé Wine
Calico Skies 2012 Blueberry American
88 points
$17
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of blueberry cobbler and cider with a supple, fruity medium body and a crunchy tannin finish. Nice purity and gulpabillity; try pairing with spicy bbq too.
Awards: 2014 Best Iowa Fruit Wine
Twisted Vine 2012 Cranberry Missouri
88 points
$17.61
Pale ruby color. Pure cranberry sauce aromas and flavors with a fruity light-to-medium body and a zesty spiced lime accented finish. Tasty; try with goat cheeses and champagne cocktails.
Awards: 2014 Best Missouri Fruit Wine
88 points $17.61
Strother Ridge 2012  Norton
87 points
$15
Best Buy
Dark ruby color. Aromas of floral talc, cream, and dried strawberries with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a crisp cranberry, lime, nougat, and cedar accented finish.
87 points $15 Best Buy
Botham 2012 "Big Stuff Red" American
86 points
$10
Best Buy
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of baked cherries and gingerbread with a tangy, light-to-medium body and a refreshing pomegranate-blueberry juice finish. Nice.
Awards: 2014 Best Wisconsin Red Wine
86 points $10 Best Buy
Botham 2012  Riesling
86 points
$10
Best Buy
Pale silvery straw color. Aromas of peach, lemon ice, and cream of tartar with a crisp, off-dry light body and a tangy, grape and leaf accented finish.
86 points $10 Best Buy
Schade Creek 2012 "Harlan Henry" Iowa
86 points
$15
Best Buy
Ruby color. Aromas of chocolate covered graham cracker and frosted cherry danish with a silky, fruity medium body and a honeyed nut, sour cherry, and delicate dusty cedar and spice finish.
86 points $15 Best Buy
Twisted Vine 2011 Homestead Norton
86 points
$17.91
Deep garnet black color. Aromas of berry vinaigrette, nuts, and leather with a silky, dryish medium body and a tart, cranberry and mint finish. An appetizing table wine.
86 points $17.91
Illinois Sparkling Co. 2011 "Heirloom" Sparkling Rose Illinois
86 points
$40
Pretty pale crimson amber color. Aromas of toasty honeyed berry pastry and rubber sap with a supple, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tart lemon and green apple finish. A racy, rose sparkler for the table.
August Hill Winery NV "Sweet William" Illinois
85 points
$16
Pale straw color. Aromas of toasted nuts, honeyed lemon and melon rind, and beeswax with a crisp, fruity sweet medium body and a exotic tropical fruit compote, raisin stem, and wax candy finish. Serve with cheeses.
Awards: 2014 Best Illinois Dessert Wine
Calico Skies 2012  Brianna
85 points
$16
silvery straw color. Floral potpourri and orange gelatin aromas with an off-dry light-to-medium body and a tangy white grape juice and apple skin and leaf finish. A nice off-dry sipper or salad wine.
Easley NV "Reggae White" American
84 points
$7.99
Pale platinum straw color. Aromas almond nougat, baked peach, and apple sauce with a fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a honeyed pear and nut oil accented finish.
84 points $7.99
Easley NV "Sweet Barrel Red" American
84 points
$8.99
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of honeyed toasted walnuts, baked cherries and grapes with a silky, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tangy, mellow finish.
84 points $8.99
Easley 2013  Traminette
84 points
$9.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas of pressed flowers, dolmades, balsa, and pear with a crisp, tangy, light body and a slightly dilute, subtle earthy finish.
Awards: 2014 Best Indiana White Wine
84 points $9.99
Easley 2011  Cabernet Sauvignon
84 points
$9.99
Dark ruby black color. Aromas of spicy berry pie a la mode and graham cracker with a silky, dryish medium body and a whole nut, sour cherry, chocolate mint, and earth nuanced finish.
84 points $9.99
St. James 2013 Pioneer White Ozark Highlands
84 points
$10.99
Pale straw color. Aromas of apple-pear tart with a silky, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tangy, nectarine and cream finish.
84 points $10.99
Schade Creek 2013 "Getto Fab" Iowa
84 points
$12
Pale garnet pink color. Aromas of fallen raspberries, cherry pit and moss with a crisp, tangy light-to-medium body and a tart pomegranate finish.
Schade Creek 2013 Winemakers Reserve Iowa
84 points
$15
Dusty ruby color. Interesting aromas of plums, goji berries, and crispy chicken skin with a sweet and sour light-to-medium body and a grape and earth finish.
Calico Skies 2012  Geisenheim
84 points
$16
Pale golden silver color. Aromas of mango papaya relish and grape blossoms with a soft fruity light body and a tangy grape-lemon granita and nutskin finish.
Botham 2012 "Field 3" Wisconsin
84 points
$18
Garnet violet color. Aromas of dried berries, cherries and waxy honeycomb with a tangy, dryish light-to-medium body and a cranberry, lime, and mint accented finish with papery tannins.
Illinois Sparkling Co. 2011 Sparkling Brut Illinois
84 points
$26
Pale straw. Aromas of lemon zest and rubber with a crisp, finely carbonated light body and a tart green apple core.
Easley NV "Reggae Blush" American
83 points
$7.99
Pink ruby color. Aromas of dried limes, dried mulberries and grapes, and bison grass with tangy, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tangy apple cider and wax candy finish.
83 points $7.99
Botham 2012 "Vin 10" American
83 points
$9
Aromas and flavor of lemon poppyseed muffin and waxy honeycomb with a soft, light body and slightly dilute honeydew melon rind and leafy earth finish.
Easley 2012  Chardonnay
83 points
$9.99
Pale silvery straw color. Aromas of stone fruit, yeasty soda bread, and overripe apples with a soft, dry light body and a brisk nut, melon rind, and oak finish. Try as a white sangria base.
83 points $9.99
Calico Skies 2012 "Sweet Licks" American
83 points
$12.50
Pale garnet color. Aromas of grape juice and spice cookies with a tangy, light body and a dried berry, exotic sea salt, and hint of Elmer’s glue on oak on the tannic finish. Try with flank steak.
83 points $12.50
Calico Skies 2012  Chambourcin
83 points
$18.95
Ruby color. Aromas of peppercorn, cedar, and mulberries with soft, dry light-to-medium body and a tart blackberry and bark finish.
83 points $18.95
Calico Skies 2012  Marquette
81 points
$28
Ruby color. Aroma of cherry skin, nougat, and wax with a tart dry light body and a slightly oxidized cherry vinegar, tamari, and nutshell note on the finish.
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