Friday, October 30, 2009

Domaine de la Louvetrie 2008 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie

Very pale straw color, some pinpoint petillance visible.

Green apple smell, some fresh-baked bread.

Granny Smith apple flavor, tart enough to make my ears ring just a bit. Especially noticeable saline character at first taste.

Excellent bottle for $12.60. I don't know why muscadet is so unfashionable, but I'll gladly take advantage. I speculate that Loire winemakers too often fail to "talk dry but sell sweet." California chardonnay-makers know that's the key to commercial success. Muscadet is dry, without a question.

This is the traditional wine to accompany oysters, but I'm enjoying it just fine with a sandwich of warm soft moderately sharp cheddar.

Some background on the wine and its maker. Some background on aging sur lie.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Foradori 2005 Teroldego Rotaliano

The little brother of Foradori Granato, from the same variety of grape.

Deep reddish purple color.

Blackberry smell, plum, prune, leather.

Berry, plum, and black cherry flavors, fruit well-balanced with acid. Develops some pleasant bitterness at the end. Juicy!

Good bottle for $24.99, another grape I've never had, nor heard of, before.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mas Belles Eaux 2005 Languedoc "les Coteaux"

A Rhone-style blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre.

Opaque purple color.

Full smell of blackberry, oak, a bit of tar.

Very fruity flavor, blackberry, cherry, peach, black pepper, alcohol warmth at the end.

Very nice bottle for $21.99, more like a fruit-forward product of a California "Rhone Ranger" than of the Rhone itself. More about power than about subtlety.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

St. Amant 2007 Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel Mohr-Fry Ranch

With 4% Petite Sirah.

Very dark purple-red color.

Smells of blackberry, leather, and oak.

Ripe black raspberry and blackberry flavor, oak, big fruit from start to finish with a lot of alcohol warmth at the end. Velvety smooth, full-bodied.

Good bottle for $19.99: watch out for that fruit-bomb, the fuse is lit!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adegas Gran Vinum 2008 Rias Baixas Albarino Esencia Divina

Extremely pale color, (perhaps) excessively petillant.

Smell of tangerine peel, melon, fresh laundry.

Refreshing tart acid dominates green apple and grapefruit flavors, light-bodied, proved a good match for a simple grilled chicken.

Fine bottle for $24.99, reinforcing my growing opinion of Spanish whites, not an area I used to consider worth my while.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Nicolas Feuillatte non-vintage Brut Reserve Particuliere

Pale straw color with vigorous small bubbles.

Sweet apple pie smell, cinnamon, hints of menthol.

Off-dry apple pie flavor, drying to a thin flavor at the end.

An adequate half-bottle for $20.80 / 375ml, technically correct wine that is lacking in excitement or conviction. I won't buy more of this.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pannonhalmi Apatsagi Pinceszet 2007 Rajnai Rizling

Bright straw color, pale as water.

Clean-laundry smell, pear and melon, the memory of diesel exhaust.

Dry apple flavor, saline, melon, river-wetted stones. Develops well through the long finish.

Good bottle for $16.50, I admit to prejudice in favor of Hungarian wine, but I don't think that too much colors my review. This is a solid expression of my favorite grape in an unfamiliar terroir.

'Rajnai Rizling' is 'Rhine Riesling'.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Paul Laurent non-vintage Brut Deluxe Champagne Cuvee des Fondateur

Pale golden/amber color, long-lasting streams of small bubbles.

Ripe peach smell, apples, hints of melons.

Peaches and apples, melons and figs. The taste of toast creeps up as the glass warms.

Excellent bottle for $29.25: I may have found a new everyday Champagne.

More than ever before, I think I get the point of 'farmer champagne': this is, first, wine. It behaves like wine before it behaves like Champagne. I greatly approve.

(Interestingly, while it's not advertised as such, the Richard Juhlin Champagne Guide says this is a Blanc de Noirs; 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier).

Update: Paul Laurent themselves say 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Graceland Cellars non-vintage California "Champagne" Brut All Shook Up

Pale golden color, big vigorous short-lived bubbles.

Bready apple smell, hint of cinnamon.

Apple and cinnamon raisin bread dough.

Adequate bottle for $15.99. I won't buy this again.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vina Robles 2007 Paso Robles Viognier Huerhuero

Medium straw color, hints of green and orange. Traces of petillance.

Smells of peach and freshly-squeezed orange.

Peach/apricot tastes, petillance on the tongue, ends with subdued oak and alcohol warmth, a bit of cleansing bitterness. Fairly thick mouth-feel.

Interesting bottle for $26.99. I'm a little non-plussed by oak in a Viognier, but I recognize that they all shouldn't be Condrieu clones, I think it's fair for New World vintners to essay their own styles.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Goulart 2008 Mendoza Torrontes

Very pale yellow-tinged color.

Pungent citrus and green apple smells.

Fruity dry flavor, grapefruit and granny smith apple and a bit chalky at the end. Bitter citrus peel under the fruit,frisky petilance on the tongue, but no apparent bubbles on the glass.

An excellent bottle for $15.99, I foresee this as the next trendy white grape, perhaps supplanting Viognier.