Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Domaine Coste-Caumartin 2005 Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grain

Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains is a blend of 1/3 Pinot, the rest Gamay. It's neither widely available nor widely respected.

Medium ruby color, purple highlights.

Strawberry, walking-in-the-country-in-Spring smell with spicy oak, some blueberry.

Strawberry and cranberry flavors, fruity wine well-balanced with acid. Worked well with a ham & swiss sandwich, even with a healthy schmeer of Dijon mustard.

Pleasant light-to-medium-bodied bottle for $19.99. It looks red but it drinks rosé! A bit over-priced, I think.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

St. Amant 2008 Amador County Verdelho Miss Independent

Extremely pale color.

Clean cantaloupe smell, apple.

Dry cantaloupe flavor, hint of apple sweetness at the end.

Very good light-to-medium-bodied bottle for $19.99, this American interpretation of a classic Madeira grape shouts USA, USA, USA!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Muller-Catoir 1989er Gimmeldinger Meerspinne Gewurztraminer Auslese

Medium golden-tan color, "I'm Brown, from the Sun," the long-set sun of 1989's summer in a bottle. Quite a few tartaric acid crystals. Still Spritzig after all these years: petillant bubbles from on the walls of a glass of this 21-year-old wine.

Smell of tangerines, honey, peaches, distinct hints of roses. There'd be a market for this perfume,I think!

Tannic taste of sweet iced tea, honey, mango, and tangerine.

Outstanding bottle for $59.99, but I doubt you'll be able to buy an example (or that I'll be able to buy more. I cherish those that I have.) Time has been kind to it, but I doubt it will improve further.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

St. Amant 2008 Lodi Barbera Tools of the Trade

This is my first US entry in the festival of Barbera and temporarily ends it (I'm out of fresh examples.)

Dark purple red, not quite opaque. Violet at the edges.

Surprising pencil-box oak is the most noticeable smell, then dark stone-fruit.

I haven't run across a Barbera with a significant degree of new oak in the flavor before. Plum and prune fruit, seems particularly sweet at the finish.

Not a bad bottle for $19.99, but a tad bit flat, it seems to lack some of the food-friendly acid I'm so very used to tasting in Barbera d'Alba and Barbera d'Asti.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Romano Clelia 2006 Fiano di Avellino Colli di Lapio redux

Last year I tasted a bottle of this, and put five more aside for annual repetition.

Pale straw color.

Fairly neutral smell, perhaps apple, not much else going on.

The petillance I commented on a year ago is still very much there. Where last year I tasted "melon and green apple fruit", today I find an apple richness that reminds me of a lesser degree of the richness that develops as Riesling ages.

This was a good match for roast chicken, and I'll wait a year for the next bottle, and see how its developed further.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pine Ridge Forefront 2008 Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

Dark ruby color.

Rich sweet-smelling fruit, plum, prune, and dark cherry. Oak in the background.

Prune and plum flavor, a bit of an exuberant fruit-bomb. Ripe.

Good bottle for $26.99, a nice medium-to-full bodied wine, works well as company for a lunch of ham and vegetable, though my first choice would have been more restrained.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Conterno Fantino 2008 Barbera d'Alba Vignota

Another entrant in the festival of Barbera!

Very dark color

Smell of lots of fresh oak, plum and prune.

Dark stone fruits, vanilla oak, deep flavor.

Full-bodied bottle for $30.99, fuller than any of the other Barberas I've had recently. Would be better, though, with a little more restraint in the cooperage.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Boroli 2006 Barbera d'Alba Quattro Fratelli

Another entry in my festival of Barbera.

Very dark color.

Plum and prune smell.

Dark plum and prune fruit, oak with restraint, sweet fruit well-balanced with plenty of acid.

Very good bottle for $20.99, medium-bodied but a bit fuller-bodied than the examples of Barbera d'Asti I've enjoyed over the last few days.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben 2007 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese

Very pale color, extremely petillant, raised a significant, if short-lived, head when poured into the glass.

Peach smell, face-first in a home-made tub of applesauce, strolling in a night-blooming garden.

Sweet peach nectar, sweet farmstand apple cider, remains quite petillant on the tongue.

Right now this is a damned expensive bottle for $36.99, I foresee it calming, drying, and developing a strangely attractive petrochemical smell in five years or so. Time, I've learned, is Riesling's friend.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Montecalvi 2007 Chianti Classico

Very dark color.

Tarry smell, tobacco, plum, mineral, and smoke.

Dark plum and cherry fruit, mineral, good food-friendly acid.

Fine bottle for $26.99, darker-seeming that the barbera I've been enjoying recently, but better-suited to match a fuller-flavored meal, though it matched well with a spaghetti & meatball lunch.