Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Descendientes de J. Palacios 2006 Bierzo "Villa de Corullon"

Bierzo is a newly-trendy region of Spain making red wines from the newly-trendy Mencia variety (they also make whites from Godello, but I haven't tasted that yet.)

Deep red color.

Vanilla oak smell is the first impression, plum fruit is slow to reveal itself.

Black cherry and dark plum fruit flavors under a substantial layer of oak.

Darn oaky bottle for $40.95, rather hides the Mencia fruit I was hoping to learn about.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chartogne-Taillet 2002 Champagne

60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.

Pale straw color, many streams of vigorous pin-point bubbles.

Smells of ripe red cherries, toasted home-made bread.

Peach and cherry flavors, buttered baking-powder biscuit at the end, lemony-good finish.

Pricey but not painfully so bottle for $60.67, I accept that Champagne is never cheap (especially vintage Champagne) and the degree of hand-work in producing it somewhat justifies that.

I'll open another bottle in a year.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chateau Lalande 2005 Saint-Julien

Very dark, opaque, color, purple at the edges.

Plum and cigar-box cedar smells.

Dark stone fruit flavors, no shortage of acid. A bit thin by the end.

Adequate, unspectacular bottle for $32.99, but I suspect this markets based on the similarity of the name to better-known Chateaus.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rene Mure 2007 Alsace Gewurztraminer Tradition

Rich golden color. Petillance forms on the glass after half an hour or so.

Ripe floral aroma, mineral, lazy bumblebees buzz in the flower garden on a warm summer day.

Off-dry spicy baked apple flavor, quite petillant, warm at the finish. There's a degree of bitterness at the end that I find surprising in so sweet a Gewurztraminer.

My preferences in Gewurz are either quite a bit drier than this or quite a bit sweeter. Still, it's not entirely fair to downrate a well-made bottle for a style that's appropriate for the variety but not much to my taste. A good value for $18.67 for those who prefer an sweeter Gewurztraminer style, and the smell is wonderful, but personally I'm unlikely to buy it again. I must admit, my acceptance increases near the bottom of the bottle.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kellerei-Cantina Tramin 2004 Lagrein dell'alto Adige

Quite opaque color, red wine from the northern edges of red wine production really lives for this color, perhaps in preference to a fuller-bodied wine that suffers from lighter color.

Raspberry smell, aromatic.

Mild cherry/berry flavor, pleasantly bitter finish

Good medium-bodied bottle for $17.99, (far better than my previous bottle of Lagrein) made a good accompaniment for a baked ham lunch for which I usually would have chosen a light-to-medium-bodied Hungarian Pinot Noir.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Feudi di San Gregorio 2007 Fiano di Avellino

Medium straw color, some petillance visible on the glass .

Big smell jumps out of the glass: ripe pear, dates, figs, honey, walnuts.

Dry flavors of pear and apple throughout, honeyed at the beginning, nutty at the end. Good food-friendly acid. Full and round. Petillant.

Outstanding medium-to-full-bodied white for $28.99. I'm astonished by how good this is. Over-oaked Chardonnay's everywhere, Fiano's almost unheard of. TANJ!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Warre's non-vintage 20 years of age Tawny Porto

Brown, pale red color.

Prune/plum smell, brandy, some oak.

Sweet oaky prune and warm alcohol flavors, nutty, long somewhat syrupy finish.

Good bottle for $53.99, a small glass each day for dessert for a week.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Domaine Montvac 2007 Vacqueyras "Arabesque"

Very dark color.

Blackberry smell, plum, black pepper.

Blackberry flavor, black pepper, long finish.

The good things you've heard about the 2007 vintage in the Rhone are true. Very good full-bodied bottle for $19.99. Vacqueyras has positioned itself as a bargain alternative to Chateauneuf du Pape. A few more vintages like this and they may decide to stand on their own.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Petit Rimauresq 2008 Cotes de Provence

A blend of unspecified percent of Grenache, Cinsault, and Carignan.

Salmon-colored pink/orange.

Strawberry, raspberry, citrus smell.

Dry fruit flavor, grapefruit, strawberry, red cherry. A palate-cleansing bitterness builds at the end as does the food-friendly acid. Petillant by the end.

A nice bottle for $18.99, something rather traditional to welcome an early summer evening.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Chook nv South Eastern Australia Sparkling Shiraz

The last time I had a bottle of this it was called "The Black Chook" and it suffered from overenthusiastic use of new oak.

Dark red / purple color, raises an inviting foamy head.

Oak dominates the black cherry smell.

Bitter oaky opening flavor, then sweet dark stone fruit.

Only the name has changed, this is still a fun bottle for $16.99 that suffers from an oak-before-fruit philosophy.