Saturday, July 31, 2010

Terres Dorees Jean-Paul Brun 2008 Beaujolais Blanc (Chardonnay)

A little less than a year ago, I tasted the 2007 vintage.

Medium straw color, a little petillance forms on the glass soon after opening.

Apple smell, peach, bosc pear.

Dry peach flavor, apple, pear, hint of pineapple in the background, lemon finish become more apparent as it warms.

Excellent bottle for $17.99 which well displays the many benefits of fermenting this grape in stainless steel.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weingut Eder 2006 Wachau Riesling Federspiel

Pale straw color.

Fresh apple smell, peach / apricot, melon, delightful diesel exhaust stink.

Rich dry apple / melon flavors, at its best with richer food. Somewhat petillant on the tongue.

A good light-to-medium-bodied bottle for $14.99. I note that, in general, an Austrian Riesling Federspiel is a more serious wine than a German Riesling Kabinett, though the must-weights are similar. I speculate that the 1985 Austrian wine scandal wound up ruining the market for inexpensive sweet or off-dry Austrian wine just when world tastes turned towards drier wine.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

H. Billiot Fils non-vintage Brut Rose Champagne

Long-lasting streams of pin-point bubbles rise in this orange/pink wine.

Apple and strawberry smells, and a hint of a dark-smelling organic something that others liken to cocoa (I'm more put in mind of a bruised stem of Datura, but that's poison and thus inappropriate for a tasting note on a wonderful wine like this.)

Apple and strawberry flavors, cherry pie, long lemony finish.

Excellent (if pricey) full-bodied bottle for $60.67, the finest pink champagne I've ever tasted and a reason to explore further.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Robert Gilliard S.A. 2008 Dole des Monts

Like Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains, Dole is a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, though the French wine must contain 33% Pinot Noir and the Swiss 51%. While Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains virtually never contains more Pinot Noir than the mandatory 1/3, this bottle of Dole apparently contains 4/5, though only a bit more than 1/2 is legally required.

Medium-dark red color, opaque only when it gets deep.

Cherry smell, blackberry, no oak obscures the fruit.

Black cherry flavor, blackberry, strawberry, fruit is for-for-forward. Tart food-friendly acid is resplendent.

Very good medium-bodied bottle for $31.03, was an excellent match for a baked ham lunch. Upon consideration, I've bought a case of this to accompany baked ham and other lunches in the coming year that call for a medium-bodied pinot (or an analogue thereof).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 Finger Lakes Rkatsiteli

Rkatsiteli was, I understand, one of the most common grapes in Soviet winemaking and may be an older variety than any more commonly known in the West (save, perhaps, for Muscat).

Extremely pale color, petillant.

While the smell of Rkatsiteli is frequently likened to Riesling and Gewurztraminer, I find that not to be true of this bottle, which has a pleasant apple/floral/pineapple aroma which lacks the intensity I expect from the two aforementioned varieties. Intensity improves as the glass warms, but it's still no perfumed Gewurztraminer.

Dry grapefruit/pineapple flavor, peach, apple, fruit beautifully balanced with acid. If asked I think I'd liken it more to Sauvignon Blanc than any other grape, but it's distinct. A very good medium-to-full-bodied bottle for $18.67.

Drape collecting: always one more variety to try.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bottega Vinaia 2003 Teroldego Rotaliano

Deep purple color, violet at the edges.

Blackberry smell, oak, peach. Intriguing, appealing.

Blackberry flavor, restrained oak, hints of peach and pear. I'm reading some negative reports on this as a young wine and plenty of people convinced that it won't age. I think it was perhaps closed and now has opened nicely. Lucky me, to try it now.

Very good medium-to-full-bodied bottle for $15.99. Extremely food-friendly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yalumba 2008 Eden Valley Viognier

Pale straw color tinted green.

Smells of peaches, apricots, wildflowers.

Tastes of peaches and apricots, warm alcohol finish with lemon zest, rich texture throughout.

Very good medium-bodied bottle for $18.99

What I thought of the similar 2007 South Australia bottling, a bargain at $10.99.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tenuta Coppodoro 2006 Pescorosso

75% Nero di Troia / 25% Aglianico.

Opaque color.

Smells of prune, white pepper, no apparent oak.

Dry, flavors of cherry / berry, peppery, soft-textured, long tannic finish.

Excellent medium-to-full-bodied bottle for $14.99, berries and cream.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mas Arnaud (non-vintage?) Cotes du Rhone

55% Syrah, 45% Grenache. I can't find a vintage anywhere on the label or the cardboard case, though this retailed as a 2007. Web writeups on the 2007 show a different cepage (40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, 5% other), so I wonder if the vintage wine sold out quickly this year and was replaced with a non-vintage bottling.

Opaquely dark wine.

Bowl-of-fruit smell, blackberries, black cherries, strawberries, oak in the background. Vaguest hint of volatile acidity, maybe I'm imagining.

Cherry / berry flavors, strawberry notes. Fresh and fruity, a wine for enjoying young, while the fruit can best be appreciated, I don't believe this'll age in any positive way. Matches well with a medium-weight summer dinner.

A good medium-bodied bottle for $15.99.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Weingut Eder 2006 Wachau Gruner Veltliner Federspiel

Extremely pale straw color.

Fresh smell of river-washed stones. Gruner Veltliner is often said to be characterized by a white pepper smell.

Dry peppery flavor, crisp, food-friendly to a fault. More than a little spritzig.

Outstanding bottle at $14.99, not a very complex wine, but an entirely enjoyable one. Once-trendy Gruner Veltliner is out of fashion in the USA right now, but I think it has every superior quality save novelty.

Federspiel is a Wachau ripeness category roughly similar to the German Kabinett, but made in a drier style.