Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Icardi 2006 Langhe Nebbiolo Surisjvan

Langhe Nebbiolo is a DOC which requires only 85% of the grapes to be Nebbiolo.

Opaque color, dark cherry red at the edges.

Plum smell, leather, vanilla.

Plum and black cherry flavors.

Good medium-to-full-bodied bottle for $26.99. I'm learning increasing respect for Icardi.

Friday, August 27, 2010

H. Billiot Fils non-vintage Grand Cru Brut Reserve Champagne

Pale straw color with many streams of tiny bubbles, vigorous almost to a fault.

Smells of apple, pear, and peach.

Dry tastes of apple, berries, cherry pie, and peach pie. Toast.

Excellent full-bodied bottle for $50.40. I've long loved Pinot-heavy Champagne, this wine reminds me of the special virtues of such a cuvee.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tenuta Sant'Antonio 2006 Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso "Monti Garbi"

Ripasso is a process where, after the first few months of fermentation, dregs of grapes already used to make Amarone or recioto are added to the vats.

Dark purple color.

Smell of plum, leather, oak.

Fruity plum flavor, cherry, soft finish, begs for a ripe semi-soft cheese.

Fine full-bodied bottle for $16.99. I've only had a few Ripassos, some before the technique was openly spoken of (I'm particularly reminded of an '86 Dal Forno Romano!), but I've been pleased each time.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Robert Gilliard S.A. 2008 Fendant Les Murettes

Medium straw color, very petillant.

Mild smell of apples and pears. Benefits from being served warmer than is usual for other whites.

Crisp dry apple flavor, little bit of grapefruit, distinctly mineral qualities in the long, high-acid, finish.

Very good medium-to-full-bodied bottle for $29.30.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Extra! Extra!!

Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2011 is now available.

Michel Torino Don David 2009 Lafayate Valley Torrontes Reserve

Pale yellow color.

Assertive sweet smell of honey, ripe pear and peach, pineapple, call fragrant Torrontes the muscat of the pampas!

Dry pear flavor, peach, lingering bright acid finish, matches well with an easy-going summer lunch. Fruit-bomb.

Excellent full-bodied bottle for $19.59

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Churchill's Estate 2007 Douro

As dry Douro reds often are, this is comprised of a blend of grapes like that used for Porto: 40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Roriz.

Opaque purple color, dark to the rim.

Plum smell, strong oak.

Dry black cherry, plum, currant, blackberry, fruity/warm finish.

Very good bottle for $24.99, full-bodied.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Feudo Maccari Saia 2007 Nero d'Avola IGT Sicilia

Dark purple color, opaque.

Smells of plum, prune, black cherry, and oak.

Vigorous rich dry plum fruit, oak becomes more apparent in the long food-friendly finish, which is also a bit bitter, also smooth, and silky (and fast and bulbous, but that's another story).

Very good full-bodied bottle for $36.99. The biggest (and the best) Nero d'Avola I've yet tasted.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jean Baptiste Adam 2004 Vin d'Alsace Tokay Pinot Gris Reserve

“Tokay Pinot Gris” was an interim name after Euro wine laws made calling this wine Tokay d'Alsace impermissible in 1993, but before 2007, when the final rules took effect and it could only be called Pinot Gris.

Pale straw color, many tiny petilant bubbles form on the glass.

Smell of oranges and a summer of flowers, buttery.

Off-dry-to-dry melon flavor, citrus fruit salad, apple, very petilant, stinging the tongue, finish is decidedly off-dry.

Excellent medium-to-full-bodied bottle for $20.99.

The greatest challenge, I think, for the consumer of Alsace wines is knowing what to expect when buying a bottle. This importer's label ends “Flavorful dishes of ham, chicken, duck or turkey compliment this sometimes off dry wine”. Way to go, www.chapincellars.com, leave me guessing until I pull the cork.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Weingut Eder 2006 Wachau Riesling Smaragd

Smaragd is a Wachau ripeness level roughly similar to Germany's Auslese, but vinified quite dry.

Deep golden straw color.

Smell of apple, melon, ripe peach, and warm summer breeze through a wildflower meadow.

Flavors of peach and apple, rich, dry, big ripe fruit.

Rich medium-to-full bodied bottle for $24.27. Does what Chardonnay never can for a wine & cheeser! It took me a while to learn to appreciate bone-dry Riesling, but I find that Austria can do some wonderful work in that regard!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Finca Sophenia 2008 Tupungato Malbec reserve

Dark dark dark opaque purple, tends to be violet at the edges.

Black plum smell, blueberry. retrained oak in the background.

Dry fruit flavors, prune, blueberry, red cherry, cocoa, oak that never overwhelms, good acid, soft tannins at the end. Rewards a bit of air.

Very good dry full-bodied bottle for $15.99, uncomplicated, matches well with simple full-flavored food.