Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Corte Cariano 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Terra Solinas

The label features an artist's interpretation of a large bronze coin of Hadrian with the legend IMP CAES TRAIAN HADRIANVS AVG PM TR P COS II (abbreviated latin for Imperator Caesar Trajan Hadrian, Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, of Tribunician power, for the second time consul. Hadrian became consul for the second time in 117 AD. That year Trajan died and Hadrian acceeded to the "throne". (A later denarius of Hadrian).

Nearly opaque color, deep red at the rim with a purple-brownish edge.

Plum and prune smell, raisin, high alcohol content (15%) becomes apparent with time.

Dry fruity flavor of plum and prune, a little bitter almond at the finish, not blessed with an over-abundance of acid, but this doesn't suffer greatly from flatness.

Very good full-bodied bottle for $31.99. Budget Amarone, good fun.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mastroberardino 2007 Sannio Falanghina

Wikipedia suggests that that the Falanghina grape may have been a basis for the classical Falernian wine.

Medium-pale straw color.

Fresh clean sweet-seeming pear smell, melon, always-eager for another sniff.

Fruity dry apple/pear/peach flavor, long mineral finish, food-friendly acid, robust.

We'll never know what Falernian tasted like, but I'm quite intrigued by the notion that this excellent medium-to-full flavored $17.10 bottle may provide a clue.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hopkins Vineyard non-vintage Western Connecticut Highlands Silver Label Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wine

Made from Seyval and Vidal Blanc.

This year's Thanksgiving wine.

Very pale straw color, very vigorous streams of small bubbles.

Mild smell of pear and peach, just a hint of toast.

Dry flavor of pear and peach, very fruity, almost seems sweet at times (but quite Brut, in fact), brief mineral finish. (A hint of what a sparkling Viognier might be like.)

Very good bottle for $18.43. Admittedly, I want to approve of a Connecticut wine, and this isn't half bad but as I open bottles over time, I grow tired of it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saracina Vineyards 'Atrea' 2007 Mendocino County The Choir

76% Roussanne 24% Viognier. *

Pale golden color.

Rich smell, peach, apricot, melon, fresh-mowed grass. Reminiscent of a particularly fruity Sauv Blanc.

Fruity dry peach and apricot, long finish.

Excellent medium-to-full bodied bottle for $17.10, a stunner from this upscale brand of the former owner of Fetzer, declasse defined.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fonseca non-vintage 20-year-old aged Tawny Porto

Medium-dark reddish brown color, like iced tea.

Sweet alcohol dominates the smell, home-made iced tea.

Warm sweet plum flavor, the barest hint of cherry cough syrup, gentle tannins at the finish.

Very good full-bodied bottle of dessert wine for $57.99, a glass a time, lasts for many days/weeks.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bodegas Silvano Garcia 2007 Jumilla Monastrel Vina Honda

Very dark purple-red but not opaque.

Exuberant red cherry smell with plums.

Plum and cherry flavors, restrained use of oak, long finish.

Very good full-bodied bottle for $14.99.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Palazzone 2008 Orvieto Classico Superiore Terre Vineate

Pale golden color. Much petillance is visible upon opening but it quickly blows off and is never very noticeable on the tongue.

Apple smell with walnuts and melon, peach at the end.

Rich dry apple and melon, pleasantly bitter walnut at the end.

Very good surprisingly full-bodied bottle for $13.99.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Familia Mayol 2007 Vista Flores Bonarda Pircas Vineyard

Bonarda is grown in California as Charbono.

Opaque purple, red at the rim.

Smell of plum, prune, raisins, cherry.

Dry taste of prune, raisin, and fig. Tannins in the finish.

Very good full-bodied bottle for a bargain $14.99.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Terres Dorees Jean-Paul Brun 2009 l'Ancien Beaujolais

Part of the 2007 vintage was not permitted to be sold as Beaujolais. Apparently that scuffle is over.

Medium-dark red/purple color.

Ripe blackberry smell, blueberry growing in dense bushes

Blackberry, raspberry, and red cherry flavors, long food-friendly acid ending.

Good medium-bodied bottle for $19.99.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Domaine Collin non-vintage Cremant de Limoux

Cremant de Limoux is an AOC defined in 1990 as a more Champagne-like alternative to Blanquette de Limoux and is made with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Mauzac. Sometimes, as in this bottle, Pinot Noir is added.

Extremely pale color, many tiny vigorous bubbles.

Smell of pear juice with a trace of peach.

Dry pear and apple flavors, fruity, lemony finish.

Very good light-to-medium-bodied bottle for $16.99.