Thursday, November 26, 2020

Domaine des Baumard Savennieres, 2008

This is a perfect example of Savennieres, the dry Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley--more powerful than many red wines and loaded with unique smells and flavors. At 12 years of age, it is just beginning to show its best.

Deep gold. Powerful and attractive smells of quince, grapefruit, flowers, hay and damp stone. Even more assertive and powerful on the palate, So dry that it tugs at your taste buds while also coating them with powerful flavors. The Barolo of white wine. From my experience with earlier vintages of Domaine des Baumard Savennieres, these flavors will continue to grow more complex for at least another decade.

Monday, November 23, 2020

J.M. Perraud Saint Veran, 2014

 The last bottle of this wine I opened was a bit of a disappointment--tightly wound with a lot of citric acidity but not much else. This time, I was a bit tardy bringing the bottle up from the cellar, and it had not become completely chilled by the time I opened and served it. Voila! The transformation was remarkable.

Medium deep gold. Ripe apples in butter, spring flowers, spice and maybe a hint of walnut. Broad and deep. Very much like a six-year-old Pouilly Fuisse. Sleek acidity but also ripe multi-faceted fruit and a pleasing body.

It's a lesson I should have known. Don't overchill a good wine; you are likely to lose a good part of the fruit and flavor.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne, 2013

This 2013 Barbera d'Asti is drinking beautifully right now. The fruit comes from three vineyards in the hills near Asti, and the wine was aged for 12 months in barriques, large Slavonian oak barrels and stainless steel. It's a sophisticated wine that shows Barbera traits at their finest.

Bright ruby with purple tints. Scents of red cherries, violets and spice. Ripe and enticing. Medium bodied with a smooth, refined mouth feel. The oak is well integrated, letting the fruit shine. Long finish. Calls for yet another taste.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Domaine Sainte-Anne Cotes du Rhone Villages, 2007


I have reviewed this wine so many times you are probably getting sick of reading about it. But, like any good wine, it is constantly changing and revealing new treats. This Sainte-Anne Villages is a step or two below the Notre Dame des Cellettes and the Saint Gervais bottlings and priced accordingly. It costs only a dollar or two more than the simple Cotes du Rhone and worth the premium, although I am also fond of the Cotes du 
Rhone. It is a very good ageworthy wine.

Deep ruby color. No oak; aged in stainless steel and concrete vats. About 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah plus Mourvedre and Cinsault from vines about 40 years old. Black raspberries, violets, aromatic herbs. Very expressive, as usual. Luxuriant fruit on the palate. More Syrah than Grenache at this point. Lavender and black fruits. Subtle spice notes developing on the long finish.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Cascina delle Rose Dolcetto d'Alba A Elizabeth, 2015

Some of the best Dolcetto vineyards are near Dogliani on the outskirts of the Barolo appellation. This one, though, comes from nearby Barbaresco--old vineyards in Tre Stelle and Rio Sordo. And it displays well its aristocratic breeding.

Clear bright ruby with bluish tints. Billowing scents of cherries, roses, cinnamon and almonds. Sweet fruit countered by a pleasantly bitter almond finish. Teases the tongue with brisk acidity and ripe fruit tannins. Oh, I like this wine. It's good enough and versatile enough to accompany any dish you can put on the table.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Monks Gate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2007

Monks Gate Vineyard is located in the Yamhill-Carlton area of the northern Willamette Valley, and the vines were planted there on Willakenzie soil in 2000. So the vines were relatively young when this 2007 was produced...but still capable of producing a highly impressive wine.

Light color but noticeably bright. Enchanting Pinot bouquet: red cherries, rose petals, and spice box. The scents are so lovely, that I almost expected something sweeter on the palate, but I was not disappointed at all. More of the spice box plus cranberries, cherries orange zest and white pepper. Pleasing acidity. Reminds me a lot of the Tualatin Estate Pinot I had at an American Wine Society tasting last week. The Monks Gate is 10 years older than that wine, but it has aged very well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Thomas Goss McLaren Vale Shiraz, 2016

Wine Enthusiast critic Christina Pickard describe this as a "big but not overblown old-school style of South Aussie Shiraz." I agree with her assessment, and that's why I purchased a few bottles after a Tasters' Guild wine tasting last year. It's definitely Aussie Shiraz, but it has more of the black fruit goodies that I like and less of the new oak qualities that often dominate newer-style wines.

Dark, bluish color. Prominent blackberries, plums and cassis on the nose; a touch of coffee and dark chocolate on the palate. Very ripe fruit flavors overwhelm the tannins that are lurking behind. Fills the mouth but does not taste hot or alcoholic. Although the winery says it uses some French oak barrels, they are not obvious in the smells and flavors. Drinks well now, but I am looking for more complexity as the wine ages.