Sunday, January 16, 2022

Pieropan Soave Classico, 2018

This Soave Classico is 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano di Soave. It was a good match tonight for pasta with pesto.

Full lemon yellow color. Enticing scents of spring flowers and thyme. Medium bodied, full mouth feel. Fresh pears, almonds and lemon peel. Lively acidity; ripe but with a pleasant hint of bitterness on the finish. Pieropan sells for $18 to $20 a bottle, but I found this one for $13.99 at Costco. Even for the higher price, this is a very good value.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Pithon-Paille Anjou Mozaik Blanc, 2017

On the table beside the Wind Gap Gap's Crown Vineyard Chardonnay, this Loire Valley Chenin Blanc faced tough competition. It came out looking very good.

Deep golden color. Opulent nose of quince, pears, white peaches, honey and fresh flowers. More of the same on the palate with rich, concentrated flavors and a big, though elegant, presence. Precisely focused. Intensity that clings to the inside of the mouth and makes it come alive. Both wines are superb and a perfect match for lobster raviolo in a lemon, garlic, olive oil sauce. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Wind Gap Gap's Crown Vineyard (Sonoma Coast) Chardonnay, 2013

The Gap's Crown Vineyard, located in the Petaluma Gap AVA of the Sonoma Coast, is one of the best in North America for producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. The southwest facing slopes at 320 to 820 feet elevation are above the fog level, allowing maximum sun exposure in a cool maritime climate conducive to slow ripening. As witnessed in this Chardonnay, the results are spectacular.

Deep gold, bright and lovely. Scents of lemon meringue along with hazelnut and white peaches. Incredibly concentrated on the palate, almost chewable. Long, wonderful finish. This is a cool climate Chardonnay at its best with more in common with French Chablis than with buttery New World Chardonnays. It does, however, remind me of some of the fine Dijon clone Chardonnays from Oregon I have tasted recently.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Domaine Sainte-Anne Cotes du Rhone Villages Saint Gervais, 2004

Saint Gervais is Domaine Sainte-Anne's Mourvedre-rich cuvee, and it ordinarily ages very well. This 2004, though, has become somewhat funky compared to what it was six to eight years ago.

Somewhat murky and lots of sediment. I get a singed nose on the nose but it tends to go away when I filter out the sediment. The filter works wonders. Flavors of red fruit, violets and Mourvedre spice. Even on the second night, the fruit is intact and attractive. But, overall, it is earthier and funkier than it was a few years ago.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Vignobles de la Vallee du Rhone Collection Rhone Cotes du Rhone, 2020

Through the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, I thrived on inexpensive Cotes du Rhone wines. Today, many wines from this appellation have become "modernized," with greater use of small new oak barrels, and the typical price has increased from $5 to $15 or even $20 a bottle This wine, available for $5.99 at Trader Joe's is, for me, a  welcome throw back to the good old days.

Beautiful medium ruby red. Red berry fruit with spice, black pepper and earth Good acid/fruit balance with an inviting after taste. Gets better through the course of the meal. Perfect with pizza.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Elio Sandri Barbera d'Alba Superiore, 2012

This Barbera d'Alba is a serious wine that could be matchedd with a serious meal. It was, nevertheless, very enjoyable with a sausage, mushroom and onion pizza from Martini's in Kalamazoo.

Deep, dark ruby color. Dark cherry, roses, and black licorice--more like a Nebbiolo than a Barbera. Meaty flavors and texture. More extraction than I expect from a Barbera. Still has some tannin to lose but more than enough acidity for balance. Very good wine.


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Villa Borghetti Grigio Luna Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, 2020

Trader Joe's is a great place to buy inexpensive Pinot Grigios, with several selections under $5 a bottle. For an extra .99, this Grigio Luna is my favorite.

Light straw. Clear and bright. Ripe apple and pear with flora hints. Fresh and lively on the tongue. Dry, well balanced and easy to drink. A Spring and Summer wine, but we enjoyed it even on a cold Winter evening.