Sunday, May 26, 2024

Famille Perrin Ventoux Rouge, 2022

 The Famille Perrin Ventoux Rouge has become a standard at our table over the past few veintages. The 2022 seems a bit lighter in color and in body than previous vintages, but it still carries the fresh upfront Southern Rhone fruit that characterizes the appellation.

Medium light crimson. The cepage is Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah, but, as usual with this label, fresh Grenache berry shines through most prominently. Delicate may be a better descriptive term than "light" because it has substantial complexity and flavor interest for a wine at this price level ($5.79 at Plum Market in Ann Arbor). Peppery spice, as usual, on the pleasant and persistent finish.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Domaine de la Croix Senaillet Pouilly Vinzelles, 2017

If you like Pouilly Fuisse, as Donna and I do, you probably like Pouilly Vinzelles too. It is located very near to Pouilly Fuisse, and the wines are similar. If anything, Pouilly Vinzelles is a bit more refined and delicate. This is a very good Pouilly Vinzelles, and it has that delicacy as well as impressive depth and complexity.

Medium deep golden yellow. Lilting smells and flavors. Peaches, apricots, citrus evolving to almonds and hazelnuts as it travels down the tongue. Slightly tart rather than sweet on entry, rich texture and fruit flavors in the middle and a long complex finish. Just keeps getting better and better as it warms and airs. Drinking beautifully right now.


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet, 2020

When I buy a wine, the most important consideration for me is where the grapes are grown. Good wines are made in the vineyard. Penfolds doesn't disagree, but the winemaker treats this knowledge as a trade secret. This wine does not come from grapes grown in the Koonunga Hill vineyard,which produced the initial magnificent Koonunga Hill Claret in 1976. Rather it is made in the style of the early Koonunga Hill wines and named after them. That is a labeling practice that would be considered scandalous in France or Italy, but it is common in Australia and consumers in that country accept it as long as the wine in the bottle measures up to their expectations. And Penfolds wines conistently measure up.

Deep and dark. Black fruit, ripe and concentrated plus spicy oak. Dark chocolate on the mid palate. A tad tannic for my taste at the moment, but the wine is still young. This wine has a track record for aging well over 10 to 15 years or longer, and I am sure this 2020 will continue the trend.


Monday, May 20, 2024

Badet Clement Pontificus Languedoc GSM, 2022


This Grenache (40%), Syrah (40%), Mourvedre (20%) blend from the Languedoc is still my No. 1 bargain pick from Trader Joe's. It reminds me of the excellent Southern Rhone wines that were available for bargain prices in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Bright crimson. Grenache red berry, Syrah black berry, Mourvedre flowers and spice. Ripe and fruit forward but with a bracing structure. Minerals, spsice and black pepper on the delicious finish.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Epicuro Puglia Aglianico, 2022


My second bottle of this Aglianico confirms my initial impression: it is an excellent value at $5.99 at Trader Joe's.

Medium deep maroon color. Blackberries, dark cherries and black pepper. There is plenty of rotundone in this wine. Reminds of a Syrah from the Rhone Valley. Sweet fruit nicely balanced by firm acidity. A good choice for frequent drinking. It has surfaced again at my local TJ store, and I will be back for more.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Chateau Graville Lacoste Graves Blanc, 2016

White Graves once had a prominent place on my regular buying list, but they are very difficult to find in my local buying area. Graville Lacoste is a very good one. It is 75% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon Blance and 5% Muscadelle from grapes grown in the Haut Barsac area of Bordeaux.

Young Graville Lacoste is usually as light and clear as water. At 8 years of age, this bottle has turned to a medium deep gold. I find it prime drinking right now without a hint of oxidation.. Bright lemon, lime, apple, pear with a hint of white fig. Creamy, yet with a crisp mineral edge. Subtle smells and flavors develop as it warms in the glass. Oh, how I wish I had a few more of these!

Sells for about $20 if you can find it. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz, 2005

This is a throwback to many of the Barossa Shiraz wines I enjoyed often in the 1970s and 1980s. It is styled like the Shiraz wines produced from the warm but well respected Kalimna vineyard in Barossa although, like most Penfolds wines, the fruit is selected from a number of vineyards and areas, only some of which are in Barossa. It is a big, warm climate Shiraz that was matured for 13 months in old American oak hogsheads.

Deep, dark ruby red. Looks young, smells young and tastes young. Black fruits and spice. Cinnamon, rosemary, vanilla. Full bodied with a robust mouth feel. Still very tannic. Penfolds suggests drinking between 2008 and 2025, but I can see this wine drinking well for at least another decade.