Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Merry Edwards Russian River Pinot Noir, 2000

Merry Edwards -  Pinot Noir Russian River 2016 <span>(750ml)</span> <span>(750ml)</span>If I were to taste this wine blind, I might think of it as five to seven years of age but certainly not 19 years. It is a beautiful wine, still apparently in its prime.

Deep, dark ruby. Very saturated with virtually no tones of brick or amber. At first, exciting floral/fruit scents and flavors. Pomegranates and cherries. Deep, concentrated and intense. Later, some gingery spice that is typical of Pinot Noirs from the best areas of the Russian River Valley. A rather big wine for Pinot Noir but silky textures and enchanting, complex flavors that stay with me long after I have finished drinking. Merry Edwards has a well earned reputation for producing high quality Pinot Noir, and this wine is a testament to their ability to age.

Kangarilla Road McLaren Vale Shiraz, 2016

Finding good, inexpensive Australian wines (under $10 a bottle) is virtually impossible--at least in my markets. If you travel to Australia, you will find that budget wines in the shops are generally those priced at $20 to $30 a bottle. Vineyard workers in Australia are paid a decent wage--probably four to five times more than a comparable worker in California or Oregon. Winemakers I have talked to laugh at the idea of a $10 wine. "I can't give you an empty bottle with a label for that price," they say.

This Kangarilla Road Shiraz, selling for $13.99 at Costco, is one of the best values I have seen in quite awhile. Away from Costco, I suspect it might cost $20 to $25, and, even at that price, it is a good value for an Australian Shiraz.

Very deep and dark. Blue plums, blackberries and spicy oak. This is a big wine but not overly ripe or alcoholic. Well defined fruit flavors and ripe tannins that go down easily. I will buy more but I will wait a year or two for prime enjoyment.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Vinum Langhe Rosso, 2010

Barolo and Barbaresco are the king and queen of Nebbiolo. And Langhe Nebbiolo (often made from grapes that didn't quite make the cut for Barolo or Barbaresco) is a relatively low priced alternative. For pure pleasure, though, at an even lower price, I have been impressed by wines labeled as Langhe Rosso that combine Nebbiolo with Barbera and, in some cases, Dolcetto. This example is a 50/50 blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera.

According to the winemaker's website, the fruit comes from LaMorra, and the wine displays the elegance and aromatic range that is characteristic of wines from this area just north of Barolo. Rose petals, deep cherry/berry fruit, pepper and dark licorice--all the smells I love in Barolo and Barbaresco. The color is deep and dark, thanks to the Barbera in the blend, and the fruit is forward enough to enjoy right now, although there is still plenty of tannin for backbone and aging potential. The more I sniff and sip, the better it gets. By the end of the bottle, I am grinning from ear to ear.