Barely any sediment and a deep color with very little bricking. Much brighter than the color of previous bottles. Black fruit smells; reminds me of a Crozes Hermitage. Now a bit of Grenache berry plus some old oak. Very agreeable on the palate. Ripe fruit but enough acid to keep it from being heavy. With aeration, it develops some interesting twists and turns. Not a great Chateauneuf but a very good Cotes du Rhone Villages. And it's a lot younger than its years. I'm now looking forward to future bottles.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Archery Summit Vireton Pinot Gris, 2015
Deepening yellow color. Savory smells that I expect from Pinot Gris: ripe apples, seasoned oak and nuts. Round and full in the mouth. Nectarine, melon and papaya. Yes, a bit sweet on the finish but also savory and delicious.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Clos des Papes, Chateauneuf du Pape, 1994
Like Beaucastel, Clos des Papes has a high percentage of Mourvedre (20 to 40%) in the blend. And when I first opened the bottle, Mourvedre was the dominant smell. Aggressive, high-toned, somewhat funky, almost like Bret but much more pleasant. With an hour of airing, the assertiveness fades into a rich, warm aroma of red and black berries, olives, sea salt and trademark Mourvedre spice. On the palate, it just keeps getting better and better throughout the meal. Rich, warm texture with acidity to keep it going. Everything I want and expect in a Chateauneuf du Pape.
Domaine des Baumard Savennieres, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Willamette Valley Vineyards Metis Walla Walla Valley Red Blend, 2017
Dark with bluish tints. Currants, cassis and French oak. Big in the mouth. Good fruit/acid balance with ripe tannins. Cherries and chocolate on the finish. Easy drinking but not simple. I need more time with this wine before I can make a commitment of $35.
Willamette Valley Vineyards Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir, 2017
Pinot light but bright color. Heavenly smells of red cherry, violets, earth and Pinot Noir pepper. Dances lightly on the tongue. Hard to find the tannins, but they are there, and I am sure the wine will age very well for a decade or more. Pomegranates, cranberries and, as the winemaker suggests, pumpkin spice. I have never thought about pumpkin spice as a wine descriptor, but, yes, now that you mention it, I taste it. A delicate, ethereal finish that refuses to quit. Again, not a budget wine but worth the splurge.
Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block Chardonnay 2017
Medium deep yellow. The nose is simply irresistible: pear, honey, flowers. And the flavors are there to match: lemon cream with subtle vanilla on the finish. Very long, haunting finish. This is not a budget wine ($45 on the winery website) but I feel sure I would have to pay a higher price for a comparable Mersault.
Friday, November 6, 2020
Innocent Bystander Yarra Valley Syrah, 2017
I find some unattractive aromas that blow away after a few minutes in the glass. Probably reduction odors which will resolve with age. More red than black fruit, flowers and spice. Good acidity but a bit sharp on the finish, at least at this stage. This is not my style of wine.
Leeuwin Estate Siblings Margaret River Shiraz, 2017
Deep and dark but a bit lighter than the Torbreck. Boysenberries, dark cherries, minerals and violets. Lighter in body than the Torbreck but plenty of strength and structure. Red currants, cinnamon, coffee and black pepper. Good acidity, exciting finish. At $18 to $20, I consider this a great value.
Torbreck Woodcutters Barossa Valley Shiraz
This is the first of three Shiraz wines we tasted as part of a American Wine Society presentation entitled "There is No Australian Shiraz." The theme, of course, was that there is no simplistic stereotype of Australian Shiraz but rather many different styles based on appellation, vine age, climate and winemaking decisions. Although Barossa is often dismissed by American critics as producing overly heavy, alcoholic, extracted wines, it is also home to many of Australia's finest wines such as Penfold's The Grange and Henschke's Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone Shiraz.Torbreck also has earned critical praise as a premium producer, in part because of the estate's old, dry-farmed vineyards. The Woodcutters bottling is priced at a moderate level ($20 to $25) and includes fruit from relatively younger vines raised mostly in well seasoned French oak. We were both impressed with this wine.
Deep, dark, bright. Big aromatic presence of blackberries, black currants and cassis. Deserves a lot of serious sniffing, revealing more and more pleasures as the wine aerates. I get mostly black fruits on the palate as well. A big tannic wall on the mid palate but it too softens over time to reveal beautiful Shiraz fruit plus mocha, vanilla and lavender. The finish is well worth lingering over, even at this young stage but will get even better with five to ten years of additional age.
Monday, November 2, 2020
Delas Saint Esprit Cotes du Rhone, 2016
Dark crimson. Intense peppery, spicy aromas from the time the cork is popped, Rich fruit and spice on the tongue. Boysenberries, violets. Firm but ripe tannins. Syrah traits are upfront, but there is also plenty of Grenache pepper and spice. My kind of wine.
I bought this at D&W in Kalamazoo where it sells for $12 to $16.