Friday, July 30, 2021

The Vinum 002 Langhe Rosso, 2010

The Vinum 002 Langhe Rosso is a delightful combination of Nebbiolo and Barbera, the two main grapes of the Piedmont. As such, it is an excellent wine for every day fare or for special occasion meals.

Beautiful ruby tones of Barbera. Powerful aromas of both grapes: dark cherries, red cherries, raspberries, vanilla and licorice. Strong acidity of Barbera plus tannic grip of Nebbiolo. Full bodied and velvety with a medium long finish. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Parady Family Wines Ore Cart Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

This is Napa Cabernet as I remember it from the late 1970s and early 1980s--before winemakers started competing for Parker points by making their wines riper and increasingly plush. It has everything I expect from a good Cabernet. Reminds me of Burgess Cellars wines from 1977, 1978 and 1979.

Deep and velvety color. Classic Cabernet bouquet of black and red currants, cassis and cofee. Ripe flavors but good acid balance and structure. Black and red fruit, coffee and chocolate. Medium long finish.

The winery is located on Howell Mountain and the grapes come from 50-year-old hillsidevineyards. It is aged for 26 months in 100% French oak, 55% new. 

Big Cork Vineyards Maryland Viognier Chenin Blanc, 2020

This is a blend (75% Viognier/25% Chenin Blanc) that I have never encountered before. But it works nicely. Viognier provides the honeysuckle beauty while Chenin Blanc adds body, substance and acidity.

Very light color. Beautiful floral/fresh fruit scents typical of Viognier. Melon, peaches and stone fruits on the palate, more like Chenin Blanc. Plump but not at all sweet. No sign of new oak seasoning, but it may have had some lees contact. Goes well with fondue but would also work as an aperitif.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Famiglia Anselma Barolo, 1998

This wine received positive reviews when it was first released, and it has more than surpassed estimates about its ability to age. At 23 years, it is showing impressive grace, elegance and beauty.

The color is deep with the orangeish tints typical of Nebbiolo. The bouquet is beautifully formed--dark cherries, spice, flowers. You can almost taste the flavors before the wine reaches your mouth. Doesn't explode but expands gently in the mouth with complex flavors. Everything I expect from a well aged Barolo. Coats the tongue and the roof of the mouth with dry, tannic fruit. Acidity keeps it lively and invites sip after sip. "Good to the last drop," one taster observed.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Patton Valley Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2018

Offered as a wine by the glass at Zingerman's Road House in Ann Arbor, MI, this Pinot Noir was delightful accompaniment to a perennial Sunday Road House favorite, Grillade and Grits.

Medium deep garnet. Pomegranate, boysenberries, cocoa and gingery spice on the nose. Good carry through on the palate. Tannin and acid interact nicely on the palate. Good concentration and grip; coats the tongue. Orange and black pepper on the finish. This wine deserves the 92 point rating it received from Wine Enthusiast and retails for $26, a good value for this level of Willamette Valley Pinot. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Domaine les Hautes Cances Cairanne Tradition, 2007

When this wine was first released, Rhone critic John Livingstone-Learmouth ( listed it as "promising" with a best drinking date of "2020 or so." It is still dark and robust but seems to have a flaw of some sort.

When first opened, I got intense scents that reminded me of good Cairanne. Upon closer examination, though, a funky, somewhat borsey smell emerged--not  entirely bad but too much for Donna (and probably most other wine drinkers). Flavors were okay, but there was a metallic edge that might also indicate brett. Even though the wine is now 14 years of age, I don't think these traits are associated with advanced age or poor storage. With age, though, a level of brett that may have been attractive in youth has now become less palatable. I bought the wine, one bottle, at auction so don't have to worry about future disappointments.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Domaine de la Tourade Gigondas, 2009

As a match for beef entrees, I usually choose Gigondas, and I am nearly always happy with my choice.

Deep, dark color but no sign of aging in small oak barrels. Beautiful scents of red and blue berries, violets and a talcum-like smell that I associate strongly with Gigondas. Power and beauty. Balance leans a bit more toward tannin and alcohol than I prefer, but the wine is still very enjoyable and a good match for marinated flank steak.

Friday, July 2, 2021

MezzaCorona Trentino Pinot Grigio DOC, 2020

MezzaCorona's Pinot Grigio is widely available, usually for under $10 a bottle. Yet I find it a top example of Italian Pinot Grigio. It is crisp, dry and food friendly with intriguing smells and flavors.

Light straw with good brilliance. Scents of pears and green apples. More of the same on the palate, along with white peaches, herbs and minerals. Right now in Kalamazoo this wine is selling for $7.99 at Trader Joe's and $9.79 for a magnum at Costco. Excellent value.