Medium dark ruby. Many use cherry or raspberry to describe this wine's aroma and flavors, but I find it more tart--cranberries, green herbs and terpenes. Cool climate but not enough sun to bring out the full range of Pinot flavors. Donna likes the style more than I do, and reviews online show that the wine is popular. Retail price is about $15 so it represents good value.
Thursday, September 29, 2022
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Domaine des Baumard La Caleche, 2017
Deep gold, bright and lively. Very aromatic: peaches, apricots, flowers, minerals. Full bodied and rich. A good combination; Chardonnay sweetens the bitterness of young Chenin Blanc. Buttery flavors counter the grapefruit acidity. Peachy, honeyed fruit emerges as the wine warms. Don't serve this wine too cold; it is best at just a touch above room temperature. For $11 (or twice that much), it is a great bargain.
Monday, September 26, 2022
Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2010
Very light in color and body. Takes some time to blossom, but then offers up enticing Pinot scents and flavors. Cherries, cranberries, cinnamon, orange zest and black pepper. Peppery flavors, tinged with orange zest, that cling to the roof of the mouth. Tingling acidity. Perfect. At a good stage for drinking right now.
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, 1998
Deep and dark ruby. Impressive for a 24-year-old wine. Incredibly strong fruit smells and flavors. Black currants, blue plums, cassis and oak. Rich and ripe but also finely textured and elegant. Still going strong in its second decade.
Coriole McLaren Vale Shiraz, 1998
Deep and dark. Good color. Syrah herbal notes beginning to show up along with black fruits and spice. Tannic on the mid-palate and missing a bit of freshness. Australian Shiraz simply lacks the acidity of Northern Rhone Syrah, and that is what many Australian wine drinkers prefer. As far as I'm concerned, the lower acidity makes for a less complex and intriguing drink.
Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes-Hermitrage Domaine de Thalabert, 1983
Much lighter than its Australian counterpart, of course. Brickish red but bright and clear. Two hours after the bottle was opened, the Northern Rhone scents begin to develop and grow. Red as well as black fruits, leather, balsamic. Notably acidic compared to the Australian Shiraz, and that is a plus for me. Black olives, cured meats, black pepper. Flavors get bigger and more complex with every sip. Lives up to my Thalabert expectations.
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
2013 Wind Gap Woodruff Vineyard (Santa Cruz) Chardonnay, 2013
Deep golden yellow. Intense smells and flavors of lemon, pear and minerals. French oak is also apparent, although not as the star player. Cool climate, high level of acidity, intensity that grabs your attention and clings to the finish.
Monday, September 19, 2022
Franco Serra Dolcetto d'Alba, 2020
Saturday, September 17, 2022
B Vineyards and Habitat Russian River Pinot Noir, 2007
Light Pinot color. Translucent. Spicy, floral nose. Cinnamon, cloves, violets. Pretty and inviting. Flavors of cranherry, raspberry, orange zest and pepper. Light and elegant on the palate with a silky texture. Still well balanced. Red raspberries on the long finish. I like this wine.
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Domaine Schlumberger Tokay d'Alsace (Pinot Gris), 1975
Bright golden yellow. The bottle has significant ullage, but I find no detectable oxidized smells or flavors. Still fresh and lively. Ripe pear, melon, spice and a hint of honey. The acidity that I noted when it was young has kept it fresh but has toned down enough to leave a mellow, easy feeling on the palate. Rich and ripe, not sweet. Many subtle nuances on the long and satisfying finish.
I remember buying this wine from Village Corner in Ann Arbor in 1984 or 1985. It was already mature at that time, but Cheryl McMillan of the VC staff told me I would not be disappointed. I was not then and still am not. Wish I had more.
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Delas Saint Esprit Cotes du Rhone, 2017
Dark plummy color. Blackberries, currants, lavender and cassis.Fruitier and more accessible than a Northern Rhone Syrah. Not very tannic but still a bit rough on the mid-palate. Comes from hillside vineyards on granite soil in the Ardeche region. Ar least for tonight, I would prefer a bit more Grenache berry and pepper. And a bit more exuberance.
Sunday, September 11, 2022
Bergadano Langhe Nebbiolo, 2008
Medium light garnet with orangish tints at the rim. Clear, bright and moderately intense. Exuberant scents of fresh cherries, roses and sweet spices that grow and change shape as the wine airs. The same on the palate along with tones of black licorice and minerals on a long and satisfying finish. Tannic grip reminiscent of Barolo along with substantial acidity that will keep the wine going and growing for many years. The grapes come from the Pugnane Vineyard in Monforte d'Alba from vines planted on clay soil in 1950 and 1997.
Friday, September 9, 2022
Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Gap's Crown Chardonnay, 2013
Deep lemon yellow, showing its age. This wine is mature, perhaps a bit overly mature, but I love what it offers. White peaches, pears, a hint of almonds. More oak than is usual with Wind Gap wines but it's well integrated. Lemon cream acidity. Finish is long and complex, offering many nuances.
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Saltram S2 Southeastern Australia Shiraz, 2019
This wine, a Trader Joe's bargain, has always struck me as more like a Cotes du Rhone than an Aussie Shiraz. It has lively fruit, medium body and minimal oak tannins, making it easy to drink right now. Tonight, I tasted it alongside a good Southern Rhone, the Famille Perrin Ventoux, and decided the two are really not all that much alike.
Medium ruby, no purple or blue tones. Berries, plums, spice and pepper. Even without the oak influence, though, the tannins in the Shiraz are much heavier and more noticeable than those in the Ventoux. The acidity is markedly lower and the wine is a bit more sluggish on the palate. I like both but still prefer the Southern Rhone.
Sunday, September 4, 2022
Famille Perrin Ventoux Rouge, 2019
Beautiful bright red. Lush and silky. Red berry smells and flavors along with clove and black pepper on the finish. Perfect balance of fruit, acidity and tannin. Carignan and Cinsault are now in the blend along with Grenache and Syrah, but the flavor profile is still classic Southern Rhone, bold, spicy and fruity. Has everything I love in Ventoux red wine.
Friday, September 2, 2022
Gilbert Picq Chablis, 2000
Deep lemon yellow. Aromatic breadth and depth--flint, minerals, lime. Acidity has been tamed a bit by time in the bottle but stony Chablis qualities are strong. Lemon curd on palate. Mellow and deep with a long finish. I need to buy more Chablis.