Monday, March 27, 2023
Villa Molino Soave Classico DOC, 2021
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Petaluma Chardonnay, 1984
Very deep old gold as to be expected from a white wine of this vintage. Almost an orange or rose color. But neither I nor Donna find any notes of oxidation or maderization in the smells and flavors. Pear, apple, minerals and oak. Delightful from front to back. Plenty of oak, but it is well integrated into the beautiful fruit. Still some fresh citric acidity to balance the ripe fruit. No need to make comparisons from elsewhere in the world; this is simply good Australian Chardonnay, one oif the best I have had the pleasure to taste.
I bought a case of this Petaluma Chardonnaty when it was released in 1985, and we enjoyed many bottles during its first decade. The two bottles that were left then became neglected in the cellar, since I thought they must be seriously over the hill. As I learned long ago, never give up on a wine, even a white wine, until you at least give it a try.
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant, 2021
Bright red, no signs of new oak barriques. On the label, Graham states: "more berries, less wood." I like it. Grenache red berries, has a cool climate profile. Strawberries, cherries, violets. Peppery spice on the palate; perfect. Black fruits and licorice on the finish from the Syrah/Cinsault combination.
The wine is modeled after a Chateauneuf du Pape, and some critics have compared it to a red Burgundy. To me, it comes across as a good Cotes du Rhone Villages. A good wine for every day drinking, but Graham says it will give 10 plus years of enjoyment. I will go back for more.
Monday, March 20, 2023
Villa Antinori Chianti Classico, 1970
Removing the cork was the hardest part, and I finally had to push the cork into the bottle and pour through a filter into a decanter. I poured myself a glass, then poured the rest into a clean bottle for re-corking with a RePour cork. The color is suprisingly deep and dark, although a bit murky and some brown tones. Some dark cherry smells but mostly tertiary. Not surprisingly, it tastes like a Chianti Classico. If I were tasting it blind, I would peg it at 15 to 20 years of age rather than 53. Not oxidized. Chianti spice with good acidity around the edges and in balance with fruit and tannin. Not great but an enjoyable dinner drink. I would guess that this wine was matured in large, old barrels and made to age. I would not expect the same longevity for wines made today.
On the second night, after being re-corked, this 53-year-old wine tastes even younger than it did last night. The color is lighter with more amber tones, but the spicy, savory traits of good Sangiovese fruit are even stronger. Sour cherries, cinnamon, new leather, Depth, concentration and intensity. Not great but very, very goodl
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Famille Perrin Ventoux, 2020
Bright crimson red. Classy aromas of red fruit, spice and yeast. Has the fresh exuberance of a young wine plus the complexity that usually comes from aging. Fresh strawberries and cinnamon. Good backbone but great acidity keeps the fruit fresh and tasty. Don't worry about buying too much; my experience tells me that this wine will keep well and probably get better over the next year or two. But right now, it is the perfect wine to meet my every day needs.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Chionetti San Luigi Dogliani Dolcetto, 2016
Beautiful bright crimson color. Very deep and dark. Black fruits galore: black raspberries, black cherries, black plums with a bitter but pleasant twist of almond on the finish. Very acidic but in perfect balance with the fruit at the moment. Silky mouthfeel and long, clean finish.
The name ("little sweety in translation) might lead you to believe that Dolcetto wine is sweet and simple. It is, in fact, a serious dry red wine that is all too often absent from wine shelves in my marketing area.
Monday, March 13, 2023
Wind Gap Woodruff Vineyard Chardonnay, 2013
Deep, mature gold. Not a real powerful bouquet except what comes through on the intense flavor profile. Laser point flavors of green apple, blood orange, spices and stony minerals. Cool climate acidity. Coats the tongue with pleasure.
Friday, March 10, 2023
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Pianrosa, 2008
Silvio Grasso Langhe Nebbiolo, 2021
Another stop at Eataly on a trip to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. The Silvio Grasso Langhe Nebbiolo that we enjoyed so much on our stopover in Chicago last month is still on the wine list, and we eagerly ordered two more glasses This time the bottle was a bit warmer but still offered a similar level of pleasure.
Medium light amber. This Nebbiolo has been made in the traditional manner without barriques, and that has preserved the beautiful aromas of Nebbiolo--roses, cherries, raspberries and black minerals. One sniff and I am in love with the wine as well as my wife of 50 years. Goes down smoothly for a young wine. Good acidity and ripe fruit tannins.
Saturday, March 4, 2023
Matteo Corregio La Val dei Preti Roero, 2011
Beautiful bright ruby, medium deep, shading to amber at the rim. All the Nebbiolo beauty I expect: rose petals, cherries, licorice. Has that Nebbiolo grip on the mid-palate and then the cascade of flavors, elegant and nuanced.
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Alysian Russian River Pinot Noir, 2011
Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Shoofly South Australia Shiraz, 2017
Deep and dark. Blackberries and cassis. Ripe fruit but with a savory, spicy note on the mid-palate. Medium body, medium acidity with some of the qualities you might expect from a Crozes-Hermitage or Saint Joseph. Drinking beautifully right now.
Sunday, February 26, 2023
Ronci delle Betulle Colli Orientali Friulo Friulano, 2016
Clear, bright yellow with some green tints. Green apple, unripe pears and green herbs. More body and mid-palate fruit than your average Pinot Grigio. Good acidity and a medium long finish. Still too green for me, but I can live with it.
Friday, February 24, 2023
Kermit Lynch Languedoc Cabrieres Rouge, 2020
Dark ruby red. Black raspberries, cassis, black pepper. Not as warm and cuddly as I expected but still a very good wine to accompany Middle Eastern fare from Cairo's Kitchen in Kalamazoo.
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Terramata Barbera d'Alba, 2017
Deep ruby. Beautiful red cherry/berry smells and flavors plus white pepper and spice. Some tannins on the mid palate but more than enough acidity to give it freshness and excitement.A wine to enjoy tonight or any other night over the next two or three years.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Pithon Paille Anjour Blanc Mozaik, 2017
Brilliant gold. The descriptor often used for Loire Chenin Blanc is quince. I can't remember ever tasting quince, but I am tempted to use the term because the smells and flavors are so typical of Loire Chenin Blanc wines I have tasted. For me, it's pear, apricot and sliced apples from the lunch box, slightly oxidized.Dry up front, then rich flavors and full body on the mid-palate and finish. Great acidity that leads to well defined, glorious flavors. This bottle was opened last night and recorked; tonight it is better than ever.
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Famille Perrin Ventoux Rouge, 2020
Bright crimson. Fresh, flowery strawberry rhubarb with a touch of mint. Medium bodied. Has an elegant mouth feel with well defined fruit flavors. Fresh and lively from front to back. Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah but has authentic Grenache-oriented personality of traditional Ventoux Rouge.
Friday, February 17, 2023
Silvio Grasso Langhe Nebbiolo, 2021
To accompany lunch at Eataly in Chicago, I ordered a glass of the Nebbiolo on the wine list, but the waiter brought a bottle of another Langhe Nebbiolo and opened it at our table. "See if you like this," he said. "If not, I'll get another." One sniff was all Donna and I needed to know that this Silvio Grasso wine was a perfect match for our pasta dishes. "Six ounces, nine ounces or the whole bottle?" he asked as he poured two generous servings without waiting for an answer. "You might as well enjoy yourselves," And enjoy ourselves we did--at least 10 ounces each.
Medium garnet with Nebbiolo orange tints. The wine was aged six months in stainless steel, threee months in large oak casks and six months in the bottle. Beautiful scents of cherries, dark plums and flowers. Tannins grip the mid-palate, leaving the dry sensation I associate with a fine Barolo. The fruit is from LaMorra and offers up generous flavors. As the wine airs over the course of the meal, the flavors get more and more enticing. Great acidity. Tart cherries, red raspberries and savory spice. The pleasure continues long after the glasses are empty/
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Domaine Roux Pere et Fils Bourgogne Rouge, 2013
Medium ruby, mature color. Rhubarb, red berries, orange zest and black pepper. Tannins have faded. Good fruit but it's acidity that carries this wine. Gets better with every sip and highlights the flavors of the perfectly cooked lamb chops--crisp and charred on one side, medium rare and moist on the other.
Sunday, February 12, 2023
Ercole Barbera del Monferrato, 2020
Deep ruby red. Vibrant smells and flavors of fresh cherries, red berries and spice. Has the acidity Barbera is known for with modest tannins and medium body. Delightful finish, spicy and fresh. It comes in a full liter bottle, making it a perfect match for the pizza you're probably eating while watching the Super Bowl. I bought it for $14.99 at Whole Foods.
Saturday, February 11, 2023
Fall Creek Vineyards Texas Chenin Blanc, 2020
Grifalco Aglianico del Vulture, 2019
Blackberries, cranberries, citrus zest and violets. Savory, almost salty, with considerable complexity and depth for a wine this young and this inexpensive. Mushrooms and pleasant earthy tones. Medium long finish.
Thursday, February 9, 2023
Cartlidge & Browne North Coast Pinot Noir, 2020
Very dark for a Pinot. Black raspberry, plum and forest floor. Now some pepper and orange zest. Pleasantly dry with a long after taste. I could drink this frequently.
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Wind Gap Woodruff Vineyards Santa Cruz Chardonnay, 2013
Deep gold color. Pretty citrus-tinged bouquet. Also green apples, flowers, lime and French oak. Bold Chardonnay personality on the mid-palate with good acid-tannin balance and well defined flavors.
I think all of the WineBid supply has now been purchased. The last price I saw was 6 bottles for $10. Despite its deep gold color and 10 years of age, I suspect the wine will still be drinking beautifully two or three years from now.
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Domaine Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du Pape, 1994
Bright crimson with some brickish tones emerging. Alluring scents of raspberries, cinnamon, herbs and leather. Old time Chateauneuf texture, rich and powerful with furry tannins on the mid-palate. Intense flavors of fresh and dried fruit with black pepper, minerals and spice on the long finish. This is my last bottle of a case, and I am sad to see it go.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Gabriele Scaglione Tutto Dipende du Dove Vuoi Andare Langhe Rosso, 2011
Deep ruby red, shading to brickish tones at the rim. Intense Nebbbiolo perfume of ripe fruit, flowers, cloves and dark minerals. Plenty of Nebbiolo tannin along with Barbera acidity. Red and black fruits, black licorice and spice. This is wherre Gabriele Scaglione decided to go, and it was a very good choice. Great wine; wish I had more.
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Domaine les Grands Bois Cuvee Maximilien Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne, 2012
Bright crimson. Dark cherries, black currants, violets, anise seed, black minerals, black pepper and licorice. Certainly has a strong black streak that I usually associate with Vacqueyras. 50% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah and 5% old vine Carignan (planted in the 1960s). Ripe black fruit on the mid-palate countered by spice and black minerals. Good balance of acid and tannin and a long, savory finish. Special wine; wish I had more.
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Dow;s Fine Ruby Port, NV
Dark ruby red. Cherries, black raspberries, chocolate, a pleasing bit of balsamic. Bold and full bodied. Could match up either with a hearty beef dish or chocolate dessert. Tannic and alcoholic bite that is balanced out by the sweet finish
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Badet Clement Pontificis Pays d'Oc Grenache Syrah Mourvedre, 2019
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
2 Lads Fouch Vineyard Old Mission Peninsula (Michigan), 2017
We taste wine on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse city at least once every year, and 2 Lads is always on my list of places to visit. The view there, from a hill overlooking the bay, is astounding, and the wines produced there offer a good bit of character. This Fouch Vineyard Riesling is a perfect example.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
The Federalist Mendocino County Zinfandel Aged in Bourbon Barrels, 2017
Very deep and dark. Cherries, black raspberries, caramel and vanilla plus some smoky notes. The ripe berry Zinfandel flavors are front and center, though. And the cool climate of Mendocino adds some welcome acidity.The 15% ABV is barely noticeable.
Domaine Jean Deydier et Fils Les Clefs d'Or Chateauneuf du Pape, 2000
Mature, medium light color. Lifted aromatics. Cherry, menthol, rosemary and thyme. In smell and flavor, the wine is a perfect match for Patricia Wells' Provencal lamb au gratin. Ripe fruit, dried and fresh, and herb-tinged acidity. Classic Chateauneuf at a good stage of maturity.
Friday, January 20, 2023
Elio Sandri Barbera d'Alba Superiore, 2012
Very deep and dark, purplish. Dark cherries, black currants, cloves and oak spices. Medium to full bodied (14.5%) and substantial tannin on the mid-palate and finish. High Barbera acidity keeps it lively. A good match for lamb, duck or heavily flavored dishes.
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Saltram S2 Southeastern Australia Shiraz, 2019
Medium red, lightening at the rim. Tasty fruit: fresh cherries and plums with a bit of spice. The label speaks of "subtle use" of oak, and I can detect very little oak influence. That's no problem for me; it's similar to a Cotes du Rhone in offering approachable low-tannin Shiraz fruit. Unlike a Cotes du Rhone, though, it's also soft on the acidity scale and is a bit lacking in depth and complexity. But if it comes back again at the Trader Joe's price, I will stand in line for more.
Sunday, January 15, 2023
Famille Perrin Ventoux Rouge, 2020
Friday, January 13, 2023
Franco Serra Barbera d'Alba, 2014
Medium deep ruby red, lightening a bit at this stage of its development. Beautiful bouquet of dark and red cherries, flowers, mint and tobacco. Medium full on mid-palate. Low in tannin and high in acidity, as is typical of Barbera. Flavors of fresh raspberry and black licorice. A beautiful wine to drink frequently with pasta, pizza or just about anything.
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Landmark Sangiocomo Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay, 20165
Medium deep gold. Lovely, elegant personality typical of Carneros Chardonnay. Apricot, white flowers, honey and creme brulee. Plenty of oak here (French oak, 35% new) as well as creamy malolactic and lees traits. The finish may be tightening a bit with age, as the oak becomes more prominent, but this is still a very enjoyable wine.
Sunday, January 8, 2023
Wind Gap Gap's Crown Vineyard Chardonnay, 2013
Very deep, mature gold color. Yes, plenty of energy and acidity; this is not for those who want their Chardonnays to be fat and cuddly. But there are some rich, deep smells and flavors. Apple, citrus, hazelnuts, nuances of fruit and minerals. As a 2013 Chardonnay, this wine and some of its Wind Gap siblings were sold off at bargain bin prices by WineBid. I bought a few, and they seem to be holding their own.
Saturday, January 7, 2023
Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Santa Maria Chardonnay, 2020
Medium light yellow. Citrus peel, spiced apples, flowers and mint. Medium bodied with abundant energy and zest. Creamy but not buttery. Reminds me of a good Oregon Chardonnay. Has been available for about $14 from Costco.
Handley Cellars Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 2015
Compared to the Evening Land, deep ruby as opposed to medium light garnet. Dark cherries, violets and mushrooms. Beautiful nose that gets better with each swirl. Fuller bodied and lesss delicate than the Evening Land but still very Pinot in personality. Bright fruit and peppery spice on the finish. Again, the finish is lovely but just keeps getting better and more complex with each sip. I bought this bottle at auction for $10 in 2019 and got a fantastic bargain. Would love to have more.
Evening Land Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2012
Medium light garnet. Cranberries, red raspberries and spice. Delicate with a silky texture. Citrus zest, pepper and spice on the finish. In many ways, this reminds me of a good Willamette Valley (Oregon) Pinot Noir. Well worth the price and drinkingn well at 10 years of age.
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Romain Duvernay Beaumes de Venise, 2016
Monday, January 2, 2023
Domaine Sainte-Anne Cotes du Rhone Villages Saint Gervais, 2005
Beautiful crimson color, bright and deep. Dark cherries, plums, violets and Provencal herbs. Deep, vibrant fruit all the way down the palate with a long finish. The 2004 Saint Gervais faded several years ago, but this 2005 is going strong with many years ahead of it.
Sunday, January 1, 2023
De Saint Gall Le Selection, NV
Good mousse, tiny bubbles that persist even on the second night. Bright medium gold. Blanc de Noir personality even though it is 54% Chardonnay, 23% Pinot Noir and 23% Pinot Meunier. White flowers and just the right amount of biscuit and brioche. Enchanting nose and long finish. Happy New Year!