Monthly Archives: June 2008

Two sides of the county line

Mumm Napa Napa Valley Devaux Ranch Methode Traditionnelle 2002 There’s lots of citrus with a hint of the zest and a touch of alcohol. The grapes are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and the wine was aged 3 years on the … Continue reading

Posted in California, Carneros, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Sparkling Dry | Leave a comment

Sparkling in the pink

Domaine Chandon, Sonoma County 62%, Napa County 38%, etoile, Rose nv The house style is one of forward fruit and a soft profile. Likewise with this wine in a copper color and an added zip of acidity. The fruit source … Continue reading

Posted in California, Chardonnay, Green Valley, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, Sparkling Dry | Leave a comment

Old and new

Traditional appellation wine versus a modern blend from Piemonte. Vietti, Barolo DOCG, Castiglione 2004 In June of ’08 I noted brown spices and licorice on a very tannic frame that is balanced by acidity and extract. In April of ’09, … Continue reading

Posted in Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Italy, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Piemonte, Pinot Noir | Leave a comment

Island wine from Portugal

Cossart Gordon Madeira 5 Years Old Malmsey nv This is a rich style of Madeira from the Malvasia grape, known as Malmsey. The nose features toffee and caramel with a healthy dose of toasted nuts. In the mouth, you taste … Continue reading

Posted in Fortified dessert, Madeira, Malvasia, Portugal | Leave a comment

Riesling and Gewurztraminer differentiated

Though often talked about in the same breath, these two grapes are quite dissimiliar. Esterlina Cole Ranch Dry Riesling 2006 Concentrated stone fruit wrapped in acidity – long, great, delicious. P&B in Healdsburg 13.8% $14.99 at Bottle Barn Esterlina Elena … Continue reading

Posted in Alsace, Alto Adige, California, France, Gewurztraminer, Italy, Riesling | Leave a comment

Gris and grigio

This flight examines 3 approaches to the grape that goes by both the names Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio. Cantina Terlano Alto Adige Pinot Grigio Denominazione di Origine Controllata 2006 Mineral and stone fruit flavors with palpable acidity. Bottled in … Continue reading

Posted in California | Leave a comment

Nutty dessert

Lustau, Sherry, Denominaciónes de Origen, Solera Reserva, Rare Cream nv This is a step up from Lustau’s Deluxe Cream Sherry and cries out for a fireplace after dinner. There’s tons of complexity to this wine, the sort of experience for … Continue reading

Posted in Andalucia, Jerez, Palomino, Sherry, Spain | Leave a comment

Rioja star

Muga Rioja DOC Reserva 2004 This wine has some guts for aging. There’s sweet oak, black fruit and a nice light level of brett to add complexity to this structured baby. 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo and Graciano. … Continue reading

Posted in California | Leave a comment

Spanish values

San Alejandro Calatalud Las Rocas Garnacha 2005 100% Grenache, 70-100 years old. The Las Rocas line is bottled for Eric Solomon, from a cooperative effort of growers in Calatalud. Elabroado y embotellado in Miedes 14.5% $8.49 at Bottle Barn Legaris … Continue reading

Posted in Calatayud, California, Ribera del Duero, Spain | Leave a comment

Albarino in vogue

Albarino, a.k.a., Alvarinho, is hot. This refresher from Iberia is becoming more visible in America, with more imports from abroad and more plantings on the homefront. Condes de Albarei, Rias Baixas DO, Albarino 2007 Fully aromatic and lip smacking with … Continue reading

Posted in Albariño, California, Galicia, Monterey County, Rias Baixas, Spain | Leave a comment