Friday, June 18, 2010

A new Valpo.

I'm on a Valpolicella kick. And I really liked this one. It's the first time I've had or seen this producer, but I'm really glad I found it.

David Sterza, Classico Superiore Ripasso, 2007.

Compared to regular Classico Valpo, this wine is a full, deep crimson color and it has pronounced raisin character which comes from, of course, the Ripasso method, where the wine is refermented ("passed over" so to speak) on the skins of grapes pressed for Amarone. This brings up the alcohol a bit and also gives it a noticeable sweet, raisined character with some bittersweet chocolate on the finish. There's also some noticeable volatile acidity on the nose, but you know, VA is a relative flaw. In this case it actually adds a little aromatic lift, and is typical of the region of production.

You can find it around for about $20, and it blows the socks off a lot of other wines at that price point.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joguet Chinon 2006

Finally!! The exam is finished and now I can go back to what I do best... studying. Because it looks like I will be taking it again! Good for me I guess and good for the blog.

Blogging is about 112th on my list of favorite things to do. When I'm doing it, I hate it. When I'm not doing it, I'm thinking I should be doing it.

There were a few mistakes I made that I made. Believe it or not, as much Cab Franc as I drank last year I mistook it for Valpolicella and vice versa. So I went out and bought some of these and tasted them side by side.

Perfumed, a little brett, a little reduction with tobacco leaf aromatics, med + acid, 13.5% alc.
rustic, grippy tannins and black currant and copper penny on the palate.

Delicious in a tasting and even better sitting on the couch and watching Top Chef Masters
while sipping.

Hillside expoure, hand picked, 5 day cold soak, 21 days on the skins (!), 30C Ferm temps,
daily punchdowns and finally, MLF in barrel, with the wine spending about 14 months
in 1-3 yr old neutral wood barrels. Don't say I never did any research for you!

Charles Joguet, Clos de Chene Vert, Chinon, 2006.

About $26.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Glaser Himmelstoss, Silvaner, Franken, Germany, 2006.

I'm a little late blogging on this, as I drank it AGES ago, well by AGES I mean around Christmas. It was a gift from an MW friend, as she knows I need to study up on my non-Riesling German varieties. Like Muller Thurgau, which is generally flabby, lower in alcohol and tastes like nothing, the opposite of Silvaner really.

This wine actually had some heft, and it's high acidity and peachy character give it a little bit of length and complexity. I'm not saying it's Grand Cru Burgundy or anything, it's a simple easy drinking wine that went quite well with cauliflower soup and grilled cheese (check out my friend Rob's blog for that recipe...)

Silvaner is mostly found in Rheinhessen and Frankenm though some can be found in Alsace, Alto-Adige, Switzerland and Eastern Europe. I think it makes a nice alternative to something like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. Even though it's not as aromatic, the acidity makes it slightly comparable... or at least that's my silly little opinion.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chianti at it's peak...

Rocca delle Macie, Chianti Classico, Riserva, 2004.

I liked this wine, but didn't love it. It was so inexpensive though for Riserva that I am cutting it some slack. I thought it was really nicely balanced, moderate plus alcohol, grippy but integrated tannins and nice sour cherry fruit, however it was getting a little dried out and these was some VA on the nose that I usually find pleasant in Italian wine, but to me it seemed like this one was just on the verge of being oxidized.

BUT the good news is that it got better the longer it was opened, which doesn't make sense actually since I felt it was already a little oxidized (from long barrel age perhaps?) I would suggest a nice rough and tumble decanting and then splashing around in your glass for a bit. It's definitely showing some nice secondary savory notes on the nose. Drink now!

$24.99 Rosso Wine Shop

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yum, Brunello!

Caprili, Brunello di Montalcino, 2004.

If I could drink Brunello everyday what a great life that would be!

I loved, loved, loved this wine! It was so perfumed, richly textured, firm tannins, which though fairly astringent were still pleasant and had a real stick to the roof of your mouth peanut butter kinda texture. Stunning wine. 100% Sangiovese, as Brunello must be by law. Great vintage. Pick it up! It's not cheap, but what the hell are you waiting for? Drink cheap when you're dead. For now, go for it... $56.99 Wine House.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hello Enzo!

Enzo Boglietti, Tiglineru, Dolcetto d'Alba, 2007.

I heard from Charles Curtis, MW a few weeks ago in an Italian wine seminar for the IMW residential classes that Dolcetto smells like dog food, I guess this is a marker for some people? I can't say I've ever had that experience but now when I think of Dolcetto all I think of is Kibbles 'n Bits.

I really liked this wine, $19.99 at the Wine House, it was darkly colored with black stone fruits, plums, etc., moderate tannins, which gave it a nice astringency on the finish and moderate acidity. It certainly doesn't have the acidity of Sangiovese, Barbera or Nebbiolo, but definitely some dusty minerality, which to me just screams Italy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Verasol, Tn, Tempranillo, Navarra, 2008.

For $8 this wine is pretty damn good. Very primary red berry fruit, all done in tank, gives it an aromatic lift with moderate acid and moderate tannin. The first time I tasted this I mistook it for Cotes du Rhone, the second time I blind tasted it in a flight I deliberated, was it Grenache, Tempranillo, maybe inexpensive Merlot? But the more I deliberated the more I knew it was my old friend tempranillo who likes to screw me over in all blind tastings because it's just so moderate everything. Cheap and very drinkable.