Tuesday, January 31, 2006

(Too) Many Wines from a Weekend in New England

I went to New England for a very brief visit this weekend, since I hadn't seen either of my brothers' respective new houses. So two big family dinners (one at each house) resulted. As you can see, we opened several interesting bottles. Notes, sans scores, are below. First, the wines from Angy and Susan's house in West Hartford:

2002 Potel-Aviron Cote de Brouilly Vieilles Vignes (Beaujolais, France) -- medium intensity color, but a slightly oxidized nose, with some hard cassis fruit and crushed rocks underneath. On the austere side for a Beaujolais, though this appellation isn't known for the softness of its wines.

2002 Furst Lowenstein Reicholzheimer Satzenberg Weisser Burgunder Spatlese Trocken (Baden region, Germany) -- Believe it or not the wine was a bigger mouthful than the name. A rare chardonnay from Germany. Beautiful nose of flowers, straw, minerals, and tangerine oil. Rich, minerally/stony flavors, with bright fruit (peaches, granny smith apples); great balance and acidity. Like a really good Maconnais, only livelier and fresher. Dad and Mom got this one on their canal trip through Europe.

2001 Guilhem Durand Syrah Vieilles Vignes (VDP Hauterive, France) -- This was a polarizingly controversial wine. Deep, youthful color. Intense nose of earthy, barnyard scents, aged meat, red fruit, and iodine. Rich, earthy flavors, with a long finish that I thought soft, but my dad thought bitter. Very distinctive.

2000 Moncano "Cimero" Rosso Conero Riserva (Marche, Italy) -- Intense nose of leather, prosciutto, and dark red grapes. Rich, hearty, not particularly complex, but very satisfying.

2000 Grachino Alberto Nebbiolo d'Alba (Piemonte, Italy) -- The red wine of the evening. Absolutely classic, old-style Nebbiolo scents of chokecherry brandy, earth, and baker's chocolate. Intensely "winey" flavors of sweet & sour cherries and leather. Not a blockbuster, but great flavors.

2000 Campo de Borja "Borsao Reserva" (Spain) -- A blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Cabernet, and 25% Tempranillo. The Cabernet dominates here, however. Olivey, oaky Cabernet fruit on the nose and throughout the flavors. Not bad, but tastes like a Cabernet from most anywhere.


That was Saturday. On Sunday, we all went to Danny and Deb's house in the boonies of Ludlow. There, we had several more interesting wines, including (I say "including" because, due to Saturday's consumption, I skipped the white and have totally forgotten the last red altogether):

2001 Las Rocas de San Alejandro Vinas Viejas (Calatayud, Spain) -- This wine was amazing! Inky black ruby color; completely saturated. Penetrating nose of spicy blackberries, framboise liqueur, and graphite. Full-bodied, intense, mouthfilling flavors. Almost port-like in its intensity, but dry. Long, lingering finish with some soft tannins nicely integrated. Could easily last and improve another 3-4 years. Totally different in style than the 2003 version of this wine, reviewed previously here.

2001 Domaine d'Andezon Cotes du Rhone (France) -- Medium-dark ruby color. Bright nose of cherry candy, strawberries, and stones. Beautiful balance and softness. Medium long finish. Not a blockbuster, but very nicely done.

2002 Cousino Macul Cabernet Sauvignon Reservas Antiguas (Maipo Valley, Chile) -- I remember that the 2000 of this wine was amazing, although I drank it before starting this blog. It tasted like a dead-ringer for a really good Graves. The 2002 was nice, but didn't measure up to its older sibling. Lightish ruby color, with brick (already) at the edges. Weedy, herbal, blackcurranty, and dusty earth nose. Soft, relatively simple flavors of currants and earth. Medium length finish. Not a bad value, however, for a Bordeaux-style Cab, since I think it's around $11.

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