Friday, December 19, 2008


I won't be posting notes on any wines for a while, at least until sometime after New Year's. Have a great holiday season.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

2007 "ZESTOS" (50% Garnacha, 50% Tempranillo) (Madrid, Spain)

This was a good buy in a gutsy, blue-collar red.

Eye: Dark ruby with purple highlights.

Nose: Earthy plum juice with a stony note.

Mouth: Chunky and ripe, with low-ish acidity and some tannin that was just north of soft. Full-bodied, with a slightly hot finish. Not complex at all, but a fair amount of flavor for the buck.

Score: 85.

Cellar or drink? Drink over the next 6-9 months.

Price/store: Was about $8 or $9 at Central Market.

2006 Rodney Strong "Knotty Vines" ZINFANDEL (Sonoma County, Cal.)

A bargain Zin that's widely-available! Get some of this for weeknight dinners!

Eye: Dark, but not saturated, black, plummy ruby.

Nose: Spot-on Zinfandel nose of spicy blackberry fruit, with subtle notes of resiny pine forest and minerals.

Mouth: Ripe, rich, and soft, with decent, though not great concentration. Excellent balance and ripe, mouth-filling fruit. A classic "spaghetti red."

Score: 88.

Cellar or drink? Drink over the next year as this is not built to age.

Price/store: I lost the receipt, but I vaguely recall getting this at Randall's on Weslayan for about $14.

2005 Mommessin Chateau de Pierreux BROUILLY (Beaujolais, France)

This was an atypical, though OK, Beaujolais, tending toward the big and tannic side, not the fruity and refreshing style.

Eye: Very dark ruby with violet highlights.

Nose: Intense nose of scorched earth and very primary, crunchy plummy fruit.

Mouth: Full bodied and surprisingly tannic, this wine seems to need some time in bottle to soften a bit. Deep and tightly-wound core of black cherry/plummy fruit, with some alcoholic warmth in the finish.

Score: 83.

Cellar or drink? Hold for another year and then see if it's gotten any softer.

Price/store: $16 at Spec's on Smith.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wines from Grandma and Nonno’s visit -- Part 6 (short-form notes)

Grandma and Nonno returned to Massachusetts today, so this is the last entry for wines from their visit. I'm going to need something to rehabilitate my liver after this visit, so many good and excellent wines did we drink. (I'm also going to need to return to my more frugal, usual fare!)

2005 Chateau de Saint Cosme GIGONDAS (Rhone, France) -- This was a ripe, youthful, and highly structured Rhone wine. Had lots of minerality and was quite tight initially, but opened to show a concentrated core of ripe cassis and raspberry extract. Pretty tannic throughout. If you have a cool cellar, keep this one another 3 years and then enjoy.

2004 Verget CHABLIS 1er CRU FOURCHAUMEVieilles Vignes de Vaulorens” (Burgundy, France) -- this was excellent and drinking beautifully now. Ripe and complex, yet with bracing, well-integrated acidity. Featured a nose of toasty chicken broth, dry pear extract, lemons, and crushed stones. Very good concentration and length.

2006 Alto MoncayoVeraton” (Campo de Borja, Spain) -- This was a new-styled and very concentrated Grenache. I loved the soft texture, the concentration, and the ripeness, but it was just a tad too oaky for me. The 2004 I previously reviewed was better (similar but less oaky), but this was excellent in its own way.

2005 Hubertushof LEIWENER KLOSTERGARTEN RIESLING EISWEIN (Mosel, Germany) -- A youthful but outstanding icewine, with great minerality, wonderfully ripe peachy fruit, and mouthwatering acidity. Very enjoyable now, this fragrant jailbait of a dessert wine could easily last and improve over the next 10 years or so in a cool dark cellar.