Saturday, March 28, 2009
Saturated black ruby color with violety highlights. Lots of toasty oak and milk chocolate notes on the nose, overshadowing the simple plummy fruit. Sweet cassis and blackberry flavors, with a cedary, minerally component in the background. Soft and mouthfilling, but relatively superficial in appeal. 86. Was $10 and change at Spec's on Smith.
Rich, soft dark ruby color. Medium intensity nose of sweet brown sugar, baking spices, and fresh-pressed berry juice. Sweet and soft in the mouth, with full body, and lots of simple ripe berryish fruit (with the barest hint of minerality in the background). A decent wine, but I'd have a tough time identifying it as Zinfandel. 85. Was $15 and change at Spec's on Smith.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
2005 Daniel Dampt CHABLIS PREMIER CRU "Cotes de Lechet" -- A wine I reviewed last year, it was holding nicely, with lots of steely, earthy, austere and penetrating (unoaked) Chardonnay fruit. Was about $29 from Flickinger's Wines (on-line) in Chicago.
1989 Chateau Meyney (St. Estephe, Bordeaux) -- Despite non-optimal storage for the last 10 years, this wine has held together nicely. Loads of cedary-peanuty aged Bordeaux scents, with soft, earthy plummy fruit in the mouth.
2006 Wine Guerrilla "Coffaro Vineyards Old Vine" ZINFANDEL (Dry Creek Valley) -- This Zin was really, really good. Big, spicy, ripe (almost jammy but not quite) nose. Rich and fat in the mouth, but with great balancing acidity keeping it from being ponderous. Spec's has some of this limited production gem for around $32.
2004 Casa Emma CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA -- This was a deep, brooding Chianti, with big earthy, gravelly, gingerbready notes augmenting seriously concentrated macerated cherry fruit. Long, austere finish with some well-hidden tannin. Come back and see this guy in 3-5 years and it will be amazing. About $40 at Spec's.
2005 Turkey Flat Vineyards MOURVEDRE (Barossa Valley, Australia) -- This had loads of deep, ripe blackberry fruit, with a distinctly saline minerality. Mouthfilling and deep. Was about $20 on sale at Kroger's (Yes, Kroger's!) on Westpark near Buffalo Speedway.
2006 Cristom "Eola-Amity Hills PINOT NOIR "Marjorie's Vineyard (Willamette Valley, Oregon) -- Another superb P.N. from this producer. Earthy, spicy sappy cherry nose. Mouthfilling yet exceedingly elegant, with a soft finish that lasted and lasted and lasted . . . . Wow. Was about $40 at Spec's on Smith.
2006 d'Arenberg "The Noble" RIESLING (McLaren Vale, Australia) -- This botrytised late harvest Riesling was a total surprise. Who would have expected an Aussie Riesling to compare with a German Beerenauslese? Not me. But this one did, and at a (relative) bargain price of $18 (Spec's on Smith). Honeyed apricots and peaches, very sweet, intense, flavors, yet with very good acidity for balance. Not as complex as the best German versions, but a bargain in comparison!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
The color of this wine wasn't super-saturated, but the nose and flavors revealed an elegant ripeness of fruit that was remarkable, particularly after it had been opened an hour or so. Beautiful ripe raspberry, plummy fruit, with just a hint of Rhone garigue-y earthiness. Very soft texture, medium-full body, and a long finish. Not exceedingly complex or a blockbuster, but just one of those wines you just want to keep sniffing and sipping. 89. Was $14.95 at Central Market.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Deep, saturated black ruby color. Big nose of spicy raspberry and earthy, stony, herby scents (classic "garrigue"). Deep and mouthcoating, this wine weighed in on the back of the tongue with great authority and length. Had fruit and deep, iodiney/minerally flavor components in equal measure. Gobs of soft, fine-grained tannin makes this a good candidate for another 2-3 years of cellaring if you've got a cool place to store it. Was about $34 at Spec's on Holcombe, making it one of the lower-priced Chateauneufs available. 90.
Bright, saturated ruby with vivid magenta highlights. The nose jumps out of the glass with ripe raspberry and crushed rock aromas. Intense fruity minerallly flavors, with good concentration, full body, but a slightly coarse texture. Would pair nicely with red meat sauces and grilled burgers. 86. Was $8.98 at Central Market on Westheimer and Weslayan.
Deep color, but not nearly as deep as those $30 blockbuster Petite Sirah's that dominate the wine shop shelves. However, the upside of this limited extraction is that this wine is 1/10 as tannic as those wines, and is very drinkable. The nose and taste are very ripe and loaded with straightforward, deep-toned blackberryish fruit. Good length, balance, and texture. Not even close to complex, but lots of fun to drink. 87. This was $9.99 at Whole Foods on Bellaire.