2007 "Rosso del Vulcano" AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE -- This was an excellent, balanced, flavorful, traditional styled Aglianico. Great, minerally, gravelly nose with deep winey, berry fruit. Excellent balance and persistence. Not too tannic and, best of all, no smell or flavors of new French oak. ($17.99 from Houston Wine Merchant).
2009 Chateau Thivin CÔTE DE BROUILLY -- Outstanding old school Beaujolais. Gobs of minerally, rich, crunchy cherry fruit. Vivacious and deep-flavored. Smooth, clingy, and refreshing.
2009 Domaine Diochon MOULIN-À-VENT "Cuvée Vieilles Vignes" -- This wine pointedly displayed the typical difference between the neighboring Beaujolais applelations of Moulin-á-Vent and Cote de Brouilly (or the Moulins and ANY of the other Beaujolais appellations): The Moulins are typically earthier, larger-framed, more structured and austere, and less overtly fruity. (This one fit the profile to a "t".) In a word, they are -- at least to me -- more challenging to drink. Some would argue that makes it the best Beaujolais appellation. I just think it's different, and I usually go for the non-Moulin style when I'm considering drinking a Beaujolais.
2009 Leitz Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz RIESLING Spatlese (Rheingau, Germany) -- A fantastic, more than slightly sweet Riesling, with piercing peachy, apricot fruit, coupled with intensely minerally (almost petrolly) notes, and a dark tea leaf aspect. Fantastically balanced, with outstanding acidity and a great, pure finish. Loved it.
2010 King Estate "Vin Glacé" RIESLING (Oregon) -- This "fake" Eiswein (the grapes were harvested late and then frozen by the winemaker and crushed, as opposed to being harvested late while frozen, then crushed) was a fantastic buy in a dessert Riesling. Intensely fruity, with loads of pure peach/apricot fruit, a tad bit of minerality, and intense acidity adding lift to the finish. Was about $14 for the half bottle at Spec's on Smith, making it a steal for a delicious, lighter-styled dessert wine.
2007 Selection Laurence Féraud GIGONDAS (Rhone Valley, France) -- A classically-styled Gigondas. Loads of herbal, austere, iodiney-minerally fruit on the nose. Fairly full, with that classic Gigondas austere feel, but with an excellent, clingy finish. Great with winter stews and wine-braised pot roasts.
2008 Francine et Olivier Savary CHABLIS "Selection Vieilles Vignes" (No. Burgundy, France) -- A traditionally styled, austere, earthy, straw and broth-scented Chardonnay. Lean, penetrating, and with loads of crisp, earth-tinged, apply fruit. Very nice.