Sunday, June 26, 2011

2007 Fritz ZINFANDEL (Dry Creek Valley, Cal.)

A good value in a medium-weight, intensely minerally Zin.

Dark ruby garnet.  Medium intensity, inviting nose of warm vanilla, spicy blackberries, and salty, stony minerals.  Soft and fruity, lots of up-front blackberry fruit, along with a striking saline minerality.  Good acidity and a fair amount of tannin in the finish.  Good, not great concentration, and a medium-long, dry finish.  Solid B.  I got this for $14 and change at Spec's on Weslayan.

2009 Domaine Seguinot-Bordet CHABLIS "Vieilles Vignes" (Northern Burgundy, France)

A young, intense, tight, mineral-infused Chardonnay.  I would lay this down for at least another year or two, maybe more.

Medium light, very bright gold color.  Intensely saline/chalky/minerally nose whose fruit profile features intense green apples and crisp, slightly underripe peach scents.  Lean, intense, chalk and stone-laced flavors attack the palate, with some slightly bitter green apple skin and straw flavors.  Needs time to settle down, but should get even better.  The intense acidity and good length bode well for ageing.  B++.  Imported by J&R Selections.  Was $21 at Spec's on Weslayan.

2007 Casa Emma CHIANTI CLASSICO (Tuscany, Italy)

This wine was in a very soft, easy-going style.  A bit less structured and simpler than is usual, in my opinion, from this very good producer.

Dark ruby garnet.  Scents of warm gravel and cherries.  Soft, easygoing flavors of sandstone, bright cherry fruit, and steely minerals.  Very soft texture and decent acidity.  Ideal for red-sauced pasta dishes over the next year.  B-.  Imported by Margaux and Associates, I got this for about $18 at Spec's.

2007 Domaine Vendemio "AMADEUS" (Cotes de Ventoux, Southern France)

This 80% Grenache, 20 % Syrah was a bruiser.

Completely saturated black ruby.  Dark, low-toned and highly-extracted nose of mineral-laced blackberries, pound cake, and scorched earth.  Inky, mouthcoating, peppery flavors of blackberry skins and graphite.  Boatloads of tannins in the long, dark, highly-extracted, peppery finish.  B.  A winter-weight wine.  Imported by Eric Solomon, I got this on sale from during one of their periodic "$20 Sales."

2009 Domaine de la Voute des Crozes COTES de BROUILLY (Beaujolais, France)

A tightly-wound, classic cru Beaujolais at value price.

Jet black ruby with dark purple highlights.  Intense nose of crunchy cherry candy, cracked stones, and a hint of Juicy Fruit gum.  Intensely minerally cherry and plum skin flavors.  Tight and bone dry, with a surprisingly (for a Beaujolais) amount of tannin in the finish.  Good acids too.  This wine will be better in a year or so, but it is very enjoyable now as well.  Very food-friendly.  B+.  Imported by Kermit Lynch, I got this for $18 from B-21 Wines in Florida.

2008 Wine Guerrilla ZINFANDEL (Dry Creek Valley, Cal.)

A very good value, flavorful Zin.

Dark ruby garnet.  Pleasantly rustic nose of dark blackberries, roasted green herbs, and brambly sandstone.  In a leaner more rustic style than most Zins, this wine has drying flavors of blackberry, brambly underbrush, and scorched earth.  Good acidity and a bit of tannin in the medium length finish give some structure.  Would pair well with rustic, assertive dishes.  B+.  $14.73 at Spec's on Weslayan.

(Sorry, 2009 shown)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2009 Cline "Ancient Vines" MOURVEDRE (Contra Costa County, Cal.)

Cline has cranked out yet another excellent iteration of this wine.  Let's hope that the vineyard owners in the region don't sell out anytime soon to the real estate developers, which apparently is a real issue with the old vines in Contra Costa County.

Dark, violet-tinged ruby.  Rich, low-toned fruity nose of sappy blackberry juice, toasted baking spices, toffee, and sandstone.  Soft (especially for a Mourvedre, which can sometimes be a bit coarse), ripe, mouthfilling flavors of blackberry, smoky gravel, and a hint of peach juice.  Long finish with well-integrated tannins and the barest trace of heat.  A winner.  A-.  $13.99 at Spec's.

(BTW -- I had the 2009 Cline Ancient Vines Zin while on vacation, and while I have no notes for it, it too was a great value in a fleshy, balanced Zin).

2008 Jean & Gilles Lafouge AUXEY-DURESSES 1er CRU "LES DURESSES" (Burgundy, France)

One of the best under $30 Burgundian Pinot Noirs I've had in many years.  A high energy wine.

Light ruby garnet color.  Gorgeous, high-toned nose of sweet/tart cherries, cool plums*, powdered stones and lemon dust.  Piercing, almost electric flavors of high-toned cherry and tingly, stony minerals.  Crisp acidity and a fine dusting of tannin dominate the texture of the finish.  Amazing purity of flavors and liveliness.  Leaves the palate tingling and invigorated.  A-.  Was $29.99 from B-21 Wines in Florida (an excellent retailer who ships).

*  Remember that William Carlos William poem, "This is Just to Say"?

This Is Just To Say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

2010 Crios ROSÉ OF MALBEC (Mendoza, Argentina)

A bruiser of a rosé, but in a good way.

Very dark (for a rosé) cherry/watermelon color.  Deep nose of cherry and watermelon juice (I'm not just getting lazy here, it really did look and smell like cherry and watermelon) along with powdered rock dust.  Intensely flavored (almost overwhelmingly so for a rosé) with cherry/mineral flavors.  Lots of body too.  It's a rosé that drinks like a red, is what it is.  Clean. long, minerally finish with some (barely) perceptible residual sugar.  Not a lot of finesse, but a lot of oomph.  Put a good chill on it or it will be cloying, but with that good chill it's a B+.  Got this as a gift, so I don't know the price, but an Internet search reveals that most places sell this for around $10, making it a good value.