Monday, October 28, 2013

2012 Nostrada GARNACHA (Campo de Borja, Spain)

I reviewed the 2011 earlier this year (I liked it), and this one is a very nice cheap wine as well.

Crystalline dark ruby with a bit of magenta (get out your damn 64 pack of Crayolas if you don't know what that is) at the rim.  Straightforward but very nice nose of dark, ripe raspberries and dark stony minerality.  Pure and richly fruity in the mouth, with loads of powdered stone minerality and a vigorous, athletic mouthfeel.  Nice weight and concentration, and a very nice, balanced finish with good acids counterbalancing full body.  B.   Was $9 at Total Wine in Mclean, VA.  Imported by Saranty Imports, White Plains, NY.

Monday, October 07, 2013

2009 Vignavecchia CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA (Tuscany, Italy)

Big and intense, this wine is not as elegant and precise as the excellent 2007 Riserva from this producer.  But it's still good.

Dark black ruby color.  Low-toned nose of ripe cherry and plummy fruit, some slightly scorchy minerality, and underbrush.  Dark and brooding in the mouth, with scorched earth driving the car and dark cherries in the back seat.  Acidity is pretty good for such a full-bodied wine, but it seems a bit unintegrated.  A bit bitter in the finish.  Not elegant, but doesn't skimp on bruising flavor and intensity.  B.  Was $19 from  Imported by Superior Wines, Cranford, NJ.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

2011 Chad PINOT NOIR (Anderson Valley, Cal.)

A fragrant, light, zesty Pinot Noir.  Varietally true, and fun to gulp, this wine is the antithesis of a "serious" Pinot.  But it's good anyway.

Light ruby color with a garnet tinge.  Lots going on in the nose: tart but sappy cherry, sandstone, a raw beef component, and a whiff of pine needles resting in moist soil.  Slams the palate with very pure-tasting cherry fruit and lots of stony minerals.  B one-dry and loaded with zesty acids too.  But the flavors fade pretty quickly, and there's not much concentration.  Compare this to a good quality Bourgogne Rouge.  B.  I think I got this for around $20 a bottle from