Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2011 Truscott "Old Vine" ZINFANDEL (Mendocino County, Cal.)

This is a very burgundian-styled (that is to say, Pinot Noir-styled) Zinfandel.  I this was served blind to me, I'd guess a solid village level wine from the Cote de Beaune or sure. Unusual, but very nice.

Light, very crystalline ruby color.  Medium intensity nose of sweet, sappy cherry, a little blackberry, dark baking spices, and a lightly-minerally note.  Mouthfilling, but light on its feet, with very Bourgogne-like flavors of dry, sappy cherry extract and light stoniness.  Very pure tasting.  Fairly full bodied, and good acidity too.  Bone dry.  Good length.  B+.  Was $15.99 from Total Wine in Fairfax, VA.  So it's a good value too.  But drink up over the next year.  It's not made to age.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

2009 Ramon Valle "Peique" BIERZO (Spain)

This is another excellent value from Bierzo.  Very minerally and clingy, with the sometimes rough tannins of Bierzo under control.  I like that there's no overtly noticeable oak.

Very dark ruby/violet.  Gorgeously pure scents of violets and perfectly ripe blackberry juice poured over a pile of powdery crushed stone . . . with a note of dried citrus peel.  Very concentrated flavors fill the mouth, but it's not heavy or jammy.  Iodine, lightly scorched gravel, and blackberry skins.  Loads of soft tannin provide nice texture.  Full bodied.  Long, clingy, chewy finish.  B+.  Imported by Classic Wines, Stamford, CT, this wine was a remarkable $10.99 from  Get some.

(Sorry, 2008 shown).

Friday, July 12, 2013

2010 Raimbault SANCERRE "Vieilles Vignes" (Loire Valley, France)

This is a terrific, crisp, fragrant, flavorful white.  One of the nicest Sancerres I've had in years.

Light gold color.  Amazing nose of crushed limestone, wet clay, gooseberries, green apples, and a citrusy component.  Bone dry, with intense but mouth-wateringly crisp flavors, showing chalky minerals, a saline note, green apply fruit, and a blazingly pure, long, 'nuther-sip-inducing finish.  Love it.  A.  Was $22.99 from, and well-worth it.  Imported by Sege Dore Selections.

(Sorry, 2009 shown)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

UPDATE: 2010 Thunevin-Calvet "Cuvee Constance" COTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES (Southwest France)

This wine, which I previously reviewed several months ago, has softened and opened up appreciably.  It now warrants an A-.  Fragrant, intense, very linear, loads of intense stony minerals.  Very clingy flavor persistence.  I have one bottle left, which I'll try to hold off on drinking for at least another year.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

2010 Three Wine Company OLD VINE FIELD BLEND (Contra Costa County, Cal.)

I really like old vine reds from the freakishly deep sands of Contra Costa County.  They really represent a unique American terroir.  This wine is composed of 100+ yr. old vines from 26% Zinfandel, 25% Petite Sirah, 25% Mataro, 20% Carignane, 3% Alicante Bouschet and 1% Black Malvoisie.  And it's really good.

Very dark, plasma-like ruby/violet.  Enchanting nose of rich berries, cocoa powder, minerals, and ashy embers, with a single line of tangy rhubarb at the end.  Rich, low-toned, and darkly berryish, with a the cocoa component still there.  It's quite dry, with lots of soft tannin coating the sides of the mouth.  And despite the 15.2% alcohol, there's some very nice acidity buoying everything up.  Although this winery's single varietal wines tend to be a little more expensive than its "field blend," I think I usually like the field blend a little more.  A-.  If I'm remembering correctly, I think I got this several months ago for around $18 from