Sunday, April 27, 2014

2012 Mockingbird Hill ZINFANDEL Reserve (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California)

This wine is very young and, at present, needs a lot of time to breathe.  The first night I thought it was going to be mediocre, since it showed zero fruit and seemed to display nothing but vaguely oaky scents and alcohol.  Then I put it under a Vacu-Vin closure for two full nights and forgot about it.  I came back to it on the third day, and, in an Easter season miracle, it rose from the dead (i.e., it was a different wine altogether).  These notes are from day three.

Very dark, youthful-looking ruby.  Classic Dry Creek Valley scents of creamy, spicy black raspberry/blackberry fruit, augmented by some stony scents.  Soft, rich, and mouthfilling.  It's ripe, but not overripe, which seems to be a problem with Zins these days.  Loads of pure, ripe, dark berry fruit, and some darkly-minerally notes.  Full-bodied, and possessing loads of youthful but reasonably soft tannins.  Pure, long, juicy finish.  If you want to "pop-n-pour" this one, you're going to need to wait 2-3 years.  If you want to drink it before then, be sure to decant it (through a Vinturi) for several hours ahead of time.  B+(+).  Was $14.99 from, making it a pretty good value.

(Note:  Cabernet label shown, but the Zinfandel label has the same look.)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

2012 Domaine de le Potine TOURAINE Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc) (Loire Valley, France)

A zesty, refreshing wine.  Not a lot of depth, but, boy, is it easy to gulp down.

Nose has scents of lemon-lime, green apple, tarragon, and chalk.  Crisp, zingy, and minerally in the mouth.  Light-bodied, with loads of crisp acids, it has a solid beam of lemony, green apply fruit, and a very clean, refreshing finish.  Drink over the next 18 months (particularly on hot summer days and nights).  B/B+.  Was $13.99 from  Imported by Fleet Street Wine Merchants.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2012 Michel Chapoutier "Bila-Haut" COTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES (Southern France)

Not as extroverted as the 2011 or 2009 renditions, this blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignane is
very nicely proportioned and in nice balance.

Nearly saturated dark violet-ruby.  Subdued nose grudgingly yields scents of smoky, stony minerals and a shrinking note of ripe blackberry.  The mouth is a different story.  It aggressively leaps at and clings to the sides of your mouth with flavors of iodiney, dry blackberry extract and liquified dark stones.  Bone dry, with a significant amount of fine-grained tannin dustily coating the mouth.  This wine has decent acids and a reasonably long finish.  This wine wine likely be a little more aromatically expressive, and maybe a tad softer, in a year.  B.  Was $12.99 at Whole Foods in Arlington.  Imported by HB Wine Merchants, NYC.