Saturday, June 27, 2015

I'm over on Delectable now.

Much easier than this old thing.

And remember:  no f*cking Malbec.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2014 Domaine de la Loge POUILLY-FUME (Loire Valley, France)

This is a really good value.  No great depth or complexity (very few Sauvignon Blancs do), but textbook aromas and flavors, great acids, and totally pure-tasting.

Light steely gold color.  Nose has crisp green apples, lemon-lime, freshly-chopped tarragon, and an underlying note of earthy chalkiness.  Round mouthfeel counterplays with the bone dry profile.  Loads of mouthwatering crisp green apples, laced with earthy/chalky minerals.  Decent length finish.  very lively in the mouth.  Well-chilled, this will be a great aperitif and cookout wine on the hot summer days ahead.  B+.  Was $15.99 from  Imported by Votto Vines, Hamden CT.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saveur magazine's demise -- I'm done

I've subscribed to Saveur since 2001.  Its articles always blended traditional regional culture with classic foods, wines, and recipes.

A couple of years ago, however, it began to change, for the worse, going more toward the Bon Appetit model of articles based on "new" recipes created by riffing on standard recipes and adding random or ironic twists or ingredients to it.

Now that transformation to complete irrelevance is complete.  The last three issues have completely sucked.  No culture articles worth mentioning.  Whole articles on nouvelle cuisine-like shit made up by ironically-bearded millennial chefs who are too young to even know that nouvelle cuisine sucked the first time around in the late 70s and early 80s.  When this subscription runs out, I'm done.  If I want random recipes, I'll just hit the Internet.

UPDATE:  I'm going to keep track of how many issues it's been since the last half-way decent issue (Issue 168).  Issues 169, 170, 171, 172, and 173 all sucked.  Each time a new sucky issue comes out, I'll do a quick blog about it (until my subscription runs out -- after that, I'll probably not need to vent anymore).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2012 Tommasi VALPOLICELLA CLASSIC SUPERIORE "Rafael" (Veneto, Italy)

Always a solid example of the type, the 2012 is one of the best I've had in a while.  Flavorful, light-textured, super-soft, and with classic Valpo flavors.

Medium dark ruby with the beginnings of garnet highlights.  Loads of ripe, juicy black cherry fruit, with nice mineral and almond paste overtones.  Just instantly fills the mouth with ripe, soft-textured fruit, which then slowly fades to reveal a bit of tannin and some clean, clingy dark fruit and mineral flavors.  Relatively full-bodied, yet seems light and refreshing.  Nice job.  Great with all kinds of food.  B+/A-.  Was $16.99 at Total Wine in Fairfax, VA.  Imported by Vintus LLC, Pleasantville, NY.

Monday, March 16, 2015

2014 Domaine Chene MACON MILLY LAMARTINE (Southern Burgundy, France)

This vibrant, flavorful, unoaked Chardonnay should be every restaurants' house white.  Just a fantastic value.

Shimmering bright, light gold color.  Almost Riesling-like nose of ripe, juicy yellow peach, mouthwatering crisp apple, honey and wet stones.  Mouthfilling, yet extraordinarily light on its feet.  Peach, pear, and apple fruit mingles and leads to a stony, honeyed finish.  Very nice acids buoy the whole thing up.  Drink over the next year for its liveliness.  (Great value!)  A-.  Was $12.99 from  Imported by MHW, Ltd., Manhasset, NY.

(Sorry, 2013 shown.)

Saturday, March 07, 2015

2010 Garofoli ROSSO CONERO "Piancarda" (Marche, Italy)

Rosso Conero is the Montepulciano-based wine from the region where my grandparents were born.  It's always been somewhat hard to find in this country, but in recent years a few more have made it to the U.S.  Unfortunately, the ones that make it here tend to be of the new, "international" style,  which means harvesting riper than traditionally, blending in some damn Cabernet or Syrah (or something else that isn't from there) sometimes (which actually causes it to lose the authorization to be called Rosso Conero), and using small French oak barrels for ageing instead either large Slavonian oak casks or non-wood tanks.  And as a result, most of the new-fangled ones suck.  (Well, maybe not in a technical sense, but in the sense that they're inauthentic.)

This one is a spot-on, traditional styled Rosso Conero that tastes like it should.  Which means balanced, a tad rustic, and great with food.

Deep, plasma-like ruby (the Montepulciano is a deeply-colored varietal).  Intense nose of rich gravelly soil, smoke notes, and underneath it all, deep dark berries.  Mouthfilling and with a load of soft but noticeable tannin, this wine really packs a lot of rich flavor, mostly of earthy blackberry fruit and smoky minerally notes.  Decent acidity.  Really nicely done.  Not the most complex wine, but that's not what it's supposed to be.  It's supposed to be great with food, like the Pollo alla Romana I'm making tonight.  A-.  Imported by Grappoli Imports, Glenburnie, MD.  My brother gave this to me, and he said it was around $15, which would make it a great buy.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

2011 Fattoria del Cerro VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO (Tuscany, Italy)

One of the best Vino Nobiles I've had in years.  Balanced and full-flavored.  Drinking well now but with structure to age for 5 more years.

Pure, deep, dense ruby with purply highlights still.  Deep, ripe nose of dark ripe cherries, dried cherry, and ripe blackberry, all augmented with a prominent gravelly, minerally component that always says "Tuscany" to me.  Low-toned, dark ripe berry fruit and dense, iodine-tinged minerals fill the mouth quickly, and take a long time to leave.  Decent acidity, and loads of soft tannin.  A-.  Imported by Vias Imports, NYC.  Got this for a great price ($15.99) from Last Bottle.

Friday, February 13, 2015

2009 Alvarez de Toledo BIERZO "Mencia Roble" (Spain)

This is a great buy.  I got it for $9, and it tastes like  $20-$30 wine.

Dark black ruby.  Very nice nose of blackberry extract, dusty sandstone and baking spices.  Mouthfilling and softly-textured, it got very pure blackberry and ripe black cherry fruit, with a darkly smoky component.  Loads of very soft tannin help it cling to the mouth and linger.  Medium-full body.  Very nice acidity.  Basically, a wine in nice balance.  A fantastic choice for casual dinner parties and weekday dinners.  A-.  Imported by Monsieur Touton Selections.  I got this at Wegman's in Fairfax, VA.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2012 Francois Villard SYRAH "L'Appel des Sereines" (France)

This producer is located in the Rhone, and the grape is Syrah, so I'm assuming it's a Rhone wine.  The label doesn't say.  But it tastes like a Loire red.  A really good Loire red.  Ripe and fragrant, yet low in alcohol (12.3%), with mouthwatering acids.

Medium dark ruby magenta.  Nose is great.  Earthy and meaty (and initially a bit on the funky side), but loads of crisp black cherry and boysenberry fruit come through, all undergirded with a saline minerality you can actually smell.  Ripe, crisp, earthy cherry fruit, with tons of rocky minerals.  Fantastic acidity keeps it refreshing.  This was about $16, if I remember correctly, from Red White & Bleu in Falls Church.  This light-bodied quaffer knows exactly who it is:  something that quenches your thirst and fits right in with a wide variety of foods (would be dynamite with braised chicken dishes, such as coq au vin).  Though it's a style that does not aspire to greatness, I give it an A-, based on its exuberant and highly distinctive character.  Imported by Elite Wines, Lorton, VA.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2009 Xavier Vignon CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE "Cuvee Anonyme" (Rhone Valley, France)

I've now had two bottles of this wine, one today and one about 6 months ago.  Robert Parker rated it a 96.  But here's what I don't get.  To me, it tastes so young, unformed, and dumb, I don't understand how anybody could give it any rating whatsoever at this point.  It's hard, unforgiving, unyielding, tight, and tannic.  Imagine a wine glass filled with a hammer (in liquid form).  Frankly, neither bottle has been pleasurable.  I have no idea how this will develop, if at all.  I'm going to leave the last 2 bottles for 2020 (if I am blessed enough to still be around at that point).  I guess I'll have to wait until then to see how talented and prescient the master is.  'Cause right now, all I know is that I am just not psychic enough to say a damn thing about how it may or may not develop.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

2012 Clos du Mont Olivet COTES DU RHONE "Vieilles Vignes" (Southern France)

This was a delicious, balanced, pure-tasting red.  Nice now, it will keep and improve for a couple of years easily.

Gorgeous, youthful dark ruby/magenta color.  Pure, deep, primary scents of pristine black raspberry juice and a with of an herbal/rhubarb note.  Soft, mouthfilling, and full-bodied, it sports a dense yet soft mouthfeel, and is redolent of dark cherry, iodine-tinged fruit.  Loads of fine-grained tannins and clingy minerally notes appear in the back half of the mouth-life.  Nice length.  This wine is made by one of the top Chateauneuf-du-Pape producers, and at $14.99 a bottle represents an excellent value.  Got this at the Whole Foods in the Clarendon section of Arlington VA.  Imported by Dionysis Imports, Manassas, VA.  A-.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2011 Thorn-Clarke "Shotfire" SHIRAZ (Barossa Valley, Australia)

This had everything in beautiful balance.  Nice body and concentration.  Velvety texture.  Nose had swirling mixture of smoke, gravelly minerals, gorgeous dark berry fruit, and a meaty element.  Deep flavors of iodiney/minerally blackberry extract.  A saline element in the finish, which is long.  Not overripe or hot, as many Aussie Shirazes can be.  Really fine.  A-.  Was about $15 at Total Wine in Fairfax.  Drink over the next two years.

(Sorry, 2009 shown.)

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Ask someone who's been a wine geek since before MTV was a channel. Global warming is real.

Bordeaux, Rhones, and Piemonte reds, on average, are 1%-1.5% higher in alcohol than they were in the 60s and 70s.  And that, along with the trend toward more "international"-style winemaking, makes them less interesting.  On the plus side, red Loire wines are better than they used to be,  More frequently than not in the old days, they were unripe and sucked.  Now, much better.

That is all.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Still here. Just unmotivated.

Yeah, I still drink wine.  It's just been a sucky summer, however, and that's sapped my motivation to blog.  I'll be back at some point.

And fuck Malbec.

Monday, June 09, 2014

2009 Marchesi de Frescobaldi Nipozzano CHIANTI RUFINA RISERVA (Tuscany, Italy)

This is a very reliable wine that is always well-made and a good value.  The 2009 is reflective of the ripe, easy-going nature of the vintage in Tuscany.  A nice amalgam of of red fruits, subtle oak, and deep, gravelly minerality.

Medium deep blackish ruby with some brickishness. Low-toned nose of dark cherries, baking spice, and dark, gravelly minerals.  Mouthfilling and smooth, the wine has a flowing texture that slowly reveals a substantial amount of soft tannin.  Good weight and density. Acidity is relatively low, like many of the '09s.  This will drink well for the next 2-3 years, but it's not for long ageing.  B+.  I got this as a gift, but I think it's available for as low as $18 in some stores.  Imported by Folio Wine Partners.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

2011 Domaine La Soumade RASTEAU "Cuvee Prestige" (Southern Rhone Valley, France)

This 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre is dark, deep, rich, and soft.  Loads of mineraliness too.  Very nice.

Fully-saturated color:  dark, blackish plasma.  The nose is exceedingly low-toned, yielding dark scents of mineral oil, dark stones, and blackberry skins.  In the mouth it's rich and weighty, but surprisingly soft.  It coats the mouth with intense, dark minerality that clings and clings, leaving the dark, oozing blackberry fruit in the back seat.  Boatloads of very soft tannin.  Very full-bodied. Acid is a bit lowish.  It's hard to believe that there's any Grenache in this at all, let alone 70%, given how the Syrah and Mourvedre character seems to dominate.  B+.  This will likely improve over the next 2-3 years.  Was $19.99 from WTSO.  Imported by Serge Dore Selections, Chappaqua, NY.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2009 Chateau Haut-Canteloup MEDOC (Bordeaux, France)

A very nicely-balanced, velvety-soft Merlot-dominated blend.  No oak showing at all, and that's a nice thing.

Very sultry black ruby.  On day 1, the nose showed next-to-nothing.  Day 2 (after being under a Vacu-Vin closure, it exhibited a medium-intensity nose of plummy, dark cherry/blackberryish fruit, along with a scorchy gravel component.  Medium full bodied in the mouth.  It's bone dry, but very soft, with lots of plummy fruit and a gravelly/graphitey note.  Clean, clingy finish.  While the lack of discernible tannin would normally lead me to think it should be drunk in the short term, the tight, closed nose and flavors, which opened only on day 2 definitely augur for 1-2 more years of cellaring.  This will drink well until 2018 or so.  B+.  Nice value at $14.99 from  Imported  by Serge Dore Selections, Chappaqua, NY.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

4 Wines with Great Friends

Jonathan L. is a long-time friend from NYC from when I was just out of college and starting in the wine business (pre-law school period).  He and his wonderful wife Marge were in DC to see some sights and visit friends, and luckily we were among the targeted friends!

As we're getting older now, and have to pace ourselves (unlike those hangover-inducing Grand Cru and Port benders we'd occasionally indulge in in the early 80s), the 4 of us paced ourselves through 4 bottles over the course over 6 or 7 hours.  Here are the notes from memory.

2011 Johann W. Schild Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett -- We used this inexpensive Mosel as our "pace car" to get things going.  It's fruity, with peachy apply notes.  Not much complexity but a decent enough mid-afternoon sipper.

2010 Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Premier Cru Cote de Lechet -- Although I'm partial to Chablis that is fermented and aged in seasoned (not new) barrels, this "stainless steel only" Chablis was really nicely-cut.  Medium bodied, fragrant with brothy, wet limestoney notes, straw, and apply fruit.  Very precise, and drinking well now but could certainly go another couple of years.  

2010 Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel (Dusi Ranch) -- Dusi Ranch has, over the last 10 years, become my favorite of Ridge's stable of Zins, with its remarkable, laser-like focus and purity.  Great fragrance, texture, depth, and freshness.  Could last and improve another 2-3 years.  

2005 Ridge Montebello -- It was hard to top the Dusi ranch Zin, but this did, and easily.  Jonathan brought this from his cellar (what, you think I can afford wines like this?), and it was amazing with grilled steaks topped with chimichurri.  Great depth and length with perfect balance, this iconic Cabernet was showing well yet seemed amazingly young.  I think this wine could go on for a long, long time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2004 Chateau La Tour de By MEDOC (Bordeaux, France)

This is a fully-mature, reasonably complex, smooth red.  Strangely, for decades I've been ambivalent about whether I really like the aged, tertiary aromas and flavors of "mature" Bordeaux.  After all this time, I just can't decide.  I feel like I should, because this is wine orthodoxy.  But, truth be told, I really do like wines on the younger side.  When they're younger, I feel like I can taste the terroir more acutely.  When they're older, I feel like I'm really just doing a science experiment on the effects of slow oxidation.  Well . . .  I guess I have decided.  My answer: not so much.  This one is about as far as I go.

Deep, mature ruby with a brickish tinge.  Nose showing lots of tertiary aromas of smoky gravel, dried fall leaves, old leather, a little menthol, and mulled cassis fruit.  Velvety soft in the mouth, with clingy flavors of leather, minerals, and some fading dark cherry fruit.  Clean, reasonably lengthy finish.  This needs a simple roasted chicken, steak with a red wine sauce, or a roast rib of beef to be at its best.  Any more vigorously-flavored food would destroy this wine.  B.  Was $24 from  Drink 'em if you got 'em.

Monday, May 12, 2014

2012 Chateau Pesquie "Terrasses" VENTOUX (Rhone Valley, France)

As it usually is in most vintages, this wine is a solid, ripe, minerally Rhone that will go with lots of foods.  This wine fleshes out a grows on you as it airs out.

Dark, youthful ruby violet.  Nose features loads of minerally scents, ranging from crushed sandstone to very dark, iodiney rocks.  Almost, but not quite in equipoise is spicy blackberry fruit.  In the mouth, the flavors are clingy and long, but while the wine has a good attack and is very persistent, it's not heavy at all.  Decent acidity and loads of medium-soft tannin.  Imagine a Domaine Tempier regular cuvee Bandol, but with more Grenache influence (and at half the price).  B+/A-.  I got this for $14.99 from  Pretty good value at that price.  Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars, Charlotte, NC.

(Sorry, 2008 depicted.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

2011 Three Wine Cellars Old Vines ZINFANDEL (Contra Costa County, Cal.)

Three Wine Cellars is one of the most consistent, and consistently good, wineries out there.  They don't try to do everything, but their reds from Contra Costa County's old immigrant-planted vineyards are delicious and food-friendly.  This one is typically excellent.  Ripe, balanced, and complex (for a Zin).

Youthful, very dark blackish ruby/violet.  Really nice nose of ripe blackberry fruit, with hints of baking spices, warm sandstone, and high-toned wood smoke.  Concentrated flavors immediately grip the palate, but it's not heavy.  Rich blackberry fruit, dark minerality, and a long, clingy finish.  Full, but no alcoholic hotness despite its 15.4%.  A barely-perceptible level of very soft tannins add some nice physicality.  A-.  Drink over the next 2-3 years.  Decent acids.  Got this for $19 from

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.

Monday, March 31, 2014

2010 Domaine La Bastide "Les Genets" SYRAH Vieilles Vignes (Rhone Valley, France)

A terrific value in a deep-flavored, complex, well-balanced Syrah.  Very linear, and not a hint of flabbiness.

Saturated dark, plasma-like ruby.  Nose features smoke, dark minerals, roasted herbs, meat, and cassis fruit.  Flavorful on entry, with lean, clingy, iodiney/minerally notes overlaying dark, dry blackberry skins.  A fair amount of fine-grained tannin and a surprising level of acids lends structure and liveliness.  Full-bodied, bone dry.  All muscle with not fat.  This went very well with braised lambs shanks and grits.  B+/A-.  Imported by Paul Young Wines, Los Angeles, and purchased from for a ridiculously low $9.99.  Get some of this.

PS -- I believe I had this wine in Houston several years ago (a different vintage, obviously, and liked it a lot).

PPS - It occured to me after I posted this review that this wine is basically a "Poor Man's Cornas."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2009 Clos Pegase PINOT NOIR "Mitsuka's Vineyard" (Carneros, Napa, Cal.)

A fragrant, balanced, fairly complex and ready-to-drink PN.  Very good value at the $15.99 I paid.

Medium ruby/garnet with a little tawny at the edge.  Lots going on in the nose:  sappy ripe cherry, a little tartish cranberry/rhubarb note, sweet, earthy baking spices, and some underlying minerality.  Lots of flavor in a smooth, fairly full-bodied (for a PN) frame.  Tart cherry and loads of dark, stony minerality.  The finish, which is very long, molts into a clingy, iodiney, sappy cherry melange.  It's bone dry.  I really like this.  A-/B+.  Got it from

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2009 Baloiro BIERZO Mencia Reserva (Spain)

Totally overblown.  This wine is a caricature of a what the Anti-Parkerites think Parker advocates (he's not as bad as they make him seem, but you get the point).  Overripe, flabby, overoaked, tasting of nowhere.  Tasted blind, I would have no idea where this wine came from.  Given the extract level, this could have been a great wine if they had picked it earlier and skipped the new oak.

Completely saturated, plasma-like black ruby.  The nose is intense, displaying loads of liquid baker's chocolate and overripe blackberry extract.  Underneath there's some nice minerality trying to make its way out, it's struggling, giving it a game try, but it's no use . . . the chocolate is too strong . . . must get air . . . can't go on . . . can't . . . aaarrrggghhh!  [Strangling gasps].  Back to reality.  The texture is nice, not too much tannin despite the heavy-handed extraction.  There is a dense weightiness of sweet blackberry extract and dark chocolate in the mouth.  But the acids are nonexistent, so it just seems heavy and one-dimensional.  C-.  Was $14.99 from  Imported by Classic Wines, Stamford, CT.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

2011 Heinz Eifel "S" RIESLING SPATLESE (Mosel, Germany)

This is an excellent value in a slightly sweet, bright Riesling.

Very pale greenish-gold color.  All sorts of ripe fruit in the nose, with white peach, juicy pear, and ripe apple scents, augmented with a light dried tea note and some extraordinarily high-toned slatey/stoniness.   Fills the mouth with ripe, juicy fruit, yet has enough acids to keep it fresh and interesting.  A very mild bitter tea component comes through at the end.  Light-bodied and round-textured.  Not super complex, but really fun to drink.  B+.  Was $9.99 from  Imported by Winesellers, Ltd. of Niles, IL.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

2009 Clos des Menuts ST. EMILION Grand Cru (Bordeaux, France)

This is a style of Bordeaux I like.  Not trying to emulate a New World wine; structured, not overripe, not overoaked.  It needs a few more years, however. It is: Merlot 85%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%, Cabernet Franc 5%.

Dark black ruby.  Nose closed at first, but on the second night it was showing lovely, subtle dark cherry fruit, and a dark, gravelly earthiness, along with a lifting baked cake note.  Densely-fruited, but in a dry extract -- not jammy -- way, it packs the palate with dark fruit and loads of gravelly minerals.  Full-bodied, with lots of fine-grained tannins.  Still feels a bit tight.  It's very good, if a bit youthful now, but will certainly improve over the next 5 years.  B+ now, probably higher later on.  I'm not sure what this cost or where to get it around the DC area, as a good friend brought this wine to our Super Bowl party as a gift.  Nice gift!  Imported by Monsieur Touton Selections, NY.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Viña Alarba GARNACHA Viñas Viejas (Calatayud, Spain)

I haven't had this wine in 10 years or so.  It used to be a ridiculous bargain.  This one is still cheap, but it's thinner than I remember it being than the vintages I drank in the early 2000s.  Eh.

Dark ruby violet color.  Light intensity nose of raspberry and rock dust, with a teeny note of dried tarragon.  Bone dry in the mouth, with slightly bitter raspberry/cherry fruit, and loads of rocky minerality.  As it lingers it gets more bitter, and some medium-grained tannins show up.  Not very concentrated, and the texture isn't great either.  C.  Was $7.99 from  Imported by the Artisan Collection, NYC.