James Schmeling: February 2009 Archives

Wine tastings from the fringe

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Last night we had wines from the fringe - hey, that's what wine education is about, learning new varietals, exploring new regions, and remembering what it is you like about your favorites. grin. We started with a Pinot Auxerroic. I'm not even going to tag that varietal as I've never had it before and don't anticipate having it again. Interesting name, white, Alsace, and that's all I remember about it.

Second up was a Grüner Veltliner called Vienna by Wolfgang. Bet you already know it was from Austria... It was made from third pick grapes, and had an interesting contrast - the nose was sweet, the wine was somewhere between sweet and dry, and it had minerality, prominent oak, and it was a bit bitter both on the nose and on the front of my tongue while still having a tart finish with some sweet fruit. It was straw colored. I have to say their marketing has some potential in the states with people who missed the 60's but wish they hadn't - Austrian Gruner Veltliner is being marked on the bottles as Gru-Vee - I can imagine 60's psychadelic colors and fonts on a label selling well with that being prominent. lol. Tasted February 28, 2009.

More to come later, it was an interesting and educational start to the class for the night.

Sensorium Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Napa Valley

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It had great reviews. The bottle art is terrific, reminds me of DaVinci drawings. Antique paper look, line art, renaissance figures, enjoyable to look at, and attractive on the shelf. My local wine store recommended it highly as one I shouldn't miss and so I bought one of the last bottles they had. I cellared it. Waited for the right night to drink it. (That would be a night my wife was out of town since she doesn't like Cabernet that well.)

It has bright, red fruit. It has a nice mouth feel, but it's a bit light. It should have some structure, some tannins, but they seem weak to me. It wasn't unbalanced, and the fruit tasted terrific. IT has some oak components, with vanilla, mild chocolate, and a reasonable finish. At about $35 it's a fine California Cab. If that's what you like, give it a shot. Tasted February 26, 2009.

Scotch Tasting

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Tonight was a Scotch tasting. The distributor brought 5 Scotches. New York state law only allows 3 pours at a tasting. Hrm. Seems like a problem right from the start. A room full of Scotch afficianados, 5 Scotches, 2 distributor reps, and only 3 pours allowed.

The distributor rep starts discussing the selections, talking about his experience in the business, his trips to Scotland, the preferences he has. His preferred Scotch just happens to be on the table. Really?

The first two are blends, the last three are single malts. Well, problem solved! I'm not drinking blends at a tasting - I can afford blends anytime! Sorry Old Grouse and Old Grouse Gold 12 years - while you sound interesting, it's just not happening. Then we get to Macallan. 15 year fine oak. Wow. Really. European sherry oaked casks, American sherry oaked casks. Bourbon oaked casks. Wow! 18 year sherry oak. Did I mention sherry!  It was absolutely prominent. I love sherry - I've spent time in Jerez in Spain, had sherry straight from casks, enjoyed the bodega it was served in, and this reminded me of that - great relationship between Scotland and Spain - time to plan a trip and make some memories in Scotland so I can inter-relate the places and flavors.

Then it was on to Highland Park 18 year. I've had the 15 year Highland Park and it's one of the best two Scotches I've ever had. The 18 year is as good. But, smokey, wood and not as elegant as the 15 year.

All that taste, all that Scotch, and quite the company - doctors, lawyers. computer guys, engineers (one of them probably designed the camera in your phone), and wine connoisseurs, it made for a lot of fun. My pick of the night? The 15 year Macallan fine oak. Cheers!

Drinking wine

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I've been having a ball drinking various wines, learning as much as I can, relating my experiences living in Spain to a group of wine aficionados who relate their experiences in France, in Germany, Italy, and all up and down the west coast. I drink garnacha by preference, blends for variety, and quite a few Spanish wines because the value lets me stock up on those. I used to drink Yellow Tail (hey, variety, color coding, cheap, available everywhere) because that's all I had really had - under $10 wines. And they are good for what they are - enjoyable, nice wines.

But, I've been taking quite a few classes (really because we drink 5 to 6 wines I'd never buy otherwise, too expensive to try blindly!) and learning about layers, complexity, New World (tastes like fruit), Old World (smells like barnyards, and we know what that's a euphemism for...) and things like balance, legs, acidity, mouth feel and all the rest.

One of my friends notes that her measure is "yummy" and affordable. She probably has it as right as any of the wine snobs. Or our sommelier. Or anyone else in the class or the store. I like wine, and I'm having fun drinking it. I'm also trying to write about it, to share my evaluations, and even more to remember what I've had, what I like, and what I'd like to buy again. I hope you find this useful and fun. I do!

Ramirez de Ganuza Rioja 2003 blend

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The last wine of the night that was part of the tasting was a spontaneous selection, primarily because the Manu disappointed. It was 85% old-vine Tempranillo, 10% old-vine Graciano, 3% old-vine Garnacha, and 2% other varieties. The Advocate gives this wine 93 points. It had an interesting nose, with toasted nuts and oils. The mouth was medium weight, and the flavor had pronounced black fruits. Tasted February 20, 2009.

Vinos Jeromin Manu 2005

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This wine was the only wine that wasn't all Tempranillo, though it has some in it, instead being a blend from the Madrid area. 40% Syrah, 40% Garnacha, with some Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. The nose has tobacco, smoke, tar, pencil lead, bacon, and was a dark blue/purple color. It has sort of an odd nose in some ways, with a lot of fruit and minerality, but it seemed a bit different than the last two times I've had it. It was opaque, but thin in the mouth. I was honestly disappointed with this wine, as it has been a favorite in previous tastings. This is a wine I liked in the past, with components I like still showing, but it didn't hold together. The first time I had it a year ago it was fabulous, the second time at New Years it was good, and this time it was only OK. It got a 93 from the Wine Advocate, and it was well deserved the first times, but this time I think I'd rate it an 89 or 90. At $70 I expect better. Tasted February 20, 2009.

Bodegas Matarredonde Libranza 2004

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Another Tempranillo from Toro, this wine was absolutely my favorite of the night. It had an amazing nose from a foot away as it was poured. Menthol, smoke, tar, pencil lead, and dark fruit. It was opaque, dark purple. Velvet, full bodied wine. Well integrated tannins, big, big wine. Jay Miller gave it a 94. I agree 100%. At $50 I think it has a great quality to price ratio, and it is a prime example of why Spain is up and coming, and well priced. Tasted February 20, 2009. 

Abelis Carthago William Selection 2004 Tinta de Toro

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This Tempranillo is labeled as a Tinta de Toro, and is in fact from Toro. The William has a nose that includes a mint/menthol component, maybe camphor, and it's a deep dark red. The mouth has dark fruit, earth, and is well balanced though the tannins are definitely present, with some spice. Good length. Nice legs. Around $35, and Jay Miller gave it a 90. Again, great wine, though there are better values in that point range with great flavor profiles. Tasted February 20, 2009

Bodegas Y Vinedos O Fournier Spiga 2004 Tempranillo

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The Bodegas Y Vinedos O Fournier Spiga 2004 Tempranillo was a bright, but deep, red. It's labeled as Tinta del Pais. The nose was scorched earth, dark fruits, and the mouth feel was medium to light. Spectator gave it a 90, while Jay Miller gave it a 91. $34 makes it a good price for a nice wine. But there are better values in Spain. Tasted February 20, 2009.

JC Vizcarra 2006 Tempranillo

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JC Vizcarra 2006 Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero was the first red wine of the night. It had a nose of bacon, pepper and spice, and some dark fruit. The wine was somewhat tannic, though had a light mouth weight more typical of pinot. It tasted spicy and had flavors of dark cherry. About $27, so not a bad value, but not one that I was enthralled with by any means. Tasted February 20, 2009. 

Wine reference

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The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia will likely be my next wine book purchase. It's recommended by the Court of Master Sommeliers as the reference to be familiar with, and it appears to be more comprehensive than the Windows on the World wine course reference book.


I'm looking at other options as well - anyone have any thoughts?

Spanish Tempranillo tasting

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Spanish Tempranillo goes by quite a few names, including Tinto de Toro, and each of the wines we tasted from northern Spain was labeled Tinto de Toro or Tempranillo. Whatever name it goes by the wines are increasingly terrific. Each year brings new producers, and the areas where it's grown are becoming more and more well known - whoever heard of Bierzo a few years ago for instance? Of course we started with a white first, Albarino from Condes de Albarei 2007. It was fine as a starter, and whetted my palate for the reds. They included JC Vizcara 2006, Bodegas Y Vinedos O Fournier Spiga 2004, Abelis Carthago William Selection 2004, Bodegas Matarredonde Libranza 2004, and Vinos Jeromin Manu 2004. Tasted February 20, 2008.

Mollydooker The Maitre d' Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

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OK, the labels are great. Mollydooker, a winery owned and run by Sarah and Sparky Marquis in the McLaren Valley, has absolutely outstanding marketing savvy. Their labels are amusing, each different, but each identifiable as a Mollydooker wine. Their wine names are amusing - Blue Eyed Boy, The Maitre d', Carnival of Love, and The Boxer among others. The Maitre d' is in their lowest priced line, "The Lefty Series" which run in the $20 to $25 range. They have their "Party Series" in the $50 range, and then the "Love Series" at about $90 when I've seen them. Finally they have "The Velvet Glove" at somewhat under $200. The Velvet Glove is probably an appropriate name for all of their wines, they all are thick, velvet, unctious wines. The Maitre d' Cabernet Sauvignon is lighter weight than the other wine I've had (The Scooter, Merlot). It's a dark garnet red, not highly reflective. The nose has some oak, but shows some fruit as well. There are no earthy components, nor is there any vegetal characteristic, something I don't care for, so not a bad start. The taste is red cherry, intense dark fruits as well. Some tannins, but not overly tannic. There is a good deal of spice for a cab, and the finish is a good 30 seconds or more. A few years might benefit the wine.

2005 Adobe Road Zinfandel Sonoma County

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This Zinfandel has spice, pepper, and a great nose of berries, cherries, and sage. Color is a nice red. Adobe Road is an interesting, small producer in Sonoma. They have several wines, and I've previously tasted the Cabernet Savignon. The website has tasting notes, the cork gives both the web address and the phone number.

From the Adobe Road site:

Tasting Notes: A hedonistically rich wine with all of the sumptuous, berry-forward aromas, and spicy, black and white pepper flavors you could hope for in a Zinfandel. This wine is packed with flavor and richness, yet it is extremely balanced--a delicious expression of the Zinfandel grape. The fruit is a briary bowl of cherry and raspberry with a hint of chocolate and a light zing of spices in the finish. A luscious wine to be enjoyed on its own or with anything barbequed--ribs, steaks, chicken.
The wine was light to medium weight, went well with a grilled burger. Recommended, and I put two bottles in the celler. Only 950 cases were made, so I expect it to be hard to come by again.

Wow - lots of updates this weekend as I catch up on older notes, and put up the notes from several classes and tastings!

What to Drink with what you Eat

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My wife received the book, What to Drink with what you Eat as a birthday gift at the beginning of our wine tasting classes. It's both an outstanding reference and an entertaining read. It has sections that list various foods and then recommend wines, both varietals and in some case specific wines, and then the complementary section that lists wines and suggests food pairings. It's visual style is intuitive, much like Web 2.0 tags - larger print selections pair better with the food or wine, and smaller print pair less well. Those foods that are absent are presumably not good pairings. There are notes throughout from chefs, wine enthusiasts, sommeliers, and others. They discuss their favorite pairings, reasons for matches, and how to make your own judgments. They cover a huge range of foods and wines. It's an excellent book for someone just learning to pair wines and food (and it includes some other beverages as well, primarily beers). It's quick to grab when deciding what to serve for an impromptu meal, or when planning meals and shopping. Highly recommended.

 

Bodegas Alto Moncayo Garnacha Campo de Borja Veraton 2006

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This Garnacha is an outstanding example of Spanish Garnacha. Vivid, deep red. Great legs. The nose is blackberry, pepper, spice, with the taste of dark cherry, other dark fruit, and a spicy mouth feel, maybe licorice and pepper. The mouth weight is medium to heavy. I like early vintages a bit better, with some of the spice box and paine grille. It's very typical of great Garnacha. It's big brother, the Alto Moncayo, is better still, but half again the price. At $29 it's a good value for this outstanding wine - you'd pay quite a bit more for a similar Chateauneuf du Pape. Spectator only gave it 89, but I would expect a higher score from the Advocate. IWC gave it a 91. Tasted February 15, 2009. 

2006 Edward Sellers Blanc du Rhone

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A typical white Rhone blend that many of my friends would love, the Blanc du Rhone is a light yellow color, has aromatics of peach, mango, and some floral characteristics. It has terrific acidity, very bright white fruit, and a long, long finish for a white. Outstanding wine. The Edward Sellers website is again a bit confusing - the wine notes are only available in the purchase section. But, they are fabulous notes! The wine is 46% Marsanne, 27% Viognier, 15% Roussanne and 12% Grenache Blanc. It's 14.3% alcohol, and it was 100% Barrel Fermented, 73% Neutral French Oak, 15% Stainless Steel, 12% New French Oak. they made only 412 Cases. Tasted February 14, 2009. 

Happy Anniversary

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Today is my second anniversary. Jeannie and I are celebrating two wonderful years. I'm head over heels in love with her. Just wanted to share. 

La Louvee Cornas Syrah 2005

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The La Louvee Syrah from Cornas was very similar to the earlier Chapoutier La Sizeranne from Hermitage, elegant, structured, but was a bit more tannic (as would be expected for a wine six years younger). It was definitely French, though an international style in some ways it has earthy components, crushed rocks, but has expressive dark fruit as well. 90+ from Parker, 94 from Spectator, and according to the bottle label only 2000 bottles were made. Another excellent example of Syrah, about $100. Tasted February 13, 2009.

Gorman Winery Pixie Syrah 2006

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OK, this is a wine I am hesitant to write about. Gorman Winery is a small venture with low production. He made 225 cases of it. I'll probably never find it again, and when it arrives I don't want anyone else to buy it instead of me! But, it was an outstanding Washington Syrah from Red Mountain. Dark red, but bright. Red fruit, velvety mouth-feel, pepper spice, maybe licorice. Wine Spectator gave it a 92. About $52. Tasted February 13, 2009. 

Samsara Syrah Melville Vineyard 2005

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Wow. This wine is what I like in Syrah and it is still available! Though they only make 118 cases. That's not too many, and so it's surprising that it's available in upstate NY. It was dark, dark red/purple, intense pepper, spice and blackberry. The Melville Vineyard is near the Pacific, in the Santa Barbara region. A colder climate than lots of places that grow Syrah, but one that still has plenty of sun. The LA Times has a great article on the varietal and vineyard. Parker gave it a 94. Given it's full body, layered components, and intensity of flavor, I'm not surprised. Earthy, meaty, fruity, it has it all. I think this wine has a future. It was priced at $48. Compared to $30 Aussie Shiraz I'm up in the air. But I liked it and would definitely drink it again in the future. Tasted February 13, 2009.

Richard Hamilton Centurion Shiraz 2003

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Deep, dark red. I didn't get an amazing nose, but I chalk that up to the unfortunate timing of a head cold. I did get a bit of the camphor that Parker called out though. It had a luscious mouth feel, a bit velvety which is a trait I am tasting more and more often with the Australian wines I have had recently. From the McLaren Vale region, this vineyard is the closest to the ocean. The vines are 111 years old! That makes a relatively intense flavor profile, and the Advocate rewarded it with 93 points. I agree. Sadly, this was the last bottle they had, so I didn't get to add it to my cellar. I would love to have it again someday. Tasted February 13, 2009.

M. Chapoutier La Sizeranne 1999

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The Chapoutier was an addition to our wine tasting from Jim and Joanne, a bottle they brought back from Hermitage when they visited. It was the second wine of the night, elegant, light Syrah. It had clove spice notes, a bit of earth, and seemed more like some Burgundy wines I've had than Hermitage. It was well placed in the lineup. 10 years old, it may have had more fruit a year or two ago, but it was a balanced wine with elegant characteristics. Somewhere between $75 and $110 at release depending on source, they indicated they bought at the winery and enjoyed drinking with the owner. That always improves a wine! Tasted February 13, 2009.

Montes Alpha Syrah 2006

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From the Colchagua Valley and the Apalta Vineyard in Chile, the Montes Alpha Syrah is 90% Syrah, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Viognier. The Viognier adds a floral note, while the Cab gives a bit of structure. That said, this is still Syrah. And I like Syrah. This one had some tar, some spice, and the floral components previously mentioned on the nose, as well as an earthiness, though this wasn't pronounced. The mouth-weight was light, it was balanced, and had some spice as well as dark fruits. It was not a big, fruit forward flavor. Elegant, nice, good Syrah. About $21, which makes it an excellent buy. It gets 91 from both the Advocate and Wine Spectator. I like it, but I liked others I had in comparison better - of course each of the others was at least twice the price. Tasted February 13, 2009.

Friday the 13th Syrah Wine Tasting

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Last night was Friday the 13th. Most of the day felt like it with the head cold I had. But, I was looking forward to the wine tasting, and it proved that a Friday the 13th is nothing to be afraid of! We started with a Prosecco, Villa Sandi. Typical prosecco, a bit of fruit variety though apple stands out, light, dry, but I prefer the richer Santa Margherita. Montes Alpha Syrah, 2006, started our Syrah tasting. Next was a 1999 M. Chapoutier La Sizeranne Hermitage, a gift to the class from Jim and Joanne (THANKS!). From there we went to the other side of the planet, Richard Hamilton 2003 Centurion from the McLaren Vale, Australia. Back to the US, Washington state provided Gorman Winery's 2006 Pixie Syrah. Going south we had the 2005 Samsara 2005 Melville Vineyard Shiraz. Finally we returned to France for a 2005 La Louvee Cornas Syrah from Jean-Luc Colombo. The Wine House, as usual, provided excellent education, a variety of fine examples of Syrah, every one showing a different aspect of the grape, the terroir's influence, and that of the winemaker. My favorite of the night was probably the Richard Hamilton Shiraz. More notes on each wine to follow in later posts.

Sotiris Taverna, Jamesville, NY

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I tried a new Greek restaurant in Jamesville this weekend. Sotiris Taverna has been open about a month according to the waitress. I had the traditional gyro platter, with the roast potatoes and the Greek salad as sides. My wife had the chicken gyro platter with rice pilaf instead of potatoes as one of the sides. My sister-in-law had the Mousaka. My gyro was excellent. My wife's was pretty good. My sister-in-law was disappointed with hers. It was later afternoon on Saturday, and the Mousaka and potatoes may not have been fresh, so we'll have to give them a try again closer to expected dining hours. The restaurant was a nice place though, decor was welcoming, and I'd definitely go have a beer and a gyro there again.

2005 Edward Sellers Grenache

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The 2005 Edward Sellers Grenache has a beautiful bright, but deep, ruby red color. The nose is cocoa. It's fruit forward, new world, and to quote a friend "yummy." It's got high acidity and high alcohol (15.9%!) but it's balanced and bright. Well integrated tannins. The taste goes on for at least 45 seconds to a minute. At $25 it's a good value for a California wine. Only 168 cases made. Their website leaves a bit to be desired though - the only way I get to the winemaker's notes is to go to their store. Maybe it encourages purchases. ;) The address is http://www.edwardsellers.com (it appears on the cork too!) and other than that it's a nice site with history on the winery, and the owners. There's also a blog, and they have a Facebook group. I think they get marketing. I know they get wine.

Edit: I forgot to note that their wine descriptions have terrific levels of detail regarding the composition of each wine, as well as quantitative measures of the wine, details of the processes used for each vintage, including percentage of the wine aged in each type of barrel or stainless steel and other great bits of information.

Italian wine tasting notes

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Last night's tasting was Italian wines. (Well, except the starter, a Spanish Martin Codax Albarino.) We began the Italian wines with the 2006 Planeta Chardonnay, moved to the 2005 La Braccesca Bramasole Syrah, and then a 2001 Ruffino Cabreo Il Borgo Sangiovese/Cabernet Savignon. Next up was the La Massa 2003 Giorgio Primo, another Sangiovese blend, and finally an Amarone, the 2004 Allegrini Valpolicella Classico. All great examples.

The Planeta Chardonnay had an amazing color to start - deep gold. It had a noce of pineapple, apricots, and tropical fruit. The wine had quite a bit of oak, more reminiscent of heavily oaked California Chard than what I expected from the nose. 88 points from the Wine Advocate. It was priced a bit under $40. Probably wouldn't buy it again, but the color and nose were outstanding.

The 2005 La Braccesca Bramasole Syrah was earthy, possibly portobello mushrooms, showed tobacco and leather scents as well. The taste was good, some fruit, nice mouthweight. I've had it before and recalled a spicy Syrah component, but it wasn't present this time. Perhaps the time in the decanter made a difference - last time I had it I didn't give it time to breathe, and some of the volatiles may have blown off in the decanter this time. All in all, this time the nose was again the best component. I still have a bottle of this in my cellar. It's about $45, up from about 38 last year. Not sure I'd pay the new price. Maybe the exchange rate will be better by the next time they import...

A cigar humidor was the overwhelmingly obvious component of the next wine, the 2001  Ruffino Cabreo Il Borgo Sangiovese/Cabernet Savignon from Tuscany. A 70/30 blend, the Sangiovese obviously dominated the wine with the Cabernet giving it some structure. $42 to $47 at release. Both Spectator and Advocate agreed on a score of 91. I enjoyed it, but again, didn't buy it.

The 2003 La Massa Giorgio Primo was the second Tuscan wine of the night. It was an old world style in every respect. (I've had the 2004 and it was much more new world.) It's nose has tobacco, it's smokey, and most interesting it has distinct notes of cured meats.  Others in the group suggested wet hay, pure barnyard, and other, umm, similar descriptors. Good laugh. I liked it, and when I had it side by side with the 2004 it was the one I liked better. It's about $75 to $80. They have another line thought that's about half the price or less and I like that one every bit as well. Again, I didn't buy. I liked the wine, but it doesn't fit my price/appreciation ratio.

The last wine of the night was an outstanding 2004 Allegrini Amarone Valpolicella Classico. The wine was fantastically smooth front to back, well integrated, beautifully made. 80% Corvina Veronese, 15% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta. This is another that I've had a previous vintage, 2004 in this case, and liked the earlier vintage better - it had a mouthfeel of cocoa, with a great cocoa nose, coffee, and lots of dark fruit. This one had less of the chocolate/cocoa, but more dark fruit. It's rated 91 by the Advocate, compared to 92 for the 2003. I didn't buy this one either, again, price point for taste, and comparison to the earlier vintage made it an easy decision, but I regret not buying the 2003 as it's not available here anymore.

The Wine House in Manlius put together another excellent tasting, I had a great evening with friends, one of whom brought a nice selection of cheese and olives that complimented the wines. I had the opportunity to taste several wines I had last year in earlier vintages. I think my memory for wines is improving, as I had good ability to compare my expectations to the current vintages.

Silverado trail wines

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Friday night's wine tasting focused on wines from the Silverado Trail. I have some issue with California wines, mostly related to pricing in relation to wines I love from Spain. But, they are undoubtedly terrific wines.

We started with ZD Wines 2007 Chardonnay.  The winery describes tropical fruit aromatics. I got some green apple, nice acidity, great front to back balance, and no malolactic though there is clearly oak (American according to them). I usually don't drink Chardonnay, and I liked this one. About $35.

We moved then into the reds. First up was a Merlot. This is a varietal that I can take or leave, but rarely seek out. The 2005 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot is one I'd drink again, and I put one bottle in the cellar with hope it will evolve. It was soft, full mouth weight, but not velvety or unctious. Fruit forward but not layered or complex, new world style, and has some Cab, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot blended in for other characteristics.

The next three were terrific, Cabernet, Syrah, and a blend. They were the wines I enjoyed most of the night. First up was Adobe Road 2005 Cabernet Savignon - Wine Spectator says 93 points in their Feb 29 issue, I agree! I like Cab in my blends but I liked this single varietal. I only put one bottle down, but I should go buy some more since they only made 685 cases. The dark fruit is prominent, maybe some roasted coffee or that might have been the toasty oak. Some of the people at the tasting thought candied cherry too. I also got a bit of eucalyptus or something similar around the edges. Great flavors. Great structure. Wonderful wine.

Crane Brothers 2004 Syrah was the next wine, I love Syrah, probably my second favorite varietal after Grenache, The wine has a nose of black pepper, and I thought white pepper as well. Crane Brothers notes say "Deep crimson/ Purple showing lush black raspberry, blueberry, black pepper, mocha, minerals and bacon fat. The sexy middle is exploding with black fruits, violets, crème de cassis and sweet oak. Beautifully structured with a full-bodied yet elegant finish that keeps impressing as it opens up in the glass." I agree with this. What a terrific wine! Again, one bottle into the cellar, and again, I should probalby buy more as it was one I really enjoyed.

The last wine of the night was The Oracle by Miner Family Vineyards. A Bordeaux style blend it has 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Malbec. It is silky smooth wine. Blackberry and cassis of course. Spicy, probably the Cab Franc, and wonderful, deep red and purple color. Excellent wine and one I look forward to sharing with friends.

I cannot recommend highly enough The Wine House in Manlius. Matt and Tim provide excellent wine education, and the community they've created in the area far exceeded my expectations for a wine store in the area.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by James Schmeling in February 2009.

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