Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rymill Coonawarra Shiraz 2004

Here is a review from Chris MacDonald, ANBL's wine buyer:

"The appearance of this wine was definitely not bright or was closer to mildly dull and weakly hazy. The aroma was medium in intensity but there was a lot in there...a mix of primary fruit aromas, oak influence, fragrant spice(take your pick!) and some more mature notes on the leather and tobacco side....definitely complex.

The taste revealed its cooler climate roots..good acidity paired with medium soft tannins and the flavour was more on the spicy side than fruity. The finish was long and satisfying."

Price: $25.99
Value: 4/5
Score: 91
Region: Coonawarra, Australia
Tasted: Nov 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Quinta da Rigodeira Baga 2005

Luke has mentioned this wine in a comment, and I've heard other people talk about it, but I haven't tried it myself and no one has given me a full review. So I thought I'd just start a post on it to allow anyone who has tried it to tell us what they think.

I noticed that Oz Clarke's Grapes and Wines entry on Baga mentions Quinta da Rigodeira as one of the best producers of Baga. He also notes that it lasts very well in the bottle, though I don't know if that would be true of any entry level wine.

BTW, Oz Clarke's book is a great purchase for anyone interested in wine. It provides encyclopedic information about all (well, maybe just most) of the world wine grapes, listed alphabetically. It is packed with information, reasonably priced, and best of all, it is beautifully written. While it has an encyclopedia style, it is not a book that you'll pick up only when you want specific information. It is so well written that you'll find yourself flipping it open and reading at random.

Here it is at Amazon, and at Chapters.

Anyway, back to the Rigodeira Baga:

Price: $15.79
Score: ??
Grape: Baga
Region: Portugal
UPC: 5600398620030

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Here's a review from tancred. BTW, the ANBL website says this is a cab/shiraz/merlot blend, but it's not.

I tried the wakefield cab (2006, clare valley) after seeing it on the wine show table at nbliquor. clare valley is an interesting wine growing region - it is cooler than barossa and maclaren vale and so is best known for its crisp zingy rieslings. however there are micro-climates within the clare that support the growth of shiraz and cab grapes, and it is not surprising to see even small wineries producing both rieslings and shirazes on grapes grown on the same estate. this wakefield cab was a typical australian cab with notes of cedar, capers, and plum. probably not a lot of cellaring potential but very drinkable now, with nice structure and longish finish. at a price around $20 (i forget the exact amount) it is great value for a cabernet.

Price: $18.79
Value: 4/5
Score: 87
Region: Australia, Clare Valley
Tasted: Nov 2008
UPC: 9311659000626

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Le Bonheur Prima 2004

Here's a review from Michelle:

Tonight..while I was peddling my trainer watching last year's Stage 10....I let a bottle of Le Bonheur Prima 2004 breathe. I didn't decant...because I am the only one drinking it :) Therefore this bottle will be "stopped" and consumed at a later date. I did read, however one review said it didn't lose anything after a day or so. Time will tell.

This wine is a blend of 75% merlot and 25% cabernet. I found first on the nose was a deep berry with plum overtones, earthy perhaps. It really reminds me of a muted California Zin. Not the berry bomb though. More subtle. On the palate, it's hard to nail it down. Cherry is the most prominent. Characteristic Merlot with subtle Cab nuance. I rather enjoyed it. I think it would be more suitable with a food pairing. Red meat of course..such as a beautifully cooked sirloin but would be stellar with a good blue cheese, brie or a nuttier aged gouda.

The value - I am not so sure it's a good value. Yes, I did enjoy it, but would I buy it again if someone gave me $30 to pick out a wine? Probably not.

Price: $26.07
Value: 3/5
Score: 88
Alcohol: 13%
Region: South Africa, Stellenbosch, Simonsberg Ward
Tasted: Nov 2008
UPC: 6001497413254

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sartori Marani 2006

We've got a puzzle here. We tried this at the Wine Expo and loved it. We bought a bottle and loved it - rated it 92. Here's my original note:

This wine from Sartori is great. Complex, balanced, long - it has everything. Kelly's note: "Apricots, petrol, minerals, musk, and maybe something green and herbal on nose. Very nicely put together - well balanced, with clear, refined/delicate flavours. Lovely smooth, full mouthfeel, ending with crisp/tart edge." Awesome value. It is one more step in my conversion to the white side.
Then I got another bottle and tried it again, and had nothing like the same experience. I don't know that I'd change the description much, but the "wow" factor was missing. Still a good wine, but more like an 87-88. We had it side-by-side with the Ribeauville Pinot Gris and the Ribeauville seemed clearly better. (As always, Kelly had them both blind.)

I don't know what's going on, so I'll just give both scores.

Price: $19.99
Value: 5/5; 3.5/5
Score: 92 / 87
Alcohol: 13.5%
Grape: Garganega
Region: Italy, Bianco di Verona IGT
Tasted: Nov 2008
UPC: 8005390006702

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Marqués de Riscal Tempranillo 2006

Here is a review from Vesper:

"Last night I had a couple glasses of the Marqués de Riscal Tempranillo and really enjoyed it. Nice deep berry nose. On the palate it was fairly full bodied and smooth with good tannins. Really nice mouth feel too. I had this in a restaurant so not ideal conditions for tasting but I like it enough to buy a bottle and to try it again. Note: I had two glasses and the second one (initially) was a touch cooler and slightly more sharp on the finish. I put this down to opening of new bottle or the like.

ANBL has this (2006) for $15.79. I think this could make it in the top ten under $20. If anyone else tries this let me know what you think."

Price: $15.79
Score: 86
Region: Spain
Tasted: Nov 2008
UPC: 8410866430477

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ribeauville Pinot Gris 2005

I think of Pinot Gris / Grigio as light and innocuous. A safe bet off the by-the-glass wine list - unlikely to be terrible, but unlikely to be inspiring either. And maybe an overcropped Pinot Gris is like that - but this Ribeauville is not. It is full bodied and full of character. Here's was Kelly says:

"Orange rind, cloves, petrol. Viscous on palate. Full bodied with good acidity. I find this wine a bit musky and manly, in the style of the Chateau de Nages or perhaps Pouilly-Fuissé. Now I think I know what the Aykroyd is trying to do. Ends on a bit of a sour note."

Kelly scored it a 90. I'm not sure I'd go quite that high. But pretty close. Very good value. Act soon - there is not much left.

Price: $22.99
Value: 4/5
Score: 89(N)/90(K)
Region: France, Alsace
Tasted: Oct 2008
UPC: 3156090316143

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vinzelo Douro 2006

Here is a quick review from Luke, from the Wine Expo '08 tasting, that I lifted from a comment. Note that Tinta Roriz is a Portugese name for Tempranillo.

A quick review of the Vinzelo 2006, Douro, booth 19 - Very fresh nose - predominantly strawberries and raspberries, which follow through on the palate, with a touch of spice. 30% each tinta roriz, touriga franca, tinta barroca and 10% touriga nacional. A great display of the potential of Portugese red table wines and the best wine I've had under $15 in a while. Just over 2000 bottles in the warehouse.

Price: $11.49
Value: 5/5
Score: 88
Alcohol: 12.5%
Region: Portugal, Douro
Tasted: November 2008
UPC: #5601920113952

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wine Expo '08 - Part VI - Kiosks 55 - 70

From California, Kelly was quite keen on both the Beringer Napa Pinot and their Merlot. The problem, as always with US wine, is the price. Maybe not great value at $38 - but they're good enough (says Kelly) that they weren't a bad value even at $38. The Private Reserve Chardonnay was also very good, but perhaps no better than my favourite ANBL whites, and $20 more.

From Marqes de Caceres we tried both the Crianza and the Gaudium. The Crianza was ok, but not outstanding - a hint of 'cheap wine'. The Gaudium, on the other hand, stood up very well to other wines we tried in the price range, namely the Silver Oak Napa Cab and the Torres Mas la Plana. We didn't try them side by side, so I couldn't say whether it was better or worse, but it was certainly in the ballpark - impressive.

I wasn't too enthused about the Obsession from Vignamaggio - very fruity, but maybe a bit overripe - raisiny, my notes say. On the other hand, their Terre di Prenzaon Chianti Classico struct me as good value at $24. I'll definitely be trying this one again.

The Cesanese Uno was "stupendous" value at $12. That's what my notes say, and I can't remember any more detail right now.

The Veglio Michelino was probably our favourite Barolo of the show - beautiful nose in particular. We didn't try their Barbera.

The Pangea Syrah struck us as a good wine, but not great value at the price

At booth 60 I found two Aussie Shiraz's that I really liked, the Rymill Coonawarra and the Wirra Wirra Woodhenge. Good bold Aussie Shiraz flavour without going over the top. We got some of each - if those bottles turn out to be as good as they seemed at the show, I will be getting more for medium term cellaring. The Rymill MC2 (a Bordeaux blend) was also very good - and very good value at $20.

Finally, we didn't much like the Coppola Black Label Claret - too candied at the price.

That's it for the Wine Expo '08. Phew - that's a lot of wine. But we missed lots. I'm keen to hear other people's impressions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wine Expo '08 - Part V - Kiosks 40 - 54

At Kiosk 40 we found the wonderful Pio Cesare Fides which we've already talked about. Their Moscato d'Asti was also delicious. I love Moscato d'Asti. Slightly sparkling - frizzante as the Italians say - light and refreshing but bursting with fruit. The Pio Cesare was a top notch example, but I have to admit to a bit of sticker shock - I've had good examples at half the price, and at 5% alcohol you tend to slurp it down.

The Ferraton Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Parvis was good, but the show was too rushed to say more than that, one way or the other. WS gave it a 90, btw. Kelly was very taken with their Crozes Hermitage La Matiniere ($26) - she kept mentioning it through the rest of the show. This is one that is on our "must try again soon list."

We've already discussed the Chateau Fuissé at kiosk 46. Delicious. Worth the price? We bought a couple, so we'll find out soon enough.

At kiosk 48 the Pierre Sparr Reserve Gewurz had a great nose but seemed a bit flabby on the palate.

The Liogier Vacqueyras Montpezat (kiosk 50) was a touch candied for my taste, but their Cotes du Rhone La Taladette struck me as excellent value at $16.

The Sartori Marani was fantastic. We'll have a separate review of it soon.

The Terre da Vine Barolo was fine, but didn't stand out, at least in the atmosphere at the show. Their Barbaresco seemed like good value for $30.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wine Expo '08 - Part IV - Kiosks 23 to 39

This post starts with Cave de Ribeauville at kiosk 23. I've already covered it in my initial post on first impressions and highlights. As I discuss there, the Prestige series from the Cave de Ribeauville was definitely a value highlight at the show.

The two St Hallett wines we tried at kiosk 26, the Gamekeepers Reserve (Shiraz/Grenache) and the Faith (Shiraz) were well made in the big fruity Aussie style. We preferred the Faith even at $8 more than the Gamekeepers Reserve. Your view on this wine will be very much a matter of style - this is not for those who like an Old World approach. The rep at the booth was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. He said these wines are meant to be drunk relatively young - now or within the next 5 years. While they will last longer, they will lose their varietal character without gaining a lot of compensating complexity.

Kiosk 28: Chateau Quintus: "Meh" says Kelly's note.

We got a taste of the Silver Oak - I think it was the Napa (it was a quick pour just as the 4:00 show was closing). It was excellent - whether it was $117 excellent depends on the state of your wallet.

The next prestige wine we tried was the Catena Alta Malnec, which regularly scores 93-94 from Wine Spectator. The vintage at the show, the '04, scored 93. We were underwhelmed. Good, but soft and blowsy. Not worth $60 of my money.

More to come . . .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wine Expo '08 - Part III - Kiosks 11 - 22

The usual caveat - these are impressions, not reviews.

We weren't enthused about the Rincipi di Buttera Riesi - a bit of what Kelly calls "the cheap wine nose." We need to come up with a good euphemism. "Over-ripe" perhaps.

The Stellennzicht Pinotage tasted distinctly like a Pinotage - and I'm not really a fan. I'd like to hear from Pinotage afficiandos out there about what they thought about this wine. It was clearly well made.

One of the great curiosities of the show was the Yellow Tail Limited Edition Premium Shiraz - what does a $50 Yellow Tail taste like???? It was suprisingly good. Maybe what you'd expect from a $50 Yellow Tail. Well made, though not very subtle: "a crazy cartoon of a wine" says Kelly's notes. Reminded us of the 2003 Rosenblum Rockpile Road Zinfandel that was #3 in Wine Spectator's 2005 Top 100 list. Over the top, but in a well made way.

We've previously reviewed the Farnese Edizione Cinque Autoctoni 2004, which we really liked. Unfortunately the '06 edition was not nearly as good. It was a clear shift to an international style. It had none of the unique character that made the '04 so interesting, and as an international sytle wine it was fine, but not worth $43. A real disappointment.

I'll finish this post on a high note. Both the wines from Tolaini were excellent. The Valdesanti is a Bordeaux blend (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cabh Franc) and was very well done. Worth buying at $45, though maybe not a steal. A 91 from Wine Spectator. The Al Passo - Sangiovese and Merlot - was a terrific blend. Delicious, interesting and different. It was on our "must buy" list - and everyone else's, as it was sold out by 4:00 on Friday. Wine Spectator gave this an 86. That's nuts. Don't tell your friends about this one - at least not until I get my hands on a couple of bottles.

To be continued . . .

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wine Expo '08 - Part II - Kiosks 1 - 10

I'm going to spend a few posts going through the wines we tried in a reasonably systematic way. I'll go through the show in order of the kiosks (though of course we didn't try every wine or even every kiosk). As I said in the last post, the tasting conditions were not what they would be at home and we were suffering from palate fatigue pretty earlier on, so what follows are just impressions and not final opinions.

At kiosk 2 were the wines from Collazzi, which we somehow missed even though they were on our "must try" list. Did anyone else try them?

At kiosk 4 we tried the Quinta da Rigodeira Bairrada Baga. It was fine, but not special, even at the price ($16)

At the Kriscott kiosk (6) the Schroeder Grande Corte Pinot Noir - Malbec was one of the most interesting wines at the show. Pinot Noir is usually made as a varietal, but this blend worked extremely well. The Malbec was judiciously used (20%, I believe) and added a underlying smoky note without t overwhelming the Pinot, which came through beautifully with characteristic flavours on bright end of the spectrum - cherry and raspberry I suppose. Good mouthfeel and balance as well. Unfortunately there was a bit of something woody and slightly harsh at the finish that marred an otherwise extremely appealing and interesting wine. The Las Moras rep (Ricardo Valero - very engaging and knowledgeable about Argentinian wines) suggested it might have been from young Malbec vines.

From Finca Las Moras both the Black Label and the 3 Valleys Shiraz' were very good. I think we actually preferred the less expensive Black Label, but Kelly's notes are a bit fuzzy here. These are both wines we definitely want to try again. We weren't quite as keen on their Malbec, even though it's the signature Argentine grape - a bit of wet cardboard on the finish, perhaps.

We tried the '06 Grand Marrenon White and we liked it quite a bit better at the show than we did when we reviewed it. Looks like we're evolving as white wine drinkers. The Grand Marrenon Red also seemed to be very good value at $17. A blend of Grenache and Syrah, it was nicely balanced without the candied over-ripe profile you often find at this price. Another wine we want to try again outside the show.

We tried the Chocolate Block at kiosk 9. It was solid, but we weren't wowed. But this is a case where my warning really applies - a restrained and subtle wine isn't going to show well at the hurly burly atmosphere of the expo. I'd be very interested to know what others though of this wine, especially if you've had a chance to try it in a more relaxed setting. Luke has already mentioned that he was very impressed.

To be continued...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wine Expo '08 - Part I - The Show and Some Highlights

Where should I begin this post about our marathon tasting at the Wine Expo 2008? I don’t have time to comment on everything we tried at one go, so I’ll start with some thoughts about the show and a couple of the highlights.

Though I don’t have much experience with wines shows, I thought the expo itself was very well done. There occasionally a bit of a crush in getting to a particular kiosk, but even at the height of the madness there was never too much of a wait to get the sample we were looking for. The Coliseum is large enough that there was plenty of room to move around and when we had a wine we were particularly interested in, it was always possible to step back from the table and enjoy the wine in (relative) peace. And as Kelly said, speaking with some very knowledgeable agents and owners was a delight.

The only real improvement I can think of it that it would be nice to have spittoons either at the tables or, even better, distributed around the floor space. It is not possible to taste any significant number of wines without spitting, and while you could spit into the open plastic containers on each table, but there was a real risk of splashing bystanders or yourself, not to mention that looking at a bucket of spit is very unappealing. (Trafton Agencies had spittoons at their kiosk, but they were the only ones.) Kelly and I carried our own Nalgene containers for spitting - better than nothing, but a bit awkward.

Well, there is one other possible improvement. A few times I was almost knocked over by the scent of perfume, making it impossible to taste the wine. Presumably the people wearing perfume or cologne were more interested in a fun evening out than appreciating wine - there’s nothing wrong with that in itself, but even a light perfume can spoil the experience for others who are there for the wine. I’m not sure if there’s anything the organizers can do - perhaps a polite “no perfume” request at ticket purchase website?

I hope that doesn’t sound too negative - these were minor complaints. The show was well organized and a great place to meet and talk wine.

Now on to the wines themselves. While this was a great chance to taste many wines, it was sometimes hard to focus and we were suffering from severe palate fatigue by the end (well, actually by about a quarter of the way through), so what follows are not notes, but impressions, to be taken with a very large grain of salt. For the most part we avoided buying wines at the show, but instead made notes of wines to re-try later in a more leisurely setting.

My overall impression is that the wines at the show lean heavily toward a soft and approachable style, even in the higher price range. It’s the modern taste, I suppose – and I can’t pretend I don’t share that taste. While I’m a fan of the structured styles of Madiran and some of the Italian reds, I’m still struggling with Chianti and even Bordeaux. And more reserved and elegant wines are unlikely to show well at an event like this, between the crush of people, palate fatigue and competition of blowsier wines. Nonetheless, I hope this trend doesn’t mean that the likes of the Bocca di Lupo and the Bouscassé Vieilles Vignes are going to disappear from the shelves of ANBL.

To begin we went straight to the Pio Cesare table and sampled the ‘05 Fides. It is undoubtedly as good as the ‘03 and is great value even at $48. (While the '05 is the current vintage, I saw some bottles of the '03 on the shelves at the show. These are drinking beautifully right now.) We also had a great chat with Augusto Boffa (now if I could just remember what he said about the drinking window for the Ornato...) We also spole with Cinzia Travaglini who was signing bottles of her Gattinara. We didn't try the wine, as we've had it before and loved it, but I did buy a signed bottle.

One of the highlights of the evening for me were the four Pouilly-Fuissé wines (white burgundy / chardonnay grape) from Château Fuissé. Delicious enough that we bought a couple of bottles at around $50 each. Wine Spectator rated these at about 88 points - if these really are only 88 points for a Pouilly-Fuissé, 90+ is going to knock my socks off. As Kelly said when I told her the rating, “I dunno dude.”

Another big winner at a much lower price point were the wines of the Cave de Ribeauville, particularly the Prestige series ($19-$24). All were slightly sweet with balanced with good acidity and excellent fruit. We tried four different varietal Gewurztraminers at about the $24 mark, and the Ribeauville was our favourite. The Andante at $19 is a blend of Muscat and Gewurz - the nose leaps out with grapiness of Muscat with the lychee of Gewurz. Delicious and fun. And their varietal Pinot Gris might make me a convert to that grape. Usually I find Pinot Gris / Grigio to be crisp and clean but uninteresting - something to drink by the glass from a restaurant list if you want to play it safe. But the Ribeauville Pinot Gris had real character and interest. Kelly made me buy a couple of bottles. Their Grand Cru Gewurz was excellent, but every wine in the Prestige series was outstanding value.

And speaking of Gewurz, we had a quick taste of the Aresti Reserve Late Harvest Gewurz in the same price range ($11.50 / 375 ml) and it stood up extremely well. We didn’t spend as much time with it as we did the Ribeauville, but we’re keen to give this another try soon.

That's enough for now - I'll post more thoughts on the show over the next week or so. Kelly pointed out that we seemed to have gotten more out of the whites, perhaps because palate fatigue set in more quickly with the reds making it more difficult to appreciate the subtleties.

Those are my first impressions. What are yours? Please comment - there were far too many wines at the show to have tried them all, and I'm sure we must have missed a number of winners.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wine Expo '08

The old thread on Wine Expo was for people to say what they thought would be worth trying. I'm starting a new thread here for everyone share their impressions after the fact. Here are Kelly's initial impressions:

We went to the Expo yesterday. No doubt Norman will blog about it when he gets a chance, but he's out building mtb trail now. My bottom line is that it's well worth the trip. There are all kinds of really excellent wines to taste, and some extremely knowledgeable and passionate people keen to help you understand them. And of course there's great stuff to be had at the on-site store. I saw all kinds of people buying carts full of their favourites, and quite a number of wines were out of stock by 4 pm Friday.

I didn't taste the Blason de Bourgongne, but of the pinots I did taste, my favourite was the Beringer Napa - a Californian. It's a "big" pinot. I think you'll like the St Hallet Faith, which is definitely a "big red."

It's my impression that at the Expo there were a lot of wines I'd call "old world wines for the new world palate." They're "big" rather than delicate, but with typically old world flavours. I think there's a lot to like about that style.

Speaking of passionate and interesting wine makers, we made the T&T: photo and article.

If you follow this blog, you know that we are basically obsessed with the wines of Pio Cesare.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Donnafugata Tancredi 2004

The Tancredi is made in Sicily, primarily from the Sicilian Nero d'Avola grape (70%) blended with Cabernet Sauvignon (30%). I love the style, tannic but with great mouthfeel and excellent balance. I'm beginning to think of it as a "southern" style - it reminds me of a Madiran, or the Tormaresa wines, particularly the Masseria Maime.

Here's Kelly note: "Lush nose of mostly blackberry and cedar; same on palate, plus tar and puckeringly firm tannins throughout. Long. I'd rate it higher if it were more complex, and/or also if it had a bit more follow through on the palate. As it is, it's largely tannins on the palate."

Same for me. While I love the style and I really enjoyed the wine there wasn't enough complexity to get it into the 90s.

Everything above this point is from the first night we tried this wine. I'm now having a glass after it's had a couple of days in the half bottle, and I must say that it has done very well. That's a bonus in itself - if you're like us and you don't finish the bottle on the first night, a wine that holds up well in the fridge is worth more than one that doesn't. The tannins have softened a bit and I think this has allowed more of the flavours on the palate to show through. I think this clearly deserves a 90 now.

Price: $38.29
Value: 3.5/5
Score: 90
Alcohol: 14%
Region: Sicily, Contessa Entellina
Tasted: Oct 2008
ANBL UPC: 8000852000151

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Top 10 Whites

Since I've recently had a couple of whites that I really enjoyed - as much as a red at a comparable price - I think it's time to start a list of Top 10 whites. It's still pretty short though.

1. Tormaresca Pietra Bianca 2006 $29
2. Tunella Campo Marzio 2004 $35

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

La Tunella Campo Marzio 2004

At last! A white I can get really enthusiastic about! The Colli Orientali del Friuli is, according to the World Atlas of Wine, is one of the two "most revered DOCs for white wine" in all of Italy. It is made from two indigenous Italian grapes (or autochthonous grapes, as the Italians seem to like to say), Friulano (formerly known as Tocai Friulano) and Ribolla Gialla.

It's not a fruit driven wine. The nose has minerals, petrol and a touch of something herbal. The palate is medium bodied and almost musky, with more deep notes than you would often get in a white - a manly white, says Kelly. Lovely mouthfeel - fresh and viscous at the same time. Excellent finish with something spicy that kicks in just when you think it's all over. A white for red drinkers, says Kelly.

Serve reasonably warm - this was much better after it had warmed up than it was straight out of the fridge. WineSpectator gave this 90. Speaking of which, while I liked the Pietra Bianca, I like this even more - my scores can't be compared directly with Iron Chef's.

Price: $34.48
Value: 4/5
Score: 91
Alcohol: 13.5%
Tasted: Oct 2008
ANBL UPC: 8030050000233

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tormaresca Pietra Bianca 2006

I'm going to start with a review from Iron Chef, since I didn't drink any "bloggable" wines this weekend. I had my eye on this wine and almost bought a bottle last week, but I bought the Tunella Campo Marzio instead - see Wednesday's post. (PS Chef Do I have the year right?)

Here is Iron Chef's review:

"A wine made of 95% Chardonnay and 5% Fiano in southern Italy, Puglia. I think this blog has tried all the Tormaresca line from Antinori now at ANBL. This is a rich wine with tons of creamy malolactic fermentation and well integrated oak. The nose is fun with peaches and zesty citrus aromas and lots of buttery vanilla. The palate is very expressive and textured- notes of oak, butterscotch ice cream, dried apricots and smoke. I could see this wine breaking the "Red Meat with Red wine" rule because of its strong favours and texture. An absolute stunner of a wine. WoW. WS gave it 87 points btw.

One drawback was that the cork was very wet, seepage around the foil might affect this wine.

Value: 4/5- although I hate spending that much on a white. It was worth it.
Score: 93"

Price: $28.99
Score: 93
Value: 4/5
Tasted: Oct 2008
ANBL UPC: 8026530000077

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pelee Island Winery Pinot Noir Reserve 2006

Ted brought this wine over and I tasted it blind (a rarity for me). I wasn't a fan. The balance was poor - sweet and soft. It had a very distinct candied flavour that I dislike - it's common in wines at this price range, but a significant negative nonetheless. Some candied wines have enough fruit or brightness to partially compensate - but not this one. Kelly liked it better than I did - she detected strawberries on the nose.

Price: $17.99
Score: 83(N) - 86(T) - 88(K)
Value: 2/5(N) - 4/5(K)
Alcohol: 13.5%
Tasted: Oct 2008
ANBL UPC: 777081720942