Sunday, October 25, 2009

St. Urbans-Hof Riesling 2008

Nose of wet wool and citrus
Viscous and crisply acidic on the palate

Price: $19.99
Value: 4/5
Score: 90
Alcohol: 9.5%
Region: Germany
UPC: 4013231000684

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mission Hill Five Vineyards Chardonnay 2007

I’ve mentioned before that our wine drinking follows strong seasonal patterns: white in the summer, red in the winter. We do occasionally drink white in the winter – especially with Kelly’s fantastic homemade sushi.

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Nose- Peaches, Pear and Pineapple with some sugar dusted flowers- lilacs maybe.
Taste- Peaches in syrup. Vanilla and oak. Good Crisp acidity. Some nutmeg also.
Overall a very dependable white that is always the same. A tad bit expensive compared to the Chileans.

Price: $17.99
Value: 2.5/5
Score: 88
Alcohol: 13.5%
Region: Canada, British Columbia
UPC: 776545995148

Friday, October 16, 2009

E.Guigal Crozes Hermitage 2002

This vintage is no longer available at ANBL, but there is plenty of a subsequent vintage. (The ANBL website says it’s the 2004, but we all know the vintage info on the website is not very reliable.) Since ‘02 was the worst vintage in years, whatever vintage is available stands a good chance of being even better. (Depending on how it has been stored - from what I’ve seen, storage at ANBL isn’t always ideal.) Anyway, has anyone tried the currently available vintage?

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Received this as a Christmas gift and I was a little leery of the vintage (RP gave Northern Rhone 78 for the 2002 vintage). Decanted for 1 hour.
Sight- heavy bricking to brownish tints.
Nose- Cigarette ash, white pepper, Wild Blueberries and raspberries. Other aromas of tar and other petrol scents. Intense nose.
Taste- Dark berries, rasp and blue. Lots of fruit. Good Acidity and tannins. Wet Stone. Mocha espresso and warm oak. Long finish.
Overall- really surprised by the depth of taste in this wine. It had a lot going one. This did not taste old or worn out. Great Wine, but I suspect that this is as good as this is going to get, the sight of the wine suggests that it may start to decline soon. Great Cork.
Drink' em if you got 'em.

Price: $32.29
Value 4/5
Score: 93
Region: France, Northern Rhone
Grape: Syrah
Alcohol: 12.5%
UPC: 3536650801003

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2006

I thought this was a new grape to me - but according to Oz Clarke, it is just the Sardinian name for Grenache.

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Decanted for 45 minutes.
Never had a wine from Sardinia before. The grape is the original Grenache that was later imported to Rhone and other places. This winery has been producing this wine since 1899.

Nose: Leather, earth, barnyard and root vegetables. Some oak and orange liquor notes. Rose petals and Port-like oxidized aromas.
Taste: Rustic. Sour cherries, menthol and dusty tannins. Cloves and black tea. Tastes like an austere Chianti. Chalky acidity. The palate is hollow in spots. Delicate tastes.
Overall the nose was much better than the taste. There just wasn't enough fruit to support the dusty tannins, felt unbalanced and hollow. Interesting to try.

PS Robert Noel's wine of the week.

Price: $24.29
Value: 2/5
Score: 83
Grape: Cannonau / Grenache
Region: Italy, Sardinia
Alcohol: 13.5%
UPC: 8006725100256

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pierre Sparr Reserve Gewurztraminer 2008

We seems to be having a mini-Pierre Sparr tasting, with our review of the Schoenenbourg a couple of weeks ago. Nothing wrong with that - Alsatian whites are some of my favourites.

— Iron Chef’s Review —

Paired this with some Asian Noodles and Scallops with cilantro sauce.
Sight- Golden Yellow.
Nose- Mango and pineapple bomb. Great fruit forward nose. Some honey and flowers also.
Taste- Mango gelato. An interesting cooling sensation on the palate. Lots of mouth watering acidity. Apple pie spices. Good minerals too. Kind of Boozy.
Overall a really great wine. Where did all this acidity come from, wasn't expecting that. Perfect with Asian spicy food.

Price: $26.99
Value: 3.5/5
Score: 92
Region: France, Alsace
Alcohol: 13.5%
UPC: 3263530020819

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wine Expo

I thought I'd start a thread to discuss the upcoming Wine Expo (even though, unfortunately, I will be out of town). Anon has pointed out that there seems to be a focus on Italy, which is welcome - if I could only drink wine from one country, it would certainly be Italy, yet the current ANBL offerings are a bit slim.

Personally, I am generally not much of a fan of straight Sangiovese wines, including Brunello as well as Chianti. (Although I did once have a Chianti Classico that got a 94 from WS, and it truly was fantastic and excellent value at $42). We vacationed once in Tuscany and even there I thought the Brunellos were over-priced - that makes me think I'm just not a fan of the style.

I tend to like what the Italians do with international grapes, and I'm also a fan of their indigenous grapes. If nothing else, the variety is interesting. I notice that there is at least one straight Sagrantino, a grape that I have never had before. Oz Clarke's guide makes it sound very interesting. He says it was traditionally "austerely tannic, but better vinification has helped round out the fruit, and it is clear that this is a grape with a good deal of personality."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pierre Sparr Schoenenbourg Grand Cru Riesling 2001 Redux

Posting another review of a wine we’re already reviewed is cheating a bit - but that’s what we were drinking, and Kelly didn’t know what it was or that we’d already reviewed it.

Here are her notes:

Wet wool, citrus, and something spicy on the nose - white pepper and cloves, maybe? Very smooth and viscous on the palate. Nicely balanced and crisply acidic. Finishes on a slightly sharp note, but it's not an unpleasant sharpness. Initially I didn't detect the petrol note common in Riesling, but I think a subtle one developed over the evening.

Kelly gave it a score of 92 (without any prompting by me), which is the same as WS gave it. Interesting, since I was underwhelmed the first time and gave it an 88. I liked it well enough, but I still didn’t love it. Very well made and some good flavours, but just not the ‘wow’ factor that I want for a 92. Maybe it was just a bit too subtle for me. I let Kelly finish my glass.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Monte Antico 2006

Good reviews, bad reviews, mediocre reviews - they're all helpful. Here is one of the latter.

— Iron Chef’s Review —

I recently got an email about this wine rating it 90 pts from WS and I thought it would be fun to try.

Nose- Earthy, mushrooms and caramel. Some bright cherry fruit mixed in with oak.

Taste- Nice earthy favours with good oak. Restrained cherries with chocolate and coffee tastes. Some hollowness in the mid-palate. The finish was longer than expected.

Overall- The earthy aromas promised a better wine than the palate delivered. I still liked the wine, didn't love it. If I was going to spend $20 on this, I should have spent and extra $6 on Tommasi Ripasso Valpolicella or the Nipozzano Riserva.

Price: $18.79
Score 86
Value 2.5/5
Region: Tuscany
Grape: Sangiovese, Cab, Merlot (12.5%)