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Random wine tasting notes

24 Jan

I’m running a tasting later this week for one of my side editorial projects. Here’s my take on some of what we’re having. They’re all available locally, and all are in the $10-$15 range.

Domaine Lafage Cote Est
A blend of grenache blanc, chardonnay and marsanne.
Located in southwest France, Roussillon borders both the Mediterranean coast and the Pyrenees Mountains separating it from Spain. As the sunniest part of France, it’s able to produce very juicy wines. You’ll notice aromas of honeysuckle, cantaloupe, iris, lime and cilantro, and flavors of ripe lime, guava, watercress, apricot, peach, tangerine rind, sea salt and white flowers. Even though this is 13% alcohol by volume, which puts it almost in full-bodied wine territory, it can work with many salads and lighter fare. For best results, pair it with rustic French or Spanish dishes, cod, grilled bruschetta, or ratatouille.

And if you close your eyes and imagine that you’re sipping this on the rue d’Antibes on the Cote d’Azur, we wouldn’t blame you.

Susana Balbos Crios Torrontes
100% Torrontes

Though it’s a white, this is the little black dress of wines: versatile, ideal for any occasion, and dang sexy (well, it is made by an Argentinian woman).

This wine is widely considered to be the epitome of Torrontes, a native Argentinean variety. It’s, simply, an irresistible tease: dry and acidic like Sauvignon Blanc, yet full-bodied, fruity and floral, with lushly perfumed aromas of peach, white pear, flowers, and orange. Rather beguiling.

Pair this baby with smoked meats, mild to medium cheeses, seafood (particularly crab and sushi). Or drink it our favorite way—by itself. Once you taste it, you’ll want to make this your house wine.

Li Veli Primonero
50% primitivo, 50% negroamaro

If this Puglia wine brings back memories of your post-college trip to Italy and a certain local attraction named Stefano, we certainly won’t tell.

Negroamaro is earthy; primitivo (depending on who you talk to, either an ancestor or twin of zinfandel) is more refined. Combining the two balance out the rougher and softer edges into a wine you can take a lot of places.

Dark, intense and plummy, with hints of black cherry, licorice, pepper and mocha, the tannins are softer than you’d expect and the nose is more floral. This is a wine that lingers nicely. It’s great for your heavier winter meals, or even for grilled foods in the summer.

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Sleeping beauties

7 Mar

The wine collection’s gotten out of hand. It’s gotten out of racks and closets and into my hallway. It’s gotten ridiculous. One hundred eighteen bottles. About two dozen of the ones with longest cellar potential are going into storage (I spent all evening researching that).  Here’s who they are.

Drink these after 2020. What shape will they--and I--be in?

More deep-storage wines (drink by 2020)

These are the ones to drink 2014-2018. Playing it conservatively on the Rieslings. Only one of them is GG quality, although all are VDP.

These will be consumed in the next 2-4 years, thought they could go possibly longer.

Bodegas Mustiguillo Finca Terrerazo 2005

29 Oct

From 60-year-old Valencia vines, this 90% Bobal blend grows almost 2800 feet above sea level. Bobal mostly is used for bulk wines in Spain, but this vineyard is known for making smooth reds from it.  Smoky, tobacco-ey, chewy and tannic, I really ought to steal one of the Gin Savant’s better cigars to enjoy this with.

Verdict: Legs as good as Susan Anton’s in 1979.

BRIX on Broad, $50.