Just the wines I happened to get to taste this past weekend. Enjoy!
At a store tasting:
Basa, Blanco, Rueda 2007
Very interesting Spanish white. Bright, sweet citrus upfront with notes of almond paste, followed by a touch of apple, and then going to fascinating, almost floral aromatics, with the almond notes again prominate on the finish. Lively acidity makes this a persistent mouthfiller on the palate. A good deal for $12. Drink now or in the next 2 - 3 years. Excellent (87 - 90) [8/23/08]
Dom. Bott-Geyl, Riesling, Les Elements, Alsace 2005
Citrus, apricot, and stone/minerals. Perhaps a touch honeyed as well. The stone notes give this wine a darker, more substancial feel. Has good character. A bit different than any Alsactian Riesling I've had so far. Probably will hold together for the next 3 - 5 years or so. $20 isn't a bad price for a wine of this character and quality. Excellent (87 - 90) [8/23/08]
Dom. de la Mordoree, La Dame Rousse, Cotes-du-Rhone 2007
Dark cherry, raspberry, cocoa, minerals, and spicy, with a burly finish. Concentrated but sits lightly on the palate due to generous, balancing acidity. This is great little Cotes-du-Rhone, and at $14, perhaps the best value I've encountered in the Rhone. Excellent (87 - 90) [8/23/08]
Tenute Silvio Nardi, Rosso di Montalcino 2004
Cherry and red berries, with perhaps a touch of the orange rind I associate with Montalcino, and good herbal/spice on the finish. Not very impressive when first poured - needs some serious breathing in the glass at this stage, but a very satisfying mouthfull wine when it opens. Has good potential, I think, but needs 2 - 3 more years to show it, and should last an additional 2 - 3 years after that. At $27, a little pricey, but if money were no issue (ha, ha) I might law a bottle down just to see what it does. Excellent (87 - 90), and will improve [8/23/08]
At home, over the course of about 48 hours:
Vinedos de El Seque, Alicante 2006
Deep, almost opaque ruby with a touch of purple. Understated on the nose. Dark, dark black cherry upfront, with some blackberry mid-palate, then currants; toward the finish a suggestion of chocolate before going to dark notes of tar and minerals, with generous spice. A full bodied wine with the dark, intense personality of 100% Monastrell (Mourvedre). Also perplexing, in that from sip to sip there is a great deal of variation in how mouthfilling it is. Needs food. This is missing something, especially compared to the impressive 2005, which had Syrah and Cab. Sauv. in the blend. But still, a wine of good character, compelling in its best moments, and quite a deal at $10. I'm a bit uncertain as to its future: might benefit from 2 - 3 more years, and will last for up to 5 years from now. Excellent (87 - 90) [8/23/08]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)