Tuesday made a mushroom "risotto" (actually with barley ) accompanied by a grilled-chicken salad with apples. I opened the 2003 Cantina Nalles Magrè Schiava . I had picked this up at Astor after Agnostino recommended (Schiava, not this particular bottle). Grapey and somewhat primary, a bit of herbacousness. Good acidity keeps the fruit vibrant (due to vintage in Europe in general, I was worried it might be flabby, but not a problem). Ok. The following night (just recorked and refrigerated) , with herbed pork loin and salad, it had a more earthy sense to it, and the fruit seemed more raspberry/cherry than grapey. An ok wine, but there are plenty of Beaujolais I like better. But as a one-off from a vintage and a producer that I have no idea if they are respected, it's good enough that I'll look for another Schiava. B-
Used in cooking (but sampled as an apertif), the 2004 Ch.Haut-Rian (Bordeaux AC) once again proves itself a QPR winner. Grassy SB flavors, some lemony zip, clean if maybe short finish. But for $8 a very good deal. B
With shrimp with Serranos and a very spicy "Southwestern grain medley" for dinner Thursday, the 2004 Selbach-Oster Kabinett (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, AP# ends 024-05). Lime and slate over a backbone of acidity, good concentration yet light and lively. Nice for an under-$15 Riesling. B+/B
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.