2004 de Villaine, Bouzeron:
I am told this aligoté; whatever, its pleasant on the nose but tastes of wet grass and perm solution which obscures anything else that may (or may not) be going on. No, thank you. About $15.
2002 Alain Demon, Côte Roannaise Resérve La Perrière:
This wine is made from 50-100 year old gamay vines – and it shows it. Plum, potpourri and cherry-vanilla on the nose with similar flavors that are deep and pure, excellent concentration and balance, and a stony, minerality that underlies but never intrudes. Fine grained tannins, velvet textures, bright acidity, good character and, IMO, nothin’ but net. About $10.
2004 Dom. Saint Luc, Coteaux du Tricastin:
12.5% alcohol; approximately 30% grenache, 70% syrah with a “pinch” of bourboulenc and viognier; bright and fresh on the nose, clean and ripe Rhone aromatics; balanced, elegant and weightless in the mouth with flavors that follow the nose, very harmonious; medium finish. Beautiful with grilled chicken and grilled veggies. About $9.
2004 Argiolas, Vermentino di Sardegna Costamolino:
Although this wine is well-made and ripe it has an ever-present resinous aroma and flavor that I can’t quite get past; it’s also viscous and slightly peppery on the finish. Good wine, but not for me. About $10.
On the taxi-way . . .
2004 Argiolas, Isola dei Nuraghi Costera:
Flamboyant almost candied nose when first opened but it becomes more brooding and shades toward black fruit with air; full throttle flavors of black fruit with some earth, substantial tannin making the texture a bit rustic, mouth filling and longer than expected. Even at $12, I’m not running to the store, but I would be happy to drink this again. It’s made of cannonau, alias, grenache. Who’d a thunk?
Airborne . . .
2003 Calamity, Napa Valley Red Wine:
Mostly cabernet sauvignon (I’m told – please, correct me if I’m wrong) and 14.1% alcohol; laser pure cassis and blackberries on the nose, crisp, clean with very light oak and some minerality; bright flavors follow the nose with clarity and depth, excellent acidity, no signs of over-extraction and just a hint of oak sweetness, nice complexity and good balance; a bright, flavorful (with a little bitter black raspberry), mouth-watering finish without any hint of heat. Gives the impression of having some cabernet franc in the mix. (I’m told Cathy Corison has a hand in this; that would not surprise me in the least – she is talented.)
This is neither a pretender to Bordeaux nor to most of the left-coast cabs. I’ve tasted; rather, it is its own animal, although faintly reminiscent of the Loire. Certainly, it has a shelf life but it’s delicious now. About $20.
And yes, I bought this bottle and will probably buy a couple more; maybe even a case.
Never say never . . .