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Ryan M

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WTN: Last of the summer wine

by Ryan M » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:33 pm

Life has been relatively low-key wine-wise the past few months. So here at last is a round-up of my unposted late summer and fall notes. A few exciting and/or interesting wines, a batch of roses, and a bunch of delightful everyday drinkers.

Noteworthy Stuff
Terredora, Campore Riserva, Taurasi 2006
Excellent color, medium-dark, gemlike garnet. Outstanding nose, deep and aromatic, and showing lovely signs of maturity, with cured tobacco, forest floor, a hint of mushroom, dried cherry and blackberry, lovely orange rind, wonderful smoke/incense aromatic, and deep earthy/tarry mineral. Same notes on the palate, with the addition of wonderful plum, licorice and lots spice on the long, succulent finish. Full bodied, wonderfully succulent in texture, with fantastic, juicy acid tone, and lots of firm but sweet tannin; awesome, elegant balance. Opens up wonderfully with air. An outstanding wine, so satisfying, and fantastically food friendly too. Showing some maturity, but still youthful in structure, and will improve. 10 to 15 solid years ahead, and may live beyond that given its exceptional balance. 4 Stars, 4.5 Star potential [7/19/17]

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards, Chardonnay, Fournier Vineyard, Carneros 1997
Rather nice amber color. Very good nose, rich with mature burnish, but with abundant citrus notes keeping it rather fresh, and with a nice sense of depth. On the nose and palate, abundant, fresh mandarin orange and marmalade with a touch of pineapple upfront, then a note of honey suckle/orange blossom, followed by rich peach/apricot with a very nice touch of raspberry, and toward the finish, honey and butterscotch, with mineral notes and honey lingering on the nice, medium length finish, and all of that framed by abundant but very nice oak notes and hazelnut, with lots of mature burnish. Very full bodied, rich and honeyed in texture yet with a sweet-tart acidity maintaining very good balance; seems to have just a bit of residual sugar, and drinks off-dry. Excellent quality. This has achieved a fascinating late maturity in which it behaves uncannily like an old late-harvest Loire Valley Chenin Blanc. Does need some time in the glass to freshen and round out. For those who like their Chardonnays ripe and bold this is well past its best, but for those who are willing to meet it where it is now, this is a delightfully fascinating old white. In this “afterlife” state, it can hold perhaps another 5 years. 3.5 Stars, partly for pleasure, partly for interest [7/27/17]

Elia Palazzesi, Collelceto, Brunello di Montalcino 2006
Deep garnet. Lovely nose. On the nose and palate, lots of dried black cherry, and a touch of orange rind, with cured tobacco, leathery earth, and mature forest floor notes. Full bodied, with a succulent, slightly savory texture, and generous acid tone. Deep, pure, and focused. Needs a bit of time in the glass to show its best; starting to show some maturity, but with the vibrant structure for another 5 years. An excellent Brunello. 3.5 Stars [8/20/17]

Chateau de Nardon, Bordeaux Superior 2010
Good color, dark, pure ruby. Wonderful nose of dark, rich, fragrant fruit, with fresh mint and tobacco leaf, loads of white pepper, and earthy mineral; deep, earthy undertones; wonderful tone. On the palate: wonderful, rich, dense, fresh, fleshy blackberry, damson plum, and black currant, with very nice fresh mint and succulent tobacco leaf, loads of spicy white pepper, and lots of fine-grained, mineral-laden tannin. Full bodied and potent, with wonderful fruit, exceptional acid tone, exquisite balance, and impressive structure. So complete and satisfying! This combination of extravagant fruit and impressive classical structure is what makes 2010 such an phenomenal vintage. At under $15, the value here is off the charts. 5 solid years ahead still. 3.5 Stars [10/8/17]

Domaine Serene, Pinot Noir, Evenstad Reserve, Willamette Valley 2014
Wonderful nose! On the nose and palate, fresh, tart "pie" cherry with a touch of lovely blueberry providing accentuation, floral notes, and cloves, with tomato-paste like savoriness toward the finish. Medium-full bodied and light on its feet, but with wonderful presence; the fruit has an elegant richness. What makes this wine extraordinary is the focus and delineation provided by that tart cherry note combined with beguiling, accentuated aromatics. This is what one hopes for in an outstanding Oregon Pinot. Very youthful and somewhat reserved, I expect it to put on additional weight as it ages. 10 - 15 years ahead. 4 Stars [10/22/17]

Roses
Tenuta Paraida, Rosato, Copertino 2015
Extraordinary color, something like macerated strawberry juice. Delightful nose, absolutely bursting with sweet, fresh, pure red berries. On palate, loads of strawberry, raspberry, and sweet, dark cherry, with a very nice note of rhubarb toward remarkably long and very satisfying finish. On the light side of full bodied, with lovely a lovely, sweet and fleshy texture (but fully dry), with excellent, juicy acidity, and just the right touch of tartness. The purity of the fruit is exceptional. 100% Negroamaro. A remarkable and impressive rose. Drink now. 3 Stars [8/12/17]

Patrick Bottex, La Cueille, Bugey-Cerdon NV
90% Gamay, 10% Poulsard; 8% alcohol. Dark pink, hinting at fuchsia. Not much on the nose. On the palate, loads of fresh strawberry with a touch of raspberry, a splash of lemon-lime soda, and abundant mineral on the finish; a note of raw bread dough emerges on the finish with air. Medium-full bodied, semi-sweet, with excellent balancing acidity, and with such vigorous bubbles that the texture can only be described as frothy. Delightfully fun, and very well made. Drink now, though it might be very interesting with some additional bottle age. 2.5 Stars [8/27/17]

Chateau Sainte Eulalie, Printemps d’Eulalie, Minervois 2016
Nice salmon color. Very nice nose of fresh, rich fruit, tobacco, violets, and citrus; somewhat heady. On the palate, lots of pure, fresh strawberry and raspberry, with a touch of fleshy plum (providing a darker edge to the fruit), lemon rind, violets, tobacco leaf (providing a nice earthy note), and spice. Medium-full bodied, with a sweet and fleshy texture, with lots of lemon-acidity providing freshness and zip. A delightful, characterful, and rather complex rose. Drink now or in the next couple of years. 50% Syrah, 35% Cinsault, 10% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre. 2.5 Stars [10/13/17]

Weinhaus Messmer, Spatburgunder, Rose Brut, Pfalz 2010
Delightful color, dark, sparkly salmon with orange reflections; the color of fresh-picked pie cherries. Low key but very nice nose, fresh, respectably rich and deep, with some nice aromatics. On the nose and palate, fresh, pure, rich cherries, with a bit of meaty depth, a hint of orange/citrus, and some lively mineral. Not so much complex as remarkably pure. Medium-full bodied, sweet in texture and supported by fine acid and mineral. Delightful! Drink now. 2.5 Stars [11/19/17]

Nice Everyday Stuff (mostly reds)
Casa de Santar, Dao 2010
35% Touriga Nacional, 35% Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo), 30% Alfrocheiro. Great color, dark ruby. Wonderful nose, somewhat heady, loads of dark, rich, dense fruit, with lovely violet and tobacco leaf aromatics, and loads of dense, earthy mineral. On the palate, lots of rich, juicy currant and blackberry, with fig and tart plum, a touch of tobacco leaf, then a hint of citrus and vanilla before a finish with lots of spice, loads of earthy mineral, and generous tannic firmness; good length on the finish. Very full bodied, with a wonderfully succulent texture, all supported by prominent, juicy acidity, with very good balance. Delightfully delicious and at the same time rather gutsy in character. Would be awesome with something like steak tips in gorgonzola cream sauce. Youthful in structure still, can easily go another 5 years. 3 Stars [7/22/17]

Villa Sopita, Sangiovese, Puglia 2015
Ruby/purple. Very nice, fragrant nose, lots of cedar smoke and incense, with rich black cherry, a hint of violets, and rich, black earth. On the palate, lots of juicy, tart red cherry, prunes (in a nice way), and bright citrus notes, all underlaid by impressions of earth. Medium-full bodied, slightly savory in texture, dark and juicy in personality, with somewhat ripe fruit kept in balance by generous acidity. A distinctly Puglian and quite successful take on Sangiovese, almost like Morellino di Scansano (Tuscany) meets Primitivo. Give this one time to breath and freshen to reveal the excellent balance between its acidity and fruit. Pair with pizza or hearty pasta dishes. Very nice. 2 Stars [7/28/17]

Nicolas Potel, Bourgogne 2013
Light ruby/garnet. Excellent nose, fragrant, with dark, sweet fruit, earthy depth, and loads of lovely ground cloves. On the palate, pungent black cherry and dark strawberry, savory grilled meat, violets, lots of clove, and earth, with spicy tannin. On the light side of full bodied, with sweet but pungent/savory fruit, and very high acid tone making it very food friendly; good depth too. Starts out very light and then puts on weight to an extraordinary extent. A very nice red Burgundy to drink now or in the next few years. 2.5 Stars [9/3/17]

Frederico, Ribera del Duero 2016
100% Tempranillo. Dark, nearly opaque ruby with a hint of purple. Exceptional nose, stewed black fruit balanced by some fresh red fruit, cured leather, tobacco leaf, and lots of lovely incense notes, all with undertones of loamy earth; heady and expansive. On the palate, loads of fresh black currant, with a touch of cherry/kirsch, hints of tobacco leaf and cured leather, liquid smoke, and abundant dark chocolate (say, 85% dark), with lots of chalky tannin on nice medium-long finish. Full bodied, with a fleshy, slightly savory texture, and excellent acid balance. Starts out rather monolithic, but becomes much more expressive and harmonious with air. This is a very impressive style of Tempranillo, darker, richer, and deeper than most. Should become increasingly elegant with additional age. 5 years ahead, perhaps more. A remarkable wine. 3 Stars [9/11/17]

Vina Nubilla, Malbec, Mendoza 2016
Good color, pure, medium-dark ruby. Excellent nose, rich and deep, with lots of dark, juicy fruit, blackberry, cassis, fig, and plum, with leather, mint, smoke/incense, and rich, dark earth, all with savory tomato paste notes, and fresh ground black pepper; wonderful depth. On the palate, lots of rich and wonderfully juicy blackberry and plum, and with mint, abundant tomato paste notes, and lots of black pepper. Full bodied, juicy and savory in texture, with excellent acid tone, and lots of fine-grained tannin and salty mineral; quite Italianate in character definitely Old World in its sensibility. The most interesting Argentine Malbec I’ve had in quite some time. Lovely wine for drinking over the next 3 - 5 years. 3 Stars [9/25/17]

Bodega Piedra Negra, Pinot Gris, Alta Colleccion, Valle de Uca, Mendoza 2015
Light straw color. Very nice nose, rich and fresh, citrus, orchard and tropical fruits, with honey and mineral, low key but with some potency. On the palate, a remarkable array of fruits, apple and honey dew upfront, followed by tropical fruits (guava, kiwi, pineapple), then stone fruits (peach, nectarine, plum), all with prominent lemon/citrus, a touch of honey, and lots of white pepper, with abundant charred mineral notes announcing the volcanic soil (pier negra = “black rocks”). Full bodied, rich and potent in texture, and rather spicy. While distinctly a Pinot Gris, reminds one of the style of Argentine Torrontes. Very impressive in style, and the volcanic terroir shines through. Has the structure to hold nicely for 3 - 5 more years. 3 Stars [9/29/17]

Chilensis, Sauvignon Blanc, Reserva, Valle de Maule 2016
Pure, medium-light yellow. Low key but rich and somewhat aromatic nose of fresh fruit, with flowers, fresh-mown grass, and smokey mineral. On the palate, white peach, a touch of gooseberry, lots of sweet pink grapefruit, and floral notes; toward the finish, honey, generous smokey mineral (the volcanic soil showing through), and a touch of white pepper. On the light side of full bodied, with delightfully rich, sweet fruit, and a slightly fat texture, supported by ample, slightly steely acidity. Very much in the French style, this could almost be from Bordeaux (except for the distinctly volcanic terroir). Very nice! Drink now. 2.5 Stars [11/4/17]

Vina Alto Roble, Patagon, Pinot Noir, Selection, Curico 2013
Nice color, a pure, medium ruby. Lovely, deep, aromatic nose, dark and savory and with good tone, with loads of dried berries, bay leaf, and clove, floral overtones, and volcanic mineral undertones. On the palate, lots of lovely, juicy dried blackberry and dried cherry, a touch of blueberry, with violets, a touch of bay leaf, cloves, and some fleshy plum and tomato-paste-like savoriness before a mineral-laced, medium-long finish. Full bodied, with dark fruit, juicy and savory in texture with excellent acid tone. Lovely wine, and a stupendous value for under $15 - certainly a candidate for best Pinot Noir value I’ve ever had. Should drink very nicely for at least another 3 years, but in such a wonderful place now that I say drink up! 3.5 Stars [11/10/17]

Domaine Cassagnau, Pays d’Oc 2015
Very nice color, medium-dark ruby. Love the nose, so very Languedoc; dark cherry and dried blackberry, with cured tobacco, a touch of leather, and loads of barnyardy earth and mineral. Similar notes on the palate, with juicy dark cherry, black raspberry, and plum, tobacco leaf, and rustic yet fine grained earth, mineral, and tannin. Full bodied, rich and juicy in texture, with nice, dark fruit. Such great traditional character here, combined with good quality. Drink now or in the next few years. 2.5 Stars [11/19/17]
"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"
Galileo Galilei

(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)

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