I enjoy visiting my family - first and foremost to be back home, but also because it usually means I get to taste a lot of good wines. No themes here, just what we happened to taste. Enjoy!
Chateau Barrail-Chevrol, Fronsac 2005
Cherry, with cassis/blackberry/dark berries, plum, a touch of floral notes, and a suggestion of orange rind. Dusty tannins. Needs a bit of time in the glass to open. Grows on you. Respectable 2005 Bordeaux for everyday drinking. 80% Merlot, 15% Cab. Franc, 5% Cab. Sauv. Should probably hold together for another 2 - 3 years, and might very well improve a bit. Around $15, and a decent value. Very Good (85 - 87) [7/14/08]
Chateau Teyssier, St.-Emilion Grand Cru 2005
Tasted by the glass at a restaurant. Nice nose. A nice mouthful of lush, dark fruits: cherries, raspberries, currants. Big structure for a St.-Emilion. Very impressive, in fact the fist truly impressive 2005 Bordeaux red I've had. At this stage a bit restrained, and not as lush as it will be in time. Best in another 3 - 5 years, I think, and should drink very well for another 10 years total, possibly more. Reasonable value at around $25. Excellent (87 - 90), and will improve [7/16/08]
Zardetto, Prosecco Brut VSAQ (Conegliano) NV
Clear with just a touch of yellow/green. Citrus, dandelion, a touch of melon, and a touch of nuts. Very nice Prosecco. Drink now. $10, and a great value. Excellent (87 - 90) [7/16/08]
Dr. Konstantin Frank, Fleur de Pinot Noir, New York NV
My first taste of a wine from New York. Made from their young vines. Very light, clear ruby. Very light in body but with suprisingly rich cherry, raspberry, and notes of plum/blackberry, with a touch of pleasant vegetal/tea background, and spice on the finish. Very food friendly. An impressive effort, and a winery to watch in the future. Drink now. An excellent value at $12. Very Good (85 - 87), flirting with Excellent (87 - 90). [7/16/08].
Duboeuf, Dom. Jean Descombes, Morgon 2005
Pleasant surpise to get to retaste this after a bit more than a year and a half. As expected for Morgon, offering a full, almost Burgundian richness and structure. Loads of darkish cherry fruits, with cola flavors (not a descriptor I like to use, but perfectly appropriate in this case), pehaps a touch of chocolate, and nice earthiness. Drinking very nicely now, but can probably last another two years. Around $15 or less, a good value. Excellent (87 - 90) [7/19/08]
Quinta do Casal Branco, Vihno Regional Ribatejo 2006
My first experience with a dry Portugese white. Last glass from a bottle that had probably been open a few days. Lively lemon-lime citrus upfront, followed by firm vanilla notes, and melon toward the finish. In some ways similar to Sauv. Blanc. Quite nice. A fresh bottle could probably hold together for a year or two. It appears this goes for about $7 online, and that's a remarkable value. Very Good / Excellent (86 - 88), and probably better when first openned. [7/19/08]
"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)