We visited with some friends last night and shared a number of wines. Some were very good, some very odd, and some just plain.
2004 Melville Chardonnay Clone 76 Inox (Santa Rita Hills)
This stainless steel fermented and aged Chardonay continues to be my favorite new world rendition of the grape. Lots of vibrant pear and apple aromas and flavors, juicy acidity and a long fruit filled finish. The 14.9% alcohol does intrude just a bit, but other than that it's a fine wine. Laura even liked this a bit. ($24 at winery)
2003 Simi Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay
Here's a horse of a different color. In fact it's a trojan horse...made of wood. There's some pineapple and melon fruit struggling to get out, but over all it's a pile of newly sawed oak lumber. It even smells like sawdust. Oof. Splinters. Why is this legal? ($18.99)
2005 Hans Wirsching Silvaner Trocken (Franken)
Ah, that's better, no oak. But what's thta bubble gum doing in my wine? Seriously this smelled like bubble gum. There's crisp lemon fruit on the palate, but the bubble gum thing is odd. Refreshing in its own way (especially after the Simi) but too strange to recommend. ($10.99)
2005 Vineland Dry Riesling (Niagra Penninsula)
Very shy nose and a bone dry palate. Was it ever actually there? A ghost of a wine. ($10.99)
2005 Rock Rabbit Sauvignon Blanc (Central Coast)
Grassy and melon infused nose. Similar, but sweet palate impression. Not bad for a cheap quaff. Pretty forgettable, but when it's 90+ degrees out this might just make a good, easy porch wine for the more Sauvignon tolerant. The sweet palate impression worries me a bit more than the fact that it's a Sauvignon Blanc. ($9.99)
2004 Torrey Ridge Winery Seyval Blanc (Finger Lakes)
Indistinct, jumbled fruit. Clipped, short finish. Totally forgettable. ($12.99)
2004 Bellhurst Sweet Cayuga (Seneca Lake)
Really not all that sweet. More like off-dry Cayuga. Fresh and nearly sharp acidity. Peachy to tropical fruit. Very vibrant on the palate (too vibrant for some). Short finish. Not bad. ($15)
2004 Amity Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley)
Basic but also bland Pinot Blanc. The kind that makes me wonder why they bother with this grape in North America. Nothing more notable than a touch of alcoholic heat. ($12.99)
2002 Hermann J. Wiemer Chardonnay (Finger Lakes)
The argument for over-oaking Charodnnay. If you do that it will at least taste like something. This was even more bland than the Amity. The cheap vodka of Chardonnay. (tasteless alcohol) ($16)
2005 Atwater Vidal Blanc (Finger Lakes)
Fruit salad (the canned kind) nose and palate. Just barely off-dry. Short finish. Simple. ($12)
2005 Vineland Semi-Dry Riesling (Niagra Penninsula)
SImple, fruity quaff. Easy to take apple and peach aromas and flavors. Good balance. ($11.99)
2004 Josef Leitz Rudesheimer Klosterlay Riesling Kabinett (Rheingau)
Vibrant, crisp, apple, peach and stone on the nose with a bracing, but balanced acidity on the palate. Long fruit flavored finish. Delicious. And by the way...the 2005 is better. ($14.99)
2001 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Spatlese Ap#14 (Nahe)
A bit premature for this bottle, but the the beginnings of a wonderful future are beginning to show. Smoke, petrol, peach, apple and pear on the nose. More integrated on the palate than the nose, as the fruit and smoke wash over a lush palate with enough acidity to keep it fresh and also totally drinkable. In fact this is one of those wines that is too drinkable. Another two years or so will see this fully in its prime, and then it is going to be stunning. ($17.99)
My favorites of the evening were the Melville, Leitz and WOTN Hexamer. The Bellhurst was pretty good too. Winemaking abomination of the night goes to the Simi.
Last edited by David M. Bueker
on Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.