Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Picks: Vintages Release -- August 21

A couple of focal points for this release: Iconic Varietals from the New World, and Germany. Another disappointing release of German wines. None of the wonderful bone-dry German Rieslings. It’s a bit of a Catch-22: I'm guessing that Vintages doesn’t order any of those great German Rieslings because they don’t sell…but they don’t sell because Vintages doesn’t order any. Hey, but Vintages is doing a better job of bringing in whites from the Loire (but not enough reds), so there’s hope. On to the picks…


EMILIANA ADOBE CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008, Central Valley (Chile); #169946; Price: $13.95; 13.5% ABV
100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile’s leading organic producer, Emiliana, part of the Concha y Toro family.  (Emiliana was the wife of Don Melchor Concha y Toro.)  From the Central Valley, a rather large region with many sub-regions, south of Santiago, with a Mediterranean climate (hot, dry, sunny summers; cool rainy winters). Just 20% aged in French and American oak for 6 months. Good value.

Off the Beaten Track 


WILDASS WHITE 2006, VQA Niagara Peninsula (Ontario); #85100; Price: $17.95; 12.5% ABV
Wildass: the second wine of Stratus. A kitchen sink blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling. Each wine is aged individually for 2 years in French oak, then blended. Surprisingly good.


CARTE NOIRE ROSÉ 2009, AC Cotes de Provence (France); #319384; Price: $13.95; 13.0% ABV
Do you know the way to St Tropez? A blend of Grenache (90%) and Cinsault (10%). Method Saignée (some juice is bled off early during maceration; that juice becomes rosé, the rest goes on to become red wine). A classic rosé offering from Provence.


Thinking of some grilled lamb for dinner? Here are 4 candidates to match:

LAMMERSHOEK PINOTAGE 2007, WO Swartland (South Africa); #954594; Price: $18.95; 14.5% ABV
100% Pinotage, the “iconic varietal” of South Africa. Developed there, it’s a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (known in SA as Hermitage). Now, who doesn’t like Pinotage? Oh yeah?  Well, check out what you're missing. Handpicked and hand-sorted. Fermentation in open concrete tanks, then Malolactic fermentation. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new) for 12 months. Unfiltered. Lammershoek is converting this vineyard to organic; they’ve already stopped using chemical fertilizers.

DOMAINE DE PARAZA CUVÉE SPECIALE 2007, Minervois (Languedoc, France); #178467; Price: $13.95; 14.0% ABV
A blend of Syrah (40%), Grenache (40%), and Mourvèdre (20%) from one of the Languedoc ACs. Carbonic maceration, so fruit forward.  Drink up!

LE FERME DU MONT LE PONNANT 2007, AC Côtes du Rhône-Villages; #171371; Price: $17.95; 14.5% ABV
A blend of Grenache (60%) and Syrah (40%). Fermented for 5 weeks. Aged in concrete tubs! Another wine for drinking now.

PERRIN & FILS L'ANDÉOL RASTEAU 2007, AC Cotes du Rhone-Villages (France); #976845; Price: $19.95; 13.5% ABV
A blend of Grenache (80%) and Syrah (20%). From the producers of Beaucastel, one of the best in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. And a great vintage too. Aged 90% in stainless steel, 10% in oak, then 6 months in bottle.

JOSÉ MARIA DA FONSECA JOSÉ DE SOUSA 2006, Vinho Regional Alentejano (Portugal); #396689; Price: $14.95; 13.5% ABV
A blend of Trincadeira (33%), Aragónez (aka Tempranillo…22%) and Gran Negro (45%), the last one is a rarity. Fermented 5% in clay pots (clay pots…concrete tubs…is there another theme is this release?) as well as 95% in stainless steel tanks. Aged in new (30%) and one-year-old (70%) American and French oak, then nine more months in bottle. José de Sousa was a legendary winemaker in Alentejo. Ready to drink now or save it for this winter with some braised beef.

BURGO VIEJO CRIANZA 2005, DOCa Rioja (Spain); #168815; Price: $13.95; 13.5% ABV
A traditional blend of Tempranillo (90%) and Graciano (10%). Fermented in stainless steel vats; aged in American oak for 12 months. If you like the classic (and increasingly hard-to-find) Rioja style, as I do, then this is for you. Perfect with a grilled steak.

CLOS MIMI PETITE ROUSSE SYRAH 2006, Paso Robles (California); #186221; Price: $27.95; 15.0% ABV
100% Syrah, grown in a hot, hot region of Central California. The winemaker (Tim Spear) uses the Biodynamic calendar. Aged 16 months in neutral French oak barrels (used more than 3 times). Throughout the winemaking process, to improve this wine’s “chi”, the winemaker played – 24 hours a day – classical music, opera, Gregorian chant and Chinese meditation music in a cellar designed according to feng shui principles. Unfiltered, too, of course. Bottled on the first day of spring in 2008, which coincided with the full moon. Did I mention this wine is from California?

And a Sparkling...

Luxembourg? Yes, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, on the banks of the Mosel river, tucked in between Belgium, Germany and France.  Bought a car there once.  The wine?  Made in the traditional method, like Champagne. It’s a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Noir. Ideal aperitif when having friends over…to celebrate having friends over.

Subscribing to this blog through RSS or email is easy! Just click on the subscribe link to the left ←

No comments:

Post a Comment