Thursday, August 17, 2006

August 2006 - Recent Notes and Postings

August is typically a busy month for most people as there are vacations to be taken and the sunny weather to enjoy. For us, there has been that and the addition of a new house (or rather a 100 year old Victorian). Getting it ready for moving into has cut into our wine drinking some but we've managed to uncork a few bottles.

The biggest revelations have been the 2001 Querciabella Chianti Classico from Tuscany and the 2001 Redstone from Coriole Vineyards in Australia. Both are mid-priced wines which you would expect to be quality bottlings but with a couple extra years of cellar age, they really blossomed. Try the 2001 Querciabella alongside the 2003 and you'll see the difference.

The rest of the summer has been filled with crisp whites to combat the heat. The best of these have included the 2005 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling from Germany, the 2005 Domaine de Pouy from France, and a bunch of fantastic 2005 Rieslings from the Finger Lakes region of Update New York. You'll find my notes on these in the coming weeks.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

2001 Querciabella Chianti Classico (Tuscany-Italy)

The 2001 Querciabella Chianti Classico is another wine that has benefited greatly from a couple extra years in the bottle. The wine is dark red in color with wonderful aromas of oak, allspice, cloves and dark forest fruit with earthy elements underneath. The fruit really comes through on the palate with the focus on blackberry. However, notes of chocolate can be detected as well. A nice balance of fruit and tannins leave a wonderfully lush texture a medium long finish.

The 2001 Querciabella is drinking beautifully now, especially when compared to the 2003 vintage. It is another testament to how wonderful a mid-priced red wine can develop into something special with just a little patience.

This wine typically sells for approximately $20 to $25 a bottle and the predominate vintage in stores now is 2003 which is available at Garnet Wines on 68th and Lexington among other stores. The 2001 can be found at Italian Wine Merchants near Union Square for $25 and at De Vino in SoHo for $19. If you can’t find the 2001, try the 2003 and buy a bottle to lay down for a while if you like it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

2001 Coriole "Redstone" Shiraz-Cabernet (Australia)

Coriole’s 2001 Redstone is a testament to how a couple of extra years of bottle age can add an extra layer of complexity to a wine.

The 2001 Redstone is dark red in color with beautiful aromatics including dark fruit and the contents of a spice cabinet. Fruit emerges on the tast buds as well with blackberry, black currant, and cassis. Soft tannins lead to a soft texture with a nice long finish.

The blend is 80% Shiraz and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine was originally a gift and is a little hard to come by now but internet searches have shown it still available at some wine shops across the US for around $20 a bottle. This is a great value and again, a testament to what a couple of years of cellaring can do for a mid-priced, solidly made wine.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

2005 Domaine de Pouy (France)

Domaine de Pouy from the Gascogne region of France and made primarily of the Ugni Blanc grape is a fantastic white wine value all depending on how much you end up paying.

The 2005, like the other vintages we’ve had before, is straw yellow in color with light citrus and floral aromas mingled in with just a touch of melon. There is a base of minerality here which makes this a very refreshing wine. It’s a medium bodied, medium finish wine with a soft and somewhat round texture. Overall, a great and simple summer quaffer.

The Domaine de Pouy is available in New York at a variety of wine shops although the only place I have seen it consistently at is Union Square Wines which sells it for $10. However, that is at the upper end of what this wine is worth in my opinion and I have bought it for much cheaper elsewhere (and even at Union Square when they first started to carry it). Garnet Wine on 68th and Lexington has had this wine in stock for $6 to $7 at which point it’s a fantastic value. This particular bottle was purchased at Austin Wine Merchants in Texas for $8 which is the most I would pay for it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

2005 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling (Germany)

The 2005 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling is a pale straw yellow in color with a light citrus nose. The emphasis is on lime which also expresses itself on the palate. Medium finish. The wine has a rounder texture with lighter acidity than some other Rieslings I’ve had recently. Overall, this is still a very refreshing and easy to drink wine.

This was bought on a trip to Austin, Texas at a fantastic store call Austin Wine Merchants. The store is very much worth a visit if you are in the area as they have wines that I think are hard to come by even in New York.

The 2005 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling sold there for $15 and I think that is on the high end for what this is worth. Any more than that and I might walk away from it the next time. In New York, you can find this wine at Union Square Wines and at Crush on East 57th St. for $15 or at PJ Wine for $11 at which point it is worth picking up.