Sunday, June 29, 2008

2005 Cap de Faugeres – Cotes de Castillion – Bordeaux

Deep red colored and an interesting red fruit aroma of strawberry laced with vanilla bean which I haven’t experienced in the Bordeaux wines I’ve had lately.

Earth, leather, and spice all come together after some air but the brighter fruit still remains upfront.

This wine is obviously young, being a 2005 and all and has the tannins to prove it.

It will age and soften for in a couple years. Now, its dry and soft with a long finish that really coats the mouth.

Very very good.

Purchased for $24 at Garnet Wines on the Upper East Side.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

NYC Wine Notes - Podcast - Wine Storage

Welcome to the third NYC Wine Notes Podcast where Dave and Lisa talk about storage issues in NYC. Jancis Robinson talks about the optimal conditions for storing wine on Page 87 of How to Taste.

Listen to Podcast: Podcast 5 (Wine Storage) – 20 Minutes

Sunday, June 15, 2008

2003 Sea Smoke – Botella Pinot Noir – Santa Rita Hills – California

Ruby red color and “light for a Cali Pinot”

Earthy and spicy with blackberry notes and maybe even some pepper. It has a rich aroma overall.

The spices also come though in the creamy texture and end with a long “peppery” finish.

Very well balanced and an A+ overall.

Really nice and an excellent way to celebrate my first Father’s Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

TN: 2006 Can Blue - Priorat - Spain

I had never had Can Blau, a red wine made from 40% Carinena, 40% Syrah, and 20% Grenache from the Priorat region of Spain.

It is deep purple colored wine with earthy blueberry and cedar along with subtle floral notes. Very nice aromatics. Medium bodied and smooth with a clean finish at first but a drawback is that you also get a sense of the 14.5% alcohol content if you hold it on the toungue.

The wine needs decanting if you’re not planning on holding on to it for 2 or 3 years. If you decant, the aforementioned alcohol burns off. I had this opened throughout the day and it had definitely softened up nicely 6 to 8 hours later.

This is available for $14.99 at Garnet Wines or $16.99 at Astor Wines. It’s a nice value at both prices (and especially Garnet’s). Enjoy!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

NYC Wine Notes - Podcast 2 - Alcohol and Weight

Welcome to our second NYC Wine Notes Podcasts where Brian, Lisa and I talk about the differences between alcohol and weight (Pg. 32 of How to Taste) while we drink the following wines:

2005 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett - Bernkasteler Badstube - Mosel-Saar–Ruwer - Germany
2006 Four Vines “Naked” Chardonnay – Santa Barbara County – Calif.

2004 d'Arenberg "The Footbolt" Shiraz - McLaren Vale - Australia

The biggest takeaway from this podcast is that it most cases, it is possible to detect a “hot” wine when the alcohol is evident such on the “Footbolt” Shiraz but high alcohol is often less noticeable when everything is in balance.

Listen to Podcast:
Podcast (Alcohol and Weight)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

2006 Cuvée Natalie - Brander Vineyards - Santa Ynez Valley - California

The 2006 Cuvée Natalie from Brander Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley is a pale yellow color with mineral and light lemon notes. Smooth with a roundness that some “zippier” wines might not have but… this also does have that acidic zip at the end.

This wine is a blend of 58% Sauvignon Blanc, 22% Riesling, 15% Pinot Blanc and 5% Pinot Gris. The Brander website describes the Cuvée Natalie as “An eclectic and aromatic Sauvignon-based off-dry wine, blended with Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. All stainless steel fermented and bottled early to preserve its floral perfume” and from that you might think this is a “kitchen sink” type wine where they throw in their leftover white grapes.

I doubt the Brander winemakers really feel that way and you can tell immediately that this is a quality wine for what it is, a simply summertime white that would be excellent paired with food pairing. It has the zip to stand up to some spicier dishes and a roundness that would also go well with fuller fair like salmon or possible even a cheese based pasta sauce.

We bought this at the Brander Vineyard last summer on a trip to California but were just able to drink it now. It had lost its floral essence in that time.

They have since released their 2007 for $18 or $14.40 if you are a club member. At $18 I think it’s a nice wine to try a couple times. At $14.40, I’d probably be buying a lot more of this if they sold it in New York. I’ve yet to see it here though.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

2006 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – California

The 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a young wine and by all rights I should have probably let it sit in my cellar for another year or so.

However, the cork was popped…..

Light red and translucent color which is almost “burgundian”, much lighter than one might expect from a California Pinot Noir given their general reputation for being big, dark, and jammy.

Immediately out of the bottle, the most notable aromas are red berry, herbal notes and spices with a hint of cola. After a fair amount of swirling in the glass, the alcohol (14.8% as labeled on the bottle) shows itself and doesn’t fade away immediately. This was a major give-away that the wine was a bit young as the alcohol hadn’t had time to “burn off.”

The spice was also evident on the taste. The best feature of this wine and one that really makes it stand out is its smooth and refined medium bodied texture. Fruit seems to be a mix of strawberry and raspberry. Soft and medium long finish but one marked by a certain sense of heat from the alcohol.

I have little experience with aging California Pinot Noirs but this is one that I think could use some bottle age for a couple of reasons. First is to burn off some of the alchohol that’s evident up front. The second is that this wine has the earmarks of being a soft and elegant wine and a couple years will just enhance these qualities even more.

Luckily, I have a couple more bottles in the cellar to follow.