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Summer Tastes

July 7, 2010

Spain in on the mind this summer. Jose Pastor’s wines continue to amaze me and take me (and my palate) to new, exciting places. Bravo Jose!

Nunci Abocat, 2005, Priorat: Fresh apricot, salt and chalk. Not a heck of a lot of acidity, but still balanced with an almost tannic dryness to the finish. Big-boned with ripe fruit – some alcohol presence starting to push through as it approached room temp but not to a fault. Interesting, this bottle was brought in by Pastor, but I’m not sure it’s still on his roster. We really enjoyed it, and hope to enjoy another bottle or two this summer with some  lobster or crab legs.

Aforado Albarino, 2008: White pear, lime, clean and powerful. The finish shows great breed – long minerality and clean saline. This picked up body and bloomed beautifully with floral and basil notes with airtime. I touch pricey to be a daily drinker, but lovely as an apero or with shellfish, etc. A serious crowd pleaser as well, especially among the Sauv-blanc drinkers.

Senorio de P. Pecina Cosecha Rioja 2007: Loved this – Tempranillo sans make-up. Fresh red berries, leather, tomato skin, and a little horseradish spice. Maybe a touch of VA that made me think mini-Musar – which added complexity and real-ness. The acid balance here is awesome  – I’ve never had Rioja with this kind of freshness and purity. Garlic and tomato dishes here.

Clos de Noi, Monsant – Samso 2007: Blackberries and dry herbal-floral notes, with a core of pure schiste-rock. Sometimes 100% Carignan can get too ashy for me, but these old-vines deliver great fruit concentration with just enough richness to be on the medium-full body end of the spectrum without going all goopy. This wine is crying out for grilled meats. It tripped my memory – not sure how, but something about this reminded me that wine is so much better with someone you love.

Also – some non-Spanish standouts:

Puzelat Pouille 2005: This is the closest thing to fresh berries in a bottle I’ve ever tasted. Half a decade old, but perfectly vibrant, ripe, fragrant – Well-resolved tannins. This is Touraine Gamay in a perfect spot.

Nikolaihof  Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner  2008: Grüner a-la Muscadet. Tons of rocks and bursting with salivating acidity. Versatile and lean – nothing faintly tropical or weighty here. Opening up considerably after 2+ hours.

Selosse Initial (2009 disgorgement): Excitement in a bottle. Powerful chardonnay with mineral depths and a fascinating progression of floral, honeybread, applesauce, rocks and salt. Perfect with oysters. Unforgettable.

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