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The Other Italian Festival

July 30, 2010

Stroppo Comes to The Tri-State.

Taste and learn about some real Italian wines this weekend in northern Kentucky:

DEPs Covington, Friday 4-8pm
DEPs Ft Thomas, Saturday 2-6pm

Ordinary is awesome enough

July 27, 2010

Basa Rueda (2007) – a blend of Viura, (macabeo) Verdejo, and Sauvignon Blanc might not be totally awesome, gobsmacking, or have insane concentration, length, or minerality – but when I had it last night, I thought to myself that there wasn’t another wine I’d rather be drinking. This is the kind of wine that you want to do summertime/vacation/holiday with. It tastes like fresh fruit and sunshine. Just right-on. It reminds me that even awesome gets boring eventually – but real never seems to.

More from Spain

July 25, 2010

VdT: Siete 7, Navarra 2008 (domino label): Blackberries in a glass, with a whiff of smoke, pine and clay. Great freshness and vibrancy. It’s taken a lot of French wine to get me to appreciate the kind of pleasure this offers. This is wine about having fun. Wish it came in magnums.

Benito Santos Albarino Igrexario De Saiar 2008: White peaches, chalk and lime. Lean, Muscadet like, with brine and minerals– but slightly fuller on the palate. Day 2 was even more complete, long and minerally. Serious – I’d love to see how this ages.

Bermejo Lanzarote Rosado 2009: So much fruit! So much soil! This feels like a martian Beaujolais. The vineyards LOOK like Mars. Stunning color. What is this stuff, and how can I get more, methinks. Ever-so-slightly bitter in the finish balanced the fruit and just made me want to take another sip. Probably the most elegant bottle glass I’ve seen – with a tiny spout to pour. More of this nectar is an order this summer – and I can’t wait to try the other wines. Bravo Jose Pastor! Bravo Canary Islands!

Shipwrecked Champagne!

July 19, 2010

Davey Jones’ Locker is perhaps the best cellar ever.

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.

Natural Wine, c2010

June 24, 2010

Essential Read

CRB Gamay 2009

June 22, 2010

Real cork. This is near perfect gamay from Touraine. Spice, grip, acids, brambly red fruit, and a crazy purple hue. Really strutted it stuff through the intensely mineral finish. Despite all warnings to let this rest for a few years, I couldn’t resist. Totally enjoyable now, but this is serious juice with a good couple of 4-6 years ahead of it.