Deep golden color, slow-forming legs. On the nose bruised and baked orchard fruit mingles with butterscotch, toasted almond, honey and ginger. Quite botrytis-forward in appearance and aromatics. The wine is full-bodied and just melts on the palate; creamy, borderline decadent but balanced by a long, slightly bitter finish. Incredible texture, this wine should be enjoyed with rich, earthy dishes. It can even hold its own with gamey meats and stews. Definitely comes with a price tag, but a real beauty in its prime. Will hold up nicely for another 8-10 years but it’s hard to imagine this wine ever drinking better than it does right now. W.M.
Stumbling upon any of the late Barbaresco genius Signor Giacosa’s bottlings for under 30 at a wine shop should get a whole bunch of neurons firing in the brain of any wine lover. This beauty of a Dolcetto lives up to all the hype that comes with the name on the label. Deep ruby color with bright reflections. Blue and black frutti del bosco meet woodsy aromas of underbrush, mulch and drying violets. Medium-bodied, very dry but lush with fresh berry fruit, velvety tannins and a mouthwatering acidity. The finish is long and slightly bitter, making this an ideal food wine. Pair with churrasco-style hangar steak, sausage and peppers, firm cheeses and cassoulet. W.M.
Vintage 2014, four-generation winemaking family in Chablis. This is as classic as it gets; high-toned and racy with bracing acidity and long, lip-smacking mineral finish. Developing a medium-lemon color in its adolescence. You can definitely feel the cool ’14 vintage’s effects with lean fruit and green apple freshness, but there is plenty of weight and leesy texture to provide some tension on the palate. The nose offers orchard fruit, flint and shells, with the subtlest hint of baked bread. This one will age well for at least 7-8 years. A real winner for $21 at the shop. Enjoy with almost any food: raw bar items, broiled lobster, bouillabaisse, braised pork shoulder with apples, as well as anything rich, fried or cheesy. W.M.
Decant this one for an hour or two before drinking; at this point in its development it needs time. Complex bouquet of blueberry/blackberry jam, cured meat, violets and dark chocolate. New oak is evident. Medium-full-bodied, velvety and spice-laden. Dark, brooding and tightly knit on the palate. Drinks great in its youth but will cellar very nicely. W.M.
Bright, pale cherry red in the glass. Pretty yet intense aromatics of brambly red berry fruit, mushroom, rose and underbrush. Full bodied and structured with classic Nebbiolo acidity and length. Perfect use of oak; softens the texture and frames the fruit nicely without masking its purity with vanilla and clove aromas. Long finish. Gorgeous. Pair with white truffle pasta. 🙂 W.M
Top bottling from Roederer Estate’s Mendocino property in the Anderson Valley. 50/50 Pinot/Chard topped with a “reserve dosage” aged at least 5yrs in French oak before an additional five months of bottle ageing before release. A gentle layer of fine bubbles appear upon pouring but quickly dissipate, revealing a medium-concentrated gold wine showing its maturity with rather dull reflections. True to the hot ’97 growing season, ripe, even baked bartlett pear and golden apple abound on the nose, along with hazelnut, brioche, butterscotch and toffee. Rich, full and broad on the attack, but cut nicely with a brilliant acidity that makes for quite an energetic finish for such a seemingly developed wine. Surprisingly complex, definitely enjoy this sparkler with rich dishes. Entrées, ideally. W.M
The Mendocino Ridge AVA is coastal with cool climate and high altitude located in the Mendocino County. It goes from the Pacific Ocean inland to the Anderson Valley.
The ‘terroir‘ and climate in California varies a lot, the Pacific Ocean brings cold winds that generates a temperate climate and fog nearby, while mountain barriers like in Sonoma and Napa keeps the weather warm. There are more then 100 AVAs in California among which the famous Napa, Russian River Valley, Rutherford and Sonoma. The largest wine region is the Central Valley.
A fairly new project from one of California’s oldest wineries. This valley floor Chardonnay is nothing short of classic: bright moderate-lemon in color with complex aromatics of meyer lemon, dried pineapple, bread, cream and subtle hints of hazelnut. The palate is full of energy; ripe and round on the attack but the balanced acidity is definitely present on the mid-palate and finish. Drink now or cellar for a more toasty, honeyed style in 8-10 years. W.M
Burgundy’s prized vineyards stretch from the city of Auxerre in the north down to the city of Macon in the south. In Auxerre we find the wines of Chablis, made with the Chardonnaygrapes, moving south we traverse Irancy and its red wines and Saint Bris with Sauvignon Blancs.
While moving south we reach the place where the most sought-after and expensive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay based wines are made, the Cote D’Or, where in fact all of Burgundy Grand Cru vineyards except for Chablis Grand Cru are.
The Cote D’Or is divided in two main sub-regions, Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune, that stretch south for about 70 kilometers from Dijon to Dezize-le-Maranges. This is where we find “Village” wine in the lower part of the slopes and “Premier Cru” to “Grand Cru” as we move higher. The Cote de Nuits contains 24 of the 25 red (Pinot Noir) Grand Crus, while the Cote de Beaune has all of the white (Chardonnay) Grand Crus.
Cooked red fruit, rose petal and rosemary all stand out on the subtly complex nose. Viscous and rounded on the palate with a nice undercurrent of minerality. Some savory bitterness on the finish. The weight and ripeness of fruit here call for a rich mushroom risotto. W.M
German wines fall into a classification depending on their quality, from Tafelwein, Landwein, Qualitatswein Bestimmter Anbaugebeite (QbA) to Pradikatswein. QbA and Pradikatswein are then subdivided in Anbaugebiet (wine region), Bereich ( a small area inside the wine region “Anbaugebiet“), Grosslage ( vineyards inside the small area “Bereich“), and finally the Einzellage ( single vineyard, situated inside the “Grosslage”).
Of the 13 major wine regions (Anbaugebiete) the most important that produce most quality wines are: Mosel, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Nahe, Ahr. These 13 wine regions (Anbaugebiete) are divided into 39 districts (Bereiche) which are also divided into vineyard sites (Großlagen).
Grosses Gewachs wine of the Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) grape from volcanic soils in Germany’s Baden region. Serious intensity on the nose, remeniscent of red cherries and smoked meat. Rounded, smooth palate is dominated by a mineral undercurrent. This is a real wine of “terroir;” super earthy, persistent and very versatile at the table. W.M