Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekly Barrel Tasting Review

Tasted quite a bit of wine this week, 57 wines in all between Wednesday and Thursday.  Below is what made the cut.  I'm continually impressed by the wines that Winebow Imports and European Cellars bring into the country.  Both importers seem to have a beat on stylish wines that highlight depth of character and varietal correctness.  Not much mediocrity in those bags...

This Week’s Recommended Wines
San Paolo Rubio Montalcino Toscana IGT 2008
100% Sangiovese from Marilisa Allegrini (yes, that Allegrini).  A lot of depth and concentration here.  The wine spends 12 months in new French Oak.  It shows a bit on the finish but there’s enough fruit and tannin to back it up.  Great backbone and long on flavor.

Domaine La Garrigue Cotes du Rhone “Cuvee Romaine” 2008
65% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah.  This is a custom cuvee bottled for the Eric Soloman Imports.  The wine is actually de-classified Vacqueryas.  It’s quite delicious showing gamy and herbal qualities with notes of mint and lavender.  The palate is a deceptively light and flirtatious with fruit and acidity.  Notes of spice on the lingering finish add plenty of complexity

McKinlay Vineyards Pinot Noir 2008
This wine continues the thought that 2008 in Willamette Valley, OR was just plain off the hook!  A very clean style of Pinot Noir with jammy strawberry fruit and an earthy core.  Clearly a wine for Pinot maniacs.

Fratelli Alessandrai Barbera D’Alba Priora 2007
I have a passion for Barbera.  And when something like this comes around I can’t pass it up.  This is seamless and perfect Barbera.  Big on dusty but ripe fruit with lots of spice and big on texture.  Large doses of anise and cedar on the finish with plenty of dark cherry to balance.  Big fan of this juice.

Domaine Monte de Luz Carquera Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
If you’re following me on Twitter (@Vinoguru) you already know what I think about this wine.  This is THE best damn $10 Cabernet I’ve tasted.  Period.  Rich but balanced, great finesse and depth.  Look for stewed cherries and plenty of vanilla and chocolate.  I suspect we’ll be selling a lot.

Big Shout Out!
Warwick Hawker deserves a ton of praise for his Pisa Range Estate Pinot Noir 2007.  The wine is from Central Otago in New Zealand and is perhaps the first wine from the area that I have found to be balanced, ripe and not over the top with jammy fruit.  It’s decidedly more Burgundian in style but still shows a touch of it’s new world routes with Asian spices, notes of toasty oak.  Bright on the palate this wine really pops.  For $43 per bottle, it belongs in everyone’s wine rack

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