In honor of today being #CabernetDay (if you are interested in participating you can find details here) I thought I might share a few of my favorites starting with this stunner that “Jon Bonne turned me onto late last year. Broadside is a partnership of Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars and Brian Terrizzi of Giornata that focuses on making artisanal wines with a natural approach that are priced for people to drink, not collect. And based on my experience I must say they are doing a fine job of it (perhaps except that I want to drink and collect this one…)
Price: $18.99 @ Cheese Plus
What They Said:
Per Jon Bonne “The new release of Chris Brockway’s naturally fermented Cabernet from this high-elevation Paso site continues a stellar run. Pretty cassis and cured tobacco, with juicy bramble fruit. Try finding similar quality California Cab for the price.”
What I Think:
(14.1%) 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Verdot – Made with a super non-intervention philosophy you know you are on to something different as soon as this hits your tongue. Lively and pure this one starts with an aggressive flavor profile from the get go showing bright cherries and juicy brambly berries on a firm mineral backbone. These dry out to show tea leave flavors on a mid-palate that features a cola (along with a bit of caramel) tinged acidity leading to grippy, chewy tannins on a smooth, lingering finish. What can I say? I’m smitten. I will certainly be buying again.
Rating: Wow! (that said not your typical California Cabernet, though I wish it were, with only 2% new oak so approach with an open mind)
How about you? What are you drinking for #CabernetDay?
Elbling? Heard of it? It was believed to have been originally planted in Germany by the Roman’s around the first century and remained widely so until well into the 20th century before becoming the afterthought it is today. There are still something on the order of 1,500 acres grown along the Upper Mosel and a quarter more of that across the border in Luxembourg. Now most know that this is Riesling territory and there would likely be even less Elbling planted if not for the formers inability to grow in chalk based soils. That said the majority that is grown is used as a base for Sekt (the German version of sparkling wine) and little of the rest is exported so in remains an obscure varietal to the vast majority of those outside of (and potentially within) Germany. As an interesting aside this varietal was part of the first ever release of Gundlach Bundschu in 1976 under the name of Kleinberger (pdf) which is but just one of many synonyms for this one. From what I can tell they last bottled this as part of the 2000 vintage. Wonder if they are still making it…but I digress. Elbling is known to produce “wines high in acid and fairly neutral in character”. In fact Jancis Robinson described it as being “distinguished for its searing acidity”. What did I think? Read on…
Price: $12.99 @ Cheese Plus imported by Savio Soares
What They Said:
Per K&L Wines “It’s hard to classify this wine since Elbling is the grape varietal and no one has every really heard of it. It is an ancient Roman varietal that still has a very small, very hidden following in Germany’s Mosel region. It is dry, it is aromatic and it is extraordinarily unique. The grape shows floral nuances not dissimilar to viognier but the flavors are not as honeyed or over the top. There is also a wonderful streak of acidity that keeps it focused. Finally, the wine has such an intriguing earthy finish you can’t help but be enchanted by its subtle hint of musk. Yes, it is a little geeky (okay maybe a lot geeky) but you can definitely be one of the few elite to experience this unique grape varietal.”
What I Think:
(12%) 100% Elbling – My first Elbling and I’ll just cut to the chase by letting you know I want more. Citrus, tropical and floral on the nose this one starts dry and crisp on the palate with loads of peaches (perhaps just a hair underripe). From there a tangy acidity emerges which is joined by lemon flavors on a crisp, refreshing finish. This one is pure, vibrant goodness and worth stocking up on for the summer (and winter too)…
Special thanks to Greg Borden who is the wine buyer at Cheese Plus for turning me onto this one. How about all of you? Discovered any new varietals lately?