2009 Hermann Wiemer Dry Riesling

2009 Hermann Wiemer Dry RieslingPrice: $14.99 @ Hermann Wiemer

What They Said:

Per Hermann Wiemer (pdf) “The dry style Riesling is the signature of Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard. Exceptional grapes from each of our three vineyard locations come together to create this mouth-watering wine. This wine is fermented in small lots to ensure quality and then blended to perfection to create an elegant and balanced wine. With each vintage, we seek to match the appropriate level of fruit flavor with refreshing crispness that lets the true qualities of the Riesling grape shine through. Hints of lime and orange blossom on the nose set the stage for a succulent palate of apricot and grapefruit. Our trademark minerality creates a beautiful texture that carries into a long, lingering finish.

What I Think:

(11.5%) Apple, floral blossoms with lemon and lime on the nose. The palate starts with bright tangerine, lemon flavors followed by crisp green apple notes on a backbone of crushed rock. A firm mineral, citrusy acidity lasts through to the finish which is long and lingering. A beauty, so refreshing and just the slightest hint sweet (0.9% RS) to add a pleasant richness to the palate. Mouthwatering to the last drop which you are sad to see go. This one is worthy of a case buy if I can find it. Thanks to @wineingwoman for sending this one my way!

Rating: Wow!

How about you? Had a wine from New York? If so what did you think?

2009 Black Star Farms Arcturos Riesling

Price: $18.00 from Black Star Farms

What They Said:

2009 Black Star Farms Arcturos RieslingPer Black Star Farms on the 2010 “Riesling from great vineyards and vintages can produce some of the world’s most interesting and age-worthy dry wines. Vibrant and fresh with lush fruit aromas and balanced with bracing acidity, this wine will surprise you with its versatility at the table.”

What I Think:

(11%) My first wine from Michigan courtesy of @WineMonologues. Pale gold in color. White floral, mineral nose. Starts clean, crisp and focused slowly unfurling to show ripe peach and red grapefruit flavors with more citrus on the edges. Nice acidity (soft, not biting) throughout and a touch sweet on a balanced, refreshing green apple finish. Pegged between dry and medium dry on the International Riesling Foundation scale there is a lot to like here…

Rating: Interesting

How about you? Had a wine from Michigan? If so what did you think?

2009 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon

2009 Domaine de la Noblaie ChinonPrice: $14.99 @ K&L Wines imported by David Headrick Selections

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “My new house red! This is produced all in stainless and solely from Cabernet Franc which is grown on a limestone slope. It has a rich ruby color and excellent structure. A nice fruity style of Chinon, this value-priced wine has a subtle peppery spice, ripe dark berries, soft chalky mineral character that really makes the fruit core come to life and express the fantastic character of Cabernet Franc. There are rich tannins on the finish and a juicy freshness throughout. I swear to you that you can actually taste the fresh glow of the summertime sun right in this bottle. Absolutely stellar while enjoying a burger right off the grill or even with a simple thin crust pizza. Just a pure, unadulterated wine meant to be enjoyed while moving along the game board of life.”

What I Think:

(13%) 100% Cabernet Franc – Bright red berries with juicy dark currant flavors. Nice acidity, nice crushed stone mineral with a smoky, spicy finish that lingers on warmly. Nice green, herbal streak throughout. Delicious! Chinon is definitely an under looked star in the (QPR) value world! Time to pop my 2004 to make sure it delivers. Once confirmed I’ll load a case of this one into the cellar…

Wine Geek Notes: Produced in all stainless. Grown on a limestone slope

Rating: Wow!

2009 Trentatre Rosso

A long-time favorite the 2007 version of this wine has previously graced the #1 spot in my Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List . Back then the label mentioned it was discovered “quite by chance” given that (plus the history, or lack thereof, of Trader Joe’s wines delivering from vintage to vintage) I was somewhat reticent to grab the latest offering. Would my gut read be right? Let’s see…

2009 Trentatre RossoPrice: $5.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by Santini Fine Wines

What They Said:

Per the bottle “This unique wine comes from the Apulia Region located in the depth of Southern Italy. The blend is an equal amount of three different varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon 33,3%, Merlot 33,3%, and Montepulciano 33,4% collectively aged six months in oak barrels, hence the name “Trentatre” which in Italian means Thirtythree. The color is a deep purple-red with a pleasant fruity nose with hints of plum, cherry, and chocolate. Full bodied, it has a supple finish with soft tannins. Enjoy it with pasta, pizza, grilled meats, seasoned cheese…or even on its own!”

What I Think:

(14%) 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 33% Montepulciano – An old time favorite that I haven’t revisited I was surprised (and happy) to find this one is still as easy drinking as ever. Nice clove spice on the nose. The palate is smooth with nice fruit (perhaps a touch sweet) and a balanced acidity. From there the clove spice emerges and leads to a dry, warm, lingering finish with hints of dusty cocoa powder. Not nuanced or complex in anyway but a well-made wine without the rough edges or cloying sweetness you find in many similar wines at this ($6) price point. Any early favorite to grab a top spot in my 2011 Holidays Edition of the Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wines List…

Rating: Buy It

2009 Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Pinot Noir

This one is made by DNA Vineyards and Dennis Patton who is known as the Merlin of Mendocino and is one of the chief proponents of the Coro Mendocino initiative. While his Trader Joe’s track record is strong this one is a bit curious as Pinot is not his forte (at least based on my somewhat limited knowledge) and the Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo county from which this one hails is a good distance away from his familiar stomping grounds in Mendocino County. That said let’s have the wine speak for itself…

Price: $6.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2009 Trader Joes Petit Reserve Pinot NoirPer Trader Joe’s “The San Luis Obispo AVA (American Viticultural Area) is known for its cool climate and long growing season, conditions that make it an ideal region for Pinot Noir grapes. The Edna Valley, nestled in the middle of this AVA, amplifies everything about San Luis Obispo that makes it Pinot’s perfect partner.

Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Pinot Noir Edna Valley is made exclusively for us using 100% Pinot Noir grapes from Edna Valley, aged in French oak for 12 months. Pinot Noir from warmer regions tends to be super dark and highly tannic; not this one. The longer, cooler growing season afforded by Edna Valley’s climate results here in a lush, floral and vibrant wine with aromas of raspberries and violets, and hints of nutmeg. It’s an easy drinking wine, with a soft, round finish. Pair it with Pork Tenderloin, Mushroom Ravioli or an evening by the fire with a good book.

Wines of this quality, with this kind of pedigree, generally come with a hefty price tag. Our price of $6.99 proves that you can get really excellent wine at a really excellent price. Cheers!”

What I Think:

(13.9%) Tried at TJ’s and was going to pass but second thoughts made me reconsider. Light, bright in color. Aggressive candied cranberry with earthy, forest floor notes on the nose. Remains aggressive on palate with sweetish raspberry fruit. Slightly harsh on the edges with a clean, peppery finish. The thin flavor profile packed with big fruit leaves this one out of balance IMHO. Not one I’ll buy again but guessing there will be those that beg to differ…

Wine Geek Notes: 100% Pinot Noir aged for 12 months in French Oak. 13.8% ABV (although the label states 13.9%)

Rating: Skip It

2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Clos de Gilroy

Price: $15.00 @ Bonny Doon Vineyard

What They Said:

2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Clos de GilroyPer Bonny Doon Vineyard (pdf) “The great grenache years at Bonny Doon tend to be very late, when the grapes have had a better opportunity to develop the nuance and complexity we esteem. 2009, was no exception to this historical dictum – apart from the fact that this grenache does not, in fact, derive from Gilroy – hence the slightly perplexing nomenclature. The fruit this year is from the Alta Loma Vineyard in Greenfield and from our own estate vineyard in Soledad. The wine itself exhibits all the hallmarks of exceptional Grenache – bright raspberries; a strong suggestion of black pepper and kirsch; and a piney, resinous quality that shows up in only the best vintages of Grenache from cooler climats. To those yearning for the early days when CdG was the first wine out of the blocks, this vintage should induce a happy remembrance of Gilroy’s d’antan

What I Think:

(13.5%) 88% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, 2% Syrah – Almost translucent violet in the glass with violet aromas, cherry and a bit of pepper on the nose. Starts bright and juicy with nice strawberry flavors, rhubarb leafs and hints of cherry. This is delivered over a smooth yet firm structure that shows nice acidity throughout. Firm tannins emerge on the mid-palate and lead to a dry, spicy finish that lingers on nicely. For $15 this is all you can ask for and more. I’ll certainly be looking to buy more…(750 cases made)

Rating: Buy It

2009 Rabl Grüner Veltliner Spiegel

2009 Rabl Grüner Veltliner SpiegelPrice: $6.99 @ K&L Wines

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “An AMAZING value, this white boasts subtle green grass with that classic Gruner peppery spice and mineral tones racing up and down the middle. A touch of lime zest interplayed with green apple, lemon wax and a crystalline structure that has a fantastic elegant structure and length. Weingut Rabl is a family run winery quietly located in the village of Langenlois, the heart of the Kamp Valley. The unique microclimates and mineral rich soils give these wines their unique and renowned character. If you are looking for wines that are spot on typical of Kamptal and posses spot on varietal character, these are most definitely wines for you.”

What I Think:

(12.5%) Tight lemon, mineral palate with green apple fruit on a backbone of refreshing mineral acidity. Well balanced and dry with nice fruit leading to a zesty, white pepper (perhaps a bit light for Grüner) spiced finish that lingers nicely (with a hint of creaminess). Single vineyard Grüner (discounted from $18) for $7? Are you kidding me? I already stocked up…

Rating: Buy It

2009 Rabl Riesling Steinhaus

Price: $7.99 @ K&L Wines

What They Said:

2009 Rabl Riesling SteinhausPer K&L Wines “Imagine yourself sipping on a cold glass of fresh grape juice (white grape juice not that oddly colored purple stuff) with a slightly muddled apricot right off the tree. For being so delicate and lifting this has quite the structure behind it along with plenty of power keeping everything in check just in case you leave it open for a day or three or, forget a few bottles in the back of your closet. Weingut Rabl is a family run winery quietly located in the village of Langenlois, the heart of the Kamp Valley. The unique microclimates and mineral rich soils give these wines their unique and renowned character. If you are looking for wines that are spot on typical of Kamptal and posses spot on varietal character, these are most definitely wines for you.”

What I Think:

(12.5%) Pure, perhaps a bit light golden in color. Bright minerality on the palate with faint peach and firm acidity which leads to a spicy finish lacking fruit perhaps. Clean, crisp almost perfectly dry. More fruit as it warms so be sure not to drink this one too cold. A tad of sweetness emerges as it warms; makes me wonder what the residual sugar is? Either way this one is well structure and appears it will last for a while. Single vineyard Riesling (discounted from $19) for $8? Sign me up! I already grabbed six more…

Rating: Buy It

2009 Hungry Hollow Syrah

Again if you are new to Hungry Hollow it is a label from Navarro Vineyards billed as a line of “local wines at prices every thrifty and hard-working man or woman can afford.” You can try their first three offerings; this Syrah, the Riesling and the Gewurztraminer, for $30 plus one cent shipping. Feel free to click on over there and order this now but if you need further proof to inspire you read on…

2009 Hungry Hollow SyrahPrice: $11.99 @ Navarro Vineyards

What They Said:

Per Navarro Vineyards “The vines that produced this Syrah are an Australian selection, which would be labeled as Shiraz Down Under. The vines are trained to an old-fashioned goblet that works extremely well for Syrah grown on the Rhône as well as in Australia. We like the wine produced from these vines and have been lucky enough to purchase these grapes for several years. The berries are small and the clusters compact; the wine produced is darkly colored with complex tannins and delicate aromas of violets and cherry. The wine was aged in seasoned French oak barrels for ten months and aged in the bottle for another year in our temperature controlled cellar. The polar opposite of the 2010 Hungry Hollow Riesling, it is 14.1% alcohol with deep lingering flavors to match; a bold, chewy wine sporting flavors of black cherry, loganberry jam and currants backed up with hints of caramel and bittersweet chocolate. Serve with duck with olives, grilled burgers, shitake mushroom risotto or your favorite juicy steak.”

What I Think:

(14.1%) Nice, dark, chewy fruit with black cherry and currant on the palate. Lively, bright acidity and black olives notes on the mid-palate which lead to a rich, chocolaty finish with oak spice that lingers pleasantly. Tightly wound but food friendly, punching well below its 14.1% weight class. I like the prospects of this one given some short term aging. Well worth the $12 price of admission especially if you are a fan of cool climate Syrah which is hard to find at this price point.

Wine Geek Notes: 1,422 cases made; Sugars at harvest: 24.9° Brix; Made with Australian clones; Aged in seasoned French oak barrels for ten months and aged in the bottle for another year.

Rating: Buy It

2009 Uvaggio Vermentino

Uvaggio is a winery that focuses on “interesting Italian grape varieties offered at extremely interesting prices”. Now that is one way to get my attention in a hurry. Not only is Vermentino their flagship wine, it is more than half of their annual making them the largest producer of the varietal in California. Their take on Vermentino is that if you like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc that you definitely need to give Vermentino a try. I have before, on a limited basis, but was glad to get a chance to do so again. How’d it go?

2009 Uvaggio VermentinoPrice: $14.00 @ via the winery*

What They Said:

Per Uvaggio “We harvested beginning in early Sept, finishing by the end of the month, all at peak maturity – yet at relatively low brix, making this an ideal variety for a lower alcohol wine. All the lots were free-run juice (no pressing) and cool fermented in tank with a fruit enhancing strain of yeast and without a malo-lactic conversion. About 10% was aged in neutral oak for complexity. Post fermentation it was racked twice followed by a light fining, then another racking and filtration prior to bottling.

Our descriptors: fresh and supple; lively yet subtle lime, quince and pear aromas; flavors of melon and stone fruits.”

What I Think:

(11%) Light golden yellowish (reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc). Great nose, multi layered with green apples and floral blossoms. You are going to want to keep your nose in the glass for awhile. Equally as exciting on the palate where it starts fresh and bright before delivering a plush dose of cantaloupe flavors. A smooth, balanced acidity emerges on the mid-palate before a nice salty, saline tinge on a minerally finish that lingers on refreshingly. Makes me want to drink more Vermentino. Perfect as an aperitif on a sunny patio or pair it with the summer fare of your choice. At $14 this one is well worth the price of entry.

Rating: Buy It (another one to add to my list of Summer faves)

*This wine was received as a press sample but I would purchase another bottle with my very own US$ if I see it…