Quick Takes Vol. II

Hi-Tech Tasting Notes…

Quick Takes Vol IIMy 2nd installment of “Quick Takes” as I aim to share some thoughts on wines that have made it across my table recently. Here we have a quick trip around the globe with a nice group of wines. Nothing disappointed here. The Buena Vista still deservingly holds the top spot in my Trader Joe’s Top 10 Wine List and is surprisingly still available. I’ve gone through 8+ bottles and just bought another half case. Though slightly more expensive the Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Spätlese was something else and at $8 the Tintara is certainly worth revisiting. Here’s the details (most links go to CellarTracker) on this group:

2008 Buena Vista Pinot Noir – (13.5%) Initially this one comes across as more earthy and minerally before opening up to dark, lush (mainly cherry) fruit with sandalwood and spice. The rich, creamy finish lingers softly with cherry-cola spice. Once given time to breathe this one is smooth and easy drinking throughout. That said be sure to crack the top on this one an hour or two prior to planned consumption. If you can handle that this one offers some nice QPR at $10.

2007 Château La Nerthe Châteauneuf-du-Pape* – (14.5%) Grenache 48%, Syrah 28%, Mourvèdre 14%, Cinsault 5%, Divers 5% – Earthy and juicy with nice, ripe cherry and dark currant flavors that come across as a touch creamy here. The palate is backed by components of floral, graphite and mineral acidity before leading to a dry, herbal finish with lasting, smooth tannins. Nice depth to the rich fruit here but the complementary acidity it this balanced throughout. This wine is layered and enjoyable. 93pts Wine Advocate, $52.

2009 Hans Lang Riesling Vom Bunten Schiefer* – (12.5%) A QbA designate this is dry and clean on the tongue. Wound tight with lemon rock acidity (hints of orange peel) and grapefruit minerality it stays zingy and refreshing until the finish goes all wrong (charcoal, heat and totally counter to expectations). Not sure what is going on here but it certainly hurts my overall impression of the wine…

2009 Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese* – (8%) Yes you read that right; 8%! This is what I am talking about. More rich then sweet with honey, apple and pears coupled with a bright lemon acidity through a nice crisp finish. Really digging this wine. Pure and delicious! At $33 it is a bit spendy but worth every penny and more…

2007 Tintara Shiraz – (14%) Picked this one up for $8 (marked down from $18) on sale. Smoky, rich and dark fruit on a spiced nose with hints of minerals and meats. Warm and juicy on the palate with a similar profile though perhaps a touch tarter than the nose would indicate. More mineral too which leads into a nice lasting finish with fine grained tannins. Smooth, balanced and nice acidity. I’m a fan. A nice QPR at 8; perhaps I should grab half a case for short term cellaring?

2010 Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Valley* – Lifted, grassy nose. bright citrus palate with refreshing acidity and a touch of dry mineral talc on the finish. New Zealand Sauv Blanc through and through. Nice but not a standout. Drink with company.

Those with * indicate wines that were received as samples.

Quick Takes Vol. I

Hi-Tech Tasting Notes…

Quick Takes v1 - Hi-tech tasting notes...As per usual just because the writing slows doesn’t mean the enjoyment does. To that end I have nearly thirty empties awaiting my attention before disposal. My wife asked nicely that some find there way out of the house very soon and given Mother’s Day is just around the corner I thought it would be wise to oblige. So the first group I grabbed? You guessed it! Those with the easy to find tasting notes. This was a steady and consistent group. If I were to buy one again it would be the Mas Carlot which I picked up on closeout from K&L Wines for $9.99. A nice, complex white and my first experience with Clairette to boot. Here’s the details (all links go to CellarTracker) on this group:

2008 Cavas De Crianza Malbec – (14.5%) Brief notes here as a friend brought this over and we opened it for dinner. Not bad but average and over oaked for me. That said nothing wrong here but given the plethora of values (Alamos, Pascual Toso, Terrazas de los Andes) in this category (at ~$12) wouldn’t buy again…

2010 Mas Carlot Costières-de-Nîmes Clairette de Bellegarde – (13.5%) 100% Clairette – My first experience with this varietal which starts crisp and floral with orange rinds. As it warms it turns to nectarine stone fruit with a nice mineral backbone and crisp, refreshing finish. This one is well worth the $10 introduction to the AOC Clairette de Bellegarde and its primary varietal. Grape explorers should definitely track this one down!

2010 Domaine de Moulines Vin de Pays de l’Hérault – (13.5%) Pitched to me as a marriage saver (my wife loves CA cab, me not so much) this one starts with green apple on the nose and a zesty, mineral driven palate framed with lemon rind acidity. The backbone is crisp and surprisingly rich yet focused which I am always happy to find in a Chard. That said my wife not so much. So while we both found it quaffable it didn’t hit the target for either of us. At ~$12 that seems fair enough…

2009 Navarro Vineyards Grenache – (14.6%) Very nice, balanced and bursting with red (cherry) and purple (plum) fruit flavors. A little too rich for me to be in love but I sure enjoyed flirting with the “new”. That said at ~$23 I still prefer something a bit more earthy and nuanced in style.

2008 St. Supéry Vineyards Moscato – (9.6%) Had some friends bring this one over. Ripe and sweet with lush peaches. This isn’t your light and crisp Moscato. A bit too sweet for me to enjoy with anything besides desert. If you want to serve this as an aperitif I recommend doing so over chilled. That said a nice wine if served within the proper context.

How about you? Drink anything worth sharing this week?