Sunday, November 30, 2008

Concha Y Toro 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

This was a 16$ cab from Costco. Tasty, and went great with mustard, garlic, and rosemary crusted rack of lamb. Cherries, some chocolate, licorice, herbs, and smoke. I liked this wine. Dense and concentrated. Wine Spectator gave it 91 points. B+

2002 Hugues et Yves de Suremain Mercury 1er Cru "La Bondue"


Sarah and I had this wine at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. A pretty good value for a restaurant wine list at 48$. This wine was typically Burgundian, with a funky, earthy, piny nose. After sitting open for about an hour and a half (we were waiting for a table for quite some time at the bar) or so, the fruit really came out--a very sappy cherry. I was quite pleased with this wine--it was tasty and went with everything. A-

Sarah had a pasta with chantarelles, a lot of butter and something green (can't quite remember). I had a skirt steak with sweet potatoes, frisee, grilled red onions and chimichurri. We also had some assorted oysters, a plate of serrano ham with almonds and awesome pickled fennel (this dish was disappointing because the portions were so skimpy), and a lot of really good bread with butter. I also had a glass of a Jean Louise Chave Cote du Rhone--it was dense, with lots of Provencal herbs and lots of black fruits. It wasn't the Hermitage...but it also wasn't 200$. For dessert, we had an apple tartin with vanilla ice cream--great.

This is one of the more iconic restaurants in the Bay Area--lots of times mentioned in the same breath as Chez Panisse and Boulevard. It was a fun dinner, and the food was good. I also liked how casual the whole place was--there were all sorts of people there and I wasn't uncomfortable wearing jeans. Didn't like it as much as Boulevard, but I would go back again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

2005 Bricco del Cucu Dogliani DOCG

Dogliani is a new DOCG--it used to be called Dolcetto di Dogliano Superiore. This is a single vineyard dolcetto from the Bricco San Bernardo vineyard that is owned by Dario Sciolla. Another K&L wine club wine. This recieved 2 glasses from Gambero Rosso. Dense and structured for a dolcetto with lots of dark cherries, plums and maybe the faintest hint of vanilla and chocolate. Tasty, and richer than I expected it would be. B

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2006 Epicuro Nero d'Avola

This is tasty in simple way. Berries and spice. Fruity, but somewhat un-focused and a little flabby. Still, for 5$, pretty good. B-

Saturday, November 15, 2008

2007 Blason Friulano

Another K&L Italian wine club wine. Apricots, peaches, maybe a hint of stone on the nose, leading into a citrusy, peachy, shimmering, finish. A damn tasty wine. A

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2005 Vina Alarba Grenache DO Calatayud

Bottled by Bodegas y Vinedos del Jalon.

I'm surprised at how tasty this wine is for 5$. It's a Jorge Ordonez wine (so I should have known) but I just picked it up because I try pretty much every under 5$ wine at TJs and this is new. Still even with this info, this is one if the top 3 under 5$ wines I've ever had. Fruity, with cherries, spice and plums on the nose. A sour cherry taste and a finish with grip. It's a little rough, but I don't see how you could complain for 5$. This is so much better than most 10-20$ California wines its silly. Just goes to show that the least adventurous wine drinkers are getting ripped off a lot...I would gladly drink this over Kendall Jackson any day of the week. A

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kirkland Signature 10 Year Tawny Port

This is a very tasty 10 year tawny. Not too surprising, since Costco has a lot of muscle when it comes to wine (they're the biggest seller in the entire US)...lots of dried fruits, caramel, nuts, some coffee, and maybe some orange. The only thing I found lacking was the finish, which was a little short. Overall, a great value in a fruity, tasty port. 17$ B+

Sunday, November 9, 2008

2006 Savigny-lès-Beaune, Ez Connardises, Domaine Fèry

This was recommended in exchange for that corked bottle of gruner. I have to admit to not knowing much about Burgundy. Generally, it seems expensive and there are better values out there. From K&L
"This single vineyard Savigny comes from Connardises, a vineyard located right at the fork in the road as you come from Beaune and turn toward Pernand Vergelesses. It is a relatively flat site, directly below Lavieres 1er Cru, with deeper soils. The vines are over 80 years old in this plot, and the result is wine with fine structure and lots of concentration. Old vines such as this also respond brilliantly to the more natural viticulture instituted by Pascal Marchand."
Lots of tea, tart cherry and raspberry, with a touch of lavender and earth in the nose. Definitely ready to drink--smooth, balanced and tasty. Went great with a roast chicken. About 28$. B

Saturday, November 8, 2008

2007 Cameron Hughes "Lot 91" Russian River Chardonnay

Initially this wine was overly acidic. Eventually it opened up to
reveal lots of ripe pineapple character, toast, smoke, and a creamy,
slightly buttery finish. I wasn't really a fan of this wine. Perhaps
it's because I'm not that in to this style if Chardonnay. It might
also need another year in bottle to integrate a bit better. C-

Monday, November 3, 2008

2003 Dr. F. Weins-Prum Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese Riesling

From Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. About 20$ at Costco. Sweet with aromas of peaches, limes and wet stones. Dense and well-balanced with enough acidity to check the sweetness. Well made. Wine Spectator gave it 90 points. B

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pio Cesare 2003 Barolo

I expected this wine to be more tannic, but it was completely ready to drink. Much richer than the other Barolo we had tonight, this wine had an intense nose of raspberries, and a fair amount of character. After a while, there was a distinct licorice character. This wine was very nice and well balanced. Wine Spectator gave it 92 points, and the 2004 just got named as the #6 wine of 2008 on Wine Spectators Top 100. B+

Mauro Veglio 2004 Barolo

Nice wine. Aromas of cherries and roses. Actually kind of like a Jolly Rancher, but in a really good way. Very accessable. I liked it...B-

2005 Emmerich Knoll Federspiel Gruner Veltiner

Corked. Damn.