Sunday, May 22, 2011

More random wines aka I am lazy.

Hmm growing tired of tasting notes. But it's still interesting to have a flash of recognition when you have a photo of a wine on hand. In that spirit, here are a couple of wines that I've had recently:

The Dunham Cellars above was pretty rad... I also realized that there are a lot of other wines that I have no pics there goes my fun. Also had a 2004 Mauro Veglio Barolo (drinking really well and getting more complex than the last bottle, La Spinetta Langhe Nebbiolo 2007 (lacking the complexity of Barolo, but drinking pretty well, if a bit modern and undefined in terms of structure), a Gruner from Costco that was a great deal for 13$, a middling Morgon from Trader Joes (in hindsight, maybe it wasn't all bad for only 6$), and my last bottle of 2007 Saint Cosme Sainte-Joseph which was really superb. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Kobler Family Wineyards" Syrah Pax 2006

I've was a fan of Pax for quite a while, despite its price, and had a few bottles of this and that squirreled away. Pax closed down, with Pax the winemaker starting Wind Gap Cellars, and Joe Donelan, the other party, starting Donelan Family Cellars. I have yet to try wines from either of these new ventures; perhaps this is a reflection of a change in my tastes, and perhaps this is also a reflection of a change in my knowledge about wine. I no longer feel like I need to spend a lot of money for a good bottle of wine. That's not to say that I can't and sometimes don't if I want to try something, but by and large, I have a self-imposed $30-ish cap, and I frequently don't even exceed that anymore. Not the case when I purchased this bottle. 

This was the last bottle of Pax in my possession. Quite expensive if I remember correctly; somewhere in the $50 range or something like that. No particular reason that I opened this; I kind of had one of those why not moments. I almost opened up a CdP, but decided that this might be a little bit more interesting. Although not as interesting as the Griffin's Lair Syrah that was the last bottle of Pax that I had, this bottle definitely delivered as well. Immediately, this is obvious Syrah. Pepper, bacon, plum and/or blackberry, with a lifted floral background. Good structure, with tannins still obvious and present, but well integrated into the nice structure. Out of curiosity, I looked up tasting notes, because there was something I just couldn't quite place in this wine. Peach. Frankly, ginger peach tea--which makes a lot of sense because of the Viognier in the wine. I'm going to have to check out Wind Gap, because I really like the style and substance of these wines. A little pricey, but this bottle of wine left me a pretty happy dude. If I have one complaint, it's that the bottles are large, heavy, and a waste of resources. I don't think there's much need to have a huge heavy bottle with a really big punt in it. Is there? Does that have any effect on who purchases the wine? I personally don't give a shit, and can't imagine that anyone sane would either. It's another one of those intangibles that just plain don't matter, like color. This wins is awesomely delicious, but it's a B mainly because of the price...I start doing the math on these wines, and it goes something like this: I could have 3 bottles of this cheaper $15 wine, which would make me just as satisfied for the price of this bottle, and that's a better deal.  

Alex Elman Wines

I received these wines as a sample. Alex Elman has an interesting story. She started off working for Perrier-Jouet, but lost her eyesight from diabetes when she was in her late 20's. That only intensified her sense of smell, and she started out a business sourcing wines and selling them in her own label. As a result, she now has the first wine bottles that I've ever seen that come complete with Braile on the label. Both of these wines retail for around $12-$15. 

The Chardonnay wasn't really to my liking; I believe that it went through a fair amount of maloactic fermentation, and although it apparently saw no time in wood at all, featured lots of buttery citrus flavors. Not particularly intriguing unfortunately. For the price, I think there are lots of better white wines out there. D+

The Cabernet fared better. Juicy, with lots of fruit forward cassis, blackberry and plums, framed by a tannic structure. Unfortunately, I think for the price you could do better. One only has to peruse the aisles of Costco for 5 minutes to come up with a similarly priced Cab from Argentina or Chile that has a lot more fireworks. C

Monday, May 2, 2011

Villa Maria Riesling 2008

Grabbed this at the LA Wine Company for around 15$ or so. Screw cap. Sarah hate's riesling normally, but didn't even seem to notice that's what this was. Maybe she was trying to be nice. This is racy and crisp. Initially, tons of floral, almost diesel notes, before it turns to salty limes, apricots, and stone, followed by a stupendous stony finish. Completely dry. I like this winery a lot; wines like this are most of the appeal. Well worth a look, especially for the summer months. A