Archive for December, 2010

La Rioja Alta “Viña Alberdi Reserva” Rioja 2000
Tasting Notes : 100% tempranillo, aged 2 years in american oak, 50% new oak, 50% 3-year old oak, total acidity 5.9 g/l, 12.5% vol. Brilliant brick-red in the glass. A pretty nose of fresh raspberries, red cherries and cassis, accompanied by vanilla and sweet oak. A smooth texture in the mouth with sweet tannins, countered by a high acidity that makes this wine slightly disjointed. There are flavors of sour black cherries, even a subtle hint of sour green apple, and light undertones of red meat and blood. I wonder if I sat on this bottle a little too long ?
Rating : 13/20 (85/100)
Price : US$21 @ Winelibrary


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First Corked Bottle!

Had my first corked wine the other night.  Luckily, it was a $10 Chilean Cab (08 Estacion from Colchagua Valley), so I’m not too upset given it’s a learning experience.

When I opened the bottle I got a whiff of cork,  and must (like a basement), but thought it was just the cork.  After pouring, the mustiness continued, joined by wet dirty socks, with some fruit sneaking through.

I was pretty sure it was flawed, but I’ve had some really bad wines, so I gave it a fair shot and tasted it.

The wine started out horribly tannic, then some fruit came through.  Actually picked up some nice flavors after that initial yuk factor.  Then the wine transitioned back to musty basement and wet dirty socks.

I gave it a bit of time in the glass and went back to it after some water and crackers, and it was actually getting worse. 

Obviously it would be unfair to give a rating to the wine, but I can now join the ranks of those who have experienced a corked bottle.

(Note:  No one suffered.  There’s plenty more wine in the house)

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The Maryland Comptroller’s office finds kids aren’t really interested in buying wine on the internet.

But minors generally were not interested in abusing a direct-ship system to get an illegal fix, said Joseph Shapiro, spokesman for the comptroller’s office.

“Their number one concern is immediacy,” Shapiro said. “Your parents are going out of town this weekend, let’s have a party, that type of thing. With direct ship, the shipment just takes too long.”

And law enforcement agencies in states that allow direct-ship reported that wine is not the alcohol of choice for most underage drinkers.

“They’re more apt to be drinking beer or wine coolers,” said Shapiro, also pointing out the price concern. “A bottle of wine online is certainly more expensive than a six-pack of beer from the local store.”

The report also concluded that direct shipment from out-of-state wineries to Maryland consumers would not hurt in-state providers, because purchases from wineries are mostly motivated by availability.

Go figure.  So the distributor lobby can’t argue that any longer.  Which leaves them with arguing that it will hurt their business (and protecting their revenue is more important than the right of the people to purchase a product however they see fit), and of course spending lots and lots of money to purchase the votes, or at a minimum the non action, of our illustrious state legislators.

Del. Tom Hucker, D-Silver Spring, says he is drafting a bill for the General Assembly session starting next month. “It’s terrific that the report debunks the myth that special interests have been spreading for years,” said Hucker, who introduced the bill in 2008 and 2009, and served as a co-sponsor in the last General Assembly. “I think the comptroller’s report only pushes the ball forward, farther than it has ever been. This is the year we can expect some movement.”

Hopefully he can get it past Joan Carter Conway.

Crossposted at Polyhistor

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2009 Christian Salmon Sancerre Cuvée Vieilles Vignes

Appellation:  Sancerre

Tasting Notes:  100% Sauvignon Blanc.  13% ABV.  Pale yellow color.  Nose is tropical with some apple.  Attack is tropical fruit, great acid, smooth full mouthfeel, then apple in the mid palate and finish.  Finish is pretty long.  Very nice wine.

Rating:  4/5

Price:  $19.99 at Beltway Fine Wine

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2008 Rabbit Ridge Merlot Barrel Cuvée

Appellation:  Sonoma County

Tasting Notes:  100% Merlot, 13.8% ABV.  Dark color, but translucent.  Blueberry, dark cherry, plum nose, with some oak, but not too much.  Similar flavors, fruit forward; a little oak there, but not too much.  Well balanced, a little light.  Medium finish.  I’ve had a number of Rabbit Ridge wines and liked them all, this wasn’t my favorite of theirs.  Great party wine, would work with a variety of food.  Good value.  A good call for Wednesday night pizza or burgers.  Fun. 

Rating:  3/5

Price:  $11.99 at Beltway Fine Wine

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Domaine Berthet-Bondet “Tradition” Cotes du Jura 2006
Tasting Notes : Chardonnay and Savagnin, aged in oak barrel 2 years “sous voile”, or under the cap of lees, 13% vol. Rich roasted hazelnuts and aromas of sake on the nose. No doubt the distinct and interesting bouquet from the “sous voile” ageing method jumps immediately out of the glass. On the palate this wine is smooth and creamy yet displays a marked acidity. The flavors are subtly bitter, with lemon and lime dominant, followed by more sweet, fresh roasted hazelnuts, despite this wine being bone dry. No doubt the nose is more expressive than the palate, which is a little too linear, even slightly reminiscent of the lemon juice that can be purchased at your local grocery store in the fake plastic lemon container. The finish is decent, displaying a nice lemon zest.
Rating : 14/20 (87/100)
Price : under 7 Euros @ Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants Paris


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2006 Edmond Duclauc Côte-Rôtie La Germine

Appellation:  Côte-Rôtie

Tasting Notes:  95% Syrah, 5% Viognier.  13% ABV.  Very dark color. Nose is blueberry and plum with herbs and pepper, with some old world funk.  This is great wine.  Plum and blueberry, well integrated with pepper and herbs.  Soft tannins.  Wonderful mouthfeel.  Medium finish.  Rustic, but refined.  Would be great with charturie, or with a hearty beef stew.  Just wonderful.  Worth every bit of the price; I may go get more to put away.

Rating:  5/5

Price:  $49.99 at Beltway Fine Wine

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