Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2005 Macari Estate Merlot

On the North Fork of Long Island's wine country comes this delectable 100% Merlot. Ruby red colors in front of layers of eucalyptus, fresh mint and chocolate, combine with flavors reminiscent of licorice, white pepper and a jammy undercurrent. Further opening to chewy red cherries while displaying firm but balanced tannins and a wild, solid finish. Retails for $18.99.

Full disclosure: this sample bottle sent to me compliments of Macari Wines.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

2007 La Mozza I Perazzi Morellino di Scansano DOC

Mario Batali, Joe and Lidia Bastianich have partnered to create this wonderful Morellino di Scansano. The La Mozza Vineyard is near Scansano, a village in southern Tuscany, southwest of Montalcino.

Morellino, being very similar to Sangiovese, reflects intense resinous and spicy aromas, namely raisins and white pepper, with flavors of cocoa, sour cherries, hints of licorice, sawdust, and malt.

85% Morellino (Sangiovese), 4% Syrah, 4% Alicante, 4% Ciliegiolo, 3% Colorino, 75% of the wine is aged in French barrique (1 & 2 year-old) for 10 months.

Winemaker notes:
I Perazzi is named after the fruit trees that grow on the estate and bear a pear-like fruit, which is depicted on the label. In Tuscany, the Sangiovese grape is known by several names, from Chianti to Brunello to Morellino, depending on where it is grown. Morellino means "little blackish one" because of the dark color of the grape. In the hot Maremma zone, the grapes are exposed to a more Mediterranean climate with enough heat to tone down Sangiovese's signature acidity, producing juicier fruit and a jammy flavor. I Perazzi was created to be unlike most other Morellinos, which see little or no time in oak. The blend of this wine is more expressive and better demonstrates the potential of the terroir. In the Morellino di Scansano, rich, ripe black cherry and berry flavors blend into pleasant tartness. Tannins are soft at first, then firm up in the lengthy, balanced finish.

Had this by the glass at The Spotted Pig in the West Village (also partially owned by Batali).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Merlot 2005

This Merlot from Washington's Columbia Valley is made from grapes sourced from Cold Creek, Canoe Ridge and Wahluke Slope, and aged 15 months in American and French oak.

Complex and fruit forward, this workhorse of a Merlot exhibits a bouquet of cola, plums and ripe blueberries along with plump flavors of black cherries, spices and leather... and at the very end an herbal finish. Nicely structured and balanced well for the price point of about $15,

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lungarotti San Giorgio Rosso Umbria 2001 IGT

This could be classified as a SuperUmbrian and made from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo, aged in barrique for 1 year, 3 years in bottle and unfiltered.

Deep purple in color and opaque with full body and a syrupy texture, this red shows an enticing bouquet of licorice, tobacco, smoke, black cherries and violets.

As it opens flavors emerge ranging from spices to plums, to vanilla, to menthol, to chocolate, to white pepper, to cassis. All this contributes to a very complex style, intensifying with strong tannins but nicely balanced, while morphing into a REALLY long finish with black cherries going on forever.

Not sure on price, this bottle was a gift, but I think it's in the $50 range.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino 2003

This is the 3rd Brunello di Montalcino vintage I've tasted from 

Castiglion del Bosco who produce this red wine, aged in oak for 2 years, then in bottle for another 2. 

It is a traditional 100% Sangiovese from Tuscany.

It has ruby coloring and intense vanilla aromas with flavors of resinous plum, and a chocolate and coffee fringe. Exquisitely balanced with ripe fruit and soft tannins, and silky on the tongue flowing to a long finish.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot 2006

From Washington state initial aromas of smoke, followed by raw meats and a palate of rich ripe cherries, blueberries and nice solid tannins. Paired beautifully with appetizer of gorgonzola stuffed figs with arugula, honey toasted walnuts and balsamic and a main course of Steak au Poivre at Alberto's Restaurant on Metropolitain and Forest Hills, NY.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Condesa De Leganza Crianza 2004 Spain

From La Mancha region of Spain, Tempranillo is a beautiful grape with definite style, and this one displays deep purple/ruby tones and aromas of dark berries, spices and a hint of powdered sugar. The round flavors are revealed clearly with a textured suppleness and lively almost chewy character, and finish with elegance and a confident smoothness.

This bottle was brought to the table by my friend Brendan and was tasted along with Costieres de Nimes from France.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Costieres de Nimes Les 2 Marins 2006

From the South of France sails this 50/50 blend of Syrah and Grenache, made by 2 brothers who sailed around the world for 2 years and decided on their return they would fulfill their lifelong dream and make wine together.

With deep ruby colors, spicy aromatics along with cassis and red berries, and flavors of tea, anise and licorice sharing tannins that round out the whole package nicely... land ho.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

M. Cosentino Syrah 2003 California

Bottled by Crystal Valley Cellars in Yountville and blended from several different Syrahs from the area, this deep red gives up aromas of cassis, black currant, and dark berries.

Flavors are full and complex, with exotic fruits like figs which make a great first impression on the palate. What follows is a gauntlet of teasers to the senses: chalky notes on the front of the palate, then chocolate, and blueberry pie and even a bit of crenshaw melon (odd for a red wine, but it works for me) and black pepper hidden in the finish on the upper palate. A really great wine for the dollar ($16-19), it is full of spices, but not over the top. This is a winner in my book.

Winemaker Tasting notes from the 2005 vintage
Côtes du Rhône-style, this Syrah is a blend from the Mandeville Island Vineyard and two proven Northern Lodi area vineyards– Kirschenmann and Knoll Vineyards in the Victor and Lockeford areas, respectively.Fermented and aged in a combination of oak barrels; French, American and European, for 18 months. Minerals, black fruits, red meat and spice begin in the nose with focused and intense flavors that evoke elements of currant, rhubarb and other black fruits.