Saturday, March 26, 2011

Herricks Lane Merlot 2007

Clear ruby color with medium intensity, aromas are clean and slightly pronounced with jammy resins, vanilla bean, red fruit and dark berries. A nicely balanced Merlot with med acidity and tannins and on the palate bright raspberry flavors and a finish of glycerine and dried flowers with a good long finish. Enjoyed this at BOE tasting.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Suhru Red 2007 Long Island

Recently at a tasting at Brooklyn Oenology I met winemaker Russell Hearn and his wife Susan from Suhru Wines where they were showing their 2007 Suhru Red. This medley of five grapes is a cross blend of Bordeaux and Rhone varieties that includes 82% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Shiraz and aged for six months in oak.

Clear but dark colors in the glass, clean aromas with medium intensity and hints of black fruits, stone fruits, and black pepper, while on the palate, dry with medium acidity and tannins, good body accompanies flavors of raspberry, dried fruits, chalk and a pastel fruitiness, the finish is reminiscent of blueberry jam and the length is medium to long.

All round this is a very good value at $19.95 retail per bottle.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes 1er Grand Cru Classe 2007 Bordeaux

Clear gold appearance with medium color, on the nose medium plus intensity and botrytis aromas of bread and yeast, followed by licorice, honey, earth and mushrooms, with hints of dill. This Sauternes is aromatically complex and the flavors are less sweet than the aromas would suggest. Good length across the palate showing medium acidity, a full body and a marked viscosity with a beautiful long finish.

This wine was part of a tasting at the Level ll Intermediate Certificate WSET class in Wine & Spirits at the International Wine Center.

Winemaker's Notes

Average of 18 hl/ha depending on the harvest.

Grapes are hand picked extremely selectively on successive passes (4 to 7, depending on the year) according to their maturity, only harvesting those grapes that have attained the required degree of concentration under the influence of noble rot – also called botrytis cinerea – and to preserve the precise aromatic qualities desired. Depending on the vintage, some parcels are sacrificed in order to concentrate on those with the appropriate potential quality.

- 1 pneumatic press (for the first pressing)
- 4 vertical basket presses (second and third pressings) to obtain the richest, sweet juice.

Settling of the juice
Static, in temperature controlled vats at 15°C for 12 hours.

Alcoholic fermentation
In finely grained French oak barriques, 30% of which are renewed each year. Fermentation takes place at between 17°C and 23°C in air conditioned cellars for 18 to 30 days depending on the batch.

Traditional, in barriques, bung upwards, for 18 to 20 months.

Every 3 to 5 months subject to tasting.

Sémillon: brings structure, body and aging potential.
Sauvignon: brings aromatic freshness and liveliness, especially in the wine’s youth. Muscadelle: difficult to grow and only used in a small proportion, contributes to the wine’s aromatic complexity.

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey: an average of 5,500 cases a year.
La Chapelle de Lafaurie-Peyraguey: an average of 2,000 cases a year.

At the Château.

Aging potential
An average of 40 years, depending on the vintage.
A vertical tasting of 20 vintages of Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey (1906 to 1959) organized at the property March 30, 2008 showed that, in certain vintages, our wines have considerable aging potential of 75 and even 100 years and more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Castello di Monastero Lunanuova Vin Santo del Chianti 2003 DOC

Made from 80% Malvasia and 20% Trebbiano grapes that are ventilated and dried for about 2 months before aging in traditional oak barrels for 5 years. The appearance is a clear amber color, aromatically complex and mature, with hints of oak, caramel, orange peel, pine resin, rosemary, and floral notes, followed by honey, animal, an intensely fruity herbaciousness showing medium sweetness and acidity.

Flavors are alluring with textured body, vibrant viscosity and nicely concentrated on the midpalate. An initial burst on the palate becomes a subtle but vibrant nutty and delicious finale that goes on and on.

Estate bottled in Castelnuovo Berardenga in Tuscany by Lionello Marchesi. 15% alcohol and retails for about $68.

This wine was part of a tasting at the Level ll Intermediate Certificate WSET class in Wine & Spirits this weekend at the International Wine Center.

Winemaker notes:
Vin Santo del Chianti boasts an ancient history and at Castello di Monastero is exclusively made in accordance with traditional rules ad times as regards grape-drying, vinification and refinement. Lunanuova - the name of our Vin Santo del Chianti - is made with 80% Malvasia and 20% Trebbiano grapes grown in the vineyards at Castelnuovo Berardenga. The grapes are harvested early in October and are dried on straw mats raised from the floor in well ventilated lofts. Vinification takes place in December and the resulting wine must is refined for five years in fifty-litre kegs. The wine is then refined for a further eight months in the bottle to ensure a distinctive bouquet of raisins and dry figs. The sweet, creamy taste has hints of aromatic honey and tobacco, with impressive balance between sweetness and acidity.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chateau Cabrieres Cuvee Prestige Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2007 Rhone Valley

From the Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation of the Rhone Valley, France, made from a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre and 10% Cinsault. Deep ruby in color, on the nose red cherries, leather and funk, and animal notes. Dry with medium acidity and tannins and supported by flavors of red fruits, pepper and sour cherry. Nice finish of tea and leather that lasts a good while. Retails for about $35-40.

This wine was part of a tasting at my Level ll Intermediate Certificate WSET class in Wine & Spirits this weekend at the International Wine Center.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Zilliken Riesling Kabinett 2009

From Germany's Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region in the Saarburger Rausch Applellation, this is an outstanding Riesling wine.

Clear, medium pale with lemon gold colors and slightly funky but friendly aromas accented with hints of petrol, honey and a floral perfume. Flavors are clean with just above medium intensity and acidity, a vibrant complexity and a sweet balance of acidity and sugar, with stone fruits, melon, medium body and a super long finish of honey and flowers. Again I say.... out-STANDING! and $25.

This wine was part of a tasting at my Level ll Intermediate Certificate WSET class in Wine & Spirits this weekend at the International Wine Center.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jacob's Creek Centenary Hill Shiraz 2005 Australia

From Australia's Barossa Valley showing clear and intensely deep garnet colors with lighter tawny colors around the rim of the glass, wonderful clean aromas are equally intense displaying marzipan, sweet spices like cinnamon and clove, pastry icing, menthol, chocolate and wood. Dry on the palate with an attractive balance of medium acidity and ripe tannins, medium plus body, flavors of chocolate and white pepper, with ripe and sweet black fruits over a nutty finish that stretches on for a good length of time.

This wine was part of a tasting at my Level ll Intermediate Certificate WSET class in Wine & Spirits this weekend at the International Wine Center.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Robert Stemmler Pinot Noir Estate Grown 2007 Carneros

From Carneros, California and sustainably farmed, comprised of a blend of various blocks on The Donum Estate encompassing Dijon, Martini, Roderer, Calera, Hanzell and Swan.

Appearance is clear, medium and ruby purple with a clean nose of moderate intensity revealing a very tropical bouquet of banana and prunes, medium acidity, low tannins, medium body and flavors of prune, red fruits, red cherries. Intensely flavored and tied to the earth accented with spice, and a good long finish.

• Hand sorted, entirely destemmed, cold soaked 4-6 days
• 3500 cases made
• Aged in 40% New French Oak (Francoise Frere, Billon, Mercurey, Hermitage)
• Released Spring 2010

This wine was part of a tasting at my Level ll Intermediate Certificate WSET class in Wine & Spirits last weekend at the International Wine Center.

Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

From Chile's Puente Alto area, this clear deep ruby red wine wafts light aromas of earth, barnyard and a mild gaminess, while the palate displays a dryness with medium acidity, soft to medium tannins and full body, flavors of blueberry, spice, black fruits, smoke, toast and red and black fruit. Medium finish with spices lingering and very good, retails for about $75.

This wine was part of a tasting at my Level ll Intermediate Certificate WSET class in Wine & Spirits last weekend at the International Wine Center.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wine & Wood

I recently discovered the website of an artist from Washington state by the name of Bob Buhl who takes recycled wine barrels and transforms them into wonderful furniture pieces. His website is called Bare Woodworks and definitely is worth a browse.

Meanwhile, back east in Massachusetts, check out Mike McCoy's beautiful one of a kind pieces at Rocket Age Lighting or Castlewerks, his newest creation is the Cyclone Table Lamp.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sobon Estate Rocky Top Zinfandel 2007 California

From Amador County, appearance is clear with medium intensity and garnet ruby colors. On the nose a clean and wonderful intensity, with ample aromas of black cherry, cassis, a defined ripeness, coconut, vanilla and green peppers. Dry on the palate with medium acidity, medium tannins, fuller body, pronounced flavor and a long finish. This is a very good bottle of wine retailing for about $13 with 15.3% alcohol.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Show Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 California

The Show is a big, rich, deep Cabernet, although according to the website there are also small quantities of Merlot for softness, Cabernet Franc for earthiness and acidity, and even Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot to give it a deep ruby color... all aged in French and American oak.

Big is the key descriptor here... with vibrant aromas of bacon, dried black cherries and hints of violets on the nose, accented by jammy chunky nuances of fruits, spices and vanilla and good length on the finish. Good bang for the buck.

Enjoyed this at Dee's Brick oven Pizza, also available at The Wine Room of Forest Hills.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007

Masciarelli is the largest organically farmed Estate in Italy, and produces award winning Montepulcianos. Fermentation and aging takes place in stainless steel. Very earthy, medium weight, with dark berries on the nose and tangy black currants, accented by cherries and chocolate, with tobacco, cassis and anise. Another great every day wine at about $8.