Tuesday, November 20, 2007

musings on the 2007 Wine Spectator top 100

Well, I had the right winery but the wrong wine when I got my pick for top 10. This year the wine of the year was a Chateauneuf du Pape that does not ship to this state as far as I can tell. Clos Des Papes is a consistent spectator favorite. Most of the wines in the top 10 were pretty pricey. Ornelliaia we have and I am sure we will be able to have the Mondavi Private Reserve.'

I have to say the top 100 was a diverse list from around the world which is nice to reflect the growing popularity of once obscure wine regions. one of the problems with the list though is often times we are already into the next vintage and people are looking for that particular wine. I can say that chances are it will be well recieved next year but that doesnt seem to help. Of the wines in the top 100 I do have about 6 in stock. The Vieux Telegraphe #20, The Argyle Sparkling Late Disgorged #25 and #32 Mont Olivet Chateauneuf. It was a good year for the southern rhone.

#70 Voge Cornas, #58 Reva Syrah from Alban and #90 Mulderbosch Sauv Blanc are also in the store. Good luck finding most of the top 100 in this market. you will probably have better luck on the internet.

Happy Thanksgiving Alan

Saturday, November 17, 2007

patricia green and two hands with roni jaco

had some interesting wines on thursday with roni from major brands. patricia green out of oregon, a woman who has made wines for other people before striking out on her own and two hands out of australia that is really famous for big bold wines, mostly shiraz based.

Patricia Green I was able to try the estate bottling which we have in the store and 4 of her single vineyard offerings. I can not find my notes on these unfortunately but I remember being happy that I had a case of the estate already in the store. It was also interesting to taste the subtle differences between the 4 vineyards. I remember liking the 4 Winds and one other. Not much help when I dont have my notes sorry

Two Hands out of Australia has been getting great press recently, most recent the 2005 Bella Garden was picked as one of the top10 wines by Spectator this week. Major brands has just picked up this line so all they have are 2006.

I also lke the names they have given their bottlings.
Yesterdays Hero 2006 Grenache what one Australian winemaker called the "Noxious Weed" because it grows without help or when you dont want it to. This wine had a strong acidic push to it with plum and cherry , good finish. The problem is you can get great Spanish Grenache for $10 . Selling Australian Grenache at $45 is a problem.

Bad Impersonator shiraz 2005 Starts out Juicy but is ends up being disjointed and rough and not very interesting at all.I dont know what its trying to impersonate but they got the bad part right. a surprise from these guys.

Gnarly Dudes Rich and round, lots of mocha and berry. a quick finish but still mighty tasty.

In the garden series we have Lily's on the shelf. Fruit bomb start but the acid in it makes it flesh out nicely. dark dark purple. just what you want from Australian Shiraz.

Check out Patricia Green website. They have fun with their wine and it shows.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Beth Adams of August Briggs

Beth came in today with derrick my bommarito salesman. she is winemaker, spokes person for August briggs out of Napa-Sonoma. I have had the product in the store before but it is a smaller xpennsive wine that has not gotten a huge following in my store at least. The label has always interested me with it being a dandelion blowing in the wind. She tells me it was August's uncles favorite flower and given his name seemed to fit.

Chardonnay "Leveroni" 06 from the northern part of carneros seemed to be a little tropical fruit, specifically banana. Not overly oaked and creamy. A nice wine at $33.

Adi Rose 2006 made from syrah. not a sweet rose but not very interesting either. I have to admit i had it with some curry that should have gone well with it but I did not seem to have a lot going on. Beth made this herself from purchased grapes.

Dijon Clones Pinot Noir 05 Lush rich cranberry juicy long silky finish. just what a california pinot should be.

Briggs Cabernet Napa 2003 luckily a short vintage they are getting ready for the 04. this wine from spring and diamond mountain is all about the pretty oak nose and soft almost too soft tannin.

Briggs Zinfandel 2005 Not a big fruity bomb very elegant style. with just a hint of the briary character you come to expect. Very nice but pricey at $32.

Also from Bodi wines I tasted two interesting and unique wines. One from Consilience made with Grenache Blanc which is actually one of the white grapes permitted in Chateauneuf du Pape. The wine led to a conversation with the salesman about why they would choose this wine and price it like they do. It was a pretty clean straw colored wine with interesting sweet overtones Gobs of creaminess and the sweetness carries onto the finish. It would run around $35 and a definite hand sell. and I dont have the time unfortunately .

also Consilience Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara 2005 Lots of upfront fruit of dark berries but the word I see i used to describe it was disjointed and chunky.Maybe over time it would meld together but I wouldnt know.

Wines for Monday

Almost mid november and the wines are still coming into the store. Lots of choices and unfortunately not that many nice ones today.

Pinnacle with Craig Rohner. Danjan Berthoux Bourgogne Rouge 2005 High expectations with this one given the vintage but some upfront cranberry but not much of a finish. pretty mousy wine for the money.

Onix 2006 from Spain . Good dark fruit and color is pretty. lengthy finish for a $14 wine. made from grenache and carignane.

Can Blau 2006 a blend of carignan syrah and grenache. a potent combination from montant in spain. beautiful nose of violets and leather. a bit quick on the finish but pretty none the less.

Charles Smith holy cow merlot 2006 I have to say this was one of the first K wines I did not like. The holy cow chardonnay was alright but the merlot tasted green, not terribly interesting. He rights of the wine tasting of tobacco,, well maybe like the stale tobacco you get from bars after a hard night. passed on this one

The good news is Dane Wines are back in stock and I will have the American Beauty 2006 here starting tomorrow. only 9 cases came to kansas city of this wine. should be great.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

odds and ends for a thursday

Normally today would have been our annual holiday tasting but this year we put it three weeks earlier. I believe next year it will be back to two weeks before thanksgiving. It just seems that people are more in the mood for buying wine closer to the holiday.

Today with Ron DiGiovanni from JJ Gazzoli I tasted what he called the perfect thanksgiving wine. it was from oregon. Brandborg Winery and the wine is called OR Blanc. A blend of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Sweet enough for most side dishes and pretty nose of Gewurz.

From Bernie Lee with Premier Cru we tried Stonecap Shiraz 04 from Columbia Valley. Dark rich color of purple a little heat on the palate from alcohol and a strong hint of coffee on the finish. I was hoping for a little more finesse but for $10 its not bad.

From Madeline with Classique some french wines

St Peyre Picpoul 2006. A soft easy drinking wine with nice mineral and lemon zest finish. I have a picpoul from Hughes Beaulieu that sells very well for me so its nice to have another wine from that grape and region.Picpoul is a grape that can be added to Chateauneuf du Pape to help soften the harsher Grenache and friends.

Domaine Du Bois des Meges Cotes du Rhone 2003 This wine tasted somewhat maderized or cooked. stewy aromas and finish show it to be a bad bottle.

Domaine Du Bois des Meges Gigondas 2004 Definitely the wine of the day for me. Dark purple color, tannins that go for days. coffee and cocoa on the finish. Lots of time to age and this wine will be really great. 92 parker points. $30 in store.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

stacy with major

Renzo Masi Chianti 06 I think this was my first 06 chianti to try. Leather and dried fruits on the nose, light body and some red fruit on the palate. Very bright color for a Sangiovese based wine which usually shows brickish color.

Duo Cabernet Blend Chile 04 23% Merlot that shows in the palate. Very juicy. touch of mint and cute package. who can ask for anything more for $13

XYZin 10 year briary, bing cherry juicy, nice tannin a little heat that you expect from the alcohol. My notes say a touch of tea came to me at the finish.

Doug from Golden Barrel

Tasting of 3 wines.
Grand Veneer Rose Cote du Rhone 2006 Hearty red in the bottle for a rose, turned to salmon in the glass. Mostly grenache, a touch of strawberry, and blueberry with a soft finish. In the store for around $15.

Castoro Cellars Zinfusion 2005 A blend of vineyards that Castoro uses. Opaque color of ruby soft, lush and with 14% alcohol surprisingly not hot.

Regalat Zin 05 Napa Its always fun to have a weird bottle. The nose smelled medicinal and plastic, the flavors were strong tannin and medicine. At first I thought it was plastic meets bacon fat but then plastic stayed with it. Needless to say I wont have this in the store.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

misc, wine tastings

Just a note the new K vintners are in. I have the creator, el jefe and the big deal. great press and not overly pricy for what you get.

yesterday tried some things.revisited some things
Chateau Marjosse White Bordeaux 06 Very mineral and tart..great with shellfish. a blend of sauv blanc and semilion. from the entre-deux-mers which translates to between two seas but its really two rivers..those wacky french.

Robert Pecota Kara's Vineyard Cab 03 from Napa the wine was good but showing what the vintage is about. upfront fruit. not terribly exciting but you get your moneys worth. he names his wines after his kids. kara is a daughter there is also andrea's his dessert wine. there was a stevens merlot but he must have disinherited him or something. Anyway it will be around 30 on the shelf.

From JK winesk who specialize in Italian I tried a new white. Ciarea which means welcome in Italian. made from Cortese grape which is what Gavi is made from. An interesting thing happened when tasting this wine, when sipping the wine it was smooth and slightly mineral. when spitting the wine out it was reminding me of a prosecco, a little bitter and acidic. so when you drink this one besure not to spit. very light enjoyable on a patio .

Friday, November 2, 2007

Private in store tasting

After the last big blowout a week ago we hosted a small wine tasting for 8 people in our conference room. We did have a chance to try some very good wine. We started the evening with Dom Perignon 1990 that was very soft and floral. We followed that with a bottle of Cristal 1994. The difference was amazing. The Cristal was all mushrooms, yeast, cocoa and the Dom was crisp apples and fruit.

We followed that with Don Olegario Albarino from Spain. I have been a fan of albarino for a long time. This wine is all about soft almonds, and a lush roundness that doesnt have the heaviness of chardonnay. This is one of the priciest but the quality is there.

Far Niente Chardonnay from Napa . It tries to be more burgundian in style, more mineral less oak but it can not hide its origin. They do no Malolactic fermentation which keeps it from being over the top creamy but still... sweet fruit and lush flavors are traditional with Napa fruit.

Big reds
K Vintners Cougar Hills Syrah lots of beautiful syrah notes, lavender violet and dark cherry. a lighter body than expected but a long finish of earth and bacon fat. yumm

Green and Red Zinfandel Napa Chiles Valley 2005 Rich soft zin, not the heavy alcohol monster. The only red they do is Zin and it shows. mmore bordeaux style

Rutherford Hill Cabernet 2002 very pretty nose of cassis and pencil box, good fruit on the finish. maybe a little light but very drinkable.

Mount Veeder Cab 2004 Lots of lush juicy tannin with good acidity. I remember thinking this wine could age for some time.

Silver oak 2001 soft, a little subdued but it didnt get decanted so maybe suffering from body shock. the other thing that happened was we tried this after the.

ZD Abacus A cabernet of 8 different vintages blended together in the solera style. Probably one of the silkiest, most lovely wines I have had. But for $365 it better be. I decanted it for about 4 hours before drinking and the wine was perfect. Beautiful nose and cassis and dark cherry on the palate. Nice long finish too..

If you would be interested in a tasting like this contact me at the store. We can accomodate around 10 people in the conference room. That seems to be just the right number for this kinf of tasting. Salut