Thursday, June 25, 2009

blind tasting

I tried a wine today blind...a white wine that didnt have a lot of glycerin so there were no legs...a slight citrus aroma...a hint of sweetness but somewhat flabby on the palate... my guess was an Italian Pinot Grigio or was german Muller-Thurgau from the Franken region...2007...I have had a few of the M-T and most of those from Oregon... it is easy to see why it is considered by some an inferior grape type...a hybrid of sylvaner and riesling I believe...named for the gentleman who produced it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sake master class with Ataru Kabayashi

Sake is one of those spirits that I find fascinating and then my brain cells let the knowledge go...Obviously made from rice it has its own culture surrounding it.. There will be only minute differences from one to another but viva la difference as they probably dont say in France

Table rice is milled where 90% is still used. Special rice for sake is milled down from 70% to less than 50% remembering the more you lose in the milling the less you will have for the final product. The milling process is a slow and gentle one often taking days on end to complete.
To me all sake has a somewhat similar nose. The way the air smells after a gentle summer rain...clean, a little flowery perfume. nature

matsunoi Wishing Well... reminds me of mocha, very light and delicate and yet a long finish because of the sugar that coats the tongue.

Nyukon Into Your Soul cucumber, banana and grapefruit essences...not heavy at all

Kiminoi Emperor'Well...delicate.. and a little more heat on the finish...richer and more fullbodied than previous sake
Kirin-zan named for the mountain Kirin which was a mythical flying dragon thought to bring happiness...earthier aromas, a light citrus aftertaste...
higher acidity sake can handle the heat of warming...most are recommended now to be chilled instead.

Karen Coy sweeter on the palate...and higher acidity...using yeast that will not be mentioned

Daku Nigori which is apple on the palate that turns into coconut...milky complextion...

plum sake...light brown in color...a bing cherry nose...plum,cocoa and bing cherry on the would be interesting to put that with a dessert... think of apple cider on drugs.

sake is called Junmai if there is no added spirits...Junmain Dai-gingo is super premium having more of the rice milled away..

In sake the idea of terroir only really relates to the water used... most use a soft water which creates a compleletly different taste in the end product.

Fredick Wildman with Jeff Stierman`

Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec 2007 last years version got really good press. dark purple with rich aromas of dark fruit and oak, a touch thin on the finish though.. maybe 07 wasnt as ripe a vintage as 06 was

Trapiche Oak Cask Syrah 2006 purple, easy drinking, fruit forward and not terribly interesting

Broquel Malbec 2006 Good color from long maceration...fruity and a touch smokey but pricey for what you get

Vina Adriana Venturin Malbec Trapiche 2006 a ratings darling..teeth staining color...strong tannins, rich in aromas but not a fruit bomb very restrained and elegant...amazing nose of cedar and dark fruit...a winner around $55

Hopler wine with Christof Hopler (no umloutes on my typewriter sorry)

Guess I should learn how to spell umloutes before I try to type it.
Hopler a winery from Austria...most wine in austria grown on the eastern side due to the high nature of the I know how far maria had to walk....

Pinot Blanc 2007 some effervescence..softer not as lush as some pinot blancs I have tried... good minerality...

Gruner Veltliner 2007 the national white grape of austria soft...grapefruit light??? pretty finish... very perfect wine for 100 degree weather

Pinot Noir 2005 a little old I think, hot, light rusty color showing some age....

Eiswein 2004 not grown for some time because of the past few years being warmer than normal...touch of honey and delicate.

Trocenbeerenauslese...i love german..when they want to come up with a word they just stick another on to an old one and it becomes this long...drawn out word...meaning dried berries that were late picked...with botrytis.. very rich and sensual... made mostly from samling(again no umloutes over the a)

Noble Reserve 2001..reminds me of gas more than petrol on the thick and gooey...but not overly so with the acidity keeping that from happening...think stone fruits on steroids... yummy

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

hirsch winery with jasmine hirsch

Had tried these before but this was the daughter of the winemaker.. who would be described as a grower vintner in other countries because he produces relatively small amounts and sells to several of the big names in the sonoma coast region.

Hirsch Chardonnay 2007...bright color, lots of minerality or terroir, minimal new oak...a touch soft. I think I was expecting a little more bracing character... but high in alcohol without showing it...nicely balanced

Bohan-Dillon Pinot Noir. 2008 just bottled and showing some shock in its youth. young light..bright fruit but not much complexity...may be a sign of the vintage.

Hirsch Pinot Noir 2006 cola color almost rusty and unfiltered I would guess..soft, perfumy, very enjoyable with red fruit flavors and soft of the inbetweens not quite oregon but not typical california.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Henriot with Kimberly Keslin

Mostly French products here
Henriot Brut Souverain NV nice crisp mouthfeel and supple apples would be predominate flavor...finished a little quickly\
Bouchard Pere & fils Bourgogne Blanc ... mineral, soft some nice stone fruit and really creamy for burgundy.

William Fevre Chablis 2007 ..the fevre's own more grand cru vineyards in Chablis...lots of minerality and crisp but not teeth chillingly so.

Bouchard Bourgogne Rouge 2007 not showing well...bottle shock.

Bouchard Beaune Chateau Blanc 2004 soft drinking wine, not showing its age..but losing some on the end..

Bouchard Beaune Chateau Rouge 2005 lots going on...good earth, good fruit and just really an enjoyable bottle in general from several different premier cru lands

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Oronoco Rum

Tasted Oronoco rum today from brazil, they spell it brasil, and made by a cachaca producer. interesting that the oronoco actually runs through most of venezuela. found out on a cruise that venezuela was spanish for little venice because the first homes discovered there by europeans were supported on sticks so they were above the ground.

The rum was rich, sweet with a beautiful essence of vanilla and not that hot on the tongue from alcohol. a sipping rum for sure although it would make nice rum and cokes...but for the money they would be very nice

The Original Malbec 2007 France. Vin de Pays.. from the home of Malbec in the south of france. fruit and stink together as the french wines do.. round flavors but a bit earthy on the finish. would be a better food wine than cocktail wine you would find from Argentina.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Celia Congdon with Andrew Will Winery Washington

Andrew Will named for the two sons of Chris Camarda. having gotten a lot of good press lately from the spectator I was looking forward to tasting through the line carried by Pinnacle.

2006 Two , cab franc, merlot beautiful nose, a little fleshy may be from being just a little too room temp franc nose. and a quicker finish than i thought would happen

Champoux 2006 named after the vineyard owner. cab,cab franc and merlot .garnet in color, long finish of cedar and black fruits, tongue tingling acidity.

Ciel du Cheval 2006 (what others in the region call Horse Heaven) a blend of cab, cab franc, merlot and petite verdot. soft, blueberry fruit and a little heat on the finish.

Sorella 2006 mostly cab, merlot, cab franc and petite verdot... a woodsy hearty aroma, great silky tannin, nice round flavors and smooth finish... spectator 95pts.

I agree with his philosophy of wine in allowing the blends to take precedent over straight varietals...

August Briggs with Joe Briggs winemaker

A mid sized winery..lots of family history
Chardonnay Leveroni Vineyard 2007 nice crisp and very uncalifornian style.. too fruit forward for Burgundy but definitely a light touch on the oak.

Pinot Noir Dijon Clones 2006 round cola more fruit forward...not austere but again not over the top either... a little hot on the finish but not a deal breaker

Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 dark color, fruit forward with a strong finish..

the dandelion on the label is in honor of a family member who thought it was the perfect flower...not wanting to believe it was actually a weed

Monday, June 8, 2009

light monday

After the debacle of trying to watch the tony's last night and Katie Horner chiming in for most of them I really did need a drink today but there were not many options.

Pinnacle Imports
Novy Syrah Russian River Valley 2006...this wine is all about the fruit..dark extracted color, juicy black berry fruit..none of the savage or earthy flavors that the rhone can give up

Bennett Lane Maximus Napa 2005 called a feasting wine and I can see why, it would work well with big chewy red meat...fruit forward and some interesting after flavors of coffee and blood

From Bommarito
Leitz Dragonstone Rheingau 2007 one of the wines I will feature in the July article of Tastebud. sweet but not overly...stone fruits of the likes of peaches and apricots...mineral finish

Chateau de Birot Premieres Cotes du Bordeaux 2006 fruity for a bordeaux..fleshy tannin and nice back flavors of meatiness.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bell winery with Anthony Bell

Bell Sauv Blanc Lake County 2007 mineral and fig..a touch heat

Bell Chardonnay 2007 Napa only 14% oak, a softer style than expected given the amount of stainless steel used.. a touch of the toasty oak and a little hot

Bell Rose 2008 a rose of syrah...strawberry colored, not a wimpy rose..a strong earthiness with some dark red berry fruit

Bell Claret 2006 a bordeaux blend with some syrah...beautiful nose of cedar and cassis...silky with some spice on the end

Bell Cabernet Napa 2006 soft tannins and a bit of earthiness..cedary nose again..dark color

Bell Clone 6 Cabernet Rutherford..deep color and flavors.. a bit of the rutherford dust..tight finish that should open up.

Bell Syrah Syrah Foothills lots of juice but not a long again..

Big Guy Red 2006 named after the family pup.. syrah, cab and merlot with the cab over playing the syrah fruit.


Terra Firma
Heritage de Chantecaille 2005 french stink..promise of fruit that never comes through..a dried stewey finish.

Rooster Syrah 2009 a romania syrah..fruity light but pleasant..easy drinking a cute label

Golden Barrel
Santa Alicia Chard Chile 2008 nice acidity, some ml..some heat from alcohol too... cutesy label

Santa Alicia Cab Chile 2007 bitter, harsh, rough finish.

Fina Sobreno 2005 Spain...dark color..cedar nose and cedar taste.. very tannic..needs time to open up.