Monthly Archives: August 2012

Wine of the Day

2011 Domaine Comte Abbatucci, Rose “Gris Imperial” Corsica, France.
This vibrant and smoky rose is full of energy and life, made from Sciacarellu which is one of Corsica’s own varietals, and crafted by one of the island’s best known producers, Domaine Comte Abbatucci, it is a fun and serious wine. Sciacarellu is grape grown mostly in the Ajaccio area of Corsica and it is believed to be originally from the Italian mainland, but it is here on Corsica where it shines and makes for a lovely strawberry flavored wine, and is especially good in this Abbatucci rose where it shows tangy grapefruit, smoke, tart cherry and strawberry with hints of zesty spices, herbs and mineral. This is super refreshing and crisply dry, and is great on a warm afternoon.
($25 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

 

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Wine of the Day

2010 Corino, Barbera d’ Alba DOC, Piedmonte, Italy.
Don’t miss this super sleek and pure Barbera from Corino in La Morra for it is a lovely and interesting wine that delivers exactly what is expected and a bit more with bright and chewy red fruits, spice and floral notes. There is a sweet and savory charm that runs throughout and it starts with zesty blackberry, cherry and spiced plums while hints of summer flowers and herbs add complexity along with touches of bitter chocolate and cranberry. This wine with it’s acidity and fruit is a great food wine and should be enjoyed as a valued guest at any meal, drink over the next few years. The 2010 Corino Barbera has a wonderful freshness and vibrant core of fruit that shine through and it is hard to resist, especially for a Barbera fan like me, I know I’ll be enjoying a few more bottles of this very pleasing example.
($22 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day

2009 Stoller, Pinot Noir “JV” Estate, Dundee Hills, Willamette, Oregon.
This 2009 Stoller is really turning out to be a super wine and a fantastic deal in top quality Pinot Noir and gives lots of pleasure. Pure Dundee terroir and lush layers of fruit flow freely here and there is pretty rose petals, red spices and flinty minerals keeping things interesting while silky tannins and subtle acidity keeps things together nicely. The main body of fruit leans on plum and raspberry, but the is a lovely core of black cherry running throughout and lingers on the finish with a touch of strawberry preserves as well, plus a very nice flash of smoke and vanilla. If you are looking to buy a great drinking Oregon Pinot, this 2009 Stoller JV is the one to stock up on, no question this wine is drinking great now and should be a joy for the next 2 years at least.
($24 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day

2010 Owen Roe, Pinot Noir “The Kilmore” Yamhill-Carlton, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
This rich and lively Pinot Noir is really coming good with detailed layers of dark fruits, silky texture and vibrant acidity and zest making this Kilmore a remarkable effort in a difficult vintage. The 2010 Owen Roe Kilmore Pinot weighs in at just about 13% alcohol making for a more Burgundy like charmer, with grapes coming from great sites in the Yamhill-Carlton area and mix of Pommard, Wadenswil and Dijon clones all of which add to the beauty and complexity found in this elegant wine. The nose is a pure bouquet of flowers, subtle spice and a  fresh mix of berries and dried currants leading to a round palate of black cherry, plum and wild strawberry fruits while hints of smoke, pepper and iron come through in the background. There is a cool mineral streak throughout, but the lifted fruit core is graceful and long giving loads of pleasure. This is a wonderful Pinot Noir that is strikingly true to it’s terroir and vintage that is perfect for drinking now and over the short term.
($45 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day

2009 Jean Foillard, Fleurie Cru Beaujolais, France.
The 2009 vintage in the Beaujolais is legendary and Jean Foillard is one of the top guns with Gamay, so you knew this would be good, and it seems like a extra long time to wait for such a wine, and now that it is finally here expectations were running high, and for that reason it may seem a touch disappointing no matter how good. That was the case for me, I was expecting the world, I wanted heaven in the glass, and while this is an exotic and beautifully made wine, it was a slight let down, which of course is not all that fair, but I’ll buy a few bottles and revisit this Fleurie at a later date and see. Again, there is little here to fault, though it did seem a touch hot with alcohol, though it has glorious dark fruit, a perfumed nose and terrific length. The bouquet leads with dried flowers, incense, walnut and cassis before flowing into a medium to full palate of blackberry, wild strawberry and cherry fruits with tangy dried currants, baking spices and candied red citrus. A touch of earthy truffle, saline and plum/blueberry tart linger on the aftertaste. The 2009 Foillard Fleurie is not as elegant or dreamy as the 2007, but it is a richer, denser and much more hedonistic wine that will certainly please many, many people.
($50 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day

2011 Weingut Selbach-Oster, Riesling Rotlay “Zeltinger Sonnenuhr” Mosel, Germany.
This rich and intense Riesling is one of the best of vintage and should age majestically for decades with it’s sublime balance of weight and acidity, bravo to Johannes Selbach on this masterpiece from his select block collection of wines. The 2011 Rotlay has an Auslese like texture and feel in the mouth, but with less sweetness, more Spatlese level if you can relate and the depth and length are already amazing in this very young wine that comes off very carefully chosen vines in the famous Zeltinger Sonnenuhr vineyard that Selbach feels gives the most interesting terroir characteristics and flavors. The nose is decadent with white flowers, citrus and smoky sweet mineral leading to a exotic palate of green apple, lychee, apricot, lime, tropical essences, white currant and salted honey with a touch of flinty brine, while vivid acidity pumps tension and vigor throughout. This Riesling oozes class and refinement making for a glorious wine and a must have for Riesling freaks, of which I am a card carrying member, especially after tasting this magical treasure from the Mosel.
($55 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day

n.v. Sean Thackrey, Pleiades XXII Old Vines, California Red Table Wine.
Pleiades is a totally unique blend of grapes and vintages crafted by Sean Thackrey and gobbled up by his legions of rabid followers and the adventurous wine geeks looking for something completely different. In any given vintage Pleiades has a mix of Pinot Noir, Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah and a few white grapes as well as anything else that might play an interesting part, making for medium bodied red that has a very distinct array of flavors that has stayed remarkably consistent over the years. With lower, moderate alcohol coming in at about 13% the new XXII edition of Pleiades feels smooth and refined on the palate with a nose of garden herbs, menthol, dried flowers and baked cherries leading to a palate of plum, strawberry, cherry and red peach with hints of blueberry and plenty of fennel and anise along with tea, savory spices and a saline note. This is a very pleasant, if not waky, red that always produces a grin and a few chuckles.
($28 Est.) 90-91 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day

2011 Tajinaste, Tinto Tradicional, red Valle de la Orotava, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
The 2011 Tajinaste Tinto is all Listan Negro, one of the most used native grapes on the Canaries, and it shows nice upfront red fruits, spices and savory mineral and saline notes making it a bright, medium weight red that goes great with lighter fare and seafood, though it is nice with goat and or hard cheeses as well. This is a fresh red with strawberry, pomegranate, cherry and tangy plum fruits backed up with plenty of acidity, red pepper spices and salty minerals. Tajinaste is a quality producer that is very reliable and a good way to start your experience with the Canary Island wines, their Listan Blanco white is also a super charming wine to look for with plenty to enjoy, but this Tinto is really fun wine and I can recommend it for those seeking out unique and natural wine from an up and coming region.
($25 Est.) 91+ Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day

2009 Monje, Tinto Tradicional, red Tacoronte-Acentejo D.O. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.
The Monje Tinto Tradicional is a blend of Listán Negro, Negramoll, and Listán Blanco, fermented and raised in big 400 Liter, old American, neutral oak and bottled unfiltered. This vintage is showing pretty floral tones, rich spicy red fruits and loaded with saline mineral edginess that all comes together beautiful in this interesting red from the exotic Canary Islands, which sit off the coast of Morocco and the African continent. Grown on Tenerife’s volcanic soils and cooled by the Atlantic breezes the vines give tiny yields and produce exciting and racy fruit and earthy/spicy flavors that are unique and enjoyably different. The 2009 Monje Tinto shows dried and cut flowers with rose petals, violets and incense while a garrigue and truffle note add life, leading to a silky, but vibrant palate of red currant, cherry, tangy plum and lavender, plus a touch of leather, red pepper, brine and scorched rock. With tangy layers and medium weight this nice red is great with many foods and moderate alcohol makes it super for afternoon enjoyment.
($22 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

Weekend Wine Reviews

Three Fun Weekend Wines

By Kerry Winslow, grapelive.com

2010 Fronton de Oro, Tinto Gran Canaria D.O. Canary Islands Red, Spain.
I am hooked on the Canary Islands, these are very unique and fun wines, and the quality is getting better with the passing minute, especially interesting is this 2010 Fronton de Oro Tinto from Gran Canaria (Grand Canary Island) which is on the Spain Island chain sitting just off the Arfican coast on a lump of volcanic rocks in the Atlantic Ocean. After three or four vintages, I just adore the Fronton de Oro reds which are rustic, briny and exotic spiced wines with hints of flowers, flinty mineral and transparent red fruits. The 2010 Tinto is made of Preto, Listan Negro and Tintilla grapes and raised traditionally in cement and sees almost no wood, while some of the cuvees see time in both French and American barrels, though the Tinto is non the worse and is a racy wine. The nose is earthy and has a touch of game, plus a cayenne red pepper note along with dried roses and wild flowers to go with spiced plums before a Pinot Noir like weighted palate of strawberry, brandied cherries, chalky minerals, garrigue, orange rind, raspberry coulees and truffle.
($18 Est.) 90-91 Points, grapelive

2011 Domaine Andre et Michel Quenard, Savoie white “Les Abymes” Jacquere, Les Eboulis du Mont Granier, Savoie, France.
This is a Domaine to watch, with fantastic wines and a huge coolness factor and this lovely Jacquere is a steal! Imported by Kermit Lynch and already with a rabid fan base these wines get scarce quick, amazing really for a less known region like the Savoie, but the wines are just stunning. The Bergeron and Mondeuse wines from the 2009 vintage were the stars that brought Quenard to America’s attention, but I am equally impressed by this little Jacquere, and I love the price too. The 2011 Andre et Michel Quenard Les Abymes is vibrant and vivid with lots of citrus and white stone fruit that is light and zesty, but not lacking in flavor or style, this is a very pleasing white with lemon/lime, white peach and hints at apple and tropical fruit with brisk acidity and fresh stoney minerals. This impressive wine finishes with touches of nectarine and lime with lingering citrus flower.
($17 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

2010 Domaine le Sang des Cailloux, Vacqueyras “CuveeFloureto” Rhone Red, France.
This magical Rhone red is pure hedonistic heaven for old vine Grenache fans and the fans of Chateauneuf-du-Pape should drive into this wine head first! A long time quality producer, imported by Kermit Lynch, who else, Domaine le Sang des Cailloux, blood of the stones, is a top estate in Vacqueyras just down the road from Gigondas and the famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape areas of the Southern Rhone Valley. This 2010 Cuvee Froureto is about 70% Grenache with a bit of Syrah and Mourvedre as well, showing violets and pepper, grilled meat, melted licorice, black cherry, grenadine and crushed rock. The mouth filling palate is spicy, vivid and both sweet and savory with sublime structure that plays true to the vintage, one of the finest in the region, just maybe the best in my lifetime. This Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras is a real special wine, I know I’ll be drinking this and so should you, and look for it to get even better over the next 4 to 6 years.
($36 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive