Snooth - Articles Read the opinions of wine professionals en-us Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:00:18 -0400 Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:00:18 -0400 Snooth 5 Miraculous Wine Grapes that Escaped Extinction <p>There are more than five thousand different grape varieties in existence. It&#39;s not hard to imagine that some would face extinction. But as you will see, second chances aren&#39;t always out of reach. The following five wine grapes beat the odds and ultimately defied the woolly mammoth&#39;s fate. They currently thrive in soils around the world. Let&#39;s celebrate their triumphant resurrections! &nbsp;<br /> </p> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5567 Vintage Update: 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Fred Swan <p>Napa Valley grape growers and winemakers wore out their worry beads in 2011. Rain came early, often and didn&rsquo;t want to go away. It was a cool year as well, forcing winemakers to spend even more time walking the vineyards than usual.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Napa Valley is accustomed to dry, warm, sunny growing seasons. It&rsquo;s Cabernet Sauvignon wines are widely known for ripe, forward fruit and a rich, full-bodied palate. Consequently, many wine writers freaked out about 2011, some declaring it a disaster before the first of June.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> They should know better. Cool, even wet years in other regions often result in complex, elegant wines with food-friendly freshness and excellent aging ability. And, while rare, 2011 wasn&rsquo;t the first cold and damp vintage Napa has seen.</div><br /> <br /> <div><br /> To illustrate the impact weather had on Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in 2011, we&rsquo;ll focus on one sub-region, the Rutherford AVA. Rutherford is, with Oakville and Stags Leap District, considered to be one of the very best sites for Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. It is also a good reference point because, while it&rsquo;s one AVA, it is diverse.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rutherford includes some of the oldest and most-respected wineries and vineyards, such as Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards. It has high-production wineries as well as many boutique wineries that make just a few hundred cases. There are large, commercial vineyards and small ones practicing organic or biodynamic viticulture. There are volcanic soils and sedimentary gravel, slopes and flats, lean soils and fertile, sun exposures to the east, south and west. And, being somewhat centrally located in Napa Valley, Rutherford is middle of the road for both temperature and rainfall.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Before we get to Rutherford&rsquo;s wines though, let&rsquo;s look at what rain and cold can do to grapes. During Spring, vines undergo &ldquo;fruit set.&rdquo; This is when all the tiny little flowers clustered on the vine begin turning into grapes. Those flowers are sensitive and vulnerable. Heavy rains or winds can damage the flowers, preventing their transition to grapes. The result, called &ldquo;shatter,&rdquo; is that the vine will bear fewer grapes. Some Napa Valley vineyards were unaffected by shatter, others suffered a 30% loss.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Cool weather, exacerbated by chilling rain and the dark clouds from which it falls, slows down vine productivity and grape ripening. Photosynthesis requires sun and warmth. UV rays help grapes create thick, chewy skins that provide color and tannins. In Rutherford and throughout Napa Valley, the cool weather necessitated a long growing season for grapes to achieve acceptable ripeness.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Damp grapes are prone to mildew and various types of rot. Mildew can be treated. Rot is harder to deal with in a frequently cool, wet year and can quickly take over whole grape bunches. Even Botrytis, the &ldquo;noble rot&rdquo; that creates wonderful dessert wines when it affects certain white wine grapes, ruins Cabernet Sauvignon. If it&rsquo;s present at harvest the only options are extremely careful sorting of the grapes on each bunch or completely discarding afflicted bunches.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rot was definitely a problem in 2011. As a result, yields were down and a great number of wineries made less Cabernet Sauvignon than in a typical year. Some of discarded fruit was sold to bulk producers. Be cautious when you see surprisingly low-priced, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from a label you&rsquo;ve never heard of. The bottle may contain wine made from grapes more familiar wineries refused to use.</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> That brings up a key point. Napa Valley isn&rsquo;t just famous for wine because of Robert Mondavi, the Paris Tasting of 1976, etc. It&rsquo;s famous because the wine is good, every year. The respected wineries of that region find a way to make tasty wine in a vintage even if that means very low-volume. A winery&rsquo;s long-term reputation can suffer for decades after one lousy year.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fortunately, 2011 wasn&rsquo;t lousy. There were bright spots, chiefly a long sunny spell in late summer that allowed grapes to begin ripening at a normal rate. Harvest was late, but not tragically so. In the end, you might say 2011 gave Napans a taste of what it&rsquo;s like to work in Bordeaux. And, since many of the valley&rsquo;s winemakers have extensive experience doing exactly that, 2011 was a hassle but not a puzzle.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 2011 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon, and those from the rest of Napa Valley, will give consumers a taste of Bordeaux too. A great many of the wines are quite good, including all of those I review below. But few are typical for Rutherford or the larger valley.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The wines may have aromas of ripe fruit, but that fruit will be more tart on the palate. Some will be fruit-forward, but most have a distinctly savory bias with flavors of earth, herb, meat, etc. And, since they are less dominated by fruit, they tend to be more complex. Less sun means both color and tannins are lighter. Since grapes were less ripe than usual, the wines taste less sweet and have much more acidity. Alcohol percentages are down, substantially in some cases. None of these things are bad, really. And, if you like Old World wines, you may be very happy indeed.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> What about terroir? In the recent tasting seminar, &ldquo;Napa Elevations,&rdquo; led by master sommelier David Glancy, it became clear that where you picked in 2011 was more important than when you picked. Usually, you can count on mountain wine to be deeper in color, more tannic and, often, higher in acidity than that from the valley floor. East side and west side wines differ because the setting sun is hotter and more harsh than the rising sun. But those differences are most obvious when the wines being compared have similar levels of ripeness.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In 2011, some wineries picked much earlier than others in order to minimize rot or miss incoming, mid-harvest rains. Those wines are very different from the ones made by vineyards which picked after that November rain. They are distinctly greener with pronounced aromas and flavors of green bell pepper, tomato leaf, pine needle, etc.</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 Inglenook Rubicon Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley about $200</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Opaque ruby-black coloring signals the power of this surprising 2011. The nose is dense with dusty black currant and mocha. Medium-plus body and generous acidity that harmonizes with the intense, long-lasting flavors and framing tannins (dry, slippery graphite powder and grippy light grains). The dusty black currant and mocha are joined in the mouth by violets, earthiness and ferrous minerality. The phrase &ldquo;iron fist in a velvet glove&rdquo; is often used to describe the wines of general manager Philippe Bascaule&rsquo;s previous station, Chateaux Margaux. It&rsquo;s equally appropriate here. 96pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 HUNNICUTT Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon $85</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>100% Cabernet Sauvignon</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very reminiscent of a rich Bordeaux, this wine is among my favorites of the vintage and has been for most everyone with whom I&rsquo;ve tasted it. Aromas of black currants and black cherry preserves are interwoven with brown and black spices, oak and moist tobacco. Full-bodied on the palate with excellent balance of flavor intensity, acidity, alcohol and tannins (fine grain and chalk). Long-lasting in the mouth with flavors of tangy black currant, spice, earth and dry herb. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 Freemark Abbey Bosche Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 13.5% $100</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The unusually cool, wet vintage gave Napa&rsquo;s winemakers a taste of life in Bordeaux. This wine does the same for tasters. The nose is immediately complex and captivating with dusty, tart black currant, huckleberry, coffee, dry earth, cocoa nib, dry leaves, dried rose petals and mint easily discernible. Freshness plus fine, powdery and chalky tannins frame a palate of medium-plus body. Flavors match the nose and the long finish is punctuated by juicy huckleberry. Layered and elegant, but there&rsquo;s plenty of rich fruit. An easy choice for dinner or the cellar. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 Wm. Harrison Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $55</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Fruit-forward and delectable, the nose proffers chocolate mint, huckleberry, black cherry, brown spice and mocha. The palate is full-bodied and replete with fine, powdery and chalky tannins that frame very long flavors of oak, chocolate mint, dry herb, tart blackberry, spice and mocha. You&rsquo;ll have to wait to receive this wine, scheduled for a May, 2015 release, but don&rsquo;t wait if you want to get some. The estate vineyard is just 10 acres in total and there&rsquo;s only 400 cases of this delicious, well-priced wine. 93pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 McGah Family Cellars &ldquo;Scarlett&rdquo; Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $60</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This delicious and, for Rutherford, bargain-priced Cabernet brings aromas and flavors of black cherry, black currant jam, mushroom, damp forest floor and spice. Medium-plus to full-bodied on the palate with medium+ acidity, fine powdery/chalky tannins and exceptional balance. Excellent length. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 Freemark Abbey Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $100</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Complex and engagingly Old World, scents of black currant, black cherry, trail dust, mushroom, drying herbs, earth, vanilla and spice waft generously from the glass. The wine is surprisingly full-bodied given the savory nose but acidity and tannins of fine powder and chalk keep things well in balance. The flavors are rich and more typical of the region: black cherry, coconut, coconut, spice and earth. More ready for drinking than many 2011, but will easily age for two decades. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Peju Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.2% $115</strong></a>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br /> <em>100% Cabernet Sauvignon</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This is an intriguing wine interwoven with contrasting flavors working magic together. There are baked red cherries, fresh red currant, cinnamon candy, smoke, dried meat, savory spice and dark, dried flowers on the nose. The fresh palate has medium-plus body and slightly grippy tannins of fine powder. Slightly sweet, chewy red cherries are surrounded by loads of savory spice, dried meat and dried thyme. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Sojourn Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.7% $69</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Just 169 cases were made and it&rsquo;s sold out at the winery. There should still be some at restaurants.</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Another unusually ripe wine for the vintage with dark ruby color and aromas of black cherry jam, both sweet and sour red cherries, dark spice, dry herb, potting soil and oak. The palate is virtually full-bodied and very fresh with moderate tannins and excellent length. Look for flavors of sweet and tart dark berries and earthy spice. 92+pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 Staglin Salus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.0% $90</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> From its dark ruby color to the aromas of earthy black currant, tobacco, caramel and spice this wine exudes lithe masculinity. Medium-to-medium-plus body. Ripe but energetic black fruit and savory spice glide on a stage of very fine-grained and chalky tannins. Juicy throughout the lengthy finish. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 St. Supery Estate Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $100</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This sensuous wine pulls you in with its aromas of black currant, black cherry, dark spice, tobacco, oak and vanilla. The full-bodied palate, surprisingly lush for 2011 but plenty juicy, is brimming with mocha, tangy black currant and spice. Fine-grained, chalky tannins are well-balanced by fresh fruit. Only 340 cases made. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 Aiken Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.5% $125</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Joel Aiken spent 27 years making wine for Beaulieu Vineyards before leaving to start his eponymous label. His third release of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Morisoli Vineyard, surrounded on three sides by Inglenook, is a successful portrait of both site and vintage. It&rsquo;s dark ruby in the glass with aromas of tart red and black cherries, cinnamon, smoke, clove, smoke, charcoal and garrigue. The fresh, nearly full-bodied palate shows gentle tannins of very fine grain and chalk. It tastes of chewy black cherry, charred wood, dark spice, unsweetened chocolate and espresso. This a very savory and darkly masculine wine to go with grilled steak today or evolve nicely in the cellar for 12+ years. 92 pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong><a href="">2011 Quintessa Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $145</a></strong><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A British gentleman&rsquo;s library of aromas unfolds dried black currant, cigar box and mysterious dark spices. The full-bodied palate opens to silky and chalky tannins. Rich flavors of black cherry, medicinal herb, spice and oak complete this reserved but very handsome wine. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Frank Family Vineyards Winston Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $150</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This wine, decadent and unctuous, may show less vintage influence than any other Rutherford 2011 I&rsquo;ve tasted. Aromas include milk chocolate, coconut, ripe black currants, brown spice and oak. It&rsquo;s full-bodied in the mouth yet balanced by acidity and fine-grained, grippy tannins. Flavors include mint, tart black currant, spice, oak and coconut. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Conn Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $60</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very fetching and fruit forward with bing cherry, candied cherry, mint, cocoa, brown spice and oak aromatics. The nearly full-bodied nearly full-bodied palate features very fine-grained tannins, medium-plus acidity and long flavors of blackberry cream, spice, oak and tobacco. 91+pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley $47</strong></a><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Another good value from 2011, this wine offers black cherry, moist cereal grain, dark spice and brown sugar on the nose and palate. It&rsquo;s full-bodied with both prominent acidity and firm tannins of fine grain and chalk. A couple of years in the cellar will soften the tannins and release additional depth. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.7% $135</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Upon first opening, ripe blackberry, spice, toasted cedar and vanilla rise from the glass. With extended air, aromas of forest spice and game meat emerge and gain prominence. The body is medium-plus with light-grained and chalky tannins nearly balanced by acidity. The blackberry tastes more piquant than it smelled and dark chocolate adds a counterpoint. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Frank Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 14.5% $85</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petite Verdot, 3% Merlot</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark ruby with a very purple tone, the complex nose brings baked black cherry, black currant, dark spice, violets, tart blueberry and lavender. The moderate tannins are very fine and chalky on a fresh, yet nearly full-bodied, palate. Flavors include tangy, cooked berries, black cherry, charcoal, dill and lots of dark spice. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Pi&ntilde;a Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley 15% $89</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>100% Cabernet Sauvignon</em><br /><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark ruby and concentrated with an aromatic core of black cherry and prune which vacillates in the glass between jam and a bowl of very ripe whole fruit. The fruit is accented by allspice and spiced meat. The palate is medium-plus in body with matching tannins of fine grain and chalk. There&rsquo;s more complexity on the palate than on the nose right now. Flavors include tart black cherry jam, prune, allspice and other dark, dry spices, dry leaves and potting soil. This is a very solid wine and represents the vintage well. Like many 2011 Cabs from the Rutherford AVA, it&rsquo;s packed with savory complexity that will get even better with age. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5563 Cooking With Quinoa! Gregory Dal Piaz <p><div><br /> <em><strong>&ldquo;I ate too much quinoa last night.&rdquo;</strong></em></div><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> Now that&#39;s not something you&#39;ll hear me say everyday. In fact I don&#39;t think I&#39;ve ever said that prior to earlier this week. You see in a long standing effort to eat more healthily I&#39;ve been doing things like eating less meat and more veggies, increasingly turning to beans for to get my protein and looking for alternatives to rice, pasta, and bread on the grain front. And you know what? Quinoa can be pretty darn good!</div><br /> <br /><br /> <div><br /> I do really need to write some more about beans, they are the most satisfying, least expensive, and most adaptable food in my pantry, but I bought these two big bags of quinoa, you know how Costco operates, and have been experimenting with some uses for this most healthful and nutritious grain. There have been various versions of pilaf, a really completing roasted garlic and mushroom version that elicited my leading comments and a pot fill of curried lamb with sprouted lentils and quinoa that currently sits on my stove!</div><br /> <br /> </p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5560 Barbaresco and Nebbiolo to Buy Now! Gregory Dal Piaz <p>To welcome fall, and without a doubt the season has arrived, like clockwork, the moment our Labor Day weekend had wrapped up, I have always had a bit of a tradition of opening some Barbaresco. While my heart may belong to Barolo, the somewhat more elegant and more approachable wines of Barbaresco are perfect for times when you are looking for something lighter, and often somewhat less expensive than the best wines of Barolo.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Also worth consideration at this time are the great Nebbiolo wines that so many producers bottle at fair, though increasing less affordable prices. I have devoted quite a bit of space on these pages to Barolo and the 2010 vintage, and at the same time I have also suggested that the 2011 vintage, while not as classical a vintage as the focused and austere 2010, would provide for some remarkable drinking for those who are either not so patient, or more welcoming of the extra fruit a precocious, warm climate vintage delivers.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <br /> Barbaresco producers typically release their wines a year before those of Barolo, reflecting the less stringent requirements of the DOCG. As such we can get a glimpse of the quality of 2011 by sampling the current crop of Barbaresco as well as dipping our tongues into all the straight Nebbiolo that makes its way to our shores. While I consider Barbaresco affordable, it&rsquo;s obvious that these wines are not inexpensive. For real value your best bet in Nebbiolo are they myriad base bottlings of Langhe Nebbiolo and/or Nebbiolo d&rsquo;Alba, particularly those from some of the top producers whose Nebbiolo can compete with many Barolo and Barbaresco.&nbsp;<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Today I offer you lists of my favorite Nebbiolo and Barbaresco from my visits to Piedmont this year. You can find examples from 2010 through 2012 on shelves right now. Of these my favorite for Nebbiolo is 2011, as it is for Barbaresco as well though 2010 Barbaresco can be very exciting as well. The base Nebbiolos though tend to have benefited from the added warmth of the 2011 vintage, a vintage where the top sites yielded fruit that might be a bit over-ripe or at a minimum particularly rich in sugar and thus alcohol, but at the less well positioned sites the fruit seems for the most part to have reached perfect, if full maturity and the wines show that. The Nebbiolo and Barbaresco in bottle and the Barolo in barrel are across the board the most exciting group of Nebbiolo based wines I&rsquo;ve ever experienced from a warmer vintage.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> What this means for the average consumer is more fruit, softer tannins, and earlier approachability than usual. All of which have traditionally been issues facing Nebbiolo based wines when it comes to consumers with new world palates. Which is not to say that these wines will turn off those with old world plates. These are not 2000s, 1997s, or 2007s. They are a cut well above those vintages and one which I am thoroughly enjoying as I broaden my appreciation of these fine wines!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>12 Great Nebbiolo&#39;s Worth Exploring!</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> One last note. While in Treiso I visited the Rizzi winery and tasted both from barrel and from the cellar. As further proof &nbsp;of the quality of the 2011 vintage let me say that Rizzi&rsquo;s 2011 Boito is outrageous, dark, powerful and intense. It will be a fabulous Riserva. &nbsp;Pajore is all perfume and spice and totally seductive, and Nervo is linear and elegant with the Rizzi an amalgam of all looking very promising and pretty. These were out of barrel but just about ready to be bottled. The wines out of bottles are listed below and show that while Barbaresco is ready before most Barolo, they are long lived wines that warrant more attention from consumers.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2008 Rizzi Barbaresco Boito $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deeply burnished on the nose, with a hint of Chinato layered over dried cherries, a hint of ash and dried cherry wood. This is a big wine, a powerful wine, a bit dark and folded in on itself today but each layer seems distinct, fine and clear. Air brings out a mineral aspect on the palate with gentle medicinal tones that lead to a long finish which shows off the power, elegance, and finesse of this grand site. The &nbsp;tart red berry fruits, a bit of strawberry with lemon juice on top show fine persistence through the long finish ending with a bit of a spicy &nbsp;finale. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2006 Rizzi Barbaresco Boito $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Already showing aromatic maturity on the nose this explodes from the glass with aromas of Crayon, damp soil, pine cone, dried raspberry, fine blond tobacco, cranberry and a bit of hightoned middle eastern spice. Still tight and focused on the palate with subtle spicy herb and sandalwood flavors on on entry, this opens on the midpalate to reveal a broad and open pool of orange rind framed wild strawberry flavors which are washed away on the powerful and focused backend which reveals a streak of brilliant red cherry fruit that shows great follow through, along with fabulously ripe tannins through the long finish which ends with a lovely pop of rosebud aromatics in the mouth. Quite tannic and almost ready, this is gorgeous. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> For comparison&rsquo;s sake I list the current releases here.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Smoky on the nose with slightly jammy aromas of frutti del bosco, a bit of sandalwood on the nose, and underlying aromas of blueberries and tar. Fine ripe tannins, greet the palate along with acids that lend a bit of orange rind framing notes to the very focused, gorgeous purity to the red wild berry fruit on the plate. With a little balsam notion the backend, this finishes rather tightly with furry, lingering tannins. This needs a few years to fully integrate. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Rizzi Barbaresco Pajore $45</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Powerful with great aromas of fresh fruit on the nose with hints of mulberry, sandalwood, spiced and flinty with an almost peachy note. In the mouth this is decidedly broad and a bit soft with supple tannins, though great acids adds some power and some weight to the rich raspberry fruit on the palate. the tannins build on the backend lending this grace and purity in the mouth. A really terrific effort. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Rizzi Barbaresco Boito Riserva $50</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deep and powerful on the nose with huge perfumes, spicy and rich with great woodland aromas, pine needles, icy, mineral soil, a bit of pine bark, and dark, tobacco stained berry fruit. Already almost velvety on entry, this exhibits huge structure in the mouth with a poised and faceted feel along with compelling depth and perfume to the wild black berry and blackcurrant fruit on the palate. Long tannic and savory on the finish which is replete with mineral, juniper, and balsamic accents. &nbsp;Elegant and powerful. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Rizzi Barbaresco Pajore $45</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big aromas of burnished sIiced cherry fruit greets the nose along with spicy, almost peppery accents and soil tones that lends this an almost animale quality. With lovely fruit on the attack this shows off considerable power and gains nice balsamic spice notes on the midpalate but this feels a bit less full on the back end, tannins are very ripe, and while there is really gorgeous fruit here the wine lacks a bit of grip through the finish. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Rizzi Barbaresco Boito Riserva $50</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> First year for the reserva</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with blueberry in alcohol and medicinal aromas. The finest focus of the wines tasted here today, this is clean and taut, tight on entry with tightly packed fine tannins fanning out broadly on the palate. remaining quite fresh and crisp in the mouth with good acids, this is savory and tight right through the moderately long finish. With the fruit is a bit in hiding today, this comes off as a bit lean but powerful and focused. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> Wines from the Produttori del Barbaresco</div><br /> <div><br /> <br /><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Two weeks before harvest there were a couple of days of rain</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 13/088</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With sweet woodsy forest floor aromas on the nose, this is quite aromatic, with a lovely floral top note, integrated spice accents, fine apple skin, red lingonberry, and wild strawberry aromas. Not shy with the alcohol in the mouth, this is smooth and polished on the palate with &nbsp;good power and length, and real drive from the tannins, though this seems deceptively small today with astringent red berried fruit and &nbsp;a little hint of forest floor bitterness on the palate. Tight and in need of additional time in the bottle. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Sweet herbs, slightly roasted red fruit fruit, cocoa, and an incipient truffle note appear on the nose. With sweet fruity on entry, soft tannins, big size, and great acids this makes quite an impression in the mouth but the tannins show a slight bitter edge, the sweetness comes from the rather high alcohol, and the fruit is decidedly simple in the mouth with lots of small red berry fruit that lacks detail and complexity. Fine but this is a bit short and less interesting than usual. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Rio Sordo $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big burnished fruit with a slightly roasted quality greets the nose along with a wonderfully spicy character &nbsp;bright with rosemary and menthol top notes. Smooth and silky, with some power in the mouth, there&rsquo;s a burnished, slightly spicy sandalwood quality here, a little vitamin c, slightly mineral quality as well on a palate that is pretty seamless. This shows good power, not the most complex bottling today but with good persistence and follow through on the finish. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Pora $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Small raspberry fruit, sandalwood, &nbsp;and lots of rose petals with a slightly dusty edge show up on the nose which carries with a sense of sweetness to the fruit. &nbsp;Bright on the palate, and very lively in the mouth with raspberry and cranberry fruit, along with hints of wild cherry. This is really lovely with a playful balance, though it finishes a touch short with hard tannin on the cherry cough drop finish. Should be fairly elegant if the tannins soften up. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Muncagota $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big and detailed on the nose which shows wild, dark cherry fruit, flecked with bits of mint and tree bark, very detailed with an unusual, sweet creamy note, almost taffy like on the nose. packed with power and delicacy, this shows off lovely balance on the palate which is rich with cherry pit fruit, firm in texture, full of energy on the palate, even if the acids are a touch soft. Broad, fruity, and nicely fresh in the mouth thanks to the zesty tannins, this also exhibits good length, but it is not shy on alcohol. A lovely wine that shows both ripeness of fruit and a sort of windswept character. I bet this will improve though the alcohol will always be apparent. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Ovello $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> After a tight floral note opening note on the nose this turns very precise, &nbsp;deep and savory with a fairly strong wood smoke top notes, briar, pipe tobacco, and strawberry aromas. In the mouth this exhibits a lovely, smooth polished feel, nuanced but smooth, with fine tannins and integrated acidity supporting really precise and crisp woodsy red berry fruits. This has excellent purity this year, and good length with a balance of tannin and acid that puts this near the top of the class. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Montestefano $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Burnished wood pops on the earthy nose, which is dark yet fresh fruit, with a touch of quinine spice accenting the tight, tough and clay mineral, though sweetly floral toned nose. Big rich berry fruit greets the palate here along with nuanced spice notes that are wrapped up in a smooth, lithe palate that is rich with deep mineral notes that lead to a dark tight long finish that does show a hint of warmth. The fruit really turns quite dark cherried in the mouth, supported by nice round tannins that help to drive the briar wood and strawberry seed toned finish. This is complete and deep. A real winner. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> Additional Barbaresco wines tasted in Italy 2014</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Cascina delle Rose Rio Sordo $50</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A step up in aromatic depth and complexity from the Tre Stelle and just gorgeous with complex floral aromas rich &nbsp;with mineral flecked wild cherry, wild berry fruit and just a hint of lime zest. A little extract of fruit on the entrance with good weight and power on the palate, this is obviously a little young and chewy though long in the mouth with ripe tannins. Air brings out very pure wild cherry pit fruit, a little dusty and decidedly soil driven on the long finish, incredible emerging rose petal perfumes, serious depth to the flavors, and attractive complexity both on the nose and in the mouth. Fabulous wine. 94pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with very fine rose petal aromas and balsamic tinged red berry fruit, raspberry and limestone. Superbly elegant, pure and delicate in the mouth with late arriving tannins and intensity of fruit that leads to great intensity and weight on the back palate. While fairly tannic, the crisp tannins are well judged and present on the finish which is a bit tight, irony, and very aromatic with red fruit aromas with a hint of mint in the mouth. Tight and promising. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Oddero Barbaresco Gallina $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rosehips, clay, cherry and strawberry aromas all show up on the cool, mineral rich nose. Crisp on entry long, and dusty in the mouth with a young, &nbsp;tight and, &nbsp;delicate feel. Showing off hints of mint and rose in the mouth retro nasally, this remains very firm and tight on the palate with very important tannins that are superbly fine grained. A bit warm and spicy on the finish, This has a lovely nose and the structure is gorgeous, though the fruit is hiding a bit today. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Prunotto Barbaresco Bric Turot $65</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In Barbaresco, a part of the vineyard was replanted three years ago, the last vintage with only older vine juice,</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big on the nose, deep and rich with dried fruit, leather and spice notes underpinned with hints of autumnal herbs, candied cherries, astringent spices and dry soil notes. Round and opulent in the mouth, this shows a nice blend of freshness of flavor and bright acids with tannins that are both ripe and just beginning to soften. Fairly tense and clear on the palate this still feels firm in the mouth with mossy cherry fruit on the palate leading to a backend which gains some leathery and dry spice tones before finishing with fairly important tannins and fine length, all amarena cherry and strawberry toned. &nbsp;Pretty classic stuff with fine persistence and power. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Oddero Barbaresco Gallina $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Pretty on the nose with underlying &nbsp;clay aromas topped with a little sweetness of dark fruit and nice pure macerated rosepetals and camphor top notes. This shows big yet precise fruit in the mouth with lovely, ripe tannins lending this a &nbsp;velvety feel already. A little spicy on the palate, this has good &nbsp;energy in the mouth and fine length. In an elegant style and pretty sweetly fruited, though remaining fairly complex and refined. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Barale Barbaresco Serraboella $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Strawberries in alcohol and leather greet the nose which smells a bit sweet and picks up a hint of carob with air. Bright acids are obvious on entry, and this is immediately &nbsp;this is drinking quite well with small, slightly angular tannins supporting lots of strawberry fruit with little flecks of jammy black raspberry fruit that fills the palate and extends through the long finish. Well balanced, but not very nuanced and very fruit driven, this should have a long life ahead though it may never be the most complex. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Prunotto Barbaresco $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> From vineyards in Barbaresco and Treiso</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Gorgeous on the nose, rich with dried rose petals, dusty earth, menthol, nettle, chalk, woodsmoke a hint of game even and burnished amarena cherries and small plum fruits. Bright acids make this juicy and clear on the palate, perhaps a touch simple but with good concentration and lovely sour cherry, raspberry tinged fruit. The palate lacks the complexity found on the nose, but shows fine energy to the fruit and finishes with well judged but classic tannic bite, with a hint of leather and dried fruit adding some nuance to the finish. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Francesco Rinaldi Barbaresco $45</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 2 years in big wood</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Old wood, rose hips, hints of clove oil come together on the spicy nose along with slightly stewy cherry fruit, very aromatic with some newer wood here as well. Lean, fresh, and precise with tightly wound tannins in the mouth, moderately rich, with a little strawberry note on the backend. This is elegant in the mouth with a slight dip on the palate, then there&#39;s attractive richness and slightly sweet fruit notes with nice length and a hint of tobacco on the finish, which is a touch short and chunky today. This should improve as it fills out but may always be a little lean. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2008 Scarpa Barbaresco TettiNeive $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose with a fine cigar wrapper blond tobacco note, earthy, dried, pressed flowers, and hints of mint and camfor. Very smooth in the mouth with good acids and modest, ripe tannins that float around in the pool of orange tinged, orange acid supported wild strawberry flavors on the palate. Tight and acid driven on the finish, which shows lots of mineral depth. A bit minty in the mouth, good length, warm finish. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Elvio Cogno Barbaresco Bordini $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Small red fruits, sandalwood, &nbsp;and hints of cinnamon, mushroom, and &nbsp;leather appear on the nose along with a hint of peach. fairly tannic in the mouth and medium bodied, quite woodsy, savory, and a little tough in the mouth with menthol and strawberry flavors. Tannic and tough on the finish, with dry tannins that are not that well integrated. &nbsp;Strives for elegance but is weighed down by tannins today. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nebbiolo tasted in Italy in 2014</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Chiara Boschis Langhe Nebbiolo $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With awesome aromatics that savory, complex and deep with subtle woodsy red fruit aromas, wild strawberry, camphor, and just a hint of sweet, roasted wild cherry, this is absolutely alluring on the nose. In the mouth one finds a &nbsp;perfect middleweight Nebiolo, perhaps a bit on the sweeter side with all the fruit, camphor, and spice, and savory complexity found on the nose along with super purity. One barely notices the finely ripe tannins until they eek out past the big strawberry and orange peel flavors on the moderately long finish. Beautiful Nebbiolo. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo $55</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rose petals, camphor, sand, and light red fruit emerge on the nose along with a hint of black spice and a low innate sweetness. Soft and supple in the mouth, this flows over the palate with lovely bright fresh fruit with small tannins add a nice hint of firmness on the palate. Complex flavors of rosehips, burnished wild cherry fruit, a hint of watermelon rind, and those firm, dusty, little tannins linger on the long finish. This is so elegant and refined showing power and delicacy with a softness here that wraps around the palate. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Scarzello Langhe Nebbiolo $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Full west piece of Merenda, less sand, fresh hill that comes Vergne, more sand across the way in Merenda</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Barrels for malo, bottled in september</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A hint of cherry wood spice greets the nose which is very fragrant, pure , high toned and complex with nuanced women&#39;s perfume and &nbsp;rose petal aromas. &nbsp;Light and elegant on entry, this then turns pretty powerful with bright acids and round tannins that are opulent for a Nebbiolo. There&rsquo;s great fruit here, fresh and deep yet transparent, a touch short today perhaps, but with such a fine texture. This is just beautiful Nebbiolo, gaining some complexity on the backend, a little sandalwood, savory nuance, slightly leathery and dry on the wild cherry toned finish with a hint of licorice on the finale. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Cascina delle Rose Langhe Nebbiolo $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Extract like aromas of fruit and roses greet the nose, followed by soil tones and hints of darker fruit. With lovely, spicy, cocoa tinged cherry strudel fruit on the entry, this is warm and supple on the palate, soft, and seamless with lots of depth and power to the extracty and slightly jammy wild cherry fruit that leads to back palate full of gorgeous raspberry strawberry and rhubarb fruit supported by fine grained tannins that lend just a hint of spice on the long finish. i would love to try this again in two or three years. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Principiano Nebbiolo Montagliato $27</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> On year of big wood, outside of Barolo zone , higher 550m still in monforte,</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 20 days</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Aromas of cherries in alcohol, camphor, rose petal, and pollen explode on the nose. On the palate this is supple and elegant, flowing across the palate with tarry fruit that show lovely subtle minty nuance and &nbsp;fine grained tannins on the palate followed by a very long finish rich with impressive spice and drive to the slightly dark berry fruit. This really combines complexity and drinkability. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Cascina delle Rose Nebbiolo $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Shows a woodsy, butchers wax, watermelon rind aroma on the nose followed by a white cherry note, and then savory, briar wood top and emerging rose petal top notes. .A little tight in the mouth with a big tannic structure that sits just above the fruit today and just clips the finish. there&rsquo;s great acidity here, which helps to lift the fruit on the plate and adds some softening material to help cover the tannins with &nbsp;big cherried fruit and spicy soil notes on the back end and through the moderately long, pure red fruited finish. Needs a bit more time but this should be very good. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Einaudi Langhe Nebbiolo $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight and raw on the nose nose which is quite medicinal with aromas of camphor and barbershop antiseptic over a woodsy, cool, composed and focused Core. There&#39;s lovely wild raspberry fruit on the palate and fairly important tannins, great acids, but this, having been bottled in January, is still tight and a bit tough going but shows depth, power and balance, Long finish, lovely watermelon, wild,raspberry, and &nbsp;cherry wood flavors, really showing very well, this needs a bit of time but should be excellent, surprisingly rich. 89pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Vietti Perbacco $25</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very floral on the nose, filled with rose petals, red fruit, lingonberry fruit, a little nettle and minty. Smooth, juicy and very approachable and pretty Nebbiolo, easy going with bright berry fruit supported by crisp tannins, a hint of purple fruit, youthfulness along with spicy accents on the backend. rather full on the midpalate, with good length featuring nice dry tannins on the finish. &nbsp;88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Prunotto Nebbiolo d&#39;Alba Occhetti $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A subzone of Monteroero</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Grapes are bought from a single vineyard</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 10 months in wood, almost all botte</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nice classic nose of rose hips, prune plum and cherry in alcohol. &nbsp;Smooth and &nbsp;nicely balanced in the mouth this is easygoing on the palate and very much in the style of the vintage. With good fruit, modest complexity, classic hints of leather appear early in the palate, this is rather a clean fresh finish, and classic Nebbiolo, with good acids and &nbsp;tannins that are notably ripe and almost soft here, typical of Roero and 2011. There&rsquo;s good persistence to the fruit, as this turns a bit more complex and even firms up a touch in the mouth with nice perfumed wild sour cherry and dried red plum on the finish. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo $25</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Just a selection of less ripe, less powerful grapes, a little Barolo one to one and a half years in botte, very Barolo like elevage</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lovely fruity on the nose with aromas of wild raspberry in alcohol that are light and fragrant, followed by a bit of a jammy wild berry note. Opening with good acids and ripe tannins this displays lovely, burnished fruits on the palate in a super classic flavor profile. With a good hit of tannin on the finish this seems rather short and front loaded but at the same time quite complete. Should be better in a year. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Burlotto Langhe Nebbiolo $26</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A little sweet edge to the aromas of nettles, sage, crisp cranberry, and a bit of orange rind on the nose. While rather big on entry, this quickly gains some elegance in the mouth with very fine grained dusty tannins layered under rich, savory fruit, burnished red fruit. Airy, light and with attractive minerality on the palate, this reveals &nbsp;lots of soft, ripe tannins on the finish along with lingering strawberry seed and slightly chalky mineral notes. Simultaneously soft, supple and a bit four square in the mouth. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Principiano Nebbiolo Coste $18</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> SS</div><br /> <div><br /> 40% le Coste, 60% the last rows of serralunga bosca retro, they don&#39;t age well enough to make Barolo,</div><br /> <div><br /> bottled yesterday</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Herbal and &nbsp;tight on the nose with a savory stemminess layered over frutti del bosco, wild raspberry, and red currant fruit. Delicate yet powerful in the mouth, this lacks a bit of harmony on the palate, it&rsquo;s not rough, just disjointed from bottling. It is rich, juicy, full and fairly powerful with an innate sweetness to it and lots of fruit with notes of minerality adding some complexity already and the ripe tannins lending a spicy cast to the palate. There&rsquo;s a hint of VA on the finish adding some lift but this seems to be quite an elegant expression of nebbiolo. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Brovia Nebbiolo d&#39;Alba $40</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Valmaggiore</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>SS</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lovely aromas of rose hips, sandy soil, dark cherry, a little black tea and pollen spice come together on the very fresh nose which picks up a small prune in alcohol note on entry. This is a big, mouth filling wine that is a little hollow on the midpalate needs to flesh out. Rich, ripe and still quite structured, this shows all the ripeness of the vintage with its telltale freshness and perfume. The finish is moderately tannic and tobacco and earth laced, and while this stumbles on the midpalate today if it fills out it will be lovely. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Brezza Langhe Nebbiolo $20</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> All SS. &nbsp;Mostly rose clone</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Gorgeous aromatics of slightly jammy wild cherry and &nbsp;strawberry fruit are light and perfumed on the nose with rose petal accents. Pretty fresh and zesty on the palate with juicy acidity supporting just under ripe cherry and strawberry fruit framed with a hint of orange rind. Very clean, and even a bit lean in the mouth, this comes off as quite focused and refreshing with nice abundant but soft tannins emerging on the finish. Easy drinking 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Francesco Rinaldi Nebbiolo d&#39;Alba $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> 1 year in wood. Fruit from Roddi</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Rose petals and chalk pop on the nose over a peach base note with a hint of va adding lift to the classic rose hips and raspberry/strawberry in alcohol aromas. Nice raw tannins on entry support lovey burnished sour cherry &nbsp;fruit in the mouth that is framed by hint of watermelon peel, &nbsp;and sandalwood accents. With good length and nice tense tannins making this just a &nbsp;little tough on the finish, this could use a bit more time but it&rsquo;s already enjoyable for its purity and bracing, structured style. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Oddero Langhe Nebbiolo $26</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Soft on the nose with sandy soil tones, a hint of watermelon rind along with a touch of va adding lift to light rosemary, and even almost peppery spice notes. There&rsquo;s nice depth on the palate which shows off subtle flavors of chalk, tart red berry fruit and gentle balsamic tones. and while this is a touch tough in the mouth, it does turn fresher on the backend and through the modest finish. Subtle but the balance is quite attractive with everything rather in harmony here. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Francesco Clerico Nebbiolo $22</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nice, slightly herbal, and vaguely medicinal aromas of wild black cherry cough lozenge with hints of cola and licorice greet the nose. Much cooler on entry than the nose suggest, &nbsp;though this is big and fruity and has a hint of rs most likely. The solid acids keep this in balance with the quite ripe and slightly candied fruit on the palate yielding to a flow of green herbs and old wood on the backend and through the modest finish where fresh Nebbiolo tannins add a crisp snap. &nbsp;A bit chunky and firm in style. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Scarpa Nebbiolo Bric du Nota $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Monte Roero</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Big raspberry aromas with a liquory edge first greet the nose followed by lots of strawberry fruit, a bit candied but fresh, with hints of black raspberry candy. Smooth and rich in the mouth with perhaps a hint of RS as well. There are rich if gentle macerated herb tinged black berry and &nbsp;raspberry flavors on the palate with just a hint of mineral adding detail through the moderately long finish, which is plush, fruity, and a bit sticky. Not my style of wine but one that has its appeal. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Cavallotto Langhe Nebbiolo $30</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Light herb stem, rose stem, and hints of mint accent the sweet fruit on the nose that has a jammy wild raspberry quality to it and hints of chocolate chip cookies,Fairly tannic on entry and bright with lots of acids, in a moderately powerful style that is very front loaded with sour cherry fruit and then tight and tannic on the backend powerful, and dry tannins on the dry, herbal, and tough &nbsp;finish, though this remains very fresh and linear. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Sordo Nebbiolo d&#39;Alba $NA</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Hugely balsamic on the nose, which is quite aromatic and fresh with aromas of red frutti del bosco, camphor, and a hint of something a little spicy. With high acids on entry, this comes off as a bit lean, with sour cherry, in a simple, clean and decisive style. the finish is long and &nbsp; fresh, if simple and easy going. 85pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Produttori del Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo $20</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Below 15 years old, 20-23 days on skins, 6 months in wood</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Very balsamic on the nose with a huge pine resin top note, &nbsp;some sweet woody notes, sweet red fruit and a hint of mint. Rather sweet/tart in the mouth, though mostly tart with lots of cranberry and raspberry flavors. This is less balsamic in the mouth than on the nose, but it retains some of the woodland spice character through the &nbsp;modest finish, which lacks some fruit covering the dry finishing tannins. 85pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5559 Chianti Classico Riserva - Football's favorite wine Callie Exas <p><html><br /> <body style="margin:0px"><br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td bgcolor="#AEB4A6"><br /> <% intro_text %><br /> <table width="762" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td style="font-size:0pt; line-height:0pt;"><br /> <br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td valign="top" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"><br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td height="4" style="font-size:0; line-height:0;"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td height="10" style="font-size:0; 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line-height:0;"><br /> </td><br /> <td width="1" bgcolor="#cbcbcb"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td width="1" bgcolor="#cbcbcb"><br /> </td><br /> <td width="3"><br /> </td><br /> <td style="font-size:0; line-height:0;"><br /> <a title="Chianti Classico Riserva - Football's favorite wine" href="" target="_blank"><br /> <img src="" height="299" width="222" border="0" /><br /> </a><br /> </td><br /> <td width="3"><br /> </td><br /> <td width="1" bgcolor="#cbcbcb"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td width="1" bgcolor="#cbcbcb"><br /> </td><br /> <td width="1" height="3" colspan="3" style="font-size:0; line-height:0;"><br /> </td><br /> <td width="1" bgcolor="#cbcbcb"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td width="1" height="1" colspan="4" bgcolor="#cbcbcb" style="font-size:0; line-height:0;"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td colspan="5" style="font-size:0; line-height:0;" height="10"> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table> <br /> <!-- end main image --><br /> </td><br /> <td width="15" bgcolor="#ffffff"> </td><br /> </tr> <br /> </table><br /> <!-- end main image wrapper --><br /> <br /> <br /> <font face="Georgia, Times New Roman, serif" color="#273038" style="font-size:13px; line-height:20px;"><br /> To understand the pedigree of these wines, you need to understand a little bit of their background and history. &nbsp;<br /><br /> <br /> </font><br /> <br /> <br /> <h3 style="text-align:center;"><br /> <a style="color: #41682d; font-size: 17px; font-style:italic; font-family:georgia,times,serif;" href=""><br /> Read the Full Article »</a><br /> </h3><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> </td><br /> <td width="12" rowspan="2"><br /> </td><br /> <td width="300" valign="top"><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> </td><br /> <td width="12" rowspan="2"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td height="15" style="font-size:0pt; line-height:0pt;"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><br /> <tr><br /> <td height="1" style="font-size:0pt; line-height:0pt;"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td width="12" style="font-size:0pt; 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line-height:0;"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td width="638"><br /> <font style="font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:10px; color:white;">Snooth Inc. / 49 West 24th Street / 5th Floor / New York / NY / 10010 <br /><br /><br /> To make sure this and future emails arrive in your inbox rather than your junk mail folders add "<a href="" target="_blank" style="color:#ffffff"></a>" to your address book or safe list. To unsubscribe from this type of email, <a href="<% unsubscribe_link %>" style="color:#ffffff">click here</a>. To manage your notification preferences or to unsubscribe from all Snooth emails, <a href="<% email_preferences %>" style="color:#ffffff">click here</a>. Having trouble viewing this email? Click <a href="" target="_blank" style="color:#ffffff">here</a>.</font><br /> </td><br /> <td width="124" align="center"><a" target="_blank"><img src="<% beacon %>" border="0"></a></td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td height="50" colspan="2"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> <tr><br /> <td bgcolor="#AEB4A6"><br /> </td><br /> </tr><br /> </table><br /> </body><br /> </html><br /> </p> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article799 What We’ve Been Drinking 8/14 <p><div><br /> We&rsquo;re back with another roundup of our favorite wines from the past month. Being August, the past month that is, we were worried that we&#39;d be doing a Sauvignon Blanc round-up, but cooler heads prevailed. We&rsquo;ve got everything from bubbles to Cabernet Sauvignon on tap for you in this edition of What We&rsquo;ve been Drinking!<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> As we turn towards cooler weather we are excited to see what the Autumn has in store. Will the days of variety give into to powerhouse reds? If we know our friends, we bet not. What about you? Has the annual white wine consumption peaked around your house? Let us know!&nbsp;</div><br /> </div><br /> <br /> </p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5556 Portuguese Values Abound Gregory Dal Piaz <p>While there are some tastings I do not look forward to each year, there are others that I can&rsquo;t wait for. For the most part that means things like Barolo and northern Rhone Syrah, but it also includes the greatest set of value wines I get to sample each year; inexpensive Portuguese red wines!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Now, admittedly that&rsquo;s a pretty broad category of vino, or vinho as the case may be. There is no other single country where i would make a statement like that, though Portugal is fairly compact as far as wine producing countries go. But still, would it not be wiser to talk of the Douro and Dao, instead of generalizing and including Bairas, Tejo, and the rest of Portugal&#39;s wine producing regions? &nbsp;Of course it would, but one doesn&rsquo;t have to. While the style of wines produced around the country is diverse, the quality is quite uniformly high and the styles of wines being produced almost has more to do with who is producing it as opposed to where it is produced.<br /> That&rsquo;s not to say that terroir doesn&rsquo;t play its part in portugal, just that modern and traditional wines are being produced throughout the country, and while certain regions have been big promoters of international varieties as of late there is a decided movement, in at least the wines that come to our shores, highlighting the indigenous treasures of portugal.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> To a large extent that means Touriga Nacional, which is very likely the grandest variety grown in portugal, but it also means that wines made with less familiar grapes are being rediscovered and prized for the unique profiles of the wines they produce.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Consider:</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Castelao - &nbsp;popular, and successful in the south of the country where it produces vibrant, red fruited wines that retain the rustic edge of the region.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Jaen - from the Dao, a real workhorse of a grpe though at it&rsquo;s best it can produce juicy, black fruited wines that are delightful easy to drink due to their modest tannins.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Trincadeira - the problem child, so full of peppery spice and floral perfumes, but sometimes difficult to ripen, even under Portugal&rsquo;s fine climate. &nbsp;The Petit verdot of portugal!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Touriga Nacional - we all know it from port, but on it&rsquo;s own or in a blend it produces violet laden wines with wonderful blue fruits laced with licorice and firmly structured, yet elegant and refined.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> And that&rsquo;s just a glimpse of what lays in Portugal&rsquo;s arsenal.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> Once you move past the grapes, and the climate, which is hot and dry for the most part, conducive to ample yields, firmly structured, and deep wines, and big fruit, you come to the winemaking. Portugal, like much of Europe, has a long history of extended oak ageing for their red wines, though here in this warm climate that ageing was often quite justified. Not only do many of these grapes have thick skins, to better endure the unrelenting sun, that deliver formidable tannins, but the heat and dry climate often produce tiny berries that have a very low juice to skin ratio. The resultant wines needed an extended slow oxidation to help soften them and make them palatable. Today that is rarely the case, though the long ageing does persist in some place and with some wines. These legacy wines are sometimes dried out, but you also can happen upon wonderfully appealing, bright, juicy and softened wines that harken back to an earlier time. Greater attention to hygiene in the cellar distinguishes these wines from their counterparts of just a few decades ago, but the live on in that vein and make for some terrific food wines.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> At the opposite end of the spectrum one can find modern wines of many stripes. Cool fermented, stainless steel aged examples that celebrate their fruity nature, or barrique aged examples that might also incorporate some international varieties. These modern renditions generally have more fruit that the more traditional examples, and while that may not always be preferred, it is one of the great features of these wines. You see the combination of Portuguese varieties, with Portugal&rsquo;s climate produce wines that can be intensely fruity. Not fruity in an over-ripe or candied way, just plain old fruity, like wines are supposed to be. Now sometimes that fruit is a bit much for my old, jaded palate but for the average wines drinker I can&rsquo;t think of better wines, especially when you also consider the price.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Yes, these are great values. for a number of reasons, and while I may often say that a particular wine is a great value wine, many of these portuguese wines are simply great wines that happen to be great values. Take your pick of any of the &nbsp;top three wines here and compare them wines twice the price. I think you&rsquo;ll find little qualitative difference. And as far as values go, take that Grao Vasco and compare it with any other $7 wine, I don&rsquo;t think that you&rsquo;ll find one that is better.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> I&rsquo;ve written about my love for these wines before, and I shall write about it again but it&rsquo;s all for naught unless someone out there reads what i&rsquo;ve written and tries a few of these wines. You may not be as convinced as I am, though if your palate was honed on Italian or Spanish wines from the 1980s I wager that you just might be. So take my challenge and try the great red values of portugal, then let me know what you think. Maybe next time I&rsquo;m writing about these wines I can recommend the wines that you all will recommend to me!</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Adegas Coop Cartaxo Bridao Classico do Tejo 14% $10</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Wine Enterprises LLC NJ</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Touriga Nacional, Castelao, Tinta Roriz, Trincadeira</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Juicy and dark on the nose with aromas of moist tobacco, vanilla, a hint of dried fruit, some stemmy herbal notions with hints of old wood and blue plum skins. A bit rich on entry, this sorts itself out quickly in the mouth with lovely bright integrated acids and ripe, polished tannins perfectly woven into the fabric of the plummy, boysenberry fruit. A bit on the lighter bodied side, this is super easy drinking with a bit of blueberry emerging on the backend which is silky with just a hint of bitter chocolate and some dusty tannins emerging on the modest finish. The finish gains length pretty quickly with peppery hints complementing the bitter cocoa notes and dark cherry fruit. This is delicious and simply a pleasure to drink. &nbsp;90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Vista Touriga Nacional Reserva Beiras 14% $10</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Iberia Wines &amp; Spirits Ct</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Aromatically this is very interesting with gamy, beefy aromas laced with notes of dried apricots, honeysuckle, a hint of black pepper and dark oak spice all bound up in rich raspberry fruit. &nbsp;it is not completely unlike a northern rhone Syrah. Rich, polished and smooth in the mouth,this is both a bit brighter and more transparent than many modern styled wines from Portugal. It&rsquo;s got some attractive inner mouth perfumes and medium plus body with flavors of blue plums and wild black berries on the palate nicely supported by well judged tannins and that acidity that adds freshness even as the creamy cafe au lait oak pops up on the backend. Nicely focused right through the moderately long and nicely fruit driven finish. Very impressive from a region that gets little attention. 89pts &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Aveleda Follies 70% Touriga Nacional - 30% Cabernet Sauvignon Bairrada 14% $11</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by Aveleda Inc. RI</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark and focused on the nose with wonderful floral aromas that recall candied violets coupled with layers of sweet, toasty oak and spicy, plummy fruit bound together with cinnamon and holiday spice. A touch soft on entry, then this really flows slowly across the palate with black fruit, medium plus body and plenty of underlying tannic grip. This is juicy with black cherry fruit but also hard with a hint of mineral spice and underlying wood spice. it&rsquo;s a wine that should continue to age well for several more years but already is delicious and well balanced with a modest finish and the lowish acidity being the only low points. people should love this. It&rsquo;s a fabulous party wine. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Douro 13% $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Broadbent Selections SF</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>40% Tinta Roriz, 30% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Barroca, 10% Touriga Nacional</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A touch subdued on the nose though the aromas of vanilla, milk chocolate, dusty spices and dried cherries with a hint of espresso are both well balanced and very attractive. the nose gains lovely violet and plum aromas with a little bit or air. Smooth and subtle on the palate well with a touch of austerity reinforced with a nice drop of acid cut early on the palate followed by a silky, elegantly textured wine that shows off slightly dry flavors of dark berry fruit, spices and earthy, leathery undertones. Finishing with some tart cranberry notes that refresh the palate, this is a wine that could very easily get lost in a tasting but would shine at the dinner table with some coffee rubbed pork or pork with romesco sauce. This has some really attractive purity to it on the palate. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Jose Maria da Fonseca Periquita Reserva $14 on sale, usually $16</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Palm Bay Imports Fl</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>40% Castelao, 32% Touriga Nacional, 28% Touriga Franca</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Pencil shavings and dried green herbs pop on the nose followed by astringent red fruits and rusty aromas. &nbsp;On entry this is almost sweet for a second, rich with ripe fruit but the vibrant acidity quickly washes that away and offers a great contrast to the ripe red fruit which recalls strawberries, watermelon and cranberries on the palate. A bit simple perhaps, this is none the less juicy and bright with a lovely finish that is delicate yet fairly long and laced with licorice and medicinal flavors from oak ageing along with a &nbsp;hint of rose petal. Juicy, energetic and fun to drink while retaining a fairly classic structural profile. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Grao Vasco Dao 13% $7</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Evaton Inc. Ct.&nbsp;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>A blend of unspecified percentages of Jaen, Tinto Roriz, Touriga Nacional</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Bright, floral and simple on the nose though with nice depth to the vinous orange rind and white floral aromas. Smooth on entry, a bit lean but with a touch of flesh sticking to the the taut acid driven and dusty tannin laced structure. the fruit here is dusty and dry, austere with cranberry and raspberry undertones and a fine leathery, old book note of slight decay on the plate that adds complexity and a decidedly old school appeal here. The finish is modest, and this is basically a simple, fruity yet rustic wine but it&rsquo;s very well balanced and has a lovely blend on intensity on the palate and well defined flavors. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Quinta do Passadouro Passa Duoro 14% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Winebow NY</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>40% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Roriz, 30% Tinta Nacional</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A touch woody and slightly funky on the nose with a blend of chocolate, leather, and astringent red fruit aromas. Rich, smooth, low acid and polished in the mouth, this opens with some dry tannins covered in cherry and bitter chocolate flavors. the acidity is modest, lending this a rich, creamy feel in the mouth, and some heaviness on the finish which is rich with medicinal and wood spice character. It&rsquo;s a chewy, bawny wine in the modern style. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Niepoort Twisted Duoro $15</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Polaner Selections NY</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela and others</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit candied on the nose with notes of cola, violet pastille and some gamy, leathery base notes laced around bright cherry and plum fruits. Soft, rich and easy going in the mouth,this is very well balanced with hints of coffee and wood spice supporting their plummy and dark cherry wild blackberry flavors on the palate. the tannins are modest and well balanced leading to a soft, creamy black cherry and vanilla laced finish. Modern and easy drinking without any excess of &nbsp;flash or flesh. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Quinta de la Rosa douRosa Douro 14.5% $15 on sale, normally $17</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Winesellers Ltd. IL</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>35% Touriga Nacional, 35% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Roriz</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit beefy on the nose with some herbs de provence notes and a nice base of dried cherry and blue plum fruit wrapped up in subtle oak shadings. &nbsp;Juicy, bright and a bit chewy in the mouth, just past medium bodied this remains transparent and bright on the palate with good acidity and tannins that are a touch dry but that add a pleasant edge to the palate which is ripe with dark cherry and spicy blackberry fruit. there&rsquo;s some tea and vanilla influence coming from the oak here, which turns out to be a bit too assertive on the long finish. &nbsp;A bit burly in the mouth, some will find that aspect of this wine more attractive than I do, though i do find some very attractive fruit here. &nbsp;87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Azul Portugal Palmela 14% $12</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Iberia Wines &amp; Spirits Ct</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>100% Castelao</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> This is downright fruity on the nose with a gorgeous bouquet of spicy, pomegranate, wild raspberry, and lingonberry aromas that gain hints of pencil shavings and brownies with air. Smooth and easy to drink, this is low in both acid and tannins with simple and slightly chewy wild cherry and raspberry flavors on the palate that turn a touch austere on the backend. &nbsp;The fruit pops again on the finish picking up the spicy character and hints of pomegranate that show up on the nose. It&rsquo;s a fruity wine but a bit austere and not sweet and it needs some simply grilled meats to show its best. &nbsp;86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Dow Vale do Bomfim Douro 14.5% $12</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Premium Port Wines Inc SF</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>50% Tinta Barroca, 20% Touriga Nacional, 15% Touriga Franca, 15% Tinta Roriz</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Spicy and dark on the nose with hints of resin, raw meat, and lots of cracked pepper spice accenting the core of carob fruit. Soft, clean and pure in the mouth, this is not complex but has a great texture and subtle flavors that blend some red apple skins with earthy spice and some bright plummy notes. It&rsquo;s a simple wine, easy to drink and well balanced in the mouth with a lovely slightly medicinal and darkly spicy note on the modest finish. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2010 Paulo Laureano Classico Vinho Regional Alentejano 14% $10</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Wine in Motion NJ</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Trincadeira 40%, Aragonez 40%, Alfrocheiro 20%</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit tight on the nose but showing lovely floral and spicy fruit aromas that are fresh and elegant with a &nbsp;growing sense of fruitiness as it sits in the glass. Broad in the mouth, and clean with an initial blast of fruit that makes this feel a bit soft, but the structure pops out quickly making this brightly fruity, dry and a bit spicy in the licorice and mace end of the spectrum. The tannins here are a bit drying and the fruit simple and short, but this shows some nice energy in the mouth and finishes cleanly. The spicy aromas are the highpoint here. 85pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Herdade de Peso Vinha do Monte Vinho Regional Alentejano 13.5% $8</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Evaton Inc. Ct.&nbsp;</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit inky on the nose and with suggestions of sweetness from new wood supporting smoke laced dark berry and cherry aromas that are topped with a floral note. &nbsp;Round and polished in the mouth, this is a clean, fairly fruity and fairly modern take. there&rsquo;s lots of fruit here, a bit plummy and spiced with some sour plum and tart cherry accents on the palate that lead to a dry and somewhat tough finish. the acidity and somewhat tough tannin are well covered in the mouth but become more obvious on the chunky finish, which has some sticky, fruity length to it. &nbsp;Not bad, just a bit undistinguished though it remains a good value. 84pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Agricultura Vinho Regional Alentejano 13.5% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Obrigado</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>A blend of unspecified percentages of Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Trincadeira</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit frankly earthy on the nose with a raw, cola and spicy dried fruit character that is modestly sweet and smoky with underlying black cherry fruit. A bit soft in the mouth, lending this a sweetish tone on the palate that is supported by the sweet, spicy flavors. The acidity appears on the midpalate lending this some freshness, but it&rsquo;s also accompanied by some chewy tannins that do begin to integrate with a bit of air. This is a bit perplexing because even though it has assertively dry and extracted feel to it, it&rsquo;s clean and fresh in the mouth with a nice tart berry fruit on the finish. A bit rough going but not bad. 84pts&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Ciconia The Reserva Vinho Regional Alentejano 14% $13</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Tri Vin Imports NY</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Aragonez 60%, Touriga Nacional 30%, Trincadeira 10%</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Dark, caroby and heavy on the nose with syrupy aromas of dried fruit, charred wood, cinnamon, &nbsp;and cola. Fresher in the mouth than the nose portends, though this is a bit round and impenetrable on the palate. Theres enough acid to lend freshness to the slightly gamy wild berry fruit, and firm little tannins emerge on the midpalate to support the coffee laced flavors of prune and plum on the palate, that lead to a short, tight and slightly dry if attractive finish. Undistinguished and a little heavy with tannins that build on the slightly hot finish. 83pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2008 Azul Portugal Douro 14% $11</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Iberia Wines &amp; Spirits Ct</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Pretty floral aromas on the nose compete with some raw wood notes for one&rsquo;s attention. &nbsp;A touch soft in the mouth, though big, round and seamless, this is a chewy wine with earthy, bitter apple skin laced, dry fruit flavors that come off as both a &nbsp;bit tough and ungenerous. The finish is dry, short and tough as well. &nbsp;There are some interesting flavors here but this feels forced and clumsy. 78pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2009 Serrado Dao 14%</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Imported by: Wine Enterprises NJ</em></div><br /> <div><br /> <em>Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz, Jaen</em></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit shy on the nose with dry, dusty aromas and spicy, herbal toned floral notes with a bit of a medicinal/ pencil lead character and deep, jammy, grapey base notes. &nbsp;Low in acid and dry in the mouth, this delivers some deep, chewy and slightly meaty flavors that are mostly from oak ageing. It&#39;s a &nbsp;rustic wine with some spicy notes on the backend, but overall this is driven by dry tannin in the mouth and through the modest finish which shows off more medicinal and vanilla laced flavors along with lingering tea and tobacco notes and a touch of alcoholic heat. &nbsp;Old school to the max. 82pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> </p> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5555 Highlights from IPNC Joe Roberts <p>Every Summer, over seventy international wineries, fifty celebrated chefs, a small army of sommeliers and wine media, and a few hundred passionate wine lovers descend upon McMinnville, Oregon. This college town in the heart of Oregon wine country is host to the <a href=""><strong>International Pinot Noir Celebration</strong></a> (more commonly shortened to IPNC), a long-standing event that has become the preeminent place-to-be for anyone who considers himself or herself a Pinot Noir fanatic. IPNC&rsquo;s events include large dinner events, educational seminars, winery visits, and of course prodigious opportunities to taste (or imbibe) Pinot Noir wines from all over the globe.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> A standout in the IPNC lineup are the alfresco tastings, during which the event&rsquo;s featured wineries - hailing from locales such as Burgundy, California, Oregon, Italy, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand, Germany, and elsewhere - pour for attendees in a walk-around, grand tasting format. If you missed IPNC in 2014, here&rsquo;s a glimpse of a few of the grand tasting highlights. These wines showcase some of the best producers on hand during IPNC, and remind us of the breadth - and the high quality - of Pinot Noir currently available to wine lovers.<br /> </p> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5551 Cooking With Corn! Gregory Dal Piaz <p>I don&#39;t know what&#39;s happening in your neck of the woods, and with drought rather widespread this year I am scared to ask and hopeful that things are good, but her in the northeast we&#39;re having a banner year for some produce, and corn seems to be the star of the summer. Incredibly sweet, rich and flavorful corn is overflowing local farmer&#39;s markets, and it&#39;s time to take advantage of every kernel that you can. To that end might I suggest a few novel ideas that should help!<br /><br /> <br /><br /> While corn is not the most wine friendly or ingredients, it can be pretty sweet after all, it&#39;s often only a supporting player in the recipes that follow, allowing for some creative pairing options. So get out there and enjoy the best corn of the season. For me, that means simply grilled or boiled, but that doesn&#39;t mean that you can&#39;t get fancy with corn!<br /> </p> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5550 Wines You’ll Probably never Try Gregory Dal Piaz <p>In a world where extremes are becoming the paradigms for perfection its a little surprising that one doesn&rsquo;t hear much of the wines of Saxony. Strike that. One doesn&rsquo;t hear anything about these wines. And that is not surprising because the production is tiny and the wines almost all consumed locally. But you should be hearing about these wines, if for no other reason than to broaden one&rsquo;s idea about what cool climate viticulture is really all about. And the wines, well the wines, some of them at least, are worth a trip to Sachsen, even if that does mean putting on a sweater every evening in the middle of summer.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> My jobs tends to focus on what is available to consumers. That makes perfect sense since, at its core, my job is to help consumers find wines that they like, but what happens when those wines aren&rsquo;t even in the marketplace? Do I have any obligation to investigate them? I do, at bare minimum to myself, but more importantly to allow the industry at large to discover wines along with me. It&rsquo;s how all the great imported wines have made their way to market over the past several decades, and with the incredible success of the wine industry it&rsquo;s surprising to be able to find a region that is virtually unknown outside of its confines.<br /> Admittedly I went to Saxony to visit a friend, but at the same time the allure of something to discover was quite powerful indeed, particularly when you factor in the potential that this coolest of cool climate regions &nbsp;has for producing world class wines. Wines that in all honesty few of us will ever get the chance to taste. With little land under vine, and a lively local enotourism culture, born from the love of drinking beer outside that seems endemic in the German speaking regions of the earth, and convenient for those off days when a beer, or three, just won&rsquo;t do the trick. Wine may currently be a bit of an afterthought here in Saxony, but that might very well be a short lived problem.<br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With only 450 hectares, or just over 1100 acres under vine, there is obviously not a lot of wine to go around, so it remains a bit of a novelty even here at home. Add to that the fact that almost all of the vineyards are hillside vineyards, which must be tended by hand, and produce yeilds that are low, given the difficulty in fully ripening fruit here, and you can see why the market is somewhat limited, and yet there is no wine for export. Perhaps a few bottles make their way to the surrounding states here in Germany, but the numbers really don&rsquo;t allow for much to be consumed other than locally. Locally by the ways means in and around the city of Dresden.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Bombed to near annihilation during World War II, Dresden has made a series of comebacks over the years. A series which is interestingly parallelled by the wine industry itself. First rebuilding from the ashes, albeit under Communist rule and the accompanying centralized dictats. Dictats that replaced vinifera grapes that had thrived in the region since at least the 12th century, when monasteries built out vineyards that eventually covered an unbelievable, when compared to present day dimensions, 6,000 hectares, with more productive, and certainly more proletariat varieties imported from the east.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Ironically it was this rebuilding of vineyards in the former German Democratic Republic that set the stage for today&#39;s renaissance. From its peak, vineyard acreage slowly dwindled away in Saxony due to imported diseases such as phylloxera, downy mildew and oidium. By the beginning of the 19th century viticulture on any commercial scale had essentially disappeared. The rebirth, encouraged by the GDR, brought vines back to neglected terraces and untended vineyards. While the wines produced were nothing to write home about, they were wine, and they did, in many cases, reclaim historic vineyard sites.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> With the weather in the region as it is, offerding just 1,800 hours of sunshine per year, which to put it in perspective compares with just over 2,000 sunshine hours per year in not exactly famously sunny Bordeaux, and average summertime highs of 77F, cool Burgundy manages 79F, and even the Willamette Valley in Oregon gets to an average high of 83F, this is a rather extreme place to be growing grapes, and potentially not very rewarding in some ways. perhaps central planning dictats were the only way a region like this would have been brought back to life.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Though in the face of all the challenges inherent in the region, and as is typically the case, vintners manage to find those south facing bowls and terraces that meander along the path of the Elbe river. Gathering both a bit of reflected light and the retained warmth that the river delivers. Grapes do ripen here, and while the market for premium wine grapes remains small, Muller Thurgau continues to be the dominant variety, there are some remarkable wines being produced here, even from the lowly Muller.</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> At 51 degrees north latitude these are some of the most northerly vineyards in the world, and certainly the most northerly that I have visited, laying about equal with the vineyards of England and well to the north of Canada&rsquo;s viticultural areas. It takes a special type of person to make the commitment to farm here, and there are already at least several waves of producers who have helped to reclaim the region&rsquo;s lost glory.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> In a way the parallels here mirror that of the former East Germany as &nbsp;a whole. The earliest pioneers, or at least remaining successful pioneers, re-established the glory of the region by resurrecting the past, quite literally. They began producing wines, in a slightly oxidative style, with a touch of residual sugar, that people may have recognised from before the war. It is a style that continues to be quite popular in the region and is quite interesting as a unique and particular anachronism. Then there is the second generation, more interested in looking forward than back, but still through the lens of Sachsen wine. Here you find wines that are fresher, more detailed, and certainly more interesting than with the first wave of producers. Lovely wines, arresting wines in fact, but rich wines that speak at least as much about wine making as they do about terroir.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> And finally there are revolutionary producers, and I assume that there is more than just one, but on my brief visit to the region this group was defined by Frederic Fourrier. A frenchman, sommelier by trade, who came to Dresden and worked in the finest restaurant in town. Was bitten by the winemaking bug, slowly amassed a miniscule number of ancient terraces overlooking the city and started making wine with a clean slate. The results are profound. They are modern wines in that they are crystal clear and complex. They are also cool climate wines of the type that makes sommeliers around the world, and not an inconsequential number of wine geeks I might add, salivate. And not simply due to the saline minerality and high acidity of the wines. But also the precision, complexity, blend of delicacy and power, and sheer uniqueness.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> So this is where Saxony finds itself today. It&rsquo;s cold, the vineyards are a pain in the ass to revive and maintain, yet the local culture seems to be enthusiastically embracing these wines, and innovation is coming into the region. All that is left is the media to start paying attention, a few importers to show up and bid up the pallet or two of wines that might be exported, and then we can all sit back and watch additional vineyards be planted, or perhaps just moved from the control of the local coop to some more conscientious hands. That is probably fantasy, and the only way to taste these wines for the foreseeable future will be to travel to the region, but that is not an unreasonable requirement.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> You see, I am excited by what I tasted in the region and while prices are perhaps a bit on the high side, they remain entirely reasonable, in the 10 to 20 Euro range per bottle. When one considers the efforts made to get the wine into bottle and the fact that since we were buying directly all the proceeds were going to the farmers, entrepreneurs, and even a prince, who are all working to make Saxon wine more than a footnote in Germany&#39;s vinous world, it all seems well worth it.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> If there is one wine to watch out for, or grape I should say it would be the Grauburgunder. With the established brand recognition the grape has under the guise of Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris, it should be a fairly easy sell to consumers and the examples I tried were fabulously expressive of the variety but lighter and more elegant that one typically finds in a place where the grape takes on its typically spicy and rich fruit profile, such as Alsace. In fact the Sachsen Grauburgunder perfectly blends the best attribute of Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris to deliver one of the grandest expressions of the grape the world has on offer. High praise indeed, but the proof was in the glass!</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> So, to all you adventurous wine lovers out there. I suggest you get yourself to Sachsen. The region is well worth the visit with the aforementioned wines as well as the sight of a rebuilt, and rebuilding Dresden. If you get there soon enough you will still find city blocks vacant since the end of WWII, but rebuilding in the region is moving at a feverish pace. Also worth noting is the spectacular scenery afforded from the rocky pinnacles of Sachsen Switzerland, the great beer and sausages that provide the perfect relief from a day&rsquo;s worth of wine drinking, and the hospitality of the locals.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The only negative experience I had while in the region was sadly at the Wein Kultur Bar, a rather well known and trendy wine bar. Arriving ten minutes after their putative closing timer, though with a bar full of guests, many with plenty of bottles still on their tables, we were denied service even after explaining that I had travelled quite a ways and that we were only interested in a glass of wine. The denial wasn&rsquo;t even gracious. I&rsquo;m glad that the bar is doing so well that the owners are comfortable being rude to potential clients, but at the same time I am saddened that in this world of wine lovers we have still have to deal with the pompous attitudes that make wine so elitist and intimidating to consumers. If anyone is more familiar with the wine scene in Dresden I would welcome suggestions for other wines bars at which to spend my money next time I am in town!</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Klaus Zimmerling</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Considered by many locals to be the best winery of the region, I found that while good, these wines reflected tastes that were more prevalent a decade or two ago. &nbsp;these are bigger wines that trade delicacy for power and richness.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Zimmerling WeissBurgunder</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Stoney on the nose with an early hint of banana followed by leesy aromas that are a bit yeasty, polleny and floral. Medium full, dense with good depth to the apple and pear flavors though this turns a bit heavy on the palate. There&rsquo;s good minerality here but also lots of weight, a hint of wood, and noticeably leesy character, making this quite creamy in the mouth. Showing some bitter fruit on the finish, this is fresh and clean but not complicated. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Zimmerling GrauBurgunder</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Old wood greets the nose with familiar earthy aromas and not inconsequential sulphur. Clear and moderately rich on the palate, this is a bit heavy but the acid keeps this fresh with flavors that are spicy and feature lovely fresh and dried fruit on the palate. Abit short on the finish but the fruit that is here shows nice character and complexity. A bit oxidative, heavy, and &nbsp;old fashioned in style. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Zimmerling Riesling</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lemon and herb pop on the nose which is bright and fresh. Fairly dry with nice tension in the mouth, this is more Germanic in style as compared to the Alsacian influenced Pinots that came before it.With nice mineraly river stone accents on the backend and through the long finish which shows just a hint of sweetness, this ends with some attractive tension on the palate but it&rsquo;s a bit simple 86pts.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Zimmerling Riesling Grosse Lage</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Spicy with a &nbsp;bit of botrytis on the nose backed up with fruit and a hint of bitter almond. A bit heavy in the mouth, and &nbsp;more heavy than sweet, &nbsp;there&rsquo;s not a lot of detail to the nice plump fruit in the mouth. With good flavor, and some nice minerality on the finish, this is &nbsp;very easily drinking with some attractive nuance, though this too is a bit old school, &nbsp;just a bit too sweet and soft. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Zimmerling VDP Riesling Grosse Lage</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Polleny, earthy and complex on the nose with a bit too much sulphur, but plenty of dried fruit aromas as well making this rather sophisticated and complex on the nose. Finely textured, bright and elegant in the mouth with obvious sweetness, good mineral notes and a hint of herb, this is a finely balanced and impressive wine though one that comes off as just a bit heavy and lacks some detail on the backend. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Gewurztraminer Grosse Lage</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> The nose is gently aromatic with aromas that are mineral, slightly nutty and a bit peachy with some lychees notes and hints of &nbsp;rose petals. Moderately sweet in the mouth with candied flavors that recall candy corn along with flavors of lychees and an almost orange tone to the palate.With a rather &nbsp;clean finish marked by a hint of polyphenolic bitterness, this strikes a nice balance in the mouth, nicely complex, bright and firmly precise. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Weingut Aust</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A pioneer in the region, the Weingut Aust is housed in lovely little property at the foot of the slopes of Radebeul that are home to some of the regions finest vineyards. You can grab a lovely light bite to eat as you stop in here to try the wines as Aust is one the Sachsen wine route that stretches from meissen in the northwest, a lovely town that is worth a trip to visit even if it is sadly deserted following the devastating floods of last year, to Pirna in the South east. The wines are in the older style, a bit heavy and showing less freshness than one might prefer.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Weingut Aust Muller Thurgau</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lightly yeasty on the nose with a hint of candied peach, soma &nbsp;maraschino cherry, and a light hint of smoke and dried herbs. &nbsp;Bright acids, some paired with some obvious sweetness keep this fruity, simple and straightforward, though it is fruity in the mouth with a nice mineral note on the finish, and good length. 86pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Weingut Aust Kerner Halbtrocken</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Nice spicy toned nose is full of nutmeg and melon aromas along with plenty of slightly tropical and honied fruits with a hint of ginseng. A lightly toasty apricot pastry note on entry leads to a midpalate that is pretty dry but round and opulent with good acid and nice detail to the melon and apple fruit. The sugar here lends good length to the finish as well which retains the wine&rsquo;s fruity character. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Weingut Aust Weissburgunder</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Aromas of golden raisins greet the nose lending this an aromatic profile that is a &nbsp;bit heavy and sweet. Mineral on entry then filled with green tea character supported by bright acids, this remains relatively round in style with earthy, slightly oxidative flavors that are savory and honeycomb tinged. There is a nice round feel here and attractive spice notes on the moderately long finish as well. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Weingut Aust Spatburgunder</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lots of aggressive wood on the nose, &nbsp;smoky, raw, spicy, and minty along with chalky and weedy undertones. This is surprisingly rich, round a moderately fruity in the mouth with ripe tannins helping to flesh out the palate which is a bit soft with a meaty character to the smoky fruit. Short and chunky in the mouth with acids that peek out on the finish. The fruit Is a bit simple here, though attractive, but the wood is aggressive and covers much of the fruit. 83pts &nbsp;&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Frederic Fourre</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> If you are looking for brilliant wines, expressive of place, transparent and dynamic you need look no further but you may have to look quite diligently. Fourre produces decidedly modest amounts of wine from tiny terraces that overlook the Sachsen wine route from the very top of the terraced vineyards of Radebeul. A sommelier first and winemaker second, Frederic, who originally comes from france, brings a sensibility to the cellar that favors delicacy and detail over power, though these wines lack nothing. Truly world class and one of the great discoveries of the year for me.</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Frederic has been making wine here for 12 years on a collection of tiny little &nbsp;terraces that he has cobbled together over the years. each terrace offers a significantly different terroir with their altitude, exposition to the sun, and subtle soil changes, not to mention the crazy diversity of planting which can have a Blauburgunder vine planted next to Muller on the same tiny terrace. Now producing 8000 liters of wine, Frederic hopes to eventually produce 40,000 bottles from four hectares of terraces.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2013 Frederic Fourre Muller &nbsp;Thurgau 11.5%</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> High toned on the nose with hints of mint and lemon verbena framing a core rich with white peach and &nbsp;floral aromas. This shows off some impressively big fruit on entry with just a jot of sweetness helping to add oomph to those flavors. The midpalate firms up a bit as the acidity kicks in and displays gorgeous purity and length to the fruit, which is zesty and frankly fruity with real precision. Hints of herbs emerge on the finish, followed by salty minerals, which blossom in the mouth and show excellent persistence. Really top notch Muller. 92pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Frederic Fourre Riesling</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Intensely aromatic on the nose with huge aromas of slightly &nbsp;jammy golden currants deftly framed by notes of slate, white pepper, tarragon, and quinine. Spicy and sweet though ever so slightly on entry, the palate here is draped with dusty mineral notes laying under small ripe yellow fruits that show fine persistence on the long spicy finish. This is a beautiful wine nuanced, finely focused, with energy and tension in the mouth and great balance between acid and sugar. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2013 Frederic Fourre &nbsp;Grauburgunder</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Three harvests, first was fermented in three year old tonneaux, lowest in acid</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Deep, with slightly earthy aromas on the nose including some old wood notes, and low spicy stemmy tones, and hints of rose petal, just a touch of linden, and some hot rocks.While lighter bodied than the nose suggests, this is quite round in the mouth with a &nbsp;super juicy, supple texture that supports gorgeous fruit on the back end, fine length. This gains a bit of viscosity in the mouth with it&rsquo;s hint of sweetness but the super acids keep this extremely well balanced and lend it sneaky length,. A truly superb example of Pinot Gris, so zesty, subtle and elegant. 93pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 &nbsp;Frederic Fourre &nbsp;Traminer R</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lemon drop and pollen greet the nose along with complicating notes of saffron, fig, and grape leaf. Obviously sweet in the mouth but very well balanced, though this does have a bit of a treacle character in the mouth nicely balanced by a hint of polyphonic bitterness. That sugar lends this nice length in the mouth which shows off perfumes of rose petals and lemon on the palate and through the long finish which picks up hints of ginger and ginseng. Perhaps a little short once you get past the sugar, this is nicely perfumed and fairly complex. 88pts</div><br /> <div><br /> [PAGEBREAK]</div><br /> <div><br /> <strong>Schloss Proschwitz</strong></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Proschwitz is in many ways the 800lb gorilla in the Sachsen wine scene. A historic property, now used as a very successful event space as well as as a cellar, the vineyards of the weingut Schloss Proschwitz cover almost 90 hectares, or about one fifth of the land under vine in Sachsen! Originally the domaine of the Prinz Zur Lippe, and since the fall of the berlin Wall once again under their control, Proschwitz is a symbol of what can be done with determination, time, and of course some money. Today the restored property is just beautiful, and the vineyards once again planted to noble varieties, with a bit of regent, Dunkelfelder, Fruhburgunder, and the local Elbling augmenting the more common varieties. the wines here retain just a hint of what i would consider the classic style of the region. they have a little more weight than Fourre&rsquo;s wines, but are beautiful examples of their type. With six meters of clay loess covering granite bedrock the soils here provide for rather fruity wines and that is what the winery does with a certain elegance and grace. And the view, looming over Meissen as the vineyards do, is simply stupendous.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Schloss Proschwitz Riesling Brut</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Wine produced here then sent to the Pfaltz for secondary fermentation.&nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Mineral and fruity on the nose with a little sweetness on the nose but no liqueury notes. Bright acids balance the moderately sweet nature of this on the palate which is full of &nbsp;lemony fruit carried on a nice creamy, slightly waxy texture with a fine mousse. &nbsp;This is fairly impressive, with lovey pithy fruit flavors, a hint of peach, very lightly leesy floral notes and some spice on the finish. Pretty, but a little simple. 87pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2013 Schloss Proschwitz Goldriesing Trocken 11.5%,&nbsp;</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Virtually crystal clear</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lovely aromatics of white flowers and almond skin greet the nose followed by fruity aromas of &nbsp;very light citrus pith, lime leaf, &nbsp;and green melon. Medium bodied with a light hint of rs well balanced by nice acids in the mouth lending this a bright and very fresh feel with great transparency to the subtle apricot, honeydew and lime flavors on the palate. &nbsp;Nice quartzy mineral notes on the moderately long finish add detail to the lingering hints of white peach and mint. This is very clean and zesty with good length and fine snap on the refreshing finish. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2013 Schloss Proschwitz Elbling Trocken</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Melon, cucumber, mineral, almond and ripe apricot fruit come together on the nose here. in the mouth this starts out as just a little sweet, though great acids quickly kick in and while this has huge richness in the mouth, the acids keep it tense and wonderfully vibrant. The flavors here are subtle, with hints of melon, minerals, and flowers on the palate that pick up a green plum nuance on the long, elegant finish. Really a unique and lovely wine. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Schloss Proschwitz Grauburgunder Spatlese Trocken 13%</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Tight on the nose, with slow to emerge aromas of bitter almonds, minerals, gorgeous hints of vanilla and finally notes of apple. Big acids are obvious on entry followed by a midpalate that shows nice richness and power with fine depth of spice and tart orchard fruit flavors. There&rsquo;s nice hint of polyphenolic bitterness on the &nbsp;moderately long finish that adds attractive detail here though this shows lovely, well knit integration throughout the mouth and picks up hints of wax and white pepper with air. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2012 Schloss Proschwitz Scheurebe</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Passion fruit aromas explode on the nose layered over mineral notes with hints of peach and lime emerging with air. These are gorgeous aromatics so ripe and yet so cool. On entry this is all lime candy in the mouth with nice cut from acids that keep this is firm and vivid in the mouth. Flavors of Asian pear emerge on the midpalate which really marries richness with a clothesline of acid that stretches out the classic inner mouth perfumes on the finish. A wonderful blend of ripeness and tension. 91pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2013 Schloss Proschwitz Riesling</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Lovely on the nose all white fruited, with a hint of sulfur, lemon blossom aromas and very mineral top notes. with big acids on entry, this turns surprisingly rich and ripe on the palate, gaining some creaminess from the RS here. &nbsp;Filled with lemony white fruit, and big tart peachy fruit almost baked fruit, along with hints of &nbsp;apple, this gains some energy on the back palate with the emergence of deep mineral notes. The big acids drive the finish, which shows off flashes of unripe pineapple and more of that assertive minerality, though it does drop off a bit on the finale. 90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Schloss Proschwitz Traminer</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> Floral and a bit meaty on the nose with lot of polleny tones and hints of beeswax and church incense lending this a spicy aromatic profile. Balanced and elegant in the mouth, though fairly sweet, though technically still a troken. There&#39;s a bit of fat here on the palate, this is a big wine, powerful and weighty on the palate, which delivers flavors of honey and apricot along with nuanced cherry pit, candied pumpkin and white pepper accents. gaining some citrussy notions on the moderately long finish, this ends in the mouth on a rather elegant note with a hint of dusty tannin refreshing the mouth. &nbsp;90pts</div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> <a href=""><strong>2011 Schloss Proschwitz Spatburgunder 14%</strong></a></div><br /> <div><br /> &nbsp;</div><br /> <div><br /> A bit smoky on the nose with well judged but obvious wood layered over aromas that recall cherry pie along with hints of stemmy herbs, clay, and forest floor. Nicely ripe in the mouth, though just a bit too oaky on entry, this shows off fine balance between good acids and tannins that support nicely ripe cherry fruit on the palate. Pretty with, detail on the palate and a fine mineral note on the finish, this has good length, and is certainly acid driven through the cherry pit and fire pit laced finish which does show a bit of alcoholic warmth. 89pts</div><br /> </p> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 article5542