Wine Talk

Snooth User: napagirl68

Help me think outside California...

Posted by napagirl68, Jan 13, 2010.

I have been spoiled, living in the throes of one of the world's famous wine countries. It seems, I have become a California glutton of sorts... Don't get me wrong, I HAVE tasted wonderful wines out of the area, but that has been an infrequent experience at best.

I want to venture out.. out of the sun, the redwoods, the pacific,.... uuhh.. do I really want to venture??? Yes! I do! So help me with some of your suggestions. I am particularly interested in the following:

I love a FEW California cab francs. Would love recommendations for French Loire Cab Francs... I tend to love earth and tobacco, not so fruity.

If someone can recommend ANY Aussie wine that I REALLY like, I will paypal you $50!! Not to insult anyone, but I have disliked every aussie wine I've tasted??? And my BFF is Aussie! Not good relations!

Pinot Noir... interesting grape. I am partial to Willamette Oregon Pinots, as well as Carmel Valley, Ca pinots. Tend to have big barnyard nose, and yes the fruit, but also an earthy, almost briney finish. Not a fan of Napa Pinots for some reason.

Love a good Burgundian chard, so any recommendations are great. Tend toward a creaminess with balance...

LOVE Sangiovese (peppery), Barbera (smokey), and Tempranillo (spicy currants).. I would love to hear non-California recommendations on these.

And finally the French Bordeaux.... any recommendations appreciated.

Thanks! Whatever is recommended, I will try to procure, and then post a review.

1 2 3 next

Replies

20
6649
Reply by dmcker, Jan 13, 2010.

Napagirl, there's a big world out there. Are you only talking overseas, or are you also interested in more Oregon and some Washington?

Areas I have a thing for these days are the Columbia River Valley in Washington, parts of the Willamette in Oregon, Oz (south including Barossa, Coonawara and Yarra, east including Hunter, and west esp. Margaret River), France (Bordeaux, the Loire, the Rhone, the Southwest, Burgundy from south to north, Champagne, Alsace and even Jura), Italy (Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto and a couple of areas down south), Germany (Mosel-Saar-Ruher and Rhein), Spain (esp. Rioja, Priorat, Ribera del Duero, and the southwest from Jerez to Montilla Moriles), and bits and pieces of Portugal, Austria, Hungary and Greece. New Zealand, Chile and Argentina have proven mixed in my experience but I'm still hunting for more of the good, because there is a growing amount there. Lots to talk about in those locations and elsewhere, and there are several people with good knowledge on these boards.

Any finer point to your priorities, since there's so much to address? And besides the red varietals you mention have you found any pleasure in syrah, grenache and nebiollo? In whites how about sauvignon blanc, semillon, riesling or any others?

Finally, and closer to home, I personally think you're wasting your time looking for pinot noir in Napa. The Russian River and especially 'the True' Sonoma Coast in that neighboring county, and Santa Barbara have given me much greater pleasure. Chalone in Monterey used to be good but hasn't kept up the standard in recent years. You've mentioned Oregon. Lots of good labels that can be talked about in those areas....

149
45
Reply by Lindy Hemsley, Jan 13, 2010.

Quickly off the top of my head (I could go on forever here): For Loire, try St Nicolas de Bourgeuil (Mabileau Racines).
Bordeaux 4th and 5th growths and Crus Bourgeois can give you a hint of premier cru character at a fraction of the price: try de Pez, Les Ormes de Pez, du Tertre, Duhart Milon, Batailley. Look for 2nd labels of fine wineries (Diane de Belgrave and Amiral de Beychevelle are good). Also Fronsac/Canon Fronsac are good value (try Roche du Gaby, la Dauphine). Also Haut Medoc (Chateau Beaumont).
Re Australia, I hear you. I am a very bad patriot for the wines of my home country and have consistently slated Barossa and Hunter Valleys in the past (though I concede more refinement recently). Try cooler-climate Victoria and Tasmania (particularly good though hard to find). For Italian varietals try Coriole in Sth Australia and Gary Crittenden in Victoria.
For white Burgundy, Rully is your style and good value (try Joseph Drouhin). Louis Latour is consistent. Also try his Grand Ardeche chardonnay (not Burgundy but your style). I won't even start on red burgundy for now, LOL.
Happy exploring (my mouth is watering at the prospect).

149
45
Reply by Lindy Hemsley, Jan 13, 2010.

Can't believe I forgot to say Meursault for white burgundy. Very much your style.

5
1386
Reply by amour, Jan 13, 2010.

WELCOME napagirl68 !
We will all influence you positively!

As for me...I live for FRENCH GASTRONOMY.
But...being open-minded, I venture far and wide.

STRAIGHT TO FRANCE.
IT IS WINTER DRINKING FOR ME AT THIS TIME.
Thus...a chance to appropriately dive into an ocean of PINOT NOIR...yesss...
Welcome to the notion of TERROIR.
It is clearly the purity of flavour that is most striking in great red wines of BURGUNDY.
The complex nuances presented are the result of history....changes in soil
composition, limestone and clay over 135 million years!

THE PRICES ARE HIGH.
YOU WILL BE EQUALLY REWARDED.
TRY......TOLLOT-BEAUT (CHORLEY-LES-BEAUNE) BEAUNE CLOS du ROI $60.
(I DRANK 2003)...elegance unsurpassed. spicy....yet so supple.

LOUIS JADOT CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY

PIERRE AMIOT MOREY-ST.-DENIS LES MILLANDES
( SOFT FRESH HARMONIOUS!) may have to order on line...I BUY IN FRANCE AND ENGLAND.
CHEERS! WILL GIVE YOU MORE LATER !
BIT BY BIT IS BETTER....DO NOT BECOME OVERWHEMED !
By the way, my friend LINDY gave you good ideas!

152
1908
Reply by napagirl68, Jan 13, 2010.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! Love these suggestions! I am putting them into a spreadsheet wherein I will also list sources to find these wines, and my own tasting notes. I am looking forward to trying as many as I can!!

20
6649
Reply by dmcker, Jan 13, 2010.

Before I start unloading (and still would love to hear answers to my questions above), another question is what are your budgetary parameters?

9
208
Reply by chadrich, Jan 13, 2010.

I can't come to Australia's defense quite as stridently as I once would have. But I think there are a few selections with redeeming attributes. Try some or all of the following (and let me know when you need my Paypal routing info-ha!):

Two Hands (specifically Lily's Garden Shiraz)
Lengs & Cooter Shiraz (odd name, good wine)
Parson's Flat Shiraz blend
Clarendon Hills Baker's Gully Shiraz

5
1386
Reply by amour, Jan 13, 2010.

napgirl68 said..."MY OWN TASTING NOTES"....FANTASTIC!

There is much hope for you my dear wine-lover !

MAKE THOSE NOTES AND SHARE WITH US !

149
45
Reply by Lindy Hemsley, Jan 13, 2010.

But be gentle if you hate our suggestions :)

28
129
Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Jan 13, 2010.

I am very suspicious of the wine "industry" in Australia. I have tried a few times and see no reason to go any further with it. I used to always say, dollar for dollar, you are always better off with a French wine than a California wine. I don't know it that is still true, but since better USA wines today seem to be fantastically overpriced, I think it is still true.

For good value Pinot Noir with Burgundy pick up simple straight "Burgogne" (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée ) for any year that was a great year for Burgundy Reds. The reason being that the production volume is limited at the higher levels, so all that good grape juice gets dumped into the standard AOC version. I have had good success with this formula (2005, 2002, 1999 are said to be in this category).

I think Lindy's suggestions for the getting started with Bordeaux are excellent and I have had the Latour Ardeche and love it for price/quality relationship.

For the Loire try Chinon, my father in law just loved it, me a little less.

My most experience with Burgundy Chards is Chassagne-Montrachet and I tell people it is one of my favorite white wines. I suggest to try it with Lobster, which you would normally expect should be eaten with a drier wine, but I like it together. (don't use salty clarified butter with the Lobster, it will just ruin everything and fill you up, do something French).

5
1386
Reply by amour, Jan 13, 2010.

BURGUNDY 2009 was great...so look out!

5
1386
Reply by amour, Jan 13, 2010.

PLEASE EVERYONE START SPENDING SOME MONEY ON BURGUNDY GRAND CRU,
and how amazed you will be....you will not tolerate some other things called WINE !!!!

COTE d'OR my friend...BEAUNE, my friend.
The village of MOREY-ST-DENIS
BONNES MARRES, CLOS de LA ROCHE and on and on ......CHAMBERTIN.

THE DELICACY AND STRUCTURE AT THE SAME TIME IS WHAT TRUE ROMANTIC
BURGUNDY IS ALL ABOUT.

FROM THE BIG WINE OF THE MOMENT to the LITTLE LOVE NOTES UNDER THE PILLOW.....they are all there for you all to savour!


28
129
Reply by dirkwdeyoung, Jan 13, 2010.

Amour definitely understands the euphoria potential of these great wines, but it is only amplified if you have the good fortune to enjoy them at a French restaurant in the context of a menu degustation. Wine matched by the chef according to their selection of the best wines to accompany the food. If visiting France, it is worth seeking this out. Even try to put one on for your friends at home and do your best. We try to do this every year for Christmas dinner with more or less success. A good tip, for Coq au Vin, always serve the same wine that you used for the sauce, yes it is worth it.

5
1386
Reply by amour, Jan 13, 2010.

Well said!

You will be surprised how well I can create FRENCH STYLE when I am not in PARIS or FRANCE.....ha !!! ha!!!

You are correct in what you say......but trust me...I am in MIAMI at this very moment and
even in a bad economy my WHOLEFOODS at AVENTURA has a number of DECENT AUTHENTIC FRENCH CHEESES.

In any event, I loyally buy fantastic AMERICAN WISCONSIN CHEESE...the muenster is lovely and the curds are the best!

I DRANK MY SILEX FROM THE VALLEY LOIRE WITH A LOVELY GOATS CHEESE BOUGHT AT THE EPICURE SHOP ON COLLINS AVENUE, MIAMI

Previously, I attended a couple of functions at the University of MIAMI Law School
where they served delicate canapes and appetisers with some famous donated FRENCH WINES.
I prepare FRENCH ESCOFFIER RECIPES IN NEW YORK and all over the world...many people do.......LIKE JULIA CHILD DID.....and along with a bottle of well-travelled FRENCH WINE...YOU WILL SEE STARS.

I EVEN ENJOYED AMERICAN KENDALL -JACKSON WITH FRENCH FARE IN MY OWN VILLA HERE IN MIAMI !
IMAGINATION CIRCLES THE WORLD...MY FRIENDS!...By the way, one of my poems starts out that way!

Thanks dirkwdeyoung! THREE CHEERS.......I AM HAVING A HOME MADE SALMON CANAPE with POUILLY FUME LADOUCETTE FROM THE LOIRE VALLEY!

5
1386
Reply by amour, Jan 13, 2010.

dmcker mentioned VENETO , ITALY.....ah! aaahhhhhhhhh!
I HAVE THIS ONLY TO SAY....I LITERALLY DO NOT LIKE ANYTHING FROM AROUND THERE....and this is an independent judgment.

Sometime after coming quickly to that conclusion I READ MW HUGH JOHNSON IN AN ARTICLE...HE SPOKE OF HOW VERY DULL THE WINES AROUND VENETO WERE!!

Let us hope that they have changed!!!

20
6649
Reply by dmcker, Jan 13, 2010.

Well one wonders what you have tried, Amour. Perhaps not enough in recent years? The Veneto doesn't have the big reds that the Piedmont and Tuscany have, but plenty of wine is produced there, both traditional and modern, and I'm sure the students of Conegliano or all the people who attend Vinitaly there might have something to say, including some surprises for you, if they were to see your post. Have you never had a Prosecco worth drinking, or even a decent lowly Soave? I'll be happy to go to the mat with you on what the best chardonnays are from Beaune or Chablis, or certain parts of the Loire, but there's plenty of joy to be had from other white varietals and regions.

I've drunk with Hugh Johnson a couple of times and have great respect for his knowledge and perceptions. In the lat '70s and early '80s I gained a lot of knowledge from him, whether through those personal encounters or his publications. I wonder when he made the statement that you relate? I doubt this decade, for the modernization I refer to above has gone on pretty intensely for a couple of decades now....


Napagirl, I was hoping to hear something further from you to help refine your search. When you open up the whole world like this, expect some pretty haphazard scattershots... ;-)

20
6649
Reply by dmcker, Jan 13, 2010.

Reading back I see it may seem I was talking about chardonnays in the Loire. Was meaning to refer to sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc there.

Philip and Mark, please add an edit function for us, for after we post but before others respond, at least....

20
6649
Reply by dmcker, Jan 13, 2010.

I also wasn't meaning to ignore the Veneto reds, whether valpolicellas, bardolinos or amarones. In decades past I did run across plenty of insipid valpolicellas, and because amarones are aged for several years poor oenological techniques in the past often let faults develop in too many bottles when the winemaker wasn't fastidious enough. Although there's still lots of cheaper wine for quick quaffing even now, there are also plenty of good examples of those reds these days, as well as some interesting experiments with cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir in the area. Amarones are particularly easy to approach from American sensibilities because of their big fruit and general size, though personally I prefer wines with more acid than many of them display....

20
6649
Reply by dmcker, Jan 13, 2010.

Personally, I'm still exploring the Veneto region. In years past I often just had a soave or pinot grigio with my seafood antipasti, pasta or fish courses, and an occasional prosecco (quickly turned to cocktails when I encountered a bad one), but recently I've been trying to learn more about the wines there (in amongst so many other areas, of course). I still haven't drunk anywhere near enough from the area, but have found the amarones from Masi and Tedeschi to be interesting, particularly their single-vineyard offerings. Try their super-Venetians, too, when you have a chance.

The Tedeschi wines, particularly, have stunned me on occasion, and have better acidity than many other makers. I was blindsided once by a Tedeschi Amarone Capitel Monte Olmi from 1998 and can still remember it and its deep color and flirtatiously exotic aromas. Ripe wildberries from my grandmother's bushes, beets, chocolate and the pickling spices my dad used to use for his bread-and-butter pickles. Tannins were ripe with matching acidity and the texture was velvet. It wasn't my bottle, but a friend's who had chased it down after seeing a good review somewhere. I hadn't known anything about it at the time, but thanked that friend and later did try to chase several down....

As has been mentioned in other threads, it's definitely more efficient to focus on a particular area until you've accumulated a critical mass of knowledge and experience, or at least enough to shift major focus to a new area while continuing to follow up on past areas you've learned about... ;-)

20
6649
Reply by dmcker, Jan 13, 2010.

Heading way south and east from Italy, if you want to give some decent Australian wines a shot we can talk about several varietals there. Starting with chardonnay (since you haven't answered on syrah/shiraz, yet), you really should give Leeuwin Estate from the Margaret River area in western Australia a try. They are a good winery and make presentable wines from a number of varietals, but I particularly like their chards. Hopefully they'll be a pleasant surprise for you:
http://www.snooth.com/wines/leeuwin...
http://www.leeuwinestate.com.au/

And here's a recent thread where several issues affecting the wines from Oz these days are discussed:
http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/wh...

1 2 3 next



Continue to the end of the thread to reply
Back to Categories

Top Contributors This Month

125836 Snooth User: dmcker
125836dmcker
70 posts
324443 Snooth User: outthere
324443outthere
50 posts
1498622 Snooth User: Really Big Al
1498622Really Big Al
36 posts

Categories

View All




Snooth Media Network