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Saturday, August 28, 2010

2009 Meinklang Pinot Noir Rosa

This is a rose with a bit of effervescence. It ran me about $14 at Whole Foods - it s a biodynamic wine, organic, the label talks about cows near the vines...

Watermelon rind and cherry pits on the nose.

It's strange, when you pour a glass there's a good amount of fizz, but it fades quickly leaving not visible bubbles but an interesting foamy moutfeel. Medium body, a dry sort of watermelon thing, a bit of artificial strawberry, even a bit of red apple in a jelly bean sorta way. It's a tad thick, fruity, but not (or only very slightly) sweet.

More of that red apple jelly bean thing on the finish.

Tasty. Decently priced. Theoretically good for the planet. You can do worse.

Score: 85

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2009 Old Shore Vineyard Turkey Nest Pinot Gris

A Michigan Pinot Gris made by Cornel from Two Lads - on paper it seems almost unfair to the competition. This bottle goes for sixteen bucks and can be bought at the winery's website - they don't have a tasting room, but you can apparently make an appointment and pick up orders and check out the grounds.

Pear and a bit of spice on the nose, no individual spice in particular, more like a spiced peach pie filling. I also get what I can only compare to grappa on the nose - something a bit heavy, a bit grapey, but in a refined way.

A very nice balance, a solid acidic zing with just the slightest touch of sugar, or maybe the fruit is just fooling my palate - the thing that I think Michigan Pinot Gris so good is the acid, I think many PG's show better than Rieslings quite frankly, and this pretty much demonstrates why. Pear, green apple, vanilla, orange blossom,

The finish, and quite frankly part of the palate, reminds me a bit of Gewurz - spicy and floral - orange blossom is somewhat more pronounced with more spiced fruit pie filling, less peach, more pear...or even quince? I just had a quince the other day. I felt quite pretentious - which is saying a lot for a guy with a wine blog.

I digress. The fine folks over at Michigan by the Bottle did a video review of this bottle and dug it. I do too. Shannon mentions this is a bit less fruity than the Two Lads Pinot Grigio, not a bad thing, just a difference perhaps in the Gris/Grigio labelling, and while I think in terms of my palate I give the 2L an edge, it's close enough that I'll give this a points tie at 90. Well played.

Score: 90

Monday, August 23, 2010

2009 Woot Cellars Albino Rhino

This is a blend of 88% AlbariƱo and 12% Riesling. Woot Cellars typically go for $65 with shipping per half case. Sometimes they offer smaller lots, but for a few dollars more per bottle.

Pear, golden apple, almost Pinot Grigio like on the nose.

More of that golden apple, more pear, a bit of vanilla - kind of Pinot Grigioy in the palate too. A touch of sugar and acidic enough to be just ever a few tiny millimeters away from being balanced.

As with many Woot Cellars offerings I had to buy six bottles. While I am quite content having five more bottles and will cheerfully spread them out over the summer, if and when they come back up I don't see buying any more.

Score: 86+

Saturday, August 21, 2010

N/V Kirkland Sonoma Sparkling Wine

Oh Costco....every so often I debate cancelling my membership but I'll be damned if it ain't worth it. This bottle goes for $11 and is part of the Costco house brand Kirkland.

Very nice nose, pink lady apples for the most part. The wine seems to have a pinkish hue so my guess is this has a reasonable amount of Pinot Noir.

More of a red apple quality on the palate, fruity, perhaps a touch sweet, or it may be just a tad short of acid. Perhaps a bit of raspberry, and some of that funky white cherry Slurpee thing, but it's mostly apple here with a bit of pie crust. Quite nice.

A bit of spice, almost a hint of cinnamon comes through on the finish, more pie crust, with almost a cherry aspect.

For $11, I'm going to give this one a hearty recommendation.

Score: 88

Monday, August 16, 2010

N/V L Mawby Talismon

This thirty dollar sparkler came in our wine club shipment. We had it at the tasting room but it didn't leave much of an impression. Will it now?

Caraway on the nose with something vaguely savory Asian, ginger maybe.

Here's an interesting thing to know about sparklers. Cheap, crappy ones are often quite good served ice cold and consumed within 20 minutes of opening - I mean, pop open a bottle of ice cold Cook's and it's probably pretty drinkable. Good quality ones are often fairly mediocre until they warm up a bit and get a bit of air. I was at a loss, but this came into its own. Some citrus notes along with pear, a slight bit of toast, lots of crisp acid, a bit of caramel - all while being quite dry. Very nice.

Ripe red apple, rye toast, and something of a citron quality linger on the finish.

Pop it cold, let it sit for an hour, and dig in. All that being said, for thirty bucks I'm more inclined to snag a couple other bottles from this producer, but then again, I'm cheap. If presented to me as a gift, I would cheerfully imbibe.

Score: 87

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2005 Mary Michelle Vidal Ice Wine

This is fifteen bucks for a half bottle, which makes it one of the cheapest ice wines I've even encountered. Mary Michelle is tied to Illinois Cellars which is located in southwest Illinois.

A little caramel and a bit of an odd turpentine quality on the nose.

Golden raisin, vanilla, butter, pear, honey, caramel - nice and complex but a bit hot. 14.2% alcohol in an ice wine? Odd.

More caramel on the finish.

A bit different than what I'd expect from an ice wine - bigger, bolder, hotter - so be advised. I'd say it may be worth a look, but it's definitely the sort of dessert wine you want to drink with food - poundcake or a nice cobbler, maybe?

Score: 86

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

2008 Wurtz Riesling

I got this at Whole Foods - the pricetag said $32 but it was on sale for $22. After a bit of research, $32 would be too much to pay, but $22 is a fairly solid price. Three liters, meaning four bottles, of a German Riesling.

This reminds me of a tasting I went to a few years back - it was just Fran, myself, and another older, snootier looking couple at the table. They tried some wine that they liked and grabbed the last bottle off the table - apparently wanting more, they asked the guy pouring if he had any more. He replied: "Not in bottles, but check this out" and whipped out a box of the stuff. I don't recall what the wine was sadly, but the box was around forty bucks (compared to $17 or so for the bottle). The woman of the couple was so appalled that the wine was sold in a box, she actually put the bottle back on the table and said "well I won't be buying any wine sold like that." Crazy.

Lime and even a bit of that much desired petrol thing on the nose.

Shockingly dry - I mean, this is, in no uncertain terms, a dry Riesling. Lime, slate, white grapefruit, not the most complex of wines, but still a nice, crisp wine for a hot summer night.

Lime and white grapefruit on the finish fade fairly quickly.

Considering this works out to just over five bucks a bottle, I have no complaints. If you think of Rieslings (for better or worse) as light sweet wines, this may surprise you - it's a legitimate dry Riesling and well worth a shot. If I were having a cookout with brats and such, I wouldn't hesitate snagging another box.

Score: 85