Thursday, December 30, 2010

Domaine de Millet 2009

This Gascon white, a vin de pays from the foothills of the Pyrenees, is a blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc. A young wine, it nevertheless drinks very smoothly with elements of peach and a citrus finish. $7.49.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas wines

We had osso bucco for our Xmas dinner, sothe wines had to be Italian. For our aperitif we opted for a bubbly, a bottle of Villa Santi Prosecco de Valdobbiadene from The Veneto. I was a bit leery of it because the Spumantis are often just sweet but I need not have been. This is a nice, fruity but not overly sweet quaff. If you're one of those folks who are put off by the assault on the taste buds that a French brut provides this might be you thing. $13.49.

To go with the veal we chose a Tuscan white, a Pietrafitta Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2009. This is a fullbodied wine with some depth to it, exhibiting pear and spices. It brought out the full flavor of this complex dish. $12.99.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Redcliffe Sauvignon Blanc 2008

This white from New Zealand's Marlborough Valley has melon and grapefruit elements, the merest hint of the freshly mown grass typical of the variety and is fruiter than most wines of its type. Not particularly complex but very drinkable. $7.99.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Volteo Tempranillo/Shiraz 2008

This wine, previously reviewed here, is now on sale at $6.99 By all means get some at this price.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Black Tower Pinot Grigio

I was intrigued by the notion of what a German Pinot Grigio might be like. I should have realized that this is an oxymoron. This wine is vile, tasting of overripe pear along with something unidentifiable but distinctly unpleasant. It is $5.99 down the drain, literally.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tres Ojos Granacha 2008

We both liked this Spanish red from Calatayud. It comes across as a somewhat reticent but very even mix of raspberry and soft tannins with a slightly smoky touch in the finish. Unfortunately overpriced at $9.99, available for two dollars less in neighboring states.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Graffigna Pinot Grigia Reserve 2009

This Argentine white differs considerably from the European standard. It's smoother, with notes of peach and a citrus finish, on the whole, very pleasant. $9.99.

Periquita Moscato 2009

This Portuguese white is made from the muscatel grape (of evil memory in this country where it's associated with the cheapest plonk) but, while the nose is floral the palate is not in the least sweet. What you get is a young, dry wine with citrus and grassy elements. $7.99.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bolla Pinot Grigio 2009

This mass produced white from one of Italy's largest combines does come from the Veneto but lacks the most salient characteristics of the variety. It's a fairly pleasant, light wine with touches of peach and citrus and entirely unmemorable. At $10.99 fcr the 1.5 liter bottle it's reasonably cheap though.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Herding Cats Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay 2009

This South African white is 80% Chenin Blanc, 20% Chardonnay. It's fresh, mild, the citrus elements of the former nicely balanced by the peach of the latter; the proportions are such that the wine stops well short of being sweet. Not outstanding but eminently drinkable, and the price, $7.99 for the 1.5 liter bottle, makes it the clear choice for serving at large holiday season gatherings.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sella & Mosca La Cala Vermentino 2008

This white from Sardigna is apparently highly esteemed by the smart set that vacations there. It's a light drink, with a relatively low alcohol content, has a distinct floral element along with apple flavors, and a very slight salinity that makes it a good match for seafood. It went nicely with our steamed clams. For reasons best known to the PLCB it.s on offer here for both $11.99 (luxury) and $8.99 (chairman's selection). After much introspection I chose the latter.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Castle Rock Pinot Gris 2008

Don't expect anything like the Italian varietal. The edge and the flintiness are completely absent, replaced by a rather soft green apple element, balanced by vanilla. To me, it tastes almost like a Chardonnay. Castle Rock is not a winery, but an entrepreneurial combine that buys up grapes all over California's Monterey County and has the wine made for them, so I would expect considerable variations in quality. Nicely priced at $6.99.