Monday, December 31, 2012
This red blend from the French slopes of the Pyrennees is a pleasant mix of blackberry and black currant flavors, with a hint of acidity in the finish. It wants to breathe for at least an hour and you might try drinking it slightly chilled $9.99.
I decided to take a flyer on this white Italian aperitif wine,made in the Marches from the Passerina grape, because of the incredibly low price, roughly a third of what it goes for elsewhere in the U.S. Well, there's usually a reason for this kind of slashed price, and there certainly was here. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle, but instead of a full fruity taste with a slightly sugary residue which it's supposed to display, what I tasted was something like cheap, sugary plonk with a generous admixture of Greek Retsina. Not worth the money even at $5.99.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Priorat has become one of the prime wine regions of Spain in the last ten years or so. This Catalan red is being remaidered because of its age, but is still in its prime. A truly distinguished wine, with a nicely restrained blend of plum and blackberry flavors, along with soft tannins and a hint of licorice at the long finish. An oustanding bargain at $9.99.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Throughout most od the 20th century the French slopes of the Pyrennees were producing plonk for the mass markets. It was only some twenty years ago that some serious wine growers, Michael Charpentier foremost among them, decided that this was a region in which really good wines could be grown. This Syrah/Grenache/Carignan blend is an outstanding example of their efforts. What we have here is a lovely wine, with dark cherry and blackberry flavors and a nicely muted spicy finish. Moreover, an outstanding bargain at $8.99. For once, The PSLCB has hit a home run.
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
The legend is that a twelfth century bishop, traveling to Rome for a pope's coronation, had his servant ride ahead of him to try out the wines at various inns. When he encountered a good one he was told to chalk est! (thats it!) above the door. When he came to this inn in Lazio, N.W, of Rome, the white there impressed him so much that he marked the door with "est!est!est!" Be that as it may, this is a very pleasing bottle, with melon and peach tastes. While we may have come a long way from twelfth century standards, this remains a nice wine. $8.99.
Monday, December 24, 2012
We tried seven different wines during our week in Spain. I am not giving prices for the ones we drank in restaurants, as markups vary greatly. I'm converting the euro price for those we got in supermarkets. None of these wines, once again, are available in PA. I do give the average U.S. price for them for those of you not subject to the authority of our PSLCB. (Are all campaign promises just so much hot air?) We also drank a number of wines on our return voyage by sea, but most of them were ones previously reviewed here, and anyway, getting something for free tends to skew one's critical judgment. 1) Fernandez de Pierola Blanco 2011. This white Rioja is heavily oaked and has a very pronounced taste of citrus and ginger. U.S. ca. $13.50. 2) Vincent Gandie El Miracle 2010. This red from the Valencia region, a Tempranillo/Shiraz blend, is full bodied and tastes rather like a Cabernet Sauvignon. U.S. ca. $8.00. 3) Melquior Crianza 2008. This red from Alava in the Basque country, is a 100% Tempranillo. It's on the light side. U.S. ca. $10.50. 4) Fra Guerau Montsant 2007. Fra Guerau was a 12th century Cistercian monk who allegedly cured Queen Sancha of a fatal disease. This Catalan red blend from Tarragona tastes very much like the wines of the neighboring Priorat region. Elememts of blueberry and spice. U.S. ca $12.00. 5)Fill del Temps Crianza 2009. This Grenache/Carrignan red blend from the Terra Alta region near Tarragona is smooth, medium oaked and slightly spicy. U.S. ca. $9.00. 6) Senorio de Nava Crianza 2006. This red Ribera del Duero has a deep plum taste, shading, by no means unpleasantly, into prune. $10.00; U.S. ca. $15. 7) Mayor de Castilla Reserva 2007. This Ribera del Duero red was, although still perfectly good, being remaindered at our favorite El Corte Ingles. It is a noble wine, dry and austere. $5.00 (!) I was unable to locate it in the U.S.