MARCH 10 TASTINGS
Cercle Rive Droite 2010 VINTAGE PREVIEW TASTING
My favorite presenting "rive droit" winery was Chateau Le Prieure located on the border of St. Emilion and
Pomerol: 80% Merlot 20% Cabernet-Franc.
These Grand Cru Classé wines were very pleasant with finesse. The 2007 ($50) should be ready
for prime time in two to three years, while their
2010 ($70), already quite drinkable, should develop wonderfully until maturity
in 2117. All, including their 2008, offer more red fruity flavoring now
with a wonderful interplay between minerality and floralness. They are
also certified in sustainable agriculture – “Our philosophy: Believe in
the earth, respect its future… Pleasure to drink young and will also age well -
15-30 years or more.” D’accord.
One biodynamic (BD)
wine, Clos Puy Arnaud from Cotes de Bordeaux, powerfully expressed terroir with
a slight barnyard nose and taste of “dirt”. While I appreciate the naturalness
of BD wines, I also desire finesse along with nature. However, I believe
over time, this will happen here.
The Alto Adige region is
one of the oldest winemaking regions in Europe.
Picture beautiful storybook vineyard areas against a backdrop of
snow-covered mountains. As has been my practice recently, I decided to explore
just 2 of the top 20 grapes planted here, out of more of the 200 (700?) Italian
grape varieties. I chose Gewurtztraminer for white and the Lagrein for
its name from the village of Tramin located in the northeastern Alto region, the
German-speaking area in Northern Italy.
Sadly, I was disappointed. They did not hold a candle to the far superior
Alsace Gewurtz. As for the Lagrein - I would drink it locally, but would
not buy it in New York.
In other words, there are often good reasons why minor grapes are minor!
Two best presenting wineries were Cantina Bolzano and Franz
Haas. Next year I plan to stick to reds and taste the native Schiava and my
love, Pinot Noir, here called Pinot Nero.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 SIPS
Three tastings in a day leaves me rather critical and fussy (or
fuzzy?) Here we tasted the every day wines of Opici. One exception,
and perhaps the best single wine, was Cesari Bosan Amorone della Valpolicella
DOC 2003 ($100) but my tasting notes asked “but is it worth it?"
Upon sober reflection, I think not. Most memorable surprisingly was the
Villa Rosa Moscato d’Astri DOCG ($12). Here was stand out soda pop! If
you want to convert someone from drinking soda to wine, this may be THE
transition party drink to recommend. Personally I don’t know any kids who
have yet to make the move. However, if you do, this is a fresh and very
refreshing picnic wine for anyone with a sweet tooth. Speaking of sweet,
their Cocoa di Vine Chocolate + Wine ($10) could give Bailey and Godiva a
challenging run for the money as a wine for Chocoholics.
EXPLORING WINE (Revised Third Edition) Culinary Institute of America
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