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February 28, 2005
This wine is so dense with fruit that the nose, even though young and closed, still manages to reveal a bouquet of overrripe pear and smoky minerals. The sweetness is surprisingly high and matched with some acidity and traces of carbonation. The strength of this wine is in the sheer enormity of its flavors (pear and red apple). Reminiscent of the Beaumalric Muscat de Beaumes Venise or an off-dry chenin blanc. [See comment]
February 25, 2005
05 Me, Sick
Sorry readers, but I am out sick this week. After a strong year and a half of wonderful immunity, I have finally caught a cold. Chapoutier's 1998 La Mordoree will have to wait. This website has debuted strongly, and I thank all of you from across the United States, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Brazil, and many other parts of the world who check in so often. I love hearing from you, so please post your comments -- even if only to say hello.
February 23, 2005
00 Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco
Dark berries and cocoa on the palate complement the nice, floral aromatics. Simple, but structured well enough to keep it interesting, with dry tannins on the tongue in the finish. Very well balanced and comparable to a good Barbera.
February 21, 2005
02 Geantet-Pansiot, Gevrey-Chambertin VV
This is the most explosively fruit-forward red Burgundy I've had yet. It reminds me more of Oregon at first, but has Old World minerality and structure similar to Piedmont in the finish. Perfumey, powdery aromas of flowers, white cake, stones, and shells. Not really ready to drink for another several years -- hell, the wine didn't change at all while open for 3 days -- the young palate is nevertheless full with ripe cherries, raspberries, tart cranberries, and meat fat.
February 18, 2005
99 Fontanabianca, Barbaresco
Still young, but blossoming quickly in the glass to a wine of solid substance -- chewy and plush. Classic bouquet of sweet, perfumey berries and chocolate sauce with clean, nuanced fruit on the palate. A strong showing, but perhaps a bit innocuous.
February 16, 2005
NV Porto Rocha, 10 Years Old Port (2003)
Faded ruby color with flattering tinges of orange. Vibrant, floral aromatics predicate the big grapey fruit, light caramel, and violets on the palate. Clean and elegantly structured for a port.
February 15, 2005
03 L'Ecole No. 41, Walla Voila Chenin Blanc
A summery sweet orange bouquet wafts out of the glass and I know, if nothing else, this is going to be fun. Sparkling enough to compensate for a general lack of acidity, this chenin is saturated with orange, red grapefruit, and lemon popsicles on the tongue. If wine were a woman, this would be her lips.
February 13, 2005
01 Garretson, The Limoid Cior Roussane
The tight, stony nose opens up the next day to a gorgeous bouquet of white flowers, candied mandarin oranges, and lightly smoky acid. The palate comes with the fullness expected of roussane -- the dense white varietal made for pan-fried catfish or sea bass -- but also a clean, floral finish that highlights flavors of citrus and sweet cream.
February 10, 2005
01 Enate, Crianza
Though mostly tempranillo, the 30% cabernet shows here, lending a heavy raspberry and cassis balance with loads of spicy, brambly berries. Brown butter and mushrooms. Clearly Spanish and clearly tempranillo because of its hot fruit, yet also decidedly New World with plush dark fruit, high alcohol in the back of the throat, and hedonistically creamy oak on the finish. Over time in the glass the fruit evolves to strawberries, sweet cherries, and creme fraiche.
February 07, 2005
99 Villa St. Anna, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Raw. Tuscan. Power. Expressively funky like a ripe Priorat. Very earthy and leathery with some mild, muddled cherry fruit. Grippy tannins and looming acid. This is aggressive sangiovese that could go toe-to-toe with brunello any day.
February 03, 2005
03 Sole di Puglia, Rosso
Undertones of extracted pinot noir with dark raspberries and spicy cherry compote. Dense, with a midpalate of caramelized mushrooms. Structured Chianti-like tannins and acid. This is supposed to be a rustic blend of primitivo and nero d'avola, but the cherry's so pure, the wine so soft and welcoming. Yeah, it gets a little steamy on the finish, but the fruit never thins -- pan drippings and strawberry poke through -- and I couldn't care less anyway. Thanks, Italy.
February 02, 2005
01 Domaine Monpertuis, Cepage Counoise
This counoise-based blend from Ramiere in the southern Rhone is a rustic country wine with tons of street cred. Refusing to hide behind anything from oak to even a smidgen of more traditional varietals, this Monpertuis (by Paul Jeune) is a puttanesca sauce blended with plums and passed through a juicer. Salty green olives dominate the palate along with wet, earthwormy soil and a Priorat-like nose of spring mornings at the farm. Smoky, Aztec chocolate. If any one part of this wine were on its own, it would be completely undrinkable. The whole, however, is a treasure of balance (and bravery) that could just as easily have ended up in the cab of some tractor north of the Mediterranean as it has in my glass.
© 2005-2011 Nilay Gandhi