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June 28, 2005
Far dryer than most any 2003 German kabinett, this Oregon riesling is caustically young. Its mentholly mineral and ginger aroma whistles from the surface like a squealing balloon. The flavors are tart and lemony with some fuller pear, smoky lime leaves, quinine, and green grapes in the finish. It's a wine that demands much more time in the bottle--as any good Alsatian would be aged--for the fruit to reveal itself and for the texture to evolve.
June 26, 2005
02 Wine & Soul, Douro "Pintas"
Holy lavendar. The aromas wafting from the glass are angelic, even for Portugal. Behind the floral, honeyed bouquet is a handful of fresh black pepper, blackberries, and a dusty meatiness akin to old prosciutto. Unfortunately, the acid and tannins are so austere at this point that little is revealed in the flavor beyond brown buttery oak, mocha, and hints of rare peppered filet. The broadness of this wine, however, and the passively increasing intensity of its finish suggest great things to come.
02 Sineann, Cabernet Sauvignon Block One
With a smell of bubbly wild blueberry jam (topped on butter cookies and fresh out of the oven), the resounding fruit in this wine screams Sineann. But there's great nuance here that I have yet to see in any other high-alcohol Sineann cabernet. The palate is suave--intense, yes, but calming in the finish. What is just fruit becomes fruit butter that haunts me with its hedonism. On comes the chocolate and hazelnuts. For the winery, this is pretty elegant, but beware the zinfandel-like heat. (This wine was opened a day before tasting.)
June 18, 2005
99 Latour-Giraud, Bourgogne Blanc
Fresh flavors of green apple. Nutty with a very clean, toasty finish of lime and beurre blanc. This basic Latour-Giraud shows a good sense of place and great balance. I feel like I'm in Paris.
June 14, 2005
NV Krug, Rose
This is a surprisingly delicate wine that showcases the intensely floral fruit of great rose, but also its immaculate structure. Dry with an austere aroma, and flavors of spring flowers, rich confectionary red berries, lemon sorbet, and a moderately long finish of tangerines. A perfect stream of tiny bubbles and the elegant pale pink color bias my opinion.
June 10, 2005
04 Hamilton Russell Vineyards, Walker Bay Chardonnay
The aroma of this chardonnay is eye-opening and rich of flaky biscuits and freshly shelled walnuts. Kistler comes to mind. The palate is very minerally while maintaining a smooth oily texture that delivers flavors of golden apples, warm milk, roasted walnuts, and drawn butter.
June 09, 2005
02 Cloudline Cellars, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
If I could stop time for something, I would stop time for this wine. It's fully mature already, and not in that cheap 100%-stainless-steel way. It drinks like great pinot drinks after everything's come together. Despite its "entry level" status, it stands with Oregon's better 2002s. The knockout peppered lamb aroma is like California syrah. The silky, yet aggressive texture, and eternal finish are rarely seen outside of 1er cru Burgundy. The fruit is pure dark cherry backed with dark chocolate, summer truffles, cinnamon, and tarry Bordelais soil--the wine's most impressive quality. This is why people love pinot. This is why people love.
June 06, 2005
82 Chateau Gruaud-Larose, St. Julien
Meaty and masculine with little interesting fruit, but raw vaporous leather on the nose and palate that could make even Ted Nugent shy. The wine's murky red-orange color foreshadows the swampy, grilled steak flavors. It finishes long with mint and a little raspberry and black currant, though not much minerality. Still tannic and youthful.
June 05, 2005
99 Calheiros Cruz, Douro Tinta Roriz
This is a single varietal wine that tastes like a blend of several. The nose is young, Washington cabernet--exotically floral, steamy, and leathery. Bright plummy fruit and stiff, but melting tannins saturate the tongue. Spicy syrah-like notes of black pepper, cumin, and fennel notes climax into a chocolate peppermint patty finish.
June 04, 2005
99 Cennatoio, Arcibaldo IGT Toscana
The flavors feel like they should clash, but I am learning something with this wine. It is a "super Tuscan," the clever marketing-speak for IGT--Italy's second weakest classification of wine. Purists and terroiristes should not be afraid, though; this wine is nothing if not a clear expresssion of Tuscany. The sauvage sangiovese-driven nose is piercingly classic. First sniffed blind, this was obviously burly sangiovese or brunello. One sip sticks you deep in the heart of cabernet, however, which makes up 50% of this wine. The dark berry flavors are jousted by ample notes of raw, bitter chocolate and roasted plums. That must be the "super" part.
© 2005-2011 Nilay Gandhi