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February 15, 2009

NV Toro Loco, La Tierra de Cordoba Blanco Joven White Wine

There are cooking wines better than this. It's unpalatably pungent, with the nutty oxidation and thin acidity that you'd most closely identify with fino sherry. Great there, gagging here. Clearly marketed as a superyoung-drink-right-now wine (though the lack of vintaging makes me question how committed Toro Loco actually is to making sure I don't grab a wine too old--can't I at least have a freshness date?), it's clear that this bottle is already too old. And, were there vintages, I could at least say to make sure you grab the 07 or 08. But without them, all I can say is that it's a crapshoot. I've never had a white so tortured and sad. I'm not sure if every bottle tastes like Johnny Walker Red Label mixed with Canada Dry or not (though chemistry suggests it has more to do with what's going on in the tanks and barrels than what's going on in the bottle), but the point is that there's no way for you to know either. This is the worst wine I've ever paid for.

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February 14, 2009

06 Lemelson Vineyards, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Thea's Selection

Briary, sappy, round, lush--I could think of no better wine for Valentine's Day. It's a lusty, red, beating heart of a wine, full to the brim with flavors of dried black cherry, framboise, cocoa nibs, almond milk, and thyme. When the pork belly came out last night at Boka, I said, "I want to live in here," right there inside the tender flesh with walls of semolina. And, if I did, I would shower each morning with Thea's Selection. You feel at home when you drink this wine. It's warm, comforting, and familiar. Maybe too warm in the end, though. The 14.5% alcohol is surprisingly calm, but does grow to be pressing by bottle's end. I don't mind making the effort, though, to finish it. The fruit's sweet enough to keep the alcohol from becoming too spicy, the winemaking clean enough to keep the wine from feeling clumsy or laden with glycerine. In that way, the finish almost reminds me of ultra-ripe Chateauneuf du Pape.

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February 08, 2009

07 Cloudline Cellars, Oregon Pinot Noir

I remember the first time I had Cloudline's pinot, I was staring out the window of a boutique wine shop at a dark sky coming in. No, I wasn't doing it for the metaphor. We'd just sold a lot of wine, the Euro was gradually getting stronger, and the sudden craze over American pinot noir left us with almost no bottles of pinot under $20. Actually, almost nothing at all but the most choice selection of single vineyard Oregon pinot you'll ever see in one afternoon. So I turned to my colleague and said, "Well, at least the Cloudline's beautiful," which he immediately took to be a surprisingly poignant, affected, and wholly metrosexual commentary on the state of our vitis vinifera union. But I was talking about my first taste of Cloudline, which, on a wave of strong Oregon vintages against my prurient palate, was lovely in its delicacy. This bottle reminds me of that elegance, that grace, that discomforting indolence. In the face of so many saturated, heady, clumsy pinots on the market today, this lighter style quickly finds its cult following. Racy and clean, it reminds us of that great myth of what pinot noir is supposed to be. And yes, there are a few, like The Eyrie Vineyards, who really, profoundly, mystically nail that style. Cloudline is not one of those wines. It's pinot for pinot's sake--full of bright red cherry and strawberry shortcake flavors, with a tangy finish of anisette, vegetal grappa (Nonino's chardonnay grappa always reminds me of eggplant), mushrooms, and chalky tannins. It's not bad after two days of decanting, but that's no sign of its potential. Instead, that light oxidation helps fill the holes in this wine where ripe fruit should be. I think there are some great grapes that go into this bottle, but also a lot of muck. And the bailout, perhaps, is that Vero Drouhin (winemaker daughter of Burgundy's great Joseph Drouhin) provides the "reference palate," according to the winery, whose throat here may have been thirstier for mineral water than Oregon pinot noir.

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Anonymous Michelaccio said...

Burgundy (boy-gun-dee)
(French: Bourgogne or Vin de Bourgogne) is wine made in the Burgundy region in eastern France.[1] The most famous wines produced here - those commonly referred to as Burgundies - are red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes or white wines made from Chardonnay grapes. Red and white wines are also made from other grape varieties, such as Gamay and Aligoté respectively. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are also produced in the region. Chardonnay-dominated Chablis and Gamay-dominated Beaujolais are formally part of Burgundy wine region, but wines from those subregions are usually referred to by their own names rather than as "Burgundy wines".

Burgundy has a higher number of Appellation d'origine contrôlées (AOCs) than any other French region, and is often seen as the most terroir-conscious of the French wine regions. The various Burgundy AOCs are classified from carefully delineated Grand Cru vineyards down to more non-specific regional appellations. The practice of delineating vineyards by their terroir in Burgundy go back to Medieval times, when various monasteries played a key role in developing the Burgundy wine industry. The appellations of Burgundy (not including Chablis).

Overview in the middle, the southern part to the left, and the northern part to the right. The Burgundy region runs from Auxerre in the north down to Mâcon in the south, or down to Lyon if the Beaujolais area is included as part of Burgundy. Chablis, a white wine made from Chardonnay grapes, is produced in the area around Auxerre. Other smaller appellations near to Chablis include Irancy, which produces red wines and Saint-Bris, which produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc. Some way south of Chablis is the Côte d'Or, where Burgundy's most famous and most expensive wines originate, and where all Grand Cru vineyards of Burgundy (except for Chablis Grand Cru) are situated. The Côte d'Or itself is split into two parts: the Côte de Nuits which starts just south of Dijon and runs till Corgoloin, a few kilometers south of the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges, and the Côte de Beaune which starts at Ladoix and ends at Dezize-les-Maranges. The wine-growing part of this area in the heart of Burgundy is just 40 kilometres (25 mi) long, and in most places less than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) wide. The area is made up of tiny villages surrounded by a combination of flat and sloped vineyards on the eastern side of a hilly region, providing some rain and weather shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. T

he best wines - from "Grand Cru" vineyards - of this region are usually grown from the middle and higher part of the slopes, where the vineyards have the most exposure to sunshine and the best drainage, while the "Premier Cru" come from a little less favourably exposed slopes. The relatively ordinary "Village" wines are produced from the flat territory nearer the villages. The Côte de Nuits contains 24 out of the 25 red Grand Cru appellations in Burgundy, while all of the region's white Grand Crus are located in the Côte de Beaune. This is explained by the presence of different soils, which favour Pinot Noir and Chardonnay respectively. Further south is the Côte Chalonnaise, where again a mix of mostly red and white wines are produced, although the appellations found here such as Mercurey, Rully and Givry are less well known than their counterparts in the Côte d'Or. Below the Côte Chalonnaise is the Mâconnais region, known for producing large quantities of easy-drinking and more affordable white wine. Further south again is the Beaujolais region, famous for fruity red wines made from Gamay. Burgundy experiences a continental climate characterized by very cold winters and hot summers. The weather is very unpredictable with rains, hail, and frost all possible around harvest time. Because of this climate, there is a lot of variation between vintages from Burgundy.
You can find more info at: http://www.burgundywinevarieties.com/

10:53 PM  
Blogger Nilay Gandhi said...

burned.

11:06 PM  

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