Friday, August 31, 2007
2005 Davis Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
2005 weather was incredibly consistent in Guy’s little pocket of the RRV. Winter rains were moderate, so the vines were very balanced between bud break and set. With no real hot or cold periods during the growing season. the vines matured slowly but uniformly right through veraison. A cool and consistent September gave the grapes some extended hang time to develop extra flavors and aromas. The wine is very consistent with Guy's style - balance and complexity searching for the essence of Pinot flavor (no alc. bombs here!). If there is any difference in character from prior vintages, it may be the extra push in the beautiful aromas—
the wine seems to have even more floral and brown spice than in the past (if that is even possible!). The balance, from alcohol and acidity to the mouth-coating richness, is again spot on. The signature leather and cola hints traditionally found in great Pinots from around the world seem to really grow when this wine is in the glass. The amazing length on this 2005 has been commented on in almost every tasting we’ve had. As always, these wines are a perfect match with almost any meal and will create legions of fans in its wake!
Cases produced: 889 Alcohol: 14.05% pH: 3.56
Highlighted DFV Pinot Noir Awards and Reviews 2001: Gold Medal – 2004 SF Wine Competition 2002: 91 Points – Wine Enthusiast 2004 2003: Silver– 2005 Sonoma County Harvest Fair 2004: Double Gold & Best In Class – 2006 Sonoma County Harvest Fair
2004 Davis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
From the same 2 vineyards as in years past: the Lewelling Wight Vineyard, near the border of St. Helena and Rutherford, brings the brighter fruit and exotic spice to the blend, and Stagecoach Vineyard, almost a half mile above the Valley, brings black fruits and mocha notes. 2004 was a warmer year than 2003 in the Napa Valley, and the result is a darker, fuller wine. The fruit profile is more focused on black cherry and black currant fruits that create a juicy core and richness through the finish. Although the warm season in 2004 fostered a lot of density and size in this wine, there is still that distinctive balance and food friendly character that has always been a signature of Guy’s wines. This 2004 shows the pure Napa character of ripeness, yet never approaches over-ripe – Guy delivers “power through complexity” rather than an overblown monster wine. Excellent structure and tannin levels lead the way into the mouth-coating finish. This wine is incredibly enjoyable now and should also age beautifully for many years to come. Cases produced: 588 Alcohol: 14.25% pH: 3.60
Highlighted DFV Cabernet Awards and Reviews 2002: Double Gold– 2004 SF International Wine Competition 2002: Double Gold– 2005 Pacific Rim Wine Competition 2003: Double Gold & Best In Class – 2006 L.A. County Fair 2003: Silver - 2007 SF Chronicle Competition Fair
Davis Family Vineyards is distributed by Horizon Wines in Texas! Cheers - ALI
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Mapema Sauvignon Blanc
This loveable white starts out with enticing aromas of lemon, fresh herbs, honeydew rind and a hint of oak. Once you swirl it around your mouth, you'll get a vibrant blast of lemon zest acidity along with lemongrass and a slightly creamy texture. This wine delivers a lot of body without losing its lively acidity, and the crisp finish doesn't keep this wine from lingering on your palate. Hard to find this kind of complexity and flavor intensity at such a reasonable price. Great all by itself, but this one will match up nicely with grilled tuna and swordfish, seared scallops, sautéed white-flesh fish like sole, or even lighter chicken dishes. A real winner.
More About Mapema
Mapema is a combination of the first two letters of the partner's first names-Mariano seemed to think that he was more important, so his appear twice! The label displays three grape vines following harvest-vines that have done everything in their power to produce grapes that will go on to create a great wine. It is a feeling that the two winemaking partners share with each other and express in their wine.
All of these bottles are available at your favorite wine shop - just ask for them!
2004 La Posta Bonarda: $15 - Spec's on Brodie in Austin "Tuesday Tasting"
2005 Susana Balbo Crios Syrah Bonararda; $14 - Spec's on Brodie in Austin "Tuesday Tasting"
2006 Budini Chardonnay $10.99 - Spec's on Brodie in Austin "Tuesday Tasting"
2005 Budini Malbec $10.99 - Whole Foods Downtown Austin Tasting
2007 Susana Balbo's Crios Rose of Malbec $11.99- Whole Foods North AustinTasting
2005 Susana Balbo Malbec $30 - Texas Sommelier Conference Grand Tasting
2005 Tikal Patriota (Bonarda/Malbec) $25- Texas Sommelier Conference Grand Tasting
2003 BenMarco Expresivo $38 - Texas Sommelier Conference Grand Tasting
California: Fort Ross Winery and Vineyards - Vino 100 Lakeway Tasting
We tasting the 2003 FR Chardonnay, 2002 RSV Chardonnay, 2003 Symposium and the 2003 RSV Pinot Noir.
2004 Ch. Puligny Montrachet "Clos du Chateau" - $25 Texas Sommelier Grand Tasting
2005 Domaine Jo Pithon "Savennieres" Le Croix Picot - $30 Texas Som Grand Tasting
Thursday, August 23, 2007
• History: Twenty-five years ago, Argentine wines were made the old-fashioned way, with too much oak and too much time in the aging cellars. The results were not for the American or even international palate.
All that's changed, and now Argentina is trying to outperform its neighbor, Chile, in the global marketplace. It has monster production, plus a niche for malbec, a red-wine grape that thrives south of the equator better than in Bordeaux.
Two winemaker friends, Mariano di Paola and Pepe Galante, recently teamed to produce Argentina's Mapema wines, using the first two letters of their first names.They make malbec, sauvignon blanc, tempranillo and a red-wine blend. The 2002 Mapema "Primera Zona'' - **** - is a red Bordeaux mix of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec, made in a restrained Bordeaux style, with good red and black fruit, a hint of leather and tobacco. At 5 years of age, this wine is at its peak and drinking very nicely, indeed.
• Pairings: The winery suggests veal chops, duck with fruit sauce, beef, lamb, chicken and game birds.
• Retail: $28.
• From: Horizon Wines; 713-413-9463. Link to Article
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Very cool, this is the lastest release from La Posta - it's a big hit in Texas. Give it a try next time you are out shopping! Cheers - Ali
La Posta 2006 Mendoza "Cocina Blend" ($15.99)
This red blend, a mix of 60% Malbec and 20% each Bonarda and Syrah, shows an opaque blackish-purple color in the glass, with glints of garnet against the light. Black plums and fragrant pepper come together in the aroma. Flavors are juicy and ripe, fresh and plummy fruit and zippy acidity, mouth-filling and appetizing, with soft but substantial tannins in the finish. Very nice wine indeed, and it's great with rare beef. U.S. importer: Vine Connections, Sausalito, Calif. (Aug. 17, 2007)
FOOD MATCH: Made to go with Argentina's excellent beef, it was fine with a comparative tasting of rare, pan-fried grass-fed natural beef steaks from two regional farms, a rib eye from Dreamcatcher Farm in Kentucky and a strip steak from Fiedler Farm in Southern Indiana.
VALUE: No complaints with the mid-teens for a wine that delivers this kind of enjoyment and food-friendliness.
WHEN TO DRINK: It's hard to predict ageworthiness in unfamiliar blends, but the excellent structure, acidity and firm but well-integrated tannins here certainly suggest that it will keep for several years and could evolve under good cellaring conditions.
The importer has a short fact sheet about La Posta Cocina Blend at this link:
Master Sommelier Dinner
Featured Wine Selections for the Evening
Not a drop leftover of this gorgeous blanc de blanc bubbly from
2005 Domaine Jo Pithon Savennieres La Croix Picot
Always a crowd favorite Chenin Blanc. Rich aromos of baked apples with a touch of ginger. The
Second Course: dayboat scallop and gulf shrimp ravioli in lemon-parmesan reggiano broth with tomato powder.
Such a pretty wine. Slightly floral nose with hints of white pear and touch of toast on the finish. Of the three whites tasted, this is the most versatile and could easily become a nice wine for some serious porch-sitting at sunset.
2004 Ch. Puligny Montrachet Meursault Les Poruzots 1er Cru
I couldn’t make up my mind about this wine, it was so fullbodied compared to the other whites and I was really warm when this was served (long-story). Here’s what Meadows wrote: A surprisingly elegant and high-toned nose for this cru that features pure orchard fruit and floral aromas that introduce pure, rich and sleekly muscled medium full flavors that offer a terrific combination of intensity, depth and finishing complexity, all wrapped in a backend touch of pain grillé. In a word, impressive.
Third Course: duck confit, purple hull pea and hamhock vol au vent
2004 de Montille Volnay Premier Cru
The first sip brought me back to my very first sip of pinot from Volnay. Very ripe but also elegant – extremely lady-like and polished – the texture was like spring rose petals. Not a Paris Hilton – more like a Katie Holmes. Will love to open this again in a few years to see the true beauty inside.
2003 Hospice de Nuit-St. Georges Premier Cru
So Veritas Imports obtained two barrels of this macho beauty! Deep dark berry and spices hits you right in the face when pouring, the texture is so smooth but full of rather large flavors of cherry and clove. A tremendous example of Nuit-St. Georges. I also tried this 48 hours later…it was singing!
Fourth Course: grilled lamb loin on potato boulangere with lacinato kale and black trumpet mushroom ragout.
2005 Susan Balbco Malbec
As always, Susan’s Malbec is full of fresh fruit. She uses a little French Oak – so it’s not a big thick wine at all. Still a baby, this wine is almost “refreshing” in style. Nice violets on the nose with round juicy blackberry fruit flavors that party on! Can’t wait to open this one up in a few years as well.
2004 BenMarco Expresivo
Ahh, the combination of Malbec, Cabernet, Syrah, Bonarda and Merlot may sound scary – but this is a extremely well made red wine by Susana Balbo and her husband Pedro Marchevsky. Everyone should have a 6 pack of this in their cellar (yeah, the wooden box is from staves and has the wicked vine burned on the top lid). It’s a great fun wine to pull out for a cozy night and goes awfully well with typical Argentine fare – but also is a favorite with fresh baked brownies.
Dessert Course: orange and lavender risotto tart with mexia peach compote
2004 Jo Pithon Quarts de Chaume Les Varennes
Oh, I held out just to have this glass of sweet Chenin Blanc in all it’s glory. Paired perfectly with the fruit tart – it was like liquid crème brulee. Jo Pithon only made 25 cases of this – the perfect ending to a great wine evening! Cheers - Ali
Sunday, August 19, 2007
2005 Domaine Jo Pithon Savennieres La Croix Picot
2004 Ch. Puligny Montrachet Meursault Les Poruzots Premier Cru
Ahh, the red wine line up is to die for as well! Full report tomorrow! Cheers - Ali
Saturday, August 18, 2007
So I'm reading the NY Times today and just so happens they have a great (somewhat ridiculous) article on custom made pools. WOW. Guess I'll gas up the tank and get back to selling more wine out there...
This is Joseph and Bobbi Moran's two-story pool above Lake Austin., I wonder if they'd trade wine for a dip or two in their pool each week!? Ha. This picture is also my new screensaver. Maaaarco - Pooolo! Ali
Friday, August 17, 2007
Hope to see you all at the Grand Tasting on Monday night! Cheers and thanks to Keith for the following tasting notes...
Château de Puligny Montrachet
The rebirth of the Château de Puligny Montrachet since my visit there in 2002 is astounding. Since Etienne de Montille took over, the yields are down, farming is organic or biodynamic and attention to detail shows from top to bottom. The result has been extremely fine wines, all estate grown.
A particularly good bargain is the 2004 Château de Puligny Montrachet Bourgogne Blanc, Clos du Château Made from 100% estate-grown fruit from the walled vineyard around the Château, this is a Puligny Montrachet in all but name, with bright fruit and lovely focus.
The 2004 Château de Puligny Montrachet Monthelie Blanc has lovely mid-palate balance, with bright creamy notes and good weight. The pretty floral notes on the nose add to its charm.
The 2004 Château de Puligny Montrachet St. Aubin 1er Cru, “En Remilly” is a rich wine with elegant minerality and a lemon-cream note. The finish is long, persistent and balanced.
The 2004 Château de Puligny Montrachet Puligny Montrachet shows very pretty pine and mineral notes, with fresh, bright fruit. The wine has a precise focus to it, and is lovely, fine and lingering on the finish.
There are also small quantities of the 2004 Château de Puligny Montrachet Meursault 1er Cru, “Poruzots” , the 2004 Château de Puligny Montrachet Meursault 1er Cru, “Perrieres” and the 2004 Château de Puligny Montrachet Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru, “Folatieres”, as well as tiny quantities of their spectacular Grands Crus, Chevalier, Bâtard and Montrachet Á Santé. —Keith Wollenberg
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Right next to the organic eggs for ya....Budini Malbec! Lip-smacking good juice from Argentina.
Two tastings last week alone, people were going nuts over Budini! Chill it down a bit before you pop it open.... $10.99 while supplies last! Picture taken from the Camera phone - so it's a little fuzzy. Cheers - ALI
Handley Cellars Brut Rose -
Syncline Viognier -
2006 Handley Cellars Rose of Pinot Noir -
2006 Robert Sinskey Pinot Blanc –
1997 Rene Engel Vosne Romanee 1er Cru “Les Brulees”: After a few minutes of indecision, I went for it. Very pleasing flavors of soft, ripe red fruit on the nose with delicious smoky overtones. The red fruit characteristics are mirrored on the palate with fine balancing acidity and a very pretty finish. I saved enough to try a glass the following night – OH YEAH I’m glad I did!
2005 St Innocent Pinot Noir –
2006 Acorn Rosato –
2005 Ulysses Valdez Sauvignon Blanc: Dang this is good. I first had the 2005 a year ago during the release up at Rockpile Vineyard above
2006 Medlock Ames Merlot –