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TN: Recent tastes

Florida Jim

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2005 Marques de Monistrol, Cava Winemaker’s Select:

Even better than their non-vintage brut, this is quite dry, spicy, focused and elegant with a continuous bead and a clean finish. ‘Hard to beat at $15.


2005 Luneau-Papin, Muscadet Clos des Allées:

Beautiful wine; bright, charming, flavorful and so clean; as balanced and precise a Muscadet as one can find and drinking well now.

2008 Bedrock, Cuvée Caritas:

55% old vine semillon and 45% sauvignon blanc in 100% new French oak; powerfully scented with white fruit, spice and vanilla tones; an almost lyrical presentation in the mouth with semillon flavors emphasized and a touch of butterscotch oak; long finish. Needs 3-5 years to integrate the wood (although its not intrusive now) and was delicious with chicken Caesar salad.

Day two: much the same; this either has too much oak or it needs time to integrate.

2007 Quinto de Ventozelo, Douro Cisterda da Ribeira:

A Portuguese white made from 30% códega, 30% gouveio, 20% viosinho and 20% rabigato; 13% alcohol; aromas of cream soda, citrus skin and white pepper; similar in the mouth with some unripe apricot and a light saline component added, spicy, smoothly textured but crackling acidity; a touch bitter on a very long finish. This wine is all about its acidity – it carries it and drives it but does not overwhelm it. Very good with a white bean and chard dish, pretty good on its own and well worth buying again at $7.


2008 Bedrock, Rosé Ode to Lulu:

Mourvèdre based wine with a lovely fragrance, a dry, mineral driven palate, and a dry finish. In the Bandol style and quite nice with summer grilled veggies.


2002 Clos Roche Blanche, Gamay:

I’ve had a few bad bottles of this but this one is quintessential gamay – charming, complete, moderate weight and good sustain. A really lovely bottle – after all these years.

2005 Georges Vigouroux, Cahors Pigmentum:

Malbec that is blurry, earthy/dirty, unfocused and just not very good. If there’s nothing else . . . 12.5% and about $10.

2007 Lurton, Malbec:

Industrial grade – not objectionable but no better than something to drink if you’ve nothing else. About $9.

2008 Maipe, Malbec:

So much better that the last two malbecs that one might think it was a different grape; this shows the darker side of the variety but with balance and some finesse; drinking well now and very good with a bean, chard, turkey and quinoa stew. 14% alcohol and about $12.

(Aside: it seems the feminine, aromatic, elegant side of this variety is rare. And honestly, going up in price usually just gets me more wood or more power, neither of which I find attractive. The potential of this grape is considerable in that I have tasted occasional wines that reminded me of great pinot – light, pure, scented and such beautiful textures – ah, where are they when you need them?)

Best, Jim


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