Monday, January 17, 2005

Odd Lots

I am trying to catch up on some odds and ends that I have sampled recently. Some are wine store finds, one is on sale from the distributor, two are Sauternes, two are Italian, and one scares me!

  • Domaine la Remejeanne, "Les Arbousiers" Cotes du Rhone 2002 ($11) -- France. Light nose with balanced fruit flavors and structure. Somewhat tannic but would improve greatly with decanting, but I didn't have the time and was not going to finish off the bottle. Not a lot of complexity. Nice wine for a nice price.
  • Beni di Batasiolo, Barbera d'Alba 2002 ($11) -- Italy. Light nose and the flavor was out of balance with too much acid. Pass!
  • Marchesi di Barolo, Barbera d'Alba "Ruvei" 2002 ($16) -- Italy. Smokey, earthy nose with pleasant fruit. Light to medium weight and short finish. Improved after an hour and would be good for food, but not as the main course.
  • "Chateau du Violon", Saternes 2001 ($12 for 375ml) -- France. 60% Semillon, 20% Sauvignon (Blanc?) and 20% Muscadelle. The winemaker notes state that the aromas are honey, apricot and nectarine and that is about right and I definitely got the Semillon component on the nose. The flavors are pleasant but not lasting. Half bottle is a perfect size for this after dinner treat.
  • Barton & Guestier, Sauternes "Tradition" 1999 ($24) -- France. Bordeaux white wine. Dark golden hue. Heavy Semillon nose with full-bodied flavors of apricot with a long honeyed finish. I like this wine after a day of sampling 10 reds, as it cuts through the sensory fatigue. Maybe this is why these wines gets such high marks from the wine critics. After a full day of swirling, sniffing, snorting and sipping, the Sauternes offer a superb change of pace. One day I will have to break out that bottle of 1994 Chateau d'Yquem, if no one buys it, to see what all the fuss is about.
  • Gerstackers, Christkindles-Markt Gluhwein, Nurnberger NV ($6) -- German. I was rooting around a friend's cellar to help him make room for some new additions by cleaning out some dead wood. (Yes, the '92 Mondavi Chardonnay with the dark raisiny hue has to go!) I was offered the Gluhwein because I liked the novelty. This bottle was a gift from his friend from Germany (the back label was all in German). I did like the freulien on the front label with the golden curls and crown, but I will probably never drink this one either. I have had Gluhwein after skiing when it is served hot and it was great 30 years ago, but I used to like tequilla shots too.


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