Tom is a freelance writer and blogs at The Grape Belt. (www.thegrapebelt.com) He is studying for the WSET Diploma. Just not that often.
It’s always nice, when searching for what proves to be a lesser wine, to come across a wine you didn’t know you had. No record of. It’s as though it were a gift from Bacchus himself. Leaner and brighter than anticipated, thankfully. Definitely a California chardonnay, but not one of those loose and flabby numbers with no self-respect. Lemon sorbet leading to a pleasing stoniness, all surrounded by mouth-watering acid. Long, lingering finish. Elegant. Damn tasty. — 7 days ago
If you went on appearance and aroma alone you would never guess this wine is 13 to 14 years old. There are some raisiny notes on the bouquet, and plenty of your typical Rioja oak and vanilla from American barrels, but the color has barely begun to leech into the clear rim. And the acids! Along with the soft but insistent tannins, they tell us this wine has some time left in it. Well, not this bottle, but you know what I mean. Delicious, balanced, concentrated. 375ml. 13% abv. — a month ago
2015. Less intense than 2014, and a bit more elegant. Pretty wine that with some time in a big glass takes on weight and complexity. Great acid. Glad I have a couple more because in a few years this wine will something even more special than it is now. Such a treat. — 18 days ago
Great mix of bright red fruit, dried herbs and earth, along with mouth watering acid and sleek, polished tannins. At 14.5% abv it presents a delicious concentration along with a sneaky oomph. Priced at $14 it’s a great Monday through Friday bargain. Burgers pizza tacos sandwiches: have at it! — a month ago
Hard to find a friendlier early-in-the-week glug glug. Tonight’s burgers were happy to see this old friend. Zero pretense. Fruit, depth, acid — a real treat. Special? No. Reliable? Yes. 40% grenache, 40% cinsault, 10% mourvedre, 10% carignan. 13% abv. $17 and worth it. — 2 months ago
2014. I tried this upon release and it was a wild prancing pony unsure of where to plant its next step. So much energy. Now, a few years later, still lots of energy. More verve, less raw electricity. The racy acid is finding a place among the deepening flavors: unripe red apple, citrus, and shards of flint scattered here and there. I’ve got a few more and I’m not gonna touch them, if I can help it, for another couple of years. Crisp and clean like a bright spring morning. On. The. Button. 12.75% abv. — 19 days ago
2009. Another strong reminder that France doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to sparkling wine. A youthful eight years old (disgorged 2016, tasted October 2017), this wine’s toasty and yeasty aromas up front are backed with notes of lemon zest, ripe yellow apple, and wet stone. Bone dry with a fine, foamy mousse, the flavors are dominated by lemon cream and braced by exuberant acids. Enjoyable now but capable of several more years in the cellar. $38 SRP. 12.5% abv. Thanks to Gregory White PR for this delicious sample. — a month ago