What’s To Drink: Cheap White Wine Smackdown, 3rd Round
2010 Clos du Bois North Coast Chardonnay ($9.99) vs 2008 Kendall-Jackson, Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay
What’s To Drink: 2011 Vouvray - Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau “Cuvée Silex” “Clos du Rougemont”
This was another of the Berman’s Cynthia Hurley sampler.
I really enjoyed this wine, especially for under $20/bottle. My notes: excellent fruit, grapefruit, honey, nice sweetness and acidity. The fruit continues strong into the finish.
Stephane Vigneau’s 2011 Vouvray “Cuvée Silex” differentiates itself from other Vouvrays by its concentrated depth and purity of balanced flavors as well as its precise minerality.
Cool and crisp with pure fruit, it has intriguing flavors of quince, ginger, lemon/pear, with minerals, just bursting from the glass. Yes, it’s dry, (some Vourays are demi-sec or sweet), but not steely Chablis dry, as the fruit buffers the acidity and minerality. This is a very stylish, non-chardonnay wine that offers character, style and soul.
It would be hard for “new world” wines to compete with such a classy wine, at any price.The late Jean-Michel Vigneau realized the advantages of organic farming in the early 1990’s, and by 1999 Vigneau-Chevreau received certification from Ecocert. The current generation of Vigneaus has taken the next step and embraced Biodynamic agriculture. The goal of Biodynamics is to synchronize the natural rhythms of the earth with those of the vineyard. Practices include scheduling of specific vineyard work according to the lunar calendar and use of homeopathic preparations for enrich the soil. Biodynamic viticulture was pioneered by Nicolas Joly in the nearby appellation of Savennieres. The practices may sound mysterious but the growers who follow Biodynamic principles will affirm that they produce superior quality grapes.
What’s To Drink: Cheap White Wine Smackdown, 2nd Round
2011 Fuori Off Road Strada, Grillo, DFP, 1L for 13.46 so it qualifies.
I tasted this at an in-store tasting and liked it a lot. When I brought it home, my first whiff gave me a barnyard, dirty diaper nose believe it or not. The mouth was creamy and fruity, which contrasted to the crispness of many whites. It had nice fruit, but not an excessive amount, and low acidity in the mouth. Very dry. This wine comes in a “Tetrapack” which is more efficient to ship (e.g. across oceans) and means that they can ship more wine (this comes in 1L, rather than 750ml, packages).
I tasted it again about 7 days later and it still had a big nose. This time the fruit was a strong, more bitter, flavor with pretty strong butter and oak tones like a chardonnay. The bitter fruit lasts well into the aftertaste. Whatever earlier objectionable aroma had long since gone. This is an interesting wine, especially for cooking since it changed so favorably after being open for several days.
Again after 14 days in the fridge and it still has plenty of bitter fruit. It’s quite a big wine. Wow. This could be a contender.
Why use Tetra-Paks over glass? Simply put, Tetra-paks use less energy to manufacture, produce less solid waste after use, emit a fraction of the greenhouse gasses in their transport, and carry over a liter of wine! This means less cost passed on to the consumer and less impact on the environment, with no compromise in quality.2011 Grillo
Made with 100% grillo grapes, grown organically on the island of Sicily, Italy. A pure reflection of the grillo varietal, it is crisp and lovely, with lemony acidity and a floral nose.
What’s To Drink: 2009 Font de Michelle CdP Jean et Michael Gonnet & Fils
Complex. Cherry, oak, chocolate. Well balanced. A really enjoyable wine.
Wine and Cheese
Notes from Wine and Cheese with B and D. Pictures and notes after the break.
2006 Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino Passito
2006 Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino Passito
What a great sweet red this was. A definite must-have-again. This rivaled the NV Eugenio Rosi Doron (Trentino-Alto) that we opened at the “Wine, Cheese, and Small Plates” dinner last winter.
Bought at Berman’s.
What’s To Drink: 2008 Girard Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Enthusiast 90 points. This wine is best described as “big”. Big Fruit, Big alcohol with an almost fortified taste. Very nice and worth having again.
The Boulder Dushanbe Tea House
For the trip to Boulder, L picked out The Boulder Dushanbe Tea House as a destination. It did not disappoint. Details after the break.
What’s To Drink: 2011 Martinez Lacuesta Rose
I bought this at Bermans along with the red and the white from the same vintner. I liked the red and didn’t think the white was all that great. This one is somewhere in between the two, but I probably still wouldn’t buy it again even though the price is right.
Lacuesta’s 100% Garnacha rose, is a delightful Rioja that we fell in love with from first taste. Many of you did as well. It fills your palate with delightful strawberry and raspberry flavors with more than expected character and it finishes with bright and bracing, crisp acidity. It has more lush flavors with a fuller body than most rosés costing as much as double.
Why the low price? Spain produces three times the grenache grape (called “garnacha” in Spain) than does France. Savvy buyers are wise to this as many have been clued in by Eric Asimov’s articles in the New York Times.
Even though this grape variety is ubiquitous in Spain, the quality level for many of their roses are high with prices low. Price to quality, this is our favorite.
What’s To Drink: 2000 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Rioja
Light color and a little brown around the edges but it still drinks well. Big nose. Bourbon whiskey in the mouth with chocolate finish. Good, but probably does not justify the price tag enough for me to buy it again. On day 3, it is drinking really well. It is balanced with good fruit coming out. I’m drinking it next to the 1994 which is also opening up nicely. The wine is holding up remarkably well after three days with just as much, if not more, complexity than when it was first opened. The last sip showed great balance. I probably still wouldn’t spend the money on it, but it drank well in the end. It just goes to show that browning on the edges doesn’t mean much.
1994: This was very closed when I first opened it, but it started getting a lot better after a few hours. The color was the same as the 2000, brown around the edges, and frankly, indistinguishable in the glass when held sideways. Both the 2000 and the 1994 need big cheeses to go with them and I am eating the Crou du Cru which is like a salted butter that melts in your mouth at a higher temperature than butter. In fact, these two wines need something as strong as a Permigiano to stand up to it so I’ve switched to that. This could be drinking very nicely tomorrow night.
75% tempranillo, 15% garnacho, 5% graciano, 5% mazuela.