May Roundup

Short notes on wines we’ve tried recently:


Standing Stone Vineyards Riesling 2010st-urbans-hof-riesling-kabi ($12.99)
Foxy. As in: Meow, right on, thumbs up. Funky nose, some petrol. Tremendous impact on the palate. Textbook dry Riesling with just a touch of RS to titillate. Righteous acidity, making it a good one to age. The price is right too. Snap it up! (review by Jeff)

Dr. Konstantin Frank Gewurztraminer 2012 ($16.99)
Subtle peachy nose, mouth-filling, medium-bodied and almost fizzy, delivering a party in the mouth. Intense and very long on the finish, goosed by slight residual sugar. Lychee, peach, floral notes, spice and minerals. If this were a song hook it would be “All Day and All of the Night.” It wouldn’t leave my head. Despite a little burn on the finish, a terrific, well-made value. (2011 available in PA) (Jeff)

St. Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett 2009 ($21.99)
Beautiful, and a sick value. Structure, ripe fruit, bright and sharp, strong acidity and minerality. Citrus-peach, good body. Every Riesling angle covered. I’m sorry, could they cram more in for 22 bucks? Plus, it could lie down gracefully for another 10 years, no problem. (Jeff)


roth-pinot-noirVinha das Mouras de Arraiolos Alentejano Red ($14.99)
Plums and dark berries take the lead on this smooth, unoaked red blend. Nothing too exciting here, but an interesting introduction to dry Portuguese reds for the uninitiated. Be sure to give it some air before drinking.

Roth Estate Pinot Noir 2011 ($17.99)
A focused effort that offers concentration and a bright, complex nose. Transitions well from cherry and tea notes, moderate acid and good length on the finish. After tasting this, we discussed how it’s a nice value for Pinot Noir at $18, but that the same tariff could probably buy a better wine outside the Pinot space. Therein lies the problem with getting sideways…

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2012 ($18.99)
Nicely balanced, easy drinking, food-friendly. I’d be tempted to say Burgundian but there was an undercurrant of reduction that seemed more modern. Actually quite prominent at first but mostly blew off with decanting. Cherry, herbal, hint of barnyard, good for the IPOB crowd. Went well with tuna. (2011 available in PA)

Forge Cellars Pinot Noir 2012 ($23.99)
A decent output with good fruit – and more than a touch of green. At this point, needs an hour of air to remove the stink/funk and coax out the fruit. Picking up cinnamon, too. Decent structure and acid but the greenness is problematic. 24 bucks is a stretch. (Jeff)

Bodegas El Angosto Los Almendros 2009 ($24.99)
A Chairman’s Selection that drops the price considerably from the “quoted” $79. Dark, intense purple hue. Rich, smoky and deep, drawing on a blend of Garnacha Tintorera, Syrah and Marselan grapes, with pronounced oak up front on the palate. The fruit creeps in toward the rear – all blues and blacks and finely delivered on the lengthy finish. A serious, well-crafted effort. (Jeff)

Contino Gran Riserva Rioja 2007 ($29.99)
Big tobacco mingles with sweat on the promising nose, and tobacco continues to take the lead into the palate. Unfortunately, the fruit falls short on the mid, leaving a watery finish. A 2007 shouldn’t be past it’s prime (and there’s plenty of tannin here), but it seems to be drinking that way. To quote the guy next to me when tasting, “I’d be unhappy if I spent $30 on this.”

Saintsbury Pinot Noir Brown Ranch 2009 ($34.99)
A hearty Pinot, to the point that it doesn’t much resemble the variety. Broader and bolder than most PN I know, also lacking any true distinctions to hang your, uh, glass on. A touch of cola, a little earth, dark stewed fruit, light spice. I almost wonder if the bottle was cooked – but don’t think so. A letdown at the $35 Chairman’s tariff. (Jeff)

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