Bottle Roundup, July 2016

I recently attended a Chairman’s Selection tasting for PLCB wine specialists. Here are thoughts on the notable pours.

Secondo Tempo Pinot Grigio Valdadige 2015 (#78230, $8.99)
Good flavor for a PG, juicy and fruity. Nothing special but a decent buy for $9.

Cantina Trexenta Contissa Vermentino di Sardegna 2014 (#78177 $11.99)
Bright citrus and stone fruit, clean, fresh, delicious. Stock up for patio sessions.

Henry Fessy Pouilly-Fuissé Sous La Roche 2014 (#78097, $17.99)
Fresh and crisp, not amazing but solid.

Vite Colte La Luna e I Falo Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2013 (#78232, $12.99)
Nice wine for the price. Though there’s plenty of fruit (dark red – blue) here, it comes across in an austere way that highlights savory and floral notes alongside fresh acidity.

Baldetti Syrah Cortona Crano 2011 (#78089, $17.99)
Starts out with a lovely earthy nose featuring lots of mushrooms & humus, transitioning into more earth on the palate alongside a definite buttery note. Unfortunately it falls apart on the mid, with a funky reductive element setting it off-balance. Disappointing after a great nose.

Jermann Red Angel On The Moonlight 2012 (#78103, $19.99)
Italian dirt meets Burgundy cherry fruit. Well-balanced, good buy.

Carini Captain Fantasy NV (#78156, $19.99)
Interesting wine made by blending different wines from different years (why it’s a NV). The result is a relatively sweet, chocolatey fruit bomb that tastes quite like cake batter.

Reserve des Oliviers Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 (#78054, $21.99)
I’ve enjoyed this repeat buy in the past, but this vintage lacks the same allure.

Lunadora Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011 (#78268, $24.99)
Nose of dusty red cherries, palate features lighter fruit than many VNdM, but sweet tobacco and firm tannins accentuate the complexity. Give it a little time or decant. Not a killer value but a very nice wine.

Tenor Wines 2:2 Red 2011 (#78131, $29.99)
This right bank-inspired blend is an approachable, modern-styled luxury wine. Dark red berries, vanilla, velvety texture. Good Napa Cab alternative. The Tenor 1:1 (#78132, $49.99), their left-bank inspired red, is far less friendly, and though shows potential needs at least 5 more years on its side. These wines are only available through Tenor wine club and PLCB.

Sardo Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2011 (#78267, $38.99)
Though austere, the fruit is rich and tending towards overripe, but the rest of the wine isn’t quite ready. Hard to say whether this will come together or not but if it does it would be special.

Vine Cliff Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (#78126, $39.99)
Classic big Napa cab, at a good price. You either want it or you don’t.

Twelftree Wines Shiraz White Hut 2011 (#78085, $39.99)
Lighter and more balanced than one has come to expect from these Aussie Shiraz bottlings. Still not really my style but nicely made.

San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2010 (#78096, $49.99)
Tenuta Rovecciano Brunello di Montalcino 2010 (#78090, $39.99)
The first is classic Brunello, mix of earth dark fruit and powerful tannins. Austere. Needs some time but should be very nice in a few years. The latter offers richer fruit, and is more approachable now. Good not great.

Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore 2008 (#78133, $59.99)
Wine of the tasting for me. Though I don’t typically like reds from Valpo, this was incredibly complex: herbs (dill!?!), fruit, earth, oak, etc. Lay it down for a bit.

Carte Blanche Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (#78067, $69.99)
Admirable job emulating the classic Napa style in a poor vintage, but $70 is pushing it.

Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (#78125, $67.99)
Overpriced, sure, but still a nice wine. dusty nose leads into black cherries, licorice, and big tannins. Should be a crowd-pleaser with a fun story.

Louis Latour Corton Clos du Roi Grand Cru 2011 (#78127, $79.99)
Dank oak notes, dark berries, tannic. Give it 10 years and it should be quite good.

Offley Porto Tawny 30 Year Old (#33524, $69.99)
Complex, nose a bit boozy, sweet cherries and caramel on the palate. A little thin through the mid. Finishes with an amazing note of roasted walnuts. HUGE nutty flavor that lingers for minutes.