Monday, June 29, 2015

F. Pelletant Ch. la Gironie Monbazillac

F. Pelletant Ch. la Gironie Monbazillac 2005
Pomport, Bergerac, France

I have a soft spot for two things: delightful dessert wine and a good deal. Monbazillac scores on both fronts. It hails from southwest France, along the banks of the Dordogne River. Monbazillac has many similarities to Sauternes -- it's made from botrytized Semillon, Sauvinon Blanc, and Muscadelle; a rich sweetness and full body -- but is a fraction of the price! Score.

Review: This golden wine has pronounced aromas of honey, orange marmalade, and caramel apples. The palate is lusciously sweet with a full body, soft texture, and fresh acidity. More rich honeyed and candied orange rind (with that tiny hint of bitterness) and sweet apricot compote continue show persistent flavors. Simply delicious.

Food Pairing: Goat cheese and watermelon salad. 

Bottom Line: I love how the acidity and slight bitterness compliment the sweet, richness of the wine. Delicious. And at about $15 a 375mL bottle, a steal.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2005
  • PLACE: Monbazillac AOC  (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)
  • GRAPE: Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
  • BOOZE: 13.5% 
  • CELLAR: Drink now through 2018

Where did I get it? Crystal City Wine Shop
What's the damage? Mid Price

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cantina Terre del Barolo Roero Arneis

Cantina Terre del Barolo Roero Arneis 2013
Piedmont, Italy
Arneis is possibly not the first grape that comes to mind when you think of Italian white wine, but it should be up there on your list! Native to the region of Roero in Peidmont, near the town of Alba, this aromatic white grape has seen a resurgence in popularity since the 1980's. You should be able to find a bottle at a shop near you!

Review: This wine is a medium lemon-green color, with bright aromas of ripe nectarines, lemon custard, and dried pineapple. On the palate it's dry, with a soft acidity and a mouth filling texture. It has concentrated fruit flavors -- stone fruit, ripe apples and pears -- along with a hint of chamomile and straw. The flavors linger for a moderate finish. 

Food Pairing: The freshness of this Arneis was perfect with linguine in a spinach and garlic sauce. 

Bottom Line: A delicious white for summertime. I dig it.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2013
  • PLACE: Roero Arneis  D.O.C.G. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)
  • GRAPE: Arneis
  • BOOZE: 13.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink through 2018

Where did I get it? Crystal City Wine Shop
What's the damage? Mid Priced

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bodegas Faustino I Gran Reserva

Bodegas Faustino I Gran Reserva 2001

Rioja, Spain

If Rioja is a beautiful thing, then Gran Reserva Rioja is the most beautiful. Aged for 26 months in French and American Oak -- and then, of course, bottle aged for over a decade -- the Faustino I has an beautiful savory quality that I simply adore.

Review: The Faustino had developed aromas of savory smoked meat and leather, along with dried red plums and strawberries. The palate is dry with moderated acidity and a balanced level of alcohol. Rich flavors of bramble, plums and cherries are enhanced by the meaty notes of grill smoke, farmyard, and freshly tilled soil. The finished has a lingering intensity.

This is an outstanding wine, full of concentrated fruit and savory notes displayed on a backdrop of ripe, perfectly integrated tannin.

Food Pairing: Smokey, spicy stuffed poblano peppers.
Bottom Line: I love this wine. It has a richness about it, without being overpowering. A great food wine -- and just for sipping, too.

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2001
  • PLACE: Rioja DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada)
  • GRAPES: Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo
  • AGEING: 26 months in French and American oak
  • BOOZE: 13.5%
  • CELLAR: Drink through 2020

Where did I get it? Total Wine
What's the damage? Premium

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Domaine de la Quilla Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie

Domaine de la Quilla Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2012
Nantais, Loire Valley, France

Every summer I try to have at least one Muscadet. Of the ones I've had in the last few years, this one is most certainly my favorite!

Review: A soft lemon color, the Domaine de la Quilla has youthful aromas of chamomile, fresh apples, pears, and lemon curd. It's dry, with bright acidity, and a creamy texture. The fruit and floral notes are enhanced by favors of slate and seashell. A lovely, refreshing wine.

Pairing: Shellfish are a classic pairing, but I had this with a chicken and mango salad. Yum.
Bottom Line: Light, bright and easy -- but with enough body and oomph to have some staying power. I especially enjoyed the concentration of orchard fruit and minerality. A great summertime white!

Wine Geekery:
  • VINTAGE: 2012
  • PLACE: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie AOC  (Appellation d'origine contrôlée)
  • GRAPE: Melon de Bourgogne/Muscadet
  • AGEING: Sur Lie
  • BOOZE: 12%
  • CELLAR: Drink now through 2017

Where did I get it? MacArthur Beverages 
What's the damage? Mid Priced