Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What have I had lately?

Well, I've been trying to avoid doing this, but I haven't had any wines with a particular theme lately, and so here are some notes on a bunch of wines I've tried lately.

1997 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja Rose
Lopez de Heredia may be the last great traditional Rioja producer. Their dedication to vineyard-designate wines, long aging, and spontaneous fermentation astounds me. This is the current release of their rose, and it is like nothing I have tasted before. Whites and roses in an oxidized style are traditional for Rioja, but few producers that I've seen continue to produce wines in this style, and none do so as uncompromisingly as Lopez de Heredia. From the Tondonia estate, this wine is somewhat salmon-colored, but really it borders on amber with a tinge of brown. The nose is nutty; very sherry-esque; if the alcohol were higher, I'd peg it for a fino. The palate is equally oxidized. All the flavors are tertiary; there is almost no fruit whatsover, only perhaps the slightest hint of peach. The remarkable part about this wine is that the acidity has been beautifully maintained. It is crisp and tasty. I have no idea how much longer this wine could age, since I've had little experience with this style, but it is delicious now. 8/10

2007 Joseph Drouhin Chablis
Pale hay color. The nose is restrained, but there is a distinct note of lemon and stone fruit. The palate shows a pleasant juicy citrus layer, along with crisp apples and pears. There is nice zing of acidity, but the wine is a little too ripe for me, for Chablis. If I had been in the mood for this wine I might have liked it more, but when I see Chablis from a classic vintage like 2007 I want oyster shells. Fans of unoaked domestic chardonnay should search this one out. 5.5/10

2007 Domaine de la Quilla Muscadet Sevre et Maine
Very pale color, almost with a hint of green. The nose is quite expressive for a Muscadet, showing honeydew melon and citrus rind. The palate is crisp, with a nice hint of salinity. This is a nice, enjoyable beverage, perfect for summertime, though I do wish that it had a little more acidity. Still, it's great for under $15. 6/10

2004 Prinz Hallgartner Jungler Riesling Spatlese, Rheingau.
Rich lemon color. The nose is boisterous, with honey and citrus jumping out of the glass. The palate carries that honey and citrus with it, but adds ripe apricots and a lovely floral note. The residual sugar is delicious and enjoyable, not at all cloying, and the acidity holds up its end to produce a balanced, tasty wine. I recall this wine being under $20. If so, it is worth it. 6.5/10

Beronia 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja
Medium garnet color; it's quite pretty. The nose is very herbaceous and earthy; it smells of soy, and copper, with a raspberry fruit component. The palate is nicely medium bodied, and not too oaky. The tannins are firm but fine-grained. This is a well-made wine; it is juicy, with a red fruit aspect, but an earthy one as well. The length is impressive, going on for at least 30 seconds. I wish I had a piece of mole pork with this; it is a great food wine. 7/10

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