Tag Archives: Opinion

Brief Wine Notes – 2006 Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir-Maresh Vineyard

1 Jul

A brief disclaimer to begin with – I am a sucker for most wines originating from this vineyard.  Several winemakers produce vineyard-designate wines from Maresh but, having grown up there, Jimmy Maresh probably has a better idea than most of how to handle the fruit.

Popped and poured from the cooler.  A bit closed on the nose initially, probably a touch below service temperature.  As the wine warms and airs in the glass, aromas of strawberry, red cherry, vanilla, earth, cinnamon, and Asian spices leap from the glass.

On the palate, the wine shows red and black cherry, strawberry, earthy mushroom, sweet tobacco, cinnamon, allspice, and a healthy dollop of white pepper on the finish.

This exceptionally balanced wine glides over the tongue, with fine, silky tannins.  There is plenty of acidity to allow the pairing of this wine with rich foods.

Brief Wine Notes – 2010 Alexana Riesling

26 Jun

The 2010 Alexana Riesling – Willamette valley is vinified in a dry style, with 0.53 Residual Sugar (RS).  Apparently, the typical human limit to sense RS is 0.50%, so this has just the tiniest hint of sweetness.  The pH on this wine is 3.1, which makes it quite bracing and an excellent food wine.

The nose speaks of honeysuckle, gardenia,wet stone, and white peach.  The palate is similar to liquid SweetTart, or your favorite sweet/sour candy.  As noted above, the acidity will grab you, and the finish is long.

I could see this wine pairing well with simply prepared seafood, a variety of Asian dishes, particularly Thai and Vietnamese, or making a great porch wine after a hard day.

Brief Wine Notes – 2000 Vilmart Grand Cellier Rubis Rose Champagne

25 Jun

2000 Grand Cellier Rubis Rose Champagne
(40% Chardonnay, 60% Pinot Noir, aged in new wood for at least 10 months)

Has sort of a strawberry shortcake aroma, with a bit of springtime flowers (iris, cherry blossom, rose).  Has a strawberry velvet-tinged palate, with a good dose of tannins from the wood aging to indicate that this is a wine of substance.  A decent dose of acid further indicates that this wine might last a while.

Brief Wine Notes – 2001 Spottswoode Cabernet

25 Jun

While I may be considered to be guilty of infanticide, I had reason to open this bottle this early, and am quite happy that I did so.  This wine may indeed improve with age, but there is something to be said for enjoying things while you can.

The color of the wine hides its age, showing more purple than garnet.  The aromas are of anise, black currant, blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, vanilla, and spice box.

94% Cabernet Sauvignon with 6% Cabernet Franc-it is amazing how large a role the Franc portrays given the makeup of the wine.  This is a wine of finesse and elegance, although there is a sense of power to the wine as well.

The palate follows the nose.  Black cherry, violets, cassis, blackberry, dark chocolate, and a hint of herbal and floral character from the Franc.  I am intrigued by the different levels of this wine, showing nuance and hints of things to come.

Brief Wine Notes – 2009 Diatom “Huber” Chardonnay

24 Jun

The Huber Vineyard Chardonnay from Diatom is vinified from the old Wente clone, and was planted almost 25 years ago.  I have previously reviewed wines from Diatom on other forums and expressed my concern regarding the ability of this wine to be interpreted as “Burgundian” while boasting an alcohol level labeled as 15.9%.

There is no doubt in my mind, after sharing a bottle of this wine with my tasting group, and the remainder with my wife, that the alcohol level shown on the label is accurate, but equally undetectable (until it is too late).

Aromas of white flowers, citrus blossoms, lime zest, stones fruits (nectarine, white peach), wet slate, and honey.  Palate follows through with citrus, honey, stone fruit, and wet stone (as if you did not see this coming).  In addition to the prodigious alcohol level, this wine boast a medium ++ acid level and a long finish.

A huge wine certainly by Burgundian standards, and even by Californian standards.  Pair this wine with rich seafood dishes, poultry with cream sauces, or drink on its own for simply pleasurable reasons (and at your own risk).

Brief Wine Notes – 2007 and 2008 Brick House Chardonnay

19 May

2007 Brick House Chardonnay– from a half bottle – it’s a school night (or at least that was the original plan…)

Beautiful nose of honeycrisp apple, tropical fruit, and wet stone.  Aromas follow through on the palate… crisp acidity, wonderful balance, and the wine seems to gain depth and a hint of sweetness with additional air and a bit of warming from cellar temperature. 

Split the wine with the missus over dinner, but there was just not enough wine so…

2008 Brick House Chardonnay (full 750) – the same aroma and flavor profile as the 2007, but seemingly more full bodied, rounder, and more plush, while still retaining the crisp acidity. 

When I had these a year ago side-by-side at the winery, the 2007 was my clear favorite (I thought the 2008 was flabby by comparison to the sleek racy acidity of the 2007, but the 2008 had only recently been bottled).  Now with another year of age and some time to settle down, the 2008 may turn out to be my current favorite.

Brief Wine Note – 2005 Pali Wine Co. Pinot Noir-Shea Vineyard

15 May

A wine with an identity crisis.  A California winery and California winemaker (Brian Loring at that time) making a Pinot with Oregon fruit.  And not just any Oregon fruit – Shea fruit.

The wine has the California feel in terms of depth and extraction, the Oregon profile in terms of ripeness and density, and a Burgundian vibe with a level of earthiness  and mushroom character that I don’t typically see in most California or Oregon Pinots.

Ripe red and dark cherry aromas and flavors, with hints of tobacco, porcini mushrooms, white pepper, and a mere touch of oaky vanilla (although I think this wine saw 100% new barrels).

Brief Wine Note – 1998 Chateau Clos de L’Oratoire

15 May

I am a sucker for a good wine from St. Emilion.  There is something about Cab Franc & Merlot that, when its right, is unbeatable.

Right off the bat this wine showed fabulous aromatics; not just the earthy smell that most people associate with Bordeaux, but also dark cherry fruit, spicebox, and a hint of chocolate.  The level and ripeness of the fruit would have almost suggested California, but the earthiness and structure of the wine on the palate spoke of Old World origin.  The quality of the wine persisted over a period of several hours. 

This wine is just hitting its stride…

Brief Wine Note – 2002 Drinkward Peschon “Entre Deux Meres”

15 May

Popped and poured.  Is the date on the label correct?  This wine looks, smells, and tastes like it could be a current release. Not the grapeiness that you get on truly new wines, but just so intense as to belie its true age.  Huge aromatics… Black fruit, blueberry, cola, incense, and a hint of licorice.  Intense flavors on the palate – blackberry, dark cherry, cassis, and the subtlest hint of oak. 

Great purity, silky mouthfeel, perfect balance, long finish….it doesn’t get much better than this for me.  Certainly in its prime, and should remain here for several years.

New Blog

13 May

For the past year or so, I have been a contributor to a buddy’s wine blog based in the central Florida area. I have enjoyed my time assisting that blog in becoming established, but it is time for the vine to send off a shoot in another direction, and thus CorksCru is germinated.

I don’t know if this venture will flourish, or wither on the vine, but I hope to provide a fresh and unique perspective on wine, wine events, and wine people, as well as an occasional food, restaurant, or travel-based post.

I am not sure if originating this blog on Friday the 13th is a good omen or not, but only time will tell.

Hold your ears folks… Its SHOWTIME!