So, here’s a list of wines I’ve had in the past week or so. A quick thought on tasting notes first . . . There is a lot of debate about the terms wine writers’ use when describing wine; most people are dumbfounded by the never-ending lists of adjectives for aromas and tastes, and for good reason. But simply sticking to dry or tannic or soft or heavy or light or sweet or fruity is restrictive and not really accurate either. So I think if it’s a familiar smell or taste than say so—I eat grapefruit so I know what that tastes like, same with pepper or cherries or lime or smoked meat or salt etc. etc.—but when you say something like “dark mashed violets emerged with time” (from Lyle Fass’s blog Rockss and Fruit) it just alienates most everyone and I don’t think it’s true. Has Lyle encountered the aroma of mashed violets often? And dark is a description of color not smell, unless he’s also smelled light mashed violets enough to distinguish from the smell of darker ones. Bullshit. Here’s my list and notes which are probably bullshit too. (Oh ya, the prices I list are retail; since I work in wine retail my actual cost is somewhat less).
Domaine de L’Ameillaud, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2005, $10. This is such a good deal on well-made wine I’ve had a few over the last year. Vaucluse is in the Southern Rhone and so this VDP (country wine in France—the second lowest legal category) is in the same family as Cote du Rhones—usually a blend of Grenache and Syrah with some other grapes here and there. This particular wine has a great balance of fruit and acidity along with a little pepper and some earthiness. It’s refreshing and versatile with food.
Domaine de la Roche Saint-Martin, Brouilly 2006, $18. Cru Beaujolais is sometimes all I want to drink in the summer. Tired of white wine, don’t like most rosè so Beaujolais is the answer. Brouilly is light and fruit driven and crisp and goes great with most food.
Cascina La Ghersa, Piage 2006, $8. A white from Piedmont that is a blend of chardonnay and cortese and is unoaked and has nice fruit and its acidity isn’t too out of whack and we got it at a great deal so I can’t afford not to drink it.
Parés Balta, Calcari 2006, $20. I’m guessing a bit on the price since I got it for free at a tasting I was working that focused on wines from Catalan. This a 100% Xarello wine (maybe pronounced “shuh rello”) which is an indigenous Catalonian grape mostly used for cava. It was a decent wine, a bit too much fruit and alcohol but overall pleasant, though I wouldn’t buy it but I liked it for free.
Domaine Jean-Luc Dubois, Savigny-les-Beaune “Les Picotins”2006, $30. A little pricey but I drank it and split it with people at work. Young Burgundy is a toss up but this was pleasant though a bit tight and tannic at first. Apparently ‘06’s are better for current drinking then the fabulous but massive ‘05 vintage blah blah blah.
Ponte de Lima, Vinho Verde 2007, $7. I often crave dryish, lightly effervescent things served quite cold in the afternoon. Txacoli is usually 3 times as much though and other substitutes like things from Gaillac or Penedés are less reliable. Portugal comes through in many ways but especially Vinho Verde like this which I drank straight out of the bottle.
Bera Vittoria e Figli, Arcese 2006, $13. Another wine with a bit of natural effervescence, but this stuff is complex and simultaneously enjoyable. A blend of indigenous grapes in Piedmont—this is an awesome deal on something totally unique and soooo fucking good.