WTN: Four wines, four countries

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WTN: Four wines, four countries

Postby Bruce K » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:05 am

Domaine de la Pepière 2004 Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France Marches de Bretagne Cuvée Granit, $11
For me, this is the wine value of the year, the decade, as long as I’m at it, why not the century? The nose is extraordinary, mixing vibrant cherry fruit with tons of oregano and other herbs along with some minerals. The palate follows almost precisely. There are some tannins and very good acidity, giving it structure but the texture is smooth. Excellent match with eggs baked with goat cheese, pesto, onions and potatoes.

Pinhal da Torre 2002 Ribatejo Quinta do Alqueve Tradicional, $8
On the nose, this has a mix of barnyard, herbs, earth and red fruits. On the palate, there is red berry and plum fruit accented by a fair amount of earth and some herbal elements. Decent acidity, very smooth, a good quaffer with a little complexity. Very fine match with pasta with broccoli, olive oil, parmesan and almonds.

Walla Walla Vintners 1999 Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Franc, $25
Blech. This is low-acid, porty and oaky. Not enjoyable. Three days later, it starts out just as bad, but with some time in the glass, the the palate opens up to bright black cherry fruit with some briary, herbal accents while the oak recedes into the background. However, the nose remains unpleasant. This is a winery I once liked, but the more I’ve grown averse to heavy-handed new oak treatment, the less I’m enamored of them.

Icardi 2003 Barbera d’Asti Tabaren, $11
Hmmm. Smells and tastes just like Welch’s grape juice. Both sweet and simple. Victim of the vintage, I suppose, as this is a wine I usually enjoy. The next day, however, it’s much better, less of the grape juice and more complex earth, herbal and briary smells and tastes. It now has structure, too.
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Bruce K
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Re: WTN: Four wines, four countries

Postby Otto » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:31 pm

Bruce,

Thanks for the notes. I was happy to see the note on Quinta do Alqueve. I really like their lower end stuff as it tastes very "Portuguese" to me and is very well made. The higher end stuff is rather spoofulated for my tastes. If you can, try their varietal Fernão Pires - so far the best white I've tasted out of Portugal.

I've had only bad experiences with Icardi. I thought all their wines smelled alike and the only difference in taste was how the tannins varied. :( Since I've seen some positive notes from several people whose tastes I trust, I'll give them another chance when I next come across them.

-O-
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: WTN: Four wines, four countries

Postby Bruce K » Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:41 pm

Thanks, Otto. This was my second bottle of the Alqueve Tradicional and I liked both very much, especially at their <US$10 price. They do indeed remind me of the cheap, authentic Portuguese wines that were a mainstay for me 15-20 years ago but which now, curiously, seem to be hard to find, replaced, apparently, by higher-end, more internationalized wines from that country.

The only Icardi I've ever had is the Tabaren Barbera d'Asti, so I can't comment on the producer in general, but I've enjoyed this bottling as a good pizza/pasta wine for many vintages, the 2003 being a foreseeable exception to the rule.
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