June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

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June Wine Focus WTN: Insolia

Postby Keith M » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:07 am

Yet another new grape to me, Insolia, which my Oxford companion indicates is grown mostly in Sicilia off the coast of mainland Italy, but also in Toscana under another name. The 2010 Case Ibidini Sicilia Insolia appears bright pale straw color and smell fruity, with plenty of pear along with very bare suggestions of honey, but no, it's more about tropical tang than it is about richness. The taste is focused, really focused, flesh of fruit then crisp and cutting. Really good pear flesh. Herby/spicy/pointed with plenty of pear. Delightfully dry while still suggesting the flesh of the fruit. Could drink this all day long, oodles of character.

I seem to really dig southern Italian whites when they hit the mark, and the striking linearity and precision in the context of full flavor that this wine achieves really wets my whistle.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:53 pm

Keith, good one as whites from Sicily can really hit the spot right now. I am a big fan of Scurati so must check to see whats in the store!
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Ted Judd » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:23 pm

I love learning about wine and have enjoyed searching out and trying the obscure. those of you who live in the east of the u.s. of a. have around you a wealth of varietals not found in other parts of the world. one of my favorite grapes is tannat. you just have to make sure it is not a young vintage because it can take years (just like a good vintage port another source of many varietals not commonly found) to smooth out and become a rich tasting wine. another part of filling in the gaps on your century club spread sheet is to become familiar with wines we take for granted without asking what is really in the bottle. take for example chateauneuf du pape, a delicious wine primarily grenache, however, up to eighteen (yes 18) different grapes are allowed in the mix. of those eighteen a full thirteen are used by one of my favorites, Château de Beaucastel. so, if one your first glance at the spread sheet you come up with less than 100 take another look at the labels in your cellar and you will be surprised at how quickly you can get there. btw, i do use the spread sheet because it is a simple matter of inserting a 1 in the box to the left of the row and then asking for a column total automatically. have fun. it is just another good excuse to seek out and try some good wine(s).
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:03 pm

Interesting piece about Savagnin.....>

http://winecompanion.com.au/article/446 ... y+Traminer
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Mark Lipton » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:22 pm

2007 Txomin Etxaniz Getariako Txakolina [Grape variety: Hondurrabi Zuri]

[Ed.note: from yesterday]

With today's weather in the blistering range, approaching an historical high (high 97-98 F), we were in the mood for a light dinner of fish and white wine. The fish, provided by our local fishmonger at the Farmer's Market, was fresh, wild-caught mahi-mahi and some fresh scallops. Though I'd initially planned to grill the mahi-mahi outdoors, severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches -- along with the incredible heat -- dissuaded me from spending much more time out of doors. Instead, we salt broiled the fish and pan seared the scallops. For a wine I opened a fairly recent purchase:

2007 Txomin Etxaniz Getariako Txakolina
nose: citrus, a hint of salinity
palate: moderately crisp, light, clean

The light yellow color the wine was the first indication (after the fake cork that I'd pulled out) that this wine might be less fresh than my previous Txakolina experiences. Fortunately, neither Jean nor I could detect any hint of oxidation in the nose or on the palate, so it was fine if rounder and less crisp than younger examples have been.

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Last edited by Mark Lipton on Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby SteveG » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:32 am

Melon à Queue Rouge

2006 Philippe Bornard Arbois Pupillin Melon Le Rouge-queue (France, Jura, Arbois Pupillin) 4/6/2011 SteveG 92

Clear burnished gold. Shy overripe apple and Sherry nose. By contrast, the palate is immediately deep, with the chardonnay connection in the background, savory white fruit and tart edges with very slight oxidation flavor. The finish is long and a little bitter, with a sense of really old Burgundy; overall very well-balanced. Enjoyed with popovered chicken, just great!

Poulsard

2004 Domaine de la Tournelle Arbois Ploussard de Monteiller (France, Jura, Arbois) 12/10/2009 SteveG 93

A perfectly lovely wine, enjoyed with pot roast. Exactly between white and red in color, dry flowery nose, lots of fresh fruit, lots of acid, enough tannins, beautifully balanced and a charming resilient finish. Intense but light, and all food-friendly and modestly priced.
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N.V. Domaine de la Tournelle Arbois Petillant de Raisin (France, Jura, Arbois) 12/8/2010 SteveG 91

Slightly murky red-grape color, fresh leaves and fruit nose. Effervescent and racy juice, almost totally dry but powerfully savory and ripe profile. Lightly tannic and tart finish, this wine proved strangely popular. Who doesn't like sparkling poulsard?
------------------
2009 Philippe Bornard Poulsard Arbois Pupillin Tant-mieux (France, Jura, Arbois Pupillin) 5/12/2011 SteveG 88

9.5% abv. Slightly cloudy pink-orange with modest effervescence. The nose is shy citrus/berry/musk, but the palate is all strawberry/raspberry. Very Slightly sweet but very refreshing, the only thing this is lacking is acids, but the bubbles substitute. Not much finish, it just sort of disappears but not in a bad way; fun & enjoyable, just not too sophisticated unless soda-pop is your benchmark.

Jacquère

2007 Jean-Pierre et Jean-Francois Quenard Vin de Savoie Chignin Anne de la Biguerne (France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie Chignin) 11/22/2009 SteveG 88

Perfectly lovely light and elegant dinner wine. Very well-balanced white and citrus fruit and mineral, but not intense. Delicious rather than profound, enjoyed with a light chicken dish.
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2008 René et Béatrice Bernard Vin de Savoie Apremont (France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie Apremont) 1/13/2011 SteveG 91

Pale yellow-green, extraordinarily light and yes, stony on the palate, reminds me of lemon sorbet, but certainly not sweet; perhaps this wine is slightly alkaline, it is totally dry but barely tart and obviously not tannic. Long and fragrant finish, more flowers and some spice.

Ciliegiolo

2009 Bisson Ciliegiolo Golfo del Tigullio (Italy, Liguria, Golfo del Tigullio) 1/5/2011 SteveG 88

Unique grape, transparent strawberry in color, cool, cut-berry nose. Fresh and savory, just lacking a bit of tartness to add zing to the palate. Nice, slightly tannic finish. I agree somewhat with the note below, the overall profile is of a very light and soft red wine.

Hondarrabi Zuri

2009 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina Rubentis (Spain, País Vasco, Getariako Txakolina) 7/15/2010 SteveG 90

Salmon tint, light apple nose, light spritz and light red-fruit palate, modest finish. Very low alcohol (10.5), seemed best relatively cold. Tasty and easy to drink, just very...light.
-------------------
2008 Egia Enea Bizkaiko Txakolina (Spain, País Vasco, Bizkaiko Txakolina) 10/22/2010 SteveG 86

Very tart when cold, best aspects I think are a lively citrus scent and palate, and somewhat briny finish. This wine needs to accompany food, it is just too narrow in flavor to stand pleasingly on its own.

Mondeuse Noir

2007 Charles Trosset Vin de Savoie Arbin L’Expression de Terroir (France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie Arbin) 5/5/2010 SteveG 90

Ejoyed over 3 days, with pan-fried steak, chicken taco casserole and lamb chops, all handled better than adequately. Nose of cedar and peppers, this wine is like a fresh cabernet franc junior. Minerals and spice, very slight tannins, intense enough to stand up to flavorful food but light and balanced enough to be an apertif. Modest finish, overall an excellent and idiosyncratic wine.
----------------------------
2008 Domaine de L'Idylle Mondeuse Noir Vin de Savoie Arbin (France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie Arbin) 2/28/2011 SteveG 88

Light garnet, pepper-strawberry nose. Delicate palate of very fresh barely-ripe plums, light on the green pepper and almost no tannins. Zesty but short finish, enjoyed with roast duck and buffalo medallions, a bit dilute the second night.

Chasselas

2004 Luc Massy Chasselas Sous-les-Rocs (Switzerland, Vaud, Saint-Saphorin) 2/27/2011 SteveG 88

Unusual but evidently ancient grape, this was pale lime yellow in the glass, slightly musty nose of cantaloupe and citrus. Lightweight but viscous, savory palate of bananas, low-acid tropicals. A bit more zing at finish, best as an apertif or lighter food.

Garganega

2008 La Biancara di Angiolino Maule I Masieri Bianco Veneto IGT (Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT) 4/30/2011 SteveG 88

Pale lime gold. Slightly shy, waxy cedar lemon nose, transparent spicy citrus palate. At first the mineral finish was almost harsh, but a little air worked wonders, it is medium and a little funky. When tasted with prosciutto risotto this wine was tasty, but refreshing more than filling.

Gringet

2005 Domaine Belluard Gringet Vin de Savoie Mont Blanc Brut Zéro (France, Savoie, Vin de Savoie) 8/31/2010 SteveG 88

Certainly the most austere wine I have had in a long while. Pale in the glass, very effervescent, scent of light flowers and rocks. The dryness is almost alkaline, rather than tart, a full glass of minerals with the barest appley fruit. While calmer after a day or two, still almost aggressively dry. That said, the palate is very clean, I just couldn't figure out a good food match.

Hondarrabi Beltza

2008 Doniene Gorrodona Bizkaiko Txakolina Gorrondona Tinto (Spain, País Vasco, Bizkaiko Txakolina) 3/23/2011 SteveG 87

Lightweight dark fruit nose, palate of blackberries and leather, somewhat subverted by the short (but refreshingly tart) finish. Low tannins, this wine was enjoyable but undistinguished.

Lagrein

2006 Cantina Terlan Lagrein Alto Adige - Südtirol Rosato (Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol) 5/24/2009 SteveG 86

Beautiful light-blood-orange color. A little thin on the nose and finish, but nicely balanced taste. Leans more towards the red in texture, with berry flavor and definite tannins along with foody acids. Just the barest hint of sweetness at the exit, a perfectly nice wine but hardly exciting.

Marzemino

2005 De Tarczal Trento Selezione Husar (Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Trentino, Trento) 1/18/2009 SteveG 89

Allegedly the only single-vineyard Marzemino on earth, drinking this wine was like a sled ride. Leafy veggies and spice in the nose, giving way to fresh, barely ripe red fruit and still a bit of spice on the palate, supplemented with a rush of tartness towards the finish along with ripening fruit. Just enough tannins to touch the tongue, this is a vivacious and pleasing wine for anyone not turned off by the green pepper nose. A bit of a Cabernet Franc-junior, maybe this will age but I don't see any reason to bother. Under US$17 for a unique treat, perfect for the novelty junkie, enjoyed with pot roast beef.

Obaideh

2004 Chateau Musar Cuvée Blanc (Lebanon, Bekaa Valley) 10/22/2010 SteveG 84

Low acid, low alcohol, almost fruitless, notable woody scent. All this notwithstanding, this wine was decently balanced, very dry and pleasant. I do not otherwise know this grape, so cannot judge this wine as a representative.

Pineau d'Aunis

2005 La Grapperie Coteaux du Loir Adonis (France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Coteaux du Loir) 6/2/2010 SteveG 88

As mentioned below, nose of incredible freeze-dried raspberries (like picked out of Cap'n Crunch). Tastes of crushed flowers, overripe blue fruit, green peppers and black pepper. Strongly vegetal finish. strange as this all sounds, this is a balanced wine, moderate tannins, plenty of acid, interesting foodie flavors. We drank this with barbecued ribs, a good choice with strong flavors of its own.

Romorantin

2008 Domaine de Montcy Cour-Cheverny (France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Cour-Cheverny) 5/5/2011 SteveG 90

Very pale gold. Clear light nose of pears, wax and Amaretto. Seemingly tame attack of fresh-cut apples, followed by minerals and peach. The finish is where this wine shines, tart edges and stone fruit fading to ripe cider. Fresh and mineral, enjoyed with cod cakes.

Roter Veltliner

1996 Rudi Pichler Roter Veltliner Smaragd (Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau) 4/7/2011 SteveG 93

Clear bronze gold. Intense honeysuckle nose, lovely palate of candied grapefruit and rind, finishing tart and cleansing, and very long. Clearly botrytized, the sweetness shows through but I think this was vinified to complete dryness. This wine was enjoyed with smoked salmon risotto, a good choice for a wine of such dominant flavors.

Schiava

2007 Heinrich Mayr (Nusserhof) Alto Adige - Südtirol Elda (Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Alto Adige, Alto Adige - Südtirol) 2/7/2011 SteveG 88

Clear brownish garnet, light savory and mineral nose. A bit musty at first, fresh and lightly red-fruity, this wine consistently seemed a little thin to me. More tartness and bare tannins with a short finish. Second day significant nose and palate of blueberries, and a bit more body, much more enjoyable.

Tempranillo Blanco

2009 Ad Libitum (Juan Carlos Sancha) Rioja (Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alavesa, Rioja) 3/21/2011 SteveG 91

Pale lemon-lime. Buttercreme and savory nose, palate of crumbcake and ripe fresh apples, with a slight tingly sensation. The finish is tart, but still vinous apples. Slightly fleshy but very refreshing, with texture somewhat like a light Savennières.

Trousseau Gris

2009 Wind Gap Wines Trousseau Gris Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard (USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley) 4/17/2010 SteveG 90

This wine's first evening was gamy, musky and flabby, so it spent a couple of days in the refrigerator. Two and three days later it emerged clean and slightly spicy, mostly white and occasional citrus on the palate, and altogether more interesting. Light cloudy yellow, newly flowery nose, modest finish; this wine was not made to a formula, simply becoming a unique and satisfying wine.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Tim York » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:05 pm

There has been some discussion about Sicilian white grapes, so let me post again some TNs on some Sicilian reds and whites from little known indigenous varieties which impressed me greatly when I tasted them a couple of years ago. I stress, however, that the exceptional finesse of these wines for such a southerly latitude comes from an unique conjunction of terroir (volcanic soils and quite high altitude) with these specific varieties. I doubt whether Nereollo Mascalese and Caricante would transfer well to other parts of the world without a rigorous investigation into suitable soil types and micro-climate.

Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Randazzo, Sicilia
These wines are a revelation to me. The estate is located on volcanic soil high up on the North slopes of Mount Etna. The special soil and altitude explain some of the exceptional elegance and finesse.

Etna Bianco 2007 (€11), made from 50% Carricante, 25% Catarratto, 15% Grecanico and 10% Insolia, is a sort of generous Chardonnay substitute without butter and toast and with a character all its own; mouth-filling with subtle exotic fruit and lively mineral touches; 16/20.

Etna Rosso 2007 (€11), 100% Nerello Mascalese, has a fragrant nose with mineral, spice and orange touches and surprisingly light body which shows great elegance and fragrance balance by grip; not unlike Burgundy in style, if not in flavour; 16/20.
Etna Rosso Guardiola 2006 (€28) adds depth and roundness; 16.5/20.

Frank Cornelissen is reputed to get perhaps even more remarkable results on Etna but I have yet to taste his wines.

Another Sicilian white grape which I like a lot is Grillo. It makes wines of remarkable crispness and minerality and is so much better suited to Sicilian conditions than the international varieties which are planted in vast quantities.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:45 pm

Top 50 Portugal list here, from the UK, would guess wine century club well repped...>

http://www.thewinedetective.co.uk/blog/ ... ese-wines/
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Tim York » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:22 am

SteveG wrote:Melon à Queue Rouge



etc.

Steve, thanks for that fascinating round-up on rare wines and grapes. I bet that was the fruit of more than one drinking session :wink: .

Jura and Savoie are regions full of original flavours and I am longing to explore them more fully.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Joe Moryl » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:09 am

WTN: 2007 Quinta das Bageiras Garrafeira Branco (white), Bairrada (Portugal):

Had a bunch of wines this past weekend but this is the only one that might fit into the Century Club theme: a mix of very old vine Bical and Maria Gomes, both common white grapes in the central Bairrada region of Portugal. This is made in a very artisanal manner, with extended aging on the lees in large, neutral oak followed by bottling without filtration (one can see a bit of stuff floating around). Fairly saturated, but still youthful light bronze. A lightly smokey, muscat tinged nose with more smokey/meat notes adding to the green fruits on the palate. Very full bodied and rich yet not clumsy in any way. Great length. Very unique. I am not the only one who thinks this is one of the very best whites made in Portugal. Should improve with age, and past vintages have a record of doing so. 14.5% abv, but you wouldn't guess (unless you chug a bottle). Actually imported into the US, this is an absolute steal at $16.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Joe Moryl » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:55 am

WTN: 2007 Mukuzani, Merani, Kakheti Region, Georgia:
Dry, barrel aged 100% Saperavi. Medium dark with youthful magenta hints. A slight funky band-aid nose at first but this blows off after a couple hours, when the nose becomes quite shy, with just some light red fruits. The wine is medium bodied, ripe but with adequate acids and some smooth tannins. Plum and cranberry fruits with some residual herbal/band-aid which makes me think of maybe a Southern Rhone. Not too distinctive but a nice, well made wine. Lighter in color and tannins than some Finger Lakes (!) Saperavi I have tried. 12% abv, $10.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Sue Courtney » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:10 am

Breidecker is not on the list, but I guess it is rare enough to be.

Hunters Breidecker 2010 – Marlborough, New Zealand
11% alc. Screwcap closure.
A fresh, grapey-flavoured white wine, it is a light-bodied, inoffensive, juicy quaffer. Chilling tones down the moderate sweetness (17.1g/l rs).
Hunters believe they are the only producer in New Zealand of Breidecker. A cross of Muller Thurgau and Siebel, it was developed at the Geisenheim Research Station in 1962 and named after Heinrich Breidecker, a German-born pioneer winemaker in New Zealand from about 1875 to the early 1900s.
Hunters have been growing Breidecker since the early 1980s and say it has quite a following at the cellar door, possibly for its neutrality - it is the absolute polar opposite Sauvignon Blanc in that respect - and possibly also for its under NZ$12 price. Tasted 7June 2011.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Sue Courtney » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:03 am

Nerola Xarel.lo Garnacha 2008 – D.O. Catalunya, Spain. Made by Torres.
Shy on the nose, green grape flavours, a touch of spice. It seems like quite a dry, neutral wine but it has a pleasing lightly oily texture and fleshy yellow plum flavours emerge on the lingering aftertaste. It's evidently had some oak, but that was not apparent when I tasted it. I liked it. Different to what I normally drink with body and length.
Xarel.lo is also known as Pansa Blanca. The Garnacha component is white grenache or Garnacha Blanca (aka Silla Blanc). 13.1% alc. About NZ$25. Tasted 7 June 2011.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Matilda L » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:16 am

When I went through the list I was astounded to have tried 52 of them. I would never have predicted that.

Mind you, if you asked how many I regard myself as familiar with, different story altogether.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Tim York » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:35 am

Cornalin is a red grape variety indigenous to Valais in Switzerland. The vines are grown here in the upper Rhône valley where it flows from East to West carving a deep and not very wide groove between the Bernese and Pennine Alps. The valley represents a considerable sun trap and most vineyards are planted facing south but nights are cool. Drainage is mostly excellent due to the steep slopes but in any case summer precipitation in the valley is amongst the lowest in Switzerland.

A wide variety of grapes is planted; the indigenous Cornalin and Humagne (red) and Amigne and Petite Arvine (white) as well international varieties including Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Chasselas, Traminer/Savagnin (under the local names Païen or Heida), Marsanne, etc. Valais seems to contribute a noticeable local accent to the international varieties with a result that there is a wide palette of original flavours available.

Arguably the finest results in Valais are achieved by indigenous varieties, although the Syrah can be very good indeed. Here is a link to a Valaisan website's brief article on Cornalin and those interested can click further to find information on other varieties grown in Valais http://www.lesvinsduvalais.ch/wine-prod ... nalin.html .

Outside Valais, I am aware of at least one estate offering Cornalin in Valle d'Aosta but I am not sure whether this is the Swiss Cornalin or Cornalin d'Aoste, which in a rather confusing Wikipedia article is said to be identical to Humagne. In Valais they seem to be in no doubt that Cornalin and Humagne are distinct varieties.

Here is a very fine Cornalin opened last night.

AOC Valais Cornalin 2002 - Denis Mercier, Sierre (CH) - Alc.13%. If I had been blind, I think that I would have taken this for a Côte Rôtie and a very fine one too. There was a brightly focussed nose with fruit and floral elements from which I particularly identify violet and black currant more than CR's cherry but with a steely note similar to French N.Rhône. The palate was medium bodied and linear with still vibrant fruit, lively acidity and touches of spice as well as the aromas from the nose and there was a firm backbone supporting the finish; 17/20.

This was the last bottle of 2002 but I have three of 2004 left. It is equally good and a bit fuller.

My Petite Arvine is all gone but I may find a TN in the archive.
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WTN June Wine Focus: Baga and Tintilla

Postby Keith M » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:09 pm

First up, paging Joe, Baga isn't necessarily an uncommon grape, and, in fact, I've had it numerous times myself, but never manage to make a proper tasting note of it. Alas, this time is no exception. Popped open a bottle, shared it with friends. I almost feel that Baga does for me what Garnacha/Grenache does for a broader segment of the wine-drinking public. It is a really good, really gulpable red wine. Nothing like grenache, however, noticeably high tannins and greater acid, but, for my preferences, this doesn't require food, though the food sings with it. Floral components, grip, lots of moving parts, I just love drinking this wine and don't bother to analyze. So it was with the 2007 Luis Pato Beiras Baga from Portugal. Suffice to say, I L-O-V-E this wine and think it swings far above its price for interest and deliciousness. Luis Pato (aka Sr. Baga) also makes a sparkling Baga that I love just as much--though I find that one screams even more amazingly with food. I love love love my experiences with Baga.

My second grape is undoubtedly more esoteric. Tintilla from the Canary Islands (I'll be interested to see if Bob can wrestle up a Canary Islands expert to advise us--amazing who he brings to our discussions here). Alas, I'm new to the wines of the Canary Islands, and, in any case, they have only recently become present on the wine scene here thanks to the amazing passion of José Pastor--an importer I am quite enamored with. In fact, I recently attended a tasting of his Canary Island wines, so once I write it up, it should make an interesting addition to this month's Focus. At home, however, I had a bottle of the 2008 Frontón de Oro Gran Canaria Tintilla. The info I have on the Tintilla grape is very limited, so I'll just share my experience with the wine. It appears dark cranberry red and smells musty/earthy in a really good way. Some herbal things going on with slight smoke, dark and brambly. The taste: ethereal cranberry. Capital-I Interesting. Unique integration, structure, acid, fruit and depth, mouthfeel has presence. This wine wowed me for the degree to which it combined lightness with presence. A very intellectual experience. Lovely introduction to Tintilla and a continuation of my education on Canary Island wines.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Andrew Bair » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:39 pm

Tim York wrote:Cornalin

Outside Valais, I am aware of at least one estate offering Cornalin in Valle d'Aosta but I am not sure whether this is the Swiss Cornalin or Cornalin d'Aoste, which in a rather confusing Wikipedia article is said to be identical to Humagne. In Valais they seem to be in no doubt that Cornalin and Humagne are distinct varieties.

Here is a very fine Cornalin opened last night.

AOC Valais Cornalin 2002 - Denis Mercier, Sierre (CH) - Alc.13%. If I had been blind, I think that I would have taken this for a Côte Rôtie and a very fine one too. There was a brightly focussed nose with fruit and floral elements from which I particularly identify violet and black currant more than CR's cherry but with a steely note similar to French N.Rhône. The palate was medium bodied and linear with still vibrant fruit, lively acidity and touches of spice as well as the aromas from the nose and there was a firm backbone supporting the finish; 17/20.

This was the last bottle of 2002 but I have three of 2004 left. It is equally good and a bit fuller.

My Petite Arvine is all gone but I may find a TN in the archive.


Hi Tim -

Thank you for the interesting note. Have not had a Cornalin du Valais here. My understanding has been that Cornalin d'Aoste is the same as Humagne Rouge. Institut Agricole Régional d’Aoste makes a nice Cornalin, which is Cornalin d'Aoste.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Andrew Bair » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:44 pm

SteveG - Thank you for all of the notes. I thought that both the Ameztoi and Doniene Gorrondona wines were nice, though.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Andrew Bair » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:45 pm

From this weekend:

2008 Viña Sastre Flavus Vino de Mesa
100% Jaén Blanco, also known as Avesso or Cayetana Blanca. This is not the same grape as Palomino Fino, despite what a couple of sources say. The grapes come from old vines in Ribera del Duero.
Medium-bodied, bone dry, well balanced, with good underlying acidity. Very mineral, with peach, pineapple, herbal, spice, and saline notes. Very good.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Sue Courtney » Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:44 pm

I see Gruner Veltliner is on the list. That's pretty rare where I live, from all of its origins - may a handful of GV's from Austria, no other imports as far as I know. However there are some wines being produced from the varietal here in New Zealand. I tasted this one the other day - bottled but not due for release until August.

Babich Individual Vineyard Marlborough Gruner Veltliner 2011 - New Zealand
Highly aromatic - tropical guava comes to mind and carries through to the medium-bodied palate to be joined with apricot and lime. It tasted to me like a mix of Riesling and Viognier with a sharp, grippy, tight finish and a fumé note to the lingering aftertaste. Very fresh. Shows great potential. 70 cases produced. Certified organic grapes. Bottled one week when tasted on 7 June 2011. Moderate alcohol (didn't write it down). Screwcap closure. Expected to retail about NZ$25.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Joe Moryl » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:49 am

Andrew Bair wrote:From this weekend:

2008 Viña Sastre Flavus Vino de Mesa
100% Jaén Blanco, also known as Avesso or Cayetana Blanca. This is not the same grape as Palomino Fino, despite what a couple of sources say. The grapes come from old vines in Ribera del Duero.
Medium-bodied, bone dry, well balanced, with good underlying acidity. Very mineral, with peach, pineapple, herbal, spice, and saline notes. Very good.


Hmmm. Jaen Blanco? There is a Jaen in Dao (Portugal) which is said to be the same as Mencia in Galicia. Never heard of Jaen Blanco. Man, there are a lot of grapes out there! Avesso shows up in Vinho Verde...
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:04 am

Keith, I think there is someone on the UK forum who has quite a bit of experience with the Canary Islands. I will check into it for you! However found this Keith...>

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... ine&ao=all

http://www.wine-pages.com/guests/contri ... s-wine.htm

Have to say Baga rocks too, that sparkling red is to die for. Sorry I cannot say the same thing about the following wine, a Savagnin, which really is an intriging grape variety but tough on the palate imo.

WTN: `07 Domaine Rolet Arbois, Jura Fr.

$25 Cdn, 13% alc, 100% Savagnin. Opened one hour, good natural cork.

Pale yellow in color, with just a hint of green. On the nose, minerally, earthy, some floral so-so oxidative traits.
Big acidity here, nutty, sharp, some lemon, apple and ginger, slightly oxidized. Completely dry but not really my style. Think Tim has a fair amount of experience with wines from this region?
Quite stumped to figure out a food match here, pork scallopini with rosemary did not cut it.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Tim York » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:17 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `07 Domaine Rolet Arbois, Jura Fr.

$25 Cdn, 13% alc, 100% Savagnin. Opened one hour, good natural cork.

Pale yellow in color, with just a hint of green. On the nose, minerally, earthy, some floral so-so oxidative traits.
Big acidity here, nutty, sharp, some lemon, apple and ginger, slightly oxidized. Completely dry but not really my style. Think Tim has a fair amount of experience with wines from this region?
Quite stumped to figure out a food match here, pork scallopini with rosemary did not cut it.


That reads like Savagnin, Bob. There are broadly two styles around, the traditional oxidative one and a more orthodox one. Your Rolet - a well regarded producer - sounds more like the former, which is definitely an acquired taste. Some producers even make their Chardonnay in the same oxidative style :!: I have enjoyed Savagnin made in both styles, the most orthodox to come my way being Rijckaert. Pairings are not easy; usually something with a bit of a tang to match that of the wine is required and I think that pork meat is too sweet.

The real McCoy, vin jaune, is even more of an acquired taste and even more difficult to pair. Poulet au vin jaune et aux morilles is wonderful with mature vin jaune but you need to sacrifice a lot of the wine in the cooking.
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Re: June Wine Focus: Wine Century Club

Postby Keith M » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:17 pm

Tim York wrote:That reads like Savagnin, Bob. There are broadly two styles around, the traditional oxidative one and a more orthodox one. Your Rolet - a well regarded producer - sounds more like the former, which is definitely an acquired taste. Some producers even make their Chardonnay in the same oxidative style. I have enjoyed Savagnin made in both styles, the most orthodox to come my way being Rijckaert. Pairings are not easy; usually something with a bit of a tang to match that of the wine is required and I think that pork meat is too sweet.

The real McCoy, vin jaune, is even more of an acquired taste and even more difficult to pair. Poulet au vin jaune et aux morilles is wonderful with mature vin jaune but you need to sacrifice a lot of the wine in the cooking.

Tim,

What do you mean by orthodox? I'm familiar with the oxidative style and there seems to be a modern style where the flavors are cleaner and more linear and seem like they'd be more approachable interpretations of Savagnin.

And do you sacrifice vin jaune in the cooking? If so, that must be one expensive dish! I love vin jaune on its own, but pairing it with aged comte was one of the best food-wine pairing experiences I've ever had.

I think Bob nailed Savagnin with his description. Everything he described is why I adore Savagnin and why I know it faces a frostier reception from others. Oxidized, screaming/screeching acidity, tons of dry weight, yet I still find the whole experience ethereal.
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