Peter Finkelstein, a regular participant in the Wine Lovers' Discussion Group and representative of the Philadelphia-based wine importer World Shippers & Importers, was in our town yesterday, bringing along nearly three dozen of his firm's recent releases for trade tastings with local retailers. I appreciate Peter and the staff of Louisville's Party Source shop inviting me in to taste along as they went through a variety of new wines from Portugal, France and Spain.
Delgado Zuleta "La Goya" Manzanilla Pasada (14 soleras) - Clear straw. Light pecans; very crisp and tart, bone-dry. Is it "salty," as the conventional wisdom declares of Manzanilla? It's hard to say if that sea-breeze tang is real or imaginary, but it's a pleasant, fino-style Sherry.
Caves Velhas 1999 Bucelas Arinto - Clear pale brass. Aromatic, citric and herbal. Full and tart, intense.
Caves Velhas 1999 Quinta do Boição Bucelas Arinto - Bright brass. Musk and spice, ripe melon. Crisp and full.
Paco de Teixeiro 1998 Vinho Verde - Barrel-fermented and aged, full malo; 100% Alveisa. Clear gold. Honey and oak, full, rather odd.
Henry Pellé 1999 Morogues Clos des Blanchais Menetou-Salon - Pale straw. Delicious ripe Sauvignon, grass and citrus. Flavors follow the nose, full and bright.
Henry Pellé 1999 Morogues Menetou-Salon - Very pale brass. Fresh, clean lemon-lime. Crisp and tart, lemon-squirt acidity. Good balanced Sauvignon Blanc, cries out for a bowl of oysters on the half-shell.
Henry Pellé La Croix au Garde Sancerre - Clear greenish-gold, mineral and lemon-lime. Good balance, lean fruit and tart acidity.
Domaine du Météore 1998 Vin de Pays de l'Hérault Viognier - Pale gold. Flowers and herbs, fresh and dry; a perceptible edge of bitterness in the finish.
Yves Boyer-Martinot 1998 Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay - Clear straw. Apples and spice on the nose and palate, full and ripe.
De Sousa-Bouley 1998 Bourgogne Blanc - Clear greenish-gold. Apples and spice, uith an idiosyncratic whiff of Dijon mustard. Full and spicy flavor follows the nose.
Pothier-Tavernier 1998 "Le Meix Chavaux" Meursault - Clear brass. White fruit and minerals. Fresh flavor, full and rich. Very appealing.
Boyer-Martinot 1998 Meursault "Le Pré de Manche" - Bright brassy-gold. Apples and honey and pumpkin-pie spice. Full-bodied, almost unctuous, perhaps a touch of sweetness.
De Sousa-Bouley 1998 Meursault "Le Millerans" - Clear straw. Very ripe apples, butter and chalky mineral notes. Rich, and dry, apple fruit and buttered toast.
Yves Boyer-Martinot 1998 Meursault-Charmes - Clear brass color. Perfumed apples and nutmeg. Crisp and acidic, intense fruit, slightly sweet in a long, clean finish.
Caves Velhas Adega da Vila nonon-vintageintage Vinho de Mesa Tinto - Slightly hazy ruby. Fruity and tart, a bit rough. Good $5 wine.
Caves Velhas 1999 Bairrada Vinho Tinto - Hazy reddish-purple. Candied fruit and burnt sugar on the nose and palate.
Caves Velhas 1999 Bairrada Vinho Tinto Garrafeira - Dark ruby. Toasty red fruit aroma. Jammy and tart, crisp and tannic.
Caves Velhas 1998 Romeira Vinho Tinto Palmela - Very dark garnet. Big, jammy and grapey, a "fruit bomb," with hints of caramel in a long, sweet finish.
Caves Velhas 1996 Romeira Vinho Tinto Palmela Garrafeira - Dark garnet, with complex scents of leather, caramel and mint over deep black fruit. Full and very tart, ripe cherry-berry fruit and charred-sweet notes in the finish.
Caves Velhas 1997 Quinta do Boição Vinho Regional Estremadura - Very dark reddish-purple. Extreme "horsey" aroma, offputting. Better on the palate, though; deep fruit and tangy acidity,
Domaine du Météore 1998 Faugès - Very dark garnet. Perfumed red fruit aroma and flavor; fragrant black pepper frames the palate.
Domaine du Météore 1998 Faugès Réserve Élevé en Fûts de Chéne - Very dark garnet, black at the core. Warm, plummy, raisins. Deep, full, almost sweet. Wood evident.
Henri & Gilles Buisson 1998 Saint-Romain "Sous Roche" - Light ruby, perfumed and floral. Tart red fruit, rather lean,
Yves Boyer-Martinot 1997 Auxey-Duresses "Les Ecusseaux" - Quite light in color and nose, an herbal whiff of dill. Pleasant cherry-berry flavors, delicate and complex.
François Gay 1995 Chorey-les-Beaune - Clear ruby. Ripe red-fruit scent leads into sweet-tart cherry and pleasant green-tomato flavors.
François Gay 1996 Chorey-les-Beaune - Dark ruby, perfumed, a bit pungent and tart.
François Gay 1995 Savigny-les-Beaune - Clear ruby. Good Pinot scents, red fruit and wildflowers. Full, tart and sweet, delicious.
Gilles Barge 1998 Clos de Martinets Saint-Joseph - Blackish-purple. Smoky, leathery, a whiff of barnyard. A bit horsey on the palate, rustic, lots of black fruit.
Fayolle 1998 Crozes-Hermitage "Les Pontaix" - Inky dark purple. Smoke and leather and barnyard; juicy fruit and serious barnyard, ripe and ready.
Fayolle 1998 Hermitage "Les Dionniéres" - Very dark ruby; smoke and leather and ripe blackberries. Full, peppery and ripe, delicious.
Gilles Barge 1997 Côte-Rôtie "Cuvée du Plessy - Perfumed fruit and smoke, big and ripe.
Gilles Barge 1997 Côte-Rôtie Côte Brune - Inky blackish-purple. Tar and smoke and warm, plummy fruit. Amazing flavor, exuberant fruit opens in layers, framed by lemon-squirt acidity, with flavor nuances that follow the nose. Very fine wine.
Domaine du Traginer non-vintage Vieux Banyuls Sec - Clear ruby-amber. Plummy and nutty. Stone fruit, sweet and brown sugar and mixed nuts.
Domaine du Traginer non-vintage Banyuls Hors d'Age - Mahogany color. Ripe pruney stone fruit. Sweet and rich, maple syrup and walnuts. Delicious.
E-mail me your tasting notes,
and I'll consider adding them to this page.