Monday, April 28, 2008

An Insipid Riesling

2003 Schloss Johannisberger Grunlack Spatlese
Shane’s Notes

This one was a disappointment. The palate didn’t show much beyond sugar water. If I worked at it, I could possibly detect a hint of orange. Oh well, at least a bad German Riesling (sugar water) tastes better than a bad Burgundy (sweat socks dipped in soy sauce).

Flight of the Griffon

2006 Griffon Sauvignon Blanc
Shane’s Notes

This SB is highly unusual for the Marlborough region. This one not only has minerality but the palate is almost dominated by the minerality. The palate shows a peppery, lemon grass flavor with a massive stoniness. We’ve never had another SB quite like and really enjoyed it.

An Amazing QPR

Schloss Vollrads, 2003 Kabinet, Rheingau
Shane’s Notes

This is an amazing wine for the price. As Jen said, it’s almost a shame that it tastes so good because you just want to slurp it. The juicy palate is dominated by peach with a lemony undertone. The finish is short and stony but nicely balanced with the concentrated palate. You just can’t believe that a five-year old, $10 wine can possibly taste this good.

Another Ventoux

2005 Delas Cotes du Ventoux
Shane’s Notes

The palate is perfumey with a touch of kirsch. There is also a hint of blackberry with the typical French funk on the finish. It was nice but no better than your average CDR. In fact, I’d rather have the current version of the Chateau Montfaucon.

Too Young

2005 Dr. Loosen Erdener Pralat Auslese
$31/375 ml
Shane’s Notes

Tough to judge this one as I fear we drank it much too young. The sweetness tended to overpower the palate. The flavors we could detect included tangerine, lilacs, nectarine and floral notes. There was a bit of minerality on the finish.

A Refreshing White

Tablas Creek 2006 Vermentino
Shane’s Notes

Not a spectacular wine but nonetheless very enjoyable to drink. The palate reminded me of lemon lime Gatorade and was very crisp and refreshing. There is a hint of creaminess and a lingering finish.

Amazing Aspasie

Champagne NV, Brut Prestige
Ariston et Fils "Aspasie"
Jen’s Notes

Do I say this about every Champagne I drink? Quite possibly, but this time it is true. The Aspasie might be the best Champagne we have ever had. Certainly, it is one of the extreme few that Shane and I loved equally. It is a beautiful rose-gold color, gently bubbly, and bowls you over with scents and tastes of fresh raspberries. On the palate, this Champagne is quite fruity, with zesty, juicy raspberries and perhaps the barest hint of orange. The finish is quite long. We suspect there is a lot of Pinot Noir in this one. Absolutely delicious and a superlative value.

Decent American Riesling

2006 Snoqualmie Riesling
Shane’s Notes

This one had been collecting dust in the wine fridge for a long time. Neither of us really trusts American Riesling but we decided to roll the dice on this one. So, we finally opened it and were pleasantly surprised. The palate has nice concentration and shows peach, mango and fennel (especially on the finish). It is relatively dry, probably drier than the average German Kabinett. This is a very nice wine for the price and is definitely one of the better American Rieslings we’ve tasted.

Top Twelve

Here’s our top twelve list for the first quarter of 2008. A quick review of the rules that we follow: we choose 4 wines in the under $15 category, 4 in the $15 - $30 category and four in the over $30 category. Also, a winery can only appear once on the list.

$6.99, 2006 Domaine de Bernier, Chardonnay, Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France
3/17/08, French Chardonnay

$9.00 - Concha Y Toro Sunrise Sauvignon Blanc
Review to be posted in the near future

$9.99, 2006 Coteaux du Languedoc Viognier Laurent Miguel “Nord Sud”
1/15/08, A Must Buy

$9.99, 2005 Chateau Segries, Cotes du Rhone
2/19/08, Valentine’s Day

$16.99, Miner Family, Simpson Vineyard 2006
3/31/08 - A Tale of Two Viogniers

$18.99, 2005 Champalou Vouvray “La Cuvee des Fondraux”
1/15/08, Melon and Cantaloupe

$25.99, 2006 Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett, Fritz Haag
3/31/08, A German Wine Weekend

$27/375ml, 2004 Sauternes, Rieussec, Premier Cru
3/31/08, Our First Rieussec

$33.99, 2004 Santenay, Domaine Bachey-Legros, "Clos Rousseau," Premier Cru
3/31/08, Sumptuous Santenay

$36, 2005 Esprit de Beaucastel
3/17/08, Esprit de Beaucastel

$129, Taylor Fladgate 40 year tawny
2/19/08, An Ephemeral Experience

$300, 1996 Champagne, Krug
1/15/08, New Year’s Eve