Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Voluptuous Kabinett

2005 Knebel Winninger Rottgen Kabinett
Shane’s Notes

This is an oustanding wine! The palate simply explodes with flavor. It is rich to the point of voluptiousness and boasts a myriad of tropical fruit and citrus flavors. There is just a hint of minerality on the finish and enough acidity to prevent flabbiness. I’m a huge fan of the Knebel style and this is the best Knebel I’ve had the pleasure of drinking.

King Konsgaard

2005 Chardonnay, Napa Valley
Jen’s Notes

This is a bottle with a story. Not terribly long ago, Shane and I were browsing in a wine shop; the sort of shop in which you might expect to find something unusual. They didn't have the Kongsgaard Chardonnay (but they did have Joseph Phelps' Backus, which we did not go for), and yes, I looked. I look for it everywhere. And so I said to Shane, "if we see the Kongsgaard in a shop, I get to buy it. Online did not count, (too easy) and this bet of sorts pertained to the "regular" (anything but, as it turned out) chard, not the Judge.

Fast forward several weeks to Saturday, which found us in a swanky grocery store in Woodside, ogling Burgundies and Amarones, and slightly disappointed in the Riesling selection. I slipped over to the California Chardonnays, looked upward and stated flatly, "oh crap," as my heart began to flutter and my peripheral vision was consumed by blackness.

For it was the Kongsgaard, making its appearance when Shane and I were in the middle of scaling back our spending (times being what they are). I really really really could have turned my back on that bottle, and in fact, would have done, if not for the Bet. "We have to honor it," I said. "I am an acolyte of Chardonnay. I owe it to... something," I whinged. And so we bought it along with a loaf of Acme sweet baguette because it would look weird to just buy a hundred-dollar bottle of wine, right?

We opened it Sunday. Some may cry infanticide, to which I retort: "decant 40 minutes."

Seriously, this wine is HUGE! Lush. Gorgeous. You might say "over the top." Maybe. But who the heck cares, it is delicious. The wine boasts a beautiful golden color; we tasted honeysuckle, juicy pineapple, and a hint of graphite underneath. There seemed to be plenty of zesty acidity, with a slight roundness on the edges; if there is any malolactic in here, it would have to be a small percentage. A toasty note nearing the finish suggested a gentle use of oak. The wine is meticulously crafted to preserve the fruit and take it to another level of sophistication.

A completely unique Chardonnay. At this price, I wouldn't be stocking the cellar, but it was worth it.

Portugese Table Wine

2006 Crasto
Douro, Portugal
Jen’s Notes

Unlike other Douro table blends, this wine has a smaller percentage of the Touriga Nacional varietal; it was quite different from the other Portuguese reds we have had. When we first opened it seemed a little strange, funky and off-kilter but nevertheless drinkable. But, oh, what a little air time can do. Once the wine opened, we were pleasantly surprised to find fresh berry fruit, highlighted by zesty acidity. The wine was a bit juicy and would be fabulous with food.