November 2008

Blue Reviews

By: Anthony Dias Blue
DOMESTIC

90 Daou Vineyards 2006 La Capilla Zinfandel, Old Vine Reserve, Lodi ($28)
Dense with bright plum and berry fruit and concentrated flavors; generous, long and nicely balanced. 

90 Daniel Gehrs Wines 2007 Riesling, Monterey ($19)
Varietally correct, with lovely nectarine and sweetness balanced by a pure stream of acidity; nervy and totally charming. 

90 Tangent 2007 Viognier, Paragon Vineyard, Edna Valley ($20)
Smooth and silky with aromatic, juicy fruit and racy acidity; fresh, pure and searing. TWISTY
BAILEYANA

90 Halleck Vineyard 2006 Dry Gewürztraminer, Piner Creek Ranch, Russian River Valley ($30)
Rose petal nose; silky mouthfeel with lovely notes of lychee and rose with mellow fruit, dry flavors and crisp, fresh acidity. 

90 Rusack Vineyards 2006 Chardonnay, Reserve, Santa Maria Valley ($32)
Dense and deep with lush tropical fruit and creamy texture plus good acid structure; vibrant and lengthy. 

90 Miner Family Vineyards 2006 Chardonnay, Wild Yeast, Napa Valley ($50)
Silky and showing mellow vanilla oak and ripe, creamy fruit; dense and complex with lovely style and grace. 

92 Lyrique Wine Company 2005 Syrah, Santa Maria Valley ($40)
Velvety and packing gobs of lush blackberry, blueberry and cassis with notes of pepper and spice; deep, long and stunning. 

91 Babcock Vineyards 2006 Fathom, Santa Ynez Valley ($40)
Supple texture with lovely sweet vanilla oak and fresh, feminine raspberry and plum fruit; fresh and loaded with elegance and style; 80% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot.

91 Faust 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($50)
Quintessa's second wine; suave and velvety but with structured plum and spice tones; long, intense and very dense; 18% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc.
HUNEEUS VINTNERS

93 Gargiulo Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, G Major, 575 OVX Vineyard, Oakville ($125)
Silky, lush and feminine with lovely plum and soft acid structure; rich, mellow and long with generous, rounded fruit.


IMPORTS

90 Marlargo 2006 Shiraz, McLaren Vale ($16)
Dense, clean and intense with ripe blackberry, spice on complex texture; long, deep and balanced. TWISTY
 MARLARGO IMPORTS


90 Domaine Pichot 2007 Vouvray, Le Peu de la Moriette, France ($18)
Smooth and peachy Chenin Blanc with fresh, sweet fruit and nice acidity.
VINEYARD BRANDS


91 Antinori 2007 Castello della Sala Chardonnay, Bramito del Cervo, Umbria, Italy ($19)
Deliciously juicy with lush texture, ripe fruit and tangy acidity; minerally, long and balanced.
STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES

92 Teruzzi & Puthod 2006 Terre di Tufi, Toscana, Italy ($21)
Jammed with beautifully extracted fruit, minerals, keen acid structure and complex balance and style; a celebrated wine in a handsome package.
EMPSON

90 Prager 2007 Grüner Veltliner Federspiel, Hinter der Burg, Austria ($35)
Spiced, juicy and bright with typical acidity and sweet notes; fresh, long and peachy.
VINDIVINO

90 Spice Route 2007 Pinotage, Swartland, South Africa ($22)
Dense and showing ripe berries and varietal spice; charming, with lovely texture and depth.
VINEYARD BRANDS
90 Wild Earth Wines 2006 Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand ($30)
Ripe black cherry and firm acidity; juicy, pure and long with lovely flavors, texture and balance. TWISTY
SAN FRANCISCO WINE EXCHANGE

 
90 Two Hands 2007 Shiraz, Angel’s Share, McLaren Vale, Australia ($35)
Richly packed with summery blackberry and fresh acidity; ripe, dense and fresh with length, depth and opulent charm. TWISTY
TERLATO WINES INTERNATIONAL

92 San Felice 2004 Pugnitello, Toscana, Italy ($55)
A newly revived variety that has depth, length and layers of rich flavor; dark, dense and velvety with blackberry, cassis, spice and juicy acidity.
MARGAUX & ASSOCIATES

92 Dios Baco Pedro Ximénez “Oxford 1.970,” Sherry-Jerez-Xérès, Spain ($120)
Black/brown color; thick and creamy with prune, raisins and dates; sweet, intense and layered with chocolate, spice and molasses.
CIV USA

VALUE AND BY-THE-GLASS RECOMMENDATIONS
 

90 MontGras 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, Casablanca Valley, Chile ($13)
Fresh and bright with pure citrus, melon and peach; lush yet balanced with commendable acidity and balance. TWISTY
 PALM BAY IMPORTS

87 Avery Lane 2006 Riesling, Columbia Valley ($8)
Sweet and spicy with apricot fruit and clean, simple yet nicely balanced flavors.
PRECEPT BRANDS

86 Columbia Crest 2007 Gewürztraminer, Two Vines, Washington State ($8)
Easy, clean and juicy with simple, ripe fruit flavors; creamy, long and balanced.
STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES
 
88 Acacia Vineyard 2006 Chardonnay, A, California ($10)
Fresh and smooth with clean fruit and firm acidity; silky, long and quite attractive.
DIAGEO CHATEAU & ESTATE WINES


88 Perrin & Fils 2007 Réserve Perrin Côtes du Rhône Blanc, France ($11)
Very palatable, with bright aromatics and lovely texture; mellow and rounded with lovely balance. TWISTY
VINEYARD BRANDS

88 Valley of the Moon 2007 Chardonnay, Sonoma ($16)
Smooth and juicy with tangy fruit tones; alive with long and balanced flavors.
HECK ESTATES


88 Lagar Alto 2007 Tempranillo, La Mancha, Spain ($10)
Smooth and bright with fresh raspberry fruit and lively acidity; clean, long and totally charming.
BEACON WINE COMPANY

87 Barton & Guestier 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France ($9)
Bright red-plum and subtle herb notes; simple, but nicely textured and charming.
DIAGEO CHATEAU & ESTATE WINES

88 Jean-Luc Colombo 2005 Côtes du Rhône Les Abeilles, France ($13)
Bright, fresh and juicy with food-friendly acidity and spice; bright, long and balanced.
PALM BAY IMPORTS

88 Bodegas Guardiola 2007 Solage Jumilla, Spain ($14)
Lush and ripe with dense berry fruit and light tannins; fresh, long and delightful; 50% Monastrell, 50% Tempranillo.
BEACON WINE COMPANY

SPIRITS

92 Vodka 7000’ ($30)
Oat-based vodka made in Utah; clean, smooth and silky with notes of vanilla and sweetness; lovely, balanced and very mellow.
HIGH WEST DISTILLERY


92 Jett Energy Vodka ($30)
Mellow vanilla nose; smooth, creamy and luscious with lovely sweet, long flavors; dense and beautifully made (in France), with a long, unctuous finish.
BAMBU IMPORTS

91 Zacapa Rum 23 ($45)
From Guatemala; deep amber color; sweet, rich and intense with molasses, orange, orange peel and tamarind fruit; creamy, toasted and deep with lovely flavors and sweetness.
DIAGEO

94 Cabana Cachaça ($35)
Double-distilled in Brazil; lush, floral nose; silk, smooth with elegance, balance and notes of rainforest vegetation; complex, long and seductive.
ABB PARTNERS

95 The Glenrothes 1985 Single Malt Scotch ($140)
Bottled in 2005; smooth and creamy with rich toffee, vanilla and mellow dried fruits; luscious, toasty and tasting of meringue, crème anglaise and roasted meat.
SKYY SPIRITS

90 E&J XO Brandy Vintage Reserve, Limited Release ($16)
Smooth and elegant, rich and complex with notes of herbs, spice and toasted oak; an affordable American brandy that can be taken seriously.
GALLO

93 Leopold Gourmel Cognac Age des Fleurs ($130)
Smooth, rich and toasted with notes of orange peel and vanilla; mellow, long and complex with silky texture.
PREISS IMPORTS
 

93 Tanqueray Gin ($22)
Lime, rich and textured with complex flavors and density.
DIAGEO

92 Bottega Sambuca ($28)
Creamy, thick and sweet with lovely anise, licorice and some nice heat; rich, long and snappy at the finish; made in the Veneto.
PALM BAY IMPORTS

90 O’Malleys Irish Cream Liqueur ($20)
Creamy, rich and clean with ripe balanced vanilla and excellent length.
PRESTIGE WINE GROUP

Four Seasons of Pommery
 

On September 18, Champagne Pommery hosted an extended afternoon tasting of its line of seasonal bubblies at the private salon at Le Bernardin in Manhattan. The Four Seasons of Champagne showcased Pommery’s collection of four individual champagnes, each geared to a specific time of year. The wines are crafted by talented Pommery Cellarmaster Thierry Gasco, who has been with this impressive (and sometimes unjustly overlooked) house since 1992. The champagnes were matched at the tasting with cuisine from Le Bernardin Chef Eric Ripert.

Thomas Lambert-Laurent, Vice President of Vranken Pommery America, was on-hand to speak to guests about the individual subtleties of these champagnes. The concept was first launched with Summertime (a Blanc de Blancs) and Wintertime (a Blanc de Noirs) in 1998, followed by Springtime (a Brut Rosé) and Falltime (a Blanc de Blancs Extra Dry) in 2005. Vibrant color on labels and box packaging distinguishes the individual members of this collection and makes these wines stand out from the crowd on retail shelves. Each has a suggested retail price of $55.

Here are my notes:

92 Pommery Springtime NV Brut Rosé
Pale salmon color; lush and round yet tangy, with bright raspberry fruit and a long, lingering finish.

91 Pommery Summertime NV Blanc de Blancs
Round and juice with firm structure and fresh racy acidity; finishes long, dense, balanced and lovely.

92 Pommery Falltime NV Blanc de Blancs Extra Dry
Juicy and racy with sweetness but no heaviness; ripe, snappy and long; deep and nervy on the finish

93 Pommery Wintertime NV Blanc de Noirs
Deep and dense with ripe berry fruit, rich flavors and fine mousse; long, ripe and racy finish.

Pommery is imported by Vranken Pommery America.




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