Sometimes in trying to keep up with transcribing tasting notes from various group tastings and such, I pile up a backlog of wines just drunk at home with my family over dinner. And then I just purge the backlog with one posting. Here is the latest installment.
2009 Adami Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Dry Vigneto Giardino. This is pale in color and presents a very persistent bead. It features a minerally nose that is full of limestone, wet chalk, copper, white pepper and peach pit aromas. In the mouth, it tastes full-on of Gala apples, along with some pear and cream notes riding atop the white pepper and mineral underpinning. It is surprisingy creamy-textured but is still definitely dry in tone despite the big apple fruit in play. It is an unusual combination in a Prosecco, and the addition of some nutmeg and graham cracker flavors on the finish just add to the unusual but interesting profile. It is certainly not your typical Prosecco and might even require a bit more cellar time for a more seamless integration of the diverse components involved.
2008 Bodega y Vinedos Shaya Rueda Old Vines. This wine is crisp, stony and steely on the nose, with added elements of lemon-lime, green apple and seashell salinity. In the mouth, it is much the same—dry, steely and citric, with an intense crunch of mineral, fresh herb and salt running throughout. It has a nice wiry tension to it, as well, and the crackling finish sets it up to pair very well indeed with simply-prepared shellfish. I thought this was an excellent QPR.
2007 Peza do Rei Ribeira Sacra. This is a blend of 70% Godello, 20% Treixadura and 10% Albarino. It starts out with a crisp, taut nose of chalk, crushed seashells, fresh-chopped herbs, lemon peel and graphite before slowly opening up over the course of the meal to pull in more rounded and fruity elements of honeydew melon and grapefruit. It is more full-bodied on the palate than one would expect from the aromatic profile, though the medium-weighted flavors of citrus, honeydew melon and tangy tropical fruits stay fresh and tingly from the prickly acidity running beneath the fruit. It stays nicely-balanced throughout and has a very pleasing finishing kick. It is quite tasty and very food-friendly.
2001 Alphonse Mellot Sancerre La Moussiere. The color on this has become a bit golden at this point, but the bouquet has evolved into an interesting melange of advanced notes of lanolin, honey, liquid caramel, copper pot and baked pear intermixed with still-fresh bits of grannysmith apple and peach. On the palate, it still has some pleasure to deliver, but is probably nearing the end of its useful life. The flavors of spiced pears, peach pit and caramel are interesting, but the acids have begun to turn much more sour on this, especially on the finish. As the night goes on, the caramelized qualities come forward more and more, so this definitely seems like something that needs to be drunk up soon.
2004 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc. This wine has an airier nose to it, with notes of sweet chalk, wax, Meyer lemon, brass and herbs. In the mouth, it features a nice lemon-lime flavor base accented by graphite and limestone. The entry is a tad watery, but it fleshes out solidly on the waxy mid-palate, where the sweet yellow fruit and sour tang have a nice interplay. The yellow sourball-tinged finish is bright and lifted and while this surely isn’t going to improve any, it seems to be hanging on for now.
2007 Francois Chidaine Vouvray Les Argiles. Here we have a rather dry nose of granite, lemon rind, wax and green herb aromas that display a certain heft and depth to them despite the stony nature that is at the wine’s core. It stays similarly dry and tangy on the palate, with the granite quality again anchoring the surrounding flavors of toasted orange peel, juicy lemon and other citrus notes. I like the cohesive texture and overall mouthfeel of it—which is clean, easy-flowing, solidly-structured and pure. Compared to the next wine, I wouldn’t call this wine exciting, but there is surely a lot to like for those who prefer drier offerings.
2006 Francois Chidaine Vouvray Clos Baudoin. I really like the delightful bouquet this wine has to offer, with all of its fleshy aromas of glazed pear tart, nectarine, wax, chalk, minerals and struck match. It feels rounded and almost luscious on the palate with its rich warm flavors of hazelnut, caramel, beeswax, candied lemon, bergamot and sweet apple, peach and pear fruit. But it counters all that masterfully with an exciting underpinning of acidity and rock salt minerality. I love the giving and complex nature the wine has to offer, and it just improves all through the course of the evening, getting smoother-textured and increasingly polished with each sip. It is just a pure delight.
2004 Jean Rijckaert Savagnin Cotes du Jura Les Sarres. This wine has a pretty intriguing bouquet to sit and consider for a while as the aromas of honeycomb, citronella candle, honey, seashells, gravel stones, pistachio nut, sherry and sulfur mix and mingle in a richly-layered and complex melange. It is a bit oily-textured in the mouth, and offers up tons of lemon, honey, nuts, stony earth and oceanic flavors that are tangy and crisp and perhaps a bit high-toned at times. It shows good drive and life, but also solid grounding. It is different and very enjoyable.
2000 Verget Chablis Terroir de Chablis. The color here is a bit tarnished gold in tone. The nose of crushed shells, lemon peel and wet chalk is not real complex, though it seems transparent and pure. In the mouth, it is disappointingly meek and mild, with a lot of smoke and charred wood to go with a bit of citrus tang and gravel flavoring. Over time, the acidity starts to take over too much and the wine becomes attenuated and sharp. It should have been drunk some years ago.
1999 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Russian River Valley. I very much enjoyed this beautiful Pinot Noir from Gary Farrell that seems to be drinking a point right now, at least to my tastes. It leads with a lovely Burgundian-styled bouquet of smoky cherries, dark berries, brown spices and all kinds of moss/bark/sous bois foresty earthtones that draw the taster right in. Palate-wise, it is cool, a bit dark and mysterious—again showing a lot of sous bois character accented by mushroom, ground pepper, black cherry and dark berry flavors. Although it has a solid backbone and a lot of earthiness to it, there are absolutely no rough edges or drying acidity to get in the way of the mature, sensual texture or the ethereal finish. It was really a perfect pairing with a roast duck.