Posts belonging to Category Riesling



Outta Gas. Pandemic Fatigue. Only Wine Can Save Us Now.

HOW MUCH PANDEMIC CAN A PERSON TAKE?

EXCUSE ME IF I AM THINKING OF ONLY MYSELF…WHO AM I THE PRESIDENT?

Let’s get political. Trump is a M-O-R-O-N. It is truly amazing that such a dummy could end up the LEADER of a nation…any nation. But the USA? His stupidity is boundless. His narcissism is so transparent it is “beautiful.” Glad I got that out. Let’s talk about wines. I reserve the right to return to this topic.

Mrs tBoW advised I have to slow down with the online wine purchases. There are several plum choices: Woodland Hills Wine is my local go-to. They have pickup out back. I’ve been in that store so often I could walk in blindfolded – with mask and gloves of course – and find my way to their best buys. Besides David Russell is the Burg Whisperer. Quality is his middle name. I bought some Huet sparkling wine from David in the past 6 weeks. Huet is a major Alsatian producer which means this is made with Chenin Blanc. Yeh. No chard or pinot.

2016 Huet Petillant Brut $28: 14% Golden color, thick on sight. Ripe green apples (yes you can have ripe green apples!), clove, viscous. Masculine wine. If Brad Pitt was a sparkling wine…Robert Mitchum for the TMC fans. David Russel of WHW pushed out it out near $20.

2017 Domaine Audebert et fils Bourgeil $20: 100% Cab Franc rose! Yummmeeee. You might think lotta body. Nope. You might think lotta flavors. Nope. Delicate in a masculine way. 12.5%. OMG. Jeff Welburn imported this wine. Hi Jeff!! Jeff is a very decent person who knows his wines and can be trusted. Nuff said. Congrats to Jeff and Wine Agencies Inc.

2018 Ginglinger-Fix Riesling Vielles Vignes 12.5%. $20. The Krisses love Riesling wines including those from Alsace which is the center of every war between Le Bosch and Les Francais. None of which is apparent in the wines. Alsatian Rieslings do seem different than German or Austrian. For tBoW it is about the delicacy. Maybe Viennese (and near regional) Rieslings are operatic even stuffy, while German Rieslings show power and finesse. Or maybe that is too much stereotyping. This wine is delicious, a titanic food wine and a repeat buy.

2012 Il Chiosse Gattinara Terre Vulcaniche 14%. Mrs. tBoW upbraided tBoW with the latest credit card statement. Slow down pal. This Fass selection is another example of what happens when tBoW encounters an importer who is 75% matched in palate. Same is true for Desert Wine Shop…Fass is a direct importer and we like what he likes. This is Alto Piemonte – a region which tBoW personally discovered and uncovered to the world for value and quality. AltoP [ed. cognoscenti wine speak] blends Nebbiolo with native varietals unlike Baroli wines which went to single varietals to sell into the USA market [ed. undrinkable since 2000]. This wine is a monster. Deep and impenetrable [ed. but not like VP Pence cannot be penetrated or would not ever be penetrated – never mind]. Hmmm. I wonder what “vulcaniche” means? Maybe grown in volcanic soil? Ya think? Needs minimum 3 years to round out. Even longer. Hell we cannot wait. That is why we must buy wines that drink on a more human SARS2 timetable. I left this bottle open overnight and it was still brawny and stout. Yeh. Gone now.

Feeling better now. I feel like I can take off my mask and gloves. Be careful and stay healthy. Please.

Bet you haven’t seen this Corona parody song.

PASS THE TORCH! WINE REVIEWS FROM THE OLD NEW CREW

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME RIESLING?

THE KRISSES ARE NOTHING IF NOT COMMITTED TO THE GRAPE AND THE BEST OF WINES!

This post features the Krisses. If you search for Kris A and KrisB on tBoW you will find them loping up and down the steeps of the Mosel. They learned to l-o-v-e German wines. In fact, they love all German beverages including BEER of which tBoW and kindt also are quite fond. In fact, you may quote KrisB in confirming that German beverages are pretty much tops all round.

Then they dropped out of sight like a hailstorm in September [ed. metaphor does not really work but what the hey.]…like a vineyard in February. Like a plate of cheese on a Spring afternoon with a delightful bottle of Burgundy.

They produced their own special blends – two bebes – and now the Krisses are back to share their favorite post partum wines with all of us.

2013 Weingut Beurer Riesling trocken: Really delicious estate trocken. All the cut you want. Reminds me of the beginning of a wine tasting in Germany. Tastes like Germany? Very good. Honestly maybe didn’t know a basic estate could be this good.

2010 Renato Motalli Valtellina Superiore – Valgella NEBBIOLO Very nice. Had this tinny thing that took a while to blow off, but really deepened and fleshed out the next day. Great wine. Here are cellar tracker notes. [ed. hmmm..posting cellar tracker notes.]

2018 Azienda Agricola Platinetti Guido Colline Novaresi Guido. Super tasty. Tastes like Italy. Classic northern Piemontese blend. Super delicious. Cellar tracker notes. [ed. he did it again. Once more and it’s a trend.]

NV Coessens Champagne Brut Nature Largillier Definitely very mineral with not a lot of red/blue fruits (surprisingly, because it is 100% Pinot), instead yellow fruits abound with a stony edge. Very very good. Cellar tracker [ed. crime-in-italy!]

2016 Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir Basis KrisA’s [ed.that be the missus] first Pinot after Beckett was born. Amazing nose off the bat. Very rangy at first with super high acids. Deepened further by the hour. Really good. And the price! Super value. Cellar tracker. [OK. Since this wine helped tBoW turn a corner on German pinots I had to see what CT said. “Decanted but was open from first pour. Beautiful just ripe cherry fruit with minerals, herbs, and some bark. Mild tannins were barely noticeable. Elegant but with excellent concentration of flavors. Excellent and great QPR. If this is the base wine, really looking forward to the Liaison and single vineyard wines.” tBoW rebuttal: No need to decant. Flavors are dependent on one’s palate. I will say this: based on QPR – quality-price-ratio – I bought summore!]

2010 Weingut Günther Steinmetz Wintricher Geierslay Riesling Spatlese sur lie: This was killer First wine after Beckett was born. [ed. the Enderle & Moll was 1st for Kris A. This must be for KrisB, no?] Nearly ten years old, yet still super electric and pithy, but also with delicate kabinett fruit flavors. Tastes mostly dry despite 28g RS. 11g of acid will do that! Super fresh too. https://www.cellartracker.com/w?1338552

Lets also welcome the Field Maus [ed. he’s still around? been ages since he posted!] who would like to share something warm and touching about dogs and wine. We can all use some of that. https://www.oregonwinepress.com/wine-countrys-best-friend

Here’s something unusual. Dance competition for cowboys and polka.

Wine Talk with the Ultimate Cognoscentus: Mr. David Russell

 

We have an exclusive interview with David Russell who is the Senior Wine Advisor at Woodland Hills Wine Company which is tBoW’s home store. A truncated set of questions and answers follow [ed. that means there are others on the shelf]. Suffice it to say David has wasted most of his life chasing a wine dream. Something with which tBoW and readers are familiar. There are worse things to pursue like going into politics. He has worked at prestigious wine shops along the Coastal Premium Wine Shop Trail which runs from Seattle thru Portland then the Bay Area to Santa Barbara, LA and Orange County. In case he looks familiar his personal tracks cover the Bay Area and Santa Barbara, and now Woodland Hills. There are maybe a dozen or so premium wine shops where one can count on great wine for a fair price sold by folks who know their shit. And away we go.

David wears glasses and is often fighting a chill.

1. tBoW: You are from SB and almost the right age. Did you riot in IV? DR: I’m definitely the right age, however I was in Hong Kong dodging the draft serving a Mormon mission (seriously!) when the really heavy shit went down in about 1970. Also I went to UC Berkeley, not UCSB (although most of my friends did go to UCSB and did participate in, uh, acts of civil disobedience.

2. tBoW: Spumante or prosecco? DR: I can tolerate a decent Prosecco. 

3. tBoW: what was the last wine you drank – not tasted – that was higher than 15%? DR: Though it doesn’t taste like it’s 15%, the 2014 Passopisciaro from Etna is labeled as such, and I definitely enjoyed it.

4. tBoW: Compare these wines for relative quality: Rochioli and Williams Selyem (Burt years). DR: I haven’t had nearly the experience with either that many have, but the W-S during the Burt years that I have tasted were not only frighteningly Burgundian, but I’d go even further and say that some were even Jayer-like.

5. tBoW: What Burg region would you recommend TODAY for value? What is your personal fave Burg region? Producers: choose Leroy/DRC vs, Armand Rousseau?

the wine that inspired this post was sold to us by David Russell!

DR: Probably the Côte Chalonnaise. Or Marsannay and/or Fixin. I likely have more favorite producers in the Côte de Nuits than in the Côte de Beaune, simply because the former is so much bigger and has so many more growers. I’d give DRC the nod over Leroy (though we’re splitting hairs here), as I’ve had more older bottles that truly delivered (’62 La Tâche being a case in point). Remember: Domaine Leroy has only been existence since 1988. As much as I adore Rousseau, it’s only their top three wines that really perform at the level they ought to; the Charmes-Chambertin, Mazy-Chambertin, and Clos de la Roche routinely under-deliver. There also other producers among the very elite: Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, Mugneret-Gibourg, Mugnier; Lafon, Raveneau, and Roulot in white.

7. tBoW: How long have you known Marsanne is not south of Beaune? DR: But Marsanne is south of Beaune, unless you mean Marsannay.

8. tBoW: We support the Price/Quality ratio and NOT the 100 point system which is only 13 points. Is Shanken a prick? DR: He strikes me more a buffoon than a prick.

9. tBoW: Port or Sauternes? DR: Sauternes.

10. tBoW: Is Santa Barbara suitable for Pinot Noir? Didn’t Richard Sanford have it right (how to make SB Pinot) from the start? DR: Yes, although I think Santa Maria is undervalued and Sta. Rita Hills overrated. Richard Sanford may indeed have had it right, to a degree at least, but the most compelling SB pinots for me have come from Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat).

11. tBoW: Can Calif produce great wines? Does it? Who are SOME of the GREAT producers? DR: Yes. It does, at least it did…pre-Parker. Ridge Monte Bello is still great. But none of the Big Bucks Cult Cabs are even worthy of mention in the same sentence with ’68-’70 Heitz Martha’s, ’68 or ’70 BV Private Reserve, ’74 Conn Creek, etc.

12. tBoW: What is it about Lodi that makes it the most dependable and best growing region in CA. DR: Who says Lodi is the best growing region in CA? Certainly not I.

13. tBoW: What can u say about Riesling in less than 10 words? DR: Rivals pinot in its ability to express terroir.

Many many thanks to David for sharing some time with tBoW readers. When in Woodland Hills drop into Woodland Hills Wine Company. As you can see, if you love wine then you always end up at some point with Burgundy. Maus will tell you to hunt down white Rhones and KrisB will expound on Riesling values. IGTY will ask is this all you got? tBoW Jr wants to know what we are drinking tonight. We value winemakers like Jim Moore and wine retailers like David Russell. Christ. I’m getting moist eyes.

Here. Try some Ron Burgundy with your wine Burgundy…

Xmas::NY Interweek & Xmas Tasting

do not judge them

do not judge them

DO NOT ADJUST YOUR CONTROLS. The foto is not in focus. The foreground grips control the horizontal and the vertical. Please ring the bell for service.

Main Street icon

Main Street icon

How was your holiday party? Ours was fab. Grab-bag wines, gag gifts and the popular and expanding re-gifting center charmed our guests. A Christmas party should be an open house with guests arriving at will. Lots off eats offset the preponderance of holiday cheer. We focused on wines and champagnes. There were no duds. Here is what we managed to keep track of.

Three Italian wines set the mark for winners bing bing bang. The first wine opened was the one in the center 2008 Cortones Brunello di Montalcino $45. It was quickly followed by the other two in sequence 2010 Tabarrini Montefalco Rosso $30, blending Sangiovese, Barbera and Sagrantino. 15 minutes later I was pulling the cork on the 2009 Viticoltori Migliozzi Casale Carinola Rampaniuci Falerno Massico $unk. While the sequence was accidental it was also perfect. The first two wines showed deep cherry flavors which encouraged the revelers to taste more wine! The third wine had the 3-winnersWEBmost body and the the most acid. It was the most serious and age worthy, forcing the madness to slow to a gentler pace. All three were just perfect for the holiday occasion where people who enjoy wine are involved. Each one was enjoyed by the throng in thongs. These wines proved the point that Italian wines are the most diverse with the greatest potential for giving gustatory satisfaction. Not one was over-ripe. Each was reasonably balanced, generally masculine. All three ably complemented the tamales, ham and lasagna.

BTF-zwickerWEB2013 Big Table Farm Wirtz Garden Edelzwicker $28 (winery only): Rare and unusual white wine blending “riesling, pinot gris, gewurztraminer and more;” all grown organically on the Big Table Farm estate. This wine shows what can be done in the New World with decidedly Old World sensibilities. Medium weight, oily with figgy quince flavors. Delightful. Serve chilled and let it warm in the glass. Big Table Farm is a label to keep tracking.

trouillard-champ-nvWEBNV Trouillard Extra Selection Brut $35 (Wine Expo): Plump strumpet champagne begging to hug your palate. Once this was tasted by a few it was quickly guzzled by the ambulatory throng in thongs. No wonder once you read about the careful handling in production, the first press juice only, and two years on the lees before bottling. Christ! This was too good for the guests!

As a wise man once said….keep the party hat on!! Happy New Year!!

This will help set the mood, no? It appears they’re having fun.

Wine Profiling. Hands In The Air. Don’t Pull That Cork.

waiting is half the fun!

waiting is half the fun!

Do you really know what’s in the bottle you’re holding? Sure you do. You know a lot about it. You bought it because you know it’s from a region you like. Or, for the incognoscenti, the label is pretty. It speaks to you. Perhaps you have insider information. A source of outstanding obscure wine knowledge, a de Gama like explorer of vinous worlds, has told you what to expect from bottles like these. Grab it right now. Buy it. Put it in your cellar.

What do we really need to know about wine to enjoy it? An older person once said youth is wasted on the young. The new axiom adhered to by underground weisenheimers is simple. Drink wine now. Buy enough to enjoy over the next 18 months.

Profile your wines.

tBoW has wines he wants to open and taste. But when? With whom? Planning is so hard Papa. Must we open to enjoy? No. We can enjoy wine without pulling the cork. Amend that statement. We always enjoy wine without pulling the cork.

tBoW introduces the newest form of wine tasting. Enjoying wine without pulling the cork. Think of it as pre-season. The joy of anticipation. You know, Elvis loved to cuddle. He rarely pulled the cork.

Here are a few wines we look forward to tasting. We are already enjoying them.

BlairReisling12WEB2012 Blair Vineyards Riesling $14: The first of two Blair Vineyards wines we are covering [ed. do not confuse with the Santa Lucia Highlands winery named Blair]. This wine was sent to tBoW by the HouseMouse. The wine is from Blair Vineyards in Pennsylvania. Mr. HM swears this is fine wine. We love the label. We love the story how +HM discovered this wine doing pre-college touring with his oldest child. Mostly we love HM’s enthusiasm for what is taking place in Blair Vineyard. Go Big Ben! Riesling must have high acid to make it palatable. Did the 2011 Blair make it happen? Are the Pennsylvania highlands the new Okanagan Valley only 3500 miles south and east and not at the northern tip of the Sonoran desert? We are excited to try. We have clearance to pull this cork on Turkey Day. This ain’t our first go-round with Blair.

duvelWEBDuvel Golden Belgian Ale $8 (Trader Joes): TJs is back. It has been at least 20 years by our clock since TJs had decent stuff on its shelves. This is a premium if MOR product for beer drinkers. Golden color as advertised on the label. Nice gluey flavor with a frothy head. At $8 it is 40% below what Whole Wallet gets. Where ya been Trader Giotto?

sangiotwinsWEB2011 Bibi Graetz Casamatta Toscana $12 and 2008 La Manella Rosso di Montalcino $15: We can’t wait to try these wines. Consider the pedigree. The Bibi Graetz is the entry level from one our favorite Sangiovese wines, the Testamatta, which goes for $30 when you can find it. The La Manella Rosso is the half-as-costly entry wine for the La Manella Brunello. Bibi Graetz Testamatta needs years to come around then it is beautiful. So you have to be it already aged. Like the 2006. We actually tasted the 2007 upper end La Manella a couple weeks ago and it was not near ready. See our point? This 2008 will be made from younger vines and should be ready to go today. At half the cost. How great is that? Just knowing we have these wines in hand is enough to sleep softly my love.

Here is a wine we have not tasted but we can still enjoy because a trusted wine snob – Mr HouseMouse – opened it. Here is what he would like to share.

sandhi_SRH_pinotnoirWEB2011 Sandhi SRH Pinot Noir $32 (Lincoln Wine 8/13): This offering lives solely off reputation, as it’s crafted by the acclaimed Sashi Moorman, who rose to fame via Stolpman Vineyards. Maybe he’s better suited to sangiovese and syrah [ed. not in combo we hope?!?]. This is a rare SRH Pinot Noir that won’t pummel your tastebuds with overextracted fruit. Too bad. It was lean and peppery, like a red Gruner Veltliner. [ed. hahaha, a red Gruner. Well played HM. Well played.]. Perhaps they were going for a cotes de nuits style. It didn’t work. 2011 wasn’t California’s best, and this is no exception. Save your cheese. No mice.

Major Kong pulls the cork on his government issue (GI) survival kit.