California, Rhode Island, Macedonia, and More
For the most part I take pictures of all of the wines I drink, be it by the glass or bottle. I write down tasting notes for the vast majority of these wines but in social settings I find taking notes prevents me from joining the conversation. I want to maintain a history of everything I drink, not to tout trophy bottles (which rarely cross my lips) but to provide material for a vinuous biography later in life. The first two wines were brought by my Uncle to Thanksgiving dinner. He served the 2009 Etude, Pinot Noir Estate in a decanter with the bottle squirreled away. In a feat of sheer luck and brilliance I deduced 2009 Californian Pinot Noir. I do not drink many Californian Pinot Noirs but this worked well in the general hub-bub of dinner which was punctuated by a few crackles from the fireplace. I believe everyone enjoyed it for it was tasty to drink. We then moved on to the 2007 Albert Morot, Beaune Cent-Vignes. Still showing firmness this wine encouraged you to take small sips then reflect upon them. I think it should be cellared a few more years but I did not mind its current state.
2009 Etude, Pinot Noir Estate, Carneros
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from various vineyards and aged in French oak barrels. Alcohol 14.4%. There was a light to medium strength nose of dark red fruit. In the mouth the flavors were spicy with brambly Pinot fruit then brambly bluer fruit. The wine became racy towards the finish where a sweeter side and some spice came out. This was forward, pleasing, and drinking well out of a decanter.
2007 Albert Morot, Beaune Cent-Vignes, Beaune 1er Cru
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections. This wine is 100% Pint Noir which was fermented in stainless steel and is raised in some new oak. There was a light nose of wild, red fruit. In the mouth the black cherry flavors were framed with blacker fruit in the finish. It was still a touch firm with integrated acidity which kept the wine lively and matched by a sense of levity. There was texture in the finish and orange juicy acidity. Should drink for a decade but needs a few more years.
We recently popped over to Shane’s for a roasted chicken dinner. I brought over the Cornelissen and the Tikves in brown bags for the fun of it. I poured small tastes of the Frank Cornelissen, Susucaru 4 to which Shane wondered if it was something like a Movia wine. It did not come across too well with exclamations, spitting, and dumping occurring all at once. This sparked an idea in Shane’s head so he chilled down a Rhode Island Riesling. The current release is 2010 so his bottle of 2008 Newport Vineyards, Vintner’s Select Riesling has a few years of age on it. It was a perfectly acceptable wine, while a bit sterile and lacking flavor in the finish, it smelled and tasted like Riesling. And it was from Rhode Island, how cool. The 2010 Tikves, Barova, Red showed well reflecting the studious attention paid to the vineyards and winemaking. Philippe Cambie is the consulting winemaker. He has helped create a modern wine with fruit flavors that make you scratch your head and wonder what varietals the wine was made from. Lastly, there was the 2007 Tablas Creek, Esprit de Beaucastel. I thought the color and nose were a bit more advanced than its age. Unsure of vintage I guessed it a French wine made from Syrah and Grenache perhaps from Gigondas. I got 50% of the varietal composition correct! And being Tablas Creek a guess of France was not too off base. To Shane the fruit had a purity which reminded him of California. I really like the wines of Tablas Creek but am remiss that the Cotes de Tablas Rouge became too expensive for a daily wine.
Frank Cornelissen, Susucaru 4, Dry Rose, Etna
Imported by Fruit of the Vines. Produced from the free-run juice of various indigenous varietals. Alcohol 13.5%. Rather cloudy in the glass which is not surprising given the clumps in the bottle. Beautifully texture, aromatic nose is very enticing. Then in the mouth it started with pure tart, thin, dry flavors. Very tart at first but after an hour or two the flavors were of pure, dry, grapefruit juice followed by a yeasty Pilsner finish. Strange disconnect between the nose and mouth.
2010 Tikves, Barova, Red, Republic of Macedonia
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars. This wine is a blend of 85% Kratosija and 15% Vranec sourced from 35-year-old vines located on soils of Smolnik with humus and Povilna wyth fern and mountain flora biomass. It was aged in stainless steel. Alcohol 14.5%. There were well made flavors of lightly powdery black and red fruit, a little woodsy tannin, plenty of well done acidity. Young, nice, and well made. Should drink well over the short-term. Contemporary but with a flavor profile I cannot put my finger on.
2008 Newport Vineyards, Vintner’s Select Riesling, Rhode Island
This wine is 100% Riesling. Alcohol 12%. There was a light Riesling nose. In the mouth the white fruit was somewhat ripe at first with clean Riesling fruit. There was a decent start with some acidity then the wine muted and faded off with no acidity and loss of flavor. A pleasant enough drink which made a favorable introduction to the wines of Rhode Island.
2007 Tablas Creek, Esprit de Beaucastel, Paso Robles
This wine is a blend of 44% Mourvedre, 29% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and 6% Counoise sourced from the 120 acre organic estate vineyard. It was fermented in stainless steel using indigenous yeasts then aged in French oak foudres. Alcohol 14.5%. It smelled a bit older on the nose with rich, clean mixed fruit which reminded me of Gigondas. In the mouth there was a dense mixture of black fruit, spices, and a long, lifted aftertaste that left dark flavors of wood box in the mouth.