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Archive for November, 2011

The Rather Good 2009 Domaine des Moirots, Givry

November 24, 2011 Leave a comment

This post concerns another wine selected for me by Matt.  This wine is imported by and available at Weygandt Wines for $25.  I was pleasantly surprised by this wine.  The earthy nature immediately appealed to both Jenn and I.  It is drinking very well right now which was attested to the quickly drained bottle.  I would look no further if you want to drink a Burgundy over the holidays.

2009 Domaine des Moirots, Givry
The light to medium strength nose contains earth notes before the red fruit steps out.  In the mouth this was quite tasty right out of the bottle.  The black cherry flavors mix with incense, a fair amount of tannins, and noticeable amount of dark fruit in the aftertaste.  The overall impression is of accessibility, balance, and an engaging nature. *** Now-2015.

A Glass of Wine at the Palace Kitchen

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

I had a quick dinner and a glass of wine at the Palace Kitchen bar in Seattle.  I had never heard of Hestia Cellars from Washington so I quickly asked for a glass of their wine at $12.  Now I am not sure if the “Red” listed on the Palace Kitchen menu is the Meritage or something selection.  I will followed up.

2009 Hestia Cellars, Red
This sported ample amounts of ripe fruit, not quite sweet but certainly jammy.  It seemed supple with well-integrated tannins and acidity.  It worked well as a single glass at the bar but it was too sweet for me to enjoy another glass. * Now.

2010 Leo Hillinger, Zweigelt, Burgenland

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The Winery and Cellar, Image from Leo Hillinger

Phil recommended that I try this Austrian red wine from Leo Hillinger and I am glad that I did.  Leo Hillinger took over the family wine business from his father in 1990.  Since then he has steadily transformed the business by acquiring select vineyards and building a new winery and cellar which was opened in 2004.  There are now 46 hectares of vines managed using biological and organic techniques instead of chemicals.  The grapes are hand harvested and destemmed.

Vineyard, Image from Leo Hillinger

This wine is imported by Select Wines of Chantilly, VA and available for $16 at MacArthurs.  This is the least expensive of the Classic series and a strong, flavorful value.  This wine will appeal to a broad audience and is a good introduction to both Zweigelt and Austrian wine.  It would also be a fun alternative for Thanksgiving!  The introductory quality of this wine has left me curious to try his more expensive selections.

2010 Leo Hillinger, Zweigelt, Burgenland
This wine is 100% Blauer Zweigelt sourced from the Baumgarten Rust and Altenberg Jois vineyards.  It was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.  There is a medium nose of lifted pepper and fruit.  In the mouth, the flavors start with tart, ripe, red fruit.  The red flavors and acidity are at the tip of the tongue followed by a blue fruited midpalate with surprising medium-bodied weight.  With air the fruit takes on sweet, orange and floral notes. *** Now.

2009 Chateauneuf du Pape and 2009 Coteaux Languedoc

November 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m a huge fan of the La Bastide Saint Dominique, Cuvee Jules Rochebonne so it was exciting to try the Chateauneuf du Pape.  It is surprisingly accessible with enjoyable, clean fruit that will appeal to many.  The Mas des Dames shows more structure and will reward a few years of cellaring.  The La Bastide Saint Dominique is imported by Simon “N” Cellars and available for $30 at MacArthurs.  The Mas des Dames is imported by Vintage ’59 Imports and available for $17.  I do not have enough experience with Chateauneuf du Pape from the 2009 vintage but it seems to be an affordable introduction.  The Mas des Dames could be cellared while you drink the La Bastide Saint Dominique.

2009 La Bastide Saint Dominique, Chateauneuf du Pape
This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault sourced from vines 25-80 years old and aged for 18 months.  This wine starts off with amazingly pure aromas and flavors of blueberries.  Then with air it develops into jammy red and blue fruit that gains complexity.  There is a good powdery feel in this easy to drink, textured, balanced wine.  There is a wee bit of heat. **(**) 2015-2020.

2009 Mas des Dames, La Dame, Coteaux Languedoc
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Carignan, and 20% Syrah.  There is a light nose of berries, floral notes, and fresh herbs.  In the mouth the red fruit is medium bodied with immediate flavors of dried herbs.  There is a slightly piercing acidity with light but vigorous tannins.  It is structured with stones.  The fruit puts on some weight in the mouth before it becomes a little woodsy with drying tannins in the finish.  I would cellar this for a few years. **(*) 2015-2020.

Purchases from Soul Wine

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Work was quite busy last week and it looked like I was not going to be able to purchase any wine to bring back home.  Brian was game for a dinner at Serious Pie in South Lake Union but we had to contend with heavy traffic due to protests closing the University Bridge.  Fortunately   I was able to swing by Soul Wine in time to purchase a handul of bottle for the return flight.  In keeping to my European focus I picked up two bottles from Spain, one from France, and an Italian wine recommended by Michael.

I purchased four bottles of red wine.

  • 2009 Jonan d’Anguera, Planella, Montsant
  • 2009 Alvaro Palacios, Camins del Priorat
  • 2009 Cantine Colosi, Nerello Mascalese, Sicilia
  • 2007 Domaine de Nidoleres, La Pierroune, Cotes du Roussillon

We periodically make our own cocktails and have traditionally used bitters from The Bitter Truth and Fee Brothers. During an earlier trip to Seattle I noticed a few other bitters which were new to me.  Scrappy’s Bitters are produced by Miles Thomas of Seattle.  They have been quite popular since their first production in 2008.  Available individually or as two different four-packs I opted for a single four-pack for variety.  The flavors include:

  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Lavender
  • Celery
Categories: Image

Wine at Flying Fish

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

A group of us met up for dinner last week at Flying Fish in South Lake Union.  I did not realize the restaurant had relocated from Belltown even though I had been to Soul Wine, Serious Pie just to the north and Whole Foods to the south.  Unsure of whether to pick the 2009 Reinhold Haart or the 2009 Sparkman, Lumiere (I had enjoyed the 2010) the sommerliere, Claire Hansen, steered us towards the Reinhold Haart.  Having quickly polished off the Reinhold Haart she then recommend the 2009 Brian Carter Cellars, Oriana to accompany our variety of entrees.  My notes from memory are below.

2009 Reinhold Haart, Piesporter Grafenberg, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Saar Ruwer
This had a strong sulphur “burnt-tire” nose at first but that eventually blew off to reveal citrus and minerals.  In the mouth there were white stone fruits, almost citrus like acidity, with minerals, some overt sweetness, and a petroleum note running through.  Balanced and textured on all fronts, everyone was pleased by the wine. A good Kabinett that could stay a wee bit of aging to come together. **(*) 2014-2022.

2009 Brian Carter Cellars, Oriana, Yakima Valley
This is a blend of 55% Viognier, 29% Roussane, and 16% Riesling that was sourced from Elderling, Solstice, and Olsen Brothers vineyards.  It was fermented and aged for six months in 67% stainless steel and 33% neutral French oak.  This took me completely by surprise with its tropical nose of “papaya” then hard, Rhone-like flavors in the mouth.  There were still some tropical notes mixed with pear-like flavors with a hard edge, decent mouth feel, and a good amount of acidity.  It cut through the food quite fine but was ultimately not the most pleasant to drink. * Now.

A Pair of Washington Wines Tasted Last Month

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment

I am a big fan of the Syncline wines and am always tempted to buy them during my trips to Seattle.  But I do try to purchase wines I have not drunk before so when I saw a new vintage of the Subduction Red I grabbed it.  In addition, Michael the owner of Soul Wine, recommended I try that Memaloose.  I had previously enjoyed the 2008 Memaloose, Idiot’s Grace so I was more than willing to give this bottle a go.

Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge, Image from grapeman(flickr)

These two wines were purchased at Soul Wines.  I will update this post with the prices when I am able to look at the receipt back home. I was a bit skeptical about trying an Italian blend from Oregon so was immediately surprised when I took my first taste. It was quite good right about of the bottle, well made, and pleasing to drink due to the low alcohol.  So if you want to surprise your friends or drink something Italian than purchase the Memaloose.  I recommend that you cellar the Syncline while drinking the Memaloose!

2010 Syncline, Subduction Red, Columbia Valley
This is a blend of 31% Mourvedre, 25% Syrah, 21% Grenache, 12% Cinsault, 7% Carignan, and 4% Counoise.  The wine is aged for 11 months in a combination of 5-10% new French oak and Nomblot tanks.  A rather purple color in the tumbler.  From an ever-changing blend this bottle was tighter, closed, and more tannic on the first night.  The second night it showed dense, tart red fruit, young red berries, and powdery, hard profile that was framed by fine tannins.  This clearly needs to be cellared but reveals hints of good potential! **(*) 2015-2019.

2009 McCormick Family Vineyards, Memaloose, York’s Reward Red Wine, Columbia Gorge
This wine is a blend of 64% Barbera, 32% Primitivo,  and 4%Dolcetto that was aged in 4-5 year old, neutral French oak barrels.  The organic fruit is sourced from their Idiot’s Grace Vineyard. It is a comfortable 12.7% ABV.  Some brighter red fruit, articulate, good texture, pleasing, and refreshing to drink. *** Now.