Archive for March, 2018

The 2015 Durand, Les Coteaux, Saint-Joseph will develop well

Good values continue to be found from the 2015 vintage in Saint-Joseph.  The 2015 Domaine Durand, Les Coteaux, Saint-Joseph combines nothing but desirable elements: juicy fruit, fat, stones, and stuffing for development.  While appealing now it will be even better in a couple of years.  You should grab several of these bottles from MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Domaine Durand, Les Coteaux, Saint-Joseph – $25
Imported by Fruit of the Vine.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 15-25 year old vines on granite hills which is matured for 12 months in both cement vats and barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  This is a focused yet round wine with baby fat, hints of smoke, and a juicy berry core.  Salivating acidity drives the flavors into the finish of minerals and stones which are matched by lifted flavors of black fruit.  Overall this is an appealing, slightly savory wine with the structure and stuffing for some development.  ***(*) Now – 2028.

Mature Rosso di Valtellina

But for the hints of fruit, you would be excused for thinking the 1999 Cantine Balgera, Rosso di Valtellina is an old, say 1960s, modest Nebbiolo from Alto Piemonte.  Priced at just over $1 per year, it could be fun to throw in as a ringer at a tasting of old wine.  You may find it at MacArthur Beverages.

1999 Cantine Balgera, Rosso di Valtellina – $24
Imported by Artisanal Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 80% Nebbiolo, 10% Pignola, and 10% Syrah. Alcohol 12%.  The nose smells of dusty books and old, dry leather.  In the mouth the leather returns with eucalyptus notes and vintage perfume delivered as a focused core of flavor.  There is weight up front with the wine dry from middle to finish.  After some air there is a hint of fruit indicating this is a “younger” wine.  ** Now but will last.

You may age the aromatic 2016 Jean-Marc Burgaud, Morgon Cote du Py

The 2016 Jean-Marc Burgaud, Morgon Cote du Py is a fine wine to drink into the next decade.  This crisp wine is young and structured but the nose is wonderfully aromatic.  A must try for fans of Morgon.  I recommend you lay down a few bottles which you may find at MacArthur Beverages.

2016 Jean-Marc Burgaud, Morgon Cote du Py – low $20s
Imported by Roanoke Valley Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from 50 year old vines on blue stone soils matured in concrete vats.  Alcohol 13%.  Tasted over two nights this remains a very aromatic and enticing wine with aromas of pepper, wet tobacco, and herbs.  The flavors are crisp and focused but the cranberry red fruit is weighty.  There is firm acidity, a dry structure, and almost tart finish which suggest this will be long-lived.  *** Now – 2025.

A full-flavored, modern Saint-Joseph

The 2015 Domaine Courbis, Saint-Joseph appears to be completely opaque in color which matches the mouth filling, seamless flavors.  This is a modern style of wine, with flavors of vanilla and chocolate that need time to integrate, but over the course of an evening you will find other tempting delights.  It is easy to drink now but should offer more complexity in a year or two.  Grab a bottle from MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Domaine Courbis, Saint-Joseph – $26
Imported by Roanoke Valley Wine Company.  This wine is 100% Syrah vinified in stainless steel then aged in used oak barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  This is a modern Saint-Joseph with an opaque color of dark, red grapiness.  Black fruit accented by pepper greets the mouth before the racy middle and slowly expanding core of ripe fruit through the finish.  There is good acidity in this round and full wine.  Notes of chocolate and sweet vanilla need time to integrate.  There is a pleasing hint of violets in the finish.  ***(*) Now – 2025.

A pair of interesting whites made from Garganega and Arrufiac

March 8, 2018 1 comment

The grape variety Garganega may not make you think of Soave, but this blend of early and late picked fruit shows to good effect in the 2014 Bertani, Vintage Edition Soave.  The dark gold color matches the aromas of wild flower and apricot followed by weighty flavors.  This wine even has staying power for it drank well over several nights.  It is a good contender for a weekday bottle.  Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec is the  white wine appellation for Madiran and is often made with the Arrufiac variety.  I had heard of neither before Lou brought the bottle over to my house.  The color leans towards the amber and gold spectrum but the wine is lively with flavors of lemon citrus matched by a cut of acidity.  I have no experience with this wine before but I would be tempted to try a bottle in the fall.  Until then treat this as an aperitif or food wine.

2014 Bertani, Vintage Edition Soave – $26
Imported by Palm Bay International.  This wine is 100% 100% Garganega which was harvest first in September then in later October for more hang time then aged in concrete tanks.  Alcohol 12.5%.  A dark, straw gold.  The exotic nose reminds me of wild flowers, apricot fruit, and baked apples.  As conveyed by the nose, there is a weighty start in the mouth with ripe yellow fruit, white flowers, white nuts, and a mineral/flint finish.  The bottle drank well over a few nights.  *** Now – 2020.

2015 Chateau Viella, Pacherenc, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec – $19
Imported by Petit Pois Corp.  This wine is a blend of Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, and Arrufiac.  Alcohol 13.5%. An amber tinged gold color.  In the mouth are focused flavors of ripe, lemon citrus cut by a smokey and sharp acidity line through the finish.  It might be worth waiting until the fall for it to open up more.  **(*) Now – 2020.

Well done 2015 J.L. Chave Selection, Mon Coeur, Cotes du Rhone

March 7, 2018 1 comment

The 2015 J.L. Chave Selection, Mon Coeur, Cotes du Rhone is good wine to drink throughout the week.  This vintage comes across in the concentration of flavors but everything is in balance.  Think dark fruit, juicy acidity, texture, and a bit of luxurious fat.  I recommend you grab some bottles from MacArthur Liquors to drink over the next few years!

2015 J.L. Chave Selection, Mon Coeur, Cotes du Rhone – $19
Imported by Erin Cannon Imports. This is a blend of Syrah and Grenache sourced from parcels in Cotes du Rhone Villages.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This is a young, concentrated wine with flavors of blue and red fruit carried by salivating, almost juicy, acidity.  There is texture from fine extract.  With air the flavors become blacker with a bit of licorice and fat. *** Now – 2023.

I try Italian wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Negroamaro, Susumaniello, Refosco, and more

Just a quick post on several Italian wines I tried over the last week.  Nothing particularly moving at this point.  I do not think I’ve drunk a Taurino wine since my Michigan days.  I can report that the 2010 Cosimo Taurino, Notarpanaro, Salento is still low priced and a solid value.   The 2011 Carpineto, Farnito, Tuscany and 2014 Antonutti, Ros di Muri, Venezie  have the best potential for development.  I suspect the Carpineto will have broad appeal next winter.  I found the 2015 Cantine Menhir Pietra, Salento so ripe I could only tolerate a small glass.

2010 Cosimo Taurino, Notarpanaro, Salento – $18
This wine is 100% Negroamaro. Alcohol 14.5%.  An interesting nose of tar and spruce while note piercing is certainly aromatic.  The controlled, rounded flavors are primarily of red fruit yet there is a sweet floral and herbal infusion evocative of Northwest evergreen forests.  This gentle wine wraps up with almost puckering acidity.  **(*) Now – 2020.

2011 Carpineto, Farnito, Tuscany – $22
Imported by Opici Wines. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Alcohol 13.5%.  There is a firm, dry middle followed by a steely structure near the end.  The flavors of licorice and menthol have a slight wrapping of fat.  With air the wine fleshes out and develops more blue fruit.  **(*) Now – 2023.

2014 Antonutti, Ros di Muri, Venezie – $16
Imported by Casa Vinicola. This wine is a blend of 40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Refosco fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in barrique. Alcohol 14%.  A solid blend with flavors of red and black fruits, noticeable leather, and a spine of structure.  This could open up by the end of the year.  **(*) Now-2023.

2015 Cantine Menhir Pietra, Salento – $17
Imported by Tenth Harvest. This wine is a blend of Primitivo and Susumaniello. Alcohol 14%.  There are ripe, almost sweet flavors of blue fruits that mix with some attractive wet tobacco smoke.  Dark flavored and ultimately too ripe for my preference. * Now.