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Two from the Southern Hemisphere

While Yalumba has been around for some time Bodega Chacra is relatively new.  Bodega Chacra originated when Piero Incisa dell Rocchetta purchased an old estate in the Rio Negro Valley of Patagonia.  Piero is the grandson of Mario Incisa who created Tenuta San Guido which produces the legendary Sassicaia wines.  These are both interesting wines in terms of their aromas and flavors.  The Yalumba is different with its orange-citrus and rosemary notes.  It is meant for current consumption and is appealing for those who do not want a large-scale wine.  The Chacra has a unique mixture of red fruit and apricot.  Well-made this will hopefully develop some more complexity.  While I prefer to drink something else on a daily basis, I would not hesitate to open these bottles for friends or order them at a restaurant.  Both of these wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Yalumba, The Strapper, Barossa – $17
Imported by Negocients USA.  This wine is a blend of 38% Grenache, 32% Shiraz, and 30% Mataro.  The fruit was fermented in small batches, a mixed of oak vats and stainless steel, followed by aging for two months in used American, French, and Hungarian Hogsheads(!).  Bright red fruit makes way to tart flavors, citric acidity, and an incense note.  Then the flavors become ripe, with orange citrus undertones, a hint of rosemary, and a mixture of fruits in the finish.  ** Now-2015.

2010 Bodega Chacra, Barda, Pinot Noir, Patagonia – $27
Imported by Kobrand Corporation.  This second wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from the old vineyards planted in 1955 and 1967 along with new vines from a ten-acre vineyard located on the original estate.  The fruit is fermented with indigenous yeasts with malolactic fermentation in Burgundian oak barrels.  The wine was aged for 11 months in French oak barrels.  There was an interesting nose of red fruit and apricot.  In the mouth the red fruit mixed with apricot notes, some spice, and acidity that drives the wine with freshness.  There is not much complexity as this point but there is a good, lightly salivating aftertaste.  ** Now-2017.

2009 Bodega Noemia, A Lisa

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

I had a chance to sample this wine when I last stopped by MacArthurs.  This wine is well made and pleasing enough to drink.  At the $24 average price on Wine-Searcher I would rather drink something more exciting.

2009 Bodega Noemia, A Lisa, Rio Negro Valley, Patagonia
Imported by Vias Imports.  This wine is 90% Malbec, 9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot.  One-third of the fruit is sourced from estate vineyards planted in 2004 with the rest sourced from the Agricultural Research Center and a contract grower.  The fruit was fermented with indigenous yeasts then the wine was aged for 9 months with 100% second-use oak barrels.  There is a nose of black fruit mixed with orange citrus.  In the mouth the clean fruit turns salty with hard Malbec flavors and black fruited acidity.  The tannins are present throughout the wine give a good texture and a nice fuzziness in the aftertaste.  There are sweet spices in the aftertaste.  Now-2017.  Sampled at MacArthurs.

Bubbles For Jenn

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

You will not find many sparkling wine posts on this blog.  Since the blog was started last Spring the sparkling roses from Bugey-Cerdon have been our constant companions.  However Jenn has become interested in drinking drier, white sparkling wines. I asked Phil at MacArthurs for three diverse selections so we could begin searching for our next house bubbly.

Jenn does not care as much for German Rieslings so I poured her a glass of the Dr. Loosen without revealing the bottle.  She smelled the Sekt and upon drinking it, looked at me suspiciously.  “It is Riesling,” I commented. “Ah, ha! I can taste that,” she replied.  After finishing the glass she noted, “Not bad, it is different, but there are too many Riesling flavors for me.”  She is correct but I really enjoy Riesling and found this bottle quite flavorsome for the money.  Jenn immediately liked the Lonko for the “more classically dry” style.  I did not like it at first but after two or three days, I found it had become quite good with its subtle balance of yeast, fruit, bubbles, and dryness.  We wrapped it up with the Catherine & Pierre Breton wine.  A good wine, tilting towards apple and chalk flavors, that really shines after two or three days.

All three of these bottles were quite different so if you know the style you prefer then my notes should help you pick a bottle.  If you do not know then try all three.  The Dr. Loosen is a strong value in a quenching style.  Both Lonko and Breton reveal themselves after two or three days.

NV Dr. Loosen, Riesling Sekt, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer – $12
This bottle was imported by Loosen Bros.  This Trocken wine is 100% Riesling that was produced using the Charmat method.  There is a good nose of yeasty, stones.  In the mouth the ripe bubbles deliver fine flavors which are initially fruity then turn to stones.  The flavors become mouthfilling with notes of yellow stone fruit.  There is a stoney aftertaste.

2007 Lonko, Extra Brut, Patagonia – $12
This wine is imported by Kysela Pere et Fils.  This wine is a blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir that was produced using the traditional Champagne method.  It is a light yellow stone color in the glass.  In the mouth the flavors start off yeasty before a little burst of fruit then the wine dries out with fine, sweet bubbles.  The flavors then return in the aftertaste with yeasty, toast, and dark notes.  On the third night it developed sweet citrus flavors with the finish stepping out with ripe fruit flavors.  This is young and needs air.

NV Catherine and Pierre Breton, La Dilettante, Brut, Vouvray – $20
This wine is imported by Kermit Lynch.  The fruit for this Vouvray Petillant  is produced from 40-year-old Chenin Blanc vines.  It is produced using the traditional Champagne method and is typically a blend of two vintages.  It is a light yellow color in the glass.  The nose is light and yeasty with apple aromas.  In the mouth there are ample bubbles which easily bursting bubbles and a pronounced apple flavor.  The flavors morph into cider before taking on a minerally and chalky aftertaste.  On the second day the apple aromas subdue as spices come to the forefront.  The bubbles themselves become lush in this delicately balanced wine.

The Extra-Long Lonko Cork Compared with that from Breton