Sunday, April 29, 2012

WILLM Riesling 2010 Reserve

I feel a little guilty here by tasting a Riesling outside the New York Finger Lakes, but I thought it may be time to see what the rest of the world has to offer with what has become my favorite white wine.  What I did find, is the Vin D'alsace region of France can produce a very nice Riesling. The wine, Willm Riesling Reserve 2010($12)
I opened this wine with a dinner of broiled white fish, rice and asparagus. This is a regular fare in our house and one that I would usually open one of my favorite Finger Lakes white wines, but this night it would be a French Riesling.
Aromas were very much what I expected with lot's of honeysuckle, some peach and green apple and just a bit of citrus.  Very smooth mouth feel and a zesty finish with some apple.
Nothing really here that would change my opinion of Finger Lakes Rieslings, but now know that I will be comfortable ordering European Reislings when traveling to areas where I cannot find my favorite Finger Lakes wines.  Now onto what is supposedly the best, or at least I've be told, Rieslings, Germany.   For now, I am still a Finger Lakes fan, but still may sneak in an Alsace.  Recommended

Monday, April 23, 2012

Gustav Grüner Veltliner 2009

Do you ever wonder when trying a new wine, if that first taste or bottle may not quite tell you what that grape is all about.   What I mean is,  when you open a varietal that you have never had before, should you reject that grape because that bottle was not enjoyable or do you embrace that wine because it was a good or very good wine. I know that for a very long time, I did just that.  Doing so, I lost out on the enjoyment of many wines over the last 40 years.  Now, I won't judge any wine I am tasting for the first time until I have a chance to try a few other producers of that wine.
In my last post, the Grooner Grüner Veltliner, I praised the wine as an excellent white summer wine that would pair with just about any dish, sans maybe beef.  It was the first Grüner Veltliner I tasted and decided that just maybe I better pick up a few more just to find out for myself if this was a one hit wonder or a varietal that I would feel comfortable ordering at any time.  Unfortunately, here in Central New York, finding a few different producers is not that easy, but I did find a Gustav Grüner Veltliner 2009 ($12) at the same shop I found the Grooner.
Shirley cooked up a very nice Asian dish with chicken, rice and a mixture of Asian sauces to have with the Gustav.  A very nice Sauvignon Blanc like color when poured. A bright almost like water with a light green grassy hue was the only characteristic similar to the Grooner.
Aromas were a little different.  Some apple with a floral aroma and some mineral.  The mineral or slate aromas were very much like what I get in some of my favorite Finger Lakes wines.  Very nice mouth feel with hints of honey, citrus, pear and pineapple.  Finish was long and dry with lots of green apple, pear and little honey.  This was in many ways different than my last Grüner Veltliner, but I am hard pressed to call one better than the other.   There was still a likeness to a Gewurztraminer and Pinot Grigio.  The pairing with the Soy and Sesame sauces was not what I thought it would be, but sipping later in the evening was quite nice.  I did prefer the Grooner over the Gustav and I am ready to try a few more Austrian Grüner Veltliner the summer.  Very nice dry white wines and very affordable. Recommended

Friday, April 20, 2012

Grooner Grüner Veltliner 2010

The Grooner – 2010 Grüner Veltliner was produced using fruit sourced in Austria’s Niederösterreich appellation. This offering is 100% Grüner Veltliner, the #1 white wine grape of Austria.. This wine was made by Meinhard Forstreiter whose family has been making wine in this region since 1868. Under his stewardship the Winery has reached new heights in several aspects of their operation such as the implementation of sustainable farming practices. For the last several years he’s partnered with Monika Caha & Tony Silver from Caha selections to bring Grooner to the masses in the US. Their mission is to help educate the US consumer about this grape that they may be unfamiliar with and whose name they may have a difficult time pronouncing. The 2010 Grooner is widely available and has a suggested retail price of $13, but I found it for $9 at a local wine shop.
We served this wine with Pam's Alfredo sauce (little heavy on the Parmesan) over linguine mixed with peas and asparagus.  The dinner came out a little dry, but tasty and the Grooner was a nice pairing.
Good aromas usually suggest a nice wine and the aromas this night suggested a very nice wine.  Lots of green apple, some peach and some lime with just a hint of sugar plum aroma was very pleasant.  In the mouth, the wine was dry with some tropical fruits and zesty lime leading to a crisp dry finish with a little apple and peach.
Grooner is publicized as a wine falling somewhere between a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.  I find the Sauvignon Blanc only in the light green hue in the color.  I think it's more between a Gewürztraminer and Pinot Grigio. However you look it is still a very nice and versatile wine that will pair with just about any meal.   I'm looking forward to some warm summer nights on the patio and sipping an Austrian Grüner Veltliner.  Very highly recommended.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel 2008

While wine shopping a couple of weeks ago, I came across a wine with a very unique closure.  It's called a Zork.   The wine was a California Dry Creek Valley Zin from The Other Guys (TOG).
*The Other Guys is dedicated to producing high quality wines for good value, and is widely recognized for its zealous approach to creative, cutting-edge marketing and unique wine packaging. The Other Guys (TOG) is the next page in the 100-year history of one of California’s oldest wine families. Through TOG, siblings Mia & August Sebastiani, are determined to make wines that will continue their family’s reputation of quality winemaking for generations to come. We are building this company one handshake at a time, stepping back to the early days when all wine companies were family owned and operated. And through our website, we invite you to learn more about where those wines came from, who we are, and what we’re all about. *(TOG Website)
No problem here keeping the Sebastiani family reputation. Fell in love with this wine on the first sniff and again on the first sip.
I don't know where to start on the aromas.  This wine had a little of everything.  Lots of dark fruits, black cherry, plum, dark berries, chocolate and vanilla, hints of tobacco and earth and a tad of cinnamon. The only drawback may have been on the palate where the wine was a little light, but still filled with all the fruit and chocolate along with being silky smooth.  The finish was medium to long, smooth and dry with plum, blackberry and a hint of spice.
After a glass or two, I unwrapped some Fontilla cheese to nibble on while I finished this bottle.  I think if I had another bottle, I would have opened that one too. An outstanding Old Vine Zinfandel that has to be considered a best buy at only $15. Very Highly Recommended.

Now, about this thing called Zork.
The Zork closure consists of three parts: a robust outer cap providing a tamper evident clamp that locks onto the band of a standard bottle, an inner metal foil which provides an oxygen barrier similar to a screw cap, and an inner plunger which creates the 'pop' on extraction and reseals after use.
I found this closure extremely easy to use.  You just peel away, remove the top and replace when done.   I have no idea what this would cost in install, but I like it over the screw top. This was a nice move by The Other Guys and I think it will catch on very quickly in the US.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel 2009

A few weeks ago, while out shopping, I passed by a local wine shop that I haven't been to in quite a few years.  That day they were featuring Bogle wines, so I picked up a 2008 Petite Sirah($9) and a 2009 Old Vine Zin($10).  Two years ago, I posted my review on the 2007 Petite Sirah and was anxious to try the '08 and very anxious to try the Old Vine Zin from Bogle.
The '08 Petite Sirah was a little tamer with a little more fruit aroma and taste.  The finish was less peppery than the '07 and paired nicely with a pork roast with sauerkraut.
I decided to open the Zinfandel in lieu of an Italian wine(a requirement in this house) with a spaghetti dinner. To clarify, I have an Italian wife who always insist on an Italian wine with Italian food, but this time she gave in to my request for the Zin. Earlier in the day, I opened the Zinfandel, so Shirley could add to her tomato sauce and while opened, I did take a little sip. That little sip was a little peppery, so I wasn't sure if I made the right choice.  I let the bottle uncorked and let it sit for about three hours before pouring with the spaghetti dinner.  That was a great move. 
Taste like much more expensive Zins. Some blackberry and hints of red candied apple aromas were much better than earlier. In the mouth were lots of blackberry and a bit of cinnamon which led to a smooth finish of raspberry and just a little spice.
Since the first time I tasted Bogle wines, they have been a favorite of mine.  This was the first Bogle Zinfandel I tasted and as expected, I was quite pleased.  Both the Petite Sirah and the Old Vine Zinfandel are quality wines at a very affordable price.  Highly Recommended