Saturday, June 13, 2009

Winners and Losers

Tried two wines last night to get the weekend off to a good start. One was very good and the other no so good, and the not so good one was the one highly recommended by one of the local wine stores.

The not so good wine was a 2005 Two Princes Riesling, an entry level wine from Schloss Wallhausen from the Nahe region of Germany. There was a little bit of lemon in the nose along with some not quite ripe apricots. Those were also the predominant tastes, but the wine offered little else. It seemed low in acid, a little too sweet and flabby. There was no hint of any sense of minerality to the wine and it left an overly sweet taste on the finish. There are much better Rieslings for $11 in the market. Fortunately this was a buy one and try it type of wine before committing to even a second bottle. That was the best part of the wine - the fact that there won't be a second bottle.

There was a steak to grill since the rain stopped earlier in the day and the Riesling was not a steak wine so we opened a 2005 Enzo Boglietti Langhe Nebbiolo. We poured part of it into a decanter and put a little in the glass for an immediate taste. Strong nose of red cherries, earth, a tiny touch of leather and some cedar. The wine was very closed but after a couple of minutes it began to bloom and open up.

Just after taking the steak off the grill to rest for a couple of minutes we finally tasted the wine. There were cherries that were darker than the those in the nose, sweet red plums, great acidity and ample tannin. The earth smell remained and it only added to the wine. The tannins were gripping, but not harsh and they certainly cleaned the palate.

With the steak it was almost perfect. The body was medium here so it opened up much quicker than the Barbaresco from a few nights ago. Both this wine and the Barbaresco were from the 2005 vintage, but this wine was much more approachable now. By the end of the second glass it was very good. At $20 it was a small bargain, but at $11 the Riesling was over priced.

The picture is two blooms on a volunteer lily at the side of the house. The photo was taken last night, but late this morning the lily became a fatality as it got between Scott and a fleeing squirrel. A second lily survived but is not yet blooming.

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