Monday, November 30, 2015
Saturday, November 28, 2015
|Fontodi Chianti Classico|
Smooth and mellow and fully mature this wine was as good as Chianti gets. I purchased it six years ago and it has been resting in the cellar since that time with two of its litter mates. Extremely happy with this wine.
2004 Fontodi, Chianti Classico Riserva, Vigna del Sorbo. 14% alchol and $55 six years ago.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
While turkey is the traditional entree on this holiday, when it's a small crowd of two it's fine to go with a pheasant. This bird is ready for stuffing with shallots, carrots, garlic, white peppercorns, parsley sage, rosemary and thyme. For all of you celebrating, thank you for the readership.
Monday, November 23, 2015
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"...... Dr. SeussThere was some sadness over the weekend as the last wines from estate grapes were released by the folks at Kinkead Ridge winery in Ripley, Ohio. The last two, brutally cold winters completely devastated the vineyard, the property changed hands and the new owners of the land will not be replanting. The winery itself was sold to different owners and remains open and an ongoing operation, albeit with purchased grapes and juice.
The red wines were from the 2013 vintage, before the bad winter of 2014. The whites were released previously, but these reds had been aging in barrels until being bottled recently.
Cabernet Franc. The nose was somewhat closed but with some swirling one could smell the fresh, red fruit and some vanilla. The flavors were bright cherries with a nod to some darker fruit. There was plenty of spice in the wine as well, primarily cinnamon. It reminded me most of a Loire valley red wine, The finish was smooth and long and at 13.3% alcohol it was very well balanced for drinking. $21.95 and 143 cases produced.
Cabernet Sauvignon. This was a darker and sharper wine than it's Cabernet Franc cousin. Black cherries and red plums were having a great time in this wine and the spices were singing harmony. Much more tannin than in the other wine, and a little more acid as well. Still, it was light and nimble and a total food wine. The 12.7% alcohol content is further proof that very ripe grapes are not the only way to go. $22.95 and 100 cases produced.
Petit Verdot. This was the saddest wine in that I think it was my favorite of any vintage produced for this grape - and there will be no more. PV is not a shy wine - it is in your face with flavor and extract. This one showed some restraint. Blackberries, dark plums, cassis and a whole cabinet full of spices were in this wine. Suitable tannin and good acid balanced the fruity structure. Usually with Kinkead Ridge Petit Verdot I'm thinking of strong, blue cheese, but this wine will be great with beef and lamb. My favorite of the three. $24.95, 14.9% alcohol. 108 cases produced.
All of these will go in the cellar to rest for a year or two. I still have a good amount older vintages of each of these wines to keep me occupied until these guys are ready.
Dr. Seuss is correct.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
The latest from a friend who had been traveling was a Laphroaig Select. This was an interesting whisky. It was unmistakably a Laphroaig with its sense of peat smoke and iodine, but it was a more refined version than I am used to drinking from Laphroaig. There seemed to be bits of caramel or toffee in this whisky. There was some elegance to this whisky and that made it quite appealing overall. At the risk of heresy it seemed like a Laphroaig's salute to its arch rival Lagavulin, a salute that is usually done with the middle finger of either hand. Whatever the motivation or intent it was a delicious whisky. At 40% alcohol it was highly drinkable.
Monday, November 16, 2015
The best one word description would be elegant. It is smooth, forward, and full flavored with hints of wood, herbs, oranges, and only a hint of smoke. This goes down very easy. It is a pleasure to drink, but this isn't near the top of my favorites list for Scottish Whisky. And at the price ($200), it's not likely to make the list.
My three favorites remain Lagavulin 16 year old, Highland Park 18 year old and Rosebank 16 year old - all half the price of the Blue Label.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Reaching back into the deep, dark reaches of the cellar I came out with a Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett from the 2004 vintage. It's obvious from the picture that the wine had turned golden with age; it was no longer the bright green gold of its youth. Deep aromas of ripe apples and grilled lemons filled the glass.
While the color may have aged the wine was still tart and crisp with apple and grapefruit flavors. There was a wonderful mouth feel to this wine, more like an auslese than a kabinett. It was delicious with the food - sweet enough to counteract the sauerkraut and tart enough to cut through the fatty pork. Wonderful stuff, but the last of my 2004 Rieslings.
2004 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett. 8.5% alcohol and $22 eight years ago.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
A very foggy morning this morning, Veterans' Day, and since there was little to see it was a very introspective walk - a time to think of relatives and friends no longer here who gave their lives.
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." – Mark TwainYesterday was the 240th "birthday" of the United States Marine Corps and the celebration was for and with friends departed and still here. Semper Fi, guys.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
|Moss and Fungi|
Yesterday's weather here put me in the mood for a good Riesling, and that was satisfied last night with a 2010 Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurtzgarten Spatlese. Dinner was some spicy Hong Kong noodles with edamame and mushrooms. The wine was a perfect match. Totally crisp and bright at the first sip this wine had just enough sweetness at the finish to balance out the heat from the sauce on the noodles. Merkelbach wines are among the best values I know.
Overnight the weather turned November-ish. It was cool, damp, foggy and misty with intermittent light rain. During our abbreviated walk this morning the dog and I came across this decaying log in the woods that was serving as a host for a number of its friends.
Monday, November 9, 2015
It was a beautiful walk as the trail snaked its way down a hill to the river, passing though woods and open fields currently being re-forested. The entire area is a nature preserve. The dog had a great time as it allowed her much more time off leash, though there is one section that runs through a legal deer hunting area and she was put back on her long leash through that area. At this time of year one can't be too careful about those things.
The sky was amazing. Cold, crisp, clean, bright, cheerful and other similar words kept going through my mind. The day was screaming at me to pick a tart, German Riesling for dinner. So be it.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
We opted for an old style Rioja wine, a Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva from the 2001 vintage. It was opened and decanted about two hours before dinner. Clean, dry earth aromas filled the decanter. It was hard to detect much fruit, but the earthy aromas were wonderful. By dinner the wine had opened considerably. The fruit had come out in the nose and the earth had faded a bit. It was a medium, red brick color. The taste was not at all what I was expecting from the nose - the wine's primary taste was ripe fruit and not the earth. It was still on the savory end of the spectrum but the fruit had a perfect bright and cheery flavor. The body was just on the lighter side of medium.
The beef was intense and rich, and the addition of the ancho chili had given it a spiciness and dryness as well as depth of flavor.
I was afraid that the over the top flavors of the short ribs might overpower the wine, but the wine had an austere quality that made it almost perfect with the richness of the beef, and the earthiness in each totally complimented the other They made a handsome couple.
2001 Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva. 14% alcohol and $40. Another in the cellar.
Friday, November 6, 2015
’Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
To give sigh for sigh
.....Thomas MooreNot a rose, but a rain lily in a large pot on the patio with the strength for one last blossom for the year. With the weather currently changing drastically to a much colder pattern the pot will be moved indoors this evening to winter over in a dark place. It will go back out in the early spring and provide another year of pink blossoms.
The plant originated with my grandmother and has been passed down to me from my mother so there is always sadness when it has to come inside. I believe a great glass of wine will melt that melancholy.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
2012 Albert Bichot, Bourgogne, Vieilles Vignes. 13% alcohol and $14.
Monday, November 2, 2015
It's been awhile since anything was posted here, and that was due almost entirely to a nasty infection that required some strong antibiotics that precluded enjoying any of my favorite liquids (no alcohol). That has passed and there is a wonderful lineup of bottles to come.
October is now gone and it is the morning fog and mist season along the Great Miami River where the resident canine and I walk almost every day. Since 1981 when I saw the movie Excalibur fog has always been dragons' breath. That was the name given to fog by Merlin the Magician in the movie. It stuck with me.
Whatever it's called it can be quite beautiful and quite eerie at times. It also changes by the minute. All three photos were taken in a period of twenty minutes.