Browse Tag


Hugues Johnson

Hugues Beaulieu “Les Costières de Pomerols” 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet (Languedoc) – As reliable a bargain wine as there is these days, crisply green and succulent, driving its sharp point home with one sharp thrust and then letting it rest. Uncomplicated and amenable. (9/10)

Sobon mot

Sobon Estate 2008 Zinfandel “Old Vines” (Amador County) – 14.9%. A reliably slightly-better-than-mediocre bargain zin, here a little better than that. Wiry and brambly, with the pine woodsy character of the region, and as much bite as it has (at least in my memory) ever shown. Tasty, though it neither demands nor offers much. (9/10)

Episode 4

New Hope Riesling (Pennsylvania) – Identifiably of its variety, with the over-reliance on goop and stick so common to off-region versions fully present. A little green, a little herbal, and a little woody (akin to a woody apple’s texture, I mean, not oak). Not entirely bad, and quite drinkable, but the “for a Pennsylvania riesling” contextualization applies. (8/10)

Cattin around

Joseph Cattin 2008 Pinot Gris (Alsace) – Sweet pear, thinned and goopified, with just enough spice to redeem. Not particularly interesting, though. I know it’s just a basic Alsatian pinot gris, and this is what gets in that category these days, but while it’s a better cocktail wine than the horrid, tasteless pinot grigio that so many quaff, it’s still not that good. (8/10)

You dirty Raats

Raats Family 2009 “Original” Chenin Blanc (Coastal Region) – This is the unwooded cuvée, and tastes just as I remember from the source: very, very dense, almost syrupy, yet retaining just…just…enough acid for a sort of leaden balance. Stone fruit and pretty flowers, with a bronzed quality. Very fresh, but the opposite of lively. (8/10)

Donis make you wanna holler?

Capçanes “Mas Donis” 2009 Montsant Rosat (Cataluña) – Strawberry and red cherry edging towards and peering over candied, but not so far past that edge that it’s unpleasant. It’s just very modernistic, shiny, and bright. But it would work just as well as a pastille, I think. (8/10)

Forrester for the treeser

Ken Forrester “Petit” 2009 Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch) – Sunny stone fruit with something perfumed – lavender? no, not that strong – and, as usual, delicious, though there’s a faintly syrupy hint starting to develop. This was never intended to be an ager, anyway. (8/10)

Bear fear

Comte Pierre de Colbert “Château de Flaugergues” 2009 Languedoc “Cuvée Rosée” (Languedoc) – Is it just my imagination, or are the Languedoc rosés now littering American shelves getting sweeter? Not that I really mind so much, but while it increases the cocktail appeal, it doesn’t help much when it comes to matters culinary. Crushed handfuls of berries, strawberry leaf, and lingering sucrosity…I don’t know how much, if any, residual sugar is actually in this, but the wine is certainly softer and prettier than it needs to be. On the other hand, I suppose this is preferable to the overly alcoholic imbalance that used to plague Southern French rosés (and still does, to be honest). (8/10)

Split decision

Donaldson Family “Main Divide” 2005 Riesling (South Island) – Citrus leaf, lemongrass, good acidity and just enough sweetness for balance. Simple, sunny. (7/10)

Donaldson Family “Main Divide” 2005 Riesling (South Island) – Ripe green apple, hints of grapefruit, Asian aromatics…but really, all more simple than that. And good. Tasty. Fun. (7/10)