Browse Tag


Sweet Melissa

Honey Gardens “Melissa” Sparkling Mead (Vermont) – Very cloudy, yeasty, slightly bitter, and volatile. There’s very little honey here, but rather a whole lot of pollen and a good deal of acrid, desiccating difficulty. I don’t like this at all. (3/08)

Stanley Bartucci

Bartucci 2004 Bugey Cerdon (Ain) – Lurid strawberry essence, bursting with geraniums. A little heavier than I’m used to, but still good. (4/06)

Dulce vita

La Purísima 2003 “Enesencia” Yecla Monastrell “Dulce” (Levant) – Sweet bell pepper, plum, and tangy candy. Very crisp, and very odd. Is it repellent or fascinating? Quite possibly both. I have no idea what to think of this wine. (10/07)

de leche

Pedro Luis Martinez “Alceño” 2004 Jumilla Monastrell “Dulce” (Levant) – From 375 ml, 100% monastrell. Highly concentrated plum, blueberry, and black cherry syrups, with chocolate and a brief shower of herbs. Very, very sweet – not PX level – with a light rancio note to the finish. Anonymous, but reasonably pretty. (10/07)

No Lalande

[label]St. Michael-Eppan “Sanct Valentin” 1997 “Comtess” Vino Passito – Though I assume this is made from Alto Adige grapes, there’s no indication of appellation or origin anywhere on the label. Is that even legal? Well, I guess anything’s possible in Italy. This is rather light and well-aged, and I think it’s a little past its best. Candied orange peel and tarragon stand out, but to be honest there’s not much to rise above, other than a fresh, crisp acid wash in the background. The wine’s juicy enough, but there’s no complexity whatsoever. I expect more from this winery and this line, which probably affects my impressions and renders this reaction more negative than it might be were this the work of a different producer. (10/07)

Bay Area Rapid Transit

[bottle]B. Bartolomeo da Breganze 2000 Breganze Torcolato (Veneto) – 500 ml. Tastes thirty years old, possibly due to a dried-out cork, but I have noticed that even the fantastic Maculan Torcolato is probably best in its exuberant youth. Were this a thirty-year wine, it would be pretty good, showing makrut lime, maraschino cherry, and a sine wave of extreme sweetness. At its young age, however, it’s a little disappointing. (10/07)


Rimu Grove 2003 Pinot Gris “Vendange Tardive” (Nelson) – Pear and burnt caramel. Soft. Balanced between sugar and acidity, but just not very interesting. For too many producers, “late harvest” only means excessive residual sugar, while the wines that actually deserve the label deliver more than elevated brix. (3/05)

Venise beach

Perrin & Fils 2005 Muscat Beaumes de Venise (Rhône) – Very fruity, fresh, and fun, tending more towards the concentrated, bright, spring-like fruit elements than the more exotic flowers or perfumes. The best BdVs have a core of crystalline minerality which this lacks, but it’s hard to criticize this wine much. Even average muscat is still pretty good. (2/08)

Piesporter creek

St. Urbans-Hof 2005 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Auslese 26 06 (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) – Gorgeous sweetness, crisp-ripe rapple, green grapes. Balanced and incredibly acidic, but the weight of the fruit more than makes up for it. Clear and crystalline finish. Gorgeous. (2/07)

Noé valley

Noé Pedro Ximénez “Muy Viejo” (Jerez) – Caramelized prune, raisin, and plum. Very fruity. Soft but full and lush. The exterior is painted with chocolate. (2/07)