Browse Tag


Zero Moscatel

Lustau Moscatel Superior “Emilín” (Jerez) – Excruciatingly sweet. Watery with minor volatile acidity. Crisp. Finishes with burnt turbinado. (2/07)

Elliot & Patrick

Gould-Campbell 2003 Porto (Douro) – Spiced raspberry. Medium-sweet. Light tannin. Honestly, this wine is almost hollow; a shell of a vintage Port. (2/07)


Coutet 1997 Sauternes-Barsac (Bordeaux) – Big. Apricot, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other sweet-oriented spices. Still lithe and beautiful, but showing signs of maturing along a very pleasant path. (2/07)

Bukkuram, Dano

de Bartoli 2001 Passito di Pantelleria “Bukkuram” (Sicily) – Old flowers, coriander-spiced licorice, and leaves. Light, elegant, and moderately sweet. Good acid balance. Very slighty sun-baked. Good, but it’s been better. (2/07)

Don’t give me any Lipari

Hauner 2003 Malvasia delle Lipari “Passito” (Sicily) – Mixed cereal grains, oat bran, dried apricot, and corn nuts. Fat. Really strange, and while I’m inclined to blame the vintage, there might well be something else at work. (2/07)

You’ve tried that, now trytis

Neudorf 2003 “Botrytis Selection” Riesling (Nelson) – 100 grams of residual sugar. Wet and shy, with lime, grapefruit, and light minerality. And then, it builds. It’s OK now, but the length and subtle concentration of the finish suggest an improved future. (3/05)

Leave the body, take the canelli

Bera 2007 Moscato d’Asti “Canelli” (Piedmont) – Not moscato d’Asti as it’s commonly understood, but an almost passito expression…and not gassed, but rather allowed to spontaneously referment. Plus – unlike the vast majority of similarly-labeled wines – meant to age. Its delicate bead is soft yet surprisingly persistent, and the palate is rich with melon and grape. None of the usual flower-truck-crashing-into-a-perfume-shop stuff here. The strength and, it must be said, seriousness of this wine are as surprising as they are profound. Absolutely terrific. (1/08)

The upside-down "e"

Trimbach 2000 Gewurztraminer “Sélection des Grains Nobles” “Hors Choix” (Alsace) – Made from the first botrytis-seeking pass through the vineyard. The resulting grapes were picked 23.5% potential alcohol, but the finished wine is 13%, leaving 170 grams/liter of residual sugar. The wine is dark, dark bronze, and absolutely lush with botrytis, showing a huge brown-sugar-encrusted, baked lychee palate with iron flakes and as endless a finish as I’ve ever experienced. Truly unbelievable. (5/06)

Gewurz of times

Trimbach 2000 Gewurztraminer “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) – 55 grams/liter residual sugar. Still firm and tight in its youth…Trimbach’s gewürztraminer VTs rarely have the easy, early charm of other producers’ bottlings…but it is thick with roses and lychee syrup with dark, smoky streaks and fogs. The acidity is terrific, the finish is long, and the wine is excellent; stylistically, it’s more akin to the brilliant 1998 than the powerful 1997. (5/06)

Jeanne Trimbach

Trimbach 2000 Pinot Gris “Hommage à Jeanne” (Alsace) – From plots around Hunawihr, Riquewihr, and Mittelwihr, with 19 grams/liter residual sugar. Not as smoky as the previous Hommage bottling from 1996, but there are still highly-appealing charred crystals in the mix, with sweet red cherry and candied strawberry that cohere into a long, juicy palate. Still tight, with plenty of minerality at the core, and the finish firms and binds the wine with more structure than is initially apparent. This is definitely less immediately appealing than the ‘96 Hommage, but I think it will eventually surpass that wine. (5/06)