Browse Tag

synthetic cork

A Terres in the universe

Brun “Terres Dorées” 2008 Beaujolais “l’Ancien” (Beaujolais) – Bought on closeout, but I’d forgotten the type of closure until it was too late. So this is harsher and far more advanced than the wine deserves, a razor-wire slash of acidity and lacerating red fruit with no generosity or fun to it. Blame the plug, not the wine…and also, blame the buyer, who should have remembered to open this years ago. Back in the day, this was delish. (7/11)

Carcignogenic waterfowl

Smoking Loon 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (California) – Yes, really. It was a gift, of course, forgotten in the cellar until now. And though it had to be opened for, um “research,” I expected not industrial dreck, but a dead wine due to closure failure. Well, it’s not dead. Far from it, actually. As for the taste…you know that fake blueberry pie thingy that can sit on convenience store shelves, at room temperature, for damn nigh ever? The nasty, sticky syntheticism of it, akin to no actual product of nature? It tastes like that. Exactly like that. (5/11)


Vercesi del Castellazzo 2009 Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Nero “Gugiarolo” (Lombardy) – A white made from pinot noir. Extremely aromatic. Not lurid, just heady. Along with crushed flowers and squeezed fruits goes a satiny texture that drifts back and forth across the border between tactility and adhesion. Just manages to avoid be heavy. Quite attractive. (2/11)

39 reasons

Line 39 2009 Petite Sirah (North Coast) – Gelatinous. Blueberry compote. Add a little water to jelly and you can probably achieve this exact effect for far less money. (2/11)

Héré the dog

Iché 2007 Vin de Pays de l’Hérault “Les Hérétiques” (Languedoc) – I don’t want to suggest that this wine is “deep,” but (almost) every year it surprises me with the depth its maker is able to wrest from it. Performing above its pay grade, as the saying goes., and doing it time and time again. Dark berries and earth, herbs, soils, spicy grains. Crisper than is the regional wont. For the price, beyond a no-brainer, unless you actually hate wine. In which case, why are you reading this? (2/11)


Nera “La Novella” 2008 Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Chiavennasca Bianco (Lombardy) – Still chugging along, mostly along the lines of all the other notes I’ve posted so far, though perhaps a bit more angular than most. I’m choosing to see that as slight slippage, but it’s entirely possible that I’m convincing myself of that rather than letting the wine say it to me straight. (2/11)

Lots o’castle

Vercesi del Castellazzo 2008 Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Nero “Gugiarolo” (Lombardy) – I have, of late, been drinking through rather a quantity of white nebbiolo. And so here those crazy folks in Lombardy are with a white pinot noir. Well, it’s probably more pinot noir-like than the white nebbiolo is nebbiolo-like, in that it hasn’t shed all the structural and aromatic clues that attend to its redder form. It’s quite floral, a little earthy, and a nice, round burst of mouthfruit. And…it’s white. It is, to be frank, a little odd. Also, I wonder if there’s been some closure-related degradation, because the finish arrives allofasuddenwhere’dthewinego quick. Other bottles, or a more recent vintage, could be better. (2/11)

Laxas, praxis

Laxas 2009 Rias Baixas Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Pure juice. Lime, grapefruit, a bit of gooseberry, bitter orange, pear. Spirited acidity. But those who believe that “a wine should taste like fruit” will love this. (2/11)

Nera far

Nera “La Novella” 2008 Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Chiavennasca Bianco (Lombardy) – I continue to plow through these at the fastest possible rate, given the eventually-certain failure of the closure. No changes evident in this bottle; see all previous notes and pretend I’ve retyped them. (12/10)

Nera “La Novella” 2008 Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Chiavennasca Bianco (Lombardy) – Some brighter shadings here, as if there’s lens flare on the fruit. Combine that with a little sharper acidity than is the norm, but otherwise status quo. (12/10)

Nera “La Novella” 2008 Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Chiavennasca Bianco (Lombardy) – Blossoming, by which I mean the floral element here is more prominent. And is that pineapple I taste? The emergent unpredictability of this wine is, unfortunately, predicted by its synthetic cork. (12/10)

Nera “La Novella” 2008 Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Chiavennasca Bianco (Lombardy) – On the other hand, here’s a cork that’s obviously held its seal, because this one tastes much like my earliest bottles: a range of crisp fruits in the apple and melon category, some grapefruit, a lot of white crystalline stuff encrusting the underbelly, with life and liveliness to spare. Pure fun, and this is why I bought a case. (12/10)

Nera “La Novella” 2008 Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Chiavennasca Bianco (Lombardy) – See previous note. (12/10)

Nera “La Novella” 2008 Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio Chiavennasca Bianco (Lombardy) – The most dramatic fade yet, and what’s being left behind is mostly acidity. I’m down to two bottles, and I don’t see those surviving the month. (12/10)

Carrying a torcia

Pietratorcia 2009 Ischia Bianco Superiore (Campania) – Sour lime, green apple, and saline solution. Gets right to the point, but then there isn’t any sort of coda. (11/10)