Browse Tag

synthetic cork

Jumilla Jovovich

Casa de la Ermita 2005 Jumilla Dulce Monastrell (Levant) – From 375 ml. I keep trying this wine, and it never gets more appealing than it does intriguing: dusty tannin, black fruit, syrupy texture and sweetness, and the rough, stony animalism that signifies the variety. It doesn’t work for me. (3/10)

Bicycle nose

[vineyard]Velenosi “Querci Antica” 2008 Lacrima di Morro d’Alba (Piedmont) – Lacrima di morro is so lurid that it can be a problematic food match. However, the exotic spice of a (non-traditional) veal tagine provided an opportunity, and thus it was time. Lurid it is, showing neon fruit in the blue-purple range, a bite of scraping tannin, and very fresh acidity, but there’s some peppery complexity as well, and the overall impression is one of striving rather than laurel-resting. Even if those laurels taste more like Chihuly glass. (2/10)

Chiavennasca lines

[nebbiolo]Nera “La Novella” 2008 Chiavennasca Bianco Terrazze Retiche di Sondrio (Lombardy) – Brisk and almost sandpapery, showing pear concentrate lashed with skin and a weighty press of immediacy. Very aromatic, but those aromatics are direct. This remains a killer blind-tasting wine, but I can’t possibly see how anyone could, other than blind luck, guess nebbiolo as the grape. (2/10)

Rolland in dough

Mme. Rolland “Mas Sainte Berthe” 2006 Les Baux de Provence “Passe-Rose” (Provence) – Potpourri (as stenchy as it is pretty), tangerine, greengage plum. Burns more than it pleases. The more Provençal rosé I have, the more I wish I was drinking pink from elsewhere. The alcohol is just too much, too often. (9/09)

Jo bleo

[vineyard]Gulfi 2007 Nero d’Avola “Rossojbleo” (Sicily) – Dark, and not just in terms of fruit (which is extremely dense), but also minerality and general mood. I think I taste black ash soil here, but that could just be the power of suggestion; I’m sure, however, that the soil component is significant. The wine’s heavy, to be sure, and neither traditional nor thoroughly modern. It’s probably not for everyone, but neither is it some individualistic outlier. I’d like to give it some time in the cellar, to see what happens, but the synthetic cork prevents that. (8/09)

The Trinch who stole Christmas

C&P Breton 2005 Bourgeuil “Trinch!” (Loire) – Hardening and fading into green-edged structural meanness. Likely a victim of its closure. And yes, I know I wasn’t supposed to hold it this long in the first place…this was a “found bottle.” (9/09)

Capmartin & Caprowan

Capmartin 2007 Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Sec (Southwest France) – Very aromatic, and in an intriguingly elusive way. Flowers? Whitewashed rock? Herbs? All and none of those things, I suppose; this is not a wine that wishes to be nailed down. There’s just enough structure to give it support, and an interesting crescendo to the finish. Nice. I’d consider holding it for a short while to see if it develops some wax and texture, except that the synthetic closure virtually guarantees a short life. (9/09)


Mas de Libian 2008 “Vin de pétanque” (Rhône) – Bretty and twisted. I think there’s a rough little quaffer in there somewhere, but the wine’s not clean enough to know. (9/09)

Rubentis, rufixtis

[vine]Amesguren “Ameztoi” 2008 Getariako Txakolina Rubentis (Northwest Spain) – A tidal pool of light raspberry froth laden with white flowers, foaming and fizzing with life (and, to abandon the metaphor, carbon dioxide). Lovely, burst-of-youth stuff. (9/09)

Galley slave

C&P Breton 2004 Bourgueil Les Galichets (Loire) – The initial impression is one of dominant brett, but this initial bloom is soon overcome by dark, scowling fruit seeping its juices into a brown, muddy soil. Despite the still-fair structure, the overall effect of the wine is a little soupy, or perhaps more accurately stew-like. Lingering tannin pairs with the Band-Aid brett to provide an edge right through to the finish. Given the current state and the closure, I’m not sure this is something I’d hold much longer, unless one is exceedingly optimistic about winning the synthetic cork lottery…despite the odds. (6/09)