Babich 2005 Riesling (Marlborough) – Varietally-solid riesling, on the big, ripe, lime-and-apple side. Hints of gooseberry intrude a bit – let’s pretend it’s the terroir – but this is a juicy, enjoyable wine. (10/07)
Seresin 2005 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – One of the most polished and professional Marlborough sauvignons on the market. Bitter melon, lemongrass, intense lime and grapefruit, pomegranate, and acidity so vivid it’s palate-drying form the heart of this wine, but what’s striking is the confident, almost swaggering sophistication in the face of all that boisterous sauvignon-ness. Very, very good. (9/07)
J&P Preys 2005 Valençay Blanc “La Chatelaine” (Loire) – Sauvignon blanc? It tastes like it…a nice, textbook expression of the variety, with green grass and greenish fruit and good but obvious acidity. And what does Valençay bring to the equation? Based on a total sample of one, not much. (10/07)
Kluge Estate “Cru” “Mélange Nouveau” (Virginia) – Apparently, this is a chardonnay brandy or something along those lines. But it tastes like a bad piña colada. And getting caught in the rain. (10/07)
Doña Domingo 2006 Chardonnay (Colchagua Valley) – Sweet and vile. More descriptors would require keeping this wine in my mouth longer, a possibility too horrifying to contemplate.
Lafage 2005 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Blanc “Côté Est” (Roussillon) – The more wines I taste from this catch-all appellation, the more I like them. What’s surprising is how much I enjoy the whites, which by all rights should be heavy and dull-witted given the general sun-drenchedness of the region. Yet somehow they show fine, rocky undertones (understones?) to admittedly simplistic stone fruit, sun-baked and slightly dried, and always with just enough of a touch of acidity. So it is here. This is very, very uncomplicated, but it’s quite tasty nonetheless. (10/07)
Gresser 2000 Riesling Mœnchberg “Sélection des Grains Nobles” (Alsace) – Racy ripe apple of shocking density, very sweet (120g residual sugar), but with acidity of a density more than matching the sugar. There’s an apple cider quality to the acidity that grows on the long finish, during which are also introduced elements of lemongrass, Makrut lime, and a shower of iron flakes. Magisterial.
Gresser 2004 Gewurztraminer Kritt (Alsace) – From graves soil. Crisp lychee and cashew oil with fresh rose petals floating about. The finish is slightly charred, with some alcohol apparent.
Gresser 2001 Gewurztraminer Andlau (Alsace) – Spicy and lurid, with lychee (more skin than fruit) lending a drying finish. This, like the 2003 riesling, represents a classic, older style of the grape that is harder and harder to find in these sugar-hunting times. It’s not a great gewurztraminer by any means, but it is a perfectly typical one, and the sort of amenable wine one wants at table.
Gresser 2004 Pinot Gris Brandhof (Alsace) – Pear skin and juice from ripe examples of the fruit, with a long, solid core of iron and steel around which runs a steady but thin stream of lemon and grapefruit. Incredibly long-finishing and crisp. I’ve not encountered a pinot gris of this structure and form in quite some time. It’s decidedly different, especially now, but I love it.
Gresser 2002 Pinot Gris Brandhof “Vieilles Vignes” (Alsace) – The old vines, in this case, are around 45 years of age. Fatter than the previous wine, though by no means blowsy, with spiced pear and intense, ripe red apple, strawberry and red cherry. Normally, I associate those sorts of red fruit characteristics with very high-quality pinot gris, but in this case the finish is shorter than I’d like, and the acidity not quite what I’d want either. Still, it’s a very good wine; I’m simply hoping for more from this vintage and these vines.