Browse Tag


Sing a song

[label]Laurenz V “Laruenz und Sophie” 2005 “Singing” Grüner Veltliner (Austria) – Very light and mildly pétillant, with white pepper and celery seed. In other words, classic old grüner of the quaffing type. For me, this isn’t a grape that gets interesting until it has received some patience and attention, but on the other hand I suppose I’d rather drink this than cheap chardonnay. (8/07)

Right or wrong

[label]Southern Right 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Walker Bay) – Vivid, powerful sauvignon that nudges up against the lower barrier of stridency. Lashings of green-white fruit whip and slash the palate, with the sort of acidity intense enough to dry like tannin. This is very, very good, but it’s definitely an attention hog. (9/07)

I’m a little bit rock’n’roll

Alexis Bailly “Country White” (Minnesota) – Sweet, synthetic hard candies, with a cotton candy finish punished by sour, out-of-place acidity. This is pretty awful. I’m surprised; I would have thought the whites from this winery would have a greater chance at success than the reds. (8/07)

It’s me, Margaret

JB Cellars 2005 “Margaret Anne” Arneis/Tocai Friuliano (Mendocino) – Made by Marietta. It’s clean, pure fun, with intense sauvignon-like greenery (but on the ripe side) aromatized by a perfumed, almost lush top note of freshly-crushed lilies. Really, really nice. (8/07)


[bottle]Sterling 2005 Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley) – Melon, pineapple, ultra-ripe lemon marmalade and fig, with dryish honey notes and isolated acidity. It doesn’t taste confected, but it does taste mass-market. (8/07)

Moine all Moines

[label]Laroche “Domaine aux Moines” 1991 Savennières-Roche aux Moines (Loire) – For the first fifteen minutes or so, there’s the usual Loire chenin consternation over potential corkiness…and anyway, the wine’s not showing much (aside from a papery albino-hood) during that time. With sufficient air – and some warming – more classic quinine and aspirin aromas emerge, though the texture particulates into something slightly sandpapery. Wax develops, then retreats, and the finish demonstrates a steady expansion from the first to the last glass. Highly unappealing, but I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way; this is a wine that requires you to come to it, rather than vice-versa. (8/07)

Coulée hat

[vineyard]Joly 2002 Savennières Clos de la Coulée de Serrant (Loire) – Very dark and, like so many of Joly’s wines, apparently oxidizing at a scandalous rate. However, who knows what will actually happen to the wine? Recoveries can and do happen to his little philosophical experiments. The acid is powerful and somewhat dominant right now. There’s also plenty of candle wax, old almond, linen and dust to the wine, and the intensity and increasing freshness of the finish gives me a certain measure of hope for the future. But only a measure. (9/07)

Night Hippolyte

Hippolyte Reverdy 2005 Sancerre (Loire) – Dull and one-note, with vague suggestions of grassy-green fruit and rather obvious alcohol. This is heavy without being intense, and things get worse with food. (7/07)

Jolivet prison

Jolivet 2005 Sancerre Les Caillottes (Loire) – Thin, watery flavors combined with spiky alcohol and a flat, lifeless texture. What the heck went wrong here? (7/07)

Monty Pithon

[botrytized grapes]Pithon 1999 Coteaux du Layon St-Aubin Clos des Bois (Loire) – Very dark brown, so this is either advancing rather rapidly or there was a problem with the cork; I have more, so I’ll investigate soon. There’s a little bit of aspirin-influenced cream and paraffin still lingering, but most of this wine is given over to old citrus and dense, incredibly sweet brown sugar. It’s still lovely, but for how much longer? (7/07)