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Slurping Around with P.D.W. June 2012

June 2012

Hi all: Here is what I said June 2011 in introducing the column

"This is the time of year to sniff out backyard BBQ (should I say grill?) type wines, defined thusly: Cheap but not nasty. To go with burnt sausages & mustard, burnt chicken & potato salad, burnt ribs & BBQ sauce, burnt corn dripping with saturated fat, burnt apple pie & ice cream, you get the picture. Impossible. Naaagh, as the goat in the TV ad is prone to say: Anything’s possible with enough ethanol."


White Wines

2011 Salneval Albarino, Valle del Salnes, Spain $9. Good, cheap albarino is scarce. This one fits the bill. The nose is very clean with peach and lemon. The palate is medium weight but forward with stone fruit and lime. It is clean, with bright acid and good length. Great sipping wine, when chilled, on a warm afternoon by the pool, BBQ….sigh.

2011 Tilia Torrontes, Salta, Argentina $8. The only thing slightly off with this one is a faint wet wool nose and taste, but this kinda blows off with time in the glass. Otherwise, great nose of lychee, stonefruit and cashew; palate of rich apricot/citrus flavors and bright acid with a dry finish. The mouthfeel is viscous, and the wine has good length.

2010 St. George Chardonnay, California, $5. Here is a tasty party wine. It has simple, clean, tropical fruit and low oak on the nose. The palate is quite viscous and rich with tropical fruit, very low oak, but a clear touch of residual sugar (ie, sweetness) is there

2010 Heron Chardonnay California $9. This has a lively green apple nose. The palate is fresh and clean with very good acid, and flavors of apple, citrus and a hint of passionfruit. There is very little oak to taste, it is clean and has good length. Tasty but not complex.

2010 14 Hands White blend, "Hot to Trot" Columbia Valley, Washington $9. I guess these guys like burros. This is a chardonnay/pinot gris blend with a nose of citrus and apricot. The palate is tart but yet almost sweet and viscous with tropical and lemon flavors, and a dry lemony kick at the end.

Reds Wines

2008 SXS (say that ten times quickly) Shiraz, South Australia $9. This wine has a nose of plums, blueberry and a little eucalyptus. The palate is ripe but not overextracted, with floral raspberry/blueberry flavors. It is medium bodied, clean, not tannic, and has decent length and acid. Party on.

2010 Columbia Crest Red wine "Les Chevaux", Horse Heaven Hills, Washington $10. More horses. This has a slightly piney, cherry nose and a very lush palate with ripe red cherries. The tannins are soft, and there is spice (cinnamon/cardamom). It is a bit simple, but easy to drink and a good party red.

2009 Lincourt Pinot Noir, California $17. This wine has some dill (American oak) and lots of floral red berries on the nose. The mouthfeel is a bit thin/light but the fruit flavors are very good with cherries, and a bit of earth and cola. There is slight spice, good acidity, and soft tannins. Does it cost too much? Yes.

2010 Bodegas Atalaya Laya, Grenache (70%)/Monastrell (30%), Almansa, Spain $6. This is a great everyday and/or party wine you do party every day, so what’s to lose? The color is inky; the nose is quite intense with grapey dark berry characters, some black pepper and here’s the rub various other features depending on random bottle selection. I have now tried this three times. Once it was clean, a second time it had a touch of oak char (that’s OK), and the third bottle had clear rubber-glove sulphur that was not overwhelming, but still slightly detracting. They all had the same great young intense fruit on the palate, soft tannins, a touch of black pepper, and very good acid and length. I guess quality control is tough when you are selling the wine for $6.

Just what the burnt this-and-that on the grill calls for. Or is it BBQ?


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