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Monday
Apr292013

Slurping Around with P.D.W. March/April 2013

 

Hi all. The recent irregular timing of this column is not, let me assure you, simple forgetfulness. It is about trying to do too many things at once. At least it is free. So here are some nice wines to try, hoping you can locate them. Which reminds me, the wines I report here are currently, or were recently, available at the wine stores I frequent in San Diego. Either San Diego Wine Company or Vintage Wines, both on Miramar Road in Mira Mesa, have them or did a short while ago. They can easily be found on the Internet and do ship wines to states that permit that decadent behavior. You can also try the Internet at large, and of course your local bottle shop.

White

2010 Abel Clement Grenache Blanc, Cotes du Rhone $6.

This is a new grape to me, so I had no idea what to expect. It was a simple wine, but that aside, was very clean and crisp, with lemony nose and palate and moderately high acidity. It is fresh and lively, and would make a great food wine for a party. It is a bit high in acid to just sip on.

2012 Colome Torrontes, Argentina, $12.
I like wine from the Torrontes grape. This one is good, not great. It has the classical sweet raisiny nose and palate entry, and the equally classical switch to a dry lemony finish. It is clean, and does not have the hard finish that some Torrontes do. The only real flaw is that it fades a little quickly.

2012 Hermanos Torrontes, Salta, Argentina, $12.
The wine advocate gave this a high score and so do I. The nose is clean and distinctly lychee-like. The palate is viscous, lemony and dry with some lychee in the background. Acid is balanced, length is OK.

2012 Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $10.
This is a very good example, with lots of gooseberry on the nose and palate, a rich, varietal, grassy, lemony, gooseberry palate and moderate but not extreme acidity. As good as any priced 50 percent more.

Pink

2012 Domaine de Fontsainte Rose "gris de gris" Corbieres, $12.

This rose has a fresh but delicate strawberry nose with a little lees character and touch of caramenl. The palate also has strawberry fruit, with very good intensity, a lemony dry finish and good acidity. It is clean and dry.

Red

2011 Chateau de l'Estagnol Grenache/Syrah Cotes du Rhone, $8.

I foolishly did not buy a few when available four weeks ago; may not be easy to find now. For this price, it is a ridiculous value. A young, floral grapey nose with distinct white pepper. Despite being quite light in body, the red cherry fruit flavors are quite intense, with nice white pepper again. Tannins are soft and acid is good, giving excellent balance. This is a very nice wine on its own or with food. If you can find it, let me know so I can get some.

2009 D'Arenberg Grenache "The Custodian", McLaren Vale, South Australia $16.
I am biased against this winery because they are so into marketing that they had let their quality slip in my personal estimation. Well, this bottle is really good, and so is the wine inside. The nose has good dark berry fruit and some earthiness. The palate has intense dark berry fruit. It has a candied quality typical of Grenache, but it is not really sweet at all. It has structure with balance - tannins and acid both well in line. Redemption.

2009 Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley, Chile, "Gran Reserva" $13.
The nose is clean with blackcurrant and anise. The palate is rich and also has blackcurrant and anise. While moderately tannic, there is quite enough fruit, and the acidity is also in balance. Length is excellent. It is unusual to get a Cabernet at this price that is so nice to slurp.

2011 Mollydooker Shiraz "The Boxer" McLaren Vale, South Australia, $22.
This winery is iconic, pure and simple. From the way you are treated (unbelievably well) when you visit, to the style of their wines - always huge fruit, always huge alcohol, always soft tannins but good acidity, supple, seductive, velvety, long. Sadly, their next label up (Carnival of Love) is $75 and their top label (Velvet Glove) is $150. That makes the Boxer a bargain, although try all three side by side and you can tell. So what do I say? Lovely rich dark plum on the nose and palate. Long, supple, viscous, balanced, some oak char and anise, soft tannins, very ripe, almost sweet. 15.5% ethanol. Mollydooker's main market is the US of A rather than home turf, so this may be available - see my intro.

2010 Klinker Brick Zinfandel, Lodi Old Vine, $14.

Not to be outdone, this has 15.8% ethanol. I was not pleased with the closed, piney nose, but the palate was very lively. Lots of red cherry and raspberry fruit, with dry sage herbs and dill. Good acid, not very tannic, but oaky, for sure. Very ripe, almost coming across as sweet because of ripeness and alcholol.

I really do hope you can find some of these. If you do, you won't have to spend your whole tax refund on some nice wines to help you forget April 15 in the first place.

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