Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Day Job - Wine Slogging Wednesday

A busy day at the office
9:30 AM ~ Wednesday July 19, 2006
Today, Italian Wine Guy goes off the Italian trail. Actually the Trail just expanded to a 4 lane autostrada on the wine trails of Italy, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, California, Oregon and Washington state.

This wasn't Wine blogging Wednesday...more like Wine Slogging Wednesday.
I set to taste through 80 or so wines with a journalist and Master of Wine candidate, Rebecca Murphy. We do this about once every 70 or so days and for me it offers many windows into the world of winemaking outside of my focus. Very interesting wines usually and today was a pretty good day. For one, we only had two corked wines ( not mentioned) and maybe one or two wines that were screw top enclosures that were a bit reductive. Not bad for this many wines.
I will list the wines at the end of the post for anyone who is so interested.


To me, the some of the standouts were:
PARINGA SPARKLING SHIRAZ
IRON HORSE ROSATO OF SANGIOVESE 2005
ILLUMINATI COSTALUPO 2005 (already blogged)
ARANCIO SICILIAN GRILLO 2005
OROYA SUSHI WINE 2005 ( already blogged)
CHATEAU MALTROYE CHASSAGNE MONTRACHET 2003
CLOS DES ROCHERS PINOT GRIS 2004
DR. PAULEY NOBLE HOUSE RIESLING 2005
MUSEUM REAL RISERVA CIGALES D.O. TEMPRANILLO 2001
CLAYHOUSE PASO ROBLES PETITE SIRAH 2003
CONCANNON CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR 2004
QUERCIABELLA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2003
QUERCIABELLA “CAMARTINA” TOSCANA IGT 2001

Notes below...

The Paringa Sparkling Shiraz was quite a perky treat. I had been of the school that thought sparkling Shiraz tasted like “liquefied roast beef”, one step up the evolutionary scale from an Arby’s sandwich. So my expectations were low. Red and frothy, fruity and acidic, so this wine was probably made from a recipe. Australian wines in the low end are associated with manipulation and “seasoning”. This one, however, was a nice quaff, would go well with figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped with prosciutto.
The Iron Horse Rosato of Sangiovese 2005. I am not a big fan of Cal-Ital wines. In fact I have a bottle of the 1994 Iron Horse Sangiovese sitting on a wine rack for way too long.
So I went into this thinking, uh-uh, not for me. Of all the rose wines we tasted (see list below) this one was the most stylish. Reminded me of a sleek Ferrari Lusso, cool, fabulous color, great body, fast…..nice….another preconception blasted away!
The Illuminati Costalupo 2005, I have written about before and still liked the way it showed in the company of this flight..Like I said, Illuminati has re invented the Costalupo.
The Soletta "Prestizu" Vermentino di Sardegna 2004, although it has a little more age on it than I would like, this wine was developing in the bottle with a smoky, sage-like quality. More akin to a Sauvignon Blanc or a Viognier from the northern Rhone. They make a reserve wine that sees wood but this wasn’t it. However it had sufficient fruit and body to balance out this seasoned but classy wine. A favorite last year @ Vinitaly for Master Sommelier Guy Noel Stout.
The Oroya 2005 from Spain, I have also written about. Again, there was nothing about the wine that was out of kilter, the sum was greater than the parts, but the net result was a refreshing wine that didn’t display overt narcissistic tendencies. In other words, it served the pleasure of the imbiber. Well done.
The Arancio Grillo 2005 – You must understand I am sitting in a room, the sun has gone down for some time now and it is still 93F outside. I am living in hell. So a wine that cools and refreshes is very welcome. And this sunny little Sicilian is like a dip in the ocean, cool, fresh and vivacious. Over at Italian's Insight to Travel Italy, Signore Davide has a more in depth account of this wine, please check it out.
The Clos de Rochers Pinot Gris 2004, from Luxembourg was interesting. A Weinbach meets Felluga kind of wine, this is a sleeper. With all the inferior Pinot Grigio wines abounding from all areas, Luxembourg put their best foot forward. And the terroir of the place came though. The white had healthy acidity and a rich fruity note that hinted at botrytis but didn’t go there. Like a perfume that is used wisely, behind the ears in small doses. Very pretty.
My journalist friend commented on the next wine, the Chateau Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet 2003. Her sense was that there was something about French white wine and oak that works. Yes! The Vermentino and the Sauvignon Blancs are weighted down by oak, but the French have a winning formula. This wine went with us to the restaurant that night.
So did this one, the Dr. Pauly Noble House Riesling 2005. Entry level, fresh, good wholesome hill-side farmed fruit, clean slate acidity and focus.
The Museum Real Reserva 2001, a Spanish Cigales D.O. , is fruit and wood and flamingo extravaganza of a red wine. I shouldn’t like a wine like this, it doesn’t fit my profile. But once again, my preconception bubble was smashed and I was happy.
Two Petite Sirah wines from California’s central coast, the Clayhouse Paso Robles 2003 and the Barnwood Santa Barbara 2004, were ink-a-dink-a-delicious!
You see this dark as midnight violet gusher pour out of the bottle and think, “My God, I’m going to have to hold me breath to take this in”. And then you get this velvety, fruity, soft, almost underwhelming (but very welcome) sensation. You can have Syrah and Zinfandel too. Petite Sirah is my girl.
The Concannon Central Coast Pinot Noir 2004 is not an expensive wine or a dramatic statement wine. What it is is what it was born to be- an everyday beverage that rises to the occasion and more than satisfies this tasters expectations. Look, before you get after me about great Burgundies from France or wonderful Pinot Noir’s from Oregon and California, stop. You’re preaching to the choir. You had me at hello, I dig ‘em. Just noting this little wine made it over the net. Love it.

Querciabella will be a whole post by itself, in the future.

So, once again I've gone over my self imposed word limit, so I will sign off and say bye-bye..
Ciao for niao...

The Wines ~
BUBBLES
 ZARDETTO PROSECCO
 CHARLES DE FERE DRY ROSE
 LUCIEN ALBRECHT CREMANT D’ ALSACE BRUT ROSE’
 PARINGA SPK SHIRAZ
 VIVANTE SPARKLING DRY LAMBRUSCO
 ALBINEA CANALI “OTTOCENTONERO” DRY LAMBRUSCO
 MARQUIS DE ROYS PECHE
ROSE’
 LA VIELLE FERME ROSE 2005
 B DOON VIN GRIS CIGARE 2005
 BUEHLER WHITE ZIN 2005
 PEDRONCELLI ZINFANDEL ROSE’ 2005
 IRON HORSE ROSATO OF SANGIOVESE 2005
 FALESCO ROSE 2005
WHITE WINE
 ILLUMINATI COSTALUPO 2005
 SOLETTA VERMENTINO 2004
 SANTA MARIA VERMENTINO 2004
 ARANCIO SICILIAN GRILLO 2005
 PIO CESARE CORTESE 2004
 CUNE BLANCO MONOPOLE 2004
 OROYA SUSHI WINE 2005
 HUGH HAMILTON “THE LOOSE CANNON” VIOGNIER 2005
P.GRIS-GRIGIO
 MORGAN PINOT GRIS 2005
 CLOS DES ROCHERS PINOT GRIS 2004
 TAMAS ESTATES PINOT GRIGIO 2005
SAUVIGNON BLANC
 MOON MTN SAUV BLANC 2004
 CH DUCASSE GRAVES BLANC 2005
 BOOTLEG NORTHERN WHITE SB 2004
 MATUA SB PARETAI 2005
 BEYOND SB 2005 SOUTH AFRICA
 BARNWOOD SB “THE BORDER” 2004
 CLAYHOUSE PASO ROBLES SB 2005
 FAUNA MARLBOROUGH NZ SB 2005
CHARDONNAY
 FIRESTONE CHARD CENTRAL COAST 2004
 CH MALTROYE CHASS MONT 2003
 TRUCHARD CHARD CARNEROS 2004
 LAETITIA CHARD ARROYO GRANDE 2004
 LEVENDI CHARD NAPA 2004
 HUGH HAMILTON “THE SCALLYWAG” UN WOODED CHARD 2005
 SEBASTIANI SONOMA COUNTY CHARD 2004
 ARANCIO SICILIAN NO WOOD CHARDONNAY 2005
 WHITE KNOT MCLAREN VALE CHARD 2004
 DELOACH RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY CHARD 2004
RIESLING
 DP NOBLE HOUSE RIESLING 2005
 WENTE MONTEREY RIESLING 2004
 J.BOOKWALTER RIESLING COLUMBIA VALLEY 2005
RED WINES
ITALY
 SANTA MARIA LA PALMA “LE BOMBARDE CANNONAU 2004
 BOOTLEG SOUTHERN RED ( 4 GRAPES) PUGLIA IGT 2003
 LA CORTE “SOLYSS” NEGROAMARO PUGLIA IGT 2004
 QUERCIABELLA CHIANTI CLASSICO 2003
 QUERCIABELLA “CAMARTINA” TOSCANA IGT 2001
 RUFFINO “IL DUCALE” ROSSO TOSCANA IGT 2003
 RUFFINO “MODUS” ROSSO TOSCANA IGT 2000

SPAIN
 FONTANA “MESTA” TEMPRANILLO V/T CASTILLO 2004
 MONJARDIN TINTICO TEMPRANILLO NAVARRA D.O. 2004
 MUSEUM REAL RISERVA CIGALES D.O. TEMPRANILLO 2001
 CUNE ROJO CRIANZA RIOJA 2002
NEW WORLD
PETITE SIRAH
 CLAYHOUSE PASO ROBLES P.S. 2003
 BARNWOOD “ LONG SHADOW” S.BARBARA P.S. 2004
SYRAH/SHIRAZ
 TWO UP SHIRAZ S. AUSTRALIA 2004
 FETISH “THE WATCHER” BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2004
 FOREFATHERS MCCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2004
 RAZORS EDGE MCCLARENRHONE/ZIN/GRENACHE ETC
 LANGHORN CREEK –KANGARILLA ROAD MCCLAREN VALE ZIN 2003
RHONE TYPE BLENDS
 BONNY DOON CLOS DU GILROY GRENACHE 2004
 CLAYHOUSE PASO ROBLES PETITE VERDOT 2003
 CLAYHOUSE PASO ROBLES MALBEC 2003
 CLAYHOUSE “ADOBE RED” PASO ROBLES 2004
PINOT NOIR
 VILLA MARIA PRIVATE BIN PINOT NOIR NZ 2004
 VAN DUZER WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2004
 CONCANNON CENTRAL COAST PINOT NOIR 2004
CABERNET SAUVIGNON
 CLOS DU VAL NAPA CAB 2003
 BUEHLER NAPA CAB 2004
 BARNWOOD “3200” S.B. CAB SAUV 2003
 FOREFATHERS ALEX VALLEY CAB 2002
MERITAGE (?) BLENDS
 J.BOOKWALTER LOT 20 COLUMBIA VALLEY
 PENDULUM COLUMBIA VALLEY 2003


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