Saturday, May 30, 2009

Around the World for Under $10

Tasting @ The Wine Warehouse

The wines featured were true to the tasting title—there was a white wine from Israel and a red from Greece along with selections from the traditional wine countries and regions. All of the wines featured in this tasting were average to above average. (See Robert Parker's 100 Point Scale here.) And I must admit that this did surprise me for 12 sub-$10 wines. Having said that, I don’t think that I would consider any of these wines as outstanding. (See Nor, I would argue, should one expect as much from a sub-$10 tasting. (Note: although I don’t believe that there is a necessary connection between price and quality, I think that there is a correlation. But this is for another post….) On to the wines…. My white of the night was the NZ SB (#5, below) because of its atypical NZ SB profile. My red of the night was a toss-up with no clear stand-out. Forced to pick, I’d choose the CA Pinot Noir (#8, below)…and typically I’m more of a red Burgundy fan but this one resembles a red Burgundy with its unambiguous terroir element.
The Whites
1. Aveleda Vinho Verde, N.V. (Minho, Portugal; Traditional VV blend of Loureiro-Trajadura-Arinto ) [WW $7.99]:
• Nose: muted with slight honeydew component.
• Taste: melon & citrus; decent viscosity & body for VV; balanced.
2. Barkan Classic 2007 (Dan, Israel; 100% unoaked Chardonnay) [WW $6.99]
• Nose: Floral & melon notes.
• Taste: melon & citrus; dry; good balance; steely (slightly bitter) finish.
3. Knappstein Hand-Picked 2006(Clare Valley, Australia; 100% Riesling) [WW $7.99]
• Nose: petrol, gooseberry & slight cat pee.
• Taste: gooseberry, no sweetness; viscous, round, medium bodied; some alcohol on the finish.
4. Lurton Pinot Gris 2009 (Valle de Uco, Argentina; 100% Pinot Gris) [WW $8.99]
• Nose: dominated by guava fruit. (If you enjoy guava, this is your wine.)
• Taste: guava; slightly sweet (but not late-harvest sweet); some heat (alcohol) shows up on the finish.
5. Selaks Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (Marlborough, Australia; 100% Sauvignon Blanc) [WW $9.99]
• Nose: warm rubber & passion fruit.
• Taste: mild passion fruit; smooth body. Atypical NZ SB—3 years old, lacking the gooseberry and razor-sharp acidity. Interesting change of pace.
The Reds
In general I found all of the reds to be light to medium bodied, lending themselves to summer drinkability (if you so choose to drink reds at the start of Tallahassee’s summer heat and humidity).
6. Boutari 2006 (Nemea, Greece; 100% Agiorgitiko) [WW $7.99]
• Nose: Black currant, black cherries & brown sugar.
• Taste: dark fruit, subtle leather element; smooth tannins; lightest of the reds.
7. Luiano Chianti Classico Rosso Toscanna 2007 (Tuscany, Italy; 100% Sangiovese) [WW $7.99]
• Nose: caramel & salt, cherry.
• Taste: cherry; light bodied; balanced; smooth finish.
8. Mark West California 2007 (Central Coast & Sonoma sources; 100% Pinot Noir) [WW $9.99]
• Nose: pronounced warm soil element & mild red fruit.
• Taste: red fruit; light; balanced; some leather on the finish.
9. Charamba Douro 2007 (Douro, Portugal; Traditional field-blend) [WW $6.99]
• Nose: soil, dark cherry.
• Taste: cherry & some orange zest on the attack; balanced; smooth finish.
10. St. Martin Garrigue Tradition 2006 (Coteaux du Languedoc, France; Syrah-Carignan blend) [WW $9.99]
• Nose: dark prune, barnyard, slight caramel & salt component.
• Taste: dark prune, slight leather component; balanced.
11. Emperador de Barros 2006 (Extremedura, Spain; 100% Tempranillo) [WW $7.99]
• Nose: dark red fruit, barnyard.
• Taste: dark cherry, licorice on the finish; balanced; smooth finish.
12. Gougenheim Cab 2007 (Mendoza, Argentina; 100% Cabernet Sauvignon) [WW $9.99]
• Nose: red fruit, sweet tart.
• Taste: red fruit; balanced; light for a cab; longest finish of the reds.
Comment on this!: What's your favorite local wine for $10 or less?