Hopefully, in time for your long weekend, TheMuddler returns from his partying, traveling, and rest.
Wines for wine geeks
If I was asked to write the tag line for the $32 CVNE Monopole Clásico 2015 | VINTAGES#: 489583, I would borrow Monty Python’s expression and say “and now for something completely different”. The posted tasting notes do not do this wine justice. This is a white Rioja wine made with a small amount of Sherry that is added during the wine-making process. It sounds a newly found gimmick but CVNE’s use of this process goes back 100 years. To me, the outcome brilliantly combines the attributes of both winemaking styles. The nose has elements of sour berries, stone fruit, and chamomile flowers. On the palate, there are fruit, nuts, spices, and saline-mineral notes. Please note that this is an oxidized style of wine so it may not be your cup of tea and this is the only reason I classified the wine as one for geeks. I think that this wine so good that I ordered a case.
There is a sad side to this tale as it is another example of our supply change, likely the KGBO, using their monopoly power causing the citizens of this People’s Republic to pay a 25% price premium to the amount paid by our friends in La Belle Province. I really find this gouging upsetting and unfair.
Wines to consider
If you are a fan of Rhone Valley white wine but struggle with either their price or lack of availability then try the $20 Pomar Junction Sidetrack White 2017 | VINTAGES#: 644492. This wine is a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc and the attributes of each grape results in an intense wine with some complexity. The wine’s acidity and 7 grams of residual sugar mean this wine is best served at the dinner table.
Fans of the fruit forward nature that typically comes from New World Pinot Noir should try the $25 Rapaura Springs Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 | VINTAGES#: 645184. The posted tasting notes are accurate. This is textbook New World Pinot at a decent price. Well, the decent price comment is a relative one as in the People’s Republic of Ontario we typically pay more for a decent Pinot Noir. This wine retails for as little as $13 in its home country of New Zealand.
If you are looking for a cheap table wine consider the $16 Feudo Maccari Olli Grillo 2017 | VINTAGES#: 477877. The flavors of lemon zest and stone fruit are enjoyable. There is an unpleasant bitterness on the wine’s finish, an attribute that suggests to me that it will be hard to enjoy more than a glass of this wine without food to accompany it. If you find yourself in a Barolo emergency then consider the $46 Damilano Lecinquevigne Barolo 2013 Nebbiolo VINTAGES#: 454488. The posted tasting notes overstate the case. In the land of Barolo, you get what you pay for and rarely do you get a Barolo at this price point that you would boast about. Damilano’s Langhe Nebbiolo released last October was just as good as this wine at nearly half the asking price (sadly the Langhe Nebbiolo is sold out). If you buy the Barolo, you will find that the wine will benefit from decanting it a couple of hours in advance of serving.
The alcohol level in the $14 Honoro Vera Monastrell 2017 Monastrell (Mourvèdre) | VINTAGES#: 167684 came across as out-of-balance. I find it hard to believe that the wine is 13.5% as stated on the KGBO’s website (note that the bottle states 15%). The wine is fruit forward, has a meaty gaminess and elements of dried fruit. The residual sugar is also a little high (6 grams). To me, this would be a good cooking wine for stews and, as stated in the tasting notes, likely would pair well with that same dish. Outside of that context, I this is a fine that I would struggle to enjoy more than a single glass.
Fans of Trimbach Riesling will not be disappointed with the $35 Trimbach Réserve Riesling 2016 | VINTAGES#: 247023. Well, I need to take that comment back as the price that the KGBO is now charging is disappointing. First the wine. I find Trimbach’s style to be predictable and consistent. Bone dry, steely in texture, with decent fruit, and acidity. This producer’s entry-level wines are very ordinary and not worth the money. This reserve ups the game a bit but honestly there is better and more complex Alsace Riesling at this price point (but good luck finding them presently at our government supply monopoly). The KGBO used to sell this wine for $25 and that’s the price point vendors charge in Europe. If you are in need of a decent but not fantastic Riesling and don’t mind paying the premium then try this wine.
I believe that significant time has passed since the KGBO release a good cru Beaujolais so the $25 Le Griottier 2015 Gamay | VINTAGES#: 635805 fits the bill. The posted tasting notes are accurate and the wine is a bit clumsy presently. A couple of years in the cellar would bring things together.
Wines that I am avoiding
The $20 Marcel Cabelier Vieilles Vignes Pinot Noir 2016 | VINTAGES#: 511204 seems to be generating some buzz as last Saturday the bottles disappeared quickly from the shelves of my KGBO. I don’t get it. Perhaps we tasted wine from a bad bottle as the contents of our glass exhibited signs of instability. The wine’s nose was reminiscent of HP sauce and Ketchup. Exposure to air helped but the sauces kept returning. For that reason, I am staying away.