Monday, July 5, 2010

Exploring Southern Tuscany's Morellino based Wines

It's been far to long between posts, is the thought that crossed my mind as I sat here sweltering in 95 degree heat with no air conditioning. So here goes. I've been meaning to share a successful experience with BottleKing and one of it's sales. The wine is Morellino di Scansano, Moris Farms, DOC 2006. Moris Farms vineyard is located in the village of Grosseto in Maremma, Tuscany. Maremma is located in the south western corner of Tuscany and borders the sea.

Beautiful rolling hills and valleys with temperatures moderated by the Medeterrain make is the perfect location for successful viticulture.

The main grape grown here is Morellino, a strain of the Sangiovese grape that dominates most of the Tuscan region. This particular wine that MorisFarms produced was comprised of 90% Morellino and 10% Syrah and Merlot. So on to the tasting. The wine had a light body, almost as light as a pinot. The nose was relatively tight but I did detect a hint of strawberries. The tasting was quite interesting. Started off sweet with the presences of black cherry and Strawberry but quickly faded to a distinct and powerful oak flavor (perfect for a dryhead like me). The wine was lightly tannic and the introduction of cheese quickly evaporated any tannins to create a sliky smooth experience. The overall tasting experience was quite long for a light bodied wine. At 14% alcohol, it can pack a bit of a punch but the wine was not "hot" at all. The price tag on this jewel was $13.99. I must say that I was very pleased and would rate this bottle a "4" on our scale. To me, this was the perfect summer alternative to the usually weak reds we associate with warm weather. I will definitely be returning to buy more, perhaps a case. Try it today. You won't be disappointed. Stay Cool!

If you are interested in more information on the Maremma region check out The above photos provided curteous of that site.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Next Wine Tasting

Just a reminder. The next Wine Tasting will be on May 22 at 4pm at my house. We will be doing whites this time. I'd recommend keeping the price between $15-$20. Since we did a Chardonnay tasing not very long ago, please to to choose different whites. The primary idea of this tasting is to get a good cross section of the white wine available and their differences. Several different choices include Pinot Grigio, Sauvingion Blanc, Viogner, Reisling, Gwvertstriminer (sp) to name a few.

An Evening of Pio Cesare

Al DeMeo and I spent a cool and rainy April evening by the fire tasting two wines from a classic old world producer from Piedmonte, Italy, Pio Cesare. The first was a 1998 Barbera d'Alba. This wine was decanted for a 2 hours before pouring. The nose was interesting to say the least, a bit of red cherry that turned into a bitter odor of coffee. The tasting experience however, was disappointing. The body was uncanningly light, even for a barbera, the tannins were very low and the only real taste was that of black cherry that quickly evaporated to leave a water bitter taste. Undoubtedly, a Babera is past it's prime at 12 years.

The second wine was a 2005 Barolo. This wine had an overpowering nose of deep black cherry and alcohol.I have always thought the nebbiolo grape wines have a distinct odor, much like that slivery mettalic whiff that fills the air before a late spring or early summer rainstorm. This wine was no exception. In terms of its state, the tannins were intense and overpowering, although the taste of black cherry did a great job of maintaining it's own against that natural tannic nature of the Nebbiolo. There is no question that this wine needs about 5 to 7 more years of aging and it will be stellar. As the tannins soften and the alcohol burns off, this wine will open up new flavors to the pallet. It was evident even as we drank it over a few hours that aging will increase the smoothness and deliver a long lasting tasting experience to the drinker. Buy this one and put it away. It will be one of the great ones.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pinot Noir Tasting

A great time was had by all. Too bad Joe L. and Drew had to leave before the pic was taken. The theme was American Pinot Noir, with wines from various appellations in California and Oregon, with a couple of curve balls, one from Italy and one home made wine. Here are the results from worst to best:

8. Kanzler Pinot Noir, (Cal, Sonoma), 2006- average score 2.07- $59.99
7. Capiaux, Gary's Pinot Noir,(Cal, Sonoma) 2007- Average score 2.21- $44.99
6. Vince's Nasty homemade Cab 2007- (curve ball) 2.71 -$11.00
5. Loring Keefer Pinot, 2007(Cal Central Coast) - 2.8- $49.99
4. Roco Pinot Noir, 2006 (Oregon-Williamette Valley) -2.93-$31.99
3. Madonna Alta Pino Noir,, 2007 (Italy) 3.07- $19.99
2. Etude Pinot Noir Carneros, 2006 (Cal, Napa) 3.21- $35.99
1. Boedecker Shea Pinot Noir, 2006 (Oregon- Williamette Valley) 3.43- $45.00

Once again, shows you that high price does not translate into high quality.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wintery Evening for some Reds

Hey everyone. Last Saturday night, some miserable weather provided the backdrop for a chance to try out some wines over Dawson's house. Three red wines (a Merlot, Shiraz, and Other) were showcased. In order from worst to first, the results are as follows:

1. 2006 Devil's Marbles South Eastern Australia Shiraz-this nicely light bodied effort had a very sweet nose. The sweetness continued on the mid palate, accompanied by pepper, and was very dry. This was an average one for me, and a bit sub-par for Dawson. At $8.99, serviceable but not remarkable. Average Score: 2.75

2. 2007 Sicilia Rosso Dry Red Wine (other red varietal)--also bearing a fruity and sweet nose, this very smooth effort was very balanced, nice length, and nice tanins. This $9.99 bottle is certainly worth it. Average Score: 3.5

3. 2005 Rutherford Hill Napa Valley Merlot--WOW. I had this one before and was extremely impressed (2004 vintage), and wanted to showcase it this evening. This very dark gem had a light body to it, with smoky and red berry aromas to it. This ultra-smooth effort had some incredible length and complexity, offering the fruity, slightly hot, and silky properties that made it by far the best in class. At $19.99, definitely one to see out. Average Score: 4.5

More wine tastings hopefully on the way before the end of the winter season!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bring on the Holidays and the Wine

Hello All. Well it goes without saying that it's been too long since this blog has been updated. So with Thanksgiving 2009 behind us and the Holiday Season upon us, I thought it an opportune time to re-ignite our little online wine diary.

This weekend, I stopped by my local bottle king and picked up a bottle for a personal wine experience. I decided to continue my quest for surprisingly good wine at recession prices. That quest led me back to the Italian section and the Piedmonte region. It's no secret I'm a big fan of the Barolo's and just about any wine made from the Nebbiolo grape.

But this time, I thought I’d mix things up a bit and chose a Barbera based wine from Alba. Renato Ratti, Torriglione, Barbera D'Alba, 2008. Moderately priced at $12.00. This wine had a ruby red color and legs that just wouldn't quit; long and slow were these stems. The nose was no surprise and typical regarding my experience with Barbera wines, an odor of deep black cherry. However, when I let it sit for a while and took another sniff, I detected a slight bouquet of flower. Very interesting!

The taste was very dry at first but after a few seconds the sweetness of that black cherry showed up. Unfortunately any evidence of tannins ever being present was non existent. The body was very light and smooth, without the slightest hint of the burn from an alcohol content of 13.5%. The disappointing aspect of this wine was that the tasting experience did not last long, leaving me flat and wanting more in terms of complexity.

All in all, it was a decent wine for the price. I enjoyed drinking it without a food compliment and the experience did not change much after a day's aging. I give it a rating of 2.75, however, due to price point; it ranks high on my everyday wine list.

So that's my little Holiday season launching story and here's hoping we'll get some new posts real soon. Stay tuned and bring on the Wine drinking season!!!!