Thursday, February 10, 2011

Petalos Bierzo 2008

The first time I tried this (2006 vintage, perhaps?), it was a gift. It was a calculated gift from one of my favourite suppliers. Calculated gifts are very different from samples. Samples can be any old rubbish that needs to be sold. Calculated gifts, however, are things that people believe in, and want you to believe in too.

It worked. We stock the wine. I cracked this open to teach a promising young staff member about Spain's upcoming groovy region.

Violet-edged and quite dark.

The nose is floral and dusty with crushed violet petals and a juicy dark fruit lingering behind them.

Gentle dust coats the palate with dried flowers, violet and lavender and then the fruit emerges, quite juicy and purple - plum and blackberry. Really a joy to drink and kind of a wine of itself. Not terribly derivative or reminiscent of any other region. Bravo.


Tasted 2 Feb 2011 at Luvians Bottleshop.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A touch of Grace (or My Introduction to Ace Wines from Japan)

It is the season of samples - a time when odd and interesting new labels appear and old, oft-rejected old labels think they can sneak in again without being noticed. It is a time when unspeakable damage is done on one's palate, because samples tend to be what need to be sold, rather than what I want to drink.

That makes the exceptions all the better, especially when they come out of left field. Or, in this case, the Far East. Which I suppose would be right field if I were looking at a map of Great Britain. In any case, I'd heard of these wines, but never tasted them.

The Koshu grape is indigenous to Japan, which is kind of exciting in a way that only wine geeks can appreciate. Grace is meant to be one of the top producers, and the examples we enjoyed, I believe it.

Grace Koshu Kayagatake 2009

Quite pale. Almost clear.

Perfumed and bright on the nose with lemon peel and pith. There also a soft, tropical note on the end.

Really rather pretty on the palate. Bright, lemony acidity with tropical, perfumed edges. Textured and balanced with great length - wet stone and a touch of fresh spring rain. Yep, I just wrote that. Damn, that's tasty - good village Chablis tasty (without the cheese and grist). And refreshingly different. Groovy.


Grace Koshu Hishiyama 2009

Again, very pale. Silver highlights.

Fleshier on the nose; richer with lemons and kiwis.

A lighter touch - more ephemeral and elegant. The acidity isn't quite as bracing. The mouthfeel is extraordinary. It's gripping, but softly so. Grapefruit, lemons, mirabelle nuances. Kumquat? Long and fine on the finish. Really rather impressed with these.


Tasted 1 Feb 2011 at Luvians Bottleshop

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Ransom Selection Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2006

This may be the only note I took on my trip to California, though I tasted a lot of cool wine. Hey, it was a holiday. The restaurant, by the way, was fantastic.

Dark forest & black cherry nose. A touch of farmyard, but not overbearing.

Full, proper, new world Pinot- brambly, river edge type stuff with bruised red cherries - not jammy. Not hugely elegant but makes up for it with rustic charm. Touch toasty on the finish with a hint of sinewy structure. Not really for cellaring but yummy now.


Tasted 30/6/2010 at 3 Foods Cafe, Arcata, Humboldt CA

brief pause...

I actually have several notes, some of them typed and everything, but other writing that needs to take precedent. Apologies. There should be new notes and even a big Burgundy 09 thing up sometime this week.