While I do say at tastings that box wine is drinkable I would never go on local TV to promote it! Our local go to gal on wine is doing anything and everything to promote herself but this one is just ridiculous. John Glas of Wineglas is the only one in the Twin Cities promoting the best wines and soon I will be launching the best wine buying service ever created in our town.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
My annual wines of the year which proved to be less impressive than the previous but still some excellent wines were consumed.
1. 1998 Fox Creek Shiraz Reserve - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale (11/9/2013)
Australia Big Guns Shiraz Tasting (Kevin's (Minneapolis)): Outstanding wine and a real benchmark wine for anyone drinking Aussie Shiraz from mid 90s to present. Black licorice, black pepper, mild fruits, chocolate notes and wood. Soft tannins and fine sediment. Balanced and long finish with more secondary notes on this tasting than the last 3 plus years ago. This wine for $50 (purchased recently) is my QPR of the year and should be enjoyed within the next few years. (96 points)
2. 2006 Alban Vineyards Syrah Lorraine - USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley (12/22/2013)
Mini Offline at Mike's featuring Alban; 12/21/2013-12/22/2013 (Minneapolis, MN): Top five wine of the year and gives new meaning to the phrase LONG FINISH. Consumed 2 glasses over the course of 3 hours. Bacon, blackberries, charcoal, glycerin and exotic spices. Up front heat was a bit of an issue but blew off. This is a big time wine and one that will evolve for a decade or more. This would compare nicely against any of the Big Aussie wines we drank back in November. Outstanding! (97 points)
3. 2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia - USA, California, Napa Valley (3/22/2013)
Early wine of the year candidate and a good call by WS. Floral, sour cherries, spice, blueberries and earth. Elegant wine on the nose and palate. Not the typical Cali Cab beast. Tannins present but fully integrated. This wine drink well for 15 more years. Decanted 3 hours. (96 points)
4. 2004 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Éloge - USA, California, Napa Valley (3/22/2013)
Great showing and got better over the night. Blueberries, smoke, floral, funk and minerals dominate this beauty. Balanced and soft tannins. Medium finish. Decanted 2.5 hours. (95 points)
5. 1990 Château Troplong Mondot - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (4/27/2013)
Right Bank Bordeaux Tasting; 4/27/2013-5/5/2013 (Kevin's House (Minneapolis)): Decant 3 hours. Intense aromas and flavors. Cherry, blueberries, cigar, coffee, menthol and roasted beef. Complex and concentrated wine. Finish goes on for over a minute and the wine is balanced. Could go another decade! Top notch. (96 points)
6. 2009 Antica Terra Pinot Noir Botanica - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (6/11/2013)
Wine of the year candidate. Amazing and complex wine. Minerals, blueberries, cranberry and earth. Long finish and balanced wine. This wine was decanted 2.5 hours and will develop over the next five to ten years. While I have not sampled Thomas it is safe to say this is the best producer of Pinot Noir in Oregon. 95+ (95 points)
7. 2005 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Spätlese ** - Germany, Nahe (2/23/2013)
Nice sweetness and more like an Auslese wine. Dark gold. Minerals, golden delicious apples, pinneapple and peaches. Nice acid to complement the sweet. Medium to long finish. Will age for a decade and a wonderful effort! 94 plus (94 points)
8. 2004 Alain Voge Cornas Vieilles Vignes - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas (1/20/2013)
Northern Rhone (Shari's House): Most interesting wine tonight. Funk, tart cherries, tobacco, minerals and raspberries. Good acidity and medium to long finish. Improved throughout the night. (94 points)
9. 2009 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (10/13/2013)
Minneapolis Wine Club Offline: Top notch stuff! Light gold. Elegant and features shells, minerals, golden apples and citrus notes. Really a balanced effort and drinking well now but will age for five plus years. I don't see much of a point to cellar this as it is great today!!! Wine of the night for this event. Excellent Gary!!! B.S. at 88 you are full of B.S. dude! (95 points)
10. 2001 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva Rocche dell'Annunziata - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (2/5/2013)
Medium purple and changed over the course of the night big time. It showed mushrooms, tar, spice and dark fruits. The finish was multi-layered and complex. Over 3 hours and aerated it really blossomed. For sure cellar for five plus years. (94 points)
Sunday, December 30, 2012
5. NV Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (11/28/2012) Great stuff and as good as many vintage Champagnes. For $28 a super QPR. Minerals, sour apples, spice and pear. Crisp wine and refreshing. Complex, medium finish. (93 pts.) By far the cheapest top ten of the year and this might outperform many vintage efforts for four times the price. I have tasted this wine 5 times this year and they all are in the range of 91-93. Well done Piper!
6. 2008 Antica Terra Pinot Noir Botanica - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (3/31/2012) Light in color. Exotic nose of floral, dust, earth, cranberry and smoke. Complex wine with a medium plus finish. Improved with some time and this has a decade plus of enjoyment. (94 pts.) A new find in 2012 and it won’t be the last. Wonderful, balance Pinot Noir that for the money will beat just about all from Burgundy.
7. 2008 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese - Germany, Nahe (6/3/2012) Super light in color, almost clear. Apricots, floral, peaches and super balanced. A touch of sweetness but this should really age into an amazing wine in a decade or enjoy right now! (94 pts.) I love Riesling and this was the best German of the year. This should age a long time and can be enjoyed today.
8. 2009 Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru (4/6/2012) Should improve with age and my wine of the night! Complex with earth, ripe fruit, coffee and spices. The perfect "funk" quality on the nose that makes you realize how good Burgundy can be. Long finish and tannic and should age nicely for 30 years. 94-96. (94 pts.) Tasted at a Winestreets private dinner event this wine shows how good young Pinot can be but promises so much more with cellaring. Thanks Brad.
Korta Katarina Winery from Croatia was pouring at Haskell's last week and whoever was pouring the wine was clueless. She had a corked bottle of the Rose and I told her and she said people liked it. I said it was corked and should be pulled from the lineup which did not happen. I emailed the winery with local Minneapolis ties and no response. This is a winery Leslee Miller worked for promoting their wines for pay of course and I am sure she poured these at her events. While the wines weren't too bad they certainly did not justify the price points. A rose for $20 is not what I call a great QPR. If you want to make it into the worldwide scene you need to make sure your wines are pouring at their best. No one in the real wine world is talking Croatian wines and not following up a obvious problem is not a way to get the word about your product. Try harder in 2013 Korta Katarina.