October 19, 2007

2003 Rieussec, Sauternes

Ah, Noble Rot... It's amazing to me that a parasitic fungus can eventually taste so damn good in a glass that it can fetch hundreds... even thousands for a bottle. That's a bit of a simplification but it's near the truth Good bottles of Sauternes are one of the most sought after and expensive wines possible. To me, these wines are magic. They are intensly concentrated and sweet with high levels of acidity to balance out the sweetness. While these wines are delicious when young, they don't reach their full potential until decades later, and properly cellared can last for a century or more.

Let me start by saying this wine is an infant and nowhere close to it's full potential. Big an juicy with gorgeous color, there are nice aromas of apple, caramel, lemon and spice. Very sweet with a long aftertaste. I found it a little awkward but I think only because it's so young, because believe me this wine has great potential. I'd love tasting this in a decade or so. For the price, there are better deals out there for Sauternes, but if you have some cash to throw around or plan to store this wine for years to come this it's a great choice.

Score: 90

Price: $75 Continued...

October 18, 2007

2005 Four Vines "Maverick" Zinfandel

Paso Robles is next on my list of wine producing regions to visit and when I do one of the wineries I want to visit is Four Vines. This is what I like to see in the attitudes of California winemakers. These people are making wines FUN - Snobbery and pretentiousness has been replaced with Pirates, Bikers, and "Zinbitches" (I'm waiting for Ninja's). These guys focus on appelation specific wines, old vine Zins and un-oaked Chardonnay. I LOVE me some old vine Zin, it's one of my favorite things to drink and I'm pretty curious about the un-oaked Chardonnay as well. That review will be coming soon. The head honchos of the Four Vines family are Christian, Susan & Bill and together they make some kick ass wine and bring some great attitudes to winemaking. Christian began as a chef in Boston and his love for wine developed from there. He and his partner, Susan Mahler, moved from San Francisco to Paso Robles in 1990 and set up shop. Bill Grant is a childhood friend of Christian’s and joined the team in 2002.

The 2005 "Maverick" Zin comes from the 100-plus-year old vines of the original Grandpere Vineyard, along with the 40- year old vines of The Deaver and Linstead Vineyards. Nice ruby color in the glass. The nose is quite spicy and fruity with a hint of oak. Rolling this around in my mouth although jammy, it wasn't quite the fruit bomb I was expecting. Nicely balanced, blackberries were dancing - not exploding in my mouth with a spicy finish. Finish seemed a little short but still very good. If I'd have hit the brakes I think this wine would have flew right by. I'm going to rate this wine a 88, because at the $20 price point there are other Zins I would rather drink. If this was a few bucks cheaper I would buy a case or two as a house wine for the summer/ fall. I love the idea, style, and direction of this wine and am excited to try the other zins and syrahs Four Vines offers. Talk to me Goose.

Score: 88

Price: $20 Continued...