5 Favorite Wines… A Cellar Update
I have been spending most of my evenings working the floor these days so dinners have been 15 minute scoffs as opposed to my normal blog fodder. At least the work food is generally quite exceptional. So in the spirit of maintaining my bi-weekly posting, here are some of my favorite wines that I have opened over the last couple of weeks (in no particular order).
Rosso Piceno Superiore 2000, D.o.c., Il Grifone, Tenuta Cocci Grifone ($52…importation)
A unique wine from an obscure appellation in the Italian Marches, this mix of 70% Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon represents what is best in Italian wine. Magnificently fluid, it has an amazing amplitude and incredible length. Hints of leather, tobacco and black licorice with a very ripe cassis, it works wonders with the tournedos of deer on our tasting menu. Beautiful now, in a couple more years it might approach epic.
Ribera del Duero, 2000, Domino de Atuata ($40...saq)
Ribera or Rioja? Ribera! For those who want the richness and earthy bouquet that are so characteristic of Spanish wines, but without the cumbersome oak and sullen flavors of 100% Tempranillo, this is for you. A mix of Tempranillo, Cabernet and Merlot, all tastefully aged in French oak, this is Spanish at it’s most elegant. Superb now, it will age with grace and beauty.
Ribera del Duero 1995, Gran reserva, Pequera ($96..saq)
100% Tempranillo and 30 months in new American oak, this is the not for the faint of heart. It still needs an hour in carafe to lose a bit of the wood, but once it is there, for the fans of Bandol and more ‘rustic’ bouquets, this will satisfy. A nice acidity and well –integrated tannins assure a long life, but will it slowly decay into those rotting forest odors that kill so much of Rioja? I would go the route of the carafe and not take the chance.
Engelgarten 2000, Marcel Deiss ($48… rare)
The master of the assemblage, Deiss’ Engelgarten combines Riesling, Pinot Gris and Muscat into an almost German feeling mountain wine. A wonderful minerality with notes of lemons, orange peels and honey, the touch of residual sugar adds just enough richness to calm the acidity. Still tight, this will get better for a long time. Yeah, I have 2 bottles.
La Belle Epoque 1996, Perrier-Jouet ($120…saq)
I have never been a bubbly guy, and that is to a large part due to it’s outrageous price. However, this bottle floored me. Made mostly with Chardonnay with a touch of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, it was soft yet complex, rich yet refreshing, I could go on and on. Thanks to the client from New York who gave me a glass. Cheers.