Palate Press Wine of the Week

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Palate Press Wine of the Week (August 22-26): 2008 Stoller Vineyards Chardonnay

The grapes from this vineyards also end up in several other prestigious Oregon Chardonnays, so I was eager to try this. The aromas are light, floral, almond shell, and the flavors solidly reminiscent of a good, medium weight white Burgundy. There’s a lemony vein throughout that gets stronger in the finish. Touches of vanilla, oak, and cedar spice emerge as the wine warms in the glass. Recommended. BSE
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2010 Youngberg Hill Aspen Pinot Gris

Clear, bright, medium intensity golden yellow. Aromas of tropical fruit inundate the nose: pineapple, mango, banana, and guava all blended together. Soft hints of ripe, juicy melons and pears that run down your chin when you bite them. On the palate there is definitely a little residual sugar, but medium-high acidity balances it nicely. Medium-full bodied, with tropical fruit driven flavors, honeysuckle, and sweet apples. Match with a mango chutney or pineapple galette. Highly recommended. RR
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Ridge Estate Chardonnay

Judicious use of a careful blend of wood adds depth to its fruit, as if pears, a single slice of pineapple, and a fig or two were all very quickly sautéed in butter, then sprinkled with fresh honeysuckle blossoms. Similar flavors are joined on the palate by a bit of vanilla, but nothing that would overpower the fruit. The wood treatment includes 10% new, 15% one-year-old, 25% two-year-old, and 30% 3-4 year-old oak with 93% of it American and 7% of it French, with fifteen months in the barrel. The wood shows more as it warms, so be sure to drink it cool to really enjoy the fruit. Drink with baked pompano or other delicate white fish. Highly Recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2010 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare

Another wine, a rosé this time, in Randall Grahm’s own idiosyncratic style. Lovely nose of strawberry, melon, and flowers with a hint of vanilla at the back. Very expressive on the palate, especially for a rosé, with sweet but not cloying fruit notes, with a spine of acid and mineral running through it. Finishes long and clean. Not a wuss rosé and may be just the thing for your summer guests who are rosé-shy (if, like me, they’ve been subjected to too much bad rosé). Try with grilled shrimp. Highly recommended.

Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2007 Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Improving with every sip, gaining structure and depth with every extra minute of air, this is a beautiful baby that will, with time, mature into a gorgeous adult. Dark fruit (blackcurrant and mulberry) has a background of tobacco leaf and the tiniest touch of cayenne. Rich very dark chocolate and espresso pop on the mid-palate. Tannins are very sweet and dusty. Even with all the rich sweetness, it also has good acids and an underlying minerality, offering a decade or more in the cellar, maturing and offering layers of primary and secondary flavors in the future. Drink with a good steak and a better friend. Very highly recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2006 Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling

The 2009 is the current release of this dry riesling produced at this winery on the western shore of Seneca Lake, but the 2006, still on sale at SAQ, shows just where these terrific rieslings, made with care and what is probably the most natural winemaking approach in the region, can go with a little time in the bottle. The complexity and range of aromas is just remarkable. A seductive nose of lime, apple, clover and acacia, with notes of hot stone and the slightest touch of petrol brought on by aging.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Et Fille Deux Vert Vineyard Viognier

Clear, medium intensity straw yellow. Clean nose with medium intensity aromas of honeysuckle, orange zest, baked yellow apples, pear, and clean linen sheets. Dry on the palate with medium acidity, full body, and flavors of apple, pear, white flowers, sweet hay, honeycomb and orange tea. Long finish. Pair with a summer salad dressed in an orange-fennel vinaigrette. Highly recommended.