A very expressive and complex Ribera del Duero wine, and the winery is not shy about it. The “MB” stands for “Muy Bueno” – “very good.” Spends 2 years in oak and another 2 in bottle before release. Chocolate, cigar box, and pepper on the nose carry through on the palate, opening onto rich notes of spice (allspice) and clean fruit (boysenberry). Lingers well on finish. If you’re a tempranillo fan (and I am) you’ll really enjoy this one. It’s the kind of wine I like with just about any grilled meat – will even stand up to the smoke of realTexas BBQ brisket. Highly recommended. GT
Silky red fruits, cranberry, wild strawberry, and redcurrant, are the highlights of this wine. Some basil and tarragon show on the mid-palate, along with sweeter cherries and strawberries. The curious aspect is on the nose, where the red fruits show clearly, but there is a curious underlying hint of darkness, a deep loamy depth with a bit of funk. Tannins are very light, acids quite bright. Cranberry and anise linger on the finish. Five years old now, this seems to be improving based upon early reviews, though perhaps not for a lot longer. It is a good food wine. Pair it with roast pork with mushroom gravy, letting the acids cleanse the palate for each new bite. Recommended. DH
With neighbors like Opus One and Rubicon, this was bound to be a keeper. Nose of cedar, anise, tobacco, and fresh leather. Flavors of blueberries, cassis, and chocolate with soft, well-integrated tannins. Velvety finish. Nice now, but will be even better by 2013. Cries out for a grilled hanger steak with its rich, beefy flavor. Highly recommended. GT
Definite luscious cabernet in the nose, dusty earthy and some minty eucalyptus in both nose and flavor. Smooth mouthfeel. Lighter on end-palate and in finish. Firm structure and moderate, well-integrated tannins. I would recommend aerating and/or decanting before drinking – which I did, but it remained a little too restrained for my taste. Recommended with reservations. BSE
Four hours in the nose is blueberry and black cherry pie. The same fruits, adding unsweetened chocolate, high notes of tobacco leaf and a touch of eucalyptus and vanilla doesn't overpower now and will fade with more time, all make a complex but well-knit palate. Tannins are dust-fine and sweet. The finish lingers. Buy it now but cellar it for five more years. When you do drink it, drink it with a black-and-blue ribeye and fried onions. Highly recommended. DH
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.
I have to thank the slow process of getting wines to the Société des alcools du Québec, or Québec Alcohol Corporation—the wine and spirits monopoly in Québec—and the little-known status of Finger Lakes wine in the province for the opportunity to taste an older vintage of riesling from Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard. The 2009 is the current release of this dry riesling produced at this winery on the western shore of Seneca Lake, but the 2006 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. Though it wouldn’t be out of place in the Mosel (I tasted it side by side with a S.A. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett riesling, and there were many points of comparison), it certainly has its own personality and definition. The mouth, sustained by still lively acid, has gained roundness and richness with age, moving from candied lemon to pine tree and beeswax, with exceptional length and a finish that just keeps going. Mature and extremely enjoyable now, it should remain so for many years to come. Highly Recommended.
Littorai’s winemaker, Ted Lemon, brings remarkable balance to the pinot noirs he picks from various sites in Sonoma Coast, Russian River and Anderson Valley. Originating from the latter, the 2006 Roman Vineyard, originally released in late 2008, is a remarkable blending of Burgundian technique with Californian character. The wine is a light but complex shade of garnet, yet the flavors are ripe and mature. The fruit, combining cherry and plum, jumps out at first with a light floral accent, but spicier and earthier notes, with a light, heady sort of pastry or maybe cocoa powder accent adding on to it. The wine is silky and accomplished, with moderate acid good body and good length. The alcohol, at a stated 14.1%, does not produce any heat, though a little richness and voluptuous character. This is a wine that drinks itself, and could be enjoyed by itself over the course of an evening – though a duck breast certainly wouldn’t do it any wrong. Enjoy now or within the next couple of years. Highly recommended.