An Older Dessert Wine

I found this bottle of dessert wine lurking in the cellar during one of our reorganization projects. I purchased it in 2005 from the Williamsburg Winery in Williamsburg, VA back when I lived down there and was a frequent visitor, particularly to scoop up bottles of the Governor’s White! This wine was a 2002 Williamsburg Winery Late Harvest Vidal. I bought it at the winery, it had a real cork closure, clocked in at 11% alcohol by volume, had 13% residual sugar, and I couldn’t tell you what I paid, though the current vintage sells for $24.

On the nose the wine was sweet, showing honey and apricot. In the mouth, much of the same. It has held up incredibly well over the years, and actually tasted even better than I remember. The color had also intensified, though I can’t find the picture of it that I took for you. Given how well it’s drinking now, but also taking into consideration that it still had a nice backbone, I’d say this one still has some life for aging in it. I will also admit that it was not stored under perfect conditions….it lived on my counter wine rack in my townhouse for well over a year, survived a summer in VA in un-airconditioned climate, then lived in the racks in our one bedroom apartment for almost a year before it moved to our house for almost another year. And it still tasted great!


WBW #45-Old World Riesling

It’s that time of month again, WBW! The event really crept up on me this month, I was down to the wire, just heading out to pick up my bottle yesterday afternoon. Our host for this month is Tim of WineCast, who is pulling double duty this go around as he was also the host for the 2nd WBC, which also crept up on me and I didn’t get around to finishing the book for this time. As always, the host is responsible for picking the theme for WBW, the brainchild of Lenn of Lenndevours, and posting the round-up after the event. Tim has chosen Old World Riesling for this month, asking us to pick up any bottle of Riesling from Germany, Austria, Alsace….and a couple of other places.

With that in mind, I set out to find my Riesling. If I were writing this post for just a regular post, I’d have titled it “Old World Riesling with a New World Label.” I don’t normally go in for the eye-catching wine names/labels, and it actually wasn’t the reason I purchased this bottle. The owner of my favorite wine shop recommended two bottles to me and said this one was a bit fruitier than the other one, so I went with it because Matt prefers whites that show a lot of fruit.

The wine is a 2007 “Diva” Riesling from Germany. The producer is Gunderloch and it’s a Rheinhessen Riesling Spatlese, which means the grapes are “late harvested” by allowing them to ripen for an extra week or more. It’s the second level of quality on the scale of Rieslings produced in Germany. The bottle cost me $24.99 at the Winery in Old Town Alexandria, had a screw-cap closure, and clocked in at 9.5% alcohol by volume.

The nose was reserved, but gave up some lemon, peach, tropical fruit, and minerals. In the mouth this wine was fantastic. I can only describe it as delicate fruit flavors that dance over your tongue with an almost prickly feeling for your taste buds. Particularly I found peach, lots of peach, some tropical fruit, and honey all over the palate.

The wine was smooth, and glass by glass just disappeared in our house without a thought. It was drinking so well, and had wonderful acidity and backbone holding it together. It tasted like really delicious candy and would serve very well as a dessert in and of itself. I served it with baked chicken, broccoli, and homemade applesauce, and the food just overpowered the delicate flavors of the wine. I would say serve this as an apertif or a dessert, or perhaps with a very a cheese tray that wouldn’t dominate the wine. I highly recommend this bottle, it’s one of the best whites we’ve had recently.

Thanks to Tim for hosting, and I will be sure to alert you to the round-up when it’s posted!

Some Bubbly From Dad

When my folks came to visit a couple weeks ago, they came bearing wine…some that I had shipped to their house, and some my Dad picked up from various tastings he attended since the last time we had visited. One of those bottles from a recent bubbly tasting was a Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut. It clocked in at 12.9% alcohol by volume and had a traditional sparkling wine closure.

On the nose I found almonds, toast, nuts, apples, and more toast. The nose of the wine was very toasty. In the mouth the wine was very appley, with a little pear, tropical fruit, and some honey on the back of the palate. The wine was full of dry fruit, with nice bubbles.

We drank this on its own after dinner, and it was a great after dinner treat. It runs around $13-$17 a bottle, and is definitely a fun sparkler in that price range.

More Sauvignon Blanc

It looks like summer is here to stay. We skipped straight from cold rainy days in the 30s-50s to sunny and 80…which is lovely, but sadly, won’t last long and is just a tease before the 90+ full humidity days settle in perhaps 3 weeks from now.

The wine for the evening was a 2007 Brutocao Sauvignon Blanc from Feliz Vineyard. We picked it up on our most recent Sonoma trip at the winery. It had a plastic cork closure, clocked in at 13.7% alcohol by volume and cost around $14 (last year’s vintage price).

On the nose I found lemon, melon, honeydew, pear, and a slightly floral aroma. In the mouth the flavors were citrus, lemon, and pear. I really wish the melon had carried through to the palate. The wine was crisp, tart, and quite acidic. Definitely a refreshing bottle of wine and certainly an easy one to drink on a hot spring/summer night.

I served the wine with baked stuffed scrod, rice pilaf, and corn on the cob. It worked really well with the meal since the stuffing in the scrod was bread crumbs, spices, and butter and needed a crisp wine with lots of acidity to cut through the heavier flavors.

Bye Bye Until the Fall

::cries:: This was my last bottle of David Coffaro wine until the fall when my futures case arrives. I wish I could have brought home more, but with the futures case and the 2 bottles I did bring home, I already bought 14 bottles which was more than double the number I bought at any other winery on our trip!

The wine of the evening was a 2005 David Coffaro Zinfandel. I did bring home two bottles of this, but I had purchased one with the intent of giving it to my neighbors as a thank you gift for taking in our mail while we were gone…so it was the only bottle I had for my personal consumption! I purchased this wine at the winery for $26, it had a screw cap closure like all of David Coffaro’s wines, and it clocked in at 15.2% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found vanilla, blackberry, cedar, oak, and espresso. It needed a bit of time to open up, so I was glad I unscrewed it a bit before dinner! In the mouth the wine showed black cherry and blackberry, with a little bit of spice and oak. The fruit tasted very fresh and juicy, I loved this bottle of win.

I served the wine with grilled marinated chicken (I promise it just looks burnt, the marinade crisps up like that!), rice pilaf, and corn on the cob. It worked because the chicken was kind of a heavier dish and had a lot of flavor from being marinated, plus, this was a giant knock you down kind of Zinfandel.

(See the pretty flowers Matt brought me?)

Meeting New Wines

On our second day in Sonoma, we were lucky enough, as I’ve mentioned before, to have Patrick of Iridesse Wines showing us around. The second stop of the day was to a group of wineries who share space in the same building complex that I likely would never have found without his guidance. We had intended to go to several of the wineries in the space, but after the first, got a phone call and took a detour for a private tasting over at Michel Schlumberger. Prior to knowing of our detour, Patrick directed Matt, Russ, and I into Camellia Cellars to taste some excellent wines, where we also got to meet the owner!

We tasted through their whole line up (and more, including some wine that won’t be released until this fall and came away very happy!

2007 First Kiss: $22, Proprietor’s Blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, and Viognier, 12.7% alcohol by volume. Melon, lemon, tropical, floral, crisp, the Sauvignon Blanc really shows through in this one.

2006 Sangiovese: $25. Tart, tannic, tart fruit, cherry, strawberry, nice and fruity after a bit of a swirl in the glass.

2006 Zinfandel: Lencioni Vineyard, $26, 14.6% alcohol by volume. Vanilla, blackberries, dark fruit, tannic, needs time. We took home 1.

2005 Bountiful Zinfandel: $30, 14.4% alcohol by volume. Bigger berries, boysenberry, black berries, currants, fruitier than the ’06. Very good, not sure why I didn’t bring any home.

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon: $40, 13.8% alcohol by volume. Cream, little funk, bell pepper, herbs, dark fruit, still needs time!

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon: $45, 14.8% alcohol by volume. Vanilla cream, more up front fruit, strawberry, red fruit.

2006 Syrah: Not released until the fall, will definitely be getting some of this though! Vanilla, dark currants dark cherries, dark berries, lots of fruit, very very good, though needs time, a good year or 2.

2001 Diamo Grazie Proprietor’s Blend: 65% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petite Sirah: Dusty fruit, blueberry, peppery, earthy, leather saddle, cherry, strawberry. Yum. We took home 1.

2004 Petite Sirah: $32, 13.4% alcohol by volume. Blueberry, coffee, floral, chocolate, blueberry pie, yum, my kind of PS. We took home 2.

As you can see, Matt and Russ made themselves at home at the bar while we spent a lovely part of our afternoon tasting through a great line up of wines. I’ll certainly be looking forward to the release of the 2006 Syrah, it may have been my favorite of Camellia’s wines, though the Petite Sirah gave it a run for the money as well. Many thanks again to Patrick for bringing us to this gem!