Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The topic this month is California Dreaming or remembering the first magical wine from California. My wife and I shared our development of wine appreciation. This was largely accomplished through a long series of tastings we attended at a now closed wine store in Cincinnati( The Mushroom ) from the mid 90's until they closed in the early 2000's. We were learning about wine at a time when California wines were still reasonable and when I look back at my tasting sheets from those days, I see many of the wines that today are considered cult wines and are substantially more expensive. The one wine that sticks out through all of that fantastic clutter is Bouchaine and their wonderful Carneros Pinot Noir. The wine, at the time was made by Eugenia Keegan, who is very highly respected as a wine maker. We had tried Bouchaine Pinot Noirs at 3 separate tasting and without remembering it, each time purchased another bottle. The price at the time was in the mid twenties, which was at the higher end for our wine buying habits of the time. Shortly after discovering the wine it changed dramatically and was almost not recognizable. We subsequently found that Eugenia Keegan had left the winery. There were many years were we stayed away from Bouchaine because it had changed so dramatically. Just last year however I attended a tasting of Bouchaine wines and was thrilled to find that the quality had returned and, though not the same as it had been, it was once again a very good Pinot Noir. Better still their base Pinot was still in the mid twenties price wise. This is still a special wine to my wife and I and will always hold a special place in the history of our wine enjoyment.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Yesterday, I had the pleasure f a attending a wine trade tasting, at which there were a lot of good wines in a variety of price points. There was one producer that stood out for me though. It was Bonaccorsi Wine Company and I had the pleasure of sampling three of their single vineyard Pinot Noirs and single vineyard Chardonnay.I had a nice conversation with the wine maker Jenne Lee Bonaccorsi. The wines were quite sophisticated. The chardonnay was lush with ripe tropical and rich mouth feel. All three Pinot Noirs were very good, but I was particularly fond of the 2004 Melville. There seemed to be a greater depth of flavor and lushness here that I have found with other premium small production Pinot Noirs after additional time in the bottle. I have found that these wines compare favorably with some of the fine burgundies, yet retain the playfulness often found in New World wines when compared to Old World siblings. It will be exciting to see where this young winery goes in it's next decade of wine making.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Last night we opened a bottle of 2006 David Girard Rose, which I bought at Arrow Wine in Dayton last year. I had tasted David Girard Red wines before and been very impressed, so when I saw this wine we decided to try it. Now that we have I have even more respect for this producer. The wine is a rose of blended Rhone varietals and has rich red fruit flavors usually associated with Red wines. There are hints of cedar and a great balance of tannin and acid. This was a very pleasant wine that even though it was theoretically over the hill for a Rose, it was still very fresh and vibrant, not the least bit washed out. I would be comfortable recommending this producer's Rose from newer vintages based on the quality of this older wine. As it warms up give it a try if you can find it.