Archive for the ‘Whites’ Category
Don’t turn around, oh oh. Der Kommissar’s in town, oh oh! It’s wasn’t the Commissioner that recently visited us, but it sure was a damn fine German doctor that made a house call to WineLife365.
“Dr. L”, as it’s known in wine circles, is a terrific “purist” style Riesling from Mosel, Germany. What I mean by “purist” is that this wine tasted like real crushed fruit, free of “special” additives that are suppose to enhance a wine’s natural flavors.
The 2008 Dr. Loosen Riesling is packed with apples and pears. However, all of this fruit does make this wine a tad sweet. Not too sweet though, but enough for me not to award it a 4 star WineLife365 rating.
I give the good doctor 3 Stars out of 4. If you dine on swine, this white wine is a perfect accompaniment.
Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?
WineLife365 Rating: 3-Star
From: New Zealand
So far in 2009, it hasn’t been too difficult to find a great tasting inexpensive Riesling from just about any place in the world. With this in mind, I realized that I haven’t had the opportunity to taste a Riesling from New Zealand. In a land where Sauvignon Blanc reigns supreme, there’s not a whole lot of room for the great Riesling grape to shine. I recently came across the 2005 Babich Riesling and decided to give it a go for several reasons. The first reason being, the peeps at Babich usually deliver the goods when it comes to New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc. And the second reason being, if they’re Sauvignon Blanc is consistently good, then they’re Riesling has got to be pretty darn good too…right?
So would my assumptions be correct about the 2005 Babich Riesling?
Unfortunately, it was one big disappointment. This Riesling did have a “born on date” of 2005, so maybe it was supposed to be laid to rest a year or so ago – because it sure was funkified on my taste scale! It felt as if I was drinking a partly dissolved Alka-Seltzer tablet. It had a rather peculiar tart grapefruit and lemon flavor that finished chalky-dry. It actually left me thirsty for water so that I could wash it all down. To sum it all up, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz” – it just had one strange effervescent taste to it.
I award the 2005 Babich Riesling 1 Star out of 4. I’m really hoping that I was just late to the party on this one and should have tried it sooner. But, if this is what the Babich winemakers intended, then they should get out while they still can and stick to making outstanding Sauvignon Blanc.
WineLife365 Rating: 1-Star
Origin: Napa Valley, California
St. Supéry is a family-owned estate winery located in Napa Valley, California. The wines here are “Estate Bottled”, which in layman’s terms means that 100% of this wine came from grapes grown on land owned or controlled by St. Supéry. Additionally, the folks at St. Supéry are also responsible for every aspect of the winemaking process and bottling of this wine. The winery is owned by the Skalli family, originally from France, and they have been making wine for several generations. While traveling in Napa Valley during the 1970s, Robert Skalli was inspired and wanted to establish an estate winery there. His ambition was to produce wines that would be both distinctive and respectable.
I recently had the pleasure to sample the 2008 St. Supéry “Estate Bottled” Sauvignon Blanc, and was eager to determine if Mr. Skalli achieved his ambition. So, was the 2008 St. Supéry “Estate Bottled” Sauvignon Blanc in fact distinctive and respectable? It sure was – on both accounts.
My initial reaction when I first raised the glass towards my lips was, “Wow – Is this really an American-made Sauvignon Blanc?” If I were blindfolded, I would have guessed by the smell alone that this wine was produced in New Zealand, not Napa Valley. It had that familiar big grapefruit and fresh cut grass bouquet that is reminiscent of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. But that’s about as far as the similarities go.
As I began to taste this wine, it revealed some rather distinctive characteristics. It tasted part New Zealand and part French Sancerre or Pouilly-Fume to me. It displayed tons of grapefruit, pineapple, lime, and passion fruit that made me pucker up a bit like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but it had this great refreshing acidic and mineral finish that reminded me more of a French Sancerre or Pouilly-Fume. It was as if the winemaker was able to capture the best qualities of each style to create a distinctively American version.
All in all, I totally enjoyed the 2008 St. Supéry “Estate Bottled” Sauvignon Blanc. It also brought back some great memories of our trips to California Wine Country and the St. Supéry winery.
The bottom line on this Sauvignon Blanc: If you’re as acidic and citrus obsessed with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as I am, but you’re interested in a wine with the complexity of a finely crafted French Sancerre or Pouilly-Fume, then the 2008 St. Supéry “Estate Bottled” Sauvignon Blanc is the right fit for you! Try it for yourself!
I award it 3 Stars out 4.
ATTENTION ALL CALIFORINIA CHARDONNAY DRINKERS: Please place your glass of wine down on the table and step away.
I want to share with you yet another outstanding value white wine from Argentina that you’re probably not paying attention to because it comes from a lesser known place in Argentina called the Calchaqui Valley. It also contains that unfamiliar native Argentinean white grape known as Torrontes. However, this Torrontes has a splash of that old familiar favorite in it – Chardonnay! The 2007 Inca white blend consists of 80% Torrontes and 20% Chardonnay. The splash of Chardonnay is terrific. It really gives this wine some serious backbone that allows it to hold up to just about any food that you throw at it. We started drinking this white blend just before dinner. Our dinner was some Tex-Mex chicken and steak fajitas. We liked this wine so much that we continued to drink it with dinner, and it held up really well.
The 2007 Inca Torrontes / Chardonnay has an awesome crisp apricot and citrus (think grapefruit) flavor that is light on the “tree bark” (oak in wine geek terms). This wine is very enjoyable and skillfully blended to near perfection. And I almost forgot the best part – it can be purchased for less than $10…cha-ching!
This wine is an outstanding value and the Torrontes grape is quickly becoming one of my favorite white wine grapes.
WineLife365 Rating: 4-Star