Sunday, March 27, 2005

Defending terroir won't get you anywhere

A very dubious study. The degree of technology is compared to the Parker rating, the Broadbent rating and the auction prices for the wine of 1990. What a mixed bag!!! It also implies that technology is linear.And the obvious conclusion is... the more technology, the better Parker and auction prices, hey that's Mondovino... Moreover, if you have the best terroirs, you sell at a premium and you can invest in good technology. Bordeaux is investing more because of the size of the domains.
I propose something better, we compare the first wine of Bordeaux Grand cru and their second wine. They have the same technology, the same winemaker but somehow command a different price. Why would they if terroir doesn't exist? The rating should be the same?Let's do the same with Burgundy Grand cru, 1er cru and cities made by the same wine maker.
It looks so obvious that the study wouldn’t get any headline.

Terroir is BS

Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling Auslese 2002

Dear Ben (cf. link)

Here you go again. You blew out the tasting with your Auslese.
Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling Auslese 2002.

The balance acidity, sweetness was good. The wine is starting to show every aroma the best sweet wines are fighting for. Honeysuckle, Pineapple, ripe apple. Hold on to those bottles and you will get so much more in 10 years.
The balance of an Auslese is a big mystery. If the Sauternes are mixing Semillon and Sauvignon adjusting for acidity, how does Riesling does it with the same grape and the same level of ripeness?

Bordeaux is a blend of Merlot/Cabernet. That create a tension between acidity/sweetness, very typical of the region. Burgundy is a more integrated wine. You don't feel the bumps on the pieces that were sawn but the fabric isn't as streched. Riesling is the same. The wine is not making a show because he is the show. Riesling are somehow more integrated, smoother but lacking the final punch of acidity that you get in Rieussec. If Riesling is a box framed by acidity, Rieusec is hook that get you deep in sweetness before a clean acid touch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Kiwis got it

The Matua 2004 Sauvignon Blanc was the bargain of the weekend. For less than $10 per bottle you get a Sauvignon Blanc with a great nose (lemon, grapefruit, passion fruit said Pierre), a very refreshing taste and a charming body that you only get in the most expensive Sancerre or Pouilly Fume. Those kiwis know their Sauvignon. Available at

Monday, March 21, 2005

NYC Wine rave was no dream

Not a great tasting but the lectures were as good as promised.Honors for the cheese from Proof that quality could be delivered at value price. Boschetto al Tartufo Stagionato, an amazing white truffle cheese and Dorset Drum English Farmhouse Cheddar were amazing.

Among the survivors of this wine tasting, I noted:Monarchia Monarchia Oliver from Irsay Olivier grapes. Looks like a native Hungarian grapes. Fresh hays, kiwi, and a strong acidity placing it one step above the Sauvignon Blanc in terms of freshness. Introduced as "a pool deck wine". You have a pool, great I have the wine!

A mention for Water Crest 03, an herby Chardonnay with mineral flavor from the North Fork.

The Duet from Louis Latour. The Chardonnay gives thickness and elegance to the nutty flavor (almost caramelized) of the Viogner. An original blend for $11.99.

Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2003. Lively wine, well balanced. It's well done, it's a famous winemaker so it's expensive. $41

!!!Outraged by Wine Spectator touting the 2003 German Riesling. As the marketer was saying, it's as great as lemonade. Forget lemonade, wine is for grown-ups. By the way what lemonade brand tastes like honeysuckle and pineapple? 03 was an exception that messed up the fundamental balance acidity/sweetness. We are not trading Riesling for lemonade, ever !!!However the 2003 we tasted weren't that ripe as they are coming from Mosel in North Germany. The 2003 Prum Essence had nice acidity, nose of ripe apples and pears and somewhat of a milky flavor. Very weird for a wine that doesn't go through malo. I can’t wait to get Bruce to the meeting. Director of Wines of Germany, he is importing Riesling and growing wine in Long Island.

For red, the Lincourt Vineyards was an elegant 2003 Pinot Noir. Too alcoholic to my taste but nice acidity with some cherry flavors, $21.

St Francis Old Vine Zinfandel 2001 was a well rounded wine. Nice ripe red fruits, some smoke and discrete oak. As usual old vines restrain yield and improve the flavor. Only $20 and it's a Cal !!!!

Preaching to the choir was a Schneider Cabernet Franc 2000. If you want to try one Long Island Wine this is it. For $18 you get the fruit the Loire Valley struggles to deliver and a nice balance. Was tasted against a 2001. Buyers beware; the 01 is not as elegant.

Spain is still producing nicely balanced wine. The Ramon Bilbao 2001 Tempranillo was a great example of long oak maturation, 14 months, with complex flavors of wood and ripe fruits. Yours for $12.99. Plus it's from Rioja Alta, the best county in Rioja. No comment on Antinori wines .

The more I taste, (Santa Christina, Villa Rosso Toscana), the less I want to jump the gun to buy the Ornellaia ($150). Super Tuscans are all the hype. We need a serious tasting check on those guys.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Acidity, more is better

A chianti, can’t remember the name. Light and very dry in the mouthSanta Christina from Antoniori. Almost off dry. Thick but lacking flavours. It’s only a $10 wine (sold for $35!!).
Estancia Pinot Noir 2003, one of the best Californian Pinot Noir. It offers good acidity and a lively taste. Available everywhere for $15 at

Friday, March 04, 2005

A Burgundy from Salt Lake City


Last but not least “Les Picotins” 2002 from Jean Luc Dubois. The flavour is very concentrated in the nose. Need 3-5 more years to reach its potential. The importer/retailer loves this guy.

It looks like they are the only one to sell it in the States.

Others bottle from Dubois could also be interesting but focus on 2002 and 1999.See you soon