Category Archives for "2009"

Dec 27

V. Sattui Moscato Frizzante 2009 from Napa, California

By Louise | 2009 , California , Moscato , Napa , White Wine , Wines I Like

This Napa wine is great with melon and prosciutto! That was how I first tried the wine, and that was also what I served with the wine during Christmas dinner. The first thing you notice about the wine is its delicate floral smell. You’ll also notice some small bubbles in your glass because the wine is slightly fizzy. It has a slightly sweet taste (but definitely not syrupy) with fruity flavors ranging from grapefruit to lychees. You can drink the wine by itself, but it tastes way better with the prosciutto and melon.

To taste wine with food, you put a little bit of the food (in this case, melon and prosciutto) into your mouth and then chew. While the food is still in your mouth, take a small sip of the wine. Chew some more with the wine in your mouth. Swallow the food and wine, then take another sip of the wine. This procedure allows you to taste the food by itself, taste the food with the wine, and taste the wine by itself. When I did this with the melon and prosciutto, the wine brought out the slightly salty flavor to the prosciutto and the sweet flavor of the melon. Everything was enhanced.

I’m sure you’re eager to try this pairing yourself, but sadly, I can’t find the wine anywhere. I bought it a few months ago when I visited Napa and tried the wine at the V. Sattui winery. It is sadly sold out (I called to double check!). The winery said that they will be bottling the 2010 vintage early next year. All of their wines are sold on their website so check for this wine sometime next year! If you’re lucky enough to spot this wine in a store, I suggest buying one to try since it’s a pretty cheap wine considering how delicious it is – around $25 per bottle.

Dec 18

Chateau les Tuileries 2009 from Bordeaux, France

By Louise | 2009 , Bordeaux , France , Red Wine , Wines I Like

This was another wine in my box of 12 from Barclay’s Wines. This bordeaux was light and fruity on the nose and slightly oaky and spicy on the tongue. I definitely felt some tingling on my tongue due to the spiciness. I’m generally not a big fan of red wines because they either have too much oak taste or too much tannin. This wine, however, was a good balance of both. The tannin wasn’t so high that my mouth was filled with grittiness, and the oak taste was very subtle and not overpowering. All in all, a very enjoyable bordeaux.

According to barclayswine.com, this 2009 vintage won a gold award at the Bordeaux Wine Awards (Concours de Bordeaux). I don’t generally place much stock in awards like this one (which is apparently an award recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture in France) because my tastes may vary from their judges, but I have to admit that this wine is good enough in my view to win something! Barclay’s Wine seems to agree as they call it a “classic Bordeaux done to perfection, certainly deserving of its gold medal.”

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this wine sold anywhere other than on Barclay’s Wine’s own website (barclayswine.com), but it’s pretty cheap at $14.95 per bottle.

Dec 13

Inés de Monclús White 2009 from Andalusia, Spain

By Louise | 2009 , Spain , White Blend , White Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

I got this interesting white wine in a box of 12 wines from Barclay’s Wine online. The managers at the store at selected the 12 wines, and so it was quite fun opening the box to discover what had come! This wine is made from 50% chardonnay and 50% old vines macabeo, a white grape varietal grown mostly in Rioja, Spain. Macabeo (also known as viura) is often the main grape in white Riojas and is also used in many other white blends. On to the wine itself….

I detected a slightly floral and fruity nose (maybe some pineapples and oranges). In the mouth, it felt rather acidic and slightly bitter, although you could detect a grapefruit acidity/bitterness aspect to it. After you swallow, a slight tingling is left on your tongue and throat. I believe this wine is supposed to be a table wine in Spain, so it should go well with food (especially seafood apparently).

To purchase this bottle of wine individually, you can find it at barclayswine.com for $12.95 a bottle (shipping is extra).

Dec 10

Charles Smith “Kung Fu Girl” Riesling 2009 from Columbia Valley, Washington State

By Louise | 2009 , Riesling , United States , Washington State , White Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

I tried this wine a few nights ago at Casellula Cheese and Wine Café on 52nd and 9th Ave (in NYC). It was an interesting place with a decent selection of wines and cheeses (although very few wines by the glass). My eyes naturally wandered down the wine list to their one riesling.

What did I like about the wine? Hmm, the name was cool…and the bottle label made it look like a sake rather than a wine bottle. I had trouble smelling the wine, although I detected a slight metallic whiff. Then, the first taste was at fairly pleasant – slightly sweet and fruity. I was briefly reminded of grapefruits during that sip. Unfortunately, I can’t say much more in favor of the wine. A mildly bitter aftertaste developed in my mouth, and the wine became more bitter with every sip.

I was told that I didn’t like the wine because it lacked “complexity.” My understanding is that a complex wine will have a variety of different flavors with distinct aftertastes. Complex wines will keep being interesting to you every time you drink it as you discover more flavors and more smells. I would agree that this wasn’t a complex wine. Nothing new came to me as I drank it, except for it becoming more and more bitter, which wasn’t very interesting or good tasting! All in all, it was fine to drink once, but probably not a repeat buy.

Price? I found it online for $12.99 or $14.99 a bottle for the 2008 vintage and as cheap as $10 a bottle for the 2009 vintage. At Casellula Cheese and Wine Café, it was $10 for a glass.

Nov 19

Gunderloch Riesling 2009 Kabinett from Rheinhessen, Germany

By Louise | 2009 , Germany , Riesling , White Wine , Wines I Like

What could be more German than a meal of sausages and sauerkraut with a glass of riesling. It almost fills me with compulsion to spew out some random German phrases I picked up during my time in Stuttgart, but I’m going to save it for another day, especially since more German wines are going to be consumed in the near future. In fact, I’m planning a very seasonal review of Glühwein! If you haven’t come across Glühwein, or what the English call “mulled wine,” it’s a spiced red wine served warm and often drank during the winter months. Check back soon for that review.

Back to rieslings… Rieslings are generally known to be a sweet white wine, but there are actually several levels of sweetness, and you can tell how sweet the wine is by the label on the bottle. This wine has the label “Kabinett” attached to it, which indicates that it is considered “off-dry” i.e. there’s a little bit of sugar in it, but not much. If the wine is sweeter (i.e. the grape was left on the vine for longer before it was harvested), then the term “Spätlese” is used to describe it. For super sweet (almost dessert-wine style) reislings, “Auslese” is used. There are even sweeter German wines, so if you’re in the market for a dessert wine, look out for labels such as “Beerenauslese,” “Trockenbeerenauslese,” and “Eiswein.” However, if you just see the word “trocken” by itself on the label of a German wine, then it means that the wine is super dry (i.e. no residual sugar). Another way of estimating how sweet a wine is is to look at its alcohol content. A low alcohol content usually equates to a sweet wine. This is why some sweet rieslings have very low alcohol percentages e.g. 9%.

Onto the actual wine itself. This is my favorite riesling because it has that quintessential fruity, floral riesling smell but none of that nauseating sweetness that can sometimes be associated with rieslings. It has a very delicate yet refreshing grapefruit taste that just leaves you aching for more. The Kabinett label on the wine tells you that it has very little residual sugar, but there’s a subtle fruity essence to the taste that tricks your mind into thinking it’s sweet! I can enjoy this bottle by itself anytime. However, it does go great with food as evidenced by the fact that the 2008 version of this wine is on the wine list at Gordon Ramsey’s 2 Michelin star restaurant in New York ($52 for a bottle or $12 for a glass). In fact, that’s where I first discovered this wine. But if you just want to buy a bottle to drink at home, then you can get the 2009 one, which is shown in the photos, for $20.99 at Astor Wines and Spirits.