Category Archives for "White Wine"

Dec 13

In├ęs de Moncl├║s 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 Caf├ę 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 Caf├ę, it was $10 for a glass.

Nov 28

Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2007 from Marlborough, New Zealand

By Louise | 2007 , New Zealand , Sauvignon Blanc , White Wine , Wines I Dislike

The smell of this wine took me back to New Zealand – grassy and minerally. I could almost picture myself standing on the side of a green grassy hill in the midst of ten thousand grazing sheep breathing in that fresh NZ air! It was probably the perfect smell for a NZ wine. Unfortunately, the taste did not compliment the smell. My first thought upon tasting the wine was SOUR! I guess it was akin to biting into an unripe apple. Luckily the sour taste wasn’t strong and didn’t linger in the mouth. I’m sure some people might enjoy the taste of this wine, but not me. In fact, the 2007 vintage score 91 points on Wine Enthusiast (a wine magazine that rates wines out of 100 points) so some people must like it! Cost and where to buy: $12.99 for the 2009 vintage at PJ Wines. I think I had bought the 2007 vintage a while back, and so they only have the 2009 vintage in stock now.

Here’s a brief bit of background on Sauvignon Blancs. Sauvignon Blanc is a grape variety traditionally grown in Bordeaux, France. In the 1990s, Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand (especially from the Marlborough region) started to dominate the international wine market, and for a while, they were hailed as the world’s best Sauvignon Blancs. Many critics loved the intense new flavors that were created by planting Old World (i.e. European) vines in the New World (anywhere outside of Europe). Unfortunately, I’m not such a fan!

Nov 26

Weingut D├╝rnberg “Falkensteiner Rieden” Gr├╝ner Veltliner from Austria

By Louise | Austria , Gr├╝ner Veltliner , No vintage , White Wine , Wines I'm Neutral About

This is a cheap wine I picked up in Astor when it was on sale for $8.96 (although its original price was only $10.99 actually). For a cheap white, it wasn’t too bad. It had a slightly citrusy smell to it. I’d maybe describe it as a faint aroma of grapefruit tinged with apple. The first thought that came to mind when I tasted the wine was that it was acidic (and if you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that I really dislike sour tasting wines). But this was a good acidic. It was very refreshing in a sparkling juice kinda way. But, don’t worry, it’s not a sweet wine! In fact, I’d call it decidedly dry! After a sip, the taste dies off very quickly – definitely no lingering sour taste in your mouth, which I also liked.

Gr├╝ner Veltliner is a grape varietal grown mostly in Austria and the Czech Republic. It’s known to be a very light refreshing wine, fairly close in taste to an off-dry riesling (although I definitely still prefer the more fruity riesling), and it’s supposed to pair well with food. I had this wine at a byob restaurant and thought that it went reasonably well with some of the lighter sushi rolls, as long as you don’t put any soy sauce on it! Overall, it was a very easy to drink wine that could go well perhaps with fish or just by itself.

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 Gl├╝hwein! If you haven’t come across Gl├╝hwein, 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 “Sp├Ątlese” 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.

Nov 17

Cavit Pinot Grigio 2008 from Trentino, Italy

By Louise | 2008 , Italy , Pinot Grigio , White Wine , Wines I Dislike

I apologize if I offend anyone with this post, but the review had to be done. As you can see from the photo, it’s a 1.5liter bottle, and it’s mostly full still. This monster is not getting finished tonight!

This wine smells a lot better than it tastes. When I first smell it, I’m reminded of crisp autumn apples. After a couple of whiffs, a slight floral undertone also emerges. But despite the wine’s alluring fruity smell, its taste is most definitely not fruity. This is what I would consider a very bad (to my palate) dry white wine. There’s absolutely no flavor to it except an acrid bitterness that taints your mouth even after the swallow. After five sips, I’m ready to be done. Thank god tomorrow is a reisling day! In fact, I will open my favorite reisling just for the occasion! I should have stuck with the original plan I had for this wine, which was to make it into sangria. If you still want to buy the wine after reading all that (maybe for sangria?) then you can find it at Astor Wine and Spirits for $13.99 (for a 1.5L bottle!).

Nov 14

Clotilde Davenne Sauvignon 2008 from Saint-Bris, Burgundy

By Louise | 2008 , Burgundy , France , Sauvignon Blanc , White Wine , Wines I Like

What can I say…it’s acidic. Not my normal cup of tea (which is reislings), but quite interesting. The smell…well, to me it smells like dry white wine. Maybe if sniff hard enough I can detect a vague grapefruity smell, but then it could also be my imagination. I can’t really detect anything fruity in it. Other websites have described this wine as having a “mineral nose,” but having never fully understood the term minerality, I can’t really comment. Maybe minerality is just what I smell in the majority of dry white wines, in which case, this wine is most definitely full of mineral notes.

Onto the actual taste…again the acidity hits you immediately but filled with citrus flavor rather than just pure vinegar.Likewise, there’s a tangy aftertaste that you would associate with citrus fruits. I usually really dislike acidic wines, but the citrus aspect makes this wine far more enjoyable even beyond the first glass.

This wine comes from the French region of Saint-Bris (Saint-Bris-le-Vineux), a small town in Burgundy. Burgundy is traditionally known for Pinot noir so it’s unusual to find a Sauvignon from there. The wine maker is Clotilde Davenne, and she’s been making wine in that region of France for the past 17 years (according to her website).

Where can I buy it I hear you shout…well, I got this bottle at Astor Wines and Spirits in NYC for $15.99. There you go, you now know everything I know.