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.

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 15

Collemattoni Sangiovese 2003 from Brunello di Montalcino

By Louise | 2003 , Italy , Red Wine , Sangiovese , Tuscany , Wines I'm Neutral About

A sangiovese for my second review. I never thought I’d review so many wines before getting to a bottle of reisling! And watch out for my seasonal review of mulled wine (or gluh wine if I can’t find a bottle of mulled wine). First, let me point out that I did not pick this bottle of wine, although I did enjoy it with my Italian dishes. My friend chose the wine when we were dining at Scarpetta in NYC last night. I managed to grab a quick photo of the bottle with only smattering of bewildered looks from neighboring tables. Unfortunately, it was dark in the restaurant so you will have to excuse the photo’s poor quality.

On to the wine itself… What I enjoyed most about this wine was its smell. Its rich aroma of cherries and black currants could easily be detected, and its taste was likewise fruity (full of berries). I was also happily surprised to find that its tannin concentration wasn’t too high (well, the inside of my mouth wasn’t coated with that grittiness I usually associate with high-tannin wines).

I seem to recall various knowledgeable-sounding wine connoisseurs talk about where on their tongue they taste the wine, so here’s my take on that! I detected a slight bitter taste at the back of my tongue near my throat. According to the “tongue taste map,” most people detect bitter tastes at the back of the tongue. I’m not quite sure what this tells me about the wine, but it does seem that I have the right taste buds on the right part of my tongue. I will post further on this whole tongue issue after some investigation.

Sangiovese is a type of grape often grown in Tuscany, Italy, although it is becoming more and more popular in other parts of the world, including Australia and Chile. It’s a wine typically drunk with Italian food (3 pages of Scarpetta’s wine list were dedicated to Classic Sangioveses!), but I, unfortunately, did not notice anything special when I drunk it with my short ribs and spaghetti. If you want to get your hands on a bottle, they seem to range from $50-$60 online, and I think it was around $120 at the restaurant (I can’t seem to find it on their winelist online).

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.

Oct 08

By Louise | Uncategorized

Welcome to my wine blog! Learn all about wines and wine tasting with our Wine 101 course! Find out about great wines with our reviews and tasting notes. Feel free to leave comments and questions and to suggest wines you enjoyed!

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