Friday, December 18, 2009

The Friday Lineup

A weekly commentary on selected wines tasted.

NV Taittinger “LaFrancaise” Brut. ($45). Full flavors with citrus peel, cloves and ginger. Minerally. Falls into that category between elegant and robust. Consider.

2006 Paradocx “PDx” Chester County Petit Verdot. ($26). Wherever Bordeaux grapes are grown, Petit Verdot usually can be found as a blender – something to provide backbone in iffy vintages – but there are always vintners trying it as a single varietal, usually without much success. But it works here, falling on the Merlot side of Bordeaux – full, but rounded fruit, touch of chalk, good balance. Not a superior wine but a very nice one. Buy.

2007 Ravenswood “Teldeschi” Dry Creek Zinfandel. ($35). Joel Peterson still has his hand in here, but the grasp seems to be slipping. There is an edge of cranberry citrus that is nice, and the elderberry center is good, too, but the wine becomes increasingly tiresome on the finish. Pass.

2006 Domaine Piron & Lafond “Quartz” Chenas. ($20). Piquant but soft “pouf” of cherry flavors with pleasant touches of sootiness and light tannins. It shows that a light wine can still have presence. Buy.

2007 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port. ($100). Rich and long with lots of young assertiveness in the body – a taut string of red fruit before a finish of figs and jammy blackberries with Baker’s chocolate. I would love to try this once every few months for the next 20 years. Buy.

2006 Roy Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine. ($110). To me one of the highest accolades to give a wine is that it’s very satisfying, and this one certainly is that. Mostly Cabernet (83%) with Merlot and Petit Verdot, this one comes the foothills on Napa’s east side in Soda Canyon. It has rich, intense dark fruits and chocolate with hints of brown, earthy beans and toffee in the finish. Surprisingly approachable with flavorful tannins. Buy.

2009 Macari North Fork Chardonnay “Early Wine” ($17). Each year Macari produces a white nouveau instead of a red, and this one is the wine for people who enjoy Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs – lots of crisp, fruity gooseberries and grassiness with only 12 percent alcohol. Quite enjoyable. Try.

Until next time...

Roger Morris

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