Friday, January 1, 2010

The Friday Lineup

A weekly commentary on selected wines tasted.
New Year’s Day 2010 edition.

NV Ch. Gardet & Co. Selected Reserve Champagne (about $35). If you love aged sparklers with lots of nuts and toasty brioche on the nose and palate, this is your wine. The still wines are first aged in oak, and then the finished Champagne is aged in the bottle for five more years. Blend of cru grapes – 40% each Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier. It is delightful. Buy.

Josh Hexter trained at UC-Davis, and now he is making beautiful wines in the Jerusalem Hills for Psagot. Here are three of his reds, all kosher but not mevushal. 2007 Psagot Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($21) is an enjoyable blend of tart blackberry and dried blueberry flavors with light hints of milk chocolate. Moderate tannins, and, like all three Psagots, very smooth. 2007 Psagot Cabernet Franc ($21) is 100% Franc – lots of coffee and earthly flavors with the crisp finish that a good food wine deserves. The 2007 Psagot Edom ($25) is a Cab Sauv-dominated blend with a combined 40% Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot. It is a blend of tart cherry and fruity blueberry tastes, medium bodied with light tannins. Buy.

2007 Pacific Rim “Wallula Vineyard” Columbia Valley Riesling ($19). On the full but not heavy side of Riesling – minerally, touch of oiliness, lots of citrus notes. It’s certified biodynamic. Consider.

2007 Macari Dos Aguas ($27). A nicely made Bordeaux blend from eastern Long Island that has good fruit concentration without being jammy with lots of vanilla. Consider.

2006 Craggy Range Te Muna Aroha ($65 at launch). A very elegant Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s North Island. The fruit is very fresh, yet mellow, well-rounded and complex with lots of savory and spicy notes. Buy.

NV Gruet New Mexico Blanc de Noirs ($15). Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy the sparkling wines from this Champagne family who set up shop in sagebrush country? Toasty with full flavors, good with appetizers. Try.

Until next time...

Roger Morris

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