Friday, May 21, 2010

The Friday Lineup™

A weekly commentary on selected wines tasted. All wines are sampled pristine and with food.

Wine of the Week

2007 Treana Paso Robles Red ($50). Some years ago when attending a pharmaceutical convention in San Francisco, I somehow found myself at the Fairmont Hotel bar in search of a big glass of red. For a price, the barkeep suggested a generous pour of Treana, and the two of us have been having serial one-night stands – one bottle, one night – ever since. I’ve always thought there’s been a Rhone style to Austin Hope’s big red, but it’s primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with a lesser amount of Syrah. When I decanted this one, aromas of wet cracked grain and pure blackberry juice wafted up, and that was verified in the glass by big warm oak flavors expertly blended in with dark, yet vibrant, purple fruit. Very good to drink straight, but I would prefer it with a robust, meaty cassoulet.

Wines of Interest

2007 Inama Veneto IGT Carmenere Piu (20 bucks). Stefano Inama is mainly known for his complex Soaves (see May 8 Lineup), but he also makes this big, monolithic red of 75% Carm, 20% Merlot and a droplet of Raboso Veronese. In some ways it’s a work-in-progress. It is quite likable without being sophisticated and elegant. It is flavorful and enticing, yet it tromps tannins across the tongue. My guess is that it will be somewhat tamed in five years, but, as for now, it is very tight and closed on opening with lots of big tannins, then gradually opening over several hours to reveal almost sweet preserved fig flavors at its core along with other dark fruits, and the tannins reluctantly show hints of alluring Baker’s chocolate.

2009 Concha y Toro Central Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($7). Given C y T’s historical core, it isn’t surprising that the Cabernet Sauvignon is my pick of their line of varietal releases from Chile and Argentina. The fruit is pure Cab, the balance is good, and the tannins are friendly. Nice wine, especially for the price.

2009 Chaddsford Spring Wine ($14). Winemaker Eric Miller has always made some of the best wines on the East Coast, but when he began pioneering Southeast Pennsylvania as a new wine region, he understood he would need to make wines for wine geeks at most ends of the spectrum if he were to survive. This wine is for the folks who loved yellow tail before there was a yellow tail and white Zin before there was a white Zin. It is fruity and somewhat sweet, but it is also refreshing with orange and white flower flavors with a limpid mouth feel. It is a wine of some interest, at least for a half glass, when it begins to lag at the finish. The grapes are totally hybrid – Vignoles, Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc.

Until next time,,,,

Roger Morris

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