Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Friday Lineup

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

Wine of The Week

2007 De Martino "Legado" Reserva Maipo Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($15). Pure, deep blackberry flavors at their best. Complex fruitiness without being fruit forward. Nice balancing acidity. Very good wine for price.

I tasted several of De Martino wines this week in New York at an event held by Opici, importer for the Chilean winemaker, and the wines were all very enjoyable, especially the Chardonnay (see below) and Carmeniere. (Two or three of the reds had a rubbery/pungent earthy nose that wasn't present in the taste and which mostly dissipated with time.) In addition to the quality of its wines, De Martino is known for sourcing its fruits from a variety of locations throuhout the country, rather than expecting the same region to produce quality in all varietals. Additionally, some of its labels are made with organically grown fruit.

Wines of Interest

2008 Wild Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir ($21). A wine light in body, this Pinot has beautiful, pure, varietally correct cherry fruit flavors and a hint of chalkines. It is not as lean in the finish as similar Pinots from Burgundy - which is both good and bad. On the one hand (or palate), I expected a richer finish with more gravity. On the other palate, it nevertheless has a long and haunting aftertaste. Either way, it makes a nice summer sipping wine and can even be served lightly chilled.

2007 Mount Veeder Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($40). This is a lovely wine for drinking now or for cellaring. It has dark blackberry flavors with finishing hints of vanilla and tannic sootiness reminiscent of Cab Franc. Even though it has 14.5% alcohol, it is not a big wine, but rather one of those smooth, balanced, delicious drinking Cabs that made many of us first fall in love with Napa Valley reds during the 1970s.

2008 De Martino "Legado" Limari Valley Chardonnay ($15). This is both a very enjoyable and a very interesting wine, starting with its floral nose of fresh clover and continuing with its lemon cream middle body and a vanilla finish. It has a touch of residual sugar, but not too much. The interesting part is that it comes from a small valley in Northern Chile which is much closer to the Equator than the white-grape vineyards around Santiago. Yet the ocean proximity maintains the grapes' freshness and acidity.

Until next time...

Roger Morris

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