Monday, September 04, 2006

Mish Mash

This was supposed to be a "dry" weekend so didn't take a lot of wine with us up to the country. Turned out it wasn't so dry after all. We opened up everything we could get our hands on. The star of the evening was the Condado de Almara, Bodegas Macaya, Crianza 2002. "Crianza" just means "aged", and this designation usually means a better wine than a vineyard's bottom label, but not as good as the "reservas" and "gran reservas" which are generally better. Nevertheless, this was a smooth easy drinking wine with fine tannins, medium-full bodied. The verdict: Not a blockbuster but a solid "good". Value: definitively there at $15-20. The next best was a wine produced in the south of France by Quebec owners, from the very hot 2003 vintage. The Le Loup Blanc, La Mere Grand 2003 is made from syrah and grenache, checks in at 14.5% alcohol, and spends 20 months in oak barriques...quite the care for a Minervois. This is a nice wine, smooth and also an easy drinker, not as good as the spanish effort. Definately has some character though. A "good" wine, value fair at $18-20. This vineyard makes a better wine that is worth seeking out.
The disappointments were the 2003 vintages of wines that were very good in 2002. The Castello di Nipozzano Chianti Rufina 2003 is just plain "ok", poor value at over $20 a bottle. The 2002 bottling was a bit of an abberation - Frescobaldi apparently didn't bottle their superstar "Montesodi" Chianti that year and a lot of what would have gone into this premium wine went into the Nipozzano. The Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella 2003 was also just "ok", also poor value at over $20. Too bad - the '02 was delicious.



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