October 13, 2011: New Releases, Fresh Vintages (2009/2010)
It is quite common for people to seek “old” wines, and although a number of products like this are obtainable (generally high-end, collectible ones- yes, that means expensive), the vast majority of the wines that are readily available to us are the newest, youngest vintages, as they are released from the producers.
Of course it is a very good idea to drink a wine when it is in its “prime” (which means that it has aged in the proper conditions for what is deemed the appropriate amount of time) as opposed to its youth; however, most of the wine that is consumed on a day-to-day basis, in the US market anyway, is made in a way that it can (and many times should) be drunk young. A common misconception is that all wines must“age” in order to taste good (age, of course is a relative term), or even worse, that all wines are ageworthy.
There is certainly room for discussion about how to know which wines are ageworthy, when a wine is in its prime, or even how to know/predict when that will be, but that’s one we will have another day (or maybe at the tasting tomorrow night).
This week we will sample an array of newly-released wines from the 2009 and 2010 vintages; they are all ready-to-drink, however some have the potential to improve with age. Specifically these include two whites, one rose (that’s brand-new to the market), and three reds; plus, we will taste a newly-received 2008 Bordeaux from our “futures” order, just for fun. We hope you will join us!
The specific wines for the tasting are:
Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre 2010– Loire Valley, France. Sauvignon Blanc from sustainably farmed vines averaging 30 years. The wine aged on the lees for 2-3 months in stainless steel. It’s generous nose offers citrus aromas of lime, lemon, and grapefruit with notes of flowers and lemon zest. The palate is fresh and mouthwatering with more citrus fruit and characteristic mineral and stone qualities, followed by a bright, juicy finish.
Calera Chardonnay 2010– Central Coast, California. Inviting, expansive aromas of honey and ripe nectarines are followed by explosive fruit flavors of green apple and pear. It is full and flavorful on the palate with peach and melon notes intermixed with vanilla, sweet oak, and flinty hints. The finish is balanced, clean and crisp.
Mouton Noir Love Drunk Rose 2010– Willamette Valley, Oregon. A blend of 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir sourced from premium vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA of the Willamette Valley. It is pretty-pink in color with fresh scents of juicy fruits. The palate is bright with vivid acidity and flavors of tart berry fruits and citrus/tropical undertones followed by a delicious finish that is tangy, gripping, and refreshing. Made by sommelier-turned-winemaker Andre Mack.
Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2010– Monterey County (57%), Santa Barbara County (23%), Sonoma County (20%), California. Sourced from premium fruit in three unique terroirs. Aged in French oak for nine months (some new) prior to bottling. An opulent style with aromas of wild berries, cola, and a hint of sweet cedar and herbs. It is generous on the palate with flavors of blackberry, black cherry, tea leaves, and notes of spice, vanilla and oak. Belle Glos is part of the Caymus family of wines.
Chateau Roc Meynard Bordeaux Superieur 2009– Bordeaux, France. A blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. The Chateau is located in the village of Villegouge, right next to the Fronsac region. The cuvee aged for 20 months in tank and was made using traditional methods. An excellent value Bordeaux that is robust yet elegant with delicate ripe red and black fruit aromas and flavors and hints of dark spice. It is balanced nicely with acid and tannins, and summed up by an elegant finish.
Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz 2009– Barossa Valley, Australia. 100% Shiraz that aged in a combination of well-seasoned hogsheads and French oak barrels for 12 months before being bottled without fining or filtration. Deep, dense purple in color with an intense nose of ripe cherry and blackberry jam with spicy undertones and a hint of floral scents. It is full-bodied and nicely concentrated in the mouth with more ripe berry fruit flavors and spice within a structured framework. The finish is generous and lengthy. Will drink nicely for 5+ years. 90 Wine Advocate.