Friday, April 24, 2009

White bordeaux for me please!

Winery: Les Hauts Smith Blanc (2nd Wine of Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte)

Vintage: 2006

Appellation: Pessac-Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux

Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc

Oak: Up to 20 months in 80% new.

Average Price: €20

Tasting notes: This is in some way an unusual white Bordeaux since it’s made solely (almost) on sauvignon Blanc. This Sauvignon reminds me very much of the famous Dog Point vineyards “Section 94”. Its rich, nutty and intense. The body is medium as you would expect from a Sauvignon, but the green, crisp ‘cat-pee’ (I hate to say it) notes is gone – which is a very pleasant way to enjoy this grape.

Food Pairing Suggestions: shellfish, shellfish and shellfish. I have a very memorable evening fresh in my mind at the Fisherman’s Wharf in SF with craps, lobters, scallops and what have we not, and this wine should had been our 4th party member. That’s whats wine is all about.

Winery Notes: White Bordeaux and white Rhone. Why are these areas so hopeless unfashionable? I mean, this phrase ‘terrior’ – which I don’t know to like or not - is so expressed in these wines. Im fighting for these areas to become more famous. The wines are always crisp – but not gooseberry and ‘cat-pee’ boring crisp. They have layers and layers of velvety notes and feelings just waiting to come out.
Rating. (3.5 out of 5)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rotie for me!

David Grega is a certified sommelier and wine consultant living in the Napa Valley; In addition David is the consulting winemaker and national sales manager for Carlotta Cellars. For more information e-mail

Winery: Chapoutier

Vintage: 1999

Reigon: Cote Rotie

designation: La Mordoree

Varietal: Syrah

Average Price: $170

Tasting Notes: This wine seems to captivate me each time I get the chance to indulge in Chapoutier's beautiful creation from both the cote Blonde and Cote Brune. The nose is thick and ritch of blackberry, wild game and dark coffe bean. On the palate this wine is a stalwart. Solid structure paired with layers of wild blackberry and a smoaky bacon fat essence give way to a long and satisfying finish. These wine really give you somthing to think about, truly delightful!

Rating: 4 of 5 (classic wine, sit down wine)

Cellaring: I recommend another 10 year aging (2019) although this wine will drink well for a few decades after that!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pares Baltà, Mas de Carol 2006, Penedès

The Denominacion de origen Penedés was funded in 1960. Penedés is in the north of spain, more exact from the Montsarret mountains to the Mediterranien sea, the DO is in total 1.557 km2. There are 165 bodegas in the area, and 27.730 ha. of vinyards.

Winery: Pares Baltá

Vintage: 2006

Appellation: D.O Penedes

Varietal: 100% Chardonnay, 32 years old plants

Ageing: 5 month in French oak, all 5 month with the lees, battonages in done very often

Average Price: 35 € in restaurants

Tasting notes: Delicate nuances of yellow grass. In the glass it is brilliant and clear. A complex intensity on the nose with soft notes of cream and vanilla, integrated with the subtle aroma of jam of exotic fruits. Some mineral notes stand out which increases its complex range of aromas. In the mouth it has a good volume and structure, and a balanced finish.
Evolution: As it is an aged white wine, it will obtain its best level one year after it was bottled and then maintain its qualities during four to five more years.

General rating: 4 tastevins.

Food Pairing Suggestions: Roasted Scallops with fresh white asparagus and a sauce Hollandaise. The vanilla and exsotic fruit taste from the wine, will combine very well with the acid from the asparagus and the fatness from the sauce.

Winery Notes: Pares Balta was started in 1790, or this was the year where the first wine plants were planted. In 1978 the bodega was bought by Joan Cusinè Hill. Joan Cusinè Cusinè son of Joan Cusinè Hill took over after his dad and today there is 2 generations running the bodega, today the 2 grandsons Joan and Josep Cusinè Carol has brought a more modern aspect to the bodega and also to the Penedes area.

Vintage Notes: 2006: After a normal autumn and winter concerning rain and temperatures, the sping was extremly dry, this only made the plants stronger and better. The summer was as always very hot as usual. The result of a very hot year was that the fruits maturation was slightly advanced.