I am not an expert, just a discerning wine lover or amateur de vin (as the French say), but everyone has a different palate, likes and dislikes so it must be understood that any of my recommendations are personal. I just hope that you find them useful or at the very least - interesting. I also hope you enjoy my photos. It is more fun sharing then keeping them backed up on a hard drive.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Great Finds from NZ & OZ

This Spring, I was lucky enough to attend the New Zealand tasting and a Grant Burge tasting in very short order. These tastings reminded me about the quality wines that come out of Australia and New Zealand. We all know the big names but beyond these there are some really wonderfully crafted wines to be had. From Summer-fresh Sauvignon Blanc to a hardy Rhone blend, they have it all...

TL Wine Co - East Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand - $16.95
Tropical and stone fruit on the nose. Richly-layered palate that lingers. A beaut for the price!


Giesen Estate Pinot Noir Marlborough 2010, New Zealand - $19.95
Bright red fruit - strawberry and red currant. Well balanced with lasting finish.


Grant Burge - Holy Trinity Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvèdre 2008, Barossa, South Australia - $33.95
Popular Rhone-style blend. Rose petal, red cherry (almost red licorice) on nose. Extremely well integrated (although you do feel a bit of heat from climate/alcohol). Lots of ripe fruit but good tannin/acid backbone. A must try!



Grant Burge - Summers Chardonnay 2010, Adelaide Hills/Eden Valley, South Australia - $19.95
I loved this wine. It was refined and complex. Very well made especdially for the price. The oak is very subtle and well-integrated so that the wonderful citrus and stone fruit shows through.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Treasures from Trimbach

I often marvel at how I can let things get way from me. It has been almost two months since my fabulous trip to Alsace and yet I have not uploaded any photos or commented beyond some obvious QPR treats. This flies in the face of how extraordinary my visit was, with an especially interesting stop at Trimbach.

The Trimbach's have been making wine in Alsace since 1626 and I was lucky enough to tour and taste with the very knowledgeable Anne Trimbach. There is something special about working in a long-standing family business and choosing to take up that calling. It is not so hard to believe if the business is wine and it does validate tradition.

Anne, like other women in wine that I have had the pleasure of meeting - Valerie Castan of the Domaine Castan (Beziers) & Kathy Benziger of Benziger in Sonoma - has a strong tie to family and is proud of the wines that they create. This adds a personal touch to any tour or tasting. Similar to the other two women, she is very PR & social media savvy and keeps the family business in the public eye. All three of them have passion, incredible energy and approach wine with unbridled enthusiasm. This is infectious and I believe makes the wine taste better.

Below are a few of the wines that stood out for me and seemed an accessible value. Any food pairing suggestions are Anne's. By the end of the tasting, I was so hungry from her descriptions that I quickly asked for a suggestion of where to eat. I was directed to Au Relais des Menetriers, and had the most fabulous of meals (Matelote de Sandre), but that is another story...

RÉSERVE RIESLING 2009 - $26.00 
Elderflower, fresh lemon nose - good acid backbone with lingering finish. Would complement a fish with cream sauce or partner nicely with oysters.

Complex nose of honeysuckle & lemon with a slight hint of petrol. Very complex wine that opens up as it develops - give it lots of air and enjoy!

RÉSERVE PINOT GRIS 2008 - $23.00
Very fresh wine that would pair beautifully with Mushroom Risotto and could stand up to ginger, wasabi or soy sauce.

Shy nose but elegant lemon-lime palate, rich mouth-feel - long minerally finish. Matches creamy lobster and Anne suggests it could age 15-20 years. Lucky I have a few bottles now!

Mature nose of rose petal & lychee but not the heavy perfume sometimes associated with this varietal. The palate was equally as refined and was so well integrated I had trouble pulling out single descriptors. Like most of the other wines I tasted there was a gentle minerality that adds to the complexity.

Honeyed nose with a touch of orange rind (I am told there is some B.A.). Honey & marmalade on the palate too. Sweet but not cloying due to a wonderfully cleansing streak of acid to balance.