Sunday, November 20, 2011

Le Caveau - November 19th, 2011 - Thanksgiving Wines & Eric's Picks

1) 2010 René Michel Mâcon-Villages AOC
100% Chardonnay
Delicate varietal aromas with flavors of apple and melon offset by citrus notes. Great texture for a Macon, fresh and minerally, with great creaminess on the finish.
Domaine Michel have been making wines from old vines on the best slopes of Clessé in the Mâconnais, south of Burgundy for six generations. The winemaking is deliberately slow and natural, without any addition of commercial yeast or chaptalization. This wine is aged stainless steel tanks (fermentation under controlled temperature) for about eight months, and bottled in the spring following the harvest.

2) 2008 Westrey Reserve Pinot Noir Williamette Valley $33.99
Barrel selected Pinot Noir from: 30% Momtazi Vineyard, 50% La Cantera Vineyard, and 20% Oracle Vineyard.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July/August 2010, Issue #151
“Bright red. Pungent, expressive aromas of strawberry and raspberry preserves, white pepper, spicecake, rose and blond tobacco. Round and silky, with a firm tannic spine shaping the spicy red and dark berry flavors. The tannins fade into the sweet fruit on the finish, which strongly echoes the darker fruit qualities and leaves spice and floral notes behind. I'd hold onto this for at least a few more years.” 92 points
Amy Wesselman together with co-winemaker David Autrey, the two founded Westrey Wine Company in 1993. Each has had extensive winemaking experience (Amy at Oregon’s Bethel Heights and The Eyrie Vineyards and Burgundy’s Domaine des Comtes Lafon and Domaine de L’Arlot and; David at Oregon’s Adelsheim, Cameron and Burgundy’s Domaine Dujac). The two met while studying philosophy at Reed College in Portland and their philosophy of winemaking is nicely summed up in their tag line: “Texture and terroir amidst post-industrial splendor.” This reserve wine was aged in 25% new wood and 20% one-year old, with the balance coming from neutral wood

3) 2008 Château Ollieux Romanis “Cuvée Classique” Corbières AOC $17.99
45% Carignan, 35% Grenache, 20% Syrah (hand harvested with partial carbonic maceration (or fermentation with CO2 and yeast))
The deep ruby/purple-colored 2009 Corbieres Classique exhibits meaty, garrigue, black cherry and black currant notes, medium to full-bodied flavors, abundant fruit and an attractive headiness.
During the middle ages the monks of the nearby Fontfroide Abbey developed their own wine making and growing techniques, continually improving the quality of the wines and consolidating their “savoir faire” in the region. Still visible today on the domain are some of the abbey’s ancient tombs and vestiges.
Ollieux Romanis = Roman Olives

4) 2009 Château d'Oupia Minervois AOC $12.99
60% Carignan (from vineyards up to 100 years old), 30% Syrah and 10% Grenache.
It is densely colored and aromatic with pretty black plum, blackberry and wild herb. The wine is elegant and balanced with good structure and length. A great every day wine value from the Languedoc region in the south of France.
Century-old vines are tough to find, but André Iché has plenty of them on his Minervois hillsides. Iché, , tended his very old vines and made his wines but sold everything in bulk to local négociants. Twenty years ago, a Burgundian winemaker happened to be in Oupia, tasted Iché’s wines, and was so enthused that he convinced Iché to bottle and market his production.
d'Oupia = doo-PEE-uh

5) 2004 L'Arco Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC Ripasso $27.99
Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and a bit of Croatina
The nose at first shows rich chocolate covered cherry, turning to crushed fall leaves, and herbs. The palate is remarkably finessed and showing , dried cherries, and tobacco. The mid-palate is rich with cherries and finishes with lingering spice note.
This wine is made using the ripasso technique. With this technique, the pomace of leftover grape skins and seeds from the fermentation of Amarone are added to Valpolicella wines for a second fermentation then aged in Slovonian oak barrels.

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