Tag Archives: white wine

2003 Bisson Marea Cinque Terre

2003 Bisson Marea Cinque TerreI haven’t done an Italian wine in a while, what with the holidays, the start of Well Fed, and now the Super Bowl. But I think it’s time to get back to the business of discovering Italy, one glass and a dish at a time.

I mentioned this wine in the post below about wine-searcher.com, as I have been looking for a Ligurian wine for over three months now, and could only get one via that web site.

Made from a blend of the local grapes Bosco, Vermentino and Albarola, Cinque Terre is a fish wine, there’s no two ways about it. This is not all that surprising when you understand that Liguria is a big fish region. This white wine has clearly evolved to compliment the seafood that’s popular in this region of Italy.

Eyes: A nice golden color, with a tint of amber (as opposed to some whites that have a tint of green). The rim is translucent and when given a swirl, the wine flows quickly back down the side of the glass.

Nose: I typically hate using the word “bold”, as it doesn’t provide a context. Suffice to say that when sniffed, this wine struck me as more aromatic than the majority of whites, carrying a strong citrus aroma.

Taste: Quite delicious. The taste than came to my mind was that of grapefruit, including the acidity that is the hallmark of the fruit. The flavor then finishes strong, with the alcohol making its presence known.

Overall: A very nice wine, one that I would try most certainly try again. Many people had said that Cinque Terre can be hit or miss, and I would be willing to see if that occurs.

Technorati Tags: Wine, Tasting+Notes, Cinqueterre

Roero Arneis – 2004 Bruno Giacosa

Roero Arneis - 2004 Bruno Giacosa I could have picked any number of wines when choosing one from the Piemonte region of Italy. I ended up selecting a Arneis, simply because I had never heard of this varietal before, and I was struck curious.

The Arneis grape variety takes its name from a word in Piedmontese dialect which means “whimsical”, which I presume to mean that’s how they look at the grape…as “whimsical”. Instantly my mind turned to images of a grape whistling care-free and ready with the humorous anecdote about their Uncle Louie.

This is simply how my mind operates. If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now: I did way too many drugs when I was in college.

Arneis are dry white wines. They are best served chilled, between 45-50 degrees F. They are renown for how well they go with seafood.

Eyes: A good straw yellow color. The rim is nearly translucent, but when you give it a swirl, it holds onto the glass very well, with thick droplets slowly crawling down the side of the glass.

Nose: Almost an apricot aroma, with also the distinct smell of sand. Very peculiar.

Taste: Sharp and crisp. Tastes like a cross between a pear and a very tart apricot, with a small kick at the end. Very nice finish, with a long slow decline.

Overall: My bias is against dry whites, but this is very nice. Flavorful, and not overwhelming dry. I would buy this again in an instant. I give this a 3 on the 1-3 scale.

NV Bellavista Franciacorta Cuvée Brut

Franciacorta Bellavista Cuvée BrutI am not prone to sparkling wines. It’s hard to explain why, and the best answer I can come up with is “well, there are just other things I prefer to drink!” I’m not offended by sparkling wines, it’s just that, truth be told, if I’m celebrating, I’d rather have a martini or a mojito. More bang for the buck as they say.

But there are times when sparkling wines are simply required. I’m not sure what it is, but no other alcoholic beverage, be it wine, beer or spirit, fits a moment so nicely.

Sure, sure, you have your New Years eve, and wedding days are also appropriate. But those are typical sparkling wine days. I’m talking something “more”.

Recently I found myself in the midst of a hellacious project while at work. It was the type of project that brought continual pain and agony. The first day I felt this pain and agony, I said to myself “well, this pain and agony is how I think it feels if I were to stick my head inside and head-sized pencil sharpener. I’m glad this is over with. It wasn’t so bad, as long as it doesn’t happen on an everyday basis”.

Except for, of course, it happened on an everyday basis. And I willingly drove to work everyday, and voluntarily stuck my head in this metaphorical head-sized pencil sharpener.

But then, one day last week, the project came to a close. No more pain and agony. I knew right then that I had to celebrate.

Sparkling wines are perfect for moments like that; for moments when you no longer have to deal with an person, place or thing that causes you an undue amount of stress. No other alcoholic beverage has the ability to wash away weeks worth of discomfort.

This is my Lombardy wine. I could tell you the history of Franciacorta, how they have no wine tradition, and only recently have decided to make sparkling wines from the area. I could also tell you how this spumante looks, with its bright gold with a slight tinge of green.

I could tell you how it tastes, being a bit on the dry side but having just enough sweetness to keep me happy.

I could tell you all of this…but really? Really all I want to do is celebrate not having to put my head in that head-sized pencil sharpener anymore.

UPDATE: Jack let me know that I had the name listed incorrected. Consider it updated.

Wine Blogging Wednesday #12 — Drink Local — 2004 Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling

2004 Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling (Alright, so it’s not the best picture in the world. I’ve got an excuse…it’s my birthday.)

I was very pleased with Lenn’s choice for this months Wine Blogging Wednesday was announced. The theme of “Buying local” was a new take on WBW. Sure, it is a politically correct and even politically relevant theme, but I have to admit that these weren’t the first two reasons that popped into my head rationalizing my joy. Nope, my motivations were far more selfish. You see, there’s a rather popular winery not two miles from my place of work.

Anyone ever hear of Chateau Ste. Michelle? This month was going to be a breeze. So much for my selfless motivations.

I did splurge a bit on the wine, going for the more austere Eroica Riesling. This wine is a collaboration between Washington’s most famous winery and Ernst Loosen of Germany. It’s a label they’re quite proud of and it scored a 91 in Wine Spectator. The question was, would I like it?

Eyes: The color is that of a soft pear, light gold with only a slight tint of green. The rim is solid and holds itself quite well up against the glass. Giving the glass a light twirl reveals a thin syrup, but one that holds the glass.

Nose: Peaches fresh from the farm, a little unripe. One of the better aromas I’ve gotten from a riesling.

Taste: Tart but sweetm it starts off fruity, like a sweet lemon or tart peach, but ends in a slightly burnt sugar taste. The taste finishes quite nicely, but leaves an after taste which is a tad overwhelming, like a lemon rind taste that won’t go away.

Overall: I liked it. Not the best Riesling I’ve had, but then I tend towards the sweeter. Had the aftertaste been a little better, I would have liked this more. On my scale of 1-3, I’d give it a three, buying it but only if my other reisling favs weren’t in.

2003 Fontana Candida Orvieto Classico


Ahh, back to the Orvietos. I picked this simple Italian wine up at QFC of all places. It’s a rule I break every now and then, and they were having a sale on imported Italian wines.

Truth is there are many places in Seattle from which one should buy wine. I’ll have to remind myself of that next time I’m in my local grovery store.

Eyes: The color is that of a light d’anjou pear, golden with a very slight green tint. A quick twirl shows that it holds the side of the glass fairly well, and yet appears thin, suggesting a sweet, but watery wine. It’s rim is clear.

Nose: When placing the ol’ schnozz in the glass, it’s a very sharp, alcohol/peach scent.

Taste:A watery, bitter peach taste. It’s a quick taste, with very little finish.

Overall:Meh. Not great, not horrible. a 2 on a 1-3 scale. Totally indifferent to the wine.

2003 Marchetti Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico

Here’s a news flash. Italy makes some kickin’ white wines. When I started my reading and research on Italy, I only knew of Chianti, the deep red wine that comes in the bottle with the straw base. I never knew the joys of Italian whites.

Verdicchio is another lesson in the Italian Whites syllabus. Verdicchio (overall) is slightly green-yellow in color and has a delicate bouquet. It is medium bodied with surprisingly strong flavors, a crisp acid balance and a slightly bitter finish. It is best consumed within the first two years from the vintage date. The bottle I received, a Marchetti Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico was a little bit more than that.

Eyes:Nearly Translucent. Golden yellow with no hint of green. Solid legs that take their good ol sweet time to fall back into the wine.

Nose: Slight herb aroma with an only slightly stronger lemony smell.

Taste: A very light wine. Very watery. Sweet overtones with a tiny little taste of bitterness. Very citrusy, like grapefruit. Holds the tongue well, and tastes a bit lick the mineral aspects of a Pelligrino. Ends very nice.

Overall: Probably the lightest tasting wine I’ve had to date. Very delicate, and certainly will not overpower anyone. From here on forth, when it comes to wine, I’m going to assign a point on a scale of 1-3. Three means I’d buy it again, 2 means I liked it but probably wouldn’t remember drinking it in two weeks. 1 means I hated it and would avoid it.

I give this wine a 3. I enjoyed how delicate it was…not as sweet as a Riesling, not as thick as a Chardonney. Simply a tasty wine.

2001 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese

2001 Erdener Treppchen Riesling AusleseOnce again, I have the fine opportunity to indulge myself in a Riesling. I tell ya’ doing these tasting notes is a tough business.

We’re on the second bottle of our Riesling experience, and I have to say I’m a happily surprised. Well, I probably shouldn’t be, as there were some items on the wine label that let me know that this wine had some potential…Auslese, for example, is a good sign for me, as I like my Rieslings a tad sweet. Auslese generally indicates more attention had been paid attention to the grape, having been picked at the peak of ripeness, or at least we hope. Same could be said for the “Qualitätswein mit Prädikat”, which of course goes to follow, as a German wine can only be deemed “Auslese” if it is “Qualitätswein mit Prädikat”. Okay, that may not make any sense…read this for more on these titles.

Eyes:Golden yellow with a distinct tint of green. It has a soft rim, meaning it’s nearly translucent where the wine meets the glass. Giving the wine a quick twirl shows a thinner Riesling from what I’m used to. Walls of the wine hold the wall of the glass, but they very quickly dissipate, with thick…well I hesitate to call them “legs”. On sight it looks to be a sweet but thin wine.

Nose:Okay, I know this is going to sound peculiar, but the wine smelled musty and has a bit of a cat-pee aroma. I’ve read that a “cat-pee” aroma can mean either good or bad.

Taste: Very good. Sweet, a little like pineapples, but also a little drier than what I’ve had in other Rieslings. It holds the tongue fairly well, and trails off quickly but nicely.

Overall? The aroma is admittedly off putting, but it tastes wonderful. Not the best Riesling I’ve ever had, but I wouldn’t pour it down the sink.