Monday, April 26, 2010

2005 Weingut August Ziegler Gimmeldinger Biengarten Riesling Auslese

In 2007, I took a trip with a couple friends to France. Among the regions we visited was Sauternes, home of the intensely complex, sweet golden wines that bear its name.They’re pretty amazing, but not something to kick back and suck down. They demand to be studied with your full attention, and I still end up feeling like I’m out of my depth.

Jen and I recently bought a Riesling, an August Ziegler 2005. If Sauternes is an aloof beauty, then this Riesling is its hot, fun sister.A lot of the same notes are there: honey, pineapple, and an edge of black tea, but I found it a lot less intimidating and more inviting than a Sauternes. Its texture was almost like a real good vanilla pound cake. Jen tasted honeysuckle. (She is from the South, so she knows what that means.) She also tasted peach and mango, which I couldn’t manage to pick up. It was great with a bowl of fruit—strawberries, plums, pears.And it was sweet, but a good sweet. I thought I imagined tasting crystals of sugar, until Jen pointed out that there were actually sugar crystals in the glass.
I think the bottle was about $30. Definitely a buy-again, for a hot summer night.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ripasso Rivisited

Yesterday, Jen and I went to a tasting at Fine Wine Brokers in Lincoln Square. We surveyed the bottles the pourer had lined up on the table and noticed with some trepidation that the last bottle was a Villa Sonia ripasso, which we had a pretty unfavorable reaction to in the first couple posts on this blog.

But, we don’t let fear of disappointment stop us from drinking free splashes of wine, so we went ahead and tried it. I wondered if we’d have the same reaction to it.

To our surprise, it was fascinating. Jen pointed out that it tasted like the remains of a campfire. Damp, smoky, ashy—like you stepped out of your tent in the forest the morning after a night spent around the fire and took a huge breath of the doused aftermath.

I wondered if we’d just gotten a bad bottle the last time around. I made note of the year: 2007. The one we tried back in September was an ’06. Frankly, I don’t know enough to know if that’s a standard change from the same vineyard from one year to the next, but it sure underlines the mind-boggling variables that go into enjoying wine. We were willing to pass this wine by forever, but with a new, accidental glimpse, it might be worth buying again. (It might be awesome on a cool summer evening, outside.)

Anyway, we didn’t buy it just yet. But we did buy a bottle of bobal, a Spanish wine grape I’d never heard of before. Vega Tolosa 2007. The bottle says “Old Wines,” but I think it's supposed to say “Old Vines.”Jen said it tasted like a Madeira without the Madeira. Figgy, concentrated, and sweet, but without the weight or the eternal heavenliness. I sensed a nice sharp finish that kept it from being too fruity. We’re thinking of making some sort of Spanish pork product.

Monday, April 12, 2010


This flick on FlowingData shows you in dizzying, cartoony detail how wine is made.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Essential Wine Blogging Forthcoming, We Promise

h/t Married to the Sea.

A combination of busyness, laziness, and creative bankruptcy has kept this blog fallow for a long time, but know that we have not abandoned it. More to come.