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October 2010

September 2010

Sybille Kuntz Trocken/Dry Riesling 2008


Background:  Sybille Kuntz and her husband Markus Kuntz-Riedlen both come from families with long historys of winemaking; however they decided to create their own path by creating a new winery, named for Sybille, in 1984.  They quickly became famous for their modern style of dry, powerful rieslings.  All farming has been done naturally since 1990 and is now biodynamic.  All the grapes are harvested by hand and they take the utmost care in the vineyard so that they start the wine making process with perfectly concentrated healthy berries.  These are engaging complex wines, that invite contemplation.

Aroma: The aroma of this Riesling is rather pretty and floral.  I pick up sweeter white flowers, a hint of kiwi and banana and a touch of Riesling petrol.  The nose isn't honeyed and you can tell right off the bat that the wine has some strong acidic and mineral structure.  It's an aroma that gives you glimpses of the wine to come, but doesn't give away the whole show.  It definately draws you in.

Taste:  Big powerful Riesling is right!  It's certainly not sweet, but their is a bit of residual sugar that helps flesh out the robust acidity and minerality on the mid palatte and finish.  It is a intense powerful wine without being thick or fat in texture.  I taste bright clean apple juice initially, but then the fresh lemon citrus acidity emerges, grabbing your attention and along with a touch of tingley Riesling spice.  After that the minerality follows through and ends the wine with a bang.  In fact, it's such a complex white with an unusual combination of pear/apple, kiwi fruit, bright acidity, spice, and mineral; that it does remind me of a fireworks display, with that minerality as the grand finale.

Conclusion:  If you want a complex engaging white, this is great.  If you like Vouvray, Mersault, Savenniers, serious Albarinho, this is great.  If you like white wines that drink like water.......not so much.  This is a delicious white that will pair well with nearly any food.  braised beef and short ribs might be a stretch, but pork roast, tofu, fried chicken, or tuna are all good matchs with this.  This costs under $25 and is available at the Freeport Cheese and Wine Shop and Aurora Provisions.




Erste & Neue Alto Adige Pinot Nero 2009


Vintage: 2009

Varietal: Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir)

Appearance: The color is dark for a Pinot, maybe partially because this is so young: 2009.  It is clear though like you'd expect.

Aroma: The aroma is bigger than I expect from Pinot Noir and has a lot of strawberry jam and also some fresh cherry.  It's not as heady and floral as some Pinots, but it does have a rose component to it.  There's also a great spiciness that underlies the fruit and gives it another dimension.  It's slightly animal, in the best kind of intense satisfying way.

Taste:  In three words: Lush, Lush, and Lush.  The wine, not me! No really it's got a really expansive mid-palate!  Lots of raspberry and blackberry fruit with a slight spice that gives the wine a woodsey quality is followed by a soft finish that has some lingering soft earthiness and berry fruit, but is mostly devoid of tannin.  The wine has decent acidity, but the ripe, lively berry fruit is what drives it.  I am surprised how ripe it is considering it is an alpine cold climate wine.  This is delicious on it's own or with meats running the gamut from roast chicken up to fillet and strip steak.  The fruit is powerful and rich enough that it will be a lovely counterpoint to a lean cut of beef!  And I can't help but remark: the label is quite sexy.

I plan on drinking a substantial amount of this over the winter.  I would recommend you do the same.

Availability:  This will be available at the Black Sheep Wine shop, the Weatherbird, Mckean and Charles, and I'll be including it in my wine tasting at the Freeport Cheese and Wine shop this Friday.  It costs about $18

Clos st Thomas Gourmet Rouge 2007


Vintage: 2007

Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault

I've been trying to get my hands on Lebanese wines for a ages! Not much comes into the country though and a good opportunity never presented itself, until now.  Clos St Thomas is located in the Bekaa valley; an area which is about 3000 ft above sea level and relatively dry.  The elevation provides cooler temperatures (they get snow in the winter) and more exposure to wind which sucks some of the moisture from the grapes.  

Aroma:  It smells rich and full with stewed cherry, liquorice, hints of strawberry jam and some mint as well.  The aroma is primarily rich black fruits.

Taste:  The fruit is pretty dense; a flavor of currants backed up with a bit of spice, some heat and a slight raisinated note on the finish.  The texture is pretty smooth and it doesn't have much in the way of tannins.  It's a big ripe wine that really fills your mouth with strong red fruit and a slight earthiness.  I think this is an ideal fall wine that will be great with stews and braised meats. 

This is a dense, fuller bodied wine.  If you like zins, southern Italian reds, or fuller Spainish wines this is a good one for you.  This is a good value regardless of where it comes from; that it hails from Lebanon and tastes like I imagine the Bekaa should just makes it all the more exciting to me. 

This is perfect for autumn fare and is available at the Rosemont market in Yarmouth, Provisions in Brunswick, and the Freeport Cheese and Wine shop. The price will be something in the range of $12.