Category Archives: wineries

Tasting Famega Vinho Verde NV

Famega labelYummy goodness. Straw yellow with green reflections, it was slightly petillant (bubbly), and after the bubbles exploded in your mouth, the palate was totally dry and pleasently herbal. Tasted just like ripe yellow delicious apple with some lime squeezed over it. Very light: alcohol content is only 9%, so I quite happily drank half the bottle at our Blues on the Green picnic and drove home (don’t tell) with no ill effects. Exactly what I was looking for in a picnic wine!

This was lovely with our meal: gazpacho, green salad with feta, and a tortellini pasta salad with artichoke hearts. Also gracing the blanket: a rosemary sourdough bread, some aged manchego, and summer fruits. I also look forward to drinking this wine with seafood, fish, or a lemony grilled chicken. It’s really a good pair for almost any summer dish, with the possible exception of barbecue.

I had mentioned Vinho Verde in another post, one on Alvarino and its native region of Rias Baixas, saying how the two regions are fairly close and how I was looking forward to tasting the Portuguese version of this grape, which they call Alvarinho. Imagine my dismay when I research this wine after enjoying it so and discover that there’s no Alvarinho in it! Facestab! (I should have known, really, because of the low alcohol in the wine. Alvarinho in a Vinho Verde will bring up the alcohol content significantly.) Continue reading

Tasting Rosenblum Cellars Heritage Clones Petite Sirah 2005

Rosenblum PS Heritage ClonesThis was an impulse purchase — normally I don’t buy bottles this expensive, sticking to under $10-15, but I was meeting friends at my house and saw this in the wine store, and…

Color is dark and inky, like black blood in a movie. The aromas are warm and earthy, with some tarry characteristics. This wine is on the hot side (meaning the alcohol content is high enough at 14.4% that I can feel it burn my nose a bit), and presents vanilla oak, sweet cherry, white pepper and mocha notes. There is an interesting, elusive whiff of aged cheese or truffle or really sticky skunk bud.

On the palate, I get licorice, tobacco, and powerful blackberry jam flavors. The wine has a strong tannic grip, which makes it meaty and chewy-feeling, like it’s tight on my teeth and gums. The acidity is good, though, balancing out those structured tannins. The long, lingering finish is very reminiscent of dried blueberries. This wine is rich and delicious, very rewarding for $23 a bottle. Drink it with something equally rich: italian sausage, duck, or osso bucco. Continue reading

Tasting Martin Codax Albarino 2006

Martin Codax Albarino 2006 labelBoy, I’m drinking a lot of white lately. I loves the red, and I believe in the Rose, really I do, but I am THIRSTY for white these days. Might that have something to do with the Texas summer having finally descended upon us, incarcerating my universe in an oven of sweaty, airless misery? Nah.

Color is a pale straw, because this wine is too cool for all your tired golden reflections. When cold, the nose presents a startlingly vivid scent of ripe pear. There are some herbal qualities, too, and it smells like it’s effervescent, but it ain’t. I see what you’re doing there… tricky.

Nice lemony, mineral palate, tangy rather than tart. Super clean and refreshing, with a hint of pear and/or golden delicious apple. Very long, pleasant finish: these flavors want to sit in my mouth for a while, and I’m loving it. Continue reading

Tasting Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina 2005

FdSG hires labelI heart obscure white varietal wines!

Light gold in color, suggesting oak aging. Fascinating nose: flowery, strong ripe banana and almond scent, with some cheery orange peel as it warmed up. The taste was almost exactly like lemon juice from concentrate: sharp and acidic, to the point of bitterness. A strong nutty flavor. Light- to medium-bodied, belying the oak aging I thought it might have by looking at the color. (Later I checked; no oak on this wine — what a great natural color, then!)

Almost Alsatian in style: a very opulent, perfumed nose contrasting with a palate nearly off-putting in its austerity. Really wish I had tried this with some food — it would so kick ass with fish. Super-interesting, though; I had been expecting appley character, as that is typical for this varietal, but really didn’t taste or smell it, frankly. Average bottle price: $20 Continue reading