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by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Some New Wines - April 1, 2009


We were foolin' around the other day (4/1/09) and tried Some New Wines:

  1. MarcTempe Zellenberg Riesling AC: Alsace (MeBaD; 13%) AnneMarie et Marc Tempe/
    Zellenberg 2005
    : Med.gold color; beautiful minerally/floral/R/pineapply slatey/valve oil very perfumed/fragrant nose; very tart steely/slatey/valve oil/minerally some floral/pineapple/R flavor; long/lingering minerally/valve oil/slatey very floral/pineapple/R finish; a classic/old-time/throw-back Alsatian Riesling the likes of which are seldom seen anymore. $28.00
  2. MarcTempe Rodelsberg AC: Alsace (MeBaD; 12.5%; PinotGris/GWT) 2005: Med.gold rather
    murky color; very strong floral/PG/fragrant/carnations/pears very spicy/perfumed/aromatic beautiful nose; tart/acid rich/lush/textured strong floral/carnations/PG/pineapple mouthfilling flavor; very long/lingering acid/tart rich/lush very floral/PG/perfumed/pineapply finish; spectacular Alsace wine that will age very
    well. Fairly priced at $41.50
  3. DomaineWeinbach CuveeSte.Catherine Riesling AC: Alsace (MeBalP; 13.5%;
    www.DomaineWeinbach.com) Colette, Catherine et Laurence Faller/Kayserberg
    : Med.gold color; intense rich/pineapple/floral/JR very light valve oil/mineral lush/ripe/perfumed nose; tart fairly dry lush/floral/pineapple/JR quite bitter bit mineral flavor; med.short tart/dry rich/floral/JR/ pineapple rather bitter finish; lots of lovely JR character but uncharacteristicly bitter on the palate. Questionable at $49.00
  4. Dominique Cornin AC: BeaujolaisBlanc (13%) VeMeBpar DominiqueCornin/Chaintre
    : Med.dark gold color; light/low-key earthy some cabbagey/damp earth/Kansas root cellar little fruit strange nose; soft/fat/porky some earthy/stoney bit bitter little fruit flavor; short bitter earthy/stoney/ damp earth slight cabaggey no fruit finish; strange and unappealing. $20.00
  5. Viognier de Campuget CuveePrestige Vin de Pays du Gard (MeBalP; 13%) 2006: Pale yellow color; bit earthy/stoney light pear/Viognier weak/vapid nose; soft light earthy very weak/pear/Viog rather bitter flavor; very short stoney/austere very weak pear/Viog quite bitter finish; another dog. $17.50
  6. Domaine de Belliviere Rouge-Gorge AC: Coteaux du Loir (15%; Pineau d'Aunis;
    www.LouisDressner.com) EricNicolas/Vigneron 2005
    : Med.light slight murky/brown color; intense very walnutty/Flood of '51/mildew/damp earth/Utter's basement/root cellar very dusty/earthy very weird no fruit nose; tart lean/thin very walnutty/peppery/damp earth/wet basement/wet ashtray tannic/bitter no fruit flavor; very long earthy/wet loam/damp basement/mildew tannic/thin/bitter no fruit finish; very bizarre wine; so ugly that you almost like it for its "character. $26.00
  7. Bertani DueUve IGT: Delle Venezie (50% PinotNoir/Corvino; 12.5%) 2006: Med.light color; rather stoney/grapey some AltoAdige/Pinot/earthy bit iodine pleasant nose; soft light grapey/earthy bit tannic/hard flavor; med.long rather hard/tannic/bitter earthy/stoney light grapey finish; much like an AltoAdige Pinot than a Valpocella; Pinot seems to lighten it up but contributes no aromatics; rustic peasant wine. $17.00
  8. SantaLucia Vigna del Melograno Uva di Troia DOC: Castel del Monte Rosso (13.5%;
    www.VinSantaLucia.com) 2006
    : Med.dark color; some earthy bit floral/violets fairly grapey clean nose; soft quite floral/violets/dusty strong grapey simple flavor; med.short some tannic/astringent grapey/ floral/violets slight earthy finish; bit rough/rustic but quite clean for Apulia; a simple rustic red. $16.50
  9. Chateau de Campuget AC: Costieres de Nimes Tradition de Campuget (13%; 65%
    Syrah, 30% GrenacheNoir, 5% Mourvedre) 2005
    : Med.color; light pleasant blackberry/Syrah some earthy rather simple nose; light blackberry/Syrah bit earthy/dusty coarse/simple/dull flavor; med.short bit tannic/rough light blackberry/Syrah some earthy finish; rather dull/simple/rustic red; not worth $12.00
  10. Jean-Louis Tribouley LesBacs VdP des CotesCatalanes VielliesVignes (MeBaD; NonFiltre;
    14%; 70% grenache, 30% Carignan) 2006
    : Very dark/black color; intense strawberry/ blackberry/ Grenache/beefy almost Alban-like some toasty/oak slight earthy nose; tart very strong strawberry/ Grenache/blackberry light toasty/charred/oak pretty tannic/hard some black cherry flavor; very long pretty tannic/hard ripe/Grenache/strawberry/black cherry some toasty/oak finish; needs 2-5 yrs; almost like an Alban w/ some earthiness; very good value at $20.00
  11. DouglasGreen VnydCreations Shiraz (www.DouglasGreenWines.com; 14.0%) western
    Cape/SouthAfrica 2007
    : Med.dark color; rather earthy/dusty strong blackberry/Syrah bit gamey/ coarse/barnyardy almost Pinotage-like interesting nose; tart rather sour/earthy/goaty some blackberry/ Syrah flavor; med. earthy/sour/goaty/unclean slight blackberry/Syrah finish; some of the unclean & coarse character you get in SA Pinotage; not worth $10.50
  12. GrahamBeck TheJoshua (BarrelSelection; www.GrahamBeckWines.com; 15.0%) South
    Africa 2003
    : Very dark color; very strong very ripe/blackberry/plummy/Syrah bit alcoholic slight goaty/herbal/dusty rather toasty/charred/oak somewhat interesting nose; rich/lush strong blackberry/ plummy/Syrah slight herbal rather toasty/oak rather Oz-like slightly sour flavor; long very ripe/plummy/ boysenberry/Syrah pretty toasty/oak finish w/ modest tannins; lots of very ripe character and somewhat Oz-like in style; not worth $30.00
  13. Borie LaVitarele LesSchistes AC: St.Chinian (14.5%) 2006: Very dark/black color; somewhat barnyardy/bretty intense fruit blackberry/black cherry licorice some toasty/smokey/oak nose; soft rather bretty/unclean/horsecollar intense blackberry/black cherry/licorice flavor; med.long intense licorice/ blackberry/black cherrysomewhat bretty/horsecollar finish w/ some tannins; fairly intense fruit but a bit too bretty/unclean for me. $20.00
  14. Barn d'Or SonomaCnty 64% CabSauvg/36% Syrah (www.DavisFamilyVineyards.com;
    14.1%) DavisFamilyVnyds/Sebastapol 2004
    : Very dark color; very strong herbal/blackcurrant/Cab rather licorice/Oz-like some vanilla/toasty/oak classic Sonoma Cab nose; soft very lush licorice/blackcurranty/Cab rather vanilla/oak/buttery flavor; med.long soft blackcurranty/Cab/licorice rather vanilla/buttery/oak finish w/ modest tannins; pleasant little Sonoma Cab but not worth $30.00

And the old BloodyPulpit:

1. Tempe: I was blown away by the Tempe Riesling. It's many a year since I've had an Alsatian Riesling of this style. Most current Alsatian Riesling have been Swartzeneggered into the Zind-Humbrecht style, which I find rather tiring to drink. The Tempe reminded me of the usual/traditional Alsatian Rieslings that I used to love back in the early '70's. Bright/zippy Rieslings that went well w/ weenies & kraut. They aged into beautiful/complex old Rieslings. My paradigm then was the less I liked the Riesling because of the teeth-chattering acidity, then that's the one I'd buy cause I knew it would age into something spectacular. This Tempe was of that ilk. Those were the good ole days. I liked the Rodelsberg better, and, at $41.50, was a decent buy vis a vis today's prices. But the Riesling was a real value. Bought a few more and certain they'll be great drinking 20 yrs from now.
2. Pineau d'Aunis: My first experience w/ this obscure grape. I'm not too tempted to revisit it unless to see if they're all this weird.


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