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Wine Reviews

Posted by on June 25th

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The Whites

Tangent Pinot Gris, Edna Valley (California)

A rather unique bottling from the Central Coast. The price is great and the wine is rather perfect antidote for sweltering. Tangerine and coconut in a vibrant package. Offers impressive intensity coupled with a light framework. The pricing is about 30% lower in PA than elsewhere.

Rolf Binder “Highness” Riesling, Eden Valley (Australia)

I am very happy to see this wine on the shelves. Edna Valley is a great place to find high-quality white wines in Australia. This Riesling drinks like a fine Spatlese Trocken from Mosel. Fire, Petrol, and Granite are the predominant aromatics, with a razor-like acidity that is balanced by its extraction of citrus and peach.

G.H. Mumm Grand Cru Brut Champagne

An intense modern style Champagne that should cost about twice the current PLCB price. Excellent mousse, this sparkler exudes almond and dough with a leesy roundness on the palate that gives way to lime & green apple.

Domaine Christian Moreau Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru

True to its Grand Cru lineage, this Chablis is an intense terroir-driven aristrocrat. Layer upon layer of stone aromas give way to apricot, iron shavings, pear, and toast. It offers the richness of the hot vintage, but not the limpness. Like many Grand Cru Burgundies, this offers an intense experience. The price is about half of what it should be.

The Reds

Cape Mentelle 2004 Shiraz, Margaret River (Australia)

An exceptional Shiraz of complexity and intensity. A nice balance is struck between the fresh blackberry and its jellied strawberry notes. A pleasing edge of black tea and tannin overlaps the roasted flavors of dark coffee and licorice. The pricing is about 15% lower in PA than elsewhere.

Vall Llach

I just got back from several weeks in Spain, a week of spending exploring the wilds of Priorat. One of the shining moments on that trip was the day we spent with the winemaker at Vall Llach. While I knew and respected his wines already, I was stunned by the quality of recent vintages. After lugging back a full case of their wines in my luggage from Spain,

Vall Llach “Emruix” Priorat

Oh, buy buy buy this beauty. An elegant Priorat and an incredible value offer layers of tobacco, black olive, fennel, and black fruit on the layered framework of tannin. Make sure to put it in your wine cellar for a few years.

Vall Llach “Idus” Priorat

Similar to the Emruix, but will need a minimum of seven years in the cellar. The minerality of ancient Carignan and the oxidized complexity of old vine Grenache are the centerpieces of this wine.

The addition of Cabernet Sauvignon gives this wine the structure and balance of a fine Bordeaux. Nearly as profound as the Emruix, but not quite.

The Sweets

Chapel Hill “The Devil” Port, McLaren Vale (Austalia)

The Aussies are a great resource for excellent value dessert wines. Similar in structure to a 10-year Tawny from Portugal, this bottle offers roasted nuts and figs and milk chocolate. Serve this after dinner on a rainy summer evening.

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