Somm By Epicure

Hours of operation, Monday-Saturday, 12:00 - 5PM. Other hours by appointment. Phone # 512.858.0660. Come check out our new lineup of grower champagnes, Normandy Cider, White, Red and Rose Wines! Come check out new cheese offerings only at Somm!!!!!

Spanish Mission Grapes and Wine

Departing from my usual posts, this post will be a brief treatment of the Spanish Mission grape. Today, there are several wines made in Texas (and more in California) from the “Black Spanish Mission Grape.” Where did the grape come from though? Botanists have traced the dna structure of what is now known as “Spanish Mission” grapes to two sub-varieties which originated in Spain. Listan Negro (“Black Listan”) and Listan Prieto (“Dark Listan”). Both varietals originated sometime in the 1600’s in Castile-La Mancha. Listan Prieto was then later cultivated in the Canary Islands, at the time a Spanish possession off the coast of Africa, past which most Spanish Navy ships would pass on their way to the New World. Later the grapes would come to be called “mission grapes”, “Pais” or “Criolla” depending on whether you were in California, Chile or Argentina. All are from the same origin, however. Pais having a lighter pinkish color and Criolla being the darker of the two.

In Argentina, it is believed that the Spanish Mission (or “criolla”) grape would be crossed with Muscat of Alexandria to produce the Torrontes grape which is probably Argnetina’s most important white winemaking grape today.

Several attempts have been made to produce wines from this grape in Texas, following in the footsteps of the Spanish Missionaries who first grew it and made both sacramental wine as well as fortified Angelica wine from the grape.

We are certain now that the grape originated in Spain, that it belongs to the Species Vitis Vinifera (the wine grape) and it is not a “fruit” or “table” grape. As to the quality of wines being produced here in Texas or elsewhere, I leave that to your taste and judgment.

07/24/2019 Power Tasting

2016 Mercouri Foloi White Peloponnese - Pale gold, citrusy nose. 90% Roditiis / 10% Viognier. Pale gold, citrusy nose. Tart, bright, light body, medium plus lemon-driven finish.

2018 Chateau Graville-Lacoste Graves Blanc 2018. 80% Semillon / 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Some citrus notes on the nose from Sauv Blanc, but pale gold color, nose of citrus and flowers. Tart, medium body and finish. A nice white graves, this wine would love to be paired with seafood or cheese.

2017 Trinquevedel Tavel Rose 2017. Like all Tavels, this treads the line between light red and darkest rose. Dry, tart red fruit on the palate. Melon notes on the nose. 45% Grenache / 6% Syrah/10% Mourvedre, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette Rouge. Stewed strawberry fruit, nice and smooth for this level of acidity.

2016 Valpane Barbera Rosso Pietro, Piedmont. Bright tart berry on palate, juicy berry notes on the nose. Medium finish and food friendly.

2018 Salvard Cheverny Rouge. Red berry nose, more substantial than a pinot might be. 58% Pinot Noir / 40% Gamay/ 2% Malbec. Substanital red with textural tannin. Look for this one at Somm, priced at $18.50. Very smooth berry/cherry fruit on the palate and tasty!

2017 Chignard Fleurie Les Moriers Beaujolais 2017. Juicy berry and beesewax on hte nose. Medium garnet, taart with some notes of lime on the nose. velvety tannins. Way bigger than Nouveau Beaujolais ever thought about being!

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South African Tasting:

Landskroon Pinotage. More fruit forward than the last vintage. Telltale cola-cherry palate and some earthiness. Look for this at Epicure by the glass or bottle or get it at Somm for $15 a bottle!

Landskroon Pinotage Rose. Yes rose. Just a little earthiness on the palate but mostly tart red cherry fruit. Nice accidity and a very easy drinker. Look for it soon at Epicure.

Zevenwacht Cab Franc Rose. Tart red fruit on the nose, following onto the palate. Cab Franc needs hot weather to ripen fully, thus this South African is made with a less ripeness than other terroirs. Some notes of green pepper on the nose and on the palate though not pronounced. Tart strawberry fruit on the back of the palate and a medium finish. Dry. Buy it at Somm for $14

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Miscellaneous Italian, Mexican and Cali wines:

Villa Pozzi Pinot Grigio. A Sicilian Pinot Grigio. Pale yellow, tart and citrusy.

Danzante Pinot Grigio. From Veneto. Pale gold, nose of straw, Tart and citrusy.

Lange Tweins Chenin Balnc. Grassy nose, sweet yellow citrus on the nose and just a bit of citrusy tartness.

Farmhouse White from Cline. 44% Pinot Grigio, 19% Muscat Canale, 12% Palomino, 10% chard, 7% Viognier, 4% Arneis, 1% each rousanne and marsanne. Off dry and very perfumed, lots of ripe fruit.

Casa Madero Rosado of Cab Franc. Tart red cherry and berry on the palate.

Mader Cabernet. Some tart red fruit, nice tannins.

6/26/19 Bubbles and Big Reds

Charles Roux Brut Blanc de Blancs. Burgundy bubbler. This was made from 78% chardonnay and 22% aligote. The wine was dry, crisp and lively. Made using tank carbonation, the bubbles were plentiful on pouring but tamed quickly.

Verite 2014 - a bordeaux blend from Sonoma. 75% cabernet. Pierre Savant is the winemaker. Dark garnet color, French oak. Knight’s valley fruit. Small hand harvests with individual barrel fermentation with each harvest. Beautifully integrated tannins, cocoa, spice with less emphasis on fruit.

Cardinale 2015 Napa Cabernet. Chris Carpenter is the winemaker. The grapes used came from Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Spring Mountain and Diamond Mountain. 90% cabernet. 20 months in french oak, 84% of it new oak. Dark ruby color, textural tannins, black cassis, cedary notes and an absolute stunner.

Galerie Napa Cabernet. Probably my favorite of the day. This wine will be priced at less than $45 and at that price represents incredible value. Jiucy fruit, textural tannin, deep color and a gorgeous nose!

6/26/19

La Madrid Estate wines of Agentina

Tier 1 Cabernet 2017 - a single vineyard in Lujan de Cuyo (Agrelo), this wine exhibited velvet tannin, not as acidic as the other two with more structure and by far the best of the three tier one wine from this winery.

Tier 1 Malbec. Dark ruby color. French oak on the nose with bright acidity, juicy purple fruit. Winemaking style here emphasizes acidity more than tannin or structure.

Tier 1 Bonarda: Dark ruby color, birght acidity, more structure than the malbec.

Tier 2 Malbec. Chewier with more fruit and structure than any of the Tier 1 wines.

Tier 2 Cab Franc- Medium ruby, juicy red fruit, controlled acidity and nice structure.

Tier 3 Gran Reserva Malbec. Medium ruby, light spice on the nose as well as red fruit. Big, juicy and textural with notes of red plums.

06/25/18 Sparklers and reds!

Sieur d’Arques Blanquette de Limoux Comte de Galeran Methode Traditionelle. Limoux is the oldest appellation for sparkling wines in Europe. When a sparkling wine is made with at least 90% Mauzac, it must be called “Blanquette.” This wine was pale, very dry with an autolytic nose (toasting brioche) but not over-done! Classified as a Brut, it drinks very dry.

Champagne Le Mesnil Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne (NV). Mesnil -Sur-Oger is one of the premier villages in the Champagne region. From the vineyards in the area come two of the very best Champagnes, Salon’s Jardin du Mesnil and Krug’s Clos du Mesnil. Both are chardonnay based wines hence the “blanc de blancs” designation. This particular wine was dry, lively on the palate though sedate in the glass. No gusher of carbonation here, perhaps due to extended lees aging and the fact that this was a late-disgorgement wine. Very dry with tart citrus on the palate leading to a long dry finish. Toasty brioche on the nose. Lovely.

Lava Cap El Dorado Cabernet 2016. This wine was medium ruby color, medium body. High acidity and juicy fruit but lacking in structure.

June 19th French and Italian Tasting

2017 Trotereau Quincy. 100% Sauv Blanc from the second best known AOC in the Loire for Sauv Blanc, Quincy. Pale golden color, little to no citrus, clean ripe tree fruit wiht a big stripe of mineraltiy. Lighter body, aromas of white flowers and bright acidity.

2017 St Cosme IGP d’Orange Les Deux Albions Blanc. From the Rhone valley, this is a 50'/50 blend of Picpoul and Viognier. Some stone fruit in the nose but less than on the palate. Dry, clean iwth a mineral finish.

2018 Charles Joguet Chinon Rose. Cab franc rose from the Loire valley. Pale pink color, red berry nose and on the palate. Berry leaning towards cranberry at the end.

2015 Le Terrazze Rosso Conero Marche. Montepulciano fruit from Marche. Dark garnet color, steel vat fermentation followed by large oak barrel aging (15 months). Velvet and textural tannin. Brighter acidity than you would see in an Abruzze Montepulciano.

2017 Caggiano Tauri Irpinia Aglianico (Campania). Dark garnet color, oaky nose with berry and rose petal aromas. Bright acidity, supple tannin and very smooth!

2015 Caggiano Vigna Macchia dei Goti Taurasi (Campania). Dark garnet color, oaky nose, ripe fruit and sweet tannin. Texutral tannins more about sweeter black cherry fruit than bright blackberry fruit!

05/28/19

New Zealand Wines

Better Half Sauvignon Blanc 2018, New Zealand. Green chile nose (Jalapeno?). Some tropical fruit on the palate, bright acidity.

Jules Taylor Pinot Gris 2018. Pear/Melon nose, controlled acidity, medium+ finish. Pale yellow color, neutral oak.

Jules Taylor Chardonnay 2017. Chardonnay evident on a grassy aroma. Bright acidity, french oak come through. Very little malolactic fermentation.

Jules Taylor OTO Pinot Noir Rose. Pale pink, red cherry nose, faintly following through to the palate. Tropical notes persist on the nose.

Jules Taylor OTO Pinot Noir. Tart red cherry fruit, peppery tannin, some mango/guava notes on the palate. Very long finish.

Jules Taylor Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Dessert Wine. Distinct New Zealand fruit on the nose with sharp aromas of gooseberry. Botyritized fruit resulted in a very sweet wine, but it’s balanced by both the pungent Sauv Blanc nose and bracing acidity which reminds me of a good Spatlese or Auslese Riesling - there is a lot of sugar but backed by so much acidity, that it’s weirdly in balance. This is a serious aperitif or dessert wine! Look for it soon at Epicure!

05/22/19 French, California and New Zealand Whites

Bruno Paillard Champagne Premier Cuvee Extra Brut NV. 45% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Menieure. 50% of the final wine from library of over 25 different vintages. 36 months on lies. Expansively fruit forward for an extra brut. Although extended contact with yeast cells would usually produce a more autolytic wine, this one is short on brioche but delicious in a rounded mouth-filling fruit sort of way. Look for it soon at both Somm and Epicure.

2018 Ch. La Rame Bordeaux Blanc Sec. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux. Tiniest trace of grapefruit on the nose but beautifully clean on the palate with bright acidity. Enjoy with or without food. Soon at both Epicure and Somm.

2018 Lunaria Civitas pecorino Terre di Chieti. Pecorino is usually dry and mineral heavy. This one adds a robust aroma of stone (apricot and peach) fruit to the nose. Beautiful natural/organic wine. Soon at Epicure and Somm.

2017 Danciing Crow Vineyards Sauv Blanc. Petrol on the nose due to the volcanic soils in Napa where it is grown. Very tart with strong minerality and no trace of citrus. Coming to Somm soon.

2018 Mount Beautiful Sauv Blanc. Canterbury, NZ. Funky nose of papaya and passionfruit. on the palate, soft fruit notes with robust acidity. Look for it soon at Somm.

2016 Michael Pozzan Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley. Dark color. 98% cab, 2% petit verdot. Dark and red berry fruit on the nose. Dark berry fruit on hte palate. Vibrant tannins but somewhat lacking in acidity and punch.

05/22/19

Domaine Jean Collet et Fils Chablis 2017. Light gold, expansive fruit on nose and palate Minerality in nose and palate. Very long finish. Expansive fruit finish.

Marchand Tawse Volnay 1er Cru 2015 Fremiets Rouge. Sweet cherry fruit on nose and palate, controlled acidity and long finish.

Domaine Jean-Louis Chae Cotes du Rhone Mon Coueur 2017. Peppery tannins from Syrah content. Grenache Syrah blend. Very structured.

Domaine du Seuil Cotes de Bordeaux Cadillac Rouge 201. French oak and red stone fruit nose. Dark Ruby. Fresh acidity, medium body. Red berry fruit and medium+ finish.

Podere Campriano Chianti Classico 2014. 100% Sangiovese. French oak and Italian Barrique fermentation/aging. One year in bottle. Medium garnet color. Tart red fruit on palate.

2018 Beaujolais Rose Dom Dopeuble Pere and Fils. Hot pink color. Red berry nose nad palate. Good acidity with a long finish.

Franc Cellars Friulano. Naturla Wine. Sur lies with yeast still in bottle. Bright citrus acidity.

Domaine Dupeuble Rouge Beaujolais 2018. Medium ruby color. Juicy blackberry fruit.

May 21, 2019 Onward and Farmstrong Wines

In Suisun Valley, just southeast of Napa Valley, California, a pocket of Malvasia is grown. These grapes formed the basis on which Onward Wines was built. Faith Armstrong is the winemaker behind these wines and she has done consultation work with Texas Hill Country Winery, William Chris Wines on their Pet Nat. The wines we tasted today are those wines made by Armstrong in the winery in Sonoma County.

2018 Onward Pet Nat. Malvasia. Yeasty on the nose with tropical fruit (guava) on the nose. Crisp and very dry. Lightly sparkling.

2017 Onward Pet Nat Rose. Pinot Noir. Dry but some red cherry fruit in the finish. Long and elegant finish.

2014 Farmstrong White. Albarino, Godello and Grenache Blanc. Neutral Oak. Some citrus on the nose, but not as strong as a Sauvignon Blanc.

2015 Farmstrong Red. Single Vineyard Zin, Carignane and Surah. Contra Costa County fruit. Beautiful texture, bright and fresh berry fruit.

2018 Farmstrong Rose. Zin/Carignane. Bright acidity, palest straw-rose color. 11.9% abv. Bright strawberry fruit.

2016 Onward Cap Inn Ranch Malvasia. Cool climate, 180 Ft above sea level. Coastal fruit. Picked early. Bright acidity but still tropical fruit (more grapefruit/pomelo).

2016 Onward Skin Fermented Malvasia. Notes of stone fruit on the nose. Bigger, tannic and chewier than the other still Malvasia.

201/ Onward Hawkeye Rose. Pinot Niir. Very creamy and super dry. Red fruit at the back of the palate.

2014 Onward Hawkeye Pinot Noir. Cranberry color, bright red tart cherry fruit.

2014 Onward Carignane. Med Ruby color. 80 yr vines. Picked younger not as much ripe fruit but velvet tannin.

Look for the two pet nats, the Cap Inn Ranch and Skin Fermented Malvasias at Somm Soon!

05/13/19

Vinaceous Margaret River 2015 Shakre Chardonnay. Pale yellow color, bright citrusy acidity No malolactic fermentation, some second and third use French Oak. Brighter than a Chablis, not as mineral driven though.

Vinaceous Shiraz Snake Charmer 2016. Syrah not of the overly jammy variety. Not as tannic as the Clandestine McLaren Vale Grenache, shorter in finish and not as heavily structured.

Vinaceous Clandestine McLaren Vale 2016 Grenache. Chewy, chewy, chewy! Beautiful fruit and structure that keeps on coming. There is a tremendously long finish to this wine as well. It’s not cheap but the best things rarely are. Look for it soon at Somm.

Vinaceous Margaret River Cabernet. So we all know Eucalyptus grows in Australia. Evidently it leaches essential oils into the ground and those get picked up by grapevines. This wine was redolent of minty Eucalyptus notes on the nose and turning slightly towards a clove-like intensity on the palate. Very interesting wine but not sure how it would play to most people’s tastes…

Vinaceous Margaret River Red Right Hand 2015 Blend. Grenache, Syrah and Tempranillo. Bright acidity, extracted fruit if a bit bright. This would be a wonderful food wine. Look for it soon at Somm.

05/7/19

Ernesto Catena Alma Negra M Blend 2016. A delicious Bonarda-heavy Malbec blend from Ernesto Catena of Mendoza, Argentina. This wine captures Bonarda’s fruit-forward, black plum driven characteristics. Malbec plays a structural role here, with tannins that focus the wine and provide the “bones” while Bonarda delivers tons of fruit! Delicious. Find it at both Somm (bottle) and Epicure (glass or bottle).

Ernesto Catena Siesta Single Vineyard Argentinie Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.. Beautiful expression of Cabernet. Juicy with just enough earthiness and tannin to focus the fruit. The first Argentine Cab to have impressed me! Not the usual Argentine dirtbomb! Very approachable. Find it at Somm now!

Ernesto Catena Alma Negra Sparkling Malbec Rose. More a dusty rose color than the usual rose, this sparkling Malbec was made in the traditional method with tons of fine bubbles. Crisp and clean, nevertheless there is an earthiness that is characteristically Malbec! Find it now (bottle or glass) at Somm and Epicure.

Greek Wines 4/25/19

Pavlidis Thema White Drama 2017. Pale yellow color, citrusy nose but soft finish. This blend of Assyrtiko and Sauvignon Blanc grapes drinks much softer than you would expect from a Sauv Blanc blend.

papagiannakos Assyrtiko Attiki 2018. Pale yellow, slight nose of pepper and honeydew melon. Very minreal-driven but with soft stonefruit on the palate. Textural from minerality, lemony citrus finish.

Gaia Thalassitis Assyrtiko Santorini 2017. Pale color, “gassy” aromas from volcanic soil. Heavy-ish texture courtesy of the grapes and soil.

Agyros Estate Aidani Cyclades 2017 . pale color, dry, with some acidity.

Pavlidis Thema Red Drama 2017. Blend of 40% Agygortiko/ 60% Syrah.. Juicy nose and fruit, mild tannin wiht spicy finish.

Papaggiannakos Retsina, Mesogaia 2017. Forget what you think you know about Retsina. No indications of pine tar here. On the palate, a distincy flavor of root vegetables (maybe parsnips?) in an earthy sort of way.

Italian Reds 4/25/19

Gianni Gagliard Fallegro. “Favorita” is just another name for Vermentino (aka “Rolle”). 2017. Pale yellow color. Stonefruit nose. Small amount of it was malolactically fermented. Bright accidity, green (slightly effervescent tasting)wine. Medium finish, light body.

Grignolino 2017 (Asti). Very unusual. Grignolino grapes have four seeds versus two seeds for most Vitis Vinifera grapes. Because they don’t want the wine to be overly tannic, very little skin contact is allowed. This makes the “red” wine very pale (like an off-color rose?) that tastes like a red wine. Very acidic, Pale cranberry color, richer taste than the color implies.

Gianni Gagliardo Barbera d’Asti. Light ruby color, light berry nose. Light cherry/berry on the palate. Medium plus finish.

Gianni Gagliardo 2016 D’Alba Dolcetto. Medium garnet color. Berry nose, red and black erry fruit with soft tannins and lingering on the palate - sweeter berry flavors.

Gianni Gagliardo de Baltie Nebbiolo, 2015. Very pretty Nebbiolo. Typical coloration, DOC :Langhe friut, sweet berry/cherry fruit.

Terra Rossa Oltre 2014 Rosso di Montalicino. Medium garnet color. Tart red plum fruit.

Terra Rossa Rosso Di Montalcino. Medium garnet color, sour cherry fruit.

Gianni Gagliardo “GG” Barolo. Medium garnet dry, tart with velvet tannin.

Nizza Barbera d’Alba. Dark ruby color, dark aromas of blackberry and herbaceous notes. Big blacka nd red berry fruit. Supple tannins, chewy. Notes of sage, Eucalyptus and maybe beeswax.

Argentine and California Reds! 4/24/19

Alma Negra Malbec Sparkling Rose - Okay, who’s fooln’ who? this is a WHITE sparkler made from RED grapes. A Blanc de Noir! But they’re calling this a rose?!? Brut Nature, 4 grams of residual sugar per liter. A blend of Malbec and Pinot Noir from Mendoza. Utterly NO visible color from extremely limited skin contact! Pale golden color, yeasty and autolytic nose (8 mos lees aging). Dry lemon fruit with a clean, dry finish. Delicioso! Look for this at Epiciure soon.

Ernest Catena Padrillos Pinot Noir Mendoza. Most Argentine Pinot Noir comes from Patagonia, but not this one! Pale cranberry color. Second and third use American and French oak. Acidic, tart cranberry fruit, medium body and a long finish.

Ernesto Catena Padrillos Malbec Mendoza. Very light ruby color, smoky aromas, tart cherry fruit, high acidity, medium finish with little tangible tannin.

Ernesto Catena Tahuan Malbec Mendoza. Medium Ruby color. Red stonefruit and red berry nose. More tannin than the Padrillos Malbec. Tart black cherry fruit, medium body and medium finish.

Siesta Malbec 2014. Medium+ Ruby color. French and American 2nd use oak. Cherry with black plum on the nose. Medium+ finish,, very attenuated…

Ernesto Catena Animal Natural Vineyards Malbec Mendoza 2016. Medium garnet color, 30% new oak (50/50 French/American), 70% stainless steel fermented. Juicy nose, on the palate, soft red and stone fruit. There is an unusual aroma present. Spicy and herbaceous at the same time - it reminds me of composting green pepper - not exactly a pleasant aroma.

Alma Negra Red Blend. Bonarda, Malbec, Cab Franc. Dark ruby, sweetdark red fruit, More about ripe fruit and sweet/warm spices.

Alma Negra M blend - Bonarda/Malbec. Chewy dark fruit in a syrah-sort-of -way. Dark ruby, medium finish, medium+ Body. Medium+tannin, red stone fruit (black cherry).

Siesta Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. Lovely wine. Very integrated tannins, dark ruby color, deep black and red fruit on the palate. Lingering finish and Medium++ body.

Lajota (Napa) Cabernet. 1st vineyard ever on Howell Mountain. Black cassis fruit, big tannins, heavier body, long finish.

Lassegur Gran Cru St Emilion. 70% Merlto, 20% Cab Franc, 10% Cab Sauv. Chewy, earthy and black Bordeaux. Ripe fruit is eclipsed by heavy structure.

Galerie Napa 2014 Cabernet. Dark garnet/purple color. Juicy nose and palate (blackberry fruit), unfined, unfiltered, 100% cabernet sauvignon from one of Kendall Jackson’s finest vineyards.

04-17-19

Champalou Vouvray Brut (Sparkling) NV - Pale yellow, yeasty nose. Dry, tart with ccitrusy acidity. Very dry.

Le Contesse Prosecco DOC NV - From Veneto. Pale gold. White flower nose, candied citrus on the nose. Green apple fruit, dry, medium+ finish.

Tolosa Unoaked Central Coast Chardonnay 2016. Nose of dried grass, pale gold color. Wet dried grass on the palate, bright acidity. Aged 3 months on the lees, medium plus finish. Very Burgundian style of Chardonnay.

2016 Jigsaw Oregon Pinot Noir. Light ruby color and light boddy. Red berry nose. Very tart red stone fruit on the palate with some cranberry. A bit on the thin side.

2015 Apolloni Estate Pinot Noir (Oregon) 2015. Pale ruby color. Light body. Roses and alcohol on the nose. Coffee and mocha on the palate with dark red fruit. Silky texture, well balanced Pinot Noir Although I am not a huge fan of Pinot Noir and especially not of Oregon Pinot Noir, I found this wine surprisingly good.

Vizcarara Ramos JC Vizcarra Ribera Del Duero Tempranillo 2015. The more I taste of Ribera’s Tempranillos, the more I like them. This is a monster of a Tempranillo. DARK ruby color, Aged 15 months in a combination of French and American oak (50% new), Beautiful dark plum fruit, textural tannins that soften slowly in the glass. This is as far from thin, sour Rioja Tempranillo as it gets. Look for this at Somm very soon!

04/11/19

Blanc 32, Vin de Pays Cotes de Gascogne 2018. Pale, tart and dry wiht a round mouthfeel. This wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano by another name), Colombard and Gros Manseng. Tangy and dry with a citrusy finish, this wine is totally devoid of the grapefruit aromas that attend most Sauvignon Blanc. With a tart citrus fruit finish, it would pair well with foods from simple cheese to shellfish.

Noir 46, Cahors Malbec, 2012. Medium ruby color, red berry nose and red berry and cherry fruit. Medium finish. A softer expression of Cahors Malbec. Little oak or neutral oak.

Maison Tramier Cotes du Rhone Linteau 2016. 70% Grenache/30% Syrah. Medium ruby color, red plum nose. Juicy tart red cherry fruit on the palage. Vibrant tannins with a medium finish.

Chateau Sainte-Pierre Rose Cotes de Provence. Pale salmon color, 60% Cinsault with only 40% Grenache. Pink salmon color, stonefruit nose (nectarine), tart and dry with a medium finish.

04/04/19 Wine Tastings

Puramun Reserve chardonnay (Mendoza, Argentina) 2017 - Pale yellow color, dried grass nose, lots of French oak on the nose as well. Partial Malo-lactic conversion. Bright lemon fruit and acidity. Medium Finish and body.

Tapiz Alta Collection Malbec Rose (Mendoza, Argentina) 2017 - Dark pink color - almost cranberry red. Cherry and cranberry on the nose and the palate. Bright acidity, medium finish and body.

Tapiz Sparkling Malbec Rose, Mendoza, Argentina. Pale pink color, autolytic nose of baking bread. Cherry fruit at mid palate with a medium+ intensity. Delicious, crisp and dry! Look for this next week at Somm and at Epicure.

Tapiz Pinot Noir - pale garnet, cherry and cranberry finish with medium intensity and tanin.

Lamadrid Malbec Reserva 2015 (Mendoza) - Winemaker is Hector Durigutti. Dark ruby in color. Strong nose of French Oak. Much like a bordeaux style wine, tart fruit and velvety/earthy tanins.

ZaHa Cabernet Franc (Mendoza) 2016 - Herbaceous nose, dark ruby color, soft rich fruit with ripe tanins. Look for this at Somm next week!

Perticaia Spoleto Trebbiano 2017. Pale yellow, yeasty nose, bright acidity and grippy minerality.

Cavazza Bocara Bianco 2017 - Garganega. Pale gold, citrusy nose, bright acidity with a long finish.

Kaltern Caldaro Sudtirol Alto Adige Schiava Classico 2016 - Pale garnet color. Deep cherry fruit on nose and palate. Light body and color.

Ronchi di Pietro Colli Orientali dei Friuli Schiopettino 2016 - Spicy/floral nose. Medium plus color. Tart cherry fruit, chewy tannin, medium plus body with a long finish.

Kaltern Lagrein 2016 -Dark ruby color. Cherry on the nose and palate. Medium plus color and body, medium finish. Firm but refined tannin. Look for this at Somm next week!

Tenuta Emera Lizzano Anima di Negroamaro 2013. Dark garnet color. Beeswax and oak on the nose. Rich soft fruit and sonft approachable tannins. Look for this at Epicure next week.

03/26/19 Wine Tastings

La Gioiosa Prosecco di Valdobbiadene. Fairly typical Valdobbiadene. On the palate very dry and tart (though like most Valdobbiadene di Coneglioni Prosecco’s it has 17 grams of sugar per liter making it high in residual sugars).

Framingham Sauvingon Blanc “Nobody’s Hero” - strong gooseberry aroma with a dark almost petrol smell. On the palate silky and heavy with a faint touch of white grapefruit. Very controlled acidity.

Chateau des Ferrages Cotes de Provence Sainte-Victoire Rose “Mon Plaisir” - from Chapoutier, a Grneache/Syrah/Rolle (Vermentino by another name) rose. Pale pink maybe a little red fruit on the nose. Very smooth and tart.

Bodegas Montacillo Rioja Reserva - light garnet in color, dried fruit on the nose. Cranberry fruit on the palate. Velvety tannins. 24 months in French and American oak.

Renzo Masi Chianti Ruffina Riserva. RDark Ruby. Red and black cherry fruit on the nose and palate. Dried red berry and nice body. 97% Sangiovese, 3% Colorino and Canaiolo.

Clos du Val Cabernet Estate Napa - 2015. Dark ruby color. French oak and black cassis on the nose. Cassis, red and black berry fruit on the palate. Very structured with a cocoa finish. Clos du Val no longer sells its’ fruit nor does it now purchase any outside fruit. If you haven’t tried them lately, I would revisit them. You’ll find the wine is much more solid than in years past.

Sogrape Silk & Spice Red Blend. A Portuguese blend fo Touriga Nacionale, Baga, Syrah and Allicante Bouchet. Medium ruby, with red and black fruit nose. Very little oaking, cherry and blackberry fruit with firm tannins. Outstanding.

Sandeman 10 year Tawny. Red color, dried raisin and prune on nose and palage.

Sandeman 20 year Tawny. Still has a reddish tinge but nose and palate are closer to bruleed sugar than anything else.

Barth Rene Riesling (Alsace) 2014. Pale yellow. Autolytic nose, stainless fermentation, organic. Lemon fruit on the palate. Very dry, tart and mineral-driven.

Barth Rene Pinot Gris (Alsace) - 2014. Pale gold color. Fine nose of pear and faint whisp of tropical fruit. 7-8 grams of sugar per liter make this a semi-sweet wine. Pair it with spicy foods.

Barth Rene Cremant d’Alsace Brut Blanc. 70% Pinot Blanc, 30% Pinot Noir. Pale yellow, baking pastry nose. Dry minteral finish.

Barth Rene Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose. 100% Pinot Noir. Pale salmon, tropical nose, bright acidity with tart red berry fruit. long finish.

03/20/19 Wine Tastings

2017 Prebende Beaujolais Blanc. From the region just south of Maconnais in the sourthern-most part of Burgundy. Beaujolais is usually known for Gamay grape red wines of light color and flavor profiles. This Chardonnay undergoes malolactic fermentation but in stainless steel, resulting in buttery but fruit-forward wine. Acidity is very controlled and this is a fresh, floral chardonnay!

2016 Yves Leccia Ille de Beaute Rose (Corsica). 60% Nielluccio / 40% Cannonau. Nielluccio is a red wine grape grown in Corsica and other regions of the Mediterranean. It is genetically close to Sangiovese. Cannonau is the Corsican name for Grenache. This rose is dry, tart and somewhat citrusy. Smooth in finish with a relatively medium body and finish. Pale pink in color. Red berries prevail in the aroma.

2015 La Chapelle de Lafon-Rochet St Estephe. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon / 40$ Merlot. Juicy red and black fruit including cassis on the nose. The palate is dry, more about structure with little fruit on the palate. Oddly it lacks harshness or bitterness that you would expect in a wine with so little fruit evident on the palate!

Maldonado Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 - Napa. Big juicy nose. Bright acidity but not as rich as the nose would suggest. Probably needs more bottle aging to integrate the fruit of the aroma into the palate.

Quinta dos Murcas 10 year Tawny Port. big on dried fruit (raisins particularly), with a reddish tinge to the coloration. Less bruleed sugar than one would expect but for the money a solid performer.

2014 Cronw Point Vineyards Estate Selection Happy Canyon Santa Barbara Cabernet Sauvignon. 73% cabernet, 16% malbec, 11% merlot. Dark garnet color. Dusty velvet tannin. Earthy. 24 months in new French Oak.

2014 Crown Point Cabernet Sauvignon. 100% cab. Big, chocolate-cocoa nose and on the palate, velvet tannins, cassis and mocha. Delicious!

2015 Crown Point Cabernet Sauvignon. 100% cab. Tannin and coco are not as pronounced. Acidity was stronger and less integrated into plum/cassis fruit. Less structured. After two hours, the acidity is mellowed a bit and the structure comes forward again with those cocoa/mocha notes.