Longtime friend and soul brother El Jeffe from Vintner Select dropped off an international mélange of samples, with some Italians from the Unsinkable Mollie Lewis as well as a few odds and ends from VS’s new arrivals:
Gri/gio Pinot Grigio della Venezie 2011. Grade=Fair. You know how I love me some Pinot Grigio (ha ha ha). This one is fairly one-dimensional, essentially lemon water. I wish I could say more about it. I mean, it’s fine, get it nuclear cold for the summertime, but it’s Pinot Grigio, so there.
Backstory Sauvignon Blanc California 2010. Grade=Good. A solid little SB with white grapefruit, lemon chiffon and straw notes. A good quaff.
Bonaccorsi Valcerasa Etna Bianco 2009. Grade=Outstanding. This 100% Carricante is a pretty cool white wine, medium-bodied with mineral, acacia, stone fruit, and lemon notes, and undertones of golden apple slices and allspice. Very geeky but well-balanced.
Backstory Chardonnay California 2011. Grade=Very Good. Surprisingly good, clean, tank-fermented Chardonnay with hints of golden apples, tangerine, nutmeg, and pineapple.
Willful Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2011. Grade=Very Good. This second label red from Daedelus Cellars is light-bodied, clean and surprisingly savory with dusty cherry notes and underpinnings of menthol, dried herbs and cinnamon. Finishes earthy and tart.
San/gio Sangiovese IGT 2010. Grade=Fair. Possesses some weird elements that didn’t blow off right away. You get some nice notes of cassis, sour cherry, leather, tobacco, camphor and earth, but the weediness makes one second-guess its plumy presence on the palate. Should probably try another bottle.
Vinum Cellars Zinfandel Paso Robles 2011. Grade=Good. Sweet cherry, candied fig, blueberry compote and Darjeeling tea notes coupled with black pepper, clove and cocoa. A solid value.
Backstory Merlot California 2010. Grade=Good. Cherries and plums copulating with red bell peppers and mint sprigs give this rather floral, light-bodied Merlot a kick. A nice party wine.
Backstory Cabernet Sauvignon California 2011. Grade=Good. More of that bell pepper groove mixing it up with red fruits, menthol and spice. A very light Cab.
Bonaccorsi Valcerasa Etna Rosso 2007. Grade=Outstanding. Tastes eerily like an aged Chianti Classico, you get some creamy oak spices amidst tart cherries, red plums, dusty earth and mineral, and undertones of crushed violets and roasted rosemary.
Altitud 1.100 Garnacha Tintorera Almansa 2010. Grade=Very Good. This interesting red – 100% Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet) is pretty with light cherry, menthol and earth notes, showing hints of violets and jasmine at the finish.