Showing posts with label flowery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flowery. Show all posts

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tangent Ecclestone 2007

Spring starts on March 20th this year.  That knowledge plus the weather turning a shade warmer in Southern California today put me in mind of some of the wines I thoroughly enjoyed last spring and summer.  And autumn, for that matter.

Ecclestone, from the Tangent Winery in California's Edna Valley region, is one of my favorites for when the last vestiges of winter have gone away for a while.  Tangent is an offshoot of Baileyana Winery.  You might expect a winery which specializes in white wines - and which has "tangent" as its name - to vary from the mainstream occasionally.  They do.  This "alternative white wine" utilizes so many varieties, it could be named "Pinot Kitchen Sink."  Pinot Gris, Viognier, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Albarino all combine to produce this unique and fascinating wine.

There is a very modern flair to the label with clean lines a crisp design. Remember those descriptive words.  They'll come in handy later when describing the wine.

Ecclestone's nose is gorgeous.  It's full of flowers.  It has one of the most intensely floral bouquets I can remember.  Orange blossom is billed, but to my nose it's more like honeysuckle with a splash of orange.  If you recall the intensity of the smell when walking near a honeysuckle, the first sniff of this wine is much like that.  Try to serve it only moderately chilled, as those floral notes really explode when not fully refrigerated.

The flowers don't quit after you smell them.  There is a floral carpet laid upon the palate as well, one which I welcome each time I experience it.  Citrus notes are here, along with a clean and crisp minerality that braces and refreshes.  There's a stony quality to the minerals that comes through, as opposed to chalky.  I love this wine on the deck on a nice warm afternoon.  It refreshes in much the same way a cold, hoppy ale does.  It just seems made for the sunshine. The acidity is certainly there, too, so don't think this is just a sipper.  Serve it with salads, Kalamata olives, mild cheddar or a nice plate of scallops.

Variety:   Pinot Gris, Viognier, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Albarino
Appellation: California > Central Coast > San Luis Obispo > Edna Valley
Vintage: 2007
Alcohol Level: 13.5% abv
Price: $20
Acquisition disclaimer: Purchased by the author

Friday, March 5, 2010

Las Colinas del Ebro 2008

Las Colinas del Ebro is a Grenache Blanc made in the Spanish highlands of Terra Alta in southern Catalunya.  It is said to be made from grapes that are hand-harvested from 100 year-old vines, some of the oldest vines in the nation.  Stainless steel fermentation promises a crisp and clean taste.

The nose certainly smells fresh.  There's a good, clean whiff of minerals, but along with that comes a fruity and flowery aroma profile.  It's actually sweet smelling - not sugary sweet, but rather like honeyed fruit.

The palate shows that fruit well.  I imagine honeydew melon mixed with nectarines.  A good sense of minerality comes along about halfway through and delivers a very nice tang.  I initially felt the acidity could be a bit higher for me, that despite all the good things happening aroma- and taste-wise, the wine fell just a tad flat for lack of a backbone.  However, remembering the Argentine chicken and zucchini in the refrigerator, I decided to give it a shot.  Rather surprisingly, the wine paired quite well with the dish - as well as with a few stray sauteed mushrooms.

It's quite possible that Las Colinas del Ebro could very well have a spot on my deck all summer long - and at my table year-round.

Winemaker:  Luis Marin
Variety:  100% Garnacha Blanca (Grenache Blanc)
Appellation:  Spain > Catalunya > Tarragona > Terra Alta
Vintage:  2008
Alcohol Level:  13% abv
Price:  $12, but it appears it can be had for $9 in a lot of places
Acquisition disclaimer:  Purchased by the author

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tasting Notes: Rideau Vineyard Riesling 2007

The Bottle: The slender bottle would suggest either Mosel or Alsace, but it's clear glass. If they're breaking the rules, it must be California. Rideau is in the Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is the official address, although it seems to be closer to Los Olivos. This Riesling is labeled as La Presa Vineyard and cost $22 at the tasting room. The ABV is 12.1%.

The Nose: I get a nose full of flowers from this wine, a wonderful aromatic scent that I would say is honeysuckle, but might well be some other fresh and fragrant flower scent.

The Taste: It's a fairly sweet wine, as you might guess by the ABV. The flavors are honey and apricots, to my palate. Not a lot of acidity, so I didn't even try to pair it with food. I simply enjoyed it, sipping it on the deck after the wife and I came home from a hard days' labor through a half hour drive up Laurel Canyon Boulevard. It may be a sipper, but it's a good sipper. Good sippers are underrated, in my book. The price tag was a bit high for this type of wine. You could pick up a very nice Riesling easily for under $15 most anywhere. But it did serve to remind me of a very nice trip to the Santa Ynez Valley, and a very nice stop at a fun little tasting room.