Wine of the Day, No. 443

A beautiful expression of the grape, the Eva Fricke Wisperwind Lorcher Riesling 2015, Rheingau, offers the character of a Chopin Nocturne — both harmonious and rigorous — in its delicacy and elegance and the tensile strength of its taut mineral structure. Made from 40-year-old vines farmed on organic principles and matured seven months on the lees in stainless steel tanks, this very pale straw-gold riesling delivers aromas of orange zest and apple skin, peaches and lychee, with highlights of jasmine and lemon balm, all conveyed with the utmost freshness and nuance; it’s a wine of hints, nods and suggestions, and not more so than in its extremely subtle sweetness on the entry, lending an alluring touch of candied quince. On the palate, though, crisp acidity reigns, along with the brightness of steely, limestone minerality; it’s quite dry, yet still delicate, almost elusive in its display of citrus and stone-fruit flavors; ...

Drinking Local with Corcoran’s Wine & Cider

Jim and Lori Corcoran have been a leader in the #DrinkLocal movement in both Loudoun County and the Commonwealth of Virginia as proprietors of Corcoran Vineyards & Cider. The couple established the winery in the early years of the Loudoun Wine Renaissance as Winery #11 when they planted the vineyard in 2001 and opened their doors three years later. Later, they were in the forefront of the local craft cider and beer, augmenting Corky's Farm with both beverages.   Their menu includes cider as well as both dry and sweet wines as Lori specializes in unique dessert concoctions. The winery is open only on weekends and encourage picnickers, dogs and children. There's plenty of outdoor space.

When visiting, Corcorans offers a separate cider or wine flight for $7 and a popular option for two is to split each flight.  The cider starts with the delicious dry hopped Hop'n'Pop which ...

Wine of the Day, No. 433

Grapes for the superb Forge Cellars Les Alliés Dry Riesling 2015 derive from the east side of Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes AVA. The wine ferments by native yeast, 80 percent in neutral barriques, 20 percent in stainless steel tanks. The color is pale straw-gold; scintillating elements of lemon drop, graphite, quince and celery leaf are bolstered by notes of petrol, lychee and limestone; there’s just a hint of lightly honeyed and baked peach. This is a riesling for which the term “bone-dry” was invented; it’s animated by brisk, bright acidity and a vibrant limestone-flint quality that keeps the wine lithe and resonant through the long, slightly dusty, loamy finish. The overall impression is of a potent riesling notable for clarity, crispness and depth. 13 percent alcohol. Now through 2022 to ’25. Forge Cellars is a partnership among winemakers Louis Barroul and Justin Boyette and general manager Rick ...

Endless Summer with German White Wines Flight: Borell-Diehl, Weinreich, Koehler-Ruprecht, and Von Winning

Hello Friends,

I recently had the opportunity to participate in Snooth’s ‘Endless Summer with German White Wines’ virtual broadcast and wine tasting. Mark and Claudia Angelillo of Snooth hosted special guest Matthew Kaner, Wine Director and partner of West Coast businesses Good Measure LA, Bar Covell, Augustine Wine Bar, and Dead or Alive Bar. Matthew knows that the key principles behind creating enjoyable dining experiences are to understand both the food you are serving and the wine. He’s been to Germany a few times, and the wines moved him. He told us, “The new world of German wines really made a push to make us understand there’s more than just Riesling; there’s a lot more to it, and a lot of different avenues you can go with these wines.”

With a built-in lightness and brightness, Germany produces some of the most versatile, food-friendly wines on ...

#TasteTheNew with German Summer Wines

In 1985, just 16% of German Rieslings were dry and German white wines were known for their general sweetness. Since that year, consumers have demanded drier wines and German wine producers have responded accordingly such that as of 2016, 46.3% of German Rieslings were produced in a dry style. Wines of Germany is publicizing this fact; as well as the increased quality and dryness of other white varietal wines such as Muller-Thurgau, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc; through the #TasteTheNew promotion. Partnering with Snooth they are offering a German-4-pack for $47.80 which can be purchased here. And this week Matthew Kaner (Wine Director & Partner of Good Measure LA, Bar Covell, Augustine Wine Bar, and Dead or Alive Bar) led a discussion and sampling of these wines for various influencers. Here are my thoughts on the wines. Cheers.

Borell-Diehl Muller-Thurgau 2017, Pfalz ($12.99)
Muller-Thurgau was developed by ...

Weekend Wine Notes: Nine Wines at $13 and Under

The title of today’s Weekend Wine Notes requires no explanation. I offer nine wines priced at $13 and under, each in a group of three, divided into Washington State, California and Italy’s Veneto region. Sorry to say that a couple of them are not recommended, but it happens, n’est-ce pas? As usual in this series, I omit detailed historical, technical and geographical data for the sake of brief reviews ripped, as it were, from the ages of my notebooks. Enjoy, in moderation, of course. These wines were samples for review.
The Washington State wines of Charles Smith stand out on any shelf they occupy, distinguished by their stark black and white labels heavy on the graphic elements, a collaboration with Danish designer Rikki Korff. They also distinguish themselves by their solid QPR — quality/price ratio.

Band of Roses Rose 2017, Washington State. 12.5% alc. 100% pinot ...

Weekend Wine Notes: Allons, enfants de la patrie!

The wine regions of France, especially Bordeaux and Burgundy, long served as the models and the ideals for producers and winemakers all over the world. Even nowadays, when wine-making has proliferated worldwide and expanded far beyond the so-called “noble grapes” of French origin, Burgundy is often seen as the apotheosis of chardonnay and pinot noir, Bordeaux the epitome of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, Champagne the ur-text of sparkling wine. I offer today, in celebration of Bastille Day, 12 examples that illustrate, even if in a severely limited degree, the diversity and the versatility of French wine production. Some of those noble grapes are involved — cabernet and merlot, indeed, chardonnay and pinot noir, riesling — but also a more everyday variety like gamay and obscure grapes like jacquere. In one blog post, no one could begin to assay the immense complexity of France’s geographical extent and appellation system, but I ...

Visiting New York’s Finger Lakes Region this Summer? Visit a Winery!

Seneca Wine Trail sign helps travelers.

New York State’s Finger Lake region offers so much to summertime visitors. Among the many activities of hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and camping, the region offers numerous wineries to visit. Travelers will find small, boutique wineries as well as much larger wineries. Some of these wineries offer delightful views of Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake and Keuka Lake. The lakes provide enough warmth to keep the grapevines safe during the harsh winters that the area can experience.

Lake views between the grapevines

Two of the most well-known wine trails are the Seneca Lake Wine Trail with 35 participating wineries and the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail with 16 wineries. A third wine trail is the Keuka Lake Wine Trail with 8 wineries. A few wineries are also close to Canandaigua Lake which also has the Canandaigua Wine Trail. As one drives along the Finger Lakes, also ...

A Riesling Experience: Nuanced Terroirs of Alsace

Views and vineyards of Alsace. Courtesy: Wines of Alsace
Exploring terroir can be a bit of a mystery — what can we experience of place in a sip of wine? Because we are all unique and our senses explore the world based on our own personal motherboard of programming, there isn’t a definition of terroir’s translation to taste. That’s a good thing, but curious minds relish the chance to test and explore and this month I got an irresistible opportunity to examine Alsatian Riesling from four soils — the same variety and the same slice of the world, but different land composition.
A Bit On Alsace
Alsace is located in the northeast corner of France and threads along the Rhine river. The Route des Vins d’Alsace leads wine lovers through over 100 villages frosted with charming timber homes and buildings. The Vosges Mountains create an additional layer of appeal: beautiful, ...
Grand cru, riesling, wine for summer
what to drink this summer, Alsace wines to try
French wine, wine travel, Riesling, white wine, Grand Cru

Wine of the Day, No. 397

At about three-and-a-half years old, the Domaine Ostertag Muenchberg Riesling 2014, Alsace Grand Cru, is blossoming exceptionally, though I predict a long life for it. One hundred percent varietal, made all in stainless steel from biodynamically tended vines that range from 20 to 70 years old, this splendid example of focus on a grape and a vineyard displays a pure medium gold hue and beguiling aromas of spice-infused peaches and pears with undertones of lychee, smoked honey, jasmine and honeysuckle; a little time in the glass elicits notes of quince and ginger, bee’s-wax and lanolin. This is a golden wine that feels like liquid money on the tongue, though while it’s rich and ripe, it’s bone-dry and driven by exuberant, lip-smacking acidity that powers through to a finish packed with burgeoning limestone and flint minerality. That lush stone-fruit influence is further tempered by an intriguing thread of poised floral astringency ...

A Trio of Fun & Affordable Warm-Weather Wines: Segura Viudas, Nik Weis Selection, and Adegas Galegas

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine writer, and someone who appreciates the liquid expression of place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence, I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages out there. The world of wine offers endless opportunities to learn and taste new things.

The wines featured for this post, two from Spain and one from Germany, are easy-drinking, refreshing wines that perfectly match the warm weather season. They are also reasonably priced and very satisfying. I hope you will seek out all three, and share them with friends over a good meal. Tapas would be ideal, hint-hint. For further information and where you can find these wines, please see my tasting notes below.

Segura Viudas NV Brut Rosé 

Segura Viudas NV Brut Rosé (SRP ...

Wine of the Day, No. 389

The term “feinherb” in the name of this wine implies a state balanced between slight sweetness and dryness. It’s an unregulated term in Germany, meaning that it has no legal standing in the country’s wine laws, but at least it gives consumers a hint of what might be in the bottle, even more so than two regulated terms, “trocken,” meaning dry, and “halb-trocken,” half-dry, which can be fairly nebulous. So, the Schloss Johannisberger “Gelblack” Riesling Feinherb 2014, Rheingau, exhibits any sweetness it may possess more in the line of intense fruity ripeness and a touch of a honeyed quality to that fruit; from mid-palate back, certainly, it’s close to bone-dry. The color is pale straw-gold; soft aromas of peach and lychee unfurl notes of lightly spiced apricot and quince, with a hint of orange marmalade. It’s a lovely, golden, savory riesling, fresh and appealing, its silky texture rippling with taut ...

Wine of the Day, No. 364

The vineyards of Germany’s Mosel region lie steeply stacked in terraces above the river that gives the area its name. From these vineyards, established primarily on Devon slate and blue slate, and through the gorges of the Saar and Ruhr rivers, derive some of the world’s most delightful rieslings. Our Wine of the Day is the Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 2016, Mosel, a wine of infinite delicacy and ethereal weight that nonetheless reveals a barely discernible earthy aspect. The Prüm family has been a presence in the village of Wehlen for almost a thousand years. The 20-hectare estate was founded in its present form in 1911 by the eponymous Johann Josef Prüm, passed to his son Sebastian in 1920 and hence to his grandson Manfred in 1969. Manfred Prum and his daughter Katharina run the estate today on “eco-friendly” principles. The vineyards are planted 95 percent to ...

Weekend Wine Notes: 12 Wines to Remind You that It’s Spring, Even If It’s Snowing

The weather in the United States of America has been extremely contradictory over the month of March. I mean the real weather, not politics! Well, politics, too, of course! But back to the climate and the reams of ice and snow that have assailed the Northeast and Atlantic Seaboard and the wind and rain that have battered the West Coast, and even in our neck o’ the woods, in what’s called the Mid-South, we have seen erratic temperature extremes and lots of precipitation. And Spring came around just two days ago! To lift your spirits, if such is possible, I offer 12 light-hearted and delicious wines in this edition of Weekend Wine Notes, issued a day early. We’re pretty damned eclectic here, with two rosé wines, a precise and vividly etched red that would fare well with picnic food, and nine whites. We touch Arizona, California, Oregon, Germany, Australia and ...

Wine of the Day, No. 355

Brooks Wines, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and what better way to commemorate that milestone than with a bottle of the recently-released Brooks Sparkling Riesling 2015. One hundred percent riesling and aged 15 months in bottle on the lees — disgorged in August 2017 — this pale gold sparkler shimmers with a froth of tiny glinting bubbles. Aromas of spiced apple and pear are woven with seashell delicacy (and a touch of salinity) with a background of flint and almond skin; it’s quite dry yet bristling with acidity that refreshes the palate and keeps you going back for another sip; a touch of roasted lemon precedes notes of heather and hay that open to an intriguing hint of meadow flowers; the finish is lithe and chiseled. 12.5 percent alcohol. Thoroughly delightful to drink now and capable of resting undisturbed for a few years to ...

Lowboi Riesling 2017

New and noteworthy, a mostly dry and seriously good Porongurup riesling made by Guy Lyons of Forest Hill. The back label mentions Springviews vineyard / planted 1985 / South facing / Dry farmed. The most curious thing being the mention of a south facing plot, I'd assumed all the vines in the Porongurups were North facing - certainly the well known producers - Ironwood and Castle Rock seem to look North. It's an entirely geeky and irrelevant notion. . . I struggle to localise my Great Southern Riesling at the best of times, so I'm not sure I'll ever be able to discern which slope. . .

A terrific nose - restless and buzzing with lime, musk and flint. Very good line and energy, the faintest hint of toffee apple sweetness. An excellent Great Southern Riesling.