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Archive for April, 2011

Siduri Tasting

The Siduri tasting this evening at Corkscrew Wine & Cheese was a real hit. From the effusive bouquets, supple textures and sweet, expansive fruit and spice flavors the wines offered it is clear that Pinot can not only exist, but thrive outside its native Burgundy. It’s a temperamental grape variety, causing perhaps more hand-wringing despair among growers than any other. Pinot seems distinctly partial to soils with limestone content. The thin-skinned grape is more prone to vine diseases than most, and rots easily in persistent rain. The potential pay-off is a lighter red with less tannin that is approachable even in its youth.

After having my first glass poured, I found myself admiring a full-bodied red with raspberry and ripe cherry, along with interesting notes of cola. The wine boasted a lavish finish containing a hint of spice and dried fruit. I had just tasted the 2009 Siduri Sonoma Pinot Noir. This wine is a great value at $21 per bottle, but lacks aging potential over one or two years.

The 2009 Russian River Pinot proved quite seductive with its concentrated and pure delivery of fresh dark berry, plum, and black cherry flavors. The long plummy finish was memorable with a whisper of oak. There was an elegant “Chopinesque” nuance and complexity to this mouth filling wine.

2009 Siduri Sonoma Pinot Noir – 90 points

2009 Siduri Russian River Pinot Noir- 92 points

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Burgundy’s southernmost wine region, the huge Beaujolais area, is devoted to the red grape Gamay and one of the winemaking world’s most individual and charming red wine styles. Beaujolais is the lightest of red wines; it is full of simple fruit, fresh acidity, and little tannin. Wines from the village of Morgan are famous for their capacity to age very quickly into a light, but fleshy maturity.

The Morgon Les Micouds 2009 has a refreshing nose of raspberries with a smoky character. A silky texture of concentrated blueberry and raspberry envelop the palate, giving way to a lingering herbal finish of anise. This Beaujolais is refreshing and has a casual feel that is fitting with the Spring season.

90 points

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The vineyards around the village of Crugny et Nanteuil-la-Forêt are home to the exceptionally chalky soil essential to producing fine Champagne. The chalk serves the important purpose of storing and radiating solar heat, maximizing drainage of excess water, and retaining humidity through the summer. Eight generations have passed since Nicholas Chiquet planted his first vine, but the family continues to produce noteworthy wines into the 21st century.

The 2002 vintage Champagne is surprisingly refined and exhibits a highly expressive fruity nose of citrus. Peach, apple, pear, and almond dominate through a background of sweet spice. There is a distinct minerality apparent from the beginning through the sustained, colorful finish. Superb structure.

94 points

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