Posts Tagged ‘ceretto monsordo’

Month in Wines – December 2014

January 5, 2015 Leave a comment

Feels a bit strange when we are already in 2015, and I’m writing about the wine highlights from the month which belongs to the last year. Well, but then it is just a calendar, after all, and another month is just another month.

December 2014 was not super-eventful when it came to wines – but some of the wines stood out. Here are the most interesting wines of the December 2014:

2007 Ferrari Perlé Trento DOC, Italy (12.5% ABV, $35, 100% Chardonnay) – Delicious. Perfectly round, with all the undertones of a great sparkling wine. 8+

NV Rivarose Brut Rosé Provence  – Unexpectedly delicious. Never had Provence Sparkling until now, and this was an excellent wine, clearly reminiscent of Provence Rosé, but with the addition of toasted bread and yeast. 8

2011 Bodegas Volver Volver La Mancha DO (15% ABV, $27/Magnum) – One of my all times favorite Spanish wines. Dark, dense and powerful – good amount of fruit, but also lots of spices, espresso and pencil shavings in every sip. Also pretty much an unbeatable value. 8-

1998 Ceretto Monsordo Langhe DOC (13% ABV, $NA) – This was my last bottle. Sigh… It doesn’t show as a young wine, but at the same time the fruit is well present, coupled with excellent tannins and acidity. 8+

2010 Chateau Saint-Pierre Tradition Cotes de Provence, France – While Provence is famous for their Rosé,  this was an excellent red wine. An old world profile, blackberries, spices, touch of pepper, very elegant and restrained. 8

2004 Tenuta Friggiali Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Italy (13.5% ABV, $30?) – Unmistakably Italian. Fresh acidity, leather, earthiness, well present tannins with good astringency, kitchen spices, tart cherries, medium to long finish. Needs food. 8-

2011 Barton & Guestier Bistro Pinot Noir 2011 Pays d’Oc IGP (12% ABV, $9) – Simple, but without any flaws, which makes it a great every day wine (look at the price). Fresh fruit, good acidity, touch of lavender. 7+

2009 Chateau Roland La Garde Blaye-Cotes de Bordeaux AOC (14% ABV, $17) – Good Bordeaux, especially at a price. Warm, inviting, touch of cassis and bell peppers, eucalyptus, blackberries, good acidity and good balance. 7+

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2007 Erba Mountainside Vineyards Proprietary Red Wine Napa Valley (14.8% ABV, $55) – Delicious, textbook quality Bordeaux blend from California. Perfectly round, supple, luscious, heart-warming with every sip. 9-

2011 Cuveé Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley (14.9% ABV, $28) – Another textbook classic from California, this time – a textbook California Pinot Noir – warm, dense and concentrated. Let me leave it at that. 8+

Graham’s 20 Years Old Tawny ($45.99) – delicious complexity of the aged Port – dried fruits, nuts, good amount of sweetness and fragrant lightness which shows in a well made, well aged Port. 8

Blandy’s Malmsey 10 Years old Madeira ($23.99) – A depth of flavor only Madeira can show – lots of dried fruits and nuts with a dash of salinity. Very elegant, good acidity makes it quite refreshing. 8

And we are done here. If you had any of these wine, let me know what do you think. If you tasted any great wines in December – please share. Cheers!

Most Unusual Wine

November 30, 2010 3 comments

Last Saturday I stopped by Cost Less Wines and Liquors in Stamford. This is almost the routine stop for me, as every Friday and Saturday there is a wine tasting in the store, and as I’m sure you know by now, wine tastings offer opportunity to experience difference wines and learn from that experience (and such wine tastings are usually free!).

Four wines were open on that Saturday night – one Champagne and 3 red wines. The Champagne was Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve, very simple and elegant, with nose of yeast and apples (may I add it is very reasonably priced too?). Then there were three reds. First one was Chateau Lafleur Gazin Pomerol 2004, one of the properties managed by venerable Christian Moueix, owner of Chateau Petrus (one of the world’s most famous and equally expensive wines). This was a typical Bordeaux wine, with good fruit and unmistakable earthiness, or terroir as it should be called properly.

The next wine was one of my favorite California Cabernets – Neyers Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, bristling with black currant and eucalyptus flavors, very nice and balanced wine.

All three wines I mentioned were good – but rather typical. And yet the title of this post promised “most unusual wine”. This leaves us with the wine number 4 to be the most unusual wine, right?

Yes, and unusual it was! Ceretto Monsordo 1998 from Langhe DOC. Wines produced in that area of Italy are typically single grape varieties – I’m talking about Barolo and Barbaresco, made out of grape called Nebbiolo. Ceretto Monsordo is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Nebbiolo, but it is only a tiny step towards “unusual”.

What makes me say that it was the most unusual wine (for me, of course – all the experiences are personal)? My reaction to the very first sip was: this is how liquid steak should taste like. While fruits, tannins and acidity are definitely present in good balance in this wine, the main sensation is savory, as piece of good steak, grilled with enough spices on it. Yes, the flavor can be described as earth, tobacco, pepper and smoke, but such a description will not fully convey the sensation of having a sip of that wine in the mouth.

Am I getting too excited? May be. As I said, the experiences are personal. All I can tell you is that you should try to find that wine to have first hand experience with it – and I will be glad to compare notes later on.

But – this begs the question: what is your Most Unusual Wine?

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