Wednesday, July 01, 2015

July 2015 wines - 15 Tasted of 15

Cheers, Ww

THE LINEUP:  (reds, whites, rosés and bubblies)
  • Torres Celeste Crianza Tempranillo 2011, 90-1  --  V,  Ribadeo, Spain, #210872 $20.95
  • Casas del Bosque Reserva Carmenère 2013, 89-2  --  V, Rapel Valley, Chile, #205872  $14.95   
  • Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec 2011,  87a  --  V,  Mendoza, Argentina, #017061 $17.00
  • Seven Falls Cabernet Sauvignon 2011,  82  --  V, Washington, USA, #360222  $19.95
  • Faustino VII Tempranillo Rioja 2012, 81  --  G, Rioja, Spain, #315234  $12.95

  • Colomé Torrontés 2013, 91-3  --  V,  Valle Calchaqui, Argentina, #357913  $13.95
  • Eradus Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014, 90-2  --  V,  Marlborough, NZ, #225557  $18.95
  • Casas del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2014,  89-2  --  V,  Casablanca Valley, Chile, #974717  $13.95 
  • Ironstone Obsession Symphony 2012, NAPA Valley, 86  --  G, California, #295931  $14.95 
  • Faustino VII Blanco Rioja 2013, 85  --  G, Rioja, Spain, #399568 $12.65      

  • Faustino V Rioja Tempranillo Rosé 2014, 84  --  G,  Rioja, Spain, #404517 $12.90
  • Gassier Sables d'Azur Rosé 2014, 83  --  V, Provence, France,  #033621  $15.95
  • Charles & Charles Rosé 2014, 82  --  G,  Columbia Valley, Washington,  #406603  $15.95

  • Astoria Extra Dry Prosecco NV, 86-1  --  G, Treviso district, Italy, #593855  $13.90
  • Cavas Hill 1887 Brut NV, 84  --  G,  Penedès, Spain, #370866  $13.20    
(V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


GASSIER SABLES D'AZUR ROSÉ 2014, Provence, France,  12.5%  D  3g/L, #033621  $15.95  (Tasted July 8, 2015)

Release by Vintages on May 30, 2015 and rated 92 by Natalie MacLean (December 2004).  My notes: The 2010 vintage, priced $14.95, was tasted on May 14, 2011 and rated 89. The same delicate salmon blush lays a thin film with a krinkly rim that falls quickly. Served at 8oC there's just a slight aroma of fuzzy fruit giving the presentation a coquettish inference. The first sip has a whisper of sweet outweighed by a dry tartness. The dry combined with mid strawberry could be a neutral sipper on the patio, better as a gulper or as a subtle compliment with saucy seafood or sliced fowl on basmati rice - difficult to recommend, perhaps as a change from the Faustino V and a faint image of the 2010.  Slightly rounder at 14oC. A drink now. 83

TORRES CELESTE CRIANZA TEMPRANILLO 2011,  Ribadeo, Spain, 14.0% XD 7g/L, #210872 $20.95  (Tasted July 4, 2015)

Released by Vintages on April 18, 2015.  My notes: The 2003 vintage, priced $19.95, was tasted on March 14, 2006 before ratings. This 2011 has an interesting texture and near full body on first sip. Lots of soft tannins backed by a raw dryness and crushed plums and blackberries. A swirl shows a moderate film with a viscosity that holds a ragged rim and flows long fast legs to clear the glass. A mouthful generates an intensity that penetrates then subsides for a long ride. The meniscus is a dusty ruby showing some future - five years. Sipping, cellaring and pairing makes this a flexible if not rough red. Have with grilled steaks and beef ribs or lamb cuts in  savoury sauces. 90 

SEVEN FALLS CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011, Washington, USA, 14.5% D  10g/L,  #360222  $19.95  (Tasted July 10, 2015)

Released by Vintages on May 30, 2015. Rated 90 by Harvey Steiman (June 15, 2014).  My notes.  A Château Ste. Michelle wine. A black cherry colour leaving a thin film, a thin rim and slow, long tears. A natural scent of crushed black cherries, near ripeness so as to add brightness. The first sip is light-bodied but with a pleasing intensity and penetrating warmth. Fine tannins come forward and continue through a long dry finish. Vanilla and oak gives some depth while the fruity acid adds a prominent metallic texture. Serve with anything grilled and beefy: stripped sirloin, lamb chops or shanks. A commercial drink now. 82

FAUSTINO  VII TEMPRANILLO RIOJA 2012, Rioja, Spain, 13.0% XD 5g/L, #315234  $12.95  (Tasted July 9, 2015)

A General listing. Beppi Crosariol in his June column rated this Rioja an 88.  My notes:  The ruby colour is charcoal hued for a 'muddy' appearance - possibly a hint of adobe. A swirl lays a moderate film with a thin rim and slow tears. The black cherry/plum scent has a dusty edge that matches a mild fruit presence. Then a touch of spice saves the day brightening from the first sip. Aerating doesn't change either flavour or nose and is unneeded. The finish is long, flat and extra dry. This is a red that could benefit from a savoury sauce and, combined, be a positive compliment to grilled beef or pork souvlakis, even a chorizo pasta or pepperoni pizza. Past peak - a drink now - discarded bottle. 81

FAUSTINO VII BLANCO RIOJA 2013, Rioja, Spain, 11.5% XD xg/L, #399568 $12.65  (Tasted July 12, 2015)

A General listing. My notes: Made from 100% Viura grapes.  A pale yellow, a swirl lays a light film that recedes quickly from a lacy rim. The nose is a delicate pear/lemon just distinguishable and with a slight tartness - air in the glass for more character. Extra dry in the mouth leading to an extra dry finish and the flavour continuing unchanged. Serve with side bacon wrapped asparagus, tortillas with chicken slices or shrimp/snails/oysters. A drink now - guaff for more intensity and an interesting terroir. 85

FAUSTINO V RIOJA TEMPRANILLO ROSADO*, Rioja, Spain, 13.0% XD xg/L, #404517   $12.90  (Tasted July 6, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes: A deep pink the shade of mid strawberry and an aroma, herbal and grassy, mild enough for an interesting sipper. The film is thin leaving a ragged and empty rim that falls quickly. The first sip has a hint of strawberry flavour mostly mild  bramble, very dry with a chalky leftover going into a long extra dry finish. Best sipped beside a party tray with hummus for the crackers. Served chilled with an ice bucket. Imagine tapas or chicken wraps at an umbrella'd table watching town square strollers. Went well with Greek souvlakis.  Add a few maraschinos with syrup and it's a social drink now. Sip or quaff through the summer months.  84

ERADUS AWATERE VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Marlborough, NZ, 13.5%  XD  6g/L, #225557  $18.95  (Tasted July 14, 2015)

Released by vintages on May 16, 2015. Rated 4 1/2 out of 5 by Rod Phillips (May 2015).  Previous vintages were rated 90+ by the Wine Enthusiast.  My notes: A Sauvignon Blanc with a distinct terroir: fruity, herbal, sharp and yet smooth, with an aroma of a green cooking apple, lemon zest and cilantro. The film is moderate showing a ragged curtain quickly falling uniformly clearing the glass. The first sip bursts with the flavour of overripe gooseberries, is unexpectedly warm, silky and with a more prominent herbal taint. The finish peaks with a pushy fullness then takes time to fade with a grassy focus. A unique sipper to be enjoyed for what it is - a savvy with a distinct difference. It was refreshing paired with baked tilapia and fried onion rings and should show flexibility.  90-2

BODEGA NORTON RESERVA MALBEC 2011, Mendoza, Argentina, 14.5% XD  8g/L,  #017061 $17.00  (Tasted July 13, 2015)

Released by Vintages on May 2, 2015. Nathan Wesley rated it 92  (November 15, 2013).  My notes: A charcoal tinted ruby swirling a moderate film, smooth with a full rim that drops tiny tears accumulating volume as they descend. Medium-bodied and unless aerated there's a noticeable sting to the nose edging a  blackberry scent. The first sip broadens the fruit with firm tannin and a touch of mocha. The finish attempts a flavour revival but quickly shifts to a warm and extra dry chalk layer. A sipper if you prefer bold versus finesse. More of a sirloin/stew or a Texas beef chili red. 87a

CASAS DEL BOSQUE RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2014, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 13.5%  XD  4g/L,  #974717  $13.95  (Tasted July 19, 2015)
Released by Vintages on June 27, 2015. Beppi Crosariol gives this an 89 in his column June 27th.   My notes:   A pale yellow with a moderate film clinging then separating from a rippled rim, dropping slowly to leave a clean glass. A pleasing palate scrubber from the first sip with full gooseberry flavours accented with lemon and grapefruit zest. The second and following sips continue to freshen with a subtle sweet attempting but not succeeding to make its presence. A scrumptious finish fades evenly leaving a warm fruity reminder.  A few years in the cellar may soften the pungency without spoiling this bright savvy. 89-2

IRONSTONE OBSESSION SYMPHONY CALIFORNIA 2012, NAPA Valley, California, 12.0%  M  21g/L, #295931  $14.95  (Tasted July 5, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes: A pale yellow with a thin film topped by a fragmented rim that quickly leaves mini-nodules on the glass. There's a peach fuzz aspect to flavours of grapefruit with the added sweet of tart apple. Tartness is more evident as milder flavours carry into long finish with a lasting silky touch before a dust layered finale. More of a refreshing social sipper when served chilled (10oC) or pair with chicken and cheese pizza, Thai or buttery seafood. A drink now. 86

CHARLES & CHARLES ROSÉ 2014, Columbia Valley, Washington,  12.2%  XD  xg/L,  #406603  $15.95  (Tasted July 25, 2015)
A General listing.  My notes:  A powder puff cherry blush sets off a brilliant glow with a moderate film crinkling at the rim as it slowly falls. A faint aroma of watermelon and herb constitutes a subtle nose. The first sip cleans the teeth and lasts through a long crisp finish while a mild fruit with a prominent mineral note is carried along with the acid. Pair with shrimp and seafood sauce or with grilled salmon or halibut and potato risotto. Not much to develop by cellaring - a drink now.  82

COLOMÉ TORRONTÉS 2013, Valle Calchaqui, Argentina, 13.5%  XD  2g/L, #357913  $13.95   (Tasted July 2, 2015)

Released by Vintages on June 27, 2015.  Rated 91 by Stephen Tanzer (March 2014) and 89 by Beppi Crosariol in his June 27th columnMy notes:  A pale yellow leaving a thin film with long legs falling from a ragged rim ending with nodules on the glass. At pouring temp of 10oC an aroma of dewy green vines, not full fruit. The first sip is pleasantly silky with a broad taste of grapefruit zest, muted orange/lime. Interesting as a sipper for a lasting penetration that maintains its presence with seafood, broiled chicken and other fowl - XD. Went well with grilled trout showing pairing flexibility. Similar to the Torrontés from Susan Balboa tasted in June at the same price. Cellar several years or buy in as a house white. 91

CASAS DEL BOSQUE RESERVA CARMENÈRE 2013, Rapel Valley, Chile, 14.0%  D  4g/L, #205872  $14.95  (Tasted July 20, 2015)

Released by Vintages on June 27, 2015.  My notes:  I aerated this wine in a second glass to look for differences... for both there's a noticeable pungency on pouring that delayed my tasting 20 minutes. A moderate film leaves a crinkled rim and separates into a lacy pattern on both. The first sip is intense and warm covering dark overripe black cherry flavours and having a muddy mouthfeel drying the palate for a long flat finish. There's no benefit from aerating - better if opened two days ahead. If you prefer a pungent, earthy roughness this is it. A meal red & not a sipper. Pair with a spice rubbed steak, beef ribs or Texas Chili. Won't get better. 83

ASTORIA EXTRA DRY PROSECCO  NV, Treviso district, Italy, 11.0%  D  15g/L, #593855  $13.90  (Tasted July 21, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes:  The bottle decor says Let's Party! elegantly. A pale yellow bursting with all size bubbles on pouring continuing with streams to the surface. I question if this has 15g/L of sweetness and doubt this is other than extra dry. Should be great with fresh oysters or Argentine Wild Caught 10/20 shrimp. A Toast to the Bride and Groom and to welcome all their guests. Not sharp, not perfumed just cleanly effervescent. The flavour is a light lemon with companion acid, some apple and softness of faint melon leaving the palate refreshed for the time between speeches. A drink now. 86
CAVAS HILL 1887 BRUT NV,  Penedès, Spain, 11.5%  XD  xg/L,  #370866  $13.20  (Tasted July 27, 2015)

A General listing.  My notes:  A traditional Spanish blend of Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada. There's a greenish hue to a crystal clear yellow and a burst of bubbles on pouring that quickly disperses making way for a few fine streams. The nose has green apple edged with a hint of lime and the first sip releases a fine foam feel with an imagined apple/pear flavour, extra dry with a fading finish. Serve chilled and with an ice bucket - a bubbly to hold by the stem. Bottle weight is an eco-unfriendly 2lbs. A biting drink now or pair with tapas, oysters or shrimps/scallops marinara. 84


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