So to kick things off we have a YES and a NO. You know, just to get into the swing of things and get an idea for format or whatever.
A little bit of background for the first wine we’re about to take a look at..
I LOVE RIESLINGS.
There’s so much variety winemakers are able to achieve from this…variety… of grape. The range of flavors can be astounding. It’s no wonder a lot of people that are really into wine love rieslings.
There can be a lot to like, and there can, of course, be a lot to not like. Sometimes the petrol notes can get a little overwhelming. Or the dryness can get in the way of the overall balance. For me, I like a riesling with a nice balance between acidity and sweetness and a nice evolving chemistry between different flavors.
This is kind of where I get burned when reading reviews of Rieslings. Many of the top-reviewed, highly-scored Rieslings are a little too dry for me or have too much petrol or minerality going on. I like the peach/apricot/pear flavors to be a little more pronounced.
Riesling to me means Germany. And Mosel. (I love some of the stuff coming out of Ohio too… looking at you Chalet Debonne.) Dr Loosen really knows how to make a Riesling. Work your way through the entry level for about $10 and you’ll see what I mean. But the one I’m about to talk about is a Spatlese release. These Rieslings are a later harvest and usually sweeter wine than something like a Kabinett. Read up on Rieslings. It’s a good time. On to the wine!
Dr. Loosen – 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Rieslings Spatlese – 8.0% Alc – Mosel, Germany – About $30
The nice thing about white wines is you don’t have to give them a lot of time to open up. You just open them and BAM! They’re ready to go. This one is no exception. Overall, my girlfriend and I drank it over a 3 night span. There was no significant drop off or evolution between night one and night two, but it started to fall a bit by night three. Not a big deal but something to keep in mind. Served chilled from our fridge.
The first thing that hit me when I took a whiff was petrol and rock. A few seconds later and a few more whiffs brought about some of my favorite things about this wine. THE FRUITS! Apricot! Peach! Pears leaping from the glass! Then an almost Creme Brulee/burnt caramel/cream kind of thing. That’s the stuff. Pretty wonderful.
The taste was more of the same, minus the petrol/minerals, plus a really awesome lactic sour note to balance the sweetness. I’m sure the petrol/minteral qualities were there.. somewhere. But it was damn hard to pick those out under the fruit and cream and sour then sweet. Every sip brought a different flavor. A different sensation. From start of the sip through the finish. Just tasty tasty stuff. Flavor and nuances for days.
Worth the price? Yeah. Taste good? Check!
In a word, this guy’s a YES.
Now for Part 2 of the post. Sha-Bam-Bam.
I’ve heard a lot about the big, bold, full-bodied red wines of Douro. So I found one, supposedly. For reds, I’d usually go for something from Spain.. or Argentina. But I was feeling frisky, so here we are. I guess there’s not a lot else to say here so let’s talk about what we have.
Post Scriptum – De Chryseia 2010 – Red Blend – Douro, Portugal – 13% Alc. – About $20
We let it breathe for a little over half an hour before helping ourselves. Very deep, dark violet. Do I smell Oak? Yeah. A lot of it. It’s kind of hiding the dark fruits. Blueberries are the big one. But there’s so much heat it’s pretty difficult to get much else. There’s an interesting savory quality though. Almost like a steak on the BBQ. Makes me hungry for an actual steak. And that might give way to some other flavors from this glass, but I don’t usually pair a lot of wine and food. (Not like I’m against it but it just doesn’t happen often.)
Right now I’m on day 2 of the bottle. Day 2 brings licorice on the nose. Pretty cool, but is it enough to save it?
Tasting it, the dark fruits come to play first. Then we get the oak/savory qualities. The finish evokes some dark chocolate which is pretty cool (and the licorice hits on the finish on day 2). There’s nice grip actually, but then there’s that heat coming out again. The balance is close but a little off kilter. Another sip and “hello again, Oak.” This guy shakes your hand every time you see him, even if you just talked to him 5 seconds ago.
Is it worth $20? Almost. But not quite. Nice complexity, but the heat is too much. Do I like it? Almost. But not quite. It’s pretty good, but I wouldn’t give it another go.
Unfortunately here, I’m gonna have to go with NO.